Introductory Comments

The following is an attempt to collect and organize scoring and weighting systems for both accidental and essential dignities from a variety of sources. While most authorities seem to agree concerning the essential dignities (namely, that planets in domicile get 5 points, in exaltation get 4, triplicity 3, bound or term 2, and face 1), there was a wide variety of systems for scoring the accidental dignities and debilities. What may surprise some readers is the complexity of these systems and detail into which they go. Readers familiar with Jyotish will also discover that in the Western tradition, contrary to widespread belief, there is a system corresponding to Shad Bala, the system use in Hindu astrology to measure a planet's strength.

However, I believe a caution is in order. Both Shad Bala and the system described here suffer from the same basic fault, a tendency to combine apples and oranges. We do not find any weighting system at all in the oldest surviving Greek texts. So far in the Arabic Era texts we have found only systems for weighting the essential dignities but none for the accidental dignities. This is also true in Hindu astrology. What scholars believe to be the oldest Hindu texts discuss each of the Balas as being a different kind of strength with a different facet of the planet's energy being strengthened or weakened. The same appears to be true of the Greek and Arabic Era texts.

The basic problem is that astrology has never explicitly (in written works at least) set forth the principles that make up each planetary energy that can be strengthened or weakened by placement in a sign or because of a planet's placement with respect to the houses or other planets. The nearest thing to this is to be found in Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos where he discusses the planetary virtues with respect to Hot, Cold, Wet, and Dry. Otherwise we do not really know what it means when we say that a planet is strong or weak. Is the strength that Saturn gets by being conjunct the Ascendant the same kind of strength that it gets by being in Capricorn, Aquarius, or Libra? I think that most would agree that these are not the same kind of strengths, but I also think that few of us could pin down exactly what the differences are.

Therefore, I offer the following with the strong recommendation that what I have said be taken into consideration as the reader studies the systems presented here.

Dignities and Debilities Weighting Systems from Various Sources

Essential Dignities
Type Weight Notes
Domicile 5 *Note: Mutual receptions by these three dignities are generally
recognized as real, but they are usually not scored. Schoener scores
them if any two of the are operative with the same pair of planets.
He does not say what the score would be, be we operate on the
assumption that the score would be the sum of the scores that the
planets would have being in their own dignities of the same type.
Therefore triplicity + bound = 5, triplicity + face = 4, bound + face
= 3. It does seem that any of these lower level mutual receptions
should cancel peregrine without their having to be two of them
involving the same pair of planets
Exaltation 4
Triplicity 3
Terms 2
Face 1
Mutual Reception by Domicile 5
Mutual Reception by Exaltation 4
Mutual Reception by Triplicity 3*
Mutual Reception by Bounds 2*
Mutual Reception by Face 1*

Essential Debilities
Type Weight
Detriment or Opposition to Domicile, Usual Value -5 †Note: All references to Montulmo are as
attributed to him by Schoener. We have not found any evidence of these scoring methods actually in Montulmo.
Detriment or Opposition to Domicile, Montulmo† -2
Fall or Opposition to Exaltation, Usual Value -4
Fall or Opposition to Exaltation, Montulmo† -5
Peregrine -5

I. Dignities and Debilities Arising from House Placement
House Lilly Montulmo Schoener Ibn Ezra Wilson
1st 5 5 11 12 5
2nd 3 -2 4 6 3
3rd 1 1 5 3 1
4th 4 4 9 9 4
5th 3 2 7 7 3
6th -2 -3 1 1 -4
7th 4 4 10 10 4
8th -2 -4 3 4 -4
9th 2 2 6 5 2
10th 5 5 12 11 5
11th 4 3 8 8 4
12th -5 -5 2 2 -5

Schoener and Ibn Ezra use similar systems which have no debility, only less dignity. Lilly, Wilson, and Montulmo have both positive and negative scores. Given this fact their ranges of values are quite similar but there is much disagreement on the relative ranking of the houses. Schoener is unique in granting the tenth house more than the first. The other all make the first house either greater to or equal to the tenth. There is also disagreement about whether the sixth or the twelfth is the worst house, and Montulmo ranks the second as being one of the worse houses.

Schoener and Ibn Ezra recognize these as dignities and debilities but do not assign explicit scores to them. It should probably be assumed that they all have weights of +1 or -1, if weighting is appropriate at all.

