_____The Basic Nature of Essential Dignity and Debility_____

The general dual classifications of dignity and debility are not really as simple as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, even though these regards are not completely invalid in the tradition of the definition. 

In metaphysical philosophy the definition of good and bad also can become a little more abstracted, or lateral.  Harking back to the essential metaphysical principles of duality and polarity, these two categories are simply representative of two basic symbolic functions.  That of the dignity concerns a resonating, bonding essence. Essential debility is of an essence concerning the dynamics of dissonance and breaking.

Following are the traditional and major essential dignities and debilities, plus the most commonly regarded ‘modern’ versions - that is, developed post-18th century into the early 20th century:

_____Table of the Traditional Essential Dignities and Debilities[18]_____

Following are the additional common ‘modern’ rulerships and postulated further dignities/debilities.

Sun – Leo (domicile)  Aquarius (detriment)

           Aries (exaltation)   Libra (fall)

Moon – Cancer (domicile)  Capricorn (detriment)

            Taurus (exaltation)  Scorpio (fall)

Mercury – Gemini/Virgo (domicile)  Sagittarius/Pisces (detriment)

             Virgo (exaltation)  Pisces (fall)

Venus – Taurus/Libra (domicile)  Aries/Scorpio (detriment)

              Pisces (exaltation)  Virgo (fall)

Mars – Aries/Scorpio (domicile)  Taurus/Libra (detriment)

              Capricorn (exaltation)  Cancer (fall)

Jupiter – Sagittarius/Pisces (domicile)  Gemini/Virgo (detriment)

               Cancer (exaltation) Capricorn (fall)

Saturn – Capricorn/Aquarius (domicile)  Cancer/Leo (detriment)

               Libra (exaltation)  Aries (fall)

Exploring the word dignity, which hails from the Latin ‘dignus’, or ‘worthy

 In the further defining of the term, it naturally talks of the giving of honour, attention and due esteem.  Dignity thus infers a sense of great respect and to be self-dignified is to be able to have and show self-respect.  Thus it can be considered that a dignified planet may more basically adhere to the state of its individual archetypal integrity. 

Such symbolic integrity is naturally a product of a process of integration in itself.  A planet in its dignity may be also offered maintenance of that integration, thus an ideal fullness of expression.  In itself, the essential nature of integrity is concerned with a sense of completeness of being, as a state that is sound, undamaged, or whole – in stemming from ‘integer’, meaning ‘whole’.

Conversely, the term of ‘debility’ may generally refer to a lack, or challenge to the wholeness of the natural/archetypal strength and integrity concerning the symbolic components in question.  From the Latin ‘debilis’, meaning ‘weak’, just as every astrological planet has its natural facets of essential dignity, it may also possess its debilities. 

Essential debility concerns a positing where a planet does not align, or integrate its archetypal expression smoothly, with the archetype of the sign in question.  Thus, as a sign and a planet possess a lack of similitude, there is a ‘weakness’ indicated, which lies in the nature of the degree of symbolic bonding between the two.  Inferred is the essential nature of a planet, in having to adjust itself and work harder, in order to find any flow of resonance with the sign of its essential debilitation.

It is as if the important facets of the archetypal nature of the sign are not ‘built’ to relate to the essential nature of the planet and thus cannot ‘serve’ it with ease (or conversely a planet may not be archetypally ‘built’ to be ‘natural’ when in a certain sign, both equal a ‘mismatch’).

Thus, between dignity and debility, are represented the statements of the general polarities of ‘the fortified’ and ‘the flawed’, or the familiar and the unfamiliar.  It appears, just as dignity can be conditioned and mitigated by the further astrology in a birth chart, so can debility.  However the base template, when of debilitated condition, is usually indicative of the need of a certain conscious awareness, or a degree of care. 

This care, or mindfulness, may often have to be constantly maintained, the degree of the indicated debilitation depending.  It is not necessarily that a planet in zodiacal debilitation is ‘bad’, however if problems are to arise, they may often do so through such a bodies symbolic dimension.  The more fundamental point is that the planet is ‘partnered’ by a sign that is naturally not well-aligned to its nature and hence, cannot be its full integral ‘self’ as an astrological principle.

The potential dynamics of dignity and debility, the nature of archetypal resonance and support, compared to that of an archetypal dissonance and lack of support

The general duality of their dynamics may be expressed in the following overview.  The two lists to come contain a general ‘brainstorming’, concerning the symbolic dynamics of essential dignity and debility.  These ‘keywords’ are ideas that may describe the nature of what happens to the archetype of a planet, both when harmonising well, with that of a sign, or  when not in a sign placement that is seen as archetypally sound. 

The planetary archetype involved is generally experiencing a bonding/reinforcing in the strength of its nature, or a breaking/destabilising - that is indicative of it having to amend its expression, according to the nature of its zodiacal position.  It must always be remembered that a planet or light will always retain its core archetypal being.  What is witnessed is a sense of the mechanics of how a planetary ‘instrument’ within the astrological ‘symphony’ of a horoscope may be ‘tuned’ and thus produce the essential tonal quality, from which it may come.


 Dignity – Domicile & Exaltation                Debility – Detriment and Fall

On the symbolic level, given the classification, the interaction of a planet and a sign may be of a nature that is generally:

archetypally strengthened            archetypally weakened

Typical                                         atypical

Empowering                                 disempowering

Symbolic agreement                     symbolic disagreement

Unconditionally supported            conditionally supported

Resonant                                      dissonant

Harmony                                       cacophony

Nutritive                                       non-nutritive

Known                                          alien

Comfortable                                 adjusting

Familiar                                       unfamiliar

Regular                                        irregular

Bonding                                        breaking

Fortifying                                     corrupting

Honouring                                     dishonouring

Reinforcing                                  destabilising

Gift of something                         care of something

Establishment                               non-establishment



 Organic Divination for the Urban Jungle

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