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H

A Glossary of Astrological Terms for the letter "H"

Use this glossary to look up the meanings of words you come across on this website, or in your astrological reading. Just select the first letter of the word you need and click on it in the table below to go straight to that sector.
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Go to Top Hard Aspects
A modern term for malefic aspects, including square, opposition, semi-square, sesqui-square. Hard as opposed to Soft.
Go to Top Harmonic
Resonant relationship, or overtone of planetary aspects. If an aspect is expressed as a fraction of 360°, the denominator of that fraction is the harmonic number of the aspect. Each of the following aspects is followed by its harmonic number: conjunction-1, opposition-2, trine-3, square-4, quintile-5, sextile-6, septile-7, semisquare-8, sesquisquare-8, novile-9, semisextile-12, inconjunct (quincunx)-12. 11th and 13th harmonics are also used on occasion. Prime numbers are favoured in Harmonic Astrology, as the others (sub-harmonics) are considered intensifications, or buttresses of their prime factors. Hard aspect harmonics are considered more significant.
Go to Top Harmonic Astrology
A development of the late 20th century. Harmonics are measured intervals of a complete cycle. An example of this is the scale of music. Harmonics provide a means of linking planets together in the manner of musical intervals and chords. This of course ain't really so new, as Pythagoras in the 5th century BCE also had a somewhat similar idea...
Go to Top Harmonic Chart
Chart based on any chosen division of the zodiac. For example, the fourth harmonic features planets in square aspect (90° being the division of the zodiacal circumference by four). In the harmonic chart, these planets are shown in conjunction. Harmonic charts are very important in Vedic astrology and John Addey, the inventor of the Harmonic system in the 20th Century West was inspired by his study of the Vedic "divisional" or harmonic charts.
Go to Top Hayz
A powerful form of accidental dignity, based on sect, planetary joy, being above the horizon etc. According to William Thrasher in Jubar Astrologicum, Hayz is when a Masculine and Diurnal planet is above the Earth and in a Masculine Sign; or when a Feminine and Nocturnal planet in the night [i.e. below the Earth] is in a Feminine Sign. Kepler College states that "Planets that are in their natural sect by hemisphere and in a sign which matches their natural sect are in hayz. This is considered a particularly beneficial and powerful condition." Hardly used in modern astrology, but perhaps it should be.
Go to Top Heavenly Spheres
see Spheres.
Go to Top Heliacal
Pertaining to or near the Sun, esp. with reference to a star when first seen to rise or set at sunrise or sunset after a period during which the event was invisible.
Go to Top Heliacal Rising
When a planet or star, after previously having been in conjunction with the Sun (and so invisible), emerges from the light so as to be visible on the eastern horizon in the morning before sunrise.
Go to Top Heliacal Setting
When a planet or star sets just after the Sun, i.e., so it is visible on the western horizon just after sunset.
Go to Top Heliocentric
"Sun-centred", or from the viewpoint of the Sun. Modern Western astrology is generally Geocentric ("Earth-centred", from the viewpoint of the Earth). Planetary positions appear different from the heliocentric viewpoint. See Copernican System.
Go to Top Helios
Greek god of the Sun.
Go to Top Heliosphere
The vast magnetic body of the Sun, stretching out for billions of kilometres. Like an immense bubble, it envelops the entire Solar System, extending far beyond Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, acting as a barrier to harmful cosmic rays from the interstellar medium. Thus we are living well inside the subtle, magnetic body of the Sun. Although it has no actual astrological significance, it is a physical manifestation of the protective power of the cosmic source of our energy.
Go to Top Hellenistic Astrology
Ancient Western Astrology as practised during the Hellenistic Period, some two thousand years ago. Now undergoing a revival, thanks to Project Hindsight.
Go to Top Hermes
Greek god cognate with Mercury.
Go to Top Hermes Trismegistus
"Thrice-Great Hermes", an ancient Egyptian sage said to have flourished before Moses and reputed to be an incarnation of the god Thoth and the founder of astrology. The attributed author of The Divine Pymander and the Corpus Hermeticum, a series of esoteric treatises on astrology, alchemy, magic, medicine, philosophy, religion and related subjects. Renaissance thinkers were vitally stimulated by the Corpus Hermeticum, which expounded the Hermetic Philosophy.
Go to Top Hermeticism
Study and practice of the Hermetic Philosophy.
Go to Top Hermetic Philosophy
Esoteric teachings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. Very influential in mediæval and renaissance eras, especially regarding astrology, alchemy, magic and gnosis.
Go to Top Herschel
Former name for the planet Uranus, given by Jérôme Lalande in honour of its discoverer, Sir William Herschel (who himself named it "George's Star" in honour of his patron, King George III). More about Uranus.
Go to Top Hipparchus of Rhodes
Born c.190 BCE in Nicæa in Bithynia (in modern-day Turkey), he died on the Greek island of Rhodes c.120 BCE. An influential scientist of the Hellenistic period, perhaps the greatest astronomer of antiquity, he developed geometry, trigonometry and arithmetic; his accurate measurements of the Sun and Moon led to a precise calculation of the length of the year and a method of predicting eclipses which was unsurpassed in ancient times. His remarkable star catalogue, based on Chaldean tables, was employed by Ptolemy, some 300 years later. His most famous discovery was the precession of the equinoxes, although the phenomenon was known much earlier to initiates, as evidenced by the orientation of the pyramids and other early indicators.
