A Reform of the
I propose the following changes to represent the astrological chart : two
systems of coordinates (topocentric altitudes and ecliptical longitudes),
topocentric coordinates (for the Moon), a double circle to figure the
planets that are really above or below the horizon, a new Medium Coeli
that is the zodiacal point of higher altitude, always 90° from the AS,
and finally, an easier manner to calculate the eight houses, i.e.
oktatopos or octotope, like modus aequalis (eight houses running
clockwise, in the natural sense, with Angles in the middle of houses I,
III, V and VII), the representation of the real aspects (true angular
distances) and of the triangular and rectangular figures. The new chart
synthesizes all the elements necessary for interpretation, corresponds
better to the apparent heavenly reality than the representations offered
by existing programs and softwares, and is mainly a consequence of the
quaternary nature of astrology, as I have repeatedly tried to show for
over twenty years.
DRAWING UP THE HEAVEN
The birth chart, as
drawn up by astrologers and their software, in no case represents the
state of heaven at a given time, generally a person's time of birth, but
the conventional state of heaven, which in most cases distorts what one
should expect from a reliable representation of celestial bodies. One does
not find in the chart what one 'sees' in the sky, i.e. the visible real
positions of planets. The chart does not represent what one could see if
the sunlight of day, dawn or dusk did not make them difficult to see. And
it is not about stars, constellations or nebulae, but about a small number
of celestial bodies represented on the chart, i.e. the eleven planets of
the solar system, including Ceres (see "Which
cyclical operators in astrology?", CURA, AfD 08).
Paradoxically, ideologist astronomers (those condemning astrology for bad
reasons) rarely bring up this issue, and only superficially, and prefer
rubbishy rearguard debates. Because seriously raising this issue would
require envisaging transformations and alternative solutions, which would
mean doing the work for astrologers. [For example in a French Zetetician
article of March 2006 (http://www.zetetique.fr/index.php/dossiers/92-astrologie),
anti-astrologers rightly criticize the author of a mediocre study for not
taking into account the planetary latitudes and for confusing the visible
real planetary positions with their projection on the ecliptic; but
zeteticians refrain from drawing up the chart of this 'real heaven' and
merely illustrate their comments using charts calculated with the Astrolog
software, used by astrologers since several decennia, which does not show
the said latitudes either!]
The difficulty in correctly drawing up the state of the close sky is due
to several causes, and first to the difficulty in representing a
tridimensional sphere on a flat surface taking into account two references
: the planetary positions projected on the ecliptic and the planetary
positions in houses. The representation of a chart on a flat surface
depends on reference conventions and conventions of projection of a sphere
on a plane.
Medieval astrologers used to represent the chart in a circular and
quadrangular framework privileging the houses ; modern (namely European)
astrologers tend to prefer a circular representation which privileges
zodiacal signs. But in both cases the latitudes of celestial bodies are
not taken into account. The usually represented latitude is only the
orthogonal projection of planetary positions onto the ecliptic. It is not
the real planetary position.
For example on the 24th of March of last year 2009, in Paris at 6:43
(GMT+1), Mercury is shown at 27° in Pisces, at three degrees above the
Ascendant, and in the twelfth house. In reality the planet is below the
horizon and has not yet risen! Venus on the contrary is shown at 9°30 of
Aries and in the first house, well below the ascendant. In reality it rose
more than half an hour earlier, little after Mars and well before Uranus!
One will conclude that there is something "fishy" in the
traditional representation transmitted by astrologers for centuries.
It is not even the system of Houses and the domification that we ought to
reform - supposing that astrologers could agree on the nature of 'astrological
houses' (see my text about the Dominion and the dubious origin of the
twelve-house system which has become classic) --, but the planetary
positions on the ecliptic. Because even astrologers who as a precaution do
not use a house system in the representation of the chart do give on the
ecliptic circle a distorted representation of planets which does not
correspond to reality but to a conventional astronomical referencing.
