Astro DIY #6: The social planets

This is the sixth post in Tabby’s Astro DIY column on Little Red Tarot. It’s all about getting started with astrology, beginning with the basics. 

View all posts in this series here. If you’re new to astrology, start with part 1, which will help you to access your birth chart – the foundation of these lessons.

In part 5 we looked at the influence the personal planets have on our lives.

This week we’re going to be learning how the slower moving planets affect us.

Lots of you shared your discoveries in the comments last week and it was really great to hear everyone’s interpretations and learn about your astrological revelations, so please keep sharing what you find!


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A guide to understanding the planets in astrology – part two:

Social Planets

The social planets bridge the gap between the personal and the outer planets. 

They are the furthest away planets that the naked eye can see from Earth. They represent themes that each of us encounter in life, but ones that go above and beyond us as individuals. They show how we relate to society, how it encourages us and how it restricts us.


Jupiter is the biggest planet and fittingly it relates to the idea of growth and expansion, whether materially or through trying to become a better, more knowledgeable person. Its energy is optimistic, excited, generous and often associated with luck and wealth. Negatively expressed it can represent overindulgence and blinded optimism.

Jupiter shows what we believe in – religion, spirituality, philosophy – and where we hope to find knowledge, grow and bring meaning to our lives. It shows our tolerance and generosity and how we relate to society.

Jupiter’s message for humanity is to have faith – but the lesson Jupiter must learn is to ground that faith in reality.

Sign equivalent: Sagittarius
Stays in each sign for about a year, taking it 12 years to get through the zodiac
Keywords: optimism, expansion, beliefs, faith.


Saturn has the worst reputation of all the planets – it is the opposite of fun, expansive Jupiter.

Saturn is the teacher of the planets (the one nobody likes) and it’s all about structure and limitations. It shows how we respond to authority, rules and structure and how we learn our own boundaries, limitations and learn to take responsibility.

It is often associated with fathers and authority figures and can show where we feel restrictions or a lack of confidence. Saturn can be a hard-going teacher, but the lessons it teaches us are important. Jupiter is all about growth, but perhaps it is really Saturn that helps us grow the most!

Sign equivalent: Capricorn
Stays in a sign for about 2 and a half years, taking it approx. 29 and a half years to get through the zodiac
Keywords: restriction, responsibility, structure, authority

Outer Planets

The outer planets are slower moving and stay in the same sign for years at a time, so the influences their energies create affect us on a more generational level.

Their influence is less important than the personal planets – though this isn’t always the case, depending on other factors in the chart such as aspects between them and the personal planets.


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Uranus exists to shake things up, to break through the structures that Saturn sets for us. It’s unexpected, instant and usually disruptive energy– whether it’s responsible for a disaster or a revolution. Uranus shows us where we need to learn to let go and be more flexible and teaches us to be aware of what we are attached to, as it might just take it away. In our birth chart, Uranus can show where we go against the grain or behave unpredictably. Uranus is linked to rebellion, freedom, technology, innovation and a new way of thinking and living.

Sign equivalent: Aquarius
Stays in a sign approx 7 years, 84 years to get through all 12 signs
Keywords: unexpected, revolution, originality, freedom


Neptune rules all that is other worldly – spirituality, dreams, psychic abilities, mysticism, fantasies and illusions. It is at one with the universe – highly compassionate and idealistic. Neptune represents our urge to flee from reality. It tries to take away our pain through escape – to higher realms, through religion, through film or music or art of any kind and through alcohol and drugs. In our chart Neptune can show where we will give ourselves freely to become part of something greater, and where we forget to place boundaries and have unrealistic or unfocused energies.

Sign equivalent: Pisces
Stays in a sign approx. 14 years, taking about 165 years to get through the zodiac
Keywords: mysticism, illusion, spirituality, escapism


Pluto represents death and rebirth, endings and beginnings. It brings all that is considered taboo in society – such as sex and death – out into the open.

Pluto expressed well can show our ability to transform, but negatively it can be destructive, controlling, obsessive and power hungry. Pluto asks us to surrender to it – it tells us that the areas of life we insist on controlling are where we most need to let go and be transformed.

Sign equivalent: Scorpio
Stays in a sign between 14-30 years, taking approx. 248 years to orbit the Sun
Keywords: death, rebirth, taboo, power


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From here we can take another look at our charts and see which signs are in which of the social and outer planets and pair those two together to gain more understanding about ourselves.

