Astrology Basics - Important Terminology



People who are interested to study or learn about astrology basics generally face a common problem of not understanding all the words found in the pages either on a website or in the books related to it.

There are many terminologies used in astrology basics which are not found in the lexicons that we commonly use in our day to day life, and even if the words are available you will find the meanings described from astronomical point of views rather than astrological one. It may cause you problem, even when you study your own natal chart prepared by some astrologer.

Therefore some of the meanings will always remain unrevealed and your understanding remains incomplete. To overcome this problem, in this page I accommodated some commonly used words and their meanings, so that whenever you find any such word, you may consult this page, and my best advice, before you proceed further to learn astrology, go through the glossary and try to remember these most commonly used words.

There are several other words also which are not possible to accommodate in a website. I shall provide you the link; you can collect the book if you wish and keep it in your collection for future reference. Aberration- The apparent angular displacement of observed position of celestial object from its geometric position, caused by the velocity of light in combination with the motions of the observer and of the observed object.

Aphelion- The point on a planetary orbit when it is the greatest distance from the Sun. The Sun’s radius vector is the longest at this point (heliocentric).

Apogee- The point at which a body in orbit around the Earth is at the greatest distance from the Earth is called Apogee.

Aspects or Astrology Aspects-This is one of the most important glossary,one must remember to learn astrology basics. All planets "look "at other planets and signs and these looks are called aspect. Planets aspect the sign or planet exactly opposite to them (in the 7th house from them), Apart from 7th aspect some planets have special aspect.

Mars aspects the 4th and 8th houses from its position, Jupiter aspects 5th and 9th houses from its position, Saturn aspects the 3rd and the 10th house from its position, Dragons head and tail aspect 5th and the 9th house from their position.

The houses and the planets that are aspected by a planet get influence by that planet; the effect will be good or bad depending on the nature, condition, lordship, etc of the aspecting planet and also on the relation between the two planets. Ascendant-Another important term for astrology basics. The ascendant or the orient ecliptic point is the point of intersection of the ecliptic at the given time with the eastern horizon of the place. In astrology, it is the first house of the horoscope and is sometimes called the horizon.

The point of intersection is very important as it is considered as the commencing point of the horoscope. The earth rotates on its axis from west to east in 23h 56m 4.091s in mean solar time, and due to this rotary motion, the whole sky appears to come up from below the horizon gradually. It is the Rising Sign in the eastern horizon. There are 12 ascendants or lagans and their naming are as those of zodiac signs.

Celestial latitude- Angular distance across the celestial sphere measured north or south from the ecliptic along the great circle passing through the poles of the ecliptic and the object.

Conjunction- When the apparent celestial longitude or Right Ascension of two bodies are the same, the phenomenon is called conjunction.

Celestial Equator- It is a great circle of the celestial sphere drawn halfway between the poles and is the great circle in which the plane of earth’s equator cuts the celestial sphere.

Combust Planets- A planet when comes close to the Sun, it engulfed by the Sun’s rays and loses its power. This is called combustion. The combustion applies to all the planets except Dragon’s head and tail.This is also another important terminology and must read with astrology basics.

Constellation- A group of stars, bearing the names of mythical Greek heroes and of objects occurring in Greek legends to identify an area of the celestial sphere.

Declination- It is the angular distance on the celestial object. Ephemeris- A tabulation of the positions of a celestial object in an ordinary sequence for a number of dates- usually for one whole year.To know astrology basics or prepare natal chart one first must learn to read ephemeris.

Ephemeris time- Due to tidal friction on the Earth’s surface there has been regular retardation in the rotation of Earth, resulting in the gradual lengthening of the day and there are also regularities in the period of rotation for other reasons. As a result, the Universal which is the mean solar time of Greenwich determined from meridian observations, does not increase uniformly. So a new measure of time, termed as Ephemeris time, has been introduced from the year 1960. The relation between two time scales is E.T= U.T +T.D.T, from 1984 the term E.T was replaced by the term Dynamical Time.

Eclipse- Obscuration of celestial body caused by its passage through the shadow cast by another body. In a solar eclipse, the Earth passes through the shadow cast by moon and in a lunar eclipse, the Moon passes through the shadow cast by Earth.

Eclipse year- The eclipse year or the draconic year is the mean interval between successive passages of the Sun through Nodes.

Ecliptic- The mean position of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun or simply the apparent path of the Sun in the sky during the course of a year is known as ecliptic.

Equinox- The two points on the celestial sphere at which the ecliptic intersects the celestial equator, Day and Night are equals at this point.

Geocentric position- It is the apparent position of any heavenly bodies as seen from the center of the earth.

Heliocentric position- Observations with reference to the center of the Sun is termed as heliocentric.

Horary Astrology- This particular type of astrology is found in Vedic astrology basics only. Through this system an astrologer prepares a chart based on the time of question asked by the subject. With the help of this chart the astrologer predicts about the events that are going to take place.

Hour Circle- A great circle on the celestial sphere that passes through the celestial poles and is perpendicular to the celestial equator.

Inferior planets- The planet’s whose orbits lay within the Earth’s orbit round the Sun, are termed as inferior planets. The planets Mercury and Venus are regarded as inferior planets.

Meridian circle- A great circle passing through to celestial poles and through the zenith of any place on Earth.

Node-To understand astrology basics,one must understand what is Retrograde Motion. The two points on the celestial sphere in which the plane of an orbit of any rotating celestial object intersects a reference plane. In respect of the Moon, these two points are known as Rahu( Ascending Node) and Ketu ( Descending Node)

Retrograde Motion- Motion that is clockwise in the orbit as seen from the North Pole of the ecliptic is called retrograde motion. Although the planets always move in the same direction round the Sun, the apparent motion as seen from the Earth is not always in the same forward direction, they sometimes appear to move also in the backward direction. This is known as retrograde motion of a planet.

Retrograde Planets- Except the Sun and Moon the rest of the planets, change their proper motion through the zodiac periodically and appear to move backwards. After some time they resume their direct motion. When a planet is retrograde it is marked in the horoscope with the mark “R.” It gives some unusual result.

Sidereal time(Sidereal astrology)- The sidereal time is the measure of time defined by the diurnal motion of the vernal equinox. Local Sidereal Time is defined as the local hour angle of the vernal equinox.

Superior Planets- The planets whose orbit lie outside that of Earth are termed as superior planets. The planets Mars, Jupiter, Saturn etc. are superior planets.

Terrestrial Dynamical Time- (T.D.T) - It is the uniform time system which is used in computing the ephemeris of the bodies of the solar system.

Tenth House (M.C) - The point of intersection of the ecliptic of the given time with the meridian of the place is the tenth house of that moment. It is also termed as the mid- heaven or the Medium Coeli (M.C) and is sometimes called simply the meridian.

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