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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



Ascendant, or the first house in a horoscope. It portends psychological features, early childhood, and totality of life in essence. It represents the physical body; head, including brain; general appearance; and general attractiveness. The person's nature, his capacity to enjoy the pleasures of life, his struggles, pleasures and pain to be experienced in life are indicated by it. The ascendant lord represents the guardian angel of the individual; it protects him and provides the motivation for his actions.

Sun, Mars, and Jupiter are auspicious when in ascendant. The ascendant lord in cardinal houses or in a trine house bestows physical comfort; when in Trik, i.e., in 6th, 8th or 12th house, it leads to difficulties.


It specifies the zone of sensitivity to the impact of different planets. Jaimini Astrology makes use of it for determining one's life-span. There is no universally accepted method for working out Hora lagna. According to Parashara, it is obtained by multiplying the birth ghatis (q.v.) by 2, dividing the product by 5, and adding the quotient to the birth ghatis. Jaimini Astrology lays down several methods for calculating it, but all of them produce different results. One such method is being given below:

Ahapranianam, i.e., duration of the day, or Ratripramanam, duration of the night, in ghatis, is first noted. If the birth is in daytime, the duration of the day is divided by 12, and the birth ghatikas from sunrise are divided by the quotient thus obtained. The quotient plus one counted from ascendant in the forward direction for odd sign ascendant, and in reverse direction for even sign ascendants gives the sign of the Hora lagna. The remainder, converted into degrees, indicates its longitude.

The same procedure is adopted for nighttime births, but in this case the duration of night is taken into account and the birth ahatikas used in the method are counted from sunset rather than from sunrise.


A planetary combination formed by a strong lord of the ascendant, the lord of the 9th in its own, exaltation or its Moola-Trikona (trine) sign occupying a cardinal house. Persons born under it are graceful, religious, wealthy, accomplished, famous, and enjoy high status in the society. Their offspring's are very bright.


Deluge. The dissolution when the manifest universe is assimilated in the Original Cause.

In Yoga, it refers to that meditation practice in which the consciousness of a yogi merges with the consciousness of his deity. In occultism, it stands for that state in which the substance (the seeker) becomes homogeneous with the object (the sought); at that level the seeker, or the substance, cannot be distinguished from the object because of the complete annihilation of his ahamkara, egotism, and cannot act differently from his deity.


The 5th sign of the zodiac extending from 1200 to 1500. Sun rules this sign, and traverses the sign roughly between mid-August and mid September annually. It is fiery in element, male by sex, fierce by temperament, bilious by body humor and is related with the eastern direction.

Leo represents the creative urge of the cosmic man. It provides a tremendous aspiration to grow and multiply, spread and develop. On the physical plane, those who are born with Leo as ascendant have great virility. But such individuals suffer from marital discord. They are difficult persons to live with; and their relationships spring from their self-centered nucleus.

Sun and Mars vibrate favorably with Leo. The same is not true for Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. If Mercury is well supported, it produces creative thinking, sharp intellect, money, and high social status as a result of literary efforts. Individuals with Leo as ascendant are brilliant, yet are dissatisfied with themselves.


The sport of gods, particularly that of Shiva in his creative and destructive dance. Under Ida, the actor is not identified with his action.


The phallus as a symbol of divine generative power; the abstract symbol of creation. The symbol by which Shiva is universally worshipped. The lingam is, sometimes, represented merely by a plain column of stone, or a cone of plastic clay, suggesting no offensive ideas. In India, there are 12 great lingams in different parts of the country. The famed one is a natural formation of ice, and is situated in Amamath.


The matrix of the physical body; it is the vital and prototypal body. Sometimes it is called the Etheric Double and on other occasions, the Astral Body. In Vedic literature, it is commonly described as the reflection of the man of flesh through which vital air, Prana circulates and activates the man. It is said to be born before the formation of the nucleus physical body, and it dies or fades out with the disappearance of the last atom of the physical body.


The word in the context of cosmic manifestation, or the second person of the Hindu Trinity. The rational principle that governs and develops the universe. It is said to be that divine word or the reason incarnate in Jesus Christ. Blavatsky considers it as the manifested deity with every nation and people; the outward expression, or the effect of the cause which is ever concealed. Taimini compared Logos with the diffused light of Sun shining over a landscape, which while remaining invisible brings out from the objects present in ii all kinds of colors and forms according to their names. Similarly the consciousness and life of the Logos pervading the solar system, though remaining invisible, brings out from all the objects, animate and inanimate, an infinite variety of expressions, which are the characteristic of the manifested universe. (cf. Man, God and the Universe, p. 286)


