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The Astrological Houses

A Time for Every Matter Under Heaven


There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1 We see God face to face every hour, and know the savor of Nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson Conduct of Life To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle, Every inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass Providence has its appointed hour for everything. We cannot command results, we can only strive. Mohandas Gandhi One man cannot do right in one department of life whilst he is occupied in doing wrong in any other departments. Life is one indivisible whole. Mohandas Gandhi The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. C. S. Lewis To me, Sports is the toy department of human life. Howard Cosell The Earths Moon revolves around the Earth every 28 days. The Earth revolves around the Sun in a little over 365 days. All that makes up our solar system the Milky Wayits planets, planetoids, asteroids, meteors, and cometsis constantly moving, each at its own unique speed. All of these bodies, including the Earth, Moon, and Sun, also rotate on their respective axes at their own speeds and in diverse directions. Our Sun moves through our galaxy the Milky Way, and the Milky Way travels through the universe with its cluster of galaxies. The universe appears to be expanding, creating more space for old galaxies to occupy as it gives birth to new galaxies. Our universe moves and we move with it.

Once the Moon has completed one revolution, the Earth has moved farther in its orbit around the Sun. All the other bodies in our solar system have moved as well. The Sun has swirled a little farther along in the Milky Way, the Milky Way has moved a little closer to Andromeda, and the universe has expanded. By the time the Moon has returned to a particular point in relation to the Earth, the Earth has moved in relation to the Sun. The other bodies in our solar system have moved as well. Our solar system has moved, following the Sun through space. The spatial relationships among the objects in our universe are never completely repeated. The universe is constantly changing. It never repeats itself. No one moment in time is ever duplicated. The stars and planets move at neck-breaking speed, but we notice very little movement from our point of view on Earth. The Sun, stars, and planets are so far away that we dont notice much of their movement in one lifetime. The ancients described the distant stars as being fixed. It is the apparent fixity of the stars that allows us to chart the relative movements of the Sun, Moon, and planets in our solar system and compare astrologically one moment of time with another. In order to make sense of this ever-changing universe and communicate that sense, we need a framework of relative stability. The fixed stars serve as that framework. We describe the movements of the Sun, Moon, and other planets by measuring their movements against the background of the fixed stars. We also use the fixed stars to measure the spin of the Earth as it rotates on its axis. A natal chart, or birth chart, is simply a snapshot of the cosmos, in particular our solar system, at the time and place of birth. It is a miniature diagram, usually in the shape of a wheel, symbolizing what the sky looked like at the moment of birth as seen from the birthplace. It is a two-dimensional drawing of the sky surrounding the Earth at a particular point on Earth at a given moment. It locates the Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids, and stars longitudinally for a particular place at a particular moment. It includes those bodies that were below the horizon as if we could see in all directions through the Earth.

The Three Dimensions of the Two-Dimensional Birth Chart In whatever form the birth chart is presented (circular, square, etc.), it is a two-dimensional replication of what we normally consider to be a three-dimensional phenomenonthe sky or universe surrounding the birth or beginning of a new entity at the place and time that the new entity was born or became an individual. The new entity or individual may not have been able to see the sky above it or below it due to either man-made structures and limitations (buildings, walls, ceilings, etc.) or natural structures and limitations (clouds, mountains, the intensity of sunlight, the limits of the physical eyes, the planet Earth, etc.), but the universe was there at birth in spite of any obstructions. The place of birth was surrounded by the universe to the east, west (one dimension), north, and south (a second dimension). It was also surrounded from above and below. An imaginary line may be drawn from what lies directly overhead of the place of birth, through the Earth, and out

into the sky or universe on the opposite side of the Earth. Thus, the place of birth and the birth chart have not only an east and west (one dimension) and a north and south (a second dimension), but also a top and a bottom or up and down (a third dimension). The three-dimensional sky or universe is symbolically portrayed in the two-dimensional birth chart. In the typical calculation of a birth chart for someone born above the equator, the southern and the above or top coordinates are combined as are the northern and the below or bottom coordinates. That is, the second dimension and the third dimension are combined into one second dimension. For a birth chart of someone born below the equator, the north and top are combined into one and the south and bottom become one. The Earth rotates on its axis in a little less than 24 hours. Thus, due to this rotation one degree of sky appears to cross the horizon in about four minutes. Every four minutes a new degree of the zodiac appears to be rising on the eastern horizon. Practically speaking, in Western astrology a different birth chart appears for anyone born at any particular place every four minutes. That is, only people born at the same location within four minutes of one another have the same birth charts. Unfortunately, many or most birth times are rarely recorded with such accuracy. Fortunately, most of us would not perceive the difference in character or personality symbolized by the difference in a degree or two of space, let alone by the differences symbolized by changes of less than one degree of space. However, the exact timing of events in a persons life loses some degree of accuracy if the birth time is inaccurate. This is especially true when certain astrological methods are used to calculate the dates of events. The place of birth is just as important as the time of birth. Our solar system and the entire universe appear differently from one place to the next. Someone in the northern hemisphere sees completely different stars than someone in the southern hemisphere sees. As a traveler moves farther north or farther south in either hemisphere, new stars can be seen while some of the stars that were visible before disappear. The planets in our solar system all tend to orbit the Sun around the middle or equator of the Sun. In Earth terms, this tendency means that the equators of most of the planets are parallel, or close to parallel, to the Earths equator most of the time. A person in the northern hemisphere must look south towards the Earths equator to see the other planets in our solar system. A person in the southern hemisphere must look north towards the Earths equator to see the planets. A person on the Earths equator looks directly above to see the planets.

The Horizon on the Two-dimensional Birth Chart Most schools of astrology place the east on the left hand side of the chart and the west on the right hand side. A straight line is drawn from the east to the west. This line represents the eastwest horizon. What was theoretically visible or above the horizon at the time and place of birth is

above this line in the chart. Most of what was above this line could not usually be seen if the birth or beginning occurred during the day due to the Suns intense light. What lies below this line could not be seen because of the presence of the physical Earth. To sum up the above information, this line starts on the left side of the paper or chart and is drawn across to the right side. This line represents the Earths horizon at the time and place of birth. The left is usually the east and the right is usually the west. What was above the Earths horizon at the time and place of birth is placed above the line. What was below the Earths horizon at the time and place of birth is placed below the line.

