Below is a copy of A Horary Glossary which I first published at my AOL site back in the early 1990s and included in my book on horary. Since then AOL has stopped sponsoring websites and the glossary became unavailable online. These concepts are more fully explained and illustrated in my text on horary astrology, which is now also available in a Kindle edition.
I post this glossary again with the hope that it may be useful to new students of horary. Because this text is over two decades old and a lot of historical research into the origins of astrology has occurred during that time, I would ask readers to kindly alert me to any passages that need correction or updating to be consistent with the latest knowledge of the art.
A Collection of Key Horary Terms, copyright Anthony Louis 1992, 2012
Author’s Note: I have included this glossary to make the most important concepts available in one place. There are many archaic terms in horary astrology which different authorities define in varying and even contradictory ways. I have tried to define horary terms as they were originally used by Ptolemy, Dorotheus, Bonatus, Dariot, Ramsey, Coley, and Lilly.
I am especially grateful to Allen Edwall and C.J. Puotinen for reviewing the definitions, correcting my errors, and offering other helpful suggestions. Ideas do change and grow, and a word that had one meaning at the time of Christ might signify something quite different today. Despite my attempt at accuracy, it is possible I was unaware of some subtlety or nuance of practice. If the reader finds an error, I would appreciate a scholarly correction.
ABSCISSION OF LIGHT
(Latin “abscissio” – to cut off). Zadkiel defines abscission as the “cutting off or preventing of anything shown by one aspect by means of another.”
Abscission occurs when, before an aspect between two significators can perfect, one of the significators first aspects a slower planet, or a faster planet first aspects one of the significators. In either case the light of the approaching significator is cut off by the rays of the third planet which fall, by aspect or conjunction, between the two others which are forming an aspect. Symbolically abscission may interfere with whatever is promised by the forming aspect between significators. Synonymous with Frustration.
A placement which strengthens a planet because of its favorable position, aspect, or motion in the heavens at a given time and which is not one of the essential dignities due to zodiac position as described by Ptolemy. Lilly gave as some examples of accidental dignity: “Direct, swift in Motion, Angular, in Trine or Sextile with Jupiter or Venus, etc., or in Conjunction with certain notable fixed stars.”
A planet is afflicted when it is unfavorably aspected, especially by a
malefic, or unfavorably located in the horoscope. Afflicted planets are
Impedited or Impeded.
Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.
A malefic fixed star at 26o10′ Taurus in 2000, associated with beheading, fires, tragedies, murder, violence, horror, and criminality. See Medusa’s Head.
“The Almuten of any house is that planet who has most dignities in the sign ascending or descending upon the cusp of any house, whereon or from when you require your judgment” (Lilly, CA, p.49). When the Almuten of a house has more dignity than the ruler of the house cusp, the Almuten may better represent the person or matter signified by the house.
“The Almuten of a Figure is that planet who in essential and accidental dignities is most powerful in the whole scheme of heaven” (Lilly, CA, p. 49).
Houses 1, 4, 7, and 10.
An inharmonious relationship of planets caused by their different natures, by aspect, or by rulership or exaltation in opposite signs. For example, the Sun which rules Leo has an antipathy for Saturn which rules the opposite sign Aquarius.
ANTISCION (SOLSTICE POINT)
The reflection of a planet’s position in the Cancer-Capricorn axis. A planet and its Antiscion always have as their midpoint 0 degrees Cancer or 0 Capricorn. For example, the antiscion of 9 Capricorn is 21 Sagittarius. The antiscion and its corresponding planet are equidistant from either solstice (0 Cancer or 0 Capricorn). The pairs of signs and their antiscion signs are: Aries/Virgo, Taurus/Leo, Gemini/Cancer, Libra/Pisces, Scorpio/Aquarius, and Sagittarius/ Capricorn. When one planet lies on the antiscion of another, the
two planets occupy the two points on the Ecliptic where the Sun has the same declination north or south of the Celestial Equator.
According to Lilly (CA, p. 90), “The Antiscion Signs are those, which are of the same virtue and are equally distant from the first degree of the two Tropic signs Cancer and Capricorn, and in which degrees whilst the sun is, the days and nights are of equal length; by example it will be plain; when the sun is in the tenth degree of Taurus, he is as far distant from the first degree of Cancer as when in the twentieth degree of Leo; therefore then the sun is in the tenth of Taurus, he has his Antiscion to the twentieth of Leo; that is, he gives virtue or influence to any star or planet that at that time either is in
the same degree by conjunction, or casts any aspect unto it.” In this
example, the Sun at 10 Taurus has the same declination it would have if the Sun were at 20 Leo..
Lilly also wrote, “There are Antiscions, which of the good Planets we think are equal to a Sextile or a Trine; so are there Contra-antiscions [points opposite the antiscions], which we find to be of the nature of a Square or Opposition.” What Lilly calls “contra-antiscions” could also be termed “contrascions.” See also Contrascion.
The movement of one planet toward another planet, house cusp, or sensitive point in approaching the formation of an aspect between them. Both planets may be direct, one direct and the other retrograde, or both retrograde. The faster planet, regardless of direction of motion, “casts its rays” to aspect the slower one. Application implies that the two planets are within orb of forming
an exact aspect. See also Separation.
An aspect, not yet perfected, in which the planets are within orb and are approaching the exact angle specified by the aspect. After the aspect has become exact and the planets “are departed but six minutes distance from each other” (Lilly, CA, p. 110), the planets begin to Separate. In practice, Lilly considered the bodies of the planets to occupy about 6 minutes of arc. For the Sun and the Moon he allowed minutes before or after exactitude for a “perfect aspect.”
ARABIC PART (LOT)
A significant point on the Ecliptic whose position is derived from a
combination of other significant points or planets. For example, the Part of Fortune is as distant from the Ascendant as the Moon is from the Sun. Pars Fortuna was considered the “horoscope (Ascendant) of the Moon” because at sunrise, when the Sun is crossing the Ascendant, the Moon lies on the Part of Fortune. Many of the Parts are not truly Arabic. The Arab astrologers elaborated on lists of Parts (Lots) they inherited from ancient Egyptian, Babylonian and Greek sources.
The degree of the zodiac on the Ecliptic that is rising over the Eastern
Horizon at the time of birth.
ASCENSION (LONG AND SHORT)
Because of the obliquity of the Ecliptic at approximately 23.5 to the
Equator, some signs lie north and others south of the Equator. When the Earth rotates, signs of short ascension ascend quickly while signs of long ascension rise slowly. In the northern hemisphere the signs of long ascension are Cancer through Sagittarius, and the signs of short ascension are Capricorn through Gemini. The reverse is true in the southern hemisphere. The chart may not be radical or fit to judge if less than 3 degrees rise, especially in signs of short ascension. Lilly believed that the signs of long ascension could stretch sextiles into squares, and squares into trines.
A specific angular relationship between planets, house cusps, or sensitive points measured in degrees of Ecliptic longitude. The major aspects are conjunction, sextile, square, trine, and opposition. Dexter aspects are thrown from preceding signs, sinister aspects from succeeding ones.
