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Astrological Houses, page 1


Houses, page 2


Astrological houses are the twelve divisions of the visible sky, fixed from the local horizon. There's six houses above the horizon, six below. Stand out of doors and point straight up. That's the 10th house cusp (more or less). Point to the eastern horizon. That's the Ascendant, or first house cusp. It extends down into the ground. The sky immediately above it is part of the 12th house. Somewhere between the 10th and 1st houses are the 11th and 12th house boundaries (cusps). These boundaries, one about every 30 degrees, stay in the same place all day with respect to the horizon. They're fixed. As the earth turns around its axis, the sun and planets, rising in the east and setting in the west, appear to wander through them during the course of the day. These twelve sections of the daily sky color the planets as they pass through them. This will not be surprising to those who know the difference between the colors of sunrise and sunset.

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THE HOUSE CONNECTION: How to read the houses in an astrological chart - Karen Hamaker-Zondag, $18.95

Contents:

List of charts & figures
Astrological signs & symbols
Foreword

Part 1: Theory:
1. Types of ruler
2. House connections
3. Important houses
4. House rulers in aspect
5. The role of house ruler in complex interpretation

Part 2: House connections:
6. How house connections work

Bibliography
Index

About the author

Comment:

Of this book, Karen herself has this to say, from the Foreword:
I have been working with house connections ever since I began my astrological studies, and this book is the distillate of my findings. Nothing could persuade me to omit this particular facet of interpretation, and I am in full agreement with the spontaneous comment of a student who once said, "If you overlooked the house rulers & house connections or did not know how to deal with them, you would not be able to derive one quarter of the information from the chart you derive from it now." (page xiii)
Hamaker-Zondag was inspired by the (rather sketchy) accounts she found in Morin. Karen says says we had to wait until the advent of psychology before astrological house interpretation could be fully developed. I am of the opinion the delay was due to the earlier inadequate house systems, a problem that Placidus solved, but quite by accident. (He was hoping to find an easy way to calculate Primary Directions.) As a result, the potential of the Placidian house system remained unrealized until quite recently, i.e., until Karen's book. I am making this dogmatic statement because, many years ago, I used to make informal rectifications using the house tables I had available, and with good success. I once tried the same thing with Koch houses, only to discover that Koch would not rectify a chart. Ever since then, I have had a healthy respect for the different things that different house systems can do, and an awe of Placidus. For her part, all the charts in this book are set in Placidus, which Karen does not note, I presume because she, like so many of us, has never tried any other system.

But enough preamble. The premise of the book is that the planets which rule the signs on the various house cusps, also rule the houses concerned. Crucially, these planets rule by means of their sign and house placements. The ruling planets bring the sign and house they are posited in, to the houses they rule. As Robson remarked, the ruling planet is the landlord of the house he rules. Planets in the house are tenants. The ruling planet sets the scene. He has control. He is the ultimate authority. Even though, in the majority of cases, he will not be physically present in the house itself. Nor will he necessarily have any formal aspect to the cusp, or to the planets residing in his house. (The ruler is even stronger when he does, of course.) But, regardless, the house, and all planets in it, are subordinate to him. This is Hamaker-Zondag's House Connection theory, as clearly as I can state it. (The author herself puts a psychological gloss on it.)

There are several significant extensions to this theory. In chapter 3, Important Houses, Karen traces the chain of dispositors around the chart:

For example, we could discover the following chain: the ruler of 1 is in 7, the ruler of 7 is in 9, the ruler of 9 is in 2, the ruler of 2 is in 11, the ruler of 11 is in 7. This series provides us with an insight into a reaction pattern that, for this person, is related to the 1st house (we always begin with the 1st house). (pg. 27)
What this particular example also means, as I have learned from experience, is that when an individual, long single, gets married, he becomes a radically different person as a result. This is also true of chains that include the Sun with the 7th. Karen goes on to the "natural wheel", in other words, that the first house always relates to Aries & Mars, the second to Taurus & Venus. Myself, I dislike all things that muddle houses with signs. I find the angular houses (1, 4, 7, 10), like cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), to be active; succedent houses (2, 5, 8, 11), like fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), to be conservative; and cadent houses (3, 6, 9, 12) to be like mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), in other words, to be areas over which we have little control. I also find that signs are subordinate to houses, in other words, a majority of planets in cardinal signs but in cadent houses leads to a life of uncontrolled chaos, the cardinal signs acting powerfully (cardinal) in uncontrolled (cadent) ways. I am this way myself, with fixed signs in cadent houses. Interpretation? I'm just trying to hang on! How about mutable signs on angular houses? That would be someone who never knows what's going on around him.