The Meridians ~ Top/South & Bottom/North As mentioned above, in the typical birth chart for someone born above the equator, the south and the top axes are combined and the north and the bottom axes are combined. This combination of the northsouth axis with the bottomtop axis produces a vertical line called the meridian. In a birth chart, the meridian is often drawn perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the horizon, as in the diagram above. For someone born on or near the equator, this angle is most likely to be perpendicular. As one moves either north or south of the equator, this angle is no longer perpendicular or 90 degrees. It is more likely to be either more or less than 90 degrees. The tropical zodiac is the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. The plane made by the Earths equator is close to the plane made by the Earths orbit around the Sun. The plan of the Earths orbit is referred to as the ecliptic. The Earth is slightly tilted at about 23 degrees, so there is an angle of approximately 23 degrees between the planes made by the equator and by the Earths orbit. This difference is what creates the seasons. The two planes cross or intersect one another on the first day of spring (the spring equinox) and on first day of fall (the fall equinox) for the northern hemisphere. The horizon and meridian form the axis of the natal chart. They (the horizon and meridian) are drawn at right angles, that is, at 90 degrees to one another. However, due to the tilt of 23 degrees, the real angle between the horizon and meridian is rarely 90 degrees, except at the equator. The actual number of degrees between them may be more or less than 90 degrees depending on the latitude of birth and the time of the year. The number of degrees between the horizon and meridian is calculated when erecting the natal chart. The space between the horizon and meridian are divided into houses. However, there is disagreement as to the best method of dividing the space between the horizon and meridian. Over the past two thousand years astrologers have tried several methods of dividing the angles into houses. These diverse methods have led to the development of several house systems. The subject of house systems is an interesting and complicated technical issue that I will return to at the end of this chapter.

Many astrologers draw the horizon and meridian as if they are 90 degrees apart. Others draw them based on the actual number of degrees between them. There is no interpretive difference between how the angles and subsequent houses are drawn. Carl G. Jung preferred the first method because it preserves the symbolism of the cross of consciousness and being found in mandalas. I prefer the second method because, among other things, it serves as a reminder of the relative amount of space given to each house in the life and consciousness of the individual. The east end of the horizon (usually on the left side of the chart) is referred to as the Ascendant, and the west end of the horizon (usually on the right side of the chart) is referred to as the Descendant. The Ascendant is sometimes referred to as the Rising Sign. The south end of the meridian (usually at the top of the chart) is referred to as the Midheaven, and the north end of the meridian (usually at the bottom of the chart) is referred to as the Nadir. The Midheaven is sometimes referred to by its Latin designation Medium Coeli or by its abbreviation MC. The Nadir is sometimes referred to as its Latin designation Imum Coeli or by its abbreviation IC.

The Ascendant or Rising Sign The Ascendant is the intersection between the eastern horizon and the ecliptic (the Earths orbit around the Sun). It is the most significant of the four angles, and it is the most unique part of the chart. The Ascendant and Descendant are determined by the day, month, year, and time of birth and by the longitude and latitude of the place of birth. The degree of the zodiac on the horizon at the time and place of birth is highly significant. Aspects made by or to this degree to other parts of the chart and to other charts figure prominently in the individuals life. The Ascendant is best thought of as where the person and the world first make contact. It is the initial presentation of the individual to the world, representing the traits with which he or she feels most comfortable sharing. The Ascendant is referred to as the actors mask or persona. The persona mediates between the individuals inner life and the outside world. It hides the parts of the psyche that the individual fears would be rejected. The persona or Ascendant is also how the individual first comes to know him- or herself. It is the beginning of self-awareness. The persona/Ascendant needs to be somewhat flexible so that the individual can fi t into as many social situations as possible, but not too flexible that the person loses his or her sense of identity. In analytical psychology, the persona represents the archetype of adaptation. Because the Ascendant is usually the cusp or beginning of the first house, it signifies ones physical appearance. Aspects to the Ascendant modify both ones physical appearance and ones persona. As the intersection between the native and the world, the Ascendant describes how the world appears to the native, how the native approaches the world, and the natives outlook.

The Descendant The Descendant is the point directly opposite the Ascendant. It is the point on the western horizon below which nothing can be seen from the place of birth. The Descendant is usually the cusp or beginning of the seventh house.

As the opposite of the Ascendant and the beginning of the seventh house, the Descendant represents direct awareness of others, especially other people with whom the individual must relate to in a direct, personal, equal, and intimate manner. It refers to marriage partners, marriages, business partners, significant others, close associates, gurus, and open enemies. The Descendant refers to intimate relationships. However, intimate means more than just sexual, romantic, or loving. It means knowing both the inside and out. Enemies that the individual knows well and competitors are also included here. Remember that marital or business partners sometimes become enemies. The Descendant and the seventh house describe the qualities that the individual has rejected in him\herself and projected onto others. The individual is drawn to these qualities initially, but may disapprove of them later. The Descendant symbolizes what analytical psychology refers to as the animus or anima. The Descendant is one of the most important features in an astrological chart because it defines the qualities that individual must find in him\herself and develop in order to become a complete or whole person. Unconsciously, the partner is the perfect teacher and example of the qualities that the individual needs to cultivate.

The Midheaven The Midheaven, MC, or Medium Coeli (the middle or mid sky) is also referred to the Zenith, as it is the point directly overhead. Since the zodiac, stars, and planets in our solar system tend to be closely aligned on the same geometric plane, the signs and constellations closely parallel the Earths equator. The zodiac signs hover close to the tropics. Technically, the signs do not exist above and below the tropics. To determine the zodiac position of the Midheaven in the northern hemisphere, the Midheaven is assigned to the degree directly south of it. For this reason, the Midheaven is also referred to as the South Point or the Southern Angle. Astrological charts in the northern hemisphere are upside down. That is, the top of the chart is the south and the bottom of the chart is the north. As the Zenith or point directly overhead, the Midheaven represents the highest point in the chart and symbolizes the greatest possible achievements that the individual can reach in the current life. The Midheaven characterizes ones achievements and any social and spiritual honors and status. The Midheaven is usually the beginning of the tenth house in most systems of house calculation. Even when it is not the considered to be the beginning of the tenth house, it is still interpreted as characterizing the individuals greatest achievements, honors, and status. Either way, the tenth house symbolizes and characterizes the individuals achievements, status, honors, reputation, and career. The Midheaven also represents one of the individuals parents. It is usually the father or the parent that who has the most contact with society outside the home. Sometimes, this is the mother. A few astrologers routinely use the Midheaven as the symbol of the mother. The

Midheaven also represents authority, authority figures, and ones relationship to authority.