AVERAGE DAILY MOTION
The average motion of a planet during a 24 hour period. Traveling slower than average is a debility. According to Lilly, on average the Moon travels 13 d 10′ 36″ per day; Mercury, Venus, and Sun all average 0 d 59′ 8” per day; Mars averages 0 d 31′ 27” per day; Jupiter averages 0 d 04′ 59” per day; and Saturn averages 0 d 2′ 1” per day.
Gemini, Leo, Virgo.
When two planets are within orb of an aspect, they are said to behold one another. Lilly gave the example of Saturn at 10 Aries beholding Mars at 7 Capricorn by dexter square aspect.
Signs which have the same declination, or are at equal distances from the
tropics, i.e., Aries and Virgo, Taurus and Leo, Gemini and Cancer, Libra and
Pisces, Scorpio and Aquarius, and Sagittarius and Capricorn.
A beneficial planet. In horary these are traditionally Venus (the lesser benefic) and Jupiter (the greater benefic). In addition, the Part of Fortune and the Moon’s North Node are considered benefic as well as several fixed stars, most notably Regulus and Spica.
A planet is besieged when it lies between two malefics, or when the last aspect it completed and the next aspect it will make are to a malefic.
Traditionally a besieged planet lay between Mars and Saturn, and in the same sign with them.
Aries, Taurus, Leo, last half of Sagittarius.
BICORPOREAL (DOUBLE-BODIED) SIGNS
Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces.
Houses 3, 6, 9, and 12. “Falling away” from the angles.
See Medussa’s Head. A malefic fixed star at 26o10′ Taurus in 2000.
Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn, corresponding to the Cardinal Points of a compass: Aries – East, Cancer – North, Libra – West, and Capricorn – South.
“In the heart of the Sun” – within 17 minutes of arc of the Sun’s Ecliptic position and therefore corporally joined to the body of the Sun. The sun’s radius on the Celestial Sphere was considered to be 17 minutes of arc.
Traditionally a Cazimi planet is fortified.
The projection of the Earth’s equator onto the Celestial Sphere in the same plane as the Earth’s equator.
The imaginary sphere whose center is the center of the Earth and on which the fixed stars, planets, Sun, Moon, and the zodiac are located.
CHALDEAN ORDER OF THE PLANETS
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon.
COLLECTION OF LIGHT
Collection occurs when a slower planet receives aspects from two faster planets, which are not themselves in aspect. The slower planet collects the light of the faster planets and symbolizes that the matter can be perfected through a third person or intermediary described by the slow third planet.
Traditionally each faster planet must receive the collecting planet in one of their Ptolemaic dignities. In other words, the slow (heavy) collecting planet must occupy a region of the zodiac where each faster planet has some dignity.
A planet is combust if it lies in the same sign as the Sun beyond the Sun’s body (17′) but within the half-orb (8.5 degrees) of the Sun. Being combust burns up and thus weakens a planet. Traditionally the Moon is especially debilitated when combust. Some say the fire planet Mars thrives in the Sun’s light and is exempt from being combust. Shouldn’t this be true of the benefic fire planet Jupiter as well?
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo — considered more powerful than the other six signs because they are nearest the Zenith. When the sun travels through these signs during the spring and summer, the days are longer than the nights; and everybody knows that light is stronger than darkness. Also called Northern Signs, they rule the darker Southern Signs. Presumably, when the
observer is south of the Equator, the northern signs would obey and the southern signs command.
The Mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces.
CONSIDERATIONS BEFORE JUDGMENT
According to Lilly (CA, p. 121), “All the Ancients that have wrote of
Questions, doe give warning to the Astrologer, that before he deliver judgment he well consider whether the Figure is radical and capable of judgment.” Some modern authors have called these considerations “strictures against judgment” and regard them as warnings to proceed cautiously. Sometimes such warnings give relevant information about the question. A fundamental consideration is
that only sincere questions produce valid horary charts.. Some classical considerations before judgment are:
a) Less than 3 degrees rising: a premature question.
b) More than 27 degrees rising: a post-mature question.
c) Moon in Via Combusta: not safe to judge unless it conjoins Spica.
d) Moon in a late degree, especially in Gemini, Scorpio, or Capricorn: not safe to judge.
e) Moon Void of Course in Gemini, Scorpio, or Capricorn: not safe to judge.
f) Saturn retrograde in 1st house: Matters will generally not work out well.
g) Saturn in the 7th house: Astrologer’s judgment may be impaired.
h) 7th house ruler afflicted: Astrologer will have difficulty answering the question.
i) Moon Void of Course: Nothing will come of the matter. Lilly writes:
“all manner of matters go hardly on (except the principal significators be very strong) when the Moon is void of course; yet sometimes she performs if void of course, if in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, or Pisces” where she is protected by the benefics Venus and Jupiter.
j) The Ascendant ruler is combust the Sun: The querent is quite worried, and the astrologer may be working with too little information.
Co-rulers. The planet ruling the sign on the cusp of a house is the primary significator. Planets within that house are co-significators. If a sign is intercepted in a house, that sign’s ruler is a co-significator. The Moon always co-rules the querent. [Note: co-significators are planets that signify the querent or the quesited in a horary question. See con-significators below.]
A sign or planet believed to have an affinity with a mundane house because it falls in the same numerical order as the house. Not to be confused with co-significators. The sign of the zodiac naturally paired with a house is its CON-significator (based on the congruence between the numerical ordering of the signs, houses, and planets). For example, Aries is the consignificator of the 1st house, Taurus of the 2nd, etc. The planets taken in Chaldean order (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon) are consignificators of the houses falling in the same sequence. Thus, Saturn is consignificator of houses 1 and 8, Jupiter
of houses 2 and 9, Mars of houses 3 and 10, sun of houses 4 and 11, Venus of houses 5 and 12, Mercury of house 6, and the Moon of house 7.
A group of stars named after a figure or animal they are considered to represent. The circle of twelve constellations of the zodiac, as opposed to signs of the zodiac, constitute the Sidereal zodiac.
CONTRAPARALLEL OF DECLINATION
Two planets form a Contraparallel of Declination when they are equally distant north or south but on opposite sides of the Celestial Equator.
CONTRASCION (or CONTRA-ANTISCION)
The contrascion of a planet is that point at the same distance from but on the opposite side of the equinoctal axis, 0o Aries – 0o Libra. The midpoints of a planet and its contrascion are always 0o Aries and 0o Libra. The contrascion of a planet is always opposite its Antiscion. In other words, the contrascion of a planet is the antiscion of the point opposite to the planet on the ecliptic. When one planet lies on the contrascion of another, the two planets occupy the two points on the Ecliptic where the sun has equal but opposite declination. According to Henry Coley, “the Learned do hold an Antiscion to
be equivalent to a sextile or trine Aspect, especially if they were Fortunate Planets; and a Contrantiscion to be of the nature of a square or opposition.”
Those days on which the Moon makes successive 45o transiting aspects to its original position in a chart for an illness or event. Such days are stressful crisis points for the illness or event. Favorable crises occur when the Moon makes successive 60 degree aspects to its radical position. Commonly used in decumbiture charts.
Degrees of the zodiac that mark the boundaries between Lunar Mansions. Also the degrees that are at the beginning and ending (0 and 29 degrees) of zodiac signs.
