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Dictionary and Glossary of Astrological Terms starting with letter 'D'

Dagdha Rashis
Burnt signs, assigned according to the tithi or Lunar dates.
Daily Motion
Daily motion is the angular distance, expressed in degrees and minutes of an arc, that a planet travels in the course of a day.
Dara Karaka
The karaka or the significator for wife, having least longitudinal degrees in a sign, used in Jaimini Astrology.
Vedic astrology has numerous dasa systems. Each dasha system divides one's life into periods, sub-periods, and so on. Each dasa system is good at showing events of a specific nature. But Vimshottari Dasha system is most commonly used. Its cycle is of 120 years with Sun 6, Moon 10, Mercury 17, Venus 20, Mars 7, Jupiter 16, Saturn 19, Rahu 18 & Ketu 7 years. The position of Moon at birth in a Nakshatra determines the starting point in Dasha.
Dasha Balance
For Nakshatra based planetary periods or Dasha, the distance the Moon has traveled in any particular Nakshatra determines the length of the first dasha. This is calculated either by the degrees the Moon has yet to travel in a Nakshatra divided by the degrees in the Nakshatra, or by the amount of time the Moon has yet to travel in a Nakshatra divided by the time it takes the Moon to travel through the Nakshatra.
One of the sixteen Shodashvarga or the Divisional Charts, used for predictive purpose in Vedic Astrology. Dashamsa or one-tenth of a sign or 3 degrees, used for Career and Profession related predictions.
The group of ten divisional charts: Rashi or the Lagna or Birth chart, Hora or one-half of a sign, Drekkana or one-third of a sign, Saptamsha or one-seventh of a sign, Navamsa or one-ninth of a sign, Dashamsa or one-tenth of a sign, Dwadashamsha or one-twelfth of a sign, Shodashamsha or one-sixteenth of a sign, Trimshamsha or one-thirtieth of a sign, Shashtyamsha or one-sixtieth of a sign.
Day Horoscope
A day horoscope is a horoscope in which the Sun is above the horizon.
A debility is a weakening of a planet through its placement in certain signs. The basic idea behind debility is that there are certain signs whose energies are incompatible with the characteristics of certain planets, causing the it to lessen the strength of a planet's influence. Sun is said to be debilitated in Libra, Moon is said to be debilitated in Scorpio, Mercury is said to be debilitated in Pisces, Venus is said to be debilitated in Virgo, Mars is said to be debilitated in Cancer, Jupiter is said to be debilitated in Capricorn and Saturn is said to be debilitated in Aries.
Decanate (Decan)
Each sign of the zodiac occupies an arc of 30° (the 360° of a circle divided by 12 signs equals 30° per sign). Every sign is subdivided into 3 decans or decanates of 10°, each of which is associated with three signs of the same element. For example, Scorpio, a water sign, is subdivided into a Scorpio decan (from 0° Scorpio to 10° Scorpio), a Pisces decan (from 10° Scorpio to 20° Scorpio), and a Cancer decan (from 20° Scorpio to 30° Scorpio). The first 10° of every sign will be ruled by that particular sign. In other words, the first decan of Aries is the Aries decan, the first decan of Taurus is the Taurus decan, and so forth.
A decile is a minor aspect of 36°, created by subdividing a circle (360°) into ten parts. Deciles refer to the aptitudes or talents related to the planets involved in the aspect. It is given an orb of influence of 1 to 2 degrees.
The degrees a planet is north or south of the celestial equator.
Decreasing/Increasing in Light
From the new to the full moon, the Moon is said to be increasing in light. Similarly, the Moon is said to be decreasing in light from full to new moon.
A decumbiture chart is a horoscope calculated for the moment one goes to bed at the start of an illness. It is sometimes used in medical astrology for prognosis.
A degree is 1⁄360 of the circumference of a circle.
Degree Rising
The degree rising is the degree of the sign of the zodiac on the ascendant or the first house.
A term for Rashi or Sign used in the Kalachakra dasha system in Vedic Astrology.
Delineation is an alternative term for astrological interpretation.
Derived Houses
A method of renumbering the houses so that the matter or person asked about becomes the new first house, and the other houses are numbered in order. For example, in a question about ones mother, the natural fourth house becomes the mother's 1st house; the natural fifth house becomes the mother's second house, and so on.
