Placidus vs. Whole Signs - Which House System is More Accurate?

  • I recently started courses to become a Certified Professional Astrologer and my professor insists on using the Whole Signs house system as opposed to the Placidus house system that is most commonly used because he says that in his 45+ years of experience it has proven to give a more accurate reading. The problem I have with this is that this system is rarely used and almost every report and reading I have on myself and others that I have researched has been done using the Placidus system. Now, it didn't really affect my chart that much because it only changed the house location of two of my planets, but most people's charts are completely altered, in fact, I have a chart in front of me right now and every single one of his planets except his sun changes houses from one system to another. Now, I want to be objective and follow my professor's instructions, but this is really screwing me up because I have two completely different reports for the same exact birth information!! Anyone have any comments or suggestions about which one is better? Is it possible that planets on the house cusp could be associated with parts of both houses?

  • Great question, Miche! Which house system to use tends to be a hot issue among astrologers, with many different opinions. I've been practicing astrology professionally for about 10 years and always used the Placidus system (because that's what MY teacher used). But recently, after reading some convincing articles about the Whole Sign system, I've started experimenting with it. Like you, in my own chart not much changes when I switch systems, but I've found it really useful for clients who were born far north - in the Placidus system they end up with a few giant houses (where all the planets tend to congregate) and a lot of tiny houses - making for a not very interesting reading. When I switch to the Whole Sign system, the charts seem to make more sense. I'm still using Placidus for most charts, and not yet convinced to switch entirely to Whole Signs, but I'll keep experimenting and see.

    I do think that it's worth considering planets on the cusp as belonging to both houses. In my own chart, the Moon is in the 11th but on the cusp of the 12th, and it's been helpful for me to consider both possibilities (and both placements make sense to me). Astrology is really a process of discovery - with other people's charts, you could explain the meaning of both house positions, and see which one resonates more for them (or if both do). My suggestion for you would be to play with both Placidus and Whole Signs (and maybe even other house systems...) and see which one feels right to you.

    With so many options for drawing up charts (tropical or sidereal zodiac, which house system, whether or not to include asteroids, etc...), it really comes down to what resonates the most for YOU. While some astrologers feel very strongly that one system is right or wrong, I think (true to my Gemini Rising) there's validity to all approaches. Best of luck to you in your astro-studies!

    • Emily

  • Hey there, Friends. Placidus, Equal, Hellenistic, Koch - I too am starting to explore the differences in all the systems, and to tell the truth I'm not sure how to even group them. I have been doing most of my learning on my own, just me and my Search Engines. I am wondering if anyone can recomment a specific Author, whom I can buy a book of, that explains all the systems in a simple, comprehensive way.

    Thus far, the best web site I have come across that gives a short explanation of the House Systems is:

    . Hope it helps you. And thanks for any replies...


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