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A Glossary of Astrological Terms for the letter "T"

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 Table of Dignities
Table setting out the traditional dignities and debilities of planets in the signs. Only the traditional planets, including Sun, Moon and Nodes are considered. The outer planets, asteroids etc, though worth considering, have no traditional dignity or debility. See Table.
Go to Top Table of Houses
Tables giving signs & degrees for house cusps used in the construction of horoscopes.
Go to Top Table of Values
Table for calculating the planetary weighting, or numerical value when assessing a horoscope. See Table.
Go to Top Talisman
A consecrated device or object created at an auspicious time determined by electional astrology, in order to capture and compress the appropriate cosmic sympathy, or power. Talismans can also be amulets, if designed as protective or apotropaic (warding off evil) devices, usually worn as jewellery.
Go to Top Tarot
A mystical set of symbols, most often used in a pack of 78 cards either for personal development or for divination. The Tarot is divided into two Arcana (sets of mysteries), the first, the 22 Trumps, or Major Arcana being mainly concerned with personal development and the second, the Minor Arcana, being the set primarily concerned with divination. In readings, the Arcana are shuffled together, then laid out in various patterns to be interpreted by the reader. First emerging in Europe in the 14th Century AD, there are now hundreds of different sets of Tarot Cards by various authors and designers, the best known being the Rider-Waite deck (Pamela Coleman Smith and A. E. Waite: published by Rider, 1909). Some claim great antiquity for the Tarot, dating back to the ancient Egyptians, but this is disputed. The Minor Arcana are often mooted as the precursors of our modern playing cards.
Go to Top Tarotscopes
The Tarot is a mystical book that can give insight into the tendencies revealed in the stars. Using archetypal symbols to understand ourselves and our roles in the world, our Weekly and Monthly Tarotscopes are a reading of the energy surrounding the Sun Sign over the forecast period.
Go to Top Taurus
The second sign of the zodiac. Fixed and earthy. Ruled by Venus. Emblem: The Bull. More about Taurus.
Go to Top Temperament
Ancient Greek theory of four humours developed by Hippocrates links bodily fluids with dispositions or tempers. The temperaments, Sanguine (Blood), Choleric (Yellow Bile), Melancholic (Black Bile) and Phlegmatic (Phlegm) relate to the astrological elements Air (Sanguine), Fire (Choleric), Earth (Melancholic) and Water (Phlegmatic). See Humours.
Go to Top Temples
Ancient term for Houses.
Go to Top Temurah
Qabbalistic system of encryption of esoteric meanings in certain words (in scripture) by substituting one letter for another, according to one of several occult patterns.
Go to Top Tenth House
The tenth chart segment. Governs career and public image. See Mid-heaven.
Go to Top Terms
Each sign has a range of terms (from Latin: termini), also known as Bounds, ruled by one of the five classical planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). The Sun and Moon have no terms. A planet in its own terms is strengthened, while a planet in the terms of another is coloured by (acts "in terms of") that planet. Thus Saturn in terms of Venus has reduced potential for malevolence, while Venus in terms of Mars has less power for benefit, more power of action and so on. There are three known sets of terms, the Egyptian, the Chaldean, and the Ptolemaic, which Ptolemy (2nd Century CE) claimed to be "ancient". The tables of terms have largely fallen into disuse in modern times, although according to Robert Schmidt they were central to the practice of Hellenistic Astrology, where they were known as Confines (gk: horia). Here is the traditional order of planetary potencies:
  • Sign
  • Exaltation
  • Triplicity
  • Terms
  • Faces
See Ptolemy's Table of Essential Dignities & Debilities.
Go to Top Terra
The planet Earth. See Earth
Go to Top Tertiary Progression
System of progression where one day after birth equals one month of the native's life.
Go to Top Testimony
A term from Hellenistic astrology, meaning a planet forming an attitude, or witness relation, saying something about another planet within a figure. For testimony to occur, the figure must perfect before either of the two planets leaves its sign ("image"). Schmidt says it is not the same as an aspect: "When a planet assumes a figure relative to another in the testimony relation, it adopts a stance, attitude, or posture relative to it. The nature of this stance depends on the nature of the figure and can be hostile or friendly according to the usual classification of figures. When a planet aspects another, the two planets do more than merely assume an attitude relative to one another; they actually join in that hostile or friendly figure and engage with one another. Planets in a testimony relation are not in aspect." – Robert Schmidt, on the ACT Astrology Board.
