Attributes of the planets were once so well-known and accepted that they crept into our language. Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language describes a Saturnine individual as one who is sluggish, gloomy, morose, grave and taciturn–“born under the supposed influence of the planet Saturn.” A Mercurial individual is described as having qualities attributed to the god Mercury or supposedly influenced by the planet Mercury–eloquent, clever, shrewd, or having qualities suggestive of the metal mercury: quick, quick-witted, volatile, changeable, fickle. The dictionary also defines the Jovial type (ruled by Jupiter), the venial or venereal sin (related to Venus), and the lunatic (affected by the Moon). Let’s look at brief descriptions of the planetary types. Whole books have been written about each of them, so consult them if you feel a need to flesh out your understanding.
The Solar type: (Ruled by the Sun or the sign Leo) This somewhat regal individual has a strong need to shine, to stand out in bold relief, and often does just that. All the self words are emphasized: self-expression, self-confidence or self-consciousness, self-development, self-obsession, and even selfishness. At worst, the person can have a big ego and an insatiable need to be noticed, even the center of attention.
The Lunar type: (Ruled by the Moon or the Sign Cancer) This is someone who expends much energy tending to lunar concerns. These include nurturing, food, the home, security, women and women’s needs, family, and the emotions. The past and family of origin figure strongly in the person’s behavior, habits, and emotional issues and are often carried into adult life.
The Mercurial type: (Ruled by Mercury or the signs Gemini or Virgo) Here is a natural communicator who would do well to earn a living using those skills. Otherwise the energy is squandered on the phone, the Internet, or in incessant chatter. These individuals are restless, changeable, and incurably curious. They don’t tolerate boredom well. They are cerebral and even intellectual, and often have a keen sense of humor.
The Venusian type: (Ruled by Venus or the signs Libra or Taurus) For them, relationships are paramount, and they feel unfulfilled without a partner. Romantic, charming, often attractive if overly concerned with appearance, they hunger for a steady dose of affection and warmth from those around them. Considerate, caring individuals, they often vacillate on decisions because they want to please everyone and keep the peace. They can be too other-directed and thus lack the drive to accomplish things for their own sake.
The Martial type: (Ruled by Mars or the sign Aries) These people are action-oriented, often rashly leaping to act before careful thought or planning. They are often seen as leaders because they have abundant energy, drive, zeal, and sureness about their aims. They can be aggressive, hot-headed or competitive and lack patience with slower, less certain folks. Easily irritated, but the sign and aspects of Mars determine how readily they show anger and how it is expressed.
The Jovial type: (Ruled by Jupiter or the sign Sagittarius)This type seeks answers to the big questions of life. In that quest, they tend to be perpetual scholars, whether in formal schooling or self-taught. Once they find an answer they like, they aren’t shy about carrying the word enthusiastically to others. Thus they are often formal or informal teachers, preachers, or public relations people. They can be conventional, moralistic, and preachy, but generous, with a good, though convoluted sense of humor. Optimistic by nature, they seek to uplift and encourage others and to find lessons in every trial.
The Saturnine type: (Ruled by Saturn or the sign Capricorn)These people early in life form strong goals and devote much of the available time to fulfilling them. Serious, focused, reliable, dutiful, responsible, and capable beyond their years, they can also be somber perfectionists or depressed, anxious workaholics, especially when stymied in accomplishing their lofty aims. The older they get and the more of their goals they fulfill, the more they grow mellow and cut themselves some slack. They can become the elders of the tribe, with valuable practical experience to pass along.
The Uranian type: (Ruled by Uranus or the sign Aquarius)These individualists–one might even say characters–abound in eccentricities that can either endear or drive others up the wall. They can rebel when society exerts too much pressure to conform to rules that go against their grain. Often advanced in ideas, supportive of social causes, or brilliantly inventive, these folks will often be avant guard, seldom mainstream, though they can start fads. Their beleaguered parents somehow survive a stormy adolescence, when authority is perpetually questioned. They can be contrary and often discard a workable system simply because it is passé.
The Neptunian type: (Ruled by Neptune or the sign Pisces) Much like the haze that surrounds their signature planet, these beings can be confused and confusing. Their perceptions are less focused on the material world than on realms beyond–the spiritual, the astral, the creative, and the imaginary dimensions. Hard to pin down, they can shift between savior or saved, nurse or patient, saint or sinner, spiritual seeker or lost soul, inspiration or delusion. Some are prone to addictions or fantasy to escape a reality that doesn’t fit their dreams. However, they can turn that pattern around, and when they do, they have much to teach all of us in this addictive era.
The Plutonian type: (Ruled by Pluto or the sign Scorpio) Often suffering painful betrayals, losses, and abuses of power in early years, these hawk-eyed observers of humanity, and of life itself, can be wary and mistrustful. Their perceptions are keen, deep, and accurate, yet the conclusions they draw can be distorted by old traumas. Shown a path to healing, they will work obsessively to overcome their own ills, or those of others, or those of society as a whole. Many become therapists, healers, or social reformers. (I devoted an entire book, Healing Pluto Problems, to these valiant souls.)
Outer Planet People: Commonly encountered in astrology and New Age circles, but seldom in the teller’s cage at the bank, are what I call Outer Planet People or OPPs. In their charts, two or more of the outer planets–Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto–are heavily emphasized. There are sub-races of OPPS–the Uranus-Neptune type versus the Pluto-Uranus type versus the Pluto-Neptune type, as detailed in The Outer Planets and Inner Life, Volume . However, they all share the distinction of not being “of this world” and of feeling set apart and alienated from earthlings. Many would characterize themselves as Starseed. (If you don’t know what Starseed are, there is a strong chance you either aren’t an OPP or else are in denial about your origins.)
OPPs typically do not come into their own until the midlife cycle hits, when they are empowered by double doses of outer planet energies. (In the late thirties to mid-forties, transiting Neptune squares natal Neptune, Uranus opposes natal Uranus, and Pluto squares natal Pluto.) At that time, they with others of their generation gather the courage to fully express the outer planets and to remember their incarnational purposes. With all the outer planets in universal signs for the next several decades, we desperately need their help for the earth to survive and for all of us to shift to a global/galactic culture.