Dignities and Debilities: Can Statistics Help?

In, Understanding the three Debilities of Detriment, Fall and being Peregrine, we looked at all three debilities.

In order to look at this theme from another standpoint I did a simple statistical analysis of where each planet is dignified, debilitated by fall and exile and debilitated by being peregrine. The premise is that each degree of the zodiac has at least one dignity or debility. I did not consider multiple dignities or multiple debilities. This is what I arrived at:


The only planet that has a balance between being in dignity or in debility is Jupiter. And the only planet that has more chance of having essential dignity, is surprisingly Mercury! Mars has the most chance of being debilitated and is followed by the Moon. Venus and Jupiter and Saturn on the other hand are less likely to be peregrine.

If we personify the planets, then we can say that Mercury and Jupiter are very capable fellows. They are able to unfold their power in or over half of the zodiac. Mars on the other hand has less possibility of being well received. More than two-thirds of the zodiac are places where he is debilitated. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn to some extent seem to have their act together. They have the least chance of being peregrine.

My original thought in compiling this set of statistics was how often each planet can be peregrine. I was somewhat surprised by the results (when you consider that the Moon has a 50 percent chance of being peregrine, I expected far far less.) Most authors in their number weighting of the debilities give a peregrine planet five points of debility. A planet in its fall receives only four! The only author that I have come across so far who doesn’t think this is Jean-Baptiste Morin. He writes in his “Astrologia Gallica”

” A planet located in exile or fall is said to be in an adverse celestial state because it is in signs contrary to its own nature and quality…in exile its power is vitiated while in fall it is made weak and more inactive. When a planet is peregrine it is not in a state of debility, as the sign is neither contrary to the nature, essential quality nor influence of the planet. A peregrine planet is not in its own signs – domicile or exaltation – nor in the opposing signs, but simply in another one.”

This seems very rational, but why did Wm. Lilly and Joh. Schöner for example treat them otherwise? Wm. Lilly says that in questions of theft a peregrine planet, particularly when angular, will often be the Significator of the thief. Here there is an implied lack of orientation for that which the planet signifies, it is neither good nor bad, but is still likely to tend more to the ill than the good as the moral integrity that dignity would give is not present.

What to make of all of this? As always, the central rule of context, must be applied. Is one judging a chart about theft? Or about whether to go to Compostella? Or looking at the general qualities of the planets in a birth chart? Astrologer use your discrimination.

3 thoughts on “Dignities and Debilities: Can Statistics Help?

  1. “Astrologer use your discrimination”.

    But Thomas,

    How can we discriminate ‘properly’ if our powers of discrimination are vitiated, weakened and disorientated by exile, fall and peregrination? 😦


  2. Hi CarO,
    Isn’t that part of the human condition? Even when vitiated, weakened, disoriented the power of discrimination is still there. Use what you have!

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