CS151 Dignities and Debilities

Instructor: Charles Obert
Counts as 1/2 credit for a Diploma Program elective or 1/2 credit for the Alternate Traditional Certificate

Why use Essential Dignities? Because they are a crucial part of good interpretation. From William Lilly's book Christian Astrology (1647), Chapter 18 (with the spellings modernized):

The exact way of judicature [interpretation] in Astrology is,

  • First, by being perfect in the nature of the planets and Signs.
  • Second, by knowing the strength, fortitude or debility of the Planets, Significators, and a well posing of them and their aspects and several mixtures, in your judgment.
  • Third, by rightly applying the influence of the position of Heaven erected, and the Planets aspects to one another at the time of the Question, according to natural (and not enforced) maxims of Art; for by how much you endeavour to strain a judgment beyond nature, by so much the more you augment your Error.

A Planet is then said to be really strong when he has many Essential dignities, which are known, by his being either in his House [Rulership], Exaltation, Triplicity, Term or Face, at time of the erecting the Figure [chart].