Partile & Platick
- Originally the term partile referred to aspects that were calculated by degree (rather than by sign) because they acknowledged the 'parts' (degrees) of the sign. Aspects judged according to the relationship of the signs were termed platick, from a phrase which meant 'plate' or 'broad area'.
In later astrology the term partile generally referred to aspects which were exact or near perfection, whereas platick referred to those which were 'loose', or within the limits of their recognised orbs.
The term partile has been used in different ways to describe aspects in a state of near-perfection. Usually, and most correctly, it is used to describe an aspect where both planets are in the same degree, ie., a square from a planet in the 14th degree of Taurus to a planet in the 14th degree of Leo. This is a partile square because both planets are in the same degree, and the definition wouldn't be used to describe a square where one planet is at 13°58' Taurus and the other is 14°02' Leo, even though these planets are extremely close to perfection, because they are in different 'parts' of the zodiac division into degrees.
However, traditional authors have used the term partile to indicate an aspect that is within 1 degree of exactness.
In Christian Astrology (p.107), written in 1647, William Lilly defines a partile aspect as occurring within the same degree, saying "as if Venus be in nine degrees of Aries, and Jupiter in nine degrees of Leo, this is a Partill Trine aspect"; but in his Merlini Anglici, written in 1677, he redefines it thus: "A Partile Aspect comes to pass within the difference of three degrees".
(Many ancient authors considered an aspect within 3 degrees of orb to be in a very strong point of contact and near enough to perfection to express a full effect; however it would be less confusing to describe such aspects as 'close' and reserve the term partile for those that fall in the same degrees of the zodiac.)
For more details see 'Application & the Development of Orbs'
in the article The Classical Origin and Traditional Use of Aspects.
© Deborah Houlding