Advanced Astrological Topics
There is a lot more to horoscopes than
meets the eye. Here is a glimpse into more
The name is a little misleading as this
term refers to a horoscope process that has
been in existence since the earliest days of
Babylonian astrology. Originally there were
six of these parts, but recent astrologers
have added a further three. An Arabic Part,
such as the Part of the Fortune is a
specific location on a horoscope chart that
relates to a particular aspect of life, such
as good luck or marriage. The location is
determined by intricate calculation and the
planets and sign in that area are then used
to create an analysis of the Part in
Ascendant (or Rising Sign)
This is the sign that is on the Cusp
(that is; right on the edge) of the First
House. Your First House might be Aquarius,
but the Cusp could feasibly be Capricorn, in
which case the Capricorn Cusp would impact
slightly on your First House.
This is the sign on the Cusp (edge) of
the Seventh House and impacts on your
Tri equals three. This term simply
denotes the different groups of signs
according to the elements:
Aries; Leo; Sagittarius
constitutes the Fire Triplicity; (or
alternatively, Houses 1, 5, 9) denoting:
self; action; and achievement.
Fire equates with activity.
Taurus; Virgo; Capricorn
constitutes the Earth Triplicity; (or
alternatively Houses 2, 6, 10) denoting
money; health/routine; career.
Earth equates with the material plane.
Gemini; Libra; Aquarius
constitutes the Air Triplicity; (or
alternatively Houses 3, 7, 11) denoting
communications and relationships.
Air equates with the intellect.
Cancer; Scorpio; Pisces
constitutes the Water Triplicity; (or
alternatively Houses 4, 8, 12) denoting
family; support; endings and closure.
Water equates with the emotions.
When a planet is in its ‘home’ sign or in
one of its Triplicity signs (see above), it
is also said to be well dignified.
Mars in Aries is well dignified.
(If Mars is in one of its Triplicity
signs (ie a fellow Fire Sign) of Leo or
Sagittarius, it is also said to be well
When a planet is dignified, it and the
positive aspects related to it become
stronger and the negative aspects related to
it become less effective or damaging.
This is the terminological opposite to
the term Dignity.
If Mars is Dignified by being in its
‘home’ sign of Aries, then it is in
Detriment when it is in the opposite sign –
This weakens the positive aspects related
to the planet in Detriment and strengthens
the negative ones.
A Decanate is the term given to the
subdivision of the astrological sign or
There are twelve signs or Houses to the
Each sign/house equals 30 degrees.
Each House or sign is subdivided into
three lots of ten degrees, called a decan.
Each decan within the sign has a slightly
different emphasis. Whether a planet is in
the first, second or third decan can
actually tilt the emphasis of the reading,
especially for a personalized Birth Chart,
although daily or weekly Horoscopes can also
pick up any significant or exciting trends
Every planet has a North and South node,
but in astrology we tend to focus on the
nodes of the Moon. Technically speaking the
nodes are the points at which the Moon moves
from South to North in the horoscope chart
and North to South. The North node
represents our spiritual aspirations, while
the South node is concerned more with our
material position and ambitions.
A Navamsa chart is a fundamental part of
Vedic astrology. Vedic astrology differs
from Western astrology in various ways (eg
different house system, approach to
planetary position calculations and chart
design), but the Navamasa chart is perhaps
the most striking difference. In Vedic
astrology the individual has essentially two
horoscope charts. The first is their birth
chart and the second or Navamsa chart refers
to their marriage potential and the likely
success of their marriage. Vedic astrology
uses a number of so called divisional charts
which supplement birth horoscope but the
importance of marital questions in the
culture means that the Navamsa chart is the
Planets; Asteroids; Fixed Stars, and
The dictionary definitions best
differentiate these heavenly bodies.
A Planet: is “an astronomical
object that orbits a star and does not shine
with its own light, especially one of those
orbiting the Sun in the solar system.”
We are familiar with the major planets
(Mercury; Venus; Mars…) and their importance
in astrological interpretations, but
asteroids and fixed stars, although not so
well known, can impact on a general reading
or even a daily Horoscope.
Pluto, for instance, has recently been
downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet,
and while some astrologers prefer not to use
Pluto in their readings, other astrologers
maintain that Pluto is still the co-ruler of
Scorpio and still as important, whatever its
An Asteroid: is “an irregularly
shaped rock that orbits the Sun, mostly
occurring in a band asteroid belt between
the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.”
Examples of Asteroids include: Ceres.
(In ancient mythology, Ceres tended the
earth and ensured that it was spring all
year round. However, when she lost her
marriageable daughter to the dark Lord of
the Underworld, Pluto, she, grief-stricken,
neglected the earth and failed to prevent
the onset of winter. An accidental pact saw
Ceres’ daughter, Proserpine, being returned
to Ceres, but only for six months of each
year; hence the creation of spring/summer
In astrological terms this asteroid
equates with separation; unhappiness;
Other Asteroids include Juno (named after
the goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter) and Vesta
A Fixed Star: “any of the stars
in the Ptolemaic system… with an apparent
lack of movement.”
(The Ptolemaic system refers to an
ancient theory of planetary movement. It is
interesting to note that fixed stars,
despite their name, do actually move, but
very, very slowly.)
Certain fixed stars will have quite an
influence when aspected strongly to any of
the major planets.
There’s quite a list of fixed stars and
according to some astrologers, certain fixed
stars have magical properties too.
Chiron: is “a minor planet…
revolving around the sun between the orbits
of Saturn and Uranus.”
Chiron is perhaps the best well-known
asteroid. This represents healing wounds and
through healing, closing those wounds
completely. In almost every House in the
astrological chart this asteroid touches on
the karmic consequences of past and present
Relocation charts are a controversial
addition to the range of astrological
analyses that are available to people
wishing to consult a horoscope. The
Relocation chart is essentially a second
birth chart, calculated for the same date
and time of birth but as though the birth
took place in a different location. This can
be very useful when deciding whether to move
to a new area. However, some astrologers
would argue that as the place of birth
itself cannot be changed our best hope of
understanding ourselves and our response to
a new location would lie in a deep study of
our original birth horoscope.