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Rulership and Dignities

Rulership and Dignities

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Introduction to Rulership and Dignities - written by Philip Graves Dec 25 2003 What are rulership and dignities?

Rulership and dignities are various pairing associations traditionally drawn by astrologers between each particular luminary and planet, on the one hand, and each particular sign of the tropical zodiac, on the other. Rulership as an association in astrology has two distinct applications. The first is simply a dignity: a measure (among others) of the enhanced 'worth' or 'strength' or harmony of the planet by its placement within a particular chart in the sign it is said in general to 'rule'. The second is more formally known as dispositorship, and helps to highlight effective connections between different parts of the same birth chart. This first part of the article will discuss rulership purely as one of the dignities. A myth to dispel in introducing the topic of rulership is the popular misconception that the planets cause the characteristics of the signs of the zodiac over which they are said to 'rule'. Quite simply, they do not, and logically cannot! Every luminary and planet can be found in every sign at different times. The signs are areas of space marked out from a geocentric perspective around which each luminary and planet apparently moves, freely completing cyclical circuits of all twelve signs. So to suggest that any one of those celestial bodies causes the characteristics of any one of those signs in general is absurd. There is absolutely no natural, physical connection on which basis the Sun, Moon and planets can be paired off with the signs of the zodiac. The only connections are empirical approximations judged by astrologers. In other words, rulership originates in the human mind, based on the observation of characteristics of particular planets that seem to have more in common with, or to be more sympathetic to and compatible with, particular signs, compared with others. Each sign and its traditionally assigned 'ruling planet' therefore works well together. But they are fundamentally different entities, and in no sense identical. To presume no distinction in character between a sign and its corresponding ruling planet is a grave intellectual error made by many misguided astrologers. Essential dignities and debilities The essential dignities are supposed enhancements to the strength of a planet within a chart by its placement in a particular sign or part of a sign in which it is considered dignified. Dignity by sign rulership, also known as domal dignity, is one of the two key essential dignities, the other being called exaltation. Each luminary (the Sun and the Moon) is said to be the domicile ruler of (or be domiciled in) one sign and to be exalted in one other, which is always either trine or sextile that of its domicile. Each planet from Mercury to Saturn is said to rule two signs and to be exalted in one other. Until Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered, there were only seven known luminaries and planets shared between twelve signs. Therefore, the ancients accorded to each of the five known planets rulership over two signs, so all the signs would be covered. Since the discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in the past few centuries, modern astrologers have controversially assigned them domiciles and signs of exaltation too, resulting in three of the signs being described nowadays as being under 'joint rulership' by a 'traditional ruler' (meaning one of the planets from Mercury to Saturn) and a 'modern ruler' (meaning one of those from Uranus to Pluto), and resulting in Aquarius and Scorpio gaining exaltation associations where previously they had none, and in Cancer uniquely picking up an additional exaltation link although it already had one. Until its interruption by the incorporation of these newly discovered planets, the rulership system had a neat symmetry. Starting at Cancer and Leo, which are ruled over by the Moon and Sun respectively, rulership of the remaining ten signs is assigned in pairs, following an outwardly radiating simultaneous bidirectional sweep around the zodiac from here into each adjacent pair of signs in turn, to the five planets from Mercury to Saturn in order of their increasing natural orbital distance from the Sun. Thus, the planet orbiting closest to the Sun (Mercury) is granted the two signs adjacent to Cancer and Leo within the zodiac, namely Gemini and Virgo; that furthest from the Sun (Saturn) is granted the two signs most distant from Cancer and Leo, namely Aquarius and Capricorn; and the three pairs of signs in between are left to the three planets in between, i.e. Venus (Taurus and Libra), Mars (Aries and Scorpio) and Jupiter (Pisces and Sagittarius). Although it could be argued that the neatness of this arrangement shows up its origins as being a fanciful design rather than based truly on empirical study, in practice it does seem to shed relevant light on connections between the effective characters of the signs and their assigned ruling planets. It has sometimes been argued that