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“Man is a microcosm, or a little world, because he is an extract from all the stars and planets of the whole firmament, from the earth and the elements; and so he is their quintessence.” 


Planets of the Solar System

Ancient astrology observed the planets which could be seen with the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. They appeared to travel in a series of regular, ordered cycles against the backdrop of fixed stars. The word planet derives from the Greek word planētēs which means “wanderer”.

Thanks to the invention of telescopes, we can now see far further out into the solar system than our early ancestors were able to. Uranus was discovered in 1781, Neptune in 1846 and Pluto in 1930. In 1977 Chiron, which is classified as an asteroid but sometimes given dwarf planet status, was found. Dwarf planet Eris was detected in 2005 and Ceres was classified as a dwarf planet in 2006.

Planets in Your Birth Chart

When astrologers discuss Planets in a birth chart, they are referring to the Sun and Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Some also include solar system bodies which have been identified as dwarf planets and asteroids in their interpretations. I usually take dwarf planets Ceres and Eris as well as Asteroid Chiron into consideration in my astrology readings.

The Planetary placements in your birth chart represent the energies that shape your individual character. Once you are aware of them, it becomes easier for you to express them and work with them to fulfil their potential.

Transiting Planets & Your Birth Chart

As the Planets of the Solar System travel along their journeys through the Zodiac Band they create and activate specific forces which affect you on a personal level when they trigger sensitive points in your birth chart.

Everyone can tune into the planetary placements and use them to their advantage. You can factor their positive aspects into your plans and take notice of their warnings about what to avoid.

Stay in touch with solar system movements, planetary placements and patterns via Astro Oracle’s regular articles and social media posts.

Current Influences

People born with the Sun in Taurus continue to cope with the evolutionary yet unpredictable effects of Planet Uranus. But lucky Taureans are also being buoyed up by Jupiter’s journey through their zodiac sign 2023/24, expanding their horizons and encouraging them to embrace opportunity.

Those born under Pisces have been at the sharp end when it comes to dealing with Saturn’s stern influence, as the ringed planet occupies the 12th section of the Zodiac 2023-2026 . But Pisceans continue to bathe in the inspirational influence of their ruling planet Neptune, helping them to channel high frequency energies of light and love onto the Earth Plane.

Major Planetary Impact

The huge news about 2023/24 is that powerful Pluto, which has been ploughing its way through Capricorn since 2008, will be making the first of a couple of tentative moves into Aquarius in 2023. Pluto makes a final commitment to the 11th sign in November 2024, where it will stay for the next twenty years.

Aquarius and Capricorn are the signs most strongly impacted by this shift, as well as Scorpio (because Pluto is its ruling planet).

Moving Forward

The Planets follow elegant, precise, predictable rhythms and cycles. This allows us to match past events (whether natural or man-made) with present and upcoming planetary patterns and positions, giving us the ability to identify possible future potentials in our lives.

As the Planets of the Solar System continue to travel on through time and space, they trigger events that are designed to awaken our subconscious urge to develop and grow. If we ignore the opportunity at first meeting, it will return again and again until we answer its call to evolve.

Progressing your Planets

Progressions reflect your inner urge to develop and evolve. Astrological progressions are hard to describe in practical terms because the energy involved is metaphysical and multi-dimensional, going far beyond what you are aware of in your everyday existence.

As you travel along your life path, your Progressed Moon & Planets prompt you to accept the lessons, events and challenges that will increase the knowledge and experience of your higher consciousness, or “Eternal Self.”

Planetary Orbits around the Sun

MERCURY 88 Earth days

VENUS 225 Earth days

EARTH 1 Earth year 365.25 days

MARS almost 2 Earth year

JUPITER almost 12 Earth years

SATURN 29-30 Earth years

URANUS 84 Earth years

NEPTUNE 165 Earth years

PLUTO 248 Earth years

DWARF PLANET CERES 4.6 Earth years

ASTEROID CHIRON 50.65 Earth years

DWARF PLANET ERIS 557 Earth years

Discovering your Destiny with the Sun, Moon & Planets


“To shine your brightest light is to be who you truly are.”

