Friday, 28 October 2022

Planet-Sign Affinity According to Temperament and Essential Dignity

Lately, I have been considering some models of planetary temperament and affinity between a planet’s innate temperament to sign placement, according to element.

Whenever we're talking about 'planets in signs', essential dignity must be considered. Essential dignity is a system wherein we take in account a planet's placement in a certain sign, or region within a sign. This is done in order to determine how advantageous, or disadvantageous, the position is for that planet. In this short article, only the three primary forms of essential dignities will be explored (domicile, exaltation and triplicity) as they stretch all the way through a sign, from beginning to end.

The gist of the article is a table with all the possible placements of 'planet to sign interaction'. The table was created in order to check which combinations are more and which are less beneficial for the individual planets, when we take in account both temperament and essential dignity considerations. 

*See the table below, and click on it for an enlarged version*

For the purposes of this article I’ve used the most popular and widespread scheme of planetary temperament, as shown here:

Mars & Sun – Hot + Dry
Moon & Venus – Cold +Wet
Mercury & Saturn – Cold + Dry
Jupiter – Hot + Wet

Fire - Hot + Dry
Water - Cold + Wet
Earth - Cold + Dry
Air - Hot + Wet

Some Examples:
Mars is a hot and dry planet, so whenever Mars is in a fire sign there’s affinity between Mars’ temperament and him being in Aries/Leo/Sag. Thus, Mars is ‘boosted’ and can act more naturally and organically, you can say. I consider it as a form of accidental dignity.
The contrary is also true. Since Mars is hot and dry and water signs are cold and wet, Mars would feel hampered in Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces. I would consider it as a form of accidental debility.
This model gets more interesting when you combine it with essential dignity, and especially domicile, exaltation and triplicity rulerships (the ones which go through the entire sign). All manner of interaction ensues, in such a way.
For example, Mars in Scorpio is both in domicile and in triplicity dignities, but mars would be accidentally weak according to the temperament condition. So you get a mixed bag of sorts.

With other planets, like Mercury for example, you get a strong boost via both essential dignity and temperament. Say Mercury in Virgo (Mercury being cold and dry, in a cold and dry sign, and in domicile plus exaltation).
Or strong debility according to both conditions, like in the case of Jupiter in Capricorn (Jupiter being hot and wet, in a cold and dry sign, plus the fall condition in Capricorn).

* Click on the Table for an enlarged view*

Note that 'temperament offset' refers to cases in which the planet is strong in a sign, by essential dignity, but the temperament condition detracts from that strength. On the other hand the 'temperament boost' condition refers to cases in which the planet is weak in a sign, by essential dignity, but the temperament condition somewhat ameliorates that ordeal.

One interesting conclusion which is derived from the table is in the middle columns of “average signs”, that is, cases in which we have a combo of essential dignity and temperament which go in different directions. Or maybe the signs in which a planet is ‘doubly harmed’, both by essential debility and temperament incompatibility. That is, in the left columns of “bad for planet”.

Another interesting conclusion is the disparity which emerges concerning apparent lack of compatibility between the cold and dry planets (Mercury and Saturn) to the signs of their triplicity (Air, which is hot and wet).
That is, the fact that Mercury and Saturn both suffer (temperament wise) in the air element, but in the triplicity model they excel in air. Also in terms of the domicile and exaltation placements of Saturn and Mercury, there's a disparity along the same lines.
This is certainly 'food for thought'. A possible solution is that despite the emphasis we have in the air element on logic, thinking, rationality and wit, we have a marked drawback as well. The fact that those cold and dry planets are thrown into an arena, in which they have to be social, cordial, fun, upbeat and other none cold and dry qualities of expression.
This may account for some of the disparities in terms of Saturn affiliated Aquarius and Libra, and Mercury affiliated Gemini, being both *sociable* but simultaneously *rules-centered, and sticklers for doing things properly*.


Concerning the topic of Sect, I've received some suggestions to incorporate it into the model. That seems impossible to me as the Sect condition would 'stack' on top of the other conditions. Let's examine Mars in Scorpio in a night chart vs. Mars in Scorpio in a day chart. That same Mars in a night chart would be the stronger mars, as it's in sect, but that wouldn't change the fact Mars in Scorpio is strong by essential dignity (domicile and triplicity) but weak according to the condition of temperament, in both cases. Sect is another important factor, no doubt, but it just 'stacks' on top of the other conditions.

Another point which needs addressing is the fact that in the triplicity model of essential dignity, Saturn and Mars are associated with Fire and Water respectively, due to a balancing factor. That Saturn would be too dry and restrictive in Earth and Mars would be too hot and volatile in Fire. Probably, this would often be the case in natal charts, where we'd like to balance our Saturn or our Mars. Despite those facts, not all charts are natal charts, and we may also consider horary, electional, mundane and other branches of astrology. Implications within each of these may be slightly different, although triplicity scoring remains the same.
Example: if in horary two people ask about a winning horse, and the horse is signified by Mars in Sagittarius in one chart and Mars in Pisces in the other. Here the temperament model may do us more good than the triplicity model. The hot and dry horse being more of a 'winning material' than the 'cold and wet' horse, not regarding the triplicity advantage of Mars in Pisces.


(*) I use the Hellenistic model of triplicity scoring; +3 to all three planets.
(*) Mercury's intrinsic temperament is somewhat disputed, though authors such as Al-Biruni, Lilly and Culpeper consider it to be cold and dry.  
(*) A 'thank you' is owed to Charles Obert, who was first to make me aware of these interesting interactions, through his book Using Dignity in Astrology.
(*) Also, I want to express my gratitude to members of the Traditional Astrologers FB group, which helped me hone my ideas on this tricky topic. Here's the thread.