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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   


Ordinary. The 44th year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsaras (q.v.). It is ruled by Shiva. Persons born during this year become businessmen, religious and dutiful, and are satisfied even with meager return to their efforts.


A holy saint or a sage.


A concept important in the Tajaka system of annual predictions. It refers to special planetary combinations due to interplanetary distances between certain planets. Sahama gives certain sensitive points in relation with special aspects of life. It is worked out on the basis of longitudes of several planets, the ascendant and other sensitive points in a natal chart. Around 119 such points are identified in Tajaka Astrology: 50 by Neelakantha, 48 by Venkatesh, and 21 by Keshava. Some of these are very effective, e.g., Punya, Yasha and Mahatmya Sahamas.


Also known as Brahmarandhra ' or Crown Chakra. It is said to be located in the topmost portion of the head. In Yogic literature, it is described as the apex of seven Chakras connected with Serpent Fire or the Kundalini (q.v.). It contains 960 radiations of primary force. To clairvoyants it resembles a thousand-petal led lotus. Full arousal of this energy center enables an individual to attain spiritual illumination.


An inauspicious planetary combination described variously in classical texts. Varahamihira, in Vrihada-jataka, defines it as formed by all the planets in the 1st and 7th houses which make the individual accept low professions. Vaidyanath Dixita, in Jataka Parijatam, states it to occur when Jupiter occupies the 6th or 8th position from Moon posited in a house other than the cardinal houses in relation with the ascendant. It brings poverty even to those born in a royal family. Such a person is troubled throughout his life and is disliked by the head of the state. Mantreswara, in Phaladeepika, mentions that Moon in the 12th, 8th or 6th house from Jupiter causes Sakata Yoga unless Moon is situated in a cardinal house. A person with this combination loses his wealth or position in life, but regains them. Sakata Yoga produces cyclic fluctuation in fortune, just like the wheel of a chariot, rotating on its axis.


A witness. The subjective center of the being, often referred to as Atma (q.v.), watching the actions of the individual in his personal and public life. (See Sankhya philosophy)


Conjunction of planets.


Balanced. The natural state of a planet when it is neither debilitated nor exalted. In Yogic literature, it means control of mind.


Planets occupying the 1st and 7th houses in relation with one another.


Highest state of meditation practice. A process of diving into the deepest layers of one's consciousness. It is the ultimate state of the eightfold steps of Yoga: the eight steps in this system are self-restraint Nina), fixed observances or following self-discipline (Niyama), right posture (Asana), regulation of breath (Pranayama), abstraction, withdrawal from and renunciation of worldly attractions (Pratyahara), concentration and holding on to one idea or object in mind (Dharana), meditation (Dhyana) and merging of individual consciousness in Universal 'Life (Samadhi).
There are several kinds of Samadhis, such as, Asamprajnata Samadhi, Dharma-Megha Samadhi, Nirbij Sanzadlii, Nirvichara Samadhi, Nirvitarka Samadhi, Sabija Samadhi, Samprajnata Samadhi, Savichara Samadhi, Savitarka Samadhi, etc. Details of different kinds of Samadhi and steps to accomplish them are given in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.


Planetary relationships, viz., conjunction aspect, and interchange of houses, etc.


Conjunction of planets.




Equatorial point.


A planetary combination formed by the lord of the Navamsa sign of the lord of the 9th house, along with Jupiter in the 2nd house. It makes the individual a top-ranking administrative officer living in luxury.


A planetary combination formed by all planets in even houses such as the 2nd, 4th, 6th, etc., while odd houses, such as the 1st, 3rd, etc., are vacant. It bestows much renown on the individual and he is provided with all conveniences of life.


