Essential Dignities

19 11 2009

“Ordinary characters searching for or coming in contact with extraordinary beings or finding themselves in extraordinary circumstances.”

There is an illusion going around in modern astrology or at least, a giant misconception. The mistake has been made by people reading old texts and understanding “debility” to mean weakness. It is true that debility in the English language is synonymous with weakness, incapacity, or even disability, but the astrological signification of essential debility could not be further from the truth.

When a planet finds itself in fall, or in detriment, or peregrine, it does not signify “weakness”. Say the Ascendant ruler in a birthchart is peregrine. Is the person, their health and their life “weak”, physically weak? The Ascendant ruler is primary signifier of the human body, of the mind and of the state of the person, but a planet situated here is not necessarily weak.

Many times in Christian Astrology, there are references to planets without essential dignity being signifiers for “low born” persons whether they are 7th rulers and thus signifying the wife or husband, or whether they are Ascendant rulers signifying the asker in any question. What Lilly was describing using these judgements was not the “physical strength” that a person might have, but their basic social standing and more pertinently, their “blood” or “birth”.

A person born with their Ascendant ruler in essential dignity is privileged, they are born privileged in certain respects and get the best of what the sign in which that planet is has to offer. Throughout their lives they will always be in surroundings which are congenial to them, this is all that essential dignity really signifies. People who are happy with life because everything that they want comes to them at the right time, or that they are simply without real need are the essentially dignified people. Does it signify that they are strong, in a physical capacity or in character? To me it would be good reason for complacency if not laziness, which would eventually lead to weakness.

In similar fashion, when a person finds themselves in exile, it is not they are weak. The matter of being in a situation which is contrary to your desires or contrary to your essential nature would require on the part of that person a real fight, and in fighting, in struggle there is strength. In struggle there is achievement.

Essential debility such as for example Scorpio Moon signifies an emotional person finding themselves in a place of fear and death. As an example we might think of a young mother going down to a crypt in a Gothic novel. She obviously appears vulnerable in those circumstances, it´s not the protection afforded by a warm heated house. The surroundings don´t particularly fit the character, and that´s why it´s seen as “essentially wrong”. The notion of the need to survive rather than to protect may take over, nasty things can happen in a cold dark place with none of the comforts. But does it mean that the woman is weaker than she is in her essential dignity? What it means is that she must do everything in her power to get by, it means that she must act and she must be the guest of Mars rather than the mistress of her own home. Essential debility doesn´t mean less likely to achieve anything, it means more grit, and less opportunity to do as you please when you please. It means that you do things the hard way.  

In a sense, essential debility can be a great thing. The story will always be about a person that must struggle through adversity and what appears to be a difficult or alien situation. But this story is often far more interesting than the story of essential dignity. Suffering is not weakness, suffering is not getting everything that you desire, it´s not being satisfied and it´s doing things and making adaptations to that environment. A peregrine planet is far more interesting than an essentially dignified one, it signifies a person who has to search for happiness not having it where they are.  Though once again, it doesn´t mean that a planet in it´s sign is happy either, it simply means that it´s comfortable there.


Transits: Saturn in Libra 2009-2010

28 09 2009

Because Saturn is essentially dignified in Libra, the sign if its exaltation, Saturn is welcome to this sign and can do only good things for all planets points and houses that are placed in this sign. Planets that are placed in Libra will be given nothing but support from a Saturn in its happiest and even most powerful state. Saturn has in fact got more essential dignities in Libra than he has in his own signs of Aquarius and Capricorn. The idea of an exaltation is that the planet is increasing in strength and power. The idea is that any planet by transit will bestow its good or bad qualities through the house in which it is visiting at the time.


Because Saturn is in Libra, it is bestowing its best side in this sign and “on the side of” all planets which Saturn must conjoin. There is some degree of variance to what you can expect though depending on planet and on  house. Say for example that natal Sun is in Libra, this is the sign of Sun´s fall, with Saturn crossing over Sun, Saturn will be exceedingly strong, and bring out the best qualities which are counter to the essence of the Sun. In other words Saturn brings forth principles of co-operation and dependency, reliance on other people, and alliances, it´s not good for individuality or self-serving goals, however it is excellent for all aspects related to a more social interaction. Saturn in this instance will force Sun into being considerate of others´ needs. The same story can be said of Saturn transiting a Libran Mars, even more so, it goes against Mars´s nature to be co-operative, but on the other hand you might see a situation where planets in their fall are helped by a planet the feels completely at home in this sign.


