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Glossary of terms

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Proportional houses

This refers to a style of chart wheel, sometimes known as an ‘unequal wheel’. It places the planets and houses against a 360° wheel, allowing the span of each house to be unequal (and therefore having the disadvantage of bunching up collections of planets) but allows aspects to be read with ease. The alternative makes each house the same size and allows an easy identification of a planet’s house position, but aspects between the planets are less easy to identify as zodiacal measurement is distorted.

Ptolemy - astrologer (c. 100-170 CE)

Immensely influential Roman astronomer, astrologer, geographer and scientist who lived in the vicinity of Alexandria, Egypt. He has been called “the most important single figure in the history of astrology, and one of the most important in the history of astronomy” (Robbins, Intro to the English translation; Loeb, 1940). His astronomical textbook, known as Almagest (from the Arabic phrase Al Majesti, ‘The Greatest’) was revered as the ultimate source of reference for astronomers until the 16th century. Ptolemy’s astrological textbook, Tetrabiblos (Gk: ‘Four Books’) also became the standard bearer for subsequent generations and was copied, commented on, paraphrased, and translated into many languages. The Tetrabiblos was largely responsible for laying down the basic precepts of astrology during the Arabic and Medieval periods and was a necessary textbook in some of the finest universities of the Renaissance and early modern Europe.

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