Canceling Debilitation – Bad Things Causing Good Things

Note: [August 2012] Having changed 8 months ago to a tropical perspective on the Zodiac signs I have come to feel that Cancellation of Debilitation is an unnecessary complication. Merely by using “subdivisional dignity” (varga vimshopaka) one can easily see that debilitated planets might be at a degree that gives them great dignity through the subdivisions, and this is a much simpler and more straightforward explanation of why debilitated planets often do not give debilitated effects (and similarly for exalted planets)

Still, this article was interesting and is popular on the blog – so I’ll leave it online for posterity.

– Vic

In life, when we are weak in some area, sometimes that weakness causes us to develop great strength in other areas to compensate, or it may even cause us to work on our weakness in such a way that they become very great strengths.

In astrology, a “weakness” is generally seen as a debilitated planet – that is a planet in your birth chart which is in it’s weakest sign, it’s sign of “debilitation.” We can also see the extent to which a person can compensate for or rise above this weakness by seeing the extent to which a debilitated planet in the birth chart is involved in a condition called neecha-bhanga which is popularly sort of mistranslated as “Cancellation of Debilitation.”

It is really not a “cancellation” but a “modification.” But anyway, let’s continue.

For a debilitated planet to have this positive trait – the ability to be compensated for or risen above – there have to be special conditions in the birth chart pertaining to the planet. Basically there has to be a planet who is capable of helping the debilitated planet, and who is in a strong position in the birth chart.

Let’s go with a concrete example.

Take Jupiter. Jupiter is weakest (becomes “debilitated”) in Capricorn. So let’s say you have a chart where Jupiter is in Capricorn and thus represents a weakness for the person.

There are a few planets who are capable of helping Jupiter compensate for or even totally rise above the weakness he represents as a result of his debilitation.

  1. Himself. Jupiter could potentially help himself.
  2. Saturn. Because Saturn owns Capricorn, where Jupiter is debilitated.
  3. The Moon. Because the Moon owns Cancer, where Jupiter is exalted.
  4. Mars. Because Mars becomes exalted in Capricorn.

Fight Fire With Fire

Jupiter can help himself only if he has internal strength. This is just how it is. If you have a big weakness in your life, sometimes you can help yourself rise above it, but you need to have a lot of internal strength to do so without external help. In astrology the “internal strength” of a planet is shown by the sign it occupies in the harmonic divisions of the zodiac. The 9th division (the navamsha) is the most influential of all these. So if a debilitated planet is exalted in the navamsha it has inner strength dispite its outer weakness.

So for example, if Jupiter is in the Cancer navamsha area of Capricorn (around 20-23º of Capricorn) then you can safety predict that the person whose chart you are looking at will be able to rise above their Jupiter weakness (or at least well compensate for it) by their own internal Jupiterian virtues.

Get Help

Besides this, we can also rise above our shortcomings by compensating for them with our strengths, and by applying our strengths to improve our weaknesses! This is reflected by the following guidelines about who can help a debilitated planet:

Dive In to the Weakness

(1) Saturn can help a debilitated Jupiter, because Saturn owns Capricorn, wherein Jupiter falls to debilitation. To abstract this principle one step: The planet who owns the sign causing another planet to be debilitated is one of the planets who has the potential to help the debilitated planet rise above.

When this happens, a person gets power to rise above their weakness as a result of coming to deeply understand the weakness itself.

Compensate with your Strength

(2) The Moon can help a debilitated Jupiter, because the Moon owns Cancer, wherein Jupiter rises to exaltation. So whenever a planet is debilitated, the planet who owns the sign in which that planet would be exalted is another force which can help the debilitated planet overcome its challenges and weaknesses.

When this is the case in a chart, the person can overcome their weakness by relying on their strengths.

Learn from Experts

(3) Mars can help a debilitated Jupiter, because Mars becomes exalted in Capricorn, where Jupiter falls to debility. Thus, if you have a planet debilitated, look to the planet who would be exalted in that sign as a source of help.

When this occurs in a chart, a person possesses the potential to improve themselves by getting help from people who are strong in the area that they are weak in.


The above mentioned planets can help only if they are placed in an angular house from the ascendant or the Moon. Houses 1, 4, 7, and 10 are the angular houses.

