Understanding Planetary Dignity

In addition to the planetary rulerships, there are also planets which are exalted in the signs, which again means that they are comfortable and tend to function well in those signs. The table below indicates which planets are exalted in the various signs. Planets will be in detriment, however, in signs opposite the signs they rule. Planets in detriment are traditionally considered to have difficulty operating positively in these signs. Finally, in addition to planets in detriment, planets are also said to be in their fall in certain signs, which means that they are debilitated in those signs.


It is explained under 'Dignity,' that when a planet is in a sign of similar nature, it is thus strengthened or dignified, but when another planet of the same nature as the ruler enters that sign it compounds its own qualities with those of the ruler and the sign, and becomes exalted or powerfully strengthened. For instance, Aries is a dry, fiery sign. It is ruled by Mars, a dry, fiery planet, and when the Sun, the source of heart and the giver of Life enters this sign it is exalted to the superlative degree of power, and forthwith Life begins to manifest in all departments of nature. The point to be borne in mind concerning what constitutes exaltation is that it requires the compounding of three similar natures. Scorpio is also a martial sign, but it is water and not in as complete agreement with the nature of the Sun as Aries, therefore the Sun could not be exalted in Scorpio as it is in Aries.

Memorize this Planetary Dignity on this Table

As the Lord of life and heat, the Sun, is always opposed by Saturn in the rulership of their signs, Leo and Aquarius, so also the cold and deathly Saturn opposes the Sun from its exaltation-sign Libra. Venus and Mars are the planets of attraction from the point of sex, and as all that is generated by sex is under the sway of death, Mars has thus a right to rule Scorpio, the eighth-house sign denoting death; it is also properly exalted in the Saturnine sign Capricorn, and Saturn, the Lord of Death is justly ascribed exaltation-power in Libra, the cardinal masculine sign of Venus. Cancer, the moist and feminine sign ruled by the Moon is next to Leo, the hot and dry sign ruled by the Sun. It is therefore required by the law of analogy that the exaltation-sign of the Moon should be next to that of the Sun, in Taurus. Venus, the planet of Love, offers an avenue for the expression of the lunar forces of fecundation, and the moist feminine and fruitful sign Taurus is in entire agreement with these endencies, hence this sign offers the most powerful expression for the force working though the Moon, and she may therefore rightfully be called exalted in Taurus. Venus blinds us in the bonds of love for the perpetuation of the race, therefore that love is essentially selfish, hence productive of sorrow. Who has loved much, has suffered much, hence the tear-stained Venus is exalted in the watery twelfth-house-sign Pisces, the sign of sorrow. There, by the purifying effect of grief, the earthly, sensual love is transmuted to Altruism under the benefic ray of Jupiter, the ruler, for it is not the will of our Father that we should suffer beyond what we can bear, but He will with every temptation provide a way of escape.


Cancer was pictured on the ancient Egyptian Zodiac as a beetle or scarab, which was their emblem of the soul, and it is an esoteric truth that all souls enter terrestrial life through the sphere of the Moon, Cancer. Conception depends upon the place of the Moon and the angle of its ray. Sagittarius, the Centaur, is the symbol of aspiration, the man coming out of the animal, and pointing his bow heavenward. This sign is ruled by Jupiter, the planet of Benevolence, which is now the seed ground where our future home is being prepared, where we shall sometime dwell when we have learned the lessons to be taught in the Earth Period and are ready to take up higher work of the Jupiter Period.

Thus, as the solar forces reflected through Cancer and the Moon result in generation, so the spiritual ray of the Sun reflected through Cancer and Jupiter act as a regenerative power strengthening the psychic and religious nature, and therefore Jupiter is truly said to be exalted in Cancer. Mercury is a planet of a variable nature; it takes on the color and characteristics of any sign or planet with which it is configurated; therefore it has no particular affinity with any of the other planets or signs ruled by the other planets, and hence must seek exaltation in its own signs. And as Gemini is masculine it is not so well in accord with Mercury as is the listless negative sign Virgo, hence that is the sign of Mercury's exaltation.

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