Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In astrology, a ruling planet is a planet of the solar system that is associated more strongly with a particular sign of the Zodiac than other planets are thought to be. The ruling planet for a given sign affects that sign even when the ruling planet is not in the sign or in an astrological aspect related to the sign.
The assignments of the ruling planets appear to be based upon the Northern Hemisphere seasons, as the sun and the moon, the principal bearers of light and heat, were awarded to Leo and Cancer, respectively, since the months the sun passed through these signs (in ancient times) were the warmest and had the longest days.
Since Mercury never appears more than one sign from the sun in either direction, it was deemed to rule the two signs on either side of Leo and Cancer (Virgo and Gemini), and since Venus can never be found more than two signs from the sun, it obtained the rulership of Libra and Taurus.
The discovery of the three "new" planets in modern times provided a dilemma for astrologers, which most eventually resolved by a general consensus declaring Uranus to be Aquarius' ruling planet, while assigning Neptune to Pisces and later, Pluto was given to Scorpio (with some modern astrologers still insisting Pluto rules Aries and not Scorpio).
Most modern, psychologically oriented astrologers do in fact use Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto as ruling planets (or co-rulers) of those particular three signs listed above; many others also use the ancient rulers while using the modern planets as the co-ruler of those signs.
On the other hand, astrologers whose methods are rooted in traditional or classical methods do not use any of the outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) as the ruling planets of those three signs, preferring to stick with tradition instead and only use the traditional rulership scheme.
Other astrologer do not use any of the planets as sign rulers (Cosmobiologists , Uranian astrologers , Hamburg School), preferring to focus more on the astrological aspects and other portions of the astrological chart instead of trying to delineate a certain planet's meaning when it is found within a particular sign.
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