Essential Dignity – this is a classification of the planets. It tells how they’ll perform in the signs. Even it’s called Essential Dignity, it includes debility as well as dignity.
Planets like or dislike being in a sign. When a planet is in a compatible sign, its performance is enhanced. When it is in a sign it doesn’t like, its performance is less than it could be; it may overreact or under-act.
How to read the table.
The first row at the top of the above table is the name of the dignity or debility. There are seven dignities and debilities. The numbers with a plus refer to dignity. The higher the number the more powerful the dignity. They are House/Rulership, Exaltation, Triplicity, Term and Face. The minus signs are debilities. They are detriment and Fall. Sg. stands for sign.
The first column on the left under Sg. is a list of the signs in the order of the zodiac. Go across the row to see which planets are in dignity or debility in the sign. For example, if you go to the second column, which is adjacent to Aries, you will see the symbol for Mars. Mars in Aries is in rulership (house). In the next column it lists the Sun, which in Aries in Exaltation. In the third column the Sun is in Triplicity during the day (D), Jupiter is in Triplicity at night (N),. (P is optional, it stands for participating). There are five planets in the Terms of Aries. This depends on the degree of the planet. Jupiter is in term from 0 to 5.59 degrees of Aries, Venus is in term from 6-13.59. The column for Face is also based on degree. Mars is in face from 0 to 9.59 of Aries. Venus is in Detriment in Aries, and Saturn is in Fall.
For each sign go across the row to learn which planets are dignified or debilitated.
The first column is called Houses. This is referring to rulership, which is the most familiar term of all the Essential Dignities. The words house and rulership are interchangeable. Rulership has a rating power of +5. This is one of the best places for a planet, and it performs very well. For example, the Sun is always associated with the sign Leo, which it rules. Leo brings out the best of the Sun.
This is often more powerful than rulership. The force of the planet is controlled by the sign. The impulsive energy of Mars is focused by the determination and limits of Saturn. Its power is a + 4.
This is a position of luck. When a planet is in the sign of its triplicity, it brings good fortune. The planet doesn’t bring luck from effort, it just happens. However the native must be careful that luck my run out. The planet is comfortable in the sign, and brings favor, and allows the native to be noticed. It denotes a person who has enough of what he needs at hand. These are signs of the same element. It’s power is +3
This is not a strong dignity. The planet is willing to make an effort to do something, but needs help. The native may lose interest, or be out of his league. He still gives it his best shot. Its power is +2
This means the native is aware of something, but there is not enough interest to achieve goals. This is usually accompanied by anxiety and an expectation that not much will happen. The native is aware of what is going on,, but is somewhat indifferent or lacking the energy for achievement. It is only a supportive dignity. Unless there is something else in the chart to help the native, nothing much will happen. Its power is +1
When a planet is in detriment it is at a disadvantage, and unable to act, or acts inappropriately. The planet is in an unfortunate position, brings unfortunate events, and there is a loss, or rejection. The native caused the problem in the first place. Its power is -5.
This is not as bad as detriment, but the situation is hopeless unless something or someone bails him out. The situation was not of his own doing, he is a victim of circumstances. It has a power of -4.
You will not see this term listed on the table. The planet has neither dignity or debility. The planet/person is like a wanderer lost in the desert with nothing to guide him. He is aimless, pointless and running around in circles.