Glossary of Traditional Astrology Terms

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Most of these definitions are direct quotes from "Christian Astrology" Volume 1, by William Lilly, 1647.

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OPPOSITION - An Opposition or Diametrall Radiation is, when two Planets are equally distant 180 degrees, or half the Circle from each other. Signs Opposite to one another are:

ORIENTAL - [ORIENTAL, OCCIDENTAL.] Saturn, Jupiter and Mars, are Oriental of the Sun, from the time of their conjunction with him, until they come to his Opposition: from whence until again they come to conjunction, they are said to be Occidental; to be Oriental is no other thing then to rise before the Sun: to be Occidental is to be seen above the Horizon, or to set after the Sun is down: Mercury and Venus can make no Sextile , Square, Trine or Opposition to the Sun: their Orientality is when they are in fewer degrees of the Sign the Sun is, or in the Sign preceding; their Occidentality, when they are in more degrees of the Sign the Sun is in , or next subsequent: for you must know Mercury cannot be more degrees removed from the Sun then 28. nor Venus more then 48. though some allow a few more. The Moon is Oriental of the Sun from the time of her opposition to he conjunction, and Occidental from the time of her Conjunction to Opposition; and the reason hereof is, because she far exceeds the Sun in swiftness of motion, and so presently gets further into the Sign, &c.

PARTILE ASPECTS - Partile aspect is when two Planets are exactly so many degrees from each other as make a perfect aspect: as if Mercury be in nine degrees of Aries, and Jupiter in nine degrees of Leo, this is a Partile Trine aspect: So Sun in one degree of Taurus, and Moon in one degree of Cancer, make a Partile Sextile, and this is a strong sign or argument for performance of anything, or that the matter is near hand concluded when the aspect is so partile, and signifies good; and it's as much a sign of present evil when mischief is threatened.

PEREGRINE - A Planet is then said to be Peregrine, when he is in the degrees of any Sign wherein he has no essential dignity: As Saturn in the tenth degree of Aries, that Sign being not his House, Exaltation, or of his Triplicity, or he having in that degree either Term or Faces, he is then said to be Peregrine; had he been in 27, 28 &c. of Aries, he could not be termed Peregrine, because then he is in his own Term. So the Sun in any part of Cancer is Peregrine, having no manner of dignity in that Sign. This is very much material in all Questions, to know the Peregrine Planet, especially in questions of Theft; for ever almost the significator of the Thief is known by the Peregrine Planet posited in an Angle, or the second House.

PERFECTION - The Ancients have delivered unto us, that there are four ways or means, which discover whether one question or the thing demanded shall be accomplished yea or not.

PLACTIC - A Platick Aspect is that which admits of the Orbs or Rays of two Planets that signify any matter: As if Venus be in the tenth degree of Taurus, and Saturn in eighteen degrees of Virgo, here Venus has a Platick Trine, or is in a Platick Trine of Saturn, because she is within the Moiety of both their Orbs; for the Moiety of Saturn his Rays or Orbs is five, and of Venus 4, and the distance betwixt them and their perfect aspect is eight degrees.

PLANETS - Saturn , Jupiter , Mars , Sol (Sun) , Venus , Mercury , Luna (Moon).

PROHIBITION - Prohibition is when two Planets that signify the effecting or bringing to conclusion any thing demanded, are applying to an Aspect; and before they can come to a true Aspect, another Planet interposes either his body or aspect, to that thereby the matter propounded is hindered and retarded; this is called Prohibition. For example, Mars is in 7. degree. of Aries, and Saturn is in the 12. Mars signifies the effecting my business when he comes to the body of Saturn, who promises the conclusion, the Sun is at the same time in 6. degree. of Aries. Now in regard that the Sun is swifter in motion then Mars, he will overtake Mars, and come to Conjunction with Saturn before Mars, whereby whatever Mars or Saturn did formerly signify, is now prohibited by the Sun his first impediting Mars and then Saturn, before they can come to a true Conjunction. This manner of prohibition is called a Conjunctional or Bodily prohibition; and you must know that the combustion of any Planet is the greatest misfortune that can be.

[2.] The second manner of Prohibition is by Aspect, either Sextile, Square, Trine , Opposition, viz. when two Planets are going to Conjunction; as Mars in 7 degree. of Aries, Saturn in 15 of Aries; let us admit the Sun in 5. degree of Gemini; he then being more swift than Mars in his diurnal motion, dos quickly overtake and pass by the Sextile dexter of Mars ( and comes before Mars can come to Conjunction) to a Sextile dexter of Saturn: This is called Prohibition by Aspect, in the same nature judge if the Aspect be Square, Trine, Opposition.

