One of the basic tenets of Vedic astrology is the exaltation and debilitation of planets. For example, planet Jupiter is stated to exalt at 5 degrees in Cancer constellation, and it debilitates at 5 degree of Capricorn. This is known to most Vedic astrologers. However, I haven’t come across any convincing scientific explanation for this exaltation and debilitation at specific constellation and specific degree. Normally, such assertions are taken for granted without getting deeper into the scientific explanations behind. The purpose of this article is to promote a sense of investigating mindset into the age old astrological constructs, scientifically.
Days without questions are empty! I would like to quote Verse 423 from Thirukkural here.
” From whomsoever heard, knowing the truth by discerning is wisdom “.
When Sun enters 10 degree of Aries, it is referred as Exalted. This is the beginning of peak summer for countries near the Equator, such as India. The explanation for Sun’s exaltation given is that Sun comes closer to Earth at this point of time and hence Sun is exalted. This explanation is widely accepted in Astrologer’s circles. However, is this correct scientifically? Similarly, when Jupiter is said to exalt at 5 degree of Cancer, does it really come closer to earth? Should we also consider any other planets while calculating exaltation and debilitation of any planet?
I have come across few explanations for exaltation and debilitation of planets based on distance between earth and planet concerned. However, those explanations lack any astronomical validation. I am attempting to investigate some of these statements related to exaltation and debilitation scientifically. Outcomes of such investigations can be very useful to validate if the assumptions are scientifically grounded or not. If they are not, it could help us approach the explanations from a different perspective.
“I don’t know. But I want to know” is the starting point of any research. A research attempt may fail to provide desired outcomes. However, the drive to have an inquisitive research mindset should never be compromised. This should be an important basic trait for any astrologer. Failures are the stepping stones to success and the world is built through failures.
It’s your turn now! Do you have any scientific explanation for the exaltation and debilitation of a planet? What are other factors or planets that are involved in deciding exaltation or debilitation? Post your comments. I am likely to share some of my hypotheses in this regard with a scientific validation through statistical data analysis in an upcoming article (Tamil version of those articles have been published already).