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Encyclopedia of Astrology (Nicholas deVore)

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Labha bhava. The Eleventh House in the Hindu system of Astrology.

Lagna. In Hindu Astrology the Ascendant.

Lagna Sphutas. In Hindu Astrology, the calculating of the Ascendant.

Latitude. There are three kinds of Terrestrial latitude: astronomical, geographic and geocentric. (1) Astronomical: the angle between the direction of the plumb-line and the plane of the Earth's equator. If the Earth were a homogeneous sphere without rotation, the plumb-line would point toward its center -- but the Earth is not an exact sphere. Deviation due to inequalities of the Earth's surface is termed Station Error. (2) Geographic: the latitude used in drawing terrestrial maps. It is astronomical latitude corrected for station error. (3) Geocentric: from a given point on the Earth's surface subtend a line to the Earth's center, and there compute the angle between this line and the plane of the equator.

It is important to distinguish between Geographical Latitude measured N. or S. of the Equator, and Celestial Latitude measured N. or S. of the Ecliptic. Geographical Latitude is thus comparable to Declination rather than Celestial Latitude.

There are also Galactic Latitude, angular distance on the celestial sphere measured from the medium plane of the Milky Way; and Heliographic Latitude, angular distance on the Sun's sphere, N. or S. of its Equator.

There are also three varieties of its Celestial equivalent: (a) that which parallels the Horizon, which is called altitude; (b) that which parallels the Equator, which is called declination; and (c) that which parallels the Ecliptic, which is called Latitude. (v. Celestial Sphere.) Since the apparent motion of the Sun, resulting from the Earth's motion in orbit, is itself the Ecliptic, the Sun can have no Latitude. Since the orbits of the planets are inclined to the Ecliptic at an angle of more or less obliquity, each planet, without Latitude when it intersects the Ecliptic, increases in latitude as it approaches the square to its Nodes: for one half its orbit in North Latitude, the other half in South Latitude. The maximum possible Latitude of each planet, and the location of its Node, are as follows:

PlanetNode as of 1946Maximum Latitude
Moon 5°17'

To Change Geographical to Geocentric Latitude, or the Reverse. These are equal at the equator and the poles. At 45° the Geocentric Latitude is the greater by about 4½ minutes. The following table shows the corrections for each degree of separation from either the horizon or the pole, whichever is the nearer, the correction to be added to Geographic or subtracted from Geocentric Latitude, to change one to the other.


Laya Centers. Neutral states between solid, liquid and gaseous; said to be governed by Saturn.

Leap Year. To preserve the coincidence of the vernal equinox in approximately correct relation to the Civil year, Caesar, with the assistance of Sosigines, introduced the Julian calendar about 46 B.C. It called for the intercalation of a day on certain years. The "last year of confusion," which preceded the introduction of this calendar, was prolonged to 445 days. The arrangement was somewhat upset by Augustus Caesar, who insisted that his month of August have as many days in it as that of Julius. Pope Gregory XIII finally corrected the Julian calendar by what is known as the Gregorian rule of intercalation, which was adopted by all Christian countries, except Russia which did not adopt it until 1918. It is: every year divisible by 4 without a remainder is a leap year; excepting Centurial years, which are leap years only when divisible by 4 after the omission of the two ciphers. This still leaves a gain of a day in 3,323 years, which suggests this further addition to the rule: Excepting that a year that is divisible by four after the omission of three ciphers is not a leap year. More exact, and almost as simple would be the rule of a leap year every fourth year for 31 leap years - suppressing the 32nd, which means merely the addition of 31 days every 128 years. This approximates the system which Omar Khayyam, astronomer to Sultan Jelal Ud-Din of Persia, devised about 1079 A.D.

Leo. The fifth Sign of the Zodiac. (v. Signs.)

Life. v. Hyleg; Apheta.

Light. (1) The imponderable agent by which objects are rendered visible to the eye; (2) an illumination that confers mental or spiritual enlightenment.

Light, Collector of. A ponderous planet which receives the aspects of any two significators in some of their Essential Dignities. Both must be lighter planets than the Collector itself. It denotes a mediator who will interest himself in the affairs of both parties to bring to a favorable issue a desired result which could not otherwise be achieved. It is a favorable position for the reconciling of differences, quarrels, lawsuits; the bringing about of marriages and of various agreements.

