Tag Archives: houses


The Angular Houses

The Angular houses consist of the 1st, 4th,7th, and 10th.  The signs that correspond to these houses are the Cardinal ones; Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.  These houses start each cusp with one of the axis of the Ascendant/Descendant or MC/IC in the majority of the house systems.  Planets found in these positions will be stronger than in other locations.   In Horary, it represents shorter intervals of time and a more likely favorable outcome.

I am going into rant mode for the moment.   I have interacted with Astrology students and found a disturbing trend.   The need to be fair slopped over into an argument that all of the houses are just as powerful and the we are all equal and whatever.  No, it is not equal, nor are individuals.  We have driven dynamic humans and we have milquetoast, and everything in between.  It is a disservice to the credibility of Astrology if it needs to be watered down to the lowest common denominator.


The first house begins with the Ascendant.   The Ascendant marks the placement of the eastern horizon at the time a horoscope is cast, and from there the rest of the chart is drawn.   The house represents our personality, our physical appearance, and our bodies.  All of that modified with the Lord of the cusp and it’s placement and condition.  Also planets found on this angle will be amplified throughout the life.   It represents the physical condition (Jacobson’s gives it a car’s condition… so car would be first also)  This house also rules the head when working with Decumbiture charts or specifics with Horary.  In Event and Horaray, the first house is the Querent, the person asking the question, or the person or thing that initiated the event.  It also  is the placement for the “home team” in a VS type of chart used with competitions, with sports teams, lawsuits, and wars.  Raphael (Cross) mentions the first house items from many turned charts scenarios…. such as it is the wife of an enemy or partner (the 7th from the 7th is the 1st)  He also uses it when answering questions with planets and locations instead of having a quested significator.   Accidents, frame of mind, the state of ships at sea,  with Jacobson adding health, birth, arrivals, the present, adventure, new ventures, new comers,  Grandparents and Great Grandchildren.     The color associated with the house is white according to William Lilly.  The direction given is East.


With most systems of houses, the fourth cusp is marked with the IC.  In this house we find the foundations, the beginnings, and the ends.  Before the musical chairs of house assignments, the fourth was known as the house representing death, anciently the joy of Saturn instead of the 12th.  The fourth is our past, our paternal legacy and the location of the father.  The Lord of the cusp and it’s aspects and placement will tell more of the house story.  This is also the house of hidden treasures, or resources found underground, wells, drilling, anything with roots.  In Horary and Event Charts, this is the house for property for sale, leases, buildings, graves, miners, gardeners, farmers, juryman (Jacobson) and items lost.  Raphael adds fields, land, vineyards… Continue reading

Border Patrol: Working With Cusps

There is a very common misconception in astrology today concerning the usage of cusps in interpretational matters.  It seems there is a very popular myth running around that says that someone who is born on a “cusp” of a Sign can carry characteristics of both the Sign Sol is counted as being in or the one adjacent to it depending on the day.  Basically, it is assumed that someone born around August 21-24 is supposed to have characteristics of both the Signs Leo and Virgo based on the idea that Sol is too new into Virgo to have completely left behind the influences of Leo, so there are still some Leonine influences intermingled into the Virgo.  While this is a very incorrect idea, I can see some ways to explain the original misunderstanding; however, I do think the assumptions made about cusps are based on a certain degree of unforgivable ignorance.

First, I think it’s wise to take a moment and define a cusp because I feel it is obvious where the first mistake is being made concerning this grave assumption.  Deborah Houlding is an expert on classical astrology, so in times of need, I often turn to her writings, and I’ll do so here.  In her book The Houses: Temples of the Sky, Houlding defines a cusp as “the dividing line between one house (or sign) and the next.  Planets close to the house cusps are considered to have more powerful influences than those removed from the cusps.”  This definition perfectly illustrates what I believe is happening with this cusp influence myth.  As you can see, Houlding does define a cusp as “the dividing line between one house (or sign)…” so we do see an automatic similarity.  I believe what happens is people understand that a cusp is the same thing for a house and a Sign (the dividing lines between) and assume that the same rules apply to them.  However, the fact of the matter is that house cusps and Sign cusps are similar only in the manner of the duty they perform in dividing them from one another.  In this way, the cusps are as similar as apples and oranges, they are both fruit, but that’s about it.

In Houlding’s definition, she is sure to put a distinct difference between house cusps and Sign cusps when she says that planets close to the house cusps have a more powerful influence.  She says nothing about planets being close to Sign cusps being more or less of an influence in any Sign, so it would seem that there is no interpretational difference, only spatial.  Also, in William Lilly’s book on natal astrology, he offers no differences for planets near the beginning or ending of a Sign.  Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos doesn’t even contain the word “cusp” and Robson’s treatise on electional astrology only speaks of cusps in relation to houses.  So, it seems that the idea of carried-over influences from one Sign to the next is not at all founded in astrological traditional history.

Now that the idea of cross-overs occurring across Sign cusps have been dispelled from the astrological tradition, I feel it’s necessary to explore a bit more in the area of “where does this come from”.  I can think of a couple situations in which a planet or cusp being near the end or beginning of a Sign has some special interpretational value.  However, it is necessary to specify that these rules and situations are only applicable to the fields of horary or electional astrology and are not translatable to the field of natal astrology which is the field where this argument is based. Continue reading

Clash of the Temples

For a long time now, I’ve been pushing for a separation from the ideas of the X=Y=Z system, with the argument that it’s completely destroyed the traditional philosophy of astrology. One of my friends actually proposed the idea that I seriously write this little article wherein I compare and contrast the modern X=Y=Z system and the Traditional system. It’s actually something I’m a little embarrassed about. Embarrassed that I didn’t really want to do this before, and that I was too arrogant to realize that I wasn’t always aware of this differentiation between the systems, and that I turn around and expect the world to have come to a similar realization around the same time I did. It doesn’t work this way. Continue reading