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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



An astrological system primarily concerned with horary predictions.


[Tamas = darkness, dullness, inertial. One of the three primary attributes, Gunas, the other two being Sattwa (harmony) and Rajas (activity). (See Gunas)


The 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 12th houses in a natal chart, according to some astrologers.


Prime qualities, e.g., sound, touch, sight, taste, and hearing, connected with Bhutas (q.v.) and Indriyas (q.v.). (See Bhutas)


A religious treatise related with magical and mystical formularies for the worship of deities, or attainment of superhuman powers. Tantriks i.e., those who attain perfection in this practice, worship Devi (q.v.), the female creative power of deities personified as Shakti. Some Tantras contain sexual rites and practices. Knowledge of real (spiritual) Tantras is highly secretive and available to only a few yogis of very high order.


[Tapas = warmth, penance, austerity]. Meditation with self-denial. Sacrifice of material desires as an oblation to primordial fire to establish union with life essence. Mars is the planetary, deity leading to austerity. Tapas is the fire which burns all material and gross impurities in one's life.


A star; a nakshatra (q.v.); or planets in general. The wife of Jupiter (Brihaspati) who was seduced by Soma (Moon) (q.v.), from whom Budha (Mercury) (q.v.) was born.

Tara was also the name of the wife of the ape-king Bali and the mother of Angadh. After Bali's death, she was taken as wife by his brother, Sugriva, who helped Rama (q.v.) in searching for his abducted wife, Sita, and assisting him in his war against Ravana (q.v.).


A system of planetary ruler ship. (See Direction) Under this system, the planetary strength of planets in the cardinal houses determines the initial ruler ship of the planet; the sequence and the years of planetary ruler ships are identical to Vimshottri Dasa (q.v.).


A demon son of Vajranaka. His austerities and devotion to Brahma made him arrogant and formidable to the gods. As he could be killed only by a 7-day-old son of Shiva, according to the boon he had received from his lord, which was seen-tingly an impossible condition as Shiva was always in deep Tapas (q.v.), with no possibility of his semen virile taking a downward direction. At the behest of the gods, Kamadeva (q.v.) disturbed the meditation of Shiva and was in turn reduced to ashes when an infuriated Shiva opened his third eye. In the process, the gods succeeded in having Skandha (q.v.) born from the semen virile of Shiva, who finally destroyed the demon.

Taraka is also the name of a female daitya who was the daughter of Yaksha Suketu and Sunda, and was the mother of Marichi, who was a great seer. She was killed by Rama, though reluctantly, at the behest of Vishwarnitra.


The war between the gods and the demons for rescuing Tara (Tarak), the wife of Brihaspati (Jupiter), when she was abducted aid seduced by Soma (q.v.) which resulted in the birth of Mercury. The war took place because Soma did not wish to part with Tarak while the latter was unwilling to return to Brihaspati or to reveal who the real father of Budha (Mercury) was. Brahma had to intercede to settle the matter,


First principle of primary substances. The basic nature of a thing or a being. The real. nature of human soul or the material world, identical with the Supreme Spirit that pervades the universe. Blavatsky considers Tattwa as the Eternally existing That and states it to refer to the abstract principles of existence or categories, physical and metaphysical.

The essential ingredients of cosmic creation are classified as Tattwas. Sankhya (q.v.) enumerates 24 of them. The five most important Tattwas are Akasha (sky, ether), air, fire, water and earth. (See Bhutas. Tanmatras, and Indriyas)

The various planets, signs of the zodiac and asterisms are related to the different Tattwas. Sun and Mars represent Agni, or fire; Moon and Veilus Apasa, or water; Mercury Prithvi or Earth; Jupiter Akasha, or sky; and Saturn Vayu, or air.

Among the zodiacal signs, Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are related with earth; Gemini, Libra and Aquarius with air; Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces with water; and Aries, Leo and Sagittarius with fire. The relationship between asterisms and Tattwas are as follows:

Fire: Uttra Phalguni (12), Hastha (13), Chittra (14), Swati (15), Vishakha (16) and Anuradha (17)

Water: Aridra (6), Punarvasu (7), Pushyami (8), Ashlesha (9), Makkha (10), and Purva Phalguni (11)

Earth: Ashwini (1), Bharani (2), Krittika (3), Rohini (4), and Mrigashirsha (5)

Akasha: Dhanistha (23), Satbhisag (24), Purva Bhadrapada (25), Uttara Bhadrapada (26) and Revati (27)

Air: Jyeshtha (18), Moola (19), Purva Ashadha (20), Uttara Ashadha (21) and Shravana (22)


Difference between mean and true solar days. Generally the watches are set to indicate the mean solar time which has a longer constant equal to the annual mean of true solar days. In order to find out the true solar time, equation of time is used which is provided by the corresponding difference for a given moment, between the mean time and the true time. This difference is generally given in Ephemeris's, for the midday's. Thus the equation of time (15 mins.) signifies that the true Sun passes the Meridian within the given difference.


