astrology articles

Planets: what makes them good or bad

Every astrological reports tell you this planet is good, strong and that planet is challenging etc.

To assess whether a planet is good for you or not is at one hand the most difficult task for an astrologer to find but on the other hand there are same straight forward principles which you can easily understand to make some assessment about a planet which will be true for most of the charts that you analyze Effect of Planets.

However I must caution you that these simple principles are interesting but not comprehensive to make a judgment about every chart that you will encounter. A competent astrologer takes a lifetime to make this assessment and still he may be right in only 75% of the time.

However before we go to these simple principles of assessment, I should first clarify some basic hypothesis of astrology.

The connection between the planet and the Zodiac Signs


Every Zodiac sign is associated with a planet, which is called the lord of the sign or the Planets about Birth Chart is ruling that sign. I had already mentioned this in my last article but I shall repeat this once again in this article also.

Zodiac Sign Planet Lord
Aries Mars
Taurus Venus
Gemini Mercury
Cancer Moon
Leo Sun
Virgo Mercury
Libra Venus
Scorpio Mars
Sagittarius Jupiter
Capricorn Saturn
Aquarius Saturn
Pisces Jupiter

You will observe that Sun and Moon are lords of one zodiac sign and the other 5 planets rule two zodiac signs each. These principles are same both in Vedic and Western astrology. When it comes to the lunar nodes (Rahu/Ketu), there are conflicting opinions.

Most astrologers agree that Rahu rules Aquarius. Some Vedic astrologers consider that Rahu rules Virgo as well. Western astrologers usually do not assign any Lordship to the two lunar nodes. For them the co ruler of Aquarius is Uranus.


Most Vedic astrologers attribute lordship of Scorpio to Ketu. Like Rahu some Vedic astrologers also attribute lordship of Pisces to Ketu. Western astrologers do not attribute any lordship to Ketu. Why a particular planet is lord of a particular zodiac sign has to do with the similarity of nature and attributes between the particular sign and the specific planet. This nature and attribute of each zodiac sign and planet is very complex and is the crux of mastering astrology.

We shall not go into those details here, but we shall see the broad characteristics by which the attributes and nature of each Zodiac sign and planet is.

The two parameters by which each sign is characterized are Sign Type and Sign Elements.

There are three sign types. They are:

There are three sign types. They are:

  • Cardinal Sign type

  • Fixed Sign Type

  • Mutable Sign Type

There are four sign elements. They are:

  • Fire

  • Earth

  • Air

  • Water

Each of the 12 zodiac signs belong to one sign element and one sign type as given in the table below:

Aries: Cardinal and Fire
Taurus: Fixed and Earth
Gemini: Mutable and Air
Cancer: Cardinal and Water
Leo: Fixed and Fire
Virgo: Mutable and Earth
Libra: Cardinal and Air
Scorpio: Fixed and Water
Sagittarius: Mutable and Fire
Capricorn: Cardinal and Earth
Aquarius: Fixed and Air
Pisces: Mutable and Water


You will observe that sign type follow the sequence of 3 sign types over 3 signs and then the sequence is repeated. Similarly sign elements follow the sequence of 4 sign elements and then get repeated.

What does these sign type and sign elements signify. We see each sign relates to one of the three “Types”.

The equivalent of Cardinal type in Sanskrit is called “Chara” means Active.

The equivalent of Fixed type in Sanskrit is called “Sthira” means Firm or immovable.

The equivalent of Mutable type in Sanskrit is called “Dwiswabhava” means Dual or it contains characteristic of both Cardinal and Fixed.

These parameters relate to the matter whereby the individual directs his/her energy and is the main determinant of his/her personality depending on which are the dominating sign types in his/her chart.

Similarly each sign relates to one of the 4 elements of fire, earth, air and water.

The sign types show the field in which the planets operate when they are located in a particular sign. Their elements indicate the different levels and the different intensities in which the planets operate if they are located in a particular element in the chart.

Fire Sign: Strong planets in fire sign show strong will, ambition, determination and discrimination. People with fiery planets dominating in the chart often seek power and a display of force and drama. Their focus is more on self and character than upon interchange with others.

Earth Sign: Strong planets in earth signs show a strong sense of form, order, utility and practicality. They must seek material manifestation of their thought and action.

Air sign: Strong planets in air sign show versatility of movement and change primarily on the mental level and in their thought process. As a result strong planets in Air sign are often intellectual or the mental types.

Water Sign: Strong planets in water sign bring our planetary energies into the realm of feelings and emotions, and they are very keen to share love, affection and attachment with others.

You have observed that I have used the operative word of “Strong” Planet in a sign. This brings us to the main question in this article which are the good and strong signs for a planet in our chart and which are not. Before we deal with this question, we shall also discuss the type and elements of each planet. Once we know that the answer to our question will become self-evident.