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With regards to the houses or the angles, occidental means ‘western’ and oriental means ‘eastern’. Also, if a planet is described as ‘oriental in the figure’, it means that it is located near the ascendant which is the eastern angle, whilst ‘occidental in the figure’, means that it is located near the descendant which is the western angle.

When applied to planets or stars however, occidental means ‘setting into the Sun’ and oriental means ‘rising from the Sun’, relating to the original basis of the terms by which they are associated with the cycles of growth and decay. The usual definition is that an oriental planet is one which rises before the Sun; whereas an occidental planet is one that rises after it. (When the superior planets are thus defined as oriental they are beginning a new solar cycle, having recently emerged in their heliacal rising, and are considered dignified – this is not necessarily the case for Mercury, Venus, and is never the case for the Moon which emerges from the Sun on the left hand side, which is why these planets do not gain dignity by being oriental).

» Glossary of terms