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Esssential vs Accidental Dignity
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francescomanfredi



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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:46 pm    Post subject: Esssential vs Accidental Dignity Reply with quote

I open a topic to speak about the essential-accidental dignities. They sound very important to me either, and I think they should be considered together, and not something separate.
We were speaking of it, in the thread here http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8728&start=30
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one of the ''Holy Cows'' of medieval and renaissance astrology.

Its one of the first things you are taught. I think it has the unfortunate effect that all discussion outside essential dignity often gets reduced to terms like 'strength' or ''power''.

Ben Dykes has rightly said 'strength' is the most overused word in traditional astrology.

I think factors like sect and much of solar phase are more about quality of expression than power to act. But you seldom get this from the rigid essential vs accidental dignity distinctions found in the European medieval tradition.

Mark
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francescomanfredi



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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, I believe that just the expression of the aspects can say how much harmonic and dissonant is that ranking of planets.
And I say harmonic and dissonant: not the same of tell "good and bad", because there should be circumstances and the living of the person to say that.
So I personally prefer a lively square than a self-pompous living in trines.
One example I get in mind, is that of Benito Mussolini.
Here is the link of the chart: [color=red] http://www.astrotheme.com/astrology/Benito_Mussolini [/color]


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james_m



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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark,

good comments. thanks for that.

lets go back to the chart frances is constantly looking for feedback on.. mars, or venus and mars were said to be the strongest(there is that word again - maybe i am guilty of using it when i could use another word like - highest score, lol) via the concept of solar phase - or occidental/oriental considerations.. however mercury is accidentally dignified by being in the ascendant..

which planet has the most power or strength of act? i say mercury.. how much is mercury guided by the favourable position of mars or venus with regard to it's solar phase or o/o considerations?

i get back to this.. one can't know just what level of ethics a chart functions on... for all i know, the mercury in pisces is a very decietful lying sob, that is quite good at maintaining an illusion of everything but this.. or, alternatively, mercury is being strongly influenced by a mars/venus exact trine in powerful solar phase which will guide it in a better direction then it would otherwise go in.. my problem with this is, unless i know the person, i can't know how this will play out.

being accidentally dignified doesn't change the fact mercury is in pisces.. how does it integrate with moon in leo, the other body we consider when trying to grasp the overall condition of the persons mind? not good is my guess.. too much emotional tension, or disconnect in that pairing.. however - maybe the sun-moon trine over-rides this and in fact mercury in pisces is capable of something very positive... i don't know. i mostly see the accidental dignity of mercury in pisces in the chart frances provided earlier, and which i will include down below - as being a very mixed blessing.. but that's me.. accidental dignity doesn't seem to be such a great thing if all it does is bring to the stage some two bit actor that slurs their lines more often then not..but they have a good imagination, lol and maybe quite capable of deceiving themselves just as easily.. i am ignoring some other important factors when i say all this..

bottom line is accidental or essential dignity is more of the same in so far as we are still stuck trying to ascertain what to emphasize more when reading a chart.. like o/o considerations - you have to factor it into the equation somehow and hope you are on track with a read of a chart..


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Mark
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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was hoping for a more theoretical discussion on this without going straight into another chart analysis. I dont know why you felt this chart was that relevant to this discussion James. But heh ho! Maybe I will open my own thread on the philosophy thread.

Mark
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francescomanfredi



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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
I was hoping for a more theoretical discussion on this without going straight into another chart analysis. I dont know why you felt this chart was that relevant to this discussion James. But heh ho! Maybe I will open my own thread on the philosophy thread.

Mark



To speak more theoretical discussions, Charles Carter declared that the true domicile rulerships of planets contain a so emphatic focus, that it easily gets excesses (especially with dissonances). In one of his article, he declares that Jupiter-Pisces is 'too much Jupiter', and you just not get one self-indulgent position, but someone who 'wallows in splendid living'.
And in terms of 'goodness' of quality, he prefers most of all, the exaltations (which are said to be more modest than rulerships, but of a temperate and desiderable quality). The example he makes here, is that of Saturn in Libra, which strict retributive justice is mould with mercy (at least by sign placement).
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james_m



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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark,

consider my post a momentary lapse into ''trying'' to apply some of the theoretical discussions by example, something that seems to often go missing in these frequent!) theoretical discussions... continue on with the theoretical discussions.. hopefully i'll learn something new, i haven't read before..
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francescomanfredi



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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

James, the guy doesn't easily leave open the intensity of feeling, and this can be even because of the Saturn conjunct MC, and the more hidden and powerful Plutonic influx. To tell he is deceptive: I don't know. Seems more as he has some defensive mask put on, perhaps intended to not leave others to see the prufundity of feeling or the nature of those feelings.
I think it is even a bit exaggerated to say can be a "deceptive lying sob", even because the guy speaks little of himself. And if forced to do, he speaks strictly the necessary.
the guy is quite reserved and silent, but for someone who knows the person more deeper, they will note that he is quite martial and given to intense feeling, in a manner similar to aries-scorpio, or at least fire-water mix.
The Mars oriental perhaps, is least noted for many who knows him, because it is in a succedent house (and not a cardinal), I suppose.
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jventura



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Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to leave here what I wrote in the other topic:

In "On the Heavenly Spheres", a book which I highly recommend, the authors mention that the Essential dignities measure the quality of expression while the Accidental dignities measure the quantity of expression. So, while the essential dignities concern the essence of a planet, the accidental dignities reinforce or prevent that expression.


