Steve Pavlina Book Review II: Seven Planets for Smart People

This post is the second in a series of three concerning the correspondences between astrology, the Tarot, and Steve Pavlina‘s seven principles of personal growth laid out in his new book, Personal Development for Smart People.  In the first article, I reviewed the book and suggested that Steve’s seven principles (Truth, Love, Power, Oneness, Courage, Authority, and Intelligence) corresponded exactly with the seven visible planets of astrology (the Sun, the Moon, Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Mercury, respectively).  In this post, I’ll dig a little more deeply into astrological matters, and talk about what this means for you specifically.

At the end of the article, I will give summaries of Steve’s system applied to the twelve Sun (Truth) signs, as well as the placement of Jupiter (Power) and Saturn (Authority).  If you know your date of birth, you will be able to locate the section that applies to you, even if you know nothing about astrology.

PART I:  Planets in Astrology:  Agents of Growth

The role of the planets in astrology is one of motion and agency.

trustyourfeelingsAn astrological chart consists of three basic parts:  the signs, the planets, and the houses.  The twelve houses represent broad areas of your life:  your home, your appearance and demeanor, your creative impulses, your relationships, your career, your education…  The twelve signs of the zodiac represent basic personality types:  leaders, go-getters, independent thinkers, mystics, homebodies…  Put them together, and you get a basic picture of an individual; but it is an individual in stasis.  Signs and houses by themselves do not represent growth, change, or free will.  They are, in a way, the stage and its dressing; they are not the actors or the script.

The planets are the actors on the stage of the soul.  Each planet has its own personality and domain.  At birth, they take their places on the stage; and as time ticks away and they move through the sky, they enact the tragicomic opera of your life.  It’s fitting that Steve’s principles of growth should correspond to the planets, because they are the ones that reflect the growth and change that we embody.

Planets in Houses

The twelve houses represent different areas of your life, such as physical possessions; mind and communication; home and family; creative expression; etc.  Many of these can be mapped to the sections in the second half of Steve’s book; but some cannot.  For example, the seventh house corresponds with Steve’s chapter on relationships, but he has no specific chapter devoted to the realm of the eighth house, transformations, death, and sex.  It would be interesting to see a chapter on that in a future book…

When a planet appears in a house, it marks your strong suit in that area.  If you have Venus (Oneness) in the third house, communication is easy for you; you are quick to recognize yourself in others, and capitalize on that.  With Saturn (Authority) in the third house, communication for you is about establishing the truth and marking boundaries; and you will have a methodical, disciplined mind.

Relationships between the planets can represent relationships between different areas of your life.  For example, if you have Mars (Courage) in the fourth house opposite Saturn (Authority) in the tenth house, you may find yourself struggling to make time for yourself and your family because of excessive demands at work.  Cross-referencing this configuration with Steve’s book gives some suggestions for what to do:  for example, take ownership of the authority at work by basing your career on principle (p. 169).

Planets in Signs

The twelve personality types represented by the signs of the Zodiac are not addressed at all in Steve’s book, and this is a place where astrology can enrich Steve’s system considerably.  I discuss the twelve types in detail in this article on the eight-circuit model; but in summary, each sign represents a unique combination of imprints on three basic personality programs.  The three basic programs reflect your attitudes about (1) essential survival, (2) personal status, and (3) planning and reasoning.

For example, if you have a basically positive attitude about essential survival (you generally are optimistic that things are going to be ok and you’re not going to end up starving or homeless), a generally negative attitude about personal status (you are perhaps uncertain socially and do not easily step into leadership positions), and a generally conservative or past-based thinker and planner, you would be a Scorpio.

The twelve signs have a lot to say about the way in which the planetary growth energy is expressed.  Having Jupiter (Power) in Scorpio, for example, gives a Scorpio coloring to your personal power, and the way in which you’re comfortable in expressing it.  You may feel at ease and in control when it comes to your personal comfort and feeding yourself, but less at ease if you are thrust into a public position of authority; your power may be more easily expressed behind the scenes.  With Venus (Oneness) in Scorpio, similarly, you may find it easy to sense the connection between yourself and your surroundings here on earth, but experience the oneness with other individuals most strongly when you reach out to them in situations where status and profession are unimportant.

Planets in Aspect and Transit

Another area where astrology can contribute to Steve’s model is in planetary aspects and transits.  These are the ways in which the planets, the agents of growth, interact and affect each other — both from birth, and throughout your life.

For example, if you have Sun conjunct Jupiter in your birth chart, then the principles of Truth and Power are predisposed to be in alignment throughout your life.  Whatever it is you’re here to learn, it’s not about bringing Truth and Power together — indeed, you may be called on to make sure they don’t overwhelm Love.  And if you have Mercury opposite Saturn, the principles of Intelligence and Authority are set at odds; and you may find it difficult to discipline your thinking — or others may try to discipline your thinking for you.

PART II:  All About You

In this section I provide a reference for anyone who wants to have parts of their astrological charts interpreted in terms of Steve’s seven-principle system.  I’ll only provide information on the Sun, Jupiter, and Saturn, since those are most easily determined by knowledge of your date and year of birth.  For a full astrological reading, you can always use the contact form or the donation button above to request one from me, in exchange for a donation of whatever amount you feel is fair.

