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Encyclopedia of Astrology (Nicholas deVore)

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Tables of Houses. Tables showing the degrees of the Signs which occupy the cusps of the several Houses in different latitudes for every degree of Right Ascension, or for every 4 minutes of Sidereal Time. Generally available are those by Dalton (1913), Raphael (1920) and Hugh Rice (1935).

There is much argument anent the various systems of calculating the cusps of the intermediate Houses, until one wonders sometimes why not use a stop watch to locate the degree on the horizon every two hours. Of course it would have to be done over again in all latitudes, and besides it would not be very scientific. Nevertheless the general opinion is that none of the existing methods are correct for all latitudes, even though they may be near enough for practical purposes. The four best known systems are as follows:

Campanus. The vertical circle from the zenith to the cast and west points of the horizon is trisected. Through these points are drawn great circles, the House circles, from the north and south points of the horizon. Thus the intersections will be at altitudes of 30° and 60° above the horizon, on both cast and west branches of the prime vertical. This divides the sky into six great sectors. Similarly divide the hemisphere below the horizon. The house cusps are the points at which the ecliptic at that moment intersects the horizon.

Regiomontanus. The celestial circle is trisected, instead of the prime vertical, and great circles extend from north and south points of the horizon to the points of trisection. The house cusps are at the points at which the ecliptic intersects the horizon. At the Equator the two systems give the same cusps, the disparity increasing as one approaches the Earth's poles.

Horizontal. Starting with great circles at the meridian and ante-meridian, the horizon and the prime vertical, add other great circles from Zenith to Nadir which trisect each quadrant of the horizon. The cusps will then be the points at which on a given moment the ecliptic intersects the vertical circles.

Placidus Instead of using great circles, the diurnal motion of the Earth causes a celestial object to intersect the cusp of the 12th House, after a sidereal-time interval equal to one-third of its semi-diurnal arc; to intersect the cusp of the 11th House after a sidereal-time interval equal to two-thirds of its semi-diurnal arc; and to culminate at the meridian after an interval of sidereal time that corresponds to the semi-diurnal arc. The semi-arc from the meridian that intersects the Eastern horizon gives the Ascendant; and the 2nd and 3rd house cusps are similarly extended below the horizon. The Placidian cusps are in almost universal use at the present time. Maurice Wemyss takes exception to the Placidus cusps on the grounds that the Ascendant is located according to one system and the intermediate cusps by another. He prefers what he terms the "Rational Method" of Regiomontanus.

A set of Tables of Houses for Lat. 40° N., which is approximately the latitude of New York, in which can be seen a comparison of these four systems, is to be found in the American Astrology Ephemeris for the year 1941. The Tenth House is common to an four systems, and this is theoretically correct. The discrepancies show in the intermediate cusps between the IC and MC. The Ascendant is also the same for three of the four systems, but the Horizontal system has its own Ascendants. Different Latitudes require different sets of tables. Published volumes containing Tables of Houses for all Latitudes are available, most of them, however, confined to the Placidus system, which is the one most generally used. The one by Hugh Rice is the most recent and the most elaborate, with the cusps computed to several decimals.

Unless you have a birth moment that is correct to the minute, and beyond doubt, detailed methods are futile and misleading, and one might well confine himself to whole degrees and ignore the decimals. By means of these tables of houses computed for different latitudes, one is able to ascertain what degrees of the zodiac appeared upon the Ascendant and the various House cusps on any hour of any day, as calculated from the siderial time at noon of that day as indicated in the ephemeris. Actually the tables may be said to divide distance by time, showing how many degrees of the equator will pass the ASC or MC, as if the planet were there. It is to be understood, of course, that this is a rule-of-thumb short-cut for average use when one is not too certain of the reliability of his birth data, and is not to be used when seeking exactness.

T-cross. v. Cosmic Cross.

Taurus. The second sign of the zodiac. v. Signs.

Telepathy. Transmission of thoughts from one to another of two minds that presumably are in attunement or affinity, without the aid of any orthodox means of communication through ordinary channels of sensation. It is generally supposed that an accent on Neptune confers sensitive receptivity to telepathic communications. This may occur at close range or over a long distance.

