Astrology is the study of how the movements and placements of the planets affects our characteristics and consciousness. Astrology is a vast subject that has been studied by the wise for millennia and through which the workings of ourselves and the cosmos are revealed. For those of us who wish to truly understand ourselves better, astrology can give insights into how we work, as well as our challenges and opportunities for development.

Each planet can have powerful effects on specific aspects of human consciousness and the movements of the planets create constant tides of influence upon us. As the planets move through different alignments and configurations they have the effect of keeping things constantly changing. These complex movements ensure that we don't stagnate and can enhance or challenge aspects of our consciousness to help us to change and evolve. The combinations of all of the planetary aspects is very complex but wise astrologers can interpret these to give clear guidance that can help people to recognise influences, opportunities and challenges. Some planetary aspects last for years and some for just a few hours. Some have subtle yet powerful undertones and others influence clear and overt feelings.

Your zodiac sign is usually taken as your Sun sign, but that is only a tiny speck of your story. Jonathan Cainer describes your Sun sign (the part of the zodiac that the Sun was in when you were born) as reflecting the ’the kind of person you like to see yourself as’. The position of every planet in the sky when you were born has an influence on the person that you are. For instance your Moon sign signifies how you deal with emotions and deep feelings, your rising sign signifies how other people tend to see you, your Mercury sign signifies how your mind works and your Venus sign signifies how your love life works.

The twelve signs

The dates of each sign given below are approximate. If you want to know which sign you are you can check here. See more about each sun sign by Jonathan Cainer or Jeff Prince,

  • ♈ Aries (March 21 - April 20)

    Aries is a cardinal fire sign that is ruled by the planet Mars which is the archetypal male planet and the planet of energy and power. Mars is associated with the masculine, expressive aspect of the throat chakra, which is about communication, truth and justice. Aries people can be enthusiastic, energetic and impulsive and ideal warriors. Virtues of those born under this sign are that they may have immense energy and determination and may fight for justice and be good communicators. Vices may influence the sign of the ram to become quick tempered, impatient, aggressive, poor listeners or wounding with their words. People with their sun in Aries can push themselves hard, be big risk-takers, live on the edge and can be great achievers.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♉ Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

    Taurus is a fixed earth sign that is ruled by the planet Venus, the planet of the archetypal female and connected with the sacral chakra, whose aspects include sensuality, pleasure, charm and beauty. The sign of the bull can be determined, patient, resolute and reliable. They can feel the beauty of the natural world and feel engaged with the pleasure that it brings. The planet Venus and the sacral chakra rule our emotions and Taureans could over-indulge their sensual sexuality and hedonistic tendencies. Likewise, vices can include being moody or sulky, stubborn or inflexible. Their relationship with the physical world might tend towards being materialistic, gluttonous or greedy. Taureans can move patiently and firmly towards their desired goals whilst enjoying the pleasures of life.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♊ Gemini (May 21 - Jun 20)

    Gemini is a mutable air sign which is ruled by the planet Mercury, the planet of communication, commerce, thought and intellect which rules the solar plexus chakra, a more masculine chakra. Geminis are adaptable and flexible and can see two sides to every story - and can argue in favour of either side, giving them the potential to become inconsistent or insincere. A Gemini is a fast-thinking, smooth-talking communicator who could go astray unless they ensure truth and integrity. Geminis can be always on the go and can easily become ungrounded and live in their heads. Their natural ability to intellectualise and analyse can make them prone to trying to understand all of life in these terms - and they often can make sense of things that others simply can't.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♋ Cancer (Jun 21 - Jul 22)

    Cancer is a cardinal water sign which is ruled by the Moon, the planet of moods, emotions, intuition and relationships with females - especially mothers. Cancerians are naturally very sensitive to the emotional feelings of themselves and others and they can often have a little too much empathy and actually start to take on the emotional distress of others. Cancerians can live through their emotions and sometimes fail to engage with higher aspects of heart-centred love or become ungrounded. The Moon has powerful effects on the tides of the oceans and it has just as powerful influences over the moods and emotions of this water sign, so Cancerians intensely feel the influences of the Moon cycles. The Moon also rules the home and Cancerians can be happiest when making a nurturing environment for everyone.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♌ Leo (Jul 23 - Aug 22)

