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Tropical Zodiac or Ecliptic


The term 'ecliptic' is the astronomical word for what astrologers call the plane of the zodiac. Although, as astrologers, we all use the zodiac or ecliptic in our work, let us review just what it is.

The Ecliptic or zodiac is the plane of the Earth's orbit and, like a vast sheet of glass, it can is considered to extend infinitely in all directions. In other words, the 360° orbit of the Earth around the Sun describes a plane that passes through the center of the Earth and the Sun. By definition, our Earth ever moves only within this thin plane in its endless orbit around the Sun. In Figure A, the Earth revolves in a counter-clockwise direction (as seen from looking down from the north pole of the ecliptic).


Tropical Zodiac



© Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine







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