The Nadir The Nadir, IC, or Imum Coeli (the bottom of the sky) is the point directly beneath place of birth. It is opposite the Midheaven and is the lowest point in the sky at the time and place of birth. It is usually the cusp of the fourth house. As such, it symbolizes the mother, maternity, maternal figures, maternal care, nurturance, the home, the family, heredity, traditions, the homeland, the past, and foundations in general. It signifies both the beginnings in life and the conditions at the end of life. Like the Midheaven, the Nadir represents one of the individuals parents. It is usually the mother or the parent that who has spent the most time attending to the home. Sometimes, the Nadir represents the same-sex parent. According to some astrologers, the Nadir symbolizes the natives soul.

The Equatorial Ascendant The Equatorial Ascendant or East Point is not ordinarily one of the four angles, except in the Meridian House system. The Equatorial Ascendant is the degree rising at the equator at the time of birth. The Ascendant and Equatorial Ascendant are the same for those born on the equator. For everyone else, the Equatorial Ascendant may be in the same sign as the Ascendant or in one or two signs before or after the Ascendant. It may be in either the first, second, twelfth, or eleventh house. The Equatorial Ascendant is the cusp of the first house in the Meridian house system. The degree opposite the Equatorial Ascendant is called the Equatorial Descendant or West Point. There is no true consensus as to the meaning of the Equatorial Ascendant. Some astrologers interpret it in much the same way they interpret the Ascendant. Some view it as representing a more perfect presentation of the persona. That is, if the individual works to perfect the qualities of the persona that he or she is projecting, the result would be the qualities indicated by the Equatorial Ascendant. Some regard the Equatorial Ascendant as a spiritual message regarding the persons current and past incarnations.

The Vertex The Vertex is the western intersection of the prime vertical and the ecliptic. The prime vertical is the line running between the Midheaven and the Nadir. The ecliptic is the Earths orbit. The Antivertex is the eastern intersection of the prime vertical and the ecliptic. The Vertex and Antivertex are referred to as the third angle. The sign occupied by the Vertex indicates qualities that have been neglected in the past and need to be learned in this lifetime. Since the Vertex is found on the western side of the chart, these

qualities are learned through relationships with other people. These relationships have a mysterious, karmic or fated quality to them. They cannot be changed and they cannot be avoided. The persons represented by Vertex contacts are ones teachers. They may embody the qualities the individual needs to learn, or they may bring out these qualities in the individual in some other manner. The Vertex may also indicate karmic situations that cannot be avoided.

The Aries Point The Aries Point is simply the first degree of Aries. It is used in the Uranian school of astrology and sometimes when a 90 degree dial is used. Its opposite is the Libra Point, the first degree of Libra. The Aries Point refers to how the individual relates to the world in general. It describes public displays and manifestations, that is, how the person is likely to act and react in the larger public.

The Astrological Houses The signs of the zodiac, in particular, and the constellations in general, provided a spatial map for early human travelers in their journeys on land and sea. For early man, the zodiac also provided much needed information concerning the end of one season and the beginning of another. However, the zodiac or the constellations were not the best measures for calculating the time of any particular day. The astrological houses provided a temporal map, a clock for telling the time of day. Originally, the day was probably divided into four watches. With the development of more sophisticated technology, dividing the day into eight watches became quite popular. The time between sunrise and noon was divided into two watches. The time from noon to sunset was divided into two more watches. From sunset to midnight were two more watches, and from midnight to sunrise were two more watches. As humanity progressed, it became necessary to communicate time more precisely. The ancient Babylonian practice of dividing circles into 360 degrees provided the basis for our modern day methods of telling time. If the Earth rotated in a complete circle, its rotation could be divided into 360 degrees. When the Earths rotation, as compared against the background of fixed stars, took 24 hours to complete, then each hour would consist of 15 degrees of the circle or space (360 degrees divided by 24 hours). Hours were divided into 60 minutes and minutes were divided into 60 seconds. For the most part, the Earths rotation and 360 degree circle were identical. Sundials, and later clocks and watches, were invented to indicate the precise local time. This solution created two major problems.

First, every place on Earth had its own local mean time, making scheduling very difficult. To solve this problem, standard time zones were created, each consisting of one hour or 15 degrees. Time zones generally worked well for commerce. They produced much extra work for astrologers. Astrologers must work backwards from the time of the time zone to calculate the local mean time of the birth. The second major problem was that the Earth rotates just slightly faster than 24 hours. This inaccuracy or acceleration is resolved partially by the creation of leap years. For astrologers, this acceleration must always be considered when calculating a chart.

The Wheel of Houses The birth chart represents the 24 hours of the Earths rotation. However, astrologers group every two hours together to form 12 houses. The houses are counter-clockwise divisions of the sky. The houses start from the eastern horizon, which represents 6 am, and are measured by counting counter-clockwise by two hour intervals. Thus, moving counter-clockwise, every two hours forms a house, dividing the circle of 24 hours into 12 houses. The first house of a typical chart starts at 6 am and ends at 4 am. From 4 am, moving counterclockwise, to 2 am forms the second house of the chart. From 2 am to midnight forms the third house. Midnight to 10 pm forms the fourth house, 10 pm to 8 pm forms the fifth house, and 8 pm to 6 pm (or the Western horizon) forms the sixth house. The space of the seventh house begins with 6 pm and ends with 4 pm. The eighth house is the space between 4 pm and 2 pm. The ninth house is the space between 2 pm and noon. The tenth house fills the space between noon and 10 am. The eleventh house fills the space between 10 am and 8 am. And the twelfth house fills the space between 8 am and 6 am.

The First House (and the Ascendant) The first house begins with the Ascendant. The Ascendant, as the point where the sky meets the Earth directly east of the place of birth, marks the beginning of awareness or consciousness. The degree and sign on the Ascendant symbolize how this awareness or consciousness functions most naturally. In terms of raja yoga, the Ascendant describes the observed object, the observer, and the act of observation. That is, the Ascendant describes the quality or nature of the process of observation, the nature of what is perceived, and the nature of the observer. As the process of observation, it describes how the individual becomes aware of the world and what interests the person the most. It describes how the individual first becomes aware of anything new. The Ascendant symbolizes the persons window on the world. It describes how the world looks to him or her. It describes ones view of the world.

