Astrology Definitions – R

1. Pertaining to the radix, or horoscope of birth. 2. In Horary astrology, a term employed to indicate a figure which can appropriately be judged in a given matter; one that is likely to give the correct answer.
Radical Position
Said of a planet’s position in a birth horoscope; as distinguished from the transitory or progressed position it occupies at a later date. v. Radix.
1. The radical map: the horoscope of birth, the root from which everything is judged. 2. The radical or birth positions of the planets, as distinguished from their progressed or directed positions. Progressed aspects can never entirely contradict or negate a radical aspect; but must be interpreted only as modifying or mitigating the influences shown in the Radix.
The Sanskrit name for the Dragon’s Head – the Moon’s North node. In Hindu mythology Rahu is a Daitya (demon) who possessed an appendage like a dragon’s tail, and made himself immortal by stealing from the gods some Amrita – elixir of divine life – which they obtained by churning an ocean of milk. Unable to deprive him of his immortality, Vishnu exiled him from Earth and made of him the constellation Draco: his head called Rahu, and tail Ketu – astronomically speaking, the Moon’s ascending and descending nodes. Using his appendage as a weapon, he has ever since waged a destructive war on the denouncers of his robbery, the Sun and the Moon, which he swallows during the eclipse. The fable is presumed to have a mystic or occult meaning. (v. Nodes, Moon’s.)
Rapt Parallel
Two bodies, which by Rapt motion are carried to a point where they are equidistant from and on opposite sides of the meridian or the horizon, are said to be in Rapt Parallel.
(1) A planet posited in a sign not its own, is said to be received by the Ruler of that sign, as if one were visitor and the other host.
(2) The condition in which a planet is receiving an aspect from some faster-moving planet.
The process of verification or correction of the birth moment or ascendant degree of the map, by reference to known events or characteristics pertaining to the native. This may be necessitated by the inaccuracy of time-pieces; the carelessness of those whose business it should be to make a careful record of the correct moment of birth; or it may consist of a hypothetical determination of a birth-hour wholly unknown to the native. The entire subject is a matter of controversy. Some contend that it is unscientific to prove a thesis by altering the premise to fit the conclusion. Among numerous methods are:
(1) the Prenatal Epoch, the Arc of the Moon’s travel from its birth position to the point where it forms its first aspect, converted into time and compared with the circumstances which attended, is presumed to afford an indication of the Native’s exact age, whereby to rectify the degree of the Ascendant;
(2) comparisons between the house positions of the planets, and the Native’s circumstances and disposition; and
(3) the computing of the directions attending the first accident or illness, the death of a parent, the conferring of an honor, marriage, the birth of a child. Argol and Morinus used a method of rectification by directions timed to an important event. Hermes observed a certain relationship between the place of the Moon at birth and the Ascendant at conception, and vice versa, out of which developed the Prenatal Epoch, as advanced by E. H. Bailey in the ‘Prenatal Epoch” and Sepharial in “The Solar Epoch.” Various other methods have been advanced but none has received universal acceptance.
A term used in Horary Astrology when one of two planets applying to an aspect turns retrograde before the aspect is complete. It is taken as an indication that the matter under negotiation will not be brought to a successful conclusion.
The term applied to an apparent backward motion in the Zodiac of certain planets when decreasing in longitude as viewed from the Earth. It can be compared to the effect of a slow-moving train as viewed from another train traveling parallel to it but at a more rapid rate, wherein the slower train appears to be moving backwards. However, in the case of the celestial bodies it is not a matter of their actual speed or travel, but of the rate at which they change their angular relationship.

Retrograde planets in a birth map were anciently said to be weak or debilitated, but a more logical interpretation would seem to indicate that the influence is rendered stronger, which in the case of a malefic planet is definitely unfortunate. That it continues to retrograde for a period after birth might detract from its capacity to incite progress, but if so the extent of retardation must be judged from its relative nearness to its second station.

It is averred by some astrologers that a planet in retrograde motion partakes of the nature of the Mars end of the spectrum. This hardly appears a safe generalization, for according to the laws of spectroscopy a planet moving away from us – the distance between it and the Earth increasing – produces a slight shift of frequences toward the red end of the spectrum, and with diminishing distance a relative shift towards the red end begins immediately after the opposition of a major planet to the Sun, and continues until just before the conjunction; and that it can hardly be said to apply at all to a minor planet.

It would appear that consideration of this factor involves the direction of the planet’s motion, whether toward or away from the Earth, rather than the character of the motion as either direct or retrograde. In fact it appears to have bearing on the doctrine of orientality. This Doppler displacement has been noted in observations of Venus, which indicated that a differentiation of influence should be studied as between Venus when in motion away from the Earth, and when moving toward it.

To be able to visualize and thus thoroughly understand the phenomenon of retrograde motion it is advisable to study the cycles of two groups of planets: the minor planets, those between the Earth and the Sun; and the major planets, those whose orbits lie outside that of the Earth.

