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House Division Calculations in Astrology Explained

House Division Calculations in Astrology Explained

In episode 313 astrologer Luís Ribeiro joins the show to explain the astronomy and mathematics underlying the calculation of the different forms of house division in western astrology.

We begin with a historical timeline showing when some of the different forms of house division were introduced, who the earliest sources are that mention them, and the time periods in which they reached the peak of their popularity.

Then we go into a detailed breakdown of the astronomy and mathematics underlying how some of the most popular forms of house division are calculated.

We focus in particular on the rationale for whole sign houses, equal houses, Porphyry houses, Alcabitius, Campanus, Regiomantanus, and Placidus.

Our goal was not necessarily to advocate for any one system or talk about which was better to use in practice, but instead to help astrologers understand how the cusps are divided according to each approach.

Towards the end of the episode we have a section talking about an astronomical instrument called an astrolabe, and showing how medieval astrologers used it in order to calculate the Ascendant, Midheaven, and other intermediate house cusps.

For more info about Luis and his work visit:

AcademyOfAstrology.eu

This episode is available in both audio and video versions below, although we would encourage you to watch the video version because there are a lot of visuals.

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Watch the video version of this episode on house division in astrology:

Transcript

A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 313 transcript

Listen to the Audio Version of This Episode

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4 comments
  • Amazing episode. But did Luis get the opportunity to defend why he uses Alcabitius? If he did, I missed it. I would love to learn from him how and why that system wins out.

    • We were trying to avoid advocating for any particular system in this episode, and instead just focus on describing the astronomical rationale for each one.

  • Thanks for this great presentation. The explanatory graphics were very clear and made the generation of the various house systems easy to visualize.
    Regarding the different vocabulary used at different times in history, I do have a question. When and why did the shift take place from calling the whole signs (as signifying topics) ‘places’ (topoi) to calling the 12 divisions of the zodiac ‘houses’? Was it simply a matter of translation from Greek to other languages, or what there an attempt to distinguish ‘houses’ from the original meaning of topoi- ‘places’?

  • Yes please do an episode on hand calculation, its easy to overlook, but it can help in understanding and is a skill worth preserving. I have heard of children not being taught cursive writing, a skill lost, and this may be similar. Also, writing helps with cognition. I know that I have done online courses and when it comes to the exam I find it harder to answer questions if I have not made physical notes or understood the process. Being able to hand calculate a chart is a part of understanding so I think it is important to know how this is done.

    Also, the mathematics, astronomy and history is super good, thank you for this episode on house division and the astrolabe.

    You could make the topic more interesting if the person’s chart you are hand drawing is also interesting and perhaps if you show hand delineation of the chart too. Perhaps include synastry too!

    As mentioned before, with interpretation, would like a mention about weighting and as you can use different weights, ie you can set your own weights in some Astro programs, but what would you suggest people set the weights to and why? What do you suggest as the best method? (Yes, boring I know! But it’s all relative!!)

    Many thanks, love your work.