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The Earth in Astrology

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Sunday 28 May 2017  •   3 Oak Moon 2017
Earth as Ruler of Taurus

Our own planet is just as important in astrology as the other heavenly bodies.

If you were somehow to look at a birthchart cast for someone born on Mars, you would see red planet under their feet, and the lovely blue-green Earth in the skies. And so, for those of us born on Earth, Mars is in the skies, and Earth is under us.

The ideal way of calculating a planet’s position on a chart is to project a line from the person through the centre of the planet and on to the celestial sphere. The ecliptic longitude of that point on the sphere gives the position in the zodiac. The planet below you, just as you might think, always ends up being the bottom of the chart, 90° from the Ascendant. So, probably for all humans now alive, this is where the Earth is.

The qualities of home, roots, mother, earthiness are very Taurean, and just for good measure, the position at the bottom is the cusp of the 4th house (in equal house systems), the house concerning home.

When the system of planets ruling signs was set up, only the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were used. The Earth wasn’t considered, and the others were as yet unknown. Leo was assigned to the Sun, Cancer to the Moon, Gemini to Mercury, Taurus to Venus, Aries to Mars, Pisces to Jupiter and Aquarius to Saturn. And then back again through the list: Capricorn to Saturn, Sagittarius to Jupiter, Scorpio to Mars, Libra to Venus and Virgo to Mercury.

As the new planets were discovered, they were associated with signs: Uranus took on Aquarius, Neptune was given Pisces and finally Pluto was linked to Scorpio. This has left only Mercury and Venus with two signs each. If we now consider Earth as a planet, we can very properly associate it with Taurus.

Comments and discussion on this are very welcome.

Received from Nick Sauro:

earth rules libra via the ascendant or rising sign. venus rules taurus.

There are some good reasons for linking the Earth and Libra, among them the fact that the planet usually manages to maintain a balance and provides a wonderful environment thereby for life. When the balance goes awry, the scales can tip very suddenly. Libra’s air element could also represent the intellect and intelligence of some creatures of our planet.

However, Taurus, the earthiest earth sign, is more suitable for Earth than Libra, an air sign. And there is no reason why Venus should stop being linked to Taurus. In many ways, of course, Venus and Earth are alike: it’s just that Venus is closer to the Sun, and hotter. Hotter enough that without sentient intervention (we assume), its atmosphere suffered a runaway greenhouse effect, and now its mean surface temperature is 460C. A warning for us on Earth.

Virgo and Io?

And what about Virgo? Mercury seems so closely identified with Gemini, but can there be another planet for Virgo? People have postulated a non-existant planet Vulcan, nearer to the Sun than Mercury, and very hot. There is also the moon Io: useless perhaps for Earth-based astrology as it is always close to Jupiter, but symbolically it is good. Io is a pre-Olympian moon goddess who at new moon was represented by a white cow. The moon Io is surprisingly hot and volcanic; its proximity to huge Jupiter means that tidal effects churn its insides.

More planets?

If and when we discover extra-solar Earth-like planets, they may become very important symbolically to us, even if there is no sentient life to be found there. We will probably look out for their suns in our Earth’s night sky, and we may want to note any aspects they make with our birth planets.

William Morris
updated May 2003
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