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What is a figure or map?

Figures or maps are circular diagrams showing the astronomical conditions at a particular time and place on earth. They offer a combined, integrated representation of the positions of astronomical factors affecting the earth as a whole at that time, measured along the plane of the celestial ecliptic by signs and degrees longitude of the zodiac (in western astrology, usually the tropical zodiac), and the projected position within the ecliptic of the space around a particular location on the Earth's surface. The simplest type of figure is a nativity, geniture or birth chart, which represents the astronomical conditions at the precise time and place of the birth of an individual. Great Circles and Points 'Great Circles' are imaginary circular planes running through the centre of the Earth along naturally significant lines. The intersections of the ecliptic with the other Great Circles are called points, and are accorded influences by astrologers. The Celestial Equator is an extension of the Earth's equator into space. The Celestial Ecliptic is the plane through which the Sun and planets apparently revolve around the Earth, and consists of a circle of 360º longitude at a slight incline to the equator, subdivided into the twelve signs of the zodiac of 30º each. Where the ecliptic intersects the Celestial Equator in the east (northwards) is called the Vernal Point or Aries Point. The Horizon is a circle running through the centre of the Earth on a plane parallel to that of the visible horizon at any specified point on its surface. Where the ecliptic meets the Horizon in the east is called the Ascendant (ASC or AC) or rising degree; and in the west the Descendant (DESC or DC) or setting degree. The Meridian is the circle running through the northern and southern horizons and the points directly overhead (the Zenith) and underneath (the Nadir) at the location concerned. Where it intersects the ecliptic above the horizon (in the south, in the Northern hemisphere) is the Midheaven or Medium Coeli ('MC'); and below the horizon (in the north, in the Northern hemisphere), exactly opposite the MC, the Lower Midheaven or Imum Coeli ('IC'). The ecliptic reaches its highest elevation above the horizon at the MC and its lowest descent below it at the IC. At higher latitudes, the separation along the ecliptic of the Ascendant from the MC increases for longitudes of the MC from 0º Capricorn to 0º Cancer, but declines for longitudes of the MC from 0º Cancer to 0º Capricorn. The Prime Vertical is the circle completed through the eastern and western horizons and the Zenith and Nadir. Where it intersects the ecliptic to the east is called the Anti-Vertex, and to the west is called the Vertex. The Unnamed Great Circle runs through the eastern and western horizons and the North and South poles of the Earth. Where it intersects the ecliptic to the east is called the East Point or Equatorial Ascendant, and to the west is called the West Point. What is a horoscope? The horoscope (this term deriving from the Greek horoskopos meaning 'marker of the hour', originally referring strictly to the Ascendant) is a representation of the space around the locality of a birth or other event at its exact time, after projection onto the celestial ecliptic. This space is divided into four quadrants connecting the four cardinal points or angles (the AC, IC, DC and MC) at the location and time concerned. Each quadrant is divided into three houses, the first of which (corresponding to the cardinal constitution) is called an 'angular house'; the second (fixed) a 'succedent house'; and the third (mutable) a 'cadent house'. The angles and houses so derived variably coincide with the signs and degrees of the tropical zodiac at different times of the same day in the same place, since they pass through all 360º of the zodiac in the 24 hours of the Earth's rotation. A figure thus shows the positions of the celestial bodies in relation to both the tropical zodiac and the horoscope angles. Movement from the ascendant sign and degree through each house in ascending order traces a forward path through the signs and degrees of the tropical zodiac. Yet this path is represented in anticlockwise motion by the figure, which also by tradition depicts the eastern horizon on its far left and the western horizon on its far right. The first quadrant (houses 1, 2 and 3) extends from the AC in the east (left) to the IC (below); the second (houses 4, 5


.Horizon..... 11 and 12 from the MC to the AC.Houses..Exit point.Below.8th.Classification....Hemisphere...4.|.|.|....... and the succedent and cadent 2 . and sets at the descendant before passing below the horizon again.| A final astronomical classification of the houses.Horizon.|.. Classifications of the houses The table below shows the four quadrants of the horoscope in relation to the angles where they begin... In other words.4th.. Libra...7-9....|. the Midheaven (MC) may be located within the eighth or ninth house rather than on the cusp of the tenth).Terminal... not to be confused with Western and Eastern as shown in the first table above..5th.|.|.10th...|.4-6.7.....|......7th.|..|.|...Meridian (IC).Below. culmination.10th.|..|.|..Entry point.| Ascendant. and whether they are above or below the horizon and in the Eastern or Western hemisphere (from the perspective of the point on the earth's surface being studied).. and that each sign in turn rises at the ascendant..Angular.Individual.. Virgo. culminates at the the Midheaven... Pisces......|...|..... The signs of long ascension (slower to rise) are Cancer.12th.| Immum Coeli.| House cusps The divide connecting any house with the next is known as a 'house cusp'.|.|.| 1-4..|.6th.. However. Taurus and Gemini..Meridian...|..|.. and the Water houses are Terminal or Psychic houses....1-3. Rising. it appears that the zodiac revolves clockwise through the figure at the same rate.|...| The houses can also be classified by element like the zodiac signs....Oriental. since the figure is always drawn with the horizon fixed across its lateral diameter yet the horizon and every house passes forward through the signs of the zodiac at an average rate of one sign per two hours... The signs of short ascension (faster rising) are Capricorn...|.|..|....|.Horizon (DC)...|.. Quadrant.... and its belonging is attributed to the next house.. Aries..| 5-8.....Relative..Above....|.|.. the Earth houses are Temporal or Possessive houses.....|...|.|....6th....|..|.. such as the Equal House system.4..|..5. Yet every sign passes through the midheaven at a relatively even rate...... the houses of each modality they contain..|.|.|.3.|..(AC).|..| . The time taken for any sign of the zodiac to rise through the ascendant is called its ascension time..|..|.| Descendant.. Angle of entry...|...9th......