A: When I was first learning astrology back in the 80s, I had a series of book called ‘The Only Way to Learn Astrology’ by March & McEvers. Buried in its several volumes was a single paragraph devoted to the Earth. It showed the glyph for Earth, which is a circle with a cross in it like this.
I learned that Earth is always found exactly opposite the Sun, making it very easy to calculate, and that it was associated with the sign Taurus, and that it represented the physical body, the senses, our immediate environment and our location on and relationship to the Earth. At the same time, I was reading Barbara Hand Clow’s book, ‘Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner & Outer Planets,’ which makes a persuasive case for giving Chiron the rulership of Virgo. As a Virgo Ascendant person, I could feel the rightness of this association, and it felt right to try on the Earth as the ruler of Taurus at the same time, for the sake of symmetry. Twelve planets, for twelve signs, what could be more fitting?
So, right out of the gate as a budding astrologer, I practised using twelve planets ruling twelve signs, instead of the common system that assigns both Mercury and Venus the rulership of two signs, while most other planets have only one. It used to be that several planets ruled two signs, before the discovery of Uranus in 1780.
Saturn ruled both Capricorn and Aquarius, Jupiter ruled both Sagittarius and Pisces, and Mars ruled both Aries and Scorpio. It’s apparent in each case that one sign is more suited to the ruling planet than the other. Mars is far too direct and straightforward, blunt and aggressive to really suit deep, mysterious secretive Scorpio, even though it can use Scorpio’s power quite easily. Jupiter suits expansive, philosophical Sagittarius more than dreamy, fuzzy Pisces, and Saturn dominates in Capricorn as it should.
And each of the newly discovered planets fit the signs they were assigned very well indeed. Pluto, the ruler of the underworld, coldest, darkest and farthest planet from the Sun, and Scorpio? Perfect for each other. Uranus is obviously right for revolutionary, eccentric Aquarius, as the only planet that rolls in its orbit rather than spinning in it, and the first of the outer planets to be discovered, thereby revolutionizing both astrology and astronomy. And Neptune, god of the sea, certainly suits watery Pisces, the Sea of Dreams.
What could suit Taurus better than Earth itself? And wasn’t it time we ‘discovered’ our own planet? Over the years, I have become more and more convinced that Earth belongs in the chart and is the right and proper ruler of Taurus, our sensory matrix, the ground we stand on, what we stand for and value, the garden we plant and reap from.
Astrology is a symbolic language; what matters is, do the symbols work, are their meanings useful and accurate? When Pluto was demoted to the status of a dwarf planet, Scorpio didn’t stop fitting it, and the transits of Pluto continued to hit hard and deep, triggering changes that regenerated us right from the root, purging our darkness, forcing us to face death and our fears.
The ground underfoot matters greatly. In fact, the word ‘matter’ is defined by Google as “physical substance in general, as distinct from mind and spirit; (in physics) that which occupies space and possesses rest mass, especially as distinct from energy.”
The Sun, on the other hand, represents energy, life force itself.
The sign of the Earth in the chart (which anyone can find for themselves, simply look opposite the sun sign) indicates the qualities we need to cultivate within ourselves. In addition, we need to consider the house position of the Sun and Earth, but the sign alone can tell us a great deal. Developing these qualities won’t come naturally, for the Sun is what is most obvious to ourselves, so it requires an investment of energy and intention.
The rewards are great, though. When we balance and integrate the primary opposition between Sun and Earth, we will find balance between our energy and our material bodies; we will want what we have, and we will have what we want.