However, when the Moon has lost its power to delude, this shell of sentient matter becomes a lighted house in which the Soul gladly dwells, and which it illumines from within. Mercury serves as emissary for the Sun which it alternately precedes and follows. In a horoscope, Mercury and the Sun are never more than twenty-eight degrees apart. The task of this wing-footed messenger of the gods is to weave the shimmering strands of light which stream through space into a web of intricate design. Shuttling back and forth with wavelike motion, it draws parallel threads together and binds the frayed edges of the universe into a vibrant network of meaningful connections.
While the glyph for the Sun expresses primal unity, and the two horns of the Moon convey the concept of duality, the figure for Mercury is triple. The Moon surmounts the Sun, which is placed over the cross of the Soul. Mercury represents the practical mind. It is intelligence crowned with Matter. Hence, the quality of intellect is directly influenced by whatever the Moon is "reflecting" — whether this be the light of Spirit or the singeing flame of material desires. Even the word "mercurial" suggests the lunar quality of changeability.
Mercury mediates between the pairs of opposites. If the Sun is the cosmic father and the Moon is the cosmic mother, then Mercury is their child, neither positive nor negative but pre-pubescently neuter. Human progress begins with Mercury's gift of analysis. Through the use of the discriminating mind, man can hasten and control his own evolution. He can formulate concepts, explain ideas, and manipulate matter. Mercury represents the gradually accruing knowledge which enables Homosapiens , the thinking man, to study not only the external world of nature, but also to observe the nature of his inner world of thought and feeling.
The astrologer who wishes to ascertain the manner in which a person's mind works must look to the placement of Mercury in the natal chart. This planet provides a channel for the will to communicate and shows how an individual registers and classifies the phenomenal effects which impinge upon his senses.
If its operations are restricted, then all other potentialities, no matter how impressive, may remain unexploited. The Sun is consciousness in the sense of essential being; but without Mercury's talent for making connections, this central identity would constitute nothing more than a vast incomprehensible abstraction — a mind with no nerves. Anatomically, Mercury rules the nervous system whose impulses vivify every tissue and cell of the body, relating objective and subjective realms of experience.
Mercury is sometimes associated with mischievous, childlike, and amoral behavior.
Yet without this agile offspring, the Sun and Moon would remain aloof and isolated from each other, accomplishing nothing. The Mercurial intellect partakes equally of the Sun's ability to act and the Moon's capacity to react. Deriving its qualities from both parents, the mind can operate in two directions simultaneously. Thought can be employed to analyze or to synthesize, to divide or to rejoin the multitude of separate perceptions by which man is attached to the various worlds with which he interacts. The symbol for Venus resembles the symbol of Mercury without 'the Moon on top.
The circle of Spirit is not held down by the weight of Matter but rises out of the corporeal world as though re-ascending to its own realm. This glyph can also be taken to depict the Sun energizing the field of relationships the cross and stimulating growth. Venus represents the cosmic principle of attraction which causes all things to cohere into orderly designs. It carries out nature's beneficent decree that ever finer forms of esthetic expression be fashioned. Thus, the cross anchors the circle of the Sun to earth and makes its power demonstrably effective.
Mythologically, Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The Venusian desire for harmony sublimates the basic sexual urge into socially acceptable modes of behavior which promote cultural enterprises and ensure mutual cooperation. Venus sounds the mating call which draws the opposite sexes together, but at the same time insists upon the adornments and proprieties which hold male and female apart. In this way, the instinct for procreation is channeled into artistic creation. The romantic influence of this planet is seen in the colors of flowers, songs of birds, and all the amorous devices of nature which make the coming together of the sexes an ecstatic ritual of courtship and union.
Mercury, the stellar master of ceremonies, has initiated the festivities by introducing the partners to each other.
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Now Venus plays the tune to which they enact their roles in the great dance of love. The symbol for this planet may be imagined as a looking glass in which the goddess of beauty contemplates her captivating reflection. Venus is Nature, the coquette, courting admiration by showing off in a multitude of ingeniously contrived disguises.
In its more elevated aspect, the Venusian spirit is displayed in every graceful form and act of devotion which mirrors the divine quality of love. In the body, Venus rules the venous circulation, the afferent nerves, and all inwardly directed impulses. It refers to the taking in and absorption of food, sensations, and affections, as well as to the feeling of gratification resulting from their assimilation. As the power to attract and to create an alluring appearance, this agreeable planet richly deserves its traditional title of the lesser benefic. The outgoing potency of Mars contrasts sharply with the ingathering feminine magnetism of Venus.
