Ruler has multiple meanings in astrology.
The domicile is the sign ruled by a particular planet. Each of the ten planets is the ruler of at least one sign of the zodiac. Essentially the planet is most "at home" in the sign it rules. The qualities of a sign are considered to be most closely related to those of its ruling planet. When a planet is situated in its "own" sign (for example Venus in Taurus), it is thought to express its inherent qualities most strongly. Planets are also considered to be strong in the sign of their exaltation and inhibited in expression in the sign of their detriment or fall.
Mercury and Venus are both rulers of two signs of the zodiac. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were also rulers of two signs in the traditional or classical astrological system which used only the seven visible planets. Mars ruled Aries and Scorpio; Jupiter, Sagittarius and Pisces; and Saturn ruled Aquarius alongside Capricorn. With the discovery of the outer planets beyond Saturn, modern astrologers consider Uranus to be the primary ruler of Aquarius; Neptune, the ruler of Pisces; and Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio. Horary, traditional and electional astrologers, however, continue to work with the classical system of rulers.
The Signs of the Zodiac and their Rulers
- Aries : Mars
- Taurus : Venus
- Gemini : Mercury
- Cancer : Moon
- Leo : Sun
- Virgo : Mercury
- Libra : Venus
- Scorpio : Pluto (traditionally Mars)
- Sagittarius : Jupiter
- Capricorn : Saturn
- Aquarius : Uranus (traditionally Saturn)
- Pisces : Neptune (traditionally Jupiter)
The planet ruling the sign on the ascendant is called the chart ruler in modern astrology.
Lord or Accidental House Cusp Ruler (House Ruler)
The planetary ruler of the sign on a house cusp has considerable influence over the affairs of that house. For example, if someone has Gemini on the cusp of his 10th house, Mercury by its own aspects and house position can supply more information on the affairs of his 10th house. Examining the planet which rules the sign in which a second planet stands is one method to determine the dispositor of the second planet.
The Houses and their Natural Rulers
Another system of rulerships popularized by Charles Carter correlates each house of the zodiac with its corresponding sign in numerical order, and thus assigns planetary sign rulers to their corresponding houses.
- First House: Mars
- Second House: Venus
- Third House: Mercury
- Fourth House: Moon
- Fifth House: Sun
- Sixth House: Mercury
- Seventh House: Venus
- Eighth House: Pluto (formerly Mars)
- Ninth House: Jupiter
- Tenth House: Saturn
- Eleventh House: Uranus (formerly Saturn)
- Twelfth House: Neptune (formerly Jupiter)
Each planet, sign, and house has affinities with several types of objects, people, events, animals, and most things imaginable. For example, Jupiter, Sagittarius, and the 9th house all relate to higher education and can be said to rule it. Mars rules soldiers, Taurus rules cattle, the third house rules short-distance travel, and so on. These rulerships are particularly used in horary, electional, and medical astrology.
- Rex E. Bills, 1971, The Rulership Book, American Federation of Astrologers
- Karen Hamaker-Zondag, 1994, The House Connection: How to Read the Houses in an Astrological Chart, Samuel Weiser Inc.
Notes and References
- Renaissance painting (alchemy)
- Illustration from starzology.com