Ancient Teachings on the Nature of the Planets
for students of astrology

One of the primary considerations in the delineation of a natal horoscope is the location of the 7 planets. Each planet will be in one Zodiacal Image, and there are no cusps (that is a modern invention). I will have more to say about that when I speak about bounds.

The power a planet to produce effects which are good for the native depend on if it the planet is in a good relationship with its domicile, or at least in good standing with the members of it own Sect.


There are two sects. This has been lost in modern astrology.

The Sun and the Moon each have their own parties, a bit like the two political offices that run our government. Or better, like the two hemispheres of our brain. Depending on the individual  -- and the configurations in their birth chart -- these two halves will work together for better or worse. They each want their agenda fulfilled, but at any given time have only so far an ability to do so.

To the Solar Sect belongs Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is the proxy of the Sun, imitating his life giving properties. The Sun is the giver of Life. Jupiter rules over great gifts. Now, Saturn is extremely cold and dark (being so distant and removed from the Sun). That makes Saturn a harsh star; and so by being placed with the Diurnal Sect, his malefic (harm-doing) properties are much lessened. This means is that in a day chart, Saturn is less harmful.

To the Lunar Sect belong Venus and Mars. The Moon and Venus are the two feminine planets, and it can be readily understood how the Sun relates to the Masculine and the Moon to the Feminine. Look at the human body. Men give, women receive. So too, does the Moon possess not her own light, but reflects the Sun. In other words, the primary force (the will) and the secondary force (the capacity to know the will). Lilith in the Bible refused to lie down and recieve in this natural way, but I won't go into that. Mars is assigned to the Lunar Sect because he (like Saturn) has his malefic (harm-doing) properties of heat and dryness softened by the Night, which is a good thing -- trust me! This means that in a nocturnal chart, Mars is less harmful, while Saturn is more harmful.

That being said, you can see that generally speaking, the feminine planets operate best in the feminine signs and masculine planets operate best in the masculine signs. If a feminine planet is in a masculine sign, and the ruler of that sign is does not see the sign itself (does not make Platonic aspect by means of whole sign houses), this will cause a reversal of whatever the planet signifies.



When a planet is in its own domicile, it has access to its own resources. This means it has the ability to get the things that it wants. So, for instance, take Venus. She rules over beauty, grace, music. Venus in its own sign, then, is able to give forth these natural resources. You can see how, for every affair that exists in life, every idea, every signification, a planet in the Heavens exists which allots that particular good.

The domiciles are:

The Sun - Leo the Lion

The Moon - Cancer the Crab

Mercury - Gemini the Twins & Virgo the Virgin

Venus - Taurus the Bull & Libra the Scales

Mars - Aries the Ram & Scorpio the Scorpion

Jupiter - Pisces the Fishes & Sagittarius the Archer

Saturn - Capricorn the Goat-Horned One & Aquarius the Water-Pourer


When a planet is in its own Exaltation, it is honored and can perform amazingly at its tasks. This is the best position for a planet to be in (as the name itself implies). However as a general rule, the domicile ruler needs to be in aspect. The domicile lord uses its resources to lift up the Exaltation ruler. Like one who wears a crown, it is honored and respected by others, granting it authority to rule.

The Exaltations of the the Day Sect form Triangles to the Sun, while the Exaltations of the Night Sect form Sextiles to the Moon. What is remarkable is that the Babylonians, many many centuries prior to the advancement of astrological theory, had discovered that the planets operated best in these particular signs -- it is rather obvious in fact. Then later, the more sophisticated Greeks, with their knowledge coming from Egypt, put the pieces together.

Each planet is exalted in a single Image:

The Sun - Aries the Ram

The Moon - Taurus the Bull

Saturn - Libra the Scales

Jupiter - Cancer the Crab

Mars - Capricorn the Goat-Horned One

Venus - Pisces the Fishes

Mercury - Virgo the Virgin


In the Bible, John 14:2 states that "In my Father's house are many mansions; I have prepared a place for you." There are 12 Zodiacal Mansions. But each of them are divided into smaller subdivisions of unequal length in which the 5 Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have rule over. So, even though a planet may not be in its own sign, it can be in its own boundary. Just like you live a house, you have your own room and in that room you are comfortable and have access to your own stuff. When a planet is in the boundaries of a planet that is Out of Sect, this is bad; in particular if that planet is forming a testimony by means of an opposition aspect, then this is something to be feared. A planet found at least in a boundary of the same Sect, while that planet (the boundary ruler) forms a whole sign aspect to that place, will have some ability to produce good.

What the boundaries do, in essence, is limit the express of the planet in the boundary to the affairs governed by that bound. This is why, for example, Maternus in the 4th century warns us not to make friends with those who have Mercury in the boundary of Mars (because they will be liars or cheats or expose what you have confided in them) whereas those who have Mercury in the boundary of Venus will be pleasant of speech and poetic.

Modern astrologers, having lost touch with the ancient teachings, sought to invent new ideas to explain the influence of the star upon the destiny of mankind. This is how cusps were invented. The vast majority of modern astrologers even today do not use the boundaries, to their great loss. To an ancient astrologer, the idea of not using the boundaries is unthinkable -- it is utterly salient to proper delineation. Each Zodiacal Image is divided into 30 degrees, and all of those degrees are under the rulership of a particular boundary. In short, you are either in one Sign and one Boundary or another Sign and another Boundary.

Trigons Lords, or Winds

 A planet that is found in its proper Trigon will be in decent shape. It will seem natural and will create affinities with certain things because of its disposition. One of the main significations is in regards to how a person blends. For instance, in a man's chart, if he has Venus in Capricorn and is born during the day, then he will like a certain kind of woman who has that Capricorn energy. A woman born at night who has Mars in Scorpio will like a man with that energy. What is interesting is that at certain times during the life, depending on where you were born, the relationship of the planets changes. This is why they are called winds, for you can be going in one direction for so far, and then the course can change directions. Each of the 4 elements is associated with 3 planets. This is something that has been completely lost in modern astrology, yet it is an extremely necessary predictive tool. In particular, the Trigon Rulers of the Sect Light (which is the Sun if you're born during the day and Moon if born at night), and when they switch indicates when (actually ... if) the life takes a turn. And it indicates if the first half of life or the second half of life is more favorable. This is, in fact, one the first considerations when delineating a natal horoscope. A person with the 3 rulers of the Sect Light on angles, and angular to the Lot of Fortune indicates that the native is very successful and goes far in life. This is important for modern psychological astrologers to realize, because you don't talk the same way to the ruler of a corporation as you do a homeless man on the street. Trigon Lords tells us the rank of the nativity, and the ability for topics to reach completion.


A planet located in none of its own places is going to be in rough shape, and will have a very hard time realization its own significations, its own essential nature, or bringing success to the topics it rules over (money, marriage, spirituality etc). Something that can help a peregrine planet to achieve signification is if a fixed star of its own nature is in conjunction.



The Planetary Domiciles

The Planetary Exaltations

diurnal planets trine their own places, nocturnal planets sextile their own places

Egyptian Boundaries

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