In astrology, exaltation is one of the five essential dignities of a planet. The exaltation is a place of awareness for the planet, whereas the fall is a position of weakness concerning the function of the planet. The sign position directly opposite a planet's sign of exaltation is considered to be its fall.
Huduga, May God bless you. You have asked a good and useful question. You already have four answers and no doubt they are by and large good answers. Negative Yogas in Vedic Astrology. Negative Yogas are inauspicious Yogas in Vedic Astrology that generally brings a lot of misfortune, disturbances and misery in the life of the native. Such Yogas are bound to bring in obstacles in life, however, it is through hardships and struggles that a person grows and attains wisdom and strength in life. Mars is exalted in the 28th degree of Capricorn. Venus is exalted in the 27th degree of Pisces. Mercury is exalted in the 15th degree of Virgo. The Sun is exalted in the 19th degree of Aries. The Moon is exalted in the 3rd degree of Taurus. The sign that is opposite to a planet’s exaltation is known as its fall or depression.
Each of the seven traditional planets has its exaltation in one zodiacsign. The positions are:
- Sun: 19th degree of Aries (i.e., 18°00' - 18°59')
- Moon: 3rd degree of Taurus
- Mercury: 15th degree of Virgo
- Venus: 27th degree of Pisces
- Mars: 28th degree of Capricorn
- Jupiter: 15th degree of Cancer
- Saturn: 21st degree of Libra
Exaltations have also been attributed to the north node (3rd degree of Gemini) and the south node (3rd degree of Sagittarius). These positions are listed in astrological texts of the early medieval Arabic period, such as al-Biruni's 11th-century Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology. Whilst modern Vedic astrologers place significance on the exaltation positions of the nodes, the western astrological tradition transmitted through medieval Europe demonstrates little use of them in practice traditionally and currently. Al-Biruni also points out that, in contradiction to the Greeks and Persians, the Hindu astrologers of his period disagreed upon the degree positions of the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn, and did not recognize the exaltations of the nodes - a principle he described himself as being 'quite proper'.
The exaltations are one of the most ancient astrological factors still in use. They are used in ancient Mesopotamian astrology from an era which pre-dates the known use of the zodiac (using reference to constellation positions which shows correspondence with those later attributed to zodiac degrees). Francesca Rochberg has pointed out that since the system is found in the tradition of Enuma anu enlil, its roots may extend into the second millennium BCE. Joanne Conman believes that certain decan stars the ancient Egyptians venerated in Middle Kingdom Coffin Texts appear to be the source of the 'places of secret' of the later Babylonian astrological texts referenced by Rochberg and of the corresponding planetary exaltations or hypsomata of Hellenistic astrology. The coffin texts pre-date attested Babylonian astrological texts. The pattern of the honored decans matches and appears to account for the pattern of the exaltation for four of the planets.
Why the Babylonians considered these placements to be dignified is not known to Western astrologers. Although many speculations concerning the reasoning behind it have been put forth over the centuries, there are, as Robert Hand has said, still anomalies that are almost impossible to explain with any consistency, such as the exaltation of vigorous Mars in cold Capricorn. The Western sidereal astrologer, Cyril Fagan, has speculated that the planets all rose heliacally at these degrees in the year of the erection of an important temple to the Babylonian god Nabu in the year 786 BC, but this is still very speculative.
Since in Hellenistic astrology aspects were generally recognised from sign to sign, it is uncertain whether the distance of a planet from the exact degree of exaltation had much significance. However, the degree itself was used by ancient astrologers; for example, the exact degree of exaltation of each of the luminaries (the Sun and Moon) was used in the formula for the Hellenistic Lot of Exaltation.
In later Medieval astrology, influenced by the Arab and Byzantine, a hierarchy of all five essential dignities was favored, in which the most important dignity was that of the domicile ruler, followed in importance by exaltation. Medieval astrologers assigned numerical values to each dignity in the hierarchy, and these were tabulated to provide a rough statistical mode of comparison (see Essential dignity.) These weighted valuations are still in use today by astrologers.
