The system that continues to be the most popular in use today is Placidus which originated in the 17th Century.
It uses the four angles of the horoscope formed by the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth houses. It does not, however, do well when working with latitudes that are in the far northern regions, as the houses will squeeze the other houses around them which creates what astrologers call 'interceptions.
The house system is named after the German astrologer Walter Koch The Porphyry house system creates the intermediate houses by dividing each of the four. In the early 70's I studied Uranian astrology and was introduced to the Meridian House system. I think it was in that Rob Hand held Master Class "0" at his.
The Equal House system is also used extensively. This system will take the degree of the Ascendant in its sign and assign each subsequent house the same degree with the following Zodiac Sign. There are no squeezed houses in this system as all signs are represented with an equally spaced house.
When was Astrology Developed? What are the Key Planets in Astrology? As it is, in the early Hellenistic tradition, equal houses were only used in the context of specific techniques, which suggests they should not be seen as proper houses with the topics of life, but for some other kind of determination. Ptolemy uses equal houses for a dynamical assessment of a planet for a length-of-life technique, but Vettius Valens from several centuries earlier uses quadrant houses for the same purpose, and mentions equal houses only as a paraphrasing of Asclepius.
This shows that even in 1st and 2nd centuries, astrologers were already using certain house systems for particular purposes. Sort of like this:. Porphyry is a bit of a misnomer because astrologers were using the Porphyry house system before Porphyry did. Trisection of the quadrants. This division was used as a kind of power gauge. Vettius Valens used this division overlaid on top of whole sign houses. So it makes big distinctions between planets approaching an angle versus departing from it. For example, if there were a planet in this chart at 5 Aquarius, it would still relate to the topic of the whole sign 7th — old age, death, partnerships, marriage, relation to the general public, etc..
Neptune also forms a trine with the MC within 3 degrees, further angularizing this planet. It would still relate to Neptunian circumstances in the 6th house, but brought into a a more ongoing and contributing role to the life rather than representing isolated incidents.
It's the same with the lines dividing the houses. Of them, Romans were about the best. Jupiter also moves farther from the beginning of the 5th house cusp relative to the Porphyry placement , which depicts Tim's ex-wife. I have been using whole signs since I began learning a few years back and have my Ascendant degree at 19 of the first house. So I wanted to get down to the root to get rid of this mental picture of myself that I have learned through these studies or talking to astrologers. Skip to content. With regard to house systems, will it never be the case that some bodies will be within 5 degrees of the cusp in some systems and beyond 5 degrees in others?
Alcabitius is probably closest to Porphyry as a clean division of each quadrant into 3, except Porphyry divides the quadrants by zodiacal longitude and Alcabitius divides it by time. One takes the varying ascensional times of the signs into account, but the other treats zodiacal degrees equally. If you can figure out the interpretive difference between them, it would have to be based on that. Some people maintain that Regiomontanus is the proper house system to use for practicing horary. Placidus has a very intriguing potential use.
An intriguing thing about Placidus is that it interfaces perfectly with planetary hours. If you divide each Placidus house in half, you can figure out what planetary hour you were born in, depending on the position of the Sun. It seems then that the most obvious application of Placidus is as a kind of horizonal system of terms or bounds, with each sector relating to its planetary hour ruler.
An hour system, like this:. I was born on a Venus day and a Jupiter hour.
You can tell this from the fact that the 1st hour after the Ascendant is a Venus hour, and my Sun is in a Jupiter hour. But what if the other planets in other hours have some kind of meaning as well? This is, I think, a more fully realized purpose for Placidus divisions which is intricately related to their unique calculation, rather than for topical houses.
So you can see how this allows different divisions to be used together, because they can all measure different things. An excellent post Patrick.
If anyone you know is confused about house systems, send them this article. Thank you Jay! I should say though that these are my own views and probably do not reflect the opinions of everyone in the astrological community or among professional astrologers necessarily. Out of all the astrologers I follow online, and particularly on Twitter, you are my favourite.
Your articles are always articulate, insightful, intelligent, and funny. Thank you so so so much for the awesome comment and your generous support of my Patreon.
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