PICTURES : In the charts drawn up for 24 March 2009 at 6:43 am in Paris,
the data of astrological softwares tally (for example ZET in Polich-Page
house system and Astrodienst online in Placidus house system), but do not
represent the visible real planetary positions : indeed Mercury is under
the horizon (thus logically under the ascendant) and Venus is above, as
indicated by Stellarium. Figure 4 (Stellarium) shows the rise of Venus
half an hour earlier, around 6:11 (with atmosphere). Uranus has not yet
Other example :
Tomorrow on Easter Monday, April 5 at 2:58:47 in Paris, the Moon rises at
0°28 of Capricorn in the classical chart. Ceres then Pluto are
represented under the Ascendant, at 2°56 and 5°25 of Capricorn
respectively. In reality the Moon is under the horizon and has not risen
yet : Ceres is rising and Pluto is below the horizon, at an altitude of 1°25.
REPRESENTATION OF THE CHART
One may prefer to the circular chart representation a more simple,
orthogonal representation, only taking into account the ecliptic
coordinates of planets, to which Angles can be added, and with more
difficulty, houses and aspects. To my knowledge no software proposes such
a chart, which presents the advantage of not distorting the perception of
visible planetary positions (if one adopts the same scale for abscissas
and ordinates), but which presents the disadvantage of not being circular.
It is an acceptable representation for astrologers who would not use the
Houses. One may also prefer equatorial or horizontal coordinates to
ecliptic coordinates, and represent the state of the close sky using one
or the other of these systems.
In the seventh chapter of book IV of his Harmonices Mundi, Kepler
declares being born at the rise of the 25th degree of Gemini and at the
culmination of the 22nd degree of Aquarius : "oriebatur autem 25
Geminorum, culminabat 22 Aquarii". (Linz, Joannes Plancus, 1619,
p.170). This translates into the birth on Thursday 27 Decembre 1571 in
Weil-der-Stadt West of Stuttgart, at approximately 14:37, a birthtime
: Kepler's orthogonal chart without aspects, then with aspects, and the
orthogonal chart on 24 March 2009 at 6:43 highlighting the high latitude
THE ISSUE OF LATITUDES AND
THE ASSUMPTION OF DERIVED OR VARIABLE LONGITUDES
One commonly talks about zodiacal belt, traditionally fixed at 17°, i.e.
at 8°30 on either side of the ecliptic, which adapts to gaps in latitude
of the planets of the septenary. In reality Venus can have a latitude of
up to 8°50, which would bring the traditional zodiacal belt to
approximately 18°. The Moon and Mercury have a maximum planetary latitude
of approximately 5° ; Uranus', the planet closest to the ecliptic plane,
is smaller than 1° ; Jupiter's and Neptune's are smaller than 2°, and
Saturn's smaller than 3°. But Mars can reach 7° South latitude (but only
about 4°30 North), and Pluto and Ceres deviate from it even more (more
than 17°). Taking into account these two planets requires a widening of
the zodiacal belt to approximately 35°. However the planetary positions
represented in the chart are not located "in" in zodiacal belt
but "on" a circle which eliminates information on latitude.
No heavenly body except the Sun is ever really on the ecliptic, except at
the intersection points of its plane of revolution with the ecliptic (at
the nodes). One could imagine, in order to take the planetary latitudes
into account, redefining the ecliptic positions for each planet. These
corrections would not apply or be zero for the sun (which by definition
has no latitude) and in very rare cases for a planet crossing the ecliptic
plane passing at it's ascending or descending node.
The position of each planet would no longer be defined by its invariably
orthogonal projection onto the ecliptic, but by its ecliptic projection
along an axis crossing the meridian, and more precisely the Southern
cardinal point (in a northern chart) for a planet above the horizon, and
along an axis crossing the Northern cardinal point for a planet below the
horizon. For a Southern chart, the cardinal points would be inverted.
Thus, in the above-mentioned example, Venus would have to be positioned at
approximately 14° in Pisces instead of 9°30 in Aries. Mercury would be
at approximately 2°30 in Aries instead of 27° in Pisces. These data vary
during the day and planets would only be found on their classical ecliptic
position at their crossing with the meridian. This way planets would be
retrograde at certain moments in their daily cycle as they used to be at
some moments of their annual cycle, which astrologers have been used to
projections (represented in the usual chart) do not take latitudes into
account. 'Derived' or 'latitudinal' projections restore an image of the
sky more conform to the theoretically visible sky (without atmosphere).
