The Astrology of Autumn

The Astrology of Autumn

by Alison Price
Image by Michal Kubisek

Image by Michal Kubisek


The Four Seasons

There are four seasons each year; spring, summer, autumn and winter.

The seasons start when the Sun enters one of the four cardinal signs which are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

These seasonal ingresses are the time markers for the year and the basis for calculating the tropical zodiac, which is the one used on my site, and that references time not space.

The Sun spends three months, or one quarter of the year, in each season.

Autumn or Fall

As the Sun leaves Virgo and enters Libra the third season of the year Autumn begins.

During its passage of Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius the autumn season develops and the beginning is very different to the end.

Mild temperatures at the start of Libra lead through to cooling and far crisper weather at the end of Sagittarius.

The Harvest

Autumn is the time to gather in the crops and store grains to sustain animals and us over the long winter and into the early spring.

We who live in the developed world and reside in major cities may be slightly out of touch with the sequence of growth and harvest for food.

We just pop into the local deli or bakery and pick up a fresh loaf of bread, baked and sliced that morning.

Rural dweller on farms and small-holdings do notice the changing year more closely.


Venus rules Libra and she also rules sugar and the fructose in all fruits and berries.

During the Libra part of autumn the late fruit is harvested (the early fruit harvest starts at Lammas on August 1st).

Typically at this stage the food plants have their sugars fully developed even in crops like onions and potatoes.

Plants are ripe and juicy.


As the Sun enters Scorpio the leaves fall profusely and annual plants start to decompose to provide nutrients for the next year’s trees and crops.

This is the transformation period of plant’s decay and part of the cycle of nature.

It is reflected in astrology by the Sun being disposed by Pluto as the ruler of Scorpio.

In many plants the seeds for the next year are being created in pods and flower heads and they wait for the Sagittarian breezes to blow them hither and thither.

Seed distribution is a process of autumn and can be spread over the whole three months.


The last sign of autumn is Sagittarius.

By now all the leaves have fallen and bare branches abound and this allows the wind to whisk through the branches.

Jupiter’s influence as the planet of Sagittarius now disposes the Sun and we can see much further through the trees and our horizons are broadened at this time.

The late crops are now in and the animals have grown in their thicker coats ready for the cold ahead.

The final migrations have finished and long journeys by birds and herds have come to an end.

Did you notice? Really?

Did you notice all this going on?


Neither did I.

But I live in Vancouver city where I can see the changing seasons by the trees in the streets being stripped bare and the varying colours throughout the city’s parks.

This year I hope to pay more attention, will you?

by Alison Price

Essential Dignities

Essential Dignities

Essential Dignity

What is Essential Dignity?

Essential dignities refer to a planet in a sign and whether the planet is well placed in that sign or not.


What Planets to Consider

Traditionally, we usually only look at the visible planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) when assessing essential dignity.

However, you can also consider the modern planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) if you use these planets in your daily practice.


Four Essential Dignity States

Initially we are concerned with the essential dignity states of Rulership, Exaltation, Detriment and Fall.


Essential Dignities Table

The table below I created from information found in, arguably the greatest astrology book of all time, Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy. Any errors are my own.



Rulerships are listed in the red column in the table.

When a planet is in its own sign it is in dignity or rulership.

A planet in rulership gains 5 points.

Planetary Expression

A planet functions well in rulership as its urges are in line with the sign. A dignified planet can most easily express itself. It can work at 100% of its meaning.

Example: Venus in Libra (Relating & partners).


Rulership Person Example

A planet in rulership is like the owner of a home. They can do what they like and have full access to every nook and cranny of the home.

Planets in Rulership

This is a list of all the planets in their rulership. Check your chart for planets in rulership and note they get 5 points.


  • Sun in Leo
  • Moon in Cancer
  • Mercury in Gemini or Virgo
  • Venus in Taurus or Libra
  • Mars in Aries or Scorpio
  • Jupiter in Sagittarius or Pisces
  • Saturn in Capricorn or Aquarius

Planets in Exaltation

The blue column lists the exalted palents. Exalted planets get 4 points.


Exaltation Expression

When a planet is in the sign of its exaltation it functions well and is in line with the sign meaning. A planet in exaltation expresses intensity of energy.


Exalted Person Example

An exalted planet is like an invited guest to your home. They are like visitors who come for tea or the babysitter who uses the kitchen and can make a meal if they want.

