A Guide to the Planets in Astrology and What They Mean in Your Birth Chart

"We reference the planets as symbols to better understand our lives," PEOPLE's resident astrologer Kyle Thomas says

<p>Getty</p> Planets and their meanings in astrology


Planets and their meanings in astrology

We're all affected by the planets in our solar system.

Astrologically speaking, planets possess great significance, boasting specific meaning as they travel through different zodiac signs as they move through the sky. Mankind has followed them since ancient times, in addition to our two luminaries: the sun and the moon.

PEOPLE's resident astrologer Kyle Thomas explains how early humans noticed repeating patterns in the stars. Upon studying them, he says they realized the planets' movements had "effects on Earth" and "connections to personality."

Astrology has evolved into an art form, especially due to the planets' predictive nature. Not only can they be used to describe people's "astrological compatibility," but they can also be used as "a guide to how life will proceed at any given time."

"The planets and luminaries are characters in the theater of our lives, and the zodiac signs they dance within are like costumes and props," says Thomas. "The houses they reside within are like the acts, scenes and stage they are seen."

Ultimately, he says "we reference the planets as symbols to better understand our lives."

Read on to learn about the planets and luminaries' significance and their respective effects on your daily lives.

Related: A Full Guide to Your Astrology Birth Chart and How to Read It, According to an Astrologer


<p>iStockphoto/Getty</p> Digital image of the sun.


Digital image of the sun.

The sun is a luminary, considered the greatest beacon in our solar system. Without it, Thomas says "we would not exist" and "our solar system would not have formed as it has today."

The Earth takes 365 days to orbit the sun. It moves through each zodiac sign for about a month within the year.

What is the meaning of the sun?

The sun is "vibrant and powerful," both physically and energetically. In astrology, Thomas says “it connects to leadership, vitality, confidence, power, fame, expression, individuality and consciousness.”

He adds, “The sun often represents men or masculine figures,” noting, “It can also tie to one’s ego.”

How does the sun affect your daily life?

In a birth chart, the sun is referred to as as the Sun sign. Thomas says it’s “one of the most important factors" of who we are, as it "ties to our life force, self and identity.”

No matter the time, Thomas says the sun “colors the general collective’s energy and focus” every day. “The sun rules Leo,” he adds.

Related: Are You Destined for a Spring Fling? Exactly What Your Horoscope Says About Sex and Relationships This Season


Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty The moon.
Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty The moon.

Our radiant moon is our second luminary, despite its glow reflecting off the sun. We have 12 to 13 full moons in one year.

The moon’s lunar cycle is around 28 days and spends approximately “two to three days in each zodiac sign,” says Thomas.

Depending on the cycle — beginning with its new phase, culminating with its fullest phase and repeating — Thomas says, “We experience powerful energies that she amplifies.”

What is the meaning of the moon?

The moon has several meanings in astrology. It is particularly known for being “deeply connected to the people.”

Thomas points out “emotions, habits, behaviors, instincts and the inner world” as a few factors affected. He says the moon “also aligns with family, our domestic or private lives and the past.”

In contrast to the sun’s masculine energy, Thomas says “the moon is often seen as a feminine figure.”

How does the moon affect your daily life?

In a birth chart, the Moon sign aligns with our inner worlds, says Thomas. Its energy reflects “the general mood that the human collective is experiencing on any given day.

“This aligns with your soul and can tie to your intimate, emotional life,” he continues. “The moon rules Cancer.”

Related: All About May's New Moon and What It Means for Your Zodiac Sign


<p>Science Photo Library RF/Getty</p> Mercury

Science Photo Library RF/Getty


Mercury is known as “a personal planet,” similar to Venus and Mars. This is because they are closer to the sun and the earth astronomically, while astrologically, Thomas says they “align with more immediate, daily situations.”

Aside from the moon, Mercury is the fastest-moving planet in the solar system. It retrogrades more than any other planet, which can affect the time it spends in each zodiac sign (typically, Thomas says it stays “three to four weeks” within a sign).

What is the meaning of Mercury?

Mercury has ties to “many of our daily affairs,” says Thomas, noting how it “aligns with communication, business, ideas and social connections.” It also has ties to “technology, academics and legalities,” in addition to “the media and the economy.”