Telescope. An optical instrument assisting the eye or camera in viewing or photographing distant objects, magnifying the celestial bodies, and concentrating a larger beam of light to render the image more distinct. Some ancient references suggest that it was known to the Greeks and Romans. In the Pyramid is found evidence that at some period the Egyptians had a form of reflecting telescope. Refracting telescopes were first made in Holland in 1608. Hearing about them, Galileo made one for himself and in 1620 began his experiments. The earliest known reflecting telescope was that perfected by James Gregory of Edinborough in 1663.

Temporal Houses. 2, 6, 10. v. Houses.

Terminal Houses, The. 4th, 8th, 12th Houses (q.v.), corresponding to the Signs of the Watery Triplicity. So called because they govern the terminations of three occult or mysterious phases of life: the 4th, the end of the physical man; the 8th, the liberation of the soul; and the 12th, of the hopes to which the native secretly aspires.

Terms of the planets. The planetary Terms comprises a system of subrulerships of portions of a Sign by different planets, whereby the nature of a planet posited in a Sign is altered to that of the planet in whose term it happens to be posited. These subdivisions - applicable only to the interpretation of a Horary Figure - are largely disregarded by the moderns, most of whom deem them the fanciful invention of the Egyptians to account for effects now ascribed to the influences of formerly unknown planets. Other authorities who use them in the practice of Horary Astrology claim that they yield excellent results. Ptolemy made light of the Egyptian Tables as devoid of either rhyme or reason. He then laid down a set of rules and made his own Tables - to which he himself failed to conform. Sepharial, Alan Leo and Wilson all give Tables of these Terms - no two, however, exactly alike - while all more or less scoff at their value. Ptolemy gave 6° to each of the five planets. Any planet whether or not a malefic, which had two dignities came first; otherwise the malefics came last. He next gave to each planet extra points of valuation, two for Sign-position and one each for Exaltation and Triplicity, subtracting these points from the value of the malefics. The Term occupied by a planet denotes that the person it signifies is of a disposition indicated by the Lord of the Term, but with no reference to his wealth, poverty, or station in life.

.SIGN........|......................TERMS AS REVISED BY PTOLEMY......................|













*Meaning the first six degrees, from 00' to 559' - and so on.

The planet sequence for Gemini is Lilly's variant. See "Christian Astrology" by W.Lilly. But the Tetrabiblos says this sequence is (in meaning as above) "Mercury 0-6, Jupiter 7-12, Venus 13-19, Mars 20-25, Saturn 26-29". See: Ptolemy. Tetrabiblos / Edited and translated by F.E.Robbins. - Cambridge, Massacusetts; London: Harvard University Press, 2001. [A.Z.]

The series of terms according to the Egyptians, were as follows:

...Aries....... Jupiter 6, Venus 6, Mercury 8, Mars 5, Saturn 5.

...Taurus...... Venus 8, Mercury 6, Jupiter 8, Saturn 5, Mars 3.

...Gemini...... Mercury 6, Jupiter 6, Venus 5, Mars 7, Saturn 6.

...Cancer...... Mars 7, Venus 6, Mercury 6, Jupiter 7, Saturn 4.

...Leo......... Jupiter 6, Venus 5, Saturn 7, Mercury 6, Mars 6.

...Virgo....... Mercury 7, Venus 10, Jupiter 4, Mars 7, Saturn 2.

...Libra....... Saturn 6, Venus 8, Jupiter 7, Mercury 7, Mars 2.

...Scorpio..... Mars 7, Venus 4, Mercury 8, Jupiter 5, Saturn 6.

...Sagittarius. Jupiter 12, Venus 5, Mercury 4, Saturn 5, Mars 4.

...Capricorn... Mercury 7, Venus 6, Jupiter 7, Mars 5, Saturn 5.

...Aquarius.... Mercury 7, Venus 6, Jupiter 7, Mars 5, Saturn 5.

...Pisces...... Venus 12, Jupiter 4, Mercury 3, Mars 9, Saturn 2.

Testimony. A partial judgment based upon the influence of a certain planet as conditioned by Sign and House, strength of position and aspects, or of a certain configuration of planets in a Figure. The synthesis of several testimonies constitutes a judgment. The term as used by Ptolemy is approximately synonymous with Argument.

