Your Chart’s Backstory
There are many techniques that you can use to read a chart and one method that I particularily enjoy is the dispositor tree. Your dispositor tree shows the back story and how the energy is flowing behind the scenes of your chart. When you draw a dispositor tree, you lift the veil and can see dynamic links joining planets that are not seen on the main chart. This can provide you, as an aspiring astrologer, insights to the person and how they really operate.
A Dispositor Tree
A dispositor tree is a diagram that shows the connections between the planets in a chart. This is done by their essential dignity position and specifically their dignity or rulership of signs. A planet that rules a sign is the dispositor to any planet in that sign.
Typically, we only use the visible planets for dispositor tree creation as dispositors, although we do add the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto into the tree.
The seven visible planets are; the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
- The Sun rules Leo.
- The Moon rules Cancer.
- Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo.
- Venus rules Taurus and Libra.
- Mars rules Aries and Scorpio.
- Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces.
- Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius.
Dispositor trees have a top tier, middle tiers and bottom tiers. The stronger placed planets are at the top of the tree. A dispositor tree can have a little as one planet or as many as ten planets in it.
How to Draw a Dispositor Tree
A planet will dispose any planet in its own sign. Planets in the sign of their dignity cannot have a dispositor. Planets that dispose others are drawn vertically. The disposing planet is placed on a level above the planet being disposed.
Venus disposes Uranus in Libra and Venus is Uranus’ dispositor as Venus rules Libra.
Two planets are in mutual reception when they are in the signs of each other’s dignity. Mutual reception relates two planets even if they are not in aspect. Mutual reception joins the pair in a supportive relationship and allows their energies to work together. Planets in mutual reception are drawn on the same level horizontally. They have equal strength to each other. A double ended arrow joins them.
The Sun in Cancer and the Moon in Leo are in mutual reception.
Circular dispositor chains can be found in a chart. Three or more planets can be in a circular dispositorship chain. You still draw them on the same level as they have equal weight in the dispositor tree.
Mars in Leo, Jupiter in Scorpio, and the Sun in Sagittarius form a circular dispositorship.
A disposed planet will also dispose any planets in its sign. This can form a chain of dispositorships. In some charts there is a final dispositor. This is the planet which is in its own sign and the dispositor chain falls below. The final dispositor is a powerful placement for any planet and it should be noted in the chart analysis.
The Sun disposes Jupiter in Leo, Jupiter disposes Saturn in Sagittarius etc.
Top Dispositor Tree Planet
This planet is only found on the top line of the dispositor tree.
A top planet may link to other planets through links below only. Possible planets in this location are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn. In other words, the visible planets only. The top planet may only be the final dispositor, a planet in rulership, or a top line mutual reception planet, or a top line committee tree planet.
Top planet location keywords; leads, takes, drives, extroverted, masculine and positive. The top planet has affinities with; the cardinal mode, the angular houses, the Midheaven, and the fire element. The top planet energy is expressed through; taking action, beginnings, the future, and being available.
Middle Dispositor Tree Planet
A middle dispositor tree planet is only in the middle of the dispositor tree.
A middle planet must link to other planets through links both above and below. Possible planets in this location are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter or Saturn. In other words, the visible planets only. A middle planet may not be in dignity, but may be in exaltation, detriment, fall, or peregrine. A middle planet may also be a “Gateway” planet, which is one with three or more planets below it, so it acts as a gateway for their energies.
Middle planet location suggested keywords; does work, gives and takes, a conduit, links, connects. joins and neutral. Some affinity for a middle planet is indicated with the astrological meanings of; fixed mode, succedent, the air element, nodes, and 1st/7th axis.
The planetary energies of a middle planet are expressed through: Being acted through, within and the present.
Bottom Dispositor Tree Planet
This planet is only in the bottom of the dispositor tree. Location definition; a bottom planet must link to other planets through links above only. The possible planets in this location may be all the visible planets and outer planets Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, including Chiron, the Asteroids, TNO’s and Eris etc. A bottom planet may not be in dignity, but may be in exaltation, in detriment, in fall, or peregrine.
Bottom planet location suggested keywords; supports, serves, gives, introvert, accepts, feminine, and the negative polarity. Some affinity for a bottom planet is indicated with the astrological meanings of the mutable mode, cadent houses, the IC, the water element, and the northern hemisphere. The planetary energies of a bottom planet are expressed through being acted upon, endings, the past, and waiting to be asked.
Final Dispositor Tree
Number of planets in a Final Dispositor Tree = ten.
Fnal dispositor trees relate directly to the natal chart’s planetary energies, cohesive energies and works as one unit. Final Dispositor Tree structure suggested keywords; A focused individual, pulls towards the common good, the whole chart is connected, subjective, and works as one “team.” Internal decisions are made by; dictatorship, president and hierarchical.
Single Planet in Rulership Tree
Only one planet in the single planet in rulership tree.
Single Planet in Rulership Trees relationship to natal chart’s planetary energies. This is an important planet. It is not integrated and you must carefully consider any aspects to it. Single Planet in Rulership Tree structure suggested keywords are, the purest form of energy, a wild card, uninhibited, highly specific house meaning and similar to an unaspected planet. Internal decisions are made by; a wild card and can be the joker?
Planet in Rulership Tree
Number of planets in the tree is less than ten. The planet in rulership’s dispositor tree’s relationship to the natal chart’s planetary energies; this is a strong placement, always check the link aspects to confirm any connection. The planet in rulership dispositor tree’s structure suggested keywords are; independent, and solitary. Internal decisions are made by, vice president, and the second in command.
Mutual Reception Tree
In this tree there will be from two to ten planets. The mutual reception dispositor tree’s relationship to natal chart’s planetary energies suggest there are two teams with related alliances. This person may be conflicted by the two sides of the mutual reception as the planets below will be on their team. Mutual Reception Tree structure suggested keywords; objective, dual “sides”, two distinct wings of the personality, and one side may dominate over the other usually the side with more planets and thus weight. Internal decisions are made by; debate and mutual respect.
Committee Dispositor Tree
The number of planets in the tree will be from three to ten.
Committee dispositor tree’s relationship to the natal chart’s planetary energies; confusion, lack of focus, and always look to any exalted planet for guidance. Tree structure suggested keywords; multi-dimensional, varied interests, motivations are flexible, and they cannot see the wood for the trees. Internal decisions are made by; democracy, and a committee.
Aspiring Astrologer Activity: Dispositor Trees
In your astrology journal and referring to your chart or the chart of someone you are working on, please do the following:
- Draw the dispositor tree.
- Name the type of dispositor tree.
- List how many planets are in the top position.
- List how many planets are in the middle positions.
- List how many planets are in the bottom position.
- Note any gateway planets.
- List any planetary links in the dispositor tree between two planets that also have an aspect between them in the chart.
- Write a brief interpretation for your dispositor tree, and mention the nature of the tree itself, the prominent planets (top tier), and anything else of interest (100 words).
Alison Price: Astrology Coach
Alison wants to help you uncover your individual creativity and lead a fulfilling life using your own astrology. She shares her wisdom from the heart with a touch of humor.
If you’d like to get in touch with Alison, you can reach out to her via email at email@example.com.
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