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Each planet in astrology has a distinct influence on our lives. Before you can learn about ruling planets, you’ll need to understand the meaning of each planet in astrology. If you’re new to astrology, we recommend that you take a moment to check out our quick guide to learning what each of the planets represents! Once you have a greater understanding of the unique energy and areas of life that each planet corresponds to, you’re ready to learn about ruling planets! There are two situations in astrology where you are likely to run into the concept of a ruling planet: your sun sign and your birth chart.

What Is My Ruling Planet for My Sun Sign?

The ruling planet of your sun sign is fixed and easy to calculate. If you want to find out what your sign’s ruling planet is, all you have to do is look it up in our chart below! Why does knowing your sun sign’s ruling planet matter? Well, each sun sign is specially influenced by its ruling planet. In fact, the ruling planet of each sun sign is part of what gives those born under it their major personality traits. You can think of your sun sign’s ruling planet as the source of its power. The qualities associated with your sun sign and its ruling planet mirror and strengthen one another, creating the specific energy and personality traits that are associated with your sun sign. Because of this, knowing your sun sign’s ruling planet can add another layer of meaning to your horoscopes and other astrological predictions, and it may help you understand yourself better, too! Since your sun sign reveals your core identity – your key personality traits, your preferences, and your energy – you’ll want to look for what the connections between your sun sign and ruling planet can tell you about these specific aspects of yourself.

Chart of signs and ruling planets

If you want to keep things simple and stop here, we’re not judging! You can learn a lot about yourself just from knowing your sun sign and its ruling planet. But while the ruling planet of your sun sign certainly has a special influence on your overall personality, it isn’t actually your ruling planet. Sound crazy? Well, yes, but it’s true! The idea that your ruling planet is associated with your sun sign is actually a common misconception. In fact, when we talk about your ruling planet in astrology, we are actually referring to your chart ruler, or the ruling planet of your birth chart. In most cases, the ruling planet of your birth chart won’t be the same as the planet that is associated with your sun sign.

What Is My Chart Ruler?

Let’s back up for a second. What is a chart ruler – or ruling planet – and how do you find yours? Your chart ruler, or the ruling planet of your birth chart, is the planet that rules over your ascendant sign – not your sun sign. If you don’t know your ascendant sign yet, don’t worry. Just follow our chart below to find yours! Keep in mind that you’ll need to know your exact birth time in order to calculate your ascendant sign accurately. Also, if you were born in late spring, summer, or early fall, make sure to account for daylight savings time! Feeling lost? If ascendant signs are completely new to you, don’t worry! We have a whole article that explains what they are and why they're important. We recommend you take a moment to check it out before continuing so that you don’t feel confused!

How to Find Your Ruling Planet

Once you know your ascendant sign, it’s easy to find your ruling planet, or chart ruler! Just scroll back up to our ruling planets chart. This time, instead of looking for your sun sign in the first column, look for your ascendant sign instead. The planet that rules over your ascendant sign is your chart ruler – the ruling planet of your birth chart!

What Does Your Chart Ruler Mean?

The meaning behind your chart ruler is very personal. In fact, transformational astrologer Corina Crysler describes your chart ruler as a “starting point” for understanding your life’s journey, stating that it “can show you how to fully embody your life with wholeness and purpose.” In essence, your chart ruler reveals the core of who you are, what matters most to you, and what you need in life to feel fulfilled and purposeful. Pretty heavy stuff, right?

So, what should you do with this information? Well, first of all, take some time to read up on the meaning of your ruling planet. (Our guide is a great place to start!) Since each planet represents different traits and energies, you’ll want to make sure you really understand the ins and outs of your ruling planet. Once you have a handle on that, take a look at your birth chart. (If you don’t have on yet, don’t worry. We can walk you through everything you need to know about birth charts, including how to get one for free!) Then, use your birth chart to see which of the 12 Houses your ruling planet is located in. This will give you a more complete picture of your chart ruler and may reveal some truths about what aspects of life are most influenced by your chart ruler. This can also show you the parts of your life may be most important to you and where you may find a sense of purpose and belonging.

Keep in mind that the zodiac sign and House of your ruling planet both contribute to elements together – your chart ruler, the sign that it is in, and the house that it is in – to make accurate interpretations. And don’t just stop at one look – revisit your birth chart and especially your ruling planet often. You may find that you’re able to uncover deeper and more accurate insights as you grow as a persona and get more familiar with astrology. Never forget that astrology is ultimately a tool for learning more about yourself, the world, and your place in it – and your chart ruler acts as a compass to guide you on your journey of discovery!