If you were born today, December 18, you probably know that you’re a Sagittarius. You might even know that you’re a fire sign. But did you know that your sign is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of luck and adventure? And did you know that the other signs might feel more lucky and adventurous during Sagittarius season as well?
The ruling planets are the bosses of the zodiac. They call the shots and influence how each sign runs its company, and also how everyone else behaves under their influence. For instance, I’m not a Sagittarius, but for the past few weeks I’ve been feeling more exuberant and fun thanks to Jupiter. And in a few days, when Capricorn season (my sign!) rolls around, we can all expect to feel a bit more responsible and on our work game, thanks to Saturn.
Below, my guide to each sign’s ruling planet — starting with the current season, Sag — and what each birthday season means for the rest of the zodiac.
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
A runner, thinker and doer, you’re always on the move. The last fire sign, you’re ruled by Jupiter, the planet of luck, good fortune and exploration (of both knowledge and spirituality). It’s definitely a mouthful, but luckily you’re always hungry for more. You’re the best adventure buddy anyone could ask for — you want to see and experience it all, and odds are you’ll have fun doing so. You have an inherent energy about you. People are drawn to your spontaneity and positive vibe. There’s no one better to see the sights and explore the world with than you.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (November 22 – December 21)
Everyone should push themselves during Sagittarius season. Jupiter’s influence makes us all more adventurous, so why not use this time of year to move out of your comfort zone? Go to new places in your city, take a walk in your neighborhood, observe sights you may not have noticed before. Luck is on everyone’s side during Sag season, so take risks and see where you land. If you fall flat, dust yourself off and try again. A few scrapes won’t stop a Sagittarius’ joie de vivre, and if you channel them correctly, it won’t stop you either.
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Saturn rules Capricorn, and Capricorns love rules. Saturn represents responsibility, hard work and determination. Some call it the taskmaster of the planets, keeping everyone in check and ensuring direct routes to the finish line. Saturn also has a lot to do with learning lessons and understanding limitations. Capricorns can be very self-critical — you’re hard on yourself when things don’t go according to plan and you always try to learn from your mistakes so they don’t happen again. Saturn’s influence makes Capricorns the ones you always want to have on your team and simultaneously the ones you don’t want to let down (Michelle Obama is a famous Capricorn, if that paints a better picture).
What It Means for the Rest of Us (December 22 – January 19)
Capricorn season is a busy time of year. The holidays, the new year, many (too many) family dinners. It’s a time of reflection and deep thought where everyone, regardless of sign, celebrates the year’s successes, mourns the failures, and makes amends and resolutions for the upcoming year. And eats entire tins of Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark in one sitting (it’s okay to admit, we all do it). Everyone might feel a bit more determined to learn from the past during this time, or to wrap the perfect gift and impress your in-laws. Let yourself play by the rules during Capricorn season. You may not feel the most spontaneous, but you’ll feel good about how in control you are. Bring on the new year.
Ruling Planet: Uranus
Aquarius, you’re a breath of fresh air both literally, as the final air sign of the zodiac, and figuratively, because you’re adept at putting your signature spin on everything you touch. That’s because you’re ruled by Uranus, the planet of originality, innovation and expanded consciousness. Uranus’ energy promotes those who step outside the box and delve into new modes of thinking. For instance, Aquariuses might be the sign most open to a practice like astrology — you’re often willing to believe in things beyond what you can tangibly see. Uranus is also thought to control natural disasters. Others see that in you too, Aquarius. You’re a force to be reckoned with when it comes to your passions and interests.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (January 20 – February 18)
We could all benefit from getting in touch with our wacky side, and Aquarius season is the perfect time to do it. That pair of shoes you’re worried your coworkers might not appreciate? Wear them. That album you discovered that hasn’t hit the Top 40 yet? Play it at your next party. The theory you have about the book you read last week? Start a book club and discuss it with your friends. Bring up your wildest ideas, your kookiest dreams. Your eccentricities deserve time to shine.
