Which Planets Are Benefic And Malefic In Astrology - And How Do They Affect You?

Whether you're an avid student of astrology or a newcomer to the ways in which the stars and planets affect your life, discerning all aspects of your astrological birth chart can be confusing at times. It's easy to look at your birth chart and understand that a respective zodiac sign correlates with each of the individual planets in our solar system, but it's less clear which of those planets are benefic and which are malefic, and moreover, how each type of planetary force affects you. Luckily, deciphering these concepts is simpler than you may think and will provide you with a tremendous command as the respective planets play a role in your life.


According to AstroStyle, all of the planets are placed into one of the two categories: benefic or malefic. Jupiter and Venus, the benefic planets, indicate a positive influence. Conversely, malefic planets — Mars and Saturn — indicate negative forces. In modern astrology, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto can also be considered malefic when they are at difficult planetary angles. Similarly, while they aren't officially planets, the Sun and Moon are believed to be benefic. Here's what you should know about benefic and malefic planets, and their influence within your life.

Benefic planets bring about benefits

Venus and Jupiter are the planets most often associated as being benefic planets, though Outlook India explains that Mercury can also be classified as benefic. The Greater Benefic planets, the duo of Jupiter and Venus, are the most powerfully positive planets within our solar system. While Jupiter is a cheerleader of establishing beneficial habits and practices, Venus stays true to its associations of being the love planet by encouraging strong, healthy relationships. If you ever find yourself struggling to communicate with another person, Venus is your planetary guardian who can help guide you towards effective interpersonal interactions. Jupiter and Venus are natural benefic planets, indicating that their influence applies to practically everyone.


Within your astrological birth chart, your rising sign, also called your ascending sign or your ascendant, is the sign which at the time of your birth was in the process of rising upon the horizon, per Yoga Journal. Your ascendant sign is important in the context of benefic planets since there are planets other than Jupiter and Venus which can serve as functional benefic planets if they align with your birth chart. 

How to understand your functional benefic planets

Functional benefic planets correlate directly with your rising sign by applying their energetic influences to you in regards to your ascendant identification, typically with unique influence as opposed to the universal oversight of natural benefic planets (via Vishal Saxena Astrologer). While the universal benefic planetary influences rest with Jupiter and Venus, each zodiac rising sign is ruled by individualized, unique functional benefic planetary guidance.


Note that some ascendants have multiple functional benefic planetary rulers. Shrivinayaka Astrology reveals that natural benefic planet Venus is also the functional benefic planet for the zodiac signs of Capricorn, Virgo, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Similarly, natural benefic Jupiter serves as the functional benefic for Scorpio, Aries, and Leo. Interestingly, natural malefic planets can become functional benefic planets for numerous zodiac signs. Warrior planet Mars is the functional benefic for Pisces, Sagittarius, Cancer, and Leo. The most intense malefic planet, Saturn, becomes the functional benefic influence for the ascendants of Taurus, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. The Sun and Moon also influence multiple rising signs as functional benefic guides. 


To understand how your birth chart is affected by benefic planets, know your ascending sign and then look for the correlating natural and functional benefic planets. Pay extra attention to the teachings of malefic-turned-benefic planets. 

Malefic planets can be malicious and magnificently challenging

Thought to bring unwanted chaos into the mortal experience, the malefic planets are quite likely the most misunderstood elements on any birth chart. Though it's correct that chaotic discord and devastation are often brought about by malefic planets, there are wise teachings to be garnered by this subset of planets. AstroStyle reveals that the malefic planets frequently spar with the benefic planets in ongoing competition for dominant influence. Saturn and Mars are considered to be the malefic duo of planets, though Saturn is commonly referred to as The Greater Malefic planet given its token farthest distance from both the Earth and the Sun. It is a planet known heavily for its associations with loneliness, limited time on Earth, and ultimately, death (via ExoplanetScience.org). 


The astrological determinations of what malefic planets carry when presented on a birth chart have been experiencing refreshed intrigue recently. The interest in the influence of malefic planets has grown significantly since 2019, per statistics from Google Books. This renewal is revealing that the malefic planets aren't as menacing as traditionally believed.

The hidden teachings of malefic planets

Often disguised behind the appearance of devastation or hidden amongst chaos, the malefic planets of Saturn and Mars have a wealth of wisdom to pass on. Satya Astrology reveals that Saturn has historical ties with figures like Father Time and the Grim Reaper, though the sliver of light found on Saturn's otherwise dark surface is the key to unlocking the malefic planet's wisdom. Rather than fretting the loss of time, fearing having limited time, or being afraid of death, Saturn's influence can be viewed from the perspective of providing reminders to take advantage of every moment we have here on Earth and to look for the good when all else seems to be chaotic or devastated.


The malefic planet of Mars, known for warfare, delivers encouragement to fight through difficult times and be a warrior through the darkest moments, like the teachings of its saturnine malefic counterpart, per YourTango. Within your birth chart, look to see which house falls under the rule of Mars, then examine how you can be more assertive in those respective areas of your life. Together with the houses under Saturn's rule, trust that the malefic duo are guiding you towards the positivity of light as the warrior you are.