The converse now must be said for those with essentially dignified planets in Libra. Venus or Saturn in this sign will definitely benefit from Saturn´s discriminating ray. It is said time and time again that Saturn is a serious planet, and true it is, but it can also be said that Saturn is simply realistic. This transit is important for taking in the big picture, which sounds awfully like Jupiter. While Jupiter makes big promises and big wishes about the big picture (which are hardly ever realised), Saturn on the other hand makes decisions (Capricorn ruler) which it can stick to and which in the long run go on to create the big picture. A transiting Saturn to a Libran Venus is akin to a transiting Jupiter to a Pisces Venus, or Sun to an Aries Mars, or Mars to a Capricorn Saturn. Having a dignified planet conjoined by another dignified planet by transit can only bring forth good things. Some of the possibilities with Saturn in Libra will be about picking the right partners, but being Saturn it is likely that the choice will be well thought out and arranged without emotion, if that´s what is needed. Saturn likes things that last a long time, the idea that marriage is “for better or for worse”, the idea that it ought not to be broken, that comes from Saturn´s exaltation in Libra.

Pluto, Uranus, Jupiter, Node

I´ve mentioned in other pieces on this site that Saturn is configured during 2010-2011 with other outer planets. In my opinion, these hard aspects will bring much calamity and changes, but the people that need worry are not early Librans, Libra in the 7th house might be different though. The basic principle that I put forward is that Saturn is the “strong” or rather, the strongest planet in this stand-off. Uranus may attack Saturn from Aries with a Jupiter in Triplicity, and Pluto may go all psycho on Saturn from Capricorn, (all in cold calculatation), however, this exalted Saturn is so much stronger than all the planets that confront it, any planet in Libra with reasonable dignity will come out smelling of roses after this transit is over. All alliances will be victorious in the face of adversity. On a personal level it bodes well for planets in Libra which may symbolise marriages, partnerships, artistic or musical work, in fact anything that planets in this sign rule over in the chart.

Late 2009 is the beginning of first Saturn Pluto Square. It is true that Pluto can destroy things, or at least make things appear to be destroyed. Remember the idea of “from the ashes”, it´s cliche, but it seems to be the appropriate keynote for Pluto transits. The fact that Pluto is in Capricorn in any case will give Saturn and any planets in early Libra the upper hand. Pluto will be forced to co-operate, something that rarely ever happens.

Saturn in Libra,

19 12 2008

“Marriage is not to us a Sacrament, but, upon the other hand, the love of a man and woman, and the inseparable physical desire, are sacred. This conviction has come to us through ancient philosophy and modern literature, and it seems to us a most sacrilegious thing to persuade two people who hate each other…to live together, and it is to us no remedy to permit them to part if neither can re-marry.” W.B. Yeats

Libra is Saturn´s sign of exaltation. Saturn is also said to have both terms, face and triplicity in various degrees of this sign. So in Libra it is possible for Saturn to actually hold as much essential dignity as in his signs of rulership Capricorn and Aquarius. In Libra then, Saturn is at home, he is not given the authority or responsibility that is given in his own signs, but he is given all of the fine things, ease and happiness that it is possible for that benific Venus to give.

Libra has rulership over bedrooms, boudoirs, boutiques, beauty parlours, closets, florists and private chambers. But in truth these places are all derived from the balanced, airy and cool, yet pleasant time of year which marks tropical Libra. The sign is one of plenty, and this is so because of the hard work of Virgo in the previous month. After the harvest there is a clean and pure air which is distinct from summer´s heat and dryness. But in fact Saturn here is given by Venus a time of ease and relaxation, he is given time in which to share the resources reaped over the year, to trade and barter with them, but also to give in order to gain alliances, friends, and of course what Libra primarily cares for: marriage and relationships.

Saturn in Libra is in easy pleasurable terrain; namely a matrimonial bed with soft clean sheets, with pictures on the wall, nice food on the table, and the company with which to share it; all the things that make life beautiful and easier to live. And Saturn being Saturn has knowledge of the rest of the Zodiac and realises that this is one sign where his tired head has easy rest, has some of the best. Now of course having possession of nice things on their own is fairly pointless, which is why Saturn needs people to share them in this sign. A picture might be beautiful, and so might a bed be soft, but it is so much better for Saturn to have someone else to acknowledge it and to share in it. But of course this idea can work in the exact opposite direction; namely that the ease for Saturn here is derived from having Libran companionship and support, that the beauty which is created and supported becomes possible only through undying devotion of a Libran Venus lover to her Saturn partner.

It is true that Saturn is fortunate in this placement. The inheritance is to be born with solid parental relationships and forefathers who were civilised and cultivated. Through these partnerships which came before Saturn has learnt to become expert in relating and in diplomacy. The truth is that Venus forces Saturn here into remembering people´s names, into remembering their likes and dislikes, so that over time, this Saturn learns how to serve others and to please others while serving himself.

Saturn´s nature is tireless. Saturn is constructive. Venus likes things that are beautiful and serve to make life happier for people. So in Libra Saturn is given tools that Venus approves of; sometimes these are artistic tools; instruments, paint, colour, and the product of which raises humanity out of filth and into civilisation, because these things are all designed to please others. But Saturn also has a great affinity with defenses, with building things in order to defend his tradition, family and culture. Saturn in this respect will erect buildings that are beautiful, that encourage others to feel both admiration and respect.

