skyscript.co.uk
   

home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
Register
FAQ
Search
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
Can assassinations be prevented? by Elsbeth Ebertin
translated by Jenn Zahrt PhD
A Guide to Interpreting The Great American Eclipse
by Wade Caves
The Astrology of Depression
by Judith Hill
Understanding the mean conjunctions of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle
by Benjamin Dykes
Understanding the zodiac: and why there really ARE 12 signs of the zodiac, not 13
by Deborah Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

Equal verses unequal house systems
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Nativities & General Astrology
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5024
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:
Quote:
Granted, the average layperson cannot be expected to demonstrate any understanding of astrology's intricacies, and, of course, other obvious patterns in the chart can induce questions just as much.

So I don't mean to overemphasize this, but when some of my clients were spontaneously voicing what I had somewhere on my mind already at the time, it made me wonder whether their unbiased view actually allowed them to spontaneously perceive something more clearly as odd which modern astrologers (including myself) have been trained to accept unquestioningly.


Its not just uninformed laymen that feel like this! This was a significant reason why I gave up Placidus houses too. I know several people in the astrological community here in Scotland who use Equal system for precisely that reason. Although, Placidus is still the most popular for natal here.

Basically, in my location two houses take up well over 1/3 of the entire chart! It starts to get silly. I was uncomfortable about this for a long time. That and the messy issue of intercepted houses.

However, I think the majority of people dont really think through which house system makes most sense but rather follow whatever system their teachers use. Popular, house systems also seem to follow fashions. Whole sign seems to be gaining a lot of support in traditional circles right now. However, that no doubt reflects the influence of contemporary traditional astrologers like Robert Hand, Robert Schmidt, James Crane, Demetra George, Benjamin Dykes and Chris Brennan. In previous times Alcabitius was the most popular system but was replaced by Regiomontanus which in turn was replaced by Placidus as the most popular system.

In terms of those teaching the equal system in Britain Frank Clifford, who runs the London School of Astrology is a strong advocate of equal houses. I think the Faculty of Astrological Studies in the UK still teach equal too although I understand other house systems are also taught nowadays. Does equal have much following today outside the UK?

I do understand that if you used time based systems like placidus stretched/shrunken houses is a natural reflection of the oblique ascension of signs at higher latitudes. So the time based quadrant systems are reflecting an astronomical reality. Whether that astronomical reality should be the basis of how we calculate houses is another question.

I suppose its a debate on how we like our astrology. If we prefer the symmetry the equal or whole sign systems make more sense. We are spared unequal houses and intercepted signs.

The counter argument is that by choosing to work with the ecliptic and its relationship to the earth in house systems we have to accept unequal houses because that is what nature gives us if we rely on the rising time of signs.

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly


Last edited by Mark on Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paul
Administrator


Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1526

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:

Basically, in my location two houses take up well over 1/3 of the entire chart! It starts to get silly. I was uncomfortable about this for a long time. That and the messy issue of intercepted houses.


Mark

I'm curious, what house system do you prefer? Equal or Whole?

Also with regards the discussion of examining any potential difference between the MC and equal 10th house, I suppose Scottish charts are probably ideal for discovering the possible differences. Have you ever looked into this?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5024
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:

Quote:
I'm curious, what house system do you prefer? Equal or Whole?


At present I use Whole Sign for natal. But I like to compare charts with Equal too. Especially, since SF is poor at displaying WSH directed along the ASC/DESC axis. I therefore tend to display charts in Equal. That is useful for looking at sect and above/below horizon emphasis. The planetary rulers of houses are the same in both systems anyway.

On horary I have been quite undecided on house systems since I stopped using quadrant systems. That is probably the major reason I stopped doing horary for several years. I cant quite bring myself to use WSH for horary. I just feel the ASC/DESC axis is even more crucial in horary so my inclination is to default to Equal for horary at present. Of course that does muddy the water rather from the point of view of giving a crystal clear horary delineation since I still use the MC/IC. If I reverted to a quadrant system for horary it would very likely be Alcabitius or Porphyry which dont produce such stretched/shrunken houses at high latitudes as do Placidus , Topocentric, Regiomontanus or worst of all Campanus! In my own chart Campanus gives over 200 degrees to 2 of my houses, Regiomontanus over 150, and Placidus 140.

Still, its all a perception issue. Our member Andrew Bevan lives further north than I do in Oslo, Norway and he still seems to get results he is perfectly content with professionally using Regiomontanus houses.

Its just not something I would be at all comfortable with myself. If I relocated my natal chart to Oslo and used Regiomontanus I would have 2 houses taking up nearly 190 degrees of the chart. I would also have 6 houses making up less than 60 degrees of the chart in total.

Paul wrote:
Quote:
Also with regards the discussion of examining any potential difference between the MC and equal 10th house, I suppose Scottish charts are probably ideal for discovering the possible differences. Have you ever looked into this?


This whole issue of nonagesimal vs MC has only really occured to me since I started looking at charts with Equal houses. My interest in the nonagesimal is as a sensitive point in the chart. However, the planetary ruler of the nonagesimal is the same as the 10th WSH ruler.