Back in the mid 1990's, I glanced at this book (as is my wont) long enough to understand the basic concept. I have been running with it ever since. In Part 2, Hamaker-Zondag gives cookbook delineations. Ruler of the first in the first, ruler of the first in the second, ruler of the fourth in the eleventh, etc. Her unstated baseline for her delineations is the Sun, since "Mars ruler of the third in the 12th" would make for far too large a book.

It is therefore important that you take Karen's wonderful theory & apply what you know to it. To do this, you will need to generate a basic list of keywords for the various planets & houses. Sun/life, Moon/moods, Mercury/communication, etc. When you do this with the houses, you will, perforce, expand your ideas about them. The third house, for example, goes from "reading & writing & schoolwork & brothers & sisters & errands, etc.," to, "being busy around town", which incorporates all of the above. When we do this, we sometimes end up with 3rd houses as B.M.O.C., i.e., Big Man Around Town (originally: On Campus). Regrettably, and to my surprise, Karen's grasp of houses is not great.

What fascinates me about The House Connection theory is that it can be expanded almost forever. After you've mastered the sign on the cusp & the sign of the ruling planet, you go back to the sign on the cusp & start all over again. Is the sign cardinal, fixed or mutable? Is it fire, air, earth or water? Is the degree early or late? Is the ruler direct or retrograde? It turns out that everything you learned about astrology, every single thing suddenly takes on new life, new meaning. A mutable sign on the second house cusp throws his money away. A fixed sign won't let go of it. A water sign on the second takes his possessions personally. An air sign on two has no idea what he possesses. An early degree means that one is just getting started & has a long way to go in that particular house. A late degree means it's done & over & too late, etc. Which is nothing more than plugging horary ideas into your natal delineations. This stuff is that powerful.

Hamaker-Zondag has a strongly psychological orientation, which I myself do not care for. She somehow manages to miss planets in mutual reception, which I have found to tie the two houses together, as if the houses themselves had actually merged. Debilitated planets, another area that Karen misses, are quite fascinating. Debilitated planets, by definition, rule the sign, and therefore the house, opposite to themselves. We can see this quite clearly in the chart of former US President Bill Clinton. He has Saturn debilitated in Leo in 11. That Saturn wants to be in 5 in Aquarius, where it has, his entire life, got him in trouble every time he so much as looked at a girl. Another case, also of a debilitated Saturn in Leo, was Adolf Hitler, who had it in the 10th. The classic shorthand says that Saturn in 10 always fails. The full story is that Saturn in 10, when debilitated or retrograde, compulsively takes on responsibilities until it collapses from the sheer weight of it all. Which, whatever you think of him, was certainly true of Mr. Hitler. In his case, Saturn's rulership of his 4th drove him to settle his country's territorial (4th house) matters. Which, as Saturn was debilitated, came to precisely the same end as Mr. Clinton's affairs. Note that this debilitated concept also applies to all those, like myself, who have Sun in Aquarius. We'd really all rather be somewhere, anywhere, as far away as we can get.

Even with its flaws, how important is this book? When it went out of print a few years ago, I emailed the author & asked for permission to reprint. She pointed me in the direction of her Dutch publisher, who had the rights. Which led to Weiser, which had become RedWheel, who had the rights to the translation. Who never got back to me. Who have now reprinted this book.

After you've bought your basic chart interpretation textbook, after you've bought a good ephemeris & a table of houses, after you've got your feet wet, this is the very next book. It's that fundamental.

RedWheel / Weiser, 255 pages.


