**Astrological Signs and Houses**

**Nearly everyone
knows that there are twelve astrological signs in the zodiac, and once a student
has learned the basics, he or she learns that there are also twelve houses used
by astrologers.**

**While nearly
everyone seems to agree that each sign contains thirty degrees, and that in that
sense the signs are equal in size, there is much disagreement about which method
of house division to use.**

**There are some
excellent resources describing methods of house division, and I have included
some links at the end of this article.**

**Celestial
Latitude seems to be largely neglected both in the signs and in the
houses. In the case of the signs, there appears to be a tacit assumption
that the planets can be treated as though they had zero latitude, and in the
Equal House System the same assumption is made, with six great circles running
from the poles of the ecliptic and intersecting the ecliptic at right angles.**

**Many space
systems of house division follow the same logic, using six great circles to
divide the sky into twelve equal lunes. Even the time-based Placidus
System results in twelve houses of equal size, (in area on the celestial
sphere), though they are by no means the same as each other in shape!
Celestial Latitude may be taken into account in these systems, though most
software does not seem to do this automatically, at least when displaying a
chart wheel.**

**Is there an
alternative way of looking at signs and houses, using different assumptions?**

**Although the
twelve signs may be equal along the ecliptic, there are an infinitude of
possible systems where this does not hold away from the ecliptic.**

**We are so used to
thinking in terms of latitude and longitude on earth, that it is easy to forget
that there are other ways of mapping our own planet. One such way is to
consider mapping the earth by dividing it up into twenty equal area spherical
triangles, giving a spherical icosahedron.**

**Now the celestial
sphere can be divided up in an analogous way, into twenty equal spherical
triangles. It so happens that if the poles of the ecliptic are located in
the precise centre of two of these spherical triangles, (obviously opposite one
another), the great circle of the ecliptic passes through twelve of the other
eighteen spherical triangles in such a way that all the twelve triangle
boundaries occur at intervals of thirty degrees along the ecliptic. We
have equal signs along the ecliptic.**

**Celestial
Latitude will have an effect on sign placement here. Indeed, under some
circumstances, if a planet or asteroid has a Celestial Latitude of more than
plus or minus ten degrees it may not lie in any of the twelve recognised
(triangular!) signs at all - maybe we need a few more sign names!**

**The same idea can
be applied to the houses. I particularly like the symmetry of an
icosahedral house system with four of the vertices on the horizon, four on the
meridian and four on the prime vertical. There are twenty houses, which
are quite easy to visualise on a clear night, once you get used to the idea.**

**Eight of these
houses are completely above the horizon and eight completely below. Four
of the houses straddle the horizon, two near the north point and two near the
south point. Dwellers in high latitudes will probably acknowledge these
"twilight zones" readily!**

**I am not
suggesting in any way that traditional methods of sign division and house
division should be abandoned. However thinking about the platonic solids
and their projections onto a sphere may bring additional insights into our
work. More anon!**

**Relevant links**

**An
Astrological House Formulary**

**Page created
24th February 2002**

**Thank you for
visiting**