An Example

Up to here I have given you the basics. Know that there are other ways that debilitation can be modified, I have given you the most powerful and important four. And so far I have only explained it in theory. Now let me show you an actual horoscope example.

In this chart Saturn is in Aries. This means that Saturn is debilitated. Aries is the 4th House of this chart. So one can make a quick and superficial (but generally valid) estimation that this person has a weakspot in his life regarding feeling internally content (a 4th House issue) because of having a very deep need for emotional consolation. There are other issues here too, but lets just stick to that one for the sake of this article and topic.

Now, look carefully at Saturn to see what opportunities this person has for rising above this weakness:

  • His specific location in Aries (28º) puts him in Sagittarius navamsha, so he does not really have the inner strength to overcome all on his own.
  • Mars is the planet who owns Aries, so Mars is a candidate to help. Next you must look at Mars to see if he is in a location where he can accept that candidacy. In fact Mars is in the 7th House (Cancer) – which is angular to the Ascendant so Mars will be a factor this person can utilize to overcome his Saturn weakness.
  • Venus is the planet who owns Libra, which is the sign where Saturn becomes exalted. In this chart Venus is in the 8th house (Leo), which is not angular to the ascendant, but is angular to the Moon. This chart has the Moon in Taurus, so Taurus is the “Moon’s First House” – and Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are, respectively, the “Moon’s angular houses” 4, 7 and 10. So since Venus is in Leo, she is in a position to help the person overcome his Saturn weakness.
  • The Sun is the planet who would be exalted in Aries, where Saturn is debilitated. So the Sun is another candidate. Sure enough, the Sun can accept this role, because he is in an angle to the Ascendant, being in Cancer, the 7th House.

So we have found that this person has a lot of opportunity to significantly and powerfully rise above and surmount the problems and challenges posed by Saturn – because they have not just one but three out of the four possible sources of help open to them.

Mars and the Sun are in angles to the Ascendant so they will help in a practical fashion. While Venus is in an angle to the Moon so she will help in a more subjective and emotional fashion.

The Help From Venus

Since we selected the lack of internal contentment as the thing about Saturn debilitated in the fourth house which we would focus on – then factor of Venus being in the Moon’s angle (4th house, actually!) is the most relevant of the three factors that help this person’s Saturn.

For one thing it shows that art, beauty, and women (all the basic significations of Venus) comfort the person greatly. And the person can utilize these to rise above the challenge of lack of inner content. Art, beauty, peace, intimacy, and women will provide the outlet and inspiration for this person to turn his Saturnian weaknesses into actual great strengths and excellent, outstanding features in his life.

The fact that Venus is in the 8th House with Ketu shows that spirituality and occult things will be superexcellent factors allowing to find inner contentment and satisfaction which would have certainly eluded him and proven a downfall if he did not avail himself of their wonders.

That Venus is with Mercury shows that music is not just helpful to listen to but is helpful to create. Along with music, all forms of creative communication including writing are causes of great inner contentment which propel this person to take something which starts as a “weakness” and in reality turns out to be a fantastic strength.

The Help From Mars and the Sun

Then we have the Sun and Mars in the angle from the Ascendant. This shows that although the native by nature is somber and prone to be quiet and appear morose, the fact is that he is very brave in all practical settings and has no fears in relating to people in all sorts of ways. This quality of being unafraid to meet new people and experience new things is what turns the weakness of inner discontent into a strength, propelling him to interact with hundreds and thousands of new people in ways which cause inner fulfillment.


If you are sort of slick, or familiar with Astrology you might notice that Mars is also debilitated in this chart. But you can apply these same rules to Mars!

Jupiter would be exalted in Cancer, where Mars is Debilitated, and Jupiter is in an angle to the Ascendant (and not to mention is also aspecting the other debilitated planet, Saturn). This shows that religion and philosophy are really at the root of what makes this person “tick” the way he ticks and gives him to power to excel in the ways and areas in which he has unusually excelled.

