accidental Ascendant From Evangeline Adams' horary technique in which an Ascendant is determined according to the time and date of the questions, and the querent's natal horoscope is rotated according to this new or accidental Ascendant in order to make horary deductions from the natal chart.
accidental dignity A planet that occupies its house of natural rulership or falls within 5° of an angle is said to be accidentally dignified. The term is also applied to planets in angular houses and to the most elevated planets in a horoscope. See also elevated planets, dignity.
acronical place From the Greek akronychos, at sunset. The position occupied by a planet when it is opposite the Sun.
adjusted calculation date The day on which the planetary position shown in an Ephemeris coincide with the progressed positions of the planets. The adjusted calculation date (also called the artificial birthday) remains the same from year to year.
Admetos Sixth symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology.
advantage, line of An imaginary axis that connects the third decan of the third and ninth houses. The Moon's North Node east of this axis is thought to be in a favorable or advantageous position.
affinity A mutual attraction or innate congeniality.
affliction A term from traditional astrology used to describe adverse aspects, especially those formed by malefics.
age, astrological (great month) A period of about 2,150 years, or one-twelfth of the Great Year of approximately 25,800 years. It represents the time required for the vernal equinox to retrograde through the thirty-degree arc of one constellation. According to many astrologers, the Earth is now moving from the Piscean Age into the Aquarian Age.
air signs Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, traditionally associated with the air element and members of the air triplicity. These signs indicate free-flowing expression of areas of communication ant the intellect.
Akashic records The memory of nature. Akashic is a Sanskrit term referring to the etheric substratum of the universe. A permanent record of every event, sound, sight, or thought that has occurred during the history of creation is stamped upon this electro-spiritual substance.
Anareta From the Greek, literally destroyer. Applied to a malefic that occupies an anaretic place and afflicts the Hyleg; believed by ancients to be life-destructive.
anaretic place the final degree (between 29° and 30°) of any sign, also called the degree of fate. Planets and house cusps that occupy anaretic degrees indicate fundamental issues with which one must deal.
Anaxagoras Greek 500-428 B.C., studied in Egypt and thought the Sun went under a flat Earth each night.
angles The Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven and Imum Coeli; the four cardinal points in a horoscope.
angular houses The first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses. In a quadrant system (unequal house), the angles form the cusps of these houses. The experiential focus of these house is initiatory and dynamic. They are also referred to as cardinal house because they are ruled naturally by cardinal signs and express cardinal qualities.
Animoder of Tetrabiblos A method of birth time rectification, now obsolete, presented by Ptolemy. Sometimes refered to as the Sunrise Indicator.
antipathy Inharmonious relations between planets, which rule or are exalted in opposite signs. Also, conflict between the natal horoscope of two people corresponding with the aversion they feel for each other.
antiscia From the Greek, literally shadows on the other side, opposite shadows; mirror or reflection points. A degree and its antiscion are equidistant from a particular reference point such as the MC-IC or summer-winter solstice axis. The use of antiscia is common to Uranian Astrology.
aphelion The point in a planet's orbit that is most distant from the Sun.
Apheta, also Alpheta Literally, the giver of life; A well aspected benefic that occupies an aphetic (hylegiacal) place in the horoscope, said to have life-preserving qualities. Afflictions to the Apheta were believed by ancients to reduce vitality and endanger life. Synonymous with Hyleg, Apheta was called Almochoden or Alcohoden by ancient Arabic astrologers.
aphetic places, alphetical places Those parts of a horoscope from 5° above the Ascendant to 25° below, from 5° below the Descendant to 25° above, and from 5° preceding the ninth house cusp to the middle of the eleventh house. Benefics that occupy these areas are said to be life supportive. Also called hylegiacal places.
apogee The point in a planet's orbit that is most distant from Earth.
Apollon The fifth symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology.
apparent motion The motion of a heavenly body as seen from earth. Thus, people refer to "Sunrise" when, in fact, it is the Earth which moves. Planet seem to rise over the Ascendant although they are actually traveling in the opposite direction around the Sun.
applying aspect One in which the significator (the faster moving of two planets involved) is moving toward partile (exactness) as opposed to a separating aspect in which the significator is moving away from partile.
approaching aspect An aspect in which the significator is moving toward the promittor in natural order of the zodiac (direction from significator to promittor is counterclockwise in a natal horoscope). An approaching aspect is thought to have an outward, socially-oriented significance as opposed to a departing aspect.
Aquarian Age The Great Year that begins around the turn of the twenty-first century and lasts for two thousand years. Universal developments of an Aquarian nature are expected to take place during this era.
Arabian Parts Developed during the Middle Ages in Arabia, each part derived from three points in a horoscope, indicates a sensitive point that relates the three factors involved.
arc In astrology, the curved path of a stellar body and the angular measurement of this path.
articulate signs Signs that symbolize speaking facility, namely Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius.
artificial birthday See adjusted calculation date.
Ascendant The degree of the zodiac rising over the eastern horizon of the birthplace at the moment of birth. This degree forms the first house cusp of a horoscope and is of great personal significance in the character and life of the individual.
ascending node The zodiacal point at which a planet crosses the ecliptic from south to north. Also called the north node.
ascending planet Any planet in the eastern section of a horoscope is ascending, i.e., moving toward the Midheaven. The term is usually reserved for those planets in the fourth quadrant (rising from Ascendant to Midheaven).
ascension (long and short) Due to the obliquity of the ecliptic, some sings rise over the horizon faster than others. Signs of long ascension require more time to rise than signs of short ascension. In the northern hemisphere, the signs of long ascension are Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. South of the equator, these are signs of short ascension.
aspect The angular relationship between two planets or a planet and angle or sensitive point. Zodiacal aspects are based upon zodiacal longitude; parallels and contraparallels are based on declination, the position of points of interest relative to the celestial equator. Zodiacal aspects are also called harmonics.
aspect pattern Particular combinations of aspects that form special planetary configurations.
Assurbanipal (669-625 B.C.) King of Assyria. Astrological records found in tablets that once formed part of his library. It is stated by Diodorus Siculus (time of Cæsar and Augustus) that the Babylonian priests observed the position of certain stars in order to cast horoscopes, and that they interpreted dreams and derived omens from the movements of birds and from eclipses and earthquakes.
asteroids Small planets (planetoids) or pieces of planets, most of which are found in the Asteroid Belt, that part of space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Astrological researchers are currently interested in five asteroids: Ceres, Juno, Pallas (Pallas Athena), Vesta and the recently descovered (1977) Chiron.
astral twins, astro-twins Two persons who may be unrelated and born at different times and in different places whose horoscopes are very nearly alike. This term is sometimes applied to persons whose Sun, Moon and Ascendant coincide zodically even though other planets occupy different positions in the two horoscope.
astroanalyst The astrological equivalent of a psychoanalyst.
astrolabe An ancient instrument employed for measuring the angular position of Sun and stars, used also to project the celestial sphere on the plane of the equator.
astrologer One who practices astrology; a professional spook. Syn. weirdo; charlatan.
astrologian One who teaches astrology.
astrologist A non-professional who believes in or studies but does not necessarily practice astrology.
astrology The science of relationships as measured by correlations between the movements of celestial bodies and circumstances and events on earth. The art of interpreting the meanings of these relationships. Astrology is a "soft science" which deals with subjective states of mind as well as with objective facts. Some branches of astrology are : electional, esoteric, genethliacal, horary, medical, meteorological, and mundane.
athazer A term applied by the ancients to the Moon when it forms an exact conjunction, semi-square, square, quincunx or opposition with the Sun or is separated from the sun by 12° or 160°.
aura A subtle quality or atmosphere emanating form a living being, object, or place.
ayanamsa From the Hindu ayana, the arc that describes the increasing gap between the tropical and sidereal zodiacs. The ayanamsa, which changes continually at the rate of approximately 50" a year, is currently about 24°. To convert tropical measurements (based upon the Sun's Aries ingress) to sidereal measurements (based upon constellations, fixed stars) the appropriate ayanamsa is subtracted from the tropical position.
balsamic Moon The Moon less than 45° behind the natal Sun according to natural zodiacal order. A natal balsamic Moon is associated with one's commitment to destiny.
barren signs Gemini, Leo and Virgo, traditionally associated with infertility. Aries, Sagittarius and Aquarius are considered semi-barren.
benefic Said of planets and aspects considered to be positive or helpful influences. Traditionally, Jupiter is the Greater Benefic and Venus is the Lesser Benefic; the Sun, Moon and Mercury are moderately benefic. All harmonious aspects are benific.
