Astrological Dictionary


Dictionary of Astrological Definitions and Terms.
Astrological [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

 

Definition


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Dragon s Head
The north node of the Moon.The north node is the point at which the Moon crosses the equator moving from south to north.

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Dragon s Head
Moon's south node, exactly opposite the north node.
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Earth
Third planet from the Sun. One of the four elements. Represents physical, down-to-earth qualities. Triplicity of Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
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East Point
The point on the Celestial Equator rising on the Eastern Horizon at birth. The intersection of the Eastern Horizon, Prime Vertical, and Celestial Equator.
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Eclipse
The Total or partial blocking of light of one heavenly body by another.. Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon is between Sun and Earth. Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Earth is between Sun and Moon, thus blocking light. A Solar Eclipse can only take place when there is a conjunction of Sun and Moon at new moon, and when they are parallel in declination and within 9 degrees of the Moon's Nodes. A Lunar Eclipse can only take place when the Sun and Moon are in opposition, at full moon, contra-parallel and within 9 degrees of the Moon's Nodes.The Total or partial blocking of light of one heavenly body by another is called an Occulation.
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Eclipse Lunar
occurs when the Earth is between Sun and Moon, thus blocking light.
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Eclipse Solar
Occurs when the Moon is between Sun and Earth.
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Ecliptic
The great circle formed by the intersection of the plane of the Ecliptic with the Celestial Sphere. The plane of the Ecliptic is tilted in reference to the celestial equator at 23? 27'. Where the Celestial Equator and the Ecliptic intersect are the Equinoxes.
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Egress
Astrologically the point at which a body leaves a sign. Astronomically the point at which a body leaves a constellation. Also - the passing of one body over the face of another; as in the case of an eclipse.
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Election
Chart cast to find the proper time for initiating a given action or event.
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Elements
In Astrology refers to the division of signs into Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, corresponding to the Earth's elements in nature. The Greeks divided the twelve signs into four groups of three triplicities, and assigned each of these triplicities to one element, as follows: Fire: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius; Earth: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn; Air: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius; Water: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Earlier astrology made use of different groupings. For example, the Egyptians assigned Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces as Water; Scorpio as Air.
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Elevation
(Astronomy) Same as Altitude. Distance of a planet above the Horizon. Planet placed in an elevated position in the chart, near the Midheaven or upper meridian, the 10th House.
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Emplacement
Generally used to identify the position of a planet in the chart.
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Ephemeris
A tabulation of position (sometimes velocity also) of a celestial object for (usually) regular intervals of time. Frequently, such tabulations are provided in printed form, but may also be recorded in machine-readable form to facilitate computer usage (such as magnetic tape or disk). When a 24-hour time-interval is used, values are given for midnight (0h) or noon (12h) in ET (Ephemeris Time) or UT (Universal Time). Often, the Moon's position is given each 12 hours. The AENA (American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac) gives a lunar ephemeris (Right Ascension and Declination) for every hour of ET. For the outer planets (Jupiter through Pluto), tabulations at 40-day, and even 400-day intervals are not uncommon. And, to facilitate computer operations, the ephemeris may be represented in a compressed form, e.g., by some numerical approximation (such as Chebychev Polynomials). The plural of ephemeris is ephemerides (pronounced eph-a-mehr'-a-deez), and is a collection of such tabulations for more than one body, or covering a period longer than one year. A Geocentric ephemeris is computed to represent the position of a body as it would be "seen" from the center of the Earth; a Heliocentric ephemeris represents the position of a body as viewed from the center of the Sun. The ephemeris is the astrologer's primary tool.
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Equator
This word has two common usages or meanings:1. The Equator of the Earth, which is that great circle of the Earth which divides the Earth roughly into two equal portions which then sit North and South of Each other. 2. Another term for the "Celestial Equator".
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Equinox
Literally, the time of equal day and night. The point where the Celestial Equator and the Ecliptic intersect marks a point in space dividing the Celestial Sphere into North and South. When the Sun reaches this point in Declination, day and night are of almost equal length. This occurs twice a year as the Sun's apparent motion changes from north to south and south to north. This term is frequently, although incorrectly, used to describe a point lying on the Ecliptic.
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Essential Dignity
Traditional term. When a planet gains in strength cording to its sign and degree placement in the chart. The house or sign that a planet rules, that which it is exalted in, and by some authorities, any sign of the same elemental triplicity. Alternative def--A planet's position in a sign thought to strengthen its influence. A complex set of weights are used to determine such strengths: Sign position, 5 ;Mutual Reception by House, 5 ;Exaltation, 4 ;Mutual Reception by Exaltation, 4 ;Triplicity, 3 ;Term, 2 ;Face, 1 .