A lunar year which starts from the first day of the bright half of Chaitra month (Chaitra Shukla Pratipada). Two most prevalent Samvatsaras are Vikrama samavat and Sakabda or Saka samvat. The latter is obtained by deducting 135 years from the former. [In A.D. 1998, Vikrama 2055, samvat began on March 28.]
Samvatsaras are grouped in a cycle of 60 years, also known as the Jovian Cycle. The names of different Samvats in the cycle are given below. Details of the persons born during different Samvatsaras are given under their respective names. Two most common methods for identifying the name of the year in which a person is born are given below:

(A) Multiply the Saka Samvat by 22, add 4291 to the product and divide the result by 1875. Add the quotient to the given Samvatsara, neglecting the remainder. Again divide the total by 60. Upon adding one to the remainder, neglecting the quotient, we will get the Samvatsara's position in the cyclic order.
For example, the given samavat is 1902.

1902 x 22 = 41844
41844 + 4291 = 46135
46135/1875 = 24 (Remainder 1135 is disregarded)
24 + 1902 = 1926
1926/60 = 32, quotient is disregarded, and the remainder is 6.
6 increased by 1 = 6 + 1 = 7.
The 7th Samvatsara in the cyclic order given in the table shows Shrimukh as the year.

(B) Another method relative to Vikrama Samvatsara is given below:
Add 9 to the Vikrama Samvatsara, divide the total by 60 and add 1 to the remainder. It would indicate the number in the cyclic order.
For example the given Vikram samvat is 2037.

2037 +9 = 2046
2046/60 - Quotient 54, remainder 6
6 + 1 = 7; the 7th in the is Shrimukh.
The cycle of 60 Samvatsara sometimes grouped in 5 comprising 12 Samvatsara, category. These categories Samvatsara, Parivatsara, Anuvatsara, and Idavatsara usual cyclic order, th Samvatasaras are ruled b the second 20 by Vishnu and the third 20 by Shiva see Table 12.

Table 12: List of the 60-year Cycle of Samvatsaras

1. Prabhava
2. Vibhava
3. Shukla
4. Pramoda
5. Prajapati
6. Angira
7. Shrimukh
8. Bhava
9. Yuva
10. Dhata
11. Ishwara
12. Bahudhanya
13. Pramathi
14. Vikram
15. Vrisha
16. Chirabhanu
17. Subhanu
18. Tarana
19. Parthiva
20. Vyaya
21. Sarvajit
22. Sarvadhari
23. Virodhi
24. Vikriti
25. Khara
26. Nandana
27. Vijay
28. Jaya
29. Manmatha
30. Durmukha
31. Hemlambi
32. Vilambi
33. Vikari
34. Sarvari
35. Plava
36. Shubhkrita
37. Shobhakrita
38. Krodhi
39. Vishwavasu
40. Paraabhava
41. Plavang
42. Kilak
43. Saumya
44. Sadharana
45. Virodhakrit
46. Paridhavi
47. Pramadi
48. Ananda
49. Rakshas
50. Nala
51. Pingala
52. Kalayukta
53. Siddharti
54. Raudra
55. Durmati
56. Dundubhi
57. Rudhirodgari
58. Raktakshi
59. Krodhan
60. Kshaya


Boundary, limit; morning and evening twilight; daybreak or dawn and dusk either of a day or a yuga (q.v.) or a manvantara (q.v.), meeting point of two different groups. It also refers to the last 24 minutes of a lunar day (tithi), as well as to the last 2 minutes of a zodiacal sign and the last 24 seconds of a Navamsa.


Twilight. In some scriptures, Sandhya is personified as the daughter of Brahma and wife of Shiva. In one of the Puranic stories, Brahma is said to have attempted to seduce his daughter, but she changed herself into a deer. He pursued her in the sky assuming the form of a stag. When Shiva saw this injustice, he shot an arrow to cut off the stag's head. The arrow is said to remain in the sky as Ardra, the 6th asterism, and the stag's head as Mrigashirsha, the 5th asterism.


A kind of planetary - ruler ship over the life of an individual.


