Dictionary of Definitions and Astrology Terms

Here are many of the most known Astrology Terms that you will want to learn to become familar with Astrological terminology.

Angles

The 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th house cusps. These are both sensitive and powerful points in the chart.

Ascendant

The horizontal line on the left side of the chart, or the 1st house cusp. The ascendant tells a great deal about the personality, or the image the native wishes to project to the world.

Aspect

The type of geometric angle formed between two or more planets. The type of angle indicates how easily the energy flows between the planets involved.

Astrology

The Art and Science of interpreting planetary placements and how these placements represent factors in life.

Bucket Pattern

A planetary arrangement wherein all but one planet are in 6 consecutive houses. The "singleton" creates a "handle" to the bucket.

Composite Chart

This chart is calculated by combining two natal charts, usually for compatibility purposes. 

Conjunction

The aspect formed when two or more planets are at the same degree or very close. It strengthens and blends the energies of all planets involved.

Cusp

1. A generic term used in Sun Sign astrology meaning the time near a sign change.
2. The line which divides one house from one next to it.

Detriment

When a planet is placed in the sign opposite to its rulership it is weakened. It is in the sign of its detriment.

Elements

Fire, earth, air and water.

Elevated Planet

The planet positioned closest to the top of the chart. This gives that planet greater power.

Ephemeris

A numerical listing of the degree, minute and sign that each planet is in by date. An astrology calendar usually contains an ephemeris for one year.

Horoscope

The predictive interpretation of an astrology reading. Not all readings are predictive.

Houses

The "slices of the pie" in an astrology chart. Starting from the left, they progress counter-clockwise. Each house represents an area of life.

Inconjunct

An odd aspect formed when two or more planets are 150 degrees apart. It is generally considered stressful, due to the fact that it frequently calls for a sacrifice from one of the planets involved.

Kite Formation

A major configuration which consists of three planets in a grand trine configuration, with a fourth at the midpoint of any of the trines, forming sextiles to two of the planets, and an opposition to the third. This is a powerful configuration, combining the selflessness and vision of the grand trine type with the practicality and groundedness of the opposition.

Lights

A term describing the Sun and Moon, i.e., the Sun and Moon are lights, not planets.

Locomotive Pattern

This pattern has the planets in the chart spread over 2/3 of the wheel leaving a trine empty. The planet leading clockwise is the focal point and there is a great deal of energy.

Minor Aspects

There are many minor aspects which have a lighter energetic effect on the horoscope, but which may be taken into account. These include the semi-sextile, semi-square, quintile and others.

Mutual Reception

When two planets are in each others ruling signs, for example Jupiter in Gemini and Mercury in Sagittarius, both energies are stronger.

Nadir

The bottom half of the vertical line in the chart, the 4th house cusp.

Natal

The position of the planets at the moment of birth for a person, event or object. For a person it is (hopefully) based upon the moment of the first breath.

Natural Zodiac

This is the basic chart configuration that all other charts are based on. It assigns each planet to the sign and house that it rules.

Nodes

Mathematical symbols that represent a planet's axis or the eliptic on which it travels. The Lunar Nodes are most popularly used. The North Node is lessons to be learned, and the South Node is prior mastery, a comfort zone.

Opposition

The aspect formed by two or more planets that are 180 degrees apart. Considered stressful as it requires balancing of the energies involved.

Orb

The allowable distance between planets to form a correct aspect. This varies according to the planets involved. For example, generally an allowable orb to create a conjunction is 3-5 degrees.

Polarities

Masculine/Feminine or Positive/Negative.

Quadriplicities

The 4 groupings of energetic expression in the zodiac of these qualities: cardinal, fixed, mutable.

Qualities

The groupings into which the signs of the zodiac, the houses, or the planets may be organized. These can include the elements, polarities, triplicity or quadriplicity.

Quincunx

A synonym for inconjunct.

Reading

The interpretation of your planetary alignments into regular lanuguage. Since a massive quantity of information is contained within the chart, specialized readings are often done to answer specific questions.

Retrograde

The apparent tendency of some planets to move backwards in the sky in their orbit. Although this is an optical illusion, it mirrors certain distinct effects in the individual's life.

Return

Each planet eventually will return to its original, natal position. This marks an important new phase in the development of that energy.

Rising Sign

A synonym for ascendant.

Rulership

A planet gives a sign or house as its "personality." For example, Mars gives the sign of Aries and the 1st House a distinctly "Martian" flavor. We say that this is the planetary ruler.

See-saw

A grouping of planets in the chart where they lie in roughly opposing groups. This can indicate indecisiveness or a need to find balance. Can operate in opposing extremes.

Sextile

The aspect formed by two or more planets that are 60 degrees apart. Considered harmonious because of complementary qualities. May require adjustment.

Astrological Signs

Originally, the constellation that a planet was in at a particular time was it's sign. There are 12 signs in the Zodiac.

Square

The aspect formed by two or more planets that are 90 degrees apart. Considered stressful, as it requires action to resolve the conflicts.

Stellium

Three or more planets grouped together in a conjunction. This creates a major energy with distinctive characteristics all its own.

Sun Sign

Sun Sign astrology is what we read in the newspaper. It's a very generic reading based only on the position of the Sun at birth.

T-square

A T-square occurs when 2 planets oppose each other and a 3rd squares them. This makes the 't' and is a stressful aspect between signs of the same quadriplicity.

Transit

A transiting planet is one which is motion right now, as opposed to a natal position.

Trine

The aspect formed by two or more planets that are 120 degrees apart. Considered harmonious, but can cause laziness due to the ease of the flow.

Triplicity

The 3 signs in the zodiac for each element, fire, earth, air and water.

Wedge Pattern

Also known as a "bundle pattern." When all planets are contained within a trine.

Yod

A unique configuration formed by two inconjuncts both pointing at the same planet. This creates an "arrow" which is also called the "Finger of God." Considered a point of destiny.

Zodiac

All of the Astrological Signs or constellations creating astrology signs.