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Exaltation
In Greek, Hypsomaton, meaning hiding-place. The Exaltations, or Hypsomata, are specific positions (sign and degree) for the 7 visible planets, as follows: Sun, Aries 19?; Moon, Taurus 03?; Mercury, Virgo 15?; Venus, Pisces 27?; Mars, Capricorn 28?; Jupiter, Cancer 15?; Saturn, Libra 21?. With Egyptian Astrology, in both zodiacs found in the temple of Khnum at Esneh (BC137), the planets (personified as gods) are shown in the signs of their exaltation. Also found in the Circular Zodiac (AD17) from the Temple of Osiris at Denderah (now in the Louvre). In Greek and Roman Astrology, their introduction is documented by Ptolemy (2nd century AD), who attempted to rationalize their assignments, devoting a full chapter to it in the Tetrabiblos (I.19). He treats only the signs of the exaltations and, although he notes them, makes no attempt to explain the exact degrees given in his lists. Ptolemy exalts the Sun in Aries because, since Aries (at least in the northern hemisphere), coincides with renewed warmth and increased sunlight. The opposite of Aries, then, Libra, naturally has its exaltation with Saturn, which rules (according to ancient rulerships) Aquarius, the sign opposite the Sun's rulership. Taurus is the exaltation of the Moon because, as the first sign after Aries and the one in which the Moon first makes an appearance after a new Moon in the sign of solar exaltation. Such is the flavor of Ptolemy's thinking. In Hindu Astrology, the hypsomata are found in the sacred literature of India. In traditional birthcharts of their great avatars and heros, planets are often found in the signs of their exaltations or dignities: In the Kalaprakashika, Lord Sri Krishna's birthchart has Moon rising in Taurus, Jupiter and Caput (Moon's North Node) in Cancer, Sun in Leo, Mercury in Virgo, Venus and Saturn in Libra, and Mars in Capricorn. And Rama, the super-hero of the Ramayan is presented as having Sun and Mercury in Aries, Moon rising with Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Libra, Mars in Capricorn, and Venus in Pisces. In time, a widespread belief evolved that the exaltations were derived from lists of the planets at the births of exalted personalities; hence, special note was given to charts in which exaltation degrees were found. The true meaning of these assignments confounded astrologers and philosophers for centuries until, in 1947, the Irish astrologer Cyril Fagan researched their origin. His detective work ranks as a major discovery in both astrology and archaelogy. Using the literal meaning of the Greek word hypsomaton (exaltation), Fagan reasoned that the "hiding place" of a planet could only refer to those parts of the zodiac through which the planet was invisible -- the degree at which the planet disappeared from view into the Sun's brilliance (heliacal setting), or reappeared (heliacal rising). In the Lunar Year which began 786 BC, April 3 (at sunset) and ended in 785BC, March 23, each of the seven visible planets passed through their exaltation values. This year has been called the Golden Year of Astrology. It was preceded only sixteen days earlier, on March 18, by a total eclipse of the Moon of magnitude 1.53. Compared to the lunar eclipse of 2283BC, March 8 (magnitude only 1.03) -- which heralded the destruction of "Ur of the Chaldees," in the same Celestial Longitude (Sidereal Zodiac) -- it must have been closely observed by the peoples of Egypt, Babylonia, and India. On the first day of that year, the Sun and Moon occupied their respecive exaltations. And, the remaining five planets assumed their exaltations on the dates of their heliacal setting (or rising), when they entered (or left) their "hiding places." The dates and positions are given in the table "Exaltation". Apart from the numerous military conquests of Adad-Nirari III (809-782 BC), King of the Assyrian Empire, the principal event during his reign was the building at Kalakh (or Kalhu) -- the Biblical Calah, or modern Nimrud -- a university/temple in honor of Nabu, the "god" of astrology, phophecy, wisdom, mathematics, reading, writing, teaching, and schools. Nabu had charge of the Tablets of Fate. This new temple became the chief seat of learning in the Assyrian Empire and housed the extensive libraries of Sargon II (722- 705 BC), Sennacherib (705-680 BC), and Assurbanipal (668-626 BC) before they were later moved to the temple of Nabu at Nineveh. The fame of the astrological priests of Nabu was known throughout the ancient world; they were the "Chaldeans" so often mentioned in astrological literature. In addition, the ancients made use of three different yearly calendars. Two of these are of interest here: The Ecclesiastical New Year (Lunar Year) began 786 BC, April 4 (1st Nisan), and "New Year's Day of the Ancients," the Civil New Year, began 786 BC, September 29 (1st Teshrit). Both days were observed as Sabbaths. But, September 29 (which also the date of Spica's heliacal rising at Babylon) was also a Saturday, or the Sabbath-day. And when two Sabbaths coincided, they were observed as a Great Sabbath. Thus, it is no surprise that the ancients marked this year for all future generations by recording the planets positions (their exaltations). It should be noted that Fagan's work on the exaltations also demonstrated that these priests recorded the planetary positions in the sidereal zodiac, which placed Spica at 29? Virgo. Astrologers have assigned the signs opposite to the exaltation of each planet to its fall, ignoring the exact degrees. Exaltation and essential dignity in general had a strong proponent in seventeenth century England in William Lilly, master horary astrologer and author of a comprehensive textbook on the subject as a whole called Christian Astrology.
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Face