Berossos (280 B.C.) Babylonian. a priest of Baal. He founded a school of astrology on the Island of Cos.
beseiged Said of a planet placed between two malefics. Energies of a beseiged planet are thought to be restricted.
bestial signs Aries, Taurus, Leo and Capricorn; so designated because they are symbolized traditionally as animals. Also called quadrupedian (four-footed) and inarticulate (animals have voices but lack the power of speech). Speech impediments and superfluous body hair are associated with these signs.
bicorporeal signs Gemini, Sagittarius and Pisces. Also called double-bodied and double signs, they are associated with twins and dual experiences.
bi-quintile A minor benefic aspect, separating distance 144°, based on the fifth harmonic (multiples of 72°, a quintile, which is 1/5 of 360°).
birthtime The moment of first breath of a new born.
bi-septile A minor hard aspect, separating distance roughly 103° (102° 51' 26"), based on the seventh harmonic (multiples of a septile, 51 1/7°, which is 1/7 of 360°.
Bowl One of the seven horoscope patterns identified by the late Marc Edmund Jones according to the picture formed by planetary distribution in a horoscope. All ten planets placed in approximately one-half of a horoscope indicate the Bowl. Interpretation focuses on self-containment directed toward the area of horoscope placement.
Bucket The planetary arrangement formed by nine planets occupying approximately one-half of a horoscope with one planet roughly opposing the group that is a focal point of action (bucket handle) for planetary energies. Identified by the late Marc Edmund Jones.
Bundle According to the late Marc Edmund Jones, a tightly-packed planetary arrangement in which all ten planets are confined in a horoscope to the space of a trine (120°). The Bundle is descriptive of narrowness, uniqueness, specialization in the area of horoscope occupation.
cadent houses From the Latin cadere, to fall; houses three, six, nine and twelve fall behind angular houses. Ruled naturally by mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, respectively), they are also called mutable houses. The experiential mode of activity of these houses is naturally dispersive, adaptive and versatile, which may not be the reality depending upon the sings and planets in the horoscope that influence them.
Campanus Thirteenth century astrologer and mathematician who devised the house system that bears his name, which divides the prime vertical into equal 30° arcs.
Caput Draconis From the Latin, literally dragon's head; an older term for the Moon's North Node.
cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn, which fall naturally at the cardinal points in a horoscope; east, north, west, and south, respectively, points indicated by the angles. Cardinal signs are associated naturally with the angular (cardinal) houses; the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth. Interpretation focuses on initiatory, active, dynamic qualities. Less commonly referred to as the movable signs
cataclysmic planet Uranus, which combines both magnetic and electric qualities and thus produces sudden upheavals.
Cauda Draconis From the Latin, literally dragon's tail; synonymous with the Moon's south node.
cazimi, also casimi From the Arabic center of the solar disc. A planet that forms a conjunction with the Sun within 30' of partile is said to be cazimi, literally "burnt up" by the Sun. The Sun, representing the ego, engulfs the energies of a cazimi planet.
celestial equator The extension of Earth's equator into space, perpendicular to Earth's axis.
celestial sphere The conceptualization of the infinite heavens as a sphere revolving around Earth, based upon the part of the skies visible from a point on Earth.
Ceres The first asteroid to be discovered (1801), named after the Roman goddess of agriculture. Ceres is thought to indicate productive areas in a natal horoscope.
chart A horoscope.
Chiron The most recently discovered asteroid of astrological interest, discovered by astronomer Charles Kowal, Hale Observatories, in 1977.
climacterial periods Years in life, which are multiples of seven or nine based on the Moon's progression and Saturn's transiting cycle. The progressed Moon squares its natal position approximately every seven years and trines it every nine. Transiting Saturn follows a similar cycle relative to its natal position. Thus, climacterial periods are ages seven, nine, fourteen, eighteen, etc. Primary climacterial periods are the forty-ninth, sixty-third, and eighty-first years (doubly climacterial: 7 x 7, 7 x 9, 9 x 9). The sixty-third year is known as the Grand Climacteric and, if aspects in the natal horoscope confirm, is considered a year when life may be endangered.
combust A planet that forms a conjunction with the Sun within orb of between 31' to 3° is said to be combust. The energy of a combust planet is integrated with that of the Sun in such a way that the planet does not operate independently.
comet From the Latin cometa, literally hair of the head, figuratively, tail of a comet. A bright star-like heavenly body, composed of masses of tiny particles and gases, which follows an eccentric orbit of the Sun that for some comets can take thousands of years to complete. Most comets form luminous "tails", bits of meteroic material and gases that stream off into space, when they near the Sun.
common signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces, synonymous with mutable signs. See also mutable signs.
composite chart A single horoscope made up from two or more natal charts by averaging house cusps and planetary positions of the natal charts. A composite chart gives insight into the relationship that exists between the persons whose natal charts are combined.
conjunction The aspect formed when two planets occupy position close together in the zodiac, usually within 8° orb; the first harmonic.
consciousness Any entity's innate capacity for relationships. The sentient principle in all substance. The soul of the universe.
constellation From the Latin constellation, set with stars. A group of fixed stars.
contraparallel The angular relationship between two planets that occupy the same degree (within 1° orb) and opposite direction of declination, one north of the celestial equator and the other south. Interpretational focus is similar to that of an opposition but less forceful. See also declination.
converse Measurements, which follow the reverse order of the natural zodiac, used primarily to direct or progress a horoscope backward in time. Converse directions are interpreted by some astrologers as relating to the year after birth that corresponds to the year before birth for with they are calculated. Others believe that converse directions reveal karmic and inherited psychological needs that relate to the corresponding progressed horoscope.
Copernicus An astronomer born in Polish Prussia credited with developing the theory (sixteenth century) that Earth is a moving planet that revolves around the Sun, a contradiction to Ptolemy's theory (second century) that the Earth is the center of the universe and fixed in space. In his book, Concerning the revolutions of the Celestial Sphere (1543), Copernicus discussed apparent motions of heavenly bodies as observed from Earth in relation to actual celestial motions.
co-ruler Prior to the discovery of Uranus, the Sun and Moon were believed to rule one sign each and the other five planets then known to humankind (Mercury through Saturn) to rule two signs each. When the three outermost planets were discovered, they became co-rulers of the signs Aquarius (Uranus), Pisces (Neptune) and Scorpio (Pluto), along with the traditional rulers, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars respectively. Modern studies seem to indicate that the new co-rulers are primary rulers of the signs with which they are associated and may be sole rulers, in which case, two other planets, one linked to Libra (or Taurus) and the other to Virgo, may await discovery, thus eliminating dual rulership.
co-rulership of a house is shared by planets that rule the sign on the cusp and any sign intercepted within the house and planets occupying that house.
cosmecology (cosmic ecology) The science that considers Earth in its relationship to celestial phenomena.
cosmic cross An old term for a T-square, sometimes applied to a grand square (grand cross).
cosmobiology an astrological system developed by Reinhold Ebertin (Germany, twentieth century) that emphasized midpoints and the following hard aspects: semi-square, square, sesquiquadrate and opposition. The angles are inserted in a cosmogram (Ebertin's term for his type of horoscope), to show the quadrature of the chart; houses are not used.
critical degree 0°, 13°, and 26° in cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), 9° and 21° in fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius), 4° and 17° in mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces). These degrees, based on the Hindu technique of Lunar Mansions (subdivisions of the zodiac according to the Moon's average daily motion, approximately 13°), are thought to strengthen the influence of planets, angles or sensitive points that occupy them.
culmination A term used to describe a planet's arrival at the Midheaven (natally or by progression or transit); also used to indicate the completion of an aspect by progression, i.e., when a platic aspect reaches partile, it culminates.
Cupido The first symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology. See also Uranian astrology.
cusp, cusp line The line that separates the house and indicates the beginning of a house. See also house cusp.
cycle A planet's zodiacal period; the time it takes a planet to make on complete transit (revolution) of a horoscope.
daylight saving time The practice of advaning the clock one hour in the spring of the year. Significant in the erection of natal charts as it requires that one hour be subjected from the standard time when daylight saving time is in effect.
debilitated, debility a term applied to a planet that occupies its sign of detriment or fall.
decan, decanate Based on the subdivision of a sign into three parts of 10° each. Each decan of a sign expresses subtle differences that distinguish it from the other two decans as described by its planetary sub-ruler, which operates in conjunction with the natural planetary ruler of the sign. The first decan of a sign (0° to 10°) is sub-ruled by the natural ruler of the sign; the second decan (10° to 20°) is sub-ruled by the ruler of the next sign in the zodiac that belongs to the same triplicity; the third decan (20° to 30°) is sub-ruled by the ruler of the remaining sign in that triplicity.