The descendant is the cusp or beginning of the seventh house and in a horoscope it corresponds to the western horizon at the moment for which the chart is cast. It is always 180 degrees away from the Ascendant or the first house cusp.
Descending Node
Another name for South Node or Ketu.
A planet is said to be in its detriment when placed in the sign opposite the sign that it rules, for example Mars in Libra or Sun in Aquarius. Being in detriment is regarded as an unfortunate or weak placement for the planet.
Dexter Aspect
Dexter is derived from a Latin term meaning "right". It refers to one of the many ways of classifying astrological aspects. A Dexter aspect occurs when a faster-moving planet makes an aspect with a slower-moving planet that is located to its right in the zodiac.
The 23rd Nakshatra or the Lunar Mansion used in Vedic Astrology. It spans form 23.20 degrees of Capricorn to 6.40 degrees of Aquarius and is ruled by Mars.
The Vedic Astrology name for the sign Sagittarius, the ninth sign of the Zodiac.
A planetary combination or Yoga (used in Vedic Astrology) for wealth and material success.
It means Two and a half; it refers to the length of time in years for Saturn to transits in one sign.
A comet or upagraha, used in Vedic Astrology, calculated by the Sun's position; it is said to be malefic in nature.
One of the Upa Grahas or Comets used in Vedic Astrology.
The directional strength of a planet and a part of Shadbala. Dig Bala represents the strength based on the direction occupied by the planets in the birth chart. Jupiter and Mercury get full digbala or strength when placed in the 1st house, Saturn in the 7th house, Mars and the Sun in the 10th house, and the Moon and Venus in the 4th house.
The term dignity is used in traditional western astrology for classifying certain sign placements of planets. A planet is generally said to be in its dignity when in the sign it rules. For example, because Venus rules Libra, it is in dignity when in the sign Libra.
Direct Motion
When a planet is moving from west to east in the natural order of the zodiac, it is said to be moving direct. Direct is the opposite to retrograde, which is the apparent movement of a planet backward through the zodiac.
Directions is an alternative word for progressions. A predcitive technique used in western astrology.
A planet is the dispositor of other planet when it is placed in the sign the planet. For instance, if Mercury is in the sign Taurus, then Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is the dispositor of Mercury. A planet in its own sign, such as Venus in Taurus, will be know as final dispositor.
Dissociate Aspects
Dissociate aspect was at one time an alternate term for quincunx or 150 degree aspect. In contemporary astrology, this expression usually refers to an aspect in which the component planets are not in the anticipated signs. For example, it is normally the case that the planets making a trine aspect (120°) are in the same element. Thus, a planet in Scorpio will usually makes trines only with planets in the other water signs, Cancer and Pisces; a planet in Taurus makes trines with planets in other earth signs; etc. However, because an aspect does not have to be exact to be regarded as effective, sometimes to continue using the trine example two planets in a trine can be in signs of different elements. In this case, the trine would be termed dissociate.
Dissociate Signs
Dissociate signs are signs of the zodiac that are either in adjacent signs or are five signs away from each other.
Diurnal Chart
The term "diurnal arc" refers to the distance, expressed in degrees and minutes of a circle that a planet traverses between it's rising in the east and its setting in the west.
Diurnal Motion
Diurnal means "of or belonging to the day." In classical astrology, particular planets were classified as diurnal and others as nocturnal, no matter where they were in a horoscope. In contemporary astrology, planets are diurnal if they are located above the horizon (i.e., in houses seven through twelve).
Domal Dignity
The speed or distance moved by a planet during the course of one day or twenty four hours.
