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Western Astrology

The Planetary Terms: Astrology's Long Lost Relative

by Jessica Shepherd May 13, 2011 01:46 PM EST
The Planetary Terms: Astrology's Long Lost Relative

When it comes to techniques to try, astrology rarely disappoints. From astro-mapping  to astro feng-shui, what are we not doing with astrology nowadays? Yet our versatile science and art is dated back to ancient cultures and techniques that have much to teach and offer.

One of these techniques is that of the planetary 'terms'. The Egyptian terms pre-dated our precious astrological aspects-- so central to modern astrology. Perhaps for that reason ‘terms’ are rarely employed in modern astrology. But according to traditionalists, the astrological terms flavors the expression of a zodiac sign. My friend Jonathan Pearl, stock-trader and astro-market watcher, has watched the planetary terms daily for the past few years and he's noted some striking correlations between how the market moves and planetary terms. Many a phone call between us has excitedly started with something like, Jessica, I've got to share what happened today to the market while watching terms...and ending ten minutes later with a self-conscious apology for going on and on about all the ways terms drive our astrological lives in ways we don't recognize.

How do planetary terms work practically? Each thirty degree zodiac sign is chunked and assigned a planet (except for the Sun and Moon, the lights, apparently because their light spills over into the other degrees). For example, my Sun is at 3 degrees Cancer, a Mars term. My basic nature is soft, feeling-oriented and sensitive. However, I am far more feisty and impetuous than your typical Cancer. But then again how many of us are our typical Sun, Rising or Moon sign? Well, apparently that’s the point. The terms flavor the expression of any one sign one way or another. We always tend to lump all the qualities of a sign into one basket, but often that doesn't quite mesh up with a person's experience. Say someone is born with Ascendant 3 Capricorn. Shaking hands with a Cap Rising, we'd expect to meet a reserved personality, someone cautious, practical, business-like. But he was born in the term of Mercury. He looks younger than his years (maybe even more like a Gemini Rising), and he surprises you with a far more experimental, open-minded & self-expressive approach to life than someone say with a Rising sign of 23 Capricorn-- the term of Saturn. 

There are several terms tables floating about – Ptolomeic, Chaldean and Egyptian being the most common ones discussed. Egyptian, being the oldest, seems to carry more street credibility. Click here to see a table of Egyptian terms. Note: A planet at 23 degrees 45 minutes would be considered 23 (not 24 degrees, there is no rounding up).

Experiment with the terms on your planets, and those of your friends and family. Then watch how elegantly it works in daily astrology, too.

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For instance, right now, from May 11 through May 14, Venus in Aries is in the term of Saturn. Since Venus rules sociability and pleasure, our social lives may feel obligatory. We may not be having too much fun!  Let's add in the fact that Saturn flavors Aries' expression: Aries is impulsive, Saturn, slow. Aries is confident, Saturn, cautious. We may feel held down or back by others, or financially. Obligation may restrict our ability to enjoy our self. Then, Venus enters Taurus on Sunday, May 15 (through May 21) and enters the term of Venus. A Venus in her ruling sign already helps us all to perk up, but double Venus, makes life all the more sweet, fun and generally enjoyable. After Venus-Saturn - 7 days of creature comforts, taking pleasure in our companions, and doing Taurus things like spending, eating, and restoring and caring for our possessions - is a huge relief.

Since this blog is all things Venus, Jonathan proposed I write a bit on the terms of Venus. Stay tuned... Till then, be nice to old people (Saturn), my pretties. Sunday will come soon enough.

 

 
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