The Ascendant also symbolizes those qualities and characteristics of the individual that the world initially perceives. It describes the first impression that the native projects or makes on others. The space that follows the Ascendant counter-clockwise, i.e., the remainder of the first house, fills out and adds to the qualities described by the Ascendant. The first house adds to the qualities of the observed, the observer, and the process of observation. The first house answers the question Who am I? The signs in the first, their rulers, the signs and aspects of their rulers, the planets and points occupying the first house, their signs, their aspects, their rulers, and the signs, houses, and aspects of their rulers collectively add to or modify the first house. Planets and other astrological points occupying the first house usually signify specific talents and traits that the individual uses to make his or her way in the world. They strongly symbolize characteristics of the persons appearance and what others first notice. Western astrology has tended to focus on how and what the first house adds to the characteristics of the observer. In this respect, the first house describes the most immediate qualities of the individual. It describes his or her awareness of him- or herself, his or her body, his or her personal identity, and his or her persona (the personality characteristics that the individual first presents to others). The first house is the first of the four angular houses. Angular houses symbolize action and activities. An individual with planets in angular houses is frequently someone who initiates actions and situations. The first house and its modifiers describe the individuals approach to his or her own impulses, to changes in the environment, to new starts and beginnings, and to new actions and activities. The first house describes the individuals appearance, head, self-image, and personality. It describes his or her temperament and any influences to ones general health. Changes in ones environment, in ones appearance, body, personality, identity, and abilities are often symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the first house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the first house and its modifiers.

The Second House The second house begins where the first house ends. In a way, the second house expands the first house. It symbolizes the individuals traits, talents, abilities, and personal resources that are not immediately part of his or her identity. The individual becomes aware of these aspects of him- or herself by means of increased interaction with the world. In some instances, the second house may symbolize the body, the brain, or the intellect. It symbolizes money and possessions, especially money or possessions that the individual already possesses and can use to further his or her way in the world. It can symbolize money and

possessions the individual earns with his or her personal talents. It describes ones ability to earn, ones personal resources, personal income, small possessions, property, spending, value system, and finances in general. The second house symbolizes the individuals values or what he or she has come to value. It symbolizes how the person feels about him- or herself, that is, his or her self-worth. The second house answers the question What do I have to use to make my way in the world? It also answers the question What do I value or want? The second house is the first of the four succedent houses. As such, the second house holds on to the experiences gained in the first house and stores them, solidifying and condensing them into usable abilities, traits, and resources. As with the first house, the signs in the second house, their rulers, the signs and aspects of their rulers, the planets and points occupying the second house, their signs, their aspects, their rulers, and the signs, houses, and aspects of their rulers collectively add to or modify the second house. Planets and other astrological points occupying the second house usually signify special talents, traits, and values that individual uses to add to his or her possessions, money, wealth, values, and/or self-worth. Changes in ones values, talents, abilities, finances, wealth, and possessions are often symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the second house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the second house and its modifiers.

The Third House The third house symbolizes the individuals movement into his or her close environment, communications with others in the environment, his or her relationships with those in the environment, his or her early childhood experiences, and the associations and knowledge derived from the close environment and early childhood. In the third house the sense of self is expanded by making close connections, learning new concepts from these connections, and discovering how others see, think, or define the native. What was potential in the first house and concentrated in the second is put to use and compared with those of others (siblings, peers, playmates). The third house symbolizes exploration of ones surroundings. It symbolizes searching, investigations, and inquiries. It is the beginning of communication, learning, mentality, concrete thinking or reasoning, the gathering of knowledge, and the formation of early associations. The third house describes the immediate environment, neighbors, siblings, media, gossip, writing, letters, short trips or journeys, and vehicles.

The third house answers the question What do I learn when I connect with the world around me? The third house is a cadent house. Cadent houses share and release what has been stored in the previous house. In the third house the individual shares his or her talents, abilities, resources, information, and knowledge with those nearby, siblings, relatives, neighbors, schools, and towns. Although the emphasis of the third house is on the individuals sharing, it is also important to be sensitive to the reactions of others and to the experiences of others. In the fourth house the individual will gather together what he or she has learned from personal experience, from the reactions of others to his or her ideas, and from what others have experienced. Changes in ones environment, neighborhood, siblings, mentality, senses, communications, commerce, and journeys are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the third house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the third house and its modifiers.

The Fourth House (and the Nadir) The fourth house usually begins at the Nadir or IC. The Nadir is the lowest part of the wheel and represents ones foundations, grounding, and background. The fourth house especially symbolizes the physical home at birth and the attitudes or atmosphere most frequently found in the home. It is said that, at the end of ones life, the fourth house also characterizes living conditions, the atmosphere of ones final home, and the typical attitudes and traits that accompany the ending of any project or process in the persons life. As the home and home life, the fourth describes family life, the family background, ones heritage, and one of the parents. The attitudes of the early caretakers influence the individuals self-concept and self-esteem and his or her sense of personal security. Ones inner life and heartfelt feelings and beliefs are symbolized by the fourth house. Most astrologers use the fourth house to describe the mother and her background, especially if she was the primary caretaker. Some astrologers use the fourth house to describe the father, while others use the fourth house to describe the mother or father, depending on the sex of the individual whose chart is being interpreted. My own preference is to describe both parents from the symbols of the fourth and tenth houses and allow the client to tell me which house describes which parent the best. Most of the time, the fourth house is the mother or whoever was the early primary caretaker. The fourth house describes the early home, late home life, endings, a parent, self-concept, selfesteem, family background, and ones heritage. It also symbolizes the physical house, property, and real estate. It describes valuable materials mined from the ground, oil, and even water. In some ways it symbolizes the physical body because it describes the peak of physical development, the limitations of physical growth.

The fourth house answers the question Where do I come from in terms of ones family background and history? It answers What are the foundations that I have built for myself? The fourth house, like the Ascendant, is an angular house, meaning that it is a house of action, activity, and change. The fourth house is the house in which diverse feelings, desires, traits, abilities, and experiences are integrated into a single identity, building the foundation for next nine houses. Because these activities are very personal and psychological, they are not as readily visible to others as are those of the other three angular houses (first, seventh, and tenth). Changes in ones home, parents, living conditions, property matters, and self-concept are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the fourth house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the fourth house and its modifiers.

