My old friend and multi-lifetime collaborator Dale O’Brien wrote me an email about houses today. I thought I would share my reply. The technical references are not all in, as this is astrologer to astrologer — but if anyone has questions I will do my best to answer. Note, Dale suggested I use Porphyry houses. I searched for a moment and came up with an explanation by an astrologer I respect, Bruce Scofield. Here is that link. Note, since this was written, we now know that Whole Sign Houses are the oldest system, which are an obvious lead-in to Equal Houses. What I like about Porphyry in theory (as you’ll read, if you read Bruce’s article) is that the method is simple, it’s based on the ecliptic and easy math.
Briefly, most of what I know about houses I know from “Whole Sign Houses” by Rob Hand. I recognize how everyone else is trained. Remember that as a horoscope writer, I use solar houses/whole sign houses much of the day — in the “general” interps.
Re more complex charts, natal, horary, event, etc.:
Debbi Kempton-Smith noted that the houses have cusps; the signs do not. The house cusp is not a bold line, however, it’s like a gradation area. The signs change more abruptly. I read that idea when I was starting out. Then I read some Lilly (William Lilly, 17th century astrologer), who describes the house cusp as a gradation as well. So Debbi had this on good authority (she was well trained). Lilly gives the five-degree rule — that a planet with five degrees of the house cusp picks up the energy of the next house.
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