Humanizing Divinity: Astrology, Adaptability, and the Outer Planets
Astrology is an ancient art. Once considered a science of the natural world it was used to predict weather, navigate time and space, and understand the will of the divine. Over time it’s grown to incorporate the rise of individualism, depth psychology, and pop culture. In a world of rapidly-evolving facts and an ever-growing catalog of sciences, how do we reconcile old ways with the new?
One of the most common concerns I hear about astrological relevance focusses on the incorporation of modern planets. Ancient astrologers used nine traditional planets — including two luminaries — to govern the twelve zodiac signs and make predictions. We’ve since added three planets (plus or minus one) to our understanding of the solar system, but what does this mean for astrology as a field? How did astrologers know where to put them or what roles to assign? Does this just prove they were making it up all along?
In order for anything to remain relevant, it must be adaptable. Astrology is a living system with the capacity to evolve with information and demands. Just as the world itself grows and changes daily, our systems of examination must also remain open to amendment.
Before the 20th Century, astrologers assigned each planet two signs with the exception of the Luminaries.
The Moon ruled Cancer.
Mercury ruled Gemini and Virgo.
Venus ruled Taurus and Libra.
The Sun ruled Leo.
Mars ruled Aries and Scorpio.
Jupiter ruled Sagittarius and Pisces.
Saturn ruled Capricorn and Aquarius.
This allowed for a certain amount of natural resonance. There was a natural spectrum of expression giving each Wandering Star two faces. Mercury emphasized eloquence and craftsmanship in Virgo while elevating swiftness in Gemini. Mars instilled ferocity in Aries and turned Scorpio into a tactician. It also coloured each sign with the qualities of its ruler — Jupiter enhanced Pisces’ boundlessness while Saturn brought a sense of…