The Aries Point: is zero degrees Aries and defined by the intersection of the ecliptic and the celestial equator.
Astrology: the study of the quality of time in any given moment.
Correspondence Table of Planets, Signs, and Houses: In general, there is a basic similarity between a specific planet, sign and house, so that to understand one principle, enables a grasp of the other two:
1st house = Aries = Mars = identity, (physical body) taking action
2nd house = Taurus = Venus = wealth
3rd house = Gemini = Mercury = thinking
4th house = Cancer = Moon = feeling and family
5th house = Leo = Sun = creative self-expression
6th house = Virgo = Mercury = discrimination and health
7th house = Libra = Venus = love and relationships
8th house = Scorpio = Pluto = death, rebirth, personal unconscious
9th house = Sagittarius = Jupiter = higher learning and far-away places
10th house = Capricorn = Saturn = ambition and public persona
11th house = Aquarius = Uranus = goals, groups, and friends
12th house = Neptune = Pisces = retirement, meditation, collective unconscious
Celestial equator: earth’s equator extended out into space.
Chart: a 360 degree two dimensional circle representing the sky as viewed from the earth.
Chart Angles: Arise from dividing the chart into four, which generates a cross within a circle and four quadrants. The top of the cross corresponds to the Midheaven, and the bottom the IC. The left arm of the cross corresponds to the Ascendant and the right arm of the cross the
Descendant. By convention the Ascendant shows the point of sunrise, even though it appears on the west side of the circle. The reason for this is that if you hold a chart and face south, sunrise is to the left.
Chart Ruler: the planet that rules the 1st house (rising sign) of a natal chart. (See rulership below.)
Ecliptic: path the earth travels around the Sun. From the viewpoint of the earth, it is the path traveled by the Sun in a year.
Election Astrology: a branch of astrology that selects an auspicious time to begin a venture.
Event Chart: an event chart shows the placement of planets at the time an event occurred. The chart shows the nature of the event, the situation leading up to the event, and the fallout of the event.
Ephemeris: a reference text that shows the sign and degree of the planets each day at midnight in Greenwich, England over months and years (typically 50 or 100 years).
Horary Astrology: a branch of astrology that finds an answer to a question in a chart drawn the moment the question is asked.
Houses: arise from dividing the circle into 12 parts (each quadrant divided into 3) and are numbered 1st through 12th. The houses are of varying size and fix the chart to a location on earth. Each house corresponds to a specific area of life (see Correspondence Table above).
Mutual Reception: is based on planetary rulership and occurs when planet A is in the sign of planet B, and planet B is in the sign of planet A. An example in the story is the placement of Venus and Mercury in the kidnapping event chart. From the Correspondence Table it is apparent that Venus in Gemini stands in the sign associated with Mercury. At the same time, Mercury in Taurus stands in the sign associated with Venus. Planets in mutual reception can trade places. They also provide assistance to each other.
Natal Chart: a representation of the position of the planets at the moment of birth. For convenience, the Moon and Sun are lumped together as planets, although they are luminaries. Everything that is born has a birth chart, including countries, animals, homes, etc.
Planet: Most astrologers recognize eight standard planets and two luminaries, giving a total of ten ‘bodies.’ The planets move at varying speeds with the Moon moving the fastest and Pluto currently the slowest. Planetary speed is directly dependent on the distance of a planet from the Sun. Planets closest to the Sun move faster and those further away move slower. The slow moving planets pack the most powerful astrological punch. The bodies are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. (Astrologers still consider Pluto a planet despite its recent downgrade to a planetoid.)
Planetary Aspect: a specified geometric arc distance between two or more planets. Planets in aspect are in communication with each other. There are five major aspects. In a planetary conjunction, two planets have no longitudinal separation and are next to one another. In a sextile, planets are 60 degrees apart. In a trine, planets are 120 degrees apart. In a square, planets are 90 degrees apart. In an opposition, planets are 180 degrees apart. Sextile and trines are considered easy aspects. Squares and oppositions are hard aspects. A conjunction can be either easy or difficult, depending on the combination of planets.
Planetary placement: Each planet occupies 1 degree of the 360 degree circle and is in a given sign and house. For example, in Washington D.C., at noon on January 1, 2015 the Sun is at 25 degrees of Capricorn in the 10th house.
Planetary Station: All planets (not the luminaries) travel in apparent retrograde motion (see below) for a period of time. Like a train coming into a station, the planet appears to slow down and stop before it begins traveling in reverse motion in reference to the backdrop of stars. This brief standstill occurs when the planet is closest to the earth and at this time the planet’s effects are most potent.
Precession of the Equinox: the earth slowly wobbles on a north-south axis, so that the Aries point gradually drifts westward along the ecliptic in relation to the stars. In two thousand years, precession has shifted the N-S axis approximately 23 degrees counter clockwise. Indian astrologers take into account precession and measure planetary placement from the current location of the alpha star of Aries. In contrast, tropical astrologers determine the placement of the planets starting from the Aries point (see definition above). Because of precession, the zodiacal constellations (stars) are not the same as the zodiacal signs (based on earth’s seasons). All astrologers are thoroughly familiar with the phenomenon of precession.
Progressions: technique which equates a year of life with a single day of planetary movement and is a method of advancing planets in a chart..
Retrograde motion: apparent backward travel of a planet (not the luminaries) against the backdrop of the stars. Normal planetary movement is counterclockwise, and the while a planet doesn’t actually stop and go in reverse, from the viewpoint of the earth, that’s how it appears. The phenomenon is similar two trains travelling alongside each other at different speeds. As some point, the fast train will pull ahead and to those on that train, the slower train will appear to move backwards.
Signs: There are 12 signs, with each 30 degrees in arc. The circle begins at the Aries Point, which is defined as 0 degrees Aries. (See Aries Point above).
Sign Rulership: A specific planet is associated with a specific sign(s) and is considered to rule the sign (see Correspondence Table above). Thus, Mars rules Aries, Venus rules Taurus and Libra, etc. A planet is very strong when placed in its own sign.
Synastry: The technique of placing two charts together and analyzing how the planets of one chart interact with the planets in the other chart.
Transits: a chart showing the degrees of planets in signs at any time and any place. It is used along with progressions to assess upcoming planetary energy. The information is readily obtained from an Ephemeris.
Tropical Astrology: the system of astrology used in the west is earth-based, and employs the Sun, equator, and tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (the seasons) as a reference point.
Vedic or Indian Astrology: is a star (sidereal) based system of astrology used primarily in India. It is also called eastern astrology.
Zodiac: refers to either the twelve constellations in the ecliptic belt, or the twelve signs, each thirty degrees, which span the ecliptic.