Of course, such a referencing is bound to shock many astrologers for whom
astronomical perpendicular projections are an article of faith, but may
less shock astronomers who observe the sky as it is appears in their
lenses. But the ecliptic positioning is only a referencing convention and
the solution of 'derived longitudes' would much better agree with the sky
as it appears at the moment of observation. Derived longitudes are a kind
of planetary adaptation and positioning on the ecliptic viewed with a
But this referencing presents a big flaw and fails in some extreme cases,
for example at Rovaniemi in Finland (a city of 60.000 inhabitants at 66°30N
and 25°44E), every day precisely at the moment when the ecliptic sticks
to the horizon, in other words when the ecliptic plane and the horizon
coincide. This phenomenon occurs for all geographic locations with a
latitude of approximately 66°30, i.e. located on the polar arctic and
Some French astrologers, taking a leaf out of Dom Neroman's book
(1884-1953), proposed doubling the classical chart with a second chart ,
so-called Domitude chart (Cahiers Conditionalistes 4, 1981, Astralis 43,
1994, L'Astrologue 129, 2000, etc). But these representation attempts,
which adapt the Campanus or Placidus systems, lead to a disproportionate
division and turn out to be unworkable for extreme latitudes, as classical
charts based on the same models. Moreover, one does not really know any
more what the use could be of these Domitude degrees supposed to represent
the exact house position of a planet, nor which aspects to use (longitude
or house aspect), given these two rival charts. The most common practice
consists in keeping the aspects that are common to these two charts, to
the classical one as well as to the neromanian one. In reality the
Domitude chart is only an imitation of the classical one taking as a basis
one house system or another, which is already highly questionable. The
aspects in houses frame are only projections, as are aspects between
ecliptic planetary positions. They are not real visible aspects between
planets (angular distances) but an approximation of these distances. It is
possible to construct a Domitude chart for each existing house system. For
example in Alfred Adler's chart, supposedly born in Vienna, Austria on
February 8, 1870 in Astralis 43 (in reality on February 7 in Rudolfsheim
close to Vienna at an unknown time!), Pluto is at 7° of house XII and
Neptune at 6° of house XI (Campanus house system). But with the Placidus
house system, Pluto is at 28° of house XI and Neptune at 26° of house X!
In other words there are as many different 'Domitude charts' as there are
house systems. The so-called 'Domitude chart' is a kind of vectorisation
of a house system, and presents the same disadvantages and aberrations in
extreme situations as the house system on which it is constructed. None of
these charts indicates the real positions of planets in the local sphere,
but show the positions biased by the used house system. This approach is
thus reversing the problem, because the issue of houses (number and limits
of the astrological houses) only makes the matter more complex. The 'derived
longitudes', as proposed above, could be interpreted as a transposition of
house positions on the classical chart. Their advantage compared to the
so-called Domitude data is that at least they do not depend on any house
THE DOUBLE AZIMUTHAL
Another model consists in drawing up the chart starting from the classical
longitudes and the topocentric azimuthal positions. The circle parallel to
the meridian would define a natural house system, whose eclipitic and
house positions coincide in the extreme case of Rovaniemi in Finland on 25
February 2010 at 7:57 for example. In this example, the orthogonal
projections on the ecliptic and on the horizon are identical.
Let's take Kepler's chart again. The first chart (left) is a synthesis
between the ancient classical chart (quadrangular organisation) and the
modern chart (circular zodiac). But the references are inverted : the
zodiac belt is outside and the houses are in the middle and divide the
zodiac in eight sectors. The inner circle indicates the azimuthal
positions of planets. A grey-tinted semicircle indicates the zones below
the horizon (under the AS-DS axis). The central double circle shows the
planetary positions above or below the horizon. [However, Neptune should
be placed between both circles since it has not risen yet].
