A Reform of the Astrological Chart
by Patrice Guinard
translation E. P.
A Reform of the Chart: Summary. I propose the following
changes to represent the astrological chart : two systems of
coordinates (topocentric altitudes and ecliptical longitudes),
topocentric coordinates (for the Moon), a double circle to figure the
planets that are really above or below the horizon, a new Medium Coeli
that is the zodiacal point of higher altitude, always 90° from the
AS, and finally, an easier manner to calculate the eight houses, i.e.
oktatopos or octotope, like modus aequalis (eight houses running
clockwise, in the natural sense, with Angles in the middle of houses I,
III, V and VII), the representation of the real aspects (true angular
distances) and of the triangular and rectangular figures. The new chart
synthesizes all the elements necessary for interpretation, corresponds
better to the apparent heavenly reality than the representations
offered by existing programs and softwares, and is mainly a consequence
of the quaternary nature of astrology, as I have repeatedly tried to
show for over twenty years.
DRAWING UP THE HEAVEN
The birth chart, as drawn up by astrologers and their software, in no
case represents the state of heaven at a given time, generally a
person's time of birth, but the conventional state of heaven, which in
most cases distorts what one should expect from a reliable
representation of celestial bodies. One does not find in the chart what
one 'sees' in the sky, i.e. the visible real positions of planets. The
chart does not represent what one could see if the sunlight of day,
dawn or dusk did not make them difficult to see. And it is not about
stars, constellations or nebulae, but about a small number of celestial
bodies represented on the chart, i.e. the eleven planets of the solar
system, including Ceres (see "Which cyclical operators in astrology?",
CURA, AfD 08).
Paradoxically, ideologist astronomers (those condemning astrology for
bad reasons) rarely bring up this issue, and only superficially, and
prefer rubbishy rearguard debates. Because seriously raising this issue
would require envisaging transformations and alternative solutions,
which would mean doing the work for astrologers. [For example in a
French Zetetician article of March 2006 (http://www.zetetique.fr/index.php/dossiers/92-astrologie),
anti-astrologers rightly criticize the author of a mediocre study for
not taking into account the planetary latitudes and for confusing the
visible real planetary positions with their projection on the ecliptic;
but zeteticians refrain from drawing up the chart of this 'real heaven'
and merely illustrate their comments using charts calculated with the
Astrolog software, used by astrologers since several decennia, which
does not show the said latitudes either!]
The difficulty in correctly drawing up the state of the close sky is
due to several causes, and first to the difficulty in representing a
tridimensional sphere on a flat surface taking into account two
references : the planetary positions projected on the ecliptic and the
planetary positions in houses. The representation of a chart on a flat
surface depends on reference conventions and conventions of projection
of a sphere on a plane.
Medieval astrologers used to represent the chart in a circular and
quadrangular framework privileging the houses ; modern (namely
European) astrologers tend to prefer a circular representation which
privileges zodiacal signs. But in both cases the latitudes of celestial
bodies are not taken into account. The usually represented latitude is
only the orthogonal projection of planetary positions onto the
ecliptic. It is not the real planetary position.
For example on the 24th of March of last year 2009, in Paris at 6:43
(GMT+1), Mercury is shown at 27° in Pisces, at three degrees above
the Ascendant, and in the twelfth house. In reality the planet is below
the horizon and has not yet risen! Venus on the contrary is shown at
9°30 of Aries and in the first house, well below the ascendant. In
reality it rose more than half an hour earlier, little after Mars and
well before Uranus! One will conclude that there is something "fishy"
in the traditional representation transmitted by astrologers for
It is not even the system of Houses and the domification that we ought
to reform - supposing that astrologers could agree on the nature of
'astrological houses' (see my text about the Dominion and the dubious
origin of the twelve-house system which has become classic) --, but the
planetary positions on the ecliptic. Because even astrologers who as a
precaution do not use a house system in the representation of the chart
do give on the ecliptic circle a distorted representation of planets
which does not correspond to reality but to a conventional astronomical
PICTURES : In the charts drawn up for 24 March 2009 at 6:43 am in
Paris, the data of astrological softwares tally (for example ZET in
Polich-Page house system and Astrodienst online in Placidus house
system), but do not represent the visible real planetary positions :
indeed Mercury is under the horizon (thus logically under the
ascendant) and Venus is above, as indicated by Stellarium. Figure 4
(Stellarium) shows the rise of Venus half an hour earlier, around 6:11
(with atmosphere). Uranus has not yet risen!