When I have examined charts I have tended to find the nonagesimal ruler is often not as prominent in revealing career or life vocation compared the MC. Some whole sign supporters try and argue otherwise but it doesn't match my experience when you have the MC in a different house from the nonagesimal.

So I still very much rely on the MC even though I dont see it as a house cusp. But then I also follow the ancients and look at the lot of fortune for this kind of issue too.

I am a tad wary of seeking to delineate destiny by placement of the MC in Whole Sign or Equal Houses. Not least as on a large scale latitude can have an effect on the proportion of charts with the MC in certain houses. Although my 9th house MC in Equal/WSH fits perfectly of course!

It would be interesting to create a more practical thread where we could share charts on this issue. Delineating just what the Nonagesimal (Equal + WSH 10th ruler) indicates in charts is intriguing.

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paul
Administrator


Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1526

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:

At present I use Whole Sign for natal. But I like to compare charts with Equal too. Especially, since SF is poor at displaying WSH directed along the ASC/DESC axis. I therefore tend to display charts in Equal. That is useful for looking at sect and above/below horizon emphasis. The planetary rulers of houses are the same in both systems anyway.


Right, I understand. I use Whole Signs for profections as I think the profection is really incremental by sign, and I do the same thing, I look at the chart in equal and then count to reach my sign, and can observe sect much easier.

Quote:
On horary I have been quite undecided on house systems since I stopped using quadrant systems. That is probably the major reason I stopped doing horary for several years. I cant quite bring myself to use WSH for horary. I just feel the ASC/DESC axis is even more crucial in horary so my inclination is to default to Equal for horary at present.


I use Regiomontanus for absolutely no good reason but have begun casting the charts in Placidus and equal as well. Obviously we have correlate with Placidus in that in horary we can observe planetary hours (or find agreement with the ascendant if we're into that) and placidus is basically a diagram of pairs of planetary hours.

Quote:
In my own chart Campanus gives over 200 degrees to 2 of my houses, Regiomontanus over 150, and Placidus 140.


!
Right, ye I can understand the hesitancy!
I have to say that whenever I get intercepted houses with a quadrant house I do sometimes use this information in that it symbolically suggests being contained, surrounded or imprisoned (depending on the house and the other symoblism) which I guess is a modern horary method, but I do have a small doubt in my mind when I use it and can't help but also check the equal house cusps as well and their rulers to see if the chart makes more sense that way.

Ultimately I think as astrologers we're all very idiosyncratic!

Quote:

When I have examined charts I have tended to find the nonagesimal ruler is often not as prominent in revealing career or life vocation compared the MC. Some whole sign supporters try and argue otherwise but it doesn't match my experience when you have the MC in a different house from the nonagesimal.


Normally when I have observed the nonagesimal as being prominent is less to do with the ruler, the more I think back on this, and more to do with its position as a point elevated in the chart which aspects the ascedant by 90º, it's just that I always referenced this planet mentally as being "on the equal 10th house cusp".

Quote:
So I still very much rely on the MC even though I dont see it as a house cusp. But then I also follow the ancients and look at the lot of fortune for this kind of issue too.


Fortune or spirit? Sorry for the random tangent, it's just that I associate the lot of spirit with MC matters, and the lot of fortune with Asc matters. Maybe I have it all backwards.

Quote:
Although my 9th house MC in Equal/WSH fits perfectly of course!


Right, and I think this kind of personal testimony is important, especially when coming from an experienced astrologer (as opposed to someone still going by cookbook primarily).

Personally I have the MC within my equal/whole sign 10th house so I can only go by observation of others.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5024
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Quote:
Fortune or spirit? Sorry for the random tangent, it's just that I associate the lot of spirit with MC matters, and the lot of fortune with Asc matters. Maybe I have it all backwards.


Its certainly the case that ancient astrologers like Vettius Valens use Fortune as an alternative starting point for charts. Although sometimes this done with Spirit too in ancient astrology. I assume this is where you are getting this ASC/MC analogy from? You also have the use of the LOF as a Hyleg for length of life calculation

While this outlook has some utility these pivotal lots have quite distinctive meanings that dont always easily fit into this kind of categorization. For example, Fortune is associated with our body like the ASC but Spirit is more about our character. Plus Fortune is traditionally more linked to career than Spirit. So I think its better not to oversimplify their meanings with house associations too much. The ancients actually compared these two lots to the luminaries not the houses.

Associated with the Moon, Fortune is our fated destiny. Hence its linked to the body. The Lot of Spirit (Daimon) is associated with the Sun and is meant to reflect our intellectual and spiritual demeanour and our character. They both have connection to reputation but Fortune is usually given more emphasis for career. We might question that today where we have more choice of occupation than the ancients. Nevertheless, I have usually found the Lot of Fortune (by house and planetary ruler) more often reflective of the kind of career people take up. However,some sources suggest they can swop meanings in certain charts. For example, in a night chart where both luminaries are below the earth. That idea has tended to work out more often than not in the charts I have examined.

