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    A Glossary of Astrological Terms for the letter "E"

    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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    E

    Earth
    Sometimes called Terra, the Earth is the mother planet upon which we dwell, the basis of our world. Our planet revolves on its own axis every 24 hours and completes its orbit around the Sun in around 365.25 days. The course of the Earth's orbit lies between that of Venus and Mars. The Moon is the Earth's only natural satellite and orbits the Earth in approximately 29 days. The geocentric ("earth-centred") view places the Earth at the centre of the solar system (and indeed the universe), which is the way it appears to be to those who dwell on its surface. This view is favoured by most astrological systems for this reason (although there is a heliocentric astrology with some followers). The heliocentric ("sun-centred") view places the Earth in orbit around the Sun, the view favoured by modern, material science. This does not, however, affect the validity and accuracy of geocentric astrology, a spiritual science.
    Earth Element
    One of the four astrological elements. A feminine element, it stands for materiality, solidity, matters to do with security and so on. The other elements are Fire, Air and Water.
    Earth Signs
    Taurus (fixed), Virgo (mutable), Capricorn (cardinal).
    Earthy Triplicity
    The Earth Signs: Capricorn; Taurus; Virgo. These signs are cold and dry by nature and melancholic by temperament.
    East
    1. One of the four cardinal directions or points, opposite of West and at right angles to North and South. East is the the general direction from which the Sun appears to rise, because the Earth rotates on its axis towards the East.
    2. The Eastern (oriental) sector of the horoscope wheel is located on the left hand side of the chart, unlike a geographical map, where the East is to the right. The degree of the ascendant is the easternmost point of the chart.
    East Point
    The sign and degree rising over the Earth's equator at any given moment.
    Easter
    Christian festival of Christ's resurrection, coinciding approximately with the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Easter is named after the ancient German goddess of spring, Eastre. This calendar festival finds its primitive origins in earlier European and Middle Eastern cultures, all of which had major festivals, usually to do with resurrection and/or release from bondage, based around the vernal equinox.
    Eclipse
    Solar and Lunar eclipses are important keys to political and social events. They are also significant in natal and progressed horoscopes. An eclipse happens when the Sun, Earth and Moon align so that, in a solar eclipse (at the New Moon), the body of the Moon obscures the body of the Sun and in a lunar eclipse (at the Full Moon), the body of the Earth obscures the Moon. In each case the Sun's light is obstructed, causing the eclipse.
    • Total Eclipse
    When the whole of the eclipsed body (either Sun or Moon) is blocked out and darkened.
    • Annular Eclipse
    When the body of the Moon does not completely block the light of the Sun, leaving a thin ring of fire (Annulus) visible.
    • Hybrid Eclipse
    When part of the eclipse path is annular and part of it is total, usually annular at the start, changing to total for the middle portion, then switching back to annular towards the end. However, some hybrid eclipses are annular only at the beginning or at the end of the path.
    • Partial Eclipse
    When only part of the Moon or Sun is blocked out.
    Ecliptic
    The Sun's apparent path through the zodiac, the central line of a belt some 15° – 18° wide around the Earth. The name refers to eclipses, which can only occur here.
    Eighth House
    The eighth segment of an astrological chart. Governs natural changes in life such as birth and death, clearing the way for something better, self-revelations, marriage and business assets, and partner's funds; inheritance, end-of-life matters; sex, death and taxes.
    Election
    Chart cast to ascertain the most auspicious time for important events, such as marriages, moving house and so on.
    1. Particular Election: constructed and developed with reference to the natal chart, this is considered by Ptolemy to be the best method
    2. Universal Election: constructed on its own basis, without reference to a natal chart.
    Used in Horary Astrology.
    Electional Astrology
    A branch of astrology in which a chart is cast to determine the ideal time for any significant action, such as buying a house, starting a business, getting married, buying a car, beginning a journey etc.
    Elements
    The basic structural components of the world are known as elements. In astrology four elements are recognised: Fire, Earth, Air and Water (these elements are easily observed in nature, but have a subtle character, not to be confused with the chemical elements of the periodic table). A fifth element, or quintessence, is held to be the underlying permeating spiritual essence out of which the four material elements are precipitated. The quintessence is not used in practical astrology. See Triplicity, also Humours.