Other example : Tomorrow on Easter Monday, April 5 at 2:58:47 in Paris,
the Moon rises at 0°28 of Capricorn in the classical chart. Ceres
then Pluto are represented under the Ascendant, at 2°56 and
5°25 of Capricorn respectively. In reality the Moon is under the
horizon and has not risen yet : Ceres is rising and Pluto is below the
horizon, at an altitude of 1°25.
THE ORTHOGONAL REPRESENTATION OF THE CHART
One may prefer to the circular chart representation a more simple,
orthogonal representation, only taking into account the ecliptic
coordinates of planets, to which Angles can be added, and with more
difficulty, houses and aspects. To my knowledge no software proposes
such a chart, which presents the advantage of not distorting the
perception of visible planetary positions (if one adopts the same scale
for abscissas and ordinates), but which presents the disadvantage of
not being circular. It is an acceptable representation for astrologers
who would not use the Houses. One may also prefer equatorial or
horizontal coordinates to ecliptic coordinates, and represent the state
of the close sky using one or the other of these systems.
In the seventh chapter of book IV of his Harmonices Mundi, Kepler
declares being born at the rise of the 25th degree of Gemini and at the
culmination of the 22nd degree of Aquarius : "oriebatur autem 25
Geminorum, culminabat 22 Aquarii". (Linz, Joannes Plancus, 1619,
p.170). This translates into the birth on Thursday 27 Decembre 1571 in
Weil-der-Stadt West of Stuttgart, at approximately 14:37, a birthtime
FIGURES : Kepler's orthogonal chart without aspects, then with aspects,
and the orthogonal chart on 24 March 2009 at 6:43 highlighting the high
latitude of Venus.
THE ISSUE OF LATITUDES AND THE ASSUMPTION OF DERIVED OR VARIABLE LONGITUDES
One commonly talks about zodiacal belt, traditionally fixed at 17°,
i.e. at 8°30 on either side of the ecliptic, which adapts to gaps
in latitude of the planets of the septenary. In reality Venus can have
a latitude of up to 8°50, which would bring the traditional
zodiacal belt to approximately 18°. The Moon and Mercury have a
maximum planetary latitude of approximately 5° ; Uranus', the
planet closest to the ecliptic plane, is smaller than 1° ;
Jupiter's and Neptune's are smaller than 2°, and Saturn's smaller
than 3°. But Mars can reach 7° South latitude (but only about
4°30 North), and Pluto and Ceres deviate from it even more (more
than 17°). Taking into account these two planets requires a
widening of the zodiacal belt to approximately 35°. However the
planetary positions represented in the chart are not located "in" in
zodiacal belt but "on" a circle which eliminates information on
No heavenly body except the Sun is ever really on the ecliptic, except
at the intersection points of its plane of revolution with the ecliptic
(at the nodes). One could imagine, in order to take the planetary
latitudes into account, redefining the ecliptic positions for each
planet. These corrections would not apply or be zero for the sun (which
by definition has no latitude) and in very rare cases for a planet
crossing the ecliptic plane passing at it's ascending or descending
The position of each planet would no longer be defined by its
invariably orthogonal projection onto the ecliptic, but by its ecliptic
projection along an axis crossing the meridian, and more precisely the
Southern cardinal point (in a northern chart) for a planet above the
horizon, and along an axis crossing the Northern cardinal point for a
planet below the horizon. For a Southern chart, the cardinal points
would be inverted.
Thus, in the above-mentioned example, Venus would have to be positioned
at approximately 14° in Pisces instead of 9°30 in Aries.
Mercury would be at approximately 2°30 in Aries instead of 27°
in Pisces. These data vary during the day and planets would only be
found on their classical ecliptic position at their crossing with the
meridian. This way planets would be retrograde at certain moments in
their daily cycle as they used to be at some moments of their annual
cycle, which astrologers have been used to for centuries.
Classical orthogonal projections (represented in the usual chart) do
not take latitudes into account. 'Derived' or 'latitudinal' projections
restore an image of the sky more conform to the theoretically visible
sky (without atmosphere).
