Astrology and mythology go together like traffic and weather. In fact, astrology’s origins are deeply tied with various mythologies around the world as a way to explain the skies and understand planetary behaviors. Ancient cultures applied mythological meanings to astrological features and celestial movements and events as a way to organize and define something that was – in early times – essentially unexplainable and ineffable. In other words, astrology, mythology and the planets can be combined to personalize the heavens and lend meaning to our own lives.
Table of Contents
- Assigning Meaning to the Planets With Astrology and Mythology
- Picture It: Sky-Gazing Before There Was an App for That
- Mythology: The Elegant Solution to Explain Planetary Wonders
- Mythological Gods, Goddesses and the Planets
- The Sun: Luminary of Exposure, Expression, and Illuminator of Life
- The Moon: Luminary of Secrets, the Unconscious, and Emotion
- Mercury: The Mental Master and Communications Expert
- Venus: Planet of Pleasure, Beauty, Harmony, and Art Appreciation
- Earth: The Blessed Planet of Birth, Groundedness, and Unlimited Potential
- Mars: Marauder, a Bit of Madness, and a Marvel at Motivation
- Jupiter: The Planet of Joviality and Generosity
- Saturn: Strict Overseer of Structure, Control, and a Welcome Source of Order
- Uranus: A Juggernaut of Change, Progressive Perspectives, and Revolution
- Neptune: The Planet of Deep Thought, Dreams, and (sometimes) Deception
- Pluto: A Big Ball of Mystery, Champion of Rebirth, and Illusion
- Conclusion About Astrology, Mythology, and the Planets
Assigning Meaning to the Planets With Astrology and Mythology
Assigning mythological personality attributes to the planets, allows us to gain better comprehension about our birth signs. What’s more, astrological assessments of agriculture, weather patterns, and foretelling became far more rich and more profound when mythology was applied to planets, constellations, and astronomic movements.
In essence, myths and legends are wrapped around astronomical features as a way to make the cosmos more digestible, understandable, and ordered for the early human mind. Moreover, mythology is intertwined in all different types of astrology – not just Western. All this considered, I thought it would be keen to talk a bit about astrology, mythology, and the planets. More precisely, this article addresses how myths became woven into the planets and why myths are such elegant partners for these mysterious orbs in our solar system.
Picture It: Sky-Gazing Before There Was an App for That
Imagine, if you will, that you are an early human gazing up into the night sky. And when I say “early human,” I mean you are in a time of history that predates Google, mobile phones, and computers *gasp* – This is a time when advanced sciences haven’t explained everything to the point of scrubbing all the magic and mystery out of a starlit scene splayed across the heavens.
Without all that tech and modern science influencing your vision – what do you see when you cast your eyes upon the endless cosmos? Perhaps you see the quintessence of mystery. Or maybe you are fully aware that you are in the presence of a sacred unknowable essence. This is what ancient cultures might have surmised in early days. In response, our ancient forebears began weaving astrology and mythology together to explain the brobdingnagian (giant) nature of the celestial skies.
Mythology: The Elegant Solution to Explain Planetary Wonders
Keeping the aforementioned scenario in mind, it’s clear that without modern-day science, early cultures needed a way to classify and even humanize the enormity of the night sky. They did this by assigning clever, colorful myths to planets, constellations and other features in their known cosmos. As a result, we have certain gods or goddesses that are affiliated with planets to this very day.
Take mighty Helios – the god of vision, order, and solemn oaths. He was the first personification of the sun in early Greek wisdom. Later, the chief Greek god Apollo became synonymous with this crucial star in the center of our solar system. When you consider the epic importance of figures such as Apollo, Zeus, Mars, Venus, etc – you can more readily understand how vital these gods and goddesses are in terms of identifying with cosmic features.
Moreover, deities in myth helped ancient folks personalize certain aspects of the heavens. For example, Mars (the god and the planet) is a brilliant partnership because it’s such a fiery planet and matches Mars’ (the god) wild, warring, and often volatile personality.
