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NEW : Dwarf planet control now added: Press the button to access minor planets.

When enabled, you will see the 5 official dwarf planets (Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris) with green orbits.

NEW : For Browsers that do not support Flash, we display a simpler month look ahead / behind App.

Astrological View of the Planets Today

This page brings you face to face with the heavens as they are today, now, this moment! And also as they will be and were. You can rewind time to see the heavens at the time of your birth and discover for yourself which sign each planet was in and which were in retrograde. However, please be aware that although the positions of the planets shown are very accurate, they are not to the second by second precision of the charts that astrologers normally use.

How do I control the planets

Most of the controls are reasonably obvious - especially if you play with them. The top slider allows you to control how time moves so you can speed forwards and backwards in time. Pressing the yellow button by the slider puts it into real time so the planets move as quickly on the screen as they are in space. So it's not to difficult to rewind time to the time of your birth to see the planets as they were. If you need to get the display back to show the planets as they are today and now, then press the yellow button next to the date time display at the top. For full information on all the app controls, click here.

Which sign is each planet in?

In order to see the sign the planet was in, you need to make sure that the planet orbits are set to realistic. Slide the slider with the eye and tick to the tick position to have the orbits in proportion rather than diagrammatic mode. In this mode all the angles between the planets will be correct so each planet is shown in the right sign. Stop press: Try the new geocentric view where planets always shown in the right place in the sky - but not how far away they are. In order to see the inner planets you'll have to zoom in using the orbit zoom slider.

Which Planets are in retrograde?

Planets glow as they go into retrograde. You may find that planets were on the cusp of retrograde at you time of birth, in which case you may need to consult accurate charts to see exactly when retrograde phase started. Or indeed if the planet was in a stopped phase either side of retrograde.

What does it all mean for me?

Astrology is a very wide subject with many many layers of interpretation required to understand all the meanings provided by a persons natal chart (where all the planets were at their precise time of birth) in conjunction with the positions of the planets now.

There are also various schools which use slightly different methods and ways of measuring the planets in order to make predictions and give advice.

The following is a very brief overview of western astrology to give you an idea of how it works without touching too much on areas of contention with the astrology world.

Astrology Overview

Signs of the zodiac

The signs of the Zodiac

The sky is divided up into 12 areas - the 12 signs of the zodiac. Each of these signs covers an equal area of the sky and always align to the same stars. (Over millennia the zodiac could be said to move as the earth's axis rotates - but it's best to ignore this whilst learning the basics). So when looking at the sky, the stars are fixed when compared with the zodiac, but the planets, as they orbit the sun, change position and "wander" about. Astrology tries to use the movements of the stars to understand our personalities and to some extent control our destinies. Each of the 12 signs is also associated with an element (earth, air, fire and water) and also a mode (cardinal, fixed and mutable). More about this later.

The Planets

Each of the planets (which for astrology includes the sun and the moon) control a different aspect. In general terms they can be listed as:

Sun = Ego / Self
Moon = Emotion / Moods
Mercury = Communication / Thinking
Venus = Harmony / Affections
Mars = Confidence / Energy
Jupiter = Prosperity / Good Fortune
Saturn = Limitations / Practicality
Uranus = Individuality / Inventiveness
Neptune = Idealism / Compassion
Pluto = Transformation / Power

The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are the personal planets which affect our personalities and immediate relationships. The more distant planets affect how we interact with the world in a more general way.

When planets are in retrograde (e.g. they appear to be traveling backwards to their normal motion in the sky) their effect can be reversed to be directed inwards. When they again start to move forward again their effect can be enhanced.

Planets and Signs

Each planet is the ruler of a particular sign (or signs). Whilst in that sign the planets influence is enhanced. The rulerships for each of the planets are as below:

Sun Leo
Moon Cancer
Mercury Gemini and Virgo
Venus Libra and Taurus
Mars Aries (and* Scorpio)
Jupiter Sagittarius (and* Pisces)
Saturn Capricorn (and* Aquarius)
Uranus Aquarius
Neptune Pisces
Pluto Scorpio

* before the invention of telescopes, these signs were also assigned to these planets. Since telescopes the three outer planets have been discovered and assigned these signs.

This information is useful since if you know what influence a planet has, then you will know what influence that signs ruled by that planet have.

Elements

Signs are allocated a different element in turn. This means that every fourth sign has the same element as follows:

Fire Signs : Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air Signs : Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water Signs : Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Fire signs represent a persons passion, energy,enthusiasm, inspiration.
Earth signs represent a persons practicality, stability, materialism, realism.
Air signs represent language, intellect, communication and social relationships.
Water Signs represent emotion, mysticism, intuition.

Generally speaking, the more planets someone has in a particular sign at the time of their birth, the stronger that signs personality traits will be in them.

Modes

Rather like elements, each sign also has a mode allocated to it. Every 3rd sign has the same mode as follows:

Cardinal Signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
Fixed Signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
Mutable Signs: Gemini. Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces

Cardinal signs are energetic, dynamic and proactive.
Fixed signs are persistence, perseverant, stabile.
Mutable signs are flexible, changeable, adaptable, suggestible.