After the discovery of the three outer planets--Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto—modern astrologers speculated on possible domicile and exaltation rulerships for these planets. It was suggested, for example, that Neptune was the 'true' domicile ruler of Pisces (usurping one of Jupiter's two domicile rulerships). The ancient system was complex and symmetrical, making no allowance for additional, unseen planets, and it is difficult to include them in traditional techniques. Most modern astrologers have therefore abandoned attempts to assign exaltations to these newer planets.
Traditional Hindu Astrology, based the notion of exaltation primarily on the stellar constellations, also called Nakshatras, in which the planet fell. There are 27 Nakshatras present in the Sidereal Zodiac. Taking 360°/27 results in a precise arc of 13° 20′ per Nakshatra, remembering that 60′ constitute 1°. For example, although Jupiter is exalted in Cancer there are 3 different Nakshatras Jupiter could occupy within the 30° arc of Cancer, namely, Punarvasu (20°00′ Gemini to 3°20 Cancer), Pushya (3°20′ to 16°40′ Cancer), and Ashlesha (16°40′ to 29°59′ Cancer). Since Jupiter is exalted at 5° Cancer this placement signifies his true exaltation in Pushya Nakshatra. The Nakshatra Devata of Pushya is Bṛhaspati, the teacher of the Gods. Jupiter will not give his full exaltation effects when he is posited in a Nakshatra besides Pushya although he is still generally exalted in the sign of Cancer. Furthermore, each Nakshatra is divided into four sections, also called pāda, and when taking 13°20′/4 results in a precise arc of 3°20′ per pāda. The four pāda denote the four goals of life according to the Vedic tradition, namely, Dharma, Artha, Kāma, and Mokṣa. Although Jupiter finds strong exaltation in Pushya there are four different pāda Jupiter could occupy within the 13°20′ arc of Pushya, namely, Dharma pāda (3°20′-6°40′ Cancer), Artha pāda (6°40′-10°00′ Cancer), Kāma pāda (10°00′-13°20′ Cancer), and Mokṣa pāda (13°20′-16°40′ Cancer). Since Jupiter is exalted at 5° Cancer this signifies 'deep' exaltation in the heart of the Dharma pāda of Pushya Nakshatra in the sign of Cancer which provides the astronomical reasoning of Jupiters exaltation degree. Esoterically speaking, when Jupiter is in Cancer (which signifies the heart), and is being influenced by Bṛhaspati (the teacher of the Gods), and is directed toward righteous action (Dharma pāda) Jupiter is functioning in 100% exaltation, concerning everything Jupiter represents.
- ^O. Neugebauer & H.B. van Hoesen, Greek Horoscopes (Philadelphia, American Philosophical Society, 1959), p. 7.
- ^Al-Biruni, The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology, (written in Ghaznah, 1029) ch. 443 'Exaltation and fall of the planets'. Translated into English by R. Ramsay Wright. London: Luzac & Co. 1934.
- ^Deborah Houlding, 'Ptolemy's table of planetary dignity explained' Skyscript: 'Mars is dignified at any position in Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation, but the dignity will be especially apparent in the 28th degree. The traditional exaltations of the nodes are included although I have never really seen these put to good use in judgements'. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
- ^Al-Biruni, The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology, ch. 444 'Hindu's differ as to degrees':
The altered positions of the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn suggests an attempt to update the traditional zodiac positions in response to the effect of precession.
'There is no difference of opinion as to the signs of exaltation, but the Hindu's differ as to the degrees in certain cases. They are agreed that the exaltation of the Sun lies in 10° of Aries, of Jupiter in 5° of Cancer, of Saturn in 20° of Libra, the others as above, except with regard to the Dragon's head [Moon's north node] and Tail [Moon's south node] which are not mentioned by them in this connection as is quite proper'.
- ^Rochberg, Francesa, Babylonian Horoscopes pp.46-47. Philadelphia: American Philosophical society, 1998. ISBN0-87169-881-1
- ^Conman, Joanne, 'The Egyptian Origins of Planetary Hypsomata,' Discussions in Egyptology 64 (2006-9), 12-3, 17-20.
- ^Robert Hand, Horoscope Symbols. Schiffer Publishing (Easton, PA., 1987), ISBN0-914918-16-8.
- ^that is, made its first appearance in the night sky after a period of being obscured by the Sun. The planet will be seen close to the horizon, becoming visible as sunlight fades or before the Sun rises. In the ancient Near East, this was an important sky event.
