Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Outer planets and rulerships

After the discovery of the outer planets there has been some confusion in the astrological community as to whether we should assign them rulerships of certain signs. Modern astrologers quickly assigned Uranus to Aquarius, Neptune to Pisces and Pluto to Scorpio. Traditional astrologers remained faithful to the old system, even to the point of totally ignoring the outer planets in their work. Who's right and who's wrong? I don't have a definite answer, but I think the matter is worth discussing.
First of all, traditional astrologers have a point. There is a certain logic behind sign rulerships. The lights were given the two summer signs when light is abundant, and the rest of the planets were given each one diurnal sign and one nocturnal side on either side, starting from the planet closer to the Sun. So Mercury was given Gemini, the sign before Cancer (ruled by the moon), and Virgo, the sign after Leo (ruled by the Sun) and so forth. If you wish to make changes to this system, you probably have to find some other logic, which should be as tidy as the old one. Uranus does have an affinity with Aquarius, Pluto with Scorpio and Neptune with Pisces, but is it safe to name them rulers of those signs in the sense that we can use them to get information for a house in our chart?
The problem with modern rulerships becomes evident when it comes to exaltations. Many modern astrologers say that Uranus is exalted in Scorpio. Does that make any sense? Scorpio is the sign of primitive instinct, of grand passion and death and has an intense feeling nature which is totally against Uranian principles. The ancient logic behind rulerships and exaltations was that a planet feels at home in the sign that it rules and like an honoured guest in the sign of its ' exaltation, where he is wanted and appreciated. Can we possibly say that Uranus would be welcome in Scorpio? Modern astrologers, who are psychologically oriented, were probably thinking of something completely different when they made this assignment. They were thinking that Scorpio can benefit from Uranian energy, that Scorpios would have a lot to gain if they practised Uranian detachment and learned to view things from a distance. Fine, but that doesn't mean that they'd like it or that they would gladly adopt an attitude 100% contrary to their nature.
What's more, they say that Neptune is exalted in Leo. How is that possible? Leo is the sign of self-expression and self-absorption and quite rightly so. Leos need to find who they are, what makes them special, what particular talents they have. Neptune, the planet of merging and dissolution of the ego, is completely antithetical to Leo's nature. Yes, sure, it would do Leos good to realize that all people are special and originate from the same source, but can we possibly expect them to feel close to Neptune? Cancer, the other sign that was put forward regarding Neptune's exaltation, makes much more sense, since with Neptune Cancerian love will expand to include everything else, but, again, the universality of Neptune won't be much appreciated by Cancerians.
When Chiron was discovered, things got even more complicated. Many astrologers would like to make him ruler of Sagittarius. Which means, that we've already taken Pisces away from Jupiter and now we are going to take Sagittarius as well. So Jupiter would be ruler of nothing. Thank God for the discovery of so many asteroids and centaurs which has obliged modern astrologers to rethink the matter of rulerships.
However, many traditional astrologers have gone to the other extreme, which is, let's play Saturn and stick to the old system and totally ignore the outer planets which have no meaning whatsoever, or, at the very least, what they have to say can be easily deduced from other factors in the chart. How convenient. How can we possibly ignore all those people who have experienced outer planet transits and progressions and lived to tell about it?(ha!) Are all these people stupid or imagining things? The close aspects these planets form with our personal planets are very much active. So it seems that outer planets are here to stay and we must find a way to integrate them.
It seems that we have only two options. Either we do away with the idea of rulerships altogether and really transform our astrological interpretations in light of the recent discoveries and forget all about rulerships, exaltations, essential dignities and so on, or, when it comes to rulerships, we stick to the traditional system and place outer planets in a separate group, which is highly significant, but not of the same subtance as the inner planets.

1 comment:

  1. By fldown: A really do not believe we are anywhere near to determine the exaltation of the outer planets. Even the rulerships seem to me a bit odd... We have discussed again this problem in Stardome and I've suggested then the problem of Uranus and Aquarius... Such strong, collective energies cannot be fully and totally expressed by specific groups of the collective i.e. specific signs.
    It's a nice article my friend... Pretty nice!