The Fifth House The individuals identity is stabilized in the fourth house. It is strengthened by being placed in a historical and familial context. Depending on the history of this context, it may serve as a foundation and as a source of strength. It definitely serves as a refuge. The context of the fourth house also places the individuals identity in a wider, social context, i.e., where does this particular family fi t into the society of which it is a part. In the fourth house, feelings and affective judgments are integrated into an organized whole, a personality, an organism, or a soul. A definite identity has been created, not only from the contexts of family, society, and history, but also from personal history or experience that has been gained in the first, second, and third houses. The fifth house defines the psychological space for the expression of any creations or byproducts coming from the fourth house. The individual is now ready to express his or her uniqueness. In fact, he or she cannot stop him- or herself from doing so. Planets, signs, points, or aspects in the fifth house, that would normally be interpreted as limiting or inhibiting, guide the individuals urge to express the sense of self formed in the fourth house. Fifth house planets may appear as stumbling blocks very early in life, but, with time and experience, these obstacles are overcome, integrated, and molded into unique forms of personal expression. They may be transformed into talents and strokes of genius that would not be possible without the struggles. The fifth house has come to symbolize quite an array of personal, emotional expressions. It is the house of emoting, emotional expression, and emotional experience. Emotions, romance, affairs, sex, sexuality, offspring, children, playing, teaching, teachers, art, artistic expression, creativity, talents, entertainment, acting, theater, sports, speculation, gambling, self-esteem, and pride are all possible expressions of the fifth house. The fifth house answers the question How can I best express myself and my feelings? It answers the questions How do I let the world know who I am? and How do I enjoy myself?

The fifth house is a succedent house, but it may not appear so at first glance. Although the fifth house is one of personal, emotional expression, it does so with a twist. The expressions are shared with the public for evaluation, but this public usually consists of a small, hand-picked group of individuals who are either of one mind with the individual or who depend on the individual to meet certain needs of their own. The fifth house activities are cautiously expressed so as to avoid rejection. Additionally, the individual is likely to collect and store his or her expressions. They may be stored in the form of plaques or awards of achievement, or in photo albums. They are definitely stored in the sense of having a repertoire of behaviors capable of being used in the future. The fifth house symbolizes creativity, romance, children, gambling, and most forms of emotional, personal, or artistic self-expression. Changes in any of these indicated by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the fifth house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the fifth house and its modifiers.

The Sixth House The sixth house symbolizes the processes of harvesting, analyzing, comparing, contrasting, judging, modifying, and improving the expressions of the fifth house. First and foremost, the sixth house symbolizes harvesting the results of both the fifth house expressions as well as the personal actions taken in any of the four previous houses. In the sixth house the results of ones actions and the fruits of ones labors are gathered together and measured. What is beneficial must be separated from what is detrimental. The particular criteria used to determine what to keep and use now, what to use again next time, and what to discard, are personal choices. The criteria vary from person to h person, from object to object, and from time to time. These same processes and criteria may be used regarding ones own body, health, and vitality. A defensive, emotionally immature person may universalize his or her sixth house criteria, judging others by the same criteria that he or she uses to judge him- or herself. The sixth house has come to symbolize work, skills, craftsmanship, occupation, service, health, vitality, illness, self-improvement, co-workers, servants, subordinates, harvesting, conserving, repairing, analysis, judgment, criticism, rejection, responsibilities, routines, perfectionism, exercise, pets, and small animals. The sixth house answers the question How can I improve my actions and self-expression so that they more truly reflect me and add to my life? The sixth house is a cadent house. In the sixth house the individual shares and releases to others his or her harvest. The harvest may literally be the fruits from the fields. The harvest also includes the abilities expressed in the fifth house and his or her analyses of these expressions, i.e., critical information and proposed improvements regarding ones actions and activities. The sixth house represents ones work, occupation, health, vitality, responsibilities, and routines. Changes in any of these are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs,

planets, and rulers of the sixth house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the sixth house and its modifiers.

The Seventh House (and the Descendant) The seventh house usually begins with the Descendant. The Descendant, as the point where the sky meets the Earth directly west of the place of birth, symbolizes our pure awareness of others and of all that is not part of the self. Up until this point, ones awareness or consciousness was of the self and, as the saying goes, Enough about me. What about you, what do you think of me? Now we must face others as independent beings. Even so, we can experience them only through whom and what we are. The pure awareness of others symbolized by the Descendant is conditioned or contaminated by our own unique consciousness. The degree and sign on the Descendant symbolize our most immediate impressions of others. It describes the attitudes and traits we are most sensitive to in others and which we may have disowned in ourselves. We will tend to attract and/or be attracted to those who display these qualities. At first these qualities in others may seem very attractive. Yet, as we get closer, we may reject these qualities because we have rejected them in ourselves. The key to solving this conflict is to accept the others as they are and develop the same qualities in ourselves. Once we have successfully developed our latent or rejected qualities as shown by the Descendant, we reach a new level of wholeness. At this new level, new and different traits and qualities will appear to us, either in our current significant relationships or in new relationships. Once again, we must learn to accept those aspects of ourselves that are newly revealed in others. This process continues until we reach a state of completion, in which we have owned and developed within ourselves all possible human traits and characteristics. In this state of completion, we neither attach to nor reject any of these qualities. Practically speaking, in our current state of evolution, few people ever successfully manage to integrate the first set of qualities presented by the natal Descendent. Traditionally, the seventh house symbolizes the immediate awareness of others, intimate relationships, significant others, partners, marriage partners, marriage, divorce, impersonal business and issues, business partners, unions (unions of two persons, not trade or workers unions), equality, lawyers, counselors, astrologers, advisors, and open enemies. The seventh house answers the questions How can I best relate to the significant others in my life? and What am I looking for in others? The seventh house, like the Ascendant and the fourth house, is an angular house, meaning that it is a house of action, activity, and change. The seventh house symbolizes our actions or interactions with other individuals, especially intimates or significant others. It can be a very active house, depending on the particular chart, in which partnerships, marriages, and other longterm relationships begin, grow, struggle, end, or transform.

Changes with ones relationships, partners, open enemies, and advisors, the coming and going of significant relationships are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the seventh house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the seventh house and its modifiers.

The Eighth House The simplest way to understand the eighth house is to interpret it as the second house to the seventh house. That is, the second house symbolizes all the traits, talents, abilities, and resources related to money, possessions, earning potential, joint income, property, spending, value systems, sense of worth, and general finances, developed within a significant union of two (or a few) people while the eighth house represents the contributions of all parties, plus the specific characteristics of this new union, enterprise, whole, or holon. The eighth house symbolizes what all parties have contributed and any interactions among their contributions. Some of these interactions may be viewed as positive, such as combining money in order to purchase something neither could on his or her own. Some of these interactions can also be viewed as negative. One person may now be responsible for the debts of the other. Or worse, if one of the parties is deceiving and using the other. Traditionally, the eighth house symbolizes the partners finances, joint finances, shared property, assets, insurance, inheritances, legacies, taxes, debts, and other obligations. From a non-financial perspective, the eighth house symbolizes powerful life experiences that we share with mates, ancestors, offspring, and humanity in general. These include power, energy, the value we see in others, sex, sexual activities, birth, death, life-after-death states, reincarnation, altered states of consciousness, transpersonal experiences, healing, re-generativity, transformation, the shadow, purification, initiation, and the lesser mysteries. While the eighth house symbolizes occult activities and forces, it also symbolizes the ability to gather together sufficient power to become a leader, elected or otherwise, in the tenth house. The eighth house answers the questions What do we have to work with when we pool our resources and work together? What do we have to share? and What do we have in common? The eighth house is a succedent house. It stores and integrates the energies brought together by the seventh house unions and expands on these. The eighth house conserves energy, building up enough power to maintain relationships, to lead nations, and to pass through the veils that separate the conscious from the unconscious, collective unconscious, and the superconsciousness. Changes with ones partners finances, joint finances, shared property, assets, insurance, inheritances, legacies, taxes, debts, and other obligations as well as in levels of energy, power, sex, life-and-death, and consciousness are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the eighth house and by directions, progressions, and transits of

other planets and points to the eighth house and its modifiers.