Saturn is the owner of the sign that exalts Mars (Capricorn)… and look, Saturn is also in an angle to the Ascendant! This chart is getting much more interesting!!! Saturn is debilitated, but Mars helps Saturn out of this debilitation. Yet Mars himself is debilitated – and it is Saturn who is helping Mars out of his debilitation! This is a sort of “mutual exchange” forming a strong yoga (combination) between these two planet’s (Saturn and Mars) and the houses they occupy (4 and 7).

So this particular chart is really a good example for illustrating how “Cancellation of Debilitation” actually works.

You may start out in life with something that sort of “sucks” but if you review your resources astrologically you will find whatever opportunities you may have to use those “sucky things” and turn them around from weaknesses into strengths!

This is what the principle of neecha-bhanga (Cancellation of Debilitation) is all about!


October 2012: The world at large seems to really love this article. It is practically the most popular article on my blog. I’m happy about that, but also a little bit unhappy. Why? Because I’ve realized that Cancellation of Debilitation is just an unnecessarily sloppy, longwinded, complicated can of worms, but nobody seems to care. Everyone is very interested in Cancellation of Debilitation (“neech-bhanga”). I don’t know if anyone even hears me say, “It’s too complicated. You will get much better results just doing things right from the ground up.”

What do I mean “do things right”?

First of all it means to favor the principles described in classics over the principles not described there. Particularly, if you take the principle of “Varga Vimshopaka” into account, you never have to worry about a checklist of rules for cancelling debilitation again.

Secondly, define the zodiac itself correctly!

In closing I want to say that people love to wrestle with a zillion specific questions. what if, what if, what if…

Do you want to try to define every possible color in the infinite spectrum??? It is better to understand red, blue and yellow, and understand how to combine them to produce any particular color as the need arises. Similarly Its better to understand the fundamental principles of astrology clearly and learn how to apply them, rather than asking very specific questions and looking for very specific answers.

– Vic DiCara



  1. Akul Tripathi says:

    Hey Vic,
    Thanks for the heads up on facebook. Like the article. Interesting point about the modification instead of cancellation.
    I guess, you hence do not subscribe to the view of neech-bhang raj yoga which, as i am sure you have read, believes that a cancellation of debilitation leads to a kind of ‘exaltation’? From what I gather, you feel it just holds the potential for betterment or does not give complete debilitation effects…

    Also, while in your chart, (havent looked at it thoroughly, but just from the above example) Mars and Saturn, though not natural friends, need each other’s help and form this temporal friendship to ease the debilitation.

    In my chart, (Scorp asc @ 11degrees. with Jupiter, Ketu and Mercury in 1st house, moon in 4th, Ven, Mar in 11 – Ven deb; sun, sat in 12 – sun deb)

    Though there are about 4-5 conditions for neech bhang of Venus, I recently found one for the Sun wherein some classical text mentions that if the deb planet is conjunct an exalted planet, deb stands cancelled. However, unlike your chart, saturn doesnt need any help from the sun; and being natural enemies, esp saturn being inimical to the sun more than sun is to saturn; Does the cancellation still hold true? Will an exalted Saturn still help the sun modify the ill effects of it’s debilitation; especially in the 12th house, where even its exaltation is probably more difficult to manifest itself completely?

    In the Navamsha, with Libra ascendent, Sun is in the 9th house in parivartan with Mercury in the 11th. How badly do you think such a sun is afflicted?


    1. vicdicara says:

      This “NB-RajaYoga” is a situation where the debilitation of a planet causes the individual to overcome their weakness is such a way that they become outstanding and powerful as a result. It is just neech bhanga with greater than normal power.

      In nature, Saturn is neutral towards Mars (because the rebellious anti-authority (Saturn) does need power and strength), and Mars is inimical towards Saturn (Because the military nature of Mars does not appreciate the weak and outcase and rebellious Saturn at all). This is their inherent nature. In my actual chart they are 4 signs from one another, which makes their relationship improve. So Saturn is friendly towards Mars, and Mars is neutral towards Saturn.

      The planets all affect one another. If a debilitated planet is conjoined an exalted planet then the exaltation energy will positively effect the debilitated planet. There is no doubt of this. The visa versa is also true. This is often the case with Mercury and Venus. It is relatively rare to get a truly exalted or debilitated Venus or Mercury – because they are always so close and when one is exalted the other is debilitated.