the loss of this symmetry when Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are attemptedly incorporated into the system is a reason to discredit any such inclusion. Others have taken the view that they should be incorporated, but that two further planets must be 'found' to reduce the number of signs ruled per planet to one in each remaining case, since otherwise Mercury and Venus have retained exclusive rulership over two signs each, unbalancing the system. Two 'hypothetical planets' known as Vulcan and Persephone have been suggested to this end. But since they have no proven existence, and indeed almost certainly no existence at all, drafting them in hastily to unify the rulership system in this way would appear to be a well-motivated mistake. Sometimes the Earth has been arbitrarily assigned rulership over Taurus, but this seems nonsensical when we are dealing with a system of geocentric astrology in which the Earth is our norm and we

are interested in variant influences upon it from other factors. Perhaps the reason why a second major class of essential dignity beyond sign rulership, namely exaltation, was established by ancient astrologers for each luminary and planet, was the realisation that each sign seemed to have natural sympathies to a degree with more than just one luminary or planet, so a 'second best' match was worthy of note in addition to the closest fit. For every positive in astrology there is a corresponding negative; and dignity is no exception, having as its opposite debility. Each planet is debilitated in the two signs opposite those in which it is dignified. The sign opposite that over which it rules is called its detriment; while the sign opposite that in which it is exalted is called its fall. The following table, adapted from Nicholas DeVore's article on dignities and debilities (see the 'Astro Dictionary' index), shows the key essential dignities and essential debilities of each luminary and planet. Those marked with an asterisk were described by DeVore as 'modern and arbitary assignments', since the recent discovery of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto left a requirement to set their signs of dignity and debility without the historical precedent of many centuries on which the assignments of the luminaries and the planets as far as Saturn rested. PLANETS....|.DOMICILE RULER OF..|.DETRIMENT..........|.EXALTATION..|.FALL....... Sun........|.Leo................|.Aquarius...........|.Aries.......|.Libra...... Moon.......|.Cancer.............|.Capricorn..........|.Taurus......|.Scorpio.... Mercury....|.Gemini/Virgo.......|.Sagittarius/Pisces.|.Aquarius....|.Leo........ Venus......|.Taurus/Libra.......|.Scorpio/Aries......|.Pisces......|.Virgo...... Mars.......|.Aries/Scorpio......|.Libra/Taurus.......|.Capricorn...|.Cancer..... Jupiter....|.Pisces/Sagittarius.|.Virgo/Gemini.......|.Cancer......|.Capricorn.. Saturn.....|.Capricorn/Aquarius.|.Cancer/Leo.........|.Libra.......|.Aries...... Uranus.....|.Aquarius*..........|.Leo*...............|.Scorpio.....|.Taurus..... Neptune....|.Pisces*............|.Virgo*.............|.Cancer......|.Capricorn.. Pluto......|.Scorpio*...........|.Taurus*............|.Aries.......|.Libra...... North Node.|....................|....................|.Gemini......|.Sagittarius South Node.|....................|....................|.Sagittarius.|.Gemini..... Each dignity and debility was traditionally assigned a numerical value as an aid to calculating the overall strength or harmony of each planet as it is posited in a particular chart. On this scale, rulership scores +5, exaltation +4, detriment -5, and fall -4. For the sake of a calibrating standard by which to understand this scale in the context of a broader assessment of planetary strength, it has been said for any planet under consideration that having a harmonious aspect thrown to it by another planet carries roughly the same harmonious value as being placed in its own domicile, while having a disharmonious aspect thrown to it by another planet carries roughly the same inharmonious value as being placed in its detriment. There are also three other traditional essential dignities that do not have corresponding debilities. These are known as triplicity rulers, terms and faces, and rated at +3, +2 and +1 respectively on the same evaluative scale. Triplicity Rulers Each sign triplicity (or element) was accorded a different planetary ruler for day-time and night-time charts, and a 'mixed' or 'participating' ruler. By this measure, a planet is dignified by triplicity (+3) when it is placed in a triplicity over which it rules during the period of time (i.e. day or night) concerned. The following table shows the day and night and participating rulers of each triplicity: Triplicity.|.Day Ruler.|.Night Ruler.|.Partic Ruler Fire.......|..Sun......|.Jupiter.....|..Saturn..... Earth......|..Venus....|.Moon........|..Mars....... Air........|..Saturn...|.Mercury.....|..Jupiter.... Water......|..Venus....|.Mars........|..Moon....... Terms Terms, also known as bounds, are traditional connections whereby each planet from Mercury to Saturn is assigned one of five degree-portions into which each sign has been differently divided. The degree-portions assigned to the planet concerned are said to be its 'bounds'. In a chart, a planet can then be said to be 'in (its own) term' or 'in (its own) bounds' when situated in a degree-area over which it has been accorded such governance in general. Terms are generally presumed to have been empirically derived by the ancients, although they do not appear a rational system at first glance, and modern astrologers could be forgiven for an inclination to disregard them altogether. Two slightly different systems of assignation of bounds to the planets have been passed down, Chaldean terms and Egyptian

