What’s the Difference Between Domicile and Exaltation?

beach sceneI’m often asked about the difference between a planet in its home sign, or domicile, and a planet in the sign of its exaltation. Both are positive placements that give the planet involved extra power and oomph in the chart. But what, exactly, is the difference?

·         A planet in exaltation is an honored guest. An exalted planet doesn’t rule the sign it’s in, but the red carpet is rolled out nonetheless. I liken it to being at an all-expenses-paid resort. It’s got room service, champagne, spa treatments, the works. This is wonderful, but this is also when people (and planets) go wild. These are the circumstances where people get drunk and start throwing furniture out the window because they know that someone else will have to clean it up. So, in essence, a planet in exaltation has no responsibilities but an excess of free rein.

·         A planet in domicile is at home, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails. A planet in domicile makes the rules, but also is responsible for running the place. Planets here can walk around naked if they want to, but they still have to make sure the trash is taken out. Planets here are strong and powerful, but reined in by their responsibilities. They may not be able to go wild, but they also not going to trash the place.

So what’s the difference between domicile and exaltation? Domicile is like being at home. You have to keep up with your responsibilities, but you also get to make the rules. And exaltation is wild and free, with all the issues that implies. It’s the difference between walking around naked in your own home and going on a wild vacation. Vacations are nice, but if you ask me, walking around naked wins every time!

Do you have planets in domicile or exaltation? How do they function?

10 thoughts on “What’s the Difference Between Domicile and Exaltation?”

  1. I have a question: why do Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, & Saturn only have on exaltation?

    For instance, Mercury is exalted in Aquarius, domicile in Gemini and Virgo. It would seem reasonable to included Taurus in the exaltation label, along with an additional fall sign: Scorpio.

    1. Great question! The system of essential dignities comes to us from Hellenistic astrology, and is quite ancient. That system is extremely important to that school of astrology, and is derived from pubic service ranks in Rome.

      While I can’t say why they gave each planet only one (though my guess has something to do with keeping things special, along with the simple fact that shiny and excellent things are something of a rarity in life, and astrology should reflect life), I can see why Taurus isn’t Mercury’s favorite place. Mercury fares best when it can be mutable and adaptable. It can’t abide Taurus’s plodding nature.

      As an aside, in Hellenistic astrology, Mercury both domiciles and exalts in Virgo, and Aquarius isn’t in the picture at all.

  2. I have a Taurus Moon. When I let my guard down, I’m warm, inviting, and easy to undress one’s emotions with. I’m so calm within storms, and do enjoy high-tension situations so that I may not only solve issues, but show how unmovable I am.

    It’s taught me about having control over desires involving food, relaxation, or anything that brings enjoyment to the senses.

    Mars in Scorpio: great with psychological, deep examinations. Getting to the bottom of shit. Deep. Intuitive streaks. Energy that burns consistently. Must have passion in my actions. I’m grateful for this for I’m able to face myself or what’s needed.

    Pluto in Scorpio: I feel I don’t need to add much here. Unlike the Plutonian Libras, WE are more skeptical. Many experienced abandonment in some fashion or some emotionally dramatic and life-altering scenario(s). Very much problem solvers. This, for me, just adds to my Scorpio Mars (along with Saturn).

    1. DA, I wonder, does having Moon in Aquarius dampen mars in Scorpio skill or nah? Like, does it mean you turn your intuition on or off depending on if you’re into it

      1. Interesting question.

        Perhaps you can learn over time how and when to be objective when analyzing one’s intrinsic feelings and such. Aquarians tend to observe, are detached, a tad bland on the emotional spectrum.

        But to me, that doesn’t mean one’s intuition is entirely dampened, just placed aside. Hell, one’s objectivity may make one useful when dealing with others but not oneself, however, overtime, one will have to face the self, the shadow and such. They can work together, but one has to be aware of their personal tendencies, methinks.

  3. anonymoushermit

    It’s the eternal debate from astrologers, and everyone interested in astrology, which one is better? The home placement or the exaltation??!

    And there’s no exact answer. That’s what I love about astrology. There aren’t always exact answers. One, it would be ultra boring! And two, it gives astrology layers!

    I knew a guy in high school that had Sun in Aries and Moon in Taurus. He was very popular and I wonder if people with these placements are very well liked, or not?? Oh well, nice writing as usual!

  4. Mars, Venus, Saturn and Pluto in domicile with no exalted planet. Guess they function as they should. I tend to like other ‘sister’ placements of domicile, as a venus in taurus, I like venus in libra, as a mars in aries, I like mars in scorpio, saturn in aquarius though different, gets along with another’s saturn in capricorn. Easy peasy.

  5. Avatar
    Clifton Greene

    The energy of the one I thought might not be part of my future keeps showing up everywhere. Capricorn Mars. They just opened the beaches less than 2 blocks away. Oh and yes, she loves to go naked too.

  6. yeah your analogy doesn’t work. i have mars in capricorn and i’m pretty sure mars in aries is the one walking around naked with no responsibilities while mars in capricorn takes out the trash ???

    1. Avatar
      Clifton Greene

      Aries moon. Cap mars. Loves to walk around naked at home. She tries, but I don’t let her take out the trash. I’m hung up on her and have decided that’s OK so long as I don’t ANTICIPATE a reconciliation. If it happens, fine. If not, oh well.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll to Top