Exaltation


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Exaltation

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The term exaltation is part of a traditional system of classifying certain sign placements of planets. A planet is said to be in its dignity when it is in the sign it rules. These are considered to be favorable placements. Exaltations are sign positions said to be more favorable for a planet than even the signs it rules. Mars, for example, rules Aries and is said to be well placed (in its dignity) in that sign. But Mars is even better placed in Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation. This example demonstrates that while Aries would allow Mars to express its outgoing, assertive nature quite well, Capricorn would be a better placement because, without blunting one’s assertiveness, Capricorn could discipline Mars so that one would not be inclined to impulsiveness (a trait characteristic of Mars in Aries).

The reception of the traditional exaltations among modern astrologers is mixed. This is partially because exalted planets are not always the unmitigated blessings that one might anticipate. Venus in the sign of its exaltation, Pisces, for example, is a highly idealistic, mystical placement that, unless counterbalanced by other factors in a natal chart, tends to make a person too impractical about human relationships, particularly romantic involvements. More generally, all of the traditional dignities should be viewed cautiously, used when relevant to a particular individual’s chart, and rejected when not.

The situation is different in horary astrology, where the classical exaltations and dignities have a definite bearing on the question being asked. In Vedic astrology, a planet that is placed in the sign of its exaltation is also regarded as being extremely favorably placed and strong by virtue of this placement.

Sources:

Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.
DeVore, Nicholas. Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: Philosophical Library, 1947.

Exaltation

 

an excited, rapturous state; in physiology, a transient period of heightened sensitivity of nerve and muscle tissues that gives way to a period of lowered, subnormal sensitivity.

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