Terms. Whichever system is used, a planet posited in its own term within any sign in a birth chart is essentially dignified to a value of +2, and is said to highlight the chart owner's involvement in the areas of work governed by that planet in general. An additional stipulation is that any other planet posited in the bounds of a benefic (Venus or Jupiter) is enhanced, but posited in the bounds of a malefic (Mars or Saturn) is debilitated. System...|.Sign........|.Mercury.|.Venus...|.Mars....|.Jupiter.|.Saturn.. Chaldean.|.Aries.......|.14º-21º.|.06º-14º.|.21º-26º.|.00º-06º.|.26º-30º. .........|.Taurus......|.08º-15º.|.00º-08º.|.26º-30º.|.15º-22º.|.22º-26º. .........|.Gemini......|.00º-07º.|.14º-21º.|.25º-30º.|.07º-14º.|.21º-25º. .........|.Cancer......|.13º-20º.|.20º-27º.|.00º-06º.|.06º-13º.|.27º-30º. .........|.Leo.........|.06º-13º.|.13º-19º.|.25º-30º.|.19º-25º.|.00º-06º. .........|.Virgo.......|.00º-07º.|.07º-13º.|.24º-30º.|.13º-18º.|.18º-24º. .........|.Libra.......|.19º-24º.|.06º-11º.|.24º-30º.|.11º-19º.|.00º-06º. .........|.Scorpio.....|.21º-27º.|.14º-21º.|.00º-06º.|.06º-14º.|.27º-30º. .........|.Sagittarius.|.14º-19º.|.08º-14º.|.25º-30º.|.00º-08º.|.19º-25º. .........|.Capricorn...|.06º-12º.|.00º-06º.|.19º-25º.|.12º-19º.|.25º-30º. .........|.Aquarius....|.06º-12º.|.12º-20º.|.25º-30º.|.20º-25º.|.00º-06º. .........|.Pisces......|.14º-20º.|.00º-08º.|.20º-26º.|.08º-14º.|.26º-30º. Egyptian.|.Aries.......|.12º-20º.|.06º-12º.|.20º-25º.|.00º-06º.|.25º-30º. .........|.Taurus......|.08º-14º.|.00º-08º.|.27º-30º.|.14º-22º.|.22º-27º. .........|.Gemini......|.00º-06º.|.12º-17º.|.17º-24º.|.06º-12º.|.24º-30º. .........|.Cancer......|.13º-19º.|.07º-13º.|.00º-07º.|.19º-26º.|.26º-30º. .........|.Leo.........|.18º-24º.|.06º-11º.|.24º-30º.|.00º-06º.|.11º-18º. .........|.Virgo.......|.00º-07º.|.07º-17º.|.21º-28º.|.17º-21º.|.28º-30º. .........|.Libra.......|.06º-14º.|.21º-28º.|.28º-30º.|.14º-21º.|.00º-06º. .........|.Scorpio.....|.11º-19º.|.07º-11º.|.00º-07º.|.19º-24º.|.24º-30º. .........|.Sagittarius.|.17º-21º.|.12º-17º.|.26º-30º.|.00º-12º.|.21º-26º. .........|.Capricorn...|.00º-07º.|.14º-22º.|.26º-30º.|.07º-14º.|.22º-26º. .........|.Aquarius....|.00º-07º.|.07º-13º.|.20º-25º.|.13º-20º.|.25º-30º. .........|.Pisces......|.16º-19º.|.00º-12º.|.19º-28º.|.12º-16º.|.28º-30º. Faces The term 'faces' has a different application in relation to house placements, as will be discussed later. (Moreover, in relation to sign placements Alan Leo presented a different system whereby each sign was divided into six 5º portions.) But the faces as essential dignities are assignations of the luminaries and planets from Mercury to Jupiter in the set order Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter to the 36 decanates (ten-degree portions) of the zodiac, as shown in the table below. Thus, a planet or luminary is dignified by face (value +1) in a chart when it is posited in the decan to which it has been assigned by this system. Since 7*5=35, the last decanate of Pisces is granted to Mars, in common with the first decanate of Aries. As applies to terms, Chaldean faces are a system that it is somewhat difficult for modern astrologers to take for granted without a major leap of faith, as the reasoning behind them appears very flimsy. But experimentation is advisable in all such cases, before they are written off pre-emptively. Sign........|.00º-10º.|.10º-20º.|.20º-30º. Aries.......|.Mars....|.Sun.....|.Venus... Taurus......|.Mercury.|.Moon....|.Saturn.. Gemini......|.Jupiter.|.Mars....|.Sun..... Cancer......|.Venus...|.Mercury.|.Moon.... Leo.........|.Saturn..|.Jupiter.|.Mars.... Virgo.......|.Sun.....|.Venus...|.Mercury. Libra.......|.Moon....|.Saturn..|.Jupiter. Scorpio.....|.Mars....|.Sun.....|.Venus... Sagittarius.|.Mercury.|.Moon....|.Saturn.. Capricorn...|.Jupiter.|.Mars....|.Sun..... Aquarius....|.Venus...|.Mercury.|.Moon.... Pisces......|.Saturn..|.Jupiter.|.Mars.... Peregrination A planet in a chart that by its sign and degree position is not dignified by domicile (rulership), exaltation, triplicity, term or face, and not in mutual reception by rulership or exaltation, is said to be peregrine. DeVore assigns this condition a debility value of -5. Day and night rulers