Go to Top Tetrabiblos
Ptolemy's vastly influential classic work on astrology.
Go to Top Tetragonous
Square (90 degree) aspect.
Go to Top Thema Mundi
Birth chart of the world. An ancient astrological teaching tool, purporting to be the actual chart of the beginning of the world. It shows each of the classical planets in their domiciles, with Sun in Leo and Moon in Cancer. Cancer is in the ascendant, Aries on the mid-heaven. More on Thema Mundi [offsite].
Go to Top Theosophical Society (TS)
Founded in New York in 1875 by H. P. Blavatsky, H. S. Olcott, W. Q. Judge, and others. The TS fosters an active brotherhood among mankind, seeking to reveal the essential unity of all that is, and demonstrate that this unity is fundamental in nature. It promotes the study of ancient and modern religion, science, and philosophy, with the aim of exploring the hidden side of nature and mankind. This movement has had a profound effect on the development of modern astrology, especially through the concepts of self-realisation, karma, initiation and the unfoldment of a divine plan. The most prominent astrologers of the later 19th and early 20th Centuries were active members.
Go to Top Theosophy
From the Greek theo-sophia, meaning "divine wisdom". The unifying inner thread or essence of being which flows at the heart of religion and spiritual philosophy. See Wisdom Religion.
Go to Top Theurgy
From the Greek theo-urgia, meaning "sacred rite", or "god-work" – sacred rites, mysteries and ceremonies calling on the universal source using living forms, divine or semi-divine intermediaries (daimones). Magical power and spiritual development sought particularly through symbols and signs, musical notes and phrases, astrological correspondences, etc. Pythagoras, perhaps the first initiated Western theurgist, received the art from ancient Egyptian and Eastern teachers, and had a profound influence on Plato. Theurgy was a prime focus of the Neoplatonists following Plotinus, Porphry and Iamblichus.
Go to Top Third House
The third chart segment. Governs communications, education, memory, siblings, local travel and mentality.
Go to Top Throne
Often referred to by modern astrologers as a planet's domicile, or home-sign, but traditionally used only when a planet is in a part of the sign where it has more than one dignity.
Go to Top Time
The measurement of the passage of events in terms of their duration within a known frame of reference. Time is measured by regular subdivisions of the movement of the Earth through space, as it revolves on its axis (day) and maintains its orbit around the Sun (year), along with the orbit of the Moon around the Earth (month). As everyone knows, psychological time is variable, according to one's age and interest, with time seeming to pass more quickly the older one gets, and travelling more slowly when engaged in waiting for a pot to boil, for example. In astrology, each hour, day and month, their groupings and subdivisions, are given significance and planetary rulers. Greater periods are measured by the aspects of the planetary Chronocrators. Today an hour is fixed as 60 minutes, based on the rate of decay of radioactive atoms in an atomic clock. However, in earlier times, the hour was more flexible, being defined as one twelfth of the daylight period (or night), so only being sixty minutes as we know them at the time of the Equinox (although they could and did measure exact times with such devices as the hourglass and water-clock). Modern relativistic physics counts the concept of time as a fourth dimension of space, thus positing a four-dimensional space-time continuum, in which time is flexible and, relative to an observer, varies according to the acceleration and mass of an object. Advanced mathematics operates within an even greater number of theoretical dimensions, with the most radical suggesting (a bit like Buddhist philosophy) that limitless numbers of universes split off constantly and continue to exist and develop in other temporal dimensions. Mystical belief often states that time is an illusion, being purely the movement of our consciousness along the continuum, a way of organising the interwoven tapestry of existence. Both of these ideas are supported somewhat by astrology, because if prediction is possible, then the predicted event must at least in some sense already exist; moreover if the potential for free-will exists, then alternate dimensions must also exist, so that a "choice" can be made and the progressions and transits apply at a different level of awareness. It's a tricky concept...