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THE HOUSES: Temples of the Sky - Deborah Houlding, $25.00
Contents: Foreward by Robert Hand; Introduction: Wheels & signs: theories on house division; Preliminary guide to divisions of the celestial sphere

1. Introducing the houses: An historical overview
2. The angles: Significance of Egyptian solar philosophy
3. Aspects & gates: The 2nd/8th house axis
4. Planetary joys: 5th/11th house axis
5. The king & queen: The 3rd/9th house axis
6. Cadency & decline: The 6th/12th house axis
7. House rulerships in practice
8. Technical basis & the inherent difficulties of house division
9. Ptolemy's powerful places

Appendices:
A. Glossary of traditional & technical terms
B. The planetary hours
C. Al Biruni's advice on finding the hour of your birth

Works cited; General index; House rulership index.

Comment: From the back cover:

The astrological circle of houses is perceived as a wheel of life, covering the full spectrum of human experience from formation of character through to death. Why did the ancient astrologers devise the scheme in such a way that it does not seem to follow the natural order of life? Where do the meanings of each house come from and how have they been adapted over the centuries - more importantly, why? Other books have attempted to resolve these issues, but none have provided adequate answers. In The Houses: Temples of the Sky Deborah Houlding's clear narrative & original research into the history & development of house meanings explores the symbolic threads that are embedded into the philosophy of houses, strengthing our understanding of their use in practical application.
The book starts with a refreshing statement of principles: Houses are not signs, signs are not houses. (They have very little in common, actually.) Nor do the houses suceed each other in anything like a logical fashion: The pregnant 5th precedes marriage of the 7th, death in the 8th comes before worldly success in the 10th.

The chapters on opposing houses are an excellent analysis.

Chapter 7, House Rulerships In Practice, gives a house-by-house delineations for Main rulerships, Horary astrology, Mundane astrology, Lawsuits, Events, Medical, Commerce, Colour, Qualities, Directions, Associated planets & signs, and, finally, Names.

She follows this with chapters on how various systems calculate houses, and what Ptolemy really said - and meant - about houses in Tetrabiblos.

All in all, by far the best book I have seen on houses.

Wessex Astrologer, 186 pages.


HOUSES OF THE HOROSCOPE - Bill Herbst, $24.95

Contents:

Part 1: Theory & technique:

Preface to Part 1
1. The logic of houses 2. The twelve areas of experience: Individual house qualities, traditional meanings, contemporary meanings
3. Using the houses
4. Other ways to use houses
5. Technical vs: human issues

Part 2: Interpretations

Preface to Part 2
6. First house
7. Second house
8. Third house
9. 4th house
10. 5th house
11. 6th house
12. 7th house
13. 8th house
14. 9th house
15. 10th house
16. 11th house
17. 12th house

About the author

Comment: The late Neil Michelsen first published this book, back in 1988. At the time I thought it to be the best book on houses I had ever seen. In the ACS edition, each possible combination of planet & house got its own full page. Sun in the third, a full page. Mercury in the 12th, full page. Jupiter in the second, full page, etc. All the same text is here in the new edition, but the slightly smaller format means the individual delineations no longer fit neatly on a single page.

What do I think now?

Well, if you need a good, basic book on what planets mean when they fall in specific houses, this book will do. Herbst understands that houses are not the same as signs, though his grasp of houses is not as strong as I would like. In places theory gets in the way of a good delineation. Here is part of Mars in the 4th:

"inner link" parent
Here we see a contradiction, a masculine symbol in the mother's area. It can indicate a number of distinctly different possibilities. If your mother was feminine on the surface, you still felt her masculinity assert itself often. She might have been a woman of high energies, the natural ruler of the roost, someone who could easily have moved her talents into the external world of cultural power. On the other hand, your father may have taken over some of the classical duties of motherhood. Or you could have imprinted on the urgency of your relationship for him, with desire spilling over into interaction. This placement sometimes indicates long-standing disagreement or bitterness with parents, often resulting from a conflict in the parent-child roles. However, even when that is the case, there is a sense of strength that pervades the imprints. (pgs. 243-4)
And here, for contrast, is Alan Oken:
Mars in the Fourth House as a constant undertone of high-strung emotions, irritability, or the urge to dominate. A poorly aspected Mars in this position can ofen indicate strife in the domestic sphere, an overly dominant parent, or certain difficulties surrounding the changing of residences. (Alan Oken's Complete Astrology, pg. 327)
Oken has the better grasp, but you have to hunt through his book to find it.

