astrology articles

Exaltation and Debilitation of Planets

Among the 12 Zodiac signs, there is one specific sign in which a planet functions at its optimum. This is called its sign of “Exaltation.” The sign which is opposite or 180 degrees apart in the Zodiac is known as the sign of “Debilitation” for that particular planet. In debilitated sign, the planet is weak and it causes many challenges and difficulties in the life of a native.

Basically in the sign of exaltation, the planet functions freely as per its true nature and delivers positive results in our life. Conversely, in the sign of debilitation, the planet cannot function freely because the nature of sign does not harmonize with the nature of planets. For all planets except Mercury, the signs of exaltation are different from the signs which are ruled by each planet. For Mercury, Virgo is the sign of exaltation and it is also ruled by Mercury.

Each Zodiac sign has a dimension of 30 degrees. There is a specific degree of exaltation and hence a specific degree of debilitation which are different for every planet. The Exaltation/Debilitation effects for each planet is highest in the specific degree of exaltation/debilitation. For the practical purpose of interpretation of chart, planet is considered exalted/debilitated in a particular sign no matter at what degree, it is actually located in the specific sign.

In this article I want to share with you the explanation from the nature of the sign and the nature of planet why a particular sign is considered as the sign of exaltation/debilitation for the planet. The nature of a sign /planet is mainly determined by the elements it represents. Let us take each planet in birth chart and understand for ourselves


zodiac Sun


Its exaltation sign is Aries. The degree of exaltation is 10 degrees. Therefore, the sign of debilitation is Libra and degree of debilitation is also 10 degrees. The sun represents the fire element. It is the source of all energy which sustains the entire solar system including all life form on earth. When Sun is located in Aries which is a cardinal sign type with fire element; Sun functions best because of the commonality of the element. The cardinal nature of Aries gives it a clear direction for action. Fire element gives strong will, ambition, determination, leadership. On the higher level, Sun in Aries gives independence, clarity, strong judgment and high values.

However, when Sun is located in Libra, it has to interact with Air element of Libra sign. The air and Fire together will create uncontrolled energy. It will become like a forest fire which will destroy everything without creating anything. In an individual, it will create pride and arrogance which in reality will be because of deep seated insecurity because Sun is weak and will be malefically disposed in its inimical sign ruled by Venus. It will give poor perception, lack of intelligence, low vitality, melancholy, fear and deviousness or dishonesty.

icon Moon


ts exaltation sign is Taurus and debilitated sign is Scorpio. The degree of exaltation is 3 degrees. The moon represents water and indicates the water element in general in the chart. Taurus is a fixed sign with earth element. When water flows through earth it makes the earth fertile; fixed sign indicates nurturing. Fertile earth nurtures all planets and all living organisms. Fixed types are firm, stable and determined about who they are and what they do. Exalted Moon in Taurus brings the best of lunar qualities in the person. They seek balance and harmony in individual relationships and in their organizations of immediate environment. It gives a strong sense of form and beauty, the best of lunar qualities. It can make them very romantic and devotional and are often votaries of the idea that all is love manifesting the highest qualities of Venus, the ruler of Taurus combined with the highest qualities of Moon.

Moon gets debilitated in Scorpio which is a fixed sign but with water element. This is kind of excess water like flood which destroys all the crop.Being fixed sign the water does not flow. It gets stagnated. In a person this creates excess of unbalanced lunar energies of past baggage of emotion and feelings. Afflictions to the moon can show personality disorders, difficulties in relating to other people and emotional disturbances. It causes lunacy, as our language reflects in extreme circumstances specially if it conjuncts with lunar nodes in Scorpio. However, there is an exception, Scorpio being ruled by Mars is also a highly mystical sign and can be a vessel for strong psychic powers, occult etc. Mind is purely dependent, consciousness, it has no real nature of its own. As such, it can function in one of the two ways. It can reflect inner nature of things or their outer appearance. If there are favorable Jupiter/Venus or Saturn in the chart, Moon in Scorpio can actually harness the excess water for high spiritual and psychic development and is often found in the charts of highly evolved Yogi and Tantrics.

astrology Mars


Mars is the great planet of energy and it also represents fire element. The essential difference between Mars and Sun is; Mars is purely energy whereas Sun is energy with soul. The exalted sign for Mars is Capricorn which is a cardinal sign with earth element. The degree of exaltation is 28 degrees.

In Capricorn Mars is like fire controlled and enclosed in a hearth made of earth, which can be directed for useful purposes like a steam engine or to give warmth and comfort. People with Mars in Capricorn has power, strength, courage and aggression almost like Sun but more to carry out mundane tasks in life without the higher goals and vales of Sun.

The debilitated sign of Mars is Cancer which is also cardinal sign but with water element. This water simply kills the fire and energy of Mars. Mars simply becomes confused, its energy gets lost in unwanted emotion and passion. Its energy gets dissipated in competition, argument and conflict because such things are usually the product of misplaced emotions.

planet mercury Mercury


Mercury signifies on one hand earth element as well as it signifies ether because of its subtle nature. This is the reason why both the own signs are dual sign types- Gemini and Virgo. Virgo is also the exalted sign for Mercury as mentioned earlier. The degree of exaltation is 15 degrees.

