Stellar Lexicon

The Stellar Lexicon is a dictionary of astrological terms as defined by respected astrologers and reputable sources. 



Birth Chart:

"A birth chart is a unique arrangement of astrology's primary elements: signs, houses, and planets. A birth chart is simply a map. It shows the way the sun, moon, and planets were arranged in the sky at the moment a person was born." -Steven Forrest, The Inner Sky

Mercury Retrograde:

"Mercury is retrograde approximately three times a year for approximately three weeks each time. As such, retrograde Mercury is a fairly common occurrence (Mercury is retrograde approximately 18% of the time).

As the planet of communication, Mercury retrograde tends to breed a certain level of confusion. Mercury rules our "lower" mind--how we perceive and interpret information that we receive from our environment, and how we relay that information to others. Mercury has rulership over such things as speaking, negotiating, buying and selling, listening, formal contracts, documents, travel, the mail and shipping, and so forth. All of these areas of life are affected when Mercury is functioning in a sluggish state." -"Mercury Retrograde," Cafe Astrology



"When our own motion makes [a] planet appear to be losing ground, we say that the planet is retrograde...The retrograde period in a transit often represents a relatively quiet phase of the growth process, one in which the breakthroughs and developments are primarily internal and attitudinal. It often coincides with a period of reassessment and reflection. When a planet transiting over a trigger point turns retrograde, the developmental process it symbolizes tends to turn inward, unfolding independently from outer events." - Steven Forrest, The Changing Sky

"Say you are traveling in a train and there is another train moving next to yours in the same direction. If that another train is slightly slower than yours, it will seem to you that it goes backwards, while in fact it goes forward. The phenomenon of retrograde motion works in a similar way: depending on the relation between the speed of the Earth in the Space and the speed of another planet, it may seem that that planet goes backwards." -"About Retrograde Planets," Lunarium

See Also: Mercury Retrograde


"Transits are the actual, physical motions of the planets around the Sun as observed from the perspective of the Earth." -Steven Forrest, The Changing Sky

"When we speak of transits in astrology, we mean the positions of the planets (in relationship to the backdrop of the zodiac) at any given time. To become more personal and specific, we look at where that planet falls in any particular chart...By watching the movements of the planets through your chart, you can see where (house) and how (planets and aspects) the influences of the time are affecting you or asking you to participate." -Mary Plumb ("Transits and an Introduction to Progressions," Mountain Astrologer


This is a living document and very much a work in progress. If you find a broken link or a term/definition you think should be included, e-mail me at