The Ninth House The ninth house is the house of physical, mental, and spiritual expansion. It is related to the centaur, which is a symbol of integration, bringing together material and physical abilities, thoughts and emotions, and a touch of the spiritual. Traditionally, the ninth house symbolizes higher learning, the abstract mind, deep thoughts and ideas, visions, prophecy, plans, philosophy, professors, religion, relics, law, courts, publishing, travel, long journeys, foreign countries, and in-laws. The ninth house also symbolizes what is left from the eighth house experiences and prepares or refines these experiences into resources to be used in the tenth house. The ninth house answers the questions What can I learn from others who live far away from my home ground, from those who have lived before me, and from those who have much more experience than I do? and What do I have to teach and share with others who live far away or who have not had the experiences that I have had? The ninth house is a cadent house. It releases and disperses to others the experiences gained in the eighth house and other previous houses. It also receives or gains information from schools of higher learning, college, professors, philosophies, religions, abstract thinking, foreigners, other countries, and long journeys. The ninth house is much like the third house, but the learning and sharing of experiences come from far away, not from the immediate environment. Changes regarding higher education, religion, philosophy, in-laws, courts, foreigners, foreign countries, and long distance travel are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the ninth house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the ninth house and its modifiers.

The Tenth House (and Midheaven) The tenth house is normally the highest house in the chart, the charts peak. The tenth house and its cusp symbolize the climax or culmination of the chart (and its life purpose). It represents the greatest achievement of individuals ideals. The sign on the cusp of the tenth house symbolizes the nature of these achievements and the manner in which these goals are reached. Planets and points in the tenth house, and especially planets and points close to the cusp of the tenth house (as well as those in ninth house that are close to the Midheaven), symbolize careerrelated talents as they are revealed to the public, as well as the experiences and challenges that the individual will experience regarding career, the public, reputation, authority, authority figures, leadership, a parent (usually the father), hierarchies, and truly spiritual matters. The cusp of tenth house is the fourth major point of the natal chart and is referred to as the Midheaven or MC. It is presumed to be the point directly overhead at birth. However, the zodiac extends only about 23 degrees north and south of the equator. Anyone born north the tropics

must look south in order to determine the sign and degree on the cusp of the tenth house, and anyone born south of the tropics needs to look north to determine the sign and degree on the tenth house cusp. In some systems of astrology, the MC is calculated as it would be otherwise. Then it is used to determine the Ascendant. In the equal house system, the chart is divided into 12 houses of 30 degrees each, following the Ascendant. In this system the MC and the tenth house cusp are almost always different, but the MC is included in the chart interpretation as an important additional point. Traditionally, the tenth house symbolizes a parent (usually the father), spiritual traditions from the ancient past of the soul, the highest possible achievements in this lifetime, public status and reputation, ones profession, career, career goals, authority, authority figures, leadership, and hierarchies. The tenth house can symbolize what has been learned in the ninth house, and the tenth house prepares us for the rewards and experiences of the eleventh house. The tenth house answers the questions What can I achieve or accomplish in society? What is the best I can do? How far can I go? How can I leave my mark? What kind of mark will I leave behind? How can I contribute the most to society or the world? and What do others think of me? The tenth house is the fourth of the angular houses. It is a house of action, activity, and change. The tenth house symbolizes our actions or interactions that are in the spotlight of the public and authorities. It can be a very active house, depending on the particular chart. Please remember that public and society are relative terms. The public could refer to a classroom, a gang, a board meeting as well as the entire planet. Changes regarding career, status, achievement, reputation, authority, authority figures, or a parent are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the tenth house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the tenth house and its modifiers. Since the tenth house cusp and the MC are the opposite ends of the fourth house cusp and the Nadir or IC, directions, progressions, and transits to the tenth house cusp may also produce profound changes in matters of the fourth house, such as home, a parent, land, or the living conditions at the end of life.

The Eleventh House The eleventh house defines the psychological space for the expression of any creations or byproducts coming from the tenth house. The individuals social status and career are stabilized in the tenth house. The activities of the tenth house typically create some forms of expression that are best symbolized by the eleventh house. First and foremost, money, wages, rewards, debts, honors, and achievements created in the tenth house are expressed or released in the eleventh house.

In this sense the eleventh house is somewhat similar to the second house. The second house symbolizes resources, talents, possessions, and money that the individual has earned or been blessed with due to family, past lives, and personal skill and initiative. In the eleventh house money, fortune, rewards, status, etc. are produced from the individuals activities in his or her career and social standing. The eleventh house is a succedent house. It gathers together and holds onto the products from work or the tenth house. It also gathers together co-workers, associates, friends, acquaintances, people in general, thoughts, ideas, plans, ideals, and causes. These are dispersed in the following twelfth house. The eleventh house symbolizes work groups, working with others in groups, organizations, planning, groups planning for action, cooperation, goals shared with groups or organizations, long-term hopes, wishes, and ideals, and impersonal drives to realize your ideals. The eleventh house represents groups in general (not just at work), social groups, organizations, community, friends, acquaintances, hopes, dreams, wishes, ideals, and humanitarian causes. The eleventh house has also come to represent love received. The eleventh house answers the question How can I and my friends best express ourselves and improve our world and the world in general? The eleventh house is the house of social self-expression. There are some people with an emphasis on the eleventh house or the eleventh sign who avidly avoid people, groups, organizations, etc. Some of these individuals are strict recluses, who appear to be afraid of people and groups or who seem to hate society in general. They often have extremely different ways of viewing the world. This is a behavioral rejection of society. They may fit in with the Lets change the world symbolism of the eleventh house, but their ideas about how to do so are quite extreme. This kind of behavior is most likely the result of biological, physical, and/or psychological trauma, and it could be called paranoid or schizophrenic. Some people in this category connect with a small number of similar minded folks, and a few may become the political or religious leaders of their group. Other ways that this reclusiveness may manifest might be in the forms of bums, homelessness, drifters, etc. Some may not associate with others except for a very small group of friends who share some of their ideas. Changes regarding work groups, organizations, groups in general, friends, acquaintances, ideas, ideals, and goals are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the eleventh house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the eleventh house and its modifiers.

