THE SUN is a star that is the center of the solar system. It rules the sign Leo, and is therefore in its detriment in the opposite sign Aquarius. The Sun is exalted (strongest position) in Aries and in its fall (weakest position) in Libra. In horoscope interpretation the Sun represents vitality, consciousness, spirit, creativity and identity. Its qualities are visibility, power, grandeur, nobility, honor, dignity, generosity, authority and leadership. It rules the ego, individuality, self-image; career, fame, public life; the will, ideals, destiny, purpose, and the future. Also yang energy (yin energy is ruled by the Moon); persons in authority, fathers, husbands and males in general.
When afflicted (adversely affected by other planets) the Sun is associated with pompousness, ostentation, despotism, self-centeredness and pride.
THE MOON is a satellite of our planet Earth. It rules the sign Cancer, and is therefore in its detriment in the opposite sign Capricorn. The Moon is exalted in Taurus and in its fall in Scorpio. In horoscope interpretation the Moon represents the emotions, the unconscious, instinct, the mother and females in general. Its qualities are receptivity, sensitivity, moodiness, instability and change. It rules man's physical nature, childbirth, infancy and childhood; dreams, imagination, memory, conditioning, habits and the past; liquids, glands, secretions, the stomach; the anima, private, daily and domestic life, and the moods and tastes of the public.
When afflicted the Moon is associated with hypersensitivity and overreaction, or difficulty getting in touch with one's feelings, and the inability to respond.
MERCURY rules two signs of the zodiac, namely Gemini and Virgo, and is therefore in its detriment in the opposite signs, Sagittarius and Pisces. Mercury is exalted in Aquarius and in its fall in Leo. In horoscope interpretation Mercury represents the mind, learning, language, perception and self-expression. Its qualities are rationality, intelligence, wit, facility, cleverness, cunning, skill and dexterity. Mercury rules thought, reason, intellect; education, reading, writing, speech and information; communications and transportation; business, commerce and selling; adaptation for survival, the nervous system, and the brain.
When afflicted Mercury is associated with emotional coldness, detachment, amorality, expediency, over-intellectualizing, and difficulty in thinking or communicating.
VENUS rules the signs Taurus and Libra, thus it is in its detriment in the opposite signs, Scorpio and Aries. Venus is exalted in Pisces and in its fall in Virgo. In horoscope interpretation Venus relates to love, friendship, marriage and unions of all kinds, affinity and values. Its qualities are affection, gentleness peacefulness, harmony, balance, elegance, grace and sensuality. It rules sympathy, taste, likes and dislikes, attraction, magnetism and appeal; art, beauty, the aesthetic sense, comfort, pleasure, jewelry, ornaments perfumes, luxury and fashion; platonic or romantic love and moral character.
When afflicted Venus is associated with laziness, vanity, promiscuity and overindulgence, especially in sweets and other exotic foodstuffs.
MARS rules the signs Aries and Scorpio, thus it is in its detriment in the opposite signs, Libra and Taurus. Mars is exalted in Capricorn and in its fall in Cancer. In horoscope interpretation Mars represents desire, or goal-oriented energy, which includes both sexuality and aggression. Its qualities are energy, strength, courage, action, passion, competition and the fighting spirit. It rules the sex drive, the muscles of the body, the appetite, sense of smell, the voice, breath, the prana or vital energy, as well as steel, knives, weapons and fire.
When afflicted Mars is associated with anger, irritability, impatience, haste and accidents.
JUPITER, the largest planet in the solar system, rules the sign Sagittarius and co-rules Pisces, thus it is in its detriment in the opposite signs, Gemini and Virgo. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer and in its fall in Capricorn. In horoscope interpretation Jupiter represents growth and expansion on every level, from material wealth to humanitarian feelings; from the breadth of outlook to spiritual evolution and wisdom. Its qualities are optimism, faith, good fortune, generosity, geniality, joviality, humor, idealism, judgment, benevolence, philanthropy, sociability and respectability. It rules religion, philosophy, higher education, the law, high ideals and long journeys.
When afflicted Jupiter is associated with overindulgence, overconfidence and extravagance.
SATURN rules the sign Capricorn and co-rules Aquarius, thus it is in its detriment in the opposite signs, Cancer and Leo. Saturn is exalted in Libra and in its fall in Aries. As the beautiful ringed planet whose orbit circumscribed the then-known world, Saturn was regarded by the ancients as the ruler of the material plane, and was identified with the laws of time and space that govern it. In horoscope interpretation Saturn represents boundaries, definition, limitations, restriction, authority, discipline and responsibility. Its qualities are seriousness, stability, conservation, practicality, economy, duration, crystallization and coldness.
