In this essay I want to demonstrate how the traditional system of essential dignites can be used to add quite a bit of detail and nuance to the interpretation of a chart.

Traditional astrology uses five different essential dignities. There are the major dignities, rulership and exaltation, and their corresponding debilities, detriment and fall. Modern astrology still has these dignities, although they are often not widely recognized or used.

In addition, there are three minor dignities, named triplicity, term and face. Each has a different meaning and different level of control.

For our example, I want to look at the chart of Clara Barton. She is most famous as the founder of the American Red Cross, and did extensive work in field hospitals during the Civil War. In addition to that, Clara Barton also did extensive work in public education, and also became a major spokesperson for the women's suffrage movement.

As astrologers we have many tools available that allow us to interpret past, present and future planetary energies to our birth chart.

The most used technique is of course daily planetary transits with the next most used one being Secondary Progressions or more commonly just as “Progressions” even though other types of progressions are also used in astrology.

Famous figures and important events offer astrologers an irresistible opportunity to find meaning in the chart. But it also raises important questions about our own biases and projections that we need to keep in mind. As Damiel Giamario notes below, millions have "Saturn complexes" but do not show such an extreme response as we suspect occurred with Andrea Lubitz, the pilot who crashed a commercial airplane into a mountain side in the French Alps.

We cannot escape projecting our own biases into a chart analysis. This is especially easy to do when we use public figures and proceed to analyze their chart. How often do our interpretations say more about us than about the person whose chart we are reading?

--Editor


I am offering some preliminary considerations on the astrology of Andreas Lubitz, from the perspective of the Shamanic Astrology paradigm. We now know that Lubitz was born December 18, 1987 in Montabaur, Germany. Since we do not know his birth time yet, it will be interesting to test out these speculations as new information emerges.

Zosma, also known as Dhur (“the Lion’s back”), Wadha (“the wise”), or its astronomical name, Delta Leonis, is a star of the constellation Leo. (1) As the fixed stars move at the speed of 1° every 72 years, Zosma currently is at 11°20’ Virgo.

Vivian E. Robson wrote that this star has an impact similar to the combined influences of Venus and Saturn, bringing shame and public lynching followed by some gain or benefit.