20 July 2011 0 Comments

The modern planets & traditional astrology

In traditional and horary astrology only the 7 traditional planets are used as sign rulers.

The traditional planets

The traditional planets are the 2 lights: the Sun and the Moon, and Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. Except for the lights which rule one sign each, each planet rules 2 signs. This traditional system is based on the ancient Chaldean order of the planets, the order of the celestial spheres and the seasons of the year in the northern hemisphere.

The logic behind the ancient rulership scheme

Zodiac sign rulershipIn this scheme, illustrated in the adjacent diagram, the 2 lights rule the summer signs of Leo and Cancer, the time of greatest light. Saturn, which is the most distant visible planet, rules the 2 signs of winter’s darkness, Capricorn and Aquarius.

The 2 lights are associated with life giving energy and Saturn is associated with scarcity and deprivation.

Following the Chaldean order and also its relative distance to the Sun, Mercury rules the next 2 signs adjacent those ruled by the lights: Virgo and Gemini. The same principle apples to Venus which rules the next 2 signs: Libra and Taurus.

This same logic is then extended to Mars and Jupiter, with Mars ruling Scorpio and Aries, and Jupiter ruling Sagittarius and Pisces.

Note at no time is the principle of similarities employed in this very ancient scheme of planetary rulership.

The democratic rights of the modern planets

The bigger question regarding the modern planets (by which I mean Uranus Neptune and Pluto) is whether they should have rulership over any signs. Could it be that the modern expectation for every planet to have rulership over at least one sign be an inappropriate imposition?

Many astrologers now believe that the ancient scheme should remain intact.

Usurping the ancient rulerships

I have not seen any persuasive argument put forward for displacing Mars as the ruler of Scorpio, Saturn as the ruler of Aquarius or Jupiter as the ruler of Pisces. Notice that in the traditional scheme each planet, except for the lights, rules one sign belonging to the positive polarity and one of the negative polarity. Together the lights rule both polarities. This well balanced scheme is thrown into chaos when the modern planets are introduced as sign rulers.

The concept of similarity and ABC astrology

The modern rulerships of Uranus Neptune and Pluto are based on the concept of similarity with the qualities of the signs they are said to rule.

Unfortunately this concept of similarity has been extended to the relationship between signs, houses and planets, with houses becoming associated with signs and planets, and a subsequent drift in meaning.

This association of sign, house and planet is sometimes referred to as “ABC astrology’.

Pluto and sex

For example in this modern system Pluto and its association with death is linked with Scorpio and the 8th house. Pluto’s association with death has been further linked to the ‘mini death’ of sexual orgasm, with the 8th house suddenly becoming the house which is associated with sex.

However it is the 5th house that has for more than thousand years been associated with pleasure, fun, sex and its consequences: pregnancy and children. I have seen no any persuasive argument to invalidate these ancient 5th house associations.

Uranus and the 11th house

The modern association of independent and rebellious Uranus with the 11th house of close togetherness of friends strikes a discordant note. Uranus has a strong association with divorce and breakup. I have seen no coherent argument to support the notion that the planet of shock and terror belongs in the house of hopes, blessings and friendships. It is through the 11th house that planets rise towards their culmination which is why this house is associated with hope. Independence, surprise, shock and terror have no natural association with the 11th house in traditional astrology..

First principles

When ‘the first principles’ of astrology are kept intact astrology is a potent tool for analysis and precision. This is not to suggest that we should ignore the modern planets, but simply that they should not be used as sign rulers. Before we overturn the principles which have held astrology together for over a 1000 years, let us first seek to understand them.

When to use the modern planets

When the modern planets are placed on an angle or conjoin a planet they cannot be ignored. In most cases the modern planets are viewed as malefics by those traditional astrologers who incorporate them into their modern astrological practice.


The concept of orbs is related to the visibility of light and the ability to view the planets with the naked eye. Visible light is regarded as the closest physical reflection we have to spiritual essence. I suggest that orbs for the modern planets be restricted to one or two degrees at the most. A distinction should also be made between applying and separating aspects.

Horary astrology

An example of the effectiveness and of the ancient system of sign rulerships is shown in the horary question: Will James buy my business?

Horary astrology provides an excellent foundation for the study of astrology. Many experienced astrologers have expressed surprise at the depth and meaning revealed by horary and traditional astrology. The principles of horary can be extended to natal astrology. I can guarantee that you will never look at a chart the same way again after studying horary astrology.

Horary Astrology Diploma Course by email correspondence 

Horary Astrology Reading Request a reading. Most subjects covered.

The Horary Astrology Practitioners Diploma correspondence course contains the foundation principles for natal and modern astrology.

The Palmistry Practitioners Diploma correspondence Course provides basic logical principles underlying hand reading as well as the "how-to" practical application about how to read the hands.


Leave a Reply

This function has been disabled for Ambrosia Academy of Astrology & Palmistry.