LESSON 1.1 The Houses, part 1

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Youdah
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LESSON 1.1 The Houses, part 1

Post by Youdah » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:03 am

The chart in western astrology is shaped in a circle.  It represents the wheel of life, or the cyclic nature of all things.  It is also a "snapshot" of the heavens at the time of birth (or at the time of the chart).  This "snapshot" isn't entirely accurate, though, since if you were standing on earth, looking up at the time of your birth, you would not see the planets exactly as described in your chart.  Part of the problem is that real life is 3-dimensional, but the chart is 2-dimensional and flat, and also that you couldn't really see the planets that are below the horizon.  Another reason is that you wouldn't actually see any planets below the horizon.  Yet, the chart does represent where the planets were at the time and place when the chart was made.

A circle, in geometry, has 360 degrees.

The chart (circle) is divided into 12 sections.  Think of it like an apple pie, divided into 12 slices.  Each section, or slice, is 30 degrees.  Please see the graphic below.

Each section is called a House.  The Houses are numbered from 1-12 counter-clockwise.  Each House represents a specific part of life.

The chart is also divided by a horizontal line.  The far left point is called the "Ascendant" and the far right point is called the "Descendant."  Think of this line as the Sunrise (ascendant) and the Sunset (descendant.).  This is the horizon.

The chart is also divided by a vertical line.  The far upper point is called the "Midheaven."   Just as the ascendant represents sunrise, the midheaven represents noon, and the lowest point of the vertical line represents midnight.

Please notice that the Houses are numbered counter-clockwise, and the TIMES are clockwise, sunrise to noon to sunset to midnight.  This becomes important when we talk about "retrogrades" later.

If you have questions or want to discuss this, please post or ask.
When you understand this far, please go on to part 2.

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RoseRed
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Post by RoseRed » Thu Oct 23, 2008 4:45 pm

okay couple of questions:
Sunrise = Asc
cusp of 1st house
6am (approx)
East?

Sunset = Desc
cusp of 7th house
6pm (approx)
West?

Noon = Midheaven
cusp of 10th house
12am (approx)
North/South??

Midnight = nadir??
cusp of 4th house
12pm (approx)
North/South??

Ecliptic plane: the path of the sun across the sky.
Does that mean sunrise to sunset (str line left to right)
or does than mean sunrise to sunrise (anti-clockwise direction)


Is there a reason why there are only symbols for asc and midheaven?

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Post by Youdah » Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:09 pm

RoseRed wrote:okay couple of questions:
Sunrise = Asc
cusp of 1st house
6am (approx)
East?


Sunset = Desc
cusp of 7th house
6pm (approx)
West?

Noon = Midheaven
cusp of 10th house
12am (approx)
North/South??

Midnight = nadir??
cusp of 4th house
12pm (approx)
North/South??
Midheaven = North, or more accurately "up"  :)

RoseRed wrote: Ecliptic plane: the path of the sun across the sky.
Does that mean sunrise to sunset (str line left to right)
or does than mean sunrise to sunrise (anti-clockwise direction)

Is there a reason why there are only symbols for asc and midheaven?
The Midheaven is also called Medium Coeli

And the opposite point is called the Immum Coeli or the Lower Midheaven

The Lower Midheaven and Descendant aren't given as much attention as the Ascendent and Midheaven.

Yes, TIME is from left to right on the chart.  Think of it as if you were standing on the North Pole at the top of the world...facing toward the equator...then the sun rising would be on your left and would travel to the right.

I'm glad you are understanding the ecliptic.  That is something I didn't go into here in a basic class.  But, it becomes important later on when doing other kinds of charts and understanding other "energy" or "sensitive" points.

To simplify things, I combined the horizon with the Ascendant.  Yet, this isn't accurate, since they are two different things and have two different paths.  The equator is yet another "circle" around the earth.  

At the risk of confusing you more...if you were in a spaceship looking towards the earth on one side of the planet, the Midheaven is actually more EAST, closer to the position of the Ascendant on an astrology chart.  (Alternately, if you were in the same spaceship on the other side of the planet, the Midheaven would actually be west).  This can be very confusing when trying to learn basic astrology, because the ASTRONOMY is a little different than what is shown on a 2-dimensional horoscope chart.  In the astrology chart, the entire earth is shifted so that the Midheaven is "up" towards the top of the page.  If you are born in the southern or northern hemisphere, the actual sunrise and sunset, horizon, midheaven and ascendant are in entirely different positions.  These "lines" around the earth are not straight north, south or east or west...they are at angles on the planet.  Yet, when doing a horoscope, these are all standardized to something that isn't remotely accurate in terms of astronomy.

