If you are practicing magic or following astrology, you’ll quickly discover that each zodiac sign has a ruling planet and each planet has a symbol. It’s also believed that each planet rules a specific aspect of life.
This is important when casting, because when you perform magic, you’re often drawing down the energy of or asking for assistance from a certain planet or luminary. It’s good to know what aspects that planet governs so that you can perform spells or set intentions when that planet is at its most powerful.
This is why candle magic is best performed on certain days of the week, depending on your desire. It’s also why you wouldn’t want to do a communication spell when Mercury is retrograde.
You may also find you personally have a stronger connection to certain planets and your magic may work better overall when those planets are at their strongest. When other planets turn retrograde you might find yourself more affected or your intentions harder to manifest. Astrologers believe this has to do with what positions the planets were in when you were born.
Finally, it’s good to know each planet’s symbols so that you can use it as shorthand in your grimoire, when you inscribe candles, interpret the tarot, or when you read magical symbols others have created.
The Classical Ruling Planet for Each Zodiac Sign
- Aries: Mars
- Taurus: Venus
- Gemini: Mercury
- Cancer: Moon
- Leo: Sun
- Virgo: Mercury
- Libra: Venus
- Scorpio: Mars (now, Pluto)
- Sagittarius: Jupiter
- Capricorn: Saturn
- Aquarius: Saturn (now, Uranus)
- Pisces: Jupiter (now, Neptune)
The symbols you’ll find below are the graphical representations of the seven classical planets (Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Sun and Moon) and the three newer planets. The symbols were developed by astronomers and astrologers and have changed over time, and crosses were added to most after the rise of Christianity.
The symbols (also known as glyphs or sigils) below are the ones we use today.
The symbol for the Sun is a circle with a dot in the center. The Sun is a luminary that rules over our ego or conscious sense of self, creativity, life force, joy, confidence, self-direction, and pride. In astrology, the Sun represents your life’s purpose, outward personality, and how or why you make the decisions you do.
Zodiac Sign: The Sun rules Leo.
Tarot Card: The Sun
The symbol for the moon is the crescent. The Moon is a luminary that governs emotions, needs, instinctual reactions, the unconscious self, introspection, imagination, and intuition. In astrology, the Moon represents who you are emotionally and how you process feelings.
Zodiac Sign: The Moon rules Cancer.
Tarot Card: The High Priestess
The symbol for Mercury represents his winged helmet and serpentine staff or caduceus. Mercury rules over communication, magic, reasoning, and intellect. In astrology, it represents how you communicate and process information.
Zodiac Sign: Mercury rules Virgo and Gemini.
Tarot Card: The Magician
The symbol for Venus is her necklace. The false belief that the symbol represents her hand mirror has been published in many highly-regarded books and on sites (including NASA’s). However, if you look at the symbol from Bianchini’s planisphere depicted in the illustration below, you’ll see clearly that it’s her necklace.
Venus rules love, beauty, relationships, attraction, pleasure, and money. In astrology, where it is in your chart shows how you spend money, how you spend your leisure time, and what type of relationships you attract and pursue.
Zodiac Sign: Venus rules Taurus and Libra.
Tarot Card: The Empress
The symbol for Mars is the shield and the spear. Mars rules energy, anger, drive, passion, sex, and other primal desires. In astrology, Mars reveals your sexual nature and how you express your anger and drive.
Zodiac Sign: Mars rules Aries. It also used to rule Scorpio.
Tarot Card: The Tower
The symbol for Jupiter represents Jove’s eagle or Zeus’s thunderbolt. Jupiter rules abundance, optimism, generosity,, wisdom, possibility, growth, expansiveness, and good luck. It’ s known as the Greater Benefic. In astrology, Jupiter reveals how you show our generosity, how you grow, and how lucky you are.
Zodiac Sign: Jupiter rules Sagittarius. It also used to rule Pisces.
Tarot Card: Wheel of Fortune
The symbol for Saturn is the scythe. Saturn rules endings, long-term planning, fears, challenges, limitations, self-control, and discipline. In astrology, Saturn reveals how you respond in the face of fears or obstacles.
Zodiac Sign: Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius.
Tarot Card: The World
Uranus ⛢ or ♅
The symbol for Uranus is a circle with a dot in the middle and a spear pointing straight up. It’s a combination of the symbols for the Sun and Mars. It’s also sometimes represented by the name of the discoverer, William Herschel. Uranus rules innovation, individuality, ingenuity, unexpected change, radical ideas, and independence. In astrology, it reveals how your need for self-realization manifests.
Zodiac Sign: Uranus rules Aquarius.
Tarot Card: The Fool
The symbol for Neptune represents the sea god’s trident. Neptune rules intuition mysteries, dreams, inspiration, illusion, spirituality, and psychic power and connection. You may tend to attach spirituality, dreams, or chase illusions connected to the house Neptune is in in your chart.
Zodiac Sign: Neptune rules Pisces.
Tarot Card: The Hanged Man or The Moon
The symbol for Pluto is a combination of the letters P and L which represent the initials of astronomer Percival Lowell whose efforts led to the discovery of the celestial object. Pluto rules transformation, deeper meanings, the underworld, control, and the subconscious mind. In astrology, its placement reveals how you search for deeper meaning.
Zodiac Sign: Pluto rules Scorpio.
Tarot Card: Death or Judgment