Of course, such a referencing is bound to shock many astrologers for
whom astronomical perpendicular projections are an article of faith,
but may less shock astronomers who observe the sky as it is appears in
their lenses. But the ecliptic positioning is only a referencing
convention and the solution of 'derived longitudes' would much better
agree with the sky as it appears at the moment of observation. Derived
longitudes are a kind of planetary adaptation and positioning on the
ecliptic viewed with a topocentric referencing.
But this referencing presents a big flaw and fails in some extreme
cases, for example at Rovaniemi in Finland (a city of 60.000
inhabitants at 66°30N and 25°44E), every day precisely at the
moment when the ecliptic sticks to the horizon, in other words when the
ecliptic plane and the horizon coincide. This phenomenon occurs for all
geographic locations with a latitude of approximately 66°30, i.e.
located on the polar arctic and antartic circles.
Some French astrologers, taking a leaf out of Dom Neroman's book
(1884-1953), proposed doubling the classical chart with a second chart
, so-called Domitude chart (Cahiers Conditionalistes 4, 1981, Astralis
43, 1994, L'Astrologue 129, 2000, etc). But these representation
attempts, which adapt the Campanus or Placidus systems, lead to a
disproportionate division and turn out to be unworkable for extreme
latitudes, as classical charts based on the same models. Moreover, one
does not really know any more what the use could be of these Domitude
degrees supposed to represent the exact house position of a planet, nor
which aspects to use (longitude or house aspect), given these two rival
charts. The most common practice consists in keeping the aspects that
are common to these two charts, to the classical one as well as to the
neromanian one. In reality the Domitude chart is only an imitation of
the classical one taking as a basis one house system or another, which
is already highly questionable. The aspects in houses frame are only
projections, as are aspects between ecliptic planetary positions. They
are not real visible aspects between planets (angular distances) but an
approximation of these distances. It is possible to construct a
Domitude chart for each existing house system. For example in Alfred
Adler's chart, supposedly born in Vienna, Austria on February 8, 1870
in Astralis 43 (in reality on February 7 in Rudolfsheim close to Vienna
at an unknown time!), Pluto is at 7° of house XII and Neptune at
6° of house XI (Campanus house system). But with the Placidus house
system, Pluto is at 28° of house XI and Neptune at 26° of house
In other words there are as many different 'Domitude charts' as there
are house systems. The so-called 'Domitude chart' is a kind of
vectorisation of a house system, and presents the same disadvantages
and aberrations in extreme situations as the house system on which it
is constructed. None of these charts indicates the real positions of
planets in the local sphere, but show the positions biased by the used
house system. This approach is thus reversing the problem, because the
issue of houses (number and limits of the astrological houses) only
makes the matter more complex. The 'derived longitudes', as proposed
above, could be interpreted as a transposition of house positions on
the classical chart. Their advantage compared to the so-called Domitude
data is that at least they do not depend on any house system.
THE DOUBLE AZIMUTHAL CHART
Another model consists in drawing up the chart starting from the
classical longitudes and the topocentric azimuthal positions. The
circle parallel to the meridian would define a natural house system,
whose eclipitic and house positions coincide in the extreme case of
Rovaniemi in Finland on 25 February 2010 at 7:57 for example. In this
example, the orthogonal projections on the ecliptic and on the horizon
Let's take Kepler's chart again. The first chart (left) is a synthesis
between the ancient classical chart (quadrangular organisation) and the
modern chart (circular zodiac). But the references are inverted : the
zodiac belt is outside and the houses are in the middle and divide the
zodiac in eight sectors. The inner circle indicates the azimuthal
positions of planets. A grey-tinted semicircle indicates the zones
below the horizon (under the AS-DS axis). The central double circle
shows the planetary positions above or below the horizon. [However,
Neptune should be placed between both circles since it has not risen
The planets inside this double circle are under the horizon (Jupiter,
Mars, Ceres); the planets outside this double circle are above. The
(not shown) planetary longitudes are projected on the zodiac belt and
the azimuthal positions are indicated with small red dots on the
central circle. The eight houses result from the arithmetic division of
azimuthal positions according to the meridian (the center of house III
at 22°30 on either side of the meridian, house IV from 22°30 to
67°30, and so on). To this system we add the aspects in the middle
and the colouring of the signs of the zodiac according to the planetary
colors (see my text "Planets, Colors and Metals, CURA 2000),
transferred to the zodiac signs according to the dignities as I
explained them in my thesis in 1993 (Moon-Cancer, Sun-Leo,
Venus-Virgo, Neptune-Libra, and so on). Finally, at the sign
boundaries (for example top from right to left: 48 Capricorn, 22
Aquarius, 351 Pisces, and so on) the azimuthal projections marking the
beginning of the tropical signs are indicated.