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Paul
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Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Esssential vs Accidental Dignity Reply with quote

francescomanfredi wrote:
I open a topic to speak about the essential-accidental dignities. They sound very important to me either, and I think they should be considered together, and not something separate.
We were speaking of it, in the thread here http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8728&start=30


If it's okay I'm going to ignore the chart and not get into specifics here.

You say that they should be considered together and not separate - but I'm not sure what you mean by this. I think people do indeed consider accidental strengths and essential dignity together when they examine that planet. That said, they still differentiate between the information accidental strengths and essential dignities are telling us in the chart.

Here is how I like to conceptualise the difference, and of course different people have different views on this. Essential dignity more or less determines how 'well put together' or 'cohesive' or 'comfortable in its skin' a given planet is. So a planet in its own domicile, is in a place in which its own nature is aligned.

Accidental fortitude on the other hand is the accidents of things like position and timing that makes a planet either in a position where it can act - like being in the right place at the right time - or not. Accidental fortitudes are demonstrating to us the ability for the given planet to manifest its intent in a clear and easy way - pretending that the planets have intent for ease of understanding.

So let's take a simple example of a car. If a car is in good essential dignity we can imagine it's a well put together, cohesive, strong in its own structure car, perhaps brand new. A car in fall is literally like it's falling apart or breaking apart, or disintegrating somehow, or its internal structure or internal quality is somehow damaged or struggling to keep itself together.

This is the essence of the car, it tells us something qualitative about the nature of the car.

On the other hand that car which probably needs a servicing may be the only one you are insured on, so in terms of actually being able to be driven, despite not being in good shape, it is the only one able to actually manifest what it's meant to do, in this instance to be driven.
That new car you just bought looks great, and will run like a dream, but right now there's no insurance and so cannot be driven.

These are the accidents that the planet finds itself in - it is not some inherent quality about the car that it cannot be currently driven, it is an accidental factor to be considered. In this instance having the ability to be driven is like a car with good accidental dignity, it can do what its meant to do. The car with no insurance or cannot be driven for some other reason, may well be a strong car, strong in its own structure etc, but it's accidental fortitude is weak.

So whilst we shoudl examine both, the information we get from both is not the same. I would largely agree with the summarisation jventura gives that largely essential dignity is qualitative and accidental fortitude (rather than dignity) is quantitative.
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francescomanfredi



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Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it. I think that about the word 'expression' we should give the last word to the aspects as well.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Quote:
Essential dignity more or less determines how 'well put together' or 'cohesive' or 'comfortable in its skin' a given planet is. So a planet in its own domicile, is in a place in which its own nature is aligned.

Accidental fortitude on the other hand is the accidents of things like position and timing that makes a planet either in a position where it can act - like being in the right place at the right time - or not. Accidental fortitudes are demonstrating to us the ability for the given planet to manifest its intent in a clear and easy way - pretending that the planets have intent for ease of understanding.



I have no problem with this definition as far as it goes. Its a fairly, orthodox presentation of essential and accidental dignity as found in medieval and renaissance astrology.

If you go further back to ancient sources though there is no such clear demarcation of chart factors like this.

I suppose I have two issues with the way this is often presented.

Firstly, point scoring systems usually link these two components together as if they are synonymous. But they are clearly not. So the process seems quite artificial to me.

Secondly, I am far from convinced the demarcation is as simple as essential dignity vs all other chart indicators. While we can agree essential dignity is largely about the essence of how a planet expresses itself I dont think it is the only chart factor that modifies the expression of a planet.

Chris Brennan wrote a piece on planetary sect I have linked to below where he argues this is primarily a qualitative factor.

http://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2008/11/25/the-astrology-of-sect/

If you accept that argument the neat demarcation provided by medieval astrology is put under real challenge.

I would take chris Brennan's argument further and propose that solar phase can often describe a change in how a planet expresses itself too. An oriental Venus is more assertive and pushy. Mars after opposition to the sun is likely to be more malefic in expression as its dry and hot nature is exacerbated. This is telling us nothing about its power to act, simply its nature.

