You might want to pull out your chart as you read along, because this is going to be like a treasure hunt unearthing one of your great hidden powers. Down through the ages astrologers have studied and learned to weight the strength of a planet through various methods. The method I am writing about is based on rulers of the horoscope. Today we might say President, or CEO of your chart. Yet astrologers continue to use these archaic terms, and perhaps the best book on the subject is simply entitled Rulers of the Horoscope by Alan Oken.
Each planet seems to have a stronger affinity for certain signs and today’s accepted modern alignment is this:
Aries is ruled by Mars
Taurus is ruled by Venus
Gemini is ruled by Mercury
Cancer is ruled by the Moon
Leo is ruled by the Sun
Virgo is ruled by Mercury
Libra is ruled by Venus
Scorpio is ruled by Pluto
Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn
Aquarius is ruled by Uranus
Pisces is ruled by Neptune
Note that both Mercury and Venus ‘rule’ two signs. Also, to the ancients Scorpio was ruled by Mars, Aquarius was ruled by Saturn, and Pisces was ruled by Jupiter, so we might say that those three planets also have ‘dual rulership’. For the sake of simplicity, however, I will stick with the modern-day rulers as we proceed with our treasure hunt.
The next step is to understand another rather obscure word called‘dispositor’. No, not suppository! This term comes from the word posit or position actually. The dispositor is said to dispose of the position of a planet in a certain sign. Let’s look at an example: a person has Moon in Cancer as well as Mercury in Cancer. The Moon disposes Mercury in this case because Mercury is in the sign that the Moon rules. Another example: Saturn in Capricorn will dispose the Moon in Capricorn. Another way of looking at this is simply that the Moon in Capricorn must ultimately give some type of allegiance to Saturn in its own sign, Capricorn. In this manner we get a sort of chain of command as we go around our birth chart determining which planet disposes of another.
I think of another good friend who has Venus in Libra as her Final Dispositor. This woman has a Capricorn Ascendant which means that Saturn is her chart ruler. Yes, she has had to work very hard in this life and has held positions of great responsibility, but her hidden CEO is definitely that Venus in Libra which is so incredibly relationship-oriented and artistic by nature even though its position is more background in one of her cadent houses, the 9th.
So will you have a Final Dispositor in your own chart? Only if you have a planet in its own sign, and then not necessarily so. You might have two planets in what is called mutual reception or even two planets in their own signs who vie for that command post.
I will be showing examples of this later in this article by using famous people’s charts.
How to determine your own ‘chain of command’ is quite simple actually. Take a piece of paper out and create columns starting with your Sun. You’ll end up with 10 columns in all, one for each of the planets including Sun and Moon. This will make it very visually clear when you’re all done. When I do this I use arrows to designate the chain of command from one to another of the planets. We’ll look at two women with Sun in Leo as their Final Dispositor. Keep in mind that not all people with Sun in Leo have it as a final dispositor. We’ll look at another Leo woman who shifts away from this signature.
Sun in Leo Moon in Aries Mercury in Leo Venus in Gemini
To to to to
Mars in Virgo Sun in Leo Mercury in Leo Mercury in Leo
To to to
Mercury in Leo Sun in Leo Sun in Leo
Sun in Leo
Mars in Virgo Jupiter in Gemini Saturn in Sagittarius
To to to
Mercury in Leo Mercury in Leo Jupiter in Gemini
To Sun in Leo Mercury in Leo
Sun in Leo to Sun in Leo
Uranus in Aries to Neptune in Virgo to Pluto in Cancer to
Mars in Virgo to Mercury in Leo to Moon in Aries to
Mercury in Leo to Sun in Leo Mars in Virgo to
Sun in Leo Mercury in Leo to
Sun in Leo (final dispositor!)
Sun in Leo
Moon in Aquarius-to Uranus in Virgo-to Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Venus in Gemini-to Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Mars in Gemini-t0 Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Jupiter in Taurus-to Venus in Gemini-to Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Saturn in Pisces-to Neptune in Scorpio-to Pluto in Virgo-to Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Uranus in Virgo-to Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Neptune in Scorpio-to Pluto in Virgo-to Mercury in Leo-to Sun in Leo
Pluto in Virgo-to Mercury in Virgo-to Sun in Leo (her Final Dispositor!)
This method of chart analysis can also yield further wealth of information simply by studying where each chain of command goes from planet to planet and from house to house. Note that certain chains are longer than others. In Jacqueline’s chart, for example, we note that starting with Pluto we move to the Moon, then to Mars, and finally to the Mercury/Sun link. Pondering that chain leads us into perhaps the darker side of her life which was full of both sexual betrayal, death, and ensuing sorrows, yet ultimately led back to her indomitable will and queenly role as a Leo.
When studying your own chart through this method I’m sure you’ll glean all sorts of insights along the way as you follow the threads and unravel the mysteries of your own life.
Sun in Leo
Moon in Sagittarius-to Jupiter in Gemini-to Mercury in Cancer back to Moon in Sagittarius. This is a ‘loop’: Moon-Jupiter-Mercury.
Mercury in Cancer to Moon in Sagittarius to Jupiter in Gemini back to Mercury in Cancer.
Venus in Virgo to Mercury in Cancer to Moon in Sagittarius to Jupiter in Gemini back to Mercury.