The critical Lunar Mansion degrees are: 0 degrees, 12 d 51′, and 25 d 43′ of Cardinal signs; 8 d 34′ and 21 d 26′ of Fixed signs; and 4 d 17′ and 17 d 9′ of Mutable signs.
1) The arrival of a planet at the Midheaven (M.C., upper meridian). Sometimes called “southing.” 2) Culmination also refers to the perfection of an aspect.
The boundary between one house and another, or between one sign and another.
The ancients considered a planet within 5 degrees of the cusp of the next house to be in the next house. According to Lilly (CA, p.33), if a planet “be within five degrees of the cusp of any house, his virtue shall be assigned to that house to whose cusp he is nearest.” This rule may derive from the heliacal rising of planets when they are obscured by the Sun’s rays, or it may derive from the notion of house cusps having an orb of influence that extends 5 degrees into
the preceding house. Sometimes aspects to relevant house cusps give useful information in horary questions.
DAY AND NIGHT TRIPLICITIES (according to Lilly; click on link for other viewpoints)
Triplicity Day Ruler Night Ruler
Fire Sun Jupiter
Earth Venus Moon
Air Saturn Mercury
Water Mars Mars
The sign a planet rules by day. Except for the Moon, whose Day House is Cancer, each planet rules a masculine (odd numbered) sign by day.
Sun-Sunday, Moon-Monday, Mars-Tuesday, Mercury-Wednesday, Jupiter-Thursday, Venus -Friday, Saturn-Saturday.
A weak or afflicted condition of a planet. Being in Detriment or in Fall are potent essential debilities.
A division of each sign into three 10 degree segments. There is a Hindu division of each sign into three decans ruled by the three signs of the same element.
There is a Chaldean division of each sign into three 10 degree faces ruled by the seven classical planets in Chaldean order, starting with Mars ruling the first face of Aries.
DECREASING IN LIGHT
Waning. Usually said of the Moon as it approaches the Sun in the order of the signs on its way to a conjunction (New Moon) after leaving its opposition (Full Moon). When decreasing in light, the Moon forms a series of sinister aspects to the Sun.
A measure of angular distance above or below the Celestial Equator.
A lying down due to illness. A chart cast for the time a person first becomes ill or takes to the sickbed. Horary rules are used to interpret a decumbiture chart. The Ascendant signifies the sick person. Lilly appears to have regarded the question, “Whether one absent be dead or alive?” as a variant of a decumbiture chart when the querent bore no relationship to the missing person.
Lilly says that when the “Querent hath no relation to the party, then the 1st house, the Lord of that house and the Moon shall signify the absent party.”
The 8th house, any planets therein or within 5 degrees of the 8th cusp, show the death of the missing person. See the Decumbiture of the Dean of Vienne in my text on horary astrology
A method of renumbering the houses so that the matter or person asked about becomes the new 1st house and the other houses are numbered in order around the wheel from the new 1st house. Thus, in a question about a child, the natural fifth house becomes the child’s 1st, the natural sixth house becomes the child’s second house, and so on around the chart.
A sign opposite the one ruled by a planet. For example, the detriment of the Moon is Capricorn because the Moon rules the opposite sign Cancer. Being in detriment weakens a planet and is a debility. A person represented by a planet in detriment may feel out-classed, be obligated to work, and functions at a disadvantage.
Dexter means “on the right-hand side.” A dexter aspect is one in which the faster planet is waxing, or increasing in light, with respect to the slower one. The faster (applying) planet is casting its rays to the right (dexter) to form the aspect because the more ponderous planet lies on the right side of the applying planet as viewed from the Earth. Lilly says “Dexter Aspects are contrary to the succession of Signs,” that is, the rays of the faster planet flow clockwise around the wheel to reach the slower planet as viewed from the Earth. If planets are direct in motion, a dexter aspect forms as a result of increasing angular distance between them so that the planets are moving toward an eventual opposition. For example, the Moon in Aries would cast a dexter square to Jupiter in Capricorn. Ptolemy regarded the 11th house of the Good Daemon as sextile dexter to (sextile and to the right of) the 1st house.
Dexter aspects are traditionally more potent than sinister ones. Remember those sketches of an angel sitting on the right shoulder and a devil on the left one? See Sinister.
A condition which strengthens a planet’s influence. Dignity may be ESSENTIAL due to a natural affinity or sympathy of a planet with a particular region of the zodiac, or ACCIDENTAL due to house position, planetary motion, favorable aspects, etc., which are “accidental” and vary with the specific time for which a chart is cast.
Movement of a planet in the order of the zodiac signs from Aries to Taurus to Gemini, etc. Retrograde motion is opposite to direct motion.
DIRECTIONS BY HOUSE
DIRECTIONS BY SIGN
Aries: East Leo: E by N Sagittarius: E by S
Cancer: North Scorpio: N by E Pisces: N by W
Libra: West Aquarius: W by N Gemini: W by S
Capricorn: South Taurus: S by E Virgo: S by W
The planet which rules the sign or dignity another planet occupies. For example, if Mars is in Libra, the dispositor of Mars is Venus. In addition, a planet can Dispose (Receive) another planet through any of its essential Ptolemaic dignities. Thus, the Sun will dispose by exaltation any planet in Aries because the Sun is exalted in Aries.
A planet in its home sign has domal dignity.
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
The point on the Celestial Equator rising on the Eastern Horizon at birth. The East Point is the intersection of the Eastern Horizon, Prime Vertical, and Celestial Equator. The Ascendant is the intersection of the Eastern Horizon with the Ecliptic.
The Ecliptic is the apparent circular path of the Sun on the Celestial Sphere in Earth centered astronomy. It receives its name from the fact that eclipses occur then the Moon is on or near the Ecliptic. This great circle is inclined at about 23.5 degrees to the Celestial Equator, an angle known as the obliquity of the Ecliptic. The obliquity of the Ecliptic is now decreasing at a rate of about 48 seconds of arc per century. It will continue to decrease over many milkenia until it reaches 22 d 54′ and then it will again begin to increase.
The Ecliptic crosses the Celestial Equator at two points, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, which occur around March 21 and September 23 each year.
Astronomers give the positions of planets in Celestial Longitude along the Ecliptic east or west of the vernal equinox. Celestial latitude is measured north and south of the ecliptic. Astrologers divide the Ecliptic into 12 segments of 30 degrees each, the so-called signs of the zodiac.
A horoscope chart cast to determine the best time to take action. Electional astrology is the reverse application of horary procedures.
Fire, Air, Earth, and Water.
(Equal day and night). The points where the Equator intersects the Ecliptic.
Spring begins at the Vernal Equinox = 0 degrees Aries. Autumn begins at the Autumnal Equinox = 0 degrees Libra. Aries and Libra are the Equinoctal signs. The summer (0 degrees Cancer) and winter (0 degrees Capricorn) solstices occur on the ecliptic halfway between the equinoxes.
A region of the zodiac where a planet has a special affinity and is therefore more powerful. Essential dignity can occur by ruling sign (domal), exaltation, triplicity, term, or face (listed in order from strongest to weakest).
Persons represented by planets with domal dignity are usually well-situated and powerful; by exalted planets, proud, prominent, and unyielding; by planets in their triplicity, in good circumstances; by planets in their own terms, respectable but not especially powerful; by planets in their own face, mildly fortunate.
