Whole Sign Houses

whole sign houses

Published by Arhat Publications in 2000, this 48 pages booklet is, in fact, a former material appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, who is trying to prove why the author uses the Whole Sign Houses system and to convince us about his usefulness.


The Whole Sign Houses is a system where the first house is the whole sign where the Ascendant is rising. Then every next sign is a house. For example, if your Ascendant is rising at 27 degrees in Virgo, the first house is from 0 to 30 degrees in Virgo, the second house from 0 to 30 degrees in Libra, the tenth house from 0 to 30 degrees in Gemini and so on. But, attention, the Ascendant and Midheaven keeps their position, so the Midheaven may not fall in the tenth house! Back to our example, if you used Placidus house system and the Midheaven was at 28 degrees in Taurus, now, using the Whole Sign Houses you will have the tenth house in Gemini but the Midheaven will still be at 28 degrees in Taurus, so, in the ninth house!


Exploring Jupiter


Exploring_Jupiter.JPGStephen Arroyo, born October 6, 1946, in Kansas City, Missouri, is an American astrologer who wrote several psychologically oriented astrology books like Astrology, Psychology and the Four Elements (1975), Chart Interpretation Handbook (1990), Astrology, Karma and Transformation (1992), Exploring Jupiter (1996). His astrological views are similar with those of Liz Greene, another representative for modern psychologically oriented astrology, and different in some essential points from what is accepted by traditional astrology, for example he uses non-Ptolemaic aspects (quincunx, semi-sextile etc.), dissociate aspects, which happen when planets are in an aspect but the signs they are placed within are not in the same aspectual relationship, for example, Mars 28 degrees Libra is considered to square Venus 2 degrees Aquarius even the signs are in trine, accepts mutual receptions between planets which are not in a Ptolemaic aspect, considers retrograde planets not to be debilitated, associates sign elements to houses (fire, earth, air, water houses), uses modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto like co-rulers for Aquarius, Pisces, and Scorpio. For his work he was honored in 1992 with the Regulus Award for Theory and Understanding and became one of the best-selling astrology authors.


Understanding Jupiter

In the first three chapters 1. A Framework for Understanding Jupiter, 2. Jupiter in the Birth Charts and 3. Exploring the Jupiterian Personality the author tries to define the characteristics of Jupiter by itself and in relation with other planets and signs. The books starts with the Hermetic theory of the unity between the man-microcosm and macrocosm where Jupiter represents the processes which help us understand our position:


"I cannot help but feel that Jupiter’s bigness and broad vision is inextricably linked to the perennial human search for a large truth and for an experience of oneness with the universe."


Jupiter is also defined in another manner by analyzing the differences between him and opposed planets and signs. The relation Jupiter/Mercury opposes the Mercurian logic, knowledge, concrete, present with the Jupiterian intuition, understanding, abstract, future. The relation Gemini/Sagittarius shows two different mental, intellectual attitudes with Gemini looking for concrete, rational knowledge, having an empirical view and Sagittarius looking for a spiritual, intuitive, holistic knowledge. The author also presents the relations Sagittarius/Virgo, Sagittarius/Pisces, Jupiter/Neptune, Jupiter/Saturn and Jupiter/Venus. Among other interesting ideas he mentions that the Mercurian signs, Virgo and Gemini, tends to demystify life while the Jupiterian signs, Sagittarius and Pisces, tends to mystify life. 


The best analyze between planets I think is the Jupiter/Saturn relation, where the two planets are counterbalancing each other. A strong Saturn will keep Jupiter not to become extreme, arrogant, over-confident, self-indulgent, risking too much, not to rely too much in luck, fate, fortune. Also a good balance between Saturn and Jupiter indicate a good business man. I think this is a good point and the balance between Saturn and Jupiter is an important aspect in the chart. I can say that especially when Jupiter is also in aspect with Mars the person needs a strong Saturn to control the tendency to "push his luck". 


