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The Gods In Astrology


The Planets And The Ancient Gods

All of the planets in the solar system have been named after the gods of mythic antiquity. The ancients noticed, while observing the night skies, that while most of the stars did not seem to move, there were a few that did change their positions, relative to the rest of the stars and constellations. These moving stars were known as planets, which means "wanderers."

Astrology was first studied by the Babylonians and the Egyptians, and the Babyonians named these "wandering stars" after their various gods and goddesses. Astrology was later introduced into the Greek culture, and finally into the Roman culture. The Greeks renamed the planets after their gods and goddesses, as did the Romans. It is the Roman names we use today in western astrology.


The Planets And The Gods As Archetypes

The Inner Dimensions Of Myth And Astrology

The dictionary defines the word archetype as "the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies." The ancient myths are stories of the universal archetypes that exist in every culture throughout human history. The planets, as namesakes of the gods and goddesses in these myths, represent the inner dimensions or psychological imprints of these universal energies. For some reason, which still remains a mystery to me, the function of each planet in astrology closely resembles the personality of the god/goddess for which it was named. These tales may differ from culture to culture, but the archetypes remain the same. They are part of the collective unconscious of humanity that we all share.

As we familiarize ourselves with these stories, we bring them into our personal cosciousness where we can begin to see them at play all around us in our own lives and in the world at large. The stories are not frozen in antiquity. The planets in our solar system are always moving through the signs of the zodiac and making various aspects to each other. In so doing they continually re-create these mythic dramas, and can be watched by those of us who follow their daily motion. We can literally watch these archetypes, like actors on a stage, as they move through our own life stories.

"Though the Greeks of the Archaic Period (800-500 BC) imagined their gods as real entities living on a real mountaintop, the sophisticated intellectuals of the Hellenistic (c. 300 BC-1 AD) and Roman (1 AD-400 AD) periods regarded the gods and planets primarily as psychological entities. Plato called the gods archetypes, and he he meant exactly what Carl Jung meant when he too used that term." (Source 2)

Carl G. Jung pioneered the groundbreaking study of archetypal image and its relation to the human collective unconscious.

Your birth chart is your Archetype

Your birth chart, therefore, can be seen as a symbolic representation of your own personal mythology, as written in the positions of the planets and signs at the specific time and location of your birth. In other words, it is a personal mandala, unlike any other person's. It displays not only appearance, personality traits, likes and dislikes, but also the journey of the inner self; its purpose, power and its challenges throughout the journey of your life.

Your story continues as the planets in the sky move in and out of aspect (angle) to the positions they were in at the time of your birth. Through astrology you can watch your story unfold, and see the deeper significance of the underlying energies that are operating throughout your life.

The Gods and Goddesses

The Roman and Greek Gods and What They Represent

Of the pantheon of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses we use in astrology, all but two were Olympian gods. Saturn and Uranus had both been dethrowned by their sons and thrown out of Olympus. Pluto was an Olympian but he spent very little time on Olympus, seamingly preferring his own dark realm.

  • Apollo, God of light and the Sun, music and healing, Greek name Appolo
  • Diana, Goddess of the Moon and the hunt, Greek name Artemis
  • Mercury, Messenger of the gods, Greek name Hermes
  • Venus, Goddess of love and beauty, Greek name Aphrodite
  • Mars, God of war, Greek name Ares
  • Jupiter, King of the Gods, Greek name Zeus
  • Saturn, Lord of Time, Greek name Cronus
  • Uranus, Father Sky, Greek name Ouranos
  • Neptune, God of the oceans, Greek name Poseidon
  • Pluto, God of the underworld and the dead, Greek name Hades


God of Light and The Sun

Although Apollo became the deity most commonly associated with the sun, he is not the first deity to represent the sun. An earlier sun deity was Helios, a Titan, who drove his fiery chariot across the sky each day from east to west, and disappeared beneath the western horizon until the next morning when he appeared again in the east.

Apollo was definitely one of the central gods in the Greek pantheon. He was the "golden child" of Mt. Olympus gifted in art, music, medicine and healing. He was the delight of the Olympians playing his lyre and singing songs. He taught medicine,and how to comfort and cure the sick. His symbols are the golden lyre, the laurel wreath, and the dolphin. He is twin brother to Diana (Artemis), Goddess of the Moon. His parents are Jupiter and Leto.

