Wednesday, November 02, 2016


Last week I, rather inadvisedly, risked contributing an astrological comment on a political website. I say "risked" because I thought it a good bet that my comment would achieve, if anything, only a barrage of sneering about astrology in general. As it happened there wasn't a lot of that; then another, astrologically-literate, commenter joined the thread. I'll not get into the topic involved, that's not the purpose of this post. This other astro-commenter, as well as expanding on what I'd written - a brief sketchy outline, enough, I'd decided for readers not into astrology - he/she also corrected something I'd written relating to "personal planets".

Now, I have always thought of all the inner planets, as far out as Saturn, as being personal, while the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are generational. I hesitated to argue with someone who was, in all probablility, better informed than I, but remain convinced that my own view is not 100% wrong, even if vulnerable to different framing or definition. I've since checked several sources online. Most astrologers do agree that only Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are, properly, "personal planets"...though this website tends more towards my view.

I had not come across this "fact" about personal planets before now. My blog title fits! However, I do still think there's room for some mild argument. Who defines/frames these things anyway?

I've posted, several times in the past, that I believe the positions of Mercury and Venus ought to be attributed far more weight in personal chart interpretation, even to the point when they could be given a place in that Sun/Moon/ascendant short-hand interpretation group. I've never believed that Jupiter and Saturn are not "personal" though. For instance, Saturn returns are very darn personal, as anyone who has felt their influence would attest!

I guess it all rests on how one or other of us defines "personal", and on whether textbook rules are to be considered chiseled in stone.


mike said...

I've always found astrology a strange land and it's easy to become a stranger in that strange land. Rules and descriptions abound, but each astrologer has their own recipe for interpretation. I assume it's due to the almost infinite array of variables.

Astrologers abhor the Sun-sign-only descriptives, yet every astrology text will expend effort carefully defining each Sun-sign as a stand-alone tool toward defining the individual...LOL! I find that generalizations can be made using Sun-sign-only, but the more planets, houses, and aspects used in the calculation, the more refined the portrait of that individual. Add transits and even more definition is provided for that moment. A snap-shot of transits can likewise be used to describe the mood and actions of the collective. Works either way.

I define a personal planet by the speed of the planet around the ecliptic. Faster moving planets, with a synodic period of two years or less, certainly don't affect the mass population in a generational sense, yet can definitely affect the mass population short-term.

Jupiter and Saturn are typically considered social planets, due to their effect on culture and society, as their synodic cycle is 20 years, but not generational, as Jupiter travels through each sign in about a year, Saturn two-and-a-half years. I would go so far as to say that the 20-year synode does influence one generation, but neither Jupiter nor Saturn directly. The majority of individuals will be born between the synodes and influenced by two cycles, and further influenced throughout their lifetime by future synodes.

Most of the astrology books I read decades ago were written decades prior to my reading them. It seems that all of those books essentially stated to ignore the transpersonal planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, as they were generational planets having no bearing on the individual. I agree they are generational, but I believe they strongly influence the individual, too. These three planets are slow-moving, so their influence is difficult to discern and are best determined in retrospective. I always interpret the transpersonal planets in the individual, natal chart.

Call them whatever you desire, Twilight! I count all of the planets in the personal category, but recognize the astrological distinction-definition of personal, social, and transpersonal.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thank you for these points. I agree with all you've said. Really, it's pretty darn useless applying labels of any kind in astrology, because the reasons for astrology's workings (when it does work, which is quite often) are unknown to us.

I suppose, when writers or film makers are creating they often use "working titles", the same could be said of the labels and rules of astrology - they're working labels etc. Astrology is work in progress - but progress has been slow to stagnant, it has to be said.

When looking to interpret natal charts, everything becomes personal if aspects dictate it - even the outer planets, as you said.

I shall not use the term "personal planets" ever again, just "planets" from now on. :-)

mike (again) said...

Astrology News Service has this article excerpt, which is tangential to your post:

"In this example, the odds of identifying good communicators who also happen to be journalists noticeably improved when two or more astrological indicators were found in their birth maps.

Tarvainen says an astrology text book by Sakoian and Acker identifies 26 different astrological factors the authors say favor journalists. Such things like the Moon in Gemini, multiple planets in the sign of Gemini, Mercury in the third house, Mercury in favorable aspect to the Sun, the ruler of the ascendant in Gemini or in the third astrological house, and so forth.

... The Sun is related to self realization. In another test Tarvainen used the Gauquelin birth data to show that major aspects to the Sun from other planets substantially strengthen the Sun’s influence. And he found a number of creative ways to confirm other long-standing astrological claims related to timing and relationships."

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Thanks for the link to that article - it's a good one, and good to know that someone is still researching diligently, making use of Gauquelin data. With all of today's technology it's amazing more hasn't been done - and, importantly, published. So many possibilities exist now, for someone well-versed in the ways and potential of computer data and statistics.

LB said...

I get the difference between inner and outer, personal and generational (collective) planets and how transits of the outer planets -however we define them~ tend to have longer lasting effects on society at large. Though I haven't given it a lot of thought, I can see where Saturn could have a larger effect as well.

I also think Neptune, Uranus and Pluto are different in that they're more likely to affect the collective as well as certain individuals in less conscious and powerful ways.

It seems all of the planets (even the outer ones) can be personal in that they sometimes can and do affect people in a uniquely personal way. Sometimes by waking people up to collective issues, sometimes by unconsciously acting out the collective shadow to the detriment of others ~ as we're witnessing with transiting Pluto in Capricorn and Uranus in Aries, for instance! Some folks are more consciously tuned into the outer planets than others.

Then too, we can be just as personally conscious/unconscious of our personal planet placements and how they operate as we are of the outer ones. It all depends. Have I confused you yet?:0

I think I've pretty much just reiterated what you and mike have said.:)

P.S. To mike's 2nd comment, I've got natal Mercury in Scorpio (ruler of my Ascendant and MC) on the cusp of the 3rd, conjunct Neptune-Jupiter. Also Mars in Gemini 9H biquintile my Sun. I'd make a terrible journalist; I don't write well enough and even if I did, very few would want to read or listen to what it is I have to share.

*But* I'm relentless in pursuit of the truth and in trying to give a voice to the deeper significance and meaning behind whatever it is I've uncovered. My Mercury is in mutual reception with 12H Pluto.

Twilight said...

LB ~ Thanks for your contribution - yes, agreed on all of it! The more we think on this, the more the term "personal" with regard to a select group of planets makes little real sense. Maybe a different group name for them could be less misleading.

WiseLalia said...

I usually split them up as Personal (Sun through Mars), Social (Jupiter and Saturn), and Transcendental (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). I use the big four asteroids, Chiron, Lilith and Eris, but they do not easily fit this schematic. For me, Jupiter and Saturn are very much about an individual's relationship with society--people who are not family. For that reason it is social. I think about Saturn's opposition at about age 14-15 a time that many teens run up against hard limits. In the US they have to wait (Saturn) to have the freedom of a driver's license at age 16.

Twilight said...

wise Lalia ~ Hi there, and thank you for commenting with your views on this topic. :-)