A system of astrological prediction based on factors such as the planetary combinations at the beginning of a Samvatsara (q.v.), appearance of a comet, presence of omens, birth-marks, nature of the breathing when a query is made and such other unusual occurrences.


The planet Saturn. Its regent is represented as a dark man in black garments with a black vulture as its stead. Sani is represented in the legends as a son of Sun and Chhaya (q.v.), but according to another scripture he is said to be an offspring of Balarama (q.v.) and Revati (q.v.).
Saturn's mean distance from Sun is 886,100,000 miles. Its sidereal period is 29.46 years, the period of axial rotation is 10 hours and 48 minutes, and equatorial diameter 75,100 miles. Its mass is 95 times heavier than that of Earth. Its maximum surface temperature is -2400F. It has an unique system of rings made up of small particles revolving round Saturn in the manner of dwarf Moons but looking like a solid sheet. (Recent explorations indicate that some outer planets also seem to have such rings.) The rings of Saturn measure 170,000 miles end to end, but are not more than 10 miles thick. Saturn has nine satellites, the largest being Titan which has a diameter of over 3,000 miles and is known to possess an atmosphere composed chiefly of methane.
Astrologically, Saturn is a malefic. It obscures the spiritual impulses of Sun, pushes them inward and makes the individual grossly materialistic. Saturn's aspect on the 9th house in a natal chart, and on Moon, Sun and the ascendant makes an individual ascetic and desirous of inner illumination, often resulting in serious psychological setbacks.

Saturn rules over Capricorn and Aquarius; the latter is also its trine sign. It is exalted in Libra and debilitated in Aries. It is related with the north-eastern direction.
Saturn produces Sasa Yoga (q.v.) and Parivrajya Yogas (q.v.).


Spiritual consciousness; Gayatri. Daughter of Vishwakarma (q.v.) and a wife of Sun.


Pronounced as Sunkhya, it means numbers, digits, but pronounced as Saankhya it means relating to numbers and refers to one of the 6 systems of Hindu philosophy attributed to sage Kapil.

It enumerates 25 Tattwas and aims at the emancipation of the individual from the thralldom of these elements so that Purusha (q.v.) is released from the fetters of phenomenal existence. The release comes from the true knowledge of the 24 elements (besides Purusha) and properly comprehending the nature of Purusha or Atman (q.v.) as distinct from him. Sankhya philosophy regards the whole universe an expression of Prakritti (q.v.), Purusha being a passive onlooker, a sakshi (q.v.). Sankhya agrees with Vedanta in being a synthesis while differs from Nyaya (q.v.) and Vaiseshika (q.v.), which are primarily analytical. Sankhya differs from Vedanta in its assumption of two separate principles as Purusha and Prakriti; it also does not assume a Supreme Reality as the Creator of the entire existence, which is postulated in Vedanta.


Depending upon the number of signs occupied by the seven planets (excluding the nodes), Sankhya Yoga is formed. The different combinations formed by the number of houses occupied afe given different names, viz., (a) Vina Yoga (seven signs occupied); (b) Dama Yoga (six signs occupied); (c) Pasha Yoga (five signs occupied); (d) Kedar Yoga (four signs occupied); (e) Shula Yoga (three signs occupied); (f) Yuga Yoga (two signs occupied); and (g) Gola Yoga (one sign occupied). These combinations produce results when any other yoga formed by such combinations. eg. Chap Yoga, Kshetri Yoga, Nav Yoga, etc. do not occur. Results of the various combinations of Sankhya Yogas are given under their respective names.


Passage from one point to another. The passage of Sun or any planet from one zodiacal sign to another. (This term should not be confused with Krantivrita which means Ecliptic or with Kranti Pradesh which refers to the Zodiac.)


Coming together; conjunction of planets.


Asceticism. Renunciation of worldly relationships. The fourth or the last stage of a Brahmins religious life. (See also Pravraiya Yoga)


Seven; a sacred number; many compounds proceed there from. It also refers to the seven planets excluding the nodes.


