What you can learn from just words


What do these words have in common?

  • Soulful
  • Lunatic
  • Mercantile
  • Venereal
  • Martial
  • Jovial
  • Stern

They are adjectives formed from the proper Latin-based names of the seven main astrological planets: Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn!

The Sun’s proper name is Sol. It represents the Soul, the singular center of all things, the core of our identity or “ego.” So the it is soulful. The word “sole” could also apply because the Sun / soul is of singlular importance and centrality.

The Moon’s proper name is Luna. And from this we get the words lunacy, lunatic, looney and all that. The Moon represents the subjective mind, the repository of all our emotions and opinions… the stuff that makes us crazy.

The Moon also has many interesting adjectives from it’s title, “Moon.” My favorite is mood. The mind controls our moods and moodiness.

Mercury is the planet of intellect. Intellect is the mother of communication, and communication enables exchange. Therefore we have the word mercantile indicating trade, exchange, barter, etc.

Venus is the planet of senses. When you hear the word venereal you immediately think of VD (unless you are from the new generation where they renamed the stuff STD for some weird reason, maybe Venus protested?). VD, venereal disease, is a “disease of the sense organs.” Especially the reproductive ones. And the implication is that it results from overuse of sensuality.

Martial is among the more familiar of this group of adjectives, sadly. Mars is the planet of energy, which means ambition, which leads to competition, which becomes war. So anything competitive or warlike we call martial.

Jupiter’s older name is Jove, source of the word jovial. Jupiter makes things positive and happy… but why? Well Jupiter is actually the planet of wisdom. Wisdom leads to morality (doing what is best for everyone). Morality creates lasting happiness and joviality more fully than anything else.

Saturn gives us “st” adjectives – all with meaning matching the hard, cold sound of those letters: stoic and stern especially come to mind. Saturn is the planet of reality, which buldozes through our masquerades with hard and fast limitations, and restrictions that we fools tend to perceive as “misery.” Saturn is stern and when you don’t run away from Saturn you become more stoic.

The Sanskrit name for Saturn, shuni also seems to have had an effect on the English word “shun.” We all try to shun Saturn, and Saturn represents the shunned. And if we become very serious and stoic like Saturn, the shallow people of the world may start to shun us a bit.

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Vic DiCara


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Bark at the Moon
Looney! =)