In this essay I want to demonstrate how the traditional system of essential dignites can be used to add quite a bit of detail and nuance to the interpretation of a chart.

Traditional astrology uses five different essential dignities. There are the major dignities, rulership and exaltation, and their corresponding debilities, detriment and fall. Modern astrology still has these dignities, although they are often not widely recognized or used.

In addition, there are three minor dignities, named triplicity, term and face. Each has a different meaning and different level of control.

For our example, I want to look at the chart of Clara Barton. She is most famous as the founder of the American Red Cross, and did extensive work in field hospitals during the Civil War. In addition to that, Clara Barton also did extensive work in public education, and also became a major spokesperson for the women's suffrage movement.