Associations of the Lot of Fortune:
1 Fated Destiny (Tyche)
2 Body
3 Reputation/Career
4 Material wealth
5 Length of life
6 Kind of Death

Associations of the Lot of Spirit (Daimon)
1 Spirit (Daimon)
2 Intentional mind /will
3 Reputation
4 Character
5 Spiritual observances

Ancient interlude over!

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paul
Administrator


Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1526

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:

Its certainly the case that ancient astrologers like Vettius Valens use Fortune as an alternative starting point for charts. Although sometimes this is done with Spirit too in ancient astrology. I assume this is where you are getting this ASC/MC analogy from? You also have the use of the LOF as a Hyleg for length of life calculation


Actually no, I always took it that you could create a house structure from any of the hermetic lots, but as fortune closely resembles the body as does the ascendant, there's an argument to be made for focusing on it.

Quote:
For example, Fortune is associated with our body like the ASC but Spirit is more about our character. Plus Fortune is traditionally more linked to career than Spirit.


That's really interesting, I may start a thread on this topic as it's a total tangent here.

I suppose in closing here, I would just say that i associate the Sun, MC and Spirit all with the idea of vocation and character and that sense of career. And fortune more with money and the physical assets we possess, which links to our career, but really more in terms of the profitability of it. With the tenth from fortune as being particularly effective. Hence to have Spirit at the tenth from fortune is an alignment with vocation and profitability.
In addition, I always understand releasing from spirit as pertaining to matters associated with what one is known for and ones career and standing in the world, and fortune for physical matters, and financial concerns.

Maybe worth a thread of its own at some point. Sometimes these topics bring up other useful discussions, particularly for me I would have made some assumptions that I thought were broadly recognised only to see they are anything but. Apologies for this detour!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5024
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Quote:
Maybe worth a thread of its own at some point.

Yes indeed. I am interested in exploring chart examples demonstrating these ideas in practice.

Paul wrote:
Quote:
I suppose in closing here, I would just say that i associate the Sun, MC and Spirit all with the idea of vocation and character and that sense of career. And fortune more with money and the physical assets we possess, which links to our career, but really more in terms of the profitability of it. With the tenth from fortune as being particularly effective. Hence to have Spirit at the tenth from fortune is an alignment with vocation and profitability.

In addition, I always understand releasing from spirit as pertaining to matters associated with what one is known for and ones career and standing in the world, and fortune for physical matters, and financial concerns.


Such a big topic your raising here! For the ancients the Goddess Tyche (fate and luck) usually determined their career. You do make a good case for considering the LOS rather than LOF as vocation.

However, I would say vocation and career/occupation are often at odds for most people. Astrology is really my real vocation or passion but its not how I earn my living or pay the bills. While an occupation is a job, a vocation is a calling. In fact, the word “vocation,” from the Latin vocare, means “calling.” When we take our skills, abilities and values into consideration, a vocation is that thing we find ourselves naturally drawn towards, that thing that we do because we love it, because it matters deeply to us, and that we would do if money weren’t an issue. Its therefore a very fortunate person that manages to combine vocation and occupation together. In any case I totally agree LOS relates to vocation. The LOS is about fulfilling our higher self. Vocation allows you to 'Follow your bliss'' as Joseph Campbell said.

Paul wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes these topics bring up other useful discussions, particularly for me I would have made some assumptions that I thought were broadly recognised only to see they are anything but.


Like so much of astrology our views on this topic tap into free will and determinism. I agree its a rich topic that fully justifies its own thread. I will therefore open this topic once life quietens down for me a bit next week.

Paul wrote:
Quote:
Apologies for this detour!


Me too!
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paul
Administrator


Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1526

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Sternbach wrote:

I wonder if you already have any observations on what Equal house positions may signify in practical application, as contrasted with Placidus.


I have to say I have never thought too much about it until this topic (so thank you for that) except that I find myself interested in planets which are at the equal 10th house cusp, by transit and natally, in terms of describing a sense of vocation, and whilst I do the same thing for the MC I guess I'm, not consciously, seeing this as more like career. This whole topic of differentiation between career and vocation is one I have not really considered too closely before. I would separate jobs from careers of course, but really I think a career is doing something in which you find you express some part of yourself in a particular way such that doing your career is important because it brings out some quality in you. Unlike a job which is just doing something to be paid. But maybe that's overly simplistic and childish. A vocation then is what pulls at you or calls to you (as Mark said) but I would also say it's where you call out too, it is not just that you are called, but it is also a quality about you which calls out and pings those around you, such that they, on some level, recognise this quality about you. People may refer to you as an artist even though you are busy working on your career in banking, for example. Because in some ways banking is a way to express something about your character but your vocation is the quality about you that that in some ways embodies what could be perceived as some of your strengths and talents and which feeds you in some way.

I think I need to think about all these terms more deeply and figure out in which way they may apply to a chart. I am a web developer, that's my profession/career but I also think subjects like teaching, writing and astrology all call to me in various ways as well, perhaps they are vocational. If so how is this seen in my chart? That's what I need to think about. Thanks for raising this thread, it's lead to other avenues of thought that are equally as interesting.