The "line" that is actually straight "up" and "down" is the Prime Vertical.  Yet, on the horoscope or astrology chart, this is shown as Midheaven and Lower Midheaven...yet this line in astronomy (not astrology) is either south-east or south-west of the Prime Vertical, depending on the location of birth.

If you are interested in this, I can make a graphic that shows the actual locations of these lines around the earth.  For doing only basic astrology charts (and most of the more advanced kinds of charts) this isn't something you will need to know.

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Post by soulsearch » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:28 am

Thank you for explaining the apple pie chart.

I had read somewhere ( do correct me if I am wrong) that Houses 1-7 are the non visible part ( hidden) and the remaining houses are the visible ones.More so because since time moves clockwise the planets in the hidden houses eventually become the important ones...
The Lower Midheaven and Descendant aren't given as much attention as the Ascendent and Midheaven
.

Why is it so?

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Post by Youdah » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:41 am

soulsearch wrote:Thank you for explaining the apple pie chart.

I had read somewhere ( do correct me if I am wrong) that Houses 1-7 are the non visible part ( hidden) and the remaining houses are the visible ones.More so because since time moves clockwise the planets in the hidden houses eventually become the important ones...
The Lower Midheaven and Descendant aren't given as much attention as the Ascendent and Midheaven
.

Why is it so?
I think the reason is just what you have observed...they aren't really "seen" from the birthplace at birth since they are below the horizon.  

Some astrologers believe that the 7th House cusp, the Descendant, is "weakened" and that any planet in that House is "debilitated" because it is below the horizon.  I think the same view applies to the Lower Midheaven as well.  Although, this really doesn't make much sense to me, because to say that something is "debilitated" because it is below the horizon would mean that all Houses 1-7 (as you said) would all be "debilitated" but this is not believed by anyone.  So, why just choose one or two points, the Descendant and Lower Midheaven, to say that they are "debilitated?"  Anyway, I'm off on a tangent.

I think it is more in the sense that the individual person, represented by the Houses 1-6, are all aspects that are within himself, and hidden from view, such as his ego, his emotions, his intellect, etc....where Houses 7-12 are spheres of the individual's life outside himself...with others, his careers, his friends, etc.  These aspects between what is seen (outward activities in Houses 7-12) versus what is not seen (Houses 1-6) are allegorical to what is above and below the horizon, respectively.

Good observation.  Thanks for bringing it up!

I was thinking about you, wondering where you went!  Glad to see you back!  :)

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Post by soulsearch » Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:09 am

I think it is more in the sense that the individual person, represented by the Houses 1-6, are all aspects that are within himself, and hidden from view, such as his ego, his emotions, his intellect, etc....where Houses 7-12 are spheres of the individual's life outside himself...with others, his careers, his friends, etc.  These aspects between what is seen (outward activities in Houses 7-12) versus what is not seen (Houses 1-6) are allegorical to what is above and below the horizon, respectively
Yes that is what I meant.I never thought that the planets between 1-6( stand corrected) would be considered debilitated.

It is considered that planets in houses 1-4 represent childhood. Is it because childhood learning and experiences help shape our personality?So these actually become "hidden" wrt to ego,emotions,intellect...

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Post by Youdah » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:04 am

soulsearch wrote: Yes that is what I meant.I never thought that the planets between 1-6( stand corrected) would be considered debilitated.
No, you were actually correct.  Most of the 7th House is also below the horizon at birth.  Because the earth is round, if the Ascendant can be seen, then the Descendant couldn't be seen.  

I don't think many astrologers view the entire 1-7 Houses debilitated.  I just meant that when some astrologers say that the IC (Lower Midheaven) and Desc. are "debilitated," then they'd logically have to say that everything inbetween was also debilitated...but no one does.
soulsearch wrote: It is considered that planets in houses 1-4 represent childhood. Is it because childhood learning and experiences help shape our personality?So these actually become "hidden" wrt to ego,emotions,intellect...
Yes, I think so.  There are many ways to view the natal chart.  The entire chart can be viewed as a whole, to represent the personality.  You can also look at the chart as a journey into adulthood with the 1st House being infancy, and so on.  Planets are also used so that each planet represents a certain age in life...so that the transits of that planet through the Houses show how that person matures and ages.  For example, the Sun represents early childhood, so as the sun goes through the Houses, the early childhood can be seen, the experiences and personality development.

Your point has me thinking, also.  How early childhood experiences shape the personality and become hidden within the ego, emotions, intellect.  Not just hidden metaphorically, either, but also hidden to the person.  How many difficulties do we have as adults that have their roots in childhood (especially traumas) that affect the adult, but are pushed down and suppressed by the conscious ego!?!  

