Planets in Exaltation

Planets are exalted when placed in a sign that gives them a special quality or prominence. Planets in exaltation are surpassed in strength only by a planet's dignity(home sign). The sign opposite a planet's exaltation is said to be in fall, while the sign opposite a planet's home sign is said to be in detriment.

The Rationale for Planetary Exaltation: The main rationale or reasoning for the exaltation or fall of any planet is a combination of heavenly geometry and long observation. Traditional observation and rationalization over millennia has yielded certain very favourable or unfavourable planetary positions. Just who decided on our present list of dignities is obscure, although one of the earliest records can be traced back to the Tetrabiblos written by the Greek astronomer/astrologer Ptolemy of the 2nd century AD, who in turn based his knowledge on the works or texts of other great thinkers of the Hellenic period or earlier.

Below are the traditional dignities, exaltations, and falls assigned by Ptolemy in his book the Tetrabiblos(book I, chapter 22). He does not include the detriment.

Traditional Exaltations of the Planets
Planet
Dignity or Home Sign
Exaltation
Fall
Sun
Leo
Aries
Libra
Moon
Cancer
Taurus
Scorpio
Mercury
Gemini and Virgo
Virgo
Pisces
Venus
Taurus and Libra
Pisces
Virgo
Mars
Aries and Scorpio
Capricorn
Cancer
Jupiter
Sagittarius and Pisces
Cancer
Capricorn
Saturn
Capricorn and Aquarius
Libra
Aries

This is fine and dandy for for the seven-based traditional system of astrology, but what about the twelve-based system which we are inexorably heading towards? Ever since the discovry of Uranus in 1781(true ruler of Aquarius), followed by Neptune in 1846(true ruler of Pisces), and then Pluto in 1930(true ruler of Scorpio), certain planets have singled out in terms of rulership and their true natures made clear. Saturn is now the sole or principle ruler of Capricorn, Jupiter of Sagittarius and Mars of Aries. Next to be clarified are the true natures of Venus and Mercury. The Sun and Moon remain the same now as then because they have always ruled only one sign each.

When planets single out, both its sign nature and gender are clarified -and so is the exaltation process. Since ancient times, only the Sun and Moon have ruled one sign each, and if they are correct and we are to base exaltation soley on these two planets, then the pattern is set for all the other planets: all masculine planets should be exalted in their own elements(Sun principle), and all feminie planets should be exalted in their opposing element(Moon principle). The only way to know if a planet is masculine or feminine is to know the sign it rules. This is why I no longer accept the traditional exaltations which exalt masculine planets like Mars and Jupiter in feminine signs or vice versa. The same rule applies to the modern planets. Also, opposing planets should have opposing exaltations(Example: Sun in Aries versus Uranus in Libra). This provides a balanced and sensical distribution. Otherwise, the whole idea of exaltion becomes little more than guesswork and favouritism.

Because of its controversial or biased nature, I have decided to abandon the concept of exaltation altogether. To me, a planet is best or most favourably placed when it is 1)In its home or ruling sign, 2)In its own element, and lastly 3)In its opposing element.


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