The are covered by Moon in its transit away from Sun, computed for the moment of its conjunction with Sun to its true longitude at the moment of the epoch. It is obtained by subtracting the Longitude of Sun from the longitude of Moon. A tithi is completed when the longitude of Moon gains exactly 12 degrees or its multiple on that of Sun and therefore there are 30 tithis in a lunar month.


The day appropriate for impregnation. (See Sphuta)


Passage of a planet through any zodiacal sign. Transits produce fructification of any anticipated planetary effect.


The 5th and 9th houses in a natal chart. Ascendant is considered both a trine as well as a cardinal house.


A system of planetary direction in which the most important sign among the 1st, 9th, and 5th houses determine the sequence. Otherwise, it is similar to Chara Dasa (q.v.). The sequence differs for odd and even signs.


Mool Trikona position gives a strength of 90 per cent to a planet; while in exaltation, it secures 100 per cent strength; and in its own sign, 80 per cent. Mool Trikona positions of different planets are as follows:

Sun: Leo 200; Moon: Taurus 270; Mars: Aries 120; Mercury: Virgo 160-200; Jupiter: Sagittarius 100; Venus: Libra 150; Saturn: Aquarius 200.


An epithet of Shiva because he possesses three eyes. Literally, it means the one who has three eyes.


One-thirtieth division of a sign, but classified differently for odd and even signs. The divisions are grouped in five categories, each having special characteristics. The ownership of these parts is assigned to only five planets, which excludes the luminaries as well as the nodes.


'Three faces', or 'Triple form'-the Hindu Triad or Trinity comprising Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver), and Shiva (Destroyer). The Vedic Trinity consists of Agni (fire), Vayu (air), and Surya (Sun). Brahma is the embodiment of Rajas, the quality of passion or desire leading to royal activities which cause manifestations to arise; Vishnu is the embodiment of Sattwa, the righteous disposition expressed as piety, mercy, sustenance by which the universe is preserved; Shiva, or Rudra, is the embodiment of Tamas, the attribute of darkness, wrath, the Great Void or the destructive fire by which everything is dissolved to its ultimate constituent. The three exist in one and one in three.

Trimurti also stands for the three qualify active guans or attributes of the universe differentiated as spirit and matter; these attributes represent the three inherent, self-formative, self-preservative and self-destroying, aspects of the universe which lead it ultimately to regeneration and perfectibility.


See Trikona.


A planetary combination formed by all planets, except Jupiter and Mars, afflicting ascendant and Moon. It is an inauspicious combination leading to misfortune and frustration in life.


Desire for sentient experience. An important impetus for materialization and life on Nivritti Marg (q.0.


Planets placed 3rd and 11th from one another.


Longitude of a celestial body measured as an arc of the ecliptic (q.v.) between the vernal equinoctial point and the meridian of the body (the perpendicular arc to the ecliptic drawn through the body). It takes into account the precession of equinoxes (q.v.) in relation to zodiacal signs whereas the sidereal longitude of a planet is measured along the fixed zodiac.


Zodiacal signs beginning with the zero degree of Aries taking into account the precession of equinoxes.




Exaltation sign of a planet.


Fourth state of consciousness. The state of highest level of consciousness; the Nirvanic state of Samadhi (q.v.). It is beyond the three lower levels of consciousness, viz., waking (Jagrat), dreaming (Swapna) and deep sleep (Sushupti).


The divine artisan. A Vedic deity considered in the Rig Veda as the ideal artist. A name for Brahma Prajapati, the celestial architect. He wields the great axe and forged the thunderbolt of Indra. He is the vivified and bestowed of long life. He imparts generative power and bestows offspring. He created Brahmanspati (Jupiter), generated fire along with heaven and earth, and also the waters and the Bhrigus who were the ancestors of Venus.


Daughter of Tvastra, the celestial architect. She was a wife of Sun