In comparison to the sun’s masculine energy and the moon’s femininity, Mercury is viewed as a neutral force. Kyle says it is “not malefic or benefic, and neither masculine nor feminine.”

How does Mercury affect your daily life?

Mercury aligns with “your mind and how you communicate,” says Thomas. This depends on whether it is in retrograde or not, plus the zodiac sign it’s in.

During retrogrades, Thomas says “situations and conversations often return from the past.” He notes, “Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo.”

Related: Here's How Spring's Mercury Retrograde Will Affect You, Based on Your Zodiac Sign


<p>Science Photo Library RF/Getty</p> Venus.

Science Photo Library RF/Getty


Venus, known as the “lesser benefic,” is a personal planet. Thomas says it rules “relationships, love, connection, beauty, art, fertility and profit.”

Therefore, the planet “is deeply connected to what makes us happy in an immediate way.” He notes its energy is often “indulgent, hedonistic and sensual.”

Venus spends around “four to five weeks in a zodiac sign,” says Thomas, noting that it takes “roughly eighteen months to go around the sun due to a retrograde phase.”

Related: What Are Fire Signs? Everything to Know About Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius

What is the meaning of Venus?

“Venus is a feminine force,” says Thomas. It is “the planet of beauty” and “aligns with harmony, peace and pleasure.”

Thomas says “love” aligns with Venus. While he notes “romantic attraction” is especially felt from the planet’s energy, he says “all kinds” of affection can be felt.

How does Venus affect your daily life?

Venus’ energy can impact romance sector on the day-to-day, depending on which zodiac sign it’s in. Thomas says that planet also “ties to one’s love languages, style and aesthetics.”

When Venus is in retrograde, Thomas says it’s likely we “cross paths with people from previous relationships or past life connections.” He adds, “Venus rules Taurus and Libra.”


<p>iStockphoto/Getty</p> Mars.



Mars, a personal planet and the first “malefic” planet, is the opposite of Venus. While Thomas says it also “holds ties” to relationships, its “more often” connected to sex or conflict.

Mars is also seen as a “timekeeper” of the zodiac, he says, as he takes “roughly two years to go around the sun.” It spends “roughly six to seven weeks” in a zodiac sign.

What is the meaning of Mars?

Mars is “a powerful masculine force” deeply tied to action, says Thomas. It can symbolize “courage, strength, competition and aggression.”

Also symbolizing passion, Thomas says it can “reveal desire, hunger, drive and one’s sex life and libido.”

How does Mars affect your daily life?

Mars can reveal “vitality, strength and ego,” says Thomas. As an energy of fire, he says it can also put forth “focus, attention and level of aggression at any given time.” He adds, “Mars rules Aries and Scorpio.”




Jupiter is often called “the Great Benefic,” says Thomas. It is the planet of “expansion, luck, growth and blessings.”

Typically, Jupiter takes approximately “twelve to thirteen months” to go around the sun. It spends “about one year” in each zodiac sign or house in our natal chart.

What is the meaning of Jupiter?

Jupiter is “a highly spiritual planet,” says Thomas. It’s connected to “wisdom, hope, spirituality and joy.” It often delivers our “greatest heights of prosperity and influence,” he adds.

How does Jupiter affect your daily life?

According to Thomas, “Jupiter tends to bring more blessings, growth and opportunities” wherever the planet travels. In fact, he says it may feel as though we have “a winning touch” at that point in time.

Jupiter has the potential to “expand” anything it effects, better or worse. But fear not! Thomas says the planet’s energy “more often aids us in joyous ways.”

Depending on where Jupiter resides in your birth chart, Thomas says we “often experience luck and abundance.”

He adds, “Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces.”

Related: Which Sex and the City Character You Are, Based on Your Zodiac Sign


<p>Science Photo Library RF/Getty</p> Saturn.

Science Photo Library RF/Getty


Saturn, known as the "taskmaster" and seen as a malefic force, ties to “society and larger structures in our lives." Thomas says this goes for all outer planets: Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

“Jupiter and Saturn are the only outer planets that the ancients were aware of in previous times,” explains Thomas.

