Tackling Planetary Exaltatons

Definition of exaltation: a heightened sense or state of well-being or importance.

In astrology, a planet is exalted when it is in a sign that elevates its functions to ideal status. It is second in strength only to a planet's dignity(home sign).

Traditionally, the Sun(ruler of Leo) was always exalted in Aries, its 9th house sign, because here, the otherwise fixed or rooted Sun is given drive and mobility. Likewise the Moon(ruler of Cancer) was always exalted in Taurus, it`s 11th house sign, because here, the otherwise flighty or insecure Moon becomes stable and productive.

The other planets are more difficult to determine because of their traditional rule over two signs each(the Sun and Moon are always direct and rule only one sign each). When Mercury is direct in motion it expresses its Gemini qualities and when it goes retrograde it expresses its Virgo qualities. Mercury is said to be exalted in Aquarius(it`s 9th house sign), where lower selfish thoughts are elevated to higher altruistic ones. Mercury`s exaltation here strengthens the case for Mercury as the true ruler of Gemini.

Venus is traditionally linked to Taurus and Libra with its exaltation in Pisces, where worldly materialistic or aesthetic concerns are elevated to higher artistic or universal status. Venus' exaltation in a feminine sign strengthens the case for Venus being the true ruler of Taurus.

There is little consensus on the exaltations of the remaining planets. Traditionally, Mars(ruling both Aries/Scorpio) is exalted in Capricorn -its 10th/3rd house signs, Jupiter(ruling Sag/Pisces, is exalted in Cancer -its 8th/5th house signs and Saturn(ruler of Capricorn/Aquarius) is exalted in Libra -its 10th/9th house signs.

It is important to realize that only when the true or primary ruling sign of a planet is known that an accurate exaltation can be assigned to it(like the Sun and Moon). The first four exaltations(Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Venus) are almost universally acknowledged, and should therefore serve as the basis for the remaining exaltations. With these four exaltations there is always a 9th or 11th house link The 9th and 11th houses(or signs) represent the highest spiritual or mental qualities in astrology, hence the reasoning behind exaltation.

There is another pattern that must be noted with the first four well known exaltations; it appears that planets ruling fire and air signs, like Sun and Mercury, are exalted in their 9th(upper trine) house signs, while planets ruling water or earth signs, like Moon and Venus, are exalted in their 11th(upper sextile) house signs.

Also, with the rediscovery of the planets Uranus(Aquarius), Neptune(Pisces), and Pluto(Scorpio), comes the singling out or clarification of the true rulerships for Saturn(Capricorn), Jupiter(Sagittarius), and Mars(Aries), making it easier to determine the exaltations for all six of these bodies. Only Mercury and Venus still rule two signs each, awaiting the official rediscovery of two more planetary rulers.

Taking into account all of the above, Mars should find its exaltation in its 9th house sign which is Sagittarius, so that the actions of Mars have a moral or divine compass. Likewise, Jupiter should find its exaltation in Leo, also its 9th house sign, where belief in God or divinity comes through one's love, ego, or creativity. Saturn finds its exaltation in Scorpio, where duty and responsibility are combined with passion and clear perception or discernment.

Uranus finds its exaltation in Libra, its 9th house sign where truth, freedom, and independance are arrived at and applied harmoniously rather than chaotically. Neptune finds its exaltation in Capricorn, its 11th house sign, where imagination and dreams are realized or given form. Finally, Pluto finds its exaltation in Virgo, its 11th house sign, where regeneration comes through cleanliness and diet and where lusts and passions are purified.

Why are all of the planets from Mars to Pluto otherwise exalted in their 10th house signs? Perhaps its with the idea that they reach their crowning fullfillment here, but the striving and the fruits are realized in the 9th and the 11th houses respectively. Astrologically, the 10th house implies a square or friction aspect, wheareas the 9th and 11th imply a trine or sextile aspect which are more conducive to harmony and therefore exaltation.

If Mars is the true ruler of Aries(which he is), then its exaltation in Capricorn is actually frictional or inharmonious in nature and is borne out in individuals with that planetary position. Same with Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Libra, Uranus in Scorpio, Neptune in Sagittarius, and Pluto in Leo. How can such positions be exalted when the planet and the sign are inharmonious to one another? This may have been possible in the old rulership scheme, but no longer.

As new(or lost) planets are discovered(or recovered) so are the true rulerships and exaltations.

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