A New Look at the Gods and Goddesses of Our Solar System - A Dialogue between Venus and Mars
Note: This article originally appeared in The Mountain Astrologer.
Ever wonder why all of the planets of our solar system, with the exception of Venus and the Moon, are associated with male deities? Doesn’t seem quite right, does it? Well, here’s another way to look at this, conveyed via a playground dialogue between Venus and Mars.
Mars: Let’s choose teams. I get to pick first.
Venus: Of course — you always want to go first! But let’s set our ground rules. Planets should go to the team with the teammates that most closely match their characteristics.
Mars: Okay. For my team’s coach and mentor, I choose the Sun.
Venus: Fair enough. For my coach and mentor, I choose the High Priestess, the Moon.
Mars: We’re off to a good start.
Venus: I agree. Mars and the Sun; Venus and the Moon. Nice and even.
Mars: All right, now I get all of the rest — Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Venus: Wait a minute! Not so fast …
Mars: But that’s the way it has been for centuries.
Venus: And I say it’s been wrong for centuries.
Mars: How do you figure that?
Venus: Well, let’s start with Mercury. Androgynous Mercury. Don’t you agree that Mercury is really the messenger for both teams?
Mars: I suppose so …
Venus: Look at Mercury’s glyph.
It’s the only one of the “original seven” planets that has all three symbols: It has the Moon’s crescent of Soul and the Sun’s circle of Spirit, and brings them both down to Earth through the cross of Matter — further proof that Mercury is a planet for all seasons (and all teams).
Mars: I do see your point. I’ll go along with that.
Venus: You know, Mercury really should be called the messenger of the gods and goddesses.
Mars: That does have a nice ring to it.
Venus: Very good. So, we’ve gone through five planets and it’s even-Stephen. (Or should I say, even-Stephanie?)
Mars: Ha! Now surely you’re not going to tell me that Jupiter and Saturn are girls!
Venus: Keep in mind, it’s affinity that we’re talking about. It’s not strictly a matter of male and female. There are go-getter Type-A females who would fit better on your team, while sensitive New Age guys would probably be more comfortable on my team.
Mars: Go on …
Venus: In the Taoist philosophy, things are divided between yin and yang. Yin is magnetic and soft, and is associated with the Moon and the element of water. Yang is more externally active and hard, and is associated with the Sun and the element of fire.
Mars: Yes, you’re right on all of that.
Venus: Many categorization lists associate space with yin and time with yang. 
Mars: Where are you going with this?
Venus: Well, I say that space (yin) matches up with Jupiter, and time (yang) goes with Saturn.
Mars: Saturn is known as Father Time, but I’m still not convinced.
Venus: Look at the glyphs. Jupiter’s glyph
has the crescent Moon elevated, while Saturn’s glyph
is basically Jupiter’s upside down, with the crescent below. The placement of the symbols does matter.
Mars: So, you’re saying that Jupiter belongs on your team?
Mars: Hold on. I thought we agreed that fire is masculine/yang. Jupiter rules Sagittarius. That was a fire sign, last time I checked.
Venus: Yes, fire is yang, but look at the yin–yang symbol.
In the midst of the dark portion, there is a white circle, while the white area contains a dark circle. Each side contains a bit of the other. Yes, Jupiter is a somewhat fiery planet, but it’s like the white circle in the yin portion of the symbol. I’m telling you — Jupiter belongs on my team.
Mars: I’m wavering, but I need something more to convince me.
Venus: All right, where is Jupiter exalted? In the Moon’s realm of Cancer. Jupiter and the Moon belong on the same team!
Mars: Your logic is impressive …
Venus: So, we’re through the “original seven” planets, and our teams have the same number of players: Mars, the Sun, and Saturn on one side; Venus, the Moon, and Jupiter on the other — with Mercury helping both teams.
Mars: I just knew I shouldn’t have come to the playground today!
Venus: The signs of the zodiac are perfectly balanced among fire, earth, air, and water, and also between cardinal, fixed, and mutable. Why shouldn’t the planets be balanced?
Mars: I could have been hanging out with the guys…
Venus: On to Uranus and Neptune.
Mars: Surely Uranus is male!
Venus: Yes, but just as surely Neptune belongs on my team. As we agreed earlier, water is yin and feminine. What planet is more watery than Neptune? Neptune is compassionate, empathetic, a planet of deep feelings. It seems clear to me that Neptune has to be on the same team as the Moon.
Mars: Being around you is like Superman being around Kryptonite. My resolve is weakening…
Venus: No, you’re just being reasonable. And don’t forget, Jupiter and Neptune have so much in common. For one thing, neither likes to be confined by boundaries. Both planets are associated with a yearning that goes beyond day-to-day life. Like Jupiter, Neptune has the crescent Moon elevated, above the cross of matter.
And of course, Jupiter and Neptune are the ancient and modern rulers of Pisces. Don’t you see that they have to be on the same team?
Mars: Well, I guess so, but by that reasoning, Pluto has to be on my team — Mars and Pluto are the ancient and modern rulers of Scorpio.
Venus: Agreed. That puts you one ahead. And that’s the way it was from Pluto’s discovery in 1930. I must say, though, your team with Pluto has not done all that well with the extra player: World War II, the Holocaust, atomic bombs, massive pollution …
Mars: That’s hitting below the belt!
Venus: But then an interesting thing happened. On August 24, 2006, a group of astronomers decided to demote Pluto to a dwarf planet, and at the same time, they elevated Ceres to that same dwarf planet status. Ceres (also known as Demeter) and Pluto (Hades) are linked via the myth of Persephone. Ceres was Persephone’s mother, and Pluto was Persephone’s Underworld lover. With the Pluto and Ceres shifts, what the astronomers unknowingly did was to re-establish the balance: Pluto is on your team, and Ceres is on mine.
Mars: [sigh] It’s hard to argue with that.
Venus: So, we have your team: Mars, the Sun, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto; and my team: Venus, the Moon, Jupiter, Neptune, and Ceres — with Mercury assisting both teams. It’s 50–50. What do you think?
Mars: I think I could get angry, but I don’t believe it would do any good.
Venus: But doesn’t it make sense? A balance between yin and yang, night and day, female and male.
Mars: I really hate to admit it, but I think you just might be right.
Venus: Great! So, what game do you want to play?
Mars: I don’t think I can today. I have to go home and rest. This choosing sides has been exhausting!
Venus: Okay. See you tomorrow! Maybe we can talk about how you guys designated Friday the 13th as being unlucky.
Mars: [sigh] Just inches from a clean getaway… Very well, give me a preview.
Venus: Friday is Venerdi in Italian, Vendredi in French — Venus’s day— my day! And in ancient times, 13 was considered to be a lucky number because it represented the number of lunar cycles in a year. So, what did you guys do? You combined the two most central female archetypes — Venus (Friday) and the Moon (13) — and decided that Friday the 13th was an unlucky day! What do you think of that?!
Mars: I thought playgrounds were supposed to be fun. I felt better before I came here today!
Venus: You’ll be all right. I’ll meet you here tomorrow. We’ll have fun. I know some great cooperative games…
 For example, see the “Structure” line in the table at http://mudanlife.ca/2013/06/21/ancientchinese-science-the-hidden-forces-that-shapeour-health-and-lives/. Also, “Yang is time, Yin is space” at www.schoolofwisdom.com/ChanceandChoice/chapter5.html
© 2014 David Perloff – all rights reserved