An older (Chaldean) method of assigning decan sub-rulers is based upon the rulers of Planetary Hours beginning with Mars as ruler and sub-ruler of the first decan of Aries and continuing the natural order of Planetary Hours' rulers through each successive decan, repeating as necessary until the zodiac is completed.
decile A mildly benefic aspect with a separation of 36°, also called a semi-quintile; the tenth harmonic.
declination The term that describes the distance in degrees a planet lies north or south of the celestial equator. The maximum declination of the Sun is reached at the Tropic of Cancer (north declination) and Tropic of Capricorn (south), 23°27'. Planets that occupy the same degree and direction of declination are parallel; those that occupy the same numerical degree but lie in opposite directions relative to the celestial equator are in contaparallel.
decreasing in light Term applied to the waning Moon as its image (as observed from Earth) decreases from the full to the new Moon.
departing aspect An aspect in which the direction from significator to promittor is backward in the zodiac (clockwise in a horoscope). A departing aspect is given a subjective and, esoterically, a fatalistic connotation.
derivative house A system that describes the affairs of a house as they relate to another, assuming that one of the houses of interest is the first. For example, the second house to the third, actually the fourth house in the natal chart, describes financial affairs (a second house matter) of the brothers and sisters (a third house matter). The fourth house, which rules family interests, also represents the partner's career and reputation since it is the tenth from the seventh, which is associated with one's business or marital partner.
Descendant Point opposite the Ascendant and cusp of the seventh house; it describes one's interreation with others.
detriment Said of a planet that occupies the sign opposite its sign of natural rulership (dignity). a planet in detriment is thought to be at disadvantage.
dexter aspect From the Latin to the right. An old term now replaced by approaching aspect. See also approaching aspect.
dignity The sign that a planet rules naturally is its sign of dignity. A planet is essentially dignified when it occupies its natural sign of dignity or its sign of exaltation; it is accidentally dignified when placed in its natural house. It is in domal dignity when in its own sign.
direct motion Motion that follows the natural order of signs. Proceeding in the order of the signs. In the Ephemeris, the beginning of direct motion after a period of retrograde motion, is marked by the letter D.
directions A term synonymous with progression. See Progressions.
disjunct Another name for the quincunx aspect. See quincunx.
dispositor The planet that rules the sign another planet occupies. For example, Mercury in Taurus is disposited by Venus, the natural planetary ruler of Taurus. A dispositor influences the action of the planet it disposits.
dissociate aspect An aspect within orb but out of sign. For example, a conjunction between a planet in 29° Capricorn and one in 0° Aquarius is within 1° orb but not in the same sign; therefore, it is a dissociate conjunction. A trine between a planet in 27° Aries and one in 2° Virgo is within 5° orb but the two planets are not in the same triplicity; the trine is dissociate. Dissociation disperses and thus weakens the strength or focus of an aspect.
diurnal From the Latin diurnus, daily. Refers to the southern (upper) hemisphere of a horoscope, the "day" section of a horoscope, that part of the heavens that appears above the Earth's horizon.
diurnal arc The time expressed in right ascension that it takes a planet or degree of the zodiac to move from its rising point on the horizon to its setting point.
diurnal signs Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces, signs whose natural positions are in the diurnal or southern hemisphere of a horoscope.
domal dignity See dignity.
double signs, double-bodied signs Synonymous with bicorporeal signs; Gemini, Sagittarius, and Pisces. See also bicorporeal signs.
dragon's head An ancient term for the Moon's North Node, derived from the Latin caput draconis.
dragon's tail An ancient term for the Moon's South Node, derived fro the Latin cauda draconis.
duad, dwadasama, also dwadachamsha A twelve-fold subdivision of the signs(each composed of 2 1/2°) developed by Hindu astrologers. The first duad of each sign is sub-ruled by the natural planetary ruler of the sign; the second duad is sub-ruled by the ruler of next sign in the zodiac and so on. These "signs within a sign," by virtue of their planetary rulers, account for subtle shadings of expression found in different degrees of the same sign.
earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, which belong to the earth triplicity, symbolizing "earth" qualities such as stability, solidarity and practicality.
East Point The equatorial Ascendant; i.e., the sign and degree rising over the eastern horizon at Earth's equator at any given time; the point at which Earth's equator intersects the ecliptic.
easy aspect See harmonious aspects.
eclipse An occultation, commonly used in reference to a darkening of the Sun or Moon. Solar eclipses occur at the times of those new Moons when the Moon, Sun and Earth are aligned so that the Moon blocks the Sun (totally or partially) from Earth's view. Lunar eclipses occur at certain full Moons during which the Sun, Earth and Moon are so aligned that Earth blocks the Sun's light from the Moon, and the Moon is invisible to earthlings.
ecliptic The apparent path of the Sun as it "travels" around Earth during the course of a year; actually, Earth's orbit around the Sun.
electional astrology, elections A system by which one determines the most advantageous time to carry out a specific action (marriage, travel, business) by first erecting a suitable horoscope and working "backward" to calculate the time that is appropriate to the chosen horoscope.
elements Ancients believed that the universe consisted of four primary elements, air, earth, fire and water from which the triplicities (also called elements), a four-fold division of the zodiac, are derived. Signs belonging to the same triplicity exhibit similar qualities symbolized by the element with which they are associated.
elevated planet A planet placed high in a horoscope. The most elevated is the planet closest to the Midheaven; it is considered strong by position and accidentally dignified.
elongation The distance of a planet from the Sun, as viewed from Earth. The maximum elongation for the inferior planets is 28° for Mercury, and 48° for Venus. Mercury can therefore only form a conjunction and semi-sextile to the Sun; Venus can onlly form a conjunction, semi-sextile, or semi-square to the Sun. Aphelion is the maximum elongation of a planet, while perihelion is the minimum elongation of a planet. See also aphelion, perihelion.
embolism lunation The Moon's position when the natal lunar phase angle (relative position between Moon and sun in a natal horoscope) is repeated. it is believed that women can conceive during the time each month that the natal lunar phase angle recurs.
ephemeris (plural: ephemerides) An almanac that lists the zodiacal positions of the planets and other astronomical data.
Equal House horoscope One in which twelve equal houses are derived by taking successive arcs of 30° each, beginning with the Ascendant and completing the zodiac circle. An alternate method bases the house cusps on the Midheaven rather than the Ascendant.
equator The plane perpendicular to Earth's polar axis, which divides Earth into two hemispheres, north and south. The extension of this plane into space forms the celestial equator.
equatorial arcs A method of progressing house cusps, based upon the Earth's rotation, in which one year of life corresponds to the passage of 1° right ascension over the meridian, approximately four minutes of time. This method, little used in modern times, is called primary directions (progressions) to distinguish it from secondary progressions, the "day for a year" system of progressing a natal horoscope.
equinox From the Latin aequinoctium, equal night; occurs when the center of the Sun is directly over Earth's equator. the Sun crosses the equator twice each year, once at the vernal equinox when it enters 0° Aries and again at the autumnal equinox when it enters 0° Libra. The days and nights are of equal duration all over the world on equinoctial dates. The vernal equinox occurs on the first day of spring, the autumnal equinox on the first day of autumn.
esoteric astrology A study that deals with the human spirit and hidden nature as opposed to exoteric astrology, which deals with human characteristics and life on Earth. Reincarnation, karma, the aura, one's reason for being and the part human life plays in the ultimate scheme of the cosmic, universal or spiritual are among topics investigated in terms of astrological symbolism.
essential dignity A planet's sign of natural rulership or exaltation. See also dignity, exalted.
event chart A horoscope drawn up according to the date, time and location of a particular happening, interpreted to gain insight into influences surrounding the event and an outlook for possible developments stemming from that event.
exalted The term used to describe a planet that is placed in its sign of exaltation, the sign, other than its one of dignity (natural rulership), in which it functions most smoothly because of the harmonious relationship between planet and sign.
exoteric astrology any branch of astrology that studies observable events and characteristics such as natal astrology, mundane astrology, etc., as distinguished from esoteric astrology, which studies the unknown or occult aspects of humanity.
extra-Saturnian planets The three planets not visible to the naked eye that orbit outside the planet Sauturn, namely: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
face An obsolete term meaning the division of each sign into six equal parts of 5° each.
fall The sign opposite a planet's sign of exaltation; a planet in "fall" is debilitated or weakened.
familiarity Any kind of aspect or reception between two planets.
feminine signs Earth and water signs. Feminine characteristics do not refer to sex or gender; they are associated with receptivity. Synonymous with negative signs.
fertile signs See fertility.
fertility A classification of the signs based on their susposed productivity. Fertile signs, Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces are said to be good for planting when occupied by the Moon, and are indicators of offspring when occupying the cusps of the fifth or eleventh houses. Semi-fertile or moderately fruitful signs are Taurus, Libra, and Capricorn. Barren or sterile are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Aquarius. The barren signs are good for cultivation when occupied by the Moon, and are indicators of not having children when occupying the cusps of the fifth or eleventh houses.
