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Glossary of terms

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Radical chart

The source chart from which derived houses or progressions are obtained. In charts that use ‘turned houses’ (as in horary), references to the ‘radical house’ relate to the normal flow of houses, which ties the 1st house to the ascendant. So the radical 10th house is the normal 10th house of the horary, which falls on the midheaven, although this might be used as the ‘turned 4th house’ for a partner. The term derives from the Latin radix, meaning ‘root’. In traditional texts dealing with natal astrology, the birth chart is also frequently referred to as the ‘radix chart’.


This means to accept the influence of another planet by aspect or reception.


When a planet aspects its dispositor by sign, exaltation, or two of the minor dignities, the ruler of the dignity gives that planet a reception. For example, if Venus in Aries aspects Mars, Mars ‘receives’ Venus into his sign of rulership and therefore gives her a reception. To be received, or to be given a reception, allows strength to pass from the ruler to the receiving planet: Venus can take advantage of what Mars has to offer and need be less fearful of his destructive potential, as he will  safeguard her interests whilst she is under his protection. Mutual reception is where two planets simultaneously receive each other, e.g.: Venus in Leo with the Sun in Taurus (both receive each other by sign); or Moon in Pisces and Jupiter in Taurus (Moon receives Jupiter by exaltation, Jupiter receives Moon by sign). This suggests mutual satisfaction for both parties.


A type of prohibition - where a planet applies to the aspect of another, but turns retrograde and starts to separate before the aspect perfects.

Refranation example

In this example, refranation would occur if Venus turned retrograde at 11 Aries,
and failed to make its meeting with Mars.


From the Latin "to step backwards", this term is applied to the apparent backward motion of the planets through the zodiac as they decrease in longitude as viewed from the earth.