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Archetypal Astrology and the Equal House System

The Scottish astrologer Anne Whitaker, in an article published in this week's Mountain Astrologer's weekly blog, attributes her return from Placidus to the Equal House system to the philosophy of house division described in ‘Inside the Cosmic Mind’ ( She writes, “The students were very keen to know why I had decided to return to working with the Equal House system. For giving me the final shove in that direction, I want to thank Phoebe Wyss and her excellent recent book Inside the Cosmic Mind. I would urge any astrology student or practitioner to read this book if they are inclined to perceive astrology as a “top down” art, the practice of which reveals that we are expressing in micro form the shifting macro patterns of the whole cosmos.

In Phoebe Wyss’ words: “Archetypal astrology is an approach to astrological chart interpretation that is based on this cosmological view. The meanings of the chart factors such as zodiac signs, houses, and planets are then seen to derive from the twelve basic categories of meaning associated with the astrological archetypes. These fundamental cosmic principles and their inter-relationships are symbolised in the geometry of the zodiac. Wyss’ book - which builds on the recent work of Richard Tarnas, Kieron Le Grice, and other pioneers in the field of archetypal cosmology - has taken me back and re-grounded me in the basic geometry of sacred numbers, whose symbolism reflects the core shaping principles or archetypes governing the movement of energy throughout the whole cosmos.

The number 12 is one of those sacred numbers. From that symbolic, geometric perspective, dividing the inner space of the horoscope symbolically into 12 equal parts seems more appropriate than using any other house system, including Placidus, whose devising arises purely from measurements limited by the view from planet Earth in relation to the solar system in our tiny corner of space/time." For readers who would like to know more about top-down archetypal cosmology and why the equal house system best fits that cosmology I recommend an article which can be found on my website entitled Astrology in the Light of the 21st Century Paradigm Shift, Part 2.

By the way it turns out that the equal house system is older than most systems in use today. I learned at last Saturday’s Sophia Centre London conference from Chris Mitchell that the Arab astrologer Ibn Ezra (1089-1167) used the equal house system and suggest that he did not invent it but it was part of the legacy of the ancient world that the Arabs at that time were discovering.


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