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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrophysical Directions > Introduction > Wheel of Houses

Learn Astrology

Back to Introduction   |   Back to Astrophysical Direction 

Wheel-of-Houses & Wheel-of-Signs

Perhaps the most convenient approach to cosmic structure and the objects listed in this section involves use of your own natal chart. We will use the natal horoscope of Charles A. Jayne, Jr. (to whom this work is dedicated) throughout this introduction. You will of course be using your own natal chart and it may be helpful to establish a notebook in which to keep some of the information you will come across.

Wheel of Houses

Figure A. shows Jayne's chart drawn-out on the traditional WHEEL-OF-HOUSES format. This form of chart representation fixes the houses and holds them 'still', while allowing the signs of the zodiac to revolve. This is fine. However, our work here requires that we develop a real feel for the signs and directions in space as measured in the zodiac rather than for the houses. We require a different charting format for this purpose, one that will bring out the signs of the zodiac and the 360° of the zodiac plane. Such a format is the WHEEL-OF-SIGNS format as shown in Figure B. Here the signs are fixed and the angles and houses revolve. For instance, in this format the mid-heaven is not so much an "up" direction as it is a direction out in space -- a section of the zodiac.

Wheel of Signs

Since much of our introductory work into astrophysical directions in space requires the development of a 'feel' for different directions in space, you will have to draw out your natal chart on the Whee-of-Signs as we have the chart of Charles Jayne (Figure B) on a 360° chart form. Many of 'you will already be acquainted with this format, since it is the most convenient way to accent the various aspects and chart configurations in a natal chart. You will notice that when the planets are entered in such a chart (in the various sign and degree placements), that aspects drawn on these charts (with colored pencils and pens) represent the actual angles between the planets. This is because all 360° of the zodiac are evenly spaced in this format.

In the Wheel-of-Signs format, the angles (ascendant, descendent, etc.) are drawn on the rim of the chart and are NOT extended through the center of the form. Using this method, the angles are clear and yet do not obscure the various aspects and whole-chart patterns that we are attempting to bring out. The various house cusps can be marked-in along the chart rim, if needed.

Your first exercise will be to translate your natal chart from the Wheel-of-Houses format to the Wheel-of-Signs or 360° format. Many of you can let your computers do this for you.

If you will examine Figure B, you will notice another difference between this chart and that of the houses in Figure A. The planets are expressed in 360°-notation rather than in signs and degrees. Don't be put off by this, for it is a very useful convention. The Signs are fixed in the Wheel-of-Signs format (printed on the paper), so there is no danger of our losing sight of them and we have our Wheel-of-Houses chart nearby, if we need it.

Copyright (c) 1997-99 Michael Erlewine

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