EYE ON ASTROLOGY: DEBILITATED PLANETS
In Part 1, I discussed how debilitated planets force us to learn lessons around the values of those planets and that we have to work 3 times as hard to make those issues work. Still sometimes, if we have a debilitated planet, it may help us and create challenges that become our greatest asset. If we work hard on the things that we are not good with, then we can excel at them. This may show up if the planet is debilitated in the D-1 chart but strong in the D-9 chart. Maybe after 35-40 years we have learned to master the energy and sometimes we do not.
Again, in looking at debilitated planets, one has to also consider what houses they own and if they are good planets for the chart and if they are natural benefics or malefics. If the chart lord is debilitated, it may mean health issues or low energy. If it doesn’t own good houses, we may have to work hard to manifest those good qualities. If it is a malefic and afflicted, it’s darker qualities may come out.
Given that the D-9 and the D-60 chart are so important for chart analysis, paying attention to debilitated planets in these charts are very revealing about hidden qualities and past life karma from the D-60.
Saturn in Aries:
Luckily Saturn is only debilitated for 2.5 years every 29 years and this is rather rare but debilitated Saturn can turn up in the D-9 chart and have an impact.
A retrograde, exalted Saturn may act like a debilitated Saturn according to Parashara. The tendency is for self-willed, impulsive, and undisciplined behavior in Aries, which contrasts with Saturn’s conservative, disciplined nature. Saturn in the 1st sign of the zodiac is Marana Karaka Sthana as Saturn in Aries creates fear rather than grounded action based in the base chakra where it grounds the body and creates infrastructure.
Saturn, not alert in Aries to the fact that it can be creating new karma for the future that has to be paid back, is a bit reckless about its responsibility to be ethical and righteous. Hence, karmic baggage for the future is built up as the soul is not responsible. Saturn’s debilitation reminds the soul that it is always important to pay back what you owe, otherwise you are forever adding to your karmic baggage. Saturn in Aries appears not to take its soul responsibilities seriously. Unless it changes, this position will create more baggage than it can pay back. Saturn by nature needs to exercise caution and proper planning and not be rushed into that which Aries creates. This can lead to the air element getting out of balance resulting in excessive fear and anxiety.
Saturn gets debilitated in the constellation of Bharani, a very sexual nakshatra, as it clashes with its own natural meditative, ascetic nature. Saturn placed here may result in a strong sexual drive plagued by guilt. Saturn will delay self-esteem and gratification until it is successful at work and can provide security for themselves and others. In Aries it is too reckless and undisciplined to be successful. Sometimes it leads to laziness or inertia which then can explode into anger and rash behavior.
For Capricorn: Saturn may block happiness and makes Capricorns impulsive risk-takers who avoid responsibilities, creating anger and depression.
For Aquarius: Aquarians may become too impulsive and be prone to fighting the wrong battles for their humanitarian spirit.
For Mercury: Debilitation in Pisces:
Mercury is debilitated in Pisces because the idealistic and humanitarian energy of Pisces is at odds with the philosophical and probing intellect. Getting caught up in spiritual idealism weakens the intellect. Emotional Mercury cannot think rationally in Pisces and this puts Mercury out of its very nature. The practical, earthy quality of Mercury exalted in Virgo gets unbalanced and this is not good for worldly affairs. Mercury in Pisces can create depression, nervousness, talking too much, and superficial values. The bright side of Mercury in Pisces is that it can lead to spiritual awakening and lead to understanding the broader more universal values of our existence. Still, the practical businessman, Mercury, may not be good at handling finances if other parts of the chart are lacking.
Mercury in Pisces can be too emotional and be out of its essential nature to intellectually probe and may get more caught up in the emotional oneness and love of Pisces. This may lead to poor judgment and difficult choices being made. Still the imaginative side of Pisces may flourish leading to creating great fiction, fantasy writers, or developing powerful intuition.
For Gemini: Debilitation in the 10th: Bad career decisions or the ability to act and make choices to foster one’s career create deep frustration for Gemini rising. If Mercury is not serious about work then once the fun wears off of the current job, they tend to move to the next one and fail to develop a meaningful career.
For Virgo: Debilitated in the 7th: For Virgo rising, they lack discrimination in relationships and may be more emotional in their choice of attracting partners.
Hence, they become vulnerable in relationships and bad choices, which make them too keen on trying to fix or improve their partners. They may attract difficult business partners if they are too idealistic in not checking them and their skill sets out. They may lack the ability to do anything practical and constructive to change their lives.
Sun in Libra:
The Sun is debilitated in Libra where it sacrifices its principles and leadership abilities to get along with people and do it together. In doing so, they sacrifice their vision and lose confidence. The Sun’s placement here would rather do things together than be independent and be subject to the challenges of working in groups and dealing with dissenting opinions and loses its power to lead.
While being more diplomatic, people born with Sun in Libra (Oct. 17-Nov. 16) often fail to inspire or draw upon their power. The Sun is out of its essential nature when it is not pursuing its spiritual dharma and desire to be alone and meditate and instead it seeks fulfillment in relationships. Since the Sun is connected to Shiva and pursuing the Divine in order to attain liberation, if it gets too caught up in sexual intrigue in Libra, it loses power to move the shanti energy up for enlightenment. The Sun is debilitated in the constellation of Swati (Libra 6.40-20), which is one of the more material constellations of the zodiac that enjoys pleasure and material things and this further takes the Sun out of its natural element and pursuit of the highest.
The Sun in Libra loses its self-confidence and ability to do things by itself in working with others, so it loses its power. It may suffer deeply if rejected in a relationship and get caught in the Maya of relationships and keep it bound to the suffering of the material world. Debilitated Sun may lack confidence that was not given from a strong father and this may also lead to a failed relationship power and not developing a strong masculine core.
If the Sun has no other major afflictions from Saturn, Rahu or Ketu, then the positive side of the Sun in Libra may create humble souls who are capable of working for the good of mankind in humanitarian groups and not get caught up in power and ego trips. I have seen this very positive quality in working with people at ashrams where there are a large number of people celebrating birthdays between Oct. 17-Nov.16th.
For Leo: If you are Leo rising and have a debilitated Sun, you may be subject to health issues and be lacking the inner courage and leadership qualities to inspire others and instead may turn into a tyrannical boss who is more interested in being right than inspiring others.
Special thanks to Komilla Sutton, Sam Geppi, Bill Levacy and Sanjay Rath for their insights on this topic.