In general Planetary Astrology deals in planetary interactions rather than the placement of the Sun at birth - Sun Sign Astrology. For ease of communication we will call all the gravitational entities of our solar system 'planets', regardless of whether they are planets, moons, stars, or the ecliptic. They include the Moon, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the Moon's Nodes. Indeed the purpose of this website is to increase planetary awareness. This includes an understanding of the unique personality of each planet, the influence of the general planetary interactions, and an awareness of the physical planets in the sky. The last is of special importance because it moves astrology from a purely mental exercise to something tangible. Nothing like seeing the Moon and Venus together in the sky to understand and feel their impact upon human affairs.
The planets closer to the Earth channel the energies of the planets that are further away. Hence the Moon channels the Sun's energy, who might be channeling Jupiter's energy, who in turn could be channeling Pluto's energy. Further each time this energy is relayed closer to the Earth it takes upon some of the characteristics of the channeling planet. For instance if Venus channels Jupiter's expansive energy, it takes on an aesthetic and material component, while if Mercury is channeling this same energy to the Earth, it takes on a mental shading. Proceeding on this tack when the energy reaches the Earth each individual responds to these energies in a unique fashion - primarily dependent upon their individual situation, which, of course includes the makeup of their horoscope - their planetary configuration at birth. However it also includes age, sex, race, location, financial status, birth order, and a million other factors - the point being that each individual responds in a unique way to the planetary energies, which are relayed, to the Earth from the planets of our Solar System. (For a more in depth analysis of the relative power of the planets see Planetary Gravity – and for the difference between the inner and outer planets see (N/A).
The mode of channeling is through planetary angles or aspects. In general when planets are conjunct - in the same area of the sky relative to the Earth - the influence is the strongest. The conjunction is indicated by the color purple in our charts - royalty or power. Second in power is the opposition - when the two planets are opposite each other. An example of this is the Full Moon - when the Sun and Moon are opposite each other. The opposition is indicated by the color orange in our charts - tension.
Two positive but weaker aspects are when the two planets are a third or a sixth of the way around the circle of the Zodiac from each other. When they are a third of the way around they are said to be in 'trine'. When two planets are in trine the signs they are in belong to the same element. For instance If a planet who is in a water sign, such as Pisces, is trine with another planet, then that planet must also be in a water sign, either Scorpio or Cancer. This relation is considered to be good. The trine is indicated by the color blue in our charts - the sky or peaceful. When two planets are a sixth of the way around the Zodiac from each other they are said to be in 'sextile'. When two planets are in sextile they reside in signs that have complementary elements. The earth and water signs are complementary - such as watery Pisces and earth Taurus. Water fertilizes the Earth. The fire and air signs are also complementary - such as fiery Leo and airy Gemini. Passion and intellect combine to motivate. The sextile is indicated by the color green in our charts - vegetation or constructive.
The final aspect, weaker than conjunctions or oppositions, is when two planets are a fourth of the way around the circle from each other. This is called a 'square'. This aspect indicates that the two planets are in the same part of different seasons. They are both in either mutable signs - the last sign of the season, fixed signs - the middle sign of the season - or cardinal signs - the first sign of the season. Thus Fixed Taurus fights with Fixed Leo. The square is indicated by the color red in our charts - blood or conflict. (For a more in depth analysis of the relative power of the aspects see the appropriate theory pages (which don't exist yet)).
A final influence that we will track is when a planet stops to go backwards - Retrograde - or stops to go forward - Direct. Changing directions is significant for two reasons. First it concentrates the planetary energy as the planet remains in the same sector of the Zodiac for an extended period of time. Second it indicates that a planet is going back or forward through old territory - a sector of the Zodiac it has just been through. This points to reworking or finishing off old projects. This is not necessarily good or bad. It depends on the relations the planet is going through. Stopping is indicated by the color yellow in our charts. (For a more in depth analysis of the power of stopping planets see the appropriate theory pages (which don't exist yet)).
We will also note when a planet changes Sign. This is indicated by the color brown. Planetary astrology is aware of this but doesn't consider it of much importance. Because of the relative precision of planetary Astrology as compared to Sun Sign astrology changing signs only has significance if there is some planetary resonance that results because of it. For instance if someone is born on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini then it is significant when Mars enters Pisces because it will be in direct conflict with their Solar Power. However if someone is born at the end of Gemini this change of sign has no significance in terms of the harmonies of Planetary Astrology. (For a more in depth analysis of the differences between Planetary Astrology and Sun Sign Astrology check out the theory page - Sun Sign vs. Planetary Astrology.)
In summary the planets closer to the earth channel the energies of planets, which are further away when they are in a significant aspect to each other. These aspects are shown in the astrographs included in this website. A brief suggestion is given as to their meanings and the solution to the dilemma they present. However this site is meant primarily to assist each of us in the interpretation of these astrological influences for ourselves by becoming familiar with the planetary personalities and relationships. Although this site attempts to give some scientific background to the study of astrology remember first and foremost that this is not science. As soon as these relations are translated into love, intellect, drive, growth and conflict the entire shebang goes from the analytical Left Brain to the intuitive Right Brain. So trust your intuitive sense of meaning over what is written here. This is just the guide book- not the reality. We must all take the trip for ourselves.