Question and Answer: Dignities

I am very impressed about the origin of the dignities you have been exposing here in your blog…Would you please show me some texts on how to find that issue?


The dignities of the planets are integral to astrology. You will find a description of them in almost all of the older texts, where they are for the most part described with sometimes more sometimes less detail about their origins. If you take the “Tetrabiblos” of Claudius Ptolemaeus as a starting point you can easily see this. Ptolemaeus more or less gathered the astrological knowledge available to him in Alexandria (the book was written between 139 – 161 AD). There is an interesting passage in the 1st Book where he presents the terms or boundaries as used by the Egyptians and then another set he found, “…in an old text that came out of some gray past…the book was so much in tatters that I had some difficulty to bring the content together…but at the end of the book there was a table of boundaries, which was entirely legible” From there he analyzes the table and then presents it. I would suggest you read this as one source. At the same time it is clear that the dignities are much much older and indeed if you have read the articles here on “The Horoscope of the World” (just click on the category “Horoscope of the World”) and the series “On Exaltation” by Andrew Carter (he mentions not a few authors whose texts you can follow up) then you will find that they can already be found in the Bundahisn, the Zoroastrian Genesis. I think one can generally say that an understanding of the dignities is as old as astrology itself.

What Andrew Carter and I have tried to do, not unlike Ptolemeus, is to understand the texts and present our findings. You will find that the Bundahisn is not an easy text.

It is my opinion that the older texts are important because they show us what astrology was, but it must always be remembered that in the course of time texts can be corrupted and that it is just as important to rethink and try to understand how the older authors understood astrology and came to their conclusions. This is probably where William Lilly’s “Christian Astrology” is important as his text is the most transparent of them all. I hope this has answered your question and wish you much success in your study of astrology.



3 thoughts on “Question and Answer: Dignities

  1. Question:

    Planetary Glyphs

    Following the thread on Titus Burkhardt’s planetary symbolism, do you happen to know the origin of the planetary glyphs please Thomas? I think I am right in saying that each planetary glyph is based on the interplay of the circle and a cross: the circle of pure Spirit, and the cross of matter; but I can’t find a traditional source or an explanation for this.

    Any ideas please?


  2. Dear CarO,
    You have me there! That would require quite a bit of research, but there is one text that comes to mind that can give a very good idea about the symbolism behind the Glyphs and that their apparently simple form reveal depths that usually are overlooked. This is John Dee’s “Monas Hieroglyphica or the Hieroglyphic Monad”

    I hope this helps.
    With best wishes,

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