Astrology Dictionary - A

Astrology Dictionary - A


NOTE: Words that are highlighted are listed elsewhere in the Glossary.

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Age of Aquarius • Air • Angles • Applying • Aquarius • Archetype • Aries • Arrowhead • Ascendant • Aspect • Aspect Configuration

Birth Chart • Boomerang

Cancer • Capricorn • Cardinal • Cazimi • Celestial Equator • Centaurs • Chart • Chiron • Collection of Light • Collective • Collective Unconscious • Combust • Conjunction, Conjuct, Conjoin • Contra-Parallel • Cradle configuration • Cusp

Declination • Descendant • Direct • Dispositor • Dissociate Aspect

Earth (element) • Earth (planet) • Eclipse • Eclipse times • Ecliptic • Element • Equinox

Final Dispositor • Fire • Fixed • Full Moon

Gemini • God's Fist • Grand Cross • Grand Sextile • Grand Square • Grand Trine

Hard Wedge • Houses • Houses (meanings)

IC, Imum Coeli • Inconjunct • Intercepted Planet • Intercepted Sign


Kite • Grand Trine Kite • Yod Kite

Leo • Libra • Lights, Luminaries • Lunar Eclipse • Lunar Nodes

Major Aspects • Mars • MC, Medium Coeli • Mean Lunar Node • Mercury • Mercury Retrograde • Midheaven • Modalities • Moon • Moon's Nodes • Multiple Conjunction • Mutable • Mutual Reception • Mystic Rectangle

Nadir • Natal Chart • Neptune • New Moon • North Node

Octile • Opposition • Orb • Out of Bounds • Out of Sign Aspect

Parallel • Part of Fortune, Pars Fortuna • Pisces • Planet • Pluto • Points • Precessed Solar Return • Precession of the Equinoxes • Progressions • Ptolemaic Aspects

Quadriform • Quincunx

Retrograde • Rising Sign • Rolling Conjunction • Rosetta • Ruler • Rulerships

Sabian Symbols • Sagittarius • Saturn • Scorpio • Semi-Sextile • Semi-Square • Separating • Sesqui-Quadrate • Sesqui-Square • Sextile • Shadow (planetary) • Shadow (psychological)
• Sidereal Zodiac • Sign • Solar Eclipse • Solar Return • Solstice • South Node • Square • Station(ary) • Stellium • Sun

Taurus • Thor's Hammer • Traditional Rulerships • Transits • Transpersonal Planets • Trapeze • Trine • Tri-Octile • Tropical Zodiac • True Lunar Node • True vs Mean Nodes • T-Square, T-Cross


Venus • Virgo

Water • Waxing, Waning • Wedge


Zenith • Zodiac


Age of Aquarius

This term refers to the fact that the beginning of Aries (measured by the April equinox) has gradually shifted against the backdrop of the fixed stars (see Precession of the Equinoxes). This Aries point has travelled backwards through the sign of Pisces (the sign before Aries) and is about to move into Aquarius (the sign before Pisces). Since there are different ways of measuring where Aquarius ends and Pisces begins, it is not possible to calculate a specific date for when the Age of Aquarius begins. However, since there are about 2,000 years per zodiacal Age, the transition is likely to be a gradual one anyway. See also: Precession of the Equinoxes. Top of Page  


One of the four Elements. air qualities include: intellect, mind, ideas, thoughts, awareness, communication, exchange of information, interaction. air signs are: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius. Top of Page  


A term referring to the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven and IC. See also: House. Top of Page The Angles of the chart - Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant, IC

The Angles of the Chart


The term applying refers to planetary aspects that are moving closer to being exact. The planets are within orb of being in a particular aspect to each other (for example, conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition and so on). When they are applying, it means the orb is becoming smaller (usually resulting in the aspect becoming exact).

Compare with separating, when the orb is becoming larger and the planets are moving away from being exact.

Applying or separating only refer to how close in orb the aspect is. It has nothing to do with where the planets are in the order of the zodiac signs – only whether their orb is becoming greater or smaller.

Say, for example, that the Moon and Sun are within orb (say, 6° orb) of a trine aspect (120° apart). Say, too, that the Sun is at 10 degrees of Taurus and the Moon is at 5 degrees of Virgo. They are within orb of being trine to each other. As the Moon moves closer to 10 Taurus, it is applying to the trine aspect to the Sun. Note that even though the Moon is further along in the zodiac than the Sun, it is still applying (as long as they Moon is still moving toward 10 degrees and within the trine orb).

When the Moon reaches 10 Virgo, the aspect is exact and the Moon then begins to move apart from the trine aspect to the Sun. As it moves farther away from the trine, it is said to be separating instead of applying.

See also: Separating, Aspect, Orb.


Traits for the sign of Aquarius are: rebellious, unique, independent, eccentric, detached, thinking outside the box. Planetary rulers: Uranus (modern) and Saturn (traditional). Associated with 11th House. Fixed air. Top of Page Aquarius symbol

Aquarius Symbol


A term used by psycho-theorist Carl Jung to describe the essence of concepts and experiences. These can manifest in many different ways, according to the person's culture, family norms, individuality, etc. In astrology, it is helpful to think of the planets, signs and houses as expressing and symbolising different levels of various archetypes in the human psyche. Pronounced: AR-keh-type. Top of Page  


Traits for the sign of Aries are: pioneering, direct, courageous, fast, enthusiastic, on the move, wilful, flirtatious, youthful. Planetary ruler: Mars. Associated with 1st House. Cardinal Fire. Top of Page

Aries symbol

Aries Symbol


Aspect configuration. Also known as a Quadriform, Thor's Hammer or God's Fist. See Quadriform. Top of Page  


The eastern horizon point in a chart. If you are born at sunrise, the Sun would be found around the Ascendant of your natal chart. The zodiac sign rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth is considered significant and is called the Ascendant or Rising Sign. The Ascendant is also the cusp (starting point) of the 1st House in the chart. The Ascendant sign, and any planets in the 1st House, show the outer personality and self-expression. Sometimes abbreviated as Asc. Compare: Descendant. Top of Page Ascendant - one of the Angles

The Ascendant


The geometric relationship between planets (or points) in the chart, measured in degrees of arc around the circle. When two planets are a certain number of degrees away from each other (give or take a certain "fudge factor" called an orb), these planetary energies relate to each other and combine together in a certain way, according to the aspect involved. For example, some aspects are stressful but motivating (Square, Opposition), some indicate talents or easy flowing energy (Trine, Sextile), and some are irritating but promote awareness (Quincunx, Semi-Sextile).

See also: Aspect Configuration, Dissociate Aspect, Ptolemaic Aspects. Top of Page


Aspect Configuration

Three or more planets in aspect to each other, forming a kind of "circuit of energy" together. This means they operate collectively, as a group, resulting in an effect that is greater than the sum of their parts. This is a whole level of chart interpretation that goes beyond simply looking at planet-to-planet aspects. Bruno and Louise Huber have done some very impressive research into aspect patterns. Their book Aspect Pattern Astrology (now available in English) is highly recommended for more information about these fascinating planetary patterns. See examples of well-known aspect configurations in this Glossary: T-Square, Grand Trine, Grand Cross, Kite, Yod, Wedge Top of Page  

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