Growing up, we learned about the nine planets in our solar system (RIP Pluto), and how they relate to the bigger picture of our solar system. Astrology, the study how celestial bodies affect people, examines these same planets and where they reside in the zodiac to understand the energy happening in our universe. The astrological meaning placed on the eight planets (Earth isn't counted since it's our home.), plus the two luminaries (sun and moon) are based on myths, folklore, gods/goddesses, pagan beliefs, and centuries of studying human behavior. Each zodiac sign has a corresponding planet, and is ruled by one of the 10 energies in our solar system.
If you learn your entire chart, you can study which planet fell into which sign at the time of your birth. My sun sign, which symbolizes the self, is ruled by Mars. But my Moon sign, which represents emotions, is ruled by Saturn. You can cast your full chart here.
You may have heard stuff like Mercury retrograde is a bad time to sign a contract, or if you're ruled by Saturn, you may always look gloomy (see: saturnine). Knowing the traits and symbols of each planet can enlighten us about our inner workings and the energy we present to the world.
Aries – Ruled by Mars
Mars keywords: headstrong, passionate, grit, initiative, combative, self-assured, brash, honest, aggressive, innocent, youthful, naive, spontaneous, sensitive, and reactive.
Marsian people are energetic, bombastic go-getters who confront any challenge head-on. Watch out for confronting the world too aggressively, use your drive for good, and don't step on others to get there.
Taurus – Ruled by Venus
Venus keywords (Earth): sensual, stable, romantic, substantial, slow, passive, nurturing, sweet, shallow, physical, gluttonous, pleasurable, high-quality, and measured.
Venusian people have an eye for beauty, and love creating harmony in their world. Watch out for confronting the world too stubbornly, compromise is what makes Venus happy. Occasionally, Venus will go retrograde. Venus rules balance, relating to others and beauty; retrogrades shine a light on this energy and often challenge it. Keep an eye out for these retrogrades, as it will affect Taurus and Libra more than others. The next one will be October 5- November 16, 2018.
Gemini – Ruled by Mercury
Mercury Keywords (Air): mental, stimulating, fast-paced, energetic, social, curious, busy, surface-level, dichotomous, dual, androgynous, flexible, inquisitive, and intelligent.
Mercurial people are mentally active people who love learning new things and asking questions. Watch out for confronting the world in a overly detached way. It's OK to use your heart as well as your head. Occasionally, Mercury will go retrograde. Mercury rules short trips, communication, and the mind, and retrogrades will shine a light on this energy and often challenge it. Keep an eye out for these retrogrades, as it will affect Gemini and Virgo more than others. The next one will be December 3 - December 22, 2017.
Cancer – Ruled by the Moon
Moon keywords: receptive, feminine, strong, protective, moody, intuitive, magnetic, timeless, nostalgic, compassionate, emotional, psychic, clingy, powerful, and cyclical.
Lunar people are soft, nurturing types who have amazing intuition and wit. Watch out for confronting the world too sensitively; it's OK to take emotional breaks and detach. Lunar eclipses, full moons, and new moons will affect these people more than others.
Leo – Ruled by the Sun
Sun keywords: attractive, warm, bold, memorable, trendy, proud, egotistical, vibrant, brash, demanding, invigorating, self-centered, inspiring, loud, obvious, childish, and creative.
Solar people are shining, positive beings who love using their confidence to inspire others. Watch out for confronting the world from a place of ego, remember that you can always learn more. Solar eclipses greatly affect these people, and they probably feel more energy in the summer months.
Virgo – Ruled by Mercury
Mercury keywords (Earth): thoughtful, methodical, agile, analytical, intellectual, goal-oriented, perfectionistic, critical, receptive, logical, giving, self-conscious, and caring.
Mercurial earth people are rational, patient people who give their all to loved ones. Watch out for confronting the world too cautiously or analytically, following your gut its own intelligence. Occasionally, Mercury will go retrograde. Mercury rules short trips, communication, and the mind. Retrogrades will shine a light on this energy and often challenge it.
Libra – Ruled by Venus
Venus Keywords (Air): fair, theoretical, stylish, partnership, mental, kind, flattering, compromise, imitation, moderate, superficial, graceful, compliant, flirtatious, modern, balanced, and humane.
Venusian air people are fashionable, idealistic people who value fairness and fun. Watch out for confronting the world too aesthetically, appearances matter but at the end of the day, you know what really matters.
Occasionally, Venus will go retrograde. Venus represents relating to others and beauty, retrogrades will shine a light on this energy and often challenge it. Keep an eye out for these retrogrades, as it will affect Taurus and Libras more than others. The next one will be October 5 - November 16, 2018.
Scorpio – Ruled by Pluto
Pluto keywords: deep, compelling, investigating, polarizing, challenging, committed, mystical, sexual, transformations, extremes, clairvoyant, suspicious, karmic, and personal power.
Plutonian people are powerful, mysterious figures who inspire strong feelings in others -- both good and bad. Often sexual undertones. Watch out for confronting the world in a paranoid way; not everyone is out to get you.
Sagittarius – Ruled by Jupiter
Jupiter keywords: positive, cultured, philosophical, irresponsible, independent, uncontrollable, expansive, inconsistent, spontaneous, lucky, free-wheeling, and educated.
Jupiterian people are fun-loving, optimistic people who need freedom and growth to feel happy. Watch out for confronting the world in a noncommittal way, it's OK to settle down sometimes.
Capricorn – Ruled by Saturn
Saturn keywords: responsible, impressive, structured, trustworthy, traditional, professional, private, pessimistic, perseverance, obligations, mighty, competent, serious
Saturnine people are determined, trustworthy people who work hard and takes on duties that others cannot. Saturn is a heavy planet and these people often feel the weight of the world. Watch out for confronting the world too pessimistically, you don't have to do everything alone; letting other take the reins is sometimes a necessity.
Aquarius – Ruled by Uranus
Uranus keywords: rebellious, unique, technological, original, counter-culture, friendly, platonic, cerebral, intellectual, stranger, futuristic, idealistic, inappropriate, and revolutionary.
Uranian people are humanitarians; they are one-of-a-kind visionaries who want reform and justice. They may use wild tactics to get what they want, their ruler spins on its side! Watch out for confronting others in a preachy way, always keep lines of communication open.
Pisces – Ruled by Neptune
Neptune keywords: dreamy, escapist, imaginative, carefree, impressionable, scatter-brained, illogical, soulful, universal, nebulous, flexible, creative, telepathic, and selfless.
Neptunian people are mystical people who love fantasizing and avoiding reality. Watch out for confronting the world too passively, there is magic hidden in reality, sometimes you just have to dig.