In astrology the Sun represents the inner self, the conscious self and our purpose in this life. Studying the sign and house position of the sun and it's aspects shows us what we are trying to manifest during our life and what our inner truth is, as contrasted to our outer image (the face we show to the world), which is shown by the sign on the Ascendant and any planets in the first house of the chart.

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Goddess Of The Moon, The Huntress

The moon has many goddesses associated with her. One of the most well known is the image of the triple goddess, which represents the phases of the moon, and the stages of maturity in women. The new moon, maiden; the full moon, mother; and the waning moon, crone or wise woman.

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Diana, The Huntress, twin sister of Apollo, became the goddess of the moon and the hunt in the Roman pantheon. She could be seen in the forrest hunting, especially at the time of the full moon. She was a virgin goddess who never married. She was the protector of young children and young animals and became connected to the moon as a symbol of purity.

In astrology the Moon represents our emotional self, the subconscious, nurturing and our instinctive emotional responses. Together with the Sun the two are the archetypes of conscious purpose and emotional instinct. The Sun and Moon, commonly called the lights, are the most important "planets" in the birth chart. Consideration of the Sun and Moon, along with the Ascendant gives us a great deal of information about our inner life and our outer world.

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Messenger Of The Gods

Mercury is known as "the messenger of the gods." He is usually depicted with a winged helmet and winged sandles symbolizing speed of delivery. In astrology Mercury stands for the mind and communications of all kinds; how we think and how we communicate our thoughts and ideas to others. Writing, journalism, reporters, communicators are associated with Mercury. Mercury is clever, quick and graceful.

One of Mercury's symbols is the caduceus. The Caduceus was a magic wand; a gift from Apollo given to Mercury to guide him on his journeys. Mercury watched over tradesmen and travelers and was known to help travelers to sleep and dream pleasant dreams.

In astrology Mercury represents the conscious mind, our way of thinking and communicating, and how we learn and retain knowledge. Mercury's signs are Gemini and Virgo. In Gemini, an air sign, he manifests as intellectual, interested in facts and knowledge for their own sake. In Virgo, an earth sign, he is more practical and grounded, and concerned with the usefulness of knowledge and it's practical application.

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Every young woman wants to be Venus, and every young man wants to marry her. She is the symbol of love and beauty. A strong, well aspected Venus in the birth chart grants elegance, grace, sensuality (in Taurus), diplomacy (in Libra), an appreciation of the arts and a love of beautiful surroundings.

After emerging from the foam of the sea, Venus eventually found her way to Olympus, where Jupiter adopted her as his daughter and gave her in marriage to Vulcan, the lame god of the forge. But Venus, uninterested in her husband, set off on a series of affairs with other gods and some mortals. However, her most well-known affair was with Mars, god of war.

It is said of Venus that neither god nor mortal could resist her:

"Aphrodite put on a magic belt that made other men fall in love with her. Every goddess tried to beg, borrow or steal that belt, but none succeeded. Aphrodite's power to love was so great that even wild lions and tigers were tamed in her presence."

(Source 1)

In astrology Venus represents love, beauty, artistic ability and appreciation. Her position in the birth chart shows how we give and receive love, how we express affection, what kinds of things we value and what we find pleasure in. Venus rules Taurus and Libra. Venus, always interested in love, affection and romance, expresses it differently, depending on the sign and house she is in, and the aspects she has with other planets in the chart.

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Mars, god of war, was the son of Jupiter and Juno, who, even in Rome, had little respect or liking for him. However, Mars was much more popular in Rome than his Greek counterpart, Ares, was in Greece. He was the revered god of the warring and conquering Romans, and second only to Jupiter's rank in the Roman pantheon.

"He [Mars] was considered the patriarch of Rome, having given birth to Romulus and Remus, the founders of the city. To the Romans, who glorified war heroes and "martial" arts, Mars was a heroic god, his name invoked on battlefields." (Source 2)

To the Greeks Ares was viewed as an all-brawn-no-brain thug, with little refinement and lacking any ability to appreciate culture and higher thought.