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A Reform of the Astrological Chart

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Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:44 am    Post subject: A Reform of the Astrological Chart Reply with quote

A Reform of the Astrological Chart
by Patrice Guinard

Full version + images : see

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.


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 (, anti-astrologers rightly criticize the author of a mediocre study for not taking into account the planetary latitudes and for confusing the visible real planetary positions with their projection on the ecliptic; but zeteticians refrain from drawing up the chart of this 'real heaven' and merely illustrate their comments using charts calculated with the Astrolog software, used by astrologers since several decennia, which does not show the said latitudes either!]

The difficulty in correctly drawing up the state of the close sky is due to several causes, and first to the difficulty in representing a tridimensional sphere on a flat surface taking into account two references : the planetary positions projected on the ecliptic and the planetary positions in houses. The representation of a chart on a flat surface depends on reference conventions and conventions of projection of a sphere on a plane.

Medieval astrologers used to represent the chart in a circular and quadrangular framework privileging the houses ; modern (namely European) astrologers tend to prefer a circular representation which privileges zodiacal signs. But in both cases the latitudes of celestial bodies are not taken into account. The usually represented latitude is only the orthogonal projection of planetary positions onto the ecliptic. It is not the real planetary position.

For example on the 24th of March of last year 2009, in Paris at 6:43 (GMT+1), Mercury is shown at 27° in Pisces, at three degrees above the Ascendant, and in the twelfth house. In reality the planet is below the horizon and has not yet risen! Venus on the contrary is shown at 9°30 of Aries and in the first house, well below the ascendant. In reality it rose more than half an hour earlier, little after Mars and well before Uranus! One will conclude that there is something "fishy" in the traditional representation transmitted by astrologers for centuries.

It is not even the system of Houses and the domification that we ought to reform - supposing that astrologers could agree on the nature of 'astrological houses' (see my text about the Dominion and the dubious origin of the twelve-house system which has become classic) --, but the planetary positions on the ecliptic. Because even astrologers who as a precaution do not use a house system in the representation of the chart do give on the ecliptic circle a distorted representation of planets which does not correspond to reality but to a conventional astronomical referencing.

PICTURES : In the charts drawn up for 24 March 2009 at 6:43 am in Paris, the data of astrological softwares tally (for example ZET in Polich-Page house system and Astrodienst online in Placidus house system), but do not represent the visible real planetary positions : indeed Mercury is under the horizon (thus logically under the ascendant) and Venus is above, as indicated by Stellarium. Figure 4 (Stellarium) shows the rise of Venus half an hour earlier, around 6:11 (with atmosphere). Uranus has not yet risen!



One commonly talks about zodiacal belt, traditionally fixed at 17°, i.e. at 8°30 on either side of the ecliptic, which adapts to gaps in latitude of the planets of the septenary. In reality Venus can have a latitude of up to 8°50, which would bring the traditional zodiacal belt to approximately 18°. The Moon and Mercury have a maximum planetary latitude of approximately 5° ; Uranus', the planet closest to the ecliptic plane, is smaller than 1° ; Jupiter's and Neptune's are smaller than 2°, and Saturn's smaller than 3°. But Mars can reach 7° South latitude (but only about 4°30 North), and Pluto and Ceres deviate from it even more (more than 17°). Taking into account these two planets requires a widening of the zodiacal belt to approximately 35°. However the planetary positions represented in the chart are not located "in" in zodiacal belt but "on" a circle which eliminates information on latitude.

No heavenly body except the Sun is ever really on the ecliptic, except at the intersection points of its plane of revolution with the ecliptic (at the nodes). One could imagine, in order to take the planetary latitudes into account, redefining the ecliptic positions for each planet. These corrections would not apply or be zero for the sun (which by definition has no latitude) and in very rare cases for a planet crossing the ecliptic plane passing at it's ascending or descending node.

The position of each planet would no longer be defined by its invariably orthogonal projection onto the ecliptic, but by its ecliptic projection along an axis crossing the meridian, and more precisely the Southern cardinal point (in a northern chart) for a planet above the horizon, and along an axis crossing the Northern cardinal point for a planet below the horizon. For a Southern chart, the cardinal points would be inverted.

