A Glossary of Astrological Terms for the letter "W"

Use this glossary to look up the meanings of words you come across on this website, or in your astrological reading. Just select the first letter of the word you need and click on it in the table below to go straight to that sector.

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Waite, Arthur Edward

A. E. Waite (Oct 2, 1857–May 19, 1942) was an occultist and co-creator with artist Pamela Coleman-Smith of the popular Rider-Waite Tarot deck and author of its companion volume, the Pictorial Key to the Tarot. He also wrote occult texts on subjects including divination, Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, black and ceremonial magic, Kabbalism and alchemy. Waite translated and reissued several important mystical and alchemical works.

Waning Aspect

When an aspect is made from the faster to the slower planet against the order of the signs. For example, a waning square is from Sun in Aries to say Saturn in Capricorn (not Saturn in Cancer, a waxing square). Neither conjunction nor opposition can be said to be waning or waxing. Not to be confused with separating aspect.

Waning Moon

The Moon moving from Full Moon to New Moon, i.e. from her opposition to the Sun until she reaches the conjunction. The bright, visible body of the Moon slowly diminishes during the waning phase. See Moon Phases.


The Royal Stars of Persia were Fixed Stars of particular significance, first declared as Watchers, or Guardians of the World, by ancient Persian astrologers at around 3000 BC, when they stood at the four angles of the Heavens. These stars were also assigned angelic status by the Hebrews. There are four Royal Stars:

1. Aldebaran, the Archangel Michael, Watcher of the East, ruler of the Vernal Equinox
2. Regulus, the Archangel Raphael, Watcher of the North, ruler of the Summer Solstice
3. Antares, the Archangel Oriel, Watcher of the West, ruler of the Autumnal Equinox
4. Fomalhaut, the Archangel Gabriel, Watcher of the South, ruler of the Winter Solstice.

Regulus is usually considered the "most royal", although Aldebaran has his proponents.


The emblem for the sign Aquarius. Aquarius, however, is not a Water Sign, it is an Air Sign.

Water Element

One of the four astrological elements. A feminine element, it stands for emotion, feeling, matters to do with intuition and so on. The other elements are: Fire, Air and Earth.

Water Signs

Cancer (cardinal), Scorpio (fixed), Pisces (mutable)

Watery Triplicity

The Water Signs: Cancer; Scorpio; Pisces. These signs are cold and moist by nature and phlegmatic by temperament.


A rhythmic energetic pattern that does not have mass as generally understood, but is rather an oscillation in or of a medium. The wave is the basis of all sources of radiation, such as sound waves and electromagnetic waves, Hertzian waves, infrared and ultra-violet rays, visible radiations, etc. According to the latest interpretations of quantum phenomena, waves are the ultimate basic structure of matter, energy, space and time.

Wave Structure of Matter

Theoretical development from Quantum Mechanics that permits an understanding of the vibratory structure of the universe defining a "particle" of matter as an appearance rather than a genuine phenomenon. WSM defines Space as the medium in which waves, or rhythmic energetic patterns, are transmitted and interact with each other, moving inwards and outwards at the quantum level, producing phenomena that our senses interpret as matter and energy. Space is thus not empty, but the matrix and substance of everything.

Waxing Aspect

When an aspect is made from the faster to the slower planet in the order of the signs. For example, a waxing square is from Sun in Aries to say Saturn in Cancer (not Saturn in Capricorn, a waning square). Neither conjunction nor opposition can be said to be waning or waxing. Not to be confused with applying aspect.

Waxing Moon

The Moon moving from New Moon to Full Moon, i.e. from her conjunction with the Sun until she reaches the opposition. The bright, visible body of the Moon slowly expands during the waxing phase. See Moon Phases.

Whole Sign Houses

Ancient system of house division where a house is considered co-extensive with its sign. Similar to Equal House system, but differs in that the first house begins with the first degree of its ruling sign, rather than the rising degree. The mid-heaven and ascending degree are not counted as house cusps, but rather sensitive points. Used today mainly in India, but as Hellenistic astrology is better understood, it is becoming more popular in the West.

Wisdom Religion

According to the Blavatsky Trust, Theosophy, the Wisdom Religion, is the knowledge of the laws, principles, processes and nature of Nature herself in all departments, both objective and subjective, and at all levels of being and operation, physical, emotional, mental, supermental and spiritual. Some quotes: Theosophy is "the science of sciences; the ageless wisdom; the Western Mystery Tradition; the shoreless ocean of universal truth, love and wisdom; divine nature, visible and invisible; the aggregate of the knowledge and wisdom that underlie the Universe; the essence of all religion and of absolute truth; scientific Theosophy (is) based on accurate knowledge of Nature's secret workings." "It is the last word of possible human knowledge; the Wisdom-Religion. All the old worships indicate the existence of a single theosophy anterior to them." Theosophy is "the root and trunk of the tree of which all religions are branches." It is "the Esoteric Science; the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven; the synthesis of science, religion and philosophy ." It is sometimes called the Secret Doctrine.

Wolf-Rayet (WR) Stars

Evolved, massive stars (over 20 solar masses initially) losing mass rapidly via an intense stellar wind, at up to 2000 km/s. WR stars are at an evolutionary phase in the lives of massive stars during which they undergo heavy mass loss. The Sun loses approx. 10-14 solar masses every year, Wolf-Rayet stars typically lose 10-5 solar masses a year (100 million times the Sun's loss!) comparable with supernovæ. Discovered in 1867 (by Wolf and Rayet), these stars are hot, with surface temp between 25,000 K& 50,000 K. There is no astrological connotation for WR in itself, as it is a modern discovery and most are too distant to register. The WR most readily seen is? (Gamma) Velorum, Mg 1.7 in the Sail of Argo Navis in the Southern Hemisphere.

World Soul

The Anima Mundi of ancient philosophers, such as Plato.


Wave Structure of Matter.

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