|.Cadent...1. Scorpio and Sagittarius. 8 and 9) from the DC to the MC (top)..|. is into the Occidental houses. and the fourth (houses 10..| Medium Coeli..7th.3.. which are those in the two quadrants that extend anticlockwise from the meridian to the horizon..|.5th... the intermediary cusps: those connecting the angular and succedent houses. the third (houses 7.Meridian (MC)...9th..Western..Oriental. in which case. as shown in the table below: the Fire houses are Individual or Life houses.|. being most extreme at latitudes close to the north pole.8th..Horizon (DC)..| . Houses..Above.... Leo..| 9-12.|..2. As a result of the inclination of the polar axis of the Earth in relation to the ecliptic.(IC).|.4th....... the cusp of a house is where that house begins..| ..Occidental..|.. is used...11th.10-12..12th... Aquarius.Eastern.....12..|.9.1st..|...Houses..|...Meridian (MC).Temporal...and 6) from the IC to the DC in the west (right).2....2nd.|.. the Air houses are Relative or Association houses..... which are those in the two quadrants that extend anticlockwise from the horizon to the meridian...|..1st.Horizon (AC).. and this difference varies with latitude and the time of year.6..|.. and Oriental ones.. The same applies to the celestial bodies..|.. as described earlier (unless a house division method not referenced in all the angles... completing the circle.|....Succedent...|...10.3rd.. for example. but these groupings of houses have traditionally been given a separate set of names....3rd....11....|. and setting During the course of a day. although since they are themselves moving relative to the zodiac they will revolve clockwise slightly slower than the zodiac signs within the figure unless they are in retrograde motion.1.|..Western.11th.|.| .Occidental.. The cusps connecting the cadent and angular houses always correspond to the relevant physical cardinal point or angle at the locality and moment concerned..|...8.2nd. some signs rise faster than others..|...|....Eastern.

and thus to affect his or her life and environment. which trisect the quadrants of the horoscope based on the measurement of the amount of time taken for each degree of the celestial ecliptic to pass between two angles around the horoscope. or personal houses. 3 . the Whole Sign System. each chart has the interface of planets with houses as a set of factors worthy of astrological interpretation. The sign that falls on the cusp of each house is an important factor to interpret. which trisects each quadrant of the Prime Vertical then projects every cusp so derived onto the ecliptic. The Space Systems include the Campanus System. within 2-3º of the cusp of the following house. Thus. on which the manifestation of personal will depends. but then trisects each quadrant on the ecliptic. or social houses. in addition to the interface of signs with houses and that of planets with signs. but the natural zodiac helpfully illustrates the natural affinity between signs and corresponding houses. but that is not the prevailing view. as the other four are always opposite. which trisect the quadrants of the horoscope based on a measurement of space before they are projected onto the ecliptic. divides the equator into twelve equal segments starting from the Ascendant. and the Porphyry system. the Regiomontanus System. and the Koch system. which projects the horizon and meridian onto the ecliptic.houses: vary in their positions by sign and degree depending on the mathematical method or 'house system' used to divide up each quadrant before or after projecting the space around the location concerned onto the ecliptic (see below for more details). and the Morinus system which is identical to Regiomontanus except for using the Equatorial Ascendant instead of the projected birthplace Ascendant. their exact positions at any time and in any location on earth. amounts of time required for any degree of the ecliptic to pass from one angle to the next) . Their positions in the houses will then be apparent from the relation of their sign and degree position to that of the cusps of each house. Celestial bodies in the houses The positions of the various planets. then for each house separately discusses its traditionally attributed significations in one paragraph.e. which trisect the four quadrants of the horoscope based on a measurement of space after they have been projected onto the ecliptic. permitting and moderating people and circumstances. which is based on the trisection of a diurnal semiarc starting from the MC. but instead projects the Ascendant onto the Celestial Equator. then re-projects the resultant house cusps onto the ecliptic. The Ecliptic Systems include the Equal House System. which projects only the horizon onto the ecliptic. allowing for time zone correction. This second part of the article considers each house polarity in turn. it is interpreted as strongly in the following house. (2) the Space Systems. ignoring the meridian. derived as the Equal House system but with the houses rounded up to fill an entire sign each. Robert Pelletier has argued that the houses are their beginning cusps. In all quadrant-based house systems it is only necessary to calculate four intermediate house cusps. delimiting the quadrants with reference to all four angles. The six houses above the horizon (7-12). then divides the ecliptic starting from the Ascendant into twelve equal thirty-degree from the ASC to the MC (giving the 11th and 12th house cusps). The simplified diagram above shows the natural zodiac. which like the Equal House system ignores the Zenith and Nadir. whereby each house exactly coincides with the sign of the same number! In practice it is very rare for this to happen. The twelve houses can be considered as six polarities or opposing pairs of houses having a complementary action. and one from the IC to the ASC (giving the 2nd and 3rd cusps). It is simple to interpolate from there. the Sun and Moon. The six houses below the horizon (1-6). and the Moon's Nodes in the zodiac at each moment in time are calculated with great precision by astronomical laboratories and listed in an ephemeris by sign and degree and minute for the start or middle of each day every year Greenwich Mean Time. show how the individual is inclined to demand or act. The Time Systems include the Placidus System. and the proximity of a planet to one or another of these points determines its house placement. and some additional (occasionally conflicting) modern attributions in the next. represent the external means. which is based on the projection of the angles onto the ecliptic followed by the trisection of two diurnal semiarcs (i. If a planet falls late in a house. and have been categorised by John Filbey into three types: (1) the Ecliptic Systems. House Division Methods The different methods of dividing up the Horoscope into houses are called house systems. and (3) the Time Systems.

the colours green and black. profit and gain. The Eighth House has signification over death. personal hopes. opinion of self and others. trust funds. expenditure. hands and fingers. The Second House has signification over material possessions. earned income. fateful losses which force changes. and rumours. The First House has signification over the individual's physical characteristics. all love questions. poverty. secret thoughts and wishes. and marriage feasts. worship of gods. cohabitation. including stature. concubines and sweethearts. letters. and estate of those deceased. quarrels. The Seventh House has signification over marriage. The Second also signifies one's strongest desires for the quality of life. nutrition. 8th House The Second House impacts on the individual's earning capacity as a result of his or her own activities. and the same sex grandparents. whereas the Eighth impacts on it via the disposition of others towards him or her. psychoanalysis. the station into which one is born. wealth. the moral viewpoint. allies in lawsuits and duels. thieves and thefts. desires. the quality and direction of one's motivation. livelihood. and its results in the world. projected persona. friends. the consummation of affairs. women. the fortunes of children. The Third House has signification over siblings. one's interests and habits. evolution through suffering and involuntary experiences. murder. short or inland journeys. 9th House The Third House involves changes caused by the individual's chosen actions. personal power over self and others. and sex. social events. womb and bottom. allies of opponents in duels. anyone enquired after. The First also signifies action by the individual. character. and the throat and neck and area above the shoulders. messengers. and inheritance. business corporations. release from personal limitations through interaction with others. weakness.1st House . the native land. estate. arms. restoration. messages. insurance. physicians. the defendent in a legal case. The Eighth also signifies birth and rebirth. lawsuits and duels. and the reproductive organs. including property. and the navel. being on trial. partnerships. and movable goods. 3rd House. formalities. transmutation of emotional stress into spiritual strength. contracts. the outcome of pleas and disputes. goddesses. the property of the partner. piles. formative years and education. cousins. personal agents and representatives. poisoning. outlaws and runaways. gall-stones. legacies. and the shoulders. neighbours. the profession of one's children. travellers. the Eighth with liabilities. form and gait. mental fear and anguish. contentions. attitude towards one's possessions and anything else that impacts on the ego. royalty. income derived from possessions and property. the colour green. 2nd House. losses and penalties. wives. capacity for earning and spending. vitality and length of life. whereas the Ninth produces changes caused by outside forces. death. physical substance. 7th House The First House produces effects caused by the ego of the individual. jewels. money. or the expectation thereof. haemorrhoids. health as a consequence of personal habits. and the fulfilment of obligations. personal debts. taxes. banquets. colour. interaction with women. regeneration through the broadening of one's mental and spiritual perspective and the subjugation of the ego. The Third House also signifies the faculties of mental synthesis and reason. public enemies. and the head and face. peace and war. research. heirs. fortune. spirit and soul. the opposition in war. other people's possessions. the stock market. the local 4 . education. and co-operative arrangements. white and pale colours. poverty. dowries. elimination. loss and damage. and grandparents of the opposite sex. the last years of life. business partnerships. the colours red and yellow. liabilities involved in one's monetary relationship to and responsibilities in the world. testaments. mental and emotional qualities and attitudes. victory and defeat. the interchange of ideas. outlook on the world. marriages and divorces. cravings and will to manifest. frequent changes of place. social background. and other relatives and relatives-in-law. writers. intellectual interests. awareness of the self and the future. fugitives. The Second is more concerned with assets. business. assistants. whereas the Seventh produces effects caused by that of the partner. complexion. selfguided destiny. leisure. mitigation. the wills. and the inheritance therefrom. profession and enterprises. slaves. The Seventh also signifies one's relation to the public in general. court trials. self-expression.

children and descendants. old age. success in business. stomach. messengers or agents for the state. activities and products. banquets. large-scale organisations. treasured memories. and inspiration. family property. accomplishments. mother(s). The Ninth also signifies the abstract mind. and foremost the father of the individual whose nativity is being studied. the nature of the early life. the fidelity or falseness of friends. foreign countries. glory. castles. The Fifth also signifies the externalisation of ego through creative and procreative desires. and relationship to society as expressed through occupational activities. the final illness and demise. commerce. and purchase or sale of real estate. higher education. and the formation of sense impressions within one's environment. The Tenth House has signification over people in high public office and position. gain from hidden sources. and personal publicity. subconscious conditioning.environment. the plave of residence. magazines and books. including royalty (kings. The Eleventh House has signification over friends and friendship. private matters and personal secrets. conditions and concerns throughout life. dreams and their interpretation. honour. shoulders and back. reputation. and the heart. and authority. emotional receptivity. dukedoms and counties. accomplishment. the concretisation of the ego as the seat of the emotions. residence abroad. and what follows death. and accidents. worldwide contacts. one's career. hobbies. social class. changes. astrology. imports and exports. the colours red and white. 4th House. top military officers and town officers. consciousness of one's own nation. ale-houses and taverns. religion. liver. clothing. the consummation of success. and financial speculation and gambling. white and honey-colour. one's psychological roots. divination. The Fifth House has signification over pregnancy. the colours black. news. including artistic and literary output. books and learning. deeper mental interests. and their health. princes. vineyards. kingdoms. and organised sport. divine decree. whatever surrounds. wealth. perception. but especially fathers. whichever parent has more of a nurturing role. friendship with and benefit from kings. government by nobles. alliances with foreign states. and the knees and upper legs. towns and cities. The Fourth House has signification over parents and grandparents. and all communications. orchards. The Lord of the Fourth House indicates the governor of the town where the individual lives. leases. 10th House The Fourth House represents the environment and foundation for reputation and career development brought by the individual's own choices. whereas the Tenth involves forces outside his or her control (others' attitude towards him or her) affecting his or her career. sides. upbringing. grandchildren of oneself and siblings. possessions. restlessness. and the breast and lungs. medicinal remedies and cures. the mergeance and draining away of everything requiring elimination. and amusements. publication of one's own writings. the family of one's marital partner. emotional and romantic inclinations and desires. talents. lawyers. and all ancient dwellings. the home and domestic affairs. and the mining of metal. dukes and earls). the manner in which every concern ends. power. and especially clergy. church livings. desires and passions. hips and thighs. and the bottom. God or gods. the search for new horizons. racial ideas and ideals. friendship. 11th House The Fifth House allows the individual to profit from chance through investments and emotional leanings. empires. fields. philosophy. dexterity. holidays. far-reaching advertising and publicity. protects and nourishes one. grounds. ambassadors. cleverness. whichever parent is more authoritarian. the colour red. The Fourth also signifies the birthplace. agriculture. one's sense of responsibility towards relatives. strong impulses projected into the world in a dramatic manner that contribute to fame or notoriety. and household goods. The Ninth House has signification over voyages and long journeys overseas. intuition. liberality. mental infirmities. and judges and magistry. anything accumulated or in storage. popular favour. daily movement. the water supply. the first child (if a woman's geniture). the ammunition of a besieged town. fame in relation to one's station. houses. repute. 5th House. visions. and revelations. and soothsaying. religious people. lands. destiny and fate. The Tenth also signifies relations with those in authority generally. the imagination. preferment. and hidden or unrecovered wealth. hidden treasures. family and racial traditions. whereas the Eleventh determines through the influence of or intervention by others whether or not his or her desires will be met. and home environment. the state of being married. dignity. the wealth of the father. friendship with 5 . and towards collective needs. distinction. profession or trade. temples. and rentals. displays. gardens. joy and pleasure. a sense of purpose. law and justice. memory. speech. children. games. recreational impulses. pasture.

affliction and misfortune. bail. fines. toil. love. and honour and position (10). ties of conjugality and legality (7). domestic pets. are considered the strongest placements for any planet. atonement for errors through compassionate self-sacrifice and charity. comforts. disease. and physical infirmity and defects. Characteristics of the hemispheres 6 . bane and adversity. those who share one's ideals. and the lower part of the abdomen. (2). trust and confidence. danger. which refer to the individual's temporal (i. loss of property. the colours yellow and saffron. self-undoing. known anciently as the post-ascending houses. neuroses. the nature of those in one's own service. representing possessions and property (2). and ties of friendship (11). comforts (6). fear and anxieties. farmed animals such as sheep. happiness. witches. and mental conflicts resulting from the externalisation of the ego. illnesses. disease. tenants. mundane chores and tasks. groups. those who maliciously undermine or secretly inform on their neighbours. including the intestines and kidneys. and especially illness. and associates. the influence of others upon this environment (especially through death or inheritance) (8). the colour black. freed prisoners. character defects seeming to necessitate a spiritual rebirth. and war-time ammunition and soldiers of kings. in routine and unobtrusive ways. and mind (9). scheming flatterers. employment in general. (9) and (12). hygiene and sanitation. deceptions and treachery. asylums. Associations of the house groupings The Individual houses form the Trinity of Life. the rewards brought by ambitions. tribulation. ambition. treasure. aquaintances. practical responsibilities.women. uncles and aunts (especially on one's father's side). hospitals and hospitalisation. the capacity to serve personally. reforming visions and efforts. children. health. and negligence. enmity. form the Trinity of Wealth.e. material) status. rabbits and hares. the attainment of desires. ill-fortune. hopes. which refer to human relationships. sorrow. gifts. overwork and toil. work in seclusion or behind the scenes. associates. The Sixth House has signification over employees. The Twelfth House has signification over large cattle such as oxen. The Sixth also signifies clothing. the colour green. money. prison. repressions. (3). karmic liabilities. and position in the afterlife. representing the body (1). servants and slaves. business connections. harbours. hogs and cattle (except oxen). and the profit or loss that they bring. projects. sins. and psychogenic illnesses. 12th House The Sixth House affects the individual's health. so that it is impossible for planets tenanted therein to thrive. humanitarian and philanthropic enterprises. soul (5). so they are the weakest positions. institutions. The Terminal houses. and sons. and behind-the-scenes manoeuverings. and the Immum Coeli as the Subterraneous Pivot Point (as reportedly translated by Robert Schmidt from the ancient Greek). and imprisonment. The Twelfth also signifies secret feelings and aspirations. the attainment of ultimate understanding. The Succedent houses. altruism. misery and bane. detached or impersonal relationships. inner self-development. longevity. ornaments. meditation. leading often to mental illness or physical disease. and confinement and other impedances (12). that haunt one's conscience. daily work. and the feet. known anciently as the cardinal or pivotal houses. other small animals. praise or dispraise from others. The Angular houses. The Eleventh also signifies general social interaction. service to others and work through choices under his or her own control. allies. and the lower legs (down to the ankles). goats. The Relative houses. are considered almost as strong but attracting less public notice. uncles and aunts on one's mother's side. (1). and debt. The Cadent houses. (5). are considered environments characterised by a quality of 'falling away'. death. ideals concerning relationships. which refer to endings of conditions in the individual's life. favourites. The Temporal houses. whereas the twelfth inhibits and represses as a result of others' reactions to him or her. the inclination to think at variance with or change society and national consciousness. clubs. duties. form the Trinity of Psychism. representing ties of consanguinity (3). servants and slaves. foreign countries. exile. (6). representing the individual's environment in each epoch of life (4). elephants. triumph. (private) enemies. The Descendant was known as the Setting Place. food and diet. hidden and underhanded opposition. horses. commerce. (4). and other exceptionally large animals. (8) and (11). hope. farmers. agricultural labourers. (7) and (10). occultism. wishes and ambitions. good fortune. 6th House. form the Trinity of Association. known anciently as declines. misery. the councillors. the imagination. therefore more neutral overall in quality. shepherds and hogherds. and daughters-in-law. infirmities and defects. servants.

