The Truth about “Cancellation of Debilitation” (Neech Bhanga)

Vedic astrologers talk a lot about “Cancellation of Debilitation” (neech bhanga). Everyone knows from experience that a debilitation planet often doesn’t give the results anyone would expect from a debilitated planet. Sometimes it even gives results we would expect from an exalted planet! So they have tried to come up with a whole lot of rules for conditions in which the debilitation would be “cancelled” or “broken” (bhanga), and in some cases even made into an asset (neech-bhanga-raja-yoga).

Unfortunately these rules are not entirely agreed on, not very easy to assess, and don’t always work.

A much simpler solution to the problem is simply to go back to the basics and realize that there are subdivisions (aṁśa) within every sign – and thus every degree within a sign places the planet into different dignities in those subdivisions (aṁśa), thus granting it different dignity – which often varies widely. There are degrees in Virgo, for example, where Venus will be nearly exalted. For example, look at Joan Jett’s chart with Venus at 16º Virgo, making her look “debilitated” on the surface, but when you calculate the dignity of all the subdivisions at 16º – based on the classical the varga-viṁśopaka technique of Vedic astrology – you’ll see that Venus is very, very dignified at 16º Virgo!

Similarly, there are degrees in Pisces where Venus would wind up with dignity close to debilitation.

In my opinion, this impact of the zodiac subdivisions (aṁśas) is the real reason why debilitation or exaltation is sometimes “cancelled” – or why you often get a planet acting exalted when its in some ordinary sign, like Venus at some degree in Gemini, for example. It’s sort of sad that astrologers neglect their fundamental roots – like varga-viṁśopaka – in favor of writing up new techniques that just sort of throw smoke and fog into a discipline that’s already mysterious and foggy enough to begin with.

Vic DiCara