Astrology Definitions – V

Vernal equinox
The intersection of the plane of the ecliptic with the celestial equator. This intersection occurs once a year, at the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator moving from south to north.
Vertical Sphere
The circle of observation in which one stands when facing South (probably so termed because it is the observer’s horizon raised vertically and projected upon the heavens), is the circle that is presumably subdivided into twelve equal 2-hour segments as it passes over the horizon, which divisions are termed the Houses of a Nativity. On the Equator these Houses are equal in both time and arc, but they become increasingly unequal in arc as one passes N. or S. from the Equator. This results from the declination of the Poles, and the consequent inclination of the Ecliptic to the Equator. The planets which are posited in these signs pass obliquely through the semi-arc of the Ecliptic to the Mid-heaven – not the zenith. Therefore the position which a planet will occupy at some future moment, to which it is desired to direct it, must be calculated by Oblique Ascension.

In an effort to reconcile the rising or ascendant moment at which a planet passes above the horizon, with its oblique ascension along the Ecliptic to a mid-heaven point that is on the same longitudinal circle as the Zenith, but a considerable distance removed from it, various attempted compromises have resulted in several different systems of House Division (q.v.). The horizon system appears to yield the correct House positions of the planets in a birth map, but the directing (q.v.) of planets to the positions they will occupy at some future moment, requires the application of
Oblique Ascension, both to the planets’ places and to the progressed cusps.

For a concise classification of the term, note the appended table:



Circle of reference Horizon Celestial Equator Ecliptic
Poles Zenith N. celestial pole Midheaven
  Nadir S. celestial pole Immum Coeli
Secondary Circles Vertical circles Hour Circles Latitude circles
  Parallels of altitude Parallels of declination Parallels of Latitude
Coordinates Altitude Declination Celes. Latitude
  Azimuth Right Ascension Celes. Longitude
Zero Circle Vertical c. thru S. Point Hour c. thru Ver. Equinox Latit. c. thru V. Equinox
Direction of first coordinate Through West Eastward Eastward


Said of a planet which sets in the West after the Sun. The reverse of Matutine.
Via Combusta
The combust path. As employed by the ancients this doubtless referred to a cluster of fixed stars in the early degrees of the constellation Scorpio. A birth Moon in that arc was considered to be as afflicted as if it was in an eclipse condition – at or near one of the Nodes. If so, the description would have to be revised by 1° every 70 years, to compensate for the Precessional arc. This would probably place the Via Combusta in the region occupied by Antares and opposed by Aldebaran, an arc now centering around 10° Sagittarius. A birth planet or birth Moon in that arc would thus be described “in Via Combusta.” Some of the older authorities gave its location as the last half of Libra and the whole of Capricorn; others, from Libra 15° to Scorpio 15°.
It is common to speak of impressions as vibrations. Bodies doubtless exude some variety of emanations, which we now deem to be energy radiations, and whose vibratory characteristics are termed frequencies. just as the thought embodied in music or audible sounds is conveyed to the ear in sound frequencies, of a range from 60 to 6000 cycles a second, and color in art and all things visible is conveyed to the eye in light frequencies of from 400 to 800 milli-micron wave lengths, so must there be a range of frequencies in which otherwise unexpressed thoughts are projected from one brain to that of another attuned to receive it. Occultists define Vibrations as psychic pulsations or magnetic waves.
Violent Signs
Aries, Libra, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Aquarius. v. Signs.
The sixth sign of the zodiac.
Moon. As the New Moon begins to separate from its conjunction with the Sun, it becomes visible in the West just after Sunset. Each successive evening it is higher in the sky, hence sheds its light for nearly an hour longer before it sets. A first quarter Moon is always seen directly overhead immediately after sunset. At the Full Moon the Sun’s setting reveals the Moon just rising in the East, hence the Full Moon shines throughout the entire night. As each night it rises an hour later, by the time it reaches its last quarter it does not rise until midnight, and is overhead when the morning Sun, rising in the East, blots it from view. At the next Lunation the Moon traverses the sky along with the Sun, and is invisible – except as it eclipses the Sun, when it shows as a dark shadow crossing the Sun. A day later it reappears in the West, just after the fading light of the Sun renders it visible.
Mercury. Its periods of visibility follow a pattern similar to that of the Moon, in a cycle of from 3½ and 4½ months. A few days after its inferior conjunction it fades into view in the West about an hour after sunset. Each night for about three nights it climbs higher in the western sky to its point of greatest elongation; then falls back until it disappears. Five to six weeks later, in the middle of its retrograde period, occurs its superior conjunction, when its rays are completely enveloped by those of the Sun. In another five or six weeks it attains to a sufficient elongation to become visible in the East just before Sunrise. Each of three mornings finds it a little higher in the sky, after which it as quickly recedes – and another cycle begins.
Venus. Its cycle is strikingly similar to that of the Moon – including its phases; but while Mercury makes its superior conjunction approximately every four months at an advance of four Signs, the Venus superior conjunction occurs every two years, approximately, at an advance of nine signs.
Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Similarly the major planets depend for visibility upon their positions relative to the Sun, whereby the planet can be above the horizon at a time when the Sun is below it. A study of the phenomena of visibility of a planet with regards to the relative positions of the Sun and Moon, will contribute to a better understanding of the Doctrine of Orientality, which decrees that a planet is more advantageously placed when oriental of the Sun, and occidental of the Moon.

Mercury was an Evening Star in November of 1943-1944, and will be on every sixth year thereafter; 1949-1950, and so on.

Venus was an Evening Star in November 1941, 1944, 1946 and 1947, and will be on every eighth year after each of these dates.

Mars was a Morning Star in 1947, and was to be every second year thereafter for many years.

Jupiter was visible in the evening during 1947-1951.

Saturn will have been a Morning Star for several years from 1945.

The major planets are brightest when in opposition to the Sun, when they are visible throughout the entire night.

Uranus is sometimes visible to the unaided eye on a Moonless night, when it is in a near conjunction with Mars.

Neptune and Pluto are never visible except with the aid of a telescope.

Vocal signs
Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. v. Signs.
Voice, Signs of
Said to be Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Aquarius and the first half of Sagittarius, so called because when one of these Signs ascend and Mercury is strong, the person is deemed to have the capacity to become an orator.
Void of Course
Said of a planet which forms no complete aspect before leaving the Sign in which it is posited at birth. When the Moon is so placed it denies fruition to much of the good otherwise promised in the Figure. In Horary Astrology a planet so placed is said to indicate a person devoid of objective or purpose, hence one who abandons himself to aimless endeavor.
An hypothetical planet, much conjectured among ancient astrologers, the orbit of which is supposed to lie inside that of Mercury. Astronomers have so far found no justification for any assumption of its existence.