The planets utilize the resources of the signs and houses. Therefore the planets are the main forces in astrology. Let’s look at the astrological planets in light of the question, “what is discipline and where does it come from?”
First lets ask a dictionary what we mean by “discipline” as a noun. It answers – “Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.”
So the primary component of discipline is an action – it is enforcement. Training people to obey. Enforcing punishment if they do not. Discipline has a secondary component as well: the rules and codes of behavior being enforced. There is also an implied third component of discipline: the capacity of those being disciplined to accept the oppression and regulation being trained upon them.
One planet rules each component of discipline.
Mars is energy (sattva). Energy is ambition. Ambition is willpower. Willpower expressed towards others is enforcement, discipline. Thus Mars rules the primary component of discipline – enforcement. This is why Vedic astrological texts depict Mars as a warrior, a general giving commands. Mars is the police force – the agents of enforcement.
The Sun is the central essence (atma). The center is the thing around which all else revolves and aligns. Thus the center is the authority, the king, the factor with the greatest gravity. Therefore the Sun rules the secondary component of discipline – the rules themselves. The Sun is the authority by which Mars enforces discipline. Thus the Vedic texts describe the Sun also as a warrior, but not as a general, as a King.
In the analogy where Mars is the police, the Sun is the government. In the analogy where Mars is the general, the Sun is the King.
Saturn is grief (duhkha). Grief comes from encountering reality. Reality is limiting. Limitation is a result of the enforcement of discipline. Saturn also provides the tenacity and perseverance to endure such limitations and continue to operate and survive in their grip. Thus Saturn represents the third component of disciple – its effect. Thus Vedic texts describe Saturn as the proletariat who labors under the rule of others.
In the analogy where Mars is the police and the Sun the government, Saturn is the population. In the analogy where Mars is the general and the Sun the king, Saturn is the soldier.
Now we understand the planetary representations of discipline. The more they are prominent in a horoscope the more a person possesses their respective qualities.
It is most interesting also to note that there are three “malefic” planets in classical astrology – Mars, Saturn and the Sun. Thus we find that discipline is a virtue given by the “malefics.”
– Vic DiCara