Originally, the glyph for this planet of personal initiative was drawn with a cross instead of a barb on top, in the following manner:.
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The cross surmounting the circle shows that the Spirit in man and nature must submit to the necessity for struggle and pain. Venus glorifies matter, but Mars sets out to conquer and overcome the limitations of earthly experience. The commonly used symbol for Mars has sexual overtones, as does the symbol for the sign Scorpio of which it is co-ruler. The uprising arrow represents the instinct of aggression, the passionate urge to pierce through resisting barriers and to fight for the objects desired.
In Greek mythology, Mars was known as Ares, the god of battle, and to this day he maintains his reputation as the warrior of the zodiac. Venus, which circles the Sun on the inner side of Earth's orbit, draws all things inward toward the center. Mars, by contrast, travels on the outer side of Earth and pulls all things away from the center.
The former is a centripetal force, the latter a centrifugal force. In the natal chart, their relationship to each other pertains to an individual's social adjustment, just as the relationship between the Sun and the Moon describes basic character. Earth, which is located between Mars and Venus, is symbolized by a circle containing a cross — a figure resembling the framework of the horoscope. This cross suggests a man standing with outstretched arms. He represents neither Spirit nor Matter but the indissoluble union of the two. A person walks with his spine erect, yet nature requires him to spend a part of each day in a horizontal position.
The cross within the circle also refers to the four directions, the four seasons, and the four elements. Since Earth is, symbolically, at cross-purposes with itself, occultists have labeled it "the star of suffering. Venus shows the Spirit rising above material limitations and aspiring to return to its source. Mars shows the Spirit held down by the weight of the cross. Man on Earth is torn between these opposing drives. He craves the peace and harmony of the Venusian ideal, yet his Martian assertiveness makes him an instigator of war and strife. Mars rules the arterial circulation, efferent nerves, the elimination of waste products, and the body's emission of heat.
However, it can function effectively only in cooperation with Venus. If the Sun and Moon are the father and mother of creation Mars and Venus are the heavenly lovers, magnetically drawn together, with each one needing what the other has to give in order to achieve completion. The glyph for Jupiter shows the crescent Moon turned outward and surmounting an arm of the cross.
It is reminiscent of Venus but with the Moon rather than the Sun raised aloft. This elevated Moon suggests the spiritualizing of Matter through the orderly process of evolution. Jupiter, the planet of wisdom and planned expansion, is related to the Moon and Venus because the unfoldment of man's higher abstract mind is a natural outgrowth of his gradually developing psychic mechanism of personal feelings and social responses. According to legend, the infant Jupiter, known as Zeus to the Greeks and as Jove to the Romans, was raised on the milk of a goat whose horns continually overflowed with food and drink.
This was the origin of the horn of plenty, or cornucopia. Therefore, Jupiter's symbol shows a horned Moon pouring out its gifts through the cross of experience. Mythologically, Jupiter was supreme among the gods. Although Jupiter is a planet of growth, its function extends far beyond the capacity to accumulate raw materials in the manner of the Moon and to arrange them into pleasing patterns in the manner of Venus.
Jupiter coordinates the assimilated personal and interpersonal experience of the Moon and Venus. The Moon represents the masses and Venus represents society, but Jupiter represents the collective order which determines the behavior of aggregates of individuals. The Moon signifies simple quantity. Venus adds quality, and Jupiter is mindful of the deeper implications of what has been wrought. Since this farseeing planet operates within the confines of Saturnian convention, its expansiveness is generally contained within the bounds of propriety. Together, the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter represent successive stages in the evolution of consciousness through the creation of family, social, and civic relationships.
Jupiter lives up to its name of the greater benefic by bestowing the abundance for which the Moon provides the raw materials and Venus the artistic inspiration. It stimulates the mind to look beyond the names and forms of things in order to encompass their deeper purposes and philosophical implications. Physically, Jupiter is a large planet in keeping with the largesse it promises. It is also extremely light, being composed of rarefied gases, and conveys a corresponding psychological quality of buoyancy.
However, the real magnitude of Jupiter lies in its power of vision. The spiritually evolved Jupiterian has the gift of prophecy and is imbued with an optimistic faith in nature's abundance. As a result of this capacity for positive thinking, he is often favored with the personal prestige and general prosperity he assumes to be his due. The glyph for Saturn is composed of the same cross and crescent as the glyph for Jupiter, but this time the cross is on top and the crescent turns inward.
