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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms


- also known as 'infortunes', these are planets that naturally symbolise damage and loss. Traditionally these are Saturn, the 'Greater Malefic' and Mars, the 'Lesser Malefic'. Both are extreme in nature: Saturn being cold and dry, and Mars exceeding in heat. The outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are also mainly damaging in their influence.

If the natural malefics are positively placed in the chart, well dignified, strong in position and involved in good aspects, their influence may be beneficial rather than afflicting.

The South Node is also considered to be a detrimental point and is thus traditionally termed a malefic.

The article on the life and work of Ptolemy explains the humoral philosophy behind benefics and malefics.

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© Deborah Houlding, 2007

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