The dominant planet is triggering much interest with 12andus' users. Several users recognized themselves in the dominant planet descriptions and have asked me to tell more about it. Other users asked why the dominant planet displayed in 12andus is different from the one calculated on other astrological sites.
The dominant planet calculation is not an objective procedure. Each astrologer might consider different parameters and give different weight to such parameters, resulting in a different dominant planet, even though the differences shouldn't be too big.
The so-called sign astrology was created as entertainment by newspapers and there isn't much based on that, since the sign is only about the position of the Sun at birth. A natal chart is made by tens of elements interacting with each other. The sign is an oversimplification.
I feel that slowly the concept of "sign" will give space to the concept of dominant planets. Nowadays, everybody can have an Internet connection to know more about their natal chart. It will take probably a generation or 2, but this is the direction things are going in.
The main parameters we consider for calculating the strength of each planet is:
- The aspects with other planets and with the Ascendant or Medium Coeli. As more of the aspect is closer to the exact aspect, the strength of the aspect increases. Conjunctions are stronger than other aspects. Trine or opposition aspects come next, then squares or sextiles, and then minor aspects.
- We set the orbs according to a number of parameters: the planets (or Ascendant/Medium Coeli) involved, the type of aspect and the houses where the planets are. At 12andus we use wider orbs than average. We believe, as some astrologers do, that there's no such thing as an "orb" of influence. However, we calculate the power of an aspect proportionally to how close the orb is to the exact aspect. Even though an aspect with a very wide orb would be considered very weak (and thus will poorly contribute to the dominant planet calculation), we think it is worth to also mention the presence of a loose aspect.
- The sign where the planet is. Every planet feels more at home and expresses itself better in certain signs. Planets in domiciles or exaltation get more power. For instance, Mars' domicile is in Aries, Mercury's domicile is in Geminis, the Moon's exaltation is in Taurus and the Sun's exaltation is in Aries. When the planets happen to be in a sign which valorizes and expands their nature, then we give more value to the planet.
- The distance from the cusp of the house. As it gets closer to the cusp, the more powerful the planet gets. If the planet is in one angle house (1st, 4th, 7th or 10th house), the planet is more powerful.
- The house where the planet is located also gives it "points." For instance, Saturn would be more at home in the 10th house, Venus in the 7th house, Mars in the first house and so on.
- "Mutual receptions." This happens when a planet is in the domicile or exaltation of another planet and vice versa. As an example, Venus in Capricorn (home of Saturn) with Saturn in Pisces (where Venus is exalted), gives several more "points" both to Venus and Saturn.
Then we fine tune those parameters according to the subtle interactions between planets, aspects, signs and houses.
All in all, our dominant planet calculator can't be objective because there isn't a dominant planet procedure which is agreed upon among astrologers, but up until now, it is the best approximation we could envision.
Another astrology site might give different weight to some other parameters, or even not consider some of them. This will reflect in a different position of the planet in the score of the most important planets in the chart.
As much as the dominant planet is important, we should not forget that the co-dominant planet, the second most important planet, also shapes our chart and traits.
To discover your dominant planet, go to the Astro Reports section and click on the "Birth chart's answers" box. There are 3 boxes dedicated to your dominant planet with comprehensive interpretations.
My Moon in Virgo loves to sort things out. The reasons why we calculated Venus as dominant planet are because Venus is in Taurus, the sign where feels mostly at home, and also Venus enjoys aspects with important elements of the chart: both luminaries (the Sun and the Moon), Mercury (which is also in Taurus) and the Ascendant (which is in Libra, contributing to Venus' power).
On the other side, while Pluto is in the first house, the aspect with the Ascendant is quite loose. The conjunction is 9 degrees from the exact aspect, which some astrologers wouldn't even consider it an aspect in case of slower Pluto, but we are quite "generous" and including. Also the trine with the Sun and the square with Midheaven are very loose. Other aspects are minor.
I don't know if this is good or bad news for you, maybe you identified with a tough and creepy Pluto and the idea to be a loving Venus disappoint you? My Sun in Geminis is joking, hope your Pluto doesn't take it too personally, we know Pluto never forgets!
Actually we are both right (something which your Libra Ascendent probably likes). You Venus is in the 8th house, which is the house most compatible with Pluto's. I might guess that you express your Venusian loving qualities through depth, intensity, power, maybe secrecy, and by needing to go to the roots of any issue.
Thank You for this article as I was one of the people making inquiries on this topic. Your perception of astrology is probably the most accurate and relatable I have ever come across in many years of interest in astrology.
thanks Rihards. However I think there are many astrologers more skilled than me. What I like to do is combining astrology with a spiritual path of self-understanding and technology. Not an easy task, but very interesting.
