Global searching is not enabled.
Skip to main content

Glossary of terms

Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  ...  16  (Next)


Diurnal/nocturnal charts

A ‘diurnal chart’ is one where the Sun is located in the diurnal hemisphere: being above the horizon it denotes someone born in the day time and therefore belonging to the diurnal sect. A ‘nocturnal chart’ is one where the Sun is located in the nocturnal hemisphere: being beneath the horizon it denotes someone born at night and therefore belonging to the nocturnal sect. Many traditional techniques (parts, firdar, triplicites, etc.) require knowledge of whether the chart is diurnal or nocturnal to establish correct formulas and dignity rulerships.


Traditional term meaning ‘place of residence’, so usually referring to a planet being in its own sign of rulership, i.e., Venus is in its domicile when in Taurus or Libra.


Another term for ‘rulership’.

Dorotheus - astrologer (1st century CE)

Author of a long, influential astrological verse known as Carmen Astrologicum (Latin: ‘Song of Astrology’). Only fragments remain in Greek, but it was widely reproduced and circulated across many cultures and epochs (the English translation made by David Pingree in 1976 was the result of Greek text being translated into Persian, then into Arabic, then into English).  It contains five books (so is sometimes called the Pentateuch: Greek: ‘Five Scrolls’), the first four dealing with natal astrology, the fifth being notable for its lengthy account of how to judge ‘Interrogations’ (i.e., questions). Authenticated Greek passages prove this work to be a source of many of the rules for judging horaries that appear in later works such as Lilly’s.



The Sun’s apparent path around the Earth, viewed from the seemingly stationary perspective of the Earth. So named because it is when the Moon joins the Sun on this path that eclipses occur. The ecliptic is the basis of zodiacal measurement, commencing at 0° Aries from where the ecliptic cuts the equator as the Sun moves to the northern hemisphere (the vernal equinox).

Electional astrology

The branch of astrology that seeks to identify the time of optimum planetary support for any particular activity that needs to be undertaken, in order to increase the chances of successful accomplishment. The astrologer ‘elects’ or chooses the time to act. For example, one might elect to commence a battle at a time that Mars offers favourable support.


Where the significator of the questited is located in the house of the querent. This gives a promise of perfection but usually needs supporting factors to reinforce the promise.


From the Latin aequus  'equal' + nox 'night', the term refers to the two points on the zodiac (0° Aries; 0° Libra) or the two times of the year when daytime and nighttime are equal in length. 

The vernal equinox is when the Sun reaches 0° Aries, which in the northern hemisphere  marks the first day of spring as the sun moves north across the equator to instigate the period where daytime become longer than night-time (vernal comes from the Latin word ver, meaning 'spring'.) 

The September equinox (0° Libra)  occurs when the sun crosses the equator going south (so this marks the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere and the first day of spring for people living in the southern hemisphere). 

Contrast with solstice: either of the two moments in the year when the sun's apparent path is farthest north or south from the equator.

Essential dignity

This is the strength that a planet gains due to it being in an area of zodiacal rulership– so named because it shows the parts of the zodiac where the traditional planets are always dignified. These regions are considered to have a fundamental (or essential) relationship with the planet itself, inasmuch as Mars will always have a special association with Aries, regardless of its angularity or house position. The main essential dignities are rulership by sign or exaltation; the lesser dignities are rulership by triplicity, term or face. A planet is essentially debilitated when placed in its sign of detriment or fall.


A swift planet is about to perfect an aspect with a slower one but before it perfects the slower planet moves out of the sign and one or either of the significators meets with another planet.

Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  ...  16  (Next)