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dark side: the few degrees before a house cusp in which a planet makes its influence felt in the next house as well. 5-6° before an angle a planet starts expressing itself through the next house. 3-4° before an angle a planet’s energy is somewhat equal in both houses. Less than 2° before an angle a planet expresses itself predominantly through the next, angular house and less through the house it is in. The dark side influence for non-angular houses precedes those houses by only 1-3°. The influence of retrograde planets is felt only if it is significantly closer to the next house cusp: less than 1.5° for fast-moving planets on the dark side of angular cusps, and less than ½° for slow-moving retrograde planets to angular cusps.

Planets close enough to the end of a house should be interpreted as in, or blended with the next house. For this purpose your birth time must be accurate to within five minutes, as house cusps change 1-2° every five minutes of time. The same holds true for any aspect of a planet to an angle, and for the sign degree on a house cusp. Suppose you have 1° of Leo or 28° of Scorpio rising. If your actual time of birth were 5 minutes earlier in the first case or 10 minutes later in the second, you’d have Virgo or Sagittarius rising instead!

debilitated: said of a planet in fall or detriment or in hard aspect to Mars, Saturn or an outer planet.

decanate: three sequential 10° sections of all signs: the first 10° of a sign is said to be of the nature of the sign itself; the second 10° is of the nature of the next sign of the same element; the third has the nature of the remaining sign of that element.

declination: in the equatorial coordinate system, the angle that an object is above or below the Earth’s equator projected on the celestial sphere. This coordinate corresponds to Earth latitude; the other coordinate in this system is "Right Ascension."

deferent: In the Ptolemaic system a planet was thought to move in a small circle (epicycle) the center of which revolved around a larger circle called a deferent. Although the Ptolemaic system was considered geocentric, the center of the deferent was a point halfway between the Earth and another point called the equant.

degree: units of angular measure into which a circle or arc can be divided for purposes of measuring. The symbol for a degree is °, a super-scripted "o." A sign is 1/12th of a 360° circle, or 30°. There are 60 angular minutes (') in 1 degree, 60 angular seconds ('') in one angular minute, and 3600 seconds in one degree. The Moon and Sun both subtend an arc of ½° in the sky, which is why they appear to be the same size from Earth and exactly eclipse each other. Venus at closest approach has an angular diameter of 1', and Uranus has an angular diameter of 3''. The closest star in the sky, Alpha Centauri, and the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, both have angular diameters of 0.007".

degree of avataric descent: Seasons begin with a cardinal sign, continue with a fixed, and end with a mutable sign. Each season’s energy reaches its maximum potential at its center: 15° of the fixed signs , , ˜ or symbolizing the greatest potential energy in the zodiac: "degrees of avataric descent," points where an avatar might incarnate.

descendant: The intersection of the ecliptic with the western horizon where planets set or descend; the beginning of the seventh house. The descendant in our chart is our experience of others and the world as not-self; lost aspects of our self that we experience through—or look for in—others, and with which we are least identified.

detriment: a planet is said to be in its detriment in the sign opposite the one it rules. Here a planet's power is blocked, its full expression hindered, or it has difficulty expressing its positive or optimistic side (in a sign so uncongenial to its nature). The Sun is in its detriment in Aquarius, the Moon in Capricorn, Mercury in Sagittarius or Pisces, Venus in Aries or Scorpio, Mars in Libra or Taurus, Jupiter in Gemini, Saturn in Cancer, Uranus in Leo, Neptune in Virgo, and Pluto in Taurus.

dignified: said of a planet in a sign it rules. Here it most freely, naturally and powerfully expresses its energy; and, if a personal planet, is a dominant force in the whole chart.

Diocletian (244 AD -311): Roman emperor (284-305) who in 303 ordered the destruction of all Christian churches, the burning of all Christian scripture, the torture and death of all Christian clergy, and that Christians be deprived of their civil rights. The next year he required that all Christians sacrifice to the Roman gods or face torture and death. When he abdicated in 305, persecution ended in the Western Empire.

direct: the apparent forward motion of a planet as seen from the Earth against the background stars; as opposed to apparent backward (retrograde) motion of that same planet as seen from the Earth.

dispositor: the ruler of a sign on the cusp of a house is the dispositor of planets in that house; also, the ruler of a sign relative to planets just in that sign.

Dodekatheon: the 12 Olympians: Zeus, Hera, Ares, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Dionysus, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hephaestus and Hermes.

draconic month: The orbit of the Moon is tilted about 5° to the orbit of the Earth, and the Moon passes through that (ecliptic) plane at its "nodes". The ascending node is where the Moon moves into the northern celestial hemisphere. A draconic month is the period between two successive transits of the Moon through its ascending node, or 27.212221 days (27d 5h 5m 35.8s). The Sun, Moon and Earth are in line only when the Moon is at one of its nodes; hence this is the only time eclipses can occur. The word "draconic" refers to a mythical "dragon" that supposedly lived in the nodes and ate the Sun or Moon during an eclipse.

draconic period: the time between two successive passages of a body at its ascending node: where it crosses the ecliptic from the south to the north.

dwarf planet: on August 24, 2006, the IAU defined a dwarf planet as an object that:

1) is in orbit around the Sun;

2) assumes a round shape due to sufficient mass;

3) has NOT cleared its neighborhood of significantly sized bodies other than its own satellites;

4) is not a satellite of a planet or non-stellar body.

Thus Pluto lost its astronomical status as a planet. As of April 2014 there are five officially recognized dwarf planets in the sola system: Eris; Pluto a TNO (Trans-Neptunian object); Haumea (originally 2003 EL61, an elongated KBO longer than Pluto and with a moon); Makemake (2005 FY9); and the asteroid Ceres. Astronomically speaking, there are currently only eight planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. According to Mike Brown, of the California Institute of Technology, as of Saturday, April 12, 2014, there are: 10 objects which are nearly certainly dwarf planets, 25 objects which are highly likely to be dwarf planets, 47 objects which are likely to be dwarf planets, 82 objects which are probably dwarf planets, and 345 objects which are possibly dwarf planets.

 

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© Carl Woebcke, The Glossary: the Letter D, 1991-2016. All rights reserved.