      In your case the Sun will benefit Saturn, but Saturn will be loathe to embrace the assistance. You must learn to ACCEPT the sources of help in your life more openly and willingly – that is the lesson told by this placement.


  2. kapiel says:

    If palnets are neech in lagna chart, yet they are excelled or molakarka in Navmasa (D9), does that give neech bhang?


    1. vicdicara says:

      that is one of the factors i mentioned in the artcle, yes.


  3. Akul Tripathi says:

    Hey Vic,
    Sorry…have been out of and internet have been acting up thanks for the wonderful explanation..
    Just a lil doubt..
    the last paragraph of your answer…
    “In your case the Sun will benefit Saturn, but Saturn will be loathe to embrace the assistance. You must learn to ACCEPT the sources of help in your life more openly and willingly – that is the lesson told by this placement.”

    You meant that saturn will benefit the sun, right?
    Have another doubt, but need to find the words for it…will mail you when I do..
    hope all is well!


    1. vicdicara says:

      sorry to say that there has been a programming error somewhere in the operating system of my brain and I have to reboot. not really able to process more on this thread for now.


  4. Akul Tripathi says:

    no problems vic..
    take your time…i am sure it is taxing with all the variety of things you are able to write and explain so wonderfully


  5. elias says:

    i didn’t understand how a denliated planet like mars could help another dibleiated planet like saturn … they are both weak


    1. vicdicara says:

      elias – very good question! debilitation does not = “weakness”. It is more equivalent to “depression.” In the example you are referring too there is a CHAIN of effects. It is like if you, Elias are very depressed because you failed a spelling contest. And your friend Victor is also very depressed because he also failed. But Victor knows a guy named John who really helped Victor feel better about the spelling contest. Now Victor can turn to you and relay that encouraging information to you, Elias, and help you. So, in this chart, Mars is saved by Jupiter and is able to pass that along to Saturn.

      Also, even if this were not the case, two debilitated planets CAN help each other out. It is like when you going a support group. Say there are wives who are victims of domestic abuse. When they form a social group and get together with each other, they can really help one another. In the same way two debilitated planets can in fact help one another out of their mutual debilitation.


  6. carlos says:

    …and cancelling exaltation?


    1. vicdicara says:

      Yes, the same principles apply in reverse.


  7. Hitesh Baradia says:

    Very nice article and it really gives insights on NBRY . I was studying one chart of female and kind of confused how to apply this rule on it . It has Sun in Libra in 12th house with mercury and moon and venus in Virgo in 11th house. Now Sun gets debilited in libra and its lord also debilited in virgo whose lord Mercury is in 12th house. Do you think NBRY applies here ?
    DOB – 08/11/1980
    Time – 9:12 am
    City – Porbandar , State – Gujrat , Country – India


    1. It’s easier, imo, to simply consider the varga vimshopaka. If the score is above 10 the planet is not really debilitated in the full sense.


  8. nishit panchal says:

    I have an interesting question…..i am born in capricorn ascendant of 14 degrees. I have saturn exalted in 10th house in libra sign with 1 degree and in conjuction with sun in debilitation in libra with 3 degrees, also there is venus of 0 degrees in libra. Jupiter is also in libra but its little ahead of all this three planets at 22 degrees. So as per ur blog it creates neechbhanga but since any planet within 7 degrees of sun on either gets combust so does exalted saturn helps sun to cancel its debility????….also i hav current venus mahadasha and prati-antar dasha of saturn since last 2 years now..i had many ups n downs in this period but hav gained lot of will power n self belief in this period as never before….also i have debilitated moon in scorpio at 24 degrees in conjuction with mars in scorpio in 11th house at 28 degrees….so i guess this is also cancellation of debility….how does this work positively? mostly i have planets exalted or in debility…i have Mercury exalted at 16 degrees in virgo in 9th house and both the nodes rahu in gemini at 14 degrees in 6th house and ketu at 14 degrees in 12th house……. I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT MOSTLY THE CANCELLATION OF DEBILITY OF SATURN AND SUN ….DOES SUN COMBUST EXALTED SATURN IN LIBRA AND HOW CAN COMBUST SATURN HELP SUN TO GAIN POWER ?


