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L

A Glossary of Astrological Terms for the letter "L"

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 Lady
Obsolete term for planetary ruler, when the planet concerned is feminine, namely Moon or Venus. Neil Giles on this site regularly refers to "Lady Moon" in courtly fashion, so it's not completely dead then... See Lord.
Go to Top Lagna
In Vedic astrology, a term for ascendant or first house.
Go to Top Lal Kitab
Lal Kitab (Red Book) is a set of five Hindi language books on astrology and palmistry, written in the 19th century based on the Samudrika Shastra. Lal Kitab is unique because for the first time a book explains how planetary positions in one's horoscope also reflect the lines in one's palm. It has mixed the two arts of Palmistry and Jyotish (Hindu astrology) together. The books were originally published in red hard-cover. In Hindi and Urdu, Lal means red and Kitab book. Red in the Hindu religion is considered very auspicious and a symbol of Ganesha and Lakshmi.
Go to Top Lahiri Ayanamsa
Most widely used Ayanamsa (22°27'37.7"). There is disagreement among authorities on the precise arc of this ayanamsa.
Go to Top Lame (degrees)
Deficient degrees, held to cause lameness or other deformities and disabilities. See Azimene
Go to Top Latitude (Celestial)
Measurement of distance of any planet or star north or south of the ecliptic. The Sun never has any latitude, as it is always moving in the ecliptic.
Go to Top Latitude (Terrestrial)
Degree of distance of any place north or south of the Earth's equator.
Go to Top Leo
This regal sign is the fifth sign of the zodiac. Fixed and Fiery. Ruled by the Sun. Leo's symbol is the lion. More about Leo.
Go to Top Leonids
An impressive meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. They appear during November, with their radiant in the constellation Leo.
Go to Top Lesser Benefic (Lesser Fortune)
Venus. Jupiter is the Greater Benefic (Greater Fortune).
Go to Top Libation
A ritual serving of wine, olive oil, or (in India) ghee poured out as a sacrificial offering to a deity, spirit or ancestors. The libation ceremony was widespread in ancient religions, but is still performed today in many cultures. Not to be confused with Libration (q.v.).
Go to Top Libra
The seventh sign of the zodiac, Libra is the sign most concerned with relationships. Cardinal and Airy. Ruled by Venus. The exaltation of Saturn. Libra's symbol is the scales, or balance. More about Libra.
Go to Top Libration
Slow oscillation of the Moon that allows us to observe a part of the Moon's surface, which is normally concealed from the viewer on Earth. Not to be confused with Libation (q.v.).
Go to Top Life-ruler
See Ruling Planet.
Go to Top Light (degrees)
Certain degrees traditionally believed to cause a fair complexion when on the ascendant, or when occupied by the Lord of the ascendant, the Lord of the figure, or the Moon. Light (a.k.a. "Lucid") degrees are also believed to diminish deformity. See Dark and Smoky degrees.
Go to Top Lights
Sun and Moon.
Go to Top Like-engirdling
Positive aspectual relationship between signs ruled by the same planet, ie Virgo & Gemini, both ruled by Mercury; Libra & Taurus, ruled by Venus; Scorpio & Aries, ruled by Mars; Capricorn & Aquarius, ruled by Saturn. Leo & Cancer fit into this schema and are considered to have the same ruler, even though ruled respectively by the Sun and Moon. In addition to the geometric equilibrium, possibly this idea came through the two being both Luminaries.
Go to Top Lilith
  1. In mythology, Lilith was the first wife of Adam, formed like him from the Earth, rather than from his rib, like Eve. She is said to have refused to obey him, fleeing in order to enjoy her own independent life. She is seen as a promiscuous demon succubus and destroyer of children. Feminists sometimes hold her out as an archetype of the independent, self-ruling woman, but this is drawing a long bow.
  2. The "Black Moon", an energy vortex in the Sun-Moon-Earth system. It is the second focus of the Earth/Moon orbit, the first being located inside the body of the Earth.
  3. There is also reputed to be a "Dark Moon" Lilith, a real but rarely visible satellite of the Earth, one quarter the size of Luna, with an orbital period of 119 days, some 10 days in each sign.
  4. An asteroid Lilith (1181) is supposed to affect us in relation to issues of suppressed rage, resentment, sexual manipulation and self-exile.
  5. Lilith, the Dark Goddess, is a Hebrew name for Caput Algol, the Demon Star.
Go to Top Lilly
William Lilly (1602-1681), a leading authority on traditional astrology.
Go to Top Logarithms
Tables by which when a planet's motion is known its position at a given time may be readily calculated.
Go to Top Long Ascension
Signs of long ascension take longer to ascend (rise over the eastern horizon) than signs of short ascension.
In the northern hemisphere, these are:
  • Cancer
  • Leo
  • Virgo
  • Libra
  • Scorpio
  • Sagittarius
Long and short ascension are reversed in the southern hemisphere. See Short Ascension.