Finger of God An ambiguous term used variously to indicate the handle in a bucket formation or the yod, a configuration consisting of two planets in sextile and each quincunx to the same third planet. the yod is associated with karma. See also shaping, yod.
fire signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, signs which belong to the fire triplicity, associated with the element, fire. Fire signs symbolize fiery characteristics (ardor, spirit, spontaneity).
fixed signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, which are related to a fixed or stable mode of expression. Fixed signs are associated naturally with succedent houses: the second, fifth, eighth and eleventh respectively.
fixed stars Stars which, because of their great distance from Earth, appear to be motionless or fixed in space although in actuality they are not.
flat chart Alternate term for natural chart. See natural chart.
focal point Any point in a horoscope where several influences converge or disperse, such as the position of the squared planet in a T-square formation, the action point in a yod, the handle of a bucket, etc. See also T-square.
Fortuna From the Latin fortuna, fortune. Interchangeable with Part of Fortune.
fortunes Another term for the benific planets. See benefic.
fruitful signs The water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, which are associated with fertility.
frustration An alternate term for Abscission. See abscission.
full Moon That point in the lunar cycle when the Moon exactly opposes the Sun; begins the waning phase.
galaxy One of the billions of huge cosmic systems, each composed of innumerable stars, planets, etc. Members of a galaxy revolve as a unit around a common point in space. Our solar system is part of the Milky Way galaxy.
genethliacal astrology An old term for natal astrology. See also natal astrology.
geniture From the Latin, birth or origin; used in astrology to refer to a birth or a natal horoscope. See also natal astrology.
geocentric Measured or viewed in relation to Earth as the reference or observation point; Earth-centered measurements.
gibbous Moon The Moon approaching the full Moon, more than 135° and less than 180° ahead of the Sun. A natal gibbous Moon indicates that self-analysis is an important factor in motivation.
grand cross, grand square An aspect configuration in which four planets, each in a different sign of the same quadruplicity, form mutual squares. Much tension is generated among planets forming this pattern. If signs are mixed (aspects within orb but not in signs of the same quadruplicity), the impact associated with a grand square is somewhat diminished.
grand trine The aspect pattern formed when three planets, each in a different sign of the same triplicity (air, earth, fire or water), trine each other. A grand trine permits smooth flow of energies among the planets involved in accordance with the triplicity occupied. A dissociate grand trine, one in which the three planets fall within orb to form mutual trines but do not occupy the same triplicity, supplements ease of planetary expression but lacks the cohesiveness of a grand trine formed between planets occupying one triplicity.
great circle A circle described on the surface of a sphere (Earth, for example) so that its plane passes through the center of the sphere.
Great Year The astrological ear based on the time it takes Earth's axis to complete on revolution around the pole of the ecliptic, about twenty-five thousand years. A Great Year is divided into twelve "months" of about two thousand years duration. See also Precession.
Greater Benefic A term reserved for the planet Jupiter which, according to ancient beliefs, was responsible for life's greatest blessings.
Greater Malefic A term applied to Saturn, the planet ancients believed to generate the evils in life.
Gregorian calendar The calendar now used internationally, devised by Pope Gregory in the 1580s to replace the Julian calendar, which by then had accumulated a ten-day discrepancy with the solar year. Most, but not all, countries accepted the Pope's calendar by the 1700s (Great Britain, 1752). Russia did not change until 1918 and Turkey in 1928. Astrologers working with older dates should determine whether they are based on the Julian calendar, designated Old Style or OS, or on the Gregorian calendar, designated New Style or NS.
Hades The second symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology. See also Uranian astrology.
Halley's Comet Named for the English astronomer, Edmund Halley, who correctly predicted, in 1682, the comet's return in 1759. One of the most brilliant comets viewed from Earth, it reappears approximately every seventy-seven years.
half-sum an alternate term for mid-point, the point in the zodiac that lies exactly midway between two planets.
hard aspects Aspects that stimulate action or tension and induce motivation. All hard aspects are disharmonious to some extent except the conjunction and parallel, whose influence depends largely upon the natures of the planets involved; that is, planetary energies do not merge smoothly when two planets form a hard aspect such as the semi-square, square, opposition or sesquiquadrate.
harmonics The term for zodiacal aspects that describe the energy levels or vibrational frequencies associated with aspects. An aspect, derived from the division of a circle (360°) by a whole number, and its multiples share the same frequency and therefore operate at similar energy levels. For example, division of 360° by four yields 90°, a square. The square is a fourth harmonic aspect as are its multiple, 180° (opposition) and 270°. Several harmonics may merge in a single aspect. The square is a multiple of the semi-square (45°), an eighth harmonic aspect; the square's primary harmonic is four (sometimes written 1/4) and its sub-harmonic is eight (2/8, second of the eighth harmonic). The opposition's primary harmonic is two (1/2 x 360°= 180°); its sub-harmonics are four (2/4, second in the series of fourth harmonics), six (3/6, third of the sixth harmonic), eight (4/8, fourth of the eighth harmonic), etc.
harmonious aspect Aspects in which the planets involved are mutually supportive; their energies operate together comfortably and productively. The sextile and trine are major harmonious aspects; also called easy aspects.
heavy planets A term used to refer to the slower-moving whose influece is considered more serious ("heavier") than the other planets. They are: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
heliocentric Measurements based upon the Sun as the central point of reference or observation; Sun-centered.
Herschel The original name for the planet Uranus, which was discovered in 1781 by the British astronomer Sir William Herschel.
higher octave planets The three outermost planets, which symbolize the higher or spiritual level of expression in contrast to the lower or physical level symbolized by the inner planets with which they are linked. Uranus, the higher octave of Mercury, objective intellectualism. Neptune, linked to Venus, expresses spiritual love; Pluto, the higher octave of Mars, is associated with spiritual evolvement; Mars with physical development.
horary astrology Derived from the Latin hora, hour. The branch of astrology devoted to answering specific question by means of a horoscope drawn up for the time a question is asked.
horizon The visible juncture of Earth and the sky, represented in a horoscope by the Ascendant-Descendant axis.
house One of the twelve mathematically derived sections (houses) of a horoscope, each of which represents a particular area of life. The size of a house and the zodiacal degree that appears on its cusp depend upon the house system used.
house cusp The zodiacal degree at which a house begins.
Houses, Table of A reference book that lists house cusps according to the local sidereal time and location of birth. A table is applicable to the particular house system for which it is devised.
human signs Signs that exhibit human qualities such as sparse body hair: Gemini, Virgo, the first 15° of Sagittarius and Aquarius. Some authorities include Libra and all of Sagittarius in this group, thereby equating articulate with human signs. See also articulate signs.
humanistic astrology Person-centered astrology as opposed to event-oriented.
Hyleg Interchangeable with Apheta. See Apheta.
hylegiacal place Synonymous with aphetic places. See aphetic places.
Imum Coeli From the Latin, literally bottom of the heavens; the zodiacal point opposite the Medium Coeli (Midheaven, MC). The Imum Coeli is one of the angles and forms the fourth house cusp in an unequal house system. Abbreviated IC.
inarticulate signs Aries, Taurus, Leo and Capricorn, signs pictured as animals that have voices but lack the power of speech, symbolizing an inability to communicate. See also bestial signs, quadrupedian signs.
inconjunct A minor hard aspect, 150°, synonymous with quincunx. See quincunx.
increasing light Term applied to the waxing Moon as it moves from the position of new Moon to full Moon and the visible portion grows larger.
individual houses Houses one, five and nine, all ruled by natural fire signs. The common function of these houses is oriented toward the self. As a group, they form the Trinity of Life.
inferior planets Venus and Mercury, so called because their orbits are smaller (closer to the Sun) than Earth's.
infortunes Another term for malefics. See malefic.
ingress signs The equinoctial (Aries and Libra) and solsticial signs (Cancer and Capricorn), the cardinal signs that coincide with the beginning of the seasons each year. These signs symbolize beginnings and initiatory action in a horoscope. See also cardinal signs.
inharmonious aspects Aspects in which planetary energies do not combine smoothly, mainly the semi-square, square, sesquiquadrate, quincunx, and opposition; also called difficult aspects. See also hard aspects.
inner planets The Sun and those planets whose orbits lie between the Sun and Asteroid Belt, namely Mercury, Venus, Moon and Mars. Alternatively termed minor planets.
intercepted sign A sign that does not appear on a house cusp but is wholly contained within a house.
Juno The third asteroid discovered in the early 1800s named after the Roman goddess, Juno, wife of Jupiter; associated with marriage.
karma The end result of the law of cause and effect in relation to the totality of one's actions in one of the successive states of existence, viewed as a preparatory phase for the next state.
