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    A Glossary of Astrological Terms for the letter "I"

    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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    Iamblichus (c. 250-325 CE), an influential figure in the Neoplatonic school of Plotinus. Born at Chalcis in Syria, he traced his ancestry through an ancient line of priest-kings. A student of Porphyry, the chief disciple of Plotinus, his influential treatise Theurgia, or On the Mysteries of Egypt describes a higher magic through the agency of the gods. He sought to reconcile Plato and Aristotle, but held that Pythagoras was the supreme authority, reviving his teachings on Number as the basis of all things. He taught that the individual soul becomes lost in matter and cannot grasp the transcendent reality with intellect alone, because the transcendent is supra-rational. He recommends theurgy, a series of rituals and operations aimed at recovering the transcendent essence by retracing the divine signatures through the layers of being. Agrippa refers frequently to Iamblichus in his Occulta Philosophia. Iamblichus also had a strong influence on other Renaissance occultists like Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, and Giordano Bruno.
    The Greek word for Gematria, the system of encoding letters with numbers for occult purposes. See Gematria.
    Saturn's third-largest moon, discovered by Cassini in 1671. There is some discussion as to whether this satellite is actually artificial – placed by an unknown race in the remote past – due to its very unusual features including an exceedingly dark leading hemisphere (possibly a coating) and a relatively bright trailing hemisphere; a very light density (is it hollow?); and the most striking thing: a giant ridge (13 km high) that goes right around it at the equator. Its two-tone effect has been photographed and looks impressively like the Yin/Yang symbol of the Tao. We shall have to wait until NASA sends another expedition to find the facts. In Greek mythology Iapetus was a Titan, the son of Uranus, the father of Prometheus and Atlas and an ancestor of the human race. Though fascinating, it has no known astrological significance. More about Iapetus [off site].
    Medical application of astrological principles, especially timing, critical days, etc. Remedies, such as herbs and minerals, are chosen by their correspondence and significance to the energetic matrix of the subject, or to the decumbiture chart, through their astrological signatures.
    International Astronomical Union. The professional body for contemporary astronomers. No astrological significance.
    Schmidt's translation of Zoidion, the ancient Hellenistic term for Zodiacal Sign. See Zoidion.
    The beginning of an eclipse, or of an occultation. The opposite of Emersion, or coming out of the aspect.
    Debilitated, hindered, or damaged. A planet is impedited (impeded) in its natural action when afflicted, especially by malefics, or is in a general state of weakness due to position or lack of dignity. Particularly applies to the Moon, when afflicted by Sun, Mars or Saturn.
    Imum Coeli (IC)
    The fourth house cusp. The Lower Heaven, or Nadir. The north point of the horoscope.
    Widely used in recent times to refer to the quincunx, although the classical meaning is "not in mutual aspect". Neither semisextile nor quincunx are proper aspects in the traditional sense, as a planet is unable to "see" another in these relationships, unless it also beholds the other by virtue of being either antiscion or contra-antiscion (so not inconjunct). DeVore states that inconjunct means "dissociate" and that a planet is inconjunct when it forms no aspect and is not in parallel declination or mutual disposition to another planet, as well as being either quincunx or semisextile.
    Increasing in Light
    A planet increases in light as it progresses from the conjunction with the Sun to the opposition. Mainly used regarding the Moon.
    Increasing in Motion
    A planet moving faster than on the previous day.
    Increasing in Number
    1. Waxing. See "Increasing in Light".
    2. A generally obsolete term for "Increasing in Motion".
    Sun, Moon and Mercury, according to Henry Coley's Key to the Whole Art of Astrology (1676), are Indifferent, as opposed to Venus and Jupiter (Fortunes) or Mars and Saturn (Infortunes).
    Inferior Planets (Inferiors)
    1. Traditionally, Moon, Mercury and Venus, planets below (inferior to) the Sun in the ancient geocentric schema.
    2. Planets orbiting between the Earth and the Sun (Moon, Mercury and Venus and the postulated Vulcan). The orbits of the superior planets, Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter and Mars (also the asteroids and trans-plutonian "planets" such as Trans-Pluto) lie beyond that of the Earth from the Sun.
    Traditionally, Saturn and Mars. The Sun under some conditions, esp. in Vedic astrology. The Moon's South Node is an infortune, whilst Uranus and Pluto are malefic, so infortunes, though modern; Mercury and Neptune when afflicted. Ceres is almost certainly an infortune, according to current research. Several fixed stars, notably Caput Algol and Facies are distinctly malefic, therefore acting as infortunes.
    Entry of a planet into a sign. Usually the Sun's ingress into any of the four cardinal signs.
    Gradual, step by step process of introducing the candidate to an understanding of specific sacred writings, symbols and ceremonies, generally to a religion, secret society, or esoteric school. A typical example is the initiation into Craft Freemasonry, with the first degree being that of the Entered Apprentice, the second the Fellow Craft, and the third degree being the Master Mason. Other rites of Masonry, such as the Scottish Rite, have many higher degrees. Certain higher degrees in some esoteric schools also contain an empowerment, whereby the initiate, having reached a sufficient degree of advancement, is enabled to conduct and make use of specific powers which had been previously inaccessible. Initiation and empowerment can be dangerous to the ill-prepared, so must only be undertaken following the strictest protocols.
    When a sign is fully enclosed between the cusps of a house without actually being on either cusp it is described as being intercepted. This only appears in charts; signs are never intercepted in the zodiac. See Short Ascension.
    Killing planet. See Anareta.
    Invisible Planets
    Moon's Nodes. Also other sensitive points, such as Vulcan, Lilith, etc. The Outer Planets are invisible to the naked eye, and though Uranus can be seen without a telescope under rare conditions, it is not classed as a Visible Planet.
    The practice of computing the number denoted by a Greek word, for each Greek letter has a numerical value. See Gematria.
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