How Long Do The Planets Stay In A Zodiac Sign?

All time frames are approximate!

Moon – changes signs every 2 ½ days, transits the zodiac every 30 days
Mercury – variable due to retrograde motion. Can be in a sign from 15- 60 days but is never more than 2 signs away from the Sun
Venus – stays in a sign about 30 day… also is never more than 2 signs away from the Sun.
Sun – changes signs monthly
Mars – changes signs about every 2 months unless there is a retrograde which can keep it in one sign for as long as 7 months
Jupiter – changes signs once a year, transits the zodiac in 12 years.
Saturn – changes signs every 2 ½ years, transits the zodiac every 29 – 30 years
Uranus -changes signs every 7 years, transits the zodiac every 84 years
Neptune – changes signs every 14 years, transits the zodiac every 164 years
Pluto changes signs every 10 to 20 years, transits the zodiac every 248 years

A few notes on what this means…

Mercury and Venus move at about the same rate as the Sun though they have retrograde phases. As a result, Mercury is never more than one sign away from the Sun. Venus is never more than two signs away from the sun.

This means if someone is a Pisces, it is impossible they can have Mercury in Virgo, halfway around the zodiac. It means if someone is a Pisces, they have Mercury in Pisces, or Aries (the sign after) or Aquarius (the sign before).

  • If you think about that,  when you meet a Pisces, they’re going to have one of the three flavors of mind (Mercury). You can see how this gets interesting. Aspects modify the effect of course, but catch the concept.
  • Pisces with a warrior mind (Mercury in Aries)
  • Pisces with emotional thinking (Mercury in Pisces)
  • Intellectual Pisces (Mercury in Aquarius)

If you’re always winding up in relationships with Pisces, do they have the same Mercury sign as well? Or does it vary. Thinking about things like this raises your astrology IQ and lead you all kinds of places worth exploring.

This also tells you that when you discover you and your love, who is roughly your age have Neptune conjunct, it’s meaningless. It marks you as being from the same generation because Neptune moves so slowly. This is a mistake beginners make.  They aren’t sure how to weigh things like this.

This chart also shows you the impact of various transits. Mars is going to cross your ascendant every 2 years as compared to Pluto which will cross it every 248 years. Not everyone will have Pluto cross their ascendant in their lifetime. If you do have this transit, it’s a BIG DEAL.

Another thing to note – the effects of Venus transit are generally pleasant but fleeting. We’re talking about a week. Saturn sits on a point for months and Uranus, for a year and Pluto for a period of years.

Tell us your Sun sign and your Mercury sign and lets see if a pattern emerges….

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32 thoughts on “How Long Do The Planets Stay In A Zodiac Sign?”

  1. Sun in Cancer, Mercury in Leo, Venus in Gemini, and if you factor in my Taurus Ac.(Moon in Virgo) actually that is a pretty good picture of me.

  2. Capricorn Sun, Sagittarius Mercury, and Aquarius Venus.

    My controlling Capricorn is easily embarrassed when my bigmouth Sag Mercury gets out of hand. The Aquarius detachment curbs the embarrassment.

  3. Another diplomatic virgo although with mercury conjunct uranus I don’t mind dropping the odd shocker…nicely of course 🙂

  4. Becca and Jessica

    I created a special wheel (think small wheel of fortune) with local restaurants on it because my Libra friend would never choose where we were going for lunch. At lunch I would just spin the wheel and tell her where we were going to eat! 😉

  5. Oddly, my libra friend is the one who will decide where to eat. Do you ever have a friend who is the persnickity complainer? I’m noticing that she will grill the wait staff about every damn thing she orders. so aggressive. So with my libra moon and mercury, I don’t know, I tend to behave like a libra when deciding on what to do or where to eat. I even have trouble on the menu, I’ll be the last to order cuz I couldn’t decide, then I end up with something I didn’t really want or the same old boring thing. I think I’m really a libra not a scorpio.

  6. The best way my libra friends and I work restaurants is we have a discussion about our experiences with certain restaurants or ones we want to try. Then I swear we each are also thinking about what would make the other one happy or what would not make them disappointed while also weighing the parking, distance, price, etc. It ain’t easy but we come up with great places and always enjoy it! I think libras need to talkt about it but getting them to do it takes practice. ^o^

  7. What doublecappy? I’m not unique?

    I guess my natal Saturn – Neptune conjunction had me confused, again.

