Whole Signs Today

byjove

Account Closed
Hello all,

I'm looking to learn more about how whole sign methods are getting on today. I know all the usual links to the librarising/Chris Brennan etc. but what's the latest news? I see more and more astrologers on here taking up whole signs. Are there any more sites online using them than 5 years ago? I'm getting tired of going to my favourite sites and having to change 10 options just fit my current astrological beliefs. Does anyone here use Solar fire or other astro. programs that they would recommend?

I started digging into astrology's history a few years ago, and found many situations where mistranslations and misunderstandings and of course religious/other support helped proliferate methods etc. and as a result I've been happy to find original teachings - I find that liberating (from confusion). It also seems to me that if a person learns astrology today, they can be learning a method of astrology which has strayed far from what was originally meant! The navigator starts off with a minimal error in location data, but as he moves on, that small error results in arriving in the wrong destination!

What do users of whole sign think about the outer planets? While I think it's also true to say that not all improvements/research/experience in astrology since the ancients is invalid, I think we ought to decide ourselves what of the outer planets. I'm also aware that they don't have the same scrutiny of study that the rest of the planets have. I don't think that the ancients would have simply discounted them on that basis though, and it makes me uncomfortable to pretend they're not there! So do any whole sign users here use outers? (even as just generational in effect). Either way, at some point I think we ought to get out of the ancient's minds and decide for ourselves.

Personally I'm also open to 'improvements' on aspects, in particular orbs. What's tried and tested is respectable, but nothing stands still in time. If in the last 2,000 years experience has shown that an 8 degree square is not effectual, but a tighter orb of 6 degrees is, then even if it's contrary to older traditions, I think it ought to be taken into account.

Just curious!
 
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JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Hello all, I'm looking to learn more about how whole sign methods are getting on today. Just curious!

Co-incidentally byjove, just today and yesterday I quoted dr. farr re: the application of genuine whole sign methods to chart delineation on this thread http://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum/showthread.php?t=42085

Cusps:Today (and for the past thousand years or so) we define cusps as "borders" (coasts), but that is not the original meaning of the word "cusp": it means "point" such as cuspal teeth (bicuspids) and the point of a sword

- so originally the term cusp meant the "point" of something, and in astrology originally the "cusp" of the house meant its "point";

now, when quadrant systems were developed, this "point" of the house came to mean its "beginning", which later came to mean its "border", ie, the "border" between one house and the other.

And later astrology also began using these "borders" (cusps) for various prognostic applications (Charles Carter came to believe that, for timing of events, the "cusps" of the Campanus house system gave the best results, among the various quadrant house systems)

But now notice this: in whole sign the cusps are NOT the 0 degree "borders" of sign/houses at all, and never were so regarded!

In whole sign, the "cusp" retained its original meaning, not as a "border" but rather as A POINT

-and that POINT (cusp) for EACH house, was the sensitive point of that house, viz, the sensitive point in whole sign houses-each house-that is the "cusp" of each house-is a direct projection from the ascending degree.

Example:
-the ascending degree of a chart is 18 Taurus: what are the house cusps (sensitive points, original meaning of the word "cusp") in the whole sign houses of this chart?
Cusp of 1st house = 18 Taurus
Cusp of 2nd house = 18 Gemini
Cusp of 3rd house = 18 Cancer
Cusp of 4th house = 18 Leo
Cusp of 5th house = 18 Virgo
Cusp of 6th house = 18 Libra
Cusp of 7th house = 18 Scorpio
Cusp of 8th house = 18 Sagittarius
Cusp of 9th house = 18 Capricorn
Cusp of 10th house = 18 Aquarius
Cusp of 11th house = 18 Pisces
Cusp of 12th house = 18 Aries

Now it is these "cusps" (sensitive degrees, original meaning of the word "cusp" as a "point") that are (and were) used for progressions, timing of events, etc, and the fact is that they work for these purposes, quite well (in expert hands)

Whole sign does not use the BORDERS between houses (always 0 degree of any sign) for anything, but it DOES use "cusps" (points in the house, projected from the exact ascending degree) for timing (and other) delineative purposes.

Whole sign suddenly vanished (both in the West and in Vedic astrology) during the same period of time-ie, late 8th to early 9th century - this sudden disappearance suggests a sudden turn in astrological thinking and practices, rather than a gradual supplanting of a less effective traditional method (whole sign) by a new and more effective method (rheotrius/alchabitius in the West, and the closely related to whole sign Equal house, in Vedic astrology)

For me, there is only 1 reason I switched to whole sign-it worked better (FOR ME)

I could care less if it were the oldest house system (which it is) or whether it was invented by Badda Bing at Barney's Beanery in Bayonne, 10 years ago: only things I consider are:
-does it seem to make sense?
-does it "taste good" to me (ie, does it "feel right" to me)
-and, if yes to the above, does it work (producing delineations and predicitions) better than what I have previously been doing?