Tetrabiblios. Literally four books. The oldest record of the astrological system of the ancients which has survived. It dates from about 132-160 A.D. In it the author, Claudius Ptolemy, the great Egyptian mathematician, says that it was compiled from "ancient" sources. v. Ptolemaic Astrology.

Tetractys - ten symbolic dots. A theory advanced by Pythagoras, who affirmed the existence of ten bodies in our Solar System. The ancients knew only seven such bodies, but modern astronomers have discovered the other three: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.


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This symbol as used by Pythagoras consisted of ten dots arranged in triangular form, as illustrated. By connecting the dots in different ways many rectangles and triangles were formed, all intimately associated with the Pythagorean mathematical system by means of which he explains his conception of the truths of the universe. This may explain the missing apex of the pyramid, as can be seen in the great seal of the United States, as printed on some of the paper currency.

Tetragon, n. Tetragonous, a. Syn. of quartile, or a square aspect. v. Aspect.

Thema Coeli. The figure of the heavens. v. Figure.

Throne. Some astrologers who lean to hyperbole rather than consistency and lucidity describe a planet as on its throne when in a Sign of which it is the Ruler. In a more ancient and more logical usage it was applied to a planet posited in that part of a Sign wherein it had more than one Dignity.

Time. The measurement of time is inseparable from considerations of place, and of a point of reference. The establishing of the actual moment of an occurrence, and its statement in terms of Universal Time, is one of the most difficult problems with which the astrologer deals, because of the prevalent neglect on the part of those who make the record of the moment of an event, to qualify it by stating in what manner of time it is noted: whether apparent solar time, as shown on a sundial; mean time, as shown by a clock adjusted to the meridian of the place; local Standard Time, as shown by a clock adjusted to a Standard time meridian, and if so, which one; or whether in Daylight Saving Time, War Time, Double Summer Time; and so on.

Sidereal Time. That in which the point of reference is a star - as the most nearly fixed point in the universe as it appears from the Earth. Two successive crossings of a star is the measurement of a sidereal day, which is divided into 24 hours, beginning with oh and continuing to 23h 59m. It is used by astronomers, chiefly to express in hours and minutes of sidereal time the Midheaven longitude of a given place. Prior to 1925 0h of the astronomical day coincided with noon but in that year astronomical and civil time were made to coincide, since when oh has coincided with midnight.

Solar Time. That in which the point of reference is the Sun. This may be apparent Solar time, as shown by a sundial; or local Mean Time, as shown by a clock adjusted to an average rather than an actual day. This is explained more fully under Equation of Time (q.v.). With Solar Time, noon was approximately four minutes earlier or later with every increase of distance of 1° East or West of Greenwich Observatory, which at zero longitude is the point for which Universal or World Time is computed. Apparent and Mean Solar Time coincide four times a year: on April 15, June 14, Sept. 1 and Dec. 25. At all other times the Sun is fast or slow by from one to sixteen minutes.

Standard Time. Since the meeting of train schedules is impossible on the basis of local time, Standard time-zone meridians were spaced at intervals of 15° of longitude East and West of Greenwich, and all clocks within each zone were adjusted to the mean Solar time of the midpoint of the zone. Standard Time was generally adopted on Nov. 18, 1883, but it did not come into common use in some localities until after many years had elapsed. Even yet there are communities in which the time of day is given in Sun time; unless you wish to catch a train, in which case you are given Railway Time. Not only that, but longitude is becoming an increasingly unreliable guide, for some communities which are actually in the Central Standard Time zone run by Eastern Standard Time, to make their business day coincide with that of some nearby city across the meridian; and similarly at various points throughout the world. Lacking such exceptions, all places in the United States east of 82°39' W. Long. are theoretically in the Eastern Standard Time zone, and their time is 5h earlier than that of Greenwich; Central Standard Time, 6h earlier than Greenwich, applies to points between 82°30' and 97°30' W. Long.; Mountain Standard Time, 7h earlier than Greenwich, between 97°30' and 112°30' W. Long.; and Pacific Standard Time, 8h earlier than Greenwich, to all points in the United States west of Long. 112°30'. However, one need but observe on any time zone map the irregular lines which indicate the Time Zone meridians across the country, to realize how important it is that any statement of time of an event is incomplete and unreliable unless it carries with it a statement of the kind of time in which the event was recorded, and the standard meridian adopted by that community.

