You’re probably familiar with the 12 zodiac signs, as these are archetypes through which most people are typically introduced to astrology. While knowing the qualities associated with each sign is certainly important, it's actually the planets that comprise astrology’s heart and soul. Analyzing the planets' movement through the zodiac (as well as interpreting the aspects they form with one another on their journeys) is basically the definition of astrology, so it’s worth getting to the know the planets on a deeper level. That’s why knowing the ruling planet for your zodiac sign is so integral to understanding your astrological energy.
Each of the planets in astrology symbolize different parts of ourselves, and they have their own unique personalities and motives. While each planet will eventually move through every zodiac sign, there are certain zodiac signs where they feel most at ease and able to express their energy. That’s because every zodiac sign has a ruling planet — and the planets’ qualities have a big influence the energy of the signs that they rule.
In traditional astrology, every planet ruled over two zodiac signs (with the exception of the sun and moon, which only ruled over one each). In modern astrology, planetary rulership has been spread out in order to incorporate the recently discovered outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto — which means that Venus and Mercury are the only two planets that still have rulership over two zodiac signs.
Knowing which planet rules your zodiac sign can help you understand your astrological energy more deeply and find out more about your cosmic characteristics. Read on to find out what they’re all about.
Red-hot planet Mars rules over Aries, the first (and feistiest) sign of the zodiac. Mars symbolizes passion, aggression, ambition, and our animal instincts, so when it’s in the realm of cardinal fire sign Aries, its power becomes basically unstoppable. Aries is known for its boundless energy and its zealous leadership skills, so Mars is able to step into its true warrior spirit and charge forward on all of its ambitious goals within this sign.
Romantic Venus is the planet of love, and it also rules over things like luxury, pleasure, and value. This is why it feels right at home within the realm of decadent and sensual Taurus, one of its signs of rulership. Taurus is an earth sign, meaning its focus is on material things and sensory experiences. We see Venus’ influence in Taurus when it comes to their love for pleasure, opulence, and high-quality goods.
Gemini is chatty, social, and intellectual — just like its ruling planet Mercury, the planet of communication and thinking. In air sign Gemini, Mercury gets to be its most articulate and thoughtful self. Gemini's curious and inquisitive nature perfectly aligns with Mercury's knack for sharing information and learning new things. We can see Mercury’s influence in Gemini when it comes to their quick wit and strong communication skills.
The moon is the planet that governs our emotions, our feelings, and the things that make us feel comforted. In astrology, it rules over sensitive water sign Cancer, which is symbolized by the tide-dwelling crab. As the most maternal, empathic, and nurturing sign of the zodiac, Cancer allows the moon's intuitive nature to fully shine. We can see Cancer’s lunar influence through the sign’s gentleness, vulnerability, and feelings-oriented approach to life.
Leos are zodiac royalty, so it makes sense that they're the one sign ruled by the star at the center of our solar system: the sun. Just like its ruling planet, Leo loves to be the center of attention. This fire sign brings a sun-like warmth, positivity, and radiance to everything it touches. The sun rules creative energy, spirit, and vitality — all of which confident and self-expressive Leos have plenty of.
Mercury is one of the planets that rules over two zodiac signs — so while Mercury's communication-focused side comes through in Gemini, its analytical side gets to shine in Virgo. Virgo is a practical earth sign, and its highly-observant energy excels at keeping things organized. As the planet of timing and scheduling, Mercury’s influence in Virgo shows up in their keen eye for detail.
Venus is the astrological ruler of romance and pleasure, so it's no surprise that this decadent planet governs over two zodiac signs. In addition to Taurus, Venus rules air sign Libra, which is the sign of balance and relationships. Libra's focus is on keeping the peace and creating partnerships, so Venus' romance and harmony-loving side gets to come out and play here. Libra energy is also known for its aesthetic eye, and this desire to create beauty is a Venusian influence.
Power-hungry planet Pluto rules over the sign of Scorpio. Pluto is named after the god of the underworld, and this small-but-mighty planet rules over transformations and everything that's hidden beneath the surface of our psyches. Similarly, Scorpio is naturally preoccupied with the more esoteric aspects of existence, too. Pluto is drawn to intensity, which influences why Scorpio gets a reputation for being the dark horse of the zodiac.
Jupiter is the planet of good luck and expansion, and it rules over the happy-go-lucky sign of Sagittarius. Sagittarius energy is known for being optimistic and free-spirited, which is all thanks to Jupiter’s joyful influence. Just like its ruling planet, Sagittarius loves to learn, travel, and broaden its horizons. Through Sagittarius, Jupiter is able to try new things and quench its thirst for philosophical growth in a way that it can't in any other sign.
Strict planet Saturn rules over the sign of Capricorn. As the zodiac’s cardinal earth sign, Capricorn is all about being diligent and goal-oriented — so it works in perfect symbiosis with Saturn’s tough-love and rule-following approach. Pragmatic Capricorn is disciplined and hardworking enough to satisfy Saturn's need for structure. While Saturn’s influence can be seen as restrictive, its influence allows Capricorn to avoid shortcuts and put in the work needed to accomplish big things.
Quirky Uranus is the planet that rules innovative air sign Aquarius. Uranus is the oddball planet of the zodiac, and it’s all about sudden changes, bursts of inspiration, and challenging the status quo. Aquarius energy is highly-influenced by this rebellious and revolutionary vibe, as this forward-thinking air sign shuns tradition in favor of futuristic new ideals. When Uranus is in Aquarius, it can truly think outside the box.
Neptune is the planet of illusions and dreams, and it rules over sensitive water sign Pisces. Pisces energy is emotional, poetic, and spiritually-inclined — and it has Neptune to thank for this otherworldly influence. The Piscean reputation for living in a dreamy fantasy world and craving an escape from the mundanity of everyday life connects directly to the illusive rose-colored veil that planet Neptune draws over everything it touches.
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