Your Ruling Planet Plays Almost as Big a Role in Your Life as Your Sun Sign—Learn What it Means Here

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When it comes to astrology, it’s easy to get wrapped up in horoscopes and star signs. But what about the heavenly bodies that are pulling the strings? Even if you aren’t an expert in astrology, you might be familiar with how the planets play a part in our daily lives (see: full moons and retrogrades). The same influence can play out in our birth charts, too. In fact, each zodiac sign has a ruling planet, to which they attribute their signature astrological traits.

If you’ve ever wondered why Cancers are notoriously moody or what makes Aquarians the rebels of the zodiac, you can look to their respective planetary rulers for insights. Each of the planets and luminaries (aka the sun and moon) in our solar system has a specific meaning in astrology, and that meaning is thought to influence the sign over which it rules.

Experts In This Article

"Every sign has a ruling planet, and this planet is the most significant planetary influence of a sign," says astrologer and psychic medium Rachel Lang. "This planet influences how the sign is expressed, and it gives us insights into the personality traits inherent within the sign. To draw those connections, you would look at…the qualities of the planet."

"Every sign has a ruling planet. This planet influences how the sign is expressed, and it gives us insights into the personality traits inherent within the sign." —Rachel Lang, astrologer and psychic medium

Ruling planets discern the behavior of your zodiac sign, which in turn embodies your personality. Per Corina Crysler, "Your birth chart can tell you so many different things about your soul's mission and who you are, but your planet ruler can be used as the starting point of understanding what that means for your journey."

What are the ruling planets of the zodiac signs?

Each of the signs has one or two ruling planets. That’s because some planets weren’t discovered until after traditional astrology practices were established, then they were weaved into modern astrology. Before we knew about Neptune, for instance, Jupiter ruled Pisces, but since its discovery in 1846, we now know the ice giant to be Pisces’ modern-day ruler.

Since there are 10 planets (counting Pluto and the sun and moon), some signs also share the same ruling planet. For example, Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo, influencing Gemini’s chatterbox qualities, while relating to Virgo’s association with small details that

  • Aries: ruled by Mars
  • Taurus: ruled by Venus
  • Gemini: ruled by Mercury
  • Cancer: ruled by the moon
  • Leo: ruled by the sun
  • Virgo: ruled by Mercury
  • Libra: ruled by Venus
  • Scorpio: traditionally ruled by Mars, but ruled by Pluto in modern astrology
  • Sagittarius: ruled by Jupiter
  • Capricorn: ruled by Saturn
  • Aquarius: traditionally ruled by Saturn, but ruled by Uranus in modern astrology
  • Pisces: traditionally ruled by Jupiter, but ruled by Neptune in modern astrology

How do I find my ruling planet?

To find the ruling planet of your sun sign, you can simply find your sun sign in the list above. However, the ruling planet of your birth chart, aka your chart ruler, actually refers to the ruling planet of your rising sign or ascendant sign.

To determine your chart ruler, you’ll need to plug your birth date, time, and place into an astrology-chart generator, and find your rising sign, which, as Crysler puts it, is "your soul line that creates the script of your life." It's essentially how you show up in the world. The planet that rules your rising sign (see above) is your chart ruler.

How each ruling planet affects the sign it rules

Aries ruling planet: Mars

aries horoscope slide

There’s a reason why Aries people are masters of action. Not only are they the firstborns of the zodiac, but they’re ruled by Mars, the planet of brute force, aggression, and passion. "You'll see the emotions in Aries' actions and words—not only will they make themselves known, but they will happily take on any challenges that try to get in their way,” astrologer Lauren Ash explains.

In Greek mythology, Mars is associated with the god of war, “and the planet represents what motivates and drives us, as well as what we’re willing to fight for,” Lang adds. So that explains Aries’ short tempers.

Taurus ruling planet: Venus

taurus horoscope

Taurus is all about indulgence, which makes sense considering the diligent sign is ruled by Venus. “Venus is the planet of love and attraction,” explains Ash, adding that it’s also the planet that rules wealth, passion, and manifestation. Since the planet of love reflects harmony and comfort, Taurus has an unwavering devotion to all things self-care and romance.

Contrary to the softness that’s associated with Venus, it honors Taurus a strong sense of self-worth. “Their high standards and grand vision for themselves allow them to manifest their dreams into reality with the help of Venus,” says Ash. “Taurus knows exactly what they want from life and wastes no time pursuing it.”

Gemini ruling planet: Mercury

gemini horoscope

Gemini is notoriously inquisitive and multifaceted, and they have Mercury to thank for their ability to shape-shift to different environments. Associated with the messenger of the gods in Greek mythology, Mercury represents communication and ideas, giving Gemini the gift of gab and their affinity for prying and prodding for information.

And the trickster reputation that follows Gemini around? That’s Mercury’s work, too. “Gemini reacts to Mercury's mischievous influence, driven by curiosity and excitement,” explains Ash. “This makes them highly sociable and adaptable, akin to chameleons.”

Cancer ruling planet: the moon

cancer horoscope

The moon is connected to the tenderhearted sign of Cancer. While it’s technically not a planet in the literal sense, the moon is an important luminary in astrology, relating to our emotional temperament as it rules over our inner world. “The power of the moon grants Cancer the ability to see past reality, recognize truth, and get in touch with the heart of the matter,” Ash explains.

As for the maternal energy Cancers are known to possess, well, that’s because the moon is related to fertility and femininity. Crabby folks, you're natural children of the moon, a feminine force with the potential to awaken tempestuous emotional waters.