They are associated with active involvement in the outer world. occasionally referred to as Northern Houses. Houses above the horizon. the development of personal inclinations that require experience before they can be openly expressed with success or applied to more impersonal concerns. (2) and (3). Thus. (12). Conversely. and the ability to relate to them objectively on their terms rather than with reference to personal subjectivity. the qualities of the sign on the house cusp come under stress from the competing demands for expression of the intercepted sign. and the connection of selfimage with achievement in public. (10). (11) and (12). and drawing inferences about the means or necessary consequence (z) of bringing the purposes of the motivating house (y) to fruition. the establishment of a public identity. (9) or sextile (3). Intercepted Houses and Signs A house containing two or more sign cusps is said to contain an intercepted sign. In many figures cast using quadrant house systems. houses whose cusps are in natural trine (5). (2) and (3)). primarily Venus and Jupiter) weakened. Reading a House 7 . (11) relation to the Ascendant are more favorable positions. Where a house is intercepted within a sign. The three above the horizon. (11) and (12).e. the seeking of security from within and in the local environment. a sign containing two or more house cusps is said to be contain an intercepted house. (1).The Western houses. Houses whose Lords (cusp sign rulers) are situated in a house whose cusp is in natural trine / sextile relation to the horizon gain strength in the individual figure. the areas of life signified by the intercepted house and the next house (on whose cusp the sign also occurs) will be tied together as avenues for expression of the general character of the sign. especially in their impact upon the individual's health. (10). (11). are associated with self-expression and the exercising of personal will. each house may naturally combine two other house concerns: as with the 9th house representing grandchildren (5th from the 5th). and describe self-absorption. and one opposite pair of intercepted signs. are associated with awareness and recognition of others and their needs. (8). and in some cases using others to one's own advantage. Other House Strength Considerations Houses are also considered stronger or weaker in relation to their house distance from the Ascendant / Descendant axis (the horizon). (5) and (6). Where a sign is intercepted inside a house. relating to the outside world with reference primarily to its personal impact on the self. malefic planets (i. Houses below the horizon. (1). one opposite pair of intercepted houses. (4). (7). consideration of will with respect to its effects on others. (5). (10) relation to both the Ascendant and Descendant. are deemed to strengthen planets there posited. are the impersonal or social houses. the introspective search for what is personally meaningful. having one's life direction shaped by others. In these houses. (4). being moulded by one's social environment. (8) and (9). primarily Mars and Saturn) are said to be strengthened. relating. (2). and frequently a state of relative retreat from the outside world. whose influence in the life will be increased. sharing. without social involvement. frequently discomfort at introspection and self-nurturance. This inward expression intensifies the sign qualities and presents a learning and development challenge of their nature to the individual. Derivative Houses The Derivative House technique involves perceiving a house (x) from the standpoint of its numerical distance in houses (z) from any other particular house (y) before it. (9). occasionally referred to as Southern Houses. are the personal houses: areas of inward reflection and subjectivity. (3). community issues and society. and benefic planets (i.e. (11) and (12)). whether in relation to the self and immediate environment (in the cases of (1). (10). (6). while those whose cusps are in natural square (4). The Eastern houses. whose qualities are contained inwardly by the individual rather than being overtly expressed. matters (in the cases of (10). On a more concrete level. or to more impersonal. in accordance with the natural aspect formed between their cusps and this axis. (7). even universal. particularly in the more northern latitudes of the northern hemisphere. will be found. social and professional life.

