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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms

Antiscia & Contra-Antiscia

- From the Greek, literally 'opposite shadows', the antiscion of a planet is its zodiac degree mirrored across the solstice points of the Cancer-Capricorn axis (so a planet at 5 degrees Capricorn has its antiscion at 25 degrees Sagittarius). This mirroring ties the planets into a relationship based on the fact that at both points the length of day and night will be equal. Generally, the antiscion of a planet is considered to be a favourable point.

Lilly describes them on p.90 of Christian Astrology:

The Antiscion signs are those, which are of the same virtue and are equally distant from the first degree of the two tropic signs, Cancer, Capricorn, and in which degrees whilst the Sun is, the days and nights are of equal length; by example it will be plain; when the Sun is in the tenth degree of Taurus, he is as far distant from the first degree of Cancer as when in the twentieth degree of Leo; therefore when the Sun is in the tenth of Taurus, he hath his Antiscion to the twentieth of Leo; that is, he giveth virtue or influence to any star or planet that at that time either is in the same degree by conjunction, or casteth any aspect unto it.

But that you may more fully and perfectly know where your Antiscion falls in degrees and minutes, behold this following table.

A General Table of the Antiscions in signs.


Any planet in Gemini sends his Antiscion into Cancer, or being in Leo into Taurus.

Lilly also offers a table for easy calculation of the antiscion degree (p.92) which he describes on p.91.

Table to calculate antiscia

The use is easy if you enter with the whole degrees of your planet, the two first columns serve you, as Mars, supposed to be 14 degrees of a sign, look for 14 in the first column, over against it is 16, to that degree he sends his Antiscion.

If you have minutes, enter the four last columns; as if you enter with 17 min., in the first column, over against it you find 43. or first look the sign where the Antiscion falls, then subtract the number of degr. and minutes the planet is in, from 30, what remains is the degree and minute where the Antiscion is.

On page 92 he defines the nature of antiscia (antiscions), and explains their counter-part, contrantiscions:

And as there are Antiscions, which of the good planets we think are equal to a sextile, or trine; so are there Contrantiscions, which we find to be of the nature of a square or opposition: and to know where it is, you do no more than observe in what sign and degree the Antiscion is, in the sign and degree opposite to that place the Contrantiscion: as in the former examples, the Antiscion of Saturn is in nine degr. and 25 min. of Taurus, his Contrantiscion must then be in 9 degr. and 25 min. of Scorpio.

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© Deborah Houlding, 2007

Horary Astrology
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