A Comprehensive Guide to Astrology Terms

Guide to Astrology Terms

A Comprehensive Guide to Astrology Terms

Just like all other disciplines, astrology comes with its own long glossary, and that’s what inspired me to create this comprehensive guide to astrology terms commonly used by astrologers as well as zodiac fanatics.

That said, it goes without mentioning that I may accidentally leave a term or two on this list. So if you feel like any essential terms are missing, kindly use the comments form at the end of the blog post to let me know about them. I will be more than glad to expand this guide to astrologer terms over the coming weeks and will obviously be delighted to have your valuable input.

What’s more? To make it easier to find terms if you return to this post in the future, I’ve listed them in an alphabetic order.

Without further delay, let us skip to the main section of the post.

The guide to astrology terms

  1. Afflicted

This is when a celestial body (such as a planet) receives or sends negative dialog from/to another celestial body. The most common afflictions include oppositions and squares.

  1. Air Signs

Aquarius, Libra, and Gemini are also known as the air signs because they’re attributed to the qualities of the air element. Here is a detailed guide on elements in astrology.

  1. Angles

The 4 angles in any astrological chart include the I.C. (or Immum Coeli), the midheaven, the descendant, and the ascendant. Check out this post on Aspects in astrology for a better understanding.

  1. Angular Houses

Angular houses in astrology include the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses in the horoscope. When a ruling planet crosses over one of these houses, things you were not expecting or waiting for start happening in your life. Here is a post on houses in astrology.

  1. Aries

Represented by the ram and belonging to the fire element, Aries is the 1st sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 1st house.

If you have a loved one born under this sign and you’d like to get a present for him/her, this post should get you off on the right path.

  1. Aquarius

Represented by a water bearer and belonging to the air element, Aquarius is the 11th sign of the zodiac. It also rules the 11th house of the zodiac.

  1. Ascendant

This is the first angle of the chart and is used by astrologers to describe how a person looks, depending on the characteristics of the rising sun.

  1. Aspect

When celestial bodies are at specific angles from one another, their planetary energies start interacting (depending on the angle, the speed at which both planets are moving, as well as the nature of both planets.)

Each aspect also has a name and common attributes. Here is a detailed post on the subject.

  1. Asteroids

Think of them as minor planets. These heavenly bodies smaller than the planets are encompassed in the sun’s orbit and are usually found in bands. They also often consist of frozen ice and rocks. Most importantly, there are those commonly used by astrologers to “further tune” the natal chart, and these include Vesta, Pallas, Ceres, and Juno.

Before continuing with the main list, let us look at these asteroids in more detail.

  • Vesta

Vesta represents the Roman goddess of home and hearth, and is also used in astrology in relation to those subjects. Astrologers also apply it to one’s discipline and the ability to focus on completing tasks.

  • Pallas

Named after Pallas Athena (the goddess of war, wisdom, and accomplishments), this asteroid represents using one’s creativity, talents, and so on.

  • Ceres

This asteroid is associated with the descent of a Goddess: Protective, maternal, nurturing, and caring.

  • Juno

Named after the God Jupiter’s roman wife, this asteroid is used in astrology to represent marriage, relationships, and commitment.

Now let us go back to our main guide to astrology terms.

  1. Astrology

If you’re new to this realm, Astrology is the “Speech of the Stars” (aka “science of the stars) and has been derived from the Greek terms Astron and Logos. Astron means “star” whereas Logos means “speech” or “discourse.”

  1. Axis

Axis means the polarity of the Ascendant/Descendant and the MC/IC. And as you will learn when you jump deeper into the realm of astrology, the angles also represent the main areas of life, including personality and relationships, and career and home.

Planets associated with these angles are also said to have extra power in the natal chart.

  1. Benefic

The next word on our guide to astrology terms is Benefic, which simply means aspects or planets that are beneficial. For instance, Jupiter and Venus are known to be beneficial ruling planets, whereas the trine and sextile are beneficial aspects.

  1. Birth Chart

This is a figurative image diagram of the heavens taken at the specific time you were born. The astrological diagram is normally circular (even though birth charts from the middle ages were usually shaped like boxes) and represents the positions of the zodiac signs, planets, moon, and the sun.

