Equal House Systems

Owing to the variability which arises in house systems that use the Midheaven, simpler systems have arisen that do not consider it as the cusp of the tenth house. They regard the Ascendant as the cusp of the first house, and place all other house cusps an equal thirty degrees from it.

In such systems, if 5 degrees Gemini is the Ascendant, the cusp of the second house will be 5 Cancer; that of the third 5 Virgo and so on. These are called Equal House systems.

The advantage of these systems is that they are easier to calculate. They are also easier to read for aspects, as aspects are determined by degree position in signs, not by the angles as visible from the Earth. For example, a planet in the cusp of the tenth house in the equal house system will always be in a 90 degree or square aspect to the Ascendant. In non-equal house systems no such aspect may be formed. A planet conjunct the Midheaven may not be at any angle aspect to the Ascendant. Aspects cannot be determined by sight in such systems, but require examining the exact degrees of planetary locations. Equal house systems become more important in extreme latitudes, north or south, where several houses may occur in one sign or several signs in one house, which would otherwise make chart interpretation very complicated.

The disadvantage of the equal house systems is that they do not adequately consider the Midheaven, a well known powerful point in the chart in all systems. For this reason, it is wise to still add the Midheaven as a special point of power. In equal house systems the Midheaven may fall in the ninth, tenth or eleventh houses.

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