    Leo is a fixed fire sign which is ruled by the Sun, representing the majestic and unique individuality and personality; the ego, will and pride. Those born under the sign of the lion can be independent, confident and headstrong. They can be warmhearted, creative and generous whilst being ego-centric, stylish show-offs. Their sunny and warm dispositions can be good company and they love to be the centre of attention. The vices of such personalities are that they can tend towards being interfering, bossy, intolerant and dogmatic. Leos can be creative and enthusiastic and can bring their charming, sunny disposition to light up the lives of others. They are born leaders and risk-takers and aspire to run the show.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♍ Virgo (Aug 23 - Sep 22)

    Virgo is a mutable earth sign which is ruled by Mercury the planet of communication, commerce, thought and intellect which rules the solar plexus chakra, a more masculine chakra. Virgos are often thought of as reserved, observant, shrewd and judicious. They have a good eye for detail and can be organised and ordered but can tend towards being prim and proper, fussy and fastidious and can sometimes be too self-critical. Virgos have a good eye for detail and can be intellectually enquiring, logical, focused and methodical, with mental clarity and insightful analysis. Virgos have charm and dignity and they are conscientious and do things to best of their ability. Being an earth sign they are grounded and can take a common sense approach to achieve their goals.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♎ Libra (Sep 23 - Oct 22)

    Libra is a cardinal air sign ruled by the planet Venus the planet of the archetypal female and connected with the sacral chakra, Being a cardinal sign ruled by Venus, Librans could tend to be self-motivated and selfish, as well as spontaneous and fun. The only sign of the zodiac represented by a machine and not a living thing, Librans can be seen as being cold when they are just being objective, as they can have a real knack for seeing flaws and wanting to right wrongs. Those born under the sign of the scales like balance, equality and impartial judgments, although they might prefer to skew them in their favour! Librans can see both sides of a story and love to debate and argue, whilst being charming, sophisticated and sensual.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♏ Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 21)

    Scorpio is fixed water sign ruled by Mars and Pluto. Mars is the archetypal male planet and Pluto is the planet of transformation, regeneration and metamorphosis. Scorpios are known for being wary about whom they let close to them and for being suspicious of others. The sting in the scorpion's tail might be for those who they perceive as having let them down. The effect of both Mars and Pluto on Scorpios might be that they can be direct and honest about things which might be taboo to the rest of us. All water signs are intuitive and Scorpios are known for their intense sensitivity and empathy and this can also translate into passion and sensuality. Scorpios can see a bigger picture and a more objective view of life, people and issues than most of us, should they choose to look.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♐ Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21)

    Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter, the planet of generosity, luck, expansion and abundance which rules the feminine side of the throat chakra. There is no doubt that Sagittarians are optimistic and exuberant and this is a wonderful influence of Jupiter - the planet of hope and luck. Sagittarians can go with the flow, which will take them far and wide. Their natural sense of optimism could make them a little idealistic although they love to rise to a challenge and they might tend to promise more than than they can deliver or bite off more than they can chew. Sagittarians can be extroverts who love the great outdoors and travelling the world in search of adventure. The expansive Jupiter tends to bless Sagittarians with a healthy irreverence for outmoded convention and the confidence to be true to themselves.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♑ Capricorn (Dec 22 - Jan 19)

    Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign ruled by Saturn, the 'old man of the sky' and planet of patience, perseverance, discipline and methodical growth and learning. Saturn imbues Capricorns with the characteristics of being practical, meticulous and even, perhaps, somewhat boring but this does mean that they can be responsible and dutiful managers and leaders. As an earth sign, Capricorns are down-to-earth, grounded and have abundant common sense. If Capricorns don't like to be given such labels, then they could invest in more spontaneity and fun and since Saturn rules the third eye chakra they could allow their intuition to supersede their practicality and guide them to let go and enjoy themselves more.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♒ Aquarius (Jan 20 - Feb 18)

