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On labelling planets good or bad.
Since the dawn of ages, astrologers have associated planets with meaning through several careful observations. And the human ego has evaluated their meaning, thus classifying them as good or bad. For instance, two thousand years ago in Greece, during the hellenistic era, life & growth would be associated with Venus and Jupiter while death & restriction would be associated with Mars and Saturn. Thereby, the ego at that time respectively labeled them « benefic » and « malefic ». Time changed, new planets and other celestial bodies with significant meaning entered the field of astrology, yet still our ego cannot help but to label planets with a good or bad tone. For instance, very few of us are willing to embrace Plutonian energies connoted with death, power plays, intensity and transformation.
Experiencing a wide range of planetary influences is crucial for an astrologer. It enables to recognise what our client is dealing with or desires and to counsel efficiently. To experience planetary influences first-handedly, two ingredients are key: time and space. Time will bring you to experience planetary energies via timing techniques (transits and the likes) while traveling will modulate the set of planets you resonate with. As a 45 year old astrologer who has been traveling into 35+ countries and living abroad for 18 years, I experienced a variety of planetary influences and I have seen them at work with my clients. Here is my five personal « best and worst », which should be rephrased « easy-going » and « challenging » for the ego.
Note: before we begin, a few words of caution. First, I will only talk about planets or other celestial bodies I have personally studied and experienced consciously (most asteroids were thereby excluded). Second, planets have conditions: their energies are modulated by their zodiacal signs, their houses, their aspects, and so on and so forth. It would be unwise for you to make life decisions, such as relocating under the influence of a planet that sounds nice, solely based on the information below and without a thorough knowledge of your chart.
The easiest celestial influences
Transits of Haumea on my natal IC as well as travels under its natal and directed planetary lines (Senegal and France) convinced me that Haumea is pretty much the big deal. To put it simply, Haumea nourishes the soul with true joy, spiritual wealth and abundance. People relocate unconsciously under Haumea’s loving influence and people who are already there won’t budge. If anything, the most difficult part of Haumea is living without it. As Haumea departed my IC, it took me a while to accept that life wasn’t pampering me with a plethora of gifts anymore.
A few planets put your mind in sync with the bigger picture, such as Uranus & Neptune, yet not without sizeable drawbacks. It doesn’t seem to be the case with Varuna, as far as I can tell from relocating under Varuna lines plus experiencing the transit of Varuna on my ASC. It gifts you with a constant sense of what’s right, beyond reasoning. Things fall into place naturally. I unconsciously used it during my PhD and Post-Doc years for groundbreaking research: I would find out whatever I would have set myself to uncover. It still holds true as of today for my research in astrology. I can sense a promising lead from a mile away. Varuna is very easy to live with, just listen within while keeping your ego in check and avoiding stubbornness.
Traditionally known as the greater benefic, Jupiter increases, expands, educates, and grants many favours in life, especially in a day chart. Success and openings are yours under a well-aspected Jupiterian influence. You ask for something, and Jupiter says « yes ». It always feel good. Jupiter however, does have a few drawbacks as all planets do. You can develop an ego, a big tummy, and a taste for success, all of which will be put on trial when facing hardship brought by more distant planets. Plus, I personally feel that Jupiter can be used seamlessly to fulfil both ego-driven and soul-driven goals, and that most people unconsciously choose the former.
Ah, the feeling of being loved and get what we desire. The ability to attract. When I grew tired of Pluto, Eris and Orcus, I relocated under Venus planetary lines (most beneficial for night charts). I arrived in India mid November 2021, met my soon-to-be wife (and soul-mate) one week later and we are now expecting a baby. Venus pampers your ego with the feeling of being loved and gift you the ability to attract what you desire. Yet, as much as I enjoy Venus’ influence, it seems to bring fulfilment rather at the egotic level, similarly to Jupiter. And it may come with the development of certain traits such as laziness and superficiality.
Now this celestial component being listed under « the best planetary influences » might come in as a surprise (especially if you are into Vedic or Chinese astrology). Please hear my point. The North Node is an accelerator for soul-fulfilling experiences. Yes, soul-fulfilling experiences can sometimes be hard on the ego, especially if your North node is poorly aspected. That being said, you will live a fulfilling life, with movement and new events coming your way. My natal North node is conjunct my natal IC and natal Pluto. Painful ? Intense ? Yes, sometimes. Worth it ? Absolutely. The North Node, an evolutionary accelerator, is also worth combining with any of the planets mentioned above to put it on steroids. Relocation under a Haumea – North Node crossing ? Yes please.
