syzygy

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syzygy

syzygy (sĭzˈəjē), in astronomy, alignment of three bodies of the solar system along a straight or nearly straight line. A planet is in syzygy with the earth and sun when it is in opposition or conjunction, i.e., when its elongation is 180° or 0°. The moon is in syzygy with the earth and sun when it is new or full.
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syzygy

(siz -ă-jee) The configuration arising when the Sun, Earth, and either the Moon or a planet lie approximately in line, i.e. when the Moon or planet is at opposition or conjunction.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

Syzygy

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Syzygy traditionally referred to a conjunction of the Sun and the Moon, such as occurs during a solar eclipse. By extension, it is currently applied to the alignment of any three celestial bodies in a straight line (such as occurs during eclipses and occultations). The etymology of the term is as follows: The sy[n], which is related to the prefix of such words as synchronic, means “together;”-zygy derives from the Greek zugón, meaning “yoke,” so syzygy literally means to yoke together. This makes syzygy appear to be a macrocosmic parallel to certain yoga practices in which the internal, symbolic (microcosmic) Sun and Moon are joined together—as in alternate nostril breathing, a technique said to join the Sun (right nostril) and Moon (left nostril) energies. What makes this parallel all the more striking is that both zugón and yoga ultimately derive from the same Indo-European root word yug (yoke).

Sources:

DeVore, Nicholas. Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: Philosophical Library, 1947.
Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Astrology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Syzygy

 

a general name for the two phases of the moon—new moon and full moon—when the sun, earth, and moon are positioned along a straight line. This arrangement gives rise to a number of astronomical and geophysical phenomena. For example, eclipses of the sun and moon are observed during syzygy, and it is during syzygy that tides reach their highest point. The term “syzygy” is sometimes used in reference to planets at moments of the planets’ conjunction and opposition with respect to the sun.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

syzygy

[′siz·ə·jē]
(astronomy)
One of the two points in a celestial object's orbit where it is in conjunction with or opposition to the sun.
Those points in the moon's orbit where the moon, earth, and sun are in a straight line.
The alignment of any three objects within the solar system, or within any other system of objects in orbit about a star.
(invertebrate zoology)
End-to-end union of the sporonts of certain gregarine protozoans.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.