Decanates - each sign divided into 10-degree division and assigned a ruler.Thus, Aries and Mars are assigned to the first third of Aries, Leo and the Sun to the second third, Sagittarius and Jupiter to the final third. A sign's primary ruler is always the decan ruler of the first ten-degrees. So Venus rules the first third of Taurus, Mercury the second third (Virgo), and Saturn the final third (Capricorn). A second system is also one of decanate rulership, but in this case, while the first third of Aries is ruled by Mars and the second third by the Sun, the remaining 34 thirds of the zodiac are ruled thereafter according to the Chaldean order of the planets; the last third of Aries is ruled by Venus; the first third of Taurus by Mercury, the second by the Moon, and the third by Saturn; the first third of Gemini by Jupiter, and then the order starts over again, repeating with Mars at the second third of Gemini. There are, however, two kinds of rulership by triplicity. The one just mentioned is a simple grouping of signs by element. Ptolemy proposes another, which is not a system of faces, best known today through his Table of Essential Dignities and Debilities, a system of sign classification for purposes of determining planetary strength. Ptolemy's triplicities provide each sign with two planetary rulers, one by day and one by night. The Sun rules all the fire signs by day, and Jupiter by night. Venus rules all the earth signs by day, and the Moon by night. Saturn rules all the air signs by day and Mercury by night. Finally, Mars rules all the water signs both by day and by night. Ptolemy's faces (ideoprosotoi) are something different. A planet is said to be in its own face when located in a house that is distant from the Moon or the Sun by the same number of houses as the sign it rules is distant from the sign ruled by the Moon or Sun respectively. To explain: Ptolemy uses a system of diurnal and nocturnal signs, assigning the Sun and the Moon to "natural" positions closest to the zenith, the Sun because of all the planets it produces the most heat,the Moon next to the Sun because it is the second most important body. Based on an Aries fiducial, this puts the Sun in Leo, generally the hottest (sunniest) time of year in the northern hemisphere. Cancer is the "house of the Moon," the second most powerful body, being adjacent to Leo at the zenith. Leo through Pisces are the diurnal signs. Capricorn to Aquarius (passing through Aries) are the noctural signs. So Virgo is adjacent to Leo and Gemini is adjacent to Cancer; both of these signs are the "houses" of Mercury, the next closest planet to the earth after the Sun and Moon. Then next to Virgo is Libra and next to Gemini is Taurus; both of these signs are the "houses" of Venus, the next planet out. It continues, Mars ascribed to nocturnally to Aries and diurnally to Scorpio, Jupiter ascribed to Pisces and Sagittarius, and finally Saturn ascribed to the last two signs, adjacent to each other and opposite the Cancer/Leo pair, Aquarius and Capricorn. Thus Mercury is in its face when it is semisextile to either the Sun or Moon in the chart at hand. Venus is in its face when it is sextile to either luminary, Mars when it is square, Jupiter when it is trine, and Saturn when it is inconjunct or quincunx. Ptolemy, discussd "the quality of the soul" in Tetrabiblos III.13. Al-Biruni accepts the faces "according to the agreement of the Persians and Greeks." His system is that of decanate rulerships using the Chaldean order. William Lilly, who used the term decanate synonymously with face, considered face the weakest form of essential dignity. The system he uses employs the Chaldean order of the planets, as described above. Alan Leo used face as a synonym for pentade. Simmonite used the term facet, but meant a five-degree section of the zodiac.
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Fall
An unfavorable planetary placement by sign. A planet in its Fall is in the opposite sign of its Exaltation.
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Feminine Signs
Negative signs. Ptolemy sights two categorizationsin Tetrabiblos, serving here as historian. 1) The even numbered signs: Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces (the other signs being masculine). 2) The sign rising is deemed masculine and the signs thereafter are categorized in one of two ways: a) the signs simply alternate in zodiacal order, house by house; or b) the signs on the cusps of houses 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, and 12 are masculine (opposite quadrants, SE and NW), and the signs one the cusps of the other houses are feminine (the remaining quadrants). It is thought that Ptolemy used Equal Houses or a similar system, so presumably interception of signs would not have been an issue.
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Feral
As applied to planets: 1)According to Albiruni, a planet is feral in its course in an even more restricted sense "when it is in a sign and no other planet has been in aspect with it from the time of its entry to that of its exit". Clearly, this is an unusual occurrence, nearly impossible with the outer planets and most common with the moon. 2) Our modern notion of void of course relaxes this condition to define the period after the body has made its last aspect in a sign. The moon is sometimes said to be feral when it is void of course. As applied to signs: 1) A condition applied to those who have either Leo or the latter half of Sagittarius on the ascendent. 2) Also applied to those who have Sun or Moon in one of these zodiacal positions and malefics on the angles. 3) The bestial signs are occasionally referred to as feral.
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Fire
One of the four elements. It represents an overt, enthusiastic, and active nature. The Triplicity of Fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
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Fixed Stars
Stars are different bodies than planets as they are self-luminous not depending on the Sun for light. They are outside the Solar system and the great distance from Earth makes them appear not to move. Because of precession the "fixed stars" appear to move forward in the tropical zodiac at about 50.23 seconds of arc per year, eight minutes per 10 years, or one degree every 72 years.
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Fixed
One of the three qualities. The signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. These correspond with the four beasts of Revelation: the bull, the lion, the eagle, and man.
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