Astro SOS: Do I have ‘bad’ planets?

My horoscope and the planets

Is there such a thing as a bad planet in astrology?
Some planets just seem to have bad press attached to them. Mars. Saturn. Uranus. Pluto. Centuries ago, before the advent of telescopes which allowed us to discover the planets that lie beyond Saturn, planetary influences were lumped into ‘benefic’ and ‘malefic’ catergories. Venus, planet of love was known as the lesser benefic, Jupiter the greater benefic. Mars was the lesser malefic, Saturn the greater. Despite the fact that we now know so much more about the solar system and planetary influences, many astrologers still look at the planets in this way – something which can put off people having an astrology reading due to the fact that they are scared they will be told they have ‘bad’ planets! This is a great pity as properly understood, astrology is one of the most powerful soul development tools we have at our disposal. It’s time to get real about the planets and de-bunk certain myths – the ‘bad’ planet one in particular.

Different planets do rule different aspects of our lives and different houses. But to label one planet ‘good’ and another ‘bad’ is not only misleading but inaccurate. Each and every planet has its benefits and challenges. For example – let’s look at Jupiter – the ‘greater’ benefic. Jupiter brings us expansion, luck, adventure and opportunities. Under a fabulous Jupiter transit we can experience the most amazing good fortune. However, despite his positive image there is a negative side to Jupiter. Because Jupiter doesn’t know about limits he can lead to recklessness, over-indulgence resulting in more than one kind of hangover (waist expansion or a muffin top!), or at the extreme, illnesses such as gout, joint inflammation, liver problems or large growths in the body. Venus rules our love lives, and our bank accounts. She can deliver love and money but also if we’re not careful lead us into a different kind of indulgence, squandering our money on ‘beautiful’ but non-essential things and neglecting to attend to practicalities owing to us getting lost in love affairs, hedonism and shopping.

Saturn the so-called ‘greater malefic’ used to make ancient astrologers shake in their shoes. He rules endings, karma and restrictions of all kinds. But looked at another way, he sets boundaries which are there to protect us unless we persist in disobeying him. Saturn rules structure. If you want to build something for your future – say set up your own business, then Saturn is the planet who will give you the determination to stick this out for the long haul. He also rewards us, often with accolades when we do. Are you one of those people blessed with beautiful teeth and a 1000 watt smile? Then thank Saturn for that as he rules your teeth and bones.

When we start to look at the planets in this way we see that the planets deliver experiences from which we learn. There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ planets. Astrology allows us to understand a planet’s influences, to see what experiences it may bring us and then gives us the insight to be able to choose how we are going to respond even when the experiences are challenging. Remember, it’s all about energy cycles. Once we learn the lesson the planet is giving us we transform our energy and move onto the next level of experience which means just like passing an exam we don’t have to repeat the lesson. So – there is no such thing as having a planetary influence that says you are going to be unlucky in love for the rest of your life, just a lesson to be learned that is in fact guiding you towards what you need!

So, before you try hiding under the bed to escape a Uranus opposition or rush out looking for love in all the wrong places because Venus is in your 5th house, take some time to look at all the experiences the planet offers. And if you’ve been too scared until now to ask an astrologer about your birthchart in case you have ‘bad’ planets you now know there’s no such thing – just labels we’ve given them in the past which are now out-dated. Astrology is something that evolves with us and as we evolve, so does our understanding of the powerful message all the planets have.

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