basic interpretation

Conventional associations for astrological symbols

These are traditional and modern-traditional interpretations.




The Sun rules the sign Leo and the Day. It is the centre of the planetary system, the source of light and life. Creative and constant, it regulates nature through the seasons. It is Being, spirit, heart, the essence of things, consciousness and supremacy. It is male, Father, King.

Solar individuals shine, their nature is heroic, noble purposive loyal and generous. They are centre-stage, the star and leader. Negatively it is arrogant and disdainful. Psychologically, it is self-identity and the ego. |n Jung’s terms, it is the individuation process.

Other associations:

metal – gold
colours – orange-yellow and scarlet
plants – heliotropes, sunflower, marigold, dandelion (“tooth of the lion”)
animals – royal (swan), lion, heralding the sun (cockerel)
occupations- kings, directors organisers, performers
places – palaces, theatres.


The Moon rules Cancer and the night. It orbits the earth, waxing and waning to create the monthly cycle and pull the tides. It is receptive and changeable, a mirror reflecting solar light. It is instinct, soul, habit, the flux and rhythm of daily life, the unconscious, the mysterious and the occult. To follow the Moon is to “go with the flow”. It is the Roman goddess Diana, protector of women and childbirth. It is female, the mother.

Lunar individuals reflect, their nature is shy, caring, imaginative, tender and psychic. They are the power behind the throne, the protector and supporter. Negative characteristics are timidity, over-sensitivity and ‘lunacy’. Psychologically, the Moon is the personal unconscious, habitual responses, patterns established in childhood, and our basic needs and instincts.

Other associations:
metal- silver
colours – white and silver
plants – round, watery fruits (melon) and thick, juicy leaves (cabbage)
animals – frog, snail, owl
occupations – cleaners, brewers, midwives, sailors.


Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. It is the fast moving planet closest to the Sun and the wing-footed Greek messenger god (HERMES). It is the intellect, language, communication, trade and theft. It is the magician, crossing boundaries between male and female (hermaphrodite), conscious and unconscious, mind and matter, life and death (the soul’s guide into the underworld).

Mercurial individuals are quick-witted, skilled, ingenious and learned. Negatively, it is crafty, verbose and amoral. Psychologically, it is the trickster nature of the psyche, revealed through slips of the tongue and Freud’s ‘talking cure’.

Other associations:
metal – quicksilver = Mercury
plants – beans, walnuts, flowers without a smell
colour – tripes, mottles, mixed
animals – monkey, parrot
occupations – the media, merchants, clerks, accountants, scholars
places – shops, markets, schools, stations


Venus rules Taurus and Libra, it is the morning and evening star appearing at sunrise and sunset, the star of lovers and poets. It is the goddess Aphrodite, goddess of love seduction. Inspirational and joyous, it is love and peace, harmony and beauty, victory in war, laughter, tolerance, friendship and the arts. It is erotic, desirable and pleasurable. It is female, the Lover.

Venusian individuals relate to others and seek partnership. They are sociable, attractive, tolerant, compromising, soft and giving, lovers of beauty, art, wealth, comfort and luxury. Negative characteristics include lewdness, promiscuity, over-indulgence and poor repute. Psychologically, Venus is the process of evaluation, self-worth, the search for wholeness through the significant other.

Other associations:
metal – copper, colours – white, green
flowers – scented (rose), smooth-leafed (lilly), sweet fruits (fig, apple, peach, plum)
animal – dove, dolphin
occupations – fashion and beauty, art, diplomacy
places – bedrooms, gardens


Mars rules Aries and Scorpio. It is the red planet of force, will, action, physical energy and sexual energy. It is the Greek god of battle (ARES), angry and quarrelsome and complaining.

Martian individuals are aggressive, penetrating and defiant, singular and uncompromising. They are champions of life and death. Negatively it is a malcontent, violent and irrationally destructive. Psychologically it is libido, psychic energy as a whole, the power of self-assertion and the ability to separate.

Other associations:
metal – iron. colour – red or orange
plants – sharp, stinging or bitter. Ginger, pepper, nettles
animals – predators (wolf, shark)
occupations – soldiers and surgeons
places – furnaces, foundries, slaughter-houses


Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces. It is the largest of the traditional planets, the Greek ZEUS, king of the gods and thunderous lord of the sky. It is the law-maker, beneficent and protective, creating opportunity, growth and progress. It is providence, good fortune, faith, hope and charity.

