Posted by: Donna Cunningham | August 3, 2011

How to Identify Your Alpha Dog PlanetThos

©8-3-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW


This is an excerpt from The Stellium Handbook, Donna’s guide to how to make the most of these major configurations.  It is available at:

If you have a stellium, triple conjunction or major configuration such as a T-Square, Grand Trine, Grand Cross, or Yod, it’s quite job to figure out how all the planets involved work together. It’s even more of a job to figure out how to make them all work together smoothly. That’s not a job, it’s s lifetime achievement. A key to making the most of chart features like these is figuring out which of those planets is something I call the Alpha dog planet.  

Among the canines, the Alpha dog is the leader of the pack, the strongest dog, and the first to have access to the food or females. Transferring that principle to chart interpretation, the Alpha dog planet is the strongest of an interconnected group of planets like a major configuration and generally initiates and dominates their action.

 Why would it be important to identify the Alpha dog planet? Well, dog trainers know that in order to have a well-behaved pack, they have to identify which one is the Alpha, and then manage that particular animal properly. I believe that the same is true of the Alpha planet in a configuration.  

“What’s my Alpha dog planet, Donna?”

 Since I introduced this concept, readers have been asking me to figure out the alpha dog in their stellium. I’d have to know you a whole lot better and a whole lot longer to do that. I can give you some general rules. A pit bull of the planet (like Pluto) is more apt to be thetop dog in the pack than a lightweight such as a Chihuahua (like Mercury).

 But even if I were able to pick the planet accurately how would that help you? Nope, you’ll have to come to a preliminary conclusion on your own, after months of observation as the Moon and inner planets make their yearly orbit around your chart. Watch not only the conjunctions, but also the squares, trines, and oppositions as well. 

Follow the Moon and inner planets around your chart, and be especially observant of how you respond as they cross one after another of the planets in the configuration. In my early days in astrology, I used a large poster board copy of my chart, moving pushpins that represented the Moon and planets’ ever-changing positions. 

 Following those transits, and keeping a special journal of events, situations, and emotions that arise under various astrological conditions will help you see your own patterns. 

Slowly you’ll begin to get a sense of how each of the planets reacts under transits. Get a sense of how each of these planets feels when it’s activated. Then notice which planet in the picture has the strongest, most immediate response. 

Don’t be fooled by drama! Neptune doesn’t yell and flex its muscles, but it can effectively bring the action to a halt by raising a thick fog or going on a drinking binge. 

Here are some ideas about which planet may be dominant:

  • The ruler of a stellium may dominate the stellium.
  • The lead planet (first in the series) may also be the Alpha
  • A planet conjunct the Sun, Moon, Midheaven, or Ascendant
  • A planet that is part of a triple conjunction
  • An outer planet if the test score is the highest (see Take the Planetary Tests.)
  • A planet in a fire or Cardinal signs would have a slight edge.
  • Suspect the planet that is the most brilliant/gifted but also the most trouble.

After a few months of observation, you’ll come to a conclusion about your dominant planet – one you’ll have to test by studying it over time. 

Observing your Alpha in Action

In order to manage the Alpha and get the most positive results from it, begin by studying its qualities. Consider what that planet the wants and needs in your own life and how it acts out its characteristics.

 Factor in the house position and sign as well and notice how and when it gets activated. What is it able to contribute to the house matters? How would it be a bad thing to have it involved, and how would it be a good thing? 

Also go back in time and recall what was happening when the slower moving planets were in the same degree as the planets in this picture. An easy way of doing this would be to use the transit tracker that you can Download it here: HO-transit trackingtable-1990-2020Capricorn Stellium online course by Donna Cunningham

In learning how to micromanage a stellium or major configuration, the key is to discover which is the dominant planet in the group. Like the Alpha Dog in a pack, that planet is going to run the show, and if Alphie isn’t happy, nobody’s happy. 

If you want something out of one of the other planets in the pack, you need to give Alphie a chew toy to keep him contented. Figuring out what makes the Alpha planet happy and making space for that to happen is a major key to a smoother life. 

This has been an excerpt from The Stellium Handbook, Donna’s guide to how to make the most of these major configurations.  It is available at:

So, Readers, do you have an idea about which is your Alpha dog planet if you have a stellium, multiple conjunction, or a major configuration like a T-square, Grand Trine, or a Yod? Tell us about it in the comment section. 