If you read classical sources such as Ptolemy, or Hephaistio this is not a radical idea. Indeed ancient authorities often linked in solar phase with essential dignity. I dont see why solar phase is any more 'accidental' than essential dignity. Some planets spend longer in a solar phase to the sun than they do in a sign.

Mark
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Paul
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Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually agree with you on that Mark - I think what distinguishes essential dignity from accidental fortitude may be difficult to always ascertain. I remember you had a topic on whether sect was qualitative or quantitative before which overlaps with some of these concepts.

I think can have some of its quality altered by accidental position but really my post was more against the notion of lumping everything together like it's all the same. I wanted to make a crude analogy to emphasise the difference. In fact in practice it can be much more subtle and hard to distinguish what effect each thing has - I was careful not to say quality is only affected by zodiacal placement though all the same. Different things may alter the expression or quality of a planet, such as sect, but I still think Jupiter, even when out of sect, still has a basic benefic essence, even if that can produce effects we don't always like. So even though I'm aware older authors can say benefics out of sect are malefic I really think they remain benefic but produce effects we don't desire, or show some destabilised from the norm kind of quality.

That said, I still think the positio of a planet in a sign is a chief indicator of measuring the quality in its ability to produce a dignified effect. So the essential dignities being a measure of that are a chief way we examine it. But it's not to say other things don't affect the quality of a planet's effect/signification.
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james_m



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Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey mark,

those are useful ideas to consider about the use of all these terms.. i agree that sect, if considered changes one's interpretation of the chart.. just how one weighs that into account is not something that is straight forward to know how to do.. we are still learning as consideration of sect, while an old idea, is an idea that has only recently been reintroduced..

i like what you had to say about solar phase as well with the examples you gave. how does one factor in these considerations? more art, then science is how i see it all being integrated..

another 'aspect' to the ability of a planet to act a particular way is in fact aspect relationships between other planets.. i see this having the potential to modify the way a planet can act and how it acts, in a significant way.. saturn in square to uranus is very different then saturn in trine to uranus, while not being addressed via the topic of essential or accidental dignities either..

Mark wrote:
I dont see why solar phase is any more 'accidental' than essential dignity. Some planets spend longer in a solar phase to the sun than they do in a sign.
Mark
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Quote:
I actually agree with you on that Mark - I think what distinguishes essential dignity from accidental fortitude may be difficult to always ascertain.


Yes I think we are in basic agreement on that point.

Paul wrote:
Quote:
I remember you had a topic on whether sect was qualitative or quantitative before which overlaps with some of these concepts.


Actually that thread discussed whether essential dignity was qualitative or quantitative not sect. There seemed to be a consensus it was.

Quote:
I think can have some of its quality altered by accidental position but really my post was more against the notion of lumping everything together like it's all the same. I wanted to make a crude analogy to emphasise the difference. In fact in practice it can be much more subtle and hard to distinguish what effect each thing has - I was careful not to say quality is only affected by zodiacal placement though all the same. Different things may alter the expression or quality of a planet such as sect.


Again, I think we are largely in agreement. I was trying to challenge what I think is often an over black and white approach to describing these ideas.

Paul wrote:
Quote:
I still think Jupiter, even when out of sect, still has a basic benefic essence, even if that can produce effects we don't always like. So even though I'm aware older authors can say benefics out of sect are malefic I really think they remain benefic but produce effects we don't desire, or show some destabilised from the norm kind of quality.


I am not sure an out of sect Jupiter is seen as ''malefic'' so much as less able to work harmoniously for the nativity. Isn't that rather similar to the way traditional sources describe benefic planets like Jupiter in detriment or fall?

Paul wrote:
Quote:
That said, I still think the positio of a planet in a sign is a chief indicator of measuring the quality in its ability to produce a dignified effect. So the essential dignities being a measure of that are a chief way we examine it. But it's not to say other things don't affect the quality of a planet's effect/signification.


Well that is certainly more flexible than some who give next to no room for qualitative factors outside essential dignity. I do think Brennan has raised an interesting question on sect. I would extend it further to include solar phase.

To some extent this may be a contrast in approach between those influenced primarily by hellenistic vs medieval/renaissance sources.

I dont want to appear too rigid. I just think the issues are often more grey in practical delineation. How many horary delineations on Skyscript have you seen where a planet lacking in dignity is described as 'weak'? That is surely a qualitative judgement? I have lost count of examples i have seen. But equally, I can see an argument that solar phase can sometimes be about power to act too. planets ''under the beams'' or combust are described in some sources as frail and ageing and correspondingly very weak. And while houses seems primarily quantitative they can have a qualitative influence too. For example a benefic like Jupiter becoming an 'accidental malefic' ruling the 12th house. Aspects seem to partake of both factors. We see a mingling of planetary orbs/influences. But also through dignity rulers and reception planets can gain power through better placed rulers.

Mark
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