Glossary

The language of astrology borrows terms from a variety of cultures and languages to create its own lexicon. Sometimes, a term is used that differs from how it is more commonly used. E.G. In astrology the word luminary refers to the sun and moon specifically although astronomers may use the word for other celestial objects.

Planet describes actual planets but we also use the word planets to describe the sun, moon, and minor planets collectively. Of course we know these astral bodies are not planets; we merely use the term for the sake of simplicity. Planet means one thing to astronomers and a few additional things to astrologers.

Afflicted – when a planet, house, sign, point, horoscope or the native has a preponderance of challenging or potentially negative aspects or transits it is said to be afflicted. A negative configuration can be called an affliction and occasionally an astrologer may even say a planet is afflicting another.

Air – One of the qualities called the 4 triplicities (groups of 3) which are more commonly referred to as elements. These signs share specific traits by element. The Air element is shared by Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

Angular – the term used to describe the first modality of signs or houses, specifically Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses.

Aquarian – adjective and demonym form of Aquarius the Waterbearer. A trait, situation or person can be Aquarian.

Arien – adjective and demonym form of Aries the Ram. A trait, situation or person can be Arien. Arian is also used but incorrectly as that word describes a religious philosophy.

Aspect – in astrology one planet is said to aspect another or be in angle to another. It is a noun but we also use the verb form as in, “Venus is aspecting Mars” or “… in aspect to Mars”. A planet, sign, point or house may also be aspected by a planet.

Cadent – the term used to describe the third modality of signs or houses, specifically Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, and the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th houses.

Cancerian – adjective and demonym form of Cancer the Crab. A trait, situation or person can be Cancerian.

Capricornian – adjective and demonym form of Capricorn the Sea-Goat. A trait, situation or person can be Capricornian.

Cardinal – One of the quadruplicities and the first of 3 groups of 4 signs that share common traits, specifically Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. This grouping corresponds to Angular houses 1, 4, 7 and 10. Astrologers may refer to Cardinal houses instead but the term angular signs is not as commonly used.

Chiron – a centaur object discovered in 1977 and orbiting in our solar system between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. The discovery of Chiron was as electric as the discovery of Uranus in 1781 and it was first thought that Chiron was a dwarf planet and the 10th planet in our solar system. It was later downgraded to asteroid status and then it was discovered to have comet tendencies. Scientists then realized that Chiron is the first type of celestial object in our solar system that was not unique and separate from asteroids, planets and comets. Because of Chiron’s discovery the new type of solar system object was called a centaur in honour of Chiron’s mythology. Read more about Chiron here.

Chironic – displaying qualities of Chiron. There can be an anthropomorphization of Chiron’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Chiron used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Chiron-like is sometimes used or just Chiron.

Configuration – A group of two or more aspects that make up a geometrical shape and has an increased emphasis or power in the horoscope. The most common configurations in astrology are T-Square, Grand Trine, Grand Cross, a Yod and a Kite.

Conjunction – two or more planets that share the same relative point in the ecliptic circle or conjoined at a 0 degree angle or aspect but within a 6 degree orb. Because of the orb that means one planet at 1 degree and another at 7 degrees are said to still be conjuncting, conjoined or in conjunction. Planets may be in conjunction across signs and house cusps. E.g. Mercury at 29 degrees Gemini conjuncting Venus at 1 degree of Cancer, or Jupiter at 9 degrees Taurus in the 4th house conjunct Venus in Taurus at 12 degrees in the 5th house.

Earth – Our planet’s name but also one of the qualities called the 4 triplicities (groups of 3) which are more commonly referred to as elements. These signs share specific traits by element. The Earth element is shared by Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

Electional Astrology – a branch of astrology that seeks to find the most favourable time and date for any event based on a horoscope.

Element – also known as a Triplicity, one of the Qualities, the four elements are Fire, Earth, Air and Water. An element may refer to a sign, house or planet and and two or more planets in the same element are usually harmonious to one another.

Fire – one of the qualities called the 4 triplicities (groups of 3) which are more commonly referred to as elements. These signs share specific traits by element. The Fire element is shared by Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

Fixed – one of the quadruplicities and the second of 3 groups of 4 signs that share common traits, specifically Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. This grouping corresponds to Succedent houses 2, 5, 8 and 11. Astrologers may refer to Fixed houses instead but the term succedent signs is not commonly used.

Free-Floating – a planet that has no aspect with another major planet is called free-floating. This rare occurrence of a solitary planet without contact with another leaves the planet, sign and house involved in a more vulnerable position.