Jupitarian individuals are magnanimous, noble, optimistic, liberal and freedom-loving. They guide and cheer others, offering wise counsel. Negatively it is excessive, domineering, hypocritical and arrogant. Psychologically it is the search for meaning, the experience of the numinous and the desire for soul-growth.

Other associations:
metal – tin
colors – purple, blue, sea-green
plants – rapid growth like privet, far-spreading like vines
animals – large and powerful – horse, elephant, whale, eagle
occupations – lawyers, priests, counselors, developers, empire-builders, actors, clowns places – open spaces, public places, panoramic views


Saturn rules Aquarius and Capricorn. It is the most distant and slow-moving of the visible planets, the Greek god CHRONOS. It rules fate and time, the past, limits and boundaries, skeleton, form and structure. It is cold, old, controlled and conservative.

Saturnine individuals are serious, ambitious, orthodox and self-disciplined. Negatively, it is melancholic and solitary, representing envy, suffering, fear and guilt.
Psychologically, it is the repressed material of the “shadow”, the disowned and inferior side of an individual, manifesting as scape-goating.

metal – lead
plants – poisonous or deep-rooted. Yew, hemlock, comfrey, nightshade.
colour – black, olive
animals – vermin and lice
occupations – politicians, farmers, architects
places – deserts, mountains, ruins, mines, desolate places


Uranus, co-ruler of Aquarius, discovered in 1781, is the first of the new planets beyond Saturn and wiped out the medieval cosmos. It is the Greek sky god, OURANOS, who was castrated and usurped by Chronos. It liberates by destroying Saturn’s tradition and authority. It is the Scientific Enlightenment and shows intellect exalted above nature. It is discontent and desires independence, disrupting boundaries, and it represents reason and principle. It creates anarchy and rebellion, over-throwing the old order in a search for equality, fraternity and individuality.

The Uranian individual is a wilful outsider and rebel, a free thinker, reformer, humanist and eccentric genius. Negatively, it is terror, tyranny and chaos. Psychologically, it shows dissociation, resistance and the castration complex.

Other Associations:
Historical events coinciding with Uranus’ discovery show its revolutionary – the French Revolution (1789), the American War of Independence (1791) and the Vindication of the rights of Women (1792). Its scientific nature is revealed in the discovery of electricity (Galvani 1780), the collapse of alchemy into chemistry and the discoveries of the Industrial Revolution. Uranus also heralds the rise of urban populations, modern capitalism and Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ (1791). Occupations include technology, electronics and aeronautics.


Neptune, discovered in 1846, is the second of the new planets beyond Saturn. Greek god of the sea (POSEIDON), it merges things into a limitless and nebulous state. It represents idealisation, sacrifice and an unconscious, collective identity. It is fantasy, paranormal experience, psycho-physical reality and the desire for the ‘beyond’ in all its forms, whether through mysticism or drugs.

Neptunian individuals may be artists, visionaries or martyrs. Negatively, it is deceptive and deluded. Psychologically it shows hysteria, projection and the transference.

Other Associations:
Historical events coinciding with Neptune’s discovery show its impersonal and collective nature: Darwin’s theory of evolution (1846), the Communist Manifesto (1848) and the rise of socialism. Its other-worldly dimension shows in modern spiritualism (Fox Sisters 1847), anaesthetics and hypnosis. Occupations include film, advertising, and the petro-chemical and pharmaceutical industries.


Pluto, discovered in 1930, is the Greek HADES, lord of the underworld, keeper of the dead. He wears the helmet of invisibility and visits the upper world rarely, but when he does it is to transform by annihilating outmoded forms. Pluto shows the cycles of birth-death-rebirth. By a secondary association with the Roman god PLUTUS he represents vast sources of power and wealth, the treasures hidden under the earth.

A Plutonic individual is a lone wolf, concerned with power and possessed of a strange genius or an unusual transforming gift. Negative Pluto shows as sociopathic behaviour or willfulness, rape and violation, or simply as non-entity. Psychologically it is psychosis, obsession, and also Thanatos, the death-instinct.

Other Associations:
The metal of Pluto is Plutonium, which is abhorrent to Nature, unstable and deadly. Historical events around Pluto’s discovery include the splitting of the atom, Fascism and Stalinism, the rise of Big Brother, international terrorism and organised crime (Mafia etc). It also shows as nihilism and surrealism (Magritte).
Demoted by modern astronomers into a TNO (trans-Neptunian object).

© Company of Astrologers 2014