Go to Top Longitude (Celestial)
Measurement along the ecliptic in signs and degrees from the point of the vernal equinox (0° Aries). The longitude of a star or planet in the 126th degree of the zodiac is 6° Leo. See Right Ascension.
Go to Top Longitude (Terrestrial)
Distance in degrees, minutes and seconds of any place east or west of Greenwich, England. Also measured in hours, minutes and seconds.
Go to Top Lord
Older term for planetary ruler, when the planet concerned is masculine, namely Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury can also be a "Lord" (but not a "Lady"), even though convertible. Some modern astrologers use the term "lord" (lower case) for any planetary ruler, even when feminine (Moon; Venus), as the rise of feminism has denigrated gender-specific terms, as in actor, aviator, benefactor etc, which have valid but now quaint feminine suffixes (actress; aviatrix; benefactrix, etc). Oddly enough we now have to say female actor, female benefactor, female aviator etc if we wish to make our communications clear on the gender concerned. This is due to the influence of prestigious, strictly masculine words like doctor and professor, even though we do say female doctor when necessary, and female professor (if we dare!). Lord and Lady also suggest a class hierarchy now sniffed at in our egalitarian times. See Rulership.
Go to Top Lots
Calculated points in the horoscope, also known as Parts. (see Part of Fortune).
Go to Top Lucid (degrees)
See Light.
Go to Top Luminaries
Lights. The Sun and the Moon.
Go to Top Luna
The Moon. More about the Moon.
Go to Top Lunacy
A term (now considered obsolete or even offensive) for intermittent insanity caused by the phases of the Moon (Luna). See Lunatic q.v. (latin: lunaticus) from which the term was derived in the 19th Century.
Go to Top Lunar Eclipse
Eclipse of the Moon. At a Full Moon, when Earth, Sun and Moon are aligned and the Earth is located precisely between the Sun and the Moon, the Earth's shadow covers the face of the Moon, blocking its light. More about Eclipses.
Go to Top Lunar Equinox
This is a misleading term used by some to indicate when the Moon stands over the Equator in her declination cycle twice every 27.3 days.
Go to Top Lunar Low Cycle
A term devised by Sue Hopper that we use in daily forecasts to describe the emotional state generated by the Moon when it transits the sign just before your Sun sign. This is the solar twelfth house, an inward-looking part of the monthly cycle when people usually feel quieter and more reflective. It lasts for two and a half days or so, and is released when the Moon enters your Sun sign, marking your "personal New Moon" of the month.
Go to Top Lunar Mansions
27 traditional sectors (nakshatras) of the zodiac, where the Moon spends her time on a day by day basis. Each mansion, of 13° 20' duration, has a specific influence, especially if Moon, Sun, Ascendant, or Ruling Planet are placed there. This system is mainly used today in Indian (Vedic) astrology. There are also ancient Chinese, Arabic and Renaissance systems, using 28 lunar mansions of 12° 51' 26" of arc.
Go to Top Lunar Month
See Lunation.
Go to Top Lunar Node
See Nodes
Go to Top Lunar Return
Time of the month when the transiting Moon is conjunct natal Moon.
Go to Top Lunar Return (Progressed)
A very significant time in life when the progressed Moon reaches the conjunction with natal Moon for the first time at around age 27, marking the first part of the difficult transition from the phase of Youth to the phase of Maturity associated with the Saturn Return. The second Lunar Return occurs around age 54 and the third around age 81. See Saturn Return.
Go to Top Lunar Standstill
Approximately every eighteen and a half years, the Moon reaches a major turning point, analogous to the Solar Solstices. The most northerly of the monthly moonrises allow the 18.61 year standstill cycle to be perceived by naked eye astronomers. Over 9.3 years these northerly moonrises shift from rising south of the summer solstice sunrise location to north of the summer solstice sunrise location. Each end of this 18.61 year journey is called a Lunar Standstill. During this phase the Moon does not set when viewed from high latitudes at the June and December solstices. It is considered extremely powerful and is marked by many ancient stone circles.
Go to Top Lunatic
An insane person, traditionally one who is affected by the changes of the Moon (Luna). Derived from late Latin: lunaticus via Old French lunatique, this term is no longer politically correct and is not now used by mental health professionals—who of course decry and deny the influence of the Moon on the mental states of the emotionally vulnerable (and indeed all of us!). However, in common parlance it means mad, irrational and dangerous.
Go to Top Lunation
A lunar period, measured from one place in the zodiac until the Moon's return thereto, usually referring to the period from one New Moon to the next (averaging 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes). The time taken by the Moon from one conjunction with the Sun until the next, 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds, is called a Synodical Lunation. Lunation is also loosely used to describe different aspects of the Moon to the Sun, thus accounting for her phases. The New Moon is also often called a Lunation and a chart made for the moment the Moon conjoins the Sun is called a Lunation Chart.
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This page was last modified on Monday, 3 April 2017