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hard aspect: the opposition, square, semisquare, quincunx, sesquiquadrate and semisextile aspects; denotes intensification, change, conflict, resistance, or dynamic instability. When a hard aspect is resolved the energy of the planets previously in conflict is released and is now available.

harmonic: If an aspect is expressed as a fraction of 360°, the denominator of that fraction is the harmonic number of the aspect; aspects followed by their harmonic number are: conjunction-1, opposition-2, trine-3, square-4, quintile-5, sextile-6, septile-7, semisquare-8, sesquiquadrate-8, novile-9, decile-10, semisextile-12, quincunx-12.

harmonic syndrome (h.s.): three or more planets mutually in an aspect pattern of the same harmonic, like the grand trine (a third harmonic syndrome), the T-square (a fourth harmonic syndrome), the grand cross (fourth h.s.), the yod (twelfth h.s.), the grand hexagram (sixth h.s.), or five planets in septile to each other (seventh h.s.). The more planets in a syndrome or the closer their average orb, the stronger the syndrome is. And the more planets in a syndrome, the larger their allowable orb.

Hasan bin Sabbáh: One of the boyhood friends of the great Persian poet Omar Khayyám (author of the Rubáiyát). Hasan was the leader of a sect of fanatics who in 1090 gained control of the castle fortress of Alamut, "the eagle’s nest." Legend has it that he acquired the Alamut in bargaining with the owner by requesting only that portion of land that could be covered by the skin of a cow. Hasan then proceeded to divide a cow’s hide into such thin layers that he was able to cover the entire surface of the fortress, and the owner felt obliged to live up to his end of the bargain.

From this isolated stronghold on a ridge 6000 feet above the Caspian Sea, accessible only by a single, almost vertical pathway, Hasan obtained infamy among the crusaders as "the old man of the mountains"—a name given him by Marco Polo. From 1090 to 1256 (when they were besieged and conquered by the son of Genghis Khan) his sect directed such a ruthless campaign of assassination against the crusaders and other sects in Persia, Iraq and Syria, that the governors of cities, commanders of fortresses, Emirs, and even religious dignitaries took to wearing a coat of chain mail at all times. The English word assassin actually derives from "Hashashin," the name his followers, often drugged on hashish, were given.

As told by Marco Polo and other travelers to the East, Hasan employed an extraordinary method of indoctrination to obtain allegiance from his followers. In a beautiful valley nestled between two high mountains he created a secret garden, furnishing it with all the delights the Koran promised to the faithful upon reaching Paradise. Exotic plants, birds, and animals were imported from all over the world, and he surrounded it with palaces of marble and gold decorated with beautiful paintings and fine silk furniture. Within the garden hidden conduits delivered milk, honey and wine, concealed minstrels played lovely music that seemed to come from nowhere, and beautiful, scantily clad young men and women (in Muslim belief, female "houris" await the faithful in Paradise) were available for pleasures.

The chosen were drugged a few at a time and taken to this garden at night. When they awoke in the morning they were allowed to partake in this false but exquisite paradise for a day or two, then drugged again and returned to the squalid cave or hovel in which they lived. Bin Sabbáh would then summon them, tell them that they had just been given a preview of heaven, and recount—to the amazement of each—exactly what he had been doing while in Paradise. This method of indoctrination was so successful that Hasan—so it is told—once ordered one of his men to throw himself from the cliff as proof of his loyalty, and the man did so with no hesitation. His assassins were likewise so convinced that they would be rewarded in heaven that they never hesitated in carrying out their missions, even though they knew their victim’s bodyguards would kill them immediately afterwards. From Hasan bin Sabbáh we get the saying, "Nothing is True, Everything is Permissible."

Haumea: A dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt one-third Pluto’s mass discovered in 2004. Named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth, Haumea is also the patron goddess of Hawaii. She is identified with Pâpâ, the goddess of the earth and wife of Wâkea (space), appropriate because Haumea is thought to be composed almost entirely of solid rock, without the thick ice mantle over a small rocky core typical of other known Kuiper belt objects. Lastly, Haumea is the goddess of fertility and childbirth, with many children who sprang from different parts of her body; this corresponds to the swarm of icy bodies thought to have broken off the dwarf planet during an ancient collision. The two known moons, also believed to have been born in this manner, are thus named after two of Haumea’s daughters, Hi’iaka and Nâmaka.