The planets inside this double circle are under the horizon (Jupiter, Mars,
Ceres); the planets outside this double circle are above. The (not shown)
planetary longitudes are projected on the zodiac belt and the azimuthal
positions are indicated with small red dots on the central circle. The
eight houses result from the arithmetic division of azimuthal positions
according to the meridian (the center of house III at 22°30 on either
side of the meridian, house IV from 22°30 to 67°30, and so on). To this
system we add the aspects in the middle and the colouring of the signs of
the zodiac according to the planetary colors (see my text "Planets,
Colors and Metals, CURA 2000), transferred to the zodiac signs
according to the dignities as I explained them in my thesis in 1993 (Moon-Cancer,
Sun-Leo, Venus-Virgo, Neptune-Libra, and so on). Finally, at the sign
boundaries (for example top from right to left: 48 Capricorn, 22 Aquarius,
351 Pisces, and so on) the azimuthal projections marking the beginning of
the tropical signs are indicated.
The second chart (right) roughly shows the organisation of the previous
one with the indication of longitudes and latitudes. But the
correspondence between azimuthal positions, zodiac signs and houses is
only approximate (and only follows a geometric canvas which does not have
the pretention to reproduce the real positions). However Neptune is now
correctly situated between the two circles, which mark its position below
the horizon, but with the Ascendant in house VIII and no longer in house I
(which turns out to be problematic).
In addition this
appealing azimuthal model also fails, this time at the equator, for
example in Quito, or better at Calacalí to the North of Quito (0N00,
78E30 -- cf. http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/19289347.jpg).
Indeed, under these latitudes, the ecliptic plane is sometimes
perpendicular to the horizon plane, and all planets are located more or
less at the same place in orthogonal projection on the horizon. The
azimuthal positions only differ with the latitudes of the planets. Even
worse : there is only one house left, the house containing the meridian !
THE CHART WITH
LONGITUDES AND ALTITUDES
How should one indeed draw up a chart at the latitude of Rovaniemi, or at
Longyearbyen in Norway (78N13, 15E39)? There is no solution to the
question of correct representation of the astrological chart as long as
this technical problem has not been solved.
The solution to this age-old technical aporia can only result from the
simultaneous solving of the polar and equatorial chart. After examining
several systems and in the most diverse astronomical referencing systems,
I have come to the conclusion that a satisfying representation of the
chart could only be tackled using a double referencing system : the
ecliptic longitudes and the topocentric altitudes.
The altitude or height of a celestial body depends on the location where
the chart is drawn up. It is a kind of function of the geographic latitude.
On 21 June, at the summer solstice, the height of the Sun is culminating
at 64°35 in Paris; at 35°13 in Longyearbyen and at 66°21 in Quito. On
21 December, at the winter solstice, the Sun culminates at 17°42 in
Paris, at 66°47 in Quito, but only at -11°39 in Longyearbyen (the Sun
remains under the horizon).
In the above-mentioned Finnish case (ecliptic plane and horizon plane
coinciding), the altitude of a planet coincides with its astronomical
latitude : planets with a positive latitude are above the horizon, planets
with a negative latitude are below.
In other extreme situations, the ecliptic plane can be perpendicular to
the horizon and to the meridian, dividing the celestial sphere into eight
equal quadrants. This is the case in Toliara, Madagascar (23N21, 43E40), a
place located less than 6' latitude from the Tropic of Capricorn, on 7
June 2001 around 1:04. The MC comes close to the zodiacal point of highest
altitude and to the zenith. Ten seconds earlier, at 1:03:50, the Ascendant
is at 0° of Aries and 0° of Capricorn.
