Hemisphere literally means a half sphere. In geography, hemisphere refers to the division of Earth into northern, southern, eastern, and western hemispheres. In astrology, hemisphere usually refers to the division of a horoscope into upper and lower halves (using the ascendant-descendant axis as the dividing line) or into left and right halves (using the midheaven-imum coeli axis as the dividing line). The upper and lower hemispheres of a chart are technically termed the diurnal (day, because it is above the horizon) arc and the nocturnal (night, because it is below the horizon) arc, respectively. The left and right hemispheres are termed the oriental (eastern) arc and the occidental (western) arc. These technical terms are rarely used by contemporary astrologers.

In the interpretation of a natal chart, the occurence of many planets above the horizon is said to indicate extroversion; many planets below the horizon indicates introversion. Also, a chart with a preponderance of planets in the left hemisphere is said to indicate an individual who shapes her or his environment, and a preponderance in the right hemisphere indicates an individual who adapts to the environment. These interpretations are tentative, "first impression" delineations and can be quickly abandoned if other factors in a birth chart give contrary indications.


Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New

York: New American Library, 1980. Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Astrology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.

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