    Aquarius is a fixed air sign which is ruled by the planet Uranus, the planet of rebellion and surprise which rules the feminine, receptive aspect of the third eye chakra. Aquarians are therefore supremely insightful, intuitive and can understand things at a level which most of simply can't see. Their understanding of things that is beyond logic and explanation makes them wise although they can become over-confident and feel themselves to be infallible. Another drawback of having such piercing insight is that it can alienate people who work with more mundane emotions and feelings. Aquarians can feel different, quirky and even eccentric but as long as they don't become aloof they can share themselves and their gifts with others.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

  • ♓ Pisces (Feb 19 - Mar 20)

    Pisces is a mutable water sign which is ruled by the planet Neptune - the planet of the crown chakra - of imagination, dreams and instinct. Being a water sign, Pisceans are intuitive and sensitive and can flow along streams of dreams and fantasy that can be otherworldly and mystical. Pisceans are creative and can let their ideas and thoughts be expressed through different artistic media. The mutable aspect of their nature bring versatility and a dislike of confinement and Pisceans are naturally open-minded. Pisceans can be good listeners, with empathy and a genuine concern for humanity. They can be realistic, whilst knowing that reality is an illusion and that dreams come true in this magical life.
    Sources: Cainer 1, Cainer 2, Prince, Thiessen.

The four elements

Each sun sign is associated with an element; there are three of each zodiac signs associated with earth, water, air and fire.

  • The fire signs are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
  • The air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
  • The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
  • The earth signs are Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo.

Earth signs impart form, structure and a firm foundation. They are grounded and have practical, down-to-earth qualities.

Water signs bring emotional sensitivity, empathy and intuition. They are based in their feelings and can be artistic and creative.

Air signs bring movement, ideas, intellect and communication. Their minds are as free as the wind and as open as the sky.

Fire signs impart energy, spirit and light. They can be warm, excitable, courageous and enthusiastic.

Sources: Susan Miller, Jonathan cainer,

The three qualities

Each sign is also associated with one of three qualities: cardinal , fixed and mutable.

  • The cardinal signs are Libra, Aries, Cancer and Capricorn.
  • The fixed signs are Leo, Aquarius, Taurus and Scorpio.
  • The mutable signs are Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo and Pisces.

The cardinal signs bestow initiative, courage and leadership and initiate the season. They are ambitious, self-motivated, enterprising, creative and spontaneous but might also tend towards being forceful or even domineering.

The fixed signs bestow determination, consistency and responsibility and maintain the season, They can uphold tradition, be patient, reliable and devoted and let's hope not stubborn, inflexible and reluctant to change.

The mutable signs are adaptable, flexible and communicative and oversee the transition to the next season. They are resourceful and always seeking change but could be restless and flighty.

Sources: Susan Miller, Jonathan cainer,

The planets

Each of the planets has a powerful effect on the human consciousness and can each be related to a specific human chakra, as represented on the Kabalistic Tree of Life (see Fortune). Read more about the planets from Susan Miller.

planets and the chakras
  • ☉ The Sun

    The Sun is at the centre of our solar system and is at the heart of human consciousness. The Sun rules the heart chakra, human spirit, determination and the genuine self. The Sun represents Christ Consciousness and represents the very essence of our purpose on Earth - to learn love and compassion of the heart. The divine love of our elevated and enlightened guides, teachers, masters and lords in spirit is like the light and heat of the Sun in that we cannot bear to even look upon it, let alone dwell within until have developed to that level.

  • ☽ The Moon

    The Moon is connected with the element of water and is feminine, like the sacral chakra that it governs. The Moon rules our subconscious minds, deep feelings, fears, intuition, passions, desires, instinct  and emotions. The Moon governs our relationships with females (particularly mother/daughter relationships) and emotional tides. The moon rules our sensitive, nurturing and sentimental sides and its movement and tides have powerful influence on all of our lives. The moon affects female menstrual cycles and the fertility and reproduction of living things on Earth. A new moon is a time for new beginnings and the full moon brings things to a head. An awareness of the moon cycles can bring insight into our feelings.