The Stellium Series:

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  1. I think I already know which one is my Alpha Dog Planet…it’s Saturn. It restrains my fifth house and the conjuncting planets Uranus and Neptun. It’s also the ruler of the stellium (in Capricorn). I really want to get in touch with all the areas of life that are restrained by Saturn. I just don’t know how. I was excepted in art school and I’m afraid that my Saturn may minimize my ability to be creative in stressful situations…

    • Hello Donna,
      I find this topic very intriguing and as a dog lover, as well as mother of a human pack, I totally agree about the critical importance of figuring out who the alpha dog is. I also believe strongly in the critical importance of strong, enlightened leadership– a concept that in many circles, has become somewhat “politically incorrect”. So I really like the concept of a zodiac alpha dog and I am going to give myself time to follow along with your suggestions of what to do look for in current time and in reviewing past transits.
      My question concerns what I have been going on up until I read this latest blog of yours, in determining the planet that dominates the chart. I have understood it to be the planet that rules the sign of the ascendant. Full stop. Although the planet in my case–Mars–is a serious contender for the position, I like your much more in depth approach to deciding who is the alpha dog. Would you care to comment?

      • I don’t automatically consider the Ascendant ruler the dominant planet, though classically it’s writ in stone like the Ten Commandments. It has to be proven–through observation during the monthly Moon orbit and also perhaps the stronger planet scores on the planetary tests. Donna

    • Ah, you’re part of that Cap stellium of ?1989-90. You’re probably right that Saturn dominates. What I want to say is that give yourself time to develop as an artist–you will probably develop a unique/classic style of very fine art. I think a couple of things that would help you free yourself up creatively are 1) start with flowing media like clay or maybe textiles, to ground yourself in tactile media (not that you’ll necessarily stay there) and 2) lead a group of children (5th house) in an art/play group with expressive media. Their free-flowing imagination and playfulness might help loosen the restraints you feel. Or something along these lines. Donna

      • Yes, that is my generation.
        Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
        I’ve been very creative this week and hope that it stays that way. I will do anything I can to fight (or learn from?) Saturn. You’re suggestion is interesting. I’ll watch a group of kids in 2 weeks and I will definitely do an art-playgroup with them!

  2. can’t determine whether or not it’s my pluto, conjunct the sun, part of a stellium AND a yod & ruler of my ascendant, or my neptune rising, also involved in the yod. Yikes!

    • Pluto sounds stronger, but it sounds like Neptune is in Scorpio too? A mix, clearly, but keep watching when the Moon goes over both of them. Donna

  3. Hello again,
    I should add–or perhaps clarify– that this idea of the planet ruling the Ascedant sign is the dominant planet seems to come from Esoteric Astrology where there is such a strong emphasis on the Ascendant as the most important “force” operating in “soul-centered” growth. Just wondering what you experience has been concerning this rule of thumb.

  4. So what kind of bone would each of the planets be looking for? I imagine with Saturn, you’d have to pay the piper somehow. Neptune: self sacrifice. Jupiter: an optimistic approach? Mercury may want you to think things through and take a rational approach. Mars: just do it! Does this sound right? What about the ones I left out? Pluto? Uranus?

    • I love the bone analogy! I think Pluto would be burying bones, then remembering where you buried them to dig them up again at opportune moments. Uranus? Not sure. Anybody?

    • You’re doing a pretty good job of picking some bones, Chas. I was just sitting in Starbucks this ayem trying to sort out that very thing…deadline for an article for TMA coming soon, and I was envisioning a table doing something like that:
      What each planet wants from us
      What positive qualities each planet has to contribute
      What drawbacks/meltdowns each of the planets might have
      What bone to throw each of the planets.

      Trouble is, the table would need to be part of my article for TMA, not for here, or I’m not being fair to my beloved editors there. They need some exclusive material from me.
      However, since you’ve started here, why don’t you all fill in what you think some of the planets would want?

