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The 9 Planets of Astrology (Part 1 of 10)
by Vic DiCara
Editor's Note from Pat Lantz: Vedic astrology acknowledges only the planets that were known during ancient times. In Western Astrology all the planets are taken into consideration including those discovered more recently (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). Regardless of which astrological tradition you're the most familiar with, this series will deepen your understanding. This first post will give you an overview of the main traits of each of the planets and points used in Vedic Astrology. Each of these will be explained in more depth as the series continues.
Astrology is about life. There are nine planets in astrology. So, you can figure out that there are nine important factors in life. There are nine things which together comprise the “human experience.” Each planet creates a specific portion of that human experience.
Lets quickly go over the main traits of each planet, before going into more detail about each.
Where does life start?
Life starts with cogito ergo sum - “I think therefore I am.” Actually the word think is sort of a lame translation of the latin cogito. That word really means “cognition” - and a better translation would be “Cognition, therefore existence.” In other words we exist because we have cognition, awareness, self-awareness.
Life starts from self-awareness!
The Sun is the starting point of all the planets, and generates cogito, cognition, self-awareness. The light of the Sun illuminates everything in the solar system, in the same way that cognition throws light onto our life and allows us to be aware of our own existence.
Once you have awareness, you want to be aware of something. Simply being aware of your own awareness sounds pretty “zen” but, aside from being relaxing and peaceful, is boring. Once you have awareness, you desire to use that awareness so you can experience lots of stuff.
The Moon lets you do exactly that. She takes the light of the Sun and reflects it into the dark night. The Sun is the real core or kernel of who and what you are as a being: a quantum of self-awareness. The Moon is the next layer of self, creating your desire and ability to reflect your core awareness into the world of things.
What are you?
You are the Sun, the light of awareness. And you are the Moon - reflecting your light into darkness.
What does darkness mean?
Darkness means objects that have no self-awareness. The Sun represents awareness - it is overflowing with brilliant light. The world of light is the world of awareness. The world of darkness is the world of things, objects to be experienced when light falls upon them.
The Sun within you lets you be conscious and aware. The Moon within you lets you reflect your awareness into the dark world of stuff.
What happens next?
What happens when your consciousness shines upon things of a very different nature? Things not made of light but made of darkness? Well what happens is that you become fascinated by them. The Moon is the most fascinating object in the sky, and she is full of fascination for different subjects, topics, and things.
Now you are fascinated with objects and subjects, naturally the next thing that happens is you want to reach out to them, to more fully interact and exchange with them. Mercury is the bridge between the world of light and the world of darkness. He creates a roadway which traverses the gap between you and other people and things.
Now that you can reach out to the stuff that so fascinates you, next you want to truly be able to touch, taste, smell, hear and see all of those things. You want to fully realize and consummate your relationship with all the fascinating things you have become aware of. Venus creates the senses and sensitivities which allow you to do exactly that.
Now we have the senses to fully marry the light of our consciousness with the darkness of the experiences and things we desire. This, more or less, is “life.” At least it is “material life.” Reflecting this you find that the Earth appears in the solar system after Venus. The Earth, though not a “planet,” is the focal point of astrology - the stage on which we play out our life. The Earth is the stage for life itself.
So, I guess congratulations are in order. I mean, you made it to Earth! You allowed your awareness to reflect upon the night, and then you reached out to fully marry yourself with objects of your desire. Congratulations, you have fulfilled your desires!
But there is a problem.
You are not alone.
In fact, that ice cream cone that you want to marry your mouth to… well, there is another kid in the playground who also wants the exact same thing. You are going to have to run to get it first. You are going to have to exert some energy and effort. You are going to have to compete and win. Yes, you are going to have to fight.
This is what Mars creates: the ability to get what you want, in a world where 400,000 other people want the same thing.
Unfortunately, what Mars really winds up creating is a huge battlefield. There are billions of people in this world all fighting, all competing to get what they want. It is ugly.
Until Jupiter comes along.
Jupiter says, “Look, you guys have turned this playground into a battlefield. Is there any one of you who is happy? You are all fighting. You are all crying. You all have scratches all over your faces. And you have even managed to mangle that ice-cream cone you are all fighting over and trample in the dirt. Is this really what any of you wanted?”
Of course, the answer is no. So Jupiter proposes systems of trust, systems of morality and ethics, codes of conduct. Jupiter says, “Let’s make some rules, and lets trust one another to follow those rules. Then we can all share the ice cream.”
Now all the kids are getting along great and having fun. Until mom comes and calls them all home for a dinner of brussels sprouts. Saturn is that call. Saturn creates time, time-limits, boundaries and restrictions - the greatest of which is death.
Now that is a real question. And the real answer goes all the way back to the Sun. The answer is that you are really a being of light - of awareness. You are fascinated with marrying your light to the darkness of things - and that is not natural, nor is it good for you in the long term. Saturn creates the restrictions he creates for the sole purpose of reminding you of this fact. You have stuck the brilliant light of your conscious self into a box of darkness.
Why in the first place would we want our Sun to reflect off the Moon into darkness? Why not just keep the Sun in the world of light?
Because we found it boring. Even worse, we found it frightening.
Because we are parts of God, that’s why.
Why would we being parts of God cause us to fear the world of light? Because we are too much parts of God. We are so like unto God that we feel the need to be God. Therefore we need to hide our heads in a box. We need to stick our consciousness into darkness. When it is dark enough, we don’t have to see things we don’t feel like seeing. We don’t have to see God. And that’s great, because that lets us feel like God.
So, that is why the Sun chose to reflect its light onto the Moon and get this whole “solar system” of life created in the first place. But that is also why we created Saturn - the reminder that sooner or later we should admit that we are living with our heads in boxes. Sooner or later we will be ready to evolve beyond our initial incompatibility with God. When that happens, we can take the boxes off our heads and return completely to the world of light.
So Saturn, really, is the most important of all planets. Because he is the annoying one who ends our playtime and encourages us to “grow up.”
RAHU & KETU
The whole thing we have described so far is a sort of evolution. A movement from awareness (Sun) to experience (Moon) to comprehension (Mercury) to complete perception (Venus) to competition (Mars) to morality and law (Jupiter) and finally to reality (Saturn). But what is the force which is driving this evolution, causing one planet to evolve into the next?
Rahu and Ketu.
These are the forces of change, evolution, and revolution.
Rahu causes the transformation of the Moon into Mercury and then into Venus. In other words Rahu is that part of you which drives your inner self to express itself more fully and completely in the external world. When you want to radically improve the way you live your life, you are expressing the power of Rahu.
Ketu transforms Mars into Jupiter and then into Saturn. Ketu is your drive to make the affairs of the external world become less important, and subservient to the hidden realities of your inner self. You express the power of Ketu when you suddenly want to abandon the burdensome and meaningless details of life so that you can come more into touch with the meaning of things at their core.
© 2010 Vic DiCara, (Vraja Kishor das), reprinted with permission
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About the Author
Victor Damien DiCara practices astrology based on very ancient principles ("Vedic") but does it with a very modern frame of mind.
Initiated into Vedic spiritual culture in 1992 (in India), Vic was awarded the symbolic thread of the brahmin in 1994. This award signified aptitude in the role of a councilor, philosopher and guide. While living as a celibate yogi in an ashram for 8 years, he studied Vedic philosophy and the culture of Vedic astrology and began offering astrological consultation to the public in 2007. (Vic's astrological autobiography)
Vic has written and published in over a dozen magazines, has published textbooks for his courses on astrology and is currently putting the finishing touches on a full length book.
To find out more about Victor DiCara, visit his Website, Authentic Astrology, Blog or join him on
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