26 June 2016

The meaning of the astrological planets

People today are so removed from the natural cycles happening in the sky, like the rising and setting of the sun and the waning and waxing of the moon. They get up in the morning, turn on the lights, don’t even notice the sun rising, get to work, are exposed to artificial light all day, leave work after the sun has set but while the city lights are still bright. The light pollution washes out the sky so you can’t see any of the fixed stars and planets. Often even the moon is covered by high-rise buildings. We are so removed from everything going on “up there”, so alienated from the solar system that any of it influencing us, as astrology suggests, seems ridiculous.

In the past, however, in times before electricity, people lived so embedded in the natural cycles of the sky that the stars and planets and moon influencing us was self-evident, it wasn’t even questioned, it was simply a given. When the night came, it was dark. There was no such thing as “a city that never sleeps”. At most there was the dim glow of a candle or other fire. The body was naturally attuned to a sleep cycle in harmony with the rising and setting of the sun. There was no electricity or central heating so, when the sun was gone, it was dark and cold. No wonder the sun was worshiped as the vital life force.

All the planets from Mercury to Saturn were observable with the naked eye. The connection of the moon phases with the tides of the ocean, the menstrual cycle, agriculture, and the moods of people was obvious. The light of a full moon on a clear night without light pollution is shockingly bright and eery. The moon phase made a signifcant difference in how dark the night was. The moon was naturally associated with womanhood and especially motherhood.

Mercury was seen wandering the sky swiftly so he was seen as the communicator and messenger between the other planets, quickly moving around.
Venus, the morning and evening star, that can only be seen at dusk and dawn, not at night, was seen as the mediator between light and dark, the peacemaker, the balancer, the relator.
Mars, the planet glowing in red, was associated with blood-shed, passion, aggression.
Jupiter, the biggest planet, was naturally the most generous and benevolent.
Saturn, the outermost observable planet, guarding the threshhold was connected to all ends and boundaries, confinements and structures.

We have lost this sense of meaning associated with the solar system. Even if we learn astrology through books and look at the moving of the planets in astrology softwares, it’s not the same as experiencing it organically.

Nevertheless we are still able of discovering the meaning of the new planets.
Uranus, who was discovered by accident and blew the former boundaries and structures we knew, was associated with revolution, progress, and new inventions.
Neptune was discovered in times of romanticism, impressionism, the discovery of photography and anesthetics and was associated with the dissolution of boundaries, hallucination and manipulation.
Pluto was discovered during the time of mafias, prohibition, and fascism and was associated with the underground and the taboos and terror it contains as well as their potential to transform us.


  1. marina, i found answers to a question i was having from this post. i was wondering how the planets came to symbolise what they symbolise; how humans began to apply planetary motions to life on earth. i admire your eloquence in making connections, it makes the things you write about effortless to read, as if it were my own knowledge. thank you for this wonderful post, i'll be revisiting it often!

    1. thank you so much, thats such a nice compliment :) Im glad you like it! I will try and write a blogpost about where the meanings of the signs and houses came from in the future!

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