- ^Hand, Horoscope Symbols, p.204, referencing Cyril Fagan, Zodiacs, Old and New, (Anscombe, 1951.)
- ^Al-Biruni, The Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology, ch. 443, demonstrates that differences of opinion existed in his era:
The altered positions of the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn suggests an attempt to update the traditional zodiac positions in response to the effect of precession.
'In such signs the exaltations is regarded as especially related to a certain degree; but there are many differences of opinion in this matter, some saying that it extends to some degrees in front or behind the degree in question, while others hold that it extends from the first point of the sign to that degree, and again others that it is present in the whole sign without any special degree'.
- ^See for instance, William Lilly, Christian Astrology (London, 1647) in one of its several modern reprints, p. 104.
- ^Lilly, p.104
- ^Freedom Tobias Cole, Science of Light: An Introduction to Vedic Astrology, p.251, ISBN0-9788447-8-5
- ^Cole, p.81
- ^Cole, p257
- ^Cole, p.289
Exalted and Debilitated Planets
During their transitory motion, all planets among Navagraha (nine planets in Vedic astrology) keep moving from one sign to the next in a cyclic movement, according to their speeds of movement. The journey of each planet starts from Aries, it completes at Pisces and then the process starts again, as such planet enters Aries again. Looking at their speeds, Moon completes its transit in twelve signs in less than a month, being the fastest one. On the other hand, Saturn being the slowest to move among Navagraha, takes about 30 years to complete one cycle from Aries to Pisces. Similarly, other planets also have their own speeds and they complete this cycle accordingly.
As a planet travels through a sign, such sign becomes its home for the time being and the characteristics of that sign impact it in one way or another. Taking an example from real life to understand it, imagine you are on a journey of the world where you travel through many countries, stay in each country for some time and then move on to the next country. Let’s suppose your native language is English, your religion is X and the combination of your lifestyle, preferences and beliefs is Y. This is what your general or basic nature is or let’s say this is your basic theme. As you travel through a country during your journey say country A, you may find that this country has an overall theme which closely matches your basic theme. For instance, the people in this country speak English, most of them practice in religion X, this country may primarily dwell on same foods as you do, it may have a similar type of government structure that your country has, it may have similar laws and many other things that you feel comfortable with.
For as long as you are in this country during your journey; it is natural for you to feel like home and hence you may feel relaxed, expanding and capable of doing more with ease. During the journey, you reach another country say B which features an overall theme which conflicts with your overall theme though it may not be exactly opposite to that. For instance, this country may feature a language which is not English and which is far different from English; making it difficult for you to communicate. Though most of the remaining things may be similar to your theme but this factor or may be another added factor makes it somewhat difficult for you to feel relaxed, expanding and capable of doing more things with ease. You move on and enter a country C which features an overall theme which is almost opposite to your basic theme and you don’t like the changes. It is easy to understand that you are likely to feel uncomfortable here and you may not be able to relax or expand here.
Considering one more option, you travel through another country D which may have an overall theme which is different than that of yours in some aspects; but this difference is good. It means the people of this country may be more friendly than those of yours, the laws may be more relaxed, there may be foods different than you generally prefer to eat but then you like those foods a lot when you try them, this country features some beautiful places and scenic views that your place doesn’t have; and other things also. Though this country as well its general theme is different than that of yours, you are likely to feel even more relaxed, expanding and capable of doing more in this country. This is because your overall theme finds an option to upgrade itself in this country where your own country doesn’t feature such option.
This is almost what happens with planets also, during their transitory journey through different signs. Let’s consider a planet and try to understand this process in an even better way. Let’s consider the transit of Saturn through twelve signs. Capricorn is the home of Saturn and it closely matches its basic theme. It means that Capricorn is going to act as a standard which will be used to compare Saturn’s experiences in other signs. As Saturn travels through Taurus, Gemini, Virgo or Aquarius, it witnesses experiences like country A. It means these signs may be somewhat different from its basic theme but Saturn is relaxed and capable of doing more in these signs. The signs like Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are the ones which serve as country B where Saturn feels somewhat less relaxed but it can still do a number of things.
