= Origins =

The luminaries were what traditional astrologers called the two astrological "planets" which were the brightest and most important objects in the heavens, that is,

* the Sun and
* the Moon

The Sun and Moon were well-established rulers of the other planets, in accordance with the ancient doctrine of astrology of sect, which made the Sun the ruler of charts of events and individuals born in the daytime, when the Sun was over the horizon; and the Moon the ruler of night charts, when the Sun was below the horizon.

Ancient astrologers divided all astrological factors into day and night groups: essential dignities, Arabian Parts (or "Lots") and all planetary characteristics. Even each of the Starry planets themselves "belonged" to one luminary or the other. The luminary "in charge" of any given chart was called the luminary of sect. (See sect.)

The luminaries can be found in the creation myth in the Bible:

:"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:16-18, King James Version)

In modern Western astrology, the importance of the Moon and the Sun has even come to outweigh all the other celestial factors in the interpretation of chart data. In Hindu astrology, the Moon (and the Ascendant) have that distinction.

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  • Luminary — Lu mi*na*ry, n.; pl. {Luminaries}, [F. luminaire, L. luminare a light or lamp, which was lighted in the churches, a luminary, fr. lumen, luminis, light, fr. lucere to be light, to shine, lux, lucis, light. See {Light}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Any body …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • luminary — (n.) mid 15c., lamp, source of (artificial) light, from O.Fr. luminarie (12c.), lamp, lights, lighting; candles; brightness, illumination, from L.L. luminare light, torch, lamp, heavenly body, lit. that which gives light, from L. lumen (gen.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • luminary — [n] very important person big name*, celeb*, celebrity, dignitary, eminence, leader, lion*, name, notability, notable, personage, personality, somebody*, star, superstar, VIP*, worthy; concepts 352,423 …   New thesaurus

  • luminary — ► NOUN (pl. luminaries) 1) a person who inspires or influences others. 2) literary a natural light giving body, especially the sun or moon …   English terms dictionary

  • luminary — [lo͞o′mə ner΄ē] n. pl. luminaries [OFr luminarie < LL(Ec) luminarium < L luminare: see ILLUMINATE] 1. a body that gives off light, such as the sun or moon 2. a) a person who sheds light on some subject or enlightens mankind; famous… …   English World dictionary

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  • luminary — noun (plural naries) Etymology: Middle English luminarye, from Anglo French & Late Latin; Anglo French luminaire light, luminary, from Late Latin luminaria, plural of luminare lamp, heavenly body, from Latin, window, from lumin , lumen light;… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • luminary — UK [ˈluːmɪnərɪ] / US [ˈlumɪˌnerɪ] noun [countable] Word forms luminary : singular luminary plural luminaries formal one of the people most admired in a particular profession …   English dictionary