Ruling Planet: Neptune
Pisces, you’re ruled by Neptune, the God of the Seas in Roman mythology. Neptune represents dreams, the imagination and all things spiritual. You’re overflowing with creative energy and reject the hyper-realistic. You prefer to exist in the clouds, floating above the rest of the world as you toe the line between fantasy and reality. It’s existing in this dream-like state that makes you so special, Pisces. You’re in touch with a deep level of emotion and connect to others through your ability to perceive and empathize.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (February 19 – March 20)
During Pisces season, we may all feel a bit more spiritual. That will, of course, mean something different for everyone, but for the most part, you can expect to feel especially sensitive towards others’ emotions and the energy of your environment. Let yourself relax into this awareness and see what you notice. Maybe you’ll sense a coworker’s underlying stress or a friend’s reignited passion for a hobby or project. Let these observations inspire and delight you. Now that you’re seeing the world through fisheye glasses, you may never want to take them off.
Ruling Planet: Mars
Aries, as the first sign of the zodiac, you’re the eldest child in this family. You set the pace while the rest of the world plays catch-up. The sheer force of your determination and drive gets you where you need to go, and fast. Simply put, you’re a warrior. It makes sense, then, that Aries is ruled by Mars, the planet of action and, according to ancient Roman mythology, the God of War. Mars is all about energy, passion and self-starting, leaving Aries with an inherent, undeniable confidence. Not only do you know you’ll get the job done, but you’re sure there’s nobody better suited for it. That’s Mars talking.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (March 21 – April 19)
During Aries season, we all feel Mars’ influence. While your Aries friends are blowing out their birthday candles, it’s common for the other signs to also feel more self-assured and challenged to spring into action, making it a great time of year to start a project or turn over a new leaf. Speak up at work or confront the friend you’ve been having trouble with. Find your inner warrior and let it run wild — I bet you’ll cross the finish line first.
Ruling Planet: Venus
When you think of Venus, odds are your mind drifts to love, beauty or women’s tennis. If you’re a Taurus, the first two (and maybe the third, but that’s more of a personal preference) are particularly relevant to you. Lover of good food, sensuous fabrics, fine art and, well, love, you esteem all things aesthetically pleasing. Venus’ influence is strong in the sign of the bull, encouraging Taureans to pamper their senses. The Goddess of Love also plays a part in your deep loyalty and commitment to those you care about. She doesn’t mess around when it comes to her heart, and neither do you.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (April 20 – May 20)
When Taurus season rolls around, every sign can think of it as an opportunity to do more of what they love. Be open to your senses — what do they draw you towards? Give yourself time to enjoy the things that catch your attention. Spend a whole day in a department store playing dress up, or get lost for hours in an art museum. During Taurus season, the power of Venus puts us more in touch with the beauty of the world around us, as well as within ourselves. Think of this as a gift and indulge. Venus would.
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Gemini, you’re ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. Surprised? Didn’t think so. In Roman mythology, Mercury, thought to be the messenger of the gods, delivered news and shared opinions. The planet encourages Geminis to do the same, hence their verbose nature. All three air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are intellectually driven, but Mercury’s emphasis on the mind encourages Geminis in particular to learn, think and share more.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (May 21 – June 20)
The beginning of summer might inspire every sign to engage their minds more than usual. You might feel inspired to read more than your standard dose of daily news or delve deeper into a subject you’re interested in. Start a new podcast. Watch a murder mystery show. Get to the bottom of a problem and solve it. Geminis around the world will welcome the other signs’ activated minds with sparkles in their eyes. Let the debates begin.
Ruling Planet: The Moon
Cancer, your feelings change as quickly as the tides. Perhaps this is a result of being ruled by the moon, the planet responsible for the ebbs and flows of human emotion. The moon influences how we feel, and Cancer, you feel…a lot. You can be more sensitive than the other signs and more in touch with your inner depths. Your moods may change quickly but you’re always sure of what they are. The moon also represents the celestial “mother” figure, influencing Cancers to care deeply about the ties of home and family and develop a penchant for care-taking. You’ll soon realize that, because of the moon’s influence, you seek from others exactly what you provide: safety and comfort.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (June 21 – July 22)
Cancer season falls right in the middle of the summer when we’re hot and longing to scurry to the ocean or sunbathe on the sand (our inner crabs coming out). It is during this time that all signs may feel things more forcefully or feel stronger pulls towards our families and loved ones. This might result in a roller coaster of emotions, but if you lean into the potential moodiness (summer blues are real!), you might find yourself strengthening your relationships and feeling more secure. Your orbiting emotions may have ups and downs, but like the moon, you’ll always circle back home.