Daylight Saving Time. This was originated in England in 1916, where it was called Summer Time. It consists of an arbitrary setting ahead of the clock by one hour, thereby shifting all the day's activities an hour earlier, ending the work day that much sooner and leaving an hour more of daylight in which to indulge in seasonal recreations. In general, it commences at 2 A.M. of the Sunday following the third Saturday in April, and ends on the Sunday after the first Saturday in October. This is not a reliable guide, for in its earlier years it sometimes began as early as March 24. Furthermore, during World War II England set the clock ahead by two hours, making Double Summer Time. During the same period, beginning Feb. 9, 1942 at 2 P.M., the United States had War Time, a year-round setting ahead of the clock by one hour. Prior to that, some parts of the United States observed Daylight Saving Time during certain periods in certain years, but other localities refused to accept or ratify it; and even in those where it was legally authorized, many refused to abide by it. Even though a record of the vagaries of time observance is attempted in a volume called World Daylight Saving Time, by Curran and Taylor, the only safe way to record an event is not only to state in what kind of time it was recorded, but in addition to give its equivalent in Greenwich Standard or Universal Time. In most other countries the problem is still more complicated. All of Mexico is -6h, except part of Lower California, which is -8h. Some adopt a time meridian that involves a half-hour adjustment, like Hawaii, which is GMT - 10h 30m. All of Russia adjusts to a time unit which is the virtual equivalent of permanent daylight saving. Bolivia is -4:33 and Venezuela -4:30. In addition, there is for some Middle European countries an adjustment of the date itself from the old-style to the new-style calendar, and the impossible determination whether time was given in apparent Sun time or Solar Mean time, or whether some arbitrarily selected meridian became the basis for the standard time of the country.

The important factors for the astrologer to establish are: (1) the exact equivalent of a given moment as expressed in Universal Time, in order therefrom to compute from the Ephemeris the exact position occupied by the planets at that precise moment; and (2) the exact equivalent of the same moment in Local Mean Time for the place where the event occurred, wherefrom with the aid of the sidereal time of noon or midnight on that date, and of Tables of Houses for the Latitude of the place, to calculate the Midheaven position, the Ascendant degree, and the intermediate cusps of the Figure. Universal Time is variously called World Time, Greenwich Civil Time, Greenwich Standard Time, or zero zone time.

An ephemeris calculated for other than zero meridian is a simplification that is of doubtful value, in that it introduces the possibility of confusion on the part of those who work by formulas rather than by a comprehension of the elements involved. In using an ephemeris calculated, let us say, for 75° W. Long., one bases his calculations on that time meridian, instead of the zero meridian, correcting zone time to local time by subtracting 4m for each degree of longitude W., or adding it for each degree of Long. E., of the 75th meridian.

Army and Navy Time. Just as the Navy has long since abandoned the traditional method of "boxing the compass" and instead indicates direction in degrees from 1 to 360, so both Army and Navy have abandoned the twelve-hour clock in favor of the 24-hour clock, which begins at midnight as 0000h, is 1200 at noon, 1330h at half-past-one, and so on until 2359h, which is one minute before oh of the next day. Thus A.M. and P.M. become no longer necessary in connection with the time of day or night. The public will be slow to demand 24-hour clocks and watches, but indications and efficiency point to the probability of their eventual general use.

Recording a Birth Moment. Never make record of or state a birth hour as midnight, for the day both begins and ends with midnight, and in time you yourself will not know which it was - resulting in a tiny difference of twenty-four hours. The day begins with 0h; noon is 12h. A minute before midnight can be 11:59 P.M., or 23:59h - but midnight is oh of the next day.

Time. Correction of Mean to Sidereal Time. In calculating the Sidereal Time for a given moment of birth, add the solar hours elapsed since the previous noon to the Sun's noon position at Greenwich as given in the ephemeris in Sidereal Time. (Apolo's Note: this applies only if you are using an ephemeris with readings for noon; if using one for midnight, which is easier, then add the solar hours elapsed since midnight on the start of the day of birth.) This requires the further addition of a little less than ten seconds (9.86 seconds)  per hour to compensate for the difference between solar and sidereal time.