Geminian – adjective form of Gemini the Twins. The demonym is Gemini. A trait or situation can be Geminian.

Grand Cross – a grand cross is a major configuration consisting of two oppositions in square to one another thereby creating a cross or “plus” sign between planets in a horoscope. It may also be comprised of two T-Squares and is at least 4 planets but it may also involve more. The grand cross is said to be open-ended if not “closed” by four 90 degree squares. Once thought to be a very negative configuration a grand cross is seen in the charts of the most successful people or celebrities and some notorious ones. The configuration lends itself to strength, perseverance and growth with commitment to goals but also a bit of calamity, upheaval, and a reactionary bad attitude if there are no positive outlets for the stress and tension caused by the multitude of squares and oppositions. When grand crosses occur with grand trines you often see the most successful or happy people who have overcome a negative past to create a positive present and future.

Grand Trine – a grand trine is a major configuration consisting of three planets trining one another forming a complete triangle by aspect. It is comprised of at least 3 planets but may also involve more. The grand trine is said to be open-ended if not “closed” by three trines on each side. Once thought to be only a very positive configuration a grand trine is now also seen as an excess in some horoscopes. Often this is from a lack of awareness of how good they have it compared to most people and unless there are a few “negative” aspects in the horoscope to create balance all trines and no squares need more conscious attention to affairs. The configuration lends itself to luck, opportunity, ease, growth, reward and completion, and also new experiences and opportunities to expand awareness. Trines often soften harsher aspects in a chart and may involve other planets in sextile. When grand crosses occur with grand trines you may see the most successful or happy people who have overcome loss and not allowed a negative past to determine their future. Grand trines work best with a balance of other aspects or there may be no motivation, excess indirect energy, or an excessive squandering of resources. But grand trines are lucky and people who have them may enjoy many benefits, while not discounting that many grand trine people work hard for the benefits they enjoy.

Horary Astrology – a branch of astrology whereby a horoscope is cast for the exact time a particular question is asked.

Inconjunct – another term for a quincunx.

Jupiterian – displaying qualities of Jupiter. There can be an anthropomorphization of Jupiter’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Jupiter used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Sometimes astrologers will use jovian in its place and it is acceptable as is jovial. Jove is another name for Zeus or Jupiter.

Kite – a configuration in a horoscope where a grand trine is connected on one end with one or more planets that sextile two of the planets in the grand trine. The planet in sextile will usually oppose the third planet in the grand trine defining the kite image. A kite is very special. The person usually “takes flight” in the direction the sextiling planet is pointing; i.e. it’s the focal point and the house and sign where a lot of the positive energy is channelling. But the other trine components are involved and also contribute making the kite potentially a super powered grand trine. Squares in the chart will help in the outcome likely.

Leonine – adjective form of Leo the Lion. The demonym form is Leo. A situation or behaviour can be Leonine.

Libran – adjective and demonym form of Libra the Scales although just Libra is more often used. A trait, situation or person can be Libran.

Luminary – either the sun or the moon, or both collectively as luminaries and used when needing to separate discussion of the sun and moon from the collective term planets for clarity. It also denotes the powerful light status of the sun and moon as luminaries. The sun may lighten or brighten up one’s life when influencing a horoscope; the moon has an illuminating effect on the mind and emotions. Both of these greater lights contribute to our personality and character assisted by Mercury, Venus and Mars.

Lunar – displaying qualities of the moon. There can be an anthropomorphization of the moon’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of the moon used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Moon-like is often used or just the moon.

Martian – displaying qualities of Mars. There can be an anthropomorphization of Mars’ qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Mars used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Mars-like is sometimes used or just Mars.

Mercurial – displaying qualities of Mercury. There can be an anthropomorphization of Mercury’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Mercury used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Mercurian and Mercury-like is sometimes used or just Mercury too.

Modality – also known as a Quadruplicity, one of the Qualities, the three modes are Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. A mode or quadruplicity may refer to a sign, house or planet and and two or more planets in the same mode may not always be harmonious to one another although the members of each mode share common traits.

Mutable – One of the quadruplicities and the third of 3 groups of 4 signs that share common traits, specifically Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. This grouping corresponds to Cadent houses 3, 6, 9 and 12. Astrologers may refer to Mutable houses instead but the term cadent signs is not commonly used.

Natal – the word natal is derived from Latin natalis and the verb nasci and means “born”. Astrologers cast (aka construct, calculate, or do) a horoscope chart or a natal chart and the words horoscope, chart or nativity are interchangeable with the more formal two word descriptions.