Kepler, Johannes One of the founders of modern astronomy who discovered the three basic laws of planetary motion, among them that planetary orbits are elliptical. He introduced several minor aspects including the bi-quintile (144°), tredecile (108°), quintile (fifth harmonic, 72°), decile or semi-quintile (36°), quindecile (24°), and the semidecile or vigintile (18°).
Key Cycle Sidney K. Bennett's system of solar returns, published under the pseudonym of Wynn; his system accounts for the one-quarter-day difference between a calendar year and a natural year.
Koch, Dr. Walter The German astrologer who developed the Koch or Birthplace system of houses.
Kronos The fourth symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology. See also Uranian astrology.
lame degrees See mutilated degrees.
latitude, celestial Angular distance measured north or south of the plane of the ecliptic.
latitude, geographic Angular distance measured on Earth north or south of the equator.
Leo, Alan (Allen, William Frederick) (1860-1917) Known professionally as Alan Leo, a dedicated English astrologer and prolific writer who is credited as the father of modern astrology.
light collection A term used in horary astrology to describe developments when two planets not in aspect (strangers) both apply to a third, slower planet that "collects their light" (unites their energies), symbolically establishing a relationship between the two.
lights An old term for the Sun and Moon; the Sun is the Greater Light, the Moon the Lesser Light.
Lilith Believed to be Earth's second satellite, the dark Moon, Lilith symbolizes the mysterious, seductive, sinister side of woman's nature in contrast to the nurturing, caring, sensitive feminine qualities associated with the Moon. Although actual sightings have not taken place, observers claim that Lilith's shadow can be noted at six-month intervals, and ephemerides for this satellite have been constructed. Its mean daily motion is 3°2'; its position on January 1, 1980 was listed as 20°33' Capricorn.
Local Mean Time The actual time in a given location based upon the Sun's position at the Midheaven (noon) of the place. Abbreviated LMT; also called True Local Time (TLT).
locational astrology The practice of casting a horoscope for the place in which a person resides, or would like to reside, rather than the place of birth. This system is often used to determine the location likely to prove most congenial to a particular individual.
Locomotive One of the seven shaping arrangements identified by Marc Edmund Jones consisting of all ten planets placed within the space of two consecutive trines (240°). The planet that leads the group clockwise symbolizes motivation; the house that it occupies shows direction of motivation.
logarithm From the Latin logarithmus, literally mathematical proportion or ratio. First devised in 1614 by the Scottish mathematician John Napier who reduced complicated multiplication and division of numbers to the simpler operations of adding or subtracting their exponents (logarithms, abbreviated logs). Diurnal proportional logs, used in astrological calculations, are based upon the ration between hours or degrees and minutes (1/60) and can be adapted to problems involving minutes and seconds of time or arc because the same ratio exists between the two smaller units as between the larger units (hours to minutes of time or degrees to minutes of arc display the same ratio as minutes to seconds or arc or minutes to seconds of time).
long ascension A term applied to Cancer, leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius because they take longer to rise over the horizon than do the other six signs due to Earth's tilt relative to the ecliptic. See also short ascension.
longitude, celestial The distance in degrees (arc) from 0° Aries eastward to any given point that intersects the ecliptic. Celestial longitude is measured from 0° to 360°. For example, 10° Taurus is expressed astronomically as longitude 40°.
longitude, geographical or terrestrial The distance in arc a given point on Earth lies east or west of the prime meridian, which passes through Greenwich, England (0° longitude). Geographical longitude is measured from 0° to 180°. See also prime meridian.
longitude, zodiacal The position of a given point along the ecliptic expressed in terms of the zodiac.
lord An antiquated term synonymous with planetary ruler.
lower octave planets Mercury, whose higher octave is Uranus; Venus, whose higher octave is Neptune; and Mars, whose higher octave is Pluto. Lower octave planets are associated with a lower or physical level or expression; higher octave planets symbolize a higher or spiritual level of expression. See also higher octave planets.
luminary The Sun or Moon, called lights traditionally. See also lights.
lunar From the Latin, luna, the Moon; descriptive of or relating to the Moon.
lunation New Moon; Moon conjunct Sun.
Lunar Mansions From Hindu astrology, a twenty-eight-fold division of a horoscope (twenty-eight mansions or houses) based upon the Moon's average daily motion. Critical degrees are derived from a similar division of the zodiac. See also critical degrees.
lunar period The time it takes the Moon to return to a particular point in the zodiac; the Moon's zodiacal period, a little less than twenty-seven days, eight hours. Also called a sidereal month and periodical lunation.
lunar return chart A chart cast for the time the Moon returns to the exact degree, minute, and second it occupied at the moment of an individual's birth.
Lunation cycle The Moon's phases relative to the Sun as it moves from one new Moon (Moon/sun conjunction) to the next; the time interval between two successive lunations (new Moons), approximately twenty-nine and one-half days, a lunar month.
major planets Those whose orbits lie outside the Asteroid Belt; Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Also referred to as outer and event planets.
malefic An archaic term applied to planets and aspects whose influence was thought to be negative or destructive. Traditionally, Saturn is the Greater Malefic; Mars, the Lesser Malefic. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were also classed as malefics. The Square, opposition and other disharmonious aspects were once considered malefic aspects.
Mansions of the Moon, Moon Mansions Synonymous with Lunar Mansions. See Lunar Mansions.
map A horoscope.
masculine degrees Degrees that foster masculine attributes in both males and females when occupied by the Ascendant or chart ruler. H.L. Cornell, M.D., specifies the following as masculine degrees; 8°, 15° and 30° in Aries; 11°, 21° and 30° in Taurus; 16° and 26° in Gemini; 2°, 10°, 23° and 30° in Cancer;5°, 15° and 30° in Leo; 12° and 30° in Virgo; 5°, 20° and 30° in Libra; 4°, 17° and 30° in Scorpio; 2°, 12° and 30° in Sagittarius; 11° and 30° in Capricorn; 5°, 21° and 27° in Aquarius; 10°, 23° and 30° in Pisces.
masculine signs The fire and air signs, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius. They are suggestive of aggressiveness in contrast with the receptivity expressed in feminine signs. Also called positive signs.
mean motion Average motion or rate of travel within a specified time period.
medical astrology The branch of astrology devoted to the study of the human body, disease and health according to astrological symbolism portrayed in a horoscope.
Medium Coeli From the Latin, literally middle of the heavens; the culminating degree of the ecliptic, commonly called Midheaven, abbreviated MC. In an unequal house system the MC, one of the angles of a horoscope, forms the cusp of the tenth house.
meridian A great circle, encircling Earth, that passes through the North and South Poles. A line of longitude.
Metonic Cycle The nineteen-year cycle named for the Athenian astronomer Meton who discovered (ca. 432) that the new Moon occurs on the same day of the year at approximate nineteen-year intervals.
meteorological astrology (astro-meteorology) The use of astrology for forecasting the weather conditions, earthquakes, and severe storms. Also called natural astrology.
Midheaven The most commonly used term for Medium Coeli, usually designated by the initials M.C. See also Medium Coeli.
midnight ephemeris An ephemeris that lists astrological data exact at the beginning of the day, 12:00 A.M. Also called zero hour ephemeris (12:00 A.M. = 00:00:00). See also ephemeris.
midpoint A zodiacal point in a horoscope that is equidistant from two planets. Two midpoints exist for each pair of planets. Aspects to a midpoint activate the two planets involved. Interchangeable with half-sum. Midpoints are largely used by cosmobiologists. See also cosmobiology.
Milky Way the galaxy of which our solar system is a part. See also Galaxy.
minor planets Synonymous with inner planets; those planets whose orbits lie between the Sun and Asteroid Belt. See inner planets.
movable signs An alternate term for cardinal signs. See cardinal signs.
multiple conjunction A planetary arrangement in which three or more planets form a series of conjunctions that may extend from one sign into another. A member of a multiple conjunction is influenced by aspects to other members (aspect by association) even if the orb is too wide to normally include that planet. Also called a stellium. See also stellium.
mundane aspects Aspects by house rather than by degree. For example, a mundane sextile from a planet on the cusp of the second house to one on the cusp of the fourth might be less or more than the 60° required for a zodiacal sextile depending upon the size of the houses.
mundane astrology That branch of astrology that deals with world events and universal trends rather than the individual.
mutable signs Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, all of which express adaptability and flexibility to some degree. They are associated naturally with cadent house; the third, sixth, ninth and twelfth, respectively. Synonymous with common signs.
mute signs the water signs; Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, so-called because they are traditionally depicted as mute creatures: the crab, the scorpion and the fish, respectively. They are often associated with communication difficulties.
mutilated degrees So designated because of the ancient belief that if the Ascendant, chart ruler or Moon occupied any of these degrees, lameness was indicated. Sometimes referred to as lame degrees, they are: 6°-10° Taurus, 9°-15° Cancer, 18°-28° Leo, 18°-19° Scorpio, 1°, 7°, 8°, 18° and 19° in Sagittarius, 26°-29° Capricorn, and 18°-19° Aquarius.
mutual application Said of two planets moving toward each other, one direct and the other retrograde.
mutual reception Two planets placed in each other's sign of essential dignity are in mutual reception, "en rapport". Mutual reception provides a harmonious link between planets not in aspect and strengthens the aspect if one exists.
nadir The point in the celestial sphere directly opposite the zenith; the point directly beneath an observer on Earth; the low point.