A term used in Jaimini Astrology. It indicates the mutual intervention, Vedha, between different planets. Seven vertical lines and seven horizontal lines drawn intersecting one another would give 28 (i.e., 7 X 4 = 28) terminals of the two sets of seven intersecting lines. These terminals are marked seriatim beginning with 1 as the second topmost terminal on the left-hand side and continuing upward and turning right hand top terminals till one comes to 21st terminal. The terminal after 21 is assigned zero followed by 22 number. The 27 numbers represent the asterisms in the same order beginning with Ashwini as 1. On the basis of this chart one can find out whether the two planets have vedha or nullifying relationship between them. For example, if in a natal chart Saturn is in Moolam which is the 19th asterism and Venus is in Punar-vasu which is the 7th asterism, one finds that 19 and 7 are terminals of the same straight line, so they nullify the effect of one another. This diagram is used for various other purposes as well


Seventh part (1 / 7) of a zodiacal sign. Each part of it is ruled by a planet. The lordship of different parts of odd signs (q.v.) begin with the ruler ship of the planet owning the given sign itself and each subsequent part is ruled by the lord of the subsequent sign. For even signs, the sequence starts from the ruler ship of the 8th house from it. The deities presiding over the various divisions are Kshara (water), Kshira (milk), Dahi (curd), Aajya (clarified butter, ghee), Ikshura (sugarcane), Madya (wine), and Sudhajala (pure drinking water).


The seven regents of the earth. As stars they represent the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major). They are also called the Riksha and Chitra Sikhandinas (meaning the bright crested). (See Rishi)


Sevenfold strength of a planet. It is based on their position in (1) zodiacal sign (Rasi), (2) Hora (the two halves of a sign), (3) Drekkan (one-third portion of a sign), (4) Saptamsa (one-seventh portion of a sign), (5) Navamsa (one--ninth portion of a sign), (6) Dwadasamsa (one-twelfth portion of a sign), and (7) Thrimsamsa (one--thirtieth division of a sign). These terms are explained under their respective names.


Planets ruling cardinal houses and trine houses are Saraka or beneficial planets, while those ruling the 6th, 8th, and 12th houses are Maraka or inauspicious planets.


[Saraswati = watery, elegant]. In the Vedas, Saraswati is celebrated both as a river and a deity. Her position as Vach, the goddess of speech, is recognized by the Brahmanas and the Mahabharata. The Puranic stories make her a daughter and wife of Brahma. (See Viraj) She is represented as of white color, with grace-f4l appearance, wearing a slender crescent on her brow, sitting on a lotus, with a swan as her stead and veena, the stringed musical instrument in her hand. In Atharva Veda, Saraswati, identified as Vach-Viraj, is a daughter of Kama, the god of desire. The Mahabharata considers her as the mother of the Vedas. The Padnia Purana mentions her as the daughter of Daksha, wife of Kashyapa, and the mother of Gandharvas and Apsaras. She is also called Sri, the resplendent, and as a river she is supposed to have been lost in the sands of Great Desert.


The 22nd year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsaras (q.v.). It is ruled by Vishnu. An individual born during this year is obedient to his parents, devoted to his teachers, valiant in his activities, quiet in disposition, and glorious in achievements.


The 21st year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsaras (q.v.). It is ruled by Vishnu. A person born during this year begins to worship Vishnu after accomplishing great deeds and spends his life performing meritorious deeds.


The sum total of Ashtakavarga (q.v.) points. It shows the significance of different aspects in the individual's life as well as the benefic influences of the planets relative to different houses.


One of the Panch Maha Purusha Yogas (q.v.). It is produced by a strong Saturn occupying a cardinal house while occupying its own or its exaltation sign. It makes the individual command many retinues. His libidinous proclivity is unbridled. He commands over a region. He is psychologically at a point where a radical transformation in his attitude is imminent; disenchantment with sex life could lead him towards spirituality. He may turn out to be a desire less philanthropist.


