The Planets And Psyche Model

Planets And Psyche is Astro Butterfly’s framework that shows the relationship between the planets in our solar system and our psyche.

Planets And Psyche covers the 10 planets, the Lunar Nodes, and Chiron. According to this framework, the planets build on each other’s expression, according to their distance from the Sun. 

The Traditional Planets – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars

SUN AND MOON: We start with the Sun and the Moon. The Sun and the Moon are our identity – the Sun is the creative, initiating, YANG identity, and Moon is the receptive, manifesting, YIN identity. We are 50% our Sun, 50% our Moon. Sun and Moon are our identity

MERCURY: After the Sun and the Moon comes Mercury. Mercury is how we express our Identity (Sun and Moon) and how we interact with the world. These interactions are internalized through language and thinking processes. Mercury is our thoughts

VENUS: After Mercury comes Venus. Venus is the emotional value we place on our Mercurial input/output. Not all information carries the same weight. Not all Mercury sensorial input is relevant. 

We don’t have to remember every single conversation or what we have for breakfast. You will however remember that excellent local dessert or that coffee that had spoiled milk and got you sick. Venus gets to decide what’s relevant and what’s not. Venus is our feelings

MARS: Next comes Mars. Once we’ve become aware of what’s important to us (Venus), we then take action to fulfill our emotional, subjective desires. If we like (Venus) strawberries, we buy (Mars) strawberries from the supermarket. If we find someone attractive (Venus) we try to get their attention (Mars). Mars is our actions

The Social Planets – Jupiter and Saturn

JUPITER: After we take action (Mars) according to our wants and desires we get feedback from society (Jupiter). Jupiter is the code of norms and behaviors that are ‘acceptable’ or desirable from a societal standpoint. 

Within our psyche, Jupiter is expressed through our beliefs (religious, political beliefs, etc.) i.e. those norms and codes of conduct that we think will help us succeed in life. Jupiter is our beliefs.  

SATURN: If we live by our Jupiter beliefs, we will eventually get to reap our Saturn results. If Jupiter, with its unwritten norms and codes of conduct, is the subjective expression of society, Saturn, with its rules and regulations, is the objective, concrete expression of society. 

If we live by the rules of society, we get a diploma, we get a job, we have a family, we buy a house, etc. Saturn is our results

The Planets And Psyche Model

Sun/Moon → Mercury → Venus → Mars → Jupiter → Saturn

Identity → Thoughts → Feelings → Actions → Beliefs → Results

When we look at the planets through the Planets And Psyche lens, we see how these planetary qualities build on each other, which in turn helps us understand where we are ‘stuck’ in our developmental process. 

If we have communication problems (Mercury) is perhaps because we don’t know who we are (Sun and Moon). If we don’t get what we want (Mars) is perhaps because we don’t know what we want (Venus). 

If we can’t get a job (Saturn) is because we don’t have sound beliefs or support groups (Jupiter) to guide us. Or the issue may be way down the line: we don’t get a job because we don’t send resumes (Mars), or because we don’t know what kind of jobs we like (Venus), or because we don’t know who we are and what makes us special (Sun and Moon). 

The Outer Planets – Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

We can’t understand Jupiter and Saturn if we don’t make sense of Mars and Venus first, and we can’t understand Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto until we understand Jupiter and Saturn.

While personal planes (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) and social planets (Jupiter and Saturn) represent conscious influences that we can integrate with relative ease within our psyche, the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto represent collective influences that are beyond our conscious control. 

Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto manifest as fated events and influences that happen to us. 

The outer planets also represent creative solutions that the universe offers us when the personal and social planets’ “tried and tested” approach no longer works. 

The outer planets represent the collective unconscious – the wisdom of our ancestors – as well as the collective superconscious – or those possibilities that have not yet been manifested in the physical plane. 

Uranus is the higher octave of Mercury. There is a limit to what we can understand with our limited, human (Mercury) cognition. Uranus is the meta-level of Mercury and it represents intuition, unexpected messages and downloads that seem to come from outside of our mental plane. 

Neptune is the higher octave of Venus. If Venus is personal love, Neptune is universal love; we can access Neptune through dreams, art, spirituality, or devotional practices.

