Astrology Dictionary - M

Astrology Dictionary - M


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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


Major Aspects

A term usually referring to the Ptolemaic aspects. Includes the conjunction (0°), opposition (180°), square (90°), sextile (60°) and trine (120°).

See: Aspect, Ptolemaic Aspects.



The planet Mars symbolises aggression, drive, anger, sex, conflict, confrontation and taking action. Planetary ruler of Aries and Scorpio (traditional). Fast moving — takes from 6 weeks to 7 months to go through a sign, and from 18-24 months to go through all 12 signs.

See also the article series on Retrograde Planets, including two articles on Mars Retrograde. Top of Page

Mars symbol

Mars Symbol



Medium Coeli

M.C. is another term for Midheaven. Stands for Medium Coeli, Latin for "middle of the heavens."

See: Midheaven. Top of Page


Mean Lunar Node

The Lunar Nodes are the two places where the orbit of the Moon around the Earth intersects with the (apparent) path of the Sun around the Earth (from our perspective on Earth). The positions of these nodes are always opposite and move in a retrograde direction. Their position is calculated as an average of its more precise, slightly fluctuating position.

See also: True Lunar Node, True versus Mean Nodes, Lunar Nodes.


The planet Mercury symbolises the conscious mind, intellect, ideas, thoughts, information and communication of all kinds. Planetary ruler of Gemini and Virgo. Very fast moving — takes 2-10 weeks to go through a sign, about a year to go through all 12 signs.

See also: Mercury Retrograde. See also folklore article on Hermes Top of Page

Mercury symbol

Mercury Symbol

Mercury Retrograde

All planets (except the Sun and Moon) go retrograde some of the time. Retrograde means the planet appears to go backwards, and means that the planet's energy is internalised, intense and often difficult to express outwardly.

Mercury retrograde is special for a couple of reasons. For one thing, Mercury is our conscious mind and communication, and therefore it can intimately affect how we think and perceive and express ourselves. Also, Mercury goes retrograde about 3 times per year — more often than any other planet. Mercury goes retrograde for about 3-3½ weeks at a time, and the overall cycle (including the Shadow period) extends over almost 2 months.

Mercury retrograde is typically a time when it is necessary to rethink, rehash and reflect, and it is common for new information to emerge later in the retrograde cycle that you didn't anticipate (but wish you had!) Because of this, it is advisable to avoid making final, permanent decisions (e.g., signing contracts) during this time, but it is an excellent time to do your homework and research in preparation for major decisions.

On the other hand, life must go on and things can't always be put on hold for that long! The Mercury retrograde dance can also be seen as a natural part of a trial-and-error process, in which you take one step forward, see what the result is, and then step back to rethink your actions.

The important thing is not to paint yourself into a corner by making final decisions that can't be changed later without creating serious problems. Try to build in some flexibility, so that you can adjust your gameplan later, as new information is revealed.

See also: Retrograde, Shadow. Also see the article on Mercury Retrograde, and other articles on Retrograde Planets. Top of Page






Medium Coeli

Also known as the MC. The highest point in the sky (zenith), corresponding to the geographic meridian running through the location of the chart (e.g., place of birth). If you are born at noon, the Sun would be found around the Midheaven in the chart.

The MC is also the cusp (starting point) of the 10th House. "MC&" stands for the Latin Medium Coeli which means "middle of the heavens" or mid-heaven.

The sign on the Midheaven, and any planets in the 10th house, indicate what the person aspires to, their goals, their societal standing and career. Associated with one of the parents, often the mother.

Compare with: IC.

Pronounced: MID-heh-ven. Top of Page

Midheaven - one of the Angles

Red line above is the Midheaven of the chart.


This is an aspect configuration where two planets are in trine aspect to each other, and both are sextile to a third planet. Similar to a Grand Trine configuration, this combination of energies is typically beneficial and creative. It indicates talent and natural ability in the person who has one in their natal chart. These gifts must still be applied with some deliberate intention.

