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Houses and the Origin of Their Meanings

 
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MarkF



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Outside Washington, DC

Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:49 am    Post subject: Houses and the Origin of Their Meanings Reply with quote

This question is more or less for Deb H., since it stems from her great book about the houses. I don't usually like to address a question to one person, but it's unavoidable here.

You say that part of the origins for the meanings of the houses comes from their aspectual relationship to the ASC, i.e., the weak 30 degree aspect of the 12th house cusp gives it its weak nature, while the good nature of the trine lends it's qualities to the 5th and 9th house.

But it seems that if you use any major house system other than equal or whole signs, the size of the the houses is not 30 degrees most of the time. Throughout the day and night, depending on what part of the ecliptic is above the horizon, the houses in the latitude of Washington, DC vary from about 20 degrees to over 40 degrees. How does this square with the origins for the meaning of the houses coming from their aspect with the ASC.

Of course, this is all solved if you use equal or whole sign houses.
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Deb
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

The fact that the houses get skewed out of proportion which increases with latitude is the reason why astrologers struggle to acknowledge one universally accepted system of calculation. It is thought that Manilius, the earliest source we can refer to, used a division of the whole celestial sphere, rather than the plane of the ecliptic; others used an idealised Ďwhole signí division. It is only when we attempt to tie the houses into a division of the ecliptic that the distortion creeps in. In the regions where astrology developed, this problem didnít really exist - the houses were more or less equal anyway Ė but itís the symbolic resonance of the idealised approach that has left its impression upon their meaning.

Itís worth reading chapter 9 in full to understand the issues involved and why no approach resolves the problems entirely. Astrologers would love to be able to recreate that elusive system which gives nice, evenly spaced compartments, whilst acknowledging the division of the ecliptic, from all places on earth Ė but itís not possible.
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MarkF



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Outside Washington, DC

Posted: Tue Dec 28, 2004 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It is thought that Manilius, the earliest source we can refer to, used a division of the whole celestial sphere, rather than the plane of the ecliptic


If we divide the whole sky into equal segments, wouldn't that mean that the ASC would not always be in the first house?

I've read chapter 9 a few times and I agree that there is no perfect solution. But I have tried to look at how to use these different house systems and see which seem to make sense. I have a problem with the systems that don't fix the ASC and midheaven as the first and tenth house cusps, and simple seems to be better, so that lead me naturally to Porphyry. But when I looked at how some charts that I had done in the past looked when done under some different house systems the first thing that struck me was that there really isn't that much of a difference, especially for horary. I mean how often do we really need to know the exact cusp of the 11th and 12th houses? Maybe in natal progressions this matters more, but for right now, I am happy to stick with Regiomontanus, but I will do the chart in several different systems just to see in any of the signs on the house cusps change. For horary at least, that seems to be the most important, if not the only important part that is effected by whatever house system we use.

BTW - I finally managed to see Mercury with my own eyes this morning. It's conjunction with Venus makes it very easy to spot and I think it will be visible in the morning for another few days at least. I can't believe that I have been looking at the sky so long and have not seen one of the seven traditional planets till now.
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