Another consideration concerning domicile dignities is that in astrological tradition, the planets from Mercury to Saturn were considered more strongly domiciled in one of their two ruled signs than the other in day-time charts, and in the opposite one in night-time charts, as the following table reproduced from DeVore's Encyclopaedia of Astrology shows: ..Day Home.......Planet.....Night Home ..Gemini.........Mercury....Virgo..... ..Libra..........Venus......Taurus.... ..Aries..........Mars.......Scorpio... ..Sagittarius....Jupiter....Pisces.... ..Aquarius.......Saturn.....Capricorn. Accidental dignities and debilities In assessing planetary strength in a chart, there are various other indications apart from the essential dignities that are taken into account on the same evaluative scale used for the essential dignities. A list of most of these follows, categorised into house placements, aspects, and assorted other factors. Some sources also say that a planet is accidentally dignified by placement in the house numerically corresponding to a sign in which it is domiciled.

1. Accidental Dignities and debilities by house placement: Conjunct Ascendant or MC; or in 1st or 10th House.. +5 In 2nd or 5th House................................ +3 In 3rd House....................................... +1 In 4th, 7th or 11th House.......................... +4 In 9th House....................................... +2 In 6th or 8th House................................ -2 In 12th House...................................... -5 2. Accidental Dignities and debilities by aspect: Cazimi (conjunct Sun to within 0º17' orb)................ +5 Combust (conjunct Sun between ½º and 8º orb)............. -5 Free from combustion and sunbeams........................ +5 Under the Sunbeams (near Sun between 8º and 17º orb)..... -4 Besieged by (between; conjunct both) Jupiter and Venus... +6 Partile (same degree) conjunct Jupiter or Venus.......... +5 Partile trine Jupiter or Venus........................... +4 Partile sextile Jupiter or Venus......................... +3 Besieged by Mars and Saturn.............................. -6 Partile conjunct Mars or Saturn.......................... -5 Partile square Mars or Saturn............................ -3 Partile opposition Mars or Saturn........................ -4 Partile conjunct North Node.............................. +4 Partile conjunct South Node.............................. -4 Conjunct Cor Leonis...................................... +6 Conjunct Spica........................................... +5 Conjunct Caput Algol..................................... -6 3. Accidental Dignities and debilities by other factors: In direct motion (excluding Sun and Moon).............. +4 Retrograde............................................. -5 Swift of motion........................................ +2 Slow in motion (or decreasing)......................... -2 Increasing in light (if Moon).......................... +2 Decreasing in light (if Moon).......................... -2 Oriental, if Moon, Mercury or Venus.................... -2 Oriental, if Mars or Jupiter or Saturn................. +2 Occidental, if Moon, Mercury or Venus.................. +2 Occidental, if Mars or Jupiter or Saturn............... -2 Hayz (see below for explanation)....................... +1 In the Term of Jupiter or Venus........................ +1 In the Term of Mars or Saturn.......................... -1

Planetary strength by house A planet posited in the house numerically corresponding to the sign of its exaltation is increased in strength. One posited in the house numerically corresponding to the sign of its detriment or fall is weakened by being forced to function in an area of life alien to its general nature. Houses where a particular planet is strengthened, and thus its functioning facilitated, are called 'profitable' or 'auspicious' places (originally chermatistikoi topoi); the inverse of this then would be 'unprofitable' places, which inhibit its functioning. Broadly speaking, the most profitable houses are the angular ones. The succedent houses are neutral, and the cadent houses unprofitable, difficult places for planetary functions to thrive. A secondary consideration moderating the general profitability of each house is that houses in natural trine or sextile aspect to the first house are more profitable than those in natural square or opposition aspect to it, while those in semisextile or quincunx aspect to it are neutral in this regard. Combined with the first rule, this explains the accidental dignity and debility values assigned to each house in general. A house further increases in profitability if its dispositor is posited in a house that is naturally trine or sextile it, and declines in profitability if its dispositor is posited in a house that is naturally square or in opposition to it. If a planet dignified by its house placement (in a profitable place) is the dispositor of an undignified house (unprofitable place), this dignity will be weakened. Conversely, if a planet debilitated by its house placement (in an unprofitable place) is the dispositor of a dignified house (profitable place), this debility will be compensated for. Joseph Crane points out that planets in unprofitable places may be poor influences by a more mundane or material measure, but stimuli to inner spiritual development. Joys of the planets Another varied set of indications of accidental dignity has been collectively termed joy. 1. Traditionally a planet debilitated by its own sign placement but relieved by the placement within a sign where it would be essentially dignified of another planet that is essentially dignified in the same sign is said to be in joy. Thus, an essentially debiliated planet is in joy in any of the following three circumstances: (1) the sign of which it is naturally the domicile ruler is tenanted by a planet that is exalted in or the triplicity ruler (for the relevant time of day or night) of this sign; (2) the sign in which it is naturally in its exaltation is tenanted by a planet that is the domicile ruler or the triplicity ruler of this sign; or (3) the sign over which it is the triplicity ruler is tenanted by a planet that is exalted or domiciled in that sign. Any such connection is seen as alleviating the debility of its own placement. 