Kepler Certificate Program

Take courses at your own pace and pay as you go. For courses that lead to a certificate acknowledging your hard work, we will keep track of your progress. The time for the live sessions may be adjusted based on where members of the class are living. Most live sessions are held on the weekends or evenings.

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Are planets better behaved in some signs than others? In an opposition, what planet is most likely to win the tug of war? Are mutual receptions always nice? The key to answering these questions and many more is understanding dignities and debilities.

Instructor: Charles Obert
5-week course

The traditional astrology tool of dignity and debility is a powerful and nuanced way to add detail to your chart interpretation. But many astrologers do not realize how effective and useful this tool can be or they think it is simply archaic and overly complicated. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The goal of this class is to show how you can reclaim this effective tool.

Required books can be found under the Elective section of https://keplercollege.org/index.php/required-books-for-courses

If you ever want to add horary and electional astrology to your toolkit, you already know you need to understand dignities and debilities. But this tool can add tremendously to your understanding of the natal chart. Unfortunately, it is rare that you can find a course that gives more than just a basic understanding or point listing.

Using clear explanations, examples, and exercises, Charlie will help you build your interpretative skill and guide you into a deeper understanding of the logic and power of the dignities and debilities. (Did you know that Aristotle described the soul as moving through each of the planetary spheres and choosing from them the qualities it wanted in its life. So in esoteric astrology, the dignity system became a way of helping you to discover more about your soul's path and purpose.}

From William Lilly's book Christian Astrology (1647), Chapter 18 (with the spellings modernized):

The exact way of judicature [interpretation] in Astrology is,

  • First, by being perfect in the nature of the planets and Signs.
  • Second, by knowing the strength, fortitude or debility of the Planets, Significators, and a well posing of them and their aspects and several mixtures, in your judgment.
  • Third, by rightly applying the influence of the position of Heaven erected, and the Planets aspects to one another at the time of the Question, according to natural (and not enforced) maxims of Art; for by how much you endeavour to strain a judgment beyond nature, by so much the more you augment your Error.

A Planet is then said to be really strong when he has many Essential dignities, which are known, by his being either in his House [Rulership], Exaltation, Triplicity, Term or Face, at time of the erecting the Figure [chart].

Students will explore the full traditional system of essential dignity and debility, and how it can be a powerful tool in modern chart interpretation.

You will receive an overview of 

  • the history and etymology of the concepts dignity and debility
  • what the different dignities mean, and why there are different versions
  • the difference in understanding and using rulership and dignity in traditional and modern terms
  • how the meaning and usage of the dignities has changed through history
  • important concepts related to dignity - reception, almuten, peregrine

You will receive practice in 

  • how to use both major and minor dignities to build nuance in chart interpretation
  • how dignity and reception help understand planetary aspects and the types of conversations the planets are having 
  • how dignities can help you find assistance for a problematic point in the chart

Students meet in a live online session for 2 hours each week and will be able to download a copy of the recorded lecture. But we also want to make sure you can apply what you are learning.

In addition to the lectures, students will have a course website that includes additional resources, discussion forums, and many opportunities to practice the material with feedback from fellow students and the instructor. Each week students will meet online to go over the material for that week. All students will receive the opportunity to review and download their own copy of the recorded session.

Students in the Diploma program who successfully pass this workshop can count it as 1/2 an elective in either the forecasting or interpretation sections.  

More About Charles Obert

obert charles 100pxInstructor Charlie Obert is a student of astrology since high school, and has studied and practiced both modern and traditional astrology techniques. He teaches workshops and leads study groups on traditional astrology. Charlie is the author of An Introduction to Traditional Natal Astrology and Using Dignities in Astrology, which are currently being used as textbooks at Kepler College. His teachers included Dr. Benjamin Dykes and Chris Brennan.

Charlie's current focus is working on how traditional and modern astrologers can complement and learn from each other. He has a twice-monthly blog on astrology topics on his website at https://studentofastrology.com.

Listen to Charlie's interview on The Astrology Podcast to find out more about his work on traditional dignities and debilities.