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].
By Walter Cambra, MA (LAMAFA)
According to the ancients "Via Combusta" exerted a malefic influence, particularly for the Moon in one's natal chart. Via Combusta is Latin for "the burning way" and generally refers to the first fifteen degrees of the sign of Scorpio. Other astrologers have extended Via Combusta to include the last fifteen degrees of the sign of Libra and/or the entire sign of Scorpio.
Modern astrologers have speculated that the negative influence of the signs of Libra and Scorpio, specified as Via Combusta, had its origins in antiquity when many of the malefic fixed stars were located in those two signs.
Kepler graduate Chris Brennan prepared an overview article that gives a roundup of predictions made by astrologers about the outcome of the 2012 presidential election in the United States. The article doesn't just focus on the predicted outcome, but includes the techniques used. "The purpose of this exercise is so that we can go back after the election and have a discussion within the astrological community about which techniques worked, and which ones didn’t." Read the article.
by Carol Tebbs (faculty), Rhonda Busby (graduate), Kathy Kipp (senior)
Sometimes it is easy to forget that the great books of literature are riddled with astrological references. Contrasting views about astrological fate are important in understanding the interactions of characters in Shakespeare's play, King Lear. The older characters place great stock in the influence of the stars on human affairs, while the younger characters mock these superstitious beliefs. The viewpoints in the play mirror the attitudes and arguments about astrology that were taking place in the 1600's.