Sun Sign

The Sun Sign is the sign the sun was in when you were born.  The placement of the Sun speaks to the Truth of your world, the way you view yourself, the world around you, and your place in it.

  • Aries. March 21 – April 19. A forward-thinking person, at home in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as a place of challenges.
  • Taurus. April 20 – May 20. A practical-thinking person, conservative in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as a place of challenges.
  • Gemini. May 21 – June 21. A present-moment-oriented person, at home in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as safe and supportive.
  • Cancer. June 22 – July 22. A forward-thinking person, conservative in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as safe and supportive.
  • Leo. July 23 – Aug 22. A practical-thinking person, at home in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as a place of challenges.
  • Virgo. Aug 23 – Sep 22. A present-moment-oriented person, conservative in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as a place of challenges.
  • Libra. Sep 23 – Oct 22. A forward-thinking person, at home in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as safe and supportive.
  • Scorpio. Oct 23 – Nov 22. A practical-thinking person, conservative in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as safe and supportive.
  • Sagittarius. Nov 23 – Dec 21. A present-moment-oriented person, at home in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as a place of challenges.
  • Capricorn. Dec 22 – Jan 19. A forward-thinking person, conservative in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as a place of challenges.
  • Aquarius. Jan 20 – Feb 18. A practical-thinking person, at home in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as safe and supportive.
  • Pisces. Feb 19 – March 20. A present-moment-oriented person, conservative in situations involving status and social power, tending to see the world as safe and supportive.

Jupiter Sign

Jupiter is a slow-moving planet; it takes approximately one year to travel from sign to sign.  Unlike the Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Venus, it takes twelve years to make a complete circuit of the zodiac; so it’s relatively simple to list out the years in which Jupiter has been in each sign over the last fifty years or so.  Look for your birthday in the chart below, and find out the way in which Power manifests in your life.  (If you were born before 1960, I apologize for not providing your information; but I had to pick a cutoff at some point…)

  • Jupiter in Aries.  You feel most powerful when making plans, establishing your place in society, and meeting the challenges of life.
    • April 1963 – April 1964
    • March 1975 – March 1976
    • March 1987 – March 1988
    • Feb 1999 – June 1999.
    • Oct 1999 – Feb 2000.
  • Jupiter in Taurus.  You feel most powerful when laying a solid foundation, enjoying family and friends, and meeting the challenges of life.
    • April 1964 – April 1965
    • March 1976 – Aug 1976
    • Oct 1976 – April 1977
    • March 1988 – July 1988
    • Dec 1988 – March 1989
    • June 1999 – Oct 1999
    • Feb 2000 – July 2000.
  • Jupiter in Gemini.  You feel most powerful when living in the moment, establishing your place in society, and enjoying the pleasures of life.
    • April 1965 – Sep 1965
    • Nov 1965 – May 1966
    • Aug 1976 – Oct 1976
    • April 1977 – Aug 1977
    • Dec 1977 – April 1978
    • July 1988 – Dec 1988
    • March 1989 – July 1989
    • July 2000 – July 2001.
  • Jupiter in Cancer.  You feel most powerful when making plans, and enjoying family, friends, and the pleasures of life.
    • Sep 1965 – Nov 1965
    • May 1966 – Sep 1966
    • Jan 1967 – May 1967
    • Aug 1977 – Dec 1977
    • April 1978 – Sep 1978
    • March 1979 – April 1979
    • July 1989 – Aug 1990
    • July 2001 – Aug 2002
  • Jupiter in Leo.  You feel most powerful when laying a solid foundation, establishing your place in society, and meeting the challenges of life.
    • Sep 1966 – Jan 1967
    • May 1967 – Oct 1967
    • Feb 1968 – Jun 1968
    • Sep 1978 – March 1979
    • April 1979 – Sep 1979
    • Aug 1990 – Sep 1991
    • Aug 2002 – Aug 2003
  • Jupiter in Virgo.  You feel most powerful when living in the moment, enjoying family and friends, and meeting the challenges of life.
    • Oct 1967 – Feb 1968
    • Jun 1968 – Nov 1968
    • March 1969 – July 1969
    • Sep 1979 – Oct 1980
    • Sep 1991 – Oct 1992
    • Aug 2003 – Sep 2004
  • Jupiter in Libra.  You feel most powerful when making plans, establishing your place in society, and enjoying the pleasures of life.
    • Nov 1968 – March 1969
    • July 1969 – Dec 1969
    • May 1970 – Aug 1970
    • Oct 1980 – Nov 1981
    • Oct 1992 – Nov 1993
    • Sep 2004 – Oct 2005
  • Jupiter in Scorpio.  You feel most powerful when laying a solid foundation, and enjoying family, friends, and the pleasures of life.
    • Dec 1969 – May 1970
    • Aug 1970 – Jan 1971
    • Jun 1971 – Sep 1971
    • Nov 1981 – Dec 1982
    • Nov 1993 – Dec 1994
    • Oct 2005 – Nov 2006
  • Jupiter in Sagittarius.  You feel most powerful when living in the moment, establishing your place in society, and meeting the challenges of life.
    • Oct 1959 – March 1960
    • Jun 1960 – Oct 1960
    • Jan 1971 – June 1971
    • Sep 1971 – Feb 1972
    • July 1972 – Sep 1972
    • Dec 1982 – Jan 1984
    • Dec 1994 – Jan 1996
    • Nov 2006 – Dec 2007
  • Jupiter in Capricorn.  You feel most powerful when making plans, enjoying family and friends, and meeting the challenges of life.
    • March 1960 – Jun 1960
    • Oct 1960 – March 1961
    • Aug 1961 – Nov 1961
    • Feb 1972 – July 1972
    • Sep 1972 – Feb 1973
    • Jan 1984 – Feb 1985
    • Jan 1996 – Jan 1997
    • Dec 2007 – Jan 2009
  • Jupiter in Aquarius.  You feel most powerful when laying a solid foundation, establishing your place in society, and enjoying the pleasures of life.
    • March 1961 – Aug 1961
    • Nov 1961 – March 1962
    • Feb 1973 – March 1974
    • Feb 1985 – Feb 1986
    • Jan 1997 – Feb 1998
    • Jan 2009 – Jan 2010
  • Jupiter in Pisces.  You feel most powerful when living in the moment, and enjoying family, friends, and the pleasures of life.
    • March 1962 – April 1963
    • March 1974 – March 1975
    • Feb 1986 – March 1987
    • Feb 1998 – Feb 1999.