An aspect is “exact” when the centers of the bodies of the involved planets are at precisely the angular distance specified by the aspect. An aspect is “perfect” when the bodies of the two planets overlap each other at the exact angular distance specified in the aspect. See Perfect Aspect, Partile, and Platic.
A sign in which a planet functions well. A form of essential dignity. In
horary, an exalted significator may represent an arrogant person or someone who thinks quite well of him- or herself. Exaltation is next in power to dignity by ruling sign.
The weakest form of essential dignity. Each sign is divided into three 10 degree faces, and a different planet has dignity in each face of the sign. See Decanate.
A sign opposite the one in which a planet is exalted. A significator in its fall may indicate an unfortunate, helpless, insolvent, or cruel person. A planet in its fall may literally refer to a person who has fallen, been disgraced, or suffered some kind of limitation.
Traditionally the Moon and Venus.
Water and Earth signs. Starting with Aries as the first sign of the zodiac, these are the even numbered signs around the wheel. Some authors refer to the feminine signs as unfortunate or nocturnal.
A horoscopic map or chart.
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.
Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius.
Those stars outside our solar system which appear stationary on the Celestial Sphere when compared with the wanderings of the Sun, Moon, and planets. Fixed stars appear to move forward in the tropical zodiac at a rate of about 50 seconds of arc per year, eight minutes every 10 years, or one degree every 72 years.
Benefic planets, especially Venus and Jupiter. Also the Sun and Moon when free of affliction. The Moon’s North Node and Pars Fortuna are considered fortunate points. Spica and Regulus are potent benefic fixed stars.
Lilly used “frustration” to refer to problems with the operation of a
conjunction: “when a swift Planet would corporally join with a more ponderous, but before they can come to a Conjunction, the more weighty Planet is joined to another, and so the Conjunction of the first is frustrated.” Frustration interferes with the perfection of the matter. Many writers consider Abscission and Frustration to be synonymous so that when a planet is about to form aspects with two other planets, the aspect that perfects first causes an abscission of light that frustrates the influence of the second aspect. In Lilly’s definition, a faster planet is about to conjoin a slower one which
happens to conjoin a different planet before the faster one can reach it.
A circle either on the surface of the Earth or on the Celestial Sphere whose plane passes through the center of the Earth. The meridian and the prime vertical are examples of great circles.
A masculine, diurnal planet above the horizon in a masculine sign by day; or a feminine, nocturnal planet below the horizon in a feminine sign by night. A form of fortunate accidental dignity.
“Rising with the Sun” – occurs when a planet or star, which was hidden by the Sun’s rays, again becomes visible.
Any condition that hinders or impedes the functioning of a significator.
Latin – “of the hour.”
The Visible or Apparent Horizon is a circle which encompasses what the observer can see on the surface of the Earth. It is the circle formed where the sky around the observer meets the Earth. The Rational or True Horizon is a great circle parallel to the visible horizon whose plane goes through the center of the Earth. The Celestial Horizon is the rational horizon extended infinitely into space to intersect the Celestial Sphere.
One of the twelve divisions of the zodiac circle in terms of either time or space. There are many methods of house division. Most start the first house at the Ascendant and the 10th house at the Midheaven.
HOUSES, FORTUNATE AND UNFORTUNATE
Lilly regarded houses 8, 6, and 12 as unfortunate. A planet was fortunately placed in the house of its joy or in a house for which it was a con-significator. He noted that the sun and Mars are never well-placed in the 2nd house, and that Mars and Saturn are unfortunate in the 5th, 7th, and 9th houses. The sun and Jupiter do well in the 10th house.
HOUSES, STRENGTH (FORCE or VIRTUE) OF
Lilly rank-ordered the houses from strongest (most benefic) to weakest (most malefic) as follows:
1, 10, 7, 4, 11, 5, 9, 3, 2, 8, 6, 12.
Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius, and the first half of Sagittarius.
Any factor that weakens a significator. Badly aspected, especially by
malefics. Affliction. Hindrance.
IMUM COELI (IC)
The point on the Ecliptic opposite the Midheaven. The point where the Ecliptic intersects the meridian below the horizon.
According to Ptolemy, signs that are either one sign or five signs apart, corresponding to the modern semi-sextile (30 degrees) and quincunx (150 degrees). Inconjunct signs are also called dissociate signs.
INCREASING IN LIGHT
Waxing. This occurs when the Moon (or a planet) is separating from a
conjunction and moving toward opposition with the Sun and appears to increase in light as viewed from the Earth. Once the Moon passes its opposition to the Sun, it appears to decrease in light. To be increasing in light is an accidental dignity.
Mercury and Venus whose orbits are within that of the Earth. Inferior planets and the Moon are accidentally dignified when they rise after the Sun, that is, when occidental of the Sun.
Malefics, traditionally Mars and Saturn. The Moon’s South Node is an
unfortunate point. Several malefic fixed stars can act as infortunes,
especially Caput Algol at 26 d 10′ Taurus in 2000.
A sign is intercepted when it lies wholly within a single house and does not occupy the cusp at either end of the house. A planet is intercepted when it lies in an intercepted sign. In the northern hemisphere the signs of short ascension (Capricorn through Gemini) are most often intercepted. Being intercepted may restrict the freedom of a planet to act.
An ancient form of house rulership which assigned planets to the houses they most enjoyed occupying. For example, Venus joyed in the love affairs of the 5th house, and Saturn rejoiced in the misery of the 12th. The Moon has joy in the 3rd house, the Sun in the 9th (some say also in the 10th), Mercury in the 1st, Mars in the 6th, and Jupiter in the 11th.
A system of house division developed by Dr. Walter Koch and based on dividing the quarters of the chart formed by the Ascendant and Midheaven axes into three equal time segments rather than three equal spatial segments as in the Regiomontanus system.
Celestial Latitude is a measure of angular distance above or below, that is, north or south of the Ecliptic. Celestial longitude is measured east and west of 0 Aries, the vernal equinox.
A promient 17th century astrology whose textbook Christian Astrology is the fundamental reference on horary astrology in the English-speaking world. He was born May 1, 1602 (Julian calendar), which is the equivalent of May 11, 1602 (Gregorian calendar) at 2:08 a.m. in Diseworth, England.
Sun time. The actual time at a location within a time zone. Noon local time occurs when the Sun crosses the meridian of that location.
LOCATION BY ELEMENT
If the ruler of a lost object is in a:
Fire Sign: Middle height, midway up in a room, near a wall, near something connected with heat or fire.
Earth Sign: Near the Earth, on or under the ground, in the basement, on the ground floor.
Air Sign: High up in a room, in an upper room, in an attic, on an upper
shelf, near a window.
Water Sign: Low in a room, near water or plumbing, in a bathroom.
LOCATION BY HOUSE TYPE
If the ruler of a lost item is in a:
It is nearby, or where the querent spends much time. It will be easy to find.
It is harder to find and not in its usual place.
It may be far off, difficult to find, hidden, and may not be found.
A measure of angular distance along the 360o of the Ecliptic starting at the first point of Aries, the vernal equinox.
The lord of a sign is the planet which rules or governs it.
Personal possessions (movable versus real estate) are shown by the 2nd house.
