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A Glossary of Astrological Terms for the letter "N"

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 Nadir
The lower intersection of the prime vertical and the meridian, or the point on the celestial sphere directly beneath the observer, opposite the zenith. The nadir is in the horizonal coordinate system what the Imum coeli or lower midheaven is to the ecliptic coordinate system; the two cannot be used interchangeably.
Go to Top Natal Chart
Horoscope drawn for the Nativity. Birth Chart.
Go to Top Nakshatras
Lunar Mansions in Vedic Astrology
Go to Top Native
Subject of a Nativity, or Natal Chart.
Go to Top Nativity
Moment of first breath. Also the Natal Chart.
Go to Top Natural Astrology
Astrological concern with natural phenomena, such as weather, tides, storms, agricultural productivity, health and matters generally not under the control of the will. Expressed through the idea that all natural phenomena are connected and bound in some way by the planetary and other celestial influences. Most of the topics covered have been broadly taken over by one speciality or another of what is now called natural science (physics, chemistry, meteorology, biology, geology, medicine, psychology, economics etc), via the course of natural philosophy and naturalism. Distinguished from Judicial Astrology.
Go to Top Navamsha
In Vedic astrology, this is the 1/9 divisional chart (varga), specifically related to marriage. The most important of the 16 vargas, it is always consulted alongside the natal chart. Not used in Western Tropical Astrology.
Go to Top Nebula
Indistinct or cloudy celestial object in the night sky. All hazy patches in the heavens were once known as nebulŠ, but many have recently been identified by astronomers as clusters or galaxies.
Go to Top Nechepso and Petosiris
Legendary figures to whom an influential set of astrological texts were attributed in antiquity. These are thought to have been composed around the late 2nd century or early 1st century BCE. Despite being the most influential astrological authors in antiquity, none of their works have survived. All we now have is a collection of fragments, quotations, and citations by later authors who drew on their texts and sometimes mentioned doctrines contained in them. Nechepso is frequently referred to as “the king”, especially by Vettius Valens, who also sometimes calls him “the compiler”. Together Nechepso and Petosiris are sometimes referred to as “the Egyptians” or “the ancients”.
Go to Top Neomenium
The change of the Moon to New Moon, especially that which occurs closest to the Vernal Ingress.
Go to Top Neoplatonism
Philosophy of late antiquity, based on the teachings of Plato as interpreted by Plotinus (205–270 CE) a student of Ammonius Saccas. His disciple Porphyry compiled an edition of the teachings of Plotinus, the Enneads, which expounds the essentials of neoplatonism. Iamblichus, a student of Porphyry, became its most influential exponent. The philosophy was systematised by Proclus, perhaps the most gifted philosopher of late antiquity. The phenomenal world is seen as a reflection of a real, noumenal world which exists in the mind of the world-soul, an emanation of the divine mind, the Nous, itself an emanation of the One, the Absolute. Individual souls are also emanations, whose ultimate destiny is to be reunited with the One. Stars and planets are not seen as causes, but rather ensouled emanations, reflecting the nature of things as signs and symbols. True human happiness is to be found through ecstatic union with the One, a type of enlightenment, of liberation, as seen in Yoga, Tantra, Vedanta and Buddhism. Neoplatonism has had a powerful and enduring influence on Astrology, Hermetic Esotericism, Qabala, Christianity, Gnosticism, Judaism, Islam and Paganism.
Go to Top Neptune
One of the outer, trans-personal planets, discovered on September 23, 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle, based on a mathematical calculation by Urbain Le Verrier, though there is typically Neptunian controversy surrounding this (Galileo, for example, is believed to have spotted Neptune twice, in 1612 and 1613, but mistook it for a fixed star). Some modern astrologers hold that it rules Pisces; others allow it co-rulership with Jupiter, though traditional astrologers deny that Neptune has any pretensions to sign-rulership.
More about Neptune.
Go to Top Neutral Planets
Mercury and Neptune. These two tend to be benefic when well aspected to the benefics and unfavourable when forming any aspect to the malefics.
Go to Top New Aspects
Kepler proposed new aspects be added to the "Old" Ptolemaic aspects of the planetary rays. These, based on complex geometric relations of musical harmonies and disharmonies, initially included quintile, biquintile and sesquiquartile, but later others such as semiquartile, decile, septile, novile and so on, now known as Minor Aspects.
Go to Top New Moon
Occurs when the Moon is in conjunction with the Sun. This important event happens once every month, when the visible face of the Moon is darkened, as it receives no light from the Sun. Also known as a Lunation. Solar Eclipses can only happen at the New Moon.
Go to Top Nibiru
The home of the god Marduk in ancient Babylonian mythology. Also known as "Planet X", Zecharia Sitchin supposed it to be a distant planet in our solar system (located beyond Pluto) with an orbital period of 3,750 years. Also known as the 12th planet, it is held by some to be the home of an advanced humanoid race, the Annunaki, who are said to have created human beings as slave labourers for their terrestrial mining exploits, by mating with extant primates on Earth.
