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Exaltation, Debilitation and Moola-trikona Chart

By Kshitij Sharma, January 1, 2010

A very happy new year 2010 to all the readers. May it bring all the happiness and prosperity in the world to you.

Another calendar year has passed and I must be getting old. Last week, while looking at a chart, I could not, for example, remember the exaltation sign of certain planets. Therefore, as the first article of 2010, I decided to post this table as a ready reference. It is more for my benefit and less for yours. Please allow me so much liberty.

This is what I have learnt about exaltation, debilitation and moolatrikona from Shri PVR Narsimha Rao’s book on Vedic Astrology available freely here. Please go through Chapter 3 to understand his views on why these signs were chosen.

  • A planet is comfortable and its natural surroundings while in its own rashi. It is at home.
  • Moolatrikona is like being in office. There is a formal environment and a sense of duty – upholding its natural agenda.
  • Exaltation sign is when the planet is at party – not like the loud new year parties, but what the planet feels most happy doing.
  • Debilitation is like the worst place a planet is stuck beyond its imagination. It is not only sad, but really irritated and angry as well.

The table is as follows:

Planet Exaltation Debilitation Moola-trikona Highest Exaltation
Sun Aries Libra 1°-10° Leo 10° Aries
Moon Taurus Scorpio 4°-20° Taurus 3° Taurus
Mars Capricorn Cancer 0°-12° Aries 28° Capricorn
Mercury Virgo Pisces 16°-20° Virgo 15° Virgo
Jupiter Cancer Aquarius 0°-10° Sagittarius 5° Cancer
Venus Pisces Virgo 0°-15° Libra 27° Pisces
Saturn Libra Aries 0°-20° Aquarius 20° Libra
Rahu Taurus Scorpio Cancer? 20° Taurus
Ketu Scorpio Taurus Capricorn? 20° Scorpio

Sign of debilitation is 180°opposite to the exaltation sign.


  • Comment by Bijesh Menon on January 1, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Hello Kshitji,

    Good to see a ready reckon chart showing the exaltation and debilitation degree in signs for planets. It’s true that sometimes our mind goes blank even to figure out the basics and we struggle for moments to recover to get back to the normal self. This chart should be helping everybody at times I believe.

    Kshitiji, I have a question regarding the exaltation and debilitation of planets. Why planets get exalted or debilitated on certain signs and degrees? For example, Mars get exalted in Capricorn 28 degree. Capricorn is owned by Saturn an enemy planet to Mars. In 28 degree of Capricorn means Mars will be in Virgo navamsa again an enemy planet’s sign. Mean while the same Mars gets debilitated in 28 degree of Cancer means in a friendly planet’s sign and navamsa of Jupiter (again a friendly planet). Like wise Moon gets exalted in Taurus owned by Venus (an enemy to Moon) at 3 degree means will be at Capricorn in navamsa at the time of exaltation(not very friendly to Moon) and gets debilitated in 3 degree of Scorpio a sign owned by Mars (a friendly planet) and in the navamsa of his own?

    I found this very complicated and couldn’t able to fix the right logic behind it. I kindly request all the learned one’s who are around to come up with their views regarding this issue and have deep and healthy discussion to reach at conclusions.


  • Comment by ganesgji on March 7, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Another thing is also considerable. Some says that the exalted vakri grahas are considered as debilitated but debelitated vakri grahas are considered as exalted. Is it right?

  • Comment by Bijesh Menon on March 10, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Dear Ganesgji,

    The great Dr, B V Raman has commented in one of his article on retrograde planets in an older version of Astrological Magazine as follows.

    “In several horoscopes studied by us, the dictum that a planet exalted but retrograde will act as a debilitated planet, has not been borne out. On the contrary it has been within our experience that such a combination of retrogression and exaltation would deprive to some extent the stigma acquired as a consequence of ownership of 3rd, 6th and 8th houses. It should be noted that these observations relate only to a natural benefic like Jupiter. The tale of a malefic like Saturn is altogether different”.

    He further says,

    “We can formulate a proposition that a malefic planet exalted and retrograde and otherwise invested with Yogas , can both confer Raja yoga during his dasa or the dasa of a plnet who happens to be placed in the constellation of the malefic concerned and also throw him out of power”.

    “This formulation can be applied only when the malefic is exalted: the opposite result is also possible when debilitated”.

    I hope the information from the above lines will be enough for you to arrive at conclusions.

    Bijesh Menon

  • Comment by ramadoss on August 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Wanted the concept and the basis of moolatrilkona. Exact degree, one can refer from any book.

  • Comment by E Nagachandran on July 5, 2016 at 8:04 am

    I was interested in D-10 analysis. The rule is to divide a rashi into arcs of 3 degrees each and assign each arc to a specific sign; if the rashi be odd, begin the allocation right from there, and if it be even, begin the allocation from the ninth (house, counted from the rashi in question). It seems the idea is that everything that is apart by 3 degrees is distinct and has to be accorded special treatment. Let me take the case of Shukra in Mesha (Aries) at 28 degrees and Shani in Rishabh at 2 degrees. As per the rule, both will be placed in Makara in the D-10 chart, even though they are (obviously) four degrees apart. I am quite unable to understand this (for a stretch of six degrees like this, the planet will inevitably end up in the same rashi in the D-10 chart).
    There must be some explanation.
    E Nagachandran.

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