Native – the subject of the horoscope, or for whom the horoscope was cast. Used particularly for the client’s or subject’s anonymity and then identified only as a male or female with the location of birth and birth data in a classroom of astrology students, e.g.

Nativity – the natal chart or horoscope.

Neptunian – displaying qualities of Neptune. There can be an anthropomorphization of Neptune’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Neptune used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit.

Out of House – a planetary aspect that occurs in houses that wouldn’t normally aspect with that particular angle. E.g. a planet in Libra in the 5th house trining an Aquarius planet in the 8th house. Normally houses 5 and 9 would trine. Similar to any planet deemed Out of Sign.

Out of Sign – in planetary aspects the planets generally aspect another planet in a sign connected to their own by triplicity or quadruplicity. E.g. a fixed sign Leo planet squaring a fixed sign Scorpio planet; or an air sign Gemini planet trining another air sign like Libra. But when planets are at the beginning or end of the sign or house things may be different. E.g. a fixed fire sign Leo planet at 29 degrees squaring a mutable fire sign Sagittarius planet at 1 degree of Sag. Elements don’t usually square each other. This is said to be an out of sign square. Any aspect can occur out of sign or out of house, the house equivalent to the above.

Piscean – adjective and demonym form of Pisces the Fishes although Pisces is most often used as a demonym. A trait, situation or person can be Piscean.

Planet – any of the sign and house rulers and named for the planets in our solar system but which also includes the moon and sun for astrologers. A planet is more than the celestial body in astrology. It is an archetype and a symbol for a certain kind of effect or influence. Sometimes people are represented by a planet or a situation or event. They are a major component of astrology as it is their orbital path that astrologers follow and cast in a horoscope. Their relationships to one another reveal much of the information gleaned from a nativity.

Plutonian – displaying qualities of Pluto. There can be an anthropomorphization of Pluto’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Pluto used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit.

Pseudoscience – the pejorative term used by scientists of several disciplines to describe astrology and other ancient arts or practices which they do not study or understand. Due to their own egos and ignorance scientists throughout history, and similar to organized religions, set themselves as the authorities on what is “real” and what isn’t due to the “absence” of what they say is proof. Mostly, it’s a matter of “it’s true or not true because we say so” which is hardly scientific and most science is accepted by consensus and not evidence or “repeatability” alone. Also, scientists in their arrogance generally decide they are the only source of “real” knowledge yet like to sweep under the carpet their many mistakes throughout history which clearly show they are far from infallible and they constantly contradict their own pronouncements when new evidence is found. E.g. The German physicist, Ernst Florens Chladni published his scientific booklet in 1794 suggesting meteorites originated in outer space. The scientific community of the day mocked him (just as they mock astrology and religion) and questioned his science credentials calling into question his previous scientific achievements. Several years later Chladni was proven correct. Today, science is exploring quantum physics and quantum entanglement which may some day prove a relationship between the Earth’s inhabitants and astrology. Visit here for a list of other “scientific truths” once believed by science yet later “superseded” or proven incorrect. Perhaps some of the most arrogant of these scientists may be cured by medical bloodletting.

Quadruplicity – also known as a Modality or mode and one of the Qualities, the three modes are Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable. A mode or quadruplicity may refer to a sign, house or planet and and two or more planets in the same mode may not always be harmonious to one another although the members of each mode share common traits.

Quincunx – an aspect comprised of one planet in the horoscope 150 degrees from another. Also called an inconjunct, a quincunx brings two signs and houses together that have no other quality of relationship by element or mode. E.g. Leo and Capicorn. Although, a quincunx may occur “out of sign” between two or more planets. It’s orb is 3 to 4 degrees.

Sagittarian – adjective and demonym form of Sagittarius the Archer. A trait, situation or person can be Sagittarian.

Saturnine – displaying qualities of Saturn. There can be an anthropomorphization of Saturn’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Saturn used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Saturnian is also used.

Saturnian – same as Saturnine.

Scorpian or Scorpion – adjective and demonym form of Scorpio the Scorpion although Scorpian is correct Scorpion is more commonly used. A trait, situation or person can be Scorpian or Scorpion.

Semi-Sextile – a minor aspect comprised of one planet in the horoscope 30 degrees from another or half a sextile away. A semi-sextile has an orb of 2 or 3 degrees and often brings two signs and houses together that have no other quality of relationship by element or mode. E.g. Leo and Virgo.

Sesquisquare – a minor aspect comprised of one planet in the horoscope 135 degrees from another or half a sextile away. A sesqui-square may occur in the same or a different element. Similar to square and semi-square this aspect often brings tension and challenge in the through the planets in sesqui-square. A small orb of 2 or 3 degrees is commonly used.