Saturn takes approximately “28 to 29 years” to go around the sun and it spends about “two to three years” in a zodiac sign.

What is the meaning of Saturn?

Saturn is considered “one of the strongest” planets of them all because it’s “significantly tied to time and structure.”

Meanwhile, Thomas says Saturn is “a planet of karma and teaches through hard life lessons.” Therefore, he notes its association with “perseverance and restriction," plus “hardship and obstacles.”

Through its connection to “maturity and those who are old and wise,” Thomas says Saturn “can also align with law, government, authority and tradition.”

How does Saturn affect your daily life?

Saturn is a planet that makes us earn our glory! Despite teaching through challenges, Thomas says it "often delivers our greatest achievements that we’ve had to work tirelessly to achieve."

On a collective level, he says the planet "aligns with global structures, governments and karma." Saturn rules Capricorn.

Related: All About Saturn Return and How to Navigate Yours, According to an Astrologer


<p>Getty</p> Uranus illustration.


Uranus illustration.

Uranus, the first “modern planet," is a higher vibration of Mercury. It is often titled the "Great Awakener.”

While the planet is known for bringing "liberation, freedom and bringing visions of the future,"
Thomas says it's also "the most unpredictable planet." This, meanwhile, can often "trigger surprises or chaos."

Uranus takes "about 84 years" to go around the sun and spends "about seven years" in a zodiac sign.

What is the meaning of Uranus?

Uranus focuses on "the unknown and freeing us from the past;" therefore, it often connects to "invention, humanitarianism, change and technology."

Interestingly, Thomas says the following areas are connected to Uranus: astrology, the internet, space and AI.

How does Uranus affect your daily life?

Uranus can have a personal affect on everyone, mainly revealing how we "seek freedom and pursue a progressive, future-oriented path." Thomas explains further, "It also aligns with how one embraces their utmost authenticity and eccentricity."

Thomas puts its simply: "Uranus is all about thinking outside of the box.” He adds, "Uranus rules Aquarius."


<p>Science Photo Library RF/Getty</p> Neptune

Science Photo Library RF/Getty


Neptune, another modern planet and nicknamed "the Great Dissolver," is the higher octave of Venus. Thomas says Neptune radiates the energies of "personal love and art" on a spiritual wavelength, which can bring "great beauty and love" — but also "fantasy, illusion and delusion," he notes.

Thomas says Neptune takes "165 years to go around the sun." It spends approximately "10 to 12 years" in a zodiac sign.

What is the meaning of Neptune?

Neptune is tied to "magic and spirituality" therefore, Thomas says it's generally linked to "dreams, religion and the mystical."

The planet is known for bringing "great visions" to those who are visionary artists or psychics. At the same time, however, Thomas says "it can also bring charlatans, deceivers or weakness."

How does Neptune affect your daily life?

Neptune's effect on your daily life depends on where it resides. On one hand, Thomas says there can be "great breakthroughs or ideas generated." On the other, he says "it can reveal what is being dissolved and scattered."

The themes of "religion and spirituality" will also be in effect depending on where Neptune stands. "Neptune rules Pisces," he notes.


<p>iStockphoto/Getty</p> Pluto



Pluto, the higher octave of Mars and last modern planet, is regarded as "the greatest malefic of all." While it can be known for bringing "darkness," Thomas notes it can also "aid us in growing and being liberated from what no longer serves us."

The planet also aligns with "major power," he says. Among the areas its energy can be felt include "corporations, banks and dictators" — in addition to "those who dig to the greatest depths," like "psychologists, spies, detectives and thieves."

Pluto takes "roughly 248 years to go around the sun," says Thomas. It spends "about 12 to 15 years" in a zodiac sign. 

What is the meaning of Pluto?

Pluto is tied to "transformation, death and destruction," says Thomas. "It is an energy that forces us to change regardless if we want to or not."

Therefore, Thomas says Pluto "aligns with generational evolution... also connecting to the subconscious, too."

How does Pluto affect your daily life?

Pluto collectively represents "great power in our world," says Thomas. Personally, it reveals "pain" that can "transform" each of us.

Its energy is present daily, specifically when we are "exerting power or experiencing power struggles." Thomas says, "Pluto rules Scorpio."

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