In traditional Western astrology there are four triplicities based on the classical elements. Beginning with the first sign Aries which is a Fire sign, the next in line Taurus is Earth, then to Gemini which is Air, and finally to Cancer which is Water -- in Western astrology the sequence is always Fire, Earth, Air, & Water in that exact order (except in sidereal astrology, where currently Pisces is the first sign). This cycle continues on twice more and ends with the twelfth and final astrological sign, Pisces. The elemental rulerships for the twelve astrological signs of the zodiac (according to Marcus Manilius) are summarised as follows:
Triplicity rulerships are a very important essential dignity--one of the several factors used by traditional astrologers to weigh the strength, effectiveness and integrity of each planet in a chart. Many Hellenistic astrologers (for example, Dorotheus of Sidon) considered triplicity rulership the most powerful and demonstrable of the several essential dignities of a planet.
Triplicty rulerships (using the "Dorothean system") are as follows:
|Triplicity||Day Ruler||Night Ruler||Participating Ruler|
| Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius): ||Sun||Jupiter||Saturn|
|Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius):||Saturn||Mercury||Jupiter|
|Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn):||Venus||Moon||Mars|
|Water * (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces):||Venus *||Mars||Moon|
"Participating" rulers were not used after the Hellenistic period.
One way in which triplicty rulerships were used by earlier astrologers was to divide a person's life into three periods: early, middle, and late. The condition of the triplicity ruler that is in sect in the chart is evaluated when considering the tenor of the early part of life; the ruler out of sect is examined for the middle of life; and the last third of life is evaluated by looking at the condition of the participating triplicity ruler.
In medieval systems of astrology, each essential dignity was given a different weight. Domicile rulers were given 5 points of weight; exaltation rulers were given 4 points; and triplicity rulers were assigned 3 points of weight. This gives some idea of how much power medieval astrologers accorded to each essential dignity.
The triplicities of seasonal elements in ancient astrology were the following:
|The Three Qualities||Mutable sign||Cardinal sign||Fixed sign|
|The four elements|
ENTJ - Mobilizing
ISTJ - Certifying
ENFP - Motivating
INTP - Designing
ESTJ - Enforcing
INFJ - Guiding
ENTP - Devising
ISTP - Instrumenting
|Humanity as a whole|
ENFJ - Educating
INTJ - Entailing
ESTP - Persuading
INFP - Conciliating
|Positive personality traits||Confidently progresses Through starting conversations, they tell others what they should do. These people have the confidence to get results they can be proud of. They are persistent on the actions to be done and downplay any fear they may have of failing.||Performs reliably Down-to-earth people are conservative about what to do and are determined to get practical results, and they tend to do so in a resourceful manner. They persistently aim on the point of doing actions in the first place and tend to have little emotional impact from any trouble they have from carrying a task forward.||Perceptive to suggestions These people are flexible about what to do and like to discuss about how to get ideal results. While cautious and objective about the possible future, they recuperate easily from past change. They are persistent on understanding the behavior of social groups.||Perceptive to the feelings of others Discussions about how to get nurturing results are the main attraction to these people, so it is important for them to be responsive to others and their wants. They do so in a emotionally sensitive manner. They are persistent in helping individuals under emotional stress.|
|Negative personality traits||Overly demanding They can be very controlling of others to the point of being seen as arrogant and lacking sympathy for those they lead. They also tend to take credit for the work of others who realize their demands.||Resists change Their conservative views about what needs to be done limits their participation in discussion, as very few changes in their methods are seen as necessary to achieve the same goal. As a result, others may see them as dull and materialistic.||Lacks a true standing Their flexibility about what ought to be done arises from a lack of personal support for the action. By lacking a foundation for taking action, these people are seen as superficial and impractical. They do not wish to be settled and struggle to obtain freedom.||Relies on indulgences to avoid defending oneself If their emotions become too strong, these signs can become addicted to drugs, alcohol, food, or anything that keeps them from being on the defense. Along with their empathy, also comes a tendency to be hindered by other people's emotional issues.|