Quote:
So, in other words, you are suggesting that, even though the house cusps have an orb extending on both of their sides, this would have a different meaning on each side? In other words, the meaning of the cusp in the aspect would depend on whether the aspect is applicative or separative?


Right, applicative or separative by primary motion of course. In many ways this is how I understand the whole wheel of houses anyway. Planets are due to 'succeed' to the angles, they do so and are in power, then they fall away into the cadent houses. I often see cadent houses as being like retirement in many ways, you move away from the limelight and focus on things behind the scenes, and for me all the cadent houses carry that connotation of 'moving away from the present situation' or instead that sense of retreat depending on how you view it. I appreciate that not everyone would see the houses like that. So really for me I see the planets enter into a house, and then through the course of their time in that house they are altered by that house and its qualities/signification and then as it reaches the house cusp it becomes the most 'house-like' of that house it can be, the most capable of signifying something about that house also. So that a planet on the cusp of the fifth house (to use that example again) is capable of co-signifying the matters of that house as it has absorbed the symbolism of its stay there as much as is possible, then it moves away and retreats from the podium as it were as it sinks away from the house cusp. This is, for me, how I make sense of the situation and it explains, for me, the 5 degree rule, which I do observe with houses. In fact I would extend it by a bit for angles (as in planets which are cadent from the angle).

So in this instance it is less important what the orb of the planet is and indeed its own motion (perhaps). I see planetary orbs as useful for seeing whether light is cast and shed into the light of another planet, but really we're not talking about casting light in the case of observation of house cusps, we're instead seeing whether a given planet, whatever its light, is coming to the epitome of the house signification (signified by the cusp) or is falling away from it. I suppose we could apply the orb here, but if we did, for me, it would have be a very different planet when it's falling away from the house cusp than when its still to reach its pinnacle there, even only if as a matter of potential.

Quote:

Vehlow also realised the traditional orb of the Sun is 15° on either side and imagined it rising on the ASC degree. Hence he calls his type of house system 'solar'.


Right, I was aware of the Vehlow system but not why it used 15 degrees around the ascendant as its cusps. That's very interesting really. Again, for me, it probably shows once again how actually all these house systems really are based on equally valid philosophical ideas. (Thanks Mark and Michael for this information)

Quote:
Well, the ancient microcosm = macrocosm concept ,which is really the philosophical basis of astrology, was also understood to mean 1 day = 1 year, as exemplified in our secondary directions and in the the wheel of houses as reflecting the zodiac.


Yeah, good point.

Quote:
it made me wonder whether their unbiased view actually allowed them to spontaneously perceive something more clearly as odd which modern astrologers (including myself) have been trained to accept unquestioningly.


Right, I know what you mean, but it's also possible that they're just as equally unconsciously responding to their own symbolism in the chart. For example my sister has all her planets in about three to four signs. It's incredibly bunched up. Another person I know has a whole load of planets on one side with only one planet on the other (a bucket chart) and all these things are noteworthy perhaps - they are certainly noticeable. I am all for making note of them and remarking upon them and even building it into our astrological judgements. I would be against any notion that because of them, we ought to instead use some other set of data so that there is more symmetry. The fact that it is popping out to us is, for me, possibly because it's worth mentioning, and not because it's worth hiding from basically.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
RodJM



Joined: 02 Feb 2014
Posts: 82
Location: Tasmania!

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a good way to look at this issue is to take into account the views of Dane Rudhyar in his article
> http://www.khaldea.com/rudhyar/astroarticles/housesrepresent.php\

Quote:
The Placidian system of house division — based on the diurnal and nocturnal movement of every degree of the zodiac — is today the system used by all but a very few astrologers, and tables of houses for other systems of house division are not generally available. Yet the Campanus method is more in accord with the type of understanding of the framework of houses which I have attempted to convey, as it is more basically a method of division of the space itself which surrounds the new-born. The publication of a complete set of Campanus Tables would indeed be most welcome.

The most essential point, at present, is not, however, which method is best to use — though some are, no doubt, far more logical than others. The problem is far deeper and reaches to the very roots of one's conception of astrology; here again, the greatest obstacle to a consistent and really significant approach is the idea that the planets and stars are directly and literally "influencing" individuals by mysterious waves or rays of force which strike our bodies as do light or radio beams.


I found these comments to be extremely revealing, not to mention down right logical with regards to the Campanus house system.
_________________
Libra Sun/ Pisces Moon/ Sagittarius Rising
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Atlantean



Joined: 14 Aug 2009
Posts: 396

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Paul,

Re: "Is there really only one, for example, fifth house?"

I've yet to see a chart with more than one. Wink Arbitrarily, the 5th House could be located anywhere. If you ask a group of average American college students, "where is Ukraine?", you'll get a whole variety of answers.... some close, some ridiculous. House division is similar. The Ukraine does have an exact location. So does the 5th House cusp.