Go to Top Time Lord
Chronocrator, or marker of specific time periods. See Chronocrator.
Go to Top Time Zone
Each country has its own standardized time zone measured in hours east or west of Greenwich, spread in bands across the globe. Some countries have more than one time zone, e.g. the USA, Australia, Russia etc. The reason is that local mean time needs to be smoothed out over a fairly large geographical area to enable the coordination of everyone's clocks in that range. But real time is based on the rising and setting of the Sun, so it's not reasonable to expect that people in California should get up with New York people, when the Sun rises three hours earlier in the EST (Eastern Standard Time) zone than it does in California. In other words, when it is 7 AM in New York, it is 4 AM in San Francisco. Similarly, when it is midnight in Greenwich, it is 10 AM in Sydney, 8 AM in Perth and so on. In astrological calculations, however, we need to calculate the exact local time in order to find accurate positions of the planets and the rising sign etc so that the correct chart can be drawn up. Planetary positions in the ephemerides and houses in the tables are set according to UT (Universal Time, a more accurate version of GMT based on atomic clocks) which needs to be adjusted according to the local time, expressed in latitude and longitude. Ephemeris Time, an older way of reconciling the variability of the Earth's orbit, has not been used since Jan 1, 1984.
Go to Top Titan
The largest of Saturn's moons, discovered in 1655 by Christiaan Huygens. Titan has a thick atmosphere and is larger in diameter than Mercury and larger and more massive than Pluto, though somewhat smaller than Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon. It was long thought that Titan was the largest satellite in the solar system, but recent observations have shown that Titan's atmosphere is so thick that its solid surface is slightly smaller than Ganymede's. In Greek mythology the Titans were a family of giants, the children of Uranus and Gaia, who sought to rule the heavens but were overthrown by the family of Zeus (Jupiter). It has no known astrological significance.
Go to Top Topocentric
A house system developed by Wendel Polich and A. P. Nelson Page in the 1960's. They state that their system was based empirically by projecting known events onto a chart, rather than using mathematical points derived from trisection, or any relationship with Great Circles, as in other systems. It is based on the plane-of-hour angles in function of ascension, with the centre at the place of birth. In practice, the cusps seem to be close to Placidus, so is not a solution for higher latitudes.
Go to Top Transit
  1. A planet's movement in the heavens (subsequent to birth) over or in aspect to factors in the natal or progressed chart, or in aspect to other transiting factors. The closer the two bodies are in declination, the greater will be the effect of the transit; conversely, the further apart they are in declination, the lesser the effect. Transits have noticeable effects on the world, in particular on individuals' lives, according to where they occur in the natal chart. For an individual, transits are particularly effective if they coincide with progressions, not so effective otherwise.
  2. Transit means movement through or across, so a planet may also be said to transit a sign, or a house.
  3. Astronomically, it can also mean crossing the face of the Sun, as in the rare "Transit of Venus", or indeed any other celestial.
  4. Classical astrologers, such as Valens, consider that a transit is only important in terms of its effect on the native's life if the planet is a time lord at the time, though I'd say this is certainly not the case for the slow-moving outer planets discovered in modern times, particularly Uranus and Pluto. I also have my doubts about the classical planets in this regard, especially Jupiter and Saturn.
Go to Top Transit (Mute)
A mute transit is when a transit has no noticeable effect. Classical astrologers hold that a transit should only be considered if the planet is the current time lord, and so able to testify, otherwise it will be mute.
Go to Top Translation of Light
A planet separating from an aspect to a slower moving planet forms an aspect to another while still within orb of the original aspect. This forms a chain of influence between the three factors.
Go to Top Trans-Neptunian Objects
According to the IAU, any object in the Solar System orbiting the Sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune. The Kuiper Belt, Scattered Disc, and Oort Cloud are three main divisions of this zone. The first trans-Neptunian object to be discovered was Pluto in 1930, now declared to be a Dwarf Planet. The largest known TNO is Eris (discovered 2005), which is apparently more massive than Pluto and already has an astrological following of sorts, despite its "astronomical" orbit of 557 years. It remains to be seen whether any other TNO's will have astrological significance, as at the time of writing (May 2009) nearly 200 of them have been given a permanent minor planet designation.