The hardest celestial influences
I have lived 30 years on an Orcus ASC planetary line. If there is one planet that constantly whispers to the ego: « you are insignificant, worthless, forgotten and nobody cares about you », it is Orcus. With Orcus, you will go through hell and maybe not come back. It is good for monk-hood, learning with extreme focus and solitude, but 99.99% of us will be left with a vain quest for meaning after experimenting its energy. Noteworthy, under the influence of Orcus, most healing technics and prayers don’t work, and its influence traps you little by little. On a more positive note, if you, as an ego, are ready to die and you seek enlightenment, then Orcus is your best option.
Catastrophes with life-altering consequences, anyone ? I got acquainted with GongGong while accidentally relocating on its local space line: this triggered a horrible set of events. Days before a simple Visa run, I unknowingly shredded my passport in the laundry machine. What followed is an unbelievable set of events that got me deported twice, cost me 30 days of my life and a good chunk of my savings. Life could have been better, GongGong made it worst for good. It is a hard teacher that makes you pay big time for any misalignment.
An extremely fundamental planet and extremely difficult to deal with, like GongGong. As GongGong teaches you alignment the hard way, Eris teaches you syntony the hard way. Now, don’t underestimate this word. Oneness is harmony. Duality without Oneness is Eris. Under Eris’ influence, every dissonant behaviour of ours will be amplified and will result in major blowouts. To give an idea of its potency that I witnessed first-handed, Eris through discord fuels erratic heart beatings (sun aspects), and disorganised cellular growth (moon aspects). That’s strokes and cancer. Eris is also known for autistic traits (aspecting Mercury).
Given its orbit, maybe the most intriguing and foreign component of our solar-system and of ourselves. Thus, its exact influence might be difficult to put into words, as Sedna can be associated with changes of humanity cycles and multi-dimensionality. All I know from experience is that its effect can be somewhat similar to Neptune, but more profound and nameless. Relocating on Sedna line led me to explore parts of myself that cannot be named and without which I had difficulty carrying on. Essential, but not exactly in tuned with our current superficial lives.
While the four above mentioned planets are definitely up there in terms of challenges for our ego, the last spot had a few contenders: Pluto, mean black moon, Neptune and Chiron. My choice of Ixion here is personal and open for debate. Mainly, the difficulty of handling its influence comes from the fact that Ixion is still fairly unknown, yet quite problematic. Maybe its most challenging part to me is the refusal to learn, and the feeling of being downcast to hell without any chances of redemption. Ixion teaches you hitting rock bottom as a consequence of repeated errors, and makes bouncing back difficult.
Planetary influences in action
I described in a few recent articles how relocation could modulate planetary influences and thereby shape an array of life experiences. For more content, you are welcome to refer to Tides of Times in Astro-Cartography., Relocation astrology: how to change your life. and The tragic death of India’s brilliant singer KK. Thus, here I will only briefly talk about two relocation examples to illustrate the influence of the above mentioned planets. One with easy-going influences, one with challenging influences.
Senegal. At the age of 25, I backpacked with a good friend of mine for three weeks in Senegal. I booked a hotel in Dakar for the first night of the trip. We never had to book another hotel for the rest of the trip. On the first day, we met Badou, He took us for a ride across the entire country. Experiences include a breath-taking tour in Casamance, enjoying mangoes under palm trees, losing ten kilos effortlessly, and a one-week stay in his family’s village. Oh, and the food, and Bissap. At the end of the trip, he threw a big surprise party and I was offered to choose one girl amongst ten to marry (I politely declined). The planetary influences speak for themselves: Haumea IC, Venus IC and Jupiter ASC (natal).
Germany. A german friend of mine living abroad for quite some time decided to go back to his home country for his 50th birthday (i.e. during his Chiron return). He was met with a set of three challenging primary directed planetary lines: the above mentioned Sedna and Ixion, plus Neptune (a key planet in his chart that triggers depressive state). What was foreseen as a happy summer visit to homeland turned into a sudden bout of severe depression with strong medication within a month’s time spent on German soil. To top it all, he now views himself too weak and fearful to travel back abroad, refuses to hear about any relocation advice (Ixion) and is planning a long stay in Germany, surrounded by challenging planetary influences that will last 2-3 years.
As new trans-neptunian dwarf planets recently made their appearance, I hope that this read provides you with some advice as for which planet to look for in terms of planetary influences. Again please bear in mind that life-changing choices such as relocation should not be based on the sole description of the planets provided above but should rather be investigated during a full relocation consult, which you can book just below. Stay tuned for more content.