General terms for the
Study of Astrology:
: One of the four elements
considered in Astrological correspondence. Air is associated with
mental processes and communication. Its season is autumn. The Air
sign Triplicity: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.
Rising Sign, First House : The
cusp, the beginning degree, based on the time of day and place of birth
of the subject, of the first house, and the first house itself. The
First house determines a person's public image, the face we show to
the world, and how the world sees us. One of the primary points to consider
in a chart.
: Groups of stars with a recognizable
pattern and an ancient mythological correspondence. Star formations
were originally associated with the twelve signs of the zodiac because
their positions coincided. These alignments have changed with the
passing of time.
Image at right: The
constellation Pleiades, named for the seven daughters of Atlas,
although the star formation holds significance throughout world
Refers to the mutable quality
of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. These signs are characterized
by their mental and adaptable quality. They are called 'common' because
they share something in common with the two other qualities, cardinal
- Cusp :
The degree of beginning for each house or sign.
One of the four elements. Represents physical, down-to-earth
qualities. Its season is winter. Triplicity of Earth signs: Taurus,
- Element :
In Astrology refers to the division of signs into Fire, Earth, Air,
and Water, corresponding to the Earth's elements in nature.
- Ephemeris :
Tables of planetary positions for any place on earth.
- Equator :
Circumscribed center of the earth, midway between the poles.
- Equinox :
Point where the ecliptic and equator cross in the heavens.
Also known as the Vernal Equinox, at O degree Aries, first day of
Spring season; and the Autumnal Equinox, or O degree Libra, first
day of Fall season.
- Feminine, Negative signs :
Refers to the qualities of receptivity and reaction, introversion.
The negative signs are the water and earth group; Taurus, Cancer,
Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces.
: One of the four elements.
It represents an overt, enthusiastic, emotional nature. Its season
is spring. The Triplicity of Fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
Image at right: A
ancient Roman coin depicting the Fire sign: Leo.
- Fixed :
One of the three qualities, refers to the signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio,
and Aquarius. These signs have in common through their fixed quality,
a steady emotional nature and demonstrate the quality of perseverance
and follow through. They stick like glue.
- Fixed stars :
Brighter and prominent stars, not planets, which have particular
importance when related to a certain degree of the zodiac.
- Heliocentric :
Refers to the Sun as the center. A separate branch of astrological
- Horizon :
The line that marks the ascendant and descendant. The point where
the Sun rises, Ascendant and sets, Descendant.
- House :
One of the twelve divisions of the celestial equator. Similar to the
division of the ecliptic or zodiac into signs, and numbered one to
twelve counterclockwise from the ascendant.
- Lights :
Sun and Moon are referred as the Lights.
- Long ascension
: Signs Cancer through Sagittarius take longer to rise during
the months of June through November.
- Masculine, Positive, extrovert signs :
Signs in the fire and air element group. These are Aries, Gemini,
Sagittarius and Aquarius.
Image at right:
An eighteenth century manuscript depicting the constellation of
the Masculine or Positive sign: Aquarius.
- Mutable :
Same as 'common', refers to the mutable quality of Gemini, Virgo,
Sagittarius and Pisces. These signs are characterized by their mental
and adaptable quality. They are called 'common' because they share
something in common with the two other qualities, cardinal and fixed.
- Mutual reception :
Refers to two planets, each in a sign ruled by the other, with
a subsequent strengthening of both planets.
- Native or Subject :
Refers to the person for whom a horoscope is charted, often referred
to in the interpretation of the chart.
- Natural zodiac :
Name given to the constellations of stars in the heavens which originally,
more than two thousand years ago, identified the signs of the zodiac
and served as an 'ephemeris of the heavens.'
- Retrograde :
Refers to a planet apparently moving backward in the zodiac. The planet
is not actually moving backward, but from the earth it appears to
be, and its motion is considered significant.
: Refers to the position of
a planet in the houses near the ascendant. The planet is considered
rising if it is within a given orb of conjunction with the Ascendant.
Usually a planet with an orb within 10 degrees on either side of the
Ascending degree is considered to be a rising planet.
- Short Ascension :
The signs Capricorn through Gemini, which take less time to rise in
their daily ascent at the eastern horizon, December through June.
- Significator :
Refers to a planet with specific importance.
- Solstice :
The point in the ecliptic farthest from the celestial equator. The
summer solstice at 0 degree Cancer and the winter solstice at 0 degree
- Triplicity :
The classification of the signs in groups of three on the basis of
their affinity to the four seasonal (cardinal) points in the ecliptic;
specifically the distinction among the signs as "fire", "water," "air"
- Water :
One of the four elements. Water is associated with the emotional and
intuitive processes. Its season is summer. The Triplicity of Water
signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
- Zodiac :
The 28° belt that the planets travel within. See "ecliptic,"
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Symbol: Fish pair