The second chart (right) roughly shows the organisation of the previous
one with the indication of longitudes and latitudes. But the
correspondence between azimuthal positions, zodiac signs and houses is
only approximate (and only follows a geometric canvas which does not
have the pretention to reproduce the real positions). However Neptune
is now correctly situated between the two circles, which mark its
position below the horizon, but with the Ascendant in house VIII and no
longer in house I (which turns out to be problematic).
In addition this appealing azimuthal model also fails, this time at the
equator, for example in Quito, or better at Calacalí to the
North of Quito (0N00, 78E30 -- cf. http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/19289347.jpg). Indeed,
under these latitudes, the ecliptic plane is sometimes perpendicular to
the horizon plane, and all planets are located more or less at the same
place in orthogonal projection on the horizon. The azimuthal positions
only differ with the latitudes of the planets. Even worse : there is
only one house left, the house containing the meridian !
THE CHART WITH LONGITUDES AND ALTITUDES
How should one indeed draw up a chart at the latitude of Rovaniemi, or
at Longyearbyen in Norway (78N13, 15E39)? There is no solution to the
question of correct representation of the astrological chart as long as
this technical problem has not been solved.
The solution to this age-old technical aporia can only result from the
simultaneous solving of the polar and equatorial chart. After examining
several systems and in the most diverse astronomical referencing
systems, I have come to the conclusion that a satisfying representation
of the chart could only be tackled using a double referencing system :
the ecliptic longitudes and the topocentric altitudes.
The altitude or height of a celestial body depends on the location
where the chart is drawn up. It is a kind of function of the geographic
latitude. On 21 June, at the summer solstice, the height of the Sun is
culminating at 64°35 in Paris; at 35°13 in Longyearbyen and at
66°21 in Quito. On 21 December, at the winter solstice, the Sun
culminates at 17°42 in Paris, at 66°47 in Quito, but only at
-11°39 in Longyearbyen (the Sun remains under the horizon).
In the above-mentioned Finnish case (ecliptic plane and horizon plane
coinciding), the altitude of a planet coincides with its astronomical
latitude : planets with a positive latitude are above the horizon,
planets with a negative latitude are below.
In other extreme situations, the ecliptic plane can be perpendicular to
the horizon and to the meridian, dividing the celestial sphere into
eight equal quadrants. This is the case in Toliara, Madagascar (23N21,
43E40), a place located less than 6' latitude from the Tropic of
Capricorn, on 7 June 2001 around 1:04. The MC comes close to the
zodiacal point of highest altitude and to the zenith. Ten seconds
earlier, at 1:03:50, the Ascendant is at 0° of Aries and 0° of
As above (see the double azimuthal chart), one can invert the classical
medieval representation of the chart and the modern representation, and
draw up the theme in a double frame : a square outer zodiac belt
indicating the planetary longitudes, and a double inner circle, which
this time indicates the altitudes of the planets. The double circle is
necessary in order to distinguish, in some specific cases, the planets
situated above or below the horizon (the planets under the horizon will
be shown between the two circles, the others outside). To this double
referencing system we need to add the limits of the eight houses
according to the system I have been recommending for fifteen years (see
my Dominion), and in the center the real aspects between planets, and
even the noteworthy synergic configurations (triangles and
quadrilaterals in particular)
The real aspects (also called 3D aspects) are the angular distances
measured on the celestial sphere : they are independent of the
coordinate system and therefore include the longitudes as well as the
latitudes (see "La pseudo conjonction Soleil-Pluton du 24
décembre 2009", AfD 4). The real, absolute aspects, i.e. without
orbs, are very rare, due to the latitude of celestial bodies, whichever
birth chart is studied.
