Reception by Malefic Planets in Astrology

January 31, 2015 by  

Reception by Planets Astrology

Jesus Summons Matthew to Leave the Tax Office by Jan van Hermessen, 1536.

Reception by malefic planets in astrology is an often misunderstood concept, a lost treasure of bygone ages.  Until new translations arrived in recent years, planetary reception was locked away in old, arcane texts. Reception is worth mastering, as it can transform your horary judgments, casting light like the proverbial Philosopher’s Stone.

One use of reception is helping planets avoid the evil of malefic planets. Astrology today uses the concept of mutual reception, such as when two planets are in each other’s domicile. The reception we are discussing is one-way, just half of mutual reception. Understand: every planet is always in dignity of one or more planets, but it is only being received if it also aspects those planets. Put another way, by being in another’s sign, exaltation, or two minor dignities, a planet is being received by those who rule those dignities, provided the receiving and received planets are in aspect.

Here is where reception gets useful: when a planet is being received by malefic planets, astrology says that the malefic’s evil is abated. This works in horary as well as natal astrology. If you were born with Sun in Capricorn conjunct Saturn (you party animal), have no fear. The Sun is being received by Saturn into Saturn’s domicile, so you will be spared the worst of Saturn’s depredations. This would also hold true if we saw this combination in a horary; let’s say that you are the Sun, about to conjoin the job of your dreams in the form of Saturn. Saturn signifying the job might mean that the job is Saturnian and oppressive, but because the Sun is visiting Saturn in Saturn’s own home, it will not harm you and may even help. Because Saturn is in Capricorn, his own domicile, he is inclined to be on his best behavior.

Charlie Hebdo Shooting: No Reception by Malefic Planets

What happens when a malefic does not receive the planet it aspects? Things can go seriously bad. At the time of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, the Moon in Leo applied to remake the opposition of Mars in Aquarius and Jupiter in Leo. Jupiter and the Moon were not being received by Mars, who was free to do his worst.

Incidentally, this is why the conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Cancer, where both planets are badly placed, is especially destructive. Neither planet receives the other and the result is evil multiplied.

Reception by malefic planets astrology

Charlie Hebdo shooting horoscope. January 7, 2015, 11:30 CET, Paris, France.

Sahl writes:

“…if a good planet were in the house of a bad one (or in its exaltation), [the bad one] receives [the good one] and restrains its own malice from it…” (Judgment 2, Sahl Bin Bishr. The Fifty Judgments, trans. Benjamin Dykes., Appendix A of The Book of the Nine Judges, Cazimi Press, 2011)

Aspects of Malefic Planets in Astrology

Sahl then goes on to say that a trine and sextile to a malefic planet works the same way as reception, in that a soft aspect abates the malefic’s trouble. However, Dr. Experience, as Culpepper liked to call her, disagrees. An easy aspect (and a conjunction) to a malefic might just indicate that its evil happens with ease; without reception, a soft aspect to a malefic planet does not necessarily help and can hurt.

A planet received by malefic planets is more protected. An example is Moon in Aries square Mars. Normally, Moon square Mars can contribute to an incendiary personality and health difficulties. Because the Moon is in Aries, she is received by Mars into his domicile and therefore she is protected from his worst manifestations. The native is still feisty, but an outburst of temper will not ruin his life.

In a few days, we will see Mercury retrograde form a harmonious sextile aspect to Saturn. Mercury is in Aquarius, so it will be received by Saturn, who is the domicile ruler of Aquarius. This helps ensure that their combination is favorable. Now, there are potential issues with Saturn being in Sagittarius, the detriment of Mercury, but that is a different subject for another day, covered nicely by the Starlight Knight blog for those interested in the dark corners of reception.


3 Responses to “Reception by Malefic Planets in Astrology”

  1. Gary Calderone on March 24th, 2015 7:15 am

    Rob Hand said that a mutual reception requires an aspect, planets in each others sign(s) is called a generosity. John Frawley says that a planet in Fall or Detriment cannot receive because it is like a sick person who is too weak to take any nourishment, the only exception to this is called debility reversal (Rob Hand) and is when a debilitated planet is aspecting its dispositor, especially if the dispositor is in a dignified state, such as Jupiter in Virgo conjunct Mercury or Venus in Aries square Mars in Capricorn or trine Sun in Leo, but this was already mentioned in the above article. 🙂

    Also any planet that aspects its dispositor is helped *in general* such as Moon in Libra sextile Venus in Sagittarius, neither the Moon nor Venus are particularly helped of hindered in Sagittarius, but Moon aspects her sign ruler.

  2. Julia on June 11th, 2018 6:24 am

    Hi Nina!

    I have a question: if a debilitated planet is being received by another planet which has no dignity (so I guess it’s peregrine), does that strengthen the debility at all? And conversely, if it is being received by a peregrine planet, but that peregrine planet is also received by a dignified planet, does it therefore have enough ‘borrowed’ dignity to pass it along to other aspects? Speaking specifically about my chart, I have Jupiter in Capricorn (debilitated) being received by Saturn in Scopio by sextile (peregrine), which in turn is conjunct a Mars in Scorpio (dignified). I guess my question is can the dignification of reception be passed along to another planet in a seperate reception? Thanks!

  3. admin on June 12th, 2018 6:14 pm

    Hi Julia,
    I think that the reception of a receiving planet is going a step too far – I’m not aware of any texts that refer to this type of thing. With respect to your Jupiter-Saturn situation, I would think that reception even by a peregrine malefic is good, because that Saturn is less likely to harm Jupiter. However, this is gilding the lily in your case, because Jupiter and Saturn are already in sextile, and therefore in a pretty favorable relationship. The fact that Jupiter is received by Mars is helpful, too, but out of all these planets, only Mars is really well positioned to create definite good, due to his essential dignity.


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

What is 5 + 9 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)