The Twelfth House The twelfth house symbolizes the processes of harvesting, analyzing, comparing, contrasting, judging, modifying, and improving the expressions of the eleventh house. The twelfth house symbolizes harvesting the results of both the eleventh house expressions as well as the personal actions taken in any of the other previous houses. It also judges the results of the society in which the individual lives.

Like the sixth house, in the twelfth house the results of ones actions, labors, and fruits for, against, and from society as well as the actions, labors, and fruits of ones society are gathered together and measured. What is beneficial must be separated from what is detrimental. The particular criteria used to determine what to keep and use now, what to use again next year, and what to discard, are social as well as personal. The criteria vary from society to society, from person to person, from object to object, and from time to time. Traditionally, the twelfth house symbolizes hospitals, prisons, religious refuges, large institutions and corporations, confinements, limitations, dues, behind the scenes activities, hidden faults, prostitution, secrets, secret motivations, secret enemies, poisons, public entertainment, movies, theater, illusions, substances that induce illusions, subconscious motivations, attitudes, psychology, psychosis and psychotics, the collective unconsciousness, endings, recovery, sacrifice, forbearance, acceptance, compassion, spiritual experiences, psychics and psychic experiences, water, oceans, and liquids. The twelfth house also synthesizes the experiences of the entire chart and prepares us for a new cycle beginning in the first house. The twelfth house answers the questions What can I do to help/serve others? What can others do to help/serve me? How can I best understand the universe? How can I best understand others? How can I best understand myself? How can I best serve God? The twelfth house is a cadent house. It releases and disperses to others the knowledge and wisdom gained from a vast number of usual and unusual experiences. Dispersion in the twelfth house most often comes through expressions of emotion, sensitivity, compassion, spirituality, mysticism, service, love, intuition, and profound insight. Sometimes the insights are very intellectual and mathematically-oriented, depending on the person. Changes regarding hospitals, prisons, corporations, public entertainment, behind the scenes activities, secrets, limitations, confinement, the unconscious, emotions, and spirituality are symbolized by directions, progressions, and transits of the signs, planets, and rulers of the twelfth house and by directions, progressions, and transits of other planets and points to the twelfth house and its modifiers.

House SystemsAlternative Methods of Calculation For most astrologer, houses help to pin down or specify the area of life activated by a particular planet or point. Houses also contribute significantly to the interpretation of events and forecasts. Thus, house cusps are important symbols no matter whether we are interpreting natal tendencies or changes signified by transits, directions, progressions, converses, etc. Today there are approximately 15 different methods for calculating house cusps, i.e., determining where one house ends and the next house begins. House systems normally divide the space surrounding the Earth into twelve sections. Six of the houses are above the horizon, and the other six are below. The houses normally start with the eastern horizonthe Ascendant. The first house begins with the Ascendant and continues with the space immediately below the horizon. The first six houses cannot be seen from the birth

place and are divisions of the space from the Eastern horizon, ending with the Western horizon the Descendant. The next six houses can be seen from the birth place and are divisions of the space beginning with the Western horizon and ending with the Eastern horizon. The houses are usually numbered counterclockwise. Like the constellations and the signs of the zodiac, the houses are best measured at the Earths equator. As one moves north or south of the equator, the space around the Earth narrows. The boundaries of the houses narrow as well, until they reach the extremes latitudes at the North and South Poles. At the poles, where day and night last six months each, the houses converge and become fairly meaningless. Since most people are born between the equator and one of the poles, the changing boundaries of the twelve houses must be calculated at all latitudes. Like the constellations of the zodiac (not the signs of the zodiac), there is disagreement on how to determine the house boundaries. During the medieval ages in Europe, the task of determining house cusps was usually the work of Roman Catholic monks. Normally, each particular house system was named after whoever invented it, whether monk, astrologer/astronomer, or mathematicians (Campanus, Koch, Placidus, Regiomontanus). The Equal House system is one of the simplest as well as easiest to calculate. The degree of the Ascendant is calculated after calculating the Midheaven. Then each house cusp is considered to be 30 degrees from the house before it; the second house begins 30 degrees after the first (Ascendant), the third house cusp begins 30 degrees after the second, and so on. Each house consists of equal 30 degree intervals. It is believed that the Equal House system was developed by an astrologer named Petosiris sometime during the first century B.C. The cusp of the tenth house was rarely the same as the Midheaven. Most often the Midheaven was not used. When it is used in conjunction with the Equal House system, it may fall into another house other than the tenth and in a sign different from that on the cusp of the tenth house. The Midheavens placement adds to the interpretation of the chart. With the Aries House system, another very simple system, the beginning of Aries is used as the beginning of the first house, and each subsequent house begins with the beginning of the next sign. The Solar House system uses the position of the Sun in a horoscope as the Ascendant, and then, like the Equal House system, each house cusp is considered to be 30 degrees from the one before it; the second house begins 30 degrees after the first (the Suns position), the third house cusp begins 30 degrees after the second, and so on. Each house consists of equal 30 degree intervals. A chart using the Solar House system is referred to as a solar chart. A solar chart is often used when the time of birth is unknown. A noon day chart is similar to the solar chart. When the place of birth is known, but the time of birth is not, a chart can be calculated for noon at the place of birth. The Ascendant for the noon day chart may be used as the Ascendant or the Suns noon position may be used as the Ascendant. In any case when the time of birth is unknown, the house positions should be interpreted with great care or not at all.