As above (see the double azimuthal chart), one can invert the classical
medieval representation of the chart and the modern representation, and
draw up the theme in a double frame : a square outer zodiac belt
indicating the planetary longitudes, and a double inner circle, which this
time indicates the altitudes of the planets. The double circle is
necessary in order to distinguish, in some specific cases, the planets
situated above or below the horizon (the planets under the horizon will be
shown between the two circles, the others outside). To this double
referencing system we need to add the limits of the eight houses according
to the system I have been recommending for fifteen years (see my
Dominion), and in the center the real aspects between planets, and even
the noteworthy synergic configurations (triangles and quadrilaterals in
The real aspects (also called 3D aspects) are the angular distances
measured on the celestial sphere : they are independent of the coordinate
system and therefore include the longitudes as well as the latitudes (see
"La pseudo conjonction Soleil-Pluton du 24 décembre 2009", AfD
4). The real, absolute aspects, i.e. without orbs, are very rare, due to
the latitude of celestial bodies, whichever birth chart is studied.
The Babylonia software, version 1.2 (left image), also proposes a scheme
with longitudes and altitudes, without houses, which is morer an
esthetical representation of the sky than a real chart (left image). In
Kepler's theme drawn up with altitudes and longitudes (next image) the red
lines link the zodiacal longitude to the topocentric altitude. The planets
under the horizon are shown between the two inner circles in a grey-blue
zone. The central area is graduated according to the maximum altitude (North)
and the minimum altitude (South), which are variable depending on the
situation. In Kepler's case, Jupiter has a higher altitude than the
classical MC, and Mars a higher altitude than the classical IC.
The aspects and synergic configurations need to be added (and the legend
needs correcting : 14 :37 instead of 14 :30). In Rovaniemi, in the
above-mentioned example, at the moment when the horizon sticks to the
zodiac, the altitudes coincide with the latitudes, and it becomes
necessary to graduate the inner circles in a discontinuous manner. This
model seems acceptable to me, taking into account the assumptions used (ecliptic
longitudes, altitudes, division in eights houses according to the model I
proposed in 1999, real aspects and synergic configurations).
A CHART FOR LONGYEARBYEN
Particular problems arise for charts drawn up on the polar circles, at
latitudes of about 66°30 North or South, due to the inclination of the
ecliptic plane on the celestial equator, of about 22°30 and slightly
variable with time. According to the Serbian meteorologist and
mathematician Milutin Milanković (1879-1958), the inclination would
vary between 21°30 and 24°30 during a period of 41,000 years, as well as
the earth's eccentricity and the precession (see. For example http://www.detectingdesign.com/milankovitch.html).
At these latitudes the horizon and ecliptic planes coincide once a day.
The Sun is at the horizon, the planets with a positive latitude are
located above the horizon and the other planets below. The Ascendant and
the Medium Coeli are on the horizon, the Ascendant to the North, and the
Medium Coeli to the East. Therefore it is incorrect to state that there is
no Ascendant or Medium Coeli at this moment: this is true for a fraction
of a second at the most (see Joseph Frederici's articles published in the
70s : Astrological Journal, 16.3, 17.1-3-4, 19.4). This is the case
of Rovaniemi, Finland, mentioned earlier.
But what happens at Longyearbyen, above the polar circle (78.222,15.642 on
Google Maps) ?
today, 4 April 2010.
At midnight, Saturn, Mars and Mercurius are above the horizon : Saturn
close to the meridian to the South, Mars to the Southwest culminates above
the ecliptic (latitude + 2°49), Venus and Mercurius seem to go down to
At 0:18 Spica rises at 2° South of the ecliptic. Saturn has just crossed
At 2:12 Mercurius and Venus cross the meridian to the North, then start
rising above the horizon.
At 2:56 Spica who has moved close to the horizon, goes down.
At 5:09 the sun rises to the North/Northeast
At 5:19 the Moon crosses the meridian to the South under the horizon : it
reaches its lowest culmination, its' 'buried position' at -14°21.
Between 6:22 and 6:32 it is Ceres and Pluto's turn to passs the meridian
to the South.
Around 6:50 Uranus then Jupiter rise to the East at the moment Saturn goes
down to the West.
At 8:35 Mars crosses the meridian to the North at 10° above the horizon.
At 10:09 Neptune, at 0°46 under the horizon, crosses the meridian to the
South but does not rise. To the contrary, Regulus, on the horizon to the
North, does not go down.
At 15:34 Jupiter goes down to the Southwest
At 17:32 Uranus goes down to the West at the moment when Saturn rises in
the opposite direction.