Re: "If so, then in order to discover what the formulae should be for discovering it, we need to ask what is the philosophical premise underlying the signification and symbolism for what the fifth house is supposed to be. Then we can examine all the varying ways of attempting to calculate that point and see which ones are the most accurate."

You don't have to erase the whole blackboard! We already KNOW (by virtually universally accepted agreement) what the "things of the 5th House" (for the most part) are... Issues with children, speculation, showing personal excellence in front of others, as well as romantic relationships relate to the 5th House. "Children" is a pretty much universal theme for the 5th House, so that is a good event to anchor the house around. Take well-timed births, plot Topocentric Primary Directions and Secondary Progressions for when children were born, there will be conspicuous activation of the 5th House (cusp to just scant minutes of arc) for these events, if the birthtime is correct.

Re: "The problem, of course, is that there's no one singular philosophical symbolism behind the fifth house - and therefore we are forced towards agnosticism about what the method should be for discovering it."

As above...children appear to be virtually universally accepted as 5th House territory. To appreciate a Ferrari, we shouldn't have to first reinvent the wheel. Wink

Re: "Contrast this with PI like in your example, which is a real property and mathematically pure and true - there are not several PIs, there is just one. The same is not true for house cusps."

Au contraire! That is exactly what I am stating, that there is one true 5th House cusp and an endless plethora of good and bad approximations.

Re: "In fact, in some situations, we can clearly see that a Topocentric fifth is just a symbolic approximation."

Demonstrate one situation in which that is the case. What you're saying is directly opposite experience. In well-timed horoscopes, there will be (conspicuous) activation of the relevant cusps for most events when examined using Topocentric Primary Directions and Secondary Progressions.

Re: "Returning to my example of equal at least showing an exact aspectual relationship to the ascendant, and as we can infer that house meanings derive, if only in part, to this aspectual relationship, then clearly both equal and whole are more accurate depending on whether we wish to focus on partile aspects or aspects by sign alone. With this context in mind, Equal/Whole triumphs and Topocentric is just a rough approximation."

Whoa, your horse is getting away from you. In Equal/Whole sign houses, one is merely reducing the cusp to be an angle from the Ascendant or Midheaven, etc. You haven't added precision, you've reduced it. (by making every house arbitrarily 30° wide despite spherical trigonometry!)

Re: "Again, in this situation, Topocentric is a philosophical house system which is in error in contrast to Placidus."

Please, for the sake of me understanding where you are coming from, define what YOU mean by "philosophical house system", keeping in mind that Topocentric was derived by taking well-timed horoscopes and seeing where the cusps ARE relative to events of the nature of those houses. ie. the system was empirically defined (to me, the exact opposite of Placidus, etc. which truly ARE arbitrary, philosophically defined constructs.)

Re: "Symbolically all the fifth house cusps are valid in that they place their focus/context in one place and then calculate around that focus."

However, if we calculate Primary Directions (using Carl Kühr's necessary correction in methodology), we will always find those cusps to be in the locations indicated by Topocentric Houses. They will NOT occasionally be where Placidus would define them, where Regiomontanus would define them, and certainly not in some even angle from the Ascendant or Midheaven.

Re: "Unlike, then, with PI, or its attempts to calculate it. Because there are no perfectly exact calculations of PI available (we're still finding new numbers at infinitesimal scales), all attempts to calculate it are approximations of greater or lesser accuracy - some are more accurate than others but they are all attempts to calculate, or approximations of PI."

In that analogy, Topocentric is 3.1415926535897932384626433832. Not exact, but close enough to allow us to fly to the Moon.

Placidus would be 3.14159, which is actually not half bad!

Koch would be 4.5

Equal House would be 3.

Re: "But house systems do not claim to be attempting to derive the same point."

Correct. If you're not looking for a very specific point (the cusp, hot-spot) that is activated reliably at events of the nature of that House's symbolism, then you wouldn't necessary arrive at Topocentric. If you ARE looking for that, Topocentric will be the last place you'll need look.

Re: "Regiomontanus does not claim to be marking the division of time it takes for a planet to rise, culminate and set, Placidus does not claim to be marking aspectual relatinoships to the ascendant."

Alexander Marr published tables for Regiomontanus! Up until finding Topocentric, he was promoting Regiomontanus. When Primary Directions were unreliable (cusp-wise) in Regiomontanus, he investigated Topocentric and found activations to always be within 0° 11' of arc, but only in Topocentric.

Re: "They all have different claims and therefore different contexts or different filters for examining our data. House systems, for me, are just filters, we swap one out for another depending on what our focus is and what our philosophical preferences are."

If you're NOT wanting a specific point that is conspicuously activated at times of events of the nature of the house, ie. you're just looking for a large swath of sky that roughly pertains to the themes of the house, then you could use many different house systems., that is true.

Re: "I appreciate that Topocentric comes with big claims about empirical derivation."

