Four Types of Determination


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Four Types of Determination

May 26, 2024, 7:52 a.m. Alexey Borealis 2 min. to read


Each planet possesses specific attributes, such as elemental qualities, and the orb of virtue. A planet can be dry or moist, hot or cold. Planet can be malefic or benefic per se. Additionally, a planet has a particular mode of action; for instance, Saturn tends to slow down processes, Mercury binds various elements, and the Sun governs.

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Determination by Kind of Thing

However, concerning different types of objects, planets begin to signify specific things.

For example, the Sun generally acts as governor. But in the human world, it signifies kings (presidents for countries, bosses for companies, et); in the animal kingdom, lions; among birds, eagles; among metals, gold; and among bodily organs, the heart and cognitive functions of the brain.

As you can see, a planet's general mode of action takes on specific forms due to the objects it influences. This conditioning of planetary action is called determination by kind of thing.

In this case, we call the planet a natural ruler of a class of objects. Examples: Mars is a natural ruler of wounds, Venus is a natural ruler of love, etc.

Celestial Determination

When a planet falls into a sign of a similar or adverse nature and receives favorable or unfavorable aspects from other planets, when its dispositor gets dignified or debilitated, the planet becomes an accidental malefic or benefic.

Exalted Mars will show a noble warrior among people or immunity among bodily functions. While debilitated Mars will indicate a robber in the human world or an autoimmune response among bodily functions.

As you can see, the planet's celestial condition further specifies its action according to its disposition. This conditioning of planetary action is called celestial determination. For further details, see the article on celestial state of a planet.

Terrestrial Determination

But even in this case, the planet's action is general and the same for everyone. Relatively to a particular horizon, planets fall into various houses, which force them to manifest in specific areas of life.

For example, Mars in the second house will manifest in the financial sphere, but still according to its universal nature. Exalted Mars will gift money as an accidental benefic, but with sudden spending, according to its nature. On the other hand, debilitated Mars will result in financial losses due to unforeseen expenses, a trial or a robbery.

That same Mars in the eighth house will manifest in matters of death. Exalted Mars will pose a threat of violence, but save from it. Detrimental Mars will bring violent death. And if the seventh house also determines Mars to wars, it will bring death at the hands of an enemy.

As you can see, considering the current terrestrial horizon, planets begin to signify specific things. This kind of conditioning of planetary action is called terrestrial determination. You can read more about technical side of that process in the article on terrestrial state of a planet.

We say a planet becomes an accidental significator. For example, in a specific horoscope, the universal significator of kings, the Sun, becomes an accidental significator of secret enemies in high positions.

Determination by Context

Finally, the same planet in identical horoscopes of two individuals will signify different things. If two babies were born at the exact moment—one in the queen's chambers, the other 100 meters away in a peasant's house, then Mars in the seventh house for them would be completely identical.

But for the prince, Mars signifies a victorious war with the conquest of neighboring lands. At the same time, for the peasant, it means a fight with the neighbor over the ownership of the chicken coop.

As you can see, the context gives the planet an ultra-specific meaning. It is the final and most important type of conditioning of planetary action. It is called determination by context.

When delineating a chart, we must remember all four determinations to articulate the specific event we anticipate. It's an astrologer's mistake to focus solely on the second type of determination or to overlook the fourth.


Alexey Borealis

Alexey Borealis

Professional astrologer. About the author