(6) The signification of any planets posited in the house itself. based on a circuit around the horoscope in the reverse of the usual forward direction. who. Using whole sign houses. (5) Any aspect the house dispositor forms to the Ascendant. In ancient Greece. the Equal House system itself had already achieved recognition by Ptolemy's time. the 7th one of old age. literally translates as 'topography' or 'place'. and results in very different boundaries to each house in relation to the angles and intermediary house cusps. Also the 3rd house has been called the good decline while the 10th house has been called that of praxis. Deborah Houlding translates Epicataphora as 'casting down'.. as a further description of how (sign) and in what domains (house) the affairs governed by the house will manifest in the individual's life. (7) Relation of all that has thus been signified about the affairs of the house to the context of the overall life. This system is still the standard in Vedic astrology to this day.e. However. The Porphyry House System (as summarised in the first page of this article) is the earliest known example of a house system based on the division of the horscope into quadrants centred in the angles at the horizon and meridian around the birthplace or equivalent place on the Earth's surface under study.e. following in effect the apparent diurnal motion of the Sun in a figure. in contrast to the Equal House System. allowing at most two or three degrees' retrospective leeway for inclusion of planets that are posited towards the end of the previous house. meaning one's life activity.see Rulership and Dignities article) of the house. the 1st house being considered a marker of the start of life. whereas the idea of a 'home'. A quadrant system was also employed by Antiochus of Athens. so it is reasonable to presume that this example of a quadrant system was in use centuries earlier. and the condition of their dispositors in the figure. oikos. as this will more closely link the principles of the two houses involved. like Ptolemy. in which similarly the houses are all of equal arc on the ecliptic but start from their cusps and extend for thirty degrees in a uniquely forward (anticlockwise) direction around the zodiac to the equivalent degree of the next sign. but Ptolemy himself counted back five degrees from the cusp of each house to mark its beginning. The following table provides a summary of selected translated and original ancient names and concepts for the houses. as revealed by the remainder of the figure. (3) The position by sign and house of the dispositor or Lord (i. the 10th one of the prime of life. was applied to the domicile of a planet . Each house thus formed was considered to have a very specific function.D. as operating in the areas of life represented by the house. aspects they receive from elsewhere in the figure. because the houses are considered to start at the beginning of the sign in which their cusps are placed. the Whole Sign system of house division and demarcation was in common currency. whereas moderns tend to start the houses exactly at the cusps. (2) The modifying influence of the sign on its cusp. which are universal principles applying to all natal figures. Vettius Valens noted the Porphyry system in the 2nd century A. topos. on average 50% of planets will appear posited in the house before the one in which they would appear when using the Equal House system. thus. taking into account the character of these planets as modified by the signs in which they are placed (which may not be the same as the sign on the cusp of the house that governs the affairs of the house overall). as a strengthening or weakening influence on the house. and the 4th one of death and what follows it. 8 . (4) Any mutual reception between the house under consideration and the house tenanted by its dispositor. cusp sign ruler . Houses in Ancient Astrology The ancient Greek word for an astrological house. as a filter to its character. considered houses to become effective starting five degrees before their cusps.When synthesising an interpretation of a house in any particular natal figure. strongly associating the placement of planets in angular houses with increased strength and those in the cadent houses with debilitation. Valens had dedicated much of his life to gathering ancient astrological traditions from his travels to to Egypt. the following procedure of considerations is recommended: (1) The general significations of the house. yet according to Joseph Crane the 8th house was known also as idle. the sign over which it is the domicile ruler.i. The angular houses were anciently considered indicators of times of life.

.|.Malus Daemon.. that of Jupiter is as that of the Part of Increase. and that of Saturn is as that of the Part of Fatality....Anaphora.) The solar figure visually highlights aspects to the Sun.. that of Venus is as that of the Part of Love.| 4th.|.|..|.Good Spirit.Bad Spirit..|.... In the judgement of the matters governed by each of these four angular houses...Idle..Dysis.... According to Alan Leo it also has significant bearing upon the mind..| 11th.. Lot Houses In antiquity.. and aspects received by. the Descendant signifies affairs pertaining to the Seventh House. together with the sign and house placement of. the placements of the planets etc....| 2nd....|....Epicataphora..Mala Fortuna. and the delineation of planets tenanting its houses should be referenced to the general principles of the Sun as a significator.. Similarly..Anatole. and vital resilience..1st... This technique has been brought back into use in the 20th century with the advent of Sun sign forecasting. therein being used as significators of fortune with reference to their essential functions as planets when expressed through the areas of experience and life denoted by the houses in which they were placed... so in effect it works same as the Equal House System but with the Sun substituted for the Ascendant.Good Fortune.|.|.|..| 12th. this is particularly so of one posited in the Tenth House or the First House. just as the houses of the horoscope often were. While any planet in the angular houses is of increased strength. that of Mars is as that of the Part of Passion.Dea. He links it to inherited and parentally derived character traits.|.Deus..... the angle that is on its cusp should be considered by its sign and aspects received (conjunctions being of foremost importance).|. its Lord..Midheaven. and additionally if conjunct (as measured by degrees) the Midheaven or Ascendant such a planet will be greatly strengthened in its importance within a figure.Subterraneous... The Ascendant describes the body and its material wants.|.|.| 7th.. A figure based on solar houses is sometimes called a heliarc figure.|..|... 9 ..| 6th... the Midheaven or Medium Coeli corresponds to the Tenth House.... (A separate article on the Arabian Parts will be prepared in March 2004..| 3rd..|.|...Bonus Daemon.Medium Coeli..|..Bad Fortune... that of Mercury is as that of the Part of Commerce or Understanding... and instead treats the position of the Sun as the start of the first house. Immum Coeli The Ascendant signifies affairs pertaining to the First House. and the facial expression and outward mannerisms).|.. and twelve equal houses marked out from there in the usual direction...| 5th.. physical appearance (both purely structural qualities of appearance....Sun God..Moon Goddess..| 8th.. rather than for nativities.....Gate of Hades... Solar houses were anciently delimited as whole-sign houses.. stating that only with maturity can the inner being represented by the Moon and Sun express itself more freely. More specific concepts of three of these angles are compiled below.. and the 'expression of the Ego in the physical world'.Ypogion.|.Rising Place.|.|... intellect and 'disposition'... Ascendant. In a modern solar figure based on the placement of the first house cusp on the exact degree of the Sun. as distinct from the Ascendant. Midheaven..| 9th...... Descendant.|.. whereby the current transit of each luminary and planet to each whole-sign solar house for each natal Sun sign is taken into consideration in assessing current influences upon all individuals born under that Sun sign. constitution (health).Bona Fortuna.Setting Place.. then marks out twelve equal houses of 30º from there around the zodiac in the usual direction.| Solar Houses Another ancient system of house division completely ignores the birthplace or event place... figures were cast with the Part of Fortune (as ordinarily calculated) placed defining the cusp of the First House. the position of the Moon is equivalent to that of the Part of Fortune in a horoscope figure... These were mostly used for horary astrological purposes or for event charts.| 10th.. but above all the brain as the 'controlling centre of the body'. and the Immum Coeli or Lower Midheaven relates to the Fourth House.|.

