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The Planetary Dignities
Domicile, Exile, Exalted, and Fall.
5 minutes of reading
In nature, when things find their right places and fall into place, everything works in perfect harmony. The same happens in the astrological world: The planets harmonize when they are in their related places, which are the signs that govern. The further away from your ruling sign, the more the planet weakens.
We can say that when a planet is at the opposite end of its house, it is exiled. While it is still close to its home sign, the planet may have more similar energies and work more comfortably.
For example, let's take Venus in Pisces. While Venus is the symbol of love for its natives, Pisces is the symbol of love between all individuals. That is, harmony still exists here, as both speak the same language. One is the love that each one carries within themselves and the other is universal love, among all.
In Libra, Venus would also be harmonious, bringing love into relationships. In Taurus, Venus would already contribute to strong carnal love between people.
By moving further away from its origin, it would begin to deteriorate the concept of harmonic love. In Virgo, there would already be difficulty in expressing this love, reason, and analysis appearing above feeling. But in Scorpio, which would be the extreme opposite of its house of origin, Venus awakens even less altruistic qualities. It can encourage selfishness, exacerbating sex, self-love, and the desire to control loved ones.
Domicile and Exile are the terms to illustrate these opposites, while Exaltation and Fall illustrate the surroundings of these extremes. While the planet is still close to your house, it can continue to amplify virtues, but as it moves further away, it favors the fall of the virtues of each sign.
Let's think in practical terms, making an analogy with your own well-being:
You usually feel great when you're sleeping in your own bed at home. We can then say that you are at your domicile. It is the height of well-being. If you need to sleep outside, but at the home of a relative or close friend, you will still feel good, but not as comfortable as you would at home. Therefore, we can say that you would be in your Exaltation.
Now, let's say you need to sleep at another friend's house, not so intimate and without much comfort and security. We can say that you would be on your downfall. Now, if you need to sleep in a place you don't like, on the hard floor, totally uncomfortable, unsafe, and not feeling well, you would be in exile.
And so it is with the planets. They are uncomfortable away from home. In their phase of exaltation, they bring harmonious and related energies, albeit weaker. As they change places, they become more distant from their origin and the feeling of insecurity opens the door to energies that are not so similar, which ultimately represent their exile.
In its place of origin, the planet generates a maximum positive influence on the sign, highlighting and bringing out the best in it. This is the case with Saturn in Capricorn, Mars in Scorpio, Moon in Cancer... The more distant a planet could be from its domicile, the effect is different.
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Explaining Strengths and Weaknesses
Each planet has its ruling sign, but it also has its special sign, where he still feels as if he is at home, with security and harmony. There he still manages to emanate his positive energy, doing good to the virtues. Let's continue with Venus as an example. Outside of its home, Venus's favorite planet is Pisces. As we mentioned above, Venus in Pisces brings good energy and amplifies and highlights the virtues of the sign.
However, when Venus passes through the opposite of Pisces, which is Virgo, the fall will occur, a kind of astral hell where the virtues of Pisceans will diminish, because the energy of Venus will be inverted. The effect on individuals of the sign is visible, who become more vulnerable and sensitive.
|Sun ☼||♌ Leo||♈ Aries||♎ Libra||♒ Aquarius|
|Moon ☽||♋ Cancer||♉ Taurus||♏ Scorpio||♑ Capricorn|
|Mercury ☿||♍ Virgo
|♒ Aquarius||♌ Leo||♐ Sagittarius
|Venus ♀||♉ Taurus
|♓ Pisces||♍ Virgo||♈ Aries
|Mars ♂||♈ Aries
|♑ Capricorn||♋ Cancer||♉ Taurus
|Jupiter ♃||♐ Sagittarius
|♋ Cancer||♑ Capricorn||♊ Gemini
|Saturn ♄||♑ Capricorn
|♎ Libra||♈ Aries||♋ Cancer
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Essentials of Planetary Dignities
Although there are a few more dignities, we focus here on the most important ones, which bring the greatest influence to the signs: Domicile and Exaltation, as well as their extreme opposites, Exile and Fall, which as we have seen represent the Planetary Weaknesses. The ancients had already discovered that by observing the sky it was possible to establish a relationship between the signs and the planets.
The Greek scientist and astronomer Claudius Ptolemy verified this relationship and reported it in several articles: "The Moon, after its conjunction with the Sun, in its sign of exaltation (Aries) shows its first phase and begins to increase in light and so it is taken Taurus as its exaltation and the opposite sign (Scorpio) as its depression".
Roman poet and astrologer Marcus Manilius wrote a book on the subject, called The Astronomicon. In the work, Manilius gives a sign for each god of Olympus. He says that when the planet is aligned with its rulership sign, that is, in its house of origin, it does not suffer other negative influences, being able to exert all its positive power and harmony over the sign.
Alchabitius, the Arabic mathematician who developed a house system used in antiquity until about 1500, also reported that a planet that is comfortable in its house of origin "has authority and freedom of expression". Alchabitius even described the condition of planets in exaltation: "command from on high, with kings". He wanted to say that when the planet is in exaltation it is possible to use its positive energy with great power.
Already in the fall, which is the opposite of exaltation, the planet receives a lot of interference, corrupting its energy, and causing rejection and changes to the sign. In exile, which is when the planet is in the opposite of its home house (domicile), it loses its strength. If the planet is without exercising any weakness or dignity, it is called Pilgrim