There are five Essential Dignities for any degree of the zodiac: the rulership (+5), exaltation (+4), triplicity (+3), term (+2), and face (+1). If you take a particular house cusp, find the planet which rules each of the five essential dignities of the position, and assign the points to the planet. The planet with the highest point value is the Almuten. For example: for 8 Aries 15: Mars is the ruler (+5), the Sun rules the exaltation (+4), the triplicity (+3) and the face (+1) = +8, and Venus the terms (+2): the Sun is Almuten. Arabic sources give the word as "Almutem," but by the 17th Century, the word was consistently being translated into English and used as "Almuten." [www.leelehman.com/glossary_of_terms.html]
by Deborah Houlding
The strongest planet when all essential dignities are considered. The term is Arabic and derives from al-mateen, meaning 'the firm one' or 'strong in power', but the concept exists in the works of Ptolemy and other early classical astrologers. [www.skyscript.co.uk/gl/almuten.html]
Most of the time, the almuten is the same as the ruler.
Sometimes, the almuten is the exaltation ruler, when associated also with another essential dignity at the respective degree. There could be two almutens when there're two planets sharing the same number of points of essential dignities.
There are special cases, when the almuten is neither the sign ruler, neither the exaltation ruler, but a planet that rules the triplicity, term and face at the respective degrees. These cases are:
- Jupiter at 19 Leo (by night)
- Mercury at 10-11 Aquarius (by night)
- Mars at 20-25 Pisces (by day and night)
When to use the almuten instead of the sign ruler, as a significator?
I didn't find astrological literature references for this question. But, the astrological logic tells me that the house almutens should be always used instead of merely sign rulers. Surely, this isn't easy, as it requires calculations to determine the correct almuten for each house.
Another way to determine which significator to use, the almuten or the sign ruler, is to actually evaluate which one is more fit to represent that person/event/situation. For instance, in the horary chart set for this question Was September 11 staged by the US Government? the 10th house cusp at 21 Libra offers two possibilities: the sign ruler, Venus or the almuten, Saturn. The choice is easy to make: Saturn is much more fit to represent a government, so we go for the house almuten, as the significator.
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