Western Astrology



Used to describe a planet that is unfavorably aspected; squares, oppositions and quincunxes. An ancient term that is still commonly used.

Age of Aquarius:
See "Aquarian Age."

Air Signs:
Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Signs belonging to this Element represent the intellectual and thought process.

Anaretic Degree:
The final degree (29th degree) of any sign. It is also known as the degree of fate.

The lines of the chart wheel that lie at 0 degrees (the ascendant), 90 degrees (the I.C.), 180 degrees (the descendant), and 270 degrees (the M.C.). These are major points in a chart and represent Cardinal qualities.

Aquarian Age:
A time period of 2000 years where the influence of Aquarius is prominent. An age lasts for 2000 years and moves backward through the zodiac. The Age of Aquarius started at approximately the new millennium.

An angular measurement between two celestial planets or points.

See "Rising Sign."

The angular distance, calculated in specific number of degrees of the chart wheel, between two celestial planets or points. It also provides the nature of the relationship between planets.

Astral Traveling:
This roaming of the spiritual self while the physical body remains inert; involves the body's chakras.

The study of the influence of celestial bodies on any behavior, activity or condition on Earth. It is a guide to who we are.

Balsamic Phase:
When a more quickly orbiting planet trails a planet with a slower orbit and appears to "catch up" with the slower body, and the planets are within 45 degrees of one another in their orbital cycles, astrologers say that the faster moving planet is in its Balsamic Phase. Deals with your dedication to your destiny.

The belief among certain astrologers that some planets, especially Jupiter and Venus, are positive and beneficial influences, while others like Mars or Uranus are destructive. See "Malefic."

Birth Chart (also known as a Chart or Chart wheel):
A “map” detailing the positioning of the planets in the signs at the specific moment of an individual's birth. The chart is rendered by using the individual's place, date and time of birth as the data source for this planetary snapshot.

Cardinal Signs:
Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. This Quality represents initiative.

Celestial Body:
A physical form that exists in space; such as a planet.

An asteroid named for the Roman Goddess of Agriculture. Represents women's cycles, parenting and nutrition.

Composite Chart:
Two individual charts that are merged to form one. It shows the relationship between the individuals whose charts are combined.

An aspect involving three or more planets.

Two or more planets sitting next to each other within an acceptable orb, generally considered within 8 degrees for major aspects. A conjunction gives great strength to the energies of the interacting planets.

A group of visible stars in the same section of the sky.

The midway point between two signs of the zodiac; also used to refer to the start of a house within the chart wheel.

A planet's zodiacal period; the time it takes a planet or point to make one complete revolution in the heavens.

The partitioning of each sign into three equal parts of 10 degrees each. Each part is known as a decanate. Every sign is composed of 30 degrees.

The arc of measurement in degrees north or south of the celestial equator.

A degree is 1/360 of a circle. In astrology, degrees are the commonly used unit of measurement.

The opposite point from the ascendant, located on the cusp of the Seventh House. This point explains the nature of our interactions with others.

Earth Signs:
Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Signs belonging to this Element represent a practical nature.

Eighth House:
Also known as the House of Sex. It describes shared resources, inheritance, alimony, taxes and surgery. It is also the house of regeneration, death and rebirth.

Electional Astrology:
The branch of astrology that deals with selecting the best time to initiate any given activity or project.

A four-fold division of the zodiac that is comprised of Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Signs of the same Element share similar characteristics. Also known as “Triplicity”.

Eleventh House:
Also known as the House of Friends. It describes friendships and acquaintances, as well as hopes and dreams. It rules groups, humanitarianism and philanthropic attitudes.

An almanac that lists the zodiacal positions of the planets and other astronomical data for a given time period. Plural is “ephemerides”.

Means a time of equal day and night. This occurs twice a year and marks the beginning of spring and autumn.

Feminine Signs:
The Earth and Water signs, comprised of Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces. Indicates passive and receptive energy.

Fifth House:
Also known as the House of Pleasure. It describes romance, creativity, children, fun and speculation. It also rules the dramatic and one's artistic ability.

Fire Signs:
Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Signs belonging to this Element represent a fiery nature.

First House:
Also known as the House of Self. It describes the outer personality. It is the image we project to the world, our mask.

Fixed Signs:
Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. This Quality represents stubbornness and inflexibility.

Plotting the movements of the planets to determine upcoming trends.

Fourth House:
Also known as the House of Home. It describes the residence, real estate, ancestry and the past. It is also speaks to parental influence.

Grand Cross:
A configuration in which four planets form mutual squares. It creates much tension.

Grand Trine:
When three planets, generally of the same Element, meet each other to form a triangle. The energy of this configuration is harmonious.