Very interesting point you've made!  Everytime, even after 55 years, that I start studying my own chart, I find something new that gives me new things to consider about myself.  Now, I'd like to spend some time looking for those things you've talked about, the hidden, more!  Thank you for that insight.

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Post by soulsearch » Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:47 am

Since you have got me thinking too. Our learning in childhood ( beginning) is generally visible ( positive or negative )in our adult years ( middle). So would the planets placed in the 5th to the 8th houses indicate adulthood  and the way the learning in childhood is expressed( nature of planets posited in the houses from 5th to 8th). Similarly in the adult hood new learning ( beginning) and type of learning ( planets)  could be expressed in the end years of life. I can see a cycle :)

So as per astrology a person who lives for maybe 10 years or 90 years does go through the entire life cycle.

Citing a personal example ( do remove if not befitting to the class rules). I knew a 5 yr old child who was had blood cancer and unfortunately died within few months of his diagnosis.His conversation ( mostly in the hospital) always reminded me of an old soul...very profound and mature.In the 5 years of his life...he showed the entire innocence of childhood,the practicality of adulthood and spirituality of senior years.

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Post by Youdah » Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:51 pm

soulsearch wrote:
So as per astrology a person who lives for maybe 10 years or 90 years does go through the entire life cycle.
The astrologers who study the chart as a journey, and also those who study human development or child development, say exactly this thing!  In each "cycle" (as you say) there is something the needs to be completed, accomplished, or learned successfully before moving on...and failure to achieve the growth necessary would cause problems later on in other cycles.

Several notable western astrologers in the last 30 years or so have concentrated on psychological applications to astrology.  Harold Hand and Maritha Pottenger are good examples of astrologers who have a strong background in psychology as well as astrology.  I mention Maritha and Harold Hand because they would certainly appreciate and agree with these observations (and both Maritha and Harold Hand influenced me strongly in my beginning years in astrology with personal correspondence with Maritha, so I have watched Maritha's career in particular with interest).

Many of my own readings focus on the lesson-not-yet-learned that is causing problems in the person's life.  This is not, by far, the only application of astrology, but I think it is less what we do or what happens to us than it is how we are inside that reflects how we deal with life experiences and growth.
soulsearch wrote: Citing a personal example ( do remove if not befitting to the class rules). I knew a 5 yr old child who was had blood cancer and unfortunately died within few months of his diagnosis.His conversation ( mostly in the hospital) always reminded me of an old soul...very profound and mature.In the 5 years of his life...he showed the entire innocence of childhood,the practicality of adulthood and spirituality of senior years.
Yes, I have known or heard of similar people.  I have never looked closely at one of the birth charts of someone like this, but it would be interesting to see.

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Post by soulsearch » Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:09 am

Youdah wrote:The astrologers who study the chart as a journey, and also those who study human development or child development, say exactly this thing!  In each "cycle" (as you say) there is something the needs to be completed, accomplished, or learned successfully before moving on...and failure to achieve the growth necessary would cause problems later on in other cycles.
Humans are dynamic, growing, evolving so must be their charts hence the dasha systems ( I really dont know about the same in WA) and transits. 'Learning successfully' becomes a subjective/ word...thats why I guess I am in this WA class.
Will read up about Maritha and Harold Hand.
Yes, I have known or heard of similar people.  I have never looked closely at one of the birth charts of someone like this, but it would be interesting to see.
Yes, I wish I would have atleast collected birthdata...but since we are learning...I am going to just start doing that :)

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Post by astrologer50 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:01 pm

soulsearch wrote:Since you have got me thinking too. Our learning in childhood ( beginning) is generally visible ( positive or negative )in our adult years ( middle). So would the planets placed in the 5th to the 8th houses indicate adulthood  and the way the learning in childhood is expressed( nature of planets posited in the houses from 5th to 8th). Similarly in the adult hood new learning ( beginning) and type of learning ( planets)  could be expressed in the end years of life. I can see a cycle :)

So as per astrology a person who lives for maybe 10 years or 90 years does go through the entire life cycle.

Citing a personal example ( do remove if not befitting to the class rules). I knew a 5 yr old child who was had blood cancer and unfortunately died within few months of his diagnosis.His conversation ( mostly in the hospital) always reminded me of an old soul...very profound and mature.In the 5 years of his life...he showed the entire innocence of childhood,the practicality of adulthood and spirituality of senior years.
If you want to go off on a tangent,,, childhood is represented by Moon/mother and IC as place and circumstances surrounding early upbringing, then go look at planets in 4th house, home roots and family matters. Saturn represents father as well.

:smt004

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