The Seven Wanderers of Our Universe – The Traditional Planets

28 July 2022by Frederick0

For thousands of years, humans have observed the sky and noticed that certain points of light changed their position with respect to the background stars in the night sky. These are the wanderers of our universe, what we now call “planets”. The visible eye is able to see up to seven planets in the following order of their orbital speed starting from the fastest: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. The Sun and Moon are called luminaries (the two lights). However, they were known as planets prior to the modern understanding that the earth orbits the Sun.

When we use the terminology “planets”, we are describing the major bodies in the solar system which seem to be orbiting the earth from the perspective of our ancient forefathers who were observing the wanderers across the sky while standing on the earth. In short, “planets” means “moving bodies of our solar system”.

Planets are the movers and shakers of the birth chart. Their movements have significant impact on how we interpret and connect the various other signs and symbols as well as the way they influence the circumstances revolving our environment. There are also many house systems (altogether over 20 house systems) that divide the chart based on the earth’s rotation over the course of the day. I shall touch on the house system on my next blog post.

Until very recently, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were not discovered because these planets are barely visible to the naked eye. Uranus was not discovered until 1781. Neptune was not discovered until 1846, and Pluto was finally discovered in 1930. You can never see Neptune and Pluto unless you have a powerful telescope. These planets became part of Western Astrology when used in chart interpretations but are rarely used in Vedic astrology as practiced in India.

In 2006, Pluto was demoted from its planetary status and reclassified as a dwarf planet. However, Western astrologers have not discounted the use of Pluto as a significant planet in the interpretation of the charts. For almost a hundred years working with Pluto and its meaning, Western astrologers find that there is still significance in Pluto’s contribution to their understanding of an individual’s psyche and cultural patterns. With the introduction of dwarf planets since then, more astrologers are now exploring the meaning of dwarf planets (i.e. Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea) and the effect they may have in the chart.


Distinction Between Astronomy and Astrology
Astronomy (Hard Science) Astrology (Meaning and Semantics)
Inferior Planets

  • Planets orbiting between the Sun and Earth. They are Mercury and Venus.



  • The Sun
  • The Moon
Superior Planets

  • Planets orbiting the orbit of Earth. Traditionally, they are Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. More recently, Uranus and Neptune.


Personal Planets

  • Planets that move relatively quickly through the birth chart
  • Mercury, Venus and Mars (Sun and Moon included)
Dwarf Planets and Plutoids

  • Planetary body that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, has not cleared the space within its orbit of other debris and small planetesimals, and is not a satellite of another planet.
Social Planets

  • Planets that reflect a more impersonal connection to one’s environment and cultural context
  • Jupiter and Saturn
Generational Planets (Modern Planets)

  • Planets are slow moving and take a long time to complete a cycle around the zodiac.
  • Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto

Inner Planets - Wanderers of the Universe Outer Planets - Wanderers of the Universe


Traditional Astrological Categories
  • Benefic (bring good fortune): Jupiter (the greater benefic), Venus (the lesser benefic) and the Moon
  • Malefic (raise difficulties that cannot be ignored): Saturn (the greater malefic) and Mars (the lesser malefic).
  • Neutral. Sun and Mercury.


In order to grasp the true meaning of alchemy and astrology, it is necessary to have a clear conception of the inner relationship and identity of the microcosm and the macrocosm and their interaction.

Paracelsus (1536)


Meet the Planets

If the Houses on the astrological chart is the stage, then the Planets are the actors, and the Astrological Signs are the various styles of acting.

Houses represent the areas of life where the action of the planet expresses itself. Planets simply play their role in their respective Houses on the chart. And the Signs are behaviour modifiers, the style of how the planets would operate on the chart.

Here are the planets, their astrological meanings, and significations according to Valens.


The Sun

The Sun in AstrologyThe Sun is the centre of our solar system. It is a star that produces its own light but in astrology, it is often referred to as a ‘planet’. The Sun is by far the largest planets among other planets in astrology. All planets orbit around the Sun and it is the only body that produces its own light, and all other planets depend on the Sun for illumination.

The Sun is a symbol of creative energy, optimism, power, strength, true purpose and direction, intention, and strong future orientation. On the flip side, the Sun is also indicative of pride and excessive arrogance and narcissism.