Go to Top NGC
New General Catalogue. A catalogue of deep sky objects, including 7,840 nebulŠ, star clusters, and galaxies, published in 1888 by John Dreyer. For example: the Orion Nebula NGC 1976 (a.k.a. Messier 42, M42) is a diffuse nebula situated south of Orion's Belt, visible to the naked eye in the night sky.
Go to Top Nicholas of Cusa
Renaissance philosopher (1401-1464), statesman and cardinal of the Church, whose views on comparison and proportion, particularly as argued in On Learned Ignorance, overthrew Aristotle's principles of physics, strongly influencing Kepler.
Go to Top Night-Sign
Each of the classical planets, apart from the two Luminaries, rules over two signs: a Day-Sign and a Night-Sign. The Luminaries rule one sign each, the Moon Cancer and the Sun Leo (though there is evidence that the Luminaries once were assigned co-rulership of each other's signs). The planets are assigned to the signs in order from the fastest (Mercury) to the slowest (Saturn). Day-Signs are the masculine, or positive signs; Night-Signs are the feminine or negative signs.
Go to Top Night-Stars
Moon, Mars and Venus. Mercury is convertible, and may be either Diurnal or Nocturnal. Jupiter, Saturn and Sun are the Day Stars.
Go to Top Nigredo
In alchemy, the first stage of the Great Work; blackening; putrefaction, corruption, dissolution, individuation.
Go to Top Ninth House
The ninth chart segment, governing higher learning, religious education, long distance travel, lawyers, legal affairs and publishing.
Go to Top Nocturnal
Planets below the horizon (between the first and seventh cusps via the IC), versus Diurnal, above the horizon.
Go to Top Nocturnal Arc
The distance in space or time taken by a planet passing through the night.
Go to Top Nocturnal Chart
Nativity of person born at night.
Go to Top Nodal Degrees
The same degree as the Moon's Mean Node, irrespective of sign. In Horary, it is said to signify a fateful event, tragedy or fatality in the matter. With a significator in a Nodal degree, something fateful beyond the control of the querent is indicated in the matter.
Go to Top Nodes
The point in the zodiac where a planet, particularly the Moon, passes from southern into northern latitudes is called the North Node and when moving in the opposite direction (crossing from north to south) is called the South Node. The motion of the Moon's Mean Node is retrograde, about 3' per day (see Dragon's Head). The True Node oscillates according to the Moon's "wobble" caused by the gravitational effects of the Earth/Moon interaction, so sometimes has periods of direct motion. The Mean Node averages this "wobble" out. The north node is called the ascending, the south the descending node. Neither the Sun nor the Earth have nodes. More on the Moon's Nodes.
Go to Top Nonile
See Novile.
Go to Top Noon Mark
Mean local time at birthplace when it is noon at Greenwich, England.
Go to Top Northern Signs
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo. In these signs the Sun has northern declination.
Go to Top North Node
See Dragon's Head.
Go to Top Notaricon (Notarikon, Notariqon)
Qabbalistic shorthand system selects a word (usually in Hebrew), then takes each of its letters to stand for another whole word, so the letters of the selected word make a whole sentence. A second method uses the first and last letters of a selected word to form another word; or the two medial letters of the selected word. I am indebted to the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary for this.
Go to Top Novile
A minor aspect of 40 degrees, being 1/9th of the zodiacal circumference. Implies completion of a cycle and is often associated with some sort of spiritual test (marriage, for example...). Although modern in origin, this aspect is rarely used and is not considered at all in traditional Astrology.
Go to Top Number
Number is the way we measure and calculate quantities, and regulate items, sizes and lists in our environment.
  1. Cardinal Numbers are used to denote and calculate quantity (one, two, three etc)
  2. Ordinal Numbers are used in lists. Astrology lists degrees, minutes and seconds in the Zodiac, using Ordinal Numbers (first, second, third etc). There are 30 degrees in a sign, 60 minutes in a degree and 60 seconds in a minute, with some astrologers using even smaller divisions. In particular, there is therefore no 0th (zeroth) degree of a sign, just as there is no 0th day of the month. The minutes between 00░ 01' and 00░ 59' constitute the first degree; the minutes between 01░ 01' and 01░ 59' constitute the second degree and so on. Beginners should bear this in mind.
Go to Top Numerology
The study of the inner meaning of Number and how numerical factors affect our lives, destinies and relationships. Numerology lies at the basis of astrology: Numerology, Tarot and Astrology at a deep level provide numerical keys into the nature and essence of the cosmic mind. These occult keys have influenced art, music, architecture and religion for millennia, number being the universally comprehensible way in which the cosmic mind can communicate with us without using words.
Go to Top Nychthemeron
The natural day and night, or space of twenty-four hours, used often with reference to the Equinox, Solstice or other important 24 hour period.
Go to Top
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This page was last modified on Tuesday, 2 June 2020