Leo ruling planet: the sun

leo horoscope

The spotlight is where Leo feels most comfortable, and it’s probably because they’re ruled by the luminary, our sun. Even though the sun isn’t a planet, like its counterpart the moon, it’s a crucial element of our chart that discerns ego and our core identity. "The sun, astrologically speaking, represents the way we shine our light in the world. It’s how we express our individuality,” says Lang. “Likewise, Leo is a sign that emphasizes creative expression."

When you’re ruled by the sun, you get a certain type of ego—OK, a big ego—that Leo knows all too well. But the sun’s rulership is more than that. Warm and courageous like the sun, Leos have a huge heart that will nobly protect everything it loves.

Virgo ruling planet: Mercury, Chiron

virgo horoscope

If you’ve ever wondered why Virgos are strong communicators—or how they’re able to remember that small detail you said in passing 10 years ago—it’s because they’re ruled by Mercury. Ruling over day-to-day tasks, Mercury represents the intricacies of our routines, allowing Virgo to “approach challenges with a methodical and task-oriented mindset,” explains Ash.

While perfectionist Virgo is often associated with Mercury, you might not know that the Earth sign also has ties to Chiron, an asteroid known as the 'wounded healer.' "In mythology, Chiron was the centaur that taught astrology and the healing arts of medicine," says Crysler. "He was the master healer and represents the wounds or pain we carry in our birth chart. Virgo is deeply connected to the past and is of service to the daily routine that creates healing and movement.”

In turn, most Virgos have a strong ability to know what is needed to move the pain we carry (both past and present) and are known as being the healers of the zodiac, says Crysler.

Libra ruling planet: Venus

libra horoscope

Lovers of beauty, romance, and love itself, Libra zodiac signs are keen on all things Venus rules over. Venus is the point of our chart related to unions, balance, and connection, which is why Libra is often seen as the social butterfly of the zodiac signs. “Libra is about balance and being open to the idea of letting life surprise them,” Ash says.

As for their effortless ability to compromise, it’s because Venus seeks justice and harmony in everything they do, but specifically in their relationships. That’s why your Libra friend is the glue that holds your friend group together and the person you turn to when you need level-headed advice.

Scorpio ruling planet: Pluto

scorpio horoscope

Scorpio’s secretive and brooding reputation, says astrologer Ryan Marquardt, is owed to its modern planetary ruler, Pluto. “Pluto feels like teetering at the edge of a bottomless pit. There’s no way to know what truly lies beneath,” Ryan Marquardt, astrologer and Co-founder of astrology calendar, BizmosCEO,  explains. It’s why Scorpios are selective with those they let in and why interacting with one can feel intense. What you see on the surface is hardly anything to go off of, since "Pluto is the furthest planet out, and it requires us to connect on an emotional, energetic, and/or subconscious level," Crysler says.

In traditional astrology, Mars shares rulership with Pluto and adds to Scorpio’s erotic vibe. “the restrained but heavy sexual tension, the offense/defense playbook forever looping behind their eyes,” Marquardt adds. This energy lends itself to Scorpio’s insatiable hunger for going deeper when it comes to connection, intimacy—and even their day-to-day life.

Sagittarius ruling planet: Jupiter

sagittarius horoscope

If it feels like Sagittarius is eternally blessed, it’s because they are. And the secret behind the fire sign’s lucky streak is its ruling planet, Jupiter, which governs abundance and personal expansion (which, BTW, is why you should mark your Jupiter return on your calendar). Jupiter is the point in our chart that colors our search for truth and understanding.

“Sagittarius, the jester of the zodiac, is also recognized for its thirst for truth, pursuit of higher knowledge, and openness to evolution,” explains Ash. Jupiter’s quest for expansion includes travel and culture, which explains Sagittarius’ case of wanderlust. It’s easy to have a natural zest for life when the planets are on your side, eh?

Capricorn ruling planet: Saturn

capricorn horoscope

Saturn rules over Capricorn, and it’s pretty clear where the earth sign channels its stoic CEO vibe since the haloed gas giant rules discipline and limitation. Saturn is our progression of maturity. When it comes to how Saturn shows up in Capricorn, “this entails working tirelessly to climb the mountain of life until they have the age, experience, and authority to start calling the shots,” says Ash.

In case it isn’t obvious, Saturn’s tough love is why most people wince when they think of their Saturn return. Sure, this is the era you shed your old skin (no pressure, right?), but it's a necessary time for growth, structure, and getting your life in order—and any Capricorn is capable of conquering the world because they have excellent discipline.

Aquarius ruling planet: Uranus

aquarius horoscope

Aquarius is the zodiac’s rebel, and it’s not for no reason. Uranus is the modern ruler of Aquarius, and its unpredictable, earth-shattering approach to progress is the reason why Aquarius is devoted to squashing traditions and embracing the future. “Uranus can be impulsive and reckless, qualities that can boost Aquarius’ ingenuity and foresight,” says Marquardt.

Saturn co-rules Aquarius in traditional astrology, FYI. If you remember, Saturn reflects our boundaries, which mirrors the air sign’s need to squash traditions, or as Ash puts it, Saturn’s rulership “is about learning the rules as the rebel of the zodiac in order to more effectively break them.” In other words, the double rulership is where the contrarian tendencies show up for Aquarius.

Pisces ruling planet: Neptune

pisces horoscope

Pisces is the twin fish who deals with everyone's empathy waves (a blessing and a curse). Their idealistic dreaminess can be owed to Neptune, the planet that deals with all things related to the unseen: the subconscious, fantasy, and illusions. “Neptune dissolves barriers between real and fantasy,” says Marquardt. “Neptune can bestow Pisces with extraordinary creative talents the world has never imagined before.”

Wait, so where does Pisces get their intuition? In traditional astrology, the water sign is also ruled by lucky Jupiter, the planet that rules philosophy and knowledge. “Their luck stems from a deep knowing and a nurtured relationship with the divine,” explains Ash.

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