our perception of the world outside. but also the individual's 'aspirations and will'. or ego. which is manifest in choices of clothing and self-description. or of individuality'. thereby allowing us to assess any situation before relaxing and revealing our true feelings'. acted 'persona' or 'mask' of 'psychological devices' that is automatically put up to protect the individual from being truly known by others when he or she 'feels less than safe.Sasha Fenton states that the Ascendant sign shows 'one's earliest experiences of life' (which include. or (as Fenton puts it) a 'shield' that 'hides and protects the real personality. as well as the nature of the partnerships that one experiences. or through conflict and enmity. highlighting the 'central potentiality which the person should seek consciously to actualise as a vessel or lens through which the Divine may act'. Howard Sasportas regards the ascendant as showing our concept of life and existence. therefore. and ambition for personal achivement. 'the image we wish to present to the world'. and indicates qualities of the type of individual to whom one feels attracted with a view to partnership situations. although perhaps the most easily outwardly expressed part.. Robert Hand calls the Ascendant a point where 'energies of the self pass from the inner realm to the outer and are made manifest to the not-self'. and the development of spiritual awareness and awareness of one's 'personal creative potential'. the Ascendant signifies the 'intuitive awareness of self. They add themselves that it describes 'what a person may become if he can actualise his spiritual potential'. 10 . particularly in impersonal. influence the personality and mould the survival instincts. Moore and Douglas agree with Alice Bailey's view that the Ascendant shows the 'intended life or immediate soul purpose for this incarnation' and the 'force which. and also our expectations when faced with changes and new beginnings. and 'those qualities for which we want to be admired.. the first impressions others obtain of oneself. since it is 'important for us to selectively identify with those [external] conditions that directly affect the evolution of our own [inner] karma'. Fenton suggests that the characteristics of the ascendant sign are adopted to fit in with how authority figures early in life are perceived by the individual as expecting him or her to be. Fenton further connects the midheaven to the 'type of person whom you find attractive'. looked up to and respected'. and social standing). and showing the 'way in which we find personal expression through the ego'. selectively allowing others to see the personality in a particular light. external life direction. public reputation (including fame. According to Dane Rudhyar. scared [or] uncertain' (Avery): a 'façade' that he or she 'hides behind' for reasons of survival and safety. as well as in public behaviour. it shows. the 'circumstances of birth'). social contributions. As such it is considered under the individual's conscious control. And through its function as a selective integrator of the inner self with the external world. 'early programming'. adaptable to different situations. The Ascendant is sometimes portrayed as a put-on. according to Jeanne Avery. whether through co-operation and sharing. resistance to change in one's personal ideas and feelings. On a psychological level. Most astrologers therefore regard it as an intrinsic part of the true personality. and. The Ascendant has been taken to indicate the way in which one approaches and confronts one's environment (especially outside the home). according to Sasportas.. as Avery notes. he sees the Ascendant as determining the individual sense of identity. and comments that it tells 'what one needs to do with one's life in order to grow'.. Peter Damian regards the Ascendant as showing not only the physical form and early environment. The Descendant describes one's consciousness of and interactions with other people in the environment. worldly situation and position. serving usefully and productively to selectively focus the individual's energies (as shown by the overall birth-chart) upon a 'meaningful field of expression' in the outer world. The Midheaven or Medium Coeli traditionally signifies career. and 'environmental factors' (in contrast to genetic ones) that. with others who differ from oneself. and is connected to 'dharma'. the elements of one's personality that one projects outwardly to others ('outer manner' or image). Hand notes that it shows the impression that others obtain of oneself and the effect that one has upon others through a combination of personality and actions. He also sees it as a 'filter' of the individual's many inner potentials and of the world's many external realities. It also shows some of the qualities we tend least to identify with ourselves. Hand calls it 'the point of greatest self-externalisation in the social world'. public situations. honour and dishonour. marks of status. lauded. and links it to ego-consciousness. [and] receives and gives illumination (from and to the outer environment)'. governing 'the way in which the inner being makes contact with the external environment. and our way of undertaking them. rightly used. likening it to a 'doorway' between the inner being and the outer environment. Rudhyar describes the Descendant as showing the manner in which one approaches interpersonal relationships that involve 'mutuality' and equality. modified by aspects to it and by the situation of its dispositor.. Yet it will always take the form of the particular sign of the zodiac on it. will lead the man to success'. Martin Schulman regards it as the personal point of consciousness. Stephanie Clement departs wildly from tradition in asserting that the Midheaven shows the 'ability to mediate between the world of Self and the world of Other'.

