by Robert Wilkinson
Today we take a new look at an important element in understanding why people appear and disappear in our lives. Besides the obvious "real world" factors, there is an astrological component to this known as "planets are people." Each of the planets in our chart represents one or more people at any given moment. That's why when we evolve, some people disappear while others appear. The progressions and transits are very important in marking who goes and who comes, and when.
Our planets show the people in our lives. In the natal, progressed, or even the Solar Return chart, each of the planets in our chart represents an important person in our life. Actually, when examining the natal chart, our planets represent many people in our life, past, present and future.
The way it works is simple. If each of the planets represents part of our inner makeup, then as we shape our character by our interactions with the outer world and the choices we make, those planetary functions change in quality. And almost every interaction with the “real world” involves relationships.
For example, when we were young our Sun sign was represented by our father and our Moon sign our mother. Our brothers and sisters were represented by other planets, maybe even an entire configuration in our chart. In this case, it may be that a sibling set off multiple responses in our life and character development, and helped us reveal how various parts of our inner nature are connected.
As we get older, the planets no longer are exclusively represented by our family, and increasingly reflect our friends and colleagues. That's why some people disappear in our lives. They served to represent a planet in the "solar system" of our life up to a point, and then for whatever reason, or for no reason, the person symbolizing that old function no longer represented that inner quality expressed in outer behaviors and actions.
When that happens, the magnetic attraction that held us together no longer had resonance, and the bond was severed. As an aside, "severing" is a quality of Mars. Due to Mars’ duality, all relationship endings challenge us to find grace in action, rather than fall into error through anger, angst, attacks, impulsiveness, or irritability.
When any relationship ends, it’s time for us to learn something new about our inner planetary function that person represented. Since nature abhors a vacuum, that quality had to be filled in ways appropriate to our inner hologram expressed in outer life. Depending on who we were and what we needed to learn and manifest, another person embodying that energy showed up, and we did what we did with them for as long as they represented that quality.
Remember too that we also were a planet in their life, whether we knew it or not. It often is not the same planet, since each learns different lessons depending on the season of life we're in. We become different planets to many people, mirroring the level of understanding they're at and their own holographic resonance pattern.
If we are important to them, we often assume the role of an important planet, whichever that one is to the individual chart in question. Those doing transformational work often act as Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto to others.
Of course, since these planets symbolize invisible transpersonal factors beyond individual control, their transformational energies usually show through the quality of one of the visible planets, since the visible planets represent obvious character traits. Here it’s good to remember that all spiritual energies must be grounded in an effective “visible” form. We experience the spiritual energies of the transpersonal planets, and translate them into recognizable planetary realizations and expressions.
For example, though my function as an astrologer is often Uranian (renovating, revolutionizing, individuating), I am often regarded as more of a Saturn influence, since I describe the boundaries of the known and the unknown, and show people the limit where their human-ness meets their Divine Spirit. This "ring-pass-not" function is most often associated with Saturn. (The link takes you to pt. 3 of the Ring Pass Not series. There are links to pts. 1 & 2 at the bottom of the linked article.)
Since planets symbolize forces both inside us and outside us, it is easy to see how our planets resonate with some people and not others. That's the basis for compatibility charts. But they also represent energy fields that we carry with us that work out through people and interactions in our world.
Our Jupiter shifts may or may not mean a Sagittarius or Pisces person in our lives will appear or disappear, since Jupiter could very well just be a person with Jupiter prominent in their charts. However, you can bet that when an Aries or Scorpio enters or leaves our life, it does have something to do with Mars, regardless of any other planetary energy they may represent.
In our life, Jupiter is represented by people who opened our imagination, or gave us a long journey, or showed us how to be more generous or humorous in our life. Jupiter symbolizes all our teachers who opened a broader or wider view or understanding. It also symbolizes all who protected us, or blessed us, or who gave us something we needed that gave us hope. Of course, it also symbolizes those who taught us through extravagance, waste, or extreme events.
When we were younger, our Saturn was no doubt represented by the elders who taught us to be afraid, or that we were bound by some inflexible rule or expectation, whether personal or societal. As we get older, Saturn can be our boss, or any authority figure who shows us limits, duties, and responsibilities.
Mars may have shown as the endless succession of people who aggravated us, irritated us, or sharpened us up. Mars people in our lives triggered our need to fight or flee from hassles, or taught us to be good warriors, or just simply mobilize our energies in a focused and determined way.
Some of the most important people represented more than one planet. As noted earlier, they may have symbolized an entire configuration in our charts, where we learned how to balance the opposites, or triangulate into a broader understanding or effectiveness. They also could represent any chain of events that transformed our lives for better or worse.
By exploring how we came to manifest certain character traits we show our world, we can see how certain people gave us patterns to imitate or follow into that character trait. Then we can see by when those traits ended and were replaced by new ones how certain planets were embodied by the people in our life, and don't have to feel badly that someone left for no apparent reason.
We learn what we learn by our interactions with the world. Once we learn our lesson on any level, then we move to a new way of framing that lesson, ultimately so that we can serve ourselves and our world from a place of conscious wisdom and compassion. It's not that we don't regret the passing of certain people; it's just that the passages can show us our larger path revealing our Dharma, or "true function" on this Earth.
So next time you wonder why someone is in your life, remember that it may be to learn to say yes, say no, say maybe, perhaps glimpse a greater reality, or dance a more enjoyable dance on this beautiful Earth. And in any case, no matter how close or distant, appreciate all those who brought you to the dance, since God loves gratitude.
© Copyright 2008, 2014 Robert Wilkinson