Hi Ivo! I have a question, in your article it says the moon is exalted in Pisces? Isn't the moon exalted in Taurus and Venus (which rules Taurus) exalted in Pisces instead? Also, does the calculation take into account when planets are stationary? When I was born Neptune was stationary and I was told in this case it would make it my chart ruler. According to the calculation here, my ruling planet is Pluto, which I found really surprising since Pluto for me is located in house 7 (which I always connected my attraction to Scorpios, since I'm a Taurus sun and ascendant and I also have Jupiter in house 8), while both Mercury and Venus are in house 1 for me (so I assumed those wore my dominants, along with Neptune). Thank you so much!
hi Sara. Yes, you are right, thanks for pointing to the typo, which now I corrected. We don't take into account the stationary planets. This might be one more parameter to consider but in itself I won't consider it strong enough to infer a stationary planet as dominant.
About your Pluto dominant, I asked your friendship so that you can share your birth data with mine and have a look.
I was identified as a saturn dominant but everything that is described is THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF ME! Tbh I hadn't even thought about it until I read that description, can that be a way of expressing the planet's dominance? Other sights have pointed to venus as my dominant which I see alot
According to 12andus calculations, your Saturn and Uranus share almost the same power in your chart. Venus is third, but not far away.
Probably the reason why other sites define your chart as Venus dominant is because your Venus is in the first house, conjunct Mars and Pluto and trine Midheaven.
The reason we consider Saturn dominant is the exact opposition with the Sun (orb 0 deg 24'), an opposition also with Mercury, and trine Midheaven. Then there are minor aspects, but the mentioned ones are the most important.
We give more importance to the aspects with the luminaries (Sun and Moon), then to aspects with inner planets (Mercury, Venus), which are more personal compared to the outer, slower and to the generational ones (Mars to Pluto). In your case Saturn opposing the Sun and Mercury represent the person better than the Venus' aspects with Mars and Pluto.
As well, an aspect between Saturn and Midheaven is most important inasmuch they share a similar "climbing" and goal oriented nature, reinforcing each other.
Venus is anyway strong in your chart and is located in your first house. This means that Venus is well visible as a pillar of your personality, while Saturn, being in the 6th house, is more hidden from view, expressing his traits mostly on the area of work, service, duty, healing, which might be (or become since you are very young) important areas in your life.
Hi, the difference you noticed has to do with daylight saving time. Since you were born in 1953, there are no detailed history for Oklahoma before 1970, as pointed in the page https://www.timeanddate.com/time/change/usa/oklahoma
12andus considered that daylight saving time was observed for your birth date. But this is our best guess, considering that on 19 September falls on the daylight saving time, when observed. This might be wrong for year 1953 in Oklahoma.
Unfortunately before 1970 the daylight saving time was not observed in a systematic way. It depended on the individual states and often on individual cities (in some areas, even individual small towns sometimes applied a different time).
If you know for sure that daylight saving time was not observed when you were born, my suggestion for now is to set your birth date one hour later. Then your Ascendant would be set at 0 degrees in Virgo.
I'm somehow confused as to how I find my dominant planet. I didn't notice it in any of the reports.
How is this calculated?
I would like to be able to look at any chart and be able to tell if this is possible.
@MMNY I am not sure I understand your question. If you mean how is the dominant planet determined, it's explained in the article itself. For "sign Sun planet" maybe you mean the Sun sign ruling planet, as in Mars for Sun in Aries, Venus for Sun in Taurus, Mercury for Sun in Geminis and so on? The Sun sign ruling planet has a role in determining the dominant planet but among many other factors.
@esdeveras Two and a half months ago we changed the orbs of the aspects, as explained in the blog post
Natal charts, forecast charts, composite and synastry charts on https://12andus.com/blog/view/54659/natal-charts-forecast-charts-composite-and-synastry-charts
In some cases this might have re-evaluated the power of the planets as much as changing the dominant score when 2 or more planets had similar power.
I got Neptune as the dominant. And Jupiter is 2nd. So no surprise there.
But I expected Mercury to join in. But instead there is Pluto in close 2nd? Never thought/saw myself as the "power" type. But there it is.
I like peace and harmony and go at it alone when I anticipate resistance or defensiveness in others. I avoid conflict as it is draining. And may even act in secret to advance what I want.
I think Neptune and Saturn are both important, as dominant and co-dominant. Neptune has 9 aspects, but Saturn enjoys aspects with both luminaries (Sun and Moon) as well as with Ascendant and Midheaven.
What made Neptune the most important is your Ascendant in Pisces and the Moon in the spiritual, dreamy Neptunian 12 house.
Love the explanation! Personally, I was surprised that Pluto ranked second in mine (though a very close second) as I’d recognized Pluto as the key player in my personality and actions for years. And I didn’t expect to see Neptune as number 1. Yet, knowing how Neptune operates, I see it now. Maybe it’s a part of the Neptune illusion not to see the influence until it’s pointed out. ;-) But I love the calculator. Thanks for adding it!