2. An essentially debilitated planet is also relieved somewhat by 'joy' when a planet that is the domicile ruler of a sign of either of the elements as the signs it rules itself is posited in a sign of either of these two elements. Thus, the following joys apply: Planet..|.In Joy when..........|.Is posited in elements.| Mercury.|.Venus or Saturn......|.Air or Earth...........| Venus...|.Mercury or Saturn....|.Air or Earth...........| Mars....|.Jupiter, Sun or Moon.|.Fire or Water..........| Jupiter.|.Mars, Sun or Moon....|.Fire or Water..........| Saturn..|.Mercury or Venus.....|.Air or Earth...........| 3. Another criterion for being in 'joy' is, for a malefic planet, the placement within one of its essential dignities of the Sun, the Moon or any benefic planet that is afflicted by an aspect from another malefic. 4. A more modern use of the term joy, and probably the most commonly appreciated today, refers to a house placement with which a planet is thought to have a particular affinity. The following matches are observed: Planet...|.House of joy.| Sun......|.Tenth........| Moon.....|.Third........| Mercury..|.First........| Venus....|.Fifth........| Mars.....|.Sixth........| Jupiter..|.Eleventh.....| Saturn...|.Twelfth......|

Furthermore, the Sun and Jupiter joy if each is placed in the house in which the other joys; and this rule also applies to Saturn and Mercury as a pair; and to the Moon and Venus. Ptolemaic Faces We now come to the original application of the term 'face', as used by Ptolemy. This system closely resembles in its derivation the pattern on which the traditional system of sign rulership is based, but is instead measured by houses and referenced from the houses where the Moon and Sun are posited in the individual chart, rather than from the sign placements of which the Moon and Sun are the domicile rulers in general. In sign rulership, to recap, Mercury is domiciled in the sign before that ruled by the Moon and the sign after that ruled by the Sun; Venus is domiciled two signs before the domicile of the Moon and two after that of the Sun; Mars is domiciled three signs before the domicile of the Moon and three after that of the Sun; Jupiter is domiciled four signs before the domicile of the Moon and four after that of the Sun; and Saturn is domiciled five signs before the domicile of the Moon and five after that of the Sun. The Ptolemaic faces, in contrast, dignify Mercury when posited one house before that tenanted by the Moon or one house after that tenanted by the Sun; Venus when posited two houses before that tenanted by the Moon or two after that tenanted by the Sun; Mars when posited three houses before that tenanted by the Moon or three after that tenanted by the Sun; Jupiter when posited four houses before that tenanted by the Moon or four after that tenanted by the Sun; and Saturn when posited five houses before that tenanted by the Moon or five after that tenanted by the Sun. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, it would seem reasonable to suppose that this house-based face dignity is worth +1 just as the sign decanate faces are. Planetary Sect Ancient astrology classifies the luminaries and planets into diurnal (Sun, Jupiter and Saturn, in descending order of 'diurnality') and nocturnal (Moon, Mars, and Venus, in descending order of 'nocturnality') ones. Mercury is diurnal if rising before the Sun (positioned earlier in the zodiac than the Sun); nocturnal if rising after the Sun (positioned later in the zodiac than the Sun). There are three criteria for being 'in sect', which is another indication of a planet being comfortably, harmoniously posited, so it resembles in effect an additional set of dignity criteria. Depending on how many of these criteria are met, planets in the chart will be to varying degrees in or out of sect. Being very much in sect supports the general diurnal or nocturnal nature of the planet concerned, allowing it to fit into its environment easily and be strengthened in its typical qualities; while being very much out of sect goes against the general diurnal or noctural nature of the planet concerned, leaving it illaccommodated to its environment, and weakened in its typical qualities. Diurnal planets are better supported when (1) in day-time charts; (2) on the same side of the horizon as the Sun; and (3) in masculine (positive) zodiac signs. Nocturnal planets are better supported when (1) in night-time charts; (2) on the opposite side of the horizon from the Sun; and (3) in feminine (negative) zodiac signs. Where all three sect criteria are met, a planet is said to be in hayz. Where none of them are met, it is set to be 'out of sect', and is considered debilitated to the equivalent extent that it would be dignified if in hayz. To fulfil the second criterion, that of the appropriate side of the horizon to be on relative to the Sun, in a day-time chart (when the Sun is above the horizon), the diurnal planets are in sect when above the horizon, and the nocturnal ones are in sect when below the horizon; and in a night-time chart (when the Sun is below the horizon), the nocturnal ones are in sect when above the horizon, and the diurnal ones are in sect when below the horizon. According to one authority, Dr. J. Lee Lehman, when Venus, which by its general nature is only weakly nocturnal, is oriental (rising before the Sun), it tends, in common with Mercury, to become more diurnal in nature; and when it is occidental (rising after the Sun) it tends to become more nocturnal in nature. Lehman, like Robert Hand before her, also casts doubt on the significance of the third criterion for being in sect, that of sign placement. Dispositorship The second part of this article will focus on the connections between different parts of the natal figure forged by various phenomena collectively known as disposition, literally meaning 'moving from place'. Planetary dispositorship concerns the disposition of the energies of planetary functions, while house dispositorship concerns the disposition of the affairs of houses. Finding the Dispositor

The planet that would be most dignified in any particular sign and degree position in the zodiac is known as the almuten or Lord of that position. Provided that the almuten is 'in good condition' within the figure, it becomes the dispositor of any planet posited at (or house whose cusp is situated at) that position. Thus, the domicile ruler of a sign does not always have the right to disposit either a planet placed in it or a house whose cusp is placed in it. If a potential dispositor other than the domicile ruler of the sign where the planet or house cusp under investigation is posited is found to be more dignified overall in the sign and degree placement concerned than the sign's domicile ruler, then it is most likely to become the planet's or house's main dispositor or oikodespotes. A typical example would be where a potential dispositor under consideration is found to be in its exaltation and bounds in the sign and degree placement of the planet or house cusp under investigation, giving it a dignity of +6 as against +5 for the domicile ruler of the planet's sign placement. 1. Planetary dispositorship The dispositor of a planet located in a particular sign and degree is the almuten of that position, often but not always its domicile ruler. This almuten, considered in the context of its placement by sign and house and aspects within the figure, disposits, and conditions the application of, the energy of the planet concerned. Where the almuten is the domicile ruler, it is generally advisable to use the traditional rulers of Aquarius, Pisces and Scorpio in the first instance, and accord them priority over the modern ones, when tracing planetary dispositorship connnections; but it can be worthwhile pursuing a secondary course of investigations using their three 'modern rulers' (i.e. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) too. Mutual reception is the term given to the phenomenon whereby one planet is posited in a sign whose domicile ruler is posited in the sign over which the first planet is the domicile ruler. Planets in mutual reception function as an interlinked pair, with combined energies somewhat comparable to those found in a conjunction. The more dignified of the two will tend to predominate and lead. If both are debilitated, however, the more debilitated will cause the most harm. Aspects between planets in mutual reception further condition their relationship, with harmonious ones tending to strengthen it and inharmonious ones to inhibit or antagonise it; yet, the very condition of mutual reception can help to overcome the negative potential of any inharmonious natal aspect between the planets; and inharmonious aspects between planets in mutual reception whose general natures are compatible will certainly be mild in effect. Mutual reception by exaltation occurs where a planet is posited in the sign of exaltation of another planet which is in the sign of exaltation of the first. Mutual reception by the more minor essential dignities (triplicity, term and face) requires at least two of them to be active to be considered valid in any case. Multiple mutual reception occurs where a chain of disposition leads back to the first planet but three or more planets are involved. This set of linkages will connect the affected individual's experiences of the functions governed by each planet involved. In many figures where no mutual reception occurs, a string of dispositorship connections can be drawn from all planets until finally a domicile ruler that is posited within the particular figure in the sign over which it generally rules is arrived at, this domicile ruler being termed then the final dispositor of the chart. The final dispositor is always (and uniquely, within the figure) dignified by domicile, and will be a strong focal point of the figure's energy connections, conditioning the expression of all the other planets' functions. Its house placement shows the sphere of life where its nature will be most strongly expressed. A final dispositor that is the domicile ruler of the Ascendant sign will be especially influential within the figure. 