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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





2 articles for "Orbs"

Orbs [Prima]

An orb is the arc (in degrees) within which an aspect is judged to be effective. In testing or research, tighter orbs are preferable (bearing in mind that there is much disagreement on the subject), since the closer the orb is to exact, the stronger the effect of the aspect. The size of orb depends upon whether the aspect is major or minor, the nature of the planets involved, the type of astrology being practiced, and the personal preferences of the astrologer. Out-of-sign aspects may still be in orb, for example: a water trine from the Sun at 29° Scorpio to the Moon at 29° Pisces is exact, but would still be considered a trine (though weaker) if the Moon were at 1° Aries.

See also: ♦ Aspect ♦ Celestial Sphere
Orbs [DeVore]

The space within which an aspect is judged to be effective. The term is employed to describe the arc between the point at which a platic, or wide aspect, is deemed strong enough to be operative, and the point of culmination of a partile or exact aspect. Most authorities agree that orbs should vary with each planet and aspect, and that a larger orb should be allowed for an aspect that is forming than for one that is separating. As to exact orbs, there are few points on which authorities differ so radically. For conjunction or opposition some allow as much as 12° when the Sun aspects the Moon, about 10° when either luminary aspects a planet, and 8° for aspects between planets. Observe whether either body is in retrograde motion. The faster moving applies to the slower.

According to Ptolemy, the following orbs apply to the different bodies: Sun 17°, Moon 12°, Mercury 7°, Venus 8°, Mars 7°, Jupiter 12°, Saturn 9°, Uranus 5°, Neptune 5°. When two planets are approaching conjunction or opposition, add their respective orbs and divide by two to ascertain the arc of separation within which the aspect is supposed to be effective. For the trine and square aspects reduce the arc by one-fourth, and for the minor aspects by one-half. In all cases the closer the aspect the more powerful it becomes; also the heavier and slower moving planets are more powerful than the smaller and faster. v. Celestial sphere.

See also: ♦ Aspect ♦ Celestial Sphere


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine