Updated 1 November 2005
The Air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.   Air signs are about mentality.
The Angles are the four major house cusps - the Ascendent (1st house), Descendent (7th cusp), Midheaven (10th cusp), and IC (4th cusp).
Aspect - Planets are said to be "in aspect" when they align at an angle which is a multiple of a Harmonic.
Asteroids are minor planets or other rocks that orbit the Sun like the planets do.
Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn.   Cardinal signs are about creating.
Chiron is an asteroid or captured comet that orbits between Saturn and Uranus.   Sometimes informally considered a planet.
Culmination - In a cycle between two planets or asteroids, the period between the opposition and the phitile.   This is the period when the cycle is at the peak of its power.
Cycle - As a relatively fast planet or asteroid passes a slower planet or asteroid, it initiates a cycle.   The synergy which a cycle embodies is strong at its initiation, but then it appears to wane until the first quarter square.   After the first quarter square, the synergy again waxes, till at the opposition it begins culmination.   Culmination is the period when the synergy exerts its influence on our Planet most strongly, and it lasts until the phitile.   After the phitile, the synergy wanes until the next initiation.   We are well served to use the period between the phitile and the following initiation to release the synergy, in order to empty ourself for receiving the synergy of the next initiation.
The Earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.   Earth signs are about physicality.
First-Quarter Square - The synergy of a particular cycle is fully present at its initiation.   However, we are seldom fully present for that energy.   So between the initiation and the first-quarter square (when the faster planet is 90 degrees ahead of the slower planet), most of us are still releasing the old energy in order to clear out space for the new energy.   If we fully released the old energy between the phitile and the initiation, we'd be ready to fly when the new energy arrived.   Most of us just aren't that swift, though we're working on it, aren't we.
The Fire signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.   Fire signs are about spirituality.
Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius.   Fixed signs are about stability.
Grand Cross - Two culminations or oppositions at right angles (90 degrees) to one another.   Implies a balancing, but may require constant adjustments to stay balanced.
Grand Trine - Three Hot Spots at 120 degrees to one another (three Trines), forming a perfect triangle.   Implies effortlessness and, until one learns that others have different skills and aren't necessarily "dumb" because they have to work at it, arrogance.
Harmonic - A cycle divided by an integer.   The second Harmonic is 360 degrees divided by 2 or 180 degrees, the opposition; the third Harmonic is 360 degrees divided by 3 or 120 degrees, the trine; etc.   Multiples of Harmonics are in the same family - for instance, an angle of 240 degrees (2 time 120 degrees) is part of the third Harmonic.
Hot Spots are any natal planets, asteroids, angles, house cusps, or other symbolic points in the birth chart.
Initiation - a conjunction, or the beginning of a cycle.
The Lights are the Sun and the Moon.
Mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces.   Mutable signs are about transformation.
Natal planets (and other hot spots) are those in your birth chart.
Opposition - When two Hot Spots are exactly on opposite sides of the Zodiac, implying duality, polarization, awareness.   Oppositions between two Hot Spots can occur several times in succession, when one of the Hot Spots goes on retreat.   The first opposition in such a series begins the culmination of a cycle.   When a cycle includes only one opposition, it begins the culmination.
Out of Bounds - The Sun in its annual travels goes no further north than the Tropic of Cancer (latitude 23N27) and no further south than the Tropic of Capricorn (23S27).   When a planet, an asteroid, or the Moon go further north or south, they are said to be "out of bounds" and are particularly strong.
Orb - The degree of accuracy we require between Planets when we consider an aspect.
Phitile - 222 degrees and 30 minutes.   This is the "golden angle" of sacred geometry, and it's the point where a cycle turns.   It's very close to the waning sesquisquare (225 degrees).   See the article Blue Moon for more information.   There is a table of phitiles at
Planets include Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.   Sometimes Chiron is counted as a planet, and sometimes the Lights and Asteroids are counted, just as a convenience.
Quintile - Any angular relationship between two planets that is divisible by 72 - that is, any multiple of one fifth of a cycle, particularly the first (waxing quintile) and last (waning quintile) fifth of a cycle.   The fifth harmonic or Hierophant, implying learning and teaching.
Release Period - The last third of a cycle, in which the synergy of the cycle is depleted.   Our task in this phase is to empty ourself of expectation, in order to be a clear vessel for the initiation that will follow.
Retreat - A period when a planet or asteroid appears to go backwards, or retrograde, in the sky.
Shadow Period - The period when a planet goes on retreat, plus the time prior to that while it traverses the segment of sky that it will then retreat over, plus the time after it's retreat while it again traverses the same segment of sky.   In other words, when a planet goes on retreat it crosses the same chunka sky three times, first moving forward, then moving backward, then again moving forward.   If you have a natal planet within the retreat zone, then the transiting planet will impact it three times.
Square - An energizing or challenging passage in a cycle, where the flavor of the cycle changes, often yielding stress when we aren't willing to adapt, and power when we are.   The fourth harmonic, or Dominion.     See waxing square and waning square.
Station or Stationary - When a planet begins a retreat, it appears to stand still in the sky, before appearing to move backward.   When it ends a retreat, it again appears to stand still in the sky, before appearing to move forward again.   When it stands still it's said to be stationary or in its station.   The synergy of a planet is at its strongest when it's stationary.   See Shadow Period.
Synergy - According to Randy Masters, the term "energy" derives from the same root as "entropy," and applies to processes which have no internal life force, and therefore wind down over time.   Synergy is the equivalent term applying to processes which contain an internal life force or organizing principle, and are therefore self-repairing and self-replicating.   So we sometimes use the term synergy where others would use the term energy.
Transiting planets (and asteroids) are those in the sky now.
Trine - The relationship formed when a cycle is one-third (waxing trine) or two-thirds (waning trine) complete.   The third harmonic, or Love with Wisdom.   Trines imply ease and arrogance.
Tsquare - Three-fourths of a grand cross.   The tsquare is out of balance, and must be consciously balanced, by focusing attention on the vacancy that would complete the grand cross.
Vacancy - In any major or "grand" planetary configuration (such as a grand cross or grand trine), the location in the Zodiac which would fill an otherwise-complete geometry.   For example, a grand cross consists of four Hot Spots that form a perfect square.   When one is missing, a Tsquare is formed, and the missing Hot Spot is the Vacancy.
Waning Quintile - The last quintile in a cycle, representing a "final reckoning" of what we've learned from the cycle.   As Camus pointed out, the Last Judgement is made by ourself upon ourself, so it's a good plan to phrase this in positive terms.   There is a parallel here to the fourth step of the Universal Change process, or the searching moral inventory.   Change doesn't occur till we're loving with conditions exactly as they are, so the more objective this inventory is, the greater the leverage for Change.   Inevitably there is Grief here, and the more present we can be with it, the more thoroughly we release our old self-sabotaging patterns.
Waning Square - The time when a cycle releases its charge and drops into the Void.
Waning Trine - The second trine in a cycle, which occurs shortly after the phitile, or shortly after the end of the culmination.   Hence the beginning of the release period for the cycle.   A time of hollow boasting, since the synergy of the cycle is depleted, but the ego probably doesn't realize it yet.
The Water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.   Water signs are about emotionality.
Waxing Square - The time when the energy of a cycle forces itself into the consciousness of those who weren't sensitive enough to pick it up at the initiation.
Waxing Trine - The first trine in a cycle.   At this point the synergy of the cycle is building strongly, making projects that align with the synergy seem effortless.   The ego is likely to personalize this and bloat.

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