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Placidus versus Equal
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cathy7



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 17
Location: United Kingdom

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:42 am    Post subject: Placidus versus Equal Reply with quote

I learned astrology with the Equal house system and have always used it. Having done some research it would seem that the Placidus system is more widely used outside of the UK. I've recently done a chart for someone using one with Equal then cast another with Placidus and there were some slight differences in planetary placings. I'd be interested in any views.
Cathy
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SunPluto



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 68
Location: Australia

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day Cathy7
I went to an astrologer who compared Placidus and Equal on my natal chart. We decided that Placidus worked better for me and the IC / MC axis helped her work it out as with Placidus house system Aries is on the IC and with Equal it was a taurus IC.
She asked me which one fits the best on the IC as it turned out to be Aries she continued with the placidus house sytem.

I vaguely remember hearing something about " time-based " cultures use Placidus and " star-based " eg tribal cultures better suited to the equal house system.
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yuzuru



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Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I vaguely remember hearing something about " time-based " cultures use Placidus and " star-based " eg tribal cultures better suited to the equal house system.


Maybe the quote is out of context, but it seens very strange to me: it has a so great cultural conclusion, but doesn´t seen to be aware of the historical process that was the concept of houses.

Other great prejudice is the apparent assumption that placidus and equal house systems are the only systems, and that they have some kind of oppositional dichotomy, when in reality we have a lot of other systems, and by the way, the "equal house" although some remarks of defensors, never had much use in the history of astrology: in general the most used systems were the whole house systems (greeks, vedic) and whole houses with alchabitius (arabic era, medieval), besides others systems like Porphyrius, Campanus, Koch, etc.

So, I would say that the question need a little more work in it... why to stop in those two systems, if there is so many others to choose from ?
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Tom
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's something to think about; All house systems are equal house systems.

The Equal House System is based on an equal division of the beginning at the ASC. The Porphyry system is equal division along the ecliptic. The Campanus system divides the Prime Vertical into 12 equal parts. Regiomontanus is equal division along the equator.

The time based systems divide the chart into sections based on time. Alchabitius house cups are determined by determining the tie it takes the ASC degree to reach the MC and the difference between that and the sidereal time at birth is divided into three equal parts. A similar procedure is used using the 4th cusp. Finally Placidus cusps are determined in a manner similar to Alchabitius.

Ultimately they are all equal divisions. They just use different reference points of either space or time.

Tom
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Theo



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
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Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2007 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
Here's something to think about; All house systems are equal house systems.

The Equal House System is based on an equal division of the beginning at the ASC. The Porphyry system is equal division along the ecliptic. The Campanus system divides the Prime Vertical into 12 equal parts. Regiomontanus is equal division along the equator.

The time based systems divide the chart into sections based on time. Alchabitius house cups are determined by determining the tie it takes the ASC degree to reach the MC and the difference between that and the sidereal time at birth is divided into three equal parts. A similar procedure is used using the 4th cusp. Finally Placidus cusps are determined in a manner similar to Alchabitius.

Ultimately they are all equal divisions. They just use different reference points of either space or time.

Tom


This is an excellent series of points Tom that I fully agree with you on. One of the great uses of different house systems is that they offer astrologers the opportuninties to apply various reference points of time and space in our work.
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cathy7



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
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Location: United Kingdom

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to you all for your replies - it seems the more I find out the less I know! This is why astrology is so endlessly fascinating and absorbing.
Cathy
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zuli



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 83

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
Ultimately they are all equal divisions. They just use different reference points of either space or time.

Tom


Very Happy cool Thumbs up

Do you know which system had used by Ptolomey, Valens,.. Al-Biruni..
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woodwater



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Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

according to rob Hand, the whole sign house system Secret
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What I've read is that Ptolemy was not an astrologer so, if true, he did not use any house system. Hand and Schmidt argue that he outlined the whole sign system in Tetrabiblos. Valens used whole signs and Porphry to determine planetary strength. I have no idea what Al Biruni used. I cannot find any indication in his work.

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom,

I just came across this post whilst running a search for another.

There’s no evidence that Ptolemy used a whole sign system and I am pretty sure that even Rob Hand would admit to that.

But the comment I am really interested in, is:

Quote:
What I've read is that Ptolemy was not an astrologer


I’d love to know where you read that, and upon what evidence we should dismiss the author of the most influential, and one of the most detailed, classical texts of astrology as “not an astrologer”.

(It’s bad enough having to convince the world of academic sceptics that astrologers exist amongst the scientific "greats" of history. Surely we don't doubt that amongst ourselves ?)
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I’d love to know where you read that, and upon what evidence we should dismiss the author of the most influential, and one of the most detailed, classical texts of astrology as “not an astrologer”.


I've heard it said and read it in many places by many people, particularly from Hand and Schmidt. He was an encyclopediest they tell us. It then gets repeated over and over again and, like Goebbels told us, sooner or later it becomes the truth.

Actually, I'm on your side on this one. I've never believed Ptolemy was not an astrologer. I've read astrology by non astrologers and it shows almost instantly. Ptolemy is not like this. Like you wrote elsewhere, it is fair to criticize what Ptolemy wrote. but it doesn't make much sense to conclude that the most influential writer on astrology ever did not have a full grasp of the subject. I suppose it is possible that he was was not a terribly competent astrologer, but I've never thought he was a dilettante.

