Essential Dignities

Essential Dignities

by Tiffany Harelik, MA, RYT


All signs are not created equal, according to planets :). Consider your favorite room. Consider how you feel and behave when you’re in your favorite space. What does it look like? What do you feel like? How are you interacting with others? Now consider a space that isn’t your favorite. A place you don’t love, but have to go sometimes. What happens to your body language? What happens to your connection to other people? Consider how you would feel if you’re there for just a day or two, versus how you might feel staying in this space for several months or even years. 


In astrology, the planets have ‘favorite’ rooms (or zodiac signs). They also have rooms (signs) where they do not thrive. These groupings of spaces (signs) the planets ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ are called the essential dignities.


The essential dignities of planets in astrology are domicile, detriment, exalted and fall.


A planet’s home sign is called its domicile. This domicile is the zodiac sign over which the planet has rulership. In other words, each sign has a planetary ruler – this is where the planet is thought to have a stronger influence and is said to feel at home. The domicile is the strongest of the four essential dignities.


  • Sun: in domicile in Leo
  • Moon: in domicile in Cancer
  • Mercury: in domicile in Gemini, Virgo
  • Venus: in domicile in Libra, Taurus
  • Mars: in domicile in Scorpio, Aries
  • Jupiter: in domicile in Sagittarius, Pisces
  • Saturn: in domicile in Capricorn, Aquarius
  • Uranus: in domicile in Aquarius
  • Neptune: in domicile in Pisces
  • Pluto: in domicile in Scorpio



When a planet is in the sign opposite its ruler/domicile, the planet is considered to be in  detriment, or exile. When a planet is in detriment, it is not operating with its full potential. Detriment is considered a weaker placement for the planet. 


  • Sun: in detriment in Aquarius
  • Moon: in detriment in Capricorn
  • Mercury: in detriment in Sagittarius, Pisces
  • Venus: in detriment in Aries, Scorpio
  • Mars: in detriment in Taurus, Libra
  • Jupiter: in detriment in Gemini, Virgo
  • Saturn: in detriment in Cancer, Leo
  • Uranus: in detriment in Leo
  • Neptune: in detriment in Virgo
  • Pluto: in detriment in Taurus



The seven traditional planets have exaltation, or a place of strength and awareness in one zodiac sign. This is where the planet’s attributes and associated talents can really shine.


  • Sun: exalted in Aries
  • Moon: exalted in Taurus
  • Mercury: exalted in Virgo
  • Venus: exalted in Pisces
  • Mars: exalted in Capricorn
  • Jupiter: exalted in Cancer
  • Saturn exalted in Libra



The sign directly opposite a planet’s sign of exaltation is called its fall, and is considered a weakness. In other words, the planet and everything it represents does not function at its optimal capacity when in its fall sign.


  • Sun: in fall in Libra
  • Moon: in fall in Scorpio
  • Mercury: in fall in Pisces
  • Venus: in fall in Virgo
  • Mars: in fall in Cancer
  • Jupiter: in fall in Capricorn
  • Saturn: in fall in Aries
  • Uranus: in fall in Taurus
  • Neptune: in fall in Capricorn
  • Pluto: in fall in Leo
Tiffany Harelik  is an evidential psychic medium, astrologer, and best selling author. She holds a Master’s in Psychology and has been trained by some of the world’s best mediums including Lisa Williams, Tony Stockwell, Janet Nohavec, Lynn Probert, Mavis Patilla, Colin Bates, and Stella Upton. 
When she’s not writing the astrology forecast, you can find her in the apiary, yoga studio, or midwifing new books at Spellbound Publishers.

Tiffany Harelik