Saturn in Libra in some senses does not need to worry about defense that much. For in building palaces, gardens and planting trees, his ability to invite rivals, to entertain and to treat them is an easy path to gaining alliances, and to maintain peace. And in this peace Saturn is truly safe from any and all manner of dangers, he is able to live life without fear and to enjoy his many years with Venus always at his side.


Some people with Libra Saturn: Tony Blair, Jose Maria Aznar, Vladimir Poutine, Max Heindel, Henry Ford, Mao Tse Toung, George H W Bush, Gordon Brown, David Icke, Benazir Bhutto, Fransico Franco, Nikita Krouchtchev, Jane Austen, William Joseph Turner, Richard III, William Butler Yeats, Lil Wayne

Horary Checklist

16 09 2008

A Prophet or a Meddler

Horary is the thing that determines whether an astrologer is a true prophet, or just an average meddler. I am a meddler, and have been wrong every time since i started trying out this “technique”. But I have worked out that it is a system which is workable and can probably be used to give more of a statistical probability rather than a definite Yes or No. Here is my checklist, which I hope to be editing and adding to as I go along.


The original impulse when you do a horary is based on a feeling which is translated into a diagrammatical sketch. It’s important to think about a horary chart as a mental picture which is imprinted into form rather than something which is external. This is the primary directive.

Type of question:

If the question is about a general picture then the specifics of planetary movement might not be that important. If the question is vague you want to think about simply signs and houses.

Specific questions are more difficult, because we see the direction of planetary aspects, linking for example two people, or a person with a job, or a lost object. In this case the movement and direction of planets is imperative. However, there is more than one way of getting a yes or no to a question, and sometimes there is contradiction because of this, in which case the case becomes one of which is the more  powerful indicator.


1. To get the correct house rulerships aligned with real world people, places and objects.

a. YOU are generally represented 1st by the Ascendant, then the ruler of the Ascendant, then the Moon, then the actual FIRST HOUSE. ALL of these involved with what represents your question are indicators.

The second house and its ruler are your lost objects, they also show if you get get something that you desire which has a material value, for instance a pay rise, a car, or some other thing which you want.

The third house will show if your sister or brother is involved or siblings and family in general. It should also indicate moving around, travel, going from one place to another.

2. Dignities are important, as well as speed, and condition of the planet

These are extremely difficult to weigh up considering that there are such a great number of dignities both essential and accidental. Basically the dignity of the lord of a house will indicate the state of the thing, if the signifier is essentailly dignified by house, in its own sign, it will show that what it signifies, for example a person, is in good shape, happy, healthy, and worth the time and effort that you put into the question.

The different grades of dignity are important, there is a heirarchy of dignity. A planet might not be placed in its rulership sign, but by at least being in its own trplicity or terms or face it receives a lesser degree of essential dignity, and even by being in its own face a planet would avoid being perigrine which is almost equivalent to being in its detriment.

Triplicity: Placed in triplicity a planet has essential dignity. This is not as strong as the Exaltation, but triplicity shows a signifier that is fairly happy, and in good conditions.

Terms: The terms of a planet are the next essentail dignity. It shows that the signifier is not perfect, but has ability to adapt to its surroundings, because they are familiar. Terms should be judged as a medium dignity. If a person is signified by planet in its terms they might be modest in some way, not perfect, but not bad either. The terms might be thought of as “poor but happy,” or “making their way.”

Face: Face is the last dignity. It really is “the last straw” and a planet that has dignity only by face is like a naked person holding a fig leave to cover themselves. It is not that dignified, but they save “face,” manage to save their neck through the flimsiest of dignities.

3. Generally you want to connect yourself with the object you have in mind. There is more than one way of doing this.

Aspects of house rulers, simply means that they behold each other or are “Joined together”

Rulers placed in the house belonging to the desired question, especially if conjunct the CUSP of that house are going to signify a great deal.

Translation of light from the ruler of one house to another. This can be done by any planet, which acts like a messenger. The Moon is the swiftest moving of these messengers and as a body which does in fact collect light from the SUN, she is capable of collecting light from any planet and transferring it to another.


Signifiers which are angular are another strong indication of things being brought to fruition. This is a major % of the chart interpretation, because Angularity shows that the question is actually of big importance and that something will definitely happen.

For now this suffices for my knowledge of HORARY technique and I think that more details will slowly be added to this picture as I work on the art of “seeing into the future”.


When a planet makes the right aspect to the right signifier, you get a positive answer, however, if both planets are in their detriments and in the 12th or 8th houses, what can you make of such a situation?

There are 1000’s of instances in which dignity is mixed in with debility. The fact that a planet can be in detriment, but make the correct aspect to the quested signifier is a testament to fulfilment of the question, but at great cost.

I think this is what the dignities and debilities really boil down to… the cost of and time it takes for a positive outcome.