Each planet is a teaching, a door to liberation - it has its own being and consciousness. While some planets are considered "benefic" and others "malefic", all planets represent energies that are one-sided, and which require proper balancing for true harmony. Vedic astrology is not simply about predicting the future, but the art of interacting with the higher cosmic energies represented by the planets and bringing their beneficial forces into our life. If we don't understand the energy of a planet working within us, it will lead us to sorrow and conflict. If we take too much or too little of the energy of any planet, we will experience imbalance and disorder in our life. Finally, if we only take the energy of the planet at a superficial level, it will lead us into despair. However, if we learn to balance the planetary energy within us and take it as a part of our deeper self, it will lead us to harmony and higher spiritual awareness.
Sun - the cosmic intelligence or cosmic masculine force. It indicates our point of focus, central purpose, Atma/Soul Self, character, and determines our spiritual life. The quality of the Sun in our chart indicates our intelligence, life force, strength of will, endurance, and level of self-confidence. On the lower level, the sun represents the ego; on the higher level, our seeking of the Light and Truth. Our father's life can also be read through the sun in our chart.
Moon - the cosmic feminine force, shakti, creative force, and divine mother. As the Sun is the Self, the moon represents our conditioned consciousness and the quality of our mind in the chart. It also indicates our capacity to be at peace, to nurture, relate to others and where we are "at home." The moon is the most sensitive planet in the chart and difficult influences on it can show depression, personality disorders or childhood trauma. The life of our mother can also be read through the Moon.
Mars - while the sun and moon represent our masculine and feminine energies generally, Mars and Venus do so specifically. Mars indicates our energy, passions, self-projection and outgoing emotions, strength, and ability to carry out and accomplish a task. On the negative side, Mars can cause aggression, conflict, and domination.
Venus - is the divine daughter and relates to our capacity to love and achieve harmony in life, as well as artistic inspiration. On the lower side, Venus relates to sensory pleasures and on the higher side, our seeking of divine love
Jupiter - is the divine teacher or guru. It represents the energy of expansion, creativity, and is considered the most benefic planet in the chart. It relates to dharma, wisdom, optimism, luck, and grace. However, a Jupiter, which functions too outwardly can make us overly materialistic, and caught in conventional values and beliefs.
Saturn - is considered the legendary king of the malefic, representing the energy of contraction, death, disease, poverty, separation, discipline, asceticism, solitude, limitation, obstruction, and destruction. Its lessons are the most difficult, but the most rewarding. Still, a well-placed Saturn is necessary for spiritual life. When Jupiter, the energy of expansion, and Saturn, the energy of contraction, balance each other in the chart, we can attain maximum destiny.
Rahu and Ketu are the north and south nodes of the moon and have the status of planets in Vedic Astrology. They indicate the area of our life that is generally plagued by the most dissatisfaction. Rahu represents the forces and desires for material experiences that bring us back into the incarnation, and shows where we will strive to expand in this life. Ketu is the energy of the soul in search for perfection and liberation from material life, therefore, indicating the area where we are most likely to contract and reject.
Mercury - relates to the intellect and our capacity for discernment. It also indicates our communication skills, writing, education, and ability to comprehend complex thought.