Astrology Definitions – S

Sagittarius
The ninth sign of the zodiac.
Saros
(1) A Chaldean and Babylonian interpretation of a cycle of 60 days as 60 years.
(2) 60 sixties, or 3,600. (3) A lunar cycle of 6,585.32 days – 223 lunations; or 18 years, 11 1/3 days. In this period the centers of Sun and Moon return so nearly to the same relative places that the eclipses of the next period recur in approximately the same sequence – but with their zone of visibility shifted 120° to the Westward. (v. Eclipses.)

Because the Node recedes 19.5 a year, the Sun meets the same Node in 346.62 days – the eclipse year. As this does not coincide with the Lunar periods, the Sun moves past the node a degree a day for as many days as it takes for the Moon to reach a conjunction or opposition. Thus either a Solar or Lunar Eclipse may occur before or after the Sun reaches the Node, or both before and after. If the Lunation occurs within 2 or 3 days before or after the Sun reaches the Node there may be no accompanying Lunar Eclipse, as on Dec. 3, 1918 and May 29, 1919 (Saros Series 11).

If the Lunation or Full Moon occurs from 4 to 9 days before the Sun reaches the Node, there will be a Lunar Eclipse followed by a Solar Eclipse, or the reverse. If the Lunation occurs from 10 to 12 days before the Sun reaches the Node there may be a series of three Eclipses: a Solar before the Node, a Lunar at the Node, and another Solar when the Sun has passed beyond the Node. Associated with this are certain values:

Days      
242 returns of the Moon to a particular Node 6585.36    
19 returns of the Sun to the same Node 6585.78    
233 Synodic months 6585.32    
Satellites
A planet or moon that revolves about another. The Moon is a satellite of the Earth; and according to Newton, both are satellites of the Sun. In modern Astrology it is confined to a body which revolves around one of the planets in our solar system.
Satellitium
Stellium. A group of five or more planets in one Sign or House. In an angle it portends great changes of fortune, the good and the bad coming in patches. Heavy falls are succeeded in due course by a spectacular comeback, and vice versa. Such persons usually have many acquaintances, but few real friends. They can hardly fail of considerable recognition at some periods of their lives.
Saturn chasing the Moon
This is one of the most powerful of Saturnian conditions. Since the progressed Moon takes twenty-eight and Saturn thirty years to complete the circle, the two may in rare cases, approximately coincide. An affliction of the Moon by Saturn is of itself one of the most unfortunate of aspects; for when the aspect is close and the progressing Moon moves at about the same rate as Saturn, a transit of Saturn to the Moon can persist indefinitely – often for a lifetime: thus resulting in a double affliction. However, the condition can occur only where the Moon at birth is in conjunction, square or opposition to Saturn.
Saturnine
One of a dour disposition – a meaning borrowed wholly from Astrology, which defines it as one who has a strong Saturn accent.
Saturnalia
The Roman festival of Saturn which annually on Dec. 17 began a week of feasting.
Scorpio
The eighth sign of the zodiac. v. Signs.
Secondary Progressions
Zodiacal aspects formed by the orbital motions of the planets on successive days after birth, each day accounted the equivalent of one year of life. Aspects are calculated to the birth positions of the luminaries, planets and angles, and mutual aspects are formed between the progressed planets. The application of this system of forecasting future conditioning that may be expected to crystallize in events, involves the directing of the Midheaven, Ascendant and the Sun by their natural progress in the heavens after birth. The Sun and the Midheaven progress at an average rate of 59’08” per day (the so-called “Naibod Arc”), to form aspects to the radical positions of the planets, while the planets move at varying rates to form aspects to the radical positions of the Significators. The most dependable factor in Secondary Progressions is the advancing of the progressed Moon, forming aspects to the radical and progressed places of the planets and to the places of the Significators, which are interpreted according to the places in which the aspects fall by Sign and House.

With specific reference to the progressions of the Moon it is generally considered: that such aspects produce strong though gradual effects of about one month’s duration; that the month when the progressed Moon is approaching a square to her own radical place is generally marked by accidents and infirmities, the next preceding semi-square usually giving an indication of the nature of the crisis or physical ailment that can be expected to develop; that trine and sextile aspects of the transitory and of the progressed Moon to the radical Moon generally outline favorable days and months; and that square and opposition aspects also strongly influence and that adversely, forming critical periods around the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th day and year.