Here are some of Herbst's rules for judging houses:

In an EMPTY house, the sign in which the planetary ruler is placed accounts for approximately 60% of the experience of an empty house, while the sign on the cusp contributes only about 40% of the meaning.

In an OCCUPIED house, those proportions of interpretation by sign vary according to the number & weight of planets that occupy the house and that are found on the cusp. (pg. 114)

An occupied house is an area of your life that contains a spiritual challenge.

The ruled house is the area where you see the results of how you're dealing with that challenge. (pg. 116)

Ruled houses are the psychic barometer of our progress in the challenging experiences of occupied houses. (pg. 118)

You sort of wish he would just write about planets in houses & leave the metaphysics aside. In this book Herbst ascribes dreams as a contemporary meaning of the twelfth house. He overlooks, or does not know, that dreams were traditionally given to the ninth house.

To each house, Herbst assigns a ruling planet. These are the planets which are normally associated with the signs of the natural wheel, where Aries = first house, etc. From pg. 40: .... there is the natural linkage of planets with houses. This is analogous to the concept of planetary rulership in the zodiacal signs. The planet Mars bears a certain tonal similarity to the first sign of the zodiac, Aries. Therefore, it carries that same similarity in its emphasized relationship to the 1st house. This is, in fact, incorrect. Planets have no natural or accidental affinity to houses, only to signs. Failure to understand this key point cripples the ability to work with cuspal dispositors, as one is constantly applying planetary energies (Mars to the first, Venus to the second, Mercury to the third, etc.) which do not exist in the chart under study. Unless, of course, that chart actually has Aries rising.

On pgs 90-2, Herbst has a section entitled, houses are not signs, but with planets=houses already established, he cannot get beyond simple mechanical differences between houses and signs. If your astrological theory says that planets rule both houses as well as signs, then it will consequently be hard to distinguish houses from signs, try though you might. Towards the end of this section, he remarks, The literature of astrology is pock-marked with disgracefully shoddy writing and dangerously subjective content that is widely accepted as truth. (pg. 92) Ah, well !

Serendipity Press, 439 pages.


HOUSES, WHICH & WHEN - Emma Belle Donath, $16.00
If you've ever been puzzled why there's so many different ways to divide the sky into twelve sections (houses), get this book and find out how the different methods compare. Discussed are Equal, Porphyry, Campanus, Regiomontanus (Rational), Morinus, Placidus, Solar Equilibrium, Hamburg 6 house system, Octoscopes (systems of 8 houses), Topocentric & Koch. Find out how your customary house division system compares. Appendix: birth data for examples. 111 pages including bibliography. AFA, paper.


8
THE 8TH HOUSE: Powers of the Soul, Sex & Money - Marc Robertson, $14.00
Contents:

In this book there is no table of contents, but there are pages with big printing on them. So I have adapted some to fit the bill:

Out of the darkness of self
Simple transits for timing investments
The signs of business
The soul & 8th house mysteries
Dying a little
Powers of 8 in transit activation & development
Becoming an individual through sex

Comment:

Once you get past the crude, distracting HEY LOOK AT ME!!! typesetting, you will find this to be an amazingly good book. Vasty better than Haydn Paul's effort (immediately below). Robertson starts with investment - 8th house. He then looks at transcendence, ie, the ability to change the purely physical into the wholly spiritual, which is 8th house. Robertson fudges the 8th house & death (well, wouldn't we all like to fudge just a bit right about here?) but he does say you won't get through the 8th house unscathed, nor should you. Robertson says he always feared September, but was always grateful when October came round. As the author died some years ago, I took the time to find his date of death: September 26, 1984. He was found nine days later, which, true to form, was October. Always a better month!

The final section, Becoming an Individual Through Sex, is exactly right. Sex for the sake of amusement is 5th house. Sex as something that changes you forever, that's 8th house, and the concept is brilliant. Here, Robertson delineates signs on the cusp, and pairs them with the complimentary signs on the 2nd.

A book full of ideas & insights.

AFA, 76 pages.