The house and sign placement of the 2nd ruler usually give a clue to the location of the lost object. The Moon rules fugitives and lost items. Venus rules possessions. The dispositor of Pars Fortuna can also represent one’s belongings. In addition, a particular item may have a natural ruler. The lost item will usually be found if it’s ruler is retrograde and/or applies to a favorable aspect with the owner’s ruler. A Void of Course Moon often means a lost item will be found. See Directions by house and sign. See Locations
below. Other rules which some astrologers use: 1) if both the Sun and Moon are above the horizon, the querent is likely to get the lost object back, whereas if both the lights are below the horizon, the chances are not so good; 2) if the object’s significator is Peregrine, the object if recovered is likely to be damaged or not usable; 3) the significator of the fourth house provides additional information on misplaced objects.
The Sun and the Moon.
One of 28 divisions of the zodiac circle used to designate the Moon’s position on a given day of the 28 day lunar month. The cusps of the Lunar Mansions are considered critical degrees showing some crisis or critical point in the matter inquired about.
Also called PTOLEMAIC ASPECTS. The conjunction – 0 degrees, sextile – 60, square -90, trine – 120, and opposition – 180 degrees. Application by conjunction, sextile, or trine without frustration or interference usually brings matters to completion. The sextile and trine are aspects of harmony, union and agreement.
Squares show obstacles, problems, stress and tension, and warn the querent against proceeding. Oppositions indicate separation, alienation, pulling apart, difficulty, and failure. No aspects between significators usually mean no action will occur in the matter.
An unfortunate planet, traditionally, Mars and Saturn.
Modern authors often include Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The Moon’s South Node is a malefic point. There are many malefic fixed stars, especially Caput Algol at 26 d 10′ Taurus in 2000.
Traditionally the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Air and fire signs. Starting with Aries as the first sign, these are the odd numbered signs around the zodiac wheel. Some authors refer to the masculine signs as fortunate or diurnal.
See Average Daily Motion. Planets traveling faster than average are swift in motion (a dignity); slower than average are slow in motion (a debility). The mean motions of planets may vary from century to century.
Caput Algol, a malefic fixed star, representing the Gorgon whose hair
consisted of hissing snakes and who was decapitated by Perseus. Losing one’s head in the matter. At 26 d 10′ Taurus in 2000. Lilly allowed Caput Algol a half-orb of 5 degrees in his scoring system, but modern astrologers tend to use smaller “orbs” of about 1 degree for fixed stars.
The great circle passing through the North and South points of the Horizon and through the zenith of the observer. The Sun lies on the meridian at apparent Noon.
MIDHEAVEN (MC / MEDIUM COELI)
The point on the Ecliptic which is due South of the location for which a horoscope chart is cast, and where the Sun is at Noon local mean time. The point of culmination of the Sun. The highest point on the Ecliptic where is intersects the meridian. The MC should not be confused with the zenith which is directly overhead.
Half of the radius of the traditional orb of a planet. The orb of a planet is the diameter of an imaginary sphere of light surrounding the planet. The moiety is half the radius of that spherical orb. When the sphere of light around one planet is able to touch the sphere of light around another planet by conjunction or major aspect so that there is a blending of the light from the two planets, then the aspect between the planets is considered to be in effect. The sum of the moieties of
the two planets gives the maximum distance the two planet’s bodies can be from exact aspect for the aspect to be effective. Today we call this sum of moieties the “orb” of the aspect.
The Moon is important in horary as an universal co-significator of the querent and of the question. The Moon’s position by house and sign frequently shows where the interest of the querent lies. According to Watters, the Moon rules function. Barclay says the Moon is “like a verb.” It shows action and timing.
When the Moon will apply to no other planet by major aspect while remaining in its sign, it is Void of Course and there is little the querent can do about the matter. All the aspects the Moon makes while in its sign in the horary chart, both before and after the question, show the events in the querent’s life preceding and following the question (whether related to the question or
[Addendum (October 2012): In her online horary lessons Deborah Houlding makes the following comment about the Moon:
|“…the Moon is an important general factor that should never be overlooked. You always need to question what the position of the Moon is telling you. If the other significators make sense, but the position of the Moon doesn’t seem to fit what you know of the chart, you may need to question whether there are other underlying factors that hold the key to the client’s problem.” — Deborah Houlding|
The Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn.
The astrology of world affairs.
MUTABLE (COMMON) SIGNS
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces.
MUTE (DUMB) SIGNS
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The water signs have no voice.
An applying aspect in which the two planets are moving toward one another because one is advancing and the other is retrograde. A potent force in bringing matters to perfection. Often brings a fast, unexpected result.
This occurs when two planets receive each other in one of their essential dignities. Mutual reception by ruling sign is the strongest. There can be reception (in order of strength) by sign, exaltation, triplicity, term, or face. Some astrologers also consider mixed mutual receptions, as when planet A is in the terms of B while planet B is in the exaltation of A. According to Bonatus, “reception abates all malice.” Mutual receptions give a way out by conferring exchange status. If two planets are in mutual reception by sign or exaltation, either planet can be read back to the sign and degree position of
the other as if they had exchanged positions in the chart. Mutual reception by triplicity, term, or face are weaker and probably do not confer exchange status.
The point opposite the Zenith directly below the observer through the center of the Earth, not to be confused with the Imum Coeli.
NATURES OF THE PLANETS AND SIGNS
Planets and signs can be classified as hot or cold, dry or moist. The
following grid will help for easy reference:
HOT Mars, Sun Jupiter
HOT Fire Signs Air Signs
COLD Mercury, Saturn Moon, Venus
COLD Earth Signs Water Signs
The sign a planet rules by night. Except for the sun, whose night house is
Leo, each planet rules a feminine (even numbered) sign by night.
The same degree, regardless of sign position, as the Moon’s Mean Nodes. Thus,
if the North Node is at 12o Cancer 17′, then a planet from 12o0′ to 12o59′ of
any sign is in a Nodal degree and sometimes signifies a fateful event,
occasionally even a tragedy or fatality in the matter. When a significator is
in a Nodal degree, something fateful, beyond the control of the querent, may
occur in the matter. The Nodal degree may be unfortunate, but I have seen many charts with Nodal degree significators where nothing untoward happened.
The points where the Moon’s orbit crosses the Ecliptic. These are sites where
eclipses may occur. The Moon’s North Node (Dragon’s Head) has the nature of
Jupiter, and the South Node (Dragon’s Tail) the nature of Saturn.
The Commanding Signs closest to the Zenith. See Commanding Signs.
These are the southern signs opposite the commanding signs, namely, Libra,
Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. In the northern
hemisphere the sun travels through these signs during the autumn and winter,
and the nights are longer than the days.
OCCIDENTAL OF THE SUN
A planet is occidental of the Sun when it rises or sets after the Sun. If you
rotate the chart so the Sun is on the Ascendant, planets below the horizon are
occidental. The Moon, Mercury, and Venus are accidentally dignified when
occidental. The western half of a chart between the M.C. and 4th cusp is
called the occidental side of the chart.