Ruling Planet: The Sun
The sun rules you, Leo. The brightest star for the brightest sign, it makes sense that your planetary ruler requires the occasional pair of shades. So do you. Your exuberance, your kindness, your seemingly never-ending supply of energy — it’s all thanks to the sun’s influence. The sun represents the self, the core principles of our being that make up who we are, so it makes sense that you’re the most self-involved sign. While that may sound negative, it’s actually a strength. You’re in touch with yourself, proud of who you are and not afraid to sing it from the rooftops.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (July 23 – August 22)
Leo season hits as summer winds down and we start to bid adieu to the most exciting time of year (willing to argue this in the comments section). Despite whatever you’re saying goodbye to in early August (summer Fridays, school vacation, the general concept of warmth), it’s also a natural time to say hello to yourself. The sun’s influence during Leo season encourages everyone to connect with themselves in a deeper way than usual. You might feel more confident during this time of year, or more willing to befriend those around you. Follow your instincts and let yourself shine. We all deserve to be in the spotlight from time to time.
Ruling Planet: Mercury
You may have noticed that there are more signs than there are planets. Born to problem-solve, you Virgos are skilled sharers, and your ruling planet is no exception. You share your ruling planet, Mercury, with Gemini. Maybe not as well known as Gemini’s realm of communication, Mercury also handles logic, reasoning and productivity (admit it, Virgo, your three favorite things). Mercury’s influence over Virgo is expressed through an innate ability to discern and discriminate, making your sign a natural born critic, in the good sense. You’re hyper-focused on sifting through the noise of the world in an organized, precise manner that leaves little to the imagination.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (August 23 – September 22)
Despite most people’s instinct to start fresh in January, Virgo season might actually be the best time for “personal spring cleaning.” Mercury’s emphasis on separating the wheat from the chaff may push everyone into a more organized head space. Clear communication, tidy workspaces and set schedules might really help you get your bearings. And Virgo season, more than any other time of year, is when you can best succeed at regaining a sense of control. Follow your fellow Virgos’ leads — declutter, destress and tell the world who’s boss. Most likely, they’ll listen.
Ruling Planet: Venus
Another diplomatic sharer, you share your ruling planet, Venus, with Taurus. For you, Libra, Venus comes through in your deep commitment to balance and partnership. Venus’ influence makes you value harmony in both yourself and your relationships. You’re a natural mediator; you appreciate fairness and honesty while working hard to protect those you love. Your relationships mean a lot to you. You take pride in being a good friend and partner and look for those qualities in others.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (September 23 – October 22)
If you’ve been meaning to catch up with an old friend or fix a faltering relationship, Libra season is a good time to make it happen. We all might feel more inclined to walk in another’s shoes during this time. Push yourself to gain new perspectives and dig deep into your relationships. Let the planet of love’s power encourage you to nurture your connections with those you’re close to and keep an open mind with those you disagree with. You’ll most likely feel more balanced after doing so.
Ruling Planet: Pluto
Scorpio, you have a dark side. Maybe this is because you’re ruled by Pluto, the small but mighty planet orbiting farthest from the sun. Pluto is associated with darkness, the subconscious, death and rebirth. Not exactly lighthearted stuff. But you don’t like when things are lighthearted; you crave mystery and intensity. Pluto plays a part in your never-ending fascination with all things hush-hush and underground. This ability to get in touch with your unconscious self makes you one of the most powerful signs in the zodiac.
What It Means for the Rest of Us (October 23 – November 21)
During Scorpio season, we can all benefit from solving our own mysteries. What secrets are you hiding from yourself? What deep thoughts and feelings are undisclosed, waiting to be unpacked? This is the time to challenge yourself to transform in whatever way you see necessary. Maybe it’s trying to get to the bottom of an anxious or recurring dream, or maybe you just need to check in with yourself and dig a little deeper. Whatever it is, use Pluto’s power to connect with yourself. You know what’s more fun than stumbling across a mystery? Solving one.
Illustration by Allison Filice.