Unlike the Jupiterian, who derives satisfaction from ownership, the Saturnian person feels burdened with the weight of material responsibilities. The cross then becomes the symbol of crucifixion and, like the marker on a grave it casts a gloomy shadow. As the planet of limitation, Saturn demarcates not only the circle in space, but also the cycle in time. Being concerned with endings, Saturn stands for seniority, senility, and the termination of life.
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Anatomically, it rules the skin which confines, and the skeleton which defines, the structure of the body. It represents the contracting, crystallizing tendencies of the aging process whereby forms grow hard and rigid, finally becoming so brittle that they shatter and are pulverized into the dust from which new forms are shaped.
The power of Saturn can be impersonally compressive or personally oppressive according to circumstance. All lives are limited by time and death. Saturn's symbol is the sickle with which Father Time, the grim reaper, cuts down the harvest of man's years. Mythologically, Saturn is Cronus, the god who killed and ate his children — which, if not a pleasant image, is at least a graphic way of saying that whatever is born of time, dies in time. Saturn solidifies structures. Although it can be a tough taskmaster, its walls are basically protective and its restrictions ensure growth and survival, as well as death.
While occupying a place in space and time, all entities must bow to the Saturnian necessity to abide by the law, whether these laws be natural or man-made decrees. Should they refuse to cooperate, conflict ensues and forces the often painful process of discovery that freedom arises only out of self-control. Thus, laws can be external like the skin and shell, or internal like the backbone of an organism.
Saturn can denote a hard time — or hard work. It is often feared because it dictates that each individual shall receive precisely what he deserves, regardless of whether he thinks he deserves it or not. It is exact and exacting. Once its discipline has been accepted, however, Saturn turns and shows its true nature as the planet of perfect justice and highest achievement.
Adherence to duty is rewarded in full measure. In infancy, Saturn's touch is gentle upon the malleable clay of sentient substance. As time presses on, however, the grinding edge is sharpened on the inexorably revolving wheels of fate which shape the hardening form. For some individuals this compulsory polishing of character entails resistance, friction, and pain. Then Saturn's mill wheels are regarded as gears in a malevolent mechanism which relentlessly crushes and pulverizes whatever has become withered or encrusted with extraneous matter.
Only those who submit willingly to this refining process can shed their dry husks and become like grain which, having been threshed, ground, and kneaded, is transformed into bread, the staff of life. It is possible to trace a line of development linking the Sun, Mars, and Saturn, which parallels the line linking the Moon, Venus, and Jupiter. Mars is called the lesser malefic and Saturn the greater malefic. Mars projects the Sun's primal fire into the storm and heat of battle; Saturn shuts it out in the icy cold of death. Yet they work according to plan — for conflict and death release the Spirit imprisoned in Matter and permit its return to the solar reservoir of radiant energy from whence it originally came.
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The symbol for Uranus is said to be a representation of the letter "H" in honor of its discoverer William Herschel. At this point, the tidy system of circle, cross, and crescent seems to break down. However, many astrologers consider the upright pillars of the "H" to be two crescent Moons placed back to back in the following manner:. The deviant construction of this glyph serves as a reminder that Uranus is the most eccentric of the planets.
The Planets in Astrology - Planet Meanings and Planet Symbols in the Zodiac
It even travels in a freakish way. Instead of spinning like a top, Uranus lies on its "side" and rolls about its orbit. This causes its five Moons to appear to revolve backward, even though they move in normal fashion with regard to the planet itself. Consequently, Uranus stands for all that is anomalous, original, and unconventional. Between the two outward-facing crescents, the cross surmounts the circle, showing the Mars-like power Uranus exerts to shatter and transform outmoded structures and strictures of the past.
In its cool, impersonal way, Uranus unleashes a force more potent than any previously known to man. It stands for electricity and for atomic radiation first released through the agency of the element Uranium. Novices can remember the symbol for the planet because it appears to be dropping a bomb. These explosive energies may at first seem destructive, but they are required to smash through Saturnian walls and liberate the spirit of man.
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English name: The Scales. Sun sign dates: September 23 — October Libra Symbol. English name: The Scorpion. Sun sign dates: October 23 — November Scorpio Symbol. English name: The Archer. Sun sign dates: November 22 — December Sagittarius Symbol. English name: The Goat or Sea-Goat. Sun sign dates: December 22 — January Capricorn Symbol. English name: The Water-Bearer. Sun sign dates: January 20 — February Aquarius Symbol. English name: The Fish. Sun sign dates: February 19 — March Pisces Symbol. Toggle navigation. Zodiac Symbols Home Zodiac Symbols. Their Meanings and Origins.
Babylonian clay tablet ephemeris for the planet Venus, c.