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Astrology Terminology 101 July 5, 2009

Posted by Lisa in astrology basics.
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Lets go over some basic Astrology terminology. Most of you probably already know that there are twelve signs, and you can review my previous entry to see how they are derived. In Karmic Astrology, the signs are styles of expression and provide insight into your karmic history.

The houses are areas of life experience and show focus for this lifetime. Karmic Astrology uses an equal house system, so once you know the ascendant, you can easily define the houses – each of them have exactly 30 degrees. If you were born with 20 degrees and 12 minutes of Pisces rising, then your first house begins there and each subsequent house is another 30 degrees. The second house would begin at 20 degrees and 12 minutes of Aries, the third at 20 degrees and 12 minutes of Taurus, etc.

The planets are energies and the aspects between them in a chart show show how they relate and integrate. An orb is how much that angle can vary and still be considered a viable aspect. Two pieces are conjunct if they are within 7 degrees of each other. They form a square when they are at a 90 degree angle, plus or minus 7 degrees. They form a trine when they are at a 120 degree angle, plus or minus 7 degrees, and they are in opposition when they are 180 degrees apart, plus or minus 7 degrees. The sextile and quincunx are 60 degree and 150 degree angles respectively, plus or minus 3 degrees. These two aspects have a tighter orb.

The midheaven is the soul energy and is the immutable core that is YOU lifetime after lifetime. It is the point that is directly overhead at your birth, and is the cusp of the tenth house in a placidus chart. In an equal house chart it is noted as a point in the chart and is usually in the ninth or tenth house, though it can fall outside of that for people born at extreme latitudes.

The lunar nodes are points where the moon crosses the ecliptic. The south node is a summation of all of your past lives and shows karmic patterns that particularly matter with respect to this life, and your north node shows the goal of this life. It is exactly opposite the south node, because new growth can only come from doing something completely different than what you have been doing over and over again.

The degrees and minutes more fully define everything. Sometimes people talk about being born “on the cusp.” All this means is that they were born on a day when the sun changed signs. It doesn’t mean that they are a hybrid of the two signs. Each piece in the chart is in one sign or another. Not only are the signs distinct and different, but having the sun at 0 degrees of one sign is very different than 29 degrees of the preceding sign. The numbers have meanings in and of themselves, and they help to paint a complete picture of the chart.

Do you have an Astrology topic of interest? You can write to me at Lisa@karmicastrology.com and let me know what topics you’d like to see covered in this blog.

Copyright © 2009, Lisa Wagner

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