Here is an example.

  1. Burning Way

This term isn’t too common in astrology anymore, but you can rest assured using it in front of other astrology fanatics will undoubtedly make you sound cool.

With that in mind, if any planetary body falls between 15 degrees Scorpio and 15 degrees Libra, then it has entered the burning way, which means that trouble is brewing. That said, I also realized that if one of the planets in the position is in your favor (either Horary or Nataly), then you can rest assured you will come out on top against all odds.

  1. Cadent Houses

These include the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th houses of the zodiac.

  1. Cancer

Symbolized by the crab and belonging to the water element, Cancer is the 4th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the fourth house.

  1. Capricorn

Represented by a goat and belonging to the earth element, Capricorn is the 10th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 10th house.

  1. Cardinal Signs

Cardinal signs include Capricorn, Libra, Cancer, and Aries. These sun signs usher in solstices and equinoxes – and are therefore considered to be the “starter” engines in the realm of astrology.

  1. Chaldean Order

This is the ancient lineup of ruling planets in the following order: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon. Usually, you will see this order when dealing with planetary hours.

Also, I should mention that the sun and moon are counted as planets in astrology. Here is a detailed post on the ruling planets.

  1. Chiron

Chiron is a comet body known to orbit between Uranus and Saturn. Better yet, traditionally, Chiron was also regarded as one of the planets in astrology, and the name means a “half horse half man” healer.

  1. Composite

Composite charts are used in relationship astrology. Bringing together composite charts belonging to two different people allows astrologers to better understand the nature of their relationship.

  1. Conjunction

When two different planets are within five to ten degrees of one another in the same sun sign, then they’re said to be in conjunction.

  1. Constellation

The next word on our guide to astrology terms is constellation, which means a group of celestial bodies located in the same area in the heavens. These bodies are usually associated with a circumstance, person, or even mythical animal. Here is a guide on constellations.

  1. Culminating

This is an ancient term meaning reaching the midheaven in astrological charts.

  1. Cusp

This term represents the line separating one sun sign from another in your natal chart. Usually, the region between cusps ranges from 0 to 30 degrees.

  1. Degree

Just as the term suggests, the degree is simply the measurement used in the realm of astrology. Remember, the zodiac wheel measures 360 degrees and has been further broken down into 12 different zodiac signs, each measuring 30 degrees.

  1. Descendant

This is simply the sign you will find opposite the Ascendant (which I mentioned earlier.)

  1. Detriment

Planets are considered to be in detriment when they are in signs opposite to the ones that they rule. For instance, the moon will be in detriment if found in the zodiac sign of Leo. What’s more? This means that Moon in Leo won’t be as strong as it would be if it were on the right sun sign.

  1. Dwarf Planet

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) defines dwarf planets as those with sufficient mass to possess gravity but share their orbit with other celestial bodies of equal gravity. A great example of a dwarf planet is Pluto.

But note that this does not affect its relevance in the realm of astrology.

  1. Earth

This is the center of the solar system, astrologically speaking. Which isn’t surprising since it’s our astrological standpoint as well.

  1. Earth Element

Signs associated with the earth element include Capricorn, Virgo, and Taurus; and needless to say, all three are thought to possess qualities of the element. They’re also called the earth triplicity.

  1. Eclipse

Solar and Lunar Eclipses are essential events in the realm of astrology, and where they come into contact with the birth chart also plays an essential role in everyone’s life.

  1. Ecliptic

Ecliptic refers to the path the sun follows in the heavens every year. And just like the zodiac wheel, this path boasts a grand total of 360 degrees and has been divided into 12 equal parts of 30 degrees each.

  1. Electional Astrology

Electional astrology involves studying a person’s charts in order to determine the best time and day to enact certain events, such as weddings.

  1. Element

At this point, I’m confident you’re familiar with the four elements in astrology (water, fire, air, and earth.)

In addition to that, the element in which a ruling planet resides in plays an essential role on a person’s character.

  1. Ephemeris

This is a book of tables showing the position of all planets, stars, and asteroids at any given time and date.

  1. Fire Signs

Sun signs associated with the fire element include Sagittarius, Leo, and Aries. They’re also known as the fire triplicity.