Light of time. The Sun by day; the Moon by night.

Light Planets. The Moon, Venus and Mercury, referring to their gravities and to their consequent swiftness of motion. The nearer a body is to its gravitational centre, the more its motion is accelerated and its gravity proportionately diminished.

Light, Velocity of. 186,270 miles per second.

Light-year. Unit of measurement of Ultra-solar system distances. A Light-year is the distance light travels in one year - at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, or about six trillion miles: 6 with 12 ciphers. Intra-solar system distances are measured in astronomical units. An astronomical Unit is the mean distance of the Earth from the Sun, about 92,930,000 miles, where it is found in April and October, at which time the Sun's light reaches the Earth in 499 seconds, or about 8 minutes. The inadequacy of this unit for ultra-solar system spaces can be seen by comparing the Pluto distance from the Earth, of 39½ A.U., light from which reaches the Earth in a little over five hours, with the distance of the next closest major body beyond Pluto, the star Alpha Centauri, light from which requires 4.3 years to traverse the intervening 25 trillion miles. Yet, if anyone on Alpha Centauri, despite its relative closeness, were to attempt to observe Pluto he would find it separated from the Sun by an arc of only 1", which means that Pluto and all the planets would be merged into the glare of the Sun, and give the appearance of an average star of the third or fourth magnitude.

Lights. A term frequently applied to the Luminaries (q.v.), the Sun and Moon as distinguished from the planets.

Lilith. A name sometimes given to asteroid No. 1181, a minor planet, of magnitude 14.1. It is too faint to be seen other than with the aid of a telescope. It is not a "dark moon," but a planet that shines by reflected light from the Sun - as does the Earth. Lilith is mentioned in the apocryphal writings, as the "other woman" in the original triangle that rendered the Garden of Eden no longer a paradise.

Local Mean Time. Based upon the moment when the mean Sun crosses the Midheaven of the place. Local Mean Time was almost universally used prior to the adoption of Standard Time on Nov. 18, 1883, and in some communities it continued to be used for a long time thereafter. v. Time.

Logarithms. Proportional parts of a quadrant, expressed in numbers, whereby calculations of the planets' places at a given hour, or the Arc of Direction for a given date, can be made by simple addition and subtraction rather than by multiplication or division. They were invented in 1614 by Baron Napier of Murchiston for use in his astrological calculations. Tables of Logarithms are in common use in all schools by students of trigonometry. Tables of natural, proportional and logistic logarithms are also available, each designed for different uses. An improvement in logarithms was introduced by Henry Briggs in 1624.

The astrologer uses Diurnal Proportionate Logarithms in making numerous calculations, but their average use is in calculating the planets' places for a given birth hour. If it is desired to reduce daily motion to hourly motion by the use of Logarithms, proceed as follows:

Subtract the positions of the desired planet on two successive days to determine its daily motion. Also compute the elapsed time between your birth moment adjusted to local mean time, and the previous noon or midnight - dependent on whether your ephemeris for that year gives noon or midnight positions.

Suppose you are seeking the Moon's position for an elapsed time of 7h 35m on a day in which its daily motion is 14° 27': In the tables, select the column with 14 at the top; run down the column to 27; and set it down; also for 35 in the 7 column; thus:

D.M.1427'prop. log..22034
Elap.T.7h35m prop. log..50035

Looking for this in the tables you would (Apolo Note: there is a huge logarithm table in the original book which would take impossibly long to reproduce - sorry!) find .72061 at 34 in the 4 column: 4°34'. Add this to the Moon's longitude on the previous noon or midnight, and you have the position for the desired moment. In the case of a planet, note whether it is retrograde, in which event the distance of travel during the elapsed time is subtracted from the previous noon or midnight position.

Verify all Data. When adjusting the planets' places for a given birth moment, cultivate the habit of forming a mental approximation of the intermediate position for a given interval of elapsed time, before you verify it by a calculation. Comprehension of what you are doing is superior to the mere following of a formula. Also bear in mind that exact calculations to an approximate birth moment, or one that is not authentic and precise, is like holding a stop watch on a race when you do not know where the starting line is located. Whoever said "time is of the essence" should have been an astrologer. Is this date before standard time was used in that community? If so, what zone? Is that a Julian or a Gregorian date? Did they observe Daylight Saving Time at that season of the year? These are only a few of many questions that involve discrepancies amounting to hours - so what matter items which at most involve minutes, perhaps only seconds? Exact work is to be admired, but not in trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's car. Verify the authenticity of your data first. If you cannot do that, insert only even degrees, and interpret on the basis of Solar Houses.