Well, whole sign did all that, for me, so I switched; but I am not going to try to convince anyone of anything about it, except for beginners-to you who might just be starting out, I would say: try whole sign first, and see how well it might work for you...
 

waybread

Staff member
I find Placidus works well for most charts. If someone has a high-latitude birth with skewed houses, generally I will also look at equal houses or whole sign houses. I think the intercepted signs that you can get with unequal houses are valid phenomena; as well as planets ruling house cusps that are not the same as you get with the whole sign system.

Having said that, I think whole signs give a lot of valuable information that you just aren't going to get with with the other house systems. The best analogy I can think of is that if I see a frontal view of your face, I will develop a strong impression of what you look like. But if I see your face in profile it will still be you; just with a very different look because of the different angle and perspective. Sometimes whole signs will show a particular chart byte in stronger relief.

For example, my Mars is located in the 5th or 6th house in most house systems. The whole sign system moves it into the 7th. In the "house of marriage" it probably draws finer distinctions about my relationship with my husband. It probably also reveals my debate proclivities in the 7th as the "house of open enemies."

Not that anyone on this forum is my enemy! It works a bit more like a tennis match.
 

tsmall

Premium Member
waybread,

I'm still the new kid on the block and smelling like a new car, but what do you think of the idea of using whole signs to read charts, and quadrant house systems (like Placidus, Equal, or...Porphyry) to gauge planetary strength/ability to create events in a chart?
 

dr. farr

Well-known member
waybread,

I'm still the new kid on the block and smelling like a new car, but what do you think of the idea of using whole signs to read charts, and quadrant house systems (like Placidus, Equal, or...Porphyry) to gauge planetary strength/ability to create events in a chart?

That is very much how ancients (like Valens) did it:happy:!

Byjove asked about the thoughts re to the outers of those of us who use whole sign house format: to me, whole sign is simply a house format, which can be applied to Traditional, Modernist, Vedic or Western sidereal methodologies equally well. What I am saying is that (in my opinion) you can be an ultra-Modernist or a neo-Hellenist or a jyotishi adept, and still choose to apply the whole sign house format.

Regarding my own opinion, I consider the outers "real" (ie genuine) astrological influences/factors, however I do not accept any of them as "rulers" (dispositors actually) of any sign, although I do consider them to have domiciles in signs (Uranus in Aquarius, Pluto in Scorpio, Neptune in Pisces), but even here I have certain questions and doubts relative to these domicile allocations...:sideways:
 

waybread

Staff member
tsmall, it's hard to say since I've never tried doing things this way. But I would sure recommend that you try it out, as your time permits. You could be onto something.

Few topics seem to generate more debate among astrologers than which house system to use. As you study astrology and play around with the different systems, probably you will find one system that just feels right to you-- sort of like your most comfortable pair of shoes.

Also, some astrologers believe that different individuals match up better or worse with different house systems. If you want to spend a lot of time with a chart, it would be worth your while to check out whether the planets change houses with the different systems, and how this might affect your interpretations.

Best wishes for your astrology journey!
 

byjove

Account Closed
Some interesting ideas there.

JupiterASC, yes, I actually found that quote (by accident) yesterday! It's part of what spurred me on to this!

Dr. Farr, that seems like a far more reasonable take on things re acknowledging the modern, outer planets while adopting methods tried and tested before subsequent mistranslations etc. Do you consider these outer planets to have more or less the significance as viewed by modern astrologers? I've read some debates on here re Mercury and Uranus, some traditionalists saying that there is nothing represented in Uranus today which wasn't already a part of Merucry's remit. I'll surely figure out for myself.

Waybread, yes the skewed charts was another major motivation for me. I live in a high-enough latitude to have concern. Some very small houses, and some interception. The trouble I had with interception is I've never found a universal response to it, I get a different interpretation almost with each individual, and that to me is alarming! I cannot trust it! I don't think we should be re-imagining every aspect of astrology, a-la-carte.....

I'm particularly happy with whole sign's origins (I know it's origins isn't important to everyone, but I can't stand following mistranslations) and I am discovering more and more astrologers saying they've now adopted whole sign (esp. after workshops) so I'm curious about how it's faring today in every respect. Valen's work will surely add to this, which JupiterASC has kindly been directing people to.
 

waybread

Staff member
Hi byjove--re: interception.

I don't recall where I first read about intercepted signs, but it was pretty late in my studies. But I think they have merit. An untenanted intercepted sign probably isn't a huge deal, but a personal planet in an intercepted sign has trouble expressing its true nature: it can't get enough traction or "lift-off."

I really began to notice this with some career questions on astrology forums. People with suns in intercepted signs seem to have difficulty in figuring out what to do with their lives, for example.