Roy T. Bennett


The Sun is the hero or heroine of your Life’s story. It reveals the real you, your true identity and your true nature. The Sun defines the type of energy which drives your life experience and describes the ways in which that force is either free-flowing or frustrated.

Your birth chart Sun can give valuable information about how you are influenced by the important male role models in your life.

Most people can relate to their Sun Sign qualities and characteristics which they are usually able to recognise and control.

The Sun radiates star quality, charisma, confidence, self-assurance and joyful generosity. But it can also generate energy that is arrogant, bossy, and demanding.

Each of the signs receive a solar boost while the Sun travels through their section of the zodiac band but LEO is responsive to its rays throughout the astrological year, due to the Sun’s rulership of the 5th Sign.


As the Earth travels along its orbit each year, the Sun appears to transit through the 12 constellations of the Zodiac Band. Moving along its apparent path from one season to the next the Sun’s life-giving force sheds light on different areas of your horoscope, drawing attention to specific planetary placements and patterns in your birth chart.

This is like having a spotlight focussed on a particular facet of your character. Which is great if the Sun shines on easy-going areas, but when your problematic parts are illuminated things can get quite difficult! The most important annual event for you is when the Sun resumes exactly the same position it occupied on the day you were born. Your Solar Return, or birthday chart would be used in an astrological forecast to give information about major themes for the year ahead.


“You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel” 

Pearl S. Buck


The placement of the Moon when you were born represents your unconscious instincts, emotions, feelings, moods and memories. It indicates what comes naturally to you, without any deliberate effort on your part. It defines what you need to feel comfortable and secure in life.

The Moon describes your origins, your family, your early upbringing and its effect on you. It also explains how you have been influenced by important female role models.

Most people are unaware of their Moon sign characteristics and therefore they are not so easy to accept, understand or control. It is simpler for young children to express and relate to the Moon in their birth chart, because they have not yet been trained to ignore their instincts and supress their emotions.

Zodiac Sign CANCER is responsive to La Luna all year long, due to the Moon’s rulership of its sector of the zodiac.


We recognise the Moon’s gravitational pull and its influence on the tides. High and low tides are emphasised at the time of new and full moons when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned. Farmers and gardeners continue to use the phases of the Moon to guide their plans for planting and harvesting.

The moving Moon triggers your birth chart on a monthly basis, giving you the chance to connect to the inner wisdom of your Soul via your moods, instincts, imagination and intuition. Key days for you will be when the Moon passes over sensitive points in your horoscope and connects directly with your natal Sun and Moon.

Lunations (New and Full Moons) become personal to you when they occur in the zodiac signs of your Sun and Moon. This would be especially so if you were born when the Moon was either conjunct or opposing the Sun.


“Great communication begins with connection.”

 Oprah Winfrey


Planet Mercury tells you about your mind and the way it works, how you think and how you express your thoughts, how you absorb, process and interpret information.

Mercury describes your early learning experience and childhood links with siblings, school pals, teachers and mentors. It either aids or interferes with your ability to create key connections within your local community and neighbourhood. Mercury also points to the Wheeler-Dealer in you and indicates how easy or difficult it is for you to market yourself, your views and your ideas.

Mercury helps us to utilise our mental and manual skills and apply them effectively. But the winged messenger can also cause mischief by spreading gossip and rumours that may not be true.

Mercury is at its most influential while passing through GEMINI and VIRGO because of its rulership of these two sectors of the zodiac.


Moving Mercury circles your birth chart in under a year. When it triggers your planetary placements and patterns, it boosts your ability to absorb, remember, understand and communicate information. It can also activate links between you and your siblings, childhood friends and members of your local community.

As Planet Mercury moves around your birth chart it will trigger sensitive points which could draw attention to issues involving your communication skills and the style and methods you employ to get your message across.