      I will say this about Mercury (though I’ve changed my mind about it beng the Alpha dog of my Gemini stellium, after watching my Uranus in Gemini melt down fairly regularly during this hand seige):
      Mercury is pretty easy–practically any chew toy will do, so long as it’s new and different. For instance, today I went to Office Depot and binged out on new pens–fine point black ones, plus gel pens in a dozen colors–and my little old Merc is just practically wagging its tail off. It can’t wait for tomorrow to go to the coffee place with the new pens and a blank journal and just write, write, write. (My left paw is not so badly impaired that I can’t write by hand, it’s typing that hurts.) Donna

      • Oh Donna, you pen binge account have me grinning, as only another Merc stellium owner could relate, although my weapon of choise is mechanical drawing pencils.

  5. Good you should ask this question. It brings up something I noticed and wondered about its workings in my natal chart. Neptune in the 12th close to the Asc,and Uranus in the 9th marking the other edge and parallel the MC. with Pluto in the middle in the 10th house 5 degrees from the 11th house cusp.
    First one must know this about my character: I want most to harmonize with others , each doing their own thing without interfering with one another. Libra ascendant sounds like that.
    But if its a question of someone or some situation trying to take dominance over me than without a doubt I will fight back and be the Dominant one rather than be dominated. I will be ruthless if the occasion warrants it.I can usually dominate with my force field alone, interfering with another s electrical impulses to the brain..This action is too subtle for most people to even know whats happening and they scram or submit by instinct..
    In old Indian Culture there was a saying: ” The weaker the body becomes ( in old age) the stronger the mind becomes.” Just the opposite with the dominant culture,t like everything else you could compare.
    I use to be a fighter in my youth but no longer have to resort to it and.have outgrown the need for extreme bursts of pure physical energy.
    Astrologically speaking this brings me to the gestalt configuration in which Pluto in Leo is the middle man or apex by septile that unites my two conglomerated planets at either end of my planets in the 9, 10. 11th and 12 houses.
    9th house Uranus 17 Gemini conjunct parallel Mars at 20 Gemini..both are parallel Pluto within one degree and the MC. Mars also Septiles Pluto and the Mars Uranus also sextiles the Mercury Pluto midpoint in 17 Leo with opposes the moon in Aquarius at 17 degrees. Mercury 25 Leo Retrograde conjuncts my 29 Leo Sun.Mars
    Uranus Pluto also parallel my Venus Saturn parallel conjunction both at 20 Cancer in the 10th. The later two Quintiles the Jupiter, Chiron Neptune also tying in the two conglomerates together. Venus Saturn conjunct Plutos north node.
    In the 12th House is Jupiter Chiron Neptune conjunction with Jupiter and Neptune also parallel. Neptune is 4 degrees from my Libra ascendant. Chiron septiles Pluto.
    So I see all these planets drawn in together by Pluto.Therefore would Pluto be top dog? Interestingly the Phoenix has been a strong reoccurring sign in my life ( not the only one however)

    • It’s hard for me to say, Barehand, because you’re clearly an Outer Planet Person, strong in several. You might try the planetary tests to see which is stronger by score, and perhaps doing meditations during the Moon crossing of all three for a few months–the answer will become clear for you. Donna

      • OK Donna I will try that Moon transit thing.
        My highest score was Uranus and it rules the Thunder Beings which have been with me since birth and are a strong ongoing presence in my life, and.It is the first Clan that came in as well. Uranus transits are always exciting and the planet is well aspected.I The Moon was the second highest score in Aquarius and in exact trine to Uranus.
        Neptune was a pain in my childhood but had its upside too. Its much more comfortable now.
        Pluto has been a painful life and death trip when it crosses an angle and is considered a non sacred planet so it has to be transformed , as well as causing transformation in mega respects. Its inch worming towards a conjunction to my South node and then the Nadir at 11 degrees 32 mn. Cap and I am NOT looking forward to that with all the natural catastrophes going on!

  6. hmm…this one is tricky for me, I have several strong planets and several aspect configurations (two t-squares, a grand trine and a yod) that are all interconnected…can you have multiple alpha dogs?

