Some astrologers believe that your dominant planets and signs in your birth chart are even more may have an even greater influence on you than your sun sign. Determining what your dominant planets and signs are is half the fun in reading your Birth Chart (check out our Interactive Birth Chart and how to interpret it to get yours).
There are several factors that can make a planet more dominant. In addition there will be dominant signs as well. Identifying these is used to help identify major themes in a person’s personality and life.
A planet is considered to be dominant if it lies in the sign that it rules on your birth chart. For example, is Mars has a Aries background, this makes this planet more powerful in your birth chart. It usually means that these planets have a more powerful influence on the Birth Chart than other planets.
Signs and the planet that rules them
Aries and Scorpio – Mars
Taurus and Libra – Venus
Cancer – the Moon
Leo – the Sun
Scorpio – Pluto
Gemini and Virgo – Mercury
Capricorn and Aquarius – Saturn
Sagittarius and Pisces – Jupiter
Aquarius – Uranus
Pisces – Neptune
In astrology the nigh sky is essentially divided up into 12 “houses” (starting at the “9 o’clock” position on the chart and heading counter-clockwise).
As the earth spins, the sun and other planets are in each of these houses for approximately two hours (as there are 24 hours in a day) as do other planets.
As astrology is an ancient art very grounded in our place in the universe and on earth, there are four points in the day that are considered most important and each is associated with a house:
- Sunrise (Ascendent) – first house
- Midday (Mid-Heaven) – fourth house
- Sunset (Descendent) – seventh house
- Midnight (lower-Heaven) – tenth house
These are known as Angular Houses.
Planets (each associated with their own signs) that fall on the Angular (or cardinal) houses are considered to have the greatest impact on a Birth Chart.
First House – Ascendant
You will often hear about astrologers talk about Ascendants. That is because the planet that falls on the Ascendent can overshadow even the sun sign. The Ascendant often falls on the cusp of the first house on the chart. The first house influences the person’s personality and their behaviour.
Fourth House – Imum Coeli
Imum Coeli is often found near the cusp of the fourth house. The fourth house represents a person’s home and family. It has a strong parental aspect which also mean is represents security.
Seventh House – Descendant
The Descendant is usually found near the cusp of the seventh house. It represents the kind of partners people are attracted to.
Tenth House – Mid-heaven
Mid-heaven is often near the cusp of the tenth house and refers to what we produce for the world and how we are seen by the world. This can refer to career, creative output, our vocation, etc. It can also relate to our children (since we create them).
Aspects are the are the angles between the planets as seen from Earth (Earth being in the middle of the chart). In other words, if you map out your planets on your birth chart, you can literally create a triangle by drawing a line between them and back to Earth in the middle. This was you can give them an angle (remember geometry?) as it relates to your middle position of Earth.
So if one planet is at the 12 o’clock position, and another is at the 9 o’clock position and you draw lines between the two and also from the planets back to Earth, the degree of angle at Earth is 90 degree (a square aspect).
How they relate to one another in your life has an impact on you and this is particularly fascinating.
Some aspects are called Hard aspects, such as the square aspect and signify challenges and conflicts. Other Aspects are called easy Aspects and these signify beneficial influences and potential, (although can also be taken too far is indulged too much).
If a planet has a lot of aspects in relation to other planets, they can have a dominating influence on the Birth Chart.
Solitary in the Hemisphere
If the planet is the only planet in the hemisphere, then this can have a strong influence and therefore is considered a dominant planet in the chart.
The Southern Hemisphere is actually at the top of the birth chart. Simply stated this hemisphere is characterized by extraversion. The Northern Hemisphere is at the bottom of the chart and relates to introversion and the inner world. It is concerned with the outer world.
The Eastern Hemisphere relates to identity while the Western relates to other people and relationships.
The Sun sign
The Sun sign is obviously an important one and the one we are most familiar with. When you learn you are a Capricorn or a Gemini for example, this refers specifically to your sun sign, meaning what constellation the sun was in front of when you were born.
This is not the same as where the sun passes through the houses during the day. Rather it is more specifically related to where the earth is in terms of orbiting the sun throughout the year.
Elements and Quadruplicities
Look at the signs that are the background of your planets in your birth chart. Each sign has both an Element (Earth, Water, Air, Fire) and Quadruplicities (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable). If you have more Fire signs than the others, and more Mutable signs than the others, the signs that have both these qualities is Sagittarius then that is your dominant sign
The ruler of your ascendant is the planet that rules over your ascendant sign – this has a more powerful influence.
If several planets appear in the same sign.
Interpreting Your Birth Chart
Have a look at our Interactive Birth Chart and how to interpret it to see what your dominant planets and signs are. After the chart is created you can click on the various planets, houses and signs to see what they represent.