Longitude. (1) Terrestrial or Geographical. The distance of any point on the Earth's surface, E. or W. of Greenwich; measured by geographers in degrees; by astronomers, in hours. (2) Celestial. Longitude in the heavens; the distance between the first point in the zodiac (Aries 0°) and any celestial body, measured along the ecliptic, in degrees. For example, Antares, to an astrologer is in Sagittarius 8°; to an astronomer, L. 248°. Celestial longitude is of two kinds: (a) Geocentric, figured from the earth as the center; now chiefly used by astrologers to indicate the zodiacal positions of the planets, but rarely used by astronomers, and in the Nautical Almanac is given only for the Sun and Moon. (b) Heliocentric, figured from the Sun as the center. Longitude as used in astronomical terminology is given in degrees from 1 to 360. Thus Long. 125° becomes 5° Leo; 4 signs of 3° degrees each = 120° - hence 5° in the next or 5th Sign. v. Celestial Circle.

Geographical Longitude is measured E. and W. from the Meridian of Greenwich observatory; Celestial Longitude from the Meridian of the Vernal Equinox: 0° Aries.

Lord. Often used synonymously with Ruler. More precise terminology would indicate the Ruler of a Sign and the Lord of a House. Thus a certain planet may be deemed Lord of a House, either because it is posited in the House, or, lacking any planet in the House, because it is the Ruler of the Sign appearing on the cusp thereof. The Lord of the Geniture would be more precisely termed the Ruler of the Figure, meaning that planet having the most Dignities, either Essential or Accidental. The Lord of the Hour is that planet which is presumed to govern the hour during which the Figure was cast. The Lord of the Year is that planet which has the most Dignities in a Solar Revolution Figure, or in an Ingress figure to be interpreted according to the rules of Mundane Astrology.


In an Ingress Figure judgment is formed on the basis of its position and aspects, especially such aspects as it forms with the Moon. Well placed, it is interpreted as follows; but afflicted, the reverse is prognosticated.

Sun: Propitious for governments and high governmental officers; food plentiful; money in rapid circulation.

Moon: Favors the advancement of women; contributes to the contentment of the common people; good health to the honest and upright.

Mercury: Advances in science and education; favors the development of inventions; prosperity to merchants and traders. Afflicted: changes, reversals of policy.

Venus: Increased leisure for self-advancement and recreation of the laboring classes; arts and artists will flourish; increased birth rate. Afflicted: epidemics.

Mars: Advancement in accident prevention and safety of workers; protection to those in hazardous occupations. Afflicted: wars, fires, storms, strikes.

Jupiter: Prosperity to the upper classes; constructive legislation; abundance and a contented populace with respect for law.

Saturn: Increased construction; propitious to agriculture; class amity. Afflicted: cold; scarcity; mortality among the old; national calamities.

Lucifer. The 'light-bearer'. Applied to Venus when a 'morning star', rising before the Sun; poetically called, 'Son of the Morning'.

Luminaries. The Lights. Said of the Sun and Moon as distinguished from the planets. It is an ancient classification hardly in keeping with the fact that the Sun is the only direct source of energy, and that the light from the Moon, like that from the planets, is reflected from the Sun. Their function with reference to solar energy is that of a filtering reflector whereby certain frequencies are absorbed by chemical properties inherent in the mass, resulting in the transmission to the Earth of an altered ray. However, the astrological significance warrants the classification of the Sun and Moon separately from the planets, in that the Sun and Moon have to do with Man's spiritual consciousness, while the planetary influences operate through the physical mechanism. The Moon is a luminary in the biblical sense that it affords to Man "light by night."

Lunar. Relating to the Moon.

Lunar Declination. The moon's declination varies from year to year. A maximum (18°+) occurred in March 1932 and in 1941. The reason for the variation is the regression of the Moon's nodes. The ecliptic is inclined to the celestial equator by 23°27'. The moon's apparent path on the celestial sphere is inclined to the ecliptic on an average of 5°8', but the intersection points, the nodes, move relatively fast, covering 360° in about 19 years. When the Moon's ascending node lies at the Vernal equinox, the angle between the Moon's apparent path and the equator is at the greatest, for 23°27' must be added to 5°8' making 28°35'. Half a revolution later, or about 9½ years, the descending node is at the Vernal equinox, and the angle between the moon's path and the equator is at the least, and 5°8' is subtracted from 23°27', giving 18°19'. The more the moon's path is inclined to the equator, the greater is the declination.