Again, the more planets you have in a particular Mode, the more your personality has those traits.

Working out the planets influences?

It takes quite a lot of skill to determine one's personality traits accurately. However, a simple rule of thumb is to count at the time of birth how many planets fall in each sign and then work out how many are in each element and mode (perhaps counting the sun and moon as 2 due to their extra influence). The greater the score for each indicates how much of an influence each element and mode are on that person.

What are the Houses

Just when you thought you might have got some sort of a grip on astrology, in come the houses. Whereas signs indicate what personality traits one has, houses indicate where they will exhibited themselves.

Like the signs, there are 12 houses which divide up the sky. However the alignment of the houses is defined by the position of the horizon on the time of your birth. This means in order to calculate the houses, one must know not only what date one was born but also what time (to within a few minutes) and at what location on earth.

Astrological houses

If one were to the set the application above to the time of ones birth and then set the lat and long to the place of ones birth, then the lowest slider will then bring up a display of the horizon at that time and location. Using this horizon one can ascertain how the houses are defined.

The first house is located just under the western horizon, and the others follow consecutively in an anti-clockwise direction - e.g. the first 6 are in the black area (below the horizon), the last 6 are in the sky area (above the horizon). Once one knows where the houses lie, one can again see which sign lies in which house. Since there are 12 signs and 12 houses one can see that normally each house will overlay parts of 2 signs. The sign used is the sign which overlays the cusp of the house. The lines which separate each of the houses are called the cusps. The cusp of a house is the line preceding.

What do the houses mean?

The following chart from wikipedia shows how the houses are interpreted.

House Sign Latin motto Translation Modern title of house Interpretation
1st Aries Vita Life House of Self Physical appearance, traits and characteristics. First impressions. General outlook into the world. Ego. Beginnings and initiatives.
2nd Taurus Lucrum Wealth House of Value Material and immaterial things of certain value. Money. Belongings, property, acquisitions. Cultivation and growth. Substance. Self-Worth.
3rd Gemini Fratres Brothers House of Communications Higher education and childhood environment. Communication. Happiness. Intelligence. Achievements. Siblings. Neighbourhood matters. Short, local travel and transportations.
4th Cancer Genitor Parent House of Home and Family Ancestry, heritage, roots. Early foundation and environment. Mother or mothers as figure. The caretaker of the household. Cyclic end of matters.
5th Leo Nati Children House of Pleasure Recreational and leisure activities. Things which makes for enjoyment and entertainment. Games and gambling. Children. Love and sex. Creative self-expression.
6th Virgo Valetudo Health House of Health Routine tasks and duties. Skills or training acquired. Jobs and Employments. Health and overall well-being. Service performed for others. Caretaking. Pets and small domestic animals.
7th Libra Uxor Spouse House of Partnerships Close, confidante-like relationships. Marriage and business partners. Agreements and treaties. Matters dealing with diplomatic relations of all kinds, including open (known) enemies. Attraction to qualities we admire from the other partner.
8th Scorpio Mors Death House of Reincarnation Cycles of Deaths And Rebirth. Sexual relationships and deeply committed relationships of all kinds. Joint funds, finances. Other person's resource. Occult, psychic and taboo matters. Regeneration. Self-transformation.
9th Sagittarius Iter Journeys House of Philosophy Foreign travel and foreign countries. Culture. Long distance travels and journeys. Religion. Law and ethics. Higher education. Knowledge. Experience through expansion.
10th Capricorn Regnum Kingdom House of Social Status Ambitions. Motivations. Career. Status in society. Government. Authority. Father or father figure. The breadwinner of the household. One's public appearance/impression at large(audience).
11th Aquarius Benefacta Friendship House of Friendships Friends and acquaintances of like-minded attitudes. Groups, clubs and societies. Higher associations. Benefits and fortunes from career. One's hopes and wishes.
12th Pisces Carcer Prison House of Self-Undoing Mysticism. Places of seclusion such as hospitals, prisons and institutions, including self-imposed imprisonments. Things which are not apparent to self, yet clearly seen by others. Elusive, clandestine, secretive or unbeknownst matters. Retreat, reflection and self-sacrifice. Unconscious/subconscious. Unknown enemies.

Many modern astrologers assume that the houses relate to their corresponding signs, i.e. that the first house has a natural affinity with the first sign, Aries, and so on.

And there's more...

The houses can also be classified as Angular, Succedent and Cadent and are ruled by signs according to the astrological modality. And... well there are many many more aspects to astrology which seem almost designed to confuse and complicate.

As you can see, astrology is not a simple area of study. The above is just skimming the surface of a subject that could (and does) take up volumes and volumes of books. There are many systems of astrology and many variations between individual astrologers that use the same basic principles. Some astrologers also use astronomical objects which have never been seen by the unaided eye (such as chiron - an asteroid/comet cross discovered in 1977) and others objects that have never even been detected. Some prefer to align the zodiac to the night time sky as seen by astrologers thousands of years ago.

All in all, with astrology, one must pick and choose the astrologer and the style of astrology that suits one best.