The Babylonia software, version 1.2 (left image), also proposes a
scheme with longitudes and altitudes, without houses, which is morer an
esthetical representation of the sky than a real chart (left image). In
Kepler's theme drawn up with altitudes and longitudes (next image) the
red lines link the zodiacal longitude to the topocentric altitude. The
planets under the horizon are shown between the two inner circles in a
grey-blue zone. The central area is graduated according to the maximum
altitude (North) and the minimum altitude (South), which are variable
depending on the situation. In Kepler's case, Jupiter has a higher
altitude than the classical MC, and Mars a higher altitude than the
The aspects and synergic configurations need to be added (and the
legend needs correcting : 14 :37 instead of 14 :30). In Rovaniemi, in
the above-mentioned example, at the moment when the horizon sticks to
the zodiac, the altitudes coincide with the latitudes, and it becomes
necessary to graduate the inner circles in a discontinuous manner. This
model seems acceptable to me, taking into account the assumptions used
(ecliptic longitudes, altitudes, division in eights houses according to
the model I proposed in 1999, real aspects and synergic configurations).
A CHART FOR LONGYEARBYEN
Particular problems arise for charts drawn up on the polar circles, at
latitudes of about 66°30 North or South, due to the inclination of
the ecliptic plane on the celestial equator, of about 22°30 and
slightly variable with time. According to the Serbian meteorologist and
mathematician Milutin Milanković (1879-1958), the inclination would
vary between 21°30 and 24°30 during a period of 41,000 years,
as well as the earth's eccentricity and the precession (see. For
At these latitudes the horizon and ecliptic planes coincide once a day.
The Sun is at the horizon, the planets with a positive latitude are
located above the horizon and the other planets below. The Ascendant
and the Medium Coeli are on the horizon, the Ascendant to the North,
and the Medium Coeli to the East. Therefore it is incorrect to state
that there is no Ascendant or Medium Coeli at this moment: this is true
for a fraction of a second at the most (see Joseph Frederici's articles
published in the 70s : Astrological Journal, 16.3, 17.1-3-4, 19.4). This
is the case of Rovaniemi, Finland, mentioned earlier.
But what happens at Longyearbyen, above the polar circle (78.222,15.642 on Google Maps) ?
Situation today, 4 April 2010.
At midnight, Saturn, Mars and Mercurius are above the horizon : Saturn
close to the meridian to the South, Mars to the Southwest culminates
above the ecliptic (latitude + 2°49), Venus and Mercurius seem to
go down to the North.
At 0:18 Spica rises at 2° South of the ecliptic. Saturn has just crossed the meridian.
At 2:12 Mercurius and Venus cross the meridian to the North, then start rising above the horizon.
At 2:56 Spica who has moved close to the horizon, goes down.
At 5:09 the sun rises to the North/Northeast
At 5:19 the Moon crosses the meridian to the South under the horizon :
it reaches its lowest culmination, its' 'buried position' at -14°21.
Between 6:22 and 6:32 it is Ceres and Pluto's turn to passs the meridian to the South.
Around 6:50 Uranus then Jupiter rise to the East at the moment Saturn goes down to the West.
At 8:35 Mars crosses the meridian to the North at 10° above the horizon.
At 10:09 Neptune, at 0°46 under the horizon, crosses the meridian
to the South but does not rise. To the contrary, Regulus, on the
horizon to the North, does not go down.
At 15:34 Jupiter goes down to the Southwest
At 17:32 Uranus goes down to the West at the moment when Saturn rises in the opposite direction.
Before 18:00 The Moon crosses the meridian to the North under the horizon, followed by Ceres and Pluto.
At 20:34 Mars passes the meridian to the South and culminates at 34° above the horizon.
At 20:58 The Sun goes down to the South/Southwest.
During the whole day Mars, Venus and Mercurius remained above the
horizon, rising after passing the meridian to the North and going down
after passing to the South. In this example the planets rises to the
East but in reality to the Descendant, and the ecliptic culminates to
the North and no longer to the South.
More generally, if the Ascendant is defined as the point of the
ecliptic that rises, it is always located on the eastern part of the
horizon. But above the polar circle the MC can be located under the
horizon and the zodiac signs can rise in inverted order compared to the
usual rising. However, if the Ascendant is redefined as the point of
the ecliptic located to the East of the sub-horizontal ecliptic zone
(including the MC), then, in these same extreme situations, it can be
found in the Western part of the horizon with an MC to the North.
This second assumption seems much more satisfying to me than the first
one, because the orientation of a chart (oriented to the North or to
the South), is only a question of convention. For charts drawn up in
the Southern hemisphere, it is commonly admitted that the orientation
of the observation point must be inverted (maps oriented to the North).