Go to Top Holistic
The idea that a system (natural, organic, environmental, political or economic) is a kind of organism that is more than the sum of its individual parts. This is opposed to Atomism, the idea that a system is best studied by reducing it to its component parts and addressing them in isolation. It is the foundation of traditional medicine, homœopathic medicine, humoral physiology, yoga, ayurveda, chinese medicine and so on, as opposed to most modern Western technological medicine and Western science in general.
Go to Top Horary Astrology
A branch of astrology dealing with questions regarding any important matter. A chart is erected for the time when the querent's mind is most strongly focused on the matter in question.
Go to Top Horoscope
  1. A chart of the heavens cast for a particular moment in time, as reflected at a particular place on the Earth's surface. The construction and interpretation of the horoscope is the basis of astrological practice. Also an archaic term for Ascendant (see Horoskopos).
  2. Often used nowadays to refer to the brief daily forecasts printed in newspapers, magazines or on line.
Go to Top Horoskopos
Ancient Hellenistic term for Ascendant. The horoskopos was the first house for counting purposes in any chart, as in the case of, for example, the Moon chart or the Part of Fortune chart, where the Moon's house or the Part of Fortune's house is counted as the horoskopos, the first house, the other houses being numbered accordingly.
Go to Top Hour Circle
A Great Circle perpendicular to the Celestial Equator and which passes through a particular body in space.
Go to Top Hour Marker
Ancient Hellenistic term for first house in the whole-sign house system. See Horoskopos.
Go to Top Hours
Each day is now divided into 24 equal hours of 60 minutes each. However, in earlier times, time was not so rigid, as discussed below in Hours, Planetary.
Go to Top Hours, Planetary
The hours of the day are ruled by planets in the Chaldean order from Saturn inward to the Moon. Bear in mind that in earlier times, hours were more flexible than they are today. The days began at sunset, not midnight, and the period of daylight (or night) was divided by twelve. Thus hours could be more or less than 60 minutes each, as judged by today's "atomic clock standard", though not by theirs. More on Planetary Hours.
Go to Top House
One of twelve divisions of the heavens as seen from the Earth. Each house has a particular field of reference to events on Earth, or in the querent's life.
Go to Top House Circle
A Great Circle which is perpendicular to the Prime Vertical, having as its poles the North and South points of the Horizon.
Go to Top House System
The system by which astrologers divide the heavens into the houses. There are a number of systems in use today, the most widespread being Placidus, Koch and Equal House. Others, such as Regiomontanus, Campanus, Porphyry etc also have their dedicated adherents. Vedic and Hellenistic astrologers generally use Whole Sign Houses. It is a contentious area of astrology and some modern astrologers have abandoned houses altogether.
Go to Top HPB
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), co-founder and prime mover of the Theosophical Society (TS). See Blavatsky.
Go to Top Humane Signs
Gemini; Virgo; Libra; Aquarius.
Go to Top Humours
Traditional functions of the body by intermixture of bodily fluids, first expounded in ancient Greece by Hippocrates (460-370 BCE):
  • sanguine (blood)
  • phlegmatic (phlegm)
  • melancholic (black bile)
  • choleric (yellow bile).
When these four humours are in balance, the body is in a state of health; when they are in imbalance there is disease. They are related to the Elements in Astrology:
  • fire (choleric)
  • water (phlegmatic)
  • air (sanguine)
  • earth (melancholic).
The humours were expanded by Galen (131-200 CE) to develop a theory of temperaments, which has been influential into modern times. More on Humours.
Go to Top Humoral Physiology
An ancient holistic system of training the physician to look at illness in terms of manifestation of the vital force, and seeking what is needed to restore the flow of vital force through a balancing of the humours.
Go to Top Hyades
A cluster of seven (six, or five) stars in the head of Taurus, known as bringers of rain ("the Weeping Hyades"). In mythology, the Hyades, seven daughters of Atlas, were half-sisters to the Pleiades, another important cluster of seven (or six) stars in Taurus.
Go to Top Hyleg
The planet or place which is the giver of life. The Sun or Moon is hyleg:
  • if either is in the ascendant between 5° above to 25° below the ascending degree
  • or in the opposite place relating to the 7th house
  • or between the 5th degree below the 9th cusp to 25° from the 11th cusp (encompassing the whole of the 10th house).
If neither luminary is located in one of these hylegiacal places, the ascending degree becomes the hyleg.
  • Jupiter, Venus, MC, or Part of Fortune may be designated hyleg if they are hylegiacal (strong; dignified, well-aspected and in a hylegiacal place) and Sun, Moon or Asc are poorly placed or aspected by malefics.
  • Hyleg is traditionally affected by the sect of the chart, whether nocturnal (favouring the Moon) or diurnal (favouring the Sun).
  • When the hyleg is afflicted there is danger to life.
See Alpheta.
Go to Top Hypatia
The most famous female philosopher of the ancient world (365–415 CE). A Platonist and Pythagorean teaching in Alexandria, she was martyred at the hands of a Christian mob whipped into a frenzy by "Saint" Cyril (then Bishop).
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This page was last modified on Tuesday, 15 August 2017