2. House dispositorship The dispositor of a house is the Lord or natal ruler of that house, which is always the almuten of the sign and degree on its cusp. The placement of this Lord by sign within the particular chart further conditions the character of the house (which is primarily influenced by the sign on its cusp), while its placement by house within the chart pinpoints related areas of manifestation of the affairs of the house it disposits. The Lord of the First house is often called the Lord of the Ascendant. Aspects between the dispositors of any two houses condition the connection between the affairs of those houses in the individual's life. Mutual house reception occurs where the Lord of one house (the almuten of the sign and degree on its cusp) is posited in a house, the Lord of which is posited in the original house. This type of house pairing closely interlinks and combines the affairs of the two houses, just as planetary mutual reception interlinks the functions and energies of two (or more) planets. Connection by multiple house rulership interlinks each pair of houses the sign and degree positions on whose cusps share the same almuten. This almuten's sign and house placements, and the condition of its planetary dispositor in turn, will shed light on the affairs of both houses equally.

The placement within the chart of the natural ruler of a house (i.e. the domicile ruler of the sign corresponding in numerical position in the zodiac to the number of the house concerned), and particularly any connections it makes (by aspect or dispositorship) to the Lord of that house, can be significant to the study of the house in the particular chart. Natural ruler mutual house reception occurs where the natural ruler of one house is posited in another house whose natural ruler is posited in the original house. To a lesser extent than regular (natal ruler) mutual house reception, this binds together the affairs of the two houses. Other natural rulership connections within the chart occur when: (1) the dispositor of a planet is posited in the planet's natural house (i.e. the house over which the planet is the natural ruler); (2) the Lord of a house is posited in the house's natural sign (i.e. the sign corresponding in numerical position in the zodiac to the number of the house concerned); (3) the Lord or natural ruler of a house is posited in that house (this strengthens the influence of both the house and the ruler concerned in the figure); (4) the Lord of a house is in aspect within the chart to the house's natural ruler (this aspect will strengthen or weaken the house depending on how harmonious or disharmonious it is in nature, and in accordance with the general nature of the planet that is the house's natural ruler). The Lord of the Nativity One planet is often described as the Lord of the Nativity, the Ruler of the Horoscope, or more colloquially the Chart Ruler or Ruling Planet. This is usually the Lord of the Ascendant, which unless another planet is the almuten of the ascendant degree will be the domicile ruler of the Ascendant sign. However, if a planet is conjunct the Ascendant to within a 5º orb if posited in the first house or to within a 3º orb if positied in the twelfth house, it takes precedence over the Lord of the Ascendant ruler as Lord of the Nativity. DeVore offers a more elaborate set of rules in determining whether or not the Lord of the first house should be the Lord of the Nativity. Firstly, he states that 'if the Lord of the Ascendant is poorly aspected and in an uncongenial sign', then 'a more elevated planet' (i.e. closer to the Midheaven) 'should be considered, if there be such'. Then he adds that notwithstanding the Lord of the Ascendant being well-aspected, every other planet should be considered on criteria of its position and aspects to see if it is of equal power; and if one is found so to be, the Nativity is deemed to have dual Lordship. In the consideration of a planet's power as a criterion for the right to be Lord of the Nativity, DeVore stipulates that an afflicted candidate should be preferred over one with favorable aspects. Further factors to take into consideration suggested by Devore include: 1) that 'if the Lord of the Ascendant is weak, the Ruler of the Sun sign may be the Lord of the Nativity, if it is in powerful aspect to the Sun and Moon'; 2) that the Sun or Moon itself may be Lord of the Nativity 'if strongly placed and in the sign of its Rulership or Exaltation'; 3) that if there is an intercepted sign (i.e. a sign contained wholly within one house) in the First House, the domicile ruler of that sign is coruler (together with the Lord of the Ascendant) of the first house; and 4) 'accidental dignities are deemed to outweigh