Tuesday Toolbox 2.10: Chart Rulers and Dispositors

spoiled dog

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about dignity and rulership. By now you should have a good idea about what planet rules what part of your chart, and which are your strongest and weakest (relatively speaking) planets. You know which are motivated to act, and which have the power to act.

We’re about to take that concept one step further.

Before we do, a word about Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. We’ll talk more about these over the next few weeks, but the techniques we’re looking at now are traditional in nature and usually use just the original (for want of a better term) two luminaries and five planets.

Having said that, I happen to think you can’t understand Scorpio without understanding the role that both Mars and Pluto play…and likewise for Aquarius (with Uranus and Saturn) and Pisces (with Jupiter and Neptune). But that’s my opinion.

Ok, back to our traditional rulerships:

  • 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 Mars
  • Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter
  • Capricorn is ruled by Saturn
  • Aquarius is ruled by Saturn
  • Pisces is ruled by Jupiter

The planet that rules the sign on your Ascendant is said to be your Chart Ruler. This planet is responsible for how you look, behave, act, and also represents your vitality. It pays to watch the transits and retrogrades of this planet very carefully.

The concept of dispositorship is similar, but different.

The final dispositor is the real power hitter in your chart, the main playmaker …and regardless of the aspects to it, you have to learn to make friends with it. Understand this planet- what it wants and how it operates- and you have a key to making the most of your potential. It’s your Kingmaker.

In some cases you may have more than 1 final dispositor, in some cases, you may not have a clear one.

First of all, though, you need to know what it means.

A planet in a sign is said to be disposited by the planet that rules that sign. And yes, this is how it’s spelt.


My chart is above. To make things easier, I’ve displayed only the traditional planets.

I have the Sun in Pisces. Jupiter rules Pisces, so therefore my Sun is disposited by Jupiter. Jupiter is in Cancer where it is ruled by the Moon. The Moon therefore disposits Jupiter. In turn, the Moon is in Pisces, so is disposited by Jupiter which is disposed by the Moon. And around we continue to go.

Mercury, in Pisces, will also end at the Moon and Jupiter.

What of the other planets?

Venus and Saturn are in Aries. Mars rules Aries, so Mars disposits both Venus and Saturn. Mars is in Scorpio where he is ruler. Mars is final dispositor in this case.

The three most influential planets in my chart would therefore be the Moon, Jupiter and Mars.

Given that I have three power players, it’s essential for me that they get along. Luckily they do:

  • The Moon and Jupiter trine each other
  • They are also in “mutual reception” ie the Moon rules the sign Jupiter is in, and Jupiter rules the sign the Moon is in.
  • Mars, Jupiter and the Moon are all in water signs and motivated by the same concerns

My life would be more difficult if they didn’t get along.

In terms of who has the most power to act? Given that both Jupiter and Mars are accidentally debilitated, that would be the Moon- in the 1st house- who is the most powerful planet in my chart.

Get the idea?

Let’s take another example. Below is Madonna’s chart.


Lets go through them:

  • The Sun in Leo is disposited by itself.
  • The Moon in Virgo is disposited by Mercury which, in Virgo, is disposited by itself
  • Mercury in Virgo is disposited by itself.
  • Venus in Leo is disposited by the Sun which, in Leo, is disposited by itself.
  • Mars in Taurus is disposted by Venus in Leo, which is disposited by the Sun which, in Leo, is disposited by itself.
  • Jupiter in Libra is disposted by Venus in Leo, which is disposited by the Sun which, in Leo, is disposited by itself.
  • Saturn in Sagittarius is disposited by Jupiter in Libra, which is disposted by Venus in Leo, which is disposited by the Sun which, in Leo, is disposited by itself.

What does this mean?

  • The Sun is ultimate dispositor for itself, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn
  • Mercury is the ultimate dispositor for itself and the Moon

The challenge for Madonna is that Mercury and the Sun have little in common. Further, with both planets accidentally debilitated in the 12th, she has to work extra hard to access their power.

Doing it for yourself…

What are your final dispositors?

What accidental dignity do your final dispositors have?

Keep an eye on your final dispositors- especially taking note of your health and vitality when they are retrograde.