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Astrology terms associated with
Casting a Horoscope:

  • Affliction : An outdated term which served to consider certain relationships between planets and other planets, or between planets and signs to be just plain bad. In light of how we use Astrology today, there are no such things as just good or bad Aspects, influences are seen in the light of tension and stress or ease and harmony.

  • Angle, Angular : The horoscope or chart is divided into twelve sections known as Houses. The Cardinal points are known as the angles of the chart. Beginning with the 1st house, the Rising Sign or Ascendant, where the Sun rises in the morning; opposite the ascendant is the 7th House or Descendant, where the Sun sets in the evening; overhead is the 10th House or Meridian, Medium Chili, where the Sun is at its apex at Noon; and opposite this is the 4th house, where the Sun is below the Earth at midnight. These Cardinal points are of primary importance in the erecting and interpretation of a chart.

  • Applying Aspect : Refers to the relationship of two planets when in Aspect to each other. The coming together of the planets before forming a Conjunction is known as an applying Aspect. When separating from a Conjunction, it is known as a separating Aspect.

  • Aspect : Refers to the relationship between planets in the Ecliptic. There are major Aspects: Conjunction, Opposition, Square, Trine and Sextile; and Minor Aspects: Semi-square, Semi-sextile, Inconjunct, Sesqui-quadrate. There are others of lesser strength and significance.

  • Cadent : The 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th Houses of a chart are known as the Cadent Houses. They refer to areas of life that are more mental than emotional or physical.

  • Cardinal : Angles of the chart that begin with the Equinox and Solstice points of the seasons. Associated with the Vernal Equinox each Spring, about March 21st. Begins with the Rising Sign, Ascendant or 1st house degree.

  • Circle : The astrological symbol in casting for a "higher" or "spiritual" self.

  • Configuration : Usually refers to a pattern of Aspects in the horoscope.

  • Earthlore Lore of Astrology: Elizabeth TaylorConjunction : Aspect wherein the planets are within approximately 8 degrees of the same place in the Zodiac.

    Image at right: Elizabeth Taylor, whose astrological chart reveals a Venus conjunction with Uranus.

  • Cosmic Cross, Grand Cross : A pattern formed by the planets when in Aspect. The T-cross happens when two planets in opposition have a third planet Square to each one. The Cosmic or Grand Cross happens when two planets are in opposition and two other planets in opposition cross them at 90 degree angles. The Grand Cross will occur within the same quality; Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable, thereby making them extremely important. The T-cross or T-square is the same but contains only three planets in Square Aspect and two in Opposition.

  • Crescent : Symbol for the Moon in casting. Represents the personality or ego.

  • Critical degrees : the places of certain fixed stars regarded as of particular importance; also the Cusps of the Lunar Mansions.

  • Cross : Symbol for matter in casting, or for a physical reference. Used with the Circle to signify the spiritual and physical nature.

  • Debility : Less than favorable position of a planet in a sign. The opposite of a planets 'Dignity'. Planetary traits operate better in certain signs than in others.

  • Earthlore Lore of Astrology: The planet MarsDeclination : Angle formed by the plane of a planet's orbit and the Earth's equator. It is measured in degrees of arc north and south of the equator.

    Image at Right:
    The planet Mars.

  • Degree : One degree out of the thirty in a sign, or of 360 in the circle. Can refer to the exact degree rising at the time of birth. The Rising Sign or Ascendant.

  • Descendant : Degree and sign opposite the Ascendant. The 7th house. One of the four important Angles in a chart.

  • Detriment : Weak position for a planet in the opposite of a sign it 'rules'.

  • Direct : The forward motion of a planet, counterclockwise as it moves through the Zodiac.

  • Directions : Term given to the method used to predict events based on a Natal or Mundane chart. Also called primary and secondary Directions.

  • Dragon's head : Refers to the Moon's north node. The north node is the point at which the Moon crosses the equator moving from south to north. It is considered a fortunate point.

  • Dragon's tail : Moon's south node, exactly opposite the north node. Considered a point of challenge or opportunity depending upon your point of view.

  • Earthlore Lore of Astrology: Napoleon BonaparteElection : Horary chart cast to aid in determining the proper time for initiating a given action.

    Image at right: Napoleon Bonaparte, who had Elections worked up before setting specific dates for offensive battle campaigns.

  • Elevated : Planet placed in an elevated position in the chart, near the Midheaven or upper meridian, the 10th House.

  • Exaltation : When a planet is positioned in certain signs it shows greater strength, such as the Sun in Aries.

  • Fall : When a planet is positioned in certain signs it shows weakness. A planet in its Fall would be in the opposite sign of its Exaltation; such as Sun in Libra is opposite Sun in Aries. Sun in Aries is exalted; but the Sun in Libra is in its Fall.

  • Geocentric : Refers to the Earth as the center of human experience, therefore becomes the center in the plotting of a chart. All happenings are considered Earth centered.

  • Grand trine : The position of two planets 120 degrees apart is called a Trine. When there are three planets, each 120 degrees apart, a Grand Trine is formed. This is a major Configuration in a chart.

  • Heliocentric : Refers to the Sun as the center. A separate branch of astrological study.

  • Hemisphere emphasis : All planets in the chart east, west, south or north.

  • Horizon : The line that marks the Ascendant and Descendant. The point where the Sun rises, Ascendant and sets, Descendant.