Lunar Mansions. v. Mansions of the Moon.

Lunar Month, or more correctly a Synodic Month. The total of the Moon's annual travel in excess of that of the Sun, when reduced to time, gives the duration of the mean synodic revolution of the moon, or the lunar month, as 29.531 days, or 29d. 12h. 44m. 2.8s., in which period the Moon returns to its former position in relation to the Sun. The Sidereal Month is 27.322 days.

Lunar semicircle. From Aquarius to Cancer inclusive.

Lunar Year. Twelve lunar months, a total of 354 days - 11¼ d. shorter than the Solar year. Its point of beginning passes through the circle of seasons in about 34 lunar years. It is used by modern Jews and Mohammedans. In the early days of Greece the year was regulated entirely by the Moon, and Solon was among the first who attempted to reconcile the Solar and Lunar years by a system of intercalations.

Lunation. (1) As usually employed, it is approximately synonymous with New Moon; specifically, the precise moment of the Moon's conjunction with the Sun; a Syzygy. The New Moon falling upon sensitive points in the Figure has much signification as to events of the ensuing month. It is deemed to actuate, within 14 days, any Secondary Directions that are of the same nature, and to nullify those of an opposite nature. Falling upon the places of the Benefics, it produces good; upon the Malefics, evil. Aspects to the position of the lunation are interpreted according to the positions of the aspecting planets. (2) The period of 29d 12h 44m 2.8s between one New Moon and the next - more correctly termed a synodic month. (3) A sidereal lunation, also more correctly termed a sidereal month, is the period of 27d 7h 43m 11.5s intervening between two successive passages of the Moon over the same degree; sometimes termed a Periodical lunation. (4) An embolismic lunation, correctly termed an embolismic month, is an intercalary month, inserted in some calendars, such as the Jewish, when the 11-days' annual excess over twelve lunar months adds up to 30. An arbitrary application of this was used by Placidus, who applied the term Embolismic Lunation, to a Figure cast for the moment of the Moon's return to the same relation to the Sun that it occupied at birth. It was made the basis for judgment concerning the affairs and conditions of the ensuing year of life. Another type of Lunation Figure quite incorrectly termed an Embolism, employed each successive return of the Moon to its birth relationship to the Sun, as a basis for prognostication concerning a comparable year of life - the Embolism for the fourth lunar month after birth pertaining to the fourth year of life, and so on. (5) Another Lunation Figure, termed a Synodical Lunation, was cast for the return of the progressed Moon, after birth, to the same distance from the progressed Sun, as that which the radical Moon was from the radical Sun at birth. A map of the heavens for the moment of the exact return of the Moon to this position is compared with the horoscope of birth, and treated as symbolical of the influences then prevailing.

Lunation, Embolismic. A period of 29d., 12h., 44m., 28s., during which the Moon's phases pass from conjunction to square and to opposition to the Sun. Also applied to the period between one New Moon and the next. (v. Lunar Month.) The New Moon falling upon sensitive points in the Figure has much signification as to events of the ensuing month. It is deemed to actuate, within 14 days, any Secondary Directions that arc of the same nature, and to nullify those of an opposite nature. Falling upon the places of the Benefics, it produces good; upon the Malefics, evil. Aspects to the position of the lunation are interpreted according to the positions of the aspecting planets. The term is synonymous with New Moon, as indicating the moment when the conjunction with the Sun takes place. Sometimes incorrectly called a Synodical Lunation (qv.).

Lunation, Periodical. The period of 27d, 7h, 41m. from the passage of the Moon over a given degree to its return to that degree; a sidereal month.

Lunation, Synodical. The return of the progressed Moon, after birth, to the same distance from the progressed Sun, as that which the radical Moon was from the radical Sun at birth. This takes place once every 29½ days approximately. Each such lunation or month is considered to represent one year of life. A map of the heavens for the moment of the exact return of the Moon to this position is compared with the horoscope of birth, and treated as symbolical of the influences then prevailing. (v. Syzygy.)

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