GATE OF REBIRTH: Astrology, regeneration & 8th house mysteries - Haydn Paul, $29.95

Contents:

1. The underworld of the 8th house
2. Myths of rebirth, renewal & regeneration
3. Personal & planetary values - shared resources
4. Power, manipulation, compulsion, obsession
5. Sexual & emotional union - crisis & catharsis
6. Raising the dark side - repression & taboo
7. Planetary guides & inner contacts
8. The initiation of death - the process of renewal
9. The wounded healer

Bibliography
Index

Comment:

This blast from the past was first published in 1993, and is now (2009) again in print.

The book deals with 8th house issues from a psychological and new age point of view. The 8th house is broken down into varius categories, as you can see by the table of contents, above. In each, a general discussion of the topic, followed by the effects of the various planets (signs) in the house. In the fifth chapter, on sex, the introductory remarks are extensive, followed by extensive remarks on each of the planets, and then discreet delineations of the twelve signs. Sex is the primary focus of the book as a whole. This is true, even in chapter 8, on death, where the format changes a bit & we are now given delineations of transiting planets in the 8th house. Transiting Saturn, among other things, limits our ability to have sex, though the author is not quite so blunt as that.

I regret to say there is nothing at all in this book about your partner's fiances, nor is there any serious mention of physical death (far less, any discussion of it), and only passing remarks as to 8th house psychism.

Here is an excerpt: Capricorn, from chapter 5, on sex:

Passion & Capricorn are uncomfortable companions, and you may feel vulnerable to emotional involvement, as indicated by inner shields against Eros' arrows of love. While there can be an earthiness & physicality about your sexuality, engaging feelings can instigate withdrawl & fear, marked by self-repression, passivity, and restrained caution in affairs of love. The qualities of this Capricorn influence are more easily displayed in worldly matters - by rationality, discipline, and organization - and these fail when faced with uncontrollable emotions. If permanent relationships become committed & legalized, then you easily give loyalty & fidelity, as marriage conforms to acceptable social behavior; the main difficulty can lie in the approach to deeper levels of intimacy. (pg. 204)
The complete text on Capricorn in this chapter is five times as long, this is only the beginning. We can see the author's writing is abstract, and often formalistic. I could wish for better.

Weiser, 314 pages.


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THE TWELFTH HOUSE: The hidden power in the horoscope - Karen Hamaker-Zondag, $14.95

Contents:

Foreword

1. Enjoyment or dread?
2. A few examples
3. The parent-child symbiosis
4. The general effect of 12th house planets
5. Fate and the 12th house
6. Yin and yang in general, or mom & dad in particular
7. A misunderstood house
8. The creative power of the unconscious
9. Conscious work with the 12th house
10. Active imagination and the horoscope
11. The story of Gerard Croiset

Bibliography
About the author

Comment:

First published in 1992, this is newly reprinted. I write these words in October 2012, only 20 years later, but it seems as if centuries have passed. Hamaker-Zondag's 12th house book seems to be a general psychological ramble. So far as recognizeably 12th house topics, such as institutions, hospitals, prisons, prisoners, great animals (horses, cows, elephants, etc), strategy, tactics, etc., there is not a word. So far as a cookbook section, there are no delineations of planets in the 12th, no delineation of signs on the cusp of the 12th, no delineations of the ruler of the 12th in various houses. The nominal ruler of the 12th is Jupiter, but many assign that role to Neptune. While Neptune is mentioned in passing, there is nothing about Jupiter. In the 4th chapter, The General Effects of 12th House Planets, there is only this:
To conclude, we can say that with planets in the 12th or in aspect to the ruler of the 12th, we have to reckon with the following:
  • We can be charged with feelings of fear or guilt (though not always),
  • We may find difficulty in expressing what we represent,
  • We feel that we have little or no grip on the things they represent (?);
  • We are inclined to construct defense mechanisms against the things they represent, or to take evasive action against them
  • The factors involved are sensitive or vulnerable spots (pg. 35)
So far as I am aware, none of these have anything to do with the 12th per se. We would normally extrapolate such things by analysis of planetary placements by sign, house, ruler and aspect, which is beyond the scope of a book such as this. Hamaker-Zondag says she is influenced by C.G. Jung. She therefore believes the 12th represents the unconscious.

There are extensive passages about mommy and daddy. I really can't figure out why, since the 12th house has never been associated with parents (that's 4th and 10th), nor has Pisces, which is traditionally associated with the 12th house, ever been associated with parents. It must be that a heaping helping of parents just makes everything go better.