    • Oh, dear, I am laughing!! There’s probably one Alpha for each of those configurations, so you’ve got several packs to keep in line. It sounds like an interesting life! If one of them dominates more than one configuration, it MAY be the Grand Poo Bah Puppy. Don’t despair, though–When I see a chart like yours (see the article about Bruce Willis, “the man who bhas everything”), I conclude that you’re a complex enough individual with enough going for you to handle it all and contribute something special. Donna

      • lol-thank you, that’s a very kind interpretation

  7. The strongest planet (from the planetary tests) planet in my chart is Chiron. I don’t feel familiar with it at all. It’s conj Jupiter, and that I can feel – especially the over-indulgence part of it … My chart ruler is Pluto, but I don’t think it’s the Alpha dog (although I wouldn’t dare to say that out loud). My stellium is Uranus, Sun, Pluto, Moon, and although the Moon is very strong, I’m inclined to think Uranus runs the show. I’m all about the future, what’s ahead, and not really interested in what’s behind me. Uranus is jittery and impatient, and easily bored. I certainly fit that profile. How do I know which one is the ruler of the stellium? It’s in the 9th in Virgo, but Leo is on the cusp, so that would make the Sun the ruler of the house – the Sun is not even a contender in this, it’s probably the weakest planet in my chart, poor thing.

    • I’m guessing Uranus is the Alpha, or at least let it think it is! Otherwise, it gets cranky. Donna, whose Uranus Alpha has been showing its behind lately.

  8. I have a T-square consisting of: Jupiter and Uranus at 3 degrees Libra in the first house, Sun at 4 degrees Capricorn in the fourth house, and Moon just past the 0 degree mark in Aries in the seventh house. I found out from the handy tests on this website that my strongest planet is the Moon. I must confess that I was a bit proud of myself for handling Pluto’s transit to my natal Sun so well; but when transiting Uranus contacted my natal moon, I became a basket case. I’m still looking for a good chew toy for my Moon. Long soaks in the tub help, but I live in steamy New Mexico, and this is one hot summer. Any ideas for lunar chew toys?

    • Cooking 😀

      • Hey, thanks! I think in honor of transiting Uranus working my Moon, I will try to learn to cook some “exotic” dishes… or maybe get some small, futuristic kitchen gadget.
        Since I pegged the Moon as my Alpha dog planet, I can’t shake the image of the dog Nana in the Disney animated version of Peter Pan. I don’t want to identify with that poor, beleaguered pooch! So instead I am trying to visualize a happy domesticated mutt who is still free enough to howl at the moon.

    • Poor little Luna, it does need to feel safe and secure–responds well to sprucing up the doghouse and to being fed tasty nourishing food. Anything that reminds it of the place that felt most like HOME, even calling supportive loved ones from the past. Donna

  9. just pondering out loud with this one… Mec Sat Sun in conjunction in Taurus 6th house…right off the bat I would say Saturn, but then Merc is rx and seems to be more of a troublemaker and has a semisextile to mars/venus in Gemini which the other two do not, oh and it is also in mutual reception with venus (almost forgot that!) and since I have Jupiter coming up on this stellium I will need to pay attention to how that plays out.

  10. It’s the Moon for me. It is part of a Grand Trine with Jupiter and Mercury/Pluto. Moon in Sagittarius is in the 6th and I have a lot of digestive problems to prove it.

    If I follow my feelings things usually turn out right. When I’m not happy, the rest of the pack knows it. LOL

    The Moon is my chart ruler and my Sun is in Cancer.
    My Sun runs a close second and the two of them go well together for me.

  11. Donna,

    What if you have an almost exact conjunction of planets? I get a double dosage of reactions from both Sun and Mars. It’s obviously a sensitive point in my chart, but It’s very hard to tell whether one of them is the Alpha dog, or maybe the reactions from both are simply bigger than the other actual Alpha dog. I guess I will be out-of-luck to find the Alphie in this case?

    • LOL! Maybe it’s that two-headed dog of mythology, Cerebrus. Try doing the planetary tests for Sun and Mars and see if either of them come out on top. And also, what sign are they in? You can watch very carefully each month when the Moon is conjunct, square, or opposite that conjunction and see if you act and feel more Mars or more Sun. I expect at some point one of them will emerge, or else you can declare them twin leaders. Interesting. Donna

      • It’s complicated. Both are in Virgo, ruled by Mercury (in Virgo). So it could be Mercury instead. But it could also be the biggie Pluto which is also part of the stellium, and sits right at my critical angle, sextile on two sides by both Neptune and Venus, and makes angles to Jupiter and Part of Fortune with small orbs.

        I will try and observe the moon transits, and see if I can find anything. But I doubt that I can segregate the heavy influences of outer planets from the faster ones. Yak, even South node conjunct Saturn feels so heavy, when I just thought the sky was clear for me.

