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Dictionary of Astrological and Astronomical Terms

Compiled by Julene Packer-Louis, Evan Bortnick, and Jackie Goldstein

Copyright 2000-2019 OCA, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of the dictionary may be reproduced in any form without written permission.


Mutual Reception

This occurs when two planets receive each other in one of their essential dignities. For example, Mars in Gemini and Mercury in Aries are in mutual reception because Mars rules Aries and Mercury rules Gemini.

Mutual reception by ruling sign is the strongest. In order of strength, there can be reception by sign, exaltation, triplicity, term, or face. There are also mixed mutual receptions, as when planet A is in the terms of B while planet B is in the exaltation of A.

According to Bonatus, "reception abates all malice." Some astrologers believe that mutual receptions give a way out by conferring exchange status; that is, if two planets are in mutual reception by sign or exaltation, either planet can be read back to the sign and degree position of the other as if they had exchanged positions in the chart. Mutual reception by triplicity, term, or face is weaker and probably does not confer exchange status.

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