Exalted/ucch and deblitated/neech planets are terms thrown about casually by most astrologers without understanding what they really mean. And in the simplest possible words, when the energy of the planet perfectly matches the energy of the environment/sign it is ‘exalted’. And conversely, when the energy of the planet perfectly mis-matches the energy of the rashi environment it is ‘debilitated’. Simple!
Astrology is the matching of energies to get a meaningful analysis. If you can understand the energy dynamics of the 12 houses/signs and the 9 planetary forces, astrological readings will become effortless and intuitive. Start by learning the basic keywords.
Now lets check out the Sun, he is exalted in Aries and debilitated in Libra.
- Sun is the Radiant Royal! He feels that he is entitled to his right to rule. He does not trade, he does favours on his subjects. He is the entitled elite, the others are his subjects. his word is law and he does not even really need to listen to the other. He does not share his throne with anyone else, he is self-referential and individualistic. The divine intelligence and the center of the universe!
- Mars is a great friend of the Sun and his Aries is The First! The Sun’s independence and confidence get an added boost. He becomes the Royal Warrior here with all the energies and vitality of the physical body at his command, is handsome! He is the best in his field, noble, active, ambitious, courageous, liberal, optimistic, charming, favoured among the opposite sex and adored as such. The entitlement of the Sun and the energy of Mars make this a very comfortable posting. He is the center of vitality, his personal integrity beyond doubt and can perform vigorously in self-employed business, military, politics or as a movie-star, is a bit selfish too. The Sun is able to perfectly express the energies of his surrounding environment which in turn supports him fully too, thus is exalted.
- Venus is Libra the Perfect Partner! Venus and Sun are enemies. Libra is all about beauty, negotiations, balance, fairness, agreements, trade. To survive and thrive in Libra the Sun is required to have at least a basic sense of bargaining, making alliances, matching and pairing and being beautiful. A resident planet who really doesn’t believe in any of these traits, and in fact behaves exactly oppositely is bound to be rather unhappy here. The Sun gets very selfish here, he cannot and does not acknowledge his supporting friends/family/staff who contribute to his success. He is interested in making alliances and bargains but these fizz out because of his Ego. This is thus inharmonious for marriage as there is little tolerance of imperfection and mutual interests.. Libra is about sharing, partnerships and fairness that is regulated by the legal system of that age. It does not believe in entitlement. But the Sun believes that he himself is the divine intelligence and above the law, thus is highly uncomfortable here.
The Moon, is exalted in Taurus and debilitated in Scorpio.
- Moon is the mind, the astral self, the sub-conscious, the emotions and the combined experiences of several lives. It is the original sea of creation. He is the prefect reflection, the agent of emotions, comfort and security. He controls the experiences that we receive from our mother, residence, lands and immoveable properties, homeland, customs and traditions of our people. He also controls rhythms from the soothing lullabys to the great cycles of time and space. Every event in this life is seen through the lens of the Moon/Mind!
- Venus as Taurus is basically the stored assets and resources of the lineage. This statement describes the basic nature of the Moon perfectly. Collecting and banking resources, saving them and retrieving them whenever required is the basic function of this sign. Reservoir of history, database of stories, a warehouse, an inventory and the behaviour associated with these is Taurus. The treasuries are almost always secret which makes the Moon very happy. We really dont know what the Moon is because he reflects everything thus hiding his real self. Now from an astral point of view, the Moon is the stored resources and treasuries of all the lives that we have led. The life events tagged with emotions become experiences which are stored as the mind. And the Moon is the Mind! Thus Moon is perfectly happy when he resides in Taurus because his basic nature is validated here.
- Mars as Scorpio is the explorer of the unknown depths. Here, Scorpio wants to penetrate into the sea of creation that the Moon is. Mars here drills into the realm of the Moon with single-minded vitality and force. He uses the occult and the sub-conscious as his weapon, and is vindictive and vengeful. This makes the mysterious Moon very uncomfortable. The sign represents the fires in the energy channels and sudden forceful movements, like accidents, traumas, surgeries, death etc. Dramatic transformations and creation of new identities. These ruthless energies are not a suitable environment for the comfort-seeking, emotionally vulnerable moon.
- Scorpio is also said to be partly ruled by Ketu/South node. This further irritates the Moon because Ketu is the agent of un-belonging, apathy, severance, abandonment, indifference and disinterest. This is completely against the Moon’s basic nature of emotional security, comfort, belonging, nurture, care and maternal behaviour.
Now we come to Mars, exalted in Capricorn and deblitated in Cancer
- Mars is the agent of Life and Death. Mars is the fiery energies that effect transformation birth-death-rebirth. He is the physical structure of the body and also the vital energy that flows through it, domination and strength. He is the invader, pioneer, the warrior and the competitive spirit. He is full of vigour, vitality and excitement.We need his energies to remain alive, when properly channelized these are called self confidence. He is the fiery energy in action. The masculine Man.
- Saturn of Capricorn is the best possible environment for Mars. Here Saturn allocates only that much vitality to Mars which he can realistically use. And this energy is to be used for the welfare of the people and the society. Saturn is the strict teacher who ensures that you systematically re-balance your karma. Using the focussed energies of Mars for this is their best possible use. And as Mars does even more good work for the society, the society also appreciates him in return, giving him position and power, thus he feels validated. He is competitive but regulated. He is an Executive and can be very good in corporate and in government equally. He uses his structured, legal, active force with understanding of long terms goals. Mars here knows precisely how to apply the available energy in the most productive tasks and he remains focussed on working on and expanding his social reputation and control.
- Moon of Cancer drowns the Mars in a sea of dreams. Here his energy is controlled by the fickle impulses of sensation. Here Mars faces the challenge of expressing delicate Cancer emotions in a direct vital Mars forceful style. His direct nature becomes emotionally volatile, and the Cancer’s love of the homeland suffocates his instinct to invade. Expression of sexuality is always affected as Mars though attracted to the corresponding partner, cannot express himself physically, can be a problem in marriage. Wherever Mars is he will compete and win. Cancer wants him to nurture but he wants to conquer! So Mars manipulates emotionally and psychologically. He tries to dominate others emotionally. He wants to have a bond with the mother and other topics of Cancer but they are often dysfunctional.Spikes of rage and violence can occur where the sudden burst of outward fiery energy moves in the liquid watery diffused emotional environment of Cancer. Not a very happy placement for the always-First planet!
This was on the exalted and debilitated sun, moon and mars. I have written on Saturn, Rahu and Ketu in my post here. You do not need to learn by rote anything. Just understand their basic natures. This will help you build a very strong foundation to your study of astrology/Jyotish. And for your personal journey, the more you understand about your life’s foundation and building blocks through your chart the more free you will feel. You will be able live a more balanced and happier life instead of crying over, ‘why did this happen to me?’.