Naibod arc Mean daily motion of the sun, 59' 08"; used to progress a natal horoscope by assuming one Naibod arc equals one year of life, according to the method introduced by Johann Naibod, sixteenth century astrologer and mathematician. See also solar arc.
native A traditional term that refers to a person for whom a horoscope is erected.
natal astrology The branch of astrology dealing with the individual. the horoscope cast for the birth time of the individual, showing life potentials, is called a natal horoscope, geniture, radix, or nativity.
nativity A natal horoscope.
natural astrology See Meteorological astrology.
natural chart A chart with 0° Aries on the cusp of the first house that shows the natural horoscope position of signs. Also called a flat chart.
navamsas From Hindu astrology, a ninefold division of each sign into 3 1/3° segments, each segment influenced by a sign of the zodiac. The first navamsa of Aries is sub-ruled by Aries, the next by Taurus, and so on, continuing the natural order of the zodiac through the ninth navamsa of Pisces, sub-ruled by Pisces. These "signs within a sign" create variations in interpretation of different degrees of a particular sign.
negative signs Earth and water signs; an alternate term used to describe "feminine" characteristics of receptivity and passivity. See also feminine signs.
new Moon Lunation; the beginning of a lunation cycle and of the waxing phase. Moon conjunct Sun.
nocturnal From the Latin nocturnus, of night. Refers to the lower (northern) hemisphere of a horoscope, the "night" section, that part of the heavens that falls below Earth's horizon.
nocturnal arc The time expressed in right ascension that it takes a planet or degree of the zodiac to move from its setting point on the horizon to its rising point.
nocturnal signs Signs whose natural positions are in the nocturnal or northern hemisphere of a horoscope: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo and Virgo. Also called northern signs.
nodal chart An equal house chart, which places the Moon's South Node at the Ascendant, used primarily by medical astrologers to diagnose health problems. In this context, the South Node and Ascendant represent the head, the North Node and Decendant the feet, the lower hemisphere the right side of the body and the upper hemisphere the left.
node The point of intersection of a planet's orbit and the ecliptic.
nonagesimal The point 90° from the Ascendant. The highest point of the ecliptic above the horizon.
nonile A ninth harmonic aspect based on division of 360° by 9 (40°). A minor aspect, the nonile is seldom used by modern astrologers. It was once given a fatalistic connotation.
nova Literally new star; applied to stars that suddenly appear with great brilliance then fade; an exploding star.
oblique ascension A measurement determined by the angle (ascensional difference) between the point on the celestial equator rising with a planet rising at a point not at the equator.
oblique desension The angular complement of oblique ascension; i.e., 180° minus the oblique ascension arc.
obliquity of the ecliptic The angle between the plane of the ecliptic and the plane of the equator. It now measures about 23°27', and is decreasing at the rate of one minute in 128 years.
occidental Literally western; said of a planet that rises and sets after the Sun.
occidental houses Correctly, houses that lie in the western (occidental) portion of a horoscope, houses four through nine. Sometimes used to describe first and third quadrant houses (one, two, three, seven, eight and nine), those houses that are moving away from the vertical axis toward the horizon (in a clockwise direction in a horoscope).
occultation From the Latin occultatio, a hiding; an eclipse of a planet. The term eclipse is usually applied to an occultation that hides the Sun or Moon from Earth's view; occultation describes eclipses that obstruct Earth's view of planets other than the Sun or Moon. The eclipsing planet is emphasized over the occulted (hidden) planet in interpreting the accompanying conjunction between the two planets forming an occultation.
opposition A second harmonic aspect, separating distance 180°. a major hard aspect, the opposition creates awareness, attraction and antagonism between the planets in polarity.
orb The number of degrees by which an aspect may vary from partile (exactness) and remain effective.
orbit The path a heavenly body follows as it travels around another stellar body.
oriental Literally eastern; said of a planet that rises and sets before the Sun. The oriental planet, called the leading planet, is the one that will rise immediately before the Sun; i.e., the planet that directly precedes the Sun clockwise (behind the Sun in the natural order of the zodiac).
oriental houses Houses that lie in the eastern (oriental) hemisphere of a horoscope, houses one, two, three, ten, eleven, and twelve. Sometimes used to describe those houses moving away (clockwise) from the horizon (Ascendant-Decendant axis) and toward the vertical axis (meridian axis, MC-IC axis), the second and fourth quadrant houses, namely houses four, five, six, ten, eleven and twelve.
outer houses Those planets whose orbits fall outside the Asteroid Belt; also called major planets because of their larger orbits. See also major planets.
Pallas, Pallas Athena The second asteroid discovered in the early nineteenth century, named after the Greek goddess of war, wisdom and handicrafts.
parallel The angular relationship between two planets that occupy the same degree (within 1° orb) and direction of declination, both north or both south. Interpretational emphasis is similar to that of a weak conjunction. See also declination.
partile The degree at which an aspect is precisely exact (0° orb). An aspect that is within 1° orb is said to be exact but not partile.
Part of Fortune The Arabian Part most commonly used by western astrologers. Calculated by subtracting the Sun's position from the sum of the Ascendant's and Moon's positions, the degree occupied by the Part of Fortune symbolizes good fortune. Also called Fortuna and Pars Fortunæ. See also Fortuna, Arabian Parts.
penumbra Literally partial shadow; the partially lighted area around any completely darkened area (umbra) of full shadow.
penumbral eclipse The term applied when the Moon passes through Earth's penumbra; the shadow does not obliterate the Moon form Earth's view but causes it to appear orangish or copper-colored.
peregrine From the Latin peregrinus, foreigner. Said of a planet that does not occupy a sign of essential dignity or debilitation and is not in mutual reception with any other planet. A peregrine planet is said to drift aimlessly and lack standing in the horoscope; its action depends upon planets with which it is aspected.
perigee The point of orbit at which a planet is closest to Earth.
perihelion The point in a planet's orbit that lies closest to the Sun.
periodical lunation Term applied to the transiting Moon's monthly return to the exact position occupied in a natal horoscope. See also lunar period.
phase Any of the stages of variation in appearance or illumination of a planet; used most commonly to describe the various stages in the Moon's cycle. See also lunation cycle, waning phase, waxing phase.
Placidean houses The house system devised by the Spanish monk, Placidus de Tito (seventeenth century). Placidus' system, still widely used today, is based on the trisection of nocturnal and diurnal semi-arcs. The time it takes from each degree of the ecliptic to rise from the lower meridian to the horizon (nocturnal semi-arc) and to rise from the horizon to the upper meridian (diurnal semi-arc) is adapted to space.
planet From the Greek planetes, wanderer; used astrologically to describe any heavenly body which when viewed from Earth appears to move, as distinguished from fixed stars.
planetary hours A system devised by ancient astrologers that assigned one of the seven planets then known to each hour of the day. The first hour of sunrise was ruled by the planetary day ruler (Sunday, Sun; Monday, Moon; Tuesday, Mars; Wednesday, Mercury; Thursday, Jupiter; Friday, Venus; Saturday, Saturn) and each hour thereafter governed by the next faster moving planet in rotation from Saturn to Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon and back to Saturn throughout the twenty-four-hour period. Planetary energy was thought to be focused during the days and hours associated with a planet.
planetary node The point at which a planet's path intersects the ecliptic; declination, 0°. The term is usually reserved for nodes other than the Moon's Nodes.
planetary patterns Used interchangeably with shaping. Sometimes equated with aspect patterns. See also shaping, Bowl, Bucket, Bundle, Locomotive, See-Saw, Splash, Splay.
platic Term used to describe any aspect that is not exact (within 1° orb) but within allowable orb.
Plato Greek 429-355 B.C., studied in Egypt and elsewhere, pupil of Socrates, fellow student of Euclid, follower of Pythagoras. His contribution to Astrology was setting the problem of representing courses of the planets by circular and uniform motions.
