What’s the significance of dominant signs and planets?
What’s a dominant sign? It’s the sign that holds the most energy within your chart, and that is appreciated depending on several elements: How many planets are in this sign, in the house of this sign, what is the planet of this sign doing, what’s its strength, how many aspects does it form. It can sound like a complicated task, and it can be, however, it is something that comes as second nature once you master the art of Astrology.
An experienced Astrologer weighs this out naturally in their mind; when I look at a chart the first thing I do is appreciate where everything is and how it all comes together. But if you aren’t experienced, you might find it hard to judge or you might not even be aware that there is such a thing to do. You could think that you are a super Libra because you have 4 planets there, but forget to count that Pluto is conjunct all your Libra planets, giving you a super Plutonian personality.
"You don't know what you don't know" - which is why I always recommend to my students to practice Astrology almost as a reverse engineering process - pay attention to how you feel and what resonates with you, and stay open to the process. Use how you feel as a reference and let yourself explore archetypes with your feelings as a guiding light. What do I mean by that?
For example, if you feel Neptunian but are a major Aries, my recommendation is not to think "oh well, my chart says I'm an Aries so I will make the interpretation fit."
I always recommend referring to how you feel and being open to the idea that because how you feel is always valid, perhaps, there are some things you do not know that explains why seemingly, your chart doesn't reflect how you feel.
I insist on seemingly because, when you are properly trained in Astrology, the chart always reflects how you feel. What is the difference between your dominant signs and your dominant planets?
Common wisdom says that signs=how and planet=what. When I teach, I explain how in reality the boundary between the two is a little more porous but, it's a good place to start.
Let me illustrate.
If you are Libra dominant, you are obsessed with relationships, fairness, justice, balance, harmony. This is a given.
If you are Venus dominant (=the planet associated with Libra) you are embodying the feminine principle: Receiving, enjoying, creating harmony, beauty, valuing relationship building and cooperation.
Similar enough, but wildly different in application. Why? You could be Libra dominant (=having a lot of planets in Libra), but with Pluto as your leading planet. In that case, surely, you'd be obsessed with relationships and perhaps justice, however, your modus operandi (which is why I insist on what/why to be a little porous) would be very Plutonian. You'd be a Libra who indulges in underhanded power battles, resistance to change, seeking depth and soul merging. Do you see how the "Venus dominant" definition doesn't apply at all here? A Libra with Pluto dominant has very little care in valuing cooperation and is very forceful, power-oriented - although perhaps it is presented with care and diplomacy.
As you can see, there is so much more depth to Astrology than what meets the eye initially. It can also sound very complicated and intricate, but it isn't if explained and broken down properly. If you are seeking a foundational course that will break down the complexity of Astrology in very chewable and methodical manner, I highly recommend you sign up for my 6-week Astrology class. It is available as a self-directed program with written content, video content, weekly exercises and quizzes, + access to an online community with other students in case you need support. Find out more here!
PS: if you want to know what are books I recommend to learn Astrology, you can find all my recommended books (Astrology & Psychology) on my Amazon store.