The Twelve Signs
of the Zodiac

First sign
March 22 - April 20
Symbol: Ram

Second sign
April 21 - May 21
Symbol: Bull

Third sign
May 22 - June 22
Symbol: Twins

Fourth sign
June 23 - July 22
Symbol: Crab

Fifth sign
July 23 - August 23
Symbol: Lion

Sixth sign
August 24 - Sept 23
Symbol: Maiden

Seventh sign
Sept 24 - Oct 23
Symbol: Scales

Eighth sign
Oct 24 - Nov 22
Symbol: Scorpion

Ninth sign
Nov 23 - Dec 22
Symbol: Archer

Tenth sign
Dec 23 - Jan 19
Symbol: Sea goat

Eleventh sign
Jan 20 - Feb 19
Water bearer

Twelfth sign
Feb 20 - March 21
Symbol: Fish pair

The Twelve Houses

Each of the twelve houses of the chart define an area of life. Our personal signs and planets appear in the houses based on the date, place and time of our birth. The houses show the areas of life wherein our interests and interaction play out.

First House
Physical Body,
Outer Personality, Persona

Second House
Personal Finances and Feelings

Third House
Personal Communication, Intellect, Early Education

Fourth House
Early Environment, Home, Tradition

Fifth House
Personal Creativity, Pleasure, Children

Sixth House
Work and Health

Seventh House
Relationships, Partnerships

Eighth House
Relationship Finances

Ninth House
Ideals, Philosophy, Challenge, Travel

Tenth House
Vocation, Trade Reputation

Eleventh House
Social Conscience, Friends and Group Activities

Twelfth House
Unconscious, Secrets, Fears, Sorrow and Seclusion

Virgo by Susan Seddon Boulet
Virgo by Susan Seddon Boulet
Every two hours a different one of the twelve signs is rising. Your rising sign is determined by the time of day that you were born. At dawn on any given day, the rising sign is the same as the current month's sun sign. If you were born around dawn then you would have the same sun and rising sign. This, naturally, increases considerably the traits of your sun sign which will be dominant and clearly visible in your life.

  • 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.

  • Latitude : Distance in degrees north or south of the equator. In the chart, the Angle between the planes of a planet's orbit and the Ecliptic or Earth's orbit, measured in degrees of arc.

  • Longitude : Distance in degrees east and west from the meridian of Greenwich, England. In the chart, distance in degrees counterclockwise in the Zodiac from the Vernal Equinox, O degree Aries.

  • Meridian, Midheaven, Medium Coeli : Refers to the upper Meridian in a horoscope. The degree of the Zodiac immediately overhead at 12 noon. The Cusp of the 10th house. One of four Cardinal points in the horoscope. Also referred to as the 'MC'.

  • Nadir : Refers to the lower Meridian in the horoscope, the Cusp of the fourth House, or the fourth House itself; also known as the 'Imum Coeli,' or 'I.C'.

  • Earthlore Lore of Astrology: The MoonNode : the point where the orbit of another heavenly body intersects the Ecliptic; in Astrology, usually the Moon's ascending or north node, the "Dragon's head," if not indicated otherwise.

    Image at right: The Moon.

  • Obliquity of the ecliptic : Refers to the angle between the planes of the Earth's orbit and Celestial Equator.

  • Opposition : One of the major Aspects in a chart. The planets are opposite each other in the Zodiac within an allowable Orb.

  • Orb : Refers to the degree of deviation from exactness of two planets in Aspect; This Orb is allowed on either side of the Aspect, forming or separating.

  • Part of Fortune, pars fortuna : A point in the chart usually taken as an indication of the fundamental focus of self-interest in the life. The distance measured counterclockwise from the Sun to the Moon is projected counterclockwise from the Ascendant and the degree is known as the Part of Fortune.

  • Progressed horoscope : A chart calculated for a particular period of life by Secondary directions.

  • Quincunx : A minor Aspect wherein planets are approximately five signs apart, or 150 degrees

  • Quintile : A minor Aspect wherein planets are approximately 2 and one-half signs apart or 72 degrees.

  • Rectification : Refers to the art of correcting a horoscope when the time of birth is unknown in order to find the Ascendant.

  • Secondary directions : See: 'Directions.'

  • Semisextile : Minor Aspect in which planets are at one sign apart or 30 degrees.

  • Semisquare : Minor Aspect in which the planets are approximately one and a half signs apart, or 45 degrees. Action similar to a square but weaker.

  • Sesquiquadrate : Minor Aspect in which the planets are less than three signs apart, or 135 degrees. Similar to the Semisquare.

  • Sextile : Minor Aspect in which the planets are two signs apart or 60 degrees. Similar in nature to the Trine, but weaker.

  • Sidereal time : Refers to a way of indicating distance around the circle of the Houses or Celestial Equator, counterclockwise from the Vernal Equinox, by hours and minutes instead of degrees.

  • Singleton : Refers to a single planet alone in a hemisphere of the horoscope.

  • Square : Major Aspect wherein the planets are three signs apart, at right angles to each other, or 90 degrees apart. The planets are related by quality; Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable.

  • Stellium, Satellitium : Three or more planets in any one sign or House, usually in Conjunction.

  • Succedent : Refers to the second, fifth, eight, and eleventh Houses. The Houses immediately after the angular Houses; first, fourth, seventh, and tenth.

  • Tables of Houses : Tables showing the position of signs which occupy Houses in different latitudes throughout the world. They are used to determine the degree of a sign, the Rising sign and House Cusps or a particular date, time and place.

  • Transits : Interpretation of a horoscope by relating the position of the planets today, or for a particular time span to the position of the planets in the Birth or Mundane chart.

  • Trine : An Aspect in which planets are related by Triplicity (same element); they are four signs apart, such as Aries to Leo; Leo to Sagittarius.

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    Theme Introduction

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    Must Know terms

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