When the casual observer looks at an astrological chart for the first time, it is easy to make the incorrect assumption that the 12 "pie pieces" are the 12 signs of the zodiac. The lines indicate the house divisions (sign divisions are usually not represented), which can begin or end at different places in different signs. Astrologers disagree about how to draw the houses, although most agree that the first house should begin on the eastern horizon and the seventh house (180° away) should begin on the western horizon. Also, the great majority of systems begin the tenth house at the degree of the zodiac that is highest in the heavens and the fourth house at exactly 180° away from the cusp of the tenth house.
The Koch house system, also called the birthplace house system, is a very recent one (though not significantly different from the ancient system of Alcabitus) that was put forward in 1971 by Walter Koch. Although a relative newcomer, it has quickly become popular. Like the also popular Placidean house system, the Koch system finds the house cusps intervening between the ascendant and the medium coeli by trisecting the time, in this case the time it takes to rise from the horizon to the ecliptic. In actual practice, Koch house cusps do not vary significantly from Placidean cusps.
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