In general it is held that directions act in terms of the Radix and that when the Nativity is unfortunate no favorable direction can have the same efficacy as an adverse one; and vice versa when the Nativity is fortunate. In other words, the accidental good cannot overcome the radical evil. (v. Radix System.)

The revised Sepharial Dictionary defines Secondary Progressions somewhat misleadingly as those based upon the progress of the Moon in the zodiac. However, the aspects formed by the Moon in the Secondary system are important, and some authorities hold that unless they are of the same nature as the Primary Directions, hence tend to strengthen their operation, the primary directions will have little effect; but when they do coincide, a decided influence will be traceable in the life of the person whose chart is under consideration. According to this a Primary Direction would not function until such time as the progressed Moon forms an aspect of a similar nature. v. Directions.

In calculating Progressions by the system of taking the positions of the planets as given in the Ephemeris for the next day following birth, as the equivalent of their progressed positions at the end of the first year of life, use may be made of this table.

1 d. = 1 year
2 h. = 1 month
30 m. = 1 week
 4 m. = 1 day
 1 m. = 6 hours
 10 s. = 1 hour
 1 s. = 6 minutes

Note: ‘d.’ means ‘day’; ‘h.’ means ‘hour(s)’;
‘m.’ means ‘minute(s)’; ‘s.’ means ‘second(s)’.

Sedna
On 15th March 2004, astronomers from Caltech, Gemini Observatory, and Yale University announced the discovery of the coldest, most distant object known to orbit the sun. The object was found at a distance 90 times greater than that from the sun to the earth — about 3 times further than Pluto, the most distant known planet.

The discovery was made on the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory east of San Diego on 14 November 2003 by the team of Mike Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale).

Because of its frigid temperatures, the team has named the object Sedna, after the Inuit goddess of the sea from whom all sea creatures were created.

Seer
One who sees; a crystal gazer; a person endowed with second sight; one who foresees future events – a prophet; astrologically, one whose extra-sensory perceptions enable him to vizualize the ultimate effects that will result from the cosmic causes portrayed in a birth Figure.
Selena
Selena is a hypothetical second moon of the earth. Its distance from the earth is more than 20 times the distance of the moon and it moves about the earth in 7 years. Its orbit is a perfect, unperturbed circle. In mythology Selene is the Goddess of the Moon and is often represented as a woman with the crescent moon on her head.
Semi-arc
That portion of a celestial body’s apparent daily travel, during which it remains above the horizon, from its rising to its setting, is called its diurnal arc; hence half of the arc, from horizon to midheaven, is its Diurnal Semi-Arc. The other half, most of which is under the earth, is its nocturnal arc, and half of it becomes the Nocturnal Semi-Arc. The Sun’s semi-arc, diurnal or nocturnal, when in 0° Aries or 0° Libra, is six hours or 90° all over the Earth. At other seasons the one is greater or less than the other, according to the time of the year and the latitude of the place. The greatest discrepancy occurs where the N. or S. latitude is high, and when the Sun is in 0° Cancer or 0° Capricorn. The semi-arc is usually measured in degrees of R. A. passing over the Meridian; although it can be expressed in terms of time.
Semi-decile
An 18º aspect (v. Quintile).
semi-sextile
A 30º aspect.
semi-square
A 45º aspect.
Sesqui-quadrate
A 135º aspect.
Sesquiquintile
A 108º aspect.
sextile
The aspect representing an angular relationship of 60°, or one-sixth of a circle. Planets in sextile aspect are placed two signs apart and occupy approximately the same number of degrees in these signs, plus or minus an orb of 6° .
Sidereal Clock
A clock found in every astronomical observatory, which is set to register oh om os when 0° Aries is on the Zenith. Formerly a noon point, but since 1925 a midnight point, it moves forward in the zodiac by 1°, or 4 minutes, each day, hence the Sidereal Time at noon (or midnight if since 1925) on any day shows what sign and degree is on the M.C. at that particular moment. For example, ST at 0h, or midnight, on May 1, 1945 is 14h 34m 14s: approx. 874m / 4 = 218 degrees = approx. 8° Scorpio on M.C. The Sidereal Clock indicates 24h, while the solar chronometer registers 23h 56m 4.0906s of Mean Solar Time. It does not register A.M. or P.M., but divides the dial into 24 hourly periods. The so-called Army and Navy time of World War 11 indicates the eventual universal use of the same system applied to solar time, whereby for example, 2 P.M. will be known as 1400.

