Astrology: The Lights
The Sun and Moon (or lights, as they are called) are the two most important bodies. It is sometimes easier to understand what they represent in astrology if we consider how they interrelate with the Earth.
A good analogy is the following. Each of us is on Earth. The bright and shining Sun represents someone older, someone we look up to -- whether that be a teacher or guru. The Moon represents someone younger, especially the groups that we used to belong to. That is the analogy. Here is how we might think about it:
We can't live either on the Sun or Moon. We have grown out of and beyond the younger generation (Moon). Out of it we once came or were born. This is why the Moon is said to be a mystery. It is both our parent and our child. Regardless, we no longer are alive to what moves the younger generation. The same kind of reasoning is true of those older than us, who have taken more degrees of experience. We are still too young... not yet ready to live in the solar environment. We receive light from the Sun, and it makes life grow.
We each have both a Sun and a Moon. In the course of a month, these two bodies take up various positions in relation to where we are on Earth. At the Full Moon, the Moon is beyond the orbit of the Earth (farther out) and reflecting sunlight back on us. At the New Moon, the Moon is within the Earth's orbit and lost in the Sun. Tradition suggests that we start (or may receive) an impulse at the New Moon, build and develop it for two weeks until the Full Moon, and then gradually understand or draw some conclusions from the experience during the two weeks after the moon is full.
Astrology: The Planets
In astrology, the larger life of our solar system as a whole tells us something about our own personal Earth life. The interplay and relationship of the planets with one another as they circle the Sun is carefully studied. Of particular interest to astrologers are the Sun, the Moon, and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. These are the celestial bodies used most often by modern astrologers for natal interpretation. Each of these planets represents or refers to a part of our life and self. Here are some of the concepts and key words associated with each planet:
Astrology: The Planets
The heart and center of it all. The father, guru, teacher or figure of authority. Anyone older or living in an experience more disciplined than our own. That which we look up to and receive light from. That which we may become.
From the Sun comes light, that which draws us into life. The Sun represents all the changes we have not yet taken, that part of us that we have not yet experienced but are headed toward. The Sun represents our identity, or self, in that it is toward these that we are moving and developing. Thus, it also represents that which we will become: older people, authorities -- those we look toward, or up to. Our essence, or future. Teachers, gurus, and older (more experienced) people are represented by the Sun. The Sun is "hot stuff," those further up the road of life experience.
Our surroundings, the environment out of which we came. Our past and childhood. Our formative years and self. The background. That out of which we emerged.
Here is information about the kind of environment we create around us, our support system. It is not only the surroundings that we set up today, but the Moon also represents our past, the particular history and social background out of which we grew. Aside from our social background, the Moon governs all of the old habits that we have grown beyond. We tend to look down on, or back on, our Moon. It represents those experiences out of which we have come, all those younger souls who are unconscious, or "sub" conscious to our own level. This is why it is said that the Moon is a mystery planet, for it is both our parent and our child: our parent in that out of it we were born, our child in that we can't but respond to others who are now living as we once did.
Communication at light speed. Linkage. Thought. Ideas. The light of the mind. Logos, direct voice.
Mercury is the light in our eyes, the ever-changing consciousness within us that moves from idea to idea. Thus Mercury has always represented thoughts, ideas, and the mental process in general. It governs not only ideas, but communications, too. Communications -- by phone, letter, spoken, or however -- are ruled by Mercury. Also thoughts, connections, phone wires, and everything that connects and conveys -- even conversations.
How we respond, appreciate, cherish or value something. The way we love. Love, but not attraction. Compassion.
Venus rules our values and sense of appreciation. When we appraise or appreciate something, whether that be another person or a new car, this is Venus -- the sense of love and compassion we may feel. By the same token, this planet rules enjoyment too. Whether it be self-appreciation or just plain old decadent self-enjoyment by having a good time, this is Venus. When we go shopping or are on a spending spree, it is Venus that allows us to appreciate and value all the good things of life.
Energy. What drives or moves us. Our emotions. Urge to unify or become one, therefore yoga, union, or marriage.
