zodiac signs, measured more by the fixed stars and the
constellations, not the seasons. The zodiac signs are still
measured as 30 degrees of arc in length, and the "beginning point"
is somewhat arbitrary (for example, not based on a particular
fixed star). Pronounced: Sid-DEER-ee-al or Sye-DEER-ee-al.
A 30 degree
section of the zodiac associated with one of the 12
constellations that intersect the ecliptic (the
path through the stars). Each sign is associated with certain
qualities, characteristics, experiences and events. Each
sign is a
unique combination of Element and
Pisces elsewhere in the Glossary for more
information about each sign. See also
This is a
New Moon that is so precisely aligned that the Earth
passes through the Moon's shadow cast by the
light. Seen in the daytime from the Earth, the
and daylight grow dim, and the Moon passes directly in
front of the disc of the Sun, temporarily blocking its
light. You must NEVER look directly at a Solar Eclipse, or you
risk damaging your eyesight. A solar eclipse typically happens
twice a year, about 5-6 months apart. Solar eclipses are very
powerful energy, similar to a New Moon but more intense.
They often initiate new processes of growth into your life. This
new growth may or may not be easy. See also: Lunar Eclipse,
New Moon There is also more information about eclipses
Happy Solar Return!! This is an astrologer's way of wishing you a Happy
Birthday! Around your birthday (plus or minus a day or so), the
Sun returns to the precise place it was when you were born.
Hence, it is called a Solar Return (return of the Sun).
When you know the accurate time of
your birth, an astrologer can calculate a chart
for the precise moment that the Sun returns to its
natal (birth) position. It is important to have an accurate birth time, since the margin of error in the Solar Return chart is very sensitive to the birth time
accuracy. As a general rule, the Solar Return chart can shed light on
what kinds of events and themes are likely during the coming 12 months.
There are actually two different ways to calculate a Solar Return. The most common one is to calculate when the Sun returns to the same Zodiac
position that it has in your Natal chart; in other words, to the same degree and sign it was in
when you were born.
The other way is to calculate the precise spatial position relative to the fixed stars. This takes into account the Precession of the Equinoxes. This is called the
The difference between the Zodiac position and the spatial position is very small, but is considered significant by many astrologers. This is because it can
dramatically change the Ascendant and house placements in the Solar Return chart. Also, the Moon is often in a different sign and makes very different aspects in the chart.
The date when your Precessed Solar Return takes place is is a bit later than your regular Solar Return. The older you get, the longer you'll have to wait after your birth
date to reach your Precessed Solar Return. For example, on your 20th birthday, the Precessed Return takes place about 6.5 hours after the regular Return. On your 40th,
there's a difference of about 13.5 hours. When you turn
60, it will be about 20 hours. And when you turn 80, you'll have to wait about 26.5 hours to reach your Precessed Return.
In my experience, the difference between the regular and the Precessed Solar Return charts is one of perspective. The regular chart tends to show what you hope will
happen, what you're aiming for and what your subjective experience of the coming year will be. The Precessed chart tends to show the objective reality, the external
conditions and circumstances you are likely to encounter in the coming year.
(Note: A Solar Return has nothing to do with
retrogrades, since the Sun never goes retrograde.)
See also: Sun, Natal
Chart, Precession of the Equinoxes.
The point at
which there is the greatest difference between day and night on
the Earth. This happens twice per year Ė in June and
In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice is the start of Summer and the
December solstice is the start of Winter. In the Southern Hemisphere, these are switched: the June solstice begins the
Winter and December begins the Summer.
Northern Solstice: Sun shines directly on the Tropic of Cancer.
Summer in the northern hemisphere, winter in the south.
solstices occur when the Sun's direct rays reach the
northern-most or southern-most point on Earth. Therefore these are sometimes also known as the Northern Solstice
(June) and the Southern Solstice (December). After reaching each solstice, the Sun begins to head back in
the other direction toward the equator.
In the Tropical Zodiac, the June
solstice always marks the Sunís entry into
Cancer and the
December solstice marks the
Sunís entry into Capricorn
(for both hemispheres).
Southern Solstice: Sun shines directly on the Tropic of Capricorn.
Summer in the southern hemisphere, winter in the north.
The traditional names for the Solstices are the Summer Solstice
(June) and the Winter Solstice (December). However, these correspond to
the seasons of the northern hemisphere. In our
ever-encompassing global world, there are new attempts to
events in a way that is more universal and not dependent on which
hemisphere or culture you're in, nor which type of calendar you use. None
of the alternative names are accepted universally as yet.
In an attempt to be inclusive and bridge at least some of these differences, this
website typically uses the terms "June Solstice" or "Northern Solstice" and "December
Solstice" or "Southern Solstice."
Pronounced: SOLE-stiss Compare:
Equinox. See also: Declination, Out of Bounds.
One of the two Lunar
Nodes, which mark the intersection of the Sun's
and Moon's path through the sky (from
Earth's perspective). The South Node is the point where the Moon starts
to travel "south" of the Sun's path. The South Node's meaning
is about letting go, what is past and behind you, what you are moving
away from. It is sometimes associated with past lives. See also: Lunar
Nodes, North Node.
South Node Symbol
between two planets, which are 90 degrees apart (give or
take a few degrees; see Orb). Planets in
Square are usually three signs apart. A stressful,
conflict-oriented energy. Can also motivate and necessitate
Square Aspect Symbol
refers to the point where a planet changes direction to go
from direct to retrograde, or from
to direct. Similar to the way a pendulum swings one way,
then slows down and pauses (becomes stationary or still briefly)
before it changes direction, a planetary
station is when a
planet has slowed down and seems to become still, before it
resumes its motion in the opposite direction. When a planet
pauses and changes direction like this, it is called a
Station. See also: Direct,
Retrograde, Shadow (planetary).
See also the article series
on Retrograde Planets, including an
article specifically on the
An aspect configuration in which a minimum of 3
planets are all in the same sign. They
may or may not be in a conjunction
aspect with each
other, but all are in the same sign together.
This creates a great
weight of energy with that sign in the chart, and tips the balance of
the chart toward that sign's qualities.
Some astrologers feel that a stellium should be defined as no less
than 4 or even 5 planets in a sign. Some astrologers also feel that
since Mercury and Venus
are very often in the same sign as the Sun, they
should not be counted when deciding if there is a stellium that includes
Pronounced: STELL-lee-yum. See also: Aspect
Stellium Aspect Configuration
symbolises our central sense of purpose, identity, vitality and
identity; also consciousness and male energy, especially the
father. Planetary ruler of
Leo. Fast moving Ė
takes one year to go around the zodiac, about 30 days per
sign. Although not technically a
planet, the Sun is
often referred to as a planet in the
chart, for convenience. See also:
Return. See also the article
on The Lights (the Sun and Moon).
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