The key to the planets, or the chakras: Here is a planetary key to personal natal chart interpretation that any beginning astrological student can use with confidence. The natural ordering of the planets that can be seen easily with the naked eye can serve as a key to their interpretation. As we know, the planetary order out from the Sun is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. These are the naked-eye planets. Beyond Saturn are the planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
We will start with Saturn and work our way in towards the Sun. The key thought necessary in order to use these planets in your own horoscope is this: the inner planet is always the key to the outer. In every case, in order to reveal, open, and use the outer, we go within. In other words, each inner planet is the meaning and key to the planet beyond its orbit. For example, we live on Earth. The next planet inside the orbit of the Earth is Venus. Therefore, Venus will be the key to the Earth experience. If we stop and think about it, Venus (or love) has been held up as the key to life on this Earth throughout the ages. If we have obstacles and problems in our life (Saturn), then studying one’s Jupiter will give us the key to the planet Saturn in our natal chart… Mars will be the key to Jupiter, and so on. Let’s begin.
Saturn, or law:
Almost every astrologer wants to know where Saturn is in the chart because here we are sure to gain insight into some of the major obstacles and challenges of life. Saturn, or Satan (as it is sometimes called), is the prince of time and of the material world. We don’t break nature’s laws, they break us. The laws of Saturn are much feared, for it is here that we are bound to learn. The laws of Saturn are often seen as standing between us and an easy life. But Saturn also provides the walls that make homes possible. Gravity is an example — the law that holds things in place. We come across the influence of Saturn every time we break nature’s law. We are subjected and tested by these laws until such time as we learn to use them. Saturn is so important in the chart because it shows us where we must be disciplined and where we are bound to learn something; therefore, everyone always wants to know how to come to grips with Saturn in the natal chart. The key to the realm of Saturn in our chart can be found by studying our natal Jupiter.
Jupiter, or life path:
If Saturn is our life’s test, then Jupiter is the key, guide, and light that sees us through the darkness of time (or Saturn). It is the straight and narrow path by which we pass through Saturn’s test. Jupiter is the particular way we go or continue in life — continuity. It is our “luck” or solution to time’s test. In astrology, Jupiter is the great benefic as it shows us how to find our way through Saturn and the tests of time — how to use Saturn. Jupiter is our key to succession through time, to success. It is the way through or on. Jupiter is the key, or antidote, to Saturn; therefore, Jupiter has to do with how we are to be successful in life in our particular battle against the forces of time (Saturn). Jupiter often describes our vocation or the way we must go through life, since that through which we have to pass (Saturn) dictates the way we must go through life (our vocation). We have mastered our Jupiter when we are a physical success.
Once we have learned to master our Saturn, to be successful, our mind is free to explore our situation. The freedom of Jupiter is eternal vigilance toward the law or rules of Saturn. We go from victory to victory over time, or Saturn, which translates into day-to-day success. We make a living.
Now that we are free within time, or Saturn, our mind begins to wonder what it all means. What’s the purpose of all this? We begin to penetrate into the next chakra, that of Mars. The key to our success (Jupiter) will be the planet Mars — how we feel about our life.
Mars, or the marriage:
Mars is the energy that moves us, the way we feel — our emotions. It is what drives us and the way we are driven. And it is the kind of energy or drive that we have which determines our personal atmosphere or aura: the kind of room or space in which we have to live — our living room. The kind of room we have determines how we feel about our life, comfortable or cramped. After Jupiter fades to an easy repetition, our mind turns to thoughts of unity, oneness — marriage.
We are driven to marriage, or yoga, of one kind or another. It is the way the two become one. Everyone chooses a form of yoga, union, or marriage… some way to join or yoke the two opposing parts of ourselves together and to perceive them as one life — ours.
We master each planet or chakra, maintain it, and move on or penetrate into the next, inner one. The Jupiter chakra is a tremendous war between us and them. Dichotomy. When we seek to understand the secret of “us” and “them,” we penetrate into the Mars chakra — what it all means. Meaning drives us across the Earth until we can see the end of all difference, that it is all one.
We are free at last from the bonds of Saturn (Satan). We have learned what we must do to survive or to succeed in life. Yet the world we live in is not a unity. It is us against them. And still this somehow does not feel right.
Our life becomes a process of gathering meanings and hints of a possible unity between the opposing parties. This is the yoga, union, or marriage that each must negotiate. The entire Mars chakra has to do with dealing with all the motion, emotion, and meanings of life. Following them out, understanding them. Mars, therefore, is the sphere of all things meaningful, everything that moves us: music, poetry, drama, movies — the works. Anything that gets a rise out of us. We are working with our Mars as long as we have not completed our yoga, or marriage, as long as the two have not become one. As long as we are intrigued and drawn hither and yon, we are working on our Mars. This mysterious person beckons, that piece of music or poem captures our attention, moves us.
Mars is our marriage or union. It is the systematic making friends with everything that is foreign (other than us). At some point in this journey, we get the message. We cease to be blown hither and yon by every passing emotion. We discover that life is its own meaning. We have penetrated to the Earth, or heart chakra.
Earth, or the heart:
We ourselves are the meaning. “I AM THAT I AM,” and for no other reason. We take refuge in life itself with no referrals. This is it!
“I am in it to the end, and that’s all, And the ‘ever’ it’s coming to be. And in me is out, the shadow of doubt, And the ‘in’ that is ‘out’, Well, that’s me!”
Earth/Sun represent the end of meaning, the heart of it all. The two are one. The marriage is consummated, the child is born. The Earth is us as we are in our oneness. The Sun is the essence of what it all means.
The planets inside the orbit of the Earth, Venus and Mercury, are very misunderstood in modern astrology. Both are beyond any physical depiction.
Venus, or compassion:
Inside Earth. Compassion. Infinite response and attention. Cherishing. How we respond to life. How we find ourselves in response to life. Love, in the sense of responding or attending to.
Mercury, or light:
Messenger truth. First out from the Sun. The light of knowing or seeing in our eyes. Communication itself. Essence of communication.
Sun, or system:
The Sun is not a planet. The description for the Earth given above is the traditional meaning for the Sun. The true Sun is the whole solar system.