After the Sidereal clock has been set at 0h to coincide with the moment of the Earth’s crossing the intersecting point of the Ecliptic and Equator, the next noon it will read something like 12:04 – the distance the Earth has travelled in orbit in one solar day, shown in units of time. Thus each successive day at noon it shows the cumulative amount of the Earth’s orbital travel since noon on the day of the equinox. Thereby sidereal time becomes the hour angle of the Vernal Equinox, and the Earth’s position at Greenwich Noon on any day can be expressed in terms of hours, minutes and seconds. Its position along the ecliptic is expressed in degrees and minutes of longitude, and along the equator in degrees and minutes of Right Ascension.

Sidereal Day
The interval between two successive transits of the first point of Aries over the upper meridian of any place. The Sidereal Day is equal to 23h 56m 4.09s of mean solar time, and it has sidereal hours, each of 60 sidereal minutes, each minute of 60 sidereal seconds.
Sidereal Time
A method of time-reckoning based upon the period elapsing between two successive passages of some particular star, taken as a fixed celestial point, over a given point on the circumference of the Earth. During one such rotation the Sun’s apparent orbital travel has amounted to approximately 1°, hence the return of a given point on the Earth to the same relationship with the Sun requires added travel to the extent of 1° of arc or 4 minutes of time. Thus each calendar anniversary shows an annual net gain of 1°, which is the basis of all systems of progressed influences. The S.T. at any moment is the angular distance along the Ecliptic from 0° Aries, the point of the Spring Equinox, to the meridian of a given place at noon on a given day, expressed in h. m. s. The Right Ascension of the Meridian (RAMC) is a similar angular distance along the Equator expressed in degrees and minutes of arc.

When the Spring equinoctial point is on the observer’s meridian it is S.T. 0h. When that degree has moved 15° it is 1h S.T. Thus the time required for the equinoctial degree to move to a certain advanced position becomes the unit through which that position is expressed. To determine the sidereal time for a given moment at a certain place, take from the ephemeris the ST for that date and apply certain corrections, viz.: If the ephemeris is for any other meridian than Greenwich make sure to take that into account, adding or subtracting your distance from this meridian, not from Greenwich; also add or subtract 12 hours if you are calculating your time-interval from midnight.

Additions to this S.T. for stations west of the zone meridian are made in degrees expressed in solar mean time, four minutes for each degree, which must be further converted by adding 0s.657 for each degree to reduce the additions to sidereal time. The hours added for the elapsed time since oh must also be adjusted in the same proportion. v. Time.