What does it mean to have the energy of dreamy, mutable Pisces in restrictive, structured Saturn?

You tell me, in the comments!

And next time we’re going to learn the symbols for the signs and planets, which will make reading a chart a whole lot easier!


Your homework:

Same as last time – using this post and guide to the 12 signs, see if you can interpret the social and outer planets and the signs together. Write out your findings and share them in the comments. These ones can be a bit trickier to interpret, especially the outer planets which have more of a generational effect. Which of these five planets do you feel has the most influence in your life?



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  1. Celia says:

    Tabby every time a new post in this column goes up, I just kind of sigh lovingly at my laptop before remembering to grab my journal so I can make notes as I read said post.

    I burst out laughing at “What does it mean to have the energy of dreamy, mutable Pisces in restrictive, structured Saturn?” because that was my very first question! Especially since on top of a Saturn-Pisces connection I have Jupiter-Scorpio shenanigans going on. Whoo boy!
    On the plus-side, I finally understand why I communicate and interact like such a Pisces/water-sign even though I’m an Aries sun with Leo ascending 😉

    social planets:
    Jupiter- Scorpio
    Saturn- Pisces

    At first I thought these were super contradictory, but taking a moment to think on how these energies would work together not only cleared it up, but made… a lot of sense. Scorpio is intense and passionate and really wants power and control– so maybe with Jupiter in Scorpio, it’s about learning to have faith in the people around you and sharing that control. Of course, if that doesn’t end up well I very easily see that Scorpio influence screaming “burn it down!”
    Saturn in Pisces speaks to a… creative relationship with authority and what it means to listen to the letter v. the spirit of the law. I can see this playing out a number of mischievous ways 🙂 On an intra-personal level, Pisces has a harder time setting and keeping boundaries; it’s something I’ve realized about myself in the past year and have been working to try and channel more of my Aries and Leo sides– having flexible boundaries can lead to some really wonderful relationships and conversations, but it can also get you hurt and/or but in a vulnerable position in people that, well, don’t deserve that vulnerability.

    outer planets:
    Uranus- Capricorn
    Neptune- Capricorn
    Pluto- Scorpio

    My first thought here was oH woW that’s heavy! Uranus and Neptune in conjunction (I did some light googling, is that the correct usage of the word? is it meant to be a verb? an adjective? adverb?) in Capricorn?? Plus Pluto, the planet that’s telling us how we need to learn to give up control in a sign that really only wants control?

    Something that I love though, is how Uranus points out the ways in which we can behave unpredictably– sure Capricorn is a heavy earth sign, grounded, but!!! but!! Capricorn is ambitious and has their eyes on the prize. I think that’s such a wonderful trait because that desire to shoot for the stars and fucking land on the stars can make them surprise people. I also adore how in your post about the signs Capricorn is known for aging backwards; it rings true for me personally, as well as other friends who are within this generation. A lot of us have had to “be” a lot older than we are, and as we age, we’re getting chances to remember what it’s like to play around and act our real ages.

    Neptune in Capricorn is, I think, having none of that escapism. Sure, there’s a form of escapism in art and community that I think a lot of people are going into, but Capricorn is reminding people that we can build the communities we want to see in art as a way to imagine the world better and maybe influence the current model, improve it.
    Maybe I’m overly optimistic about this one, but :’)

  2. saricchiella says:

    New post! Yay! 😀
    Let’s see…

    Social planets:
    Jupiter – Scorpio
    Saturn – Libra

    I like the analysis Celia made of Jupiter in Scorpio (thanks, Celia! 🙂 ). The only way Scorpio can truly expand is by trusting others and sharing the power it craves. Also, Scorpio has great perspective, so Jupiter’s expansion can be more targeted, so to speak.

    Saturn in Libra… I’m thinking this could mean being a good judge, taking justice very seriously, and also avoiding extremes, not forbidding something completely, but not permitting all access to it either (for example, taking mind-altering drugs: it’s a no to begin with, but IF I do my research and think that taking a specific substance in a controlled environment can help me broaden my horizons, I can consider it). Somehow I think Libra tames Saturn influence a bit.

    Outer planets:
    Uranus – Sagittarius
    Neptune – Sagittarius
    Pluto – Libra (again!)

