Book review: The 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!

If you understand a couple of principles this system is very easy to apply.

Then are presented some insights in the Greek and medieval astrology. You can find the etymology of the word “topos” (who was used by Greeks instead of “house”) or “skopeo” (from horoskopos).

It seems is no evidence that anyone prior to Ptolemy used anything but Whole Sign Houses. In this system, the houses makes the same aspects (Ptolemaic aspects) with the Ascendant that the signs do, which was very important in giving a significance for houses. Let see a quotation:

“In early astrology there seems to have been little distinction made between “good” aspects (sextile and trine) and “bad” aspects (square and opposition). The truly “bad” relationship was no relation at all”.

So, no relation, taking only Ptolemaic aspects in account, is between the Ascendant and the 2, 6, 8 and 12 houses (also signs), which are, in fact, the malefic houses (the second house became associated with possessions and lost his malefic significance). This is another evidence that houses were likened to signs and their significance was determined by the aspect with the Ascendant. But now, using other house system, you can lose the correlation between houses and aspects! For example, the eight house (which in Whole Sign Houses has no Ptolemaic aspect) may be in trine with the Ascendant (in Placidus, Koch or other systems).

At page 23, I saw that the Lot of Fortune has to do with acquiring money and with one’s body type. So, indicates not only money but also the body!

In the final section are some practical examples, where the author analyzes Marx’s, Lenin’s and Edith Bolling Wilson’s charts through the Whole Sign Houses system. You will find something very interesting here: Karl Marx, the founder of Communism, was born on a total eclipse of the Sun who’s path spent most of his time over that later became the Soviet Union! Isn’t that a very good example of how astrology works?


Conclusion. It is an interesting book, who helps us structure some thoughts and notions but, finally, I see it like a simple booklet, without many new or interesting ideas. The subject (Whole Sign Houses system) is an important one, but this book is not the subject, it just collects some information about this and presents those from the author point of view. Only 7,5.