Pluto is the higher octave of Mars. If Mars is personal action, Pluto is collective action. We can get a glimpse of Pluto when we follow the flow of nature, for example when we surf, ski, or motor racing. 

Mars And Chiron – The “Bridge” Planets

Two planets play a special role in the “Planets And Psyche” model. These planets are Mars and Chiron. 

Mars helps us connect the personal planets with the social planets, and Chiron helps us to connect the social planets with the outer planets. Due to their strategic placement, we call Mars and Chiron “bridge” planets. 

Mars is a bridge planet because it is the first planet to do a full circle around the Sun (as seen from Earth). Mars is the first planet that breaks away from the Sun, helping us move beyond the basic structure of our Ego.

When we operate from the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus alone, we live in a bubble. We are trapped in our ego structure, and we have difficulties relating to other people or understanding different viewpoints. 

When we embrace Mars, when we take action, we burst that personal bubble and engage with society, with what’s beyond ourselves.

Chiron is the missing link between the social planets and the outer planets; its role is to help us find wholeness, so we can become receptive to the higher influences of the outer planets and discover our greatest gift.

Planets And Psyche In Practice

We can use the Planets And Psyche model in a myriad of ways. Here are some applications:

  • To understand the planetary archetypes at a deeper level (learning astrology)
  • To understand our psychological processes (self-knowledge) 
  • In counseling, to get to the root cause of a problem (awareness and healing)
  • In coaching, to offer practical solutions (mitigating change, getting results) 

Let’s take an example. If someone has relationship issues (Venus), the root cause is found by looking at the planet before Venus. That’s Mercury. Most likely, the reason why their relationships (Venus) are not working is rooted in some negative/outdated mental models (Mercury). 

When we can’t express ourselves, or we don’t express ourselves authentically, (Mercury) we don’t build sound values and we don’t know what we want (Venus) – hence, our relationships are affected. When we don’t communicate effectively (Mercury) it’s hard to make ourselves likable and attract other people (Venus).

While the planet BEFORE points to the root cause of the problem, the planet AFTER comes with the solution. The planet after Venus is Mars. 

While digging into one’s thoughts and mindset (Mercury) can help us understand the “why”, taking actual action (Mars) can help us overcome the Venus problem by getting out there, meeting people, or going on dates – basically taking Mars action. 

The Venus sign, house placement, and the aspects Venus makes with other planets will give further clues about one’s relationship profile and particular challenges and opportunities. 

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12 thoughts on “The Planets And Psyche Model

  1. This is one of the best things I’ve read…ever, relating to anything astrological. This template has the potential to deepen my awareness of my natal chart. This feels like a grounding in astrology that I’ve not seen or experienced – in years of consultations with astrologers and lots of reading! I’m grateful for this powerful explanation. Thank you.

  2. This article was excellent. It helped me make sense of the planets and their influences better than anything I’ve read so far.

  3. Well.. i never knew that looking to the planet before could help identify root causes of problems! Thats brilliant! Already so helpful, at first reading. Thank you

  4. This was amazing!! I read your emails when I can. They carry lots of valuable
    Information! Thank you for all the work you put into sharing your passion with us !

  5. Wow! This has clarified the meaning of the planets for me in a simple and straight forward way. I am studying counselling and this explanation of the planets has broadened my astrological and counselling perspective. Thank you.

  6. Thanks so much for your succinct write up! I do have a question, though. I’ve always associated the Moon with our feelings and Venus with our values or what we value. Is that not correct?

    1. The Moon is more our instincts, our emotional and psychological reactions, the Moon is a very primal energy that has nothing to do with the world. Venus comes after Mercury, so it describes how we “related” to what is outside of our Self (Sun/Moon). Venus is the subjective value we place on our mental imprints e.g. what we like and dislike, what we are fond of. “Feelings” is a tagline and the Planets and Psyche Model explains how Venus “functions”, it comes after Mercury, so its role is to select those Mercury mental models that are relevant/important form a subjective, feelings perspective

  7. I’ve never read anything so simple and meaningful about planets. Thank you especially for helping me understand the connection between planets. I’m on a new journey to learn astrology and practice it. Please where can I learn from? Do you have a recommendation for a course, school or even some books. Thank you in advance.

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