Astrology Dictionary - B and C

Astrology Dictionary - B C


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


Birth Chart

Another term for Natal Chart.  


Another word for a Yod Kite aspect configuration. See: Yod and Kite. Top of Page  


Traits for the sign of Cancer are: nurturing, intuitive, feeling, caring, heartfelt, protective, family/home oriented. Planetary ruler: Moon. Associated with 4th House. Cardinal Water. See also: zodiac article on Cancer. Top of Page Cancer symbol

Cancer Symbol


Traits for the sign of Capricorn are: structured, cautious, responsible, leader/authority, realistic, serious, ambitious, logical. Planetary ruler: Saturn. Associated with 10th House. Cardinal Earth. See also: zodiac article on Capricorn. Top of Page Capricorn symbol

Capricorn Symbol


One of the three Modalities. Cardinal signs are: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn. Cardinal traits are: goal-oriented, purposeful, ambitious, leadership, self-starting, opportunistic, restless when not focused on ambitions. Top of Page  


This term refers to a planet (including the Moon, even though it's not technically a planet) when it is conjunct the Sun within a mere 17 minutes of arc.

Classical astrologers have written that a planet is extremely powerful and strong when it is Cazimi. This differs dramatically from when the planet is conjunct the Sun within 8½° of orb, when it is said to be Combust and weaker in strength.

The seemingly arbitrary measurements are actually related to the visibility of the planet, which becomes blotted out by the beams of the Sun and is therefore invisible and disadvantaged. By contrast, a Cazimi planet is "in the heart" of the Sun and therefore becomes fused with the energy of the Sun.

Some astrologers feel a Cazimi planet should also be parallel, as well as conjunct. And still other astrologers question the validity of Cazimi strength altogether. At the very least, it could be that while a Cazimi planet doesn't guarantee a positive expression of that planet's energy, being Cazimi may give it an extra boost to make the best of whatever situation it is applied to. (This is discussed in a wonderful article by classical astrologer, Deborah Houlding, in the December/January 2014 issue of Mountain Astrologer magazine.)

Pronounced: Ka-ZEE-mee. See also: Conjunction, Combust. Top of Page

Celestial Equator

Earth's equator is the middle of our planet, midway between the North and South Poles. (Side note: That's the Celestial Poles: the axis around which the Earth rotates, which is a bit different from the magnetic poles.)

The Celestial Equator (CE) is the extension of Earth's equator out into space, which allows us to measure whether a star or planet is aligned with Earth's Northern or Southern Hemisphere.

Just as Earth's latitudes measure how far an Earthly location is north or south of the Earth's equator, Declination measures where a planet is, north or south of the Celestial Equator. When a planet crosses the Celestial Equator, it is at 0° declination.

Diagram - Celestial Equator

Not to be confused with the Ecliptic, which is the apparent path of the Sun through the zodiac from Earth's perspective. Or, more accurately, it is the path of the Earth around the Sun.

Pronounced: Sel-LESS-chell e-QUAY-tor.
See also: Declination. Compare: Ecliptic. Top of Page


The so-called Centaurs are a number of minor celestial bodies whose orbits run between inner and outer planets in our solar system. Mythologically, the centaurs were half-man and half-horse, and these planet-like objects in our solar system are named after them. The first of these to be discovered was Chiron, in 1977. Since then, other similar bodies have been discovered and these bodies were named after mythological Centaurs, and thus have become collectively known as "the Centaurs." Most of these Centaurs are large and composed primarily of ice, making them technically classified as comets, but they do not come close to the Sun like comets usually do. Pronounced: SEN-tore. See also: Chiron (in glossary) and article on Chiron and article on Chiron mythology. Top of Page Centaur


An astrology chart is like a map of where the planets are on a particular date, time and place. It is a 2-dimensional map of the 3-dimensional sky; a bit like a snapshot. A birthchart or natal chart is a chart for a person's moment and place of birth. See also: Natal Chart. Top of Page  


The "planet" Chiron symbolises woundedness, "the wound that never heals," "the Wounded Healer," maverick behaviour, and balancing physical/practical needs with spiritual/divine potential. Discovered in 1977. Mythologically, Chiron was a centaur—half man and half horse. There is no agreed-upon sign rulership for Chiron, although arguments have been made for Sagittarius, Virgo and Libra, among others. Chiron is technically classified as a comet because it is composed mostly of ice. Somewhat slow moving — takes from 2-8 years to go through a sign, and about 50 years to go through all 12 signs. Pronounced: KYE-ron. See also: Centaurs. See also: article on Chiron and astrological humor on Chiron mythology. Top of Page Chiron symbol

Chiron Symbol

Collection of Light


Sometimes two planets are close to being in aspect to each other, but they're just a little too far away to be within orb. Ordinarily these planets would not be considered to be aspecting one another. However, if a third planet forms an aspect to both of them, that third planet can act as a bridge that joins the other two planets. This is called "Collection of Light."

For example, say we have Chiron at 7 degrees and Neptune at 18 degrees, both in Aquarius. At 11 degrees apart, these two planets would not be considered to be in conjunction. However, if we have Saturn at 13 degrees of Leo, then Saturn is within orb to be in opposition to both of them. This would bridge the gap and pull the energies of Chiron and Neptune together, acting as if they were in conjunction. This would not be considered a strong conjunction energy, but the merging of their energies would be in effect. And since this bridge takes place through a third planet, the nature of that bridge planet can "flavour" the combination of the other two.