Significator
A planet may be taken as a significator of a person or of an event, or of affairs ruled by a House. Its strength by virtue of its Sign and House position and its relationship by aspects are then consulted in arriving at a judgment concerning a desired condition. In general the strongest planet in the Figure, usually the ruler of the Ascendant, is taken as the Significator of the native. Similarly the Ruler of the Sign on the cusp of the Second House is taken as the Significator of wealth, of the Seventh House of the partner, of the Eighth of the partner’s wealth, and so on. Sepharial speaks of the Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Midheaven as Significators, but Alan Leo prefers to speak of them as Moderators, and includes Fortuna. The Sun and Midheaven are by some authorities deemed to have affinity as Significators of the honor, credit, and standing of the subject of the Figure, or of the surviving male head of the family; the Moon and Ascendant to have affinity as Significators of the personal fortunes, changes and accidents befalling the native; Mercury, of his learning, intellectual accomplishments or business acumen; Venus, of his love-affairs, social arts and accomplishments; Mars, of strikes, contentions, enterprises and risks; Jupiter, of wealth and increase; and Saturn, of disease, loss, death and decay. In this use there is danger of confusing the distinction between a Significator, as representing persons in Horary Astrology, and Promittors as representative of things promised or desired; but every planet in the Figure can be taken not only as the significator of something, but also as the Promittor of something.
Sol
The Sun.
Solar Cycle, or Cycle of the Sun
A 28-year period applicable to the Julian calendar, in which the first day of the year is restored to the same day of the week. Since the days of the week are 7, and the number of years in an intercalary period are 4, their product (4 x 7 = 28) must include all possible combinations. At the end of each cycle, the Dominical letters return again in the same order on the same days of the month.
Solar Day
The time clasping between two consecutive passages of the Sun over a fixed point on the Earth. It is in excess of one complete revolution, by 1° of longitude or 4 minutes of time.
Solar Houses
These are Houses, in that they are subdivisions of the twenty-four hour axial rotation of the Earth; but based upon the Sun-position as the Ascendant they divide the terrestrial circle into equal arcs of 30° each. v. Solar Astrology.
Solar Time
That in which the point of reference is the Sun. This may be apparent Solar time, as shown by a sundial; or local Mean Time, as shown by a clock adjusted to an average rather than an actual day. This is explained more fully under Equation of Time (q.v.). With Solar Time, noon was approximately four minutes earlier or later with every increase of distance of 1° East or West of Greenwich Observatory, which at zero longitude is the point for which Universal or World Time is computed. Apparent and Mean Solar Time coincide four times a year: on April 15, June 14, Sept. 1 and Dec. 25. At all other times the Sun is fast or slow by from one to sixteen minutes.
Solar Year
The Solar or Tropical Year is the period of time in which the earth performs a revolution in its orbit about the Sun, or passes from any point of the ecliptic to the same point again. It consists of 365.2422 days, or 365d 5h 48M 46s. (The Sun’s motion in longitude in a Julian year of 365.25 days is 360° 27’7.)
SOL-om-on (Solomon)
The name of the Sun in three languages: an expression of light, knowledge, understanding.
Solomon’s Seal
Two interlaced triangles, the angles of which form the six-pointed star. often one of the triangles is dark and the other light, symbolizing the union of soul and body. According to occult symbology the apex of the emblem represents the human head or intelligence; the two upper outstretched points, sympathy with everything that lives; the two lower, human responsibility; the angle at the bottom, pointing earthward, procreative power – the cryptograph, in its entirety, denoting complete individuality or human entity.
Solomon’s Temple
Solomon, Son of David, by Bathsheba, King of Israel in the 10th century B.C., was noted for his superior wisdom, and his great wealth. To the great temple he built at Jerusalem has been attributed many symbolic interpretations. In occult literature the human body, as developed by divine principle, is referred to as Solomon’s Temple.
Solstices
The points in the Ecliptic at which the Sun is at its greatest distance north or south of the Equator, so-called because the Sun then appears to stand still. The Summer Solstice occurs when the Sun is at 0° Cancer, about June 21; the Winter Solstice, at 0° Capricorn, about December 21.
Spectroscope
A device whereby to disperse and separate a beam of radiation into its component wave lengths. Spectroscopic observation of moving bodies shows that with an approaching body there is a shift to the violet end, while with a receding body the shift is toward the red end: the angular amount of the shift proportional to the velocity of motion of the light source and inversely to the wave length and velocity of the light. This is a confirmation of the altered astrological influence resulting from motion toward or away from a gravitational center, and with or contra to the orbital motion of the controlling body.
Sphinx
The most famous sphinx in Greek mythology was that of Thebes in Boetia, mentioned by Hesiod. It was symbolic of the fixed types of the four elements: the body of a bull – Taurus; the feet and tail of a lion – Leo; the wings of the eagle – Scorpio; a human head – Aquarius. Variations are found in all parts of the ancient world, showing its art influence upon those who knew naught of its symbolic significance. of interest is the parallel found in Ezekiel’s description of the Markaba. (Ez. 1:10.)
Square
n. A separation of 900 between any bodies or zodiacal points (v. aspect). Syn. quartile. Square, vb. Moving to form an aspect, through an arc of approximately 7 degrees, according to the bodies involved, on either side of the point where their Longitudinal separation becomes exactly 90 degrees.

The aspect representing an angular relationship of 90°. Planets in square aspect generally occupy the same number of degrees in signs which are three signs apart.