They have access to many things, but they will not just start to paint the basement or take a shower.

An exalted planet is welcomed into the sign by the sign ruler.


Example: Saturn in Libra (Responsible and balanced).


Exalted Planets

The planets in exaltation are listed below. Check your chart and give exalted planet 4 points.


  • Sun in Aries
  • Moon in Taurus
  • Mercury in Virgo
  • Mars in Capricorn
  • Jupiter in Cancer
  • Saturn in Libra


Planets in fall are shown in yellow in the table.

When a planet is in the sign opposite its exaltation it is in its fall. A planet in fall gets a score of -4.


Fall Expression

This is a difficult placement, as the planet will struggle to reach its full potential here. A planet here is weak.

Example: Sun in Libra (Individual’s needs vs. partner’s needs).

Fall Person Example

A planet in fall is like the lawn guy or the pool guy. They come onto your property and attend to the outside, but they do not come into the home. They are not really welcome and you probably know their name but that’s about all.

These people are tolerated and planets in fall are tolerated by the sign they are in and the sign ruler (host) itself.


Fall Planets

Planets in fall are listed here. Check your chart and give fall planets a score of -4.


  • Sun in Libra.
  • Moon in Scorpio.
  • Mercury in Pisces.
  • Venus in Virgo.
  • Mars in Cancer.
  • Jupite in Cancer.
  • Saturn Aries.




Detriment palnts are shown in the green column in the table. Planets in detriment get a score of -5.

When a planet is in the sign opposite the sign of its dignity it is in its detriment.


Detriment Expression

This is not a good placement for the planet as its urges can be surpressed and thwarted.

Example: Mars in Libra (needs independence vs. needs of others).


Detriment Person Example

A planet in detriment is like the garbage truck guys. They attend to the property, but do not enter the house. They will not enter and are probably not welcome to just pop in for tea.

The planet in detriment is not really welcomed into the sign by the sign ruler (the host).

Detrimented Planets

This lists all the palents in detrimen. Check your chart and these planets get a score of -5.


  • Sun in Aquarius
  • Moon in Capricorn
  • Mercury in Sagittarius or Pisces.
  • Venus in Aries or Scorpio.
  • Jupiter in Gemini or Virgo.
  • Saturn in Cancer or Leo.

Peregrine Planets

A planet is peregrine when it does not have any essential dignity. This imparts a neutral energy.

A peregrine planet gets a score of 0 (zero).

Example: Moon in Libra (but not when the Moon is at 0-9 degrees Libra = face)


Note for the purists 

A planet is peregrine when it does not have any essential dignity by rulership, exaltation, term, face, detriment or fall.

Essential Dignity Example Chart

Let’s have a look at an examole chart to discove some basic essential dignity.

The chart we are using is Beyonce, 11:15am, September 4, 1981, Houston, Texas, United States.


Beyonce’s Essential Dignity

Here I am only considering the four main parts of essential dignity , so dignity, exaltation, fall and detriment. I am only considering the visible planets.


The Planets Score

The Sun in Virgo gets a score of 0.

The Moon in Scorpio is in fall so gets a score of -4.

Mercury in Libra gets a score of 0.

Venus in Libra is in dignity so gets a score of +5.

Mars in Leo gets a score of 0.

Jupiter in Libra gets a score of 0.

Saturn in Libra is in exaltation so gets a score of +4.


Top Planets

The top planets in this chart in order of importance are as follows:

  • Venus +5
  • Saturn +4
  • Moon -4

High Focus Planets

What you do now is focus on understanding Venus and Saturn first, These are dominant planets in her chart and need to be thoroughly unpacked.

If this was your client you need to dig deep into these planets first as they are strong in the chart.

You can confidently lead the discussion with Venus and Saturn and their planetary complexes as she will be aware of these strengths already.


Non-focus Planets

Note the Moon in Scorpio is in fall and cannot work well to its full potential.

The Moon will probably not be a huge influence in her life, but is can provide insights into where she retreats to when her feelings get hurt or how she reacts when she feels threatened.

This is a dynamic Moon placement and, as an astrologer, you would want to tread carefully here.

I would not lead the conversation with the Moon.

Author Bio

Alison encourages you to explore your unique creativity and live a satisfying life through your personal astrology. She offers her insights from the heart and with a sense of humor.

Go here to read more about Alison’s story.

If you want to send Alison a quick message go here.

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