Mythological Gods, Goddesses and the Planets
As mentioned, deities in myth have been assigned to planets ever since humankind has been gazing into the night skies. It’s a cunning strategy, really, because it establishes a personality for planets that might otherwise appear remote, lifeless, or inert. In terms of astrology, mythology and the planets – these celestial bodies are heavy hitters when determining our own human proclivities, personalities, and even our life patterns. Therefore, it makes sense to understand and relate to planets on a human level via myth. Here are a few comparisons between classic deities and the planets that will explain the point of affixing personality to the grandiose yet distant planets in our solar system.
The Sun: Luminary of Exposure, Expression, and Illuminator of Life
I mentioned earlier that Helios was first attributed to the sun by the early Greeks. This early god of integrity, honesty, and vision is depicted in myth as striding upon a glistening, gigantic chariot. His chariot was meant to pull the sun back and forth across the sky – thus, Helios was responsible for the manifestation of dawn, day, dusk, and night.
Later in Greek myth-crafting, Apollo became synonymous with the sun. But I want to stick with the myth of Helios and his association with the sun in astrology. The myth of Helios is studded with themes of vision – both literal vision and philosophical vision. Helios was known to have the ability to see everything at all times. Ergo, his keen association with the sun, because this luminary shines light on all things when in full bloom in the sky.
This is pretty neat because, in astrological terms, the sun is symbolic of exposure and shedding light on our personality. To elaborate – look at your sun sign (the sign you use to read your daily horoscope in the newspaper). The aspects of your sun sign are those that you share with the world. Your sun sign is revealed – it’s the essence of you that is on stage and exposed for all to see. This is very much like Helios exposing the day and light to the world below in his gleaming chariot pulled by showy, flashy horses.
The Moon: Luminary of Secrets, the Unconscious, and Emotion
Where Helios (or Apollo whichever god you subscribe to the sun) was all about flash and glam, the mythological deities associated with the moon are far more demure and subtle. Well, I say demure. In truth – deities associated with the moon wield extraordinary power. Initially, we see (male) gods associated with the moon. However, different cultures started to recognize goddesses as fitting personifications of the moon. Early cultures did this in different ways- some named her Phoebe, Selene, Cynthia, Hecate, or Artemis (Diana). Artemis was/is the goddess of purity, hunting, and virtue – among other attributes.
Artemis is a finicky deity. She was known to incite jealousy, rage, and she was reputed for having a certain level of ambivalence. But she also saved people and told everyone the truth. In terms of astrology mythology, Artemis is a fitting partner for the moon. It’s her unpredictability, her fluidity, and cleverness that are very much like the elusive, sleek feature of the mysterious moon that can be felt in the soul of Artemis.
Artemis, and the moon, are also both symbolic of transitions and phases in life. The waxing Moon represents the young maiden; at full moon, the mother, and when it wanes, the wise old woman or crone. In Neolithic times, the moon goddess was represented by a 4-way, equidistant cross symbolizing wholeness and completeness. In this way, Artemis and the moon are an astrological reminder that all things change, and we may all benefit from “rolling with the times” rather than fighting the inevitability of transition.
Mercury: The Mental Master and Communications Expert
As a god, Mercury was initially known as a trickster and was cited for bringing about quite a bit of mischief and rabble-rousing in his Roman reign and as the early Greek god known as Hermes. Perhaps this is because Mercury, the planet, is so challenging to spot in the night sky – always eluding skygazers by its distance, tiny size, and herky-jerky orbit.
Mercury is a fast-moving planet, and by association, the Roman god Mercury after whom the planet is named, is a very fast-moving deity. If you’ve ever heard or used the term “mercurial,” – it refers to unpredictable, impetuous or sudden changes of mind and mood. That’s a very Mercury (the planet) and Mercury/Hermes (the god) attribute. Astrologically speaking, this can be compared to sudden thought and quick intellect.
When you see Mercury in your birth chart, it often points to themes such as impetuous decisions, quick thinking, and alacrity in intelligence.
