Astrology Dictionary - Sa to Sh

Astrology Dictionary - Sa to Sh


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 • 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


Sabian Symbols

A series of 360 symbolic images, each one associated with a specific degree of the zodiac. The Sabian Symbols provide an intuitive symbolism that can add an extra dimension of meaning to the planets in your natal chart, according to what degree the planet is in. Originally created by astrologer Marc Edmund Jones and psychic Elsie Wheeler in 1922.

Special note about the numbering: Sabian Symbols are numbered from 1 to 30 for each sign. So, to find the correct symbol in the book, you must round the planet's degree up to the next number. For example, if a planet is at 4:20 of Scorpio (4 degrees and 20 minutes of arc, in the sign of Scorpio), you would look up the Sabian Symbol for "Scorpio 5."

This is because 0:00 to 0:59 of any sign is the first degree (degree 1) of that sign. 1:00 to 1:59 is the second degree, and so on. 29:00 to 29:59 of a sign is the 30th degree. So when you look up the symbol for a particular zodiacal position, just round up the degree number to the next number and you'll have the correct symbol.

Pronounced: SAY-bee-un. Top of Page

Read more about the Sabian Symbols!



Traits for the sign of Sagittarius are: inspired/inspiring, truth-seeking, philosophical, optimistic, seeking meaning, looks at the Big Picture. Planetary ruler: Jupiter. Associated with 9th House. Mutable Fire. Pronounced: Saj-it-TARE-ee-us Top of Page Sagittarius symbol

Sagittarius Symbol


The planet Saturn symbolises structure, limits, responsibility, accountability, rules, expectations, authority, goals and the status quo. Planetary ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius (traditional ruler). Slow moving — takes about 2.5 years to go through a sign, and about 29 years to go through all 12 signs. Top of Page Saturn symbol

Saturn Symbol


Traits for the sign of Scorpio are: intense, mysterious, secretive, transformative, blunt, loyal, stubborn, feeling, creative, private, seductive. Planetary rulers: Pluto (modern) and Mars (traditional). Associated with 8th House. Fixed Water. Top of Page Scorpio symbol

Scorpio Symbol


An aspect between two planets that are 30 degrees apart (give or take a few degrees; see Orb). Planets in Semi-Sextile to each other are usually one sign apart. An irritating, frustrating energy that seeks to increase awareness and appreciation of life's complexities and subtleties. The Semi-Sextile and Quincunx aspects together are known as the Inconjunct aspects. Pronounced: SEM-mee SEX-tile. Top of Page Semi-Sextile aspect - 30 degrees

Semi-Sextile Aspect Symbol and Diagram


An aspect between two planets that are 45 degrees apart. Pronounced: SEM-mee-square. See Octile. Top of Page  


The term separating refers to planetary aspects that are moving away from 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 separating, it means the orb is becoming larger (usually meaning that they were exact and are now moving away from that aspect).

Compare with applying, when the orb is becoming smaller and the planets are moving closer toward 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: Applying, Aspect, Orb.




An aspect between two planets that are 135 degrees apart. Pronounced: SESS-kwee-QUAD-rate or SESS-kwee-square.

See Tri-Octile. Top of Page


An aspect between two planets that are 60 degrees apart (give or take a few degrees; see Orb). Planets in Sextile to each other are usually two signs apart. A creative, easy-flowing energy, often indicating natural ability. Pronounced: SEX-tile. Top of Page Sextile aspect - 60 degrees

Sextile Aspect Symbol and Diagram

Shadow (planetary)

In my column, The Low-Down on the Far-Out, I occasionally refer to something called the Shadow, especially when talking about Mercury Retrograde. The Shadow refers to the area of the zodiac where a planet goes retrograde (appears to go backward). The planet "retraces its steps," so to speak, and appears to travel through that area 3 times: first direct, then retrograde (backwards), then direct again. (See diagram below.) This usually refers to the transiting planets (in real time), not to your natal planets (in your natal chart). If a planet in the Shadow makes an aspect to your natal chart during this time, you will have three passes of that transit. This means there is more to the situations happening during that time than what you may see on the surface. Those situations will evolve during the time that planet is in the Shadow. See also: Direct, Retrograde, Stationary, Transit. See also the article series on Retrograde Planets, including one article specifically on the Shadow and Stations. Top of Page

Diagram of the Retrograde Shadow


Shadow (psychological)

This is a term used by psychotheorist Carl Jung. It means the perceptions, feelings, motives, beliefs, judgements, etc., about ourselves that are unconscious, repressed or undeveloped. These qualities tend to wind up projected onto other people and external situations. The shadow is like a blind spot in our self-awareness. In astrology, the planetary energies that we are unwilling, unable or not ready to own and embrace, tend to come back at us through external circumstances, situations and people. Self-awareness is the key that can open the door to shine a light into our shadow. By discovering who we are, including (especially!) the parts of ourselves that we feel uncomfortable with (and therefore hide in our subconscious), we can begin to heal our hidden wounds and embrace self-acceptance. Top of Page  

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