This is a self-disclosure article which I intend to share with you all today why I made the switch to the Whole Sign House in my astrological practice.
For those who may not be familiar, Whole Sign House is a method of house division in which an astrological chart is divided into 12 equal sections, with each section coinciding with a sign of the zodiac.
The concept of the twelve houses has been in use for approximately two thousand years, tracing back to the Hellenistic tradition of the first century BCE. Interestingly, researchers studying ancient Greco-Roman astrological traditions have discovered that Whole Sign Houses appears to have been the oldest and most popular form of house division for the first six or seven hundred years of Western astrology.
Although this method was lost during the Middle Ages, it has recently been recovered in the astrological tradition since the 1980s and 1990s. So, what exactly is the Whole Sign Houses technique? It’s the simplest method of house division because all you need to do is determine the zodiac sign in which the ascendant is located. The entire sign where the ascendant is located becomes the first house, and the rest of the houses coincide with subsequent zodiacal signs in counter-clockwise order. In this way, there are always twelve houses that perfectly coincide with each of the twelve zodiac signs.
Before making the switch to Whole Sign Houses, I had been using the Placidus House system, which is a more commonly used method of house division. However, I had become increasingly frustrated with the inconsistencies and inaccuracies I was seeing in my readings. I found that sometimes, the placements of planets in certain houses didn’t quite align with the interpretations I was giving for those placements.
After doing some research and talking with other astrologers, I decided to try out the Whole Sign House system, and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve found that using this method has brought a new level of clarity and accuracy to my readings. Calculating Whole Sign Houses is straightforward and easy. The 12 equal sections make sense to me, and I appreciate how easy it is to calculate the houses based on the ascendant sign. Whatever your rising sign is, it becomes the first house, and then the sign after that becomes the second house, and so on. The tenth house is always the tenth sign relative to the rising sign. I’ve also found that the degree of the Midheaven floating around the top half of the chart adds an extra layer of nuance and specificity to my interpretations. It acts like a sensitive point, importing tenth house significations into whatever whole sign house it falls. The degree of the IC does the same thing, except it imports fourth house significations into whatever whole sign house it falls in the bottom half of the chart. This approach already represents a sort of hybrid, as outlined in a second-century text by the astrologer Vettius Valens.
But beyond just the technical aspects of the system, I also appreciate the historical significance of Whole Sign Houses. It’s the oldest known method of house division, and it’s been used for thousands of years in various astrological traditions. There’s something special about using a system that’s been tried and tested for so long.
Of course, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to astrological techniques and methods, and what works for me may not work for everyone. But for those who are curious about trying out a new house system, I highly recommend giving Whole Sign Houses a shot. Who knows, it may just bring a new level of depth and accuracy to your readings, as it has for me.