When the author just doesn't get the details right I get curious about her natal chart. Hamaker-Zondag was born on December 2, 1952, at 1:30 pm, in Schiedam, Netherlands (it's published, so I can do this). Pisces rises, there are mutables on all four angles, which emphasizes Jupiter and Mercury. Retrograde Mercury is debilitated in Sag, Jupiter is retrograde in Taurus. Hamaker-Zondag has what looks to be excellent mental equipment, the Moon about a day past full, late in the in 3 in Gemini, with Sun-Mercury conjunct in Sag in the 9th. (Sun in 9, Moon in 3, are the finest of all possibilities for mental work.) She should be a lot sharper than this, but as I consider her intensely mutable chart, with the Moon disposed by a retrograde, debilitated ruler that sits opposite, it would seem she does not fully grasp what she is working with before everything changes and all new things arrive. Rather like shoveling water, or trying to swat flies as they fly through the air.

In Hamaker-Zondag's 12th house, we find Mars, in Aquarius. Mars in 12 is traditionally interpreted as one who hides their actions. When they eventually do things, they take everyone by surprise. Military commanders, chess masters, and others of their type, often have Mars in the 12th. Since Hamaker-Zondag talks of parents, let's go looking for her father. By traditional rules, the father is represented by the 4th house. We find Gemini there. The ruler is Mercury, which we find, retrograde, in the 9th, in Sagittarius. Finding the father's ruler in the 9th in Sagittarius tells me that Hamaker-Zondag's father was a stranger to her. That the ruler, Mercury, is retrograde, tells me he was not interested in his daughter and held himself back. When I look at Hamaker-Zondag's chart from the point of view of her father, I find her father in his 6th house (the 9th is the 6th from the 4th). The 6th is the house of work, Sagittarius shows travel, Mercury says there was more than he could handle (Mercury likes short trips, Sagittarius goes for distance), the retrograde says he did so unwillingly, the result is that Karen Hamaker-Zondag presumably grew up without a father, who was largely absent.

The next question, how much did Hamaker-Zondag need a father? Probably quite a lot, as the Moon, which is where we keep our feelings, is in the father's sign of Gemini, and virtually conjunct the 4th house cusp, which is the father himself. Third house - ninth house, Gemini - Sagittarius, there is a search (too mutable for a quest) for a father, which, with Gemini, the Moon and Mercury retrograde all prominent, would include writing letters and notes (retrograde Mercury: to oneself) in a quest (the right word this time) to find him. In this regard, note that Mars, which is in Hamaker-Zondag's 12th, can be interpreted as a virile, sexy, man. A man who is forever hidden from her. Finally, note that Mars and the 12th house cusp are sextile to the 9th house cusp and to Mercury and the Sun, which are in the 9th. Sextiles are slippery things. At first you don't notice them, but when you do, they can become quite interesting. In this case, an itch that cannot be scratched.

In her Foreword, Hamaker-Zondag associates the 12th with dreams. Dreams are properly from the 9th, which in Hamaker-Zondag's chart is much more powerful than her 12th, but books on the 9th are not as compelling as books on the 12th. Which gives us another clue, that Hamaker-Zondag has transfered her father from her 9th, where we find the Sun, who is traditionally male and casually the father, to her 12th, where she mistakes him for Mars. Which is an overlay on the proper ruler, which in this case is Mercury. Chart details like this are endless. I could just as well have written on her Venus-Uranus opposition, or very tight Saturn-Neptune conjunction, as both these groupings are significant, just not relevant for this review.

I only wish this was a book about the 12th house.

Weiser, 163 pages.


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INTERCEPTIONS, CYCLES OF SPIRITUAL UNFOLDMENT - Duke DeFaria, $10.95
Contents: In the beginning; The interception; Cycles of interception; The rebirth; The illumination phase; The ascending periods; Major cycles and the interception; The delay factor; Intercepted planetary sign rulers; Intercepted solar returns; Placidus and Koch house interceptions; The soul experience and the interception; The higher self; Intercepted signs, houses, planets; Linked houses; Case studies. Appendix: intercepted- planets, north lunar nodes, sign axis, house axis. 151 pages including references. Kosmic Press, paper.