Pleiades A group of fixed stars in the constellation Taurus. They are called the "Weeping Sisters" because, according to Greek mythology, seven sisters, Alcyone, Merope, Celæno, Taygeta, Maia, Electra and Sterope, daughters of Atlas and the nymph Pleione, killed themselves for grief when Atlas was transformed into a mountain. According to a different version, Jupiter transformed the sisters into stars so they could escape the attentions of Orion. The largest star in the group is Alcyone at about 29° Taurus.
polarity The contrasting and complementary qualities shown by signs opposite each other in the zodiac.
pole Either end of the axis of any sphere such as the Earth, the celestial sphere, etc.
Porphyry Philosopher (233-304 A.D.) of the Neo-Platonic school who devised a house system based on dividing each quadrant of a horoscope, as determined by the angles, into three houses of equal size.
Poseidon The eighth symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology. See also Uranian astrology.
positive signs All air and fire signs; used to describe the outgoing, dynamic qualities characteristic of these signs. Also called masculine signs. See also Masculine signs.
precession The circular motion of Earth's axis around the pole of the ecliptic, caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon on the bulging part of the equator. One complete revolution takes approximately twenty-five thousand years to complete.
precession of the equinoxes The gradual westward shift (about 50" each year) of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic due to the ecliptic due to the rotational movement of the poles of Earth's axis. This phenomena creates an increasing difference in the tropical (based upon the ecliptic and the Sun's ingress into the sing Aries) and the sidereal zodiacs (based upon constellations) or about 50" each year. See also ayanamsa, equinox, precession, Tropical zodiac, sidereal zodiac.
prenatal epoch The astrological moment of conception. According to Ptolemy, the natal Ascendant or Descendant coincides with the Moon's zodiacal position at the prenatal epoch, ten lunar months prior to birth, more or less; used primarily in chart rectification.
primary directions Originally, a mathematically complicated system of progressing a horoscope based upon the diurnal rotation of the Earth. The term is now loosely applied to any method of advancing house cusps, but usually does not include planetary progressions.
prime meridian The great circle that passes through Earth's poles and Greenwich, England (0° longitude), from which longitude is measured east and west. See also longitude, geographical or terrestrial.
prime vertical The great circle that rises vertically from the east point of the horizon and passes through Earth's zenith and nadir.
progressions The general term applied to any method of advancing the planets and house cusps of a natal horoscope to a particular time after birth.
promittor The slower moving of two planets in aspect; the receiver of an aspect.
Ptolemy, Claudius A great astrologer, astronomer and geographer of the second century (ca. 100-178 A.D.) who developed the theory that Earth is the motionless center of the universe about which the planets, sun and Moon revolve. Ptolemy's work, recorded in his Tetrabiblos, was based in part upon the earlier works of Hipparchus (ca. 190-120 B.C.), who catalogued the known stars and, through his observations, discovered Precession of the Equinoxes. The Ptolmaic theory was widely accepted until replaced by the Copernican theory, put forth in the sixteenth century, which states that Earth is a moving planet, thus laying the foundation for later discoveries.
Pythagoras Greek 569-470 B.C., studied in Egypt. Left nothing in writing but is supposed to said that the Earth, Moon and planets and fixed stars revolved round the Sun. Copernicus in the sixteenth century claimed him as the originator of the system which he revived.
quadrant One of the four sections of a horoscope, each bounded by two angles not opposite each other.
quadrate, quartile Synonymous with square. See Square.
quadrupedian signs Alternate term for bestial signs. See bestial signs.
quadruplicity One of the three qualitative groups (cardinal, fixed, mutable) in which each of the four member signs share a common mode of expression.
quincunx A minor hard aspect, separating distance 150°, the fifth multiple of the twelfth harmonic (30°, semi-sextile). Interpretation focuses on adjustmental needs. Also called an inconjunct.
quindecile A minor easy aspect, the fifteenth harmonic, 24°.
quintile The fifth harmonic, 72°, a minor easy aspect.
radical Having to do with the natal horoscope.
radical chart The natal horoscope. In horary astrology, the term radical applies to a chart deemed readable by virtue of the Ascendant being greater than 3° and less than 27° in any sign.
radical position The position a planet occupies in a natal horoscope.
radix From the Latin, literally root. A natal horoscope.
rapport measurement From the French, literally related measurement; applied to progressions based on advancing a planet's natal position one degree for each year after birth.
reception Shortened form of mutual reception. See mutual reception.
rectification The correcting of an inexact birthtime or the determining of an unknown birthtime through astrological methods.
refranation The failure of an applying aspect to culminate, when the significator turns retrograde before reaching partile.
Regiomontanus The German astrologer (fifteenth century) who devised the house system that bears his name. This system is based upon twelve equal divisions along Earth's equator projected upon the ecliptic.
relative houses House three, seven, and eleven, ruled naturally by air signs. Function focuses on human relationships. As a group, these houses form the Trinity of Association.
retrograde application Term used in reference to a retrograde planet which, because of its retrograde motion, applies to an aspect with another planet. If both planets are moving toward each other, the term mutual application is used.
retrograde motion The apparent backward motion of a planet when it appears, as observed from Earth, to reverse its natural direction of travel and move backward in the zodiac.
revolution One complete orbit or cycle. In a natal chart, a planet's return to its natal degree upon completing a circuit of the map.
right ascension Measurement along the celestial equator eastward from 0° Aries that describes planetary positions in terms of degrees, minutes and seconds, not zodiacal signs. Sidereal time expressed in unit of arc.
rising planet Any planet that is near the Ascendant in the natal horoscope. Rising planets will have a significant influence on the personality.
rising sign Synonymous with Ascendant. See Ascendant.
ruling planet The ruling planet of the horoscope is that planet said to "rule" the Ascending sign. Likewise, planets are said to rule the various houses in the chart based on the sign on the cusp of the respect houses. The planetary ruler of the signs are: Aries, Mars; Taurus and Libra, Venus; Gemini and Virgo, Mercury; Cancer, the Moon; Leo, the Sun; Scorpio, Pluto; Sagittarius, Jupiter; Capricorn, Saturn; Aquarius, Uranus; Pisces, Neptune.
ruminant signs an obsolete term applied to signs symbolized by cud-chewing animals, namely, Aries (ram), Taurus (bull), and Capricorn (goat).
Sabian symbols A system developed by Elsie Wheeler (psychically), Marc Edmund Jones and Dane Rudhyar that assigns an occult or esoteric meaning to each degree of the zodiac.
Saros cycle The eighteen-year (approximate) cycle, containing an average of forty-one solar eclipses and twenty-nine lunar eclipses, in which an eclipse from each current Saros Series appears.
satellitium A little-used term synonymous with stellium. See also multiple conjunction, stellium.
secondary progressions, secondary directions The method of progressing a natal horoscope in which each day after birth is equated to a corresponding number of years after birth; commonly referred to as "day for a year" progressions.
See-Saw The shaping arrangement in which, according to Marc Edmund Jones, the planets form tow distinct groups roughly opposite each other in a horoscope; symbolizing balance or the need to seek balance as a strong motivating factor.
semi-decile The twentieth harmonic, 18°; interpreted as a weak minor easy aspect. Also called a vigintile.
semi-quintile See decile.
semi-sextile One of the more influential minor easy aspects, the twelfth harmonic, 30°.
semi-square The eighth harmonic, 45°; an important minor hard aspect in which planetary energies do not merge harmoniously but produce friction.
separating aspect One in which the significator (faster moving planet of the two in aspect) is moving away from partile (the degree at which the aspect is exact).
septile The seventh harmonic, 51 3/7°. A little-used minor aspect, probably inharmonious, thought to be associated with karma.
sesquiquadrate, sesqui-square A multiple of the semi-square, and eighth harmonic aspect. A minor hard aspect, separating distance 135°, its influence is frictional.
sesquiquintile See tredecile.
sextile The sixth harmonic, 60°; a major easy aspect considered beneficial and opportune.
shaping Descriptive of the visual arrangement of planets in a horoscope. Marc Edmund Jones identified seven different patterns: the Bowl, Bucket, Bundle, Locomotive, See-Saw, Splash and Splay. Each shaping type is linked to specific astrological conditions and a particular interpretational focus. See individual listings. shaping is also referred to as planetary pictures and planetary patterns. See also planetary patterns.
short ascension Refers to the six signs that take less time than the other six to rise above the horizon, namely, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces; the spring and winter signs in the northern hemisphere. See also long ascension.
sidereal astrology An astrological system based upon the constellations, not the tropical zodiac.
sidereal day Twenty-four sidereal hours equal to 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds of clock time.
sidereal time Time measured in relation to fixed stars, as distinguished from clock time, based upon the Sun's position relative to Earth. Astrological time data is listed in sidereal time units.
sidereal zodiac Based on the division of the circle of twelve constellations: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces; the basis for sidereal astrology.