The third group features signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius which act as country C, where Saturn finds itself most uncomfortable and hence it is not able to do much or expand much in these signs. Among these signs also; Saturn finds maximum discomfort in the sign of Aries, relatively less discomfort in Leo and even less in Sagittarius. It means though all these signs make Saturn uncomfortable, it can still live with Sagittarius; it can try to survive in Leo and it feels choked in Aries. Moving on to the group four, Libra acts as country D as it is different from Capricorn but Saturn likes these changes and it feels even more relaxed and expanding in this sign. It naturally means that Saturn is capable of doing more work in this sign.
It is now easy to understand why Aries serves as the sign of debilitation for Saturn and why Libra becomes its sign of exaltation. Aries simply doesn’t let Saturn perform in the way it wants and hence its expressions are limited in this sign. On the other hand, Libra gives Saturn an extra push and it feels motivated, inspired and pumped to do even more work. The same happens to all other planets among Navagraha and by natural choices which means according to their experiences in different signs; there signs of exaltation as well as their signs of debilitation are chosen. Before moving on with this discussion, let’s look at the signs of exaltation as well as the signs of debilitation for various planets among Navagraha.
Sun gets exalted in Aries and it is debilitated in Libra.
Moon gets exalted in Taurus and it is debilitated in Scorpio.
Jupiter gets exalted in Cancer and it is debilitated in Capricorn.
Venus gets exalted in Pisces and it is debilitated in Virgo.
Mars gets exalted in Capricorn and it is debilitated in Cancer.
Mercury gets exalted in Virgo and it is debilitated in Pisces.
Saturn gets exalted in Libra and it is debilitated in Aries.
Rahu gets exalted in Taurus as well as in Virgo and it is debilitated in Scorpio as well as in Pisces.
Ketu gets exalted in Scorpio as well as in Pisces and it is debilitated in Taurus as well as in Virgo.
Now that we have understood what makes a planet strong or weak in a sign, let’s look at some important facts associated with exaltation and debilitation of planets in Vedic astrology. As we go through the explanations described earlier; we may naturally assume that each planet is benefic in its sign of exaltation and it becomes malefic in its sign of debilitation. As convincing as it may sound, it is not true. The ability of a planet to feel relaxed and expanded in a sign primarily tells about its working strength and this fact can’t be used to predict the working nature of such planet. Going back to the original example, if you feel like having the best experiences of your life in country D; that doesn’t actually make these experiences good for everyone and this fact holds for you alone.
Good and bad is relative which means what is good for you may not be good for someone else and it may even be bad for them. While imagining the journey through different countries, we naturally tend to assume ourselves as good human beings though the reality may be different; and let’s see how. Let’s change a variable here and assume that this native say G who is travelling around the world is a bad person with low moral values, a criminal or something like that. By changing this fact alone; the definition of good and bad changes when we look at the bigger picture. When this native G travels through country D where the language, lifestyle and most other things are according to his liking; his experiences in this country are good and hence he enjoys his stay here. Due to the comfort of language, foods, lifestyle and other things; G may find it easy to operate from here and do more and more work in this country. Hence this country is good from his point of view, which means when we are looking at the smaller picture.
Exalted Meaning In Vedic Astrology Birth Chart
But remember, G is a criminal. The fact that he is comfortable in country D means that he may engage in more operations in this country which further means that he is going to cause problems for the others. When you look at this situation from this bigger angle; it looks like a bad one. This is because a bad person is utilizing the comfort provided by a country to create evil. Hence this experience may be good for him but it is bad in the bigger sense. Likewise, when this native G goes to the country C where language, foods, lifestyle and other factors make it difficult for him to enjoy and expand; this country is bad according to his point of view. It means he may not be comfortable staying here and expanding his operations. When we look at it from a bigger angle; it is a good thing since G will not be able to spread negativity in this country. It means the discomfort felt by G is bad for him but it is good for the country because due to this discomfort only; he will spare this country and go somewhere else.
