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The Exaltation of Planets


By Mara and Michael Laughrin,

Chart E1: SampleA few weeks ago, my wife Mara and I were talking about why different planets were exalted in the places assigned to them. If we use a natural chart, with Aries ascendant, we find the Sun exalted in the first house. Why?

Well, the 1st house stands for the self and the Sun stands for the self, so it makes sense that the Sun should have its greatest strength there. Also, the Sun rules the 5th house, Leo, so the 9th house from the 5th (the 1st) brings tremendous luck to the 5th house of children and intelligence. Also, a child needs self-confidence and self-sufficiency, both of which the Sun in the 1st magnifies. A truly smart person needs to be a little arrogant, somewhat kinglike and the exalted Sun indicates both qualities.

The Moon (standing for mother, happiness and real estate) is exalted in the 2nd house of Taurus, the most fixed of Earth signs. Every mother knows that her family will do better in life with good food and plenty of money (both ruled by the 2nd house). Happiness, also, is more likely with sufficient prosperity.

Next we come to Cancer, the natural 4th house. Jupiter, the planet of tradition, children, religion and higher education, is exalted there. Why? Well, offspring like to be close to their mothers (the 4th house rules mothers). Also, the mother is the first teacher of religion and tradition, so that also makes sense (Judaism says that the child is the same religion as the mother). The 4th house rules education in general and the 9th house (ruled by Jupiter) rules higher education. In traditional societies like India, generally real estate and houses are inherited so we see a further connection between Jupiter and the sign of Cancer.

Mercury is exalted in its own sign of Virgo--the natural 6th house. Mercury is the planet of accountants and bookkeepers and the 6th house is the house of servants. Mercury also rules medicinal herbs and cleverness and the 6th house rules sickness and health. We want our healers to be clever, don't we? The sixth house also signifies debt and green plants. Mercury's color is green and it rules gardens and lush growth of plants. Mercury, the bookkeeper and mathematician, comes to our aid concerning debts, interest rates, loans, etc.

Saturn is exalted in Libra, the natural 7th house. Now, the 7th house, being the 10th from the 10th house, is also a career house and Saturn is one of the primary career planets, ruling hard work, discipline and long-term plans. Also, Saturn in the 7th aspects the 4th house of real estate and Saturn signifies land. Last but not least, Saturn, signifying discipline, helps give marriage a chance to last a long time with its cool energy and patience.

Mars is exalted in Capricorn, the natural 10th house. Mars also has directional strength there so this position is a double whammy. Definitely one needs courage and strength to get ahead in the world of work and Mars stands for both of those. Also, Mars is the ruler of the 1st house of the self. One must put one's whole self into the job if one wishes to have a career and not just a job. Unfortunately, there is a lot of backbiting, backstabbing, secrecy and treachery in today's business environment. All of these things are ruled by the natural 8th house, Scorpio, which is also ruled by Mars. It helps to feel the undercurrents on the job so that one can be prepared for what will happen next. The Scorpionic energy is of great assistance in these matters.

Finally, Venus is exalted in Pisces, the natural 12th house of loss, sex, and enlightenment. Well, it makes perfect sense that the signifier of marriage should be in the house of raw sex and bed pleasures. Also, Venus rules the 2nd house of family and money. Most people spend most or all of their money on their families, so we see the loss there. And in many, many cultures, families almost bankrupt themselves paying for the marriages of their children so there is another connection between the 7th house and the 12th house. If one fully does his householder duties, it will vastly increase the chances of moksha in this lifetime or heaven in the next life. The loss of worldly luxuries suggested by Venus in the 12th house indicates gain of the Absolute--the unseen base of all Existence. Pisces, after all, rules the great, unbounded Ocean of Consciousness, and Venus rules pleasure. The greatest pleasures are always spiritual.

We hope that these ideas please you and that they have some validity.

(c) copyright 2007 Michael Laughrin.

(This article was published in the April/May 2007 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter. )

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