Before delving into the Planets, I’d like to point out that although the names of the Planets are also the names of Gods and Goddesses, it is an error to limit your understanding of the Planets by giving too much emphasis to the qualities ascribed to their divine namesakes.
The Planets also correlate to the spheres on the Tree of Life (Qabala) and have other attributes that are only taught in an astrological context.
The Planets are also associated in different magickal systems with a variety of beings, such as intelligences, spirits, angels, archangels, and more.
Each Planet is a container for an incredibly wide array of characteristics and qualities.
As I mentioned earlier, Astrology can be likened to a language.
The Planets serve the lexical role of nouns.
So if you recall your days in grammar class, you’ll be able to remember that a noun is a person, place, thing, or idea.
The word “planet” is derived from ancient Greek and means “wandering star.”
Unlike the fixed stars in the night sky whose relationship to each other seems not to change, the Planets are those lights that are seen to move over time.
This is not the definition used in astronomy.
For example, in Astrology, the Moon is considered a Planet because of its apparent motion.
As you may know, in 2006 astronomers demoted Pluto from the status of Planet to dwarf Planet.
In Astrology, Pluto remains a Planet because it moves through our sky and has been verified to have specific effects in astrological charts.
Some of you may be asking, what about the asteroids and the other dwarf Planets? Many astrologers are using some of the asteroids and dwarf Planets in their charts.
I certainly do. I say some of the asteroids and dwarf Planets because many of them are so recently discovered that there has not been enough time to fully determine what they mean.
For the scope of this book, the chapter on the Planets will focus on the basic set that is used in magickal practices, although there will be some passing reference to the asteroids and the dwarf Planets.
The Planets are states of being and sources of particular sorts of power.
In Western esotericism, the Planets when attributed to the spheres on the Tree of Life (sephiroth of the Qabala) can be referred to as the mundane chakras.
This is an interesting phrase that can be interpreted in many different ways.
Imagine for a moment that our solar system is like the body of an immense celestial being.
Within this celestial being the Planets are like its subtle centers that take the universal flux which contains all things, and condense and focus that energy and that essence into specific patterns and qualities.
In the human energy field, the subtle bodies, the chakras are also particularized energetic centers.
In Astrology, the Planets also represent different parts and functionalities within the human self and psyche.
Although much of modern Astrology is anthropocentric, all of its concepts are also applicable to the whole of the manifest world and all its life.
This more universal application becomes very important in matters of Magick and ritual where we see the Planets and Signs correlated to minerals, herbs, metals, and more.