Hard Aspect:
An aspect that creates tension and friction. Squares, oppositions and quincunxes are all hard aspects.

The term for the Aspects describing the relationship between two points, bodies or signs.
Horary Astrology:
The branch of Astrology devoted to answering specific questions by means of a chart drawn up for the time the question is asked.

In this century, the word “horoscope” has become synonymous with the daily 20 to 50 word predictions offered in newspapers, magazines and on the Internet. It literally means the “marker of time”, and it’s a map of the heavens at the time of one's birth [technically speaking, synonymous with “birth chart”].

The celestial sphere taken as a 360-degree circle divided into 12 sections. These sections are referred to by their numbers, such as 'the First House,' 'the Second House,' etc. Houses are generally numbered counterclockwise from the Ascendant (starting at the nine o'clock position), with the house that begins at the ascendant known as 'the First House.' Each house speaks to a particular component of one's life.

The I-Ching, or "Book of Changes," is an ancient Chinese oracle book that deals with philosophy and divination.

Imum Coeli (or I.C.):
One of the four major angles of a birth chart; this one falls at the bottom of the chart wheel. It is the start of the Fourth House and is one of the most personal points of the chart.

Intercepted Sign or House:
A house that appears within another house on the chart wheel. Common to those born in far northern or southern latitudes.

See "Report."

An asteroid named for the Roman goddess Juno, the wife of Jupiter, ruler of all gods. Represents partnerships, soul mates, weddings, marriages and separations.

Represents luck, philosophy, religion, higher learning, ethical values, expansion, abundance and excesses. It also rules long distance travel, aspirations and judgment.

An ancient term used for the Sun and the Moon.

Lunar Eclipse:
The point at which the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned with the Earth blocking out the Sun's light from the Moon, making the Moon seem invisible. Occurs during a full Moon.

Medium Coeli. One of the four major angles of a birth chart, this one is at the top of the chart wheel. It is the start of the Tenth House, and it addresses public life and reputation.

The belief among certain astrologers that some planets, like Mars and Uranus, are destructive, negative influences, while others like Jupiter and Venus are positive and beneficial. See "Benefic."

Represents action, passion, drive and determination. It deals with one's sexuality, force, daring, courage, competitive nature, aggression and assertion.

Masculine Signs:
The Fire and Air signs, comprised of Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius. It represents assertive and self-assured energy.

Represents communication, intellect, consciousness, transportation, dexterity and the mind.

See "Qualities".

Represents the Mother and the women in one's life, nurturing, home, emotions, instinct and memory. It also represents one's emotional response to situations and experiences.

Mundane Astrology:
The branch of astrology that deals with places as opposed to people; world events and universal trends are the focal point.

Mutable Signs:
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. This Quality represents a flexible nature.

Synonymous with “birth”. Natal chart and birth chart are terms that can be used interchangeably.

Rules music, television, movies, fashion, glamour, dreams, illusion, drugs, the intangible and the elusive. It also represents abstract thought, alcohol, the universal subconscious and the oceans of the Earth.

Ninth House:
Also known as the House of Philosophy. It represents religion, travel, foreign countries, in-laws, higher education, publishing, import/export and ethics.

The two points in a planet's orbit which intercept the Earth's path around the Sun (otherwise known as the “ecliptic”).

An ancient science that offers insight into the personality by assigning numeric values to names and birth dates, calculating numerological values and then interpreting the results.

When planets are exactly opposite each other in the chart wheel; an arc of 180 degrees. Creates stress. Balance is needed in the presence of an opposition.

The space on the chart wheel measured in degrees, between planets and points, by which an aspect may vary from exactness and still remain effective.

Planets that are outside the usual north or south measurement of the celestial equator within which planets rest.

Also known as a dissociate aspect; addresses the importance of measuring aspects by degree rather than sign. For example, a conjunction between a planet at 29 degrees Leo and 1 degree Virgo is within a 2-degree orb but not the same sign. This weakens the aspect.

Asteroid named for Greek goddess of war. Represents feminism, wisdom, crafts, news, politics, travel, sport, science and technology.

As used in astrology, this refers to the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Earth is excluded, as it is our point of reference. In general, it is a major body that revolves around a Sun in a periodic orbit.

Rules transformation, regeneration, rebirth, destruction, annihilation, power and elimination. It also represents atomic power, intensity, crime, death and the underworld.

See "Report".

A method of advancing the planets and points of a natal chart to a particular time after birth. Used to illustrate one's evolution.

The signs are classified by their Qualities: Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable. Also referred to as modalities or quadruplicities.

An arc of 150 degrees. Also known as the inconjunct; this aspect creates a certain uneasiness and a feeling of discomfort, and it has karmic lessons to teach us. It is a minor aspect.