Before 18:00 The Moon crosses the meridian to the North under the horizon,
followed by Ceres and Pluto.
At 20:34 Mars passes the meridian to the South and culminates at 34°
above the horizon.
At 20:58 The Sun goes down to the South/Southwest.
During the whole day Mars, Venus and Mercurius remained above the horizon,
rising after passing the meridian to the North and going down after
passing to the South. In this example the planets rises to the East but in
reality to the Descendant, and the ecliptic culminates to the North and no
longer to the South.
More generally, if the Ascendant is defined as the point of the ecliptic
that rises, it is always located on the eastern part of the horizon. But
above the polar circle the MC can be located under the horizon and the
zodiac signs can rise in inverted order compared to the usual rising.
However, if the Ascendant is redefined as the point of the ecliptic
located to the East of the sub-horizontal ecliptic zone (including the MC),
then, in these same extreme situations, it can be found in the Western
part of the horizon with an MC to the North.
This second assumption seems much more satisfying to me than the first
one, because the orientation of a chart (oriented to the North or to the
South), is only a question of convention. For charts drawn up in the
Southern hemisphere, it is commonly admitted that the orientation of the
observation point must be inverted (maps oriented to the North).
This new definition of the Ascendant is in fact dependent on the
definition of the Medium Coeli. How could the so-called Medium Coeli be
found under the horizon while its opposite point would be above? This
absurd situation depend on the definition of the Angles, and more
particularly on the definition of the Medium Coeli. Thus, the Ascendant
would not be questioned, as is often stated (for example Frederici), but
the Medium Coeli (MC).
I suggest considering, for any celestial situation, the portion of the
ecliptic situated above the horizon whichever its cardinal position. The
Medium Coeli will then no longer be the intersection of the local meridian
with the ecliptic plane, but more simply the point of the ecliptic with
the highest altitude, i.e. the highest point of the ecliptic measured from
the horizon to the zenith. The Ascendant and the Descendant will then be
defined as the intersections to the East and to the West of the ecliptic
and the horizon. The Ascendant and the new Medium Coeli will always be
located at a right angle (90°) to each other, in the real sky as well as
in the chart. The highest point of the ecliptic in a chart is always the
point located at 90° to the Ascendant, on the ecliptic, and not the
traditional MC located on the meridian as is often thought. This is the
intersection point with the ecliptic, where the planets reach their
highest altitude one after the other. A planet on the meridian is at its
culmination, it is not at the highest point of the ecliptic, thus not at
the culminating point in the chart!
On 22 March 2010 shortly after 10:58 in Paris (GMT+1), the Sun 'culminates
at the MC' at 35°24', which is indeed the highest point of ecliptic
altitude. Neptune however, which just passed the meridian (at 29°31
height) has only an altitude of 28°11, lower than Mercurius, Venus,
Jupiter and Uranus.
This conception of the MC
or ME (Middle of the Ecliptic) solves at the same time the procedure to be
used for the house-divisions : because of the orthogonality of the Angles,
the astral Houses can naturally be spread into equal parts on the ecliptic
without competition between the AS and the MC. In other words the division
of Houses in equal portions starting from the Ascendant or from the Medium
Coeli are confounded.
Definitions : the
Medium Coeli (or Middle of the Ecliptic) is the ecliptic point with the
highest altitude. The Ascendant is the intersection of the horizon and the
ecliptic to the East of the Medium Coeli.
These definitions are suitable under all latitudes. The only particular
case concerns the skies of the polar circles at the moment when the
ecliptic plane 'sticks' to the horizon plane. At time T -1, the MC is
located somewhere to the West, then a few seconds after the fusion the MC
reappears somewhere to the East, for example in the above-mentioned case
of Rovaniemi in Finland, on 25 February 2010 between 7:55 and 8:00. This
case is not an issue and simply illustrates the special situation
occurring once a day under these latitudes.
At 8:00, Uranus, Venus,
Jupiter, Neptune and Mercurius are all close to the MC to the East but
under the horizon due to their negative latitudes. Saturn and Mars to the
opposite have a positive latitude : they appear above the horizon.
