Each planet has a glyph (symbol) that is associated with its nature. We’ve mentioned them in the individual chapters on the planets but let’s go over them once more as a set:
Mercury – (a scepter, the caduceus)
Venus – (a mirror)
Mars – (a spear and shield)
Jupiter – (a scepter)
Saturn – (a scythe)
Encoded into each glyph is a symbolic message about the nature of each planet. Each glyph is made up of three possible composite parts: a circle, a curved line, or a right angle. A circle represents the soul. A curved line represents the mind, and a right angle represents the material world. The most simple of these is the moon, which is just curved lines:
The moon rules the mind and the subconscious, so this makes sense. Its glyph is “entirely” mind. Likewise the sun, which rules over the soul, is just a circle:
Most glyphs are a compound of two or more elements. The order in which these elements appear in the glyph (top down) communicates the nature of the planet.
In Venus’s glyph we see the soul (a circle) set above the physical world (the right angles). Venus is about beauty, love, and the arts so the soul is taking precedence over the physical world. This is the opposite of what we see in the glyph for Mars:
Here the right angle (physical world) is above the soul (the circle). In Mars, and in war, the physical world takes precedence over the soul and exerts itself over the soul and our life force. In this sense Mars and Venus are opposites.
We can also contrast Jupiter and Saturn in a similar way:
Here the curved line (the mind) comes before the right angle (physical world), showing that Jupiter is the sign of the king: the mind that rules the physical world. It is the sign of the mind triumphing over the physical. Let’s compare this to the glyph for Saturn:
In Saturn the right angle is above the curved line, showing that Saturn is the sign of the physical world ensnaring and taking precedence over the mind. The physical world ultimately takes precedence over the mind in the form of death, which Saturn embodies.
The one planet that does not fit neatly into this set of paired opposites is Mercury, which is fitting considering Mercury’s dual and boundary dissolving nature.
Here we can see all three elements that we’ve been working with so far, showing Mercury’s nature as a bridge between the worlds. As an embodiment of the refined intellect, Mercury is in a sense a harmonious balance of mind, body, and soul. The physical world is even on the bottom of this glyph, just as mercury is a messenger moving between the physical worlds here below and the divine worlds above.
This way of viewing the glyphs may have been planned at their inception, or it could be a coincidence. Either way, this information may help you remember the planetary glyphs at this stage, especially when we start using charts that only have the glyphs and not their names.
[next chapter] – coming soon