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The Earth in Astrology

Monday 13 March 2023


Monday 21 Alder Moon 2023

Earth as Ruler of Taurus

Our own planet is just as important in astrology as the other heavenly bodies.

If you were somehow to look at a birthchart cast for someone born on Mars, you would see red planet under their feet, and the lovely blue-green Earth in the skies. And so, for those of us born on Earth, Mars is in the skies, and Earth is under us.

The ideal way of calculating a planet’s position on a chart is to project a line from the person through the centre of the planet and on to the celestial sphere. The ecliptic longitude of that point on the sphere gives the position in the zodiac. The planet below you, just as you might think, always ends up being the bottom of the chart, 90° from the Ascendant. So, probably for all humans now alive, this is where the Earth is.

The qualities of home, roots, mother, earthiness are very Taurean, and just for good measure, the position at the bottom is the cusp of the 4th house (in equal house systems), the house concerning home.

When the system of planets ruling signs was set up, only the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were used. The Earth wasn’t considered, and the others were as yet unknown. Leo was assigned to the Sun, Cancer to the Moon, Gemini to Mercury, Taurus to Venus, Aries to Mars, Pisces to Jupiter and Aquarius to Saturn. And then back again through the list: Capricorn to Saturn, Sagittarius to Jupiter, Scorpio to Mars, Libra to Venus and Virgo to Mercury.

As the new planets were discovered, they were associated with signs: Uranus took on Aquarius, Neptune was given Pisces and finally Pluto was linked to Scorpio. This has left only Mercury and Venus with two signs each. If we now consider Earth as a planet, we can very properly associate it with Taurus.

Comments and discussion on this are very welcome.

Received from Nick Sauro:

earth rules libra via the ascendant or rising sign. venus rules taurus.

There are some good reasons for linking the Earth and Libra, among them the fact that the planet usually manages to maintain a balance and provides a wonderful environment thereby for life. When the balance goes awry, the scales can tip very suddenly. Libra’s air element could also represent the intellect and intelligence of some creatures of our planet.

However, Taurus, the earthiest earth sign, is more suitable for Earth than Libra, an air sign. And there is no reason why Venus should stop being linked to Taurus. In many ways, of course, Venus and Earth are alike: it’s just that Venus is closer to the Sun, and hotter. Hotter enough that without sentient intervention (we assume), its atmosphere suffered a runaway greenhouse effect, and now its mean surface temperature is 460C. A warning for us on Earth.

Virgo and Io?

And what about Virgo? Mercury seems so closely identified with Gemini, but can there be another planet for Virgo? People have postulated a non-existant planet Vulcan, nearer to the Sun than Mercury, and very hot. There is also the moon Io: useless perhaps for Earth-based astrology as it is always close to Jupiter, but symbolically it is good. Io is a pre-Olympian moon goddess who at new moon was represented by a white cow. The moon Io is surprisingly hot and volcanic; its proximity to huge Jupiter means that tidal effects churn its insides.

More planets?

If and when we discover extra-solar Earth-like planets, they may become very important symbolically to us, even if there is no sentient life to be found there. We will probably look out for their suns in our Earth’s night sky, and we may want to note any aspects they make with our birth planets.

William Morris

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Lovely, Beloved

Portraits of the nine Muses | Greco-Roman mosaic from Cos | Archaeological Museum of CosPortraits of the nine Muses, Greco-Roman mosaic from Cos, Archaeological Museum of Cos

ERATO was one of the nine Mousai (Muses), the goddesses of music, song and dance. In the Classical era, when the Mousai were assigned specific literary and artistic spheres, Erato was named Muse of erotic poetry and mime, and represented with a lyre. Her name means “lovely” or “beloved” from the Greek word eratos.



ZEUS & MNEMOSYNE (Hesiod Theogony 75, Apollodorus 1.13, Diodorus Siculus 4.7.1, Orphic Hymn 76)


KLEOPHEME (by Malos) (Isyllus Hymn to Asclepius)


Hesiod, Theogony 75 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
“The Mousai (Muses) sang who dwell on Olympos, nine daughters begotten by great Zeus, Kleio (Clio) and Euterpe, Thaleia (Thalia), Melpomene and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), and Erato and Polymnia (Polyhymnia) and Ourania (Urania) and Kalliope (Calliope).”

