Planetary Dignity - Western Astrology

A planet is said to be in its dignity, or to be 'essentially dignified,' or to 'rule,' when it is in certain signs which agree with it in nature, for then the power of the sign and the power of the planet are compounded. The Note: France accepted the Greenwich Meridian, March 10, 1911. Influence of the planet is thus strengthened. Conversely, a planet is said to be in its detriment when it is in the sign opposite to the one it rules for then the nature of the sign and the nature of the planet are incompatible and antagonistic, and as a result the influence of the planet is weakened.


The Sun is the center of our solar system, the giver of life and heat, and the Moon is (so far as our earth is concerned), the collector and reflector of its vitalizing rays. The solar ray attains its greatest intensity in  midsummer* when the Sun is in Cancer and Leo, during June and July, and so Leo, the lion, being a masculine sign of a fiery nature is in essential agreement with the nature of the Sun and therefore helps to dignify and strengthen it.


The effect of the feminine Moon on the earth's tides shows its inherent affinity for water, which brings it into essential agreement with the feminine watery sign Cancer. On that account Cancer is its home where it is strongest and most dignified.


The keyword of the Sun is life, and that of the Moon is fecundation. The germ of life which comes from the Sun is planted and watered by the Moon which measures the period of gestation and brings all things to birth. Saturn is the planet of obstruction and decay, the reaper with hour-glass.


*This applies to Northern Hemisphere only and scythe who cuts off the life given by the Sun and fostered by the Moon, when his hour-glass shows that the fruits of life's experience are ripe for harvest. Thus he is the planet of death, and moves in an orbit on the outskirts of the solar system, which is the boundary of Chaos, where all things are dissolved and transmuted by spiritual alchemy to finer and finer textures.  Therefore Saturn is in essential agreement with Capricorn and Aquarius, the signs occupied by the Sun during the cold months of mid-winter, December and January. When placed in these signs his cold, clammy hand makes itself felt as a powerful force that crushes life and joy, that covers the life with the gloom of death.


Between the orbits of Saturn and the Sun are the orbits of the other planets, and when arranged in order of their distance from the Sun, with the signs of the zodiac so placed that Leo and Cancer are in the center with their rulers, the Sun and Moon, and Saturn's signs, Capricorn and Aquarius, one on each wing it appears that-- Jupiter whose orbit is inside Saturn's, rules the two signs next to Saturn's, namely Sagittarius and Pisces.

Mars' orbit is inside of Jupiter's, therefore he rules the signs next to Jupiter's, namely Aries and Scorpio. Venus is inside Mars' orbit, so she is dignified in the signs next to Mars' signs, namely, Taurus and Libra.

Mercury, which is nearest to the Sun, rules the signs between those of Venus and the Sun, namely Gemini and Virgo.


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