    • What about the sign those planets are placed in? I’d say to look there if all the aspects are the same. Say Sun and Mars in Leo, that Sun would probably be alpha (though Mars is pretty happy in Leo too). I don’t think alpha means it has to be the DOMINATOR, just the leader perhaps?

      • Oops, I guess we replied at the same time, sorry Donna!

  12. I have a Grand Trine in Water that conjuncts the M/C and squares the Ascendant. The GT includes Moon/Uranus in Cancer on the MC (Uranus is closer to the MC, within one degree), Mars in Scorp in One and Jupiter in Pisces in 5Rx. I’d have to say Uranus and Moon are both biggies for me (in your tests Uranus, Moon and Neptune are my biggies with Pluto and Jupiter not too far behind.) BUT the Jupiter is the funnel spout of my bucket shaped chart configuration, so I would give Jupiter some weight there, too.
    AND I have a Cazimi conjunction of Sun/Pluto In Leo, so that can be pretty Alpha doggie, too!
    Neptune Ascends and Sq.the Moon and drags Venus in Cancer late in my 10th into a loose Sq,, so I wouldn’t count it out, either.
    Woof, woof, woof says the crazy cat lady!

  13. I like this question and I am definitely guilty of asking the question of “who’s on first” over and over again. 5 planet stellium in libra (Sat/Jup/Merc/Plu/Sun) square moon. Moon gets the highest score for me on the list, I don’t know if it is the strongest, though it certainly could be repressed! Sun (a close 2nd in score), Pluto, Saturn I “feel” are contenders. Then again, my chart ruler is Neptune, and Neptune sits right at the top of my chart conjunct MC. I think it is probably NOT the strongest though it DOES have the easiest time of it aspect-wise. Hmmmm…we are getting closer I think though. I really appreciate your suggestions, Donna, I very well may make a giant chartender, pushpins and all!

    • PS- I might add that with all this Libra (stellium is in the 7th house, Sun in 8 and Pluto nearly there) it is hard for me to choose/commit to just ONE alpha dog. Can’t we all git along? I don’t wanna choose 😛

  14. Saturn in the fifth for me. It aspects every planet in my chart except Uranus and is part of a cardinal grand cross (the same as the transiting one we’ve been going through) and an earth grand trine with Pluto and the sun. When I look back on the seven year cycle of saturn, major life events happned to me when it went into opening square, opposite and now it’s just finished a closing square. Creativity comes in fits and starts for me.

  15. I definitely can say without a doubt Saturn is mine. I have Sun, South Node, Mercury Rx and Mars in Capricorn, Venus in Aquarius – and SATURN in Aquarius too, very near my Midheaven (in the 9th but it is the “highest” planet). Since I use the classical rulerships, you can see how eventually, ALL the planets by default would go to Saturn eventually – and my life experience has been just that! I also learned that Saturn in Aquarius as well as the 9th house in some other classical astrology systems are considered very strong placements.

  16. I have an 8th house stellium with Mercury, Sun, Venus in Taurus, and my ascendant is Libra, so I would think that Venus is my Alpha. However, my chart is in a locomotive pattern, and Mercury is the “lead” planet, so I am unsure. Since my head usually rules my heart, I would conclude that my Alpha is Mercury, but my Venus doesn’t like that arrangement very much and tries to assert herself whenever she can!

  17. My venus and Saturn are conjunct, and both are very strong. I’ve always felt like i was venus, but shackled to Saturn. Sometimes I’d like to run off and get away from Saturn, but he’s always there. With a capricorn MH, I’m pretty sure old Saturn is the one.

  18. I am quite sure that it my alpha dog is Saturn in Aries in the First House:

    #1 Conjunct the Ascendant
    #2 Cardinal Fire
    #3 The second highest planetary strength score (after The Moon)
    #4 Involved in a T-Square opposite The Moon and square Venus
    #5 Involved in a Yod sextile Mercury and quincunx Neptune
    #6 Involved in a Yod quincunx the sextile of Uranus and Neptune
    #7 Aspects all the planets except for The Sun and Mars (as well as the four Goddess asteroids)

    I suspect my alpha dog is a terrier; )

  19. I have libra stellium with mars saturn and pluto conjunct my ascendant. I also have a t-square. its rowdy.

  20. Oh how I wish I had a stellium or planets linked in strong aspect configurations, but what I have instead is planets spread all through the degrees so that some transiting outer planet is always beating up on some natal planet, but of course, it’s always a different one.