Consider another possibility; let’s suppose a native H who is good in most senses travels through country D. Since D gives him comfort; he may expand and operate in a better way in this country. As H is a good person; his operation will spread more positivity all around. It means in this case; his stay in this country is good for him as well as for the others. However, when H travels through country C which gives him discomfort and he is not able to expand and operate in a strong way; the equation changes. The country is not good for H since it is not giving him the scope to spread his goodness. Since he is not able to spread his goodness; everything around him also bears a loss as all the positivity he may have spread is not there now. In this case, both H and the surroundings are at loss.
The same thing happens in case of transits of different planets through different signs. The placement of a planet in its sign of exaltation primarily means that this planet will expand and thrive here; and it doesn’t tell much about the working nature of this planet. Likewise, the placement of a planet in its sign of debilitation primarily means that this planet will feel restricted and weakened here; and it doesn’t tell much about the working nature of such planet. It means when a malefic planet is placed in the most suitable sign, like malefic Saturn in Libra, it tends to expand and operate at its maximum strength. Hence we attach the word exalted with such planet, like Saturn in this case. Kepler astrology software download free windows 10. It means Saturn is very happy in the sign of Libra, it expands itself and it gains maximum strength; justifying the meaning of being exalted.
However, as we already know by now, if a malefic person is very happy and strong in a specific place; it is very likely to cause more harm for everything around him. When a criminal is happy, strong and expanding; this is simply bad news for the law abiding world around him. Hence such malefic exalted Saturn is going to cause much more harm to the native; than malefic Saturn with average strength can cause. Therefore, the exaltation of Saturn in this case is not a blessing for the native but it is a curse. On the other hand, if Saturn is exalted as well as benefic in a horoscope; it is a blessing for the native. Benefic Saturn having so much strength may bring many more good things to this native; than benefic Saturn with average strength can. Similarly, if malefic Saturn is debilitated in a horoscope, it is good for the native in many ways; since such Saturn won’t be able to cause much trouble due to lack of strength or discomfort of operation. On the other hand, if benefic Saturn is debilitated in a horoscope, it is a loss for the native since this planet may not bring him much good now; even when it wants to.
Therefore, the presence of a planet in its sign of exaltation should be seen as a measure of its strength as well as its comfort of operations. Whether such operations will be benefic or malefic should not be judged from the presence of a planet in its sign of exaltation or in any sign for that matter. Similarly, the presence of a planet in its sign of debilitation should be seen as a measure of its weakness as well as its discomfort of operations. Whether such operations will be benefic or malefic should not be decided from the presence of such planet in its sign of debilitation. Vedic astrology provides various guidelines for analysing the benefic or malefic nature of various planets in a horoscope; and those guidelines should be used to do this job.
Let’s now discuss some other aspects related to exalted and debilitated planets; which can affect their strengths as well as change their operational comfort. If an exalted planet is placed in conjunction with a malefic planet; the malefic planet will afflict such exalted planet and hence the exalted planet may lose a part of its strength in fighting such affliction. How much strength is lost by an exalted planet in such situation is dependent on the strength of the planet which afflicts it as well as on the closeness of conjunction. For example, if benefic exalted Sun is afflicted by malefic debilitated Saturn in the sign of Aries; this affliction may not cause much harm to Sun since the afflicting planet which is Saturn is very weak in Aries. Looking at another possibility, if benefic exalted Sun is afflicted by malefic Jupiter in Aries; this is a stronger affliction since Jupiter is comfortable in Aries.
However, if malefic Mars afflicts benefic exalted Sun in the sign of Aries; this may become a serious issue. This is because Mars is strong in the sign of Aries and it can cause so much damage to the strength as well as some other significances of exalted Sun. In this case, closer is Mars placed to Sun in Aries; more damage or weakness may be rendered to exalted Sun. Therefore, this aspect should also be kept in mind; while assessing the strength of an exalted planet.
Moving to the next factor, if an exalted planet is placed in conjunction with a benefic planet; it may gain even more strength since the other planet may provide more strength to such exalted planet. This rule holds good only if both planets are benefic which means even the exalted planet is benefic. In case a malefic exalted planet is placed in conjunction with a benefic planet; the energies of these two planets may start counteracting each other. This is because malefic exalted planet may try to afflict the benefic planet and such benefic planet may try to counteract the energy of such exalted planet in order to protect itself. Through this process; both planets will lose a part of their energy and hence both will become weaker. When the exalted planet is also benefic, the strength gained by such exalted planet will depend on the strength of the other benefic planet. For example, if benefic exalted Mercury is placed in Virgo along with benefic debilitated Venus; Mercury may not benefit much due to weakness of Venus. However, if benefic exalted Mercury is placed in Virgo along with benefic Saturn, it may achieve more strength since Saturn is strong in Virgo. If benefic exalted Mercury is placed in Virgo along with benefic exalted Rahu; both planets may strengthen each other a lot; since both of them are benefic and strong.