As the god of communication, Mercury never sits still. When it comes to movement and communication, Mercury is always speedy, and his affinity for such things led him to be considered a messenger between the gods.
Mercury is also represented by the caduceus, a staff with two serpents entwined around it. The caduceus symbolizes the medical profession and healing, which is also emphasized by the fact that Mercury was considered to be the god of physicians and healing. Quite notably, holistic medicine recognizes the brain and body should be treated as a whole unit. As such, astrology, mythology and the planets deem Mercury, an all-encompassing representative of the power of the mind over the body. In this sense, Mercury is a reminder that authentic healing takes place when the mind and body are in total alignment.
Venus: Planet of Pleasure, Beauty, Harmony, and Art Appreciation
Bodaciously feminine and lusciously luxurious, the Roman goddess and the planet Venus is a perfect partnership. When you discover Venus in your natal chart, the presence of the goddess is imbued in this planetary position and exudes themes of love, passion, seduction, pleasure, and enrichment in the finer things in life. Known as Aphrodite in Greek mythology, Venus is the epitome of desire, fertility and is often the poster goddess for attracting the objects of our affection. In fact, when Venus displays astrological prime in a birth chart, it’s an ideal opportunity to explore and discover new love interests (both in relationships and in activities that nourish us).
Venus is a powerful planet that represents your relationships with others, your attitudes toward possessions, and also plays a role in determining your sex appeal. Venus also serves as an indication of the emotional need you have to give love to others.
A strong Venus in your chart also bestows an eye for design and beauty, and a knowledge of how to make an impressive physical impression. But if your Venus is afflicted, you may have a strong streak of conceit or lack the willpower to get things done.
Considering the first drive within each of us is the need to love and be loved – Venus plays a huge role in our astrology, mythology and planets. That is to say, Venus, (the goddess of love and the planet) is a guide to the deepest layers of unconscious motivations, the collective mind, and the world soul in terms of loving bonds and connections.
Earth: The Blessed Planet of Birth, Groundedness, and Unlimited Potential
Gaia is the goddess associated with earth, and she is the mother of all things as we know them. She is a primordial deity who is one of the grandparents of Zeus. Gaia’s name comes from the Greek word for ground or earth, as she originally represented the whole Earth before its personality was later given to other gods such as Athena. Gaia would go on to inspire Roman mythology, where she became Virtus. She has survived through many religions and you can still find her mentioned in spiritual movements today.
Modern astrologers believe that Taurus sun signs are ruled by earth. It’s commonly held that the earth element is always opposite the sun element, which makes them slightly different from other signs. Not many people adhere to this theory, but it’s still an interesting thought.
Gaia was/is the goddess of life, and she is often celebrated for her powerful creative presence. We can see this through the ages when she was evoked during burial rites, which show that we all come from her (the earth/Gaia), and shall ever and inevitably return to her womb upon death.
In terms of astrology, mythology and the planets, Gaia is a fulcrum. She (the goddess and our planet) is the gathering place where understanding is unified, and connections are made between man, beast, energy, plants, emotion, and thought/spirit. When earth features prominently in a natal chart, it is a sure sign of groundedness, harmony, impressive communication, and deep wisdom of how our world functions – as well as a key understanding of our place within the cosmos.
Mars: Marauder, a Bit of Madness, and a Marvel at Motivation
If you’re not familiar with the Roman god Mars, then you’ve been missing out on some seriously intense energy. The planet is aptly assigned and named after this assertive god for its fiery presence in our solar system. Known as Ares in Greek mythology, Mars (the planet) is a fast-moving, angry-red planet that has inspired both astronomers and astrologers alike for centuries.
Mars is a planet that is regarded as independent and full of drive. When activated in your natal chart, it’s nearly unstoppable, which is why the name Mars in Latin means “the constant bright and burning one” (loosely translated).
Mars the planet (also known as the red planet), is found in its most basic form without energy from another planet. To explain, that means Mars needs the energy of one or more of the other planets in order to fuel its power in both the heavens and in our astrological lives.