This new definition of the Ascendant is in fact dependent on the
definition of the Medium Coeli. How could the so-called Medium Coeli be
found under the horizon while its opposite point would be above? This
absurd situation depend on the definition of the Angles, and more
particularly on the definition of the Medium Coeli. Thus, the Ascendant
would not be questioned, as is often stated (for example Frederici),
but the Medium Coeli (MC).
I suggest considering, for any celestial situation, the portion of the
ecliptic situated above the horizon whichever its cardinal position.
The Medium Coeli will then no longer be the intersection of the local
meridian with the ecliptic plane, but more simply the point of the
ecliptic with the highest altitude, i.e. the highest point of the
ecliptic measured from the horizon to the zenith. The Ascendant and the
Descendant will then be defined as the intersections to the East and to
the West of the ecliptic and the horizon. The Ascendant and the new
Medium Coeli will always be located at a right angle (90°) to each
other, in the real sky as well as in the chart. The highest point of
the ecliptic in a chart is always the point located at 90° to the
Ascendant, on the ecliptic, and not the traditional MC located on the
meridian as is often thought. This is the intersection point with the
ecliptic, where the planets reach their highest altitude one after the
other. A planet on the meridian is at its culmination, it is not at the
highest point of the ecliptic, thus not at the culminating point in the
On 22 March 2010 shortly after 10:58 in Paris (GMT+1), the Sun
'culminates at the MC' at 35°24', which is indeed the highest point
of ecliptic altitude. Neptune however, which just passed the meridian
(at 29°31 height) has only an altitude of 28°11, lower than
Mercurius, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus.
This conception of the MC or ME (Middle of the Ecliptic) solves at the
same time the procedure to be used for the house-divisions : because of
the orthogonality of the Angles, the astral Houses can naturally be
spread into equal parts on the ecliptic without competition between the
AS and the MC. In other words the division of Houses in equal portions
starting from the Ascendant or from the Medium Coeli are confounded.
Definitions : the Medium Coeli (or Middle of the Ecliptic) is the
ecliptic point with the highest altitude. The Ascendant is the
intersection of the horizon and the ecliptic to the East of the Medium
These definitions are suitable under all latitudes. The only particular
case concerns the skies of the polar circles at the moment when the
ecliptic plane 'sticks' to the horizon plane. At time T -1, the MC is
located somewhere to the West, then a few seconds after the fusion the
MC reappears somewhere to the East, for example in the above-mentioned
case of Rovaniemi in Finland, on 25 February 2010 between 7:55 and
8:00. This case is not an issue and simply illustrates the special
situation occurring once a day under these latitudes.
At 8:00, Uranus, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune and Mercurius are all close to
the MC to the East but under the horizon due to their negative
latitudes. Saturn and Mars to the opposite have a positive latitude :
they appear above the horizon.
Therefore it is useful to add to the charts being drawn up a double
circular belt indicating the presence of a planet under or above the
horizon. As this double circle is not programmed in the software, one
should add arrows indicating the planet's real position compared to the
horizon. In the following illustrated example, the geocentric positions
have been calculated and the local Moon (topocentric position) is
indeed under the horizon, at about -1° altitude (and not at
+0°01 as indicated in the data).
WHICH HOUSE SYSTEM ?
In a recent series of articles published in a London magazine between
2001 and 2005, Michael Wackford manages surfing with verve between
different systems but unfortunately he does not come up with any
solution, leading his readers to think that there is none and that all
methods fail. In addition, this astrologer bewares of seriously
examining systems that directly divide the ecliptic. But the technique
and the discourse do not make the music. The author, which ignores my
article (as usual in this British magazine), the article of the Irish
Cyril Fagan, and more generally the division in eight sectors,
carefully avoids asking the essential questions, being the origins of
the astral houses, their number, their rotation direction, the question
of planetary latitudes, and even the question of the definition of the
Ralph W. Holden presents in his 1977 work (The elements of house
division, Fowler, Romford, UK) fifteen house systems divided in three
categories : systems that divide the ecliptic (Equal houses by the ASC
or Modis Aequalis, Porphyrus, Natural graduation, Equal houses by the
MC), those that spatially divide the celestial sphere (Campanus,
Regiomontanus, Morinus, axial rotation, Zenith Method, Division at the
East point), and those based on a time division of the planets' daily
arcs (Alcabitius, Placidus, Koch, Topocentric). Holden does not evoque
the question of the eight houses, but in 1977 only six years had passed
from the publication by Cyril Fagan of his work Astrological Origins,
in which he only half-heartedly defends the domification in eight
sectors (see the discussion of the Oktotopos on the German Astrowiki
(no article is treating of his subject in the English Astrowiki, and
there is no French Astrowiki) and Wojciech Jozwiak's article Newly
Conceived Houses, reissued on Cura).