It is sensible to expect glitches in transport, logistics and information exchange networks to crop up when Mercury is moving through a retrograde phase. But these periods can be very helpful for reviewing information you may not have fully digested the first time around. 


“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”

Sharon Salzberg


Planet Venus in your birth chart tells you about your attitude to relationships and the type of partners you tend to be attracted to.

Your birth chart Venus defines the most important relationship in your life – the one you have with Yourself.  Her placement in your horoscope describes how well you value and esteem yourself and whether or not you think you deserve to receive the good things of life.

Venus also reveals your true talents and abilities – the natural resources which will help make your life more comfortable, enjoyable and satisfying. These are gifts that need to be recognised, valued and appreciated by you.

Venus is at her most influential while passing through TAURUS and LIBRA because these two sectors of the zodiac are ruled by her.


Venus is the planetary ambassador for natural resources, talents and abilities, values and ethics, relationships, collaborations and negotiations. She is the beautiful mythical goddess (also called Aphrodite) who charms, cajoles and persuades, who attracts love and admiration and who bestows tangible gifts, natural talents and artistic abilities.

As she travels around your birth chart, Venus enhances your social skills and your personal charm and helps you to value and express the talents and abilities you were born with. She may also introduce partnerships into your life, offering you the chance to collaborate or co-operate with others.

Material matters may not run so smoothly when Venus is moving Retrograde. It could be that resources seem less readily available, possibly because you lack trust in your ability to attract abundance. There might be a lack of harmony in relationships due to disagreements caused by a sense of inequality or unfairness.


“Winners can tell you where they are going [and] what they plan to do along the way”

Denis Waitley


Planet Mars explains how you identify objectives and then set out to achieve them. Mars also reveals how courageous, focussed, independent and insistent you are when it comes to winning goals and getting what you want.

Your birth chart Mars defines your levels of physical stamina and describes the ebb and flow of your energy. It indicates whether your strength and drive are mainly muscular, mental, emotional or spiritual.

Mars points to what motivates and excites you as well as what irritates, angers and frustrates you. The astrological identity of Planet Mars mirrors the mythological warrior: brave, strong and ready for action. But without proper training and discipline, Mars energy turns aggressive and becomes destructive.

Mars is at its most influential while passing through fire sign ARIES because of its rulership of this sector of the zodiac. Because Mars was linked to Scorpio in traditional astrology, it is thought to have extra strength when passing through this sign.


Mars takes about 2 years to travel around your Birth Chart, increasing your levels of energy, vitality and strength and making you more competitive.

You can use Mars energy to activate your willingness to win and to help you identify goals to aim for. But be aware that Mars could cause impatience, which might make you hot-headed and accident prone.

Mars will activate about half of your birth chart during the course of one year. It triggers your planetary placements by enhancing their positive energies and sharpening their more negative characteristics.

Look out for increased levels of impulsiveness, aggression, anger and frustration when Mars is moving through a retrograde phase. If you encounter delays, do not let them disappoint or discourage you. Take them as warnings that this is not the best time to act.


“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” 

Eleanor Roosevelt


Planet Jupiter indicates your ability to maximise the potential of any opportunities and good fortune that come your way.

Jupiter describes how you explore the world around you and expand your knowledge according to the experience you gain. Its position in your horoscope explains how your belief systems are likely to influence your level of self-awareness as well as your progress through life.

Jupiter also defines your attitude to countries, cultures and customs which are foreign to your own and it shows where you are at your most philosophical, intelligent, generous, positive and optimistic.

The biggest planet in the solar system is at its most influential while passing through the adventurous, expansive sign of SAGITTARIUS. Jupiter is also accorded extra influence in inspirational Pisces, due to its traditional link to this sign.


Every 12 years, Jupiter returns to the same place in the solar system it occupied on your Birth Date. Each Jupiter return marks the beginning of a new 12 year cycle, adventure or experience in your life.