ORB OF A PLANET
Orb literally means “sphere.” The orb of a planet is measured as the diameter of an imaginary sphere of light (the rays) surrounding a planet. The light within this sphere is strong enough to form aspects with another planet by mixing with the light surrounding the other planet. Think of two balls of light with planets at their centers approaching each other in space. When the surfaces of these balls of light make contact by conjunction or major aspect, then the aspect begins to take effect. It’s like target practice in which the rays of the faster planet have to hit the orb around the bull’s eye at the slower planet’s center. The radius of the orb is twice the moiety. The sum of the moieties of the two planets gives the maximum distance the planetary bodies can be from forming an exact aspect for the aspect to be effective.
Lilly (CA, p. 107) used the following half-orbs (“I sometimes use the one, and sometimes the other, as my memory best remembereth them, and this without error”):
Saturn: 9 to 10 degrees
Jupiter: 9 to 12 degrees
Mars: 7 degrees to 7 deg. 30 min.
Sun: 15 to 17 degrees.
Venus: 7 to 8 degrees.
Mercury: 7 degrees.
Moon: 12 degrees to 12 deg. 30 min.
[I have corrected my comments about orbs and moieties since this was first written to reflect my current understanding of what Lilly meant. The orb is the diameter of the sphere of influence of a planet. The half-orb, or radius of the orb, is what modern astrologers tend to refer to as “orb.” The moiety is half the radius of the orb or a quarter of the diameter of the orb of the planet. See Avelar & Ribeiro On the Heavenly Spheres, pp. 107-108.]
ORIENTAL OF THE SUN
A planet is oriental of the Sun when is rises or sets before the Sun. If you rotate the chart so the Sun is on the Ascendant, planets above the horizon are
oriental of the Sun. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are accidentally dignified when
oriental. Lilly says “to be Orientall is no other thing than to rise before
the Sun: to be Occidentall is to be seen above the Horizon, or to set, after
the Sun is down.” The eastern half of a chart between the 4th cusp and the
M.C. is called the oriental side of the chart.
PARALLEL OF DECLINATION
This occurs when two planets are the same number of degrees of arc North or
South of the Celestial Equator.
PARALLEL OF LATITUDE
This occurs when two planets have the same Celestial Latitude, that is, are
the same number of degrees north or south of the Ecliptic.
Lilly (CA, p. 106) writes, “Partill aspect is when two Planets are exactly so
many degrees from each other as make a perfect aspect: as if Venus be in 9
degrees of Aries and Jupiter in 9 degrees of Leo, this is a Partill trine
aspect.” Each zodiac sign is divided into 30 parts called degrees. Aspects
are partile (from the Latin pars for part) when the planets involved are in
the same degree (part) of their respective signs and those degrees are exactly
as far apart from one another as to form a perfect aspect. Aspects that are
not partile are called platic.
PART OF FORTUNE (PARS FORTUNA)
The Part of Fortune is a benefic point that marks the location of the Moon at
sunrise. Pars Fortuna lies on the Ecliptic as far from the Eastern Horizon as
the Moon is from the Sun. The Part of Fortune and its dispositor are helpful
in matters of finance and in finding lost objects. For example, Lilly (CA, p.
101) advises that in a chart for a merchant “consider the country or city
subject to the sign of the 2nd house, or where the Part of Fortune is, or Lord
of the 2nd is, and which is most fortified, and thither let him trade.”
The formula for Pars Fortuna (by day) is: Ascendant + Moon – Sun. Some
authors reverse the position of the Sun and Moon in the formula for night
charts, i.e., the Part of Fortune (by night) = Ascendant + Sun – Moon. When
the native is born at a New Moon, the Part of Fortune conjoins the Ascendant.
Ptolemy says (Loeb edition, pp. 276-277): “whatever relation and aspect the
sun bears to the horoscope [Ascendant], the moon also may bear to the Lot of
Fortune, and that it may be as it were a lunar horoscope [Ascendant].”
Jacobson feels, but I disagree, that if the Moon parallels Pars Fortuna it is
not void of course.
Foreign; without essential dignity. A peregrine planet is one that has no
essential dignity at its current position in the zodiac. A planet in one of
its debilities with no essential dignity is still considered peregrine. A
mutual reception by sign or exaltation can lessen the debility of being
peregrine by giving the planet exchange status with one of its dignities.
Peregrine planets in the 2nd house or in an angular house may represent a
thief. When such planets are in mutual reception, they may show that the
thief has changed locations.
An aspect is “exact” when the centers of the bodies of the involved planets
are at exactly the angular distance specified by the aspect. An aspect is
“perfect” when the bodies of the two planets overlap each other at the angular
distance specified in the aspect. Lilly allowed planets a diameter of about
6 minutes of arc (radius of 3 minutes), and the lights (the Sun and Moon) a
diameter of almost 34 minutes of arc (or a radius of about 17 mintues).
Thus, an aspect involving two planets is perfect for 6 minutes (the sum of the
two radii) before and after the point of exactitude. An aspect involving the
Sun and Moon is perfect for almost 34 minutes (the sum of the two radii)
before and after the point of exactitude. An aspect between the Sun or Moon
and a planet would be perfect about 20 minutes (the sum of the radii 17 and
3)a before and after exactitude.
When an applying aspect between two planets becomes exact, the aspect is said
to reach perfection. If the aspect signifying a matter can be brought to
perfection without impedition, then the matter itself can be accomplished or
“brought to perfection.”
PLACING (LOCATING) THE QUESTION
The method of identifying which of the twelve mundane houses relate to the
horary question. The planets ruling the signs on the cusps of those houses
become the chief significators. Unless the question is located in the proper
houses, the answer given by the aspect between significators will be no better
An aspect that is not partile but is within orb. Lilly (CA, p. 107) explains:
“A Platick Aspect is that which admits of the Orbs or Rays of two Planets that
signify any matter: as if Venus be in the 10th degree of Taurus and Saturn in
18th degrees of Virgo, here Venus hath a Platick trine, or is in a Platick
trine to Saturn, because she is within the moiety of both their Orbs; for the
moiety of Saturn his Rays or Orbs is 5, and of Venus is 4, and the distance
betwixt them and their perfect aspect is 8 degrees.” Each zodiac sign is
divided into 30 parts called degrees. If the planets involved in an aspect
lie in the same degree of their respective signs, they are in partile aspect.
These vary with the location for which they are calculated. The period from
Sunrise to Sunset is divided into twelve equal parts called “hours.” The first
hour of the day, starting at Sunrise, is ruled by the day ruler. The
remaining hours are assigned rulers in Chaldean order so that the 1st, 8th,
15th, and 22nd hours are ruled by the same planet. Traditionally, for a horary
chart to be considered radical, the planetary hour ruler had to be compatible
with the horary Ascendant ruler. Either the hour ruler and Ascendant ruler had
to be the same planet, or the two rulers had to be of the same nature or
triplicity. In electional astrology, it is considered fortunate to act during
the planetary hour whose ruler makes a good aspect to the Moon, especially if
the hour ruler is also the day ruler.
The power of a planet in a horary chart due to the sum total of the planet’s
dignities or debilities, both essential and accidental. In some questions the
relative strength and house position of the main rulers will determine the
answer. For example, in court questions whichever ruler has the most dignity
(strength) and most favorably aspects the 10th cusp ruler or planet (the
judge) is likely to win the case.
Heavy, of great weight. A planet that is moving slowly is said to be
ponderous. The slower of two planets is more ponderous than the faster one.
