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Minderwiz  Minderwiz is offline
Student of Astrology
Join Date: 20 Apr 2002
Location: Wigan, UK
Posts: 7,888
The Houses or Places

For the last 1,000 year we've used the word 'Houses' in astrology to label the 12 parts of a chart to which we look when we consider the areas of life. The Hellenisitic Astrologers used the word translated as House to mean the Sign in which a planet has rulership - thus Aquarius is the House of Saturn. The 12 areas that we now call houses, they called 'Places'. 'Place' is the English translation of the Greek word 'Topos', from which root we get the English words Topic, and Topical. Even today you can come across the phrase 'topical houses' in some articles or books. This is not a new form of house system but reflection of the original meaning of the division into houses in order to analyse areas of life.

The twelve places are:

The Helm

The first 'house' concerned with Life, body, spirit, beginning - not in general terms but specifially to do with your life, your body, your spirit, and your beginnings (including the beginnings of any of your ventures if you do an election chart.

The Gates of Hades

The second 'house' is Livelihood and possessions. Note that this has clear connections with your earning power.


The third 'house' is concerned with siblings, relatives, travel and the queen (in Mundane Astrology)

The Subterranean Pivot

The fourth 'house' is concerned with parents, home, mystical life and the city. Note that the city was co-terminal with the state/nation/political unit for the Greeks it was home and ancestory and defined where you belonged. Being away from the city, even in a foreign city was not seen as good. The link lingered on into empire - St Paul could claim 'civitas Romanus Sum' I am a Roman citizen and indeed we still use the term on passports - I'm a citizen of the UK.

Good Fortune

The fifth 'house' is concerned with children, and doing good.

[/b]Bad Fortune[/b]

The sixth 'house' is concerned with injuries, sickness, enmities and slaves (I doubt we'll have a question on your slaves)

Setting Pivot

The seventh 'house' is concerned with marriage, spouse, old age (as it's the house opposite the hour of birth marker), living abroad


The eighth 'house' is concerned with death, inheritance, and laziness or idleness


The ninth 'house' is concerned with foreign travel, mystical matters, divination, astrology, and the king (again more in Mundane Astrology)

Culminating Pivot

The tenth 'house' is concerned with action, advancement, children, change,reputation.

Good Spirit

The eleventh 'house' is concerned with friends, gifts and hopes

Bad Spirit

The twelfth 'house' is concerned with suffering, enmities, dangers, weakness

These divisions largely match up to the modern equivalents, though now we tend to include a lot more indicative content in the lists. It's interesting to note that children appear in both fifth and tenth, where we tend to only use the fifth. Lilly in the seventeenth century will use the fifth, tenth and the eleventh. It also seems that the mystical matter of the fourth was later shifted to the third to create a formal/informal religious axis.
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