When Jupiter triggers your Birth Chart it always brings the opportunity to grow and develop beyond your current circumstances. Jupiter increases confidence levels, giving you the courage to face new experiences with faith and enthusiasm.

While there tends to be a lessening in levels of optimism during the retrograde phases of Jupiter they offer an opportunity to bring expectations back to a more realistic plane. Their true objective is to encourage you to re-discover roads you have already travelled, so you can apply the knowledge you gained during that journey to your present situation.


“Your level of success is determined by your level of self-discipline and perseverance.”



Planet Saturn defines your attitude towards authority and explains how you handle responsibility. It shows how ambitious and status-conscious you are.

Your horoscope Saturn describes how you cope with difficult circumstances, setbacks and frustrations (most of which are created by your own misgivings) and it points to any pessimistic doubts you have about your ability to achieve your goals in life.

Saturn indicates where you will be tested until you learn to overcome what you fear and therefore what restricts you. Saturn will reveal where you are at your most mature, patient and wise and also in which area or field you could eventually become an expert.

Some signs will feel Planet Saturn’s challenging effects more than others, depending on where it is currently placed in the Zodiac Band. The ringed planet’s influence is strongest while passing through aspirational CAPRICORN which is the sign of Saturn’s rulership. Saturn also gains strength in evolutionary Aquarius, due to its ancient affiliation with this sign.


Planet Saturn is master of the maturing process. It takes the task of testing your willingness to gain wisdom and expertise very seriously. Saturn returns to the same place in the solar system it occupied on your Birth Date about every 28-30 years. This can be a time of reckoning, when you evaluate your progress so far and formulate plans for the next stage of your life.

When Saturn triggers your Birth Chart it usually brings events which challenge your commitment and test your ability to overcome obstacles. Saturn asks you to become more organised and deliberate in your planning process, and to take total responsibility for the decisions and choices you make. 

Saturn transits can feel rather difficult – as if you are trying to pass an advanced exam! They are not much fun at the time but if you use them wisely, they can help you develop your potential and manifest your goals.

The retrograde phases of Saturn help to reinforce your strategies for future success by ensuring that you learn from past mistakes and errors in judgement. They are designed to help you gain your Masters’ Degree in turning trials into triumphs.


“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself”

Leo Tolstoy


Planet Uranus defines what it is about you that is unique and points to the original features which make you different from everyone else.

The position of Uranus in your birth chart shows your ability to evolve and describes how you respond and adapt to sudden changes in your circumstances or environment.

Uranus can also explain the ways in which you behave like a misfit, rebel or evolutionist. It points to the areas of your life where you feel the greatest need for freedom.

The Uranus cycle is about 84 years long. The last time the radical planet occupied its present position in the Zodiac was in the 1930s, a period of extraordinary upheaval and change in Human society.

Some signs will feel the erratic effects of Uranus more than others, depending on where it is currently placed in the Zodiac Band. Uranus is linked by rulership to the unorthodox sign of AQUARIUS.


Planet Uranus brings the changes which mark the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. These times of transition can be cataclysmic in their effect due to their random nature and the disruption they cause.

Uranus is associated with the alterations and innovations which save us from stagnation. When Uranus triggers your Birth Chart, it tends to bring sudden change into your life. The best way to deal with its unsettling energy is not to resist it but to embrace its call to evolve.

As many of us do not make it to the ripe old age of 84, we may not live to see the return of Uranus to the same place it occupied when we were born. More of us are still around when, in our early 40s, Uranus opposes its natal position. The 42-year trigger of Uranus often coincides with the famous “midlife crisis” when people want to shrug off existing routine and responsibility and take off in an entirely new direction.

Retrograde phases of Uranus emphasise how essential it is to embrace necessary change, especially in stagnant situations that contradict the natural course of evolution.


“Not all dreamers are winners, but all winners are dreamers. Your dream is the key to your future”

Mark Gorman


Planet Neptune describes what inspires you and shows how your dreams and visions influence the choices you make. Neptune reveals how sympathetic you are, and how easy it is for you to empathise with others. It can also warn against a tendency to be too sensitive and easily influenced by other peoples’ energies.