In chapter 2 one can find some useful guidelines for interpreting Jupiter. It is something of this sort:


"A strong Jupiter usually manifests as a hopeful, buoyant, upbeat personality – often quite humorous. Jupiter’s sign often gives a clue to the type of humor. […] Jupiter’s position shows where probable success, prosperity, and rapid development are likely, for it is there that bountiful energy can be experienced and that one has enhanced abilities to express oneself and share with society at large." 


In chapter 3 you’ll find the astrological configurations which can make a person embarrassed to express her Jupiterian attitude: a prominence of Capricorn, Virgo or many planets in water signs. I think this is a very good observation which touches a rare subject in astrological literature.   


In every chapter of this book the reader will observe two fundamental characteristics: quotas from other astrologers and detailed practical examples. Stephen Arroyo uses ideas, opinions, quotes from many authors like Charles Carter, Jeff Mayo, Antony Aveni, Theodore Roszak, Isabelle Pagan, Page Smith, David Humblin, Dane Rudhyar, Tracy Marks, Grant Lewi, Donna Cunningham etc., so you can find other astrologer’s opinion about Jupiter too. The other feature, practical examples of the astrological principles, is made by presenting and analyzing charts of famous people. In this part one can find detailed analyzes (1-3 pages) for George Washington, Winston Churchill, Andrew Carnegie and Paul Mellon (Jupiterian philanthropists), Dale Carnegie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  

Saturn – A New Look at an Old Devil


saturn2.jpgLiz Greene (born 4th September 1946 in New Jersey, USA) is an astrologer who became famous after writing several books of psychological astrology like Saturn – A New Look at an Old Devil, The Astrology of Fate, The Luminaries: The Psychology of the Sun and Moon in the Horoscope or The Astrological Neptune and the Quest for Redemption. She is strongly influenced by the Jungian psychology, concepts like personal and collective unconscious, archetype, synchronicity being common in her books. Nowadays she lives in Switzerland and is the director of the Center of Psychological Astrology, an institute she founded in 1983 with Howard Sasportas.  


Her first book, Saturn – A New Look at an Old Devil (1976), is a bestseller still considered in astrology one of the main references about Saturn.

The major innovation is that she doesn’t present Saturn from a fatalistic point of view, but tries to explain the psychological and evolutionary processes generated by his presence.


The first half of the book presents the interpretations for Saturn in signs and houses. There are four chapters named "In the Watery Signs and Houses", "In the Earthy Signs and Houses", "In the Airy Signs and Houses" and "In the Fiery Signs and Houses". As one can see from the title the interpretations for signs and houses are blended in the same chapters and the houses are grouped like watery, earthy, airy and fiery. This is pretty awkward for many astrologers. Also, there are too many connections with mythology, the text is not well structured, often confusing, hard to understand and the explanations seem irrational. Let’s see an example:


"Saturn in the sixth house seems to provide an opportunity – often through frustration, dissapointment, and ill health- for a journey into the mysteries of the interconnexion between mind and body and the possibility of a conscious and deliberate synthesis of these two, the reward of which is good health and a new awareness of the meaning of the body and of the material environment." 


The second half of the book contains two chapters named "Aspects in the Birth Chart" and "In Synastry" where the author presents the interpretations for the aspects of Saturn and other planets in the natal chart and synastry. The text changes and, in contrast with the first part, the observations become reliable, the analyze is subtle, fine and insightful. It seems to be a totally different book. It is a pleasant surprise for the reader. One can find the interpretations for Saturn in relation with the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn (synastry), Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The analyze is not divided in separate aspects (conjunction, sextile etc.), just presents the general relation between planets, eventually speaking about good and bad aspects. Every planetary combination made by Saturn is presented detailed, in multiple areas of life. For example, the Saturn – Venus relation is analyzed in relation with marriage, sexuality, the capacity to be happy, the emotional state, the early home life, the rel
ation with parents, the capacity to express and receive affection etc. One can find a various and numerous range of manifestations for every planetary combination. Let’s see a quotation:


"Mercury – Saturn contacts are not productive of the kind of stress and emotional frustration which is more typical of Mars, Venus, or the Moon in aspect to Saturn. Mercury, being symbolic of cold reason and common sense and being inclined toward matters of business or commerce as well as intellectual pursuits, tends to blend agreeably with Saturn regardless of the nature of the aspect. It is fairly obvious why a combination of these two planets should be associated with tact, shrewdness, and diplomacy."