Just possibly this is because the planet ruling an intercepted sign (and its opposite, they always come in pairs) has no accidental house cusp rulership. This would ordinarily give a planet a fair bit of authority over the affairs of the planet's house.

Here's an example--the chart of Prince Charles of England. Normally we would expect his Jupiter (domiciled in Sagittarius) and Mars in the 5th house in Sagittarius to be very strong. Of course, he's led a life of fabulous privilege, but arguably his primary love affair blew up in his face (Uranus opposition) and turned the public against him--and her. With future-oriented Uranus in the 11th house of associations and hopes and wishes for the future; Prince Charles's commendable interests in sustainable agriculture and sensible town planning really haven't given these causes the boost that one would expect from royal patronage.

I don't think that planets in intercepted signs are a huge problem in life--many people have them-- but they may help explain why certain aptitudes never manifest themselves strongly in the person's life.
 

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nbennett

Active member
I have used Equal House system form 40+ years. And I have studied with Robert Hand in his seminars since 1998. The Asc point is a refinement from the use of just Whole Signs in earlier days when the Asc was hard to measure and birth times were not recorded. Yes the Asc is a sensitive point. If you are new to astrology, then start with either Whole Sign or Equal Houses so you can test the functioning of your own chart in a neutral environment. You will always find transits important to the nSun and nASC point. From a visual point of view, I use the Equal House since the Asc IS the dominate sensitive point.

Note also that when astrologers drew square charts, the houses were drawn as triangles. The apex of each triangle was the sensitive point and therefore the center of the house. Now we draw charts in the round. That apex ASC point is now drawn as the beginning of the house. But technically, it is the center/apex point of the house which is really 15 degs on each side!!!! The whole sign chart helps a bit in this mental problem unless the ASC is 28-29degs! Then it is way wrong from the proper perspective.
 
Waybread,

That Prince Charles example got me thinking...about house axis. Going around the wheel, it is interesting to see the symbiotic relationship along all the axis. Starting with 5 and 11, perhaps outer expression of humanitarian aims is not fully realised or accepted until our 5th house of love affairs is "working" properly...the 12th house of spirituality is out of reach until we embrace details on a mundane level (including the physical form) of the 6th...the first house of self expression has to be embraced in order to honestly love and share yourself...the second house of your own resources must be in order before you can deal with the credit and taxes of the 8th...and on and on. Sorry if this is too basic to believe, but I was inspired to think of it this way b/c of your post...sorry op about the off-topic tangent!
 

byjove

Account Closed
I didn't see the return posts until now...

Yes, I've been quite sceptical about interceptions simply because information is so hard to find, and so many astrologers make a brief reference to it, which seems to be the same half-idea running around 'difficult to release energy, hidden but not unpowerful, good luck'.

Does anyone know where ideas about interceptions come from?
 

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
I didn't see the return posts until now...

Yes, I've been quite sceptical about interceptions simply because information is so hard to find, and so many astrologers make a brief reference to it, which seems to be the same half-idea running around 'difficult to release energy, hidden but not unpowerful, good luck'.

Does anyone know where ideas about interceptions come from?
Intercepted houses are caused by the house system in combination with geographical location (extreme latitude) - for example when using Whole Sign and irrespective of geographical location (extreme latitude), there are no intercepted houses. http://www.librarising.com/astrology/misc/wholesignhouses.html :smile:
 

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
The Whole Sign House system was used by the ancient Greeks and the Hindus(who still use it today). It is the oldest and simplest house system in existence, and immediately eliminates the awful mess astrologers have made on the issue over the last 1300 years or so.

The artificial divisions we now know as houses were attempts by the early Greeks and the Hindus to measure strength "points" in the horoscope, which at some point in time(7th and 8th centuries AD) were construed or confused as means of dividing the birth chart. The ascendant and midheaven degrees and their opposites, for example, were definite power points or areas of intense focus, but not necessarily the beginnings of a house or quadrant.

In fact, there is no real basis for the astrological houses at all. They derive from a misunderstanding of the true nature of the Ascendant and Midheaven factors in astrology, the former representing the Earth or terrestial sphere, and the latter representing the Sky, Heaven, or celestial sphere. The Ascendant is planet Earth, and the MC has as its source, the Earth's inner central sun. The IC and the descendant are merely opposite or reflex points. :smile:

http://www.librarising.com/astrology/misc/wholesignhouses.html
 
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byjove

Account Closed
Did the Greeks/Romans use midpoints? I never understood why use them (please no one shoot me!)

I see Whole Sign gaining ground, it's difficult to not bump into an astrologer with the 'I've just converted to Whole Signs, I was at a conference recently and became very interested in them', so there is quite a revival underway...

