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Glossary of terms

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Originally the term partile referred to aspects that were calculated by degree (rather than by sign) because they acknowledged the 'parts' (degrees) of the sign. Aspects judged according to the relationship of the signs were termed platick, from a phrase which meant 'plate' or 'broad area'.

In later astrology the term partile generally referred to aspects which were exact or near perfection (e.g., a square from a planet in the 14th degree of Taurus to a planet in the 14th degree of Leo), whereas platick referred to those which were 'loose', or within the limits of their recognised orbs (e.g., a trine from a planet in the 7th degree of Pisces to a planet in the 10th degree of Scorpio).


The word 'Peregrine' comes from a Latin term meaning 'alien' or 'foreigner' (pereger = beyond the borders, ager = land, i.e., 'beyond one's own land'). A planet is defined as peregrine when it has no level of rulership over its position. That is, it is not placed in the sign(s) that it rules, nor those where it is exalted, nor does it rule the triplicity, or the terms or face where it is located.

NB: some recent authors wrongly suggest that a planet cannot be peregrine if it is in a sign of debility.  This is incorrect - for more on this see 'The Definition of Peregrine' by Deborah Houlding


From the Latin perfectio ‘to complete’. Mainly used in horary astrology, a perfection occurs when the significators for the person asking (querent) and the thing being asked about (quesited) come together by conjunction or major aspect. This shows the thing enquired about as being able to be brought to pass.


One of the four humours, related to the season of autumn and the element of water. It denotes a cold and moist temperament and the word ‘phlegmatic’ is often used to describe someone who is emotionally sensitive, lacking in active motivation, therefore sluggish in responses and often having a weak constitution. In physiology the phlegmatic humour is traditionally reputed to be seated in phlegm, which creates slipperiness to support the principle of ejection and elimination of processed waste.

Planetary hours

Equal divisions of the periods between sunrise and sunset which results in hours that are usually more or less than 60 minutes. Each is associated with a planet which acts as a general ruler for the concerns of that time.

Primary motion

Prime meridian

The imaginary line passing through the celestial poles and the equinoxes (where the ecliptic and equator intersect); corresponding to the line of longitude that passes through Greenwich, England, which defines the zero point for terrestrial and celestial longitude.

Prime vertical

The great circle that passes through the east and west points of the horizon, and the zenith and nadir (points directly overhead and below).

Printable glossary


Where two planets are applying to aspect but before the aspect perfects another planet overtakes the first and perfects an aspect with the second.

Prohibition example

This diagram shows an example of prohibition by conjunction offered by Bonatti
(Dykes, p.221). The Sun seeks to unite with Jupiter, but Mars stands between them,
so Mars has the immediate influence, preventing the Sun from securing Jupiter’s full attention.

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