essential dignities; especially where a planet occupies the tenth house'. Older texts take as the Lord of the Geniture whichever planet has the greatest value of essential and accidental dignity in its actual placement in the figure, regardless of whether or not it is Lord of the Ascendant. According to Alan Oken, the sign placement of the Lord of the Nativity determines the manner in which an individual expends much of his or her time and energies; while its house placement determines the areas of life in which the individual does so; and the connection this Lord has to its dispositor, as well as major aspects thrown from the Lord to any other planets at all (with a view to the compatibility of the planets concerned with the Lord of the Nativity in general, as modified by the harmonious or disharmonious nature of the aspect type connecting them), but particularly the closest major aspect, will also shed light here. The Lord of the Nativity predominates over any final dispositor in determining the individual's outward vital projection, although the final dispositor remains as an undercurrent interlinking the different functions of the life. In interpreting the Lord of the Nativity, the influence of the sign placement of the Ascendant needs to be combined with that of the chart ruler itself. The dispositor of the chart ruler is called the secondary dispositor; and is considered, by its sign and house placements and aspects thrown, to provide further clues to the individual's major vital expenditure. Aspects from the secondary dispositor to the Lord of the Nativity are of particular conditioning importance to the Lord of the Nativity. The secondary dispositor increases in importance if it is posited in its domicile, or if it is posited in the same sign as the Lord of the Nativity; if both of these conditions apply, and the secondary dispositor is conjunct the chart ruler, then the significance of the secondary dispositor can come to exceed that of the chart ruler. If, in determining the Lord of the Nativity, a planet conjunct the Ascendant has been judged to take precedence over the Ascendant ruler, then this planet's sign placement and aspects will be of primary influence, determining the individual's appearance and perosnality (although if the planet is in the 12th house he or she will be less aware of the projection of these traits than if it is in the 1st); yet the ruler of the Ascendant will still be a very important secondary influence. In the event that a planet conjunct the Ascendant is the almuten of the Ascendant, its strength as an influence on the life is

further potentiated. Disposition by Triplicity Rulers Although a planet in a chart is most dignified by triplicity when it is the ruler of that triplicity for the time (day or night) of the chart, when it comes to disposition considerations it is appropriate to consider all three rulers of each triplicity: the day, night and participating rulers. The triplicity rulers of a planet are those of the triplicity of the sign in which the planet is posited. The triplicity rulers of a house are those of the triplicity (ie element) of the sign on its cusp. In each case, the triplicity ruler corresponding to the time of the horoscope (day or night) takes first priority as a dispositor of the planet or house under consideration; the triplicity ruler corresponding to the opposite time from that of the chart takes second priority as dispositor; and the participating ruler of the relevant triplicity is of tertiary importance as dispositor of the planet or house being investigated. There is also a tradition whereby, on the same basis of triplicity ruler prioritisation, the primary triplicity dispositor governs the first third of life, the secondary one governs the second third of life, and the third one governs the final third of life, all in relation to the affairs of the house under consideration. Cosmodynes In the 20th century, various more complex systems designed to quantify the strength or harmony of planets and other natal astrological factors were experimentally devised. One of the most enduringly popular is called Cosmodynes, and offers a dual assessment of 'power' and harmony. The power of a planet is assessed with regard to its house placement, its proximity to the cusp of that house, and the number and closeness of aspects thrown to it, regardless of their harmony or disharmony. By this system, the planet with the greatest power ('the most cosmodynes') is declared the ruler of the chart, and is thought to have the greatest influence in the individual's life, for good or ill. Similarly, the most powerful house in the figure will show the area of life most strongly manifest for the individual. The harmony or disharmony of a planet is assessed with regard to the nature of all aspects thrown to it, its essential dignity, and any mutual reception. The balance of 'harmodynes' (harmonious influences) to 'discordynes' (discordant ones) can be calculated for every planet, sign and house. However significantly each may feature in the individual's life by virtue of its power, its quality can be measured using harmodynes and discordynes.

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