Metaphysical Principles of the Planets
© 2000 Curtis Manwaring
The descriptions presented below show the basic principle energy with which a planet appears to act and are not specific with regard to any individuals birth chart. Keep in mind that from an Aristotelean point of view, all of the planets have 2 of four qualities: hot, cold, wet or dry. The main function of heat is to make more active, while cold makes things inactive. Wetness blurrs distinctions and tends to create sympathy, empathy and a unity of feeling. On the other hand, dryness creates distinctions and shows how things are different from eachother. It is important to meditate upon these principles if you wish to become a good practicioner of astrology. The descriptions below are not meant to be exhaustive, but try to focus on the most basic essence of the planet, leaving the details for later.
The Sun: Main principle: to radiate, to blast or to push outward, profusion. The effect here is that wherever the Sun is, it tends to create attention or shines a spotlight. The reason for this is fairly obvious: it is the brightest object in the sky and is hard to miss. According to aristotelean principles, the Sun is exceedingly hot and dry: choleric. The heat creates activity and the dryness makes distinctions. This is a very masculine planet and is symbolic of spirit, intent, will and determination.
The Moon: Main principle: to suck, draw inward and collect with magnitism, creating a vacume. The Moon is cold and wet in nature which means that it tends to unify and not make distinctions. The coldness lowers the activity level and creates calmness. It is a very feminine planet and functions as a receiver for all spiritual input so that it can be brought into material form.
Mercury: Main principle: to split and quicken (quicksilver), duality, logos. Mercurys main purpose is to act as the go between for all dualities and all types of opposites, such as hot and cold, wet and dry, light and dark, hard and soft. For this reason it is none of these principles in itself (though it tends slightly toward dryness), but rather mimicks whatever principles happen to be most prevalent. It signifys transit, communication, language, and mental capacity. It is neuter as to sex.
Venus: Main principle: to unify, pacify and smudge with leveling force. Venus is cool and wet by nature. The wetness brings people together in common unity and makes unclear any distinctions and differences that might separate them. The coolness aids in social harmony by deactivating any controversial issues that might create disharmony. Venus is a feminine planet by nature.
Mars: Main principle: to energize, activate and direct. Mars is exceedingly hot and dry (choleric) by nature which qualifys it as a malefic. The heat creates disturbance and anger and the dryness creates distinctions by which ideologies can further animosities and keep opposites apart. Mars is a very masculine planet. Its main purpose is survival instinct. It signifies war, violence, danger, actions and decisions.
Jupiter: Main principle: to expand in growth while collecting or adding. Jupiter is hot and wet, which means that Jupiter has the effect of increasing activity and the wetness creates unity of purpose causing this "collecting" effect. This sanguine property is very productive of growth as plants grow very quickly under such conditions. In the chart it shows where prosperity is most likely. Jupiter is a masculine planet.
Saturn: Main principle: to contract (negentropy), jell (crystallize), to form or organize, ignorance or agnoia. Saturn is exceedingly cold and dry which qualifies it as a malefic. The dryness makes distinctions which separate and the cold nullifies or slows activity and togetherness. This can create depression and a lack of understanding of other perspectives. But the coldness allows concentration of molecules (ideas) and the dryness gives it structured form. It signifies responsibility, achievement and discipline.
Chiron: Chiron is said to be the guide to the beyond and the unconscious. In mythology Chiron was a teacher of athletes, was nocturnal, lived underground in a cave and suffered a permanently wounded right knee from a poisoned arrow. In the end he gave his life to save Prometheus, the one who stole fire from Zeus. Not much is known about this planet since its discovery in 1977, but it was a year of medical breakthroughs. I suspect it has a strong connection to genetic engineering.
Uranus: Main principle: entropy, to explode, fracture or split. Uranus is very hot and extremely dry. It is symbolic of electricity. Because Uranus is the first planet beyond the sphere of Saturn (which is that planet that got so dry that it split), it symbolizes breakthroughs and sudden insights. It was discovered at the beginning of the age of enlightenment, and as such symbolizes those things of that age; like the industrial revolution, the French revolution, and the ideal of freedom.
Neptune: Main principle: to expand without addition, to dissipate, release, and blurr with smudged boundaries, diffusion, to make pourous and permeate. Neptune is a very cold and wet planet and as such, tends to blurr distinctions and create unity. The malefic nature of this planet, takes the wetness and blurring of distinctions to the extreme. Where Neptune is we need to make sure that we are seeing the issues of that house clearly. There tends to be alot of idealism associated with Neptune and very little practical substance. Neptune is a feminine planet by nature.
Pluto: Main principle: to transform, entropy and negentropy, shape shifting, putrifaction. It seems to represent the principle of alogos, or aversion and its qualities of heat and dryness are not easily defined, like Mercury. It was discovered in 1930 at about the same time of the general theory of relativity and the postulatation of black holes and the splitting of the atom for atomic reactions. It is symbolic of death, regereration and organized crime and psychosis.