Astrology Dictionary - R

Astrology Dictionary - R


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



This is when a planet appears to go backwards in the sky. It's not really going backwards — it's an optical illusion due to viewing the planet from Earth's perspective. It's a little like passing a car on the highway — it looks like the other car is moving backwards against the backdrop of the scenery. Or, in the case of Mercury and Venus, it's like watching someone on a merry-go-round; they seem to go forward, then backward, from your viewpoint. All planets except the Sun and Moon go retrograde some of the time.

When a planet is retrograde, its energy is internalised and intensified. It feels very central and powerful, but hard to be objective about — a bit like trying to look at the under side of your chin! Pronounced: RET-row-grade. Compare: Direct. See also: Stationary, Shadow (planetary), Mercury Retrograde. See also the article series on Retrograde Planets.Top of Page


Rising Sign

Another term for Ascendant. Top of Page  

Rolling Conjunction

An aspect configuration in which 3 or more adjacent planets are within orb of being in conjunction to the planet(s) on either side of them. All planets involved could be in the same sign or house, or in adjacent signs or houses.

For example, in the illustration at right, the Red planet is conjunct the Blue planet; the Blue planet is conjunct the Purple planet; and the Purple planet is conjunct the Yellow planet. The Red and Purple planets are not close enough to be in conjunction with each other. The same might also be true for the Red and Yellow, and the Blue and Yellow.

However, since each planet is conjunct its neighbour(s), there is a transference of energy that unites all four planets. In other words, the Red and Purple planets in the middle will act as conductors of energy between the Blue and Yellow planets at the outside. The middle planets create a kind of bridge between the outside planets in the group, as well as all planets in between. Therefore, the outer planets behave as if they were in conjunction, even though they're outside the usual orb for that aspect.

This creates a powerful collective effect between these planets. It also puts extra stress and significance on the "bridge" planets in the middle, since they "get it from both sides." The nature of the bridge planets will often act as a filter through which the outside planets' energies combine.

See also: Conjunction, Multiple Conjunction, Stellium.

Rolling Conjunction Aspect Configuration




This aspect configuration is called a Rosetta by astrologers Sally Fisher and Linda Shelnutt and called a Trapeze by Bruno and Louise Huber in their book, Aspect Pattern Astrology. This is a somewhat rare and very complex configuration in the energy dynamics it generates.

There is tension and conflict between the planets joined by the square aspects (the red lines in the diagram). There is agreement and cooperation between the planets joined by the trine and sextile aspect (blue lines). And there is stress, adjustment and paradox between the planets joined by the quincunx aspects (green lines).

There is a dynamic that happens between these planets that is similar to the concepts of "triangulation" and "scapegoating" in psychology and relationships. Person A has a problem with person B. But instead of talking to B about it, A goes to person C and complains. C takes sides with A against B, which just fuels the conflict between A and B, and now B has two enemies instead of just one.

All four planets in this configuration have both "enemies" and "allies," and play the same role in relation to other planets. The net effect of this is that the planetary energies tend to go around in circles, each trying to "win the argument" and finding it very hard to let go of the battle with its "enemies."

At its worst, this figure can keep problems going in circles indefinitely. Automatic reactions of frustration, anger, resentment, injustice and determination can just fuel the fire. The issues and problems in this dynamic could potentially become obsessions that are hard to let go of.

At its best, this configuration can increase awareness and philosophical understanding. It can strengthen the ability to tolerate paradox, ambiguity and problems where there isn't a clear solution. Awareness can stop the vicious cycle by showing you a path beyond your automatic reactions. Then it's up to you to make conscious, mindful choices that will move you along that path.

See Bruno and Louise Huber's book Aspect Pattern Astrology for excellent information about aspect configurations.

See also: aspect configuration. Top of Page

Rosetta or Trapeze Aspect Configuration


A planet is said to "rule" a sign, in the sense that the planet's energy is like an extension of that sign's energy. It is helpful to think of the planet as being the moving, changing, active, evolving version of the sign's characteristics. So, for example, Mars carries the energy of Aries with it, as it travels through the signs, expressing that Aries/Mars energy in different ways according to the sign it is in. It is as if Mars wears a different cloak with each sign it travels through. Top of Page  




Here are the planetary rulers of each sign:

Aries Mars
Taurus Venus
Gemini Mercury
Cancer Moon
Leo Sun
Virgo Mercury
(some say Chiron?)
Libra Venus
Scorpio Pluto (modern)
Mars (traditional)
Sagittarius Jupiter
Capricorn Saturn
Aquarius Uranus (modern)
Saturn (traditional)
Pisces Neptune (modern)
Jupiter (traditional)

Note that for some signs, there are both modern and traditional planetary rulers. This is because Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron cannot be seen with the naked eye. These planetary bodies were not discovered until after 1700, using the telescope.

Many Western astrologers feel the modern planets should be regarded as being the modern planetary rulers of certain signs, although many of them still use traditional rulerships as well. Some Western astrologers and most Eastern astrologers feel the modern rulerships are not appropriate, and prefer to use the traditional methods. It is a matter of personal preference.

See also each Planet and Sign in the Glossary. See also: Dispositor, Final Dispositor, Mutual Reception, Traditional Rulerships. Top of Page


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