Standard Time
Since the meeting of train schedules is impossible on the basis of local time, Standard time-zone meridians were spaced at intervals of 15° of longitude East and West of Greenwich, and all clocks within each zone were adjusted to the mean Solar time of the midpoint of the zone. Standard Time was generally adopted on Nov. 18, 1883, but it did not come into common use in some localities until after many years had elapsed. Even yet there are communities in which the time of day is given in Sun time; unless you wish to catch a train, in which case you are given Railway Time. Not only that, but longitude is becoming an increasingly unreliable guide, for some communities which are actually in the Central Standard Time zone run by Eastern Standard Time, to make their business day coincide with that of some nearby city across the meridian; and similarly at various points throughout the world. Lacking such exceptions, all places in the United States east of 82°39′ W. Long. are theoretically in the Eastern Standard Time zone, and their time is 5h earlier than that of Greenwich; Central Standard Time, 6h earlier than Greenwich, applies to points between 82°30′ and 97°30′ W. Long.; Mountain Standard Time, 7h earlier than Greenwich, between 97°30′ and 112°30′ W. Long.; and Pacific Standard Time, 8h earlier than Greenwich, to all points in the United States west of Long. 112°30′. However, one need but observe on any time zone map the irregular lines which indicate the Time Zone meridians across the country, to realize how important it is that any statement of time of an event is incomplete and unreliable unless it carries with it a statement of the kind of time in which the event was recorded, and the standard meridian adopted by that community.
Star of Bethlehem
Commonly conjectured to have been the conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars which occurred about 2 B.C. It is supposed that the astrologers, the “wise men of the East,” were endeavoring to locate a child born at the point in terrestrial latitude and longitude from which this triple conjunction would occur in the same celestial latitude and longitude, and in the midheaven of that particular geographical location. As this was one of the grand mutations (q.v.) it was presumed that a child born at the exact place and hour that would posit this important satellitium (q.v.) at the cusp of the Tenth House, would be marked by Destiny to become the initiator of a new epoch in world history. It may be that the legend of the manger was devised as a record of a birth, connotated to this grand conjunction in 2 B.C.
Stationary
A planet appears to be stationary in its orbit at that point, or station, from which it reverses its motion from direct to retrograde, or the reverse. The Sun and Moon are never stationary. v. Stations.
Stations
Those points in the orbit of a planet where it becomes either retrograde or direct; so termed because it remains stationary there for a few days before it changes its course. The first station is where it becomes retrograde; the second station, where it abandons retrograde and resumes direct motion. From these Stations orientality is reckoned. From apogee to the first station it is matutine, because it rises in the morning before the Sun, hence is in the first degree of orientality. From the first station to perigee, the lowest apsis, it is vespertine, because it rises in the evening before Sunset, hence is in the first degree of occidentality. Stations of the Moon. The Moon is never retrograde, but in a different sense her first and second dichotomes are often loosely termed her first and second stations.
Succedent Houses
Those which follow the angular houses: 2, 5, 8 and 11.
Sunspot Cycle
The phenomenon of Sunspot cycles is one which has increasingly engaged the atteention of astrophysicists for more than two centuries. Useful records of the sunspot cycle are available from 1610 to the present day. For a long time the cycle was said to be of a duration of 11.3 years, but more recently it has been noted that successive eleven-year cycles produce similar but opposite phenomena, and that a complete cycle is of a duration of 22.6 years. It has also been noted that while the Sun’s surface is hotter at times of sunspot maxima, the Earth’s land surface is cooler, apparently due to the increased cloudiness that attends the phenomena. It is also found that magnetic disturbances in the Sun – are reflected on the Earth with increased display of the aurora borealis and magnetic disturbances that interrupt telegraphic service. Economic cycles are also found to correspond with the Sunspot Cycle. Trees grow more during the years of Sunspot maxima, when ultra-violet radiation increases by as much as 30 Per cent. Some plant life grows better with an excess of ultra-violet light, while other species thrive better on an excess of infra-red rays. Ellsworth Huntingdon, of Yale University, says solar radiation affects the health and behavior of man. Harlan E. Stetson, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, finds business activity, output of automobiles and new building construction follow the Sunspot cycle. For lack of reliable data on weather conditions, Dr. William Herschel used the price of wheat as an index on which to base his observations of this and similar cosmic cycles. Thus sciences establish the fact that man is influenced by cosmic phenomena, and the step to recognition of the validity of astrological influences has only the hurdle of prejudice to overcome before it is accorded scientific recognition.
Supercycle
A term applied by Richard and Jaggar to a cycle of 132 years, or approximately 6 sun-spot cycles
Swift in Motion
Said of a planet whose travel in 24 hours exceeds its mean motion.
Synodical Lunation
The return of the progressed Moon, after birth, to the same distance from the progressed Sun, as that which the radical Moon was from the radical Sun at birth. This takes place once every 29½ days approximately. Each such lunation or month is considered to represent one year of life. A map of the heavens for the moment of the exact return of the Moon to this position is compared with the horoscope of birth, and treated as symbolical of the influences then prevailing. (v. Syzygy.)
Synthesis
The art of blending together separate influences in a nativity, and deducing a summary thereof. The ability to synthesize a nativity is the mark of an experienced astrologer.
Syzygy
Literally a yoking together. often loosely applied to any conjunction or opposition; particularly of a planet with the Sun, and close to the ecliptic whereby the Earth and the two bodies are in a straight line. In its use in connection with the calculation of Tide Tables it applies to the conjunctions and oppositions of Sun and Moon near the Node.

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