In astrology, your personal planets include your Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. It is believed that the planets themselves express archetypal energies, and each planet has a specific way of being that influences domains of our subconscious. For example, Venus is known to rule the domain of self-love, which spreads to an even greater manifestation as to how, what, and why we love the external world around us. The specific Zodiac sign associated with each planet is based on our unique astrological chart, and it expresses personality qualities we take on in different domains of life. For example, someone with a Venus in Aries is likely to have a very different way of expressing their domain of self-love (and therefore external loving expression) when compared to someone who has their Venus in Leo, for example. By understanding how our individual chart operates more fully (besides simply understanding our Sun sign), we can recognize and learn how to best optimize energy to be in alignment with our highest good and authentic expression.
Sun – Ego, Individuality, External Expression, Life Force Energy
Your Sun sign is the most commonly understood Zodiac sign associated with your individual chart. It expresses fundamental masculine energy. The Sun contains and protects all other players in your chart and creates a safe physical structure for your psyche. You can think of the Sun as the “adult” planet in your chart as it takes the reins and filters information from all other players. When the Sun is overextending itself, life may feel messy or out of control, and when the Sun is not strong enough, you may notice other domains trying to step in. We all need a balanced Sun sign in order to feel fulfilled in our individual self-expression. The Zodiac sign of Leo is associated with the Sun.
Moon – Unconscious, Emotional Realm, Belonging, Intuition, Conditioning, Memory
Your Moon sign houses fundamental feminine energy. This unconscious storehouse rules the domain of emotions, previous life experiences (including past lives and what was passed down to us during childhood), as well as drives, desires, and memory. Our Moon sign is our inner child, and associated with the Zodiac sign Cancer. Children crave love, care, support, and the freedom of authentic expression in order to thrive. Once these needs are met (through the loving masculine container of our Sun), children are able to expand into healthy adults who feel competent and capable, as well as safe to explore and play. The child is just as important as the adult in our internal Zodiac family, and if our inner child does not feel safe or supported, they will wreak havoc on our psyche and unconscious drives and desires will take the stage (kind of like a tantrum). The truth is, our Sun needs the love and tenderness of our Moon as much as our Moon needs the safe structure of our Sun.
Mercury – Rational Thought, Communication, Intellect
Mercury rules the domains of communication and language, expressing how we share internal reality based on words and verbal expression. Mercury receives information from the other planets (for example, the experience of our ego/Sun and internal world/Moon) and does its best to keep the peace by translating these experiences through the most beneficial medium. Considered a gender-fluid energy, Mercury has a challenging job as our lived experience is always much greater than what can be expressed through thoughts and ideas alone. The more our other planets can work together in harmony, the easier it is for Mercury to be impeccable in its word.
Venus – Love, Pleasure, Happiness, Beauty, Sensuality
Venus’s domain is that of love, enjoyment, pleasure, and sensual experience. Considered a purely feminine planet (along with the Moon), Venus’s role is to encourage us to continually connect as deeply as possible into our own lived experience of both ourselves and the external world. Concerned with everyone getting along, Venus is a peacemaker and encourages harmony within our internal landscape. When this is not happening, Venus has a tendency to shut down. Most people thrive when their social, familial, and cultural units are in support of one another, and Venus runs the same. With the concept of self-love at her core, expansive internal love allows us to truly connect and receive the beauty of the world around us.
Mars – Motivation, Drive, Organization, Execution, Power
Mars is in charge of making things happen and ensuring that everyone is being as productive as possible in their personal mission — the united mission to be ourselves. A masculine energy planet, Mars recognizes the fundamental necessity of willpower and staying on track to get the job done. This can be seen in both subtle and gross actions of our everyday life. Weak Mars energy may lead to indecision and lack of forward, cohesive momentum, and overpowered Mars energy may lead to acting out of fear rather than authenticity and ease.
There are other planets found in our astrological chart (Juniper and Neptune, for example), however the personal planets are thought to have the greatest impact on our individual psyche. These planets are the closest to Earth, and these domains of life are thought to be most prominent in our individual differences of psyche. However, this is not a black and white statement as specific signs and how these signs manifest in our individual chart, house placements, current transits, etc. all influence one another. In essence, we are each a unique mixture of all of the signs, all the houses, and all the planets interacting with each other, unlocked by the most powerful energy of all — that of our own free will.