Thus, in the above-mentioned example, Venus would have to be positioned at approximately 14° in Pisces instead of 9°30 in Aries. Mercury would be at approximately 2°30 in Aries instead of 27° in Pisces. These data vary during the day and planets would only be found on their classical ecliptic position at their crossing with the meridian. This way planets would be retrograde at certain moments in their daily cycle as they used to be at some moments of their annual cycle, which astrologers have been used to 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.



How should one indeed draw up a chart at the latitude of Rovaniemi, or at Longyearbyen in Norway (78N13, 15E39)? There is no solution to the question of correct representation of the astrological chart as long as this technical problem has not been solved.

The solution to this age-old technical aporia can only result from the simultaneous solving of the polar and equatorial chart. After examining several systems and in the most diverse astronomical referencing systems, I have come to the conclusion that a satisfying representation of the chart could only be tackled using a double referencing system : the ecliptic longitudes and the topocentric altitudes.

The altitude or height of a celestial body depends on the location where the chart is drawn up. It is a kind of function of the geographic latitude. On 21 June, at the summer solstice, the height of the Sun is culminating at 64°35 in Paris; at 35°13 in Longyearbyen and at 66°21 in Quito. On 21 December, at the winter solstice, the Sun culminates at 17°42 in Paris, at 66°47 in Quito, but only at -11°39 in Longyearbyen (the Sun remains under the horizon).

In the above-mentioned Finnish case (ecliptic plane and horizon plane coinciding), the altitude of a planet coincides with its astronomical latitude : planets with a positive latitude are above the horizon, planets with a negative latitude are below.

In other extreme situations, the ecliptic plane can be perpendicular to the horizon and to the meridian, dividing the celestial sphere into eight equal quadrants. This is the case in Toliara, Madagascar (23N21, 43E40), a place located less than 6' latitude from the Tropic of Capricorn, on 7 June 2001 around 1:04. The MC comes close to the zodiacal point of highest altitude and to the zenith. Ten seconds earlier, at 1:03:50, the Ascendant is at 0° of Aries and 0° of Capricorn.

As above (see the double azimuthal chart), one can invert the classical medieval representation of the chart and the modern representation, and draw up the theme in a double frame : a square outer zodiac belt indicating the planetary longitudes, and a double inner circle, which this time indicates the altitudes of the planets. The double circle is necessary in order to distinguish, in some specific cases, the planets situated above or below the horizon (the planets under the horizon will be shown between the two circles, the others outside). To this double referencing system we need to add the limits of the eight houses according to the system I have been recommending for fifteen years (see my Dominion), and in the center the real aspects between planets, and even the noteworthy synergic configurations (triangles and quadrilaterals in 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 classical IC.

The aspects and synergic configurations need to be added (and the legend needs correcting : 14 :37 instead of 14 :30). In Rovaniemi, in the above-mentioned example, at the moment when the horizon sticks to the zodiac, the altitudes coincide with the latitudes, and it becomes necessary to graduate the inner circles in a discontinuous manner. This model seems acceptable to me, taking into account the assumptions used (ecliptic longitudes, altitudes, division in eights houses according to the model I proposed in 1999, real aspects and synergic configurations).


I suggest considering, for any celestial situation, the portion of the ecliptic situated above the horizon whichever its cardinal position. The Medium Coeli will then no longer be the intersection of the local meridian with the ecliptic plane, but more simply the point of the ecliptic with the highest altitude, i.e. the highest point of the ecliptic measured from the horizon to the zenith. The Ascendant and the Descendant will then be defined as the intersections to the East and to the West of the ecliptic and the horizon. The Ascendant and the new Medium Coeli will always be located at a right angle (90°) to each other, in the real sky as well as in the chart. The highest point of the ecliptic in a chart is always the point located at 90° to the Ascendant, on the ecliptic, and not the traditional MC located on the meridian as is often thought. This is the intersection point with the ecliptic, where the planets reach their highest altitude one after the other. A planet on the meridian is at its culmination, it is not at the highest point of the ecliptic, thus not at the culminating point in the chart!

On 22 March 2010 shortly after 10:58 in Paris (GMT+1), the Sun 'culminates at the MC' at 35°24', which is indeed the highest point of ecliptic altitude. Neptune however, which just passed the meridian (at 29°31 height) has only an altitude of 28°11, lower than Mercurius, Venus, Jupiter and Uranus.