A world; a division of the universe; a realm of existence. In general the three lokas (tri-lokas) are heaven, earth, and hell. Another classification enumerates seven lokas, exclusive of the infernal regions, also seven in number which are classed under Patala Lokas, or the infernal/nether regions. The upper worlds are (i) Bhur Loka (Earth), (2) Bhuvar Loka (Antariksha, the space between Earth and Sun), (3) Swarga Loka (the heaven world ruled by Indra; the space between Sun and the Pole Star), (4) Mahar Loka (the world of the Adepts who are coexistent with Brahma), (5) Jnana Loka (the world of celestial beings such as mind-born sons of Brahma), (6) Tapas Loka (the world of immortal ascetics, the Vairagis), and (7) Satya Loka (the world of Brahma, the Supreme Deity). The first three lokas are known as Kritaka Lokas and the three above Mahar Loka are Akrita Loka. The former gets dissolved after every kalpa (q.v.), the latter at the end of Brahma's life (i.e., one hundred of his years). The fourth, or the Mahar Loka, is equally permanent, but is uninhabitable at the time being due to the beat as Kritaka Loka is burning. The Sankhya and the Vedantic Schools of philosophy recognised 8 lokas, viz., (i) Brahma Loka (the world of superior deities), (ii) Pitri Loka (the world of Pitris, Rishis and Prajapatis), (iii) Soma Loka (the realm of Moon and the planets), (iv) Indra Loka (the abode of inferior deities), (v) Gandharva Loka (where the heavenly spirits dwell), (vi) Rakshasa Loka (the realm of the demons), (vii) Pishacha Loka (the abode of evil spirits), and (viii) Yaksha Loka (the world of Yakshas) (q.v.).

Patala Lokas are the infernal regions, inhabited by Nagas, Daityas, Danavas, etc. They have been classified differently in different scriptures. According to Padma Purana, these infernal lokas are (i)Patala (where dwell the Nagas under the rulership of Vasuki; where dwell the animal body of men and their material propensities), (ii) Mahatala (the abode of men's astral body; here reside the great serpents), (iii) Rasatala (the plane of passionate and lustful beings; where Daityas and Danavas dwell), (iv) Talatala (the clinging of lower Manas to the sentient and objective life; the realm of Maya), (v) Sutala (identification of man with his animal nature; the realm ruled by Bali), (vi) Vitala (the realm where animal nature in man is delinked from his higher nature; the realm ruled by a form of Shiva), and (vii) Atala (the realm of perpetual state of torture). The first four of these have forms, known as Rupa Lokas, are under the rule of Mahamaya; and the last three are formless, i.e., Arupa Lokas. The Shiva Purana enumerates 8 infernal realms, viz., Patala, Tala, Atala, Vitala, Taala, Vidhi Patala, Sarkara-Bhumi and Vijaya. It is said that Narada (q.v.) visited these lokas and found them resplendent with their own lustre; they did not need Sun's rays. These lokas were more delightful than Indra's heaven and have every kind of luxury and sensual gratification.


Guardians of the world. They preside over the 8 points of the compass. They are Indra (East), Agni, or Fire (South-East), Yama (South), Surya, or Sun (South-West), Varuna (West), Vayu, or Air (North-West), Kubera (North), Soma, or Moon (North-East). Nritti is sometimes substituted for Sun, and Prithvi (or Shiva, especially in his form Ishana) for Soma, or Moon. Each of these guardians has an elephant, which defends and protect the various quarters. These 8 elephants are themselves, often, called as Lokapals. These elephants have been given different names:

(1) Indra's elephant is Airavat; (2) Agni's elephant is Pundarika, and its female is Kapila; (3) Yama has Vamana as his elephant, and its female is Pungala; (4) Sun's elephant is Kumuda, and its female is Anupama; (5) Var-una has Anj.Ana, whose female is Anjanavati; (6) Vayu has Pushpadanta, whose female is Subhadanti; (7) Kubera's elephant is Sarvabhauma, and (8) Soma's elephant is Supratika-Tamrakarni.




Asterisms, Nakshatra (q.v.).


The celestial beings who acquired and developed their mind on Moon chain of manifestation, and now assist the evolution on Earth in building different forms of life on it.


The period taken by Moon to arrive at the same point after completing one revolution. For example, if Moon was at birth at 8* 12' of Aries, a lunation would be accomplished when Moon arrives at this longitude again. It is called Periodical Lunation, and is usually performed in 27 days, 7 hours and 41 minutes. A Synod cal Lunation covers the duration from the time Moon quits Sun until it again overtakes it, which occurs in a out 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. This is also called Embolismic Lunation. When Moon forms a conjunction, square, or opposition relationship with Sun, such relationships with Sun are also known as Qualified Lunation.