Saturn rules order, form, structure, organization, government, law enforcement and the letter of the law; duty, debts, work, teachers, authority figures (including fathers); older people in general, old age, death and mortality; the bone structure of the body, the skin and teeth; asceticism and fasting; the super-ego and the reality principle; science, especially geometry and geology; earth, land, rocks, jewels, minerals, mountains, caves, agriculture and real estate.
When afflicted Saturn is associated with anxiety, inhibition, delays, isolation, depression, rigidity, stinginess, poverty, starvation and famine.
URANUS rules the sign Aquarius, and is therefore in its detriment in the opposite sign Leo. It is exalted in Scorpio and in its fall in Taurus. Astrologers have come to associate this odd planet (it rotates on its sides!) with revolution, invention, innovation, sudden change and the unexpected. The historical pictures taken by Voyager II spacecraft as it passed by Uranus in 1986 are further proof of the correctness of their astrological interpretations. It was discovered that Uranus has a system of rings – and 15 moons, one of which (Miranda) scientists say is the most bizarre object in the solar system.
In horoscope interpretation Uranus represents originality, individuality, independence, rebelliousness, inventiveness, unconventionality and amorality. It rules inspiration, imagination, intuition, insight and genius; art, iconoclasm, bohemianism and the avant-garde, and the cosmic sciences of astronomy and astrology. Uranus rules the technology that is new at the time, e.g., in the early 20th century it ruled electricity, radio and aviation; in the late 20th and early 21st century Uranus rules electronics, laser beams, computers, space technology and exploration. Uranus is called “The Awakener” in astrology, and is regarded as a force for dynamic change, the principle that opposes ideas and institutions that have become rigid and outmoded.
When afflicted Uranus is associated with intractability, eccentricity, fanaticism, anarchy, explosions and violence.
NEPTUNE rules the sign Pisces, and is therefore in its detriment in the opposite sign Virgo. It is exalted in Cancer (as is Jupiter) and in its fall in Capricorn. Neptune has come to be associated with those subtle forces that tend to undermine and dissolve the artificial barriers of time, space, egos and nations. Its qualities are universality, impressionability, idealism, compassion, spirituality, self-sacrifice and nebulousness; formlessness, elusiveness, vagueness, invisibility, subtlety, secrecy, mystery, unreality, fantasy, illusion and delusion.
It rules international languages, mathematics, music, dance and poetry; imagination, inspiration, mysticism, meditation and the unconscious; film, movies, glamour, propaganda, subversion, and subliminal suggestion; also liquids, poisons, chemicals and drugs; hypnosis, dream states, trance, visions, mediumship and psychic phenomena. Neptune also rules hallucinations, paranoia and obsession, and all states in which ordinary categories of perception break down, conditioning is transcended, and there is receptivity – for good or ill – to other levels of reality.
When afflicted Neptune is associated with confusion, escapism, superstition, alcohol and drug addiction, masochism, neurosis, psychosis and deception.
PLUTO, the outermost planet in the solar system, co-rules the sign Scorpio, thus it is in its detriment in the opposite sign Taurus. It is exalted in Leo and in its fall in Aquarius. Pluto's orbit is the most eccentric in the solar system, and its motion is the slowest of any of the planets. It takes approximately 248 years to make one complete revolution around the Sun. It stays in each sign anywhere from 12 to 32 years; strangely enough, it spends 32 years in Taurus, the sign of its detriment, and 12 years in Scorpio, the sign of its dignity.
In horoscope interpretation Pluto represents both the reformative and the destructive urges. It rules our deepest subconscious, and because it embodies the principle of transformation and regeneration, it can bridge the material and spiritual worlds. As the planet associated with death, Pluto relates to death in its many forms, not only as the death of the physical body of a human being. Civilizations and ways of life also die. Death has come to many outmoded systems, both political and economical.
Pluto is neutral in its character and influences; it is virile, masculine, and a stern disciplinarian. Its qualities are power, elimination, latency, eruptions, annihilation, transformation, renewal, genocide, regeneration and transmutation. It rules atomic, cellular and collective phenomena; the masses, mass movements and the media (especially television); chains, networks, the collective conscious and unconscious, mob psychology, anonymity and crowds; gangs, terrorism, and the terrible disease AIDS. Pluto also rules cataclysms, volcanoes atomic energy, nuclear fission, physics, chemistry and synthetics; birth, death and rebirth; sexuality, psychic energy and therapy, healing, purging, and the occult.
When afflicted Pluto is associated with compulsion, a drive for power, a need for control, repression and violence.
(Although considered as such in chart interpretation, the Sun and Moon are not planets.)