    I really like Uranus in Sagittarius, I think they go well together 🙂 The downside is the tendency to not finish new projects, but the energy of starting them is there! It’s adaptable and it has the much needed spark to shake things up and make them interesting again. I will need a team to help me keep things that way, but it’s a great start!

    I think Neptune in Sagittarius is talking about Sagittarius craving new experiences and new things, and how easy it is to forget the basics (nourishing friendships and love) when there are all those exciting things that can always teach you something new about the world.

    And finally! Pluto in Libra. Balance again! I see this as a personality pendulum, so to speak. Trying to find myself by embracing extremes, when I just need to find a healthy middle ground.

    I don’t know… I think I don’t feel the influence of the outer planets as strongly as the others, or maybe I haven’t interpreted them correctly (or deeply enough)…

  3. Nova says:

    Thanks for another fascinating post, Tabby! I have a question. Is there additional relevance when a planet and its sign equivalent co-exist in a birth chart? For example, I have Saturn in Capricorn and Pluto in Scorpio. Does that heighten their characteristics?

    • Tabby says:

      Sorry for the late reply, Nova! Yes you’re right – it’s called exaltation and it means that sign will be more at home in the planet it is in, the position is strengthened and the energies are easier expressed. 🙂

  4. Danielle says:

    social planets
    jupiter – pisces (what do i believe in? CREATIVE EXPRESSION. ha. yes.)
    saturn – sagittarius (well – i don’t always play by other people’s rules, but i want them to play by mine!)

    outer planets
    uranus – sagittarius (these two go pretty well together, eh?)
    neptune – capricorn (oh, jeez, kinda love this. it seems to me to be a grounded approach to the mystical, which i think captures both my deep fascination with the mystical and also my skepticism of a lot of the language around it.)
    pluto – scorpio (oh, jeez, i think this is about how i can be controlling etc in sexual relationships & how i need to, well, surrender. AND IT’S IN MY SEVENTH HOUSE, BECAUSE OF COURSE IT IS, haha.)

  5. Angela says:

    Hi! I recently took part in a mini course on my Soul’s Charisma, determined by where Venus was located in my birth chart and which house. I found it very interesting but it left me high and dry when it came to the rest of my birth chart, thus leading me to seek at additional information. I found this blog yesterday and have thoroughly enjoyed it in further understanding my birth chart. So I wanted to say thank you! I saw that you plan on teaching the symbols next week, but what I really want to understand is the Houses and how they effect our chart so I am really, really looking forward to your addressing this at some point! Again thank you for explaining astrology in an easy to understand format!

  6. Angela says:

    So far I have:
    5 Earth planets
    2 Water planets
    4 Fire planets
    2 Air planets
    Since these are normally grouped as Fire and Air and Earth and Water, does this mean that I am fairly balanced?

  7. Angela says:

    I am curious as to which planet is associated with our career/job purpose? I would love to know your thoughts on this. Thank you! 🙂

    • Tabby says:

      Hey Angela, good question about the elements being balanced – I guess you’re right in one way – that you might have a balance of passive/active or introverted/extroverted qualities, but it still means you’re not so strong in the qualities of the Water and Air planets.

      In terms of astrology associated with our career, the houses is where more we get this kind of information, so look out for my next post in a couple of weeks to learn more about that. I think Saturn is the planet that rules career but I would say the Sun is probably the most important in terms of showing us career and often interests/qualities that will lead us into a career. The Rising sign would be a good place to look too!

  8. Ine S. says:

    I do have the dreamy, mutable Pisces in restrictive, structured Saturn. But I have no idea what it means. When I arrived at your paragraph about Saturn and went back to reading about Pisces, I just got so sad. Saturn is one of the social planets, right? So it’s not only about restriction and structure, but also about how I relate to society. The answer is simple: I don’t. Or I fail. I escape from it. The restrictions and structure put up by society, I can’t deal with it, and as you said in your description of Pisces: Reality is too much for me to handle. And if Saturn is the one being the teacher and father, then Saturn is most likely going to be the one saying: “Listen up, son! This is life! Deal with it!” To which I, Pisces, answer: “Hell nope. Let’s cry, let’s write poetry, let’s drink, let’s dance.”

    I have no idea if that makes any sense whatsoever. I’m a complete astrology newbie.

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