People are often surprised to hear that all astrology is not the same. In fact, every astrologer has to choose what is known as a house system. A different way to divide up the circle into twelve slices, or ‘houses’. I have experimented with all of them since I first began my career as an astrologer at Elle magazine. I use the Natural House System for all personal readings. But what is it, how can you apply it to your astrological chart, and why has it become my favourite prediction method? And also my favourite way of analysing personality? I strongly recommend you try it, and it’s very easy to use.
NATURAL HOUSES CONNECT YOU TO THE WORLD
The Natural House System puts Aries on the cusp of the First House, which it rules. It puts Taurus on the cusp of the Second House, which it also rules. It puts Gemini on the cusp of the Third House. And so on, right around the zodiac. The Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven and Immum Coeli (AC, DC, MC and IC) are then actually placed inside houses. So, if you were born with the IC in Capricorn, it ends up in your Tenth House. This is true for the United Kingdom (below) which was ‘born’ or founded with the IC right at the top of her chart. She was born ambitious. So she created the British Empire.
HOW TO CREATE A NATURAL HOUSE SYSTEM HOROSCOPE – NOW!
If you are lucky enough to have the Solar Fire software then you can choose Aries 0 Ascendant (the other name for Natural Houses) and create your chart this way. Otherwise try Premium Membership on this website for a week, and pick up all your planet, asteroid and angle positions. Find a cake or cookie/biscuit tin. Draw a circle with a pen. Using a ruler, divide up the circle into twelve houses and number them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 as you usually see on a computer chart. Draw Aries on the cusp of start of House 1, Taurus on the cusp of start of House 2, Gemini on House 3, Cancer on House 4, Leo on House 5, Virgo on House 6, Libra on House 7, Scorpio on House 8, Sagittarius on House 9, Capricorn on House 10, Aquarius on House 11, Pisces on House 12. Now, taking your data, you just enter all your usual placements into these new houses. This is your Natural Horoscope. And you did it with your own hands. What could be more natural?
YOUR NATURAL HOUSE HOROSCOPE CONNECTS YOU TO YOUR WORLD
This chart connects you to the world. In other words, when the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, India or any other country has Pluto transiting Capricorn in her Tenth House of achievement and ambition – so do you! This explains why your career has been so intense and so full of change, ever since this Pluto cycle began in 2008. What is happening to the world as a whole, with its sweeping economic and job transformation, is also happening to you. I like the Natural House System because it also shows how you affect the world.
Let’s say you do have planets or asteroids, or angles, in Capricorn – so in the Tenth House. Clearly, Pluto is going to conjunct, or sit right on, those chart placements for you. This means your career has been going through extreme change. However, you also affect the world as this happens. Your promotion, demotion, redundancy, retirement or termination has a ripple effect on your own workplace. This has a ripple effect on other businesses or companies too. And the ripples go on. Micro affects macro. Why does Saturn in Scorpio coincide with billions wiped off UK shares in August 2015? (See Daily Mail story below). Because bankers and brokers commonly have planets, angles and asteroids in Scorpio, the finance sign. So when Saturn conjuncts these placements in their horoscopes, thousands of them have a depressing Saturn time. Which hits the markets!
NATURAL HOUSES REMOVE OLD-FASHIONED MALE ATTITUDES
The most popular house systems in the world – Placidus, Equal and Koch – were popularised by men in the 20th Century and earlier. Old-fashioned male attitudes are unavoidably imprinted on old-fashioned house systems, invented by men, or adopted by them. Houses just reflect your perspective. They show your view of the world. Do you really want to look at the world through the eyes of Placidus, for example? He was a monk. He never had sex. I point-blank refuse to use Placidus for my Cosmopolitan readers (I am a Contributing Editor at Cosmopolitan UK) because his system makes women unhappy.
YOU DIDN’T LOSE YOUR ASCENDANT. DON’T WORRY!
Your Ascendant still functions as your Ascendant. It shows how you appear to the world. How you are profiled and judged by strangers. You have not lost it using this system. It just went into a house, or area of life, where you are showcased and presented to us all. Make sense? If you have an Aquarius Ascendant, it just went into your Eleventh House of groups and friends. And that’s fine, because if you have Aquarius Rising, you are seen through your teams, clubs, bands and social media. Your political party and your community. Your brotherhood and sisterhood. Right? (Aquarius, pictured below). President Barack Obama did not lose his Aquarius Ascendant with this system, it just went into the Eleventh House. He’s the leader of the Democrats so it figures.
BRIAN INNES ON ASTROLOGICAL HOUSE SYSTEMS
The classic Brian Innes book, Horoscopes (Macdonald & Co 1977) has an entire chapter devoted to what Innes calls The Vexed Question of Houses. He writes that the Babylonians (who gave us the core of the astrology we use today) divided the horoscope into twelve equal houses, comprising one-twelfth each (30 degrees) of the great 360 degree circle. They did this because the zodiac also divided the sky into twelve equal parts.
From this way of thinking, eventually Ptolemy gave us what we call the Equal House System. As time went on, a man called Ibn Ezra (Eleventh Century) gave us what we call the Regiomontanus House System. Then there is Placidus. Brian Innes says witheringly, ‘It is by far the most complicated and least logical system.’
All I can say is, the house system you use is just like a clock. I photographed this jumble of clocks in Paris. They all work. There is no doubt about that. They also show totally different times and were made by different inventors, to be used in different parts of the world, by different people. Without a clock, though, you know nothing. You have no life. So choose a clock. Everyone has their different tastes and preferences. Do you want a life-clock made by a man living in the Middle Ages, or do you want a life-clock that connects you to modern life?
HOW THE PLACIDUS HOUSE SYSTEM TOOK OFF
Why did Placidus (also loved by the celibate monk Placidus) take off? Because Raphael’s Ephemeris, the standard book of astrological information still published today, decided to use it, and all their tales of houses are calculated with Placidus. That’s all it takes, folks.
All these different circles and wheels are just symbolic maps of the heavens. They show how astrologers, and astrology fans, and astrology students, see things. And here’s the kicker. They all work. They are all accurate predictors of personality and fate. They just show you a different flavour of reality, depending on which map you use, and through whose eyes you see.
Did Adolf Hitler have Leo on the cusp of his Eleventh House or Virgo? It changes his whole chart. If you use Equal House and Campanus, another system, he has Leo there. If you use Regiomontanus, Morinus and Placidus then he has Virgo there. If you use Natural Houses, none of this will apply. All you will care about is the fact that Hitler had a Leo MC (Midheaven) in the Fifth House and his entire life was about the fact that he never had children, but he was obsessed with being the King of Hitler Youth. And that’s a whole other story about Hitler astrologers can uncover.
CHOOSE YOUR REALITY
Quantum science tells us that we probably live in a multiverse. Countless parallel universes, based on the choices we make, every day of our lives. Even Professor Brian Cox and Professor Stephen Hawking believe that one. We live in an age when ‘choose your reality’ is not just a New Age cliche. It is actually true. So when you choose a house system, you choose your reality. Try the Natural House System and see if you want to switch universes. Report back!