Isyllus, Hymn to Asclepius (trans. Frazer, Vol. Apollodorus) (Greek poet C4th or 3rd B.C.) :
“Father Zeus bestowed the hand of the Mousa (Muse) Erato on Malos [eponymous lord of Malea] in holy matrimony (hosioisi gamois.) The pair had a daughter Kleophema (Cleophema), who married Phlegyas, a native of Epidauros (Epidaurus); and Phlegyas had by her a daughter Aigle (Aegle), otherwise known as Koronis (Coronis), whom Phoibos (Phoebus) [Apollon] of the golden bow beheld in the house of her grandfather Malos, and falling in love he got by her a child, Asklepios (Asclepius).”
[N.B. This hymn was engraved on a limestone tablet unearthed at the shrine of Asklepios in Epidauros. According to the inscription the poet consulted the Delphic Oracle for approval before publishing this genealogy of the god Asklepios.]

Plato, Phaedrus 259 (trans. Fowler) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
“When they [the grasshoppers] die they go and inform the Mousai (Muses) in heaven who honours them on earth. They win the love of Terpsikhore (Terpsichore) for the dancers by their report of them; of Erato for the lovers.”

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 13 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
“Mnemosyne [bore to Zeus] the Mousai (Muses), the eldest of whom was Kalliope (Calliope), followed by Kleio (Clio), Melpomene, Euterpe, Erato, Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), Ourania (Urania), Thaleia (Thalia), and Polymnia.”

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 1 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
“[The poet invokes the Muse Erato as he begins the tale of the love of Jason and Medea :] Come, Erato, come lovely Mousa (Muse), stand by me and take up the tale. How did Medea’s passion help Iason (Jason) to bring back the fleece to Iolkos (Iolcus).”

Strabo, Geography 8. 30. 20 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
“And further, the poem entitled Rhadine–of which Stesikhoros (Stesichorus) [poet C7th-6th B.C.] is reputed to be the author–, which begins, ‘Come, thou clear-voiced Mousa (Muse), Erato, begin thy song, voicing to the tune of thy lovely lyre the strain of the children of Samos.’”

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 7. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
“Hesiod even gives their [the Mousai’s (Muses’)] names when he writes : ‘Kleio, Euterpe, and Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsikhore and Erato, and Polymnia, Ourania, Kalliope too, of them all the most comely.’
To each of the Mousai (Muses) men assign her special aptitude for one of the branches of the liberal arts, such as poetry, song, pantomimic dancing, the round dance with music, the study of the stars, and the other liberal arts . . . For the name of each Mousa (Muse), they say, men have found a reason appropriate to her: . . . Erato, because she makes those who are instructed by her men who are desired and worthy to be loved.”

Orphic Hymn 76 to the Muses (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
“Daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus . . . Kleio (Clio), and Erato who charms the sight, with thee, Euterpe, ministering delight : Thalia flourishing, Polymnia famed, Melpomene from skill in music named : Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), Ourania (Urania) heavenly bright.”

Ovid, Fasti 4. 190 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
“I [the poet] have much to ask [of Rhea] ‘Give me, goddess, someone to interview.’ Cybele saw her erudite granddaughters [the Mousai (Muses)] and made them help . . . So Erato–Cytherea’s [Aphrodite’s] month [April] fell to her, since she is named from tender love.”

Propertius, Elegies 3. 3 (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) :
“The nine Maidens, each allotted her own realm, busy their tender hands on their separate gifts : . . . another [Erato] with both hands plaits wreaths of roses [i.e. the flower of love].”



  • Hesiod, Theogony

    – Greek Epic C8th – 7th B.C.

  • Plato, Phaedrus

    – Greek Philosophy C4th B.C.

  • Isyllus, Hymn to Asclepius

    – Greek Poetry C4th – 3rd B.C.

  • Apollodorus, The Library

    – Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.

  • Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica

    – Greek Epic C3rd B.C.

  • Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History

    – Greek History C1st B.C.

  • Strabo, Geography

    – Greek Geography C1st B.C. – C1st A.D.

  • The Orphic Hymns

    – Greek Hymns C3rd B.C. – C2nd A.D.


  • Ovid, Fasti

    – Latin Poetry C1st B.C. – C1st A.D.

  • Propertius, Elegies

    – Latin Elegy C1st B.C.


A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.