One-sixtieth part of a sign, which is equal to 30 minutes. Planetary ruler-ship of these parts begins with the planet owning the sign, followed by the sequence of the sign lords. The presiding deities of the parts are the demons, devas, Kuber, and similar natural powers.


Ever-present reality. The Divine essence which exists, yet cannot be perceived physically, as it is Absoluteness, Be-ness itself, Brahman or, the Supreme Spirit.


A system of Dasa System (q.v.) applicable in case the ascendant is in Vargottama Navamsa (q.v.). It is calculated by counting the birth asterism from Revati (q.v.) and dividing the number by 7. The remainder represents the planet ruling at birth. The sequence of the planets and the years of their ruler ship are given below:

Sun 5 years
Moon 5 years
Venus 10 years
Mercury 10 years
Jupiter  20 years
Mars 20 years
Saturn 30 years


The 24th asterism extending from 3060 40' to 3200 00' of the zodiac. It is ruled by Rahu, and its presiding deity is Varuna (q.v.). Its primary attribute is Sattwa, harmony. Its basic motivation is Dharma, righteousness. The asterism is also known as Pracheta (q.v.), a term which is related with Manu, Daksha and Valmikis.
Satbhisag is classified as service class, horse by species, demon by temperament, human by animal type, and is related with the southern direction. It is assigned the symbol of a thousand-petal led flower which represents the hundred stars included in the constellation. It often produces psychological pain, specially in those individuals who are led on the path of spiritual enfoldment.


A system of planetary rulership. It is applicable especially in those births when the ascendant is in Sun's Hora (q.v.) for daytime births or in Moon's Hora for night time births.


A daughter of Daksha and wife of Rudra, i.e., Shiva. She is known as Sati because she immolated herself when her father, while performing a yajna, did not accord due respect to her husband. She then became the daughter of Himvat and Mena, and was called Uma as well as Parvati. She did penance to regain Shiva as, her husband, and was finally married to him. The word Sati is presently also used to denote a wife who burns herself at her husband's pyre. Sati means truth personified.




Essence. The quality of purity, good-ness, balance, harmony. One of the three primary attributes, Gunas (q.v.), the other two being Rajas, activity, and Tamas meaning darkness, stag-nation, inertia.


According to some astrologers, the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 9th houses in a natal chart.


See Sani.


Truth, reality. One of the 12 classes of gods, and one of the 14 lokas (q.v.).


Venus. The planet which bestows on the individual much wealth, happiness, luxury and affable social relationships.


Graceful; auspicious. One of the 9 divisions of Earth. A particular class of Pitris (q.v.). The planet Mercury.

The 43rd year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsaras (q.v.) ruled by Shiva. Persons born during this year are pure, well behaved, skilled in their profession, fortunate and self-controlled. They often help the troubled and assist the sick.


Sun's transit from one Sankranti (q.v.) to another. The period taken by Sun in traversing a sign of the zodiac.


The interval between two sunrises (Savana days) multiplied by thirty days. The Savana days are not always equal, so a mean duration is taken as the base.


A concept used in Kala Chakra Dasa (q.v.).


Sayana means taking into account the precession of the equinoctial point (q.v.) every year. It shifts every year by a little less than a minute, and in 72 years it shifts a degree, and in 25,868 years, or approximately 26,000 years, it covers the complete zodiac. This shift is taken into account in the delineation of heavenly bodies in the Western system of astrological predictions, while the Hindu (or the Vedic) system considers the positions of planets without taking into account the precession. The difference between the Sayana and Nirayana (without taking precession into account) planetary delineations is the extent of precession, which in the year 1998 was approximately (Mean) 230 49' 45". (See Ayanamsa)
Sayana or Sayanacharya was also the name of a celebrated commentator of the Rig Veda


Autumnal Equinox.