Go to Top Trans-personal Planets
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Go to Top Trans-Pluto
A.k.a. Bacchus or Persephone, this planet is postulated as orbiting beyond the outermost known planet, Pluto (could this be the newly discovered Eris?). It has been proposed that it rule Taurus. A bit far-fetched in my opinion...
Go to Top Trecile
See Tredecile.
Go to Top Tredecile (sesquiquintile)
Kepler's 108 degree aspect, which is somewhat favourable. Used in Horary Astrology.
Go to Top Tree of Life
A mystical symbol at the heart of Kabbalistic philosophy, the occult interpretation of the Jewish scriptures. Describing the course of the Creative Will as it energises the material world, the 32 paths of the Tree of Life include the first 10 of the Sephiroth (excepting Daath, the secret sephira). The remaining 22 mark the channels of energy joining the Sefiroth together. Each of these corresponds to one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The personal aspect of the Tree outlines the pathway of the evolution of the human soul on its way back to its divine origins. This symbol (and the Kabbalah as a whole) is not in itself religious, but more a philosophical system that can be employed by any student of the occult world, of whatever creed.
Go to Top Trigon
See Triplicity.
Go to Top Trigonalis
When the series of Jupiter-Saturn alignments changes from one element to the next. This Great Chronocrator cycle lasts approximately two hundred years and marks very significant social and political developments. See Chronocrators.
Go to Top Trine
Major aspect of 120 degrees, considered benefic (favourable). The trine (one third of the circumference of the zodiacal circle) nourishes the continuous use of natural talents and abilities, is an area of comfort, and can assist the native in the expression of harmony in the areas denoted by the planets and houses stimulated. However, it can also mark problems through laziness and overconfidence. An example of a trine would be a planet at 15 Aries aspecting another planet or point at 15 Leo. The trine aspect in modern astrology is given an orb of 8, but the closer the orb is to being exact (partile), the more powerful the effect. The Sun and Moon are often allowed more orb. Trines connect via triplicity (in the same element: Fire to Fire, Air to Air, Earth to Earth, Water to Water). Classical astrology allows for signs to be in aspect, so any planet in Aries would be considered trine to any planet in Leo or in Sagittarius, for example. This called a platic aspect, as opposed to partile. More on Aspects, and Planets.
Go to Top Triple Conjunction
Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the heavens in opposition to the Sun. Due to retrograde intervening phases, the conjunction will occur three times over a space of a few months. Also known as the Greatest Conjunction.
Go to Top Triplicity
An equilateral triangle superimposed on an astrological chart, each point indicating signs of the same element. Each triplicity has a specific planetary ruler, differing by day and night, given a weighting of 3. There are four triplicities, representing the elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water.
  • Aries
  • Leo
  • Sagittarius
  • Taurus
  • Virgo
  • Capricorn
  • Gemini
  • Libra
  • Aquarius
  • Cancer
  • Scorpio
  • Pisces
Go to Top Tropic
The line of latitude, approx. 23° 28' either north (Cancer) or south (Capricorn) of the equator, corresponding to the furthest point of the ecliptic. The place where the Sun pauses, then reverses its declination at the summer and winter solstices.
Go to Top Tropical Signs
Cancer and Capricorn.
Go to Top Tropical Zodiac
Zodiacal system geometrically based on the Sun's relationship to the equinoxes and solstices (the seasons), as opposed to the Sidereal Zodiac, which is theoretically based upon actual stellar positions (the constellations). Also known as the Moveable Zodiac, its beginning (the first degree of Aries, or Vernal Point) slowly moves by precession relative to the Fixed Zodiac (the Sidereal Zodiac). See Zodiac.
Go to Top True Node
See Nodes.
Go to Top T-square
A stressful and dynamic aspect comprising two planets in opposition whilst being simultaneously in square aspect to a third, the focus of the T-square.
Go to Top Twelfth House
The twelfth chart segment. Governs self-undoing, institutions, secret enemies, hidden weaknesses, bondage, anxieties, limitations, confinement, dreams, and the subconscious.
Go to Top
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This page was last modified on Monday, 3 April 2017