Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Speaking of Rulerships


June 17, 2005 (with table)


Last week I mentioned that I would do a bit more on a couple of the other essential dignities, including exaltation.


When you think of exaltation, think of my late Uncle Dick. He was a member of the Protective and Benevolent Order of the Elk. Each year, the Elk Lodge would elect its grand poobah (to borrow from the Flintstones) who was called the Exalted Ruler. And for a while, Uncle Dick was the Exalted Ruler of the Elks. We were all very proud of him.


Exaltation is a form of rulership. An online dictionary at Princeton University (we trust them, right?) defines the word exaltation as, "Of high moral or intellectual value; elevated in nature or style; an exalted ideal; a noble and lofty concept."

The glossary at comes up in a Google search with a definition specific to astrology: "The term used to describe a planet that is placed in its sign of exaltation, the sign, other than its one of dignity (natural rulership), in which it functions most smoothly because of the harmonious relationship between planet and sign."


So, exaltation is like the alt-ruler. It has a kind of dignified quality. But what I think is most important is that the ruling and exalted planets function as extensions of the sign they are involved with; and also they help us explain the sign they are associated with.


Here is an example. Pisces has three planets associated with it. One is Jupiter, the old ruler. One is Neptune, the modern ruler. Another is Venus, the exalted planet. I think that each of these three planets offers an idea of what Pisces is about, and may even give us a sense of the different kinds of Fish people there are out there.


Certainly, Venus helps us tune into the feminine and loving aspect of Pisces, and the down-to-Earth quality, that you're not necessarily going to find in big, transpersonal planets like Jupiter and Neptune. Venus personalizes Pisces, and it helps explain why certain Pisces are so driven. And it happens that Venus is rather well placed in this sign as well, meaning it's likely to function happily in the chart in Pisces, other aspects being even vaguely supportive.


Let's try another example, using a modern exaltation. In the old essential dignities chart (located at the bottom of last week's column), some signs don't have any exalted planets in the traditional system. Scorpio is one of them. But at some point, I'm going to guess it was the 1970s, somebody noticed that Uranus (one of the modern planets, that is, discovered since the dawn of science) has some associations with Scorpio.


Perhaps this has to do with a resonance between Mars and Uranus -- planets with very assertive energy. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Scorpio can have a shocking quality. Perhaps this has to do with both Scorpio and Uranus being rather sexy energies. Or maybe it just fit, intuitively. It would be interesting to search the astrological literature for the first references to Uranus in Scorpio being exalted, though it would be a bit difficult to do a thorough search unless someone already wrote a footnoted article.


Uranus is that aspect of Scorpio that is Scorpio but not what you normally think of as Scorpio.


Let's try a third. This is a good one. Saturn is exalted in Libra. Saturn being one of the traditional planets, its position of exaltation is long established, and agreed to by both Eastern and Western astrology.


Of course, when we think of Libra, we think of Venus. And when we think of the energies of Venus and Saturn, well, can they be more different? Those Saturn guys arguing the constitution in federal court, contrasted with the goddess of love eating grapes and strawberries?


And one might say, how can the sign where Venus rules have Saturn exalted? Here is where we need to go beyond appearances and listen to the wisdom of tradition. There is the implication that Saturn and Venus work very well together -- a fact which Vedic astrologers hold dear, and which will prove itself in the charts of the people you work with.


There is also the suggestion that Libra is one of the most Saturnian signs. That is, that Libra bestows stability, strength, official power and the blessing of those who hold official power. In fact, all the things that Libra traditionally represents, such as balance, aesthetics and the law, are things that Saturn and all its traditional energy support quite well.


Saturn helps us understand the one aspect of Libra that few people understand. Libra is often portrayed as the meek and mild sign. Then, John Lennon comes down the tracks. Or Oscar Wilde. Or Pataric Walker. Or Helen Hayes, or Eleanor Roosevelt, or Barbara Walters. People with lasting impact, and people who waved revolutions in their own right, which we know from the above question is the purview of Saturn.


Here's a new chart including rulership, exaltation, fall and detriment. I'll take a look at fall and detriment next week -- but just do yourself one favor -- don't take it too seriously. Planets can do VERY well in their sign of fall or detriment, sometimes far better than when they are supposedly well placed. So if you have planets in fall or detriment, DON'T WORRY.


Here is the chart. Also, remember: the signs applied to the modern planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are still up for discussion. Thanks for checking in. See you over at Planet Waves, and catch you here next week. Remember, while you're over at Planet Waves, please click on the 'subscribe' link -- you'll be glad you did.