Basic psychological astrology says that every planet represents a need. If it is not met, we react with defense mechanisms.
The aspects between planets show how hard or easy it is for us to have these needs met.
Hard aspects shows that two needs get in the way of each other.
Soft aspects show that two needs work together and support each other. Defenses are still common, because soft aspects show "the path of least resistance". In that sense, using a defense often serves the need of both planets.
The psychological needs and defense mechanisms that are typically the strongest in people are those described by the planets in aspect to the sun, moon or the ascendant (especially if it is a conjunction) .
If a sign is strong in the chart, the same psychological needs and defense mechanisms as described by the ruling planet will be primary forces in the personality (for example, somebody with Pisces Sun and Aquarius Moon will show Neptune and Uranus defenses).
The moon sign is also a strong indicator of defense mechanisms.
- Sign: Leo
- Needs to feel special and important and have a strong sense of self, a need for confidence and creativity
- Defends the ego with pride and narcisissm
- Sign: Cancer
- Needs to feel emotional connection, nurture and be nurtured
- Defends emotional well-being through blaming others and creating dependence, protects themselves and creates co-dependence by inducing guilt ("how dare you do this after all I've done to you")
- Sign: Gemini
- Needs to understand the world on a mental level, wants to be rational, there's a need to communicate and learn
- When "irrational" feelings come up, one defends the need to be rational by intellectualizing one's feelings and problems and rationalizing the world
- Virgo is also ruled by Mercury, but here, the need for organization and cleanliness is predominant and it is expressed in petty and meticulous behavior
- Sign: Libra
- Needs to be liked, desired, belong, relate
- Defends social belonging by being overly agreeable, following popular trends, avoiding conflict
- Taurus is also ruled by Venus, but here, the need for security and pleasure is predominant and it is expressed in stubborn and indulgent behavior
- Sign: Aries
- Needs to get their way, win, and conquer
- Defends their will by attacking, fighting, aggression
- Sign: Sagittarius
- Needs to be right, know the answer to big questions, expand one's wisdom and experience, needs to be moral and have virtue
- Protects belief systems and personal truths through self-righteousness and hypocrisy, feeds the sense of moral superiority by developing a "spiritual ego" ("I am such a good person!!")
- Sign: Capricorn
- Needs to create and preserve structures, laws, and rules
- Exerts authority, creates rules for themselves and others, sanctions the breaking of rules (of both themselves and others!), creates a bad conscience
- Sign: Aquarius
- Needs to be a free and original individual, needs to revolutionize
- Defends this need through rebellion, erratic or shocking behavior (doing the opposite of what is expected of them)
- Sign: Pisces
- Needs to feel connected and at one
- Since this need can never truly be fulfilled in a reality where everyone and everything is divided by time and space, they serve their need by escaping, avoiding, numbing, living in fantasy, addictions, playing the victim
- Sign: Scorpio
- Our survival instincts, the need to have power and be in control
- Defends their power by controlling, destroying, manipulating, taking revenge