The sun represents your will or life force. It is the conscious, extroverted, positive, male side of yourself. The sun or solar principle provides the life energy that is expressed by the rest of your chart. So-called "sun-sign" astrology can work as well as it does because the sun is such an important feature of your chart/life, but one should never forget that there are other planets in your chart. The moon, midheaven and the ascendant are of equal value in describing a life. Often women will project their sun on some man instead of owning their sun, while men will forget that they have anything but the sun.


The moon represents the emotional side of your existance. It is the unconscious, introverted, negative, female side of yourself. The moon or lunar principle provides a reflective element to your chart, and so it works as a co-equal partner with your sun. Just as the sun and the moon both appear the same size as seen from the earth (which is why solar or lunar eclipses can happen), the sun and the moon are of equal strength in the chart. Often men can project their moon onto some women instead of recognizing that they too have a lunar nature, while women can forgetthat they are anything but the mothering, nuturing moon. The lesson from astrology is that we are all our planets, and achieving wholeness requires that we recognize all of our chart.


Mercury represents the concretely intellectual part of your personality, the functioning mind. Mercury represents communication and the day to day activity of the intellect. Mercury rules short-distance communications and learning. Mercury rules both Gemini, where synthesis is the key, and Virgo, where analysis is the key. mercury can indicate the manner in which you think, but not the level of your intelligence.


Venus can be said to represent "love" and is often paired with Mars in a polarity: The symbol for Venus is the standard biological symbol for female, and the glyph for Mars is the symbol for male. Venus shows are ability at relating to others, and the nature of the desire. Venus can indicate the type of people we are attracted to, or the nature of our sense of attraction. It rules close partnerships and also marriage. Venus is associated with the Descendant of the chart. Venus is the ruler of both Taurus and Libra.


Mars represents our active energy, the way we go out and get what we want, which can be determined by, amoung other things, Venus. The characteristics of Mars in the birth charts shows the nature of our energy flow. Mars rules both the outer-directed Aries and the inner-directed Scorpio. Mars takes two years to circle the sun, and so we see all faces of mars many times in our life. Mars is considered a "personal" planet, because it tells something about the way we are as individuals.


Jupiter is the first of the so-called "social planets." People born within a one-year period will share the same sign position of Jupiter. This planet show how the socialization process works within us. The urge of the Jupiter principle is to expand; without limits, such as those provided by Saturn, Jupiter would expand without limits, filling the Universe, and, on a more human level, gow fat and expend money without limit. Jupiter rules both Sagittarius and Pisces, lending a religious nature to both signs.


Saturn is the second of the two social planets, and it is often paired with Jupiter. Saturn often gets a bad rap as the bogy man of the planets, but it is extremely important. Saturn helps us focus and defnie limits; without Saturn, Jupiter would expand withoout limits (a good Saturn word), whereas without Jupiter, Saturn would contract us to a point. Saturn takes about 30 years to go around the sun, and its positions vis a vis its natal positions represent major turning points in our life. Saturn can also bring a sense of limitation and dispair to our lives. Saturn rules the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius.


Uranus is the first of the three transpersonal or generational planets. It moves so slowly -- requiring 84 years to go once around the sun -- that it tells more, unless configured to one of the personal planets or points, about the generation one was born into than the nature of the person. Uranus represents the process of individuation, and can manifest itself as independence, rebellion, revolution or eccentricity. Uranus rules the sign of Aquarius, giving Aquarius the individualistic nature it is known for. Uranus was discovered between the American and French revolutions, certainly good symbols for the Uranian principles.


Nepture is another transpersonal planet, taking 168 years to circle the sun. Neptune represents the spiritual or mystical side of ourselves. It is the sensitive planet. At our level of development, Neptune often manifests itself in illusions, vagueness, wooley thinking and the use of drugs such as alcohol. The discovery of Neptune took place at about the same time as the discovery of ether in the rise of spiritualism. Neptune rules Pisces. Even from its name, we can tell that Neptune is a watery planet, and is important in religious people as well as performers.


Pluto is the slowest moving of the known planets, taking 248 years to circle the sun, so no one can experience all the sign positions of Pluto. Pluto seems to best represent the different generations, so that we have the "baby-boomer" generation born with Pluto in Leo (1939-1958) and the so called "generation X' born with Pluto in Virgo (1958-1973), as well as yet unamed generations born with Pluto in Libra and Scorpio. In 1996 Pluto moves into Sagittarius, and another generation starts. In natal charts, Pluto can represent deep (and often hidden) forces, changes and transformations. A strong Pluto can lead to obsessive or compulsive behavior, or involvent in occult activities or depth psychology. Pluto rules the sign of Scorpio. Pluto was the only major planet discovered in the XXth Century, and about the time that expreiment laid the basis for the development of the atomic bomb and atomic power.


The North Node of the Moon has several meanings, depending on what school of astrology you follow. In the traditional meanings, the north node refers to a location for intake of the psychic and physical substance you need to maintain life, while the south node is the point where excesses of those substances are expelled. If one node is working well and the other is blocked it can lead to either psychic constipation of lack of nutrition. Both are needed. In the cosmobiological school, the nodes collective refer to a point of contact with those who are close to us, if not necessarily in a physical sense. The word "karma" is sometimes associated with this connection.


The Ascendant -- also called the rising sign -- represents the mask we wear to face the world. Traditionally the ascendant was considered the most important point in the chart, but since it can not be known without an accurate birthtime, the sun became much more prominent. The ascendant -- the point where the sun rises in the east -- represents the defense mechanisms we develop to face a hostile, non-understanding world. It also is how other people first see us, before they come to know us and the various personality forces represented by the planets. Some people tend to identify with their ascendant, forgetting that it is only a facade and not the real person. The ascendant also colors the way we see the outer world, so that two people with different rising signs will experience the same event differently.


The Midheaven represents our true self, that part of us that we can feel observing our mundane activities. The midheaven -- the highest point the sun reaches in its diurnal cycle -- is not given nearly as much attentions as the ascendant, even though it is at least as important, and arguably more important. The midheaven also depends on the time and location of our birth, but unlike the ascendent it does not depend on the latitude. It also represents the individual or ego-consciousness. It has been said that the ascendant represents the ego in the Freudian sense, while the midheaven represents the ego in the Jungian sense. In some ways the midheaven is closer to who we really are than the ascendant. The midheaven - also called the MC for the Latin Midium Coeli which means middle of the sky -- also stands for our career or calling, and how the outside, impersonal world see us. The career is what we do to make a living, while the calling is what we have to do.