King of the serpent race, or Nagas, and of the infernal regions, Patala. The thousand-headed serpent which serves as the couch and canopy of Vishnu for reclining. Sometimes Seshanag is represented as supporting the world, and sometimes as upholding the seven Patala lokas. He is said to have served as the churning cord during the churning of the ocean by the gods and the demons. He is represented clothed in purple and wearing a white necklace, holding in one hand a plough and in the other a pestle. The Puranic stories make him a son of Kashyapa and Kadru. He is said to have incarnated as Balarama, a partial avatara of Vishnu, and the elder brother of Krishna.


The 6 kinds of planetary strength recognized under the Parashari system of Vedic astrology. These are (i) Sthanbala, or positional strength, (ii) Dikbala, or directional strength, (iii) Kabbala, or temporal strength, (iv) Chestabala, or motional strength, (v) Naisargikabala, or inherent strength, and (vi) Drikabala, or the strength derived from aspects of planets.


Power; sovereign authority. It is primarily of 3 kinds, viz., Prabhushakti or Prabhavashakti (the majesty of pre-eminence), Mantrashakti (the power of words or of good counsel), and Utsahashakti (the power of enthusiasm).
Shakti is also the active power of a deity, represented as his wife, consort, or the female divinity. Often it is represented as the female generative organ, the counterpart of phallus which is the symbol of Shiva's creative power. The female energy of a deity is usually worshipped by Saktas, who perform rituals (and even Tantric black magic) to obtain supersensory powers and control of nature's spirits.
Shakti represents cosmic feminine creative power. It is personified as Devi,   Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati and their various other manifestations. Shakti stands for conscious power which is the polar opposite of pure consciousness.

Positive and passive polarized energies as Father and Mother, or Shiva and Shakti resulted from the differentiation of the Shiva-Shakti Tattwa (q.v.) which also was a manifestation of the Absolute All into the root of consciousness called Shiva and the root of power called Shakti. All subsequent manifestations of consciousness arise from Shiva and the power from Shakti.


A planetary combination formed by all planets situated in the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th houses. It makes the individual lazy and devoid of wealth and happiness but he acquires great skill in arguing for criminal litigants.


A powerful saint. An appellation of Gautama, Lord Buddha.


A mysterious and mythical locality believed to be in the Himalayas, in the sacred island of the Gobi desert. A locality mentioned in the Puranas. A seat of highly evolved divine beings.


A planetary combination formed in 2 ways, viz., (i) the lords of the 5th and 6th houses in cardinal houses from one another, while the ascendant is strong, and (ii) the lords of the ascendant and the 10th house placed in movable signs while the lord of the 9th house is strong. These combinations make the individual born under them, well versed in scriptures, a man of principles and ethics, and engaged in laudable activities. Such individuals have a long life.


A planetary combination formed by the placement of all planets in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th houses. It makes the individual born under it cruel and related with prisons (not necessarily as a prisoner).


Autumn. It roughly comprises two lunar months, viz., Ashwin and Kartika. It corresponds to the period from 20th September to 20th November. This season is ruled by Mercury.


A planetary combination formed in two ways, viz., (i) the lord of the 10th house posited in the 5th house, Mercury placed in a cardinal house, and Sun either in its own sign or in a very strong position, and (ii) Jupiter situated in a trine house from Moon, and Mars in a trine house from Mercury. Under these combinations, an individual becomes well behaved, dutiful, God-fearing and is honored by the state.


The 34th year in the cycle of 60 Samvatsaras (q.v.). It is ruled by Vishnu. An individual born during this year is respectful to religion and scriptures and is devoted to gods and priests. He is fond of sweets.


Two planets in the 6th and 8th positions from each other.


Brahma's daughter. (See Vach-Viraj, and Saraswati)


[Shikhin = pointed, proud, peacock, an arrow, a lamp, a bull, a horse, a mountain. A religious mendicant, a Brahmin]. The planet Ketu, the south node of Moon.



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