Your Guide To The Planets In Astrology & How They Affect You

Zodiac signs get a lot of attention in the astrology world — after all, the only thing you need to know to read your daily horoscope is your Sun sign. But the world of astrology is big, bright, and beautiful, and if you want to know what the stars are really trying to communicate, you need to have an idea about what planets mean in astrology. It’s not breaking news that planets are a thing in the astrology world — after all, interpreting the movement of the planets and other celestial bodies through the sky (and zodiac) is exactly what astrology is. But understanding the planets will help you make more sense of things like your Sun and Moon signs, and you’ll be better clued in the next time someone’s ranting about Mercury going retrograde again, or how Venus relates to their love life.

Sun ☉

Planet of: the self; the conscious mind; creative energy; life purpose; the truest and purest version of ~you~.

Naturally rules: Leo

The Sun is the center of our universe, and in astrology, it represents the center of ourselves. It’s what lights up and gives color to the world around us; it’s the star that we revolve around and that gives us life. That’s part of why our Sun signs are such an integral part of our astrology and who we are! “The Sun represents our ego, what we are driven to do, our life-force,” astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Bustle. The Sun is the driving force behind who we are at our core, and it’s said that people who can embrace their Sun placement tend to feel happier and more fulfilled. We have many influences in our astrological charts, but the Sun is perhaps the most integral to our persona and our spirit.

Moon ☽

Planet of: emotions; instincts; feminine energy; security; all the emo poetry you wrote in your journal in high school.

Naturally rules: Cancer

The gentle, emotion-driven moon is the sensitive, empathetic, nurturing, and nostalgic mother-figure of the zodiac. “The Moon represents our inner emotions, the parts within us that we cannot express,” Stardust says. “It also represents our maternal side, our mother, our memories, and even what foods we enjoy.” The Moon governs over the shadowy, more vulnerable sides of ourselves — the parts we may not show to others unless we feel intimate and safe with them — as well as the things we need to feel protected, comfortable, and emotionally secure.

Mercury ☿

Planet of: communication; expression; reason; intellect; your ability to carry on six different coherent conversations at once.

Naturally rules: Gemini & Virgo

You probably know this planet more for its infamous retrograde periods than anything else, but actually, when it’s not turning everything in your life upside, this quick-witted master of communication, timing, and intellect is really cool. “Mercury affects how we communicate, transmit information, and travel,” astrologer Caitlin McGarry tells Bustle. Mercury is known as the messenger of the gods, so it makes sense that communication, information sharing, and traveling is its jam. This planet tells us a lot about our personal communication style, as well as the way we process information and manage our time and schedule.

Venus ♀️

Planet of: love; romance; beauty; pleasure; hearts n’ chocolates n’ flowers.

Naturally rules: Taurus & Libra

Ah, lovely Venus, planet of all things flowery and sensual and heart-flutteringly delicious. Named after the goddess of love herself, Venus loves to love, and to be immersed in the aestheticism and beauty of the world. Venus is also associated with money — specifically the money we spend more frivolously on things that bring us pleasure and joy. “Venus is the lesser benefic, [and] represents love affairs, romance, luxury, fine wines and rich food,” Stardust says. “Venus also represents self esteem and money.” Planet Venus is sort of like the Valentine’s Day of the planets — think a romantic evening full of chocolates, wine, red rose petals, and a sweetly-scented bubble bath. It’s about the way you love, how you determine value, and the ways you experience (and indulge in) sensual pleasure and luxury.

Mars ♂︎

Planet of: action; sexual drive; aggression; raw energy; losing your temper on the next person who triggers you.

Naturally rules: Aries

Wild n’ fiery Mars, named after the god of war, is determined, driven, and full of raw, unbridled, animalistic energy. “Mars represents how we fight and assert ourselves,” McGarry says. Additionally, Mars also shows us how we chase our goals and relates to our libidos and sexual energies, too. The so-called Red Planet certainly lives up to it’s name with it’s red-hot intensity and passion. And you may have heard “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” right? Well, we actually all have a nice balance of both, so while sexy romance is Venus’ territory, Mars rules over our more animalistic sexual drive and desire. Venus is the butterflies in our stomach and emotion, while Mars is the primal, physical instinct.

Jupiter ♃

Planet of: good luck; abundance; optimism; expansiveness; everything coming up roses and then some.

Naturally rules: Sagittarius

Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system, and it also carries with it the biggest load of luck, positivity, and optimism of the bunch, bringing growth, opportunity, and good vibes along with its massive presence. “Jupiter, the greater benefic, represents luck, growth, travel, philosophy, education, teaching, and expansion,” Stardust says. Jupiter also helps us to broaden our horizons and expand our minds through education, life experiences, and spirituality. This is the planet that inspires us to chase our dreams, no matter how lofty.

Saturn ♄

Planet of: boundaries; tough love; life lessons; discipline; questioning everything you’ve ever done in your life in a depressing, critical angst.

Naturally rules: Capricorn

If the Moon is our cosmic mom, then Saturn is totally our cosmic father figure. Think of this planet as the stern parent who’s a little overly rigid, old-fashioned, and strict — the energy can be a bit of a buzzkill, and can definitely feel restrictive and challenging, but ultimately it’s there to help you grow and learn to be more responsible. “Saturn is the greater malefic, representing boundaries, limits, restrictions, and the relationship with the paternal,” Stardust says. You may be familiar with Saturn in relation to the infamous Saturn return, which happens to everyone around their late twenties (cue total existential breakdown). Saturn is all about tough love, hard work, and overcoming challenges — but remember, it’s only hard on us because it wants us to learn to be the most mature and wise version of ourselves we can be

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