We look at ten Planets in the study of Astrology, beginning with the Sun and the Moon, also known as luminaries. Additionally, there are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The energy of the Planets influences our everyday lives. It's what we do with this energy that truly matters.
The more recently-recognized Planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) do not dilute the message of the other Planets, they simply add to our spectrum of experience. Many consider Jupiter to be the most benevolent of the Planets, with Venus a close second. The Sun, Moon and Mercury also tend to cast a golden glow. On the flip side of things is Saturn's hard energy, followed by the sharpness of Mars, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
The Planets move at varying speeds, some faster (the Moon) and some slower (Pluto), depending on how close they are to the Sun. The fastest Planets (Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) are commonly referred to as the inner Planets and speak to the inner self. The social Planets are Jupiter and Saturn, while the outer Planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) fix their gaze on the external world.
Each of the Planets exerts its most powerful energy over the Sign it rules. This is also referred to as the Sign of its dignity. There is a second Sign with which each Planet interacts well, known as the Sign of its exaltation. Directly opposite each Planet's Sign of dignity is the Sign of detriment; this Planet's energy is generally unfavorable. Opposite the Sign of exaltation is the Sign of fall; these Planets exhibit a weakened energy. A Planet in its natural House (such as Mars in Aries) is accidentally dignified and strengthened as a result. Perhaps the most important Planet of all is the one that rules the Ascendant. For example, those with Virgo on the Ascendant will find that Mercury, as the ruler of Virgo, exerts a considerable influence over their chart.
The movement of the Planets is categorized as stationary, direct or retrograde. A stationary Planet (which will soon be direct or retrograde) brings with it highly-focused and significant energy. Direct Planets also exert considerable influence. It is the retrograde Planets that serve to mix things up. By appearing to move backward, these Planets generate a diffused and unfocused energy. The message of retrograde Planets will be garbled and less effective as a result.