The temporal house divisions by trisection of the daily arcs, although
impracticable or absurd from 66° latitude, have the preference of
astrologers. The requirement of the temporality of the houses - which
etymologically result from a sectorisation of space (they are domus,
loci or topoi) - is not justified, all the more so because due to the
eccentricity of the earth's orbit, the solar zodiac itself does not
obey this temporal logic (the summer lasts almost 94 days, the winter
Holden discusses Frederici (p.120), mentions the interception and
latitude problems (p.107-117) that particularly affect the systems of
the last two categories (spatial house systems and temporal house
systems), and concludes (p.129) the superiority of the systems that
divide the ecliptic, which are not subject to the above-mentioned
difficulties. And namely the Modus Aequalis, the oldest theme house
system, gets his preference. It would seem that the later systems, more
and more sophisticated until the recent system of the Polish Bogdan
Krusinski, merely make the references more complex and are not able to
solve the problems caused by the house division under all latitudes. In
the end it appears that all these systems result from useless
mathematical refinements that only blur reality.
DETAILS ABOUT THE EIGHT ONTOLOGICAL HOUSES
I have presented the system of the eight astral Houses inspired from an
Oktatopos of questionable Greek origin, in the Astralis magazine since
1987, then in my PhD thesis (1993) and in the article 'The 8 Houses',
published on CURA in 1999. The house system proposed in 1999 recommends
using a median point located between the Ascendant and the East point,
which a priori allows dividing the theme in houses even at extreme
latitudes. Assuming the Ascendant is situated to the East between the
MC and the IC, which are the intersections of the local meridian with
the ecliptic plane, the even houses II, IV, VI and VIII have an
ecliptic span which varies between 28° and 62° even in extreme
cases. The MC is always located in House III. On the other hand the
Ascendant can derive and be situated in house II or in house VIII.
Henceforth I hereby refute this calculation of the eight ontological
houses, which I presented as temporary and have always considered such.
The above analyses show that calculating a median intermediate point is
useless and that the equal houses allow a natural and simple house
division, based on a new definition of the Medium Coeli, applicable
under all latitudes. The eight houses follow each other clockwise and
the Angles AS, MC, DS, and IC are situated in the centre of houses I,
III, V and VI in the eight-fold construction. The Houses result from a
division of the local sphere in compartments, taking into account at
the same time the geocentric position of the planets, their topocentric
situation, and in a dependent space also their zodiacal situation.
The Angles indicate particular zones in the daily movement of a planet
: its rise, its culmination, its setting and its lower culmination.
[There is no term to indicate the lower culmination or passing at the
Imum Coeli, hupogeion : I propose the term Burying. The Greeks qualified
the astral house associated with this situation as 'Underground'.]
One has always wanted to link the Angles to the House system according
to the dogma which stipulates that the Ascendant must represent the
cusp of house I. This conception is wrong. Nothing obliges the Angles
to be located at the beginning of the Houses (cusps) rather than in
their middle, not even should a given angle be correlated with such
house, even though there is a temporal and structural logic in the
succession of the eight houses, developed in my text in 1999.
The Mesopotamian astrologers-astronomers were the first ones to observe
that the planets located at these angles, and thus at these moments of
their daily cycle, had a particular force. In these times the Houses
did not exist; they are probably a late Greek invention, which was
passed down to us in a deformed way in the first texts mentioning them.
Some software programs propose a division in eight sectors, but the
Angles are badly defined with dysfunctioning as a result. As an
example, the New Zealand software Janus gives inverted positions above
and below the horizon : in a theme calculated for a location close to
Longyearbyen, on 27 December 2009 at 13:51, Mars, the Moon and Uranus,
the only planets above the horizon are shown to be below! (To be
compared with ZET and Stellarium which present a theme or a chart more
conform with reality).
