How to Read Current Planetary Positions
'Never read an astrological chart before? Need a refresher?
Here's an easy-to-understand, 5-minute walkthrough to help you understand the chart at the top of this page. After you read this, you'll be able to analyze daily astrology charts on your own.
What is an astrology chart?
The astrological chart at the top of this page shows the current position of the Sun, Moon and 7 planets in the sky. (It's updated every 5 minutes, so it's accurate to within fractions of a degree in most cases).
As you probably know, Earth's solar system consists of 8 planets rotating around the Sun.
From an astrological perspective however, we like to think of the planets as moving around the Earth instead or the planets moving around the sun. Why? Because that's how it appears from our point of view, here on Earth.
Even though this "geocentric model" (that's the model where the Earth goes in the middle, rather than the Sun) may not be a scientifically accurate way to describe the solar system, it's actually a very effective way of describing the planets relative to us.
Astrology is about your relative position to the stars and planets.
In other words, astrology does not attempt to model the solar system as an outside observer would see it. Instead it models the position of heavenly bodies in relation to where you're sitting right now. Which is after all, the whole idea.
What are planets in astrology?
One important thing to keep in mind is that in astrology, the word "planet" does not have the same definition that it does in astronomy. This can be confusing to new students who tend to think of "planets" always being actual planets.
Astrology often uses a broader definition of the word "planet".
NOTE: For the purposes of analyzing an astrological chart, the term "planet' may refer to any celestial object in our solar system which crosses the sky. So while the Sun and Moon are clearly not planets, they are often referred to as "planets" when analyzing astrology charts.
More specifically, when reading an astrology chart, "planets" are any of the symbols depicted within small circles in the chart above.
These heavenly bodies which move across our sky are the Sun, the Moon, the inner rocky planets, the large gaseous outer planets, and Pluto.
iFate's astrology charts include the following "planets":
(Click any planet to jump to its meaning)
When we read an astrology chart, what matters is the position of each planet relative to zodiac signs and houses. We'll get to each of those concepts in a bit. But first we need to remember the basic meaning of each planet:
What Do the Planets Mean in a Chart?
What does The Sun mean in astrology?
The Sun represents ego, vitality and purpose. In a daily chart the Sun also represents a focus of human attention. An illumination of something brings awareness.
What does Mercury mean in astrology?
Mercury represents communication, logic, analytical ability and education. Mercury is the master of communication. It may also reference news, media or the Internet.
What does Venus mean in astrology?
Love, interpersonal relationships, beauty and desire are governed by Venus. It influences human interaction, female sexuality and friendships. Venus also influences creativity.
What does the Moon mean in astrology?
The Moon represents the subconscious mind. It influences our inner feelings and deep instincts. It can also represent aspects of motherhood and emotional bonds within families.
What does Mars mean in astrology?
The action-oriented planet Mars represents directed energy, inner drive and sometimes aggression. Mars also represents war, male sexuality, athletics and competition.
What does Jupiter mean in astrology?
The grand concepts of justice, morality and philosophical thought are governed by Jupiter. It can also represent global organizations, government and world politics.
What does Saturn mean in astrology?
Saturn is the keeper of boundaries, personal limits and responsibilities. It may represent restrictions, restrictive laws, old organizations and constrained thought.
What does Uranus mean in astrology?
Uranus is the rebel planet. It represents radical change and all forces that challenge tradition. It is the bringer of social, political and even environmental change.
What does Neptune mean in astrology?
Neptune is the planet of mystery. It represents dreams, illusions and fantasy. It may also reference drugs or altered consciousness -- in a positive or negative sense.
What does Pluto mean in astrology?
Pluto is an ever-changing planet of transition: Changes between health and sickness, wealth and poverty, and success and failure. Like fate, Pluto is unpredictable.
What about asteroids and planetoids?
Some astrologers may also include additional celestial objects in their charts, like objects in the asteroid belt or "dwarf planets" from the outer Kuiper belt. Whether or not these objects are included, most astrologers agree that such minor bodies have relatively minor influences -- if they even have influences at all.
NOTE: Keep in mind that in ancient times, astronomers and astrologers didn't know about most minor celestial bodies -- including Pluto, which wasn't discovered until the 1930's. While many contemporary astrologers have since incorporated these minor planetary positions into their chart interpretations, they are not part of classical astrology.
Zodiac signs on a astrology charts
Now that we've covered what each of the planets means in astrology, the next most important thing to cover are the zodiac signs which divide the chart's outer circle into 12 equal wedges.
Each of these astrological signs represents a constellation of the zodiac. These constellations adorns the celestial sphere behind each of the "planets" in the sky.
When planet positions are within the confines of a particular "wedge" we say that planet "is in" that sign.
For example: In the sample chart pictured below, Mercury is in Aries, and the Moon is in Virgo. In other words, if you were to look up at Mercury in the night sky with a telescope, the constellation "behind" Mercury in the sky at that moment would be Aries.
The meaning of each zodiac sign in a chart
NOTE: The following zodiac definitions are generalized definitions for the purposes of analyzing daily astrological charts. They are not traditional "Sun Sign" zodiac definitions used in horoscopes.
What does Aries mean in astrology?
The fire-sign Aries is individualistic, pioneering and active. In a daily chart it may represent brands, reputation, image, appearance and identity.
What does Taurus mean in astrology?
The earth-sign Taurus is strong, kind, patient and sometimes stubborn. In a daily chart it may represent money, property, business or charity.
What does Gemini mean in astrology?
The air-sign Gemini is forever curious and social, but filled with contradiction. In a daily chart it may signify media, journalism and public communication.
What does Cancer mean in astrology?
The water-sign Cancer is characterized by protection of friends and family. It may represent motherhood, community, patriotism or the home.
What does Leo mean in astrology?
The fire-sign Leo represents bravery and fierce loyalty. In a daily chart it represents protection of the weak, defense of the young, training and dedication.
What does Virgo mean in astrology?
The earth-sign Virgo is a rational, cerebral force. In a daily chart is may represent daily routine, dedication to work, exercise and healing.
What does Libra mean in astrology?
The earth-sign Libra is a rational, cerebral force. In a daily chart is may represent daily routine, dedication to work, exercise and healing.
What does Scorpio mean in astrology?
The water-sign Scorpio is complex, sensual, creative and ambitious. In a daily chart it may signify the interplay of power and money, or sex and money.
What does Sagittarius mean in astrology?
The fire-sign Sagittarius suggests freedom and intellectualism. In a daily chart it may represent travel, foreign things, academics or the web.
What does Capricorn mean in astrology?
The earth-sign Capricorn is a patient but ambitious sign. In a daily chart it may represent social status, ambition or a social hierarchy.
What does Aquarius mean in astrology?
The air-sign Aquarius is friendly, giving and humanitarian. In a daily chart it represents 'people power', teams, associations, groups or clubs.
What does Pisces mean in astrology?
The water-sign Pisces is spiritual, idealistic and creative. In a daily chart it represents secrets, thoughts, underlying forces and dreams.
Kinds of astrology charts
When you're reading a daily astrology chart, it's important to consider context. Reading a daily chart is not the same as reading an astrological birth chart or natal chart.
When we read birth charts or natal charts, we pay much more attention to character traits and signals which are relevant to the arc of someone's life.
But when we read a daily astrology chart like the one at the top of this page, we pay more attention to day-to-day issues and the effects the chart has on current events.