This conception of the MC or ME (Middle of the Ecliptic) solves at the same time the procedure to be used for the house-divisions : because of the orthogonality of the Angles, the astral Houses can naturally be spread into equal parts on the ecliptic without competition between the AS and the MC. In other words the division of Houses in equal portions starting from the Ascendant or from the Medium Coeli are confounded.

Definitions : the Medium Coeli (or Middle of the Ecliptic) is the ecliptic point with the highest altitude. The Ascendant is the intersection of the horizon and the ecliptic to the East of the Medium Coeli.

These definitions are suitable under all latitudes. The only particular case concerns the skies of the polar circles at the moment when the ecliptic plane 'sticks' to the horizon plane. At time T -1, the MC is located somewhere to the West, then a few seconds after the fusion the MC reappears somewhere to the East, for example in the above-mentioned case of Rovaniemi in Finland, on 25 February 2010 between 7:55 and 8:00. This case is not an issue and simply illustrates the special situation occurring once a day under these latitudes.



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).
04-04-2011 (French original version: 04-04-2010)
© 2011 Patrice Guinard

Thanks for your attention.
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Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Patrice for your excellent observation and explanation pertaining, in part, to certain astrological falsehoods presented, at times, by today’s astrological software’s pertaining to the correct astronomical mundane positions of planets. This astrological ‘falsehood’ at certain astronomical times with the true mundane positions of the planets was recognized years ago by a handful of astrologers, even before the advent of the PC. Cyril Fagan recognized this problem and introduced his ‘mundoscope’ in an American Federation of Astrologers monograph published in 1947 but it was considered a terrible heresy by mainstream astrologers in his day and was suppressed. I will demonstrate Fagan’s ‘mundoscope’ which may help astrologers here better understand your following paragraph:

“For example on the 24th of March of last year 2009, in Paris at 6:43 (GMT+1), Mercury is shown at 27° in Pisces, at three degrees above the Ascendant, and in the twelfth house. In reality the planet is below the horizon and has not yet risen! Venus on the contrary is shown at 9°30 of Aries and in the first house, well below the ascendant. In reality it rose more than half an hour earlier, little after Mars and well before Uranus! One will conclude that there is something "fishy" in the traditional representation transmitted by astrologers for centuries.”

The first scope is generated by most conventional astrological software programs with your above quoted date and time in Paris.

The second scope is Fagan’s ‘mundoscope’ pointing out the difference of mundane (house) positions in your above quoted paragraph. Ignore the difference is sign position between the two scopes—only pay attention to the difference in house positions of the mentioned planets and mundane positions of the mentioned planets above and below the Ascendant. Fagan’s ‘mundoscope’ involves using the prime vertical with the placement of 0 degrees Aries on the Ascendant with equal house divisions.

* These scopes were generated using the astrological program of SolarFire. In order to produce a mundoscope, anyone using SolarFire 6.0 versions or higher, highlight a calculated chart and then key F6 and then click Z-Analogue Prime Vert.-then click OK.

The ‘mundoscope’ is an invaluable tool for isolating Paranatellonta (Paran) aspects which are the most powerful of all aspects. A Paran aspect occurs when two or more planets are simultaneously on the same, adjacent or opposite angles. Many times a Paran configuration will not be in mutual zodiacal aspect.

IMO Patrice, you raise some very interesting points with your other observations about the needed 'Reform of the Astrological Chart' and I appreciate your post.

With all our modern knowledge and scientific equipment, and with the the great strides made in mathematics, we astrologers have done nothing to even remotely compare with the achievements of the astrologers of antiquity. Cyril Fagan
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Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thx for the feedback : Fagan has been a real master / pioneer in the english astrology world ;
and he had more historical understanding than the "mainstream astrologers" in his time (and ours?)

The question is :
Can we build a real xxi th astrology that is not just a late appendix of greek-arabic-etc constructions ? If not, astrology has died at that times, no? (as scientists and historicists want to convince)

You can find now (for around ten years) the same consensual astrology (and for me full of illogical assumptions) everywhere. And few less real research by astrologers, real ones, and for the right astrological pbs, than 10, 20, 30 years ago. And you probably know what does mean any such kind of uniformisation ...
The Return to a kind of "neo-Leo's Astrology for Everybody's", that means no astrology at all, but just an artefact, a consumerist one.

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