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Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



An imaginary belt stretching about 8' north and the same distance in the south of the ecliptic (q.v.) in which all planets, including Sun and Moon, remain during their revolution around Earth (in geocentric system). In the case of Moon, the deviation is only 50. This belt is divided into 12 equal parts of 300 each, represented by individual signs called a Rasi (q.v.) or the sign of zodiac. Sayana or tropical signs of the zodiac start from the point of intersection of the ecliptic and the celestial equator, while Nirayana or the sidereal zodiac (q.v.) starts from the fixed origin The tropical longitude of any planet minus precession or ayanamsa (q.v.) on any specific date gives the Nirayana longitude of the planet. There is no universal agreement on the meeting point of the Nirayana and the Sayana zodiac, but the widely accepted date of coincidence, according to N.C. Lahiri, in India is A.D. 285. The 12 signs of the zodiac are highly occult divisions of the firmament, connected with many mythologies and esoteric teachings. Very strong supra physical, well differentiated esoteric impulses radiate through them, which vitally affect the universe, Earth, and life on this planet. Information about these impulses is given in religious scriptures in a garbled and veiled manner. Blavatsky states that the 12 signs of the zodiac are connected with the 12 sons of Jacob. Other scriptures also relate the zodiacal signs with mythological beings personifying powerful spiritual and supernatural forces. She even mentions that wherever the world religions mentioned the number 12, they mean the zodiacal signs.

The following are the 12 signs of zodiac, with their presently believed basic significance:

1. Aries: Ram, Mesham (sk). Action less but with potency for action. The primeval cause of material existence but the seed of causation has not fructified to become the tree of life.

2. Taurus: Bull, Vrishabham (sk). The basic strife for creative union. Cosmic energy begins to flow at this stage: force as well as matter, both, are generated, which are necessary for causing action.

3. Gemini: Twins, Mithunam (sk). Duality. In fact, a trinity representing Father, Mother and the Holy Ghost; three guans (q.v.), viz., Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas, or harmony, activity and dissolution, respectively; Trimurti, comprising Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, or creation, preservation and assimilation, respectively. It stands for Mahat, the cosmic intelligence.

4. Cancer: Crab, Karkatam (sk). Archetypal ideation. Differentiation between land and water; also the differentiation of the vehicles of consciousness. The four levels of consciousness, the four directions of space, and the four heads of, Brahma (q.v.) are all related to it.

5. Leo: Lion, Simham (sk). The culmination of evolutionary ideational process. It represents God Incarnate in the material world. The individualized man has all the potential of the Supreme Being, but his powers are restricted. The Divine Essence assumes a creative role, like cosmic electricity, Feat (q.v.).

6. Virgo: Virgin, Kanya (sk). Represents the Virgin Mother, Shakti, (q.v.). Consciousness in bondage but with an understanding that the shackles can be cast away. It represents Shakti or Mahamaya (q.v.), controlling and guiding the six primary forces in nature. It materialises the cosmic electrical energy. The natural law of motion, of action and reaction, which acting on the life-principle becomes the Law of Karma (q.v.).

7. Libra: Balance, Tula (sk). Blavatsky considers it as the 36 tat was born of Avidly (q.v.), spiritual ignorance. At this stage, the centrifugal force, symbolized by the father, and the centripetal force, symbolized by the mother, are in balance. It joins the evolutionary outgoing path (Pravritti Marg) with the evolutionary ingoing path (Niuritti Marg).

8. Scorpio: Scorpion, Vrishchikam (sk). Incubation of the Serpent Energy, Kundalini (q.v.) which provides impetus for spiritual growth and enables control over hidden powers of nature. Scorpio refers to the recognition of the Divine Spark, hidden within oneself and all forms of manifestation, and expresses the strife to reveal it. Sagittarius: Archer, the truth

seeker, bhanulDhanvi (sk). Dharma of the cosmic deity. It enables the Divine Spirit to illumine the inner man. It aims at psychic transformation.

10. Capricorn: Crocodile, unicorn, goat, Makara (sk). Esoterically, it is the impulse in an individual to join ' occult hierarchy. At this stage, the inner light concealed under the deceptive mask begins to shine forth and the limitations of manifestation begin to crumble down. The bridge between the man and the superman.

11. Aquarius: Water carrier, Kumbha (sk). Human will now begins to transmute into divine will. Aquarius relates to two aspects of the creative process, complete annihilation of the past evolutionary course, and the birth of a new race or the beginning of a new life. It stands for a radical change involving purification of materialistic desire and giving a new direction to life.

12. Pisces: Fishes, Meenam (sk). The influence that confronts the manifesting soul with the enormity of cosmic existence, the knowledge of which annihilates all material dross in it and peace returns to it. Pisces represents the deluge in which the seed of future evolution is preserved.

(For details of these zodiacal signs and their predictive indications, also see their respective heads.)