    1. This is so complicated. (a) You are better off just trying to read the chart as a whole rather than focusing on this particular theory (neechbhanga) exclusively. (b) It’s simpler and, imo, better to look at Varga Vimshopaka to understand if the debilitation is truly devestating or not. If the planet has more than 10 points in vimshopaka, the debilitation shouldn’t really be devestating.


  9. rekha says:

    Hi ,
    What about if a debilitated planet is aspect by another planet and they both are enemy and are placed in dushsthana in rashi chart and are kendra to moon. i.e. saturn and sun debilitated in taurus lagna. and moon in capricorn. so what will be the result. is debiliation got canceled


    1. what if, what if, what if…

      Do you want to try to define every possible color in the infinite spectrum??? It is better to understand red, blue and yellow, and understand how to combine them to produce any particular color as the need arises. Similarly Its better to understand the fundamental principles of astrology clearly and learn how to apply them, rather than asking very specific questions and looking for very specific answers.


  10. According to late B.V. Raman (1912 – `98), famous astrologer, a debilitated planet cannot cancel the debility of other planet.


    1. Theorertically: In this case the debilty of the planet in question was itself cancelled.


  11. Vinit Monga says:

    Dear Vic,
    Thanks for the interesting read… wanted your opinion on the following situation that I have:
    Mars deb. in 10th House. Moon & Jup conjunct Mars. Jup almost in deep exaltation at 4 deg 5′
    In D9 – Mars in 12H (Sag), aspected by Jup from 8H (Leo).
    What could be the pros and cons for Mars here.


  12. Ameya Desai says:

    What if for cancer ascendent Jupiter in Seventh house has made NBRY . how to read this NBRY professionally and personally?


  13. marc says:

    Hi. What do you think is the spiritual, or any, reason for a person with two fallen planets in rasi? Both my sun and jupiter are fallen and without bangha.
    But and if valid, jupiter falls in a pushkar navamsha.

    My sun may be the death of me and I’ve already tried once. Fallen (in 2nd) , glanced by sani (and right next to neptune). It is in D9’s lagna and forgot the correct term for this. But he is my atmakaraka. Can’t imagine why it is like this and maybe I or even we don’t understand the true meanings.

    I myself question the concept of karma. Not action reaction but the do unto others thing. I think there is Way more suffering than deserved out there. Visa versa too perhaps.

    And I never considered the same rules for exaltation! Astrology is a life time endeavor.

    Thanks, Mark


    1. If there are two debilitated planets it means there are two special things you need to learn from in this life <- breaking it down to it's most basic meaning.

      If it makes absolutely no sense to you, you should see and consider taking your chart from that vantage point.

      We do not remember the distant past, therefore how can we hold an important opinion as to weather karma is fair or not? There are far too many evil people out there to think that there is far too much suffering. People do not even realize how evil we have become – slaughtering thousands of animals every single day for no reason except gluttony.


      1. Hitesh says:

        I am somehow more inclined to Mark opinion here, when I see many children suffering from horrible things in life. When it comes to Karma as greate mentor says its all due to past life effects , isnt it unfair to child going through all those suffering even not knowing why it is happening ?. I can believe free will concept for matures but when i see someone who is unaware of good and bad deeds has to suffer , everything comes to question mark.


        1. Please read this:


          1. Hitesh says:

            Well I read it 3 -4 times to understand it and to come on same level … but ( this but is my enemy 🙂 ) then … the whole and soul of divine knowledge is to conqure all desires and evils .. wouldnt it be easy to let have the past life memories (as legacies) and not to repeat those mistakes again .. I totally understand that having powerful knowledge or thinking capacity is unbearable ( Having stellium in 3rd house with Ju (exalted 8th lord in rasi n part of NBR in navamsa) + wanning moon + Sun + Me .. I try to acquire each n every detals about point of interest … and at the end with all thinking too much about it & suffering … follows “ignorance is bliss” menatlity n make peace with myself ) ……………. but being in childhood going through past sins of karma, is still a pain , why divine father would like to give their own children ?


            1. I don’t think I can add much beyond what I already wrote in the article. But I would also ask you to read the articles here:


Comments are closed.