CONSEQUENCES OF THE DIVISION IN EIGHT EQUAL HOUSE SECTORS
The division in eight equal house sectors presents important practical,
technical and theoretical advantages. Practically, a well-conceived
software (such as the Russian ZET software) allows dividing a theme
with 8 astral houses by setting up some parameters. It is probably the
only one. The orthogonality of Angles solves the question of the
Paranatellonta, these celestial bodies, stars or groups of stars which
rise, culminate or set at the same time. This way the aporia concerning
the duality between Planets in Aspect and Paranatellonta, evoqued by
Robert Hand in his Essays on Astrology (p.98-101) is resolved, since
the passing of the planets on the horizon, on their culmination (the
new MC) and the buried position are situated in conjunction, opposition
or square if the planetary latitudes are small. In other words the
'Parans' which are angular links involving the Paranatellonta, merely
become exceptional cases of classical aspects.
Another consequence concerns the division in four, which is the
ontological basis of astrology, and which henceforth irrigates the
selection of aspects. Indeed the conjunction, the opposition, the
square, the semi-square (or octile) and the sesquiquadrate or
tri-octile (135°), even the semi-octile (22°30), become major
aspects illustrating this quaternary logic (division of the circle in
2, 4, 8, and 16). One finds again a common practice influenced by the
German Alfred Witte who recommended drawing up the theme on a circle of
90° (Dial). But the graduation by equal sectors from an Ascendant
fictitiously situated at the beginning of Libra is replaced by an
equivalent division but in eight instead of twelve, and from the real
The result is that the new theme, necessarily composite due to the
representation in two dimensions instead of three, brings together four
referencing systems : the apparent planetary positions above the
horizon (measured by altitude, but not yet possible to be shown in
existing software), the orthogonal projections of planetary positions
on the ecliptic (Zodiac), angular distances between planets
(characterizing at the same time the aspects between two planets and
the figures between different planets) and the equal definition of the
eight astral houses from orthogonal angles. It summarises all the
elements necessary for the interpretation, better corresponds to the
apparent celestial reality than using current software and programs,
and above all is a consequence of the quaternary nature of astrology,
as I haven't ceased trying to show for more than twenty years.
A few illustrated themes are shown below (without altitudes and without the double planetary circle).
Theme of redefinition of the MC
The Sun at the meridian (but with a lower altitude than Uranus and
Venus) is in conjunction with Jupiter and at one and a half square with
Uranus is in conjunction to Venus in House III, in triangle with Mars at the beginning of Leo and square with Ceres.
Pluto sets, slightly above the horizon.
Theme of Kepler's birth
Neptune rises, slightly below the horizon.
The Moon keeps Ceres and the conjunction Venus-Sun in synergy.
Saturn is isolated in house VI (Knowledge). Kepler could have been
borne in reality one hour erlier, with the Moon at the Ascendant and
the cluster Sun-Venus-Mars-Uranus in House IV (Harmony).
Theme of Ceres' discovery
It occurred the first day of the 19th Century, around 20:00 in Sicily
(cf. Piazzi, Risultati delle Osservazioni della Nuova Stella scoperta
il dì 1. Gennajo all'Osservatorio reale di Palermo, Palermo,
Nella Reale Stamperia, 1801 ; G. Foderà Serio, A. Manara and P.
Sicoli, "Giuseppe Piazzi and the Discovery of Ceres" in Asteroids III,
ed. William F. Bottke et al., University of Arizona Press, Tucson,
Remarkable configuration for a discovery whose importance was
minimized. Ceres (the real planet of astrology) at the MC is also
square with Saturn (the scientific planet) at the ASC, kept in dynamic
harmony in a solar isosceles triangle (Poleaxe).
Theme of Savonarole's birth
The Florentine preacher Girolamo Savonarola was probably borne on 21
September 1452 in Ferrara [44N51, 11E38] at sunset, "ho. 5 mi. 44
à meridie" (according to Cardan, CG p.490). same time with
Garcaeus (p.192). Indeed on this date the sun culminated around
11:50-11:51. Savonarole was probably borne at 17:35.
Mars in I (Communication) is in opposition with a cluster of planets in
IV (the Couple) including Ceres, Saturn, the Sun, Neptune and Mercury.
The theme of a visionary militant. The Moon is at the center of this