    Elevated
    The closer a planet is to the midheaven in a chart, the more elevated, and therefore the more potent, it is.
    Elevated Pole
    The celestial pole that appears above the horizon.
    Eleventh House
    The eleventh chart segment. Governs friendships, hopes and wishes, personal goals, income from career, associations, group aspirations, cooperation, bettering the community and humanitarianism.
    Ellipse
    A somewhat flattened, elongated circle, or oval shape. Planetary orbits were demonstrated by Kepler to be ellipses, rather than circles as had previously been believed.
    Elongation
    Distance of a planet, measured in degrees, from the Sun.
    Emersion
    A planet coming from under the Sun's beams so as to be seen after an eclipse or occultation. See Immersion.
    Empedocles
    Distinguished pre-Socratic Greek magus, healer and mystic philosopher, born in Sicily, who flourished in the 5th Century BCE. Among other notable scientific intuitions, he revealed the universal fourfold structure of the classical elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, which he called the "roots of all things" (rhizai), as he came from the tradition of herbal magicians. He held that the elements were spiritual in nature, naming them Zeus (Fire), Hera (Air), Hades (Earth) and Nestis (Water). Nestis is Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. His ideas profoundly influenced the world, especially via the work of Plato, Aristotle and their followers.
    Empowerment
    The reception of spirit energy through the crown chakra. The fundamental process upon which the awakening of higher awareness and other higher energy faculties depends. Empowerment usually comes from a more highly advanced (empowered) person, but may also be achieved via direct personal communication with higher powers, as at a power place, or sacred environment.
    Empyrean
    The place in highest heaven in the geocentric model of the universe. It was believed by ancient cosmologists to be occupied by the fiery element, or in the case of the Greeks following Aristotle, by the ęther.
    Enthroned
    A planet placed in its domicile, or home sign; or more strictly, when in a part of a sign where it has more than one dignity.
    Ephemeris (Ephemerides)
    Tables of planetary places used to find their positions in the zodiac. Now widely available in computerised form.
    Epicycles
    Circles attached to the planetary spheres. Introduced to maintain aristotelian circular motion of planets, in order to explain retrograde motion of planets in the ancient geocentric Ptolemaic system. This idea is now obsolete, due to the acceptance of the modern Copernican system of heliocentric motion.
    Equal House System
    House system in which the zodiac is divided into 12 equal houses of 30° each, commencing from the first house cusp, the degree of the Ascendant. This means that the MC is not necessarily the cusp of the tenth house, as it is in say Placidus, or Koch systems. Thus the MC is considered a sensitive point, no matter which house it appears in. An alternative method bases the house cusps on the MC, so making the Ascending Degree a sensitive point rather than the cusp of the first house.
    Equal Power
    Beholding Signs. Ptolemy says: "the parts which are equally removed from the same tropical sign, whichever it may be, are of equal power, because when the sun comes into either of them the days are equal to the days, the nights to the nights, and the lengths of their own hours are the same. These also are said to "behold" one another, both for the reasons stated and because each of the pair rises from the same part of the horizon and sets in the same part."
    Equally Ascending
    Pairs of signs that take equal lengths of time to rise over the horizon.
    Equator
    The band of maximum circumference of the Earth, located at 0° Latitude. When the Sun by declination is located above the Equator, this is the time of the Equinox. See Celestial Equator.
    Equidistance (Eq)
    Midpoint between centres of Sun and Moon in a chart. Expresses subtle, unconscious forces.
    Equinoctial Points
    First degrees of Aries and Libra respectively. Astronomically, the celestial points where the plane of the equator intersects the plane of the ecliptic.
    Equinoctial Signs
    Aries and Libra. These signs hold the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. See Solsticial Signs.
    Equinox
    Equal Night. Point in the ecliptic where the length of the day and night is of equal duration. Interestingly, the actual equal duration (equilux) need not occur on the official Equinox, which is more cultural and celebratory than scientific. In the Tropical Zodiac, the vernal equinox is the first degree of Aries and the autumnal equinox is the first degree of Libra (the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere). More on the Equinox.
    Equipollent
    Two signs equidistant from an equinoctial point, one being north, the other south. At 0° Aries and 0° Libra the night hours are equal to the day hours. This relation remains constant as you move away from the equinox by inverse degrees. This later became known as the contra-antiscion.