Quintile: The quintile is an aspect of 72 degrees. It is an easy minor aspect often signifying human endeavor and accomplishments.

See "Report".

An interpretation of one's birth chart. Also known as “delineation”.

When a planet appears to be traveling backwards from our perspective on Earth. The energy of a retrograde planet is less assertive and more internalized.

Rising Sign:
Also known as the Ascendant. The degree at which the zodiac rests over the eastern horizon of the birthplace at the moment of one's birth; commonly refers to the sign which is peering over the horizon at that very moment. A new sign rises approximately every two hours. The Rising sign represents one's persona and image to the world.

Represents discipline, responsibility, ambition, restriction, limitation and delays. It also rules older people, tradition, authority, structure, patience and wisdom through perseverance and age. It teaches us our lessons in life.

Second House:
Also known as the House of Possessions. It describes your material assets, monetary income and the potential ways it may be earned. It also indicates what you value throughout life.

Secondary Progressions:
See "Progressions".

An arc of 30 degrees. This aspect creates unease; it is a minor aspect.

An arc of 45 degrees, or "half a square". A minor aspect indicating stress and tension, requiring action to release the tension.

An arc of 135 degrees, a "square-and-a-half". A minor aspect indicating tension and challenge.

Seventh House:
Also known as the House of Partnership. It represents marriage, joint partnerships, ventures and business partnerships. It also rules divorce, legalities, open confrontations, contracts, lawsuits and negotiations.

Sextile: An arc of 60 degrees; this is a favorable aspect. The planets involved are usually in compatible Elements. A sextile allows the influences of the planets to work in harmony; it brings forth opportunity.

See "Sun Sign".

Sixth House:
Also known as the House of Health. It is about your job, routine, daily responsibilities, diet, employees, pets and physical fitness. It also addresses a fulfillment of duty and the conscious mind.

Solar Eclipse:
The point at which the Moon, Sun and Earth are aligned and the Moon blocks the Sun, making the Sun seem either totally or partially invisible. Occurs during a new Moon.

When the Sun reaches its maximum declination. This occurs twice a year, at the beginning of summer and winter.

An arc of 90 degrees that is traditionally regarded as unfavorable. It represents the struggle of two forces at cross-purposes. A square brings stress and denotes obstacles that can inspire growth through concentrated effort.

Star Sign:
See "Sun Sign".

A meeting of three or more planets or points, usually occurring within one sign or house. It is a focal point of energy.

Represents the ego, self, willpower, your uniqueness and your individuality. It is your identity. It also represents the Father and male influences in one's life.

Sun Sign:
The Sun sign is based on the position of the Sun in the zodiac at the moment of one's birth. The sign placement of the Sun shows an individual's basic character. It is the core of one's potential and uniqueness as an individual.

Comparing natal charts to find strengths and weaknesses in the area of compatibility.

The configuration formed when two planets in opposition both square the same third planet (and form a 'T' in the heavens). This is a challenging focal point for planetary energies.

Tenth House:
Also known as the House of Social Status. It represents one's vocation, career, profession, ambition, reputation, authority, prestige and achievements, and it also rules government. It addresses one's parental influences.

Third House:
Also known as the House of Communication. It is the way in which we express ourselves and think on an intellectual level. It also represents consciousness, siblings, neighbors and our local environment, as well as early education, mechanical dexterity and short trips.

The position and movement of a planet or point on any given day.

Trine: An arc of 120 degrees; the most harmonious aspect. In most cases, it joins planets in congenial signs of the same Element. These energies combine with ease. The drawback, however, is the lack of challenge -- benefits are derived without effort.

See "Elements".

Twelfth House:
Also known as the House of the Unconscious. It represents the hidden or unknown, the subconscious mind, the intangible, sleep, dreams, karma and spiritual debt. It rules solitude, confinement, fears, sorrow, secrets, hidden enemies, non-reality, institutions and charity.

Represents the erratic, the bizarre, and the different. It rules freedom, inventions, originality, computers, technology, science, electricity, revolution, rebellion and change. Uranus breaks through barriers and tradition.

Represents love, romance, beauty, culture, the aesthetic, affection, one's social appeal and acceptability, good taste, harmony and values.

Asteroid named for the Roman virgin fire goddess. Represents devotion, sexuality and health, as well as career and education.

A term describing a planet that does not make a major aspect before changing signs. It is used primarily with respect to the Moon.

Water Signs:
Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Signs belonging to this Element represent an emotional, sensitive and intuitive nature.

From the Greek 'zodiakos,' literally meaning 'circle of animals.' A band in the heavens divided into 12 signs, each containing 30 degrees of longitude and acting as the barometer for various human traits.