On the natal chart, the Sun represents creativity, essential values, individuality, uniqueness, vitality, being recognized, self-expression, ego and self-identity, the father archetype, providence, and masculinity.

In the tarot, the Sun has close association with the Sun card, which signifies the core of the self, vitality, strong self-esteem, self-confidence, success, good health, happiness, optimism, and positivity.

The Sun in the Tarot

“The all-seeing Sun, consisting of fiery and intelligent light, the instrument of perception of the soul, in a nativity signifies kingship, authority, mind, intelligence, form, motion, height of fortune, dealings with the gods, judgment, being engaged in public affairs, action, leadership of crowds, father, master, friendship, notable figures, being honoured by portraits, statues, and crowns of office, high-priest of the fatherland, <rules over> one’s country <and over> other places.

Of the parts of the body, the Sun rules the head; of the sense organs: the right eye; of the torso: it rules the heart, the life-breath or sensory movement, and the nerves. Of substances, it rules gold. Of crops, it rules wheat and barley. He is of the diurnal sect (day chart), the colour lemon-yellow, and bitter in taste.”

– Vettius Valens, 2nd Century BCE.


The Moon

The Moon in AstrologyThe Moon is the closest body to Earth. The Moon is often referred to as a ‘planet’ in astrology even though it is the fastest moving satellite that orbits around the Earth.

The Moon has phases, and it is shown in its appearance in the sky depending on how it is lit by the Sun.

Although the Moon appears to be of similar size to the Sun, it is so much smaller in actual comparison. Being the fastest moving body in astrology, the Moon is commonly used for timing purpose.

The Moon is also associated with many of Earth’s natural cycles such as ocean tides, menstrual cycles, and crop seasons et cetera.

The Moon signifies nurturance, care, contentment, and sensitivity. On the flip side, the Moon can also signify oversensitivity and insecurity.

On the natal chart, the Moon represents the emotion, the tendency to nurture and be nurtured, be dependent or need for protection, calmness, comfort, sustenance, memories, childhood behaviour, domestic habits or preferences, the mother archetype, early childcare, and femininity.

The Moon in the Tarot

In the tarot, the Moon is closely associated with The High Priestess, which symbolizes one’s instinct, intuition, emotion, and conceit. It also signifies infidelity in a relationship due to secrets or hidden information.

“The moon is lit by the reflection of the sun’s light and therefore, possesses a borrowed light, in a nativity signifies a man’s life, body, the mother, conception, appearance, sight, living together as a legal couple, nurture, the older brother, housekeeping, the queen, the mistress of the house, possessions, fortune, the city, the assembly of the people, gains, expenses, the household, voyages, travel and wanderings.

Of the parts of body, the Moon rules the breasts, the left eye, the stomach, the breath, the spleen, the dura mater, and the marrow. Of substances, it rules silver and glass. She is of the nocturnal sect (night chart), green in color and salty in taste.”

– Vettius Valens, 2nd Century BCE.



Mercury in AstrologyMercury, which is named after Hermes, who was the messenger of the gods in Hellenistic mythology, is the nearest planet to the Sun.

Mercury goes retrograde approximately three times a year. A retrograded planet appears to be moving backwards but in actual fact, it is moving slower than its usual speed (more on retrogrades in my future post).

Mercury takes about 88 days to orbit around the sun. On the natal chart, Mercury is never more than one sign away from the sun.

Mercury signifies creative use of intelligence and mental output, reasoning, discernment, objectivity, and clarity of expression.

On the flip side, Mercury signifies abuse of intelligence, amorality, and one-sided communication.

On the natal chart, Mercury represents communication, consciousness, speech, writing, thoughts, connections and networks, learning styles, objectivity, mental intelligence (not social or emotional intelligence), transportation, short-trips, siblings, relatives, neighbours, and local communities.

In the tarot, Mercury is closely associated with The Magician, which symbolizes the ability to use one’s full potential given that one has possession of all available resources, as shown on the Magician’s table (Pentacles, Swords, Cups, and Wands).

These are essential information and knowledge that the Magician can leverage to kick start an initiative. Drawing an upright Magician card can mean something positive, especially when one is intending to start a career or a business project.