The more ponderous planet receives an aspect; the lighter (faster) planet
POWER OF THE ASPECTS
In traditional astrology, the conjunction is most powerful, followed in order
of decreasing power by the opposition, dexter square, sinister square, dexter
trine, sinister trine, dexter sextile, and sinister sextile.
PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOX
The “backward” motion of the vernal equinox, which marks 0o Aries, against the backdrop of the fixed stars. A complete cycle takes about 25,868 years. The
gravitational forces of the Sun, Moon, and planets on the Earth cause a
westward movement of the intersection of the planes of the Equator and the
Ecliptic at a rate of about 50 seconds of arc per year, or about 8 minutes of
arc every decade.
The vertical East-West great circle, whose plane is perpendicular to the plane
of the meridian, and which passes through the East Point, Zenith, West Point,
and Nadir of a particular location. An observer who is standing upright and
facing south will be standing in the plane of the prime vertical.
When one significator is applying to a major aspect with another, symbolizing
perfection of the matter, but a third planet aspects one of the significators
before they can aspect each other, a prohibition occurs. The third planet
causes an Abscission of Light which may prohibit the applying aspect between
significators from perfecting the matter.
Same as Major Aspect.
The set of four signs with the same quality: Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable.
Inquirer, one who queries. The person asking the horary question.
What one queries about. The person or matter asked about.
The 150o aspect. Not a Ptolemaic aspect. Thought to indicate necessary
adjustments or reorganization in the horary matter. Signs in quincunx bear no
classical musical ratio with one another and thus are inharmonious.
(Latin: “radix” = root). Pertaining to the birth chart, also known as the
radical chart. In horary astrology, a radical chart is one that describes the
situation and is likely to give a valid answer. Strictures against judgment
warn that the chart might not be radical or fit to judge.
A planet is said to be “under the rays” of the Sun when it lies within a
distance of the Sun’s half-orb (twice the Sun’s moiety). Thus a planet within 17 degrees of the Sun is “under the Sun’s rays” or “under the Sunbeams.” When the planet gets within half the Sun’s orb, it is combust or burned by the Sun’s rays.
When it lies within 17 minutes of the Sun’s center, it is Cazimi or in the
heart of the Sun. An applying planet casts its rays to the right of itself to
form a dexter aspect and to the left of itself to form a sinister aspect.
When planet B occupies a region of the zodiac that is an essential dignity of
planet A, then planet A Receives planet B by that dignity, as if B were the
visitor and A the host. Thus, if B lies in the terms of A, then A receives B
by term. Reception and Dispostion are synonymous. In other words, A receives B when A disposits B through any of A’s essential dignities.
This occurs when an applying aspect is refrained from reaching perfection.
Lilly regards refranation as happening when one of the significators turns
retrograde while the other one continues to move ahead in the zodiac, thus
preventing perfection of the aspect. Some astrologers use refranation to refer
to an aspect that does not become exact while the two planets remain in the
same sign they occupy when the chart is cast. For example, if the Sun is at
29o Taurus and Mercury is at 1o Taurus, by the time Mercury moves ahead to
conjoin the Sun, the Sun will be well into Gemini and the conjunction in
Taurus will be refrained from happening. Here “perfection is denied because
the significators cannot meet from the signs they inhabit.” – Appleby, page
58). Lilly discusses charts in which an aspect perfects shortly after one or
both planets leave their original signs in the horary chart.
A system of house division based on dividing the quarters of the Equator that
are defined by the Ascendant and Midheaven axes into equal spatial arcs and
then projecting them back onto the Ecliptic. This system was used by William
Lilly in answering horary questions. Lilly began his houses 5o before the
Regiomontanus cusps. The system is attributed to Johannes Muller
(Regiomontanus) who modified an earlier system of Campanus.
Cor Leonis. Lilly’s favorite benefic fixed star at 29o50′ Leo in 2000. A Royal
Star of the nature of Mars and Jupiter. Signifies honors, high office, riches,
fame; but if afflicted, fall from power, violence, scandal, disaster.
Having apparent westward (“backward,” against the order of the signs) motion
along the Ecliptic, in an opposite direction from the usual or direct motion.
Being retrograde is an accidental debility. A retrograde significator
symbolizes a going-back or a return to a previous state. Someone may back out
or change their mind. In charts about missing persons, animals, or things, a
retrograde significator signifies a return.
Planets in the first house that are rising toward the Ascendant (the querent)
often show what is coming into the querent’s life. Benefics indicate good
things on the way, and malefics bring stress and tensions. Specifically, the
following meanings often apply:
Moon: Changes, fluctuating conditions, travel.
Mars: Stress, strife, conflict, accident, inflammation, surgery.
Saturn: Delay, restriction, stoppage, hindrance, difficulty.
Uranus: Unexpected or sudden happenings, separation, breaks, divorce.
Neptune: Deception, confusion, self-deception, intrigue, emotionality,
impracticality, tearfulness, upset, spirituality.
Pluto: Transformations, intense experiences, unearthing. (Barclay says Pluto
represents “ejection” and “bringing to light” in any house of a horary chart.)
An aspect that has perfected some time before the horary question was asked so
that the planets are now moving away from the earlier exact aspect. A mutual
separation occurs when the aspected planet is retrograde and the aspecting
planet is direct. See Separation.
Lilly gave the curious definition that separation occurs “when two Planets are
departed but six minutes distance from each other.” The planetary centers
begin separating as soon as they depart from the exact angle of the aspect,
but, because the planets are bodies rather than mathematical points, it takes
several minutes of arc for the planetary bodies to no longer make contact. In
practice, Lilly allowed each planet a diameter of about six minutes of arc in
the sky so that once the planets were more than six minutes apart, their
bodies no longer overlapped and began to separate. Because the Sun and the
Moon occupy a larger portion of the sky, Lilly allowed up to 17 minutes for
separation from the Lights. Lilly gives the example (CA, p.391) of the Moon
at 17o40′ Cancer “in perfect trine” with the Sun at 17o 24′ Pisces, when the
Moon is 16 minutes past being exactly trine the Sun.
Two planets continue to separate until they are as far apart as the sum of their two moieties; then the aspect is no longer in effect. If an aspect is separating by just a few minutes, Lilly interpreted that the matter signified by the aspect would have perfected a few days before when the aspect was exact but now “hung in suspense,” would continue to break off as the distance between the planets widened, and would disintegrate when the separation became complete. If only life were as clear-cut as the textbook says it is!
19o Scorpio. Considered by some to be a malefic degree of the zodiac. The
“accursed degree of the accursed sign.” This degree is now occupied by the
North Scale (19o22′ Scorpio in 2000) which signifies honors, distinction,
intelligence, and good fortune – but also violence and tragedy. North Scale is
of the nature of Mars, Jupiter, and Mercury. I am doubtful about this one.
A planet symbolizing a person or matter related to the horary question. The
main significator is the planet ruling the cusp of the relevant house.
Co-significators include the Moon for the querent, and any planets in the
house in question, or the planet ruling a sign intercepted in the relevant
house. Some planets are natural significators, as Venus in questions of love,
Saturn in matters of obstruction, etc.