EQUAL HOUSES - Beth Koch, $15.00
From the introduction: "What sets the Equal House system apart from other methods of creating the ring of houses is: 1) its basic nature (equal houses are drawn from their relationship to the Ascendant alone).... 2) each house is indeed equal (there are no intercepted signs and the same degree of each successive sign appears on each successive cusp).... 3) the Imum Coeli/Midheaven axis does not usually align with the fourth house/tenth house cusps." Contents: Creating an equal house chart; Reading the equal house chart; More on the midheaven; More on the ascendant; Example in the equal house system; Transits through the equal house chart. 69 pages including bibliography. AFA, paper.


The Twelve Houses: A Deeper Look - John Willner, $8.00
Contents: Foreword; Objectives; A new way of looking at the 12 houses (or domains) adds clarity of meaning; Zodiac sign boundaries have been observed to be absolute; Conclusions.
Comment: This book is a useful aid in rectifying horoscopes. Among other observations, Angular houses (1, 4, 7, 10) represent the present; Succedent houses (2, 5, 8, 11) represent the future; Cadent houses (3, 6, 9, 12) represent the past. Planets in pairs of houses, contrasted (eg, 1 & 2, 2 & 3, 3 & 4, etc.). This is useful in rectifying charts when one is trying to determine if Jupiter (for example) should be in the 5th or 6th house. There is a section describing the effects of each of the 12 signs on each of the house cusps. A small but useful book. AFA, 51 pages, comb-bound.


INTERPRETING EMPTY HOUSES - Ana Ruiz, $19.95
Contents: Introduction

First house; Second house; Third house; Fourth house; Fifth house; Sixth house; Seventh house; Eighth house; Ninth house; Tenth house; Eleventh house; Twelfth house.

Comment: I suspect a lot of you will buy this, because there is so little available about houses, they form such a large part of astrology, and there are so many empty houses. When I read charts, I suck a lot of meaning from empty houses, but it seems I am fated to not write the definitive book on the subject. Since Ruiz has, or has attempted to do so, I only wish the AFA had held her feet to the fire & made her finish what amounts to a promising start.

Only the first house does Ruiz treat in a comprehensive fashion: Empty Aries first house, ruler Mars in each of the twelve houses, empty Taurus first house, ruler Venus in each of the twelve houses, etc. For the remaining eleven houses, she is sketchy. Empty second house with Aries on the cusp: A note that one is likely to be an impulse spender, and, oh, by the way, if Mars is in the 11th, or is aspecting Neptune, this or that situation may arise. This is hardly more than a tease. Regrettably, this is how she treats empty houses 2-12. She also fails to note the obvious: If Aries is on the cusp of the second, then the 11th house Mars may well be exalted in Capricorn, adding its Saturnine flavor to the mix. She uses Uranus as ruler of Aquarius, Neptune of Pisces, Pluto of Scorpio. On the other hand,

Maybe the limitations of this book will encourage you to do the work & figure it out for yourself. Back in the mid-1990's, I did. Now I amaze people with what I can tell them about their "empty" houses. They are a fascinating study.

AFA, 201 pages.


THE HOUSES OF THE ZODIAC - Alex Wise, $12.00
Contents: Preface;

The twelve houses of Aries
The twelve houses of Taurus
The twelve houses of Gemini
The twelve houses of Cancer
The twelve houses of Leo
The twelve houses of Virgo
The twelve houses of Libra
The twelve houses of Scorpio
The twelve houses of Sagittarius
The twelve houses of Capricorn
The twelve houses of Aquarius
The twelve houses of Pisces

Comment: Disappointed with Ruiz's book on empty houses (above), I found this one in the AFA's backlist. Published in 1980 (a year after the author's death, in 1979), these are delineations of each of the signs, on each of the twelve house cusps, organized, not by house, but by sign.

So the first chapter is Aries on the first, Aries on the second, Aries on the third, etc. To read an individual chart, your own, for example, you must go from chapter to chapter. For nearly all the 144 combinations, he gives examples of people who had that placement. And though he could have limited himself to only a dozen different nativities (one for each of the rising signs), he in fact has a hundred or more examples. You will find in this book many people with house cusps similar to yours, in other words.

The writing is uneven. Some good, some not quite.

AFA, 92 pages.


Houses, page 2



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