[A further correction for longitude is made by way of adjusting the Greenwich position to that of the place for which the correction is made.]

Transit. The ephemeral passage of a planet over the place of any Significator, moderator or planet, or any point where it forms an aspect thereto, whether in a radix, progressed, Solar Revolution or Horary Figure. Transits are taken from the ephemeris for the current year. Generally speaking the passage of the benefic planets over, or in aspect to, the radical and progressed places of the several Significators is favorable; of the malefics unfavorable.

Kuno Foelsch, Ph.D., in his work on Transits, which actually treats of the Solar Revolution, concurs in the suggestion that during the Middle Ages it became necessary to devise some system of approximating future conditions, for the reason that Ephemerides calculated for years in advance were not then obtainable. Speaking of Transits, he expresses the confident belief that "other methods will eventually disappear, especially those which are dependent upon hypothetical elements which have no connection with the actual astronomical positions of the planets as recorded by scientifically operated observations."

Transit of a planet across the Sun. A transit of Venus across the Sun can occur only when the Sun is within 1° 45' of the Node, and the Earth is passing the Node. These occur in pairs - the last two in 1874 and 1882. The next recurrence will be June 8, 2004, and June 6, 2012. Mercury transits are more frequent.

Transitor. A slow-moving major planet whose lingering aspect to a birth planet produces a displacement of equilibrium, which is then activated by an additional aspect from a Culminator, a faster-moving body such as the Sun or Moon, to the same or another planet, thereby precipitating the externalization.

Translation of Light. The conveyance of influence which occurs when a transiting planet, while separating from an aspect to one planet is found to be applying to an aspect to another, in which event some of the influence of the first aspected planet is imparted to the second aspected planet by a translation of light. For example, assume an Horary Figure in which Jupiter or Saturn, the Significators of the parties to the negotiation of an agreement, are in no aspect to each other; but Venus while separating from Jupiter is applying to an aspect of Saturn. There results a translation of light from Jupiter to Saturn, which is a powerful testimony that Venus represents a person or an idea that will bring about a settlement. The nature of the aspect, and of the aspecting and aspected planets through which the translation is accomplished, determines whether the outcome will be fortuitous.

Transmutation. The advantageous utilization, on the part of a controlled and developed character, of an astrological influence which otherwise might exert a destructive and disruptive force. It is a term borrowed from the alchemists who sought to transmute baser metals into gold, whereby to suggest a process of spiritual alchemy through which a baser emotion is dedicated to a noble purpose.

Trigon. A term applied to the three signs of the same triplicity.

Trigonocrators. Rulers of Trigons


FIRE:........Sun, Jupiter......Sun, Jupiter, Mars

EARTH:.......Venus, Moon.......Venus, Mercury, Saturn

AIR:.........Saturn, Mercury...Venus, Saturn

WATER:.......Mars..............Moon, Mars, Mercury

Some modern authorities confine the Moon and Mars to a Nocturnal Figure, substituting Venus and Mars if a Day Figure.

Trimorion. An aspect in Mundo which embraces three Houses, hence a Mundane square, but which in some instances may actually extend to as much as 120°; hence in Primary Directions it was sometimes called the killing arc, since 120 years were deemed the natural limit of life.

Trine, n. An aspect of 120°.

Trine, vb. Used in describing the motion of a planet to a trine aspect with the body or place of another planet.

Trinities. v. Signs.

Triplicities. v. Signs.

Tropical Signs. Cancer and Capricorn. v. Signs.

Tropical Year. The Solar Year; the period of 365d, 5h, 48m, 4.5s, during which the Sun's centre passes from one Vernal Equinox to the next. Because of the precession, it is shorter than the Sidereal Year by 20m, 23.5s.

True Solar Day. v. Day.

Trutine. A term employed by Hermes in the process of rectification (q.v.).

Twilight. The illumination of the Earth's atmosphere after sunset, visible until the Sun is about 18° below the horizon. Its duration depends upon the time required for the Sun to traverse this distance. At the Equator this requires about an hour at any time of year, but during Summer lasts for a much longer period. As one passes beyond 40° N. latitude, the interval is lengthened in the Summer and shortened in the Winter.

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