There are 16 types of horoscopes, known collectively as Shodashvarga or the Divisional Charts, and each one is used for judging a different aspect of life. Rashi or the Lagna or Birth chart of 30 degrees = All aspects of life. Hora or one-half of a sign of 15 degrees = Wealth. Drekkana or one-third of a sign – 10 degrees = Siblings. Chaturthamsha or one-fourth of a sign - 7 degrees 30 minutes = Destiny and Fixed assets. Saptamsha or one-seventh of a sign – 4 degrees 17 minutes & 8.5 seconds = Progeny. Navamsa or one-ninth of a sign – 3 degrees 20 minutes = Spouse and many other things. Dashamsa or one-tenth of a sign – 3 degrees = Career and Profession. Dwadashamsha or one-twelfth of a sign -2 degrees 30 minutes = Parents. Shodashamsha or one-sixteenth of a sign -1 degrees 52 minutes & 30 seconds = Conveyance. Vimshamsha or one-twentieth of a sign -1 degree 30 minutes = Spiritual Progress. Chaturvimshamsha or one-twenty fourth of a sign -1 degree 15 degrees = Knowledge. Saptavimshamsha or one-twenty seventh of a sign -1 degrees 6 minutes 40 seconds = strength. Trimshamsha or one-thirtieth of a sign – 1 degree = Misfortunes and Characteristics. Khavedamsha or one-fortieth of a sign – 45 seconds = Auspicious & Inauspicious effects. Akshavedamsha or one-forty fifth of a sign 40 seconds = for all areas of life. Shashtyamsha or one-sixtieth of a sign 30 seconds = for all general effects.
Domal Dignity
A planet is in its domal dignity when it is placed in the sign it rules. Traditional astrology referred to such a planet as domiciliated.
In traditional astrology, a planet placed in the sign that it rules was said to be in domicile, a word derived from the Latin for home. Thus, a planet in domicile (e.g., Mercury in Gemini, Mars in Aries, etc.) is "at home," a location that allows the planet to express its nature freely. A planet in domicile is in the sign of its dignity, and an alternative term for domicile is domal dignity.
Doryphory is a term assigned to a planet that rises shortly before the Sun rises, or shortly after the Moon rises in the same or in a contiguous sign.
It means 'flaw' or 'blemish'; used in Vedic Astrology for describing unfavorable condition prevailing in any horoscope due to planetary placements, aspects or any other condition. Nadi, Kuja or Mars, Gand Mool are few of the important dosha or blemishes.
Double Signs
The double signs, also called the double-bodied or dual or the bicorporeal signs, are Gemini, Pisces, and Sagittarius. Gemini is represented by the Twins, Sagittarius by a figure part human and part horse or centaur and Pisces by two fishes. Virgo was included in this category, but not anymore in modern times. Thus all three signs belonging to this category are the mutable signs.
Dragon's Head
Dragon's head is an alternate term for the north lunar node or Rahu. When eclipses occur, the lunar nodes as per ancient mythology, a celestial dragon or demon swallows the Sun or the Moon, hence the name.
Dragon's Tail
Dragon's tail is an alternate term for the south lunar node or Ketu.
There are 16 types of horoscopes, known collectively as Shodashvarga or the Divisional Charts in Vedic Astrology. Drekkana or one-third of a sign of 10 degrees is one of them and is generally used to predict about siblings.
Drekkana Bala
A source of strength based on the gender of the planet, and the drekkana it occupies. Male, hemaphrodite and female planets acquire strength in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd portion of 10 degrees (drekkana) of the signs respectively. Drekkana Bala is one of the components of Sthana Bala.
The aspectual strength of a planet determined by the benefic and malefic aspects it receives. It is a part of the shadbala calculations.
A term used in Vedic Astrology meaning an aspect, literally meaning "to look at."
Dumb Signs
Dumb or Mute signs are all water signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
The sixth, eighth and the twelfth house are called Dusthana or evil or unfavorable houses in any horoscope as per Vedic Astrology.
There are 16 types of horoscopes, known collectively as Shodashvarga or the Divisional Charts Dwadashamsha or Dwad as know in western astrology is one-twelfth of a sign - 2 degrees 30 minutes each and is used to predict about one's parents. Dwad, or dwadashamsa, derived from the Sanskrit for 12-division, refers to the 12 subdivisions. It is one of the few concepts from Vedic astrology that has been regularly utilized by Western astrologers.
Dwiswabhava Rashi
It is a term used in Vedic astrology for Dual signs, Gemini, Virgo, Saggitarius and Pisces.
The western angle or point of setting.

Astrology Terms starting with letter: 

Written by Sanjay Sharma, © 2011, revised August 2015