II. Dignities and Debilities Arising from Planetary Motion
Lilly Montulmo Wilson
Direct 4 4 4
Ascending in Auge 0 2 0
Ascending in North Lat. 0 2 0
Swift in Motion 2 1 2
Slow in Motion -2 -1 -2
Descending in South Lat. 0 -2 0
Descending in Auge 0 -2 0
Retrograde -5 -5 5

III. Relation of Planet to Sun
Lilly Montulmo Wilson
Cazimi 5 5 5
Free of Combustion and Beams 5 0 5
Inferior Planets Occidental 2 2 2
Superior Planets Oriental 2 2 2
Moon Increasing in Light 2 1 2
Moon Decreasing in Light -2 -1 -2
Inferior Planets Oriental 0 -2 0
Superior Planets Occidental -2 --2 -2
Under the Sun's Beams -4 -4 -4
Combust -5 -5 -5
Moon within 12° of Sun 0 -4 0


Schoener and Ibn Ezra also recognize the dignities and debilities that are scored here as 0, but do not assign explicit scores to them. It should probably be assumed that they all have weights of +1 or -1, if weighting is appropriate at all.

IV. Aspects and Other Relations to Other Planets and Fixed Stars
Lilly Montulmo Wilson
Besieged by Benefics 0 5 6

* Multulmo asks for applying aspects while
the English ask for partile aspects. Otherwise the dignities are the same.

† The English specify certain stars while Montulmo designates the class of the star only.

Partile Conjunction with Benefics 5 5 5
Partile Conjunction with Caput Draconis 4 -3 4

Partile Trine or Sextile with Benefics*
4 0 3

Applying Trine of Benefic*
0 4 0

Applying Sextile of Benefic*
0 3 0

Conjunction with Regulus†
6 0 6

Conjunction with Spica†
5 -0 5

Conjunction with Benefic Star†
0 5 0

Partile Square of Malefic
-4 0 -3

Partile Opposition of Malefic
-5 -4 -4

Conjunction with Cauda Draconis
-4 -5 -4

Besieged by Malefics
-5 -5 -5

Conjunction with Algol†
-5 0 -5

Conjunction with Malefic Fixed Star†
0 -5 0

Void of Course
0 -2 0
Feral 0 -3 0

Schoener and Ibn Ezra also recognize the dignities and debilities that are scored here as 0, but do not assign explicit scores to them. It should probably be assumed that they all have weights of +1 or -1, if weighting is appropriate at all.

V. Dignities and Debilities Due to Sect, Masculine &

Feminine (Except Degrees).
Lilly Montulmo Wilson
Conformity of Quadrant 0 2 0
Security 0 5 0
Hayz 1 3 1
Contrariety of Hayz 0 -2 0

VI. Miscellaneous
Lilly Montulmo Wilson
Sign of Planet's Joy, Throne 0 3 0
House of Planet's Joy 0 2 0
Lucid Degree 0 1 0
Degree of Increasing Fortune 0 1 0
Degree of Conforming in Sex 0 1 0
Bounds of a Benefic 0 0 0
Increasing in Number 0 2 0
Bounds of a Malefic 0 0 -1
Decreasing in Number 0 -1 0
Void or SmokeyDegree 0 -3 0

Dark, Deep, or Azimene Degree
0 -3 0
Via Combusta 0 -2 0
Eclipse of Luminaries 0 -5 0
Moon in Gemini, or End of Signs 0 -2 0
Moon in Bounds of a Malefic 0 -2 -2
Luminary in the Bounds of Eclipse 0 -4 0

Dignities and Debilities of the Part of Fortune.

I. Dignities and Debilities from House Placement.

In the 1st or 10th House
In the 7th, 4th or 11th House
In the 2nd or 5th House
In the 9th House
In the 3rd House
In the 6th or 8th House
In the 12th House


II. Dignities and Debilities from Sign Placement.

In Taurus or Pisces
In Cancer, Leo, Libra, or Sagittarius
In Gemini
In Virgo
In Aries
In Scorpio, Capricorn, or Aquarius

0 (Wilson -3)

III. Relation to the Sun

Not Combust


IV. Aspect and Relationships to Planets and Fixed Stars

Conjunction with Regulus (Alpha Leonis)
Besieged by Jupiter and Venus
On Partile Conjunction with Jupiter or Venus
Conjunction with Spica (Alpha Virginis)
In Partile Trine with Jupiter or Venus
In Partile Conjunction with the North Node
In Partile Sextile with Jupiter or Venus
In Partile Square with Saturn or Mars
In Opposition of Saturn or Mars
In Partile Conjunction of the South Node
In Partile Conjunction of Saturn or Mars
Conjunction with Caput Algol
Besieged by Saturn and Mars

3 (Wilson 4)
-3 (Wilson -4)

V. Miscellaneous

In the Bounds of Jupiter or Venus
In the Bounds of Saturn or Mars