Saturn Sign

Saturn moves even more slowly than Jupiter; it takes nearly thirty years to go once around the zodiac.  Look at the chart below, and see how Authority manifests in your life.

An interesting thing about Authority is that it may appear either as an external Authority, being imposed upon you from outside, or else as an internal Authority, born of your own sense of discipline or obligation.  Either way, it is your own manifestation.

  • Saturn in Aries.  A disciplined planner; with easy authority in social settings, and a practical mind for challenges.
    • March 1967 – April 1969
    • April 1996 – Jun 1998
    • Oct 1998 – March 1999
  • Saturn in Taurus.  Pragmatic in mind, conservative and cautious socially, and a practical mind for challenges.
    • April 1969 – Jun 1971
    • Jan 1972 – Feb 1972
    • Jun 1998 – Oct 1998
    • March 1999 – Aug 2000
    • Oct 2000 – April 2001
  • Saturn in Gemini.  Powerful focus on the present, with easy authority in social settings and practical matters.
    • Jun 1971 – Jan 1972
    • Feb 1972 – Aug 1973
    • Jan 1974 – April 1974
    • Aug 2000 – Oct 2000
    • April 2001 – Jun 2003
  • Saturn in Cancer.  A disciplined planner; conservative and cautious socially, and easy authority in practical matters.
    • Aug 1973 – Jan 1974
    • April 1974 – Sep 1975
    • Jan 1976 – Jun 1976
    • Jun 2003 – July 2005
  • Saturn in Leo.  Pragmatic in mind; with easy authority in social settings, and a practical head for challenges.
    • Sep 1975 – Jan 1976
    • Jun 1976 – Nov 1977
    • Jan 1978 – July 1978
    • July 2005 – Sep 2007
  • Saturn in Virgo.  Powerful focus on the present, conservative and cautious socially, and a practical mind for challenges.
    • Nov 1977 – Jan 1978
    • July 1978 – Sep 1980
    • Sep 2007 – Oct 2009
  • Saturn in Libra.  A disciplined planner; with easy authority in social settings and practical matters.
    • Sep 1980 – Nov 1982
    • May 1983 – Aug 1983
  • Saturn in Scorpio.  Pragmatic in mind; conservative and cautious socially, and easy authority in practical matters.
    • Nov 1982 – May 1983
    • Aug 1983 – Nov 1985
  • Saturn in Sagittarius.  Powerful focus on the present; with easy authority in social settings, and a practical head for challenges.
    • Nov 1985 – Feb 1988
    • Jun 1988 – Nov 1988
  • Saturn in Capricorn.  A disciplined planner; conservative and cautious socially, and a practical mind for challenges.
    • Jan 1959 – Jan 1962
    • Feb 1988 – Jun 1988
    • Nov 1988 – Feb 1991
  • Saturn in Aquarius.  Pragmatic in mind; with easy authority in social settings and practical matters.
    • Jan 1962 – March 1964
    • Sep 1964 – Dec 1964
    • Feb 1991 – May 1993
    • July 1993 – Jan 1994
  • Saturn in Pisces.  Powerful focus on the present; conservative and cautious socially, and easy authority in practical matters.
    • March 1964 – Sep 1964
    • Dec 1964 – Mar 1967
    • May 1993 – July 1993
    • Jan 1994 – April 1996

I hope that you found this helpful, regardless of whether you know any astrology. In the next article in this series, I’ll discuss Steve’s system applied to the Tarot and the hero’s journey.
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  1. […] Pavlina Book Review III: the Tarot for Smart People In the previous two posts in this series, I reviewed Steve Pavlina’s new book Personal Development for Smart People, […]

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