The origin of Topocentric Houses is not some long-forgotten tale that is verbally passed amongst witches or only found in obscure, carefully hidden tomes. It is specifically documented, available online, and describes exactly the methodology for finding where the cusps SHOULD be. ie. located where there are specific activations of that point (by Primary Direction, and interestingly confirmed completely by Secondary Progressions, even though one system is based on the Rotation of the Earth, the other on the Revolution) when events of the nature of the House's symbolism, verified by actual dated events from real lives in well-timed horoscopes.


James
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5024
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it totally implausible that astrologers have all been wandering in the dark for over 2000 years before two guys came up with the Topocentric house system in the mid 1960s.

The idea that astrology can be reduced to a narrow set of techniques to work effectively is a total anathema to me. We seem to ignore the human factor that supercedes any technique. I think this is an influence of modern mechanistic thinking. In the past astrologers showed a great degree of humility. They acknowledged they couldn't do meaningful astrology without the consent of the Gods or God. Too often nowadays the attitude of the astrologer is seen as an afterthought. Instead we seem to think the correct technique guarantees success as if astrology was an empirical science. It isn't. If it was our results would be replicatable like any other science.

The artist William Blake retained a sceptical sentiment regarding an extreme focus on empiricism. His work on Newton , exemplifies that view:

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-newton-n05058

I think there is a lesson for astrologers in that work.

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly


Last edited by Mark on Fri May 02, 2014 11:07 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paul
Administrator


Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1526

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atlantean wrote:
Hello Paul,

Re: "Is there really only one, for example, fifth house?"

I've yet to see a chart with more than one. Wink Arbitrarily, the 5th House could be located anywhere. If you ask a group of average American college students, "where is the Ukraine?", you'll get a whole variety of answers.... some close, some ridiculous. House division is similar. The Ukraine does have an exact location. So does the 5th House cusp.


Right, I think that's a major difference in our approaches. I do not believe that there is one exact fifth house. The great difference of course between the fifth house and ukraine is that I can go and point at Ukraine. It does have a precise location. Houses do not. They do not exist. They are nothing more or less than mathematical abstractions we use to symbolically divide up the sky in whatever way we wish to employ.

Of course we only draw in one house cusp at any one time. But just because we only draw in that data, doesn't mean the rest of the data for the other house cusps ceases to exist. In every single chart, there is an equal house fifth cusp, a placidus one, a topocentric one and every other one besides. We just choose which one we want to see based on our own biases, preferences or philosophies. And many of us, myself included, may be partial to looking at two, such as using whole signs or equal houses with a quadrant division.

Would the real fifth house cusp please stand up? And would someone point it out to me in the sky or state exactly why the fifth cannot be based by some other division? As an analogy the north node and south node cannot be pointed in the sky either, but they are based on firm philosophical grounds as the turning north or south of the ecliptic for the moon's orbit. It has, therefore, a firm and precise definition for its calculation. The fifth house cusp is just a third of a division of some great circle - insert whichever great circle you wish.

Quote:
You don't have to erase the whole blackboard! We already KNOW (by virtually universally accepted agreement) what the "things of the 5th House" (for the most part) are... Issues with children, speculation, showing personal excellence in front of others, as well as romantic relationships relate to the 5th House.


Right, but this is not the philosophical foundation for the fifth, this is the result/conclusion of that foundation being extended into something practical.

My question wasn't "what are the significations of the fifth" which you describe, but rather "why are those the significations of the fifth".

We have to look at the fact that it is in an aspectual relationship to the ascendant, that the aspect involved is a trine, that it is succedent to the angle (in this the case the angle of parents for example), that it is the joy of a benefic, of venus in particular, and presumably many other attributions. That it is divided in some way appealing to Topocentric houses doesn't come into it.

Quote:
Au contraire! That is exactly what I am stating, that there is one true 5th House cusp and an endless plethora of good and bad approximations.


Right, that is indeed what you're stating. I am stating the converse.

As an example, provide, on philosophical basis, why only topocentric fits with the symbolism of a house cusp?

That is the problem. There isn't one. Any of the houses can philosophically claim to provide symbolic meaningfulness to the sky, and it is really this meaningful quality that we observe when we use house cusps. And meaningfulness is as much dictated by what we are looking for in the first place, or where we derive meaning from.

Unlike the Ukraine or PI, which can only have one place or one value, the fifth house is simply a mathematical division of the sky. And to a large extent, any mathematical division will do. It may all depend on our context. To return to my analogy before, viewing the world through different lenses will alter how we view that world, but it won't alter the world itself. Just our perception of it, which may depend on what exactly we wish to examine or the context we wish to employ for whatever reason we are wanting to view it for in the first place. The organism under the microscope doesn't change, but something can be more visible or less visible depending on our lens, and when we use that lens, we lose the focus on something else.

Quote:
Re: "In fact, in some situations, we can clearly see that a Topocentric fifth is just a symbolic approximation."

Demonstrate one situation in which that is the case.


