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Understanding Your Ruling Planet

A woman with an illustration of the planets of the solar system behind her

As the planets circle about and move through the signs of the zodiac, everyone is affected by their locations. While most people know their zodiac sign, not many know what their ruling planet is. Do you? Each sign of the zodiac is ruled by one of the planets. The assignment of these planets goes back to the most ancient astrology texts and was already ancient knowledge even then. These rulerships are, in fact, cornerstones of astrology and provide a deep insight into the personality of each zodiac sign.

The Sun

The Sun rules the zodiac sign of Leo. The Sun is the most consistent measure of time in the zodiac. The Sun visits the same spot that it occupied at the moment of your birth in one-year intervals. This consistency is the basis of our calendar and many other divisions of time. The zodiac sign of the Lion lives up to the billing of the Sun. A person born under the sign of Leo has a huge self-image, a fiery intensity and a consistency of drive and personality.

The Moon

The zodiac sign of Cancer is ruled by the Moon. This is the only sign in the zodiac that sees its ruler visiting once every month. Our ocean's tides and many of our life's cycles are based on the rhythms of the Moon. The zodiac sign of Cancer is the one part of the zodiac that is obsessed with security. Those born under the sign of the Crab love being at home, prefer a feeling of security and consistency, and have an intuitive grasp of carving out their own territory in the world.

Mercury

The planet Mercury rules two signs: Gemini and Virgo. Mercury moves around the zodiac so quickly that, as it makes its away around the Sun ahead of us, it appears to be moving backwards at times. The three annual periods of Mercury Retrograde allow us all to review our accomplishments, and throw enough chaos into our plans that those ruled by Mercury learn to be the best improvisers. The zodiac sign of the Twins, Gemini, emulates the communication dominance of the planet Mercury. Virgo is the zodiac sign of information and reflects Mercury's organizational nature. Those born under the sign of Gemini learn to talk about what they are thinking and feeling as a means of expression. Virgos take control of their world by establishing hierarchies that they alone understand.

Venus

Venus rules art, beauty and most of all, love. Venus moves around the zodiac in about eleven months, but over a two-year period it has one stretch of a retrograde that can last almost two months at times. This is the pause that inspires the artist and the lover inside … Venus is the muse for us all. It is the ruling planet of Libra and Taurus. These two signs seem to have little in common, but their personalities reflect the two sides of the Venusian coin. The Taurus revels in the beauty of acquiring art objects, jewelry and dining on delicious meals. The Libra loves the sophistication represented by the art world, the elegance of fashion and the love expressed in a good time over a nice dinner.

Mars

This masculine planet of action brings intensity to wherever it goes. Mars takes about two years to circle the Sun and in that time it is retrograde for a few weeks, enough for the warrior in us all to reassess our battle plans. Mars is the ruling planet of Aries and Scorpio. Those born under the sign of the Ram are always moving forward and have little time to reminisce. The Scorpion is a sign of intense dedication to victory, demanding loyalty all the way.

Jupiter

The largest planet in the solar system is the ruler of all big things, expansions and excess. Taking twelve years to move through the zodiac, it stays in each sign for about a year. Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius and the ancient ruler of Pisces, a sign over which it still holds sway. Sagittarians love a good time and a good gamble, while Pisceans are prone to grand visions of the way life should be, each sign reflecting the nature of Jupiter, named after the Roman king of the gods.

Saturn

Saturn is the only planet to rule two contiguous zodiac signs. It rules Capricorn and is the ancient ruler of Aquarius. Saturn takes about twenty-eight and a half years to circle the zodiac, visiting each zodiac sign for about two and a half years. Saturn is the planet of limitations, perhaps unsurprisingly being the last planet visible in the sky to the naked eye from Earth. Capricorn and Aquarius are opposite Cancer and Leo, and therefore Saturn completes the planetary rulership cycle by opposing the brightest lights in our sky. Saturn is thus ruling the darkest months of the year in the northern hemisphere. Capricorn is the sign of status and the Goat seeks to know his or her place in the world, operating freely when these boundaries of social convention and possibility are apparent. Aquarians are lovers of people and the crowd, the mass media and the popular trends, but are aloof on an individual level of interaction, mirroring the stern distance maintained by Saturn's watchful eye.

Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

These three planets were unknown to the ancients, but upon their discovery, astrologers sought to make connections between each planet and one of the signs. Uranus was determined to be the planet of uprisings and revolutions, being discovered around the time of the French Revolution and just after the American Revolution. It was assigned rulership over Aquarius. Neptune was discovered in the middle of the nineteenth century and was observed to have a strong connection to photography and strong drink, illusions and the birth of psychoanalysis. It was assigned rulership over Pisces. Pluto was discovered in 1930 and is connected to secret sources of power, a perfect complement to the zodiac sign of Scorpio.

The ancient rulers of Aquarius, Pisces and Scorpio still have immense value to understanding the personality characteristics of members of each of these signs. The contemporary rulers complement these rulerships. The complex construction of each human personality is easier to see unfold when the zodiac sign is known. The ruling planet reveals a core truth about every human being. Understanding others is what allows us to eventually understand ourselves.

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Published: February 2, 2011
 
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