So we use Porphry to measure a planet's strength, and interpret it in the 'place' using Whole Signs? By strength, do we only refer to angular, succedent, and cadent? So, a Sun in the 4th place, but in a cadent position in Porphry is weaker than angular? Another example, say a peregrine planet which is succedent or angular by 'strength', does that assist it?

As for the malefics being placed well in the 6, 8, 12 houses, how is this good for the ascendant? Doesn't the ASC need to 'see' a planet? But if it can't see (sextile, trine, square, opposition) then it's in aversion, no? How does all that work out?
 

waybread

Staff member
I don't know where information about intercepted signs began, but there is a logic to them in any of the unequal house systems.

If you work with "lords" or "accidental house cusp rulers", there is a rule that goes back at least to late antiquity (Firmicus Maternus), that the planet ruling the sign on a house cusps has a big influence on the affairs of that house.

For example, if you have Gemini on your IC, than Mercury has a lot to say about your 4th house matters. Just exactly what Mercury says depends upon its own house and condition (for you traditionalists) and aspects.

Intercepted signs always come in pairs of opposite signs. If you've got one, you've got two.

Similarly, in a chart with intercepted signs, you will have two pairs of "duplicate" signs, in which the same sign appears on the cusps of adjacent houses.

So with a tenanted intercepted sign, you would end up with a planet that rules no houses (such as the sun or moon) or that rules only one house instead of its normal two (such as Venus.) Similarly, with duplicate signs, you would get a doubling affect of their planetary rulers' influence in the chart. If you've got Gemini as a duplicate sign, for example, you might get Mercury ruling 3 houses if Virgo is on another house cusp.

So the mechanics of how I think intercepted signs work is that they actually rob intercepted sign rulers of some of their authority or participation in a chart. It's a bit like a country without a functioning head of state; or like a household where the parents are AWOL. Then if you get a planet in an intercepted sign, it operates within these somewhat dysfunctional conditions.

I would just ask sceptics to look at their own charts if they have tenanted intercepted signs to see whether they believe that planet has reached the expression that they would objectively expect from its location in the chart. If you don't have any planets in intercepted signs, find a chart for someone you know well that has one or more.
 

JUPITERASC

Well-known member
Did the Greeks/Romans use midpoints? I never understood why use them (please no one shoot me!)
The use of the basic idea of Midpoints predates both the Greeks and the Romans :smile:
I see Whole Sign gaining ground, it's difficult to not bump into an astrologer with the 'I've just converted to Whole Signs, I was at a conference recently and became very interested in them', so there is quite a revival underway...
The Whole Sign House system was used by the ancient Greeks and the Hindus(who still use it today). It is the oldest and simplest house system in existence, and immediately eliminates the awful mess astrologers have made on the issue over the last 1300 years or so.
http://www.librarising.com/astrology/misc/wholesignhouses.html
So we use Porphry to measure a planet's strength, and interpret it in the 'place' using Whole Signs? By strength, do we only refer to angular, succedent, and cadent? So, a Sun in the 4th place, but in a cadent position in Porphry is weaker than angular? Another example, say a peregrine planet which is succedent or angular by 'strength', does that assist it?
(a) A planet is strong when angular using Whole Sign
(b) If a planet is not angular using Whole Sign but is angular using Porphyry - then that planet is considered as being 'goaded into action'
(c) A Planet is considered strongest when angular 1st/4th/7th/10th
(d) When a peregrine planet is not angular using Whole Sign but angular using Porphyry then that peregrine planet is considered 'goaded into action'

As for the malefics being placed well in the 6, 8, 12 houses, how is this good for the ascendant? Doesn't the ASC need to 'see' a planet? But if it can't see (sextile, trine, square, opposition) then it's in aversion, no? How does all that work out?
Malefic Saturn rejoices in the baleful 12th house, which supports its theme of limitation; and Mars rejoices in the 6th house which is generally held to be unfortunate and oppressive through its connotations of illness and burdensome tasks.

The use of planetary joys is ancient - it was a prominent consideration in classical astrology and has remained a pertinent factor throughout traditional texts. There is good reason to believe that some house meanings have developed as a result of the strong association between the planets and their houses of joy. Manilius referred to a planet in its house of joy as being in its temple, illustrating the very deep and profound relationship that exists between the house and its
associated planet. http://www.skyscript.co.uk/horary1e.html

(a) Planets sextile, trine, square and in oppositon to the ASC can see the ASC.
(b) Planets disjunct ASC cannot see the ASC 2nd/6th/8th/12th:smile:
 
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waybread

Staff member
JupiterAsc, I have a super idea. Since you are such a proponent of the whole signs house system, howbeit you take a chart of a public figure everyone would know, and then compare the interpretations you get out of whole sign houses, vs. out of another common system such as Placidus? Post both charts. Surely you have worked extensively with whole sign houses as well as some alternatives prior to expressing such uncompromising opinions. I would find your readings to be really interesting and helpful.
 
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