Conclusion. I don’t like the first part where is presented Saturn in signs and houses. My objections are: the analyzes made for signs and houses are very similar (for example, the second house is equated with Taurus etc.), the houses are associated with the four elements (fire, earth, air and water) like signs, there is too much mythology, the text is confusing, not well structured, jumping from one idea to another very easily. A book about Saturn should have a little more structure. I like the second part, the analyze of the relation between Saturn and planets is a very good one. Good, valuable observations can be found in every page. Taking in account the differences between the two parts of the book, I will give 6,5 for the first part and a 9 for the second part. So, the evaluation for the whole book is 7,75.



Matheseos Libri VIII


matheseos_libri.jpgJulius Firmicus Maternus (280-360 A.D.) was a Sicilian lawyer from the upper nobility who retired from his career in order to devote himself to science and literature. He wrote Matheseos Libri VIII around 330 A.D. and dedicated to his friend, the consul Lollianus Mavortius. The material used for this book is mainly from Greek astrology sources. 



The first chapter represents a letter written by the author to his friend Mavortius, Governor of the entire East. Mavortius was an intelligent and learned person who had lots of discussions with Julius Firmicus on many subjects, one being astrology. A big part of this letter is treating the conflict between astrologers and their opponents. To all the questions rose by those who deny astrology Julius Firmicus answers by showing that people can’t control anything in life, that Fate (represented by planets in his system) governs everything. He was a fatalistic astrologer who believed people can’t change their inherent destiny. 



Here you can find a wide range of astrological subjects. The author writes about the signs, the exaltations and falls (he considers a planet is more fortunate in exaltation than in domicile), the Egyptian decans and terms, matutine and vespertine planets, duodecatemoria, houses, aspects, antiscia etc.

Matutine planets are those which rise before the Sun (oriental), vespertine are those which rise after the Sun (occidental). The duodecatemoria is a technique based on the degree a planet have in a sign to compute another position which will reveal the whole essence. But, there is a problem because the algorithm is erroneous. You can find the good one here.

The aspects between planets are analyzed like whole sign aspects, without orb, giving much importance to the direction from which are formed: a right aspect is made from the back of the sign (dexter), a left aspect is in front of the sign (sinister).



The first pages from Liber Tertius present Thema Mundi, the chart for the birthday of the Universe. This doctrine, writes Firmicus, comes by Mercury itself who transmitted to other intermediaries. Thema Mundi is a chart with all the planets in domicile at 15 degrees. I believe at least in this moment is much more mythology that science.


After that, you’ll find the explanations for the planets and luminaries in houses. I think the interpretations are quite delightful and a big part of them are matching with reality. The analyses always takes in account if the chart is diurnal or nocturnal, thus if the planets are in sect their effect is considerable better. Also, in many cases, the author introduces new aspects (very often the Moon), analyzes more than position in house, for example:


"Mercury located exactly on the ascendant in signs in which he rejoices, in a daytime chart, makes philosophers, teachers of the art of letters, or geometers […]or men skilled in sacred writings. Often he makes orators and lawyers, especially if in this house he is in his own sign or in other voiced signs. If either the Sun, Saturn or Jupiter are in aspect with Mercury in this house, he will make great men crowned with wreaths for being famous in sacred matters. […]But if Mars is in opposition or in square aspect or together with Mercury on the ascendant, the native is attacked by a variety of continual evils."