Mars governs our energy, assertiveness, and the ability to take action on ideas. Mars excites us as well as stirs our imagination or passion for life. A strong placement for Mars indicates an aggressive personality with a lot of ambition and desire. An afflicted Mars can bring strife, accidents, and injury to one’s life, but a well-placed Mars promises stimulation, courage, and strength. Mars is a planet of energy, power, and conquest. People who have Mars prominently in their astrology chart represent the need to bring the power and purpose they need to overcome all inner turmoil and challenges.
The true power of Mars surfaces when one rises up against all fears, self-doubts, and phobias; anything that would cause destructive and violent behavior. When Mars comes to light in one’s consciousness, it brings with it every negative force that was hidden deep within oneself; because of this, they may be prone to quarrels, strife, and even war.
Jupiter: The Planet of Joviality and Generosity
Expansive and impressive in its looming gaseous largesse, Jupiter is a sight to behold in the night sky. Its namesake god, the Roman sky-god Jupiter (known as Zeus in Greek mythology), is equally mighty and sprawling in his power and exuberance. Astrologically, the Jupiter (planet and god) connection speaks volumes about how we approach challenges, as well as how we enjoy our lives.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and has a radius seven times that of Earth. The god Jupiter often associated with honor and duty, and his symbol is (appropriately enough) lightning.
When strongly shown in a chart, Jupiter-centric folks tend to have friends in the same position as they are. In fact, Jupiter friendships are not based on a need for companionship but simply on a connection to others during a lifetime. Nevertheless, a friend of a Jupiter-ruled sign is a friend who has an unwavering champion for their cause and one who will offer support when needed.
Jupiter also provides its energy to guide us toward success. Within a horoscope or birth chart, Jupiter is traditionally seen as a father figure who cares for those dealing with tough times. As the protector throughout our lives, Jupiter shows us how we need to achieve goals while caring for others.
Jupiter’s expansive nature helps to organize and focus our psychological and spiritual energies, directing them toward a specific agenda. Though Jupiter doesn’t provide the direction itself, it paves the way by making that goal real in a practical sense. This benevolent planet urges us to walk in the world with generosity and a kind spirit. Furthermore, Jupiter can bestow an abundance of happiness and Jupiter-centric personality types can be quite popular.
As a king of the gods, Jupiter comes off in myth as an organizer of the classic cosmic structure. Therefore, people with strong or elevated Jupiter are typically great administrators. Their personal microcosm can come off as administrators for their own lives. The same can apply to lawyers and judges (natural debaters), who are deeply connected to Jupiter’s energy. This can bring people either euphoric elevation or an amazing opportunity that might come their way, or it could also result in banishment.
Saturn: Strict Overseer of Structure, Control, and a Welcome Source of Order
When we picture the magical rings of Saturn, ideas of enchantment and mystery might be conjured in our minds. The truth is, there is a lot of order and structure that underpins the delicate hula hoops around Saturn’s girth. In astrology, mythology, and the planets, Saturn is a beast when it comes to control and order.
Saturn is the one planet in our solar system that has a slightly hexagonal shape, and is the sixth from the sun. Saturn the planet earns its association with the Roman god Saturn, who oversees farming, provision and agriculture (also known as Cronus, who was equivalent to Cronus in Greek mythology (the Titan father of Zeus).
Before the telescope came along, Saturn was the most distant object in the known world that could be seen by the naked eye. It was revered by ancient cultures and featured prominently in various religions.
Due to its potential for transformation, the planet Saturn (and the god) was considered the most important one to ancient alchemists. They believed Saturn’s essence was the beginning and end of all their work. Many alchemists saw it as the source of change and healing.
One of the more surprising early depictions of Saturn was the Rx symbol. Medieval alchemists would prescribe paper pills with this logo to their patients, who would then eat them, believing that what they were eating was magical.
When Saturn (the planet) is featured prominently in your astrological chart, you can anticipate themes of control, order, and desire for dominance. This isn’t a bad thing because Saturn-ruled signs are typically the architects of some of the grandest plans known to humankind today.
