“Dispositor” is really an oddball word, if you ask me. It is not even in the normal modern English dictionary! Look at it carefully and you will find it is made of “dis” and “posit.” You use dis- in plenty of words, like distance, disgrace, disfigure, etc. The prefex dis- indicates negation, absence, & separation. But very importantly to the astrological use of the term, it indicates completeness, accomplishment and intensification in some uses like disgruntled, discombobulate, and disposition.
Now we are on to something. The word posit is an awful lot easier to recognize in it’s stand alone form: position. And so disposition is a much more familiar form of the word disposit.
Your disposition involves the inherent qualities of your mind and character. It describes how you “position” yourself in relation to other things, people and ideas. A dispositor is a person or factor that is instrumental in creating your disposition.
How Dispositors Gain Opportunities to Influence
You cannot fully understand a planet without knowing it’s disposition. The dispositor is a huge factor in creating that disposition. A planet who disposits many other planets gains significant influence over “disposition” of all of those planets. That is how dispositors gain influence and opportunity in a horoscope.
Thus, planets gain influence by dispositing other planets, especially when those other planets are themselves quite potent and strong.
Types of Dispositors
There are several ways a planet can become the dispositor of another.
The simplest way to become a dispositor is to own the sign that a planet occupies. Mars, for example, becomes a dispositor for any planet that occupies his signs: Aries & Scorpio. Venus becomes a dispositor for any planet who occupies her signs: Taurus & Libra, etc.
Every dispositor will itself have a dispositor, until you get to one that you designate the “final dispositor.” The final dispositor can become very influential, especially when it is the final dispositor of many or all of the planets in a horoscope.
How do you decide that a planet should be the “final dispositor”? Normally this happens when you get to a dispositor who occupies it’s own sign. Such planets disposits themselves. Alternatively it can happen when the chain of dispositorship returns to a planet.
In the example at left, the Moon is in Taurus, so Venus is her dispositor. Venus is in Capricorn, so her own dispositor is Saturn. Saturn is in Aquarius, which is his own sign – so he disposits himself. He largely creates his own disposition. Since Saturn has no dispositor besides himself, he is the final dispositor of the Moon (and of Venus).
At right is an example of a final dispositor which is not in its own sign. We start with Saturn (simply because we picked Saturn and want to know about its dispositors). Because it is in Taurus, Venus is its dispositor. Because Venus is in Sagittarius, Jupiter is her dispositor. Because Jupiter is in Cancer, the Moon is his dispositor. Because the Moon is in Libra, Venus is his dispositor. We already mentioned Venus in this chain! Therefore a closed loop will form with Venus as the focal point. This makes Venus the final dispositor.
In this case we have traced the dispositors of four planets, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. We have discovered that Venus is the final dispositor of all of them. On this basis Venus gains considerable opportunity to exert what strength she possesses and influence the rest of the chart to cooperate with her intentions.