Mars in Aries
Jupiter in Gemini to Mercury in Cancer to Moon in Sagittarius back to Jupiter.
Saturn in Taurus to Venus in Virgo to Mercury in Cancer to Moon in Sagittarius to Jupiter in Gemini back to Mercury
Uranus in Taurus to Venus in Virgo to Mercury in Cancer to Moon in Sagittarius to Jupiter in Gemini back to Mercury.
Neptune in Virgo to Mercury in Cancer to Moon in Sagittarius to Jupiter in Gemini back to Mercury
Pluto in Leo to Sun in Leo
There are a couple other curiosities to her line up. Mars in Aries sits by itself. It disposits not a thing though it does trine her Sun in Leo and sextiles her Jupiter in Gemini giving her gusto and even personal acclaim in her enterprises. The other curiosity is Pluto in Leo disposited by the Sun in Leo. The only planet the Sun disposes of. Well, she did go through her plutonian death and rebirth didn’t she? Note that Pluto ‘rules’ her Scorpio Ascendant. Perhaps her own greed got the better of her for a bit, but she paid her dues and rose out of the ashes to continue on as ‘Queen’ did she not? She certainly wasn’t beheaded! My point in all of this is that neither Pluto nor Mars (both co-rulers of Scorpio) are actually the hidden powers in her chart. We better look to Mercury, Moon, and Jupiter to understand more fully her major contribution to the publishing-broadcasting world of today’s media. It explains a lot about why she just didn’t stay home and entertain with her fabulous cooking and gardening skills.
Sun in Taurus to Venus in Taurus. Now Venus in Taurus if she was the final dispositor of his chart would indicate his great magnetism, attractiveness, and love of the good life. Ah! Like Facebook? “Let’s see how you look! Show me what you LIKE. Do you LIKE what I LIKE?” Venus enjoys and likes people, places, and things.
But wait! Let’s keep going….
Moon in Scorpio to Pluto in Scorpio. Oooops!
Mercury in Aries to Mars in Scorpio to Pluto in Scorpio. Oooops again.
Venus in Taurus
Mars in Scorpio to Pluto in Scorpio
Jupiter in Capricorn to Saturn in Scorpio to Pluto in Scorpio
Saturn in Capricorn to Pluto in Scorpio
Uranus in Sagittarius to Jupiter in Capricorn to Saturn in Scorpio to Pluto in Scorpio
Neptune in Capricorn to Saturn in Scorpio to Pluto in Scorpio
Pluto in Scorpio.
Mutual Reception as the final partnership dispositors
I really need to research this one further because the charts of famous people I looked up for this article have more than one or a combination of a mutual reception and a planet in it’s own sign which is not the final end commander. However, I’ll use myself for now until I do find a more famous illustration. I have Mercury in Aquarius in Mutual Reception with Uranus in Gemini. To illustrate further, these two happen in be in a square aspect by degree. They do, in fact, dispose of every other planet in my birth chart. It’s been an interesting journey trying to coordinate what they both represent. I think I’m finally doing it thanks to the great inter-net web and this blog!
Let’s now look at more high profile people to illustrate the interesting phenomenon of mutual reception.
Mia’s chain of command ends with two mutual receptions equal in strength which means they both appear five times as we follow her threads: Uranus in Gemini in mutual reception with Mercury in Aquarius and Moon in Capricorn in mutual reception with Saturn in Cancer.
Let’s next examine her mutual reception between her Moon in Capricorn and Saturn in Cancer. This one explains her mothering instincts to take care of a very large and eclectic brood (Moon in the 9th from other countries as well). She has a penchant for taking charge and organizing obviously. Since her Moon is opposite Saturn this has not always been an easy journey starting with her own childhood. You will also note that this reception is part of a greater Cardinal Grand Cross. How many shoes can this woman possibly wear and feel comfortable doing so? Looking at her Moon in Capricorn we suspect it is definitely not about comfort at all. It is about her need to either take charge, or her need to be both mother and father all rolled into one. This inner sense of responsibility moves her unconsciously through life and compels her to reach out to those who might suffer unduly without her intervention. (Moon square Neptune and Chiron) Yet containing security and safety for all must surely have its limits as we have seen in her life thus far with two of her large brood dead, one or more seriously estranged from her, and now one crying foul play when only a wee child. Can Mother Hubbard possibly watch and keep safe every child? It would seem not.
I’m not sure what exactly to call this category because it runs the gamut of possibilities as we begin to examine various lives. Let’s just look at two or three Pisceans, since we’ve now entered Pisces, to give you a sampling before striking out on your own to examine your own chart and the charts of others.
Do I dare leave on that note? Well, we have just entered Pisces and it is within the nature of this sign not to skirt suffering.
On a brighter note, have fun with your treasure hunt! Take the time to discover something special about yourself with this exercise. Mine the gold in yourself. Also pay attention to the hidden CEOs, and rulers of people’s charts you are interested in. This is but a taste. Keep in mind that Mr. Oken wrote nearly 300 pages on the subject.
In summary: A Final Dispositor shows a decided commander/CEO in your chart; Mutual Reception shows more of a Partnership/LLP; and the loops of three or more chains show a hidden Committee at work. So, who exactly IS in charge of your chart?
Genevieve A. Vierling C.A.P.