  1. Fixed Star

A fixed star is a star so far in the heavens that it looks like its standing still on any birth chart.

  1. Gemini

Symbolized by the twins and belonging to the element of air, Gemini is the 3rd sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 3rd house.

  1. Geocentric

This simply means placing the earth in the middle of the zodiac. In fact, astrologers employ geocentric astrology, which is one of the main reasons our discipline collides with astronomers.

  1. Glyph

These are single symbols and characters used to denominate signs, planets, and aspects in a birth chart.

  1. Horary astrology

The 42nd term in our guide to astrology terms is one you won’t hear often in the realm of horoscopes, and that is Horary astrology.

And that’s because this study of astrology plays by its own rules and even relies on classical astrology.

  1. Horoscope

This is basically a birth or natal chart cast and drawn by astrologers. They include an astrologer’s interpretation of ruling planets in their aspects and signs.

  1. Houses

As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide to astrology terms, the zodiac wheel has been divided into 12 different sun signs as well as 12 houses.

Each house rules a distinct aspect of our lives.

  1. I.C.

This is an abbreviation of the word “Immum Coeli,” which is a Latin word meaning the bottom part of the sky. In astrology, this also means the lowest point on an astrological house. It signifies inherited traits and foundations.

  1. Inner Planets

This word in our guide to astrology terms refers to the seven luminaries and planets visible to our naked eyes. These include Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, and the Sun.

  1. Jupiter

In astrology, Jupiter is the planet of geniality and expansion, and also rules Sagittarius.

  1. Leo

Represented by the mighty Lion and belonging to the fire element, Leo is the 5th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 5th house.

To have a better understanding of those born under this sign, here is a guide to the characteristics of Leo.

  1. Libra

Symbolized by the scales and belonging to the air elements, Leo is the 7th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 7th house.

If you have a loved one born under this sign and you’d like to get them a present, here is a detailed guide on the best gift ideas for Libra.

  1. Luminaries

We’ve mentioned luminaries several times in this guide to astrology terms, but I’ll give you a more specific definition in this section. Luminaries refer to the Moon and the Sun. And even though the two aren’t planets, they’re counted as planets in astrology.

  1. Mars

Mars is the ruler of Aries and is also the planet of action and energy.

  1. Mercury

Mercury is the ruler of Gemini and Virgo and is also the planet of the mind and communication.

  1. Moon

One of the luminaries and ruling planets. This celestial body also defines one’s emotional life and reactions.

  1. Natal Chart

As the name suggests, this is a chart designed for a person’s exact date, place, and time of birth.

  1. Neptune

Neptune is the ruler of Pisces and is also the planet of visions and dreams.

  1. Ophiuchus

This guide to astrology terms would be incomplete if I did not mention this “13th Zodiac Sign. Even though this sign isn’t included in western astrology, some cultures around the world count it as the 13th sign.

  1. Opposition

When two planets are at opposite signs and with a separation of 0 degrees, then they’re in opposition.

  1. Pisces

Symbolized by a fish and belonging to the water element, Pisces is the 12th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 12th house.

If you have a loved one who’s born under this sign, then I think this post on the best gift ideas for Pisces will interest you.

  1. Sagittarius

Symbolized by the Archer and belonging to the fire element, Sagittarius is the 9th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 9th house.

  1. Scorpio

Represented by the Scorpion and belonging to the water element, Scorpio is the 8th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 8th house.

  1. Synastry

This is the art of relationships in astrology (it involves interplaying charts of two different people.)

  1. Taurus

Symbolized by the bull and belonging to the earth element, Taurus is the 2nd sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 2nd house.

  1. Uranus

This planet rules Aquarius and is associated with the unexpected as well as eccentricity.

  1. Virgo

Represented by the virgin and belonging to the earth element, Virgo is the 6th sign of the zodiac. This sun sign also rules the 6th house.

  1. Venus

This planet rules Libra and Taurus and is the planet of beauty and love.

  1. Zodiac

The last word on this guide to astrology terms is zodiac itself. The term refers to the wheel on which all birth charts are based.

If you love this post on the guide to astrology terms, then I’m confident you’ll love this one on introduction to astrology for beginners.

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