Detriment

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Detriment

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The term detriment is part of a traditional way of classifying certain sign placements of planets. A planet is said to be in its dignity when it is in the sign it rules (e.g., Mars in Aries, the Sun in Leo, etc.). There are also certain placements said to be especially favorable for a planet that are traditionally termed exaltations (to continue with the foregoing example, Mars in Capricorn, the Sun in Aries). When a planet is placed in the sign opposite its exaltation, it is said to be in its fall (Mars in Cancer, the Sun in Libra). A planet is said to be in its detriment when placed in the sign opposite the sign that it rules (Mars in Libra, the Sun in Aquarius). For example, because Venus rules Taurus, this planet is in detriment when placed in the sign Scorpio. As the name implies, being in detriment is regarded as an unfortunate placement. A planet in its detriment is traditionally regarded as being out of harmony with the sign and consequently weakened (in a position of debility).

For the most part, contemporary Western astrological research has tended to disconfirm that a planet in its traditional detriment is weakened, particularly in a natal chart. However, it is sometimes the case that planets in detriment have unfortunate effects. In the example cited, Venus, as the planet of love, harmony, and relationships is not well placed (especially in a natal chart) in Scorpio, a sign noted for jealously, possessiveness, and sexual obsession. There are, nevertheless, certain obvious problems with this traditional understanding. The Sun, for example, rules Leo, the sign opposite Aquarius. This means that the one out of 12 people in the world born with an Aquarius sun sign have their sun in the sign of its detriment. This particular placement is not normally regarded as being unfortunate, however, making detriment appear inapplicable in this case. More generally, all of the traditional detriments should be regarded with caution, used when relevant to a particular individual’s chart and rejected when not.

The situation is different in horary astrology, where the classical detriments have a negative bearing on the question being asked. Vedic astrology also makes extensive use of the traditional classification of planets in their signs of exaltation and fall, but not detriment in the Western sense of that term.

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.
References in classic literature ?
Chichely, whose study of the fair sex seemed to have been detrimental to his theology.
More detrimental, no doubt, aside from the actual faults which we have mentioned, will be his rather extravagant Romanticism--the vehemence of his passion and his insistence on the supreme value of emotion.
The prudent Mrs Chivery, who wondered greatly at this change, would have protested against it as detrimental to the Highland typification on the doorpost but for two forcible reasons; one, that her John was roused to take strong interest in the business which these starts were supposed to advance--and this she held to be good for his drooping spirits; the other, that Mr Pancks confidentially agreed to pay her, for the occupation of her son's time, at the handsome rate of seven and sixpence per day.
She did not answer me for a time, and as I waited I thought that there's nothing like a confession to make one look mad; and that of all confessions a written one is the most detrimental all round.
He was diplomatic enough during dinner, but when, over the cigars, three of the younger men--Simon the doctor, Brown the priest, and the detrimental O'Brien, the exile in a foreign uniform--all melted away to mix with the ladies or smoke in the conservatory, then the English diplomatist grew very undiplomatic indeed.
Khawaja Asif said that our patience should not be tested and, added, that such strikes are detrimental to Pak-US relations.
The Liberal Party constitution states that membership may be terminated or suspended for conduct that is detrimental to the Partys interests.
The order said that the presence of journalists in hospitals was detrimental to patient care.
Anything that encumbers that has two effects: it adds cost, and it also has a detrimental effect on freshness - even a few hours of delay can make a material impact.
Also, I reckon being saddled with at least 27 grand worth of student loan debt might be a tad detrimental to one's ticker too.
Sehgal on Wednesday said that India should not send its troops to join American or NATO forces in Afghanistan as it would be detrimental to Indian interest in the long run.
detrimental of Nights of laughter, fun and fluent Swahili would not keep me alive for eternity in a golden haze of bitter ale.