Sextile – a minor aspect in astrology that has earned major aspect status but not orb. An aspect with at least two planets 60 degrees apart, a sextile or a few of them can help in difficult cycles as they are positive much like a mini-trine. An orb of 4 degrees is usually used for a sextile.

Solar – displaying qualities of the sun. There can be an anthropomorphization of the sun’s qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of the sun used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Sunny is often used as well as just the sun.

Square – a major aspect in astrology that has at least two planets 90 degrees apart. A planet that squares the ones on either side of it may be said to be in t-square if they also oppose each other. Squares may involve more than two planets and when four squares create a plus sign configuration it is called grand cross. It was considered a negative aspect in the past but today’s astrologers recognize that the challenges of a square bring greater problem resolution. Through the conflict of squares we learn and grow and this appears to be necessary for both. Squares are motivating. Usually an orb of 6 to 8 degrees is used for a square.

Succedent – the term used to describe the second modality of signs or houses, specifically Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, and houses 2, 5, 8 and 11.

Taurean – adjective and demonym form of Taurus the Bull. A trait, situation or person can be Taurean.

Trine – a major aspect in astrology that has at least two planets 120 degrees apart. Another planet that trines both also 120 degrees away forms a Grand Trine a very positive influence in a horoscope usually. Trines may involve more than three planets and they are usually considered a positive aspect. Today’s astrologers recognize that some trines may manifest as excess or laziness and sloth. The challenges of a trine is to work its benefits into your life in a measured fashion and motivate self to bring greater positive energy into your life. Through the gifts and opportunities of trines we learn to value resources and wealth and conserve some for later need. Instead of spending tomorrow today, we must learn to spend today’s time on today and save a little for tomorrow. Trines can be enervating and contribute to expansion and growth. Usually an orb of 6 to 8 degrees is used for a trine.

Triplicity – also known as and more commonly referred to as element, one of the Qualities, the four elements are Fire, Earth, Air and Water. An element may refer to a sign, house or planet and and two or more planets in the same element are usually harmonious to one another.

T-Square – a t-square is a major configuration consisting of two planets in opposition and both square another thereby creating a “tee” shape between them. It may also be comprised of more than three planets and may create a few t-squares. That makes the configuration more focused on that area and is a more powerful influence than one lone t-square. The t-square is said to be open-ended if not “closed” by one square or the opposition. It wouldn’t actually be a t-square in shape or influence. T-squares were once thought to be a negative configuration but a t-square is often the engine that keeps someone moving and motivated. It can be troublesome to say the least but when conflicts and cycles are resolved or finished greater wealth or wisdom are usually the result. The focus of the t-square will be on the planet squaring both in the opposition and is usually the outlet for the stress or conflict. The configuration lends itself to strength, perseverance and growth through conflict resolution. Some just manifest the t-square as negative and don’t care how their behaviour may affect others.

Uranian – displaying qualities of Uranus. There can be an anthropomorphization of Uranus’ qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Uranus used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit.

Venusian – displaying qualities of Venus. There can be an anthropomorphization of Venus’ qualities to describe some behaviour. An adjective form of Venus used to describe a personality trait, behaviour, influence, event, cycle or transit. Venus- like or just Venus is used. Venerian has also been as a demonym of Venus but is close to another word that may induce shock or giggles so is not used by most astrologers.

Virgoan – adjective and demonym form of Virgo the Virgin. A trait, situation or person can be Virgoan. Referring to a Virgo as a Virgin, although not incorrect, is confusing and sounds a tad prurient, similar to pronouncing Uranus as yer-ANUS which sounds scatological and makes people giggle.

Water – One of the qualities called the 4 triplicities (groups of 3) which are more commonly referred to as elements. These signs share specific traits by element. The Water element is shared by Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

Yod – a yod is a relatively minor configuration consisting of two planets in sextile and both quincunx another thereby creating a “Y” shape between them. It may also be comprised of more than three planets. The yod cannot be open-ended and its influence is unusual but often brings enlightenment after duty and responsibility. It may highlight a special gift or talent the native may tap into or manifest. It may take a special pathway, commitment or means to get to the desired goal or success.

Zodiac – the zodiac is the series of 12 constellations that encircle the earth along what is called the ecliptic. The planets, sun, moon and other solar system bodies traverse the ecliptic from our viewpoint here on earth with the constellations in the background. For millennia the planetary pathways through the zodiac have been measured. Doing so gave rise to both the art of astrology and the science that splintered away from it called astronomy.