Therefore it is useful to add to the charts being drawn up a double
circular belt indicating the presence of a planet under or above the
horizon. As this double circle is not programmed in the software, one
should add arrows indicating the planet's real position compared to the
horizon. In the following illustrated example, the geocentric positions
have been calculated and the local Moon (topocentric position) is indeed
under the horizon, at about -1° altitude (and not at +0°01 as indicated
in the data).
WHICH HOUSE SYSTEM ?
In a recent series of articles published in a London magazine between 2001
and 2005, Michael Wackford manages surfing with verve between different
systems but unfortunately he does not come up with any solution, leading
his readers to think that there is none and that all methods fail. In
addition, this astrologer bewares of seriously examining systems that
directly divide the ecliptic. But the technique and the discourse do not
make the music. The author, which ignores my article (as usual in this
British magazine), the article of the Irish Cyril
Fagan, and more generally the division in eight sectors, carefully
avoids asking the essential questions, being the origins of the astral
houses, their number, their rotation direction, the question of planetary
latitudes, and even the question of the definition of the MC.
Ralph W. Holden presents in his 1977 work (The elements of house
division, Fowler, Romford, UK) fifteen house systems divided in three
categories : systems that divide the ecliptic (Equal houses by the ASC or
Modis Aequalis, Porphyrus, Natural graduation, Equal houses by the MC),
those that spatially divide the celestial sphere (Campanus, Regiomontanus,
Morinus, axial rotation, Zenith Method, Division at the East point), and
those based on a time division of the planets' daily arcs (Alcabitius,
Placidus, Koch, Topocentric). Holden does not evoque the question of the
eight houses, but in 1977 only six years had passed from the publication
by Cyril Fagan of his work Astrological Origins, in which he only
half-heartedly defends the domification in eight sectors (see the
discussion of the Oktotopos on the German
Astrowiki (no article is treating of his subject in the English
Astrowiki, and there is no French Astrowiki) and Wojciech Jozwiak's
Conceived Houses, reissued on Cura).
The temporal house divisions by trisection of the daily arcs, although
impracticable or absurd from 66° latitude, have the preference of
astrologers. The requirement of the temporality of the houses - which
etymologically result from a sectorisation of space (they are domus,
loci or topoi) - is not justified, all the more so because
due to the eccentricity of the earth's orbit, the solar zodiac itself does
not obey this temporal logic (the summer lasts almost 94 days, the winter
Holden discusses Frederici (p.120), mentions the interception and latitude
problems (p.107-117) that particularly affect the systems of the last two
categories (spatial house systems and temporal house systems), and
concludes (p.129) the superiority of the systems that divide the ecliptic,
which are not subject to the above-mentioned difficulties. And namely the
Modus Aequalis, the oldest theme house system, gets his preference. It
would seem that the later systems, more and more sophisticated until the
recent system of the Polish Bogdan Krusinski, merely make the references
more complex and are not able to solve the problems caused by the house
division under all latitudes. In the end it appears that all these systems
result from useless mathematical refinements that only blur reality.
DETAILS ABOUT THE EIGHT
I have presented the system of the eight astral Houses inspired from an
Oktatopos of questionable Greek origin, in the Astralis magazine since
1987, then in my PhD thesis (1993) and in the article 'The 8 Houses',
published on CURA in 1999. The house system proposed in 1999 recommends
using a median point located between the Ascendant and the East point,
which a priori allows dividing the theme in houses even at extreme
latitudes. Assuming the Ascendant is situated to the East between the MC
and the IC, which are the intersections of the local meridian with the
ecliptic plane, the even houses II, IV, VI and VIII have an ecliptic span
which varies between 28° and 62° even in extreme cases. The MC is always
located in House III. On the other hand the Ascendant can derive and be
situated in house II or in house VIII.
Henceforth I hereby refute this calculation of the eight ontological
houses, which I presented as temporary and have always considered such.