Sinister means “on the left-hand side.” A sinister aspect is one in which the
faster planet is waning, or decreasing in light, with respect to the slower
one. The faster (applying) planet is casting its rays to the left (sinister)
to form the aspect because the more ponderous planet lies on the left side of
the applying planet as viewed from the Earth. Lilly says “Dexter Aspects are
contrary to the succession of Signs, Sinister in order as they follow one
another.” With sinister aspects, the rays of the faster planet flow
counterclockwise around the wheel to reach the slower planet. If planets are
direct in motion, a sinister aspect forms as a result of decreasing angular
distance between them so that the planets are moving toward an eventual
conjunction. For example, the Moon in Aries would cast a sinister square to
Jupiter in Cancer. See Dexter.
SLOW IN MOTION
Said of a planet when it is traveling slower than its average or mean daily
motion. A form of debility.
The points on the Ecliptic farthest from the Equator, marking the beginning of
winter (0o Capricorn) and the beginning of summer (0oCancer) when the Sun
appears to “stand still” (sol-stice).
Same as Antiscion.
The obeying signs opposite the Northern Signs.
SPEED OF PLANETS
The usual order of the speed of planets is, from fastest to slowest: Moon,
Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Sometimes (as in the late 1900s) Pluto lies within the orbit of Neptune and
the speed of the last two planets is reversed. A faster (lighter) planet, by
convention, always applies by aspect to a slower (heavier) one. When
retrograde, however, a heavier planet can apply to a lighter one; or when
slow, a lighter planet can receive the aspect of a faster moving heavier
A benefic fixed star at 23o50′ Libra in 2000, of the nature of Venus and Mars.
An oasis of good fortune in the otherwise parched path (Via Combusta) from 15o
Libra to 15o Scorpio.
A planet makes a station when it appears motionless before reversing direction
in its orbit as viewed from the Earth. Thus a planet can make a station
(appear to stop and then move in the opposite direction) when going from
retrograde to direct, or from direct to retrograde. Stationary planets are
considered powerful and influential. When turning retrograde, they symbolize
reversal, delay, dissolution, or destruction. When turning direct, they
indicate renewal, strengthening, or revitalization. The Sun and Moon are
Houses 2, 5, 8, and 11. They follow, or succeed, the angular houses.
Those outside the Earth’s orbit: Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune,
Pluto. Superior planets are accidentally dignified when they rise before the
Sun, that is, when oriental of the Sun.
SWIFT OF MOTION
A planet traveling faster than it average daily motion. An accidental dignity.
A form of essential dignity. Each sign is divided into five unequal segments
called “terms.” One of the five classical planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars,
Jupiter, Saturn) has a special affinity for one of the terms of each sign.
Because Ptolemy’s original manuscript is lost, there are many variations on
his table of terms. When one planet occupies the terms of another, it acts “in
terms of” that planet. Thus Saturn in the terms of Venus would act “in terms
of” Venus and lose some of its malevolence, and Venus in the terms of Mars
would not be as sweet.
A method of estimating how long it will take for the matter inquired about to
occur. Generally timing is estimated by the combined house and sign position
of the faster primary significator involved in the aspect which answers the
question. Of the signs, Cardinal are fastest, Mutable slower, and Fixed
slowest. Of the houses, Angular are fastest, Succedent slower, and Cadent
slowest. The following grid is helpful for estimating time. The unit of
measure is the number of degrees the aspect between the main significators is
from being exact. Sometimes the next aspect the Moon makes to a significator
shows the time. Timing may be indicated symbolically as in the chart below, or
the event may occur when the two planets form a partile aspect in the
ephemeris (actual time).
Angular Succedant Cadent
Cardinal Days Weeks Months
Mutable Weeks Months Years
Fixed Months Years Indefinite
TRADITIONAL PLANETARY RULERSHIPS
Mercury: Gemini and Virgo
Venus: Taurus and Libra
Mars: Aries and Scorpio
Jupiter: Sagittarius and Pisces
Saturn: Capricorn and Aquarius
TRANSLATION OF LIGHT
Traditionally translation occurs when a planet faster than either significator
is separating from an aspect with the first significator and is applying to an
aspect with the second significator. The translating planet can then translate
(transfer) the light between significators which might otherwise not apply to
an aspect with one another. The significator from which the translating
planet is separating should receive the faster planet in one of its essential
An essential dignity. Each triplicity consists of a set of the three signs
belonging to the same element. According to Lilly: The Sun rules Fire by day. Jupiter rules Fire by night. Venus rules Earth by day, and the Moon rules Earth by night. Saturn rules Air by day, and Mercury rules Air by night. Mars rules Water by both day and night.
Cancer and Capricorn.
The parallels of latitude about 23.5 degrees North or South of the Equator.
When a person’s significator is besieged by two malefics within tight orbs,
the person is said to be “under duress.”
UNDER THE SUNBEAMS
Between 8.5 degrees and 17 degrees from the Sun. This is a mild accidental debility. Greater than the moiety but less than the radius of the orb from the Sun’s center. The origin of this concept may be the heliacal rising of the Moon which is obscured by the Sun’s light until it is 17 degrees away from the Sun.
The western intersection of the Prime Vertical with the Ecliptic.
The region from 15 Libra to 15 Scorpio, considered an ancient malefic
tumultuous zone of the nature of Mars, Saturn, and now also Uranus. The Moon here is a consideration before judgment and traditionally may render the chart unreadable. Marc Jones thought that the Moon here shows “an unsettled state of affairs that resists judgment and that involves a perverse self-satisfaction in the confusion.” (Jones, Problem Solving by Horary Astrology, p. 274). This is a controversial consideration and many astrologers ignore it.
VOID OF COURSE
There are several differing definitions of void of course. According to the modern definition, the Moon or a planet is void of course if it will not perfect (complete) any further major or Ptolemaic aspects before leaving its current sign. Dariot’s 16th century definition was that “void or without course is when a planet doth not apply to any other during the time that he tarrieth in that sign and then he is said to have his course and motion void.”
To be void, the modern definition does not allow the Moon to perfect an aspect, whereas Dariot’s definition does not let the Moon apply to (get within orb of) an aspect, before she leaves her sign.
Lilly used yet a different definition. According to Lilly, the Moon or a
planet is Void of Course when it “is separated from a Planet, nor doth
forthwith [immediately, at once], during his being in that sign, apply to any other.” Lilly is saying that a planet is void of course when it will not be within orb of applying to a major aspect while still in its sign. This is consistent with Bonatus’ definition that the Moon is void of course “when not joined to any planet by body or aspect.”
A void of course significator is usually ineffectual. It may indicate a lack of purpose or an aimless endeavor. A void of course Moon usually means nothing will come of the matter, or there is nothing the querent can do to affect the outcome. Like a void check, it buys you nothing. Lilly said “you shall seldom see a business go handsomely forward” when the Moon is Void of Course. If a significator completes an aspect after changing signs, the matter may perfect under a different set of circumstance.
Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. Also known as “fruitful” signs.
The point on the Celestial Sphere which is directly overhead. A line from the center of the Earth through the observer will go through the zenith. The point opposite the zenith, directly below the observer, is the nadir.
A band about 16o wide, measured from north to south, and whose center is the Ecliptic. The Sun, Moon, and planets (except Pluto) always travel within the band of the zodiac.