July 13, 2024
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Dignities or “essential dignities” describe the condition of a Point in certain signs, relating to the Point’s fortitude, strength/weakness, and quality in those signs. The four dignities are rulership, detriment, exaltation, and fall. These assignments only apply to the original seven Points visible in the sky before the discovery of Uranus in 1781.

What is Rulership?

Rulership describes the Point (Sun, Moon, Mercury, and so on) that “rules” or is strongest in a Sign. For example, the Sun “rules” Leo. Rulership also describes the Sign that rules or “lords over” a house. Aries rules the 1st House, while Taurus rules the 2nd House. The sequence of the signs follows the sequence of the houses. So, Pisces, the 12th Sign rules the 12th House.

Rulership Table

Below is the table of rulership:

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House Ruling Sign Ruling Point(s)
1 Aries Mars
2 Taurus Venus
3 Gemini Mercury
4 Cancer Moon
5 Leo Sun
6 Virgo Mercury (slowly being replaced by Chiron)
7 Libra Venus
8 Scorpio Pluto (classical ruler, Mars)
9 Sagittarius Jupiter
10 Capricorn Saturn
11 Aquarius Uranus (classical ruler, Saturn)
12 Pisces Neptune (classical ruler, Jupiter)


Classical Rulership Wheel

Before the discovery of Uranus (1781), Neptune (1846), Pluto (1933), and Chiron (1977), the rulership pattern looked like this:



Classical Rulership Wheel - Dignities


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Why Rulership Matters

If a Point is in a Sign, it rules, then that point will have natural priority in a chart. It will stand out. The Point is said to “be at home” where it is most comfortable and willing to express itself freely and strongly.