Planets: Our Little System

Planets: Our Little System

The bodies most often categorized as planets in modern astrology are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.


The clever reader will note that the Sun and Moon are by no means planets, and that Pluto has been recently demoted.  “Planets” in astrology refers to the original meaning of the term, the Greek word for “wanderer.”  The “wanderers” are the parts of our solar system which move perceptibly through the sky.  This differentiates points such as the Sun, Moon, Mercury, etc from the great field of stars behind them, which appear to stay fixed in our night sky.

We might also substitute the term used in Vedic astrology for planet- “Graha.”  “Graha” is a Sanskrit word most often translated as “grabber, or seizer.”  The focus here is on what the planets do- they push and pull, repulse and attract.

Good n’ Bad

Traditionally, the planets are divided into “benefic” and “malefic”- meaning those planets that do good and those that do bad, respectively.  These are not moral judgments, like good and evil, but refer to those things which might cause us to call it a “good” or a “bad” day.  The benefics, Venus and Jupiter, create lucky, fun, positive circumstances, while the malefics, Mars and Saturn, trigger conflict and present obstacles.  Not evil.  Just irritating.

Sun: Vitality + Vision

Moon: Manifestation

Mercury: Transmission

Venus: Attraction

Mars: Friction

Jupiter: Growth

Saturn: Structure

Uranus: Disruption

Neptune: Dream

Pluto: Transformation





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Austin Coppock is a writer, esotericist and astrologer based in Ashland, OR. He published paperback Almanacs from 2011-15 but began posting his prognostications online last year, referring to his collection of weekly, monthly, yearly essays and daily delineations as “The Online Almanac”. This work is made possible by his supporters on Patreon. Austin was President of the non-profit organization “Association for Young Astrologers” from 2012-2016. His most recent book is “36 Faces: The History, Astrology and Magic of the Decans”, published by Three Hands Press.


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Planets: Our Little System

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