Let's Get Personal

Memorizing the Planets

Planetary Returns


2018 Retrograde Planets


Jupiter: 9 March 2018 - 10 July 2018

Mercury: 23 March 2018 - 15 April 2018

Saturn: 18 April 2018 - 6 September 2018

Pluto: 22 April 2018 - 30 September 2018

Neptune: 18 June 2018 - 25 November 2018

Mars: 26 June 2018 - 26 August 2018

Mercury: 26 July 2018 - 19 August 2018

Uranus: 7 August 2018 - 6 January 2019

Venus: 5 October 2018 - 16 November 2018

Mercury: 17 November 2018 - 6 December 2018

Each of the planets (which include the Sun and the Moon for Astrological purposes) has a specific influence. Nearly everyone has heard reference to Mars as the God of War and Venus as the Goddess of Love. These references are not out of synch with their astrological influences and each of the other planets has a specific character as well, which is usually in harmony with mythological references. These characteristics will manifest themselves within the astrological sign and house in which the planet resides. This applies whether the chart is a Natal, Progressed, Solar Return or any other kind of chart. The character and personality of the planets do not change.  Naming an object has a strong and even mystical influence.

The signs all reflect the predominant trait of its ruling planet.  For example, Aries, like Mars, will be aggressive and flamboyant; Taurus, like Venus, will love beauty and comfort even as Libra will be uncomfortable without a relationship.  Follow the links in the above table to a more detailed description of each planet.  Their association with the Signs of the Zodiac are as follows:


Sign Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Ruler Mars Venus Mercury Moon Sun Mercury Venus Pluto Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune


For each of the Sun Signs, the ruling planet largely defines the overall theme or focus of those born under that sign. There are exceptions, of course, particularly when a person has very strong influences such as a stellium, i.e. three or more planets in a single sign, which can counter-balance the Sun Sign. However, even as the Sun is a major influence in our lives generally, the placement of the Sun will usually define our basic character, which will be further defined by the ruling planet.  Other planets besides your Sign Ruler are considered Personal Planets as well.

Each planet has an elliptical orbit, which carries it around the sun in a specific period of time as noted above. Mercury makes a trip around the Sun quite quickly (approximately 88 days) while Pluto will not make a complete circuit in your lifetime (248 years).  Thus the slower moving planets that remain in a sign for several years are said to have a "generational effect" since all the people born during a given period will have those planets in the same sign, giving them similar characteristics. 

When  planet returns to the position it holds on your Natal Chart, you experience what is called a Planetary Return, which starts a new cycle related to whatever that particular planet rules.  More detailed information is contained in the section on Planetary Returns.

The basics for the various planets are contained below.  Follow the links in the above table to a more detailed astrological description of each.  (Hyperlinks below take you to a physical description of the planet at a NASA website.)




Orbital Period Time in Each Sign


Gemini, Virgo Communications, precision, information, logic, speech, writing, conscious thought 88 days Approx. 1 month**


Taurus, Libra Love relationships, affection, beauty, comfort, the arts, harmony 225 days Approx. 1 month**


Aries Aggression, energy, drive, impulsive behavior, assertiveness 687 days Variable Month


Sagittarius Expansion, intellectual, travel, lucky, extravagant, jovial, flamboyance, confidence 12 years 1 year


Capricorn Responsibility, wisdom, discipline, structure, authority, ambition, conservatism 29.5 years 2.4 years


Aquarius Surprises, unstable, spontaneous, innovative, undisciplined, rebellious, breakthroughs, freedom loving 84 years 7 years


Pisces Fantasy, dreams, imagination, deception, intuition, spirituality, transcendence 165 years 14 years


Scorpio Obsession, compulsion, fanaticism, death, passion, elimination, transformation 248 years ~21 years


Leo Basic self, appearance, sense of identity, father or husband 365 days 1 month per year


Cancer Moods, domestic nature, nurturing, home, mother or wife, memories, emotional center N/A ~2.3 days/month
**It's important to remember that astrological placement of the planets is with respect to the Earth, or a geocentric view.  Thus, planets that are between Earth and the Sun, i.e. Mercury and Venus, always appear fairly close to the Sun, such as when they are visible as the evening or morning star.  Due to this placement, Mercury and Venus actually take as long as the Sun and sometimes longer to go through all the signs of the Zodiac.


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