Retrograde Application
Said of a planet which during and by virtue of its retrograde motion is applying to an aspect with another planet; or of two planets, both in retrograde motion, which nevertheless are applying to an aspect to each other.
Orbital Revolution. (1) Loosely applied to any- thing that describes a circle, or pursues an orbit, in contradistinction to one which rotates upon an axis.
(2) In connection with Directions (q.v.), the return of Sun, Moon, or any planet to its radical place. Revolution, Solar.
Right Ascension
Distance measured along the celestial equator, Eastward from the point of the Spring Equinox; or, as sometimes described, distance along the circle of declination.
Right Distance
That from one point to any other, in terms of Right Ascension.
Right Sphere
One in which all equatorial parallels are at right angles to the horizon: a sphere that has the equator for prime vertical, and the poles for horizon. Days and nights would always be of equal duration. Any point on the equator has a zenith in a right Sphere.
Rising Sign
The Sign or the subdivision of the Sign which was rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of birth, is deemed to exercise a strong influence upon the personality and physical appearance of the native. This is subject to modification by virtue of concurrent aspects. The placement of the Lord of the Ascendant, of the Moon, or of the planet aspecting the ascending degree, are also deemed to accent the particular subdivision of the Rising Sun in which the ascending degree falls. Interpretations by numerous authorities are available by Signs, by Decans and by demi-Decans – both incorrectly termed Faces by some authorities. In applying any of the interpretations attached to a Rising Sign it should be remembered that the presence of a planet in the Ascendant will always modify the influence of the Sign itself. v. Sidereal Time.
Preferably confined to the motion of a spherical body upon an axis, in contradistinction to its orbital revolution about another body. A more precise terminology would employ the compound forms: axial rotation, and orbital revolution.
This rather over-worked and at times loosely-applied term is principally concerned with a schematic arrangement of the Signs, whereby certain planets are deemed to have special potency or congeniality in a certain sign or signs. The entire subject of rulership is involved in much controversy, particularly since the modern discovery of additional planets for which there is no place in the ancient scheme of rulerships.

This ancient scheme was based on the reasoning that since Leo is deemed the most regal of the signs, the Sun must naturally be its ruler. Similarly Cancer, as the most maternal of signs, should be ruled by the Moon. The planets, beginning with Mercury and moving outward from the Sun, were then ascribed to the next adjacent pairs: Mercury, to Gemini and Virgo; Venus, to Taurus and Libra; Mars, to Aries and Scorpio; Jupiter, to Sagittarius and Pisces; and Saturn, to Capricorn and Aquarius. A planet in a sign of which it is the Ruler is said to be in its own sign. In the case of the dual rulerships, the Positive sign is its “day home” and the Negative sign its “night home.” The use of “day house” is unfortunate in that “house” is a subdivision of a 24-hour orbit, while the sign over which the planet is presumed to rule is a subdivision of a 365-day orbit.

Many modern authorities have broken down this scheme by ascribing Uranus to the rulership or co-rulership of Aquarius, Neptune to Pisces, and Pluto variously to Aries or Scorpio. Others deem these distant planets to represent a second octave, indicating higher concepts, and conferring greater possibilities upon those sufficiently developed to be able to handle a high-tension current, but threatening catastrophe to elemental and undisciplined types. On this theory, Uranus would be the super-ruler of Gemini and Virgo; Neptune of Taurus and Libra; and Pluto of Aries and Scorpio – leaving the second octave planets of Jupiter and Saturn yet to be discovered.

The use of “ruler” in connection with the Houses, is confusing, and the rule generally recommended is: “Lord of a House; Ruler of a Sign.” As indicating anatomical and geographical areas it is more precise to say “has dominion over” than to say “ruled by.”

The Lord of a House is deemed to be the Ruler of the Sign that occupies the cusp. The Lord of the Nativity, or as often termed the Ruler of the Horoscope, is variously the most strongly placed planet in the map, especially that planet which is in the First House and close to the ascending degree. Lacking a planet so placed, the Ruler of the ascending sign is the Lord of the Nativity.

It is presumed by some that the Arabians employed a system of House rulerships which consists of the planets arranged in converse order: the Sun as Lord of the First House; Moon, of the Twelfth; Mercury, the Eleventh; Venus, the Tenth; Mars, the Ninth; Jupiter, the Eighth; Saturn, the Seventh; Uranus, the Sixth; Neptune, the Fifth; Pluto, the Fourth; with three as yet undiscovered planets for the remaining Houses.

The commonly observed rules for determining the Lord of the Nativity are: (1) If the Lord of the Ascendant is poorly aspected and in an uncongenial sign, a more elevated planet should be considered, if there be such. (2) If the Lord of the Ascendant is strongly placed and well aspected, but there is another planet which by position and aspects is deemed of equal power, both planets may be considered as co-rulers in a dual Lordship. Some deem that with an Aquarian Ascendant, Saturn and Uranus are co-rulers of the map; and that a Piscean Ascendant makes Jupiter and Neptune co-rulers – because these are major planets and exceedingly strong. (3) If the choice is between two planets of which one is more afflicted than the other, the afflicted planet is to be selected – in that unfavorable aspects are positive and favorable aspects negative. (4) If the Lord of the Ascendant is weak, the Ruler of the Sun sign may be the Lord of the Nativity, if it is in powerful aspect to the Sun and Moon. (5) Either Sun or Moon may be the Lord of the Nativity if strongly placed and in the sign of its Rulership or Exaltation. (6) An Exalted planet is generally deemed to be a co-ruler. (7) The Ruler of an intercepted sign in the First House is generally accepted as a co-ruler – after such time as by progression the cusp will have advanced into the intercepted sign. (8) Accidental Dignities are deemed to outweigh Essential Dignities, especially where a planet occupies the Tenth House.

Conditions affecting the Ruler of the Sign on the cusp of a House, or of the Sign intercepting a House, are of secondary importance to the influence of a planet actually posited in the House. However, the considerations affecting the Ruler are consulted for testimony concerning a House in which no planet is posited, on the principle that the planet’s dignity with reference to a house on the cusp of which its sign appears, persists even though its owner may be absent.

Ruminant Signs
Aries, Taurus, Capricorn.