If a benefic exalted planet is placed in conjunction with two planets one of which is benefic and the other one is malefic; the net strength of such exalted planet will depend on the strength of the other two planets placed in the same sign. For example, if benefic exalted Jupiter is placed in Cancer with benefic Moon and malefic Mercury; Jupiter may not lose much strength. This is because Moon is strong in Cancer and Mercury is uncomfortable with this sign. Hence the net resultant may be favourable. However, if benefic exalted Jupiter is placed in Cancer with malefic Moon and benefic Mercury; it becomes a cause of concern since malefic Moon is strong and benefic Mercury is weak. In the same way; this guideline can be used to assess the strength of an exalted planet when it is present with three or four other planets.
Similar guideline works in case of a debilitated planet. If a benefic debilitated planet is placed with a strong benefic planet; such debilitated planet will gain considerable strength. However, if it is placed with a weak benefic planet; such debilitated planet may not gain much strength. For example, if benefic debilitated Venus is placed in Virgo with benefic Mars; it may not gain much strength since Mars is not comfortable in Virgo. However, if benefic debilitated Venus is placed in Virgo along with benefic Saturn or benefic Mercury; it may gain considerable strength since both these planets are strong in Virgo. The same guideline will work for affliction to a debilitated planet by a malefic planet, which means stronger is the malefic planet; more weakness is rendered to the debilitated planet. For example, if benefic debilitated Sun is placed in Libra with malefic exalted Saturn; this troublesome combination may spell disasters for the native since Sun may become extremely weak due to this affliction. As Sun represents our immunity and lifeline among other important things; bad things can happen to this native; including death at a young age; if the rest of the horoscope is not strong. According to the same guideline, the strength of a debilitated planet can be calculated when it is present in combination with more than one planet.
The next factor on the list is the phenomenon of combustion which can cause additional weakness to 6 planets among Navagraha. When a planet gets closer to Sun than a safer distance, such planet gets combust and it loses some of its power. Except Sun, Rahu and Ketu, all six planets undergo this phenomenon. It means if one of these six planets is debilitated or exalted; we will need to check whether or not it is combust. Even if it is combust; the sign in which such combustion is happening is the key factor. For example, any planet will receive maximum combustion effect in Aries since Sun is exalted in this sign. As Saturn is the only planet that gets debilitated in Aries; this factor will render additional weakness to Saturn. For other exalted and debilitated planets, the general guideline should be used. For example, exalted Jupiter in Cancer may not lose much strength due to combustion; as Sun is not that strong in Cancer.
Moving to the next factor; the placement of an exalted or debilitated planet in Navamsha chart commonly known as D9, can also change the results to some extent though it is not a major factor. If an exalted planet is debilitated in Navamsha, it may not remain the same strong. For example, if exalted Sun is placed in Aries and it is placed in Libra in D9; it is weaker than the Sun placed in Aries in D1 and in Leo in D9 which is further weaker than the Sun placed in Aries in D1 and in Aries in D9. In the third case, Sun is exalted both in D1 which means the lagna chart or birth chart, as well as in Navamsha chart. Hence it becomes very strong in this case. Similarly, debilitated Sun in Libra in D1 is the weakest when it is placed in Libra in D9 also whereas it is partly relieved from debilitation when it is placed in Libra in D1 and in Aries in D9. This guideline can be used to measure the change in strength of other exalted and debilitated planets also.
Apart from this, any planet placed in first house of a horoscope tends to gain additional strength, whether such planet is exalted or debilitated, benefic or malefic. This is because the first house or ascendant is the core of a horoscope and any planet placed in the core tends to demand extra control over other energies.
Exalted Meaning In Vedic Astrology Birth Chart
Exalted Meaning In Vedic Astrology Sign