Uranus: A Juggernaut of Change, Progressive Perspectives, and Revolution
Uranus is one among the toughest of planetary astro archetypes because of its psychical nature. It rules over Aquarius and is associated with the “waters of life.” The creative waters are, to be specific, one type of electricity or cosmic energy that is inherent to Uranus’ presence in your birth chart. In fact, the core essential meaning of prolific creativity is crucial to anyone who has Uranus prominently featured in a natal chart.
Uranus’s creativity is expressed in a rebellious psyche that then manifests itself as a “rage against the machine” type of attitude. In other words, Uranus energy loves to snub its nose at tradition – which is why astrologers commonly refer to Uranus as the Divine Rebel.
The planet Uranus is associated with an individual’s social noncompliance. It can also be expressed on an internal level. When expressed as “wild man” or “wild woman,” it manifests as the tendency to live according to one’s own rules. It is a planet of change and originality, representing surprises in the form of innovation. That’s because Uranus is the element of surprise and change.
It’s important to know which sign Uranus is in (within your birth chart) because this is where originality and self-expression can best be applied. Uranus represents the deep energy within the personality that manifests itself over a lifetime.
Neptune: The Planet of Deep Thought, Dreams, and (sometimes) Deception
Neptune is the god of the sea and ruler of Pisces. It is known in astrology as the planet of inspiration, dreams, and psychic receptivity. Neptune rules spirituality and all things subtle. Those with a strong placement of Neptune in their natal charts are generally youthful and naive.
Neptune is a planet associated with intuition and spiritual enlightenment. It is also a generous and compassionate planet. The more challenging aspects of Neptune include deception, trickery, deceit, guilt, and addiction.
When found prominent in a birth chart, Neptune’s position can expose some secretive but also inspiring personality traits. A heavy Neptune chart will hint to an individual who is both demure or taciturn but also bounding with dreams, ideals, and vibrancy that is rare in the human world.
Depending upon Neptune’s position in a chart, there may be a ton of psychic ability. Neptune’s presence indicates a strong mastery of dreams, intuition, and psychic prowess. The Neptune native may be able to transcend the demands of the ego that reality often imposes.
Neptune-centric folks often have a sense of fantasy and dreaminess. They may be subject to disillusionment but also possess a hope that is sometimes unrealistic and a poetic, intuitive outlook on life. Their compassionate nature is top-notch.
Pluto: A Big Ball of Mystery, Champion of Rebirth, and Illusion
Whether you subscribe to Pluto being a planet or not – there is no denying how this tiny orb has a mighty influence upon astrology, mythology, and the planets in our solar system. In terms of Pluto, the god, we retain themes of rebirth, renewal, and transformation. Pluto (the Roman god and known as Hades in Greek mythology) is the iconic figure of the realms of the unknowable and unseeable. To explain, Pluto (the god) is the ruler of the underworld.
The energies of Pluto are transforming, which represents the subconscious and contains all that is below the surface. While some people associate Pluto with endings, others find it to be a new beginning. Positive traits include spiritual growth and empowerment. Negative emotions include obsessive desires for control and destructiveness.
The position of Pluto by sign in your birth chart often aligns with same-generational personalities because of its comparatively slow movement in the heavens. Whatever area of life that Pluto governs could be associated with issues of change and power struggles. Pluto can also show where people search for deeper meaning, an area that might also maintain an association with upheaval and control.
Pluto’s relationship with other planets can be summed up as obsessive, power-driven, meaning-seeking, and an overwhelming willingness to expand and explore. Where you find Pluto in the chart is where it will either create change from within or, if you refuse to accept it, transform your life.
Conclusion About Astrology, Mythology, and the Planets
As you can see, astrology and mythology are woven into the planets. Ever since humankind began to gaze up at the celestial heavens, we were always seeking meaning. In many ways, we deemed meaning in terms of assigning astrological features as well as god and goddess personalities to the planets. By understanding deific associations with astrology mythology and the planets, we can better understand the galaxy we live in as well as better understand ourselves. As always, thank you for reading!
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