When we were born the Sun was in a certain sign of the zodiac and the Earth was in the sign exactly opposite this. Eg.: Aries Sun and Libra Earth, Cancer Sun and Capricorn Earth etc.
Following this reasoning, we might assume that we are spiritual entities born into a physical environment, such as the body we inhabit.
We need to make a distinction however between the terrestrial globe on which we live and the conditions under which we operate. Although the Earth might last forever as a planet, the conditions under which we operate are ever-changing, and any drastic development in our personal life forces us to start a new chapter, as our personal world comes to an end and new conditions arise for us to live through.
The Earth’s symbol is a circle enclosing a cross (+) to signify the meridian and the horizon (not to be confused with the Part of Fortune which is a circle enclosing an x).
Our path is to find equilibrium as an Earthling regarding the Worldly requirements we face based on the conditions into which we are born. This is done mainly by getting along with others and adapting ourselves to situations as well as facing reality in order to complete our mission here on Earth according to the imperfections we were bestowed with at birth. Thus our Sun sign is in opposition to our Earth sign, indicating interaction between ourselves and our surrounding conditions.
Consideration of the Earth planet in the natal horoscope arises during the late 19th century with the works of the astrologer Alan Leo who combined occult philosophy and the work of the Theosophists with the psychology of his time to produce what is now known as esoteric astrology. Other famous astrologers who continued this line of thought are Alice Bailey, Isabel Hickey and Myrna Lofthus and one of the contemporary astrologers now working in this field is Alan Oken. Leo believed that the idea of karma was essential to esoteric astrology.
As Alice Bailey put it “There is one aspect of energy for which the modern astrologer makes very little allowance, and yet it is of paramount importance. This is the energy which emanates or radiates from the Earth itself….”
In Esoteric astrology the Sun represents the vital energies of our present incarnation and the position of the Earth planet indicates how (the zodiac sign) and where (the house sign) we are to anchor ourselves in order to best use the gifts of our Sun for the service of our Soul. The esoteric ruler of the Earth is Sagittarius and the “archer” points the way to the Mountain top of Initiation with his bow and arrow so the Earth in the natal horoscope represents the physical location of our Path.
So, what might this all mean? Alan Oken, an internationally renowned master astrologer and teacher of the Ancient Wisdom has delineated the meanings of the Earth planet in the various signs and houses as follows:
Earth in Aries: a position pointing to a life that serves to release or stimulate Active Intelligence into the environment.
Earth in 1st house: the soul’s physical purpose emerges as a result of the struggles and achievements in the realm of our personal relationships.
Earth in Taurus: serves to reveal the inner spiritual reality of life that is all too often hidden in the material.
Earth in 2nd house: the goal of this life concerns the ability to shape the various forms of matter so that they express spiritual values and soul purpose.
Earth in Gemini: provides the opportunity to communicate the Path of Union into the world and is accomplished through higher learning and the Path of healing and teaching.
Earth in 3rd house: one must learn to link the higher and the lower minds and the field of activity (one’s service to the planet) where unification can take place (look to the sign on the 3rd house cusp to see how such healing of your own and others’ lives may be brought about).
Earth in Cancer: the individual must create a precise foundation for the work of the soul in the present incarnation through the formation of thoughts and structures which nurture other peoples’ Path towards light, thus clarifying one’s own Path.
Earth in 4th house: a positive relationship with the nurturing dynamics of our planet is required perhaps by transformation of one’s attachment to one’s physical mother into a clearer relationship with the “Mother Earth”.
Earth in Leo: the individual must shape his own path of service and the correct use of will has to be incorporated into this task so that the personality drive comes under the will of the soul.
Earth in 5th house: stimulates those creative activities that increase the development of the Will of the soul thus the individual may find that his/her sense of contribution to humanity is towards the entirety of the world’s children.
Earth in Virgo: an intuitive perception of what “works” in given situations, a focus on practicality that aids service to the Plan, and incredible degree of nurturing and compassion.
Earth in 6th house: the work of the soul becomes one’s job and the release of healing powers of the soul becomes one’s purpose.
Earth in Libra: a vehicle for the birthing of those ideas “whose time has come” by uplifting the ideas in the mind of humankind.
Earth in 7th house: through the tests brought about by desiring to unite one-self with others comes a clear indication as to how the nature of partnership will fulfil the Path of one’s higher goals.
Earth in Scorpio: the breaking down of our attachment to the material and the ability to withstand pressures and tensions of transformation inherent in the signs of Scorpio and it’s opposite sign Taurus.
Earth in 8th house: battleground for the development of one’s talents and resources so that they may find usefulness for the collective good of humanity.
Earth in Sagittarius: the Earth sign’s ruler. The purpose and intent of this incarnation are clear; let the knowledge of the Higher Way be distributed to all who can hear and learn.
Earth in 9th house: Education and learning are paramount and teaching what has been learned will follow. Humanity needs to understand that the basis of all truth is Love.
Earth in Capricorn: points to the challenges in life that involve structure and discipline of our life force so that it is placed directly on the Path of the Will-to-Good.
Earth in 10th house: culmination of our efforts to secure a firm foundation for our spiritual purpose, the direction of our Path is such that our use of social position in life is geared to the precise purpose of world-service.
Earth in Aquarius: gives one the ability to channel and distribute innovative concepts into the collective consciousness that serve the well-being of humanity.
Earth in 11th house: a testing ground to observe how the soul-centred individual can contribute his/hers individual field of service into the world.
Earth in Pisces: the need to work selflessly, a natural outlet would be in the healing professions.
Earth in 12th house: the need to align personal will with the will of the soul so that the application on Active Intelligence provides precision in the expression of the urge to serve.
Goldstein-Jacobson I.M. (1961) “Here and There in Astrology”, “How do you like being an Earthling? pp. 59-60, Pasadena Lithographers, Pasadena, Cal. USA
Lewis J.R. (2003) “The Astrology Book”, p 82 (Alice Bailey), pp 225-229 (Esoteric Astrology), pp 403-404 (Alan Leo), Visible Ink Press, Canton, MI, USA