Virgo is dual sign type with earth element. Mercury is the great messenger of the cosmos. He is the planet which represents speech, communication and commerce on all levels. Mercury in Virgo creates the perfect balance between duality and its ethereal qualities and the practicality or solidity of the earth element. Mercury represents intellect, analysis, transaction and exchange. Exalted mercury establishes our values in life. Material values, prices, standards of measurement and comparison, artistic values as well as spiritual values. Exalted Mercury in Virgo gives great healing power which the person uses to heal and serve mankind.

Mercury is debilitated in Pisces which is also dual sign with water element. This water element completely dilutes the analytical intellect of Mercury in a whirlpool of misplaced emotions and impractical ideas. People with debilitated Mercury are not exactly fools but are confused. They are enthusiastic but not always wisely so. Debilitated Mercury can make a person lack in boundaries. They are moved by sentiments which are not genuine and when frustrated can suffer from self pity. They can be amorphous, hard to pin down and often appear in whatever way is necessary to please or placate others or they make commitments without any intention of fulfilling them. They just respond to the influence of the moment.

planet jupiter Jupiter


Jupiter transit Report is considered as the most beneficial planet for mankind and will function best in Cancer because of the water element. Jupiter is the planet of wisdom or knowledge unlike Mercury which is the planet of information and exchange. Exalted Jupiter gives a person,x humility because of true wisdom. Exalted Jupiter makes him true guru who dispenses knowledge and wisdom for benefit of all. It is the planet of luck, divine grace which can fulfill all our needs without our seeking. When Jupiter is with us the universe is with us. In its exaltation in Cancer he is the Cosmic and Divine beneficence. Jupiter gets debilitated in Capricorn which is cardinal sign with earth element The earth element of Capricorn with it’s cardinal nature can make us too materialistic, too pragmatic. We can become too manipulative to achieve our goal. It will give us pride and arrogance and can make us too self centered. We can become over optimistic and over extend ourselves in every sphere of our life Jupiter transit in 2022-23.

planet venus Venus


Venus signifies water element. Venus is exalted in Pisces. The degree of exaltation is 27 degrees. Pisces is a dual sign with water element. Unlike, Moon in Scorpio when there is excess water which is stagnated in fixed sign, the excess water element with Venus in Pisces is free flowing in dual sign. Venus in Pisces signifies infinite love and our infinite appreciation of beauty and passion.

Venus exalted in our chart signifies our aspiration to beauty and truth through which we can realize the power of infinite love beyond our senses and pleasure that is the love of God or realization of the God within ourselves. Venus gets debilitated in Virgo which is also dual sign with earth element. This earth element of debilitated Venus limits us to the pleasure of our senses only.

Debilitated Venus completely deprives our capacity to feel content and to become happy in life. She makes us vain, superficial and affected and turn us into a machine to seek sensual pleasure and luxury. Debilitated Venus signifies the pleasure that dissipates, exhausts and debilitates, the self indulgence which can ultimately leads to our destruction.

saturn Saturn


Saturn signifies Air element. Saturn is exalted in Libra which is cardinal sign with air element. The degree of exaltation is 20 degrees. The excess air with Saturn in Libra allows Saturn to manifest its highest qualities in our life. In its normal or worst form it is the most malefic planet among all the planets.

Saturn brings limitation and obstruction, hindrance in self expression and self manifestation. As Jupiter is the great affirmer, Saturn is the great negator. Destruction is as important in evolution as creation is. In this respect Saturn is just opposite of Sun. In mythology Saturn is described as the son of Sun. Father and Sun are the greatest enemy of each other. Exalted Saturn can make us really free from our fear of the limitation of the material realm in our life. Saturn is the death that takes us beyond the limitations of the mortal life, which is the gateway to the eternal Exalted Saturn is the Yogi in meditation. He can teach us complete detachment and independence from material desires in our life. Exalted Saturn can also deliver enormous wealth and power in our mundane life by giving us the concentration and discipline and will power and seriousness to achieve most enduring success in our life.

Saturn in your life gets debilitated in Aries which is fire element and cardinal sign. It is the same story where air and fire combines to deliver the uncontrolled miseries of the negative qualities of Saturn in our life. It will cause poverty, deprivation and want. It will keep us in bondage and will take away all our vitality on a physical or mental level.

planet rahu/ketu Rahu/Ketu


The two lunar nodes are always 180 degrees opposite to each other.
Rahu is more like Saturn and has air element. Ketu is more like sun and Mars and has fire element. Rahu is exalted in Taurus and debilitated in Scorpio and for Ketu it is just the opposite. The degree of exaltation is supposed to be 20 degrees. Rahu and Ketu are said to be shadowy Karmic planets in our chart. They act as triggers to deliver both Karmic rewards and Karmic punishments in our life.

In fact astrologers do not have clear agreements on the signs of exaltation and debilitation of these two planets. Some consider that both of them are exalted in either Gemini or Virgo , the two signs of Mercury. Then both Sagittarius and Pisces the two signs of Jupiter will become the signs of debilitation of both these planets. Because of this confusion it is difficult to explain the logic behind it.

What you will find interesting that there are three distinct pairs among the family of planets. They are Sun and Saturn; Jupiter and Mars; Mercury and Venus. In each of these pairs, the exaltation/debilitation signs gets exchanged. Sun signifies life. Saturn signifies death. Jupiter signifies wisdom and Mars signifies action. Mercury signifies intellect and Venus signifies emotion. Truly these 3 pairs are pairs of opposites Read More About the effect of planets.