You are broke. And it’s not OK! You are determined to find a job and you finally manage to get an appointment for an interview. You wear your best, serious outfit; take all your diplomas and your most professional briefcase. You feel confident as you have what this job takes. However when you get there you discover that there’s someone else applying for the same job: A tall, blue- eyed goddess, wearing more than enough for the writer not to blame her for offending even the most sensitive public feeling. And on top of everything you find out that she is something equivalent to the female Einstein. You immediately get cold – cold sweat running on the back of your neck and silently pray that the interviewer is a woman who is having a really bad day and will have a nervous breakdown when she sees your enemy!
But Universe ignored you. It’s a man! And he’s feeling great! You feel so stressed that you can’t even talk. You lose the job to this cool, blue- eyed monster.
This, my dear reader, has an astrological name: Accidental Debility. This story could be described by a chart that would have Lord 1, that’s you, having some Essential Dignity but accidentally , located in a Cadent house (falling) like the 12th. As you might guess the blue - eyed monster, Lord 7, would perhaps be in exaltation and in an angular house. More importantly Lord 10, the boss, would absolutely love Lord 7. You never had a chance.
Of course there could be many other scenarios: You were Combusted for instance or your significator afflicted by a Malefic, your significator being on the fixed star called Algol - which rarely is a pleasant situation, unless someone else’s significator is on it! - And so on. This term describes the situation where a significator is placed in the chart in such way that it cannot act or its action is somehow hindered. These obscene situations (when they affect us of course) are called as mentioned above Accidental Debilities.
Let’s try again.
You are broke. And it’s not OK! You are determined to find a job and you finally manage to get an appointment for an interview. You wear your best, serious outfit; you’re wondering why you even try this one since it is so irrelevant to your skills; you have the feeling you are lacking something important. You are not at all sure you’ll manage to get this job.
You get there and discover a dozen of other candidates for the job. You’re next. You enter the boss’ office and … you suddenly realize that he is your long- lost - army best friend, who has become a millionaire!! Not only you get the job, but you also get a bonus AND a free holiday with him to Jamaica.
Yes, there’s an astrological name for it, too. Accidental Dignity! That chart might show your essentially weak significator, in a perfect Cazimi: in the heart of the Sun! Cazimi is always welcome – when it is happening to our significator of course. Or you could be in an angular house (and Lord 10 in your exaltation in this case),or in the most welcome company of Benefics, on the fixed star called Regulus perhaps, etc –all these are nice places to be in a chart. So, a significator can have Accidental dignity, which means that whether it is essentially strong or not, it is placed in such way that it can act its will in the world - let’s say that it is given a “power boost”, for better or worse, by placement.
There’s a list of these Accidental Dignities and Debilities found in Christian Astrology vol. 1. Nevertheless the important thing on this matter is to use our common sense in relevance to what we have learned about the planets and the houses - and all these to be considered against the context of the matter at hand.
A significator might be accidentally debilitated, but that might be exactly what we should expect to see in a chart. For instance a girl asks “Will I meet him?” and we find her significator in an applying Combustion. Before thinking about the poor girl’s bad luck we should consider that the Sun in such questions is the second significator for the boy. So, the girl being Combusted means, a) she is fallen for his Sun- side, b) it is applying so she’ll meet him, c) Combustion has a timeline, it doesn’t last forever – unless there is enough reception between the significators at hand.
Accidental Dignities and Debilities can sometimes alone give an answer: you ask “Will I win this game?” – while playing a board game with your friend - which in this case is your opponent, Lord 7. You are in the 10th house and Lord 7 in the 6th. You win!
I think the above examples make rather obvious that the valuation of Accidental Dignities and Debilities is as important as any of the other stages of judgment. “Accidental” placements are in my view the factor that makes the decisive difference, making each chart unique – justifying this article’s title. They are, along with the study of dignities, receptions and aspects, one more tool that will guide us to the complete picture concerning the querent’s situation. As such they can never be ignored.
References: The Horary Textbook, by John Frawley.