Tom

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Julie K



Joined: 03 Sep 2007
Posts: 378
Location: Australia

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:25 am    Post subject: Re: Placidus versus Equal Reply with quote

cathy7 wrote:
I learned astrology with the Equal house system and have always used it. Having done some research it would seem that the Placidus system is more widely used outside of the UK. I've recently done a chart for someone using one with Equal then cast another with Placidus and there were some slight differences in planetary placings. I'd be interested in any views.
Cathy



Kathy,

You can choose to use any of the House systems. The one I would take note of is the one that seems appropriate for the manner in which you or your client/s have lived their life/s and the experiences they have live through. I do gravitate towards Alcabitus but I have lived my life out so far by Placidus system. Note any interceptions and planetary Ruler placements. Confused This will help to sort out which system is best for the individual. Secret Surprised

Julie K


Last edited by Julie K on Thu Oct 18, 2007 9:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mattG



Joined: 21 Sep 2007
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paragraph 474 of Al Biruni's Instructions is entitled "When a House Formed of Two Signs" (trans Ransay Wright) so he cannot be advocating Signs as Houses. As far as I can make out the ancients were as confused as us over this issue. The heavens were first observed and measured in an eightfold way and I think this has something to do with it
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woodwater



Joined: 14 Sep 2007
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Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt23z wrote:
Paragraph 474 of Al Biruni's Instructions is entitled "When a House Formed of Two Signs" (trans Ransay Wright) so he cannot be advocating Signs as Houses. As far as I can make out the ancients were as confused as us over this issue. The heavens were first observed and measured in an eightfold way and I think this has something to do with it


By Albiruni's time Alcabitius houses were the norm. It was the earlier Arabic writers who still used whole-sign houses.
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom

I think I have found the article that stirred up the comment about Ptolemy. It was written by Mark Riley in 1987 ‘Theoretical and Practical Astrology: Ptolemy and his colleagues’ Transactions of the American Philological Association 117 (1987) 235-256.

This makes the argument that Ptolemy was more of a theoretical astrologer than a practical one, partly because he did not present instruction to students the way that Valens did. (So for example, you can learn astrological techniques from Valens whereas you have to know them already to understand Ptolemy’s arguments). Within this paper, we find comments such as this:

Quote:
All this suggests that Ptolemy viewed astrology as he did astronomy, geography, and harmonics (the other sciences on which he wrote), i.e., as a strictly theoretical science, by the use of which the scientist can explain the interconnections between celestial and terrestrial phenomena and can trace the cause-effect relationships between the stars and the earth.


Much of what the author says makes a lot of sense. He doesn’t suggest that Ptolemy was not an astrologer, but I can see how people could reduce some of the arguments and stretch others a little further to generate that suggestion.

To clear the names of Hand and Schmidt.

In Book I of their serialised edition of the Tetrabiblos (1994), Rob Hand writes in the Introduction:

"It is even widely maintained that Ptolemy was not a practicing astrologer. So why, we have the right to ask, was his work so influential?” Then he gives his reasons, and on the next page states “He was an astrologer. I think we can believe that. But I think we can also assume that he was more of a theoretician than a practicising astrologer.”

Here (I believe) Rob Hand was influenced by the Mark Riley paper. I imagine a lot of astrologers would have been struck by Hand’s first remark and would not have fully understood the suggestion behind the second. So from that point on it was easy for astrologers to criticise some of Ptolemy’s techniques and suggest that his authority in practical astrology was already undermined.

Robert Schmidt certainly has nothing to do with the suggestion, because he criticises it vigorously. In the 4th book of the series (1998) he writes his own introduction and states:

Quote:
There is an opinion current in the astrological world that although Ptolemy may have been a very good astrological theorist, his practical astrological teaching does not work. I have even heard it stated that he was not a practicing astrologer. Now, as a dogmatic assertion this is a stupid remark. Maybe he wasn’t, but how in heaven’s name could we know this for sure?
We cannot infer that he did not practice astrology from the mere fact that he gives no concrete examples; for, as Ptolemy repeatedly says, his intention was solely to outline the guiding principles and provide the general procedures in a systematic manner, leaving it to the individual astrologer to flesh out the outline and spell out the details for himself. It is true that he does not explicitly make the claim that he has tested some procedure and found that it works, as Valens frequently does, but such a personal statement would be entirely out of place in a formal treatment such as this.
It may be the case that, ultimately, Ptolemy approves of some particular method more because it seems “natural” to him—that is, because it makes sense within the framework of Aristotelean natural philosophy—than because he has done extensive testing of it. However, he obviously has a healthy respect for the inaccuracy and uncertainty of fine-grained, detailed astrological prediction in the material world—a respect that could just as well have been gained through practical experience. More than any other Hellenistic astrologer, Ptolemy emphasizes that methods can only take one so far, and beyond this point prediction becomes a kind of educated guesswork. Does this sound like the position of an inexperienced astrologer?
So we come down to the criticism that Ptolemy’s procedures do not work. Again I say, how in heaven’s name could any modern astrologer be in a position to make such a claim? [It continues for two more pages]

So the answer is, neither Schmidt, Hand, or Mark Riley ever made the claim that Ptolemy was not an astrologer or fully conversant in its principles. But parts of their comments are being taken out of context and reproduced by astrologers who think they did say this.
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