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Glossary Header Letter G



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geocentric: "earth-centered:" the model of the solar system before Copernicus and still used by most astrologers as their basis for interpretation.

gorgon: a female monster and protective deity with hair of venomous snakes who turned anyone looking upon her to stone. The 3 gorgons were Medusa (the mortal one killed by Perseus; Athena turned her into a gorgon because she said she was more beautiful than Athena herself), Stheno and Euryale.

graben: a depressed block of land bordered by parallel faults; a valley with distinct scarps on each side. Often occurring alongside horsts (raised areas next to the graben’s depression), both indicate tensional forces and crustal stretching (see page 135).

grand cross: four planets in square, with two oppositions (a complete fourth harmonic syndrome). An intense and often stressful structure, it needs to focus its considerable energy into specific purposes and constructive action. A grand cross usually occurs all in one quadruplicity: in cardinal signs the outlet for the energy is action; in fixed signs the outlet is emotional and/or surrendering self will; in mutable signs, being able to see all sides leads to indecisiveness and diffusion of energy—an adjustment in thinking habits is necessary.

grand trine: three planets in trine to each other; a complete third harmonic syndrome; perfect equilibrium and balance denoting great talent, ease or harmony, usually all in one element; often a static, inert structure not promoting the growth and evolution that confronting the difficulties of hard aspects does; for this reason the ancients thought it evil or malefic. An exact grand trine (orbs<1°) is more dynamic w/more energy available for change.

Gregorian calendar: the internationally accepted civil calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. It replaced the Julian calendar (that assumed there are 365¼ days between successive vernal equinoxes) with a 365.2425 day-year. Years divisible by 100 are no longer counted as leap years unless they are also divisible by 400 (thus 1900 was not a leap year, but 2000 was). There are close to 365.2422 days in a mean tropical/solar year.

gyroscope (page 42): a device invented in 1852 by the French physicist Leon Foucault (1819-1868) as part of an investigation into the rotation of the earth; it demonstrated that the plane of rotation of a freely swinging pendulum rotated with a period that depends on the latitude of its location. His gyroscope was a rapidly rotating disk with a heavy rim, mounted in low-friction gimbals. As the earth rotated beneath the gyroscope, it would maintain its orientation in space. This proved to be hard to do in practice because frictional forces brought the system to rest before the effect could be observed.




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© Carl Woebcke, The Glossary: the letter G, 1991-2017. All rights reserved.