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Glossary of terms

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Bestial signs

These are the zodiac signs that are represented by four-footed animals: Aries, Taurus, Leo, Sagittarius and Capricorn. Also called quadrupedian, these signs can lack social graces and are reputed to display animalistic reactions to their emotions, sometimes indicating coarseness, inarticulation and a poor appreciation of polite manners. 

Bonatti, Guido - astrologer (a.k.a. Bonatus: c.1202-1296)

Professor of Astrology at Bologna, adviser to various Italian counts and princes, and one of the most celebrated astrologers of the medieval era. His greatest astrological work was Liber Astronomiae (‘Book of Astronomy’), which was recently translated into English by Benjamin Dykes. This is a full exposition of astrology in ten treatises, the sixth of which concerns ‘questions’.  Lilly acknowledged Bonatti as one of his sources and many of the theoretical passages in Lilly’s horary volume are direct translations from Bonatti. 



From the Latin cadere 'to fall', the cadent houses are those which ‘fall away’ from the angles by diurnal revolution: the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th houses. Considered weak areas for planetary expression.

Planets are also said to be weak and badly placed when they are 'cadent from their own house (sign)'. William Lilly mentions this is regard to fertility matters (p.227) where he explains the principle as follows:

[Querent is likely to be pregnant if the Moon is ....] applying to the Lord of the Ascendant or Lord of the 5th in the 1st or 10th house, and he [5th-ruler] is not Cadent from his own House or exaltation; where you must understand this general rule concerning a Planet his being Cadent from his own House, is this, viz. if Mars be in Aries, it being his own House, let him then be in any of the twelve Houses, he shall be said to be Angular as to his being in Aries: if Mars be in Taurus he is Succeeding or in a Succedent House in that way:  if Mars be in Gemini he is then Cadent as from his owne House; and so forth in the rest: for ever a Planet is Angular in any of his own Houses.


From the Latin cardo 'hinge/pivot/pole', the term is used to denote something of foremost importance (hence cardinal sins, cardinal directions, cardinal rules, etc.). In astrology the angles are known as ‘cardinal points’; the angular houses are known as ‘cardinal houses’ and the signs of the equinoxes and solstices– Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn –  are known as ‘cardinal signs’.  

Cardinal / moveable Signs

Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.


When a planet is within 17 minutes of the Sun, it is termed Cazimi - in the heart of the Sun - and considered strengthened by the union.

Chaldean order

The Chaldean order of the planets is the traditional presentation of the visible planets in order of their height above the Earth and speed of daily motion, ie

Saturn - Jupiter - Mars - Sun - Venus - Mercury - Moon


One of the four humours, related to the season of summer and the element of fire. It denotes a hot and dry temperament and the word ‘choleric’ is often used to describe someone whose actions, passions and anger are quickly raised and easily discharged. In physiology the choleric humour is traditionally reputed to be seated in yellow bile (produced in the gall bladder), which is considered to raise activity and encourage the instinct to gather sustenance, supporting the principle of attraction.


A planet (or a sign) that contributes it influence and helps to signify something. In horary the Moon acts as a co-significator for the person asking the question. Other co-significators can be planets that fall in the querent’s house, planets that rule intercepted signs within the house, and planets that make strong aspects to the main significator.

Collection of light

Two planets, separating or making no positive aspect to each other, both apply to a third ‘collecting’ planet.

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