Overview of astrological house systems

An astrology chart is made up of a few layers which make up the system of the wheel. Planets, signs, aspects and houses are blended together to tell the story of you. In astrology, there are 12 houses or areas of life to examine. When it comes to the houses, there are a number of methods that are used. While the houses are derived from your time and location of birth, the houses can look a little different depending on the system used. Below is a summary of the most popular house systems, and a class discussion of the effectiveness of the different methods. The discriptions get a little technical.

Popular house systems


The Placidus house system divides the phases of planetary and star movement above and below the horizon into equal-sized parts. A planet on the cusp of the twelfth house, for example, has already passed 1/6 of its so-called diurnal arc, a planet on the eleventh house cusp 2/6, a planet on the MC 3/6 or half of its diurnal arc, etc. The houses below the horizon divide the so-called ‘nocturnal arc’ of the stars and planets.

So, the Placidus system divides celestial movements and is consequently considered a time-oriented system.

For mathematical reasons, Placidus houses cannot be calculated for regions beyond the polar circles.

The Placidus house system is named after the Italian monk and mathematician Placidus de Titis (1603-1668), but was invented by the astronomer and mathematician Giovanni Antonio Magini (1555-1617). This is one of the house systems used at Core Confidence Life.

Whole Sign Houses

The Whole Sign house system considers the whole sign of the zodiac that contains the Ascendant as the first house. The following zodiac sign is the second house and so on. Here, houses are always complete zodiac signs. The Whole Sign houses belong to the group of equal (“same size”) houses.

The Whole Sign house system has been in use since antiquity and is currently especially popular in Indian siderean astrology. The ascendant point is always in the first house, but not always the cusp of the first. The MC is not always the cusp of the tenth house, in fact, the MC can be in 8 to 11, generally, and other houses in extreme locations. This is one of the house systems used by Core Confidence Life.

Equal house

The equal house system defines the Ascendant as the cusp of the first house. Each house has the same size (“equal”) of exactly 30°. Like the Whole Sign House system, the 10th house cusp does not coincide with the MC but is square to the Ascendant and consequently the highest point of the zodiac above the horizon. The equal house system has been in use since the time of antiquity.


The Koch house system (also called “house system of the birth place”) is defined by horizon lines at different times on the day of birth. We calculate the timespan that the MC zodiac degree has spent above the horizon since its rising. The cusp of the twelfth house is where the Ascendant was when 1/3 of this time had passed, the eleventh house cusp is where the Ascendant was when 2/3 of that time had passed. The cusps of houses 9 and 8 can be explained as Descendants for 1/3 and 2/3 respectively of this time span after birth.

Therefore, the Koch house system assigns special significance to the MC-IC axis, because the measure of the division is predefined by the diurnal arc of the zodiacal degree of the MC at birth. Like Placidus, the Koch system divides celestial movements and is therefore considered a time oriented system. For mathematical reasons, Koch houses cannot be calculated for regions beyond the polar circles.

The house system is named after the German astrologer Walter Koch (1895-1970) but was actually invented by Fiedrich Zanzinger (1913-1967) and Heinz Specht (1925-).


The Porphyry house system creates the intermediate houses by dividing each of the four quadrants into three equal-sized segments.

The house system traces back to the ancient philosopher and scholar Porphyry (233-30.

There are other systems such as Campanus, Regiomontanus, Vehlow, Meridian houses, and more. Even though there are a catrillion house systems, the MC and AC points are the same in 98% of these methods.

House system discussion

This is a discussion about the effects of using different house systems. We talk about using whole sign VS Placidus, and how you can get a fuller picture by using both.

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Author: Core Confidence Life

Core Confidence Life is an astrological, numerological, and self discovary service. We provide in depth readings, classes, and special member only benefits. Our goal is to guide and assist you into stepping in and owning your personal power so you can direct your destaney and become what the creator made you to be.

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