IN order to do it, let me ask, what is a 5th house cusp?
Because really that determines whether Topocentric is best or not. If I take it that houses are aspectual relationships to the ascendant, then Topocentric is just an approximation.
But let's take the example that I wish to track pairs of planetary hours via the cusps, in this example Placidus works best. Every single house cusp represents the movement of a planet as it passes through two planetary hours. In order words if I wish to divide based on times of rising, culminating and setting, then Placidus is accurate. Topocentric isn't.

I use a technique called profections whereby at the solar return the focus comes to a given sign (and its ruler and the planets in that sign etc). And really this involves the movement by whole sign houses, as the topic of the house for which that sign is on the cusp determines the nature of the profection. For example, when I was in a fourth place/house profection year, determined by profection forwards one sign/house incrementally each year until that year, the fourth house, indicated changes in my home. Which indeed was the case. If I were to have used a quadrant based house system, then I would not have been in a fourth place profection, and the symbolism wouldn't have held as clearly.

So you see, it depends on what we're using our houses for, as to whether a given house system is best for us in a given situation. And, also as you can see, the world isn't divided into people who use their own empirical observations based on their own experience and therefore all use Topocentric, versus those who don't and, in their ignorance, use some other house system.

Quote:
by making every house arbitrarily 30° wide despite spherical trigonometry!)


Actually the assumption you've made here is that houses are based on spherical trigonometry, and of course, in some instances it is the case that they are calculated using spherical trignometry, but it is not the case that any are based on it.

Really what a house is, is a division of some great circle from a given starting point, normally the ascendant. As to what great circle is being divided will depend on what we need to do in order to divide. Certainly some require spherical trigonometry, but not all do.

The important point is that we are just dividing a great circle into 12 - that is the chief focus. The focus isn't in using spherical trigonometry and then finding ways to make use of it for our astrology. It is about dividing the ecliptic, the equator, the horizon, whatever, into equal sections, and then using the best tool for the job to achieve that, in some instances that will be spherical trigonometry, but spherical trigonometry is not philosophical basis for house cusps, it is just a mathematically convenient way for us to divide a great circle from our vantage point, in such situations where we might need to do that.

Quote:
Please, for the sake of me understanding where you are coming from, define what YOU mean by "philosophical house system", keeping in mind that Topocentric was derived by taking well-timed horoscopes and seeing where the cusps ARE relative to events of the nature of those houses. ie. the system was empirically defined (to me, the exact opposite of Placidus, etc. which truly ARE arbitrary, philosophically defined constructs.)


Philosophical meaning that it is dependent upon a given philosophy of division - ie, should we define divisions of the sky from the zenith and prime vertical etc. like Campanus? Is that what we ought to divide? Or should we recognise that this removes the importance of the ecliptic (and therefore the sun's path which seems to be so important) and instead make an ecliptical division? Or should we be observing the rising and setting of planets and the time it takes for them to do so?

These are philosophical considerations and house systems are, traditionally at least, based upon those those philosophical questions.

I did make a specific caveat that Topocentric house cusps have a strong claim for being derived from empirical observation, but of course they are equally mathematically derived for our own charts (nobody has empirically demonstrated them for our own charts of course), and so has some philosophy attached to it, even if it is claimed that this placement was empirically derived. As I said in my last post, I am fairly opaque as to what exactly is being divided with Topocentric cusps, I tried to follow it before and understood some of it and couldn't fathom other parts.

But as far as I know, nobody has released all the case notes and blind studies which demonstrated Topocentric cusps, so, for me, the claim is just a claim. It may be an accurate one of course, I don't know. I only recently (a couple of years ago) created a little program for myself which calculates Topocentric cusps so that I could test them myself (as up until then I was just using astrodienst). So far they seem no more relevant to me than other cusps, but then I do not do primary directions via Topocentric cusps so I'm completely open minded that they may be better for the job. But I also am aware of others who have tried Placidean cusps and compared to Topocentric and have stated they prefer Placidus.

Personally I have a tendency, right or wrong, to take any claim of empiricity with astrology with a dose of salt until the data is opened up to public scrutiny. For example, on another forum someone contradicted age old horary judgements based on the "thousands of case studies of Doris Doane" - none of which are available for scrutiny nor indeed is there any proof of their existence. I always accept personal testimony and personal preference and personal experience, but I do not take it to be empirically proven to anyone else but themselves when things like this happen.

This isn't a polemic against Topocentric houses or the claims for Topocentric houses, as I've nothing for or against them either way, but a more general comment that until such time that we can actually verify a claim, I take all such claims with a pinch of salt.

But as I say, I have never used Topocentric primary directions (mostly as I don't have software to calculate them and am too lazy to do it by hand or indeed program them). So take my comments in that context.

Quote:
Correct. If you're not looking for a very specific point (the cusp, hot-spot) that is activated reliably at events of the nature of that House's symbolism, then you wouldn't necessary arrive at Topocentric. If you ARE looking for that, Topocentric will be the last place you'll need look.


Right, so says the person advocating Topocentric. The Huber school insist of course that accuracy can be found with Koch instead - their Huber clock, we're reliably informed, only works best with Koch.

Others say we should use Placidus. Others are adamant it's Whole.

What's a boy to do when everyone is sure that their house system is the house system?

