When I meet students, they often  want to tell me about their charts, and  proclaim, “I have an exalted Mars or exalted Venus.”   Often times it is very positive but there are so many qualifying factors and  a little knowledge is always dangerous.  There are many modifications that happen that can impact the power of the planets to perform and these should be understood.  In Part 2 we will discuss why an exalted planet does not sometimes produce what it promised but first lets understand why planets are exalted in certain places.

The Sun exalts in Aries:  The Sun rules fortune, resources, status and our quest for the Divine and hence in Aries, owned by Mars, it will have discipline, power and energy to perform and fulfill its highest energy. Since Mars is a natural celibate, being one will enhance spiritual energies in quest for Moksha or enlightenment.

The Moon exalts in Taurus  because Venus rules home, marriage and our mental peace so it is exalted in Taurus because deep love of a spouse (Venus) and the comforts she brings will increase married life.

Mars exalts in Capricorn, the natural 10th sign of the zodiac so it shows initiative and success in activities.  Saturn  has to be well-placed for Mars to  endure pain, hard work, patience and improve success in Capricorn so Mars in Capricorn but Saturn in Aries would negate the positive energy. Exalted Mars will create strong generals and commanders and will create a Ruchaka Yoga if in the 1, 4, 7th or 10th houses.  Creates people who are undefeated, generous, hard-working, good mechanically and technically, respected, and who have a capacity for wealth and taking risk and focused on results.

Jupiter exalts in Cancer because morals and wisdom are boring and useless without genuine emotional content. In the 4th sign of the zodiac it shows the start of education and knowledge.  Moon has to be well placed for full benefit. The moon will help most if placed in the 4th house or Taurus but the impact will be lessened if the Moon is in Sagittarius the 6th, Aquarius the 8th or Gemini the 12th.  Jupiter here creates strong education, wealth, beneficial family life, strong intuition, great coaches and teachers and counselors, humanitarians and people who act for the public good.

Venus exalts in Pisces because for love to flow, it has to be a pure emotion and not hampered by the critical thinking of Virgo.  In Pisces, its highest dharma comes out in desiring truth over sensual pleasure.  Venus can here realize its deepest mystical nature and move to becoming as powerful a Guru as Jupiter.

Saturn exalts in Libra because even the hardest workers work better if they relax sometimes, and because our efforts should be directed for the benefit of society at large. Saturn exalts in the 7th house where work should have some element of fun and play to be balanced.  If Venus is poorly places in the 12th house of Virgo or even in the 8th house of Taurus or even in the 6th house of Pisces, some of the benefits will be spoiled.  Saturn in the 1, 4,7 or 10th house exalted creates a Sasa Yoga. Highest qualities of Saturn here are excellence as a legal defender, great artistic talent and success in agricultural and foreign events.

Mercury’s exalts in its own sign of Virgo.  The logic here is that Mercury is already perfectly balanced by nature, so it doesn’t need another planet to challenge or counterbalance it. The practical earth element of Virgo is sufficient challenge and counterbalanced to the intellect’s desire to roam and fantasize.  It shows the start of profession and service.  Mercury’s placement could be impacted by a poor despositor’s influence such as being in the Sun’s nakshatra (Uttaraphalguni 0-10 Virgo) and the Sun, owner of the 12th placed poorly in Libra or in Leo or even Aries, the 8th house.  Mercury when unafflicted in Virgo can create good speakers and writers, scientific approaches, good philosophers and teachers and astrologers and polished musicians and drawers.

If Mercury is afflicted or the dispositor is afflicted, exalted Mercury will not deliver and create people who live in a fantasy world, who are critical, demanding, reclusive, and  people who like to argue, imagine a negative outcome, and try too much at once.

Rahu exalts in Gemini with is friend Mercury who is a good businessman and  who governs money, skills, intelligence.  Some think Taurus is second best  because it is the most material sign of the zodiac where cravings and “more stuff”  is always for earthly pleasure and sensual delight.   Rahu in Gemini creates a mind that is geared toward innovation, philosophy, creativity, mystical adventures and very creative speech and writing where it is unafflicted and Mercury is well placed.  Afflicted Rahu in Gemini could create mental disorders, misunderstandings, self-isolation, breathing problems and challenges with neighbors and siblings or having a deceptive practice or business with unethical earnings.

Ketu  exalts in Pisces  because it is a deep place for personal transformation for Moksha.     In Sagittarius it is strong at it is a place for the start is for moksha coming from the teacher or Priest and temple and the natural 9th house.  Ketu is strong in Leo for Longevity; exalts in Pisces for mundane matters and  debilitates in Virgo for mundane matters. (Some people think Ketu exalts in Sagittarius)

Ketu in Pisces unafflicted creates spiritual and financial rewards, clever with legal and ethical matters, likes out of the ordinary spiritual matters and may travel to foreign countries. Jupiter well placed in Cancer, Sag or Virgo or Scorpio will particularly uplift it.  Ketu afflicted in Pisces will have problems with teachers and Gurus, could get involved in corruption, may have amoral financial dealings, may have hip or lung problems.

Special thanks to Komilla Sutton, Sam Geppi and Zoran Radosavljevic for their insights on this material.

This is part of  an article from my upcoming book:

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