The above analyses show that calculating a median intermediate point is
useless and that the equal houses allow a natural and simple house
division, based on a new definition of the Medium Coeli, applicable under
all latitudes. The eight houses follow each other clockwise and the Angles
AS, MC, DS, and IC are situated in the centre of houses I, III, V and VI
in the eight-fold construction. The Houses result from a division of the
local sphere in compartments, taking into account at the same time the
geocentric position of the planets, their topocentric situation, and in a
dependent space also their zodiacal situation.
The Angles indicate particular zones in the daily movement of a planet :
its rise, its culmination, its setting and its lower culmination. [There
is no term to indicate the lower culmination or passing at the Imum Coeli,
hupogeion : I propose the term Burying. The Greeks qualified the
astral house associated with this situation as 'Underground'.]
One has always wanted to link the Angles to the House system according to
the dogma which stipulates that the Ascendant must represent the cusp of
house I. This conception is wrong. Nothing obliges the Angles to be
located at the beginning of the Houses (cusps) rather than in their
middle, not even should a given angle be correlated with such house, even
though there is a temporal and structural logic in the succession of the
eight houses, developed in my text in 1999.
The Mesopotamian astrologers-astronomers were the first ones to observe
that the planets located at these angles, and thus at these moments of
their daily cycle, had a particular force. In these times the Houses did
not exist; they are probably a late Greek invention, which was passed down
to us in a deformed way in the first texts mentioning them.
Some software programs propose a division in eight sectors, but the Angles
are badly defined with dysfunctioning as a result. As an example, the New
Zealand software Janus gives inverted positions above and below the
horizon : in a theme calculated for a location close to Longyearbyen, on
27 December 2009 at 13:51, Mars, the Moon and Uranus, the only planets
above the horizon are shown to be below! (To be compared with ZET and
Stellarium which present a theme or a chart more conform with reality).
CONSEQUENCES OF THE
DIVISION IN EIGHT EQUAL HOUSE SECTORS
The division in eight equal house sectors presents important practical,
technical and theoretical advantages. Practically, a well-conceived
software (such as the Russian ZET software) allows dividing a theme with 8
astral houses by setting up some parameters. It is probably the only one.
The orthogonality of Angles solves the question of the Paranatellonta,
these celestial bodies, stars or groups of stars which rise, culminate or
set at the same time. This way the aporia concerning the duality between
Planets in Aspect and Paranatellonta, evoqued by Robert Hans in his
Essays on Astrology (p.98-101) is resolved, since the passing of
the planets on the horizon, on their culmination (the new MC) and the
buried position are situated in conjunction, opposition or square if the
planetary latitudes are small. In other words the 'Parans' which are
angular links involving the Paranatellonta, merely become exceptional
cases of classical aspects.
Another consequence concerns the division in four, which is the
ontological basis of astrology, and which henceforth irrigates the
selection of aspects. Indeed the conjunction, the opposition, the square,
the semi-square (or octile) and the sesquiquadrate or tri-octile (135°),
even the semi-octile (22°30), become major aspects illustrating this
quaternary logic (division of the circle in 2, 4, 8, and 16). One finds
again a common practice influenced by the German Alfred Witte who
recommended drawing up the theme on a circle of 90° (Dial). But the
graduation by equal sectors from an Ascendant fictitiously situated at the
beginning of Libra is replaced by an equivalent division but in eight
instead of twelve, and from the real Ascendant.
The result is that the new theme, necessarily composite due to the
representation in two dimensions instead of three, brings together four
referencing systems : the apparent planetary positions above the horizon (measured
by altitude, but not yet possible to be shown in existing software), the
orthogonal projections of planetary positions on the ecliptic (Zodiac),
angular distances between planets (characterizing at the same time the
aspects between two planets and the figures between different planets) and
the equal definition of the eight astral houses from orthogonal angles. It
summarises all the elements necessary for the interpretation, better
corresponds to the apparent celestial reality than using current software
and programs, and above all is a consequence of the quaternary nature
of astrology, as I haven't ceased trying to show for more than twenty
04-04-2011 (French original version: 04-04-2010)
© 2011 Patrice Guinard