This actually happened at the New Moon in Leo in July 2006. As the Sun moved up to conjunct Saturn, it too created a collection of light that bridged the gap between Chiron and Neptune. Top of Page

Collection of Light


This term is used on this website to mean essentially the combined presence of others. This could be society at large or your religious community or your local community or your group of friends, or even the infamous "they" that we all refer to. Or it could be a communal "we" that you feel a part of. It refers to the collective will or the "hive mind" or group norms. Or it could simply refer to your perception of a group of other people as being distinct and united in some way, especially if you feel yourself as being separate from it or a part of it. It is the unified entity that is "greater than the sum of its parts." Astrologically, the Collective is most reflected in Aquarius and the 11th House through groups, friends, communities, associations and the masses. Although, the family is another type of Collective (Cancer, 4th House), as well as the local community and neighbourhood (Gemini, 3rd House), or conventional society (Capricorn, 10th House). Top of Page  

Collective Unconscious

This is a term used by psycho-theorist Carl Jung to refer to the commonality that all humans share through our Unconscious. Most people are familiar with Freud's idea of the personal unconscious, which contains suppressed feelings and perceptions. But Jung believed that we all share certain common experiences of life at an unconscious level, which emerge as parallel stories and themes in areas like cultural stories, mythology and personal dreams. The Collective Unconscious is where archetypes are found, which reflect the essence of those common experiences. Some astrologers regard the astrological zodiac signs as being reflections of universal archetypes. See also: archetype. Top of Page  




This refers to a planet (including the Moon, although this is not technically a planet) when it is conjunct the Sun within 8½ degrees. In classical astrology, a Combust planet's energy is said to be greatly weakened. Since the Sun's rays make it impossible to see that planet, its physical invisibility reflects its lack of strength as well.

By contrast, in modern Western astrology a planet conjunct the Sun is often regarded as being very strong, since the Sun's energy is combined with that planet. In the natal chart the person usually experiences and expresses that planet's energy with great force, since it affects their sense of self and identity (the Sun).

However, it has also been suggested (I wish I could remember by whom) that a Combust planet is in fact weaker, in the sense that it is so fused with the Sun's energy, it is unable to act on its own or express its own pure energy. For example, in the natal chart, the person experiences and expresses the Combust planet as a part of their identity, unable to separate it from their subjective sense of self or work with that planet objectively.

Pronounced: com-BUST. See also: Conjunction, Cazimi. Top of Page






An aspect between two planets which are found at around the same degree, usually in the same zodiac sign (give or take several degrees; see orb). Very powerful, merging the creative energies of the planets involved.

Some astrologers feel the two planets must be in the same sign in order to be conjunct, whereas others feel that as long as the planets are within a certain orb (a certain number of degrees apart), the conjunction is in effect, even if they are in adjacent signs (see dissociate aspect).

A note about grammar: Sometimes it's not easy to know how to use specialized words in astrology. It is correct to say "Two planets are conjunct," or "Two planets conjoin each other," or "Two planets are in conjunction." However, it is bad grammar to say "Two planets conjunct each other." There's your Virgo lesson for the day. ;-) Top of Page

See also: Multiple Conjunction, Rolling Conjunction, Stellium, Cazimi, Combust, Orb, Dissociate Aspect.
Conjunction aspect - same degree

Conjunction Aspect Symbol


When 2 planets are Contra-parallel, they are the same distance from the Earth's equator in Declination, except that one is north and the other is south. As with Parallel, it doesn't matter where the planets are in the Zodiac; they are measured only by Declination.

In the diagram below, the Moon and Venus are parallel, even though they're in totally different positions in the zodiac, because they are the same distance from the Equator and on the same side of the Equator.

Mars is contra-parallel to both the Moon and Venus, even though it's in a different place in the zodiac from both of them, because Mars is the same distance from the Equator but on the other side of the Equator.

Diagram of Parallels

Compare: Parallel. See also: Declination.



An aspect configuration consisting of two planets in an opposition aspect. There are two more planets, each forming a trine aspect to one side of the opposition and a sextile to the other.

In effect, there are two Wedge configurations. In a Wedge, the apex planet (that trines and sextiles the opposed planets) provides a release or relief point for the stress of the opposition. The apex planet can be a source of great creativity that channels the stress into positive, constructive activity, although the stress of the opposition may or may not finally be resolved by this. The apex can also be a place of escapism where the stress is simply avoided and never resolved.

The Cradle configuration has two Wedge figures in it, providing two different ways to potentially escape from the stress — or transform it into creativity. However, with so much opportunity to avoid problems, the temptation to take the easy way out is very strong. As a result, someone born with a Cradle configuration in their natal chart may find it very difficult to resolve and heal the conflicts in their life represented by the opposition. By not fully facing this challenge, part of the maturation process is missed and the person may remain under-developed in some ways. Hence the name: Cradle.

The more the person can learn to face and resolve the conflict of the opposition, the more they will be able to use the talents and natural abilities in the Cradle in ways that are healthy, constructive and healing. On the other hand, the avoidance of problems can generate some pretty impressive creative ability, in the broadest sense of the word - not just artistic but any innovative, original or imaginative approach to the obstacles and challenges of life.

See also: Aspect configuration, Wedge.

Cradle Aspect Configuration


The beginning point of a house or sign. Think of it like a doorway or entrance into that house or sign. The illustration at right shows lines radiating from the centre of the wheel, each of which indicates the cusp of a house. The lines around the edge of the circle show the area of that house. Top of Page Chart wheel showing the House Cusps

House Cusps

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