    The Sag-Cap-Aqua combo is an interesting mix to work with, I’ll have to admit. I have to work on people thinking I’m “so cold”. It’s the Cap – Aquarius combo. I think….

    My Aquarius Venus and Sagittarius Mercury are in sextile aspect, both in aspect to Saturn-Neptune, as part of a bucket pattern.

  8. sun in libra, mercury in scorpio

    i had pluto conjunct asc and saturn when i was 10. That was exactly when my mom and I moved to another country, and i met my dad (saturn) for the first time since i was 4.

  9. Hi there! My virgo mother used to call me “nit comb” because nothing could to escape to my escrutiny. I am libra sun and almost scorpio mercury (29º39’libra) I think it is scorpio because my thinking is that way. However I try to keep with me what I think (mercury 12th) and I try to be polite – that should be a sun venus conj in libra

  10. Aquarian sun & venus, Cappy mercury

    I’m cautious about what I say I tend to think before I talk (usually) but I don’t sugar coat things, when asked to give an honest opinion

    Not sure if this is related at all, but I can usually pull my own head out of the clouds when my aquarian brain takes off on some flight of fancy.

    Quick question my chart leader is mercury (gemini rising) does this give more weight or importance to my natal mercury?

  11. virgo sun with mercury conjunct jupiter in leo. MEEEOW! i likes my mercury. i can tell a tale about life’s little details with dramatic flair!

  12. I’m with Lindsey! Mmmm brain-food. Pisces with Merc in Aquarius and Venus in Pisces!

    I always forget that mercury coulda swung the other way and hit me with an aries mind. That is a good explanation for the crazy out-there warrior-pisceans I know. I get great enjoyment from learning things, and whoo-boy do I know a whole bunch of crapola. I could operate a telescope or a tattoo machine in an apocalyptic situation where it would be completely necessary. Otherwise I wouldn’t have the audacity to do such things when they aren’t “My Thing”s. (the only thing that is really My Thing is my photography, lol.)

    Thanks elsa! Demystification is always appreciated haha 🙂

  13. Sun in Virgo, Mercury in Libra both in the 3rd house. I just love your blog Elsa! it is so much fun to read, and I’m learning soooo much. Thanks!!!

  14. The reason why our Mercury/Venus sign cannot be more than 2 signs apart from our Sun sign is it because it’s geocentric and we will always only see those 2 planets vary from a certain range of angle interval, like I mean since they’re closer to the sun and all planets go around the sun, we will never see these 2 planets behind Earth, is that the reason? Thanks.

  15. A valuable post. It illustrates how Astrology is married to Astronomy and despite the apparent contradiction, they give birth to fractals and synchronicity. Funny, I’m the first Gemini chiming in with a Taurus Mercury (exactly conjunct a Taurus Moon)… down to Earth thinking!

  16. Sagittarius Sun & Scorpio mercury conjunct moon here. Although Sag Sun can be boisterous but it 12 the house it is tempered by Mercury is in 11th house. I tend to like friends who think on a deep level. Superficiality is a turnoff.

  17. Please share about Pluto transit Ascendent. What happens? Pluto did this in my first house but I’ll have to see when. He’s been in my second house destroying my life since 2009. It’s been brutal. So looking forward on slamming the door on his ask when he leaves Cappy. Sun/Mercury/Venus in Cappy getting Pluto’dized. Well Venus at 28’ is about to really get it. I wonder what will happen?! I’m single so couldn’t be destroying my love life. Could it have to do with my daughter? Our relationship, always very close is very painful and distant now ?

  18. Sun and Mercury both in Sagg (and both on or near the Scorpio cusp) in my 3rd house.
    Venus (and Pluto, and ascendant) in 1st house Libra.

    I think that indicates that my Mom was correct in that I should have been a lawyer, and I do love “to argue” as some would say, tho I prefer an “intellectual sparring.” Also, I may be fair minded, but I’m never wrong. I imagine my Mars sitting almost smack on the cusp of Cancer/Gemini may help keep things in check a little?

    There’s also a kite between Pluto and Venus at the “top” in my rising Libra, then Sun, Mercury, and Neptune clustered together on the “left” in Sagg, then Saturn on the “right” in my Moon sign (Leo), and my ruling Jupiter directly across from my ascendant at the “bottom” in Aries.

    I don’t understand what that means, but at one point an astrologer (who’s knowledge of these things I didn’t yet fully appreciate) had her jaw drop open looking at my chart.

    I’m also a “rabbit” in Eastern astrology, so maybe my sign is just “Lucky”?

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