by Robert Wilkinson
Today we take a new look at one of the crucial factors in understanding how Astrology works on a practical level. Dispositorship is a primary factor in how any planet in any sign manifests, as it provides the background material to why the "inner lights" work as they do. Though each of the planets has their areas of influence, how that influence works is entirely dependent on what rules the sign they're in.
The sign any planet is in is affected by the sign of the planet that rules that sign. This is called dispositorship. So when Mars is in Cancer, it is heavily affected by the Moon, which rules Cancer. When Mars is in Leo, it will be heavily affected by the sign the Sun is in, since the Sun rules Leo. Mars in Virgo is more influenced by Mercury, and therefore whatever sign Mercury is in. Mars in Libra is affected by whatever sign Venus is in, since Venus rules Libra. When a planet rules the sign another planet is in, we say it “disposes,” or is the dispositor of that planet.
Jupiter influences any planets or houses involving Sagittarius and Pisces. Using the same principles as those outlined above, these will take on the shading of whatever sign Jupiter is in. Taking it one step further, you will see Jupiter ruled areas of a chart change when Mars changes signs, since Mars rules Scorpio, the sign that Jupiter was in through November 2006. So while Jupiter influences the Sag and Pisces areas, while Jupiter was in Scorpio, it was influenced by Mars, just as when Jupiter was in Libra, it was heavily influenced by whatever sign Venus was in.
Obviously this will make the time when Sun and Mercury are in Leo more of the nature of the sign the Sun is in, just like when they are in Virgo they will be more the quality of the sign(s) Mercury occupies. When planets are in Libra they will take on the quality of whatever sign Venus is in, and when they are in Scorpio they will take on the quality of whatever sign Mars is in.
The upshot for the rest of 2007 is that Mercury’s influence will dominate the astrological landscape between August 19 and September 5 2007 when it’s in its home sign of Virgo, since it becomes what is called “the final dispositor” when it’s in the sign it rules. It will "rule" the Sun in Virgo, as well as Mars in Gemini, as well as itself. It’s the same for all the planets when they’re in the signs they rule. Regardless of what sign a planet is in, you can take it back through the chain of dispositorships until you find the “final” dispositor.
Venus will be disposited by the Sun during its stay in Leo, so whatever sign the Sun is in will show the backdrop to how Venus manifests. It will be its own final dispositor when it moves through LIbra between November 8 and December 5. When Mars enters Cancer at the beginning of October, it will be disposed of by the Moon, thus making Mars very changeable in October, November, and December, as well as next Spring.
Jupiter will be the final dispositor for any planets in Sagittarius, until it moves into Capricorn in December, when it starts being disposited by Saturn in Virgo, itself disposited by Mercury in whatever sign that planet is in. This will make Saturn very important in all new adventures, learning challenges, and studies of higher consciousness and other spiritual areas.
So when a planet is in its home sign it is its own final dispositor, as well as the final dispositor of any sign in a sign it rules. Sometimes there is no final dispositor, in which case a chain of dispositors is set up with a group influencing each other through the qualities of what sign they’re in. And if you find two planets each disposing each other, such as Moon in Aquarius and Uranus in Cancer, it is called “mutual reception,” and is a very strong influence. It is as though the two planets feed each other, and grow stronger, for good or ill, in their ability to dominate those affairs in the chart.
Hopefully this will help you understand why two different people with Saturn in Virgo, Venus in Gemini, or Mars in Capricorn (or any other planetary position) can be so radically different in their responses to similar areas or events. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!
© Copyright 2007 Robert Wilkinson