Mars is the planet of emotion and inner motivation or drive. When we search for the meaning of something, life or whatever, it is Mars that urges us on, keeps us searching. Mars also drives us against things, too and sends us into war and combat. The urgency of Mars, the search for meaning, is identical to the need for union, yoga, and marriage. Mars is the planet of union, and marriage is the most common form of yoga.When we have questions about the opposite sex, we are looking at the planet Mars.
The way through or on. Continuing, continuity, succession, success. The pathfinder or lamp through the trials of time. Luck.
Jupiter is the planet of success and simple survival, the way we have to solve the problems that confront us. Thus Jupiter has to do with the way in which we can be successful, our vocation. The Hindu word for Jupiter is Guru. Jupiter is the guru and guide, the way we go through life, our life path or vocation. Jupiter is the method each of us has for dealing with the laws of life, our Saturn, or limitations. Jupiter is the light or path. Jupiter provides us with our sense of direction, the path we are on, the way we handle life. It affects how we approach life's problems. It has always been an indicator of how successful we may be, our vocation.
The giver of laws or rules. The prince of time and the material world. Satan. Laws. Sometimes obstacles, authority.
The process of finding out who we are (self-discovery) starts when we come to grips with whatever problems life presents to us and begin to get a handle on them. In other words, if we have not dealt with Saturn, or time (that is, if we don't have some control of time), there is little opportunity for other questions. Saturn rules the laws and limitations of this material world we all live in. Saturn indicates where we are bound to learn, the narrowness that makes our way felt, the walls that make homes possible. Saturn holds us together as much as apart. Saturn is said to be the great teacher, the planet that keeps us from getting carried away in one direction or another. Although it always seeks to limit and determine any thought, word, or action, it also defines and clarifies. Saturn is called the prince of the material world.
Insight, invention, breakthrough. Good uses for Saturn. "To see eternity in a grain of sand."
Our responsibilities can tend to weigh us down, and we each have our particular ways of getting around (or breaking through) the mass of obstructions that tends to congeal around us. The planet that has to do with how we get beyond the difficulties and problems life presents us is Uranus. Here is the way insights come to us, how we discover or come to know and understand ourselves. It has to do with finding new uses for old things, and it rules inventions and sudden insights into our life -- everything that is unusual, eccentric, and out of the ordinary. It is the reverse of the status quo and is always unconventional and heretical. Uranus is, in many ways, the opposite, or undoing of Saturn.
Cherish, solve, compassion. "The dewdrop slips into the shining sea". Unity, solution, one.
Even the most hard-nosed of us have moments of real understanding, when things are seen as linked together and one piece. We stop getting the idea in little flashes and just get the whole thing. It dawns on us. We each have our own way of letting go, having communion, and (as the poet wrote) letting "the dewdrop slip into the shining sea." These moments and this state of mind are, in fact, the source for all our imagination. There are many ways of seeing through the separateness in the world to the unity behind it.
Transformation. Sensitivity to the impermanence of life. Intimations of mortality.
Pluto is the planet of profound change, starting deep within us and moving toward the surface. It often touches upon the most sensitive psychological areas inside us. Once touched, we have no choice but to change and grow. The most sensitive of experiences, the times of greatest vulnerability, are times of complete identification with an experience, a person, or a thing. We know in these instants that we are looking at our self, what we are. The most personal of experiences is one of complete identification with a person, moment, or idea. Perhaps this is only possible for most of us when we look into our child's eyes, and then only infrequently. Love is not the experience here, but total identification. This is very sensitive stuff. To touch upon this material is to go through deep inner change and transformation -- inner alchemy. Identification and experiencing that life is our own creation and that, in fact, you are I and I am you. This experience breaks us down and humbles. When we touch upon this experience, we cannot but die to what we have been thinking and doing up to now. It reduces us to our most sensitive because -- in a flash -- we see or remember that it all is us, our life.
Lunar north node.
Vocation or application point. Right-of-way.
(This is the text from the supplement of terms and concepts included with the Astro*Talk Profile , created by the author, Michael Erlewine.)