Mercury in the Tarot

“Mercury signifies communication, reasoning, education, letters, disputation, brotherhood, interpretation, embassies, number, accounts, geometry, markets, youth, games, theft, association, service, gain, discoveries, obedience, sport, wrestling, declamation, certification, supervision, weighing and measuring, the testing of coinage, hearing, versatility. It is the bestower of forethought and intelligence, the lord of brothers and of younger children, and the creator of all marketing and banking.  

In its own character, it makes temple builders, modelers, sculptors, doctors, secretaries, legal advisors, orators, philosophers, architects, musicians, prophets, diviners, augurs, dream interpreters, braiders, weavers, systematic physicians, war strategists, and those undertaking any unusual, systematic work in accounting or with reasoning.

Mercury makes weightlifters and mimes, those making their livelihood with displays of skill, deception, gambling, or sleight of hand. It also rules those skilled interpreters of the heavens, those who by using pleasure or winning charm, earn fame for their amazing feats—all for the sake of gain.

This star’s effects go in many directions, depending on the changes of the zodiac and the interactions of the stars, and yields quite varied results: knowledge for some, selling for others, service for others, trade or teaching for others, farming or temple service or public <employment> for still others.

To some it grants authority, rentals, labor contracting, rhythmical performance, the display of public service, the acquisition of personal attendants or the right of wearing temple-linen, robed in the luxury appropriate to gods or rulers. As for the end result—Mercury will make everything capricious in outcome and quite disturbed.

Even more, it causes those having this star in malefic signs or degrees to become even worse. Of the parts of the body, it rules the hands, the shoulders, the fingers, the joints, the belly, the auditory sense, the arteries, the intestines, and the tongue. Of substances, it rules copper and all coins used in buying and selling — for the god makes exchanges. It is blue in color and sharp in taste.”

– Vettius Valens, 2nd Century BCE.



Venus in AstrologyVenus is visible from Earth, and it glows like a bright star in the night sky. In fact, Venus is actually made up of a layer of gases around it, which makes it visible when reflected by the sunlight. Venus is so cloudy that one can hardly see its surface. On the natal chart, Venus is never more than two signs away from the Sun.

Venus signifies love, relationships, generosity, expression of beauty and aesthetics, love for the arts, desires, affection, and happiness. On the flip side, Venus also signifies self-indulgence, greed, emotional demands and inhibition.

On the natal chart, Venus represents the aesthetics, fashion, tastes, values, ability to compromise, sharing and social interaction, love needs, pleasure, affection, attitude towards money, what a man finds attractive in a woman, and how a woman describes herself as attractive and how she attracts romantic attention.

In the tarot, Venus is closely associated with The Empress, a card that represents working in balance, harmony, fertility, likelihood of pregnancy, and the mother archetype (nurture; affection; care).

Venus is also possibly associated with The Lovers card, as it speaks of beauty, attraction, love, and overcoming the odds together. Like the social planet Venus, The Lovers depict having a life with another person and about learning how to love and harmonize with the other.

Venus in the Tarot

“Venus signifies desire, love, the mother, and nurture. It makes priesthoods, school superintendencies, high offices with the right to wear a gold ring or a crown, cheerfulness, friendship, companionship, the acquisition of property, the purchase of ornaments, agreements on favorable terms, marriages, pure trades, fine voices, a taste for music, sweet singing, beauty, painting, mixing of colors both in embroidery, dyeing, and unguent making.

Venus makes the inventors, craftsmanship or trade, and work in emeralds, precious stones, and ivory. Within its terms and degrees in the zodiac, Venus causes men to be gold-spinners, gold workers, barbers, and people fond of cleanliness and toys. It bestows the office of supervisor of weights and measures, the standards of weights and measures, markets, factories, the giving and receiving <of gifts>, laughter, good cheer, ornamentation, and hunting in moist places.

Venus gives benefits from royal women or from one’s own, and it brings very high rank when it operates in such affairs. Of the parts of the body, it rules the neck, the face, the lips, the sense of smell, the front parts from the feet to the head, the parts of intercourse; of the inner parts it rules the lungs. It is a recipient of support from others and of pleasure. Of substances, Venus rules precious stones and fancy jewelry. Of fruits it rules the olive. It is of the nocturnal sect (night chart), white in color, and very greasy in taste.”