    This makes me feel like a different person from year to year depending what planet that outer planet energy is hitting. It gets to be alpha dog until the outer planets move then another planet takes over. That bunch of transiting planets at 28 degrees lit up my Venus-Uranus conjunction at 26-28 Gemini most of last year, which was nothing I’d want to go through again.

  21. Hi Donna,

    First off: kudo’s on the voice recognition software!

    Alright… i have two yods in my chart. Yes, two. One is pointing at Neptune and the one is pointing at Saturn. I thought the apex would be the Alpha Dog?

    • With a Yod, yes, most likely the Apex. But with 2, unless they’re interlocking or aspecting one another strongly , then each one “runs” their own Yod. If they’re connected, see which one scores highest on the planetary tests, then follow threm both for a while to see if one feels dominant. Donna

  22. I think my alpha dog is Pluto conjunct the ascendant in Virgo and also conjunct the Sun, Venus & Uranus. Even though all of these planets are in the 12th, the stellium seems to be powerful for me. I found it helpful to take the planetary power tests to break down which were most prominent for me and Pluto had the highest score.

    My son was born with the Capricorn stellium in Jan 89, but this most prominent feature is not in the stellium but is Mars in Aries (25º) in the 1st, and Aries rising (1º). The combination of Aries rising and Mars in the1st seems to trump everything else in his persona.

  23. I have a dogfight between 2 packs: a triple conjunction at 20 Virgo (Venus/Pluto/Uranus) and a fixed t-sqare of Mars 20 Leo/Neptune 20 Scorp/Moon 20 Aqua. So whenever any planet approaches 20 degress of just about anything, I have to break out a big bag of bones. Venus rules the tri-conjunct, and she likes pretty bones. But I think Moon in Aquarius is the other top dog, although she would never admit to having special needs, as she has the others convinced she is a Socialist.

    Any suggestions for a bone to throw an 8th house Aquarius Moon, or do I have to wait for the TMA article? 🙂

  24. Hello all,
    I realized this morning that Saturn is my alpha dog. Conjunct Ascendent (Scorpio); the tightest aspect on my chart of the major planets in its nearly perfect Square with my Aquarian Sun etc etc. I realized it was not Uranus passing over my IC or Pluto’s backing and forthing over my natal Venus: North Node conjunction for the last 2 plus years, or Neptune hanging over my Sun for what felt like eons, that has been the major challenge. Challenge, yes, but I have always “known” those forces at an archetypal level and I can work them, even when it gets extremely uncomfortable. It was Saturn transiting my Virgo Moon in the tenth house and the challenge has been happening at a fundamental level of my being–trying to configure how Saturn’s archetypal dynamism that speaks to me.

    I realized this morning I have been working on this since childhood–working through the various archetypes of Saturnian qualities, looking for the one which affords me a living dynamism with which to communicate in a personally authentic way. And I do believe I’ve found him –Albus Dumbledore. And I’m Harry Potter–nasty background with ongoing external threats of aniliation still coming my way (I’m only on book 4 at the moment); lots of innate talent; skillful in what I do which is definitely a modern kind of wizardry (I’m a psychiatrist); and a born rule breaker while at the same feeling the inner conflict because I believe in rules, and authority and accountability–but never at the expense of Truth.

    What does Dumbledore do with Harry, time and time again,? He sternly tells Harry of all the rules he has just broken that would have him expelled from Hogwarts 10 times over;(Harry receives consequences for relatively minor transgressions). Dumbledore then enters into a dramatic pause, maintaining his stern countenance, while Harry bows his head in acquiescence to his authority and in a gesture of respect for the critical importance of rules and accountability. Then Dumbledore smiles and informs Harry that instead of being punished by him for his rule breaking, he is to be awarded some kind of recognition that his very acts of rule breaking have, once again, saved Hogwarts. And in that judgment, Dumbledore/Saturn is clearly recognizing that Harry/I have already paid the price of the natural rather than imposed consequences–willingness to risk virtually everything for one’s personal truth and subsequent willingness to live with the losses incurred.