Quote:
lexander Marr published tables for Regiomontanus! Up until finding Topocentric, he was promoting Regiomontanus. When Primary Directions were unreliable (cusp-wise) in Regiomontanus, he investigated Topocentric and found activations to always be within 0° 11' of arc, but only in Topocentric.


That's very compelling. Did he publish his results somewhere and demonstrate his comparisons between all the popular house systems?

Quote:
The origin of Topocentric Houses is not some long-forgotten tale that is verbally passed amongst witches or only found in obscure, carefully hidden tomes. It is specifically documented, available online, and describes exactly the methodology for finding where the cusps SHOULD be


Great, could you link me? I am not saying I will get around to reading it all today or even this month, but I will read through it, if I haven't already.

I'm particularly interested in the part where it was seen that the derivation was formed based on empirical observation. As I said above, I built a program that calculate Topocentric house positions for me so I can examine some of the claims better than when I first looked into Topocentric and couldnt' actually cast any charts to examine it.

But one thing I would say, that is worth saying in bold: We are not comparing and contrasting Topocentric Cusps in this thread. This thread is more broadly about equal houses vs quadrant houses.

Obviously you have drawn your line in the sand at quadrant house cusps and that's fine, Topocentric in particular. But I want to make sure we don't deviate and start talking exclusively of Topocentric houses.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5024
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the source for Topocentric houses Wendel Polich and Nelson Page first proposed this house system in an article in the astrological magazine Spica
entitled , “The Topocentric System of Houses,” Spica, 1964, Vol. 3, No. 3, p. 1-10

Here is a link: http://www.levante.org/domification/topocentre1.html

Here is an article by Michael Wackford which is critical of the mathematical logic of Topocentric houses in comparison to precisely calculated Placidus houses:

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/wackford.html

On the mathematical side of things I found an interview with James Neely on the web. I thought his comments were very interesting on the mathematical similarity between Topocentric and Placidus house cusps. I always knew they produced very similar house cusps to Placidus but not why. Although, Neely doesn't raise the issue it surely poses a question over whether Polich and Page' (who developed Topcentric houses) were being completely straightforward that they 'discovered' this system purely based on empirical study of nativities. Mathematically, Topocentric house cusps can be obtained by a trisection approximation of Placidus!

Here are the relevant comments from the interview:

Quote:
One other little tidbit I had hoped to publish in detail one day, but never got around to it, is a relationship between the Placidus and Topocentric house systems. Actually I put the method into Program 01646A of the HP-65 Users' Library which gives three options for approximations to the Placidus house system.

The gist of the matter is this. In a 1968 publication ["Mechanics of Tables of Houses," Golden Seal Research Headquarters, Hollywood, CA], J. Allen Jones outlines approximation methods for computing Placidus cusps. At the time, approximation methods were all we had, for the exact solution to Placidus cusps requires an iterative process since there is no closed form solution to the equations.

All Placidian approximation methods are based upon a spatial semi-arc trisection which approximates the temporal semi-arc trisection used in the exact method. The Raphael tables are computed from a trisection of the semi-arc whose declination is equal to the obliquity of the ecliptic (about 26°26'), which is the declination of 0° Cancer.

The Dalton tables are computed from a trisection of the semi-arc whose declination is 18°16', which is the declination of 22° Taurus. Other approximations could be made by using any other reasonable declination.

But if you take the limit as the declination approaches 0°, which is the declination of 0° Aries, the results are identical to the Topocentric system of Polich and Page. I wrote to Polich about this and he was delighted to learn of the correspondence between his system and the Placidus system.


http://www.astrologysoftware.com/community/astrologer/astrologer_neely.asp
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly


Last edited by Mark on Fri May 02, 2014 1:11 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Paul
Administrator


Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1526

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Mathematically, Topocentric house cusps can be obtained by a trisection approximation of Placidus!


Thanks Mark

I remember making a similar point in a previous discussion between Placidus cusps and Topocentric cusps. Unfortunately I am too mathematically obtuse (excuse the bad pun) to work out all the trigonometry myself because Topocentric seemed like it was dividing one thing, and then making conditions.

It may be worth reviving this thread to discuss Topocentric houses:
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7462&sid=039d57dd769c83c0a2ab074f2a2dc83a

My understanding is that Topocentric is a very similar algorithm that Placidus employs, and then fudges it slightly. I actually wondered at one point if Topocentric was really a different house system or an attempt to more accurately measure Placidus. But as I say, I don't know enough about the internal mathematics.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mark
Moderator


Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5024
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Fri May 02, 2014 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul wrote:
Quote:
It may be worth reviving this thread to discuss Topocentric houses:
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7462&sid=039d57dd769c83c0a2ab074f2a2dc83a

Agreed. I think we should take the discussion there now. We can transfer some of our posts over there.

By the way I have now inserted a link in my previous post to the original article by Wendel Polich and Nelson Page from 1964. Also an article by Michael Wackford on this system.

Mark
_________________
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Nativities & General Astrology All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 4 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

       
Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated