Rulers of the Zodiac

In astrology, the study of the signs of the zodiac is guided by what is referred to as their ruling planets. Through time, astrologers have observed the qualities and energies of both the planets and the astrology signs. This helped them to match up each sign with their ruling planet.

In astrology, the seven classical planets are those easily seen with the naked eye and these include the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Each of these planets is a ruling planet for a specific zodiac sign.

Although most of the planetary assignments have remained unchanged, a number of pairings were made or modified after the discovery of Uranus in 1781, Neptune in 1846, and Pluto in 1930.

Western astrology is founded on the movements and relative positions of the planets, sun and moon in the zodiac at the time of birth and their movements or transits through the sky in the past, present and future are considered to be the major influences on the zodiac signs.

The Sun Rules Leo

With Leos’ confidence and fiery intensity, they surely live up to the Sun’s energy. As the most consistent measure of time in the zodiac, the Sun is used as the basis of the calendar and other divisions of time. This consistency manifests itself in the Leo personality’s drive to achieve.

The Moon Rules Cancer

As the ocean’s tides and many of life’s other cycles are ruled by the rhythms of the Moon, so to is the zodiac sign of Cancer. Cancerians are homebodies, preferring a familiar place where they feel secure. They seek consistency and use their intuition to carve out their own place in the world.

Mars Rules Aries

Mars is known as the masculine planet of action, bringing with it an intensity wherever it goes. Consequently, it brings this same intensity to the zodiac sign of Aries as its ruling planet. Aries people are, therefore, always on the move and have little time to reflect and reminisce. Victory is their goal, and they demand loyalty and dedication until they reach it.

Venus Rules Taurus and Libra

Venus is the muse of all, ruling art, beauty, and love. It is also the ruling planet of Taurus and Libra. These two signs reflect the two sides of the Venusian coin. Taurus takes pleasure in the beauty of art and the sensation of a delectable meal. On the flipside, Libra revels in the sophistication of the art and fashion world and warm conversations over dinner.

Mercury Rules Gemini and Virgo

Because of Mercury’s quick movement around the zodiac, it can throw chaos into the plans of those ruled by this planet, making them excellent improvisers. Mercury lends its communication dominance to Gemini and its organizational nature to Virgo. Consequently, Geminis are adept at verbally expressing their thoughts and emotions. Virgos, on the other hand, organize their world into hierarchies that only they understand in an effort to control it.

Pluto Rules Scorpio

A recently discovered planet in 1930, Pluto is known to be connected to secret sources of power. This complements the mystical and otherworldly characteristics of Scorpios. An enigma even unto themselves, Scorpios can hardly understand the breadth and source of their own magical abilities, operating on a plane of existence to which few have access.

Jupiter Rules Sagittarius

The ruling planet of Sagittarius is the ruler of excesses and all big things, being the biggest planet in the solar system. Sagittarians are lovers of a good time and possess grand visions of the good life. For them, hitting it big is one of the main goals in life.

Saturn Rules Capricorn

Known as the planet of limitations, Saturn lends Capricorns their cautious and practical nature. They seek to know their place in the world but are bound by the norms of social convention and propriety. They tend to keep their distance from others but are loyal friends and partners.

Uranus Rules Aquarius

Discovered around the time of the French Revolution, Uranus is known as the planet of uprisings and revolutions. This is apt to the bohemian personality of Aquarians, who are known to combine logic and creativity into pure genius. Few understand their vision when put into words, but once it is transformed into a tangible product, it gains admiration and respect.

Neptune Rules Pisces

Discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century, Neptune has a strong connection with photography and psychoanalysis. As the ruling planet of Pisces, Neptune lends its dreamy nature with Pisceans, giving them a rose-tinted view of the world. They’d rather revel in the visions of their mind’s eye than waste their time with reality. Masters of subconscious cues, the realize that they are as strong a language as the spoken word.

note that there are some planets that rule two signs.

In interpreting a birth chart, the “chart ruler” is the planetary ruler of the sign on the Ascendant, or first house. For example, if Aries is the Ascendant, the chart ruler would be Mars. If Taurus is found on the second house, then Venus is said to rule the second house. If Gemini were on the second house, then Mercury rules the second house.

You might also want to read more about Planets and Their Meaning in Astrology or our comprehensive article about horoscopes.