    At the end of one of the Harry Potter movies, Dumbledore warns Harry that the world of magic folk is about to enter into the darkest of times where each and every witch and wizard will face a choice–to do what is right; or what is easy. I love that line.

    Dumbledore is my Saturn; and this Saturn is my alpha dog. He has my total allegiance; I will never take my rule breaking tendencies for granted as long as he is around; but he is the only one I am prepared to take imposed consequences from, because his judgments are based on Truth, Wisdom, and Justice.

    Thank you all for the help with figuring this out!

    • Dumbledore is a Saturn I can live with! Donna

      • Synchronicity! My seven year old son , who has a tight Saturn-Venus conjunction in Cancer, is going to a Harry Potter themed costume party tomorrow dressed as Albus Dumbledore. While Mars is his alpha dog planet, he’s been feeling the effects of Saturn lately ( that first Saturn square, all those baby teeth falling out, etc). How apt that he wants to dress up for a a party (Venus) as Albus Dumbledore (Saturn). Astrology is almost uncanny, sometimes.

  25. What does it mean to have Neptune as your strongest planet? It looks like Neptune is my Alpha… I´ve been trying every test and making some observations and it seems I´m a Neptunian! Not sure how it works though. I´m confused most of the time!

    • What does Neptune mean? “I´m confused most of the time!” That’s Neptune in action! There are at least 30 articles about Neptune on thus blog. Use the search engine at the top right corner of the blog to find them and read about them. Donna

  26. Such an informative post Donna. I’m backtracking trying to catch up on my blog reading today.
    I clearly think the Fixed Grand Cross I have with Uranus, Mars, Sun and Chiron is what I stubbornly fight to overcome each day. There’s so much undermining going on all the time. I’m always “talking myself down.” However, I think the Yod with Pluto conjunct my Virgo Asc, with Neptune and the Moon is how I pull myself out of the non-stop undermining that goes on with the Grand Cross. For that reason I feel Pluto is my Alpha Dog. Pluto on my ascendent makes me feel that I have a chance each day to “get it right.” Thank god for that Alpha dog planet. I still think of my ruling planet as a planet – even if astronomers downgraded little Pluto!

  27. I have a 4 planet stellium (Uranus, Sun,Mars,Mercury-Sun,Mars,Mercury are all conjunct)by sign in Scorpio, in either my 5th house or a 3 Planet stellium(Sun,Mars,Mercury) in my 6th house (it depends on what house system you’re using)

    I usually use equal house or Koch which creates the 5th house stellium – placidus creates the 6th house stellium.

    So, I kind of have a dilema as to what my alpha dog planet- from within the stellium- might be. It could be Mercury because I have Gemini rising and Virgo Moon(3rd house) or it could be Mars because Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio.

    I don’t think it’s Uranus because, even though I’m misunderstood all the time, Uranus isn’t conjunct anything but my vertex and NN(which are also in Scorpio) and it’s, I believe, my least aspected planet if you look at only the prominent aspects.

    I have a T-Square involving Saturn -Sun-Jupiter and another T-Square Saturn-Mars-Jupiter

    I’d say it’s difficult to break this down through observation because my personality tends to run on the “complex” side of things.

    If Neptune were part of this configuration I’d say that it’s the alpha dog planet because It seems I “live in my head”,but it’s more like I’m in another world,but neptune sits in my 6th house no matter what.

    Thus back to the drawing board.^_^

    Please pardon me for typing so much, I tend to “think aloud” 🙂

    The points that you illustrate are very helpful….Thank You!

    • It does take a while to pin it down, especially when there’s also a major configuration like a t-square. Regardless of the house system, you do have a stellium by sign, in Scorpio. I’d say observe which one is most active each month while the Moon’s in Scorpio and then really watch what happens coming up when the Sun, Mercury, and Venus travel through Scorpio. Keep notes. Also, Jupiter’s passage through Taurus could give you some clues. Donna

      • Thank You very much for your suggestions. It’s not going to be easy,but I’m going to keep trying. 🙂

  28. I don’t have the slightest clue what my Alpha Dog is. Got a planet in 7 different signs so I am all over the place. Doing the planetary tests Venus and Moon are tied for first place at 38. I do got a Cancer stellium going back towards my Moon. An astrologer on astroweekly said my Moon and Venus were the two strongest planets.

