op the twelve houses op heaven.

Having divided the Heavens into four quarters, which we have shewn to be formed by nature, we shall now shew how these are again subdivided into three each, comprising in all twelve divisions, called the Twelve Houses.

If the first degree of Aries, the beginning of the zodiac, be rising in the east, the opposite point of the zodiac (the first degree of Libra) must be setting at the same moment. If, then, we examine the heavens, we shall find that on the meridian (north) will be found the first degree of Cancer, and on the opposite meridian (south) will be found the beginning of Capricorn. Each of the meridians, therefore, are 90 degrees distant from the east point, or ascendant; but, for the sake of clearness, we will consider only the south meridian. If the Sun be in the first degree of Aries when rising, and the Moon be in the first degree of Capricorn at the same time, she must be on the south meridian, and be also at 90 degrees distance from the Sun, which is a square aspect to that body. If the Sun rise in the first degree of Aries, the day and night are then equal, each being 12 hours long. The Sun rises, in this case, at six o'clock, comes to the south meridian at twelve, and sets at six in the evening ; and if we suppose the Moon to remain fixed on the meridian, the Sun will, two hours after rising, be within sixty degrees of her, having passed one-third of the distance from the ascendant to the meridian or mid-heaven :* this is a sextile aspect. It appears, therefore, that one-third of the half of the arc formed by the Sun in his daily course being completed, he is found at a sextile aspect to the meridian. Of course, he must then be 30 degrees (a semi-sex tile) from the horizon, or ascendant. Now this, being one-third of one quarter of the heavens, is one-twelfth part of the whole ; and thus constitutes one house. In two hours more the Sun proceeds upwards another 30 degrees,

* This distance will always be the same by oblique ascensmm, there being always 90° of oblique ascension between the horizon and meridian.

and arrives at the distance of 60 degrees from the ascendant, and 30 degrees to the mid-heaven. This forms another third of the quarter contained between the east and the meridian, and becomes another house. When he arrives at the mid-heaven, at noon, he has passed a third house; whence it appears that there are three houses between the horizon and meridian, and the beginning of each is in aspect to both of those points. It is this circumstance of their being in aspect, and being found to operate certain effects which they do not when otherwise situated, that, no doubt, first gave rise to the divisions of the heavens into twelve houses. It is plain that, in passing from the mid-heaven to the western horizon, similar positions are formed; as also in passing from the western horizon to the north meridian, and again from the north meridian to the place of sun-rise, in the east. Each quadrant of the heavens produces three houses—each hemisphere contains six; there are, of course, Twelve Houses.

Notice.—It matters not whether the Sun or any star be on the equator, and so divide the heavens into equal portions to constitute the houses, or be distant from the equator, and so divide the heavens into unequal portions ; since one house in the course of any heavenly body will always measure exactly one-third part of the arc that body forms between the horizon and the meridian.*

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