See also: Aspect configuration, Grand Trine. Top of Page

Mini-Trine Aspect Configuration


Each sign is associated with one of three "modalities" or "qualities": Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable. Each sign is a unique combination of Element and Modality. See also: Element.

Pronounced: Moe-DAL-it-ee. Top of Page



The Moon symbolises our feelings, intuition, needs, nurturing and memory; also the unconscious and female energy, especially the mother. Planetary ruler of Cancer.

Very fast moving — takes about 2.5 days to go through one sign; about 28.5 days to go through all 12 signs. Although technically not a planet, the Moon is often referred to by astrologers as a planet in the chart for convenience.

See zodiac article on Cancer for more about the Moon's phases.

See also: Lunar Nodes, Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse. Top of Page

Moon symbol

Moon Symbol

Moon�s Nodes

Another term for the Lunar Nodes. See also: True Lunar Nodes versus Mean Nodes. Top of Page  

Multiple Conjunction

This is an aspect configuration in which 3 or more planets are in conjunction (near the same degree of the same sign). These planets are typically (though not always) in the same sign.

All planets in the group are within orb of being conjunct with all other planets in the group. In other words, the planets at the beginning and the end of the group must be within orb of conjoining each other, even if the other planets were not involved in the conjunction.

This collection of planetary energies is very powerful and complex. This is not merely a merging of two energies (as in a typical conjunction); this is a very intense merging of many energies that can give an powerful focus to the resulting effect. The effects will vary depending on the planets involved, since each planet contributes a unique kind of energy.

Someone who was born with a Multiple Conjunction can seem like they were born under the sign where the Conjunction takes place, whether the Sun is one of those planets or not. There is a lot of that person's personality and perspective focused in the sign in question.

There is usually a struggle to find ways to bring all of the planetary energies into cooperative harmony. The energy is typically very creative (in terms of artistry, innovation, originality, etc.), although it can be a challenge to grasp all of the planets at once. Certain planets will often be more dominant and others more in the background, depending on their strength, dignity, rulerships, etc.

See also: Conjunction, Rolling Conjunction, Stellium. Top of Page

Multiple Conjunction Aspect Configuration


One of the three Modalities. Mutable signs are: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces. Mutable traits are: changeable, flexible, adaptable, synthesis, versatile, impressionable, vacillating, restless, fluid, unstructured.

Pronounced: MEW-tah-bull. Top of Page


Mutual Reception

This is when two planets are in the sign that the other rules. For example: when Venus is in Scorpio and Mars is in Taurus at the same time, they are in mutual reception, using traditional rulerships.

Another example: Neptune is currently in Aquarius (1998-2012), and while Uranus is also in Pisces (2003-2011) they are in mutual reception, using modern rulerships.

When two planets are in mutual reception, they combine their energies in a reciprocal way — that is, their energies are like mirror images of each other. They reflect similar energies. Even if there is no geometric aspect between them (e.g., trine, opposition, etc.), they resonate together as if they were.

Many astrologers consider this resonance of energy to be similar to a conjunction aspect. However, unlike a geometric aspect, which is in effect only when the planets are within a narrow orb of degrees, mutual reception lasts as long as the planets are in each other's sign. In the case of slow moving planets (like Uranus and Neptune), this can last for years.

See also: Dispositor, Final Dispositor, Rulerships. Top of Page


Mystic Rectangle

Aspect configuration. Consists of four or more planets whose aspects resemble a rectangle shape, through Trines (120 degrees), Sextiles (60) and Oppositions (180). The person who has this configuration tends to feel a lot more stress, distress and tension on the inside than they show on the outside. They may come across as pleasant, easy-going or even apathetic on the outside, but tend to hide a lot of anxiety, unrest or worry on the inside. In Huber astrology, this is called a Righteousness Rectangle. See Bruno and Louise Huber's book, Aspect Pattern Astrology, for excellent information about aspect patterns. Top of Page

Aspect Configuration - Mystic Rectangle

Mystic Rectangle Aspect Configuration

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