Accidental dignities astrology

Tuesday Toolbox 2.8: Essential Dignity

Hi Minderwiz, Thank you. I just want to identify the accidental dignities. I already have the score charts and the documents on skyscript. My fear is identifing wrong the accidental dignities as I do not have much experience, so if you know a software that can makes this, It would be great. Is the same? Thank you Minderwiz, As always so helpful. I think I will try the free 30 days trial.

I dont want to buy any expensive program for the moment, so this will be enough to allow me to get the accidental dignities of a few natal charts and have enough to play for a big time. The other apps you mention, with monthly payments are a very good idea, I will probably get any of those in the future. Thank you!! Good luck and if you have any issues with Janus just ask. I'm learning myself but it seems a good program.

You will also find it performs well for modern Astrology as well. I'm actually trying to sort by myself how the accidental dignities works, but later I will try with janus because I think this is not going to be the only chart I study. In astrology, planets are said to have dignity or to be debilitated. The dignities and debilities of the planets are divided into two broad classes.

The first of these is Essential Dignity, which is based wholly on the sign position of the planet. Essential dignity, in the psychological sense, indicates inherent or endowed characteristics of the personality. The second class of "dignity" in astrology is Accidental Dignity. This type of astrological dignity represents "events" experiential, or circumstantial and indicates things affecting the personality that are adventitious or of external origin. The essential dignities in domicile,or exalted -- along with their opposites "in detriment, in fall", showing debility are very well defined.

You can find lists of these dignities and debilities on many astrology websites.

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On the other hand, the accidental dignities have never been clearly defined, which is a reflection of their adventitious nature. One of these dignities occurs when a planet is angular. An angular planet is one which stands close to one of the 4 Angles of the horoscope Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant or Nadir and is within 10 degrees or so of the Angle.

An angular planet is always a powerful influence in the life; it manifests through external events or life-patterns and will be involved in critical junctures in the life, creating turning points that very often change life-direction. But in general an astrologer must weigh many factors in order to determine whether a planet is accidentally dignified, accidentally debilitated, or simply peregrine a condition in which the planet has neither dignity nor debility.

A planet's condition -- dignified or debilitated -- will determine how it acts in the life, whether it works more constructively or destructively. Observation shows that even planets that are dignified can work toward the downfall of a person, however; there can be "too much of a good thing". To make "snap judgments" when interpreting a horoscope can lead to egregious error. A chart in which there are a good many planets in essential dignity usually indicates a life that is relatively "easy", successful, bountiful and rewarding. Where the opposite occurs, the likelihood is of setbacks, difficulties, and more limited success.

A single powerful and well-conditioned planet can offset and even overcome these debilitated planets, but only at the cost of special effort. Also, the tenor of the chart taken as a whole must be gauged. A horoscope must always be judged as a whole. It represents the most complex organism we know of -- a human being -- and so that complexity must be reflected in the horoscope, and therefore judgment or interpretation is complex as well. The dignities and debilities of the planets, both essential and accidental,are just one set of astrological tools among many sets that allow an astrologer to analyze with a high degree of certainty this most complex of organisms.

Essential Dignities vs. Accidental Dignities: Lipstick on a Pig

In the two examples given above, the statements made came from planets with some accidental dignity. They were angular and therefore could be expected to produce events or conditions that were quite apparent. The events were important in forming patterns of behavior in the life because they were angular. So, we see that the horoscope of any person will tell us not only the types of events, the people involved in them, the timing of them in the life, but also the psychological or other outcome of these accidents of life. This is an expansion on what was said in the first installment of this thread.

For those of you interested in learning something about astrology and how it works, this may be of interest. Be happy to explain the terms below, on request. Accidental Dignity gives the power to act and influence the life debility -- weakness and ineffectual action that often leads to difficulties in life and is accorded to a planet due to its mundane position, its interrelationships with other planets, or its motions.

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The essential dignities are deep and permanent, but the accidental dignities are often more prominent and visible. They show highly individualized elements of the life. Among the essential dignities we have the condition known as Sole Dispositon. Each sign has a ruling planet -- Sun rules Leo, Venus rules Taurus, etc. It is possible for one planet to rule all the others through a chain of disposition. Say Sun is in Leo, and Jupiter is there too, with all the other planets in Sagittarius.

Jupiter rules Sagittarius; so the Sun ends up ruling all the planets because it rules Jupiter who rules all the others. This is sole disposition. It is an essential dignity because it is based on sign position. A planet in sole disposition of a horoscope is very powerful indeed. The planet must be in a sign of its own rulership in order to hold this dignity. Angularity is probably the most powerful of the accidental dignities, but many others are quite potent in their effects.