In most forms of Vedic astrology, what we might call the house cusps are calculated with great care. Then the sign on the house cusp is used as the house itself. The degrees of the sign before the house cusp are considered to be part of that particular house. Any planets occupying those degrees are considered to be within that house. Most forms of Vedic astrology use the sidereal zodiac instead of the tropical zodiac. The planets in a Vedic chart, or chakra, are in the same position in the sky and occupy the same distances from one another as in a Western chart using the tropical zodiac. Vedic astrology typically does not place much emphasis on the emotional and psychological interpretations. Vedic astrology tends to place a greater emphasis on the prediction of events and on the prevention of or the extinguishing of unpleasant events by the use of mantras, gems, crystals, and similar spiritual techniques. The Porphyry House system was named for the philosopher Porphyry (234-305 AD). Porphyry used the great circles that run through the poles of the ecliptic to form the house cusps. The Ascendant serves as the cusp of the first house, and the Midheaven is the cusp of the tenth house. The cusps of the remaining houses are determined by trisecting the ecliptic arc between the Ascendant and the Midheaven and the ecliptic arc between the Ascendant and the Nadir. The Porphyry House system is considered to be a variation of the Equal House system, and it is relatively easy to calculate. The Campanus House system was developed by Johannes Campanus, who lived in the 1200s A.D. In this system the house cusps are located at the intersections formed by the great circles that pass through the north and south points of the horizon and by a set of points 30 degrees apart along the prime vertical, beginning at the zenith and proceeding eastward through the east point on the horizon. Approximately 100 years later Johannes Muller, aka Regiomontanus, developed the Regiomontanus House system. He used the circles that pass through the north and south points on the horizon. In this system the cusps of the first and tenth houses are the Ascendant and Midheaven. The arcs along the Celestial Equator between the Ascendant and the Midheaven and between the Midheaven and the Nadir are trisected. The house circles are then drawn perpendicular to the prime vertical through the trisection points. The points where the house circles intersect the ecliptic mark the cusps of the intermediate houses. The Regiomontanus house system is a mathematically simpler version of the Placidian House system. (The Placidian House system was the most popular house system until recently.) The Regiomontanus house system does not use varying semi-arc ratios in determining the cusps, and it gives slightly different cusp values from the Placidian House system in extreme latitudes. The Morinus House system was named after Jean-Baptiste Morin (1583-1656). The Morinus House system uses the great circles that pass through the poles of the ecliptic and through points that are spaced at 30 degree intervals along the Celestial Equator, beginning with the intersection of the Celestial Equator and the East Point. The cusps are determined by the intersections of these great circles and the ecliptic. Instead of the Ascendant, the East Point becomes the cusp of the first house, and the tenth house cusp is not the same as the Midheaven. The houses are not of equal size. It is not necessary to know the place of birth when using this system. This system breaks down at extreme latitudes.

Placidus de Tito (1603-1668) developed the Placidian or Placidius House system. This system is based on the division of an arc made by a moving point on the ecliptic. Therefore, the Placidian House system is a time-based system (as opposed to a space systems such as Campanus). The Ascendant is the first house cusp, and the Midheaven is the tenth house cusp. The intermediate house cusps are calculated according to division of their own semi-arcs. This system is very laborious, and it is way off in extreme latitudes. David Cope, an Australian astrologer, aka Zariel, developed the Meridian House system in the early 1900s. The Meridian House system uses the North and South Celestial poles for the construction of the great circles. Circles are drawn through the poles and divided into twelve equal points along the equator, starting at the meridian. These points are then projected onto the ecliptic. Instead of the Ascendant, the East Point is the cusp of the first house, but the Midheaven is the cusp of the tenth house. This system does not need the place of birth, and it is one of the very few that do not break down at extreme latitudes. The Meridian House system is also referred to as the Axial Rotation System, but there is no rotation involved. Several American astrologers began using the Meridian House system in the late 1950s, and it has become the most popular system with the Uranian school of astrology. During the 1900s, the German astrologer Walter Koch developed the Koch House system. The Koch House tables were translated into English in 1971. For house cusps above the horizon, the semidiurnal arc (along a small circle) of the rising degree (Ascendant) is trisected; then, altitude circles (small circles parallel to the horizon) are constructed through the points of trisection; finally, the cusps are determined by the intersections of these altitude circles with the ecliptic. For house cusps below the horizon, the semi-nocturnal arc is used. The Ascendant is the cusp of the first house, and the Midheaven is the cusp of the tenth house. The Koch House system breaks down at extreme latitudes. The Koch House system is also called the Birthplace House system. As mentioned before there are approximately 15 or 16 house systems. The ones mentioned above tend to be the most frequently used systems. There are other Asian schools of astrology with their own house systems, and there are rarely used astrological techniques, such as the Lunar Mansions, that may serve as house systems. There are also what might be called pseudo-house systems. For example, a chart may be calculated using one of the regular house systems. Then the Moon, its sign, degrees, and minutes may be used as the Ascendant. This chart is interpreted in its relationship to the Moon.

Between the Houses The various systems for calculating house cups rarely effect the house position of a planet, unless the planet is very near the beginning of one house or very near the end of one. To solve this problem, there are those few schools of astrology that do not interpret house-related material at all. Some astrologers are almost blindly devoted to a particular house system. Some astrologers compare house systems by relating events experienced by their clientele. They compare the dates of some events to the dates that planets cross the house cusps as derived from different house

systems. This method comes the closest to the methods of research used by academically accepted sciences. A few astrologers interpret the quadrant positions of the planets instead of using the houses. Houses first, second, and third make up the first quadrant; houses fourth, fifth, and sixth make up the second quadrant; houses seventh, eighth, and ninth make up the third quadrant; and houses tenth, eleventh, and twelfth make up the fourth quadrant. Much valuable information is lost, but interpretation by quadrant does provide some useful symbolism. This system rarely breaks down if a planet is near the beginning of one quadrant or at the end of another, since most house systems use the same Ascendant/Descendant and MC/IC. A method, or philosophy, espoused by astrologers Moore and Douglas, is to interpret planets near house cusps as indicators tying together the activities of the two houses.1 For example, a planet near the cusp of the second house brings together the sense of an individuals identity with the persons possessions, talents, abilities, and self-worth. More specifically, say the planet is Mercury. In such a case, the individual may identify strongly with his or her abilities to think, communicate, or barter. A planet near the third house cusp indicates that certain possessions, talents, and abilities (second house) are useful in his or her relationships with siblings, the local environment, communication, and opportunities regarding early education (third house). Again, if the planet Mercury lies at the cusp of the third house, the individual will approach the affairs of the third house intellectually and personally and will be quite communicative with siblings, neighbors, and local community. A planet near the fourth house cusp suggests that third house activities such as involvement with siblings and/or neighbors and with the local community will impact the home and deepen his or her sense of home, belonging, and family or racial traditions (fourth house). Moore and Douglas between house interpretations continue with each house cusp, reaching the Ascendant or first house cusp. A planet between the twelfth and first houses may signify that a trait or ability emerging from behind the scenes, from the unconscious, or a past life will strongly impact the individuals sense of self and will elude his or her conscious attempts to direct the functions symbolized by the planet. I find that using between house interpretations helps to define the astrological symbols in a specific, concrete manner that is helpful to the native or client.