Haumea’s extreme elongation makes it unique among known trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). Although its shape has not been directly observed, its light curve suggests it is an ellipsoid twice as long as it is wide. Nonetheless, its gravity is believed sufficient for it to have relaxed into hydrostatic equilibrium thereby meeting the definition of a dwarf planet. Its elongation, along with an unusually rapid rotation, high density and high albedo (due to a surface of crystalline water ice), are thought to be the results of a giant collision which left Haumea the largest member of a collisional family that includes several large TNOs and its two known moons. Although Haumea appears to be far from spheroidal, its ellipsoidal shape is thought to result from its rapid rotation (in the same way a water balloon stretches when tossed with a spin), and not from a lack of sufficient gravity to overcome the tensile strength of its material.

heavy planet: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Hecatonchires: three monstrous sons of Gaia and Ouranos with 100 arms and 50 heads: Briareus the Vigorous, Cottus the Furious, and Gyges the Big-Limbed. Extraordinarily strong and ferocious giants, they even exceeded the Titans and Cyclopes in that regard. When they were born, their father Ouranos found them so hideous that he threw them into the depths of Tartarus. Gaia went to all the Titans for help, and only her son Kronos would help her. He did so by castrating his father Ouranos (page 74), throwing his genitals into the sea. From the sea-foam around Ouranos’ genitals, Aphrodite (Greek for "foam-born") arose.

heliocentric: the revolutionary, sun-centered model of the universe proposed by Copernicus in 1543. The idea that the earth in fact revolves around the sun had actually been proposed in the 3rd century BC by Aristarchus of Samos. After the fall of Greece, however, Aristarchus' heliocentricism attracted little attention, possibly due to the loss of scientific work from his era, until Copernicus revived and extended it.

heliopause The boundary marking the end of the Sun’s influence and separating our solar system from interstellar space, where the expanding solar wind from our Sun eventually runs into the solar winds of other stars (the interstellar medium). It is thought to be about 10 billion miles—three time Pluto’s distance—from the Sun.

heliosphere: the magnetic bubble of hot plasma around the Sun caused by the solar wind’s expansion out into space. The heliosphere meets the interstellar medium at the heliopause.

Hertzsprung-Russell diagram: a scatter graph of stars plotting absolute luminosity (intrinsic brightness) versus spectral type (temperature) indicating a star’s place in its evolution. Most stars occupy a region in the diagram, the main sequence, where they are fusing hydrogen in their cores (You and the Universe: pg. 307).

higher octave: the relationship of the three outer planets to the three inner planets: Uranus (lightning-fast intuition) is the higher octave of Mercury (rational thought); Neptune (divine compassion) is the higher octave of Venus (personal love); and Pluto (evolution, transformation) is the higher octave of Mars (libido and ego drive).

Hipparchos of Rhodes (190-120 BCE): the inventor of trigonometry, first to suggest that the earth rotates on its axis, first to obtain a measurement of the earth’s diameter, calculated the distance to the Moon (between 59 and 67 earth radii—60 is correct), calculated the length of the year to within 6½ minutes, discovered the precession of the equinoxes (46" of arc compared to the modern 50.26" and much better than the 36" Ptolemy obtained 300 years later), the first known person to appreciate the vast distance to the stars, created a star catalogue of about 850 stars, and introduced the division of the circle into 360° into Greece.

Homer: blind poet (c. 12th-8th century BC) and author of the Iliad (about the Trojan War) and the Odyssey, Ulysses’ long trip home from that war.

house: If you quarter the local sky with the horizon and meridian planes, and then trisect those quarters into 12 sectors (You and the Universe, see Houses: pages 230–233), those sectors divide the ecliptic into what are called the 12 houses (in the Campanus House system that I use exclusively; for more on "house systems" see below). Houses represent categories of planetary energy and arenas in life where those energies are expressed. For example, the fifth house shows your needs in love and where you release fourth house energies and emotions. Self-expression, children of the body and the mind, love affairs, play, drama, amusement, gambling and hobbies all fall within the province of the fifth house.

house ruler: see "ruler (house)."

house system: one of many different systems of dividing the ecliptic into 12 interpretive sections or houses. Equal/Ptolemy, Porphyry, Neo-Porphyry, Regiomontanus, Meridian, Koch, Placidus, Campanus, Alcabitius, Morinus, Zariel, and Topocentric are some. Due to an historic serendipity in its publishing, Placidus is the most popular. House systems divide up the ecliptic, divide up the quadrants between the angles, or trisect the time it takes the ascendant from rising to culmination. This book uses the Campanus house system, which trisects the quarters of the local sky on a geometrical basis as shown on pages 230-233.

HST: an initialism for "Hubble Space Telescope," carried into orbit by Discovery in April 1990. Initially compromised by its main mirror having been ground incorrectly, it was restored to specification in 1993.

HUDF: an initialism for "Hubble Ultra Deep Field", an image released March 9, 2004 formed from 278 hours of exposure during 400 orbits of the Hubble Space Telescope (You and the Universe: page 228).

hydrostatic equilibrium: the state of a moon or planet large enough to overcome its own rigidity and assume a spherical shape, a criterion used in determining whether or not a celestial body is a planet, dwarf planet, or a small solar system body. 19 moons in our solar system have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium.

 

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