or by its own progression into a new sign.. She adds that the malign influence of a malefic conjunct the Vertex in synastry can be offset by a conscious decision by the Vertex person to express towards the planet person the sign quality of his or her Anti-Vertex. with positive self-development rewards to be reaped if one succeeds in doing this. Henson corroborates this finding with regard to the Vertex in particular. in response to whatever situation has occurred. They function as parts of two-point axes in connection with their opposing points. considered together with the houses over which this aspecting planet is the Lord. and negative consequences for personal integration if one fails. stating that its conjunctions to an angle or planet in another person's nativity 'may help explain strong associations between people. and both ends should be considered by sign and house placement and close aspects. additionally characterises the Vertex as showing how one is perceived by others on the basis of one's past actions and one's personality. Any conjunction will emphasise the end of the axis concerned in connection with the conjoined planet or principle. selfexpression. John Townley found transits of outer planets to the Vertex to bring turning points in life whose significance may not be registered by the individual affected at the time. but which takes personal form through the mediation of uncontrollable events involving other people. the individual is obliged to display and grow in its particular qualities (as shown by natal or progressed sign placement). the difficulty level (harmony or disharmony) involved in resolving the situation through the expression of the Vertex qualities. Vertex in Predictive Astrology Hand finds the Vertex to be active in dramatic situations that are 'not characteristic of one's ordinary life'. and will tend to take actions of their nature. with which he or she is at first uncomfortable. correlate primarily with the 11 . she perceives this projection mechanism as externalising responsibility for a part of one's own self. first named and researched by L. as indicated by the Midheaven and Ascendant. and any other aspects received by this aspecting planet. the MC / IC axis. Donna Henson. where significant binding ties are involved. Henson states that it shows 'fated or destined' role to be played by the individual. and often to the detrminent of the opposing point on the axis. The sign and house placement(s) of the Anti-Vertex and the East-Point. or they may reinforce those that do have other indications'. this situation ('how we are apt to be compelled' to express the Vertex qualities. will add a slight emphasis of the nature of the signs and house(s) concerned to the expression of the self.Anti-Vertex / Vertex. is believed to have a connection with fateful encounters with both circumstances and people. citing Delphine Jay as a source. The overall significance of the situation. Pottenger has often found one of these points in close conjunction with a personal planet or one end of an angular axis belonging to the other person. showing the emotions and experiences sought through close personal relationships. East Point / West Point axes The Anti-Vertex and the East Point (or Equatorial Ascendant) have both been proposed as sensitive points acting as 'auxiliary Ascendants' (Maritha Pottenger). and what others expect one to do. and the conequences of the situation to the individual. This may be the Ascendant / Descendant axis. and tending to attract the characteristics of this ceded part in others in exaggerated form. She also notes that transiting eclipses that activate (by conjunction or opposition to within a three-degree orb) the natal Vertex will stimulate the individual to activity of the nature of the natal Vertex by its sign and house placement. needs. as Henson puts it) will be described by the nature and placement of the aspecting planet (or point). with conjunctions being most powerful. Henson comments that the aspect type will describe the influence of the transiting planet on the individual. but will be in retrospect. unconsciously seeking their expression in them. the lunar nodal axis.. Vertex and West Point in Synastry In synastry. In the case of the Vertex especially. Pottenger similarly regards both the Vertex and the West Point (or Equatorial Descendant) as being akin to auxiliary descendants. and the qualities that one is inclined to project onto others. Their influence is believed to manifest in personal identity. Vertex as 'Fated' Point The Vertex. and actions. Henson comments that whenever the Vertex is 'activated' by aspects (this may apply to those involved in transits or progressions). for instance. or even the other person's Vertex / Anti-Vertex or East Point / West Point axis. or a quality required to complete the personality. Where aspects are involved. that otherwise do not seem to be indicated. with particular consideration for conjunctions. Edward Johndro.

Henson has found that aspects. but most especially conjunctions. within the progressive figure for this entity. In solar return figures. in transits to the natal or progressive figure for the country. The house placement of the Vertex natally and by progression can show the areas of life over which any situations involving the Vertex being activated have the greatest effect. often as expressed through their solar return houses. Vertex in Mundane Astrology Henson reports that the Vertex is often involved in a major aspect configuration in the figures for significant mundane events having a 'fated' quality. The manner in which the natal (or progressive) sign qualities of the Vertex are put to use in response to the situation will be shown by the nature of all relevant aspects (natal and transiting or progressive) to the Vertex itself. squares and quincunxes are generally negative but present great opportunities for growth. between transiting planets and the previous solar eclipse. with conjunctions and parallels being strong influences in the nature of the aspecting planet or point. of the Vertex to both solar return and natal planets will frequently bring. or between its progressive and natal figures. in the year to follow. significant 'life-altering' events of the nature of the planets involved. institution or other entity involved. whether the aspects involved are found solely between transiting planets. while oppositions.type of aspect thrown to the Vertex by the activating point or planet. 12 .