– Vettius Valens, 2nd Century BCE.



Mars in AstrologyMars is a dry, rocky, and arid planet with a red tinge. It has similar lava activity as Earth but due to its absence of tectonic activity, its surface remain unchanged for millions of years. Still as hot as ever, and uninhabitable.

Mars signifies courage and initiative, willpower, assertiveness, action, direction, drive, ambition, survival instinct, resourcefulness, sexual prowess and aggression.

On the flip side, Mars also signifies wilfulness, impatience, impulsivity, violence and forcefulness.

On the natal chart, Mars represents strong desire, ambition, sexual drives, initiative, physical energy, competitiveness, assertiveness, endurance, survival instinct, confidence, how a man pursues his romantic target or career, and what a woman finds attractive in a man.

In the tarot, Mars is closely associated with The Tower card, which symbolizes adversity, dealing with challenges, a spark of inspiration, and a time to spring into action to deal with your problems. Mars is also closely associated with the Strength card because it is about power, energy, action, courage and magnanimity.

Mars in the Tarot

“Mars signifies force, wars, plunderings, screams, violence, whoring, the loss of property, banishment, exile, alienation from parents, capture, the deaths of wives, abortions, love affairs, marriages, the loss of goods, lies, vain hopes, strong-armed robbery, banditry, looting, quarrels among friends, anger, fighting, verbal abuse, hatreds, lawsuits.

Mars brings violent murders, slashings and bloodshed, attacks of fever, ulceration, boils, burns, chains, torture, masculinity, false oaths, wandering, embassies under difficult circumstances, actions involving fire or iron, craftwork, masonry. In addition, Mars causes commands, campaigns and leadership, infantrymen, governorships, hunting, wild game, falls from heights or from animals, weak vision, strokes.

Of the body parts, Mars rules the head, the seat, the genitals; of the internal parts, it rules the blood, the sperm ducts, the bile, the elimination of excrement, the parts in the rear, the back, and the underside. It controls the hard and the abrupt. Of substances, it rules iron, decoration of clothing, as well as wine and beans. It is of the nocturnal sect (night chart), red in color and acid in taste.”

– Vettius Valens, 2nd Century BCE.



Jupiter in AstrologyJupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, but it is largely made up of gas. Its density is less than 25% than that of Earth.

Jupiter signifies wisdom and abundance, optimism, faith, self-development, expansion, luck, fortune, leadership, charity, self-confidence, and self-assurance. On the flip side, Jupiter also signifies overconfidence, irresponsibility, sloth, over-promising and under-delivering, exaggeration and greed.

On the natal chart, Jupiter represents expansion of one’s physical, mental and material world, the need for connection to something bigger than oneself, faith, trust, confidence, philosophy, higher learning, in search of life’s meaning, self-development, long-distance travels, religion, politics, philosophy, expansion of the self, wealth, fortune, and greed.

In the tarot, Jupiter is closely associated with The Wheel of Fortune because it is a symbol of luck and fortune. It represents expansion, abundance, and the constant pushing or testing of boundaries and limits.

Jupiter in the Tarot

“Jupiter signifies childbearing, engendering, desire, loves, political ties, acquaintance, friendships with great men, prosperity, salaries, great gifts, an abundance of crops, justice, offices, officeholding, ranks, authority over temples, arbitrations, trusts, inheritance, brotherhood, fellowship, beneficence, the secure possession of goods, relief from troubles, release from bonds, freedom, deposits in trust, money, stewardships.

Of the external body parts, Jupiter rules the thighs and the feet. (Consequently, in the games Jupiter governs the race.) Of the internal parts, it rules the sperm, the uterus, the liver, the parts of the right side. Of substances, it rules tin. It is of the diurnal sect (day chart). In color, it is grey verging on white and is sweet in taste.”

– Vettius Valens, 2nd Century BCE.



Saturn in AstrologySaturn is considered the last planet in ancient astrology, visible to the naked eye, because Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto were yet to be discovered during those days. Due to its ‘last’ placement in the string of planets in ancient astrology, Saturn is known to be a planet of restrictions and limitations. It carries the message of “here is where it ends”. It is only 13% the density of Earth with 18 knowns moons and many other unknown ones around it. Saturn has a layer of ‘organized’ comets, asteroids, or shattered moons that made up its ring which is clearly seen from the planet’s exterior.