The placement and patterns of Neptune in your birth chart unveil where you are at your most vulnerable and confused, and also how and where you are easily deceived or most likely to mislead others.

The Neptune cycle is around 165 years long. The last time it occupied its present position in the zodiac was in the mid 1800s. The movement to abolish slavery was gaining support, culminating in the American Civil War.

Some people will feel the effects of Planet Neptune’s nebulous presence more than others, depending on the placements and patterns within their own birth charts. Its other-worldly influence is strongest while passing through PISCES, which is the sign of Neptune’s rulership.


Planet Neptune is an unseen influence that ebbs and flows throughout our lives. Its energy is ethereal, slipping through your fingers like water. It is a fleeting flow of emotions and impressions. Neptune is the insubstantial weaver of dreams, inspiring our imaginations with multi-dimensional information from higher realms of consciousness.

When Neptune triggers your Birth Chart it usually activates your imagination in some way. This can be helpful by opening you up to inspirational ideas and experiences, but you need to be aware that it can also confuse or deceive you. So long as you see the difference between fantasy and reality, you can use Neptune to help make your world more loving, beautiful, artistic and imaginative.

Neptune provides the faith that helps you to believe you can manifest your visions. But it can also confuse, mesmerise and delude you. The retrograde phases of Neptune are designed to help you regain your grip on reality after phases during which you might have lost touch with your sense of priority, perspective and proportion.


“The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”

Mahatma Gandhi


Planet Pluto shows the extent of your personal power and defines how comfortable you feel with it. The birth chart position of Pluto explains how you work with power in order to transform into a more potent and effective version of yourself as – like a snake – you outgrow and shed the skins of earlier stages in your Life.

Pluto has a natural affinity with the Death Card in the Tarot. It symbolises tough but transformational experiences which may take you through the dark night of the soul but which enable you to rise triumphant, like a Phoenix from the ashes of trauma and challenge.

The Pluto cycle is around 248 years long. The last time it occupied its present position in the zodiac was in the 1770s, triggering the American and French revolutions, both of which had a transformational effect on the distribution of power and wealth in world politics. 

Some people will feel the effects of Planet Pluto’s powerful presence more than others, depending on the placements and patterns within their own birth charts. Its passionate influence is most intense while passing through SCORPIO, which is the sign of Pluto’s rulership.


Planet Pluto packs a powerful punch, in spite of its small size and its location on the outskirts of the solar system. Its discovery in 1930 preceded a traumatic and transformational time in human history when the potentially life enhancing yet deeply destructive force of nuclear energy was unleashed into the world.

Planet Pluto represents unseen energy that is both intense and enigmatic. It has a brooding, pent-up presence which remains under control until it eventually erupts with volcanic force. Planet Pluto is associated with power and challenge. It provides you with the courage to confront harsh realities and enforces your willingness to undertake the difficult but richly rewarding process of self-transformation.

The retrograde phases of Pluto offer you the chance to go deeper into whatever you are dealing with, in order to expose the truth and purge yourself of the destructive forces that poison your life. These periods can be pivotal in persuading you to trust your gut instincts and their unfailing ability to guide you to the Truth.


“Fertility comes from the soil, from the heart.” 

Marty Rubin


Ceres is named for the mythological goddess who conceives, generates and nurtures new life – from seed stage to fruition. She is linked to all things environmental, from agriculture to ecological events. She is particularly relevant as Protector of Planet Earth while humanity struggles to confront the implications of climate change and our role in mitigating its detrimental effects.

Ceres is worshipped as a fertility icon and as a mother figure who fosters her own and other peoples’ children. She triggers your birth chart in ways which help you to nurture and be nurtured. She also makes you more fertile – not just physically but also mentally.

Whether you are planning to start a family or trying to write a book, you can count on Ceres to give you a boost!

