The following are some astrological terms that you are bound to encounter ~ it is however a mere drop in the bucket where astrological terminology is concerned!
Ascendant (ASC): The leftmost part of a chart wheel, indicating the sign and degree of the Eastern horizon. This sign of the ascendant is also known as the Rising sign. This is one of the four angles of a chart wheel which are considered sensitive points.
Aspect: The angular separation between two bodies, measured along a circle of 360 degrees. The most used aspects are set at increments of 30 degrees (30, 60, 90, 120, 150 and 180 degrees). The different aspects describe ways in which the energies of the two bodies will interact with each other.
Astrological Chart: Any chart calculated for a specific time and place. A Natal chart is calculated for the time and place of a person's birth: A transiting chart calculates the transiting position of the Planets for a specific time and place (such as an specific event). A Progressed chart calculates the position of the Planets at a specific time and place according to the rules of progression.
Cusp: The dividing point between either zodiac signs or houses. If a person is born 'on the cusp,' it is at a time when the sun is close to the beginning or close to the end of a zodiac sign. A house cusp is the dividing point between houses, shown as one of the lines which radiates out from the center of the chart.
Element: A basic characteristic or organic quality in astrological interpretation given to the signs of the zodiac. The astrological Elements are: Earth, Air, Water and Fire.
House: A division of the chart wheel, representing about one-twelfth of the total chart. The setup of the houses in one's chart is determined by the positions of the Midheaven and Ascendant. From these two points, the rest of the house cusps are calculated. The houses of the chart represent the twelve main departments of life. The house system is actually a personalized version of the zodiac superimposed over the actual zodiac. The overlay of the house and signs systems creates a framework of influences unique to each individual.
Midheaven (MC): The topmost point in a chart wheel, also known as the tenth house cusp. In a natal chart, the Midheaven is the point in the heavens directly overhead at the time of birth. As with the other angles of a chart, the Midheaven is a sensitive point. Transits or progressions over the Midheaven can indicate major life events.
Modalities: The basic quality of the signs in terms of their movement of energy
Cardinal: Outward movement - Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn - enterprising or goal-oriented.
Fixed: Inward movement - Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius - unchanging or unyielding to outside influences.
Mutable: Spiral movement - Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces - adaptable or changeable.
Moon's nodes: A term used to illustrate the axial tilt of the moon, or the direction in which the axis of the moon is pointing. Every rotating body has a 'wobble.' Much like a spinning top winding down, the axis of the spinning body moves to form a small circle at the north and south poles. Over an 18 year period, the nodes (or north and south poles) make one complete cycle through the signs of the zodiac. The position of the north node shows where one can receive greatest benefit or where one is most likely to succeed. The position of the south node reveals innate abilities and tendencies, but also where one can stagnate or be unfulfilled.
Orb: The number of degrees from exact allowed for an aspect. For most planets, an orb of 6 degrees is allowed. For the sun and moon, an orb of 10 degrees may be allowed.
Polarity: The division of the signs into two groups of opposite energy impulses: Yang (+)(Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius) and Yin (-) (Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio)
Progression: A theory of planetary movement which states that the planets in a person's natal chart move very slowly over a lifetime. A person still retains his or her natal chart, but the progressed chart is superimposed over the natal to reveal movement which influences major life events and circumstances. There are two types of progression. In Primary Progression, one degree is added to each planet's natal position for each year of real time. In Secondary Progression, one day's planetary movement equals one year of real time. Example: If the moon moves 12 degrees per day in real time, by progression, it moves 12 degrees per year.
Retrograde: A planet's seemingly backward movement as seen from the earth. Retrograde is noted in a chart by an "Rx" after the planet, sign, and degree. The retrograde movement of a planet in natal & transit charts requires special attention.
Ruler: Each sign of the zodiac and each of the 12 houses is associated with a specific planet, and is said to be ruled by that planet. Every sign and every house in a chart has a planetary ruler.
Transiting Planets: Transits refer to the day-to-day positions of the planets. These positions may be superimposed onto the natal chart to provide information on current happenings or predictions.
Zodiac or zodiac belt: The pathway in the heavens through which the planets pass in their orbits. Because no planet has a declination greater than 8 degrees north or south of the ecliptic, the movements of the planets are restricted to a zone or belt in the sky known as the zodiac.
Tropical Zodiac: Planetary longitudes are measured against the point in the sky where the Sun is on
the first day of Spring. This is the system most used in chart calculation.
Sidereal Zodiac: Planetary body is determined by its relationship to the background of fixed stars.