A planet solitaire in hemisphere is an example of this.

Often, accidental dignity may be accorded a planet due to an accumulation of lesser dignities. Planets swift in motion, of high declination, or receiving many aspects half again as many as other planets in the given horoscope is a reliable measure are increased in dignity. Planets that occupy key positions in the whole pattern of planetary distribution in the map, or that hold similar positions in important formations are also increased in dignity.

Planetary Dignity and Debility

Dignity implies power or influence, greater standing. Retrogradation and interception are accidental debilities, as is combustion, which is considered by William Lilly to be the most severe of all debilities. A planet occupying a cadent house, especially the 12th, 6th, or 3rd, was considered an infortune by the medieval astrologers; the 8th House is also unfortunate. Planets with largely bad aspects to the other bodies may be said to be in accidental debility because the energies they symbolize do not function well with the others; a dissociated or feral planet — that is, one not beholding any major aspect to the others, and so dynamically cut off from them — may be considered to be severely debilitated.

Planets besieged or under duress are in accidental debility. Planets with low declination, slow in motion, or under the sunbeams suffer lesser affliction. Let's say that Neptune is closely conjunct the 4th House cusp. It is angular, and therefore is going to be be a powerful influence in the life. But we don't yet know if this influence is for "good" or for "evil". In this example, no other planet is angular; so Neptune whatever the planet signifies in this chart -- its qualities, characteristics, likely events or life patterns, etc. The effects will be visible for all to see because Neptune is angular Here in the 4th House they are somewhat more private than in the other angular houses.

So does Neptune in this chart lean more toward the "good" or the "evil" side. In the first place, this particular planet is never easy to live with; we can assume there will be enough "negative" influence to please anyone. First, we will say Neptune is in Virgo; Virgo is the detriment of Neptune because it is the sign opposite the sign Nepture rules, which is Pisces. So here is a "debility" and it is essential in nature because it derives from sign position.

Therefore, this condition -- whatever it means -- is inherent, deep, permanent and has to do with the way Neptune functions.


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Second, we notice that Neptune is retrograde. This is a debility, and affects any planet by turning its energies inward, making them more subjective than when direct. Retrogradation causes obstacles and delays in the development of whatever any planet signifies, and a personal psychological responsibility greater than when in direct motion. The person may "turn away from" the challenges presented by the planet, not face them squarely; or, on the other hand, may be anxious, obsessed with, constantly ruminating over the issues presented by the planet.

Perhaps there is a rather compulsive need to tie up loose ends. A retrograde planet usually indicates something that runs contrary to the normal or accepted currents in life, often accompanied by feelings of swimming upstream. When a planet is moving backwards in the zodiac retrograde motion it implies a whole host of possibilities, all associated with the idea of "going backward". So here we have a planet that is has a powerful and broad influence on the life because it is angular dignified , but we find that it is essentially debilitated in Virgo - describing how it functions, and accidentally debilitated because retrograde.

Often, a person trying to read their own chart is overwhelmed by the many, and often contradictory, statements about a planet in the chart. We have to understand that each and every separate statement is true, even when contradictory; the contradictions are built into the person the chart describes. They show the internal conflicts we must somehow resolve.

When a psychological energy cannot act effectively in the outer world shown by the astrological "debilities" , the energy will then manifest on the more internal plane. It is apt to act through the unconscious rather than conscious mind. The energy must find release; it cannot become latent or inert. Hope this gives you some idea of the practical meaning of the dignities and debilities in astrology.

They are not just abstruse astrological jargon. But the terms are meaningless jargon for so long as we simply say "Mars is exalted in Capricorn" and don't bother to understand why this is so. That was great! Thank you for posting your knowledge on here.


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  4. If someone has the Sun 29deg Libra with no other aspects apart from a wide 10deg conjunction to Pluto, in the 8th house - and Moon, Mercury, Uranus, Venus all fairly tight conjunct in Scorpio 9th house Would you say the Sun having no major aspects is debilitated? Especially being in Libra, and especially because Pisces is rising, personality kinda depends on others a lot. But, despite apparently being debilitated, Pluto IS in the 8th house, and an astrologer once said to me, it is then accidently exalted.

    And, though there are no aspects from the Sun or Pluto to any of those other planets in Scorpio, the theme of Scorpio is strong enough that the wide conjunction with no other aspects - could be a good thing, rather than detriment?