The Planets and Spiritual Awakening


The Role of The Planets in Spiritual Awakening 

by Ruth Hadikin

In Esoteric Astrology, The Tibetan Master DK taught that as a collective, humanity is evolving: 

  • from instinct to intellect 
  • from intellect to intuition
  • from intuition to illumination 

This not only describes the evolution of human consciousness, but it also describes our individual path of spiritual awakening because as we awaken individually, we each experience these unfolding 'stages' of consciousness. 

Indeed it is the awakening of individuals that is at the spearhead, driving the collective evolution of consciousness. 

Stages of Spiritual Awakening

As we look at each of these stages in turn, and their planetary associations, remember that we are talking about the evolution of human consciousness AND your individual path of spiritual awakening at the same time: for they are one and the same. I would also like to add one final stage: emptiness. 

Our complete path of spiritual awakening looks like this:

instinct > intellect > intuition > illumination > emptiness


What do I mean by 'emptiness'? Emptiness is pure presence, awake awareness, without mental concepts. There is an important distinction between illumination and emptiness. In illumination we become full of light. We can experience great bliss and have an experience similar to nirvana, yet we can still be in duality. When we arrive at 'emptiness' we have pure, non-dual awareness. In the Tibetan tradition the highest wisdom of all is the wisdom realizing emptiness. I explain more about that later in this series.

The Planets As Spaceholders

Now let's look at the planets as spaceholders and how they relate to each of the evolutionary stages above. 

In astrology we often speak of planetary 'rulership'. But what exactly does this mean? Rulership is a very old term from the days back when the king or 'ruler' was the custodian of his land and his people. Rulership doesn’t seem like a good thing to us in our modern era where we see the effects of malevolent 'rulership', dictators, war and power games every day in the news, but this is not what is meant in the astrological sense.

Rulership is not something or someone that has power over us, but rather something that contributes to the conditions that support us in our growth - much like a loving gardener who knows exactly what conditions are necessary not only for plants to survive but to thrive and reach their highest potential. So in this sense the planetary 'ruler' is more like a guardian, or custodian, creating the conditions that support our Soul’s growth.

We speak of planetary 'rulers' (or spaceholders) on many levels in astrology. You will have your overall chart ruler, this is the planet which usually has the most power and influence throughout your lifetime (see my newsletter on tracking your chart ruler) by providing the conditions for your Souls growth. 

In addition to your chart ruler each house in your chart will have a planetary ruler: we take into account the natural ruler (for example Mars is the natural ruler of the first house) and we take into account the actual ruler. For example if you have Libra on the 5th house cusp then Venus (as the ruler of Libra) would be the planetary ruler of your 5th house. I don't want to get sidetracked with specific house rulerships here, I just wanted to present the idea that all the planets are spaceholders in your life, not just your ruling planet. 

Your Path of Spiritual Awakening

In terms of the evolution of human consciousness, and your individual path of spiritual awakening, the planets are creating conditions for you that support definite stages:

Instinct: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus Mars.

Intellect: Jupiter, Saturn.

Intuition: Uranus

Illumination: Neptune

Emptiness: Pluto

These stages are not rigid, but serve as a general guide. You will often experience overlap, for example when you experience transits of Neptune you will be having experiences that can ultimately lead to greater illumination. You could also be experiencing a powerful transit of Mars at the same time. In this case the 'illumination' of Neptune can support you in transforming the instinctive aggression of Mars into conscious assertiveness. 

The interplay of planetary energies in your horoscope create the perfect conditions to support you in your journey of spiritual awakening.


Soul Path Astrologer Ruth Hadikin specializes in supporting you on your own greatest adventure: using Soul Astrology to explore your Soul Path and Life Purpose. 

The above article is an excerpt from The Foundations of Soul Astrology: 6. The Planets Available on Kindle.

It originally appeared in Ruth’s free newsletter “Life’s Greatest Adventure” - to get more like this sign up here.

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