QUADRANTS - The whole sphere of Heaven is divided into four equal parts by the Meridian and Horizon, and again into four quadrants, and every Quadrant again into three parts, according to other Circles drawn by points of Sections of the aforesaid Meridian and Horizon; so the whole Heaven is divided into twelve equal parts, which the Astrologers call Houses or Mansions, taking their beginning from the East.

QUERENT - the person asking the question (horary).

QUESITED - the person or thing the question is asked about (horary).

RECEPTION - Reception is when two Planets that are significators in any Question or matter, are in each others dignity; as Sun in Aries, and Mars in Leo; here is reception of these two Planets by Houses; and certainly this is the strongest and best of all receptions. It may be by Triplicity, term or face, or any essential dignity; as Venus in Aries, and Sun in Taurus; here is reception by triplicity, if the Question or Nativity by day: so Venus in the 24 of Aries, and Mars in the 16 of Gemini; here is reception by term, Mars being in the terms of Venus, and she in his terms.

The use of this is much; so many times when as the effecting of the matter is denied by the Aspects, or when the significators have no aspect to each other, or when it seems very doubtful what its promised by Square or Opposition of the significators, yet if mutual Reception happen betwixt the principal significators, the thing is brought to pass, and that without any great trouble, and suddenly to the content of both parties.

REFRANATION - There's another manner of Prohibition; by some more properly called Refrenation; as thus, Saturn in 12 degree. of Aries, Mars in 7 degree. here Mars hastens to a Conjunction of Saturn, but before he comes to the tenth or eleventh degree of Aries he becomes Retrograde, and by that means refrains to come to a Conjunction of Saturn, who still moves forward in the Sign, nothing signifies by the former Conjunction will ever be effected.

REGIOMONTANUS HOUSES - house system used during Lilly's time.

RETROGRADE - When a Planet goes backward, as out of 10 degree. into 9, 8, 7, &c.

SEPARATION - Separation, it is, in the first place, when two Planets are departed but six minutes distance from each other, as let Saturn be in 10 degree. and 25 min. of Aries and Jupiter in 10 degree. and 25 min. of Aries: now in these degrees and minutes they are in perfect Conjunction; but when Jupiter shall get into 10 degree. and 31 or 32 minutes of Aries, he shall be said to be separating from Saturn; yet because Saturn has 9 degree. allowed him for his rays, and Jupiter has also the same number allowed him, Jupiter cannot be said to be totally separated or clear from the rays of Saturn, until he has got 9. degrees distant from him, for the half of Jupiter his orb is 4 degree. 30 min. and the half of Saturn his orb is 4 degree. 30 min. added together they make 9. whole degrees; for every Planet that applies is allowed half his own orbs and half the orbs of that Planet from whom he separates: As if Sun and Moon be in any aspect, the Moon shall then be separated from the Sun, when she is fully distant from the Sun 7.degrees and 30.min. viz. half the orbs of the Sun, and 6.degrees. the moiety of her own orbs; in all 13 degree. and 30 minutes. The exact knowledge hereof is various and excellent: For admit two Planets significators in Marriage at the time of the question, are lately separated but a few minutes; I would then judge there had been a few days before great probability of effecting the Marriage, but now it hung in suspense, and there seemed some dislike or rupture in it; and as the significators do separate, so will the matter and affection of the parties more alienate and vary, and according to the number of degrees that the swifter Planet wants ere he can be wholly separated from the more ponderous, so will it be so many weeks, days, months or years ere the two Lovers will wholly desist or see the matter quite broke off: The two Significators in moveable Signs, Angular and swift in motion, dos hasten the times; in common signs, the time will be more long; in fixed, a longer space of time will be required.

SEXTILE - When two Planets are equally distant one from each other, 60 degrees, we say they are in sextile Aspect. A Sextile aspect is the distance of one Planet from another by the sixth part of the Zodiac or Circle; for six times sixty degree. do make 360. degree. this aspect you shall find called sometimes a Sexangular aspect, or an Hexagon.


SQUARE - A Quadrate aspect, or Quadranglar, or Tetragonall, is the distance of two Points, or two Planets by a fourth part of the Circle, for four times ninety do contain three hundred and sixty degrees.

SHORT ASCENSION - Signs of shorter oblique ascension, viz. CAPRICORN, AQUARIUS, PISCES, ARIES, TAURUS ,GEMINI.

SIGNS - There be also twelve Signs: Aries , Taurus , Gemini , Cancer , Leo , Virgo , Libra , Scorpio , Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius , Pisces.

SQUARE - When two Planets are 90 degrees distant one from another, we call that Aspect a Quartile (SQUARE) Aspect.

STATIONARY - When he moves not at all, as the superiors do not 2, 3, or 4 days before Retrogradation.

SUPERIOR and INFERIOR PLANETS Saturn, Jupiter and Mars being placed above the Orb of the Sun, are called the superior, ponderous and more weighty Planets. Venus, Mercury and Luna are called the inferior Planets, being under the Orb of the Sun.

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