    Eris
    Trans-Neptunian "dwarf planet" formerly known as Xena. Now (2009) known by astronomers as a "plutoid", Eris was first found in 2003, but officially discovered in 2005. This KBO, the most massive object yet found in the Kuiper Belt, is more massive than Pluto and has a moon, Dysnomia. It is almost 10 billion miles from the Sun (three times farther out than Pluto) and, at 557 years, takes more than twice as long as Pluto to orbit the Sun. Eris is the Greek goddess of discord and strife. She stirs up jealousy and envy to cause fighting and anger among men. At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the parents of the Greek hero Achilles, all the gods with the exception of Eris were invited, and, enraged at her exclusion, she spitefully caused a quarrel among the goddesses that led to the Trojan war. Its moon is now officially named Dysnomia, after Eris’s daughter, a demon spirit of lawlessness. Eris has already developed something of an astrological following, as a harbinger of catastrophic conditions – and feminist power! See Xena.
    Essential Dignity
    See Dignity
    Eta Carinę
    This is Foramen, a super-gigantic Fixed Star in the keel (Carina) of Argo Navis. Visible mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, it is a massively bright star (as bright as 4 million suns!), or rather a supernova like event, surrounded by a beautiful nebula which is rapidly expanding and rushing towards us at millions of miles per hour. It is relatively close (7,500 light years), so when it does finally collapse, the massive gamma ray burst is likely to hit the Earth like a suite of exploding nuclear bombs. Let's hope the atmosphere protects life on earth, or we might have a major extinction event. More on Foramen.
    Ether (Aether, Ęther)
    1. Alchemical quintessence: the fifth and highest element after Air, Earth, Fire and Water; once believed to be the substance comprising all heavenly bodies. See Akasha, also Quintessence.
    2. A medium that was once supposed to fill all space and to support the propagation of electromagnetic waves. See Dark Energy.
    3. In theosophical terms, it is a subtle energetic field, or level of consciousness immediately surrounding and interpenetrating the physical level of our five senses. See Etheric Body.
    Read more on the Ether.
    Etheric
    Pertaining to the Ether. Often used as shorthand for the Etheric Body, or the Etheric Plane.
    Etheric Body
    Subtle energetic field, or body immediately surrounding and interpenetrating the physical form. It is a semi-material level that, net-like, bonds the more refined levels of the subtle body to the physical (soul to body, if you like). This level is the most readily perceived of the subtle energetic levels, or bodies beyond the physical. See Aura.
    Etheric Plane
    A subtle energetic level, which lies between the physical and the Astral.
    Event Astrology
    A branch of astrology seeking to explain an event from its timing. Robert Schmidt says: "For example, suppose you receive a letter or message from someone and you wish to know the intentions of the sender, whether the message was tampered with in some way, etc.; to find these things out, cast the chart for the moment you received the letter. Or suppose you wish to know the course of someone's illness; cast the chart for the moment he took to his bed." See Decumbiture.
    Event-Oriented Astrology
    In contradistinction to Psychological Astrology, this more traditional view presupposes a way of looking at the world as a series of events, rather than psychological states. In this way it can be seen as a product of Descartes and Newton, but there is more to it than the "clockwork universe". Human beings are seen as products of the environment, but this primarily consists in the interaction of cosmic energies, the expression of the Anima Mundi, or world-being. Although on the surface it may seem deterministic and even fatalistic, it actually reflects the underlying view that the world is more a being than a thing and that ritual and other remedies such as gems, mantras etc can affect destiny, attracting good fortune and deflecting the slings and arrows of misfortune.
    Exaltation
    Essential dignity of a planet, possibly even more powerful than being in its own sign. Traditionally, however, exaltation (4 points) is considered less important than domiciliary rulership (5 points) on the scale of planetary values. See Table of Planetary Values. Ram Ramakrishnan has an remarkable explanation of how Exaltation is designated according to a planet's latitudinal movement. See The Gospel According to Grandpa [14].
    Exile
    Obsolete term for the sign of a planet's detriment, opposing its home sign, or domicile. A debility. When a planet is in exile (detriment) it generates contrary influences. Now rare.
    Extra-conditione
    A powerful accidental debility, according to the ancients. A planet is extra-conditione when it is out-of-sect, and effectively in the contrariety of Hayz. The term is now pretty much obsolete and not used in modern astrology.
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