Although Ceres is not formally appointed as a ruler of any of the zodiac signs, it is possible that her influence is stronger when she passes through talented TAURUS, creative CANCER and fruitful VIRGO.


Ceres moves across slightly less than half of your birth chart, depending on the year in question. She brings increased fertility and productivity to the planetary placements and patterns she touches. Which is wonderful if those energies are positive to begin with. But Ceres can also foster fruition that is harmful and which needs to be pruned back or weeded out.

With Ceres it is important to remember that you reap what you sow. The more unconditional love, care and attention you plough into your projects, the more fruitful your harvest will be.

When Ceres moves Retrograde her influence could manifest as a turning point in your creative projects, highlighting a need to review or revise certain aspects of your design in order to make it more productive so that it renders richer results.


“The wound is the place where the Light enters you”



Chiron is an asteroid rather than a planet but its astrological influence remains strong, based on a mythological creature in the form of a Centaur. Half human, half horse, Chiron was dedicated in service to the human race as an empathetic teacher and healer.

Life on Planet Earth is a risky business and most humans bear war wounds and battle scars from their experiences. These wounds and scars are part of the adventure. They are a way of reminding us that we have been brave enough to endure suffering and adversity and to recover from their harmful effects.

When Chiron triggers your Birth Chart it creates events which help you to heal pain from the past. You may also be involved in situations which allow you to help other people resolve the problems that blight their lives.

The last time Chiron occupied its present position in Aries was 1968-1977. This was the time of “flower power” peace movements and anti-war protests.


Asteroid Chiron sets up situations which enable us, both in our individual lives and as members of the human tribe, to heal the wounds which cause us problems, pain and distress. As we embrace our own self-healing process, we become more empathetic in our attitude towards others.

The sector of your birth chart which is currently being triggered by Chiron is where and how you will feel the call to heal most strongly. The root cause of your problems could well lie in your family history. You may be instigating a healing process which will reverberate through time and space, benefitting your entire ancestral line as well as generations to come.

Retrograde phases of Chiron can highlight painful problems in serious need of solving or healing. Without urgent attention they will continue to fester as a source of suffering and woe.


“To know oneself, one should assert oneself.” 

Albert Camus


The recently discovered dwarf planet Eris orbits around the far-flung edges of our known solar system. She takes around 557 years to complete her elliptical journey around the Sun and may never trigger your Birth Chart directly. If she does, it will probably create situations which encourage you to assert yourself, your ideals and values.

Eris brings out the Warrior in you, even at the cost of creating confrontation and disharmony in your life. She will encourage you to wage war against the heavy forces of exploitation and injustice.

Eris was discovered in 2005, about a year before Tarana Burke began using the phrase “Me Too” in connection with campaigns against sexual harassment and exploitation. The #metoo movement united people who were victims of power abuse, inspiring them to tune into their Inner Eris warrior energy and find the courage to fight their oppressors.


Feisty Eris has made many a reverse movement since she began travelling through Aries 100 years ago, in her efforts to make us aware of the difference between assertiveness and aggression. Contrast the strong, calm centeredness of someone who knows exactly what they need and how to get it against the crazed frustration of a primitive individual intent on attaining instant gratification for their desires.

When you choose the assertive option, Eris offers you the insight, courage and dignity which enable you to operate as a Wise Warrior who acts and moves with absolute mastery and control. Once you side with aggression, you succumb to the influence of Eris as a vicious harpie who wreaks havoc by creating conflict and discord.

Your Eris Invocation

“I assert myself with courage and conviction and with respect for those who resist me.”

“Ego is my enemy, my Soul is winning the war against it”


Keen to understand the basic principles of this super-interesting subject? My astro-oracle study card & reading deck will help you get your head around the ABC of Astrology and its main building blocks:

  • Zodiac Signs
  • Elements & Qualities
  • Horoscope Houses
  • Sun, Moon & Planets
  • Aspects & Patterns

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