Saturn signifies limits, restriction, discipline, responsibility, dutifulness, patience, reliability, and orderliness. On the flip side, Saturn also signifies self-imposed limitations, pessimism, negativity, rigidity, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, coldness, fear, denial, defensiveness, and risk aversion.

On the natal chart, Saturn represents structure (social/physical), limitations, conformity, time and age, maturity, achievement, security, safety, restriction, barriers, accepted world order, rigidity, effort, gained experience, hard lessons, denied cravings, delayed gratification, discipline, the Jungian concept of ‘shadow’, and the symbol of the traditional Father archetype (disciplinarian, correction, and confinement).

In the tarot, Saturn is closely associated with The World as it symbolizes the end of things, the limits of human capacity, restrictions, and the completion of a cycle and the possible beginning of a new direction. Saturn has its close link with The Hierophant card, which symbolizes the order and structure of the things that are in question. It represents hierarchy, structure, tradition, strong boundaries, and limitations that could be a protective factor, or it simply mean a delay in what is to come.

Saturn in the Tarot

“I came into the world under the sign of Saturn — the star of the slowest revolution, the planet of detours and delays.”

— Walter Benjamin, Aesthetics and Politics.

“But every evil brings its own remedy. Another quality of Saturn is melancholy; Saturn represents the sorrow of the universe; it is the Trance of sorrow that has determined one to undertake the task of emancipation. This is the energizing force of Law; it is the rigidity of the fact that everything is sorrow which moves one to the task and keeps one on the Path.”

Aleister Crowley, Eight Lectures on Yoga

“Saturn makes those born under him petty, malignant, care-worn, self-depreciating, solitary, deceitful, secretive in their trickery, strict, downcast, with a hypocritical air, squalid, black-clad, importunate, sad-looking, miserable, with a nautical bent, plying waterside trades. Saturn also causes humblings, sluggishness, unemployment, obstacles in business, interminable lawsuits, subversion of business, secrets, imprisonment, chains, griefs, accusations, tears, bereavement, capture, exposures of children.

Saturn makes serfs and farmers because of its rule over the land (earth element and sign of Capricorn), and it causes men to be renters of property, tax farmers, and violent in action. It puts into one’s hands great ranks and distinguished positions, supervisions, management of others’ property, and the fathership of others’ children.

Of substances, it rules lead, wood, and stone. Of the limbs of the body, it rules the legs, the knees, the tendons, the lymph, the phlegm, the bladder, the kidneys. Of the internal parts of the body, Saturn rules the hidden organs.

Saturn is indicative of injuries arising from cold and moisture, such as dropsy, neuralgia, gout, cough, dysentery, hernia, spasms. It is indicative of these syndromes: possession, homosexuality, and depravity. Saturn makes bachelors and widows, bereavements, and childlessness.

It causes violent deaths by water, strangulation, imprisonment, or dysentery. It also causes falling on the face. It is the star of Nemesis. It is of the diurnal sect (day chart). It is like castor in color and astringent in taste.”

– Vettius Valens, 2nd Century BCE.


In summary, planets in astrology are the actors on the cosmic stage, while the zodiac signs are the style of acting within the cosmic stage, and the houses refer to the location of the themes found on the cosmic stage. When examining the aspects on the astrological chart, we are looking at the interaction and relationships between or among the planets in the play.

Traditionally, the above are the seven planets that are involved in shaping our lives even till this day. We will examine the three modern planets such as Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in future post and how they also affect us based on modern astrological interpretations.



As an astrologer, I reckon that planetary placements and their signs are of close affiliation to a person’s character and a great potential for self development and personal growth.

For a layman, planets and other astrological languages may seem foreign to you at first, but it wouldn’t be if you consult the right astrologer who explains your overall in-depth readings into clear yet comprehensible analysis. All you need is your birth chart, which is generated simply by using your date, actual time and location of birth. With that, your journey to self-discovery and personal growth begins. To get your very own personalized analysis of your birth chart, drop me an email or a WhatsApp message for a face-to-face conversation so that you get the best out of your time with me.

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