significator The faster moving of two planets in aspect; the significator is said to aspect the slower moving planet (promittor). Also used in reference to the planetary ruler of a house, matter, object or person. See also promittor.
singleton A planet that is the sole occupant of the horoscope hemisphere in which it is placed; said to give balance to a horoscope that has nine planets in the other hemisphere. See also Bucket.
signs The twelve divisions of the zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
sinister aspect From the Latin sinister, left or left hand; a term replaced by modern astrologers with departing aspect, which refers to aspects in which the direction from significator to promittor is backward in the zodiac, clockwise in a horoscope. See also departing aspect.
slow of course Term used to describe a planet's motion when its rate of travel is less than its mean daily motion.
solar From the Latin sol, the Sun; refers to the Sun.
solar chart A horoscope that is set up with the placement of the Sun positioned at the Ascendant. This type of chart is sometimes used with the hour of birth is not known.
solar arc The distance the Sun travels from birth position to its secondary progressed position. A system of progressions adds the soar arc at a given year to the natal positions of house cusps and/or planets. A similar method based on the mean solar arc multiplies 59'08" (Naibod arc, Sun's mean daily motion) by the individual's age in years to determine the proper increment to add to natal positions.
solar eclipse See eclipse.
solar return, solar revolution A horoscope erected for the exact time in a given year when the transiting Sun reaches the same position it held in the natal horoscope; used to project conditions for the year of interest.
solstice Either of two points on the ecliptic at which the Sun reaches it farthest point north (0° Cancer) or south (0° Capricorn) of the equator. The longest day of the occurs at summer solstice (first day of summer) as the Sun moves at its slowest rate; the winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year as the Sun reaches its fastest rate of travel.
Splash A planetary arrangement described by Marc Edmund Jones in which the planets are fairly evenly distributed around the horoscope. This dispersion of planets suggests dispersion of interests.
Splay A planetary arrangement identified by lack of symmetry and irregularly spaced planets and groups of planets as described by Marc Edmund Jones; symbolic of individualism and nonconformity.
square Fourth harmonic, 90°. A major hard aspect, the square generates tension and stirs action. Also called a quadrate, quartile or tetragon.
station A planet is said to "make a station" at the degree it occupies when it appears motionless as its direction changes from direct to retrograde or vise versa.
stationary, stationary motion Term used to describe apparent lack of motion when a planet's direction of travel changes from direct (forward in the zodiac) to retrograde (backward in the zodiac) or vice versa. Planetary energy, focused at the stationary position, is considered strong in a horoscope when a planet is stationary.
stellium A multiple conjunction that occurs within one sign or house, indicating a focal point of energy or interest. Also called a satellitium. the term may include multiple conjunctions that occupy more than one sign. See also multiple conjunction.
succedent houses From the Latin succedere, to follow; houses two, five, eight and eleven, which follow the angular houses. Also called the fixed houses, being ruled naturally by the fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. The mode of action associated with these houses reflects fixed qualities of steadiness and reliability.
superior planets Planets whose orbits are larger than Earth's. The term is sometimes restricted to the three outermost planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
swift in motion Said of a planet whose rate of travel is greater than its mean daily motion.
synastry The astrological technique of comparing natal horoscopes to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses inherent in the relationship that exists between the individuals involved. See also composite chart.
synthesis The art of combining the various factors revealed in a horoscope and building a balanced judgment of the chart as a whole.
syzygy From the Latin, yoked together; refers to points at which a planet conjuncts or opposes the Sun; usually used in reference to those Sun/Moon conjunctions and oppositions that are eclipse events.
Table of Houses An astrological reference table, correlated with a particular house system, which lists the zodiacal positions of house cusps at various latitudes according to sidereal time.
T-cross See T-square.
temporal houses House two, six and ten, ruled by earth signs; symbolic of the material aspects life. As a group they form the Trinity of Wealth.
terrestrial Of the Earth, Earth-related.
terminal houses Those houses ruled naturally by water signs: four, eight and twelve. They pertain to endings and results and symbolize occult interests. Collectively, they are known as the Trinity of Psychism.
Tetrabiblos Ptolemy's four-volume treatise on astrology (second century). See also Ptolemy, Claudius.
tetragon An alternate term for the square aspect. See square.
Thales 639-546 B.C., studied in Egypt and left nother in writing, but is said to have predicted an eclips which caused much alarm and ended the battle between the Medes and Lydians.
transit The position and movement of a planet on a given day; used in reference to planets that pass over or aspect a natal planet or cross a natal house.
translation of light A term used in horary astrology to describe the activity of a planet that applies in aspect, in turn, to two other planets that are separating from a mutual aspect, thereby translating "light" or energy and symbolically reuniting the planetes and the matters they represent.
tredecile, trecile A minor easy aspect belonging to the tenth harmonic (decile) group; separating distance 108°. Also called a sesquiquintile.
trigon The three member signs of a triplicity. Also used as an alternate term for grand trine. See also grand trine, triplicity.
trine The third harmonic, 120°; the most influential major easy aspect. The trine blends planetary energies, harmoniously indicating ease of expression.
triplicity A group of three signs belonging to the same element: fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius); earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn); air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius); and water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces). The members of a triplicity lie 120° apart in the zodiac, forming a trigonal and harmonious relationship with each other.
tri-septile A seldom-used minor aspect, probably inharmonious, belonging to the septile (seventh harmonic) family; separating distance, 154°17'.
tropical signs Cancer and Capricorn; so-called because they occupy parts of the ecliptic where the Sun reaches its farthest point north (Tropic of Cancer) and south (Tropic of Capricorn). the Sun's ingress into these signs marks the summer and winter solstices respectively. See also solstice.
tropical zodiac The circle of signs that follows the apparent path of the Sun (ecliptic). also called the movable zodiac because it shifts slightly each year relative to the constellations of the sidereal zodiac. See also Precession of the Equinoxes.
T-square The aspect pattern formed when two planets in opposition both square the same third planet, which acts as a focal point for planetary energies.
under the Sunbeams Said of a planet that is within 17° of the Sun but out of conjunction orb.
universal time Greenwich Mean Time.
Uranian astrology A school of astrology, founded by Alfred Witte in Hamburg, Germany, which relies heavily upon the interpretational emphasis of midpoints. In addition to traditional astrological elements, it includes as symbolic indicators eight hypothetical planets: Cupido, Hades, Zeus, Kronos, Apollon, Admetos, Vulkanus and Poseidon.
vernal From the Latin vernus, belonging to spring; of or pertaining to spring. See also equinox.
Vertex The point found in the western section of a horoscope that indicates the intersection of the ecliptic and prime vertical, called the "third angle of a horoscope". This point and its opposite, the Anti-Vertex, are sensitive degrees in a natal horoscope associated with fate and wish fulfillment.
Vesta The fourth asteroid of astrological interest discovered in the early nineteenth century. Named after the virgin fire goddess (Roman), its symbolic influence is protective.
Via Combusta Literally fiery way; refers to a section of fixed stars that falls between 15° Libra and 15° Scorpio. Used primarily in horary astrology as an indication of unfortunate or ineffectual situations.
vigintile Alternate term for semi-decile. See semi-decile.
vocational astrology That branch of astrology devoted to career counseling in terms of the aptitudes and needs shown in the natal horoscope.
void-of-course A term describing a planet that does not apply to a major aspect until it changes sign, usually confined to reference to the Moon. In horary astrology, a void-of-course Moon indicates lack of action or dynamics.
Vulcan A hypothetical planet whose orbit is said to lie between Mercury and the Sun, about twelve million miles from the Sun. Astronomers have no evidence of this planet as yet.
Vulkanus The seventh symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology. See also Uranian astrology.
waning That phase of the lunation cycle from full Moon (Sun/Moon opposition) to new Moon (Sun/Moon conjunction) during which the visible portion of the Moon decreases.
water signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, members of the water triplicity that symbolize receptivity, sensitivity and emotional depth.
War time The name used for daylight saving time during periods of war. See also daylight saving time.
waxing The phase of the lunation cycle from new Moon (Sun/Moon conjunction) to full (Sun/Moon opposition) during which the Moon appears to grow larger, increasing in light.
yod An aspect configuration in which two planets in sextile both form a quincunx (inconjunct) with the same third planet; it is given a karmic connotation. Sometimes called the Finger of God. See also Finger of God.
zenith The point in the celestial sphere directly overhead; opposite the nadir. the zenith and nadir are the poles of the horizon.
Zeus The third symbolic planet used in Uranian astrology. See also Uranian astrology.
zodiac From the Greek zodiakos, literally circle of animals. See also tropical zodiac, sidereal zodiac.
zodiacal aspects Aspects based upon planets' zodiacal longitude as distinguished from parallels and contaparallels, which depend upon declination.