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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Balanced Equal Houses: A new and better Equal house system?

 
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Cruiser1



Joined: 27 Sep 2017
Posts: 37
Location: Seattle, WA

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:24 am    Post subject: Balanced Equal Houses: A new and better Equal house system? Reply with quote



The most common Equal house system (and what an astrologer usually means when they say "Equal Houses") is "Ascendant based Equal houses". In this system, the 1st house cusp is defined to be the location of the Ascendant, with the rest of the cusps distributed equally from that point. However, one issue with it is that the 10th house will be different from the Midheaven. At high latitudes, the Asc and MC can get very close to each other, meaning in Equal (Asc based) houses, the MC may lie anywhere from the 7th through the 12th houses (and the MC may be up to 90 degrees away from the 10th house cusp). Unlike quadrant systems, there will be separate transit dates for a planet hitting the zodiac position of the MC versus hitting the 10th cusp.

A less common Equal house system (but still present in most astrology software) is "Midheaven based Equal houses". In this system, the 10th house cusp is defined to be the location of the Midheaven, however the 1st house will be different from the Ascendant, and the Asc may be up to 90 degrees away from the 1st cusp.

Which Equal system is best or more "correct"? The Equal (Asc) system seems to be more popular, since the Ascendant is sometimes given more influence than the Midheaven. However, all the Angles are important, and it would be nice if Equal houses didn't focus entirely on the Asc and completely ignore the MC (or vice-versa).

"Balanced Equal Houses" is a new Equal house system which splits the difference and treats all the Angles equally in a balanced manner. Very Happy The difference between the Asc and MC is applied to both the 1st and 10th cusps equally, so the amount the Asc is different from the 1st cusp is always the same as the amount the MC is different from the 10th. Both the Asc and the MC will never be more than 45 degrees away from their corresponding cusp, even in the most extreme polar charts. More technically, Balanced Equal Houses is defined by placing the Asc/MC midpoint in the middle of the 11th house, which ensures a balanced distribution.

In the animation above (which I created using a pre-release version of "Astrolog") you can see classic Equal (Asc) houses, the alternative Equal (MC) houses, and the new Balanced Equal house systems in effect. There are three wheels, one in each house system, each showing the exact same chart data over time. It's for a high latitude location, in which the Asc and MC will get very near each other. The purple "Asc+MC" glyph is the Asc/MC midpoint. Notice how this midpoint is perfectly stationary in the Balanced Equal Houses wheel, and the Angles move more smoothly than in the Equal (Asc) and Equal (MC) wheels.
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Ruud66



Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 51
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Awesome graphics. And a very creative idea. When you think all avenues of house division have been explored, someone comes up with something completely new...

But I'm afraid most astrologers will not easily give up the direct connection between the first house and the Ascendant.
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Paul
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009
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Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it comes to houses I often think a better way to begin is to imagine what the symbolism of the house is and how it relates to astronomy, and then focus the astronomy of the houses on reinforcing that symbolism.

There's nothing symbolic, unfortunately, on the asc-mc midpoint that connects to the houses, their symbolism or any kind of phenomenology of an experienced sky for the houses to be based off.
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Cruiser1



Joined: 27 Sep 2017
Posts: 37
Location: Seattle, WA

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruud66 wrote:
I'm afraid most astrologers will not easily give up the direct connection between the first house and the Ascendant.
But many astrologers already do this with other house systems that disassociate the Ascendant from the 1st cusp, such as Equal (MC based), Whole, Vehlow / Vedic, Morinus, and Meridian. Balanced Equal Houses and the others may not have the Ascendant always exactly equal to the 1st cusp, but they're at least always semi-near each other.

Paul wrote:
There's nothing symbolic, unfortunately, on the asc-mc midpoint that connects to the houses
Midpoint aficionados might disagree. Wink I'm not claiming there's anything fundamentally special about the Asc/MC midpoint. However including it in the animation does make it clearer how Balanced Equal Houses are calculated, and how they're different from the other two Equal systems. On the other hand, the Asc/MC midpoint could be considered fundamental, since it's the one point that's inclusive of and balanced between both the Ascendant and the Midheaven equally, and therefore invokes the power of all the Angles together! Cool

Paul wrote:
When it comes to houses I often think a better way to begin is to imagine what the symbolism of the house is and how it relates to astronomy, and then focus the astronomy of the houses on reinforcing that symbolism.
Indeed, however some people like and insist upon having equal sized 30 degree houses. Given their preference, how can you reconcile having 30 degree houses, and also having an Ascendant and Midheaven that aren't 90 degrees apart? You must either disassociate the Asc from the 1st cusp and/or disassociate the MC from the 10th cusp. Just looking at a 2D wheel, Balanced Equal Houses is the best it's possible to do with an Equal house system, or at least it's the way to minimize the amount either the Asc or MC drift away from their corresponding cusps.

However, if you do go to astronomy or consider the 3D celestial sphere, there are ways to reconcile the issue! Very Happy "3D Houses" has all 12 houses always cover the same size wedge of space, and also always has the Asc on the 1st house boundary, and the MC on the 10th house boundary. "3D houses" is the 3D model of Campanus, which is why Campanus is effectively "3D Equal houses": http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=9836
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Cruiser1



Joined: 27 Sep 2017
Posts: 37
Location: Seattle, WA

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new Astrolog version 7.00 implements Balanced Equal houses. Very Happy To display them, use the command line switch "-c 24". Note that the concept of centering house cusp positions around the Ascendant, vs. centering around the Midheaven, vs. a balance between the two as presented here, can be applied to other Equal house systems as well. Here are four more "new" house systems:

Midheaven based Whole houses: Standard Whole houses has the 1st house at the start of the sign of the Ascendant. Midheaven based Whole houses instead has the 10th house at the start of the sign of the Midheaven. In many cases this will produce the same results as classic Ascendant based Whole houses, however when the Asc and MC are significantly different from right angles to each other, then the houses will be aligned with different signs. This is similar to the difference between standard Equal houses which ties the 1st house to the Ascendant, and Equal (MC) houses which ties the 10th house to the Midheaven. In Astrolog, you can display Midheaven based Whole houses with the switch "-c 22".

Midheaven based Vedic houses: Standard Vedic or Vehlow houses is an Equal system which has the Ascendant in the middle of the 1st house. Midheaven based Vedic houses has the MC in the middle of the 10th house. In Astrolog, you can display Midheaven based Vedic houses with the switch "-c 23".

Balanced Whole houses: Similar to Balanced Equal houses, this is a mixture between classic Ascendant based Whole Houses, and Midheaven based Whole houses described above. Just as Ascendant based Whole houses has the Ascendant somewhere in the 1st house, and Midheaven based Whole houses has the Midheaven somewhere in the 10th, Balanced Whole houses ensures the Asc/MC midpoint is always in the 30 degree section half way between the 1st and 10th houses. In Astrolog, you can display Midheaven based Whole houses with the switch "-c 25".

Balanced Vedic houses: Similar to Balanced Equal houses, this is a mixture between classic Ascendant based Vedic Houses, and Midheaven based Vedic houses described above. In Astrolog, you can display Balanced Vedic houses with the switch "-c 26".

The end result of these five new house systems described here, combined with the four existing house systems, is a 3x3 grid of nine house systems total. There's Equal, Whole, and Vedic along one axis. Along the other axis, each of these three concepts can be centered around the Ascendant, centered around the Midheaven, or balanced between the two.
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