Factors that increase a planet’s strength are
called dignities; those that weaken it, debilities. These are termed ‘essential’
when they rely upon zodiacal position; and ‘accidental’ if they rely upon
anything else. Thus the advantage offered to a planet by being in its own sign
or exaltation is an essential dignity, the disadvantage of being in its sign of
detriment or fall is an essential debility; but combustion, aspectual
connections and matters of angularity or house position are accidental
dignities or debilities.