    Got Sun 2 Cancer, Pluto 2 Scorpio, Neptune 2 Capricorn so they all aspect each others perfectly…. Moon 5 Virgo so all the water planets aspect my Sun. I don’t think there is an Alpha for them cause they work as a trio.

    Ascendant, Mid-heaven, Moon are all ruled by Mercury.

    Have a mutual reception between my Moon and Mercury.
    So I am debating if its chiwawa Mercury or Aphrodite herself. I always thought Venus in Taurus exact conjunction North Node 9th was kind of special because its in its own ruler sign and all. I could see that as being a guiding force. I do really resonate towards Ishtar’s mythology.

    “In the Babylonian version of the descent of Ishtar to the land of no return, we have a description of the failure of all sexual fertility caused by her absence. ‘The bull springs not upon the cow; the ass impregnates not the jenny; in the street the man impregnates not the maiden’. When Ishtar knocks at the gate of the underworld she threatens to batter down the gate if she is not admitted, and to set free the dead who are in the underworld”

    O gatekeeper, open thy gate,
    Open thy gate that I may enter!
    If thou openest not the gate so that I cannot enter,
    I will smash the door, I will shatter the bolt,
    I will smash the doorpost, I will move the doors,
    I will raise up the dead, eating the living,
    So that the dead will outnumber the living.

    My kind of Venus ❤ I can see that theme played out in my life.

    Who said Venus was all about love and self-worth? Apparently she seems to be able to preform the miracle of resurrection. Chaldean astrologers saw Venus differently.

    Evolution of Venus –
    Its a pretty interesting student paper about how Venus went though many different phases.

    • I was referring to the boss dog in a stellium or other major configuration, not to the chart as a whole. It sounds like the Moon is the Alpha in your stellium, but it’s something you test out over time by following the Moon and other fast moving planets around the chart for a period of months until you know for sure. Donna

  29. Hi. I was looking into this concept of the most dominant planet and found this article you wrote.
    I found out my first most dominant planet is Pluto (in virgo conjunct both mars and uranus in a 2nd house stellium), The 2nd is Chiron in pisces conjunct the 8th house cusp, the 3rd the Sun in Sag and my ac is in leo. My Sun is very close to the 5th house. So, tend to give interpretation and feel both houses are an important part but because I have 4 bodies squaring my sun. I can see now why home has been an ever ending obstacle for me.
    There are 2 planets that conjunct angles in my chart. Jupiter in Taurus but its RX and conjunct my mc. Venus in scorpio is conjunct my ic. They are in opposition. I am starting yo understand more and more the dynamics of these 2 opposition. How do I balance my Scorpionic deep Venusian stuuf with my Bullish Taurean Expensive introspective stuff. What a push and pull tgey are in my life!!!
    I have three grand trines and a kite formation in my chart.
    Trine 1: Moon/Mars/Jupiter
    Ties in 5th house (Moon in Cap at 18 d conjunct vertex at 17 there) + 2nd house + 10th house

    Trine 2: Moon/Jupiter/uranus

    Trine 3: Moon/Jupiter/Pluto

    The real doozie the Kite.
    The top of the kite is on my Jupiter
    The bottom is on my venus which is conjunct ic and my neptune.
    This also ties in the fifth house moon and vertex with the stellium in the 2nd house

    It appears my final depositor is mercury. My mercury is in Cap at 4 d!!!

    • It sounds like you were born in about 1966-7. You have about a bazillion aspects, so they’re hard to sort out. If you got a computerized interpretation (like AstroLabe’s) it would define the individual aspects and the sign/house positions, which would be a good start. They can’t synthesize all those formations, of course. Well, you’re a very complex person with lots going for you! I think the Bach flower remedy Wild Oat might be very good for you–it helps multi-talented people like yourself figure out their direction. You can get those at health food stores or new age bookstores or on line. Under the “free” tab on the front page, you’ll find a link to download a chapter on the remedies and how to use them. Donna Cunningham

  30. Mars and Venus are battling fiercely for alpha dog closely in my chart. I have a moon in Taurus and Libra ascendant but I also have Pluto in Scorpio and sun and midheaven trine Pluto. Mars and Venus are conjunct in Leo orbiting 3 degrees from leo and part of a stellium containing mercury and Jupiter as well. My stellium also occurs in the eleventh house, but in Leo opposite house to sign.

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