Learn the meanings of popular astrology terms.
Air: The three air signs are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Air signs are socially oriented and inventive.
Angles: Four vital points on the birth chart: the rising sign or ascendant, the descendant, the Medium Coeli (MC) or Midheaven and the Imum Coeli (IC) or Nadir. (Imum Coeli is Latin for "bottom of the sky or heavens.") Planets and signs located at the angles tell about the nature and style of your interaction with others.
Aquarius: Fixed air sign, ruled by both Uranus and Saturn. Aquarians are innovative and persistent. Their original thinking and perseverance often lead to creative breakthroughs. They relate more to groups than to individuals.
Aries: Cardinal fire sign, ruled by Mars. Aries are courageous and spontaneous. Diving out of airplanes, falling in love and other treacherous capers don't faze them.
Ascendant: Also known as the rising sign. The sign on the cusp of the first house. The way you act with other people is often more determined by your ascendant or rising sign than your Sun sign.
Aspects: A unique relationship between planets. Aspects are angles determined by degrees of distance between two points on the chart. The aspects in your birth chart help determine your character. Aspects in transit (see definition) indicate periods of change in your everyday life. Whether the aspects in transit bring good fortune, opportunity, stress or all of the above depends on the type of aspect formed and the planets involved.
Astrology: A language that reveals the positions and relationships of the stars, planets, signs and houses (see definition) and their influences on human beings.
Birth chart: Also called your horoscope or natal chart. A type of map symbolizing your place in the solar system. An astrologer can analyze your chart for your skills, potentials and challenges.
Birth data: Keys to a birth chart. They include the date, time and place of birth.
Cancer: Cardinal water sign, ruled by the Moon. By nature, they're nurturers who are fiercely private about their feelings and protective of their clan. On their dashboard or their desk, they'll always plant a trace of home. These moon children often have a loony sense of humor.
Capricorn: Cardinal earth sign, ruled by Saturn. These hearty souls must often overcome considerable obstacles to reach their goals. Capricorns are hard-wired to achieve substantial success. They act grown-up when they're children and get younger and more playful with age.
Cardinal: The first sign of each season is in the cardinal mode. Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Because they're naturals at being first, people born under cardinal signs are born leaders, starters and goal setters.
Conjunction: An aspect (see definition) of zero degrees. It looks like two planets are located next to each other. Conjunctions combine the strength and character of the two planets involved. In your life it can feel like two aspects of your personality are powerfully fused together. You may have conjunctions in your birth chart and by transit.
Cusp: The dividing line between houses (see definition) in a birth chart. Also describes the point where one sign ends and the next one begins.
Descendant: The sign on the cusp of the seventh house, opposite your rising sign. This sign and planets here indicate your approach to a committed relationship and describe your attractions to a marriage partner.
Earth: The three Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn. Earth signs prefer to see tangible evidence of their efforts. They are experience-oriented and reliable.
Elements: The zodiac is divided into three signs per each of the four elements: fire, earth, air and water. The signs share traits with their corresponding elements.
Ephemeris: An astronomical almanac. Gives the daily positions (or movements) of the planets.
Eris: The most recently discovered planet in our solar system. Associated with chaos and strife.