  • ☿ Mercury

    Mercury is the planet nearest to the Sun and is the winged messenger that rules rational, objective thought. Mercury has a masculine influence on the solar plexus chakra which is about our our refined personality, ego, will, thought and intellect. Mercury is the fastest moving planet and rules mental perception, interpretation, responsiveness, flexibility and adaptability. Mercury also rules most things to do with communication, commerce and transport.

  • ♀ Venus

    Venus represents the female archetype and is connected with emotions, affection, pleasure, sensuality and beauty. Many people say that Venus rules your love life but remember that this is not the love of the heart chakra, but is connected with emotional feelings of the sacral chakra. Venus affects the human ability to enjoy life, rather than just just survive - to sing, dance and create and enjoy art. Venus is about things that are sumptuous, enjoyable and lovely and its effect on us can be a bit hedonistic - indulging and enjoying sensual pleasure.

  • ♂ Mars

    Mars represents the male archetype and governs the male aspect of the throat chakra - the expression of truth and justice. Mars is the planet of energy, strength, force and courage. Mars is ambitious, adventurous, enthusiastic and enterprising and is about endeavour, determination and endurance. The obvious drawback of the influence of Mars is that we could tend towards unjust aggression and war. Mars gives us the courage, strength and power to fight a just battle and the determination to keep going despite adversity. Aries and Scorpio are ruled by Mars.

  • ♃ Jupiter

    Jupiter is the largest planet of our solar system and the fastest spinning planet. In fact Jupiter is larger than all of the other planets of our solar system put together. Jupiter rules optimism, expansion, speculation, wealth, abundance, prosperity and good fortune. Jupiter governs the feminine aspect of the throat chakra and helps us to listen and hear. The masculine effect of Mars on the throat chakra can tend towards judging harshly whereas the effect of Jupiter tends us to mercy and benevolence. The influence of Jupiter bestows principles, honesty, sincerity and generosity..

  • ♄ Saturn

    Saturn is known as 'the old man of the sky' and rules the masculine aspect of the third eye chakra. Saturn is the planet of limitation, restriction, patience, perseverance, conservatism and realism. Saturn is the hard task master that makes us learn lessons properly; it teaches responsibility, discipline and control and gives us structure, organisation and standards. Saturn is the dispassionate, emotionless, planet of maturity and authority and is the the great teacher. It destroys youthful exuberance and wishful thinking and gives us honesty and stability. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn and they have the reputation for sometimes being a little boring but make good managers and leaders.

  • ♅ Uranus

    While Saturn gives us sensible and mature progression Uranus gives us surprises and is innovative, unpredictable, resourceful and imaginative. Uranus rules creativity and scientific genius. Uranus rules the feminine aspect of the third eye chakra and Saturn rules the masculine aspect of it. While Saturn is about conventional authority, Uranus is rebellious and breaks the rules, bringing reform, freedom and liberty. Uranus is the planet of sudden revelation, revolution, awakening and enlightenment and destroys that which has outlived its usefulness, without emotion. Aquarius is ruled by Uranus and Aquarians are very intuitive

  • ♆ Neptune

    Neptune is connected with the crown chakra and is about the higher, more spiritual level of us. It rules dreams, illusions, and fantasies and tells us about sacrifice for the greater good. Neptune brings purity, sensitivity and compassion and has mystical, delicate and subtle qualities. Neptune pulls us away from the mundane towards the spiritual and teaches us of equality and kindness and of humanitarian values in society.

  • ♇ Pluto

    Pluto is the outermost planet of our solar system and has an orbit which is at an angle to the other planets of the solar system. Pluto is the planet of transformation, regeneration and rebirth; it destroys to rebuild and signifies metamorphosis and the fact that there is no absolute death, only change. Pluto rules things that are unseen and secret, including aspects of the soul and spirit and all that is beneath consciousness and unknown. It rules obsessions and compulsions and areas of a life which will undergo transformation, possibly as a result of crisis. There is a consensus that Pluto rules the third eye chakra.