The Color-Cube and Astro-Logical Houses

by Tom Gilmore
Copyright 2017
All graphics by Tom Gilmore
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A Long-Lost Secret Revealed

The deduction of the color-cube shown below is detailed in the Astro-Logic article.

The color-cube shown below is the key to origin of the traditional esoteric interpretations of the Houses of Astrology. 

The edges of the color-cube are labeled with Signs of the Zodiac, and the faces are labeled with 6 of the traditional 7 Planets.  Each Sign is an edge that connects 2 faces in unique pairs.  For example, refer to the cube above to see that Leo, the front-right edge, pairs the Sun and Mercury. The chart below lists the Signs in astronomical sequence, showing the Planet pairs for each Sign.  You can verify the list by examining the color-cube above.

 1 Aries           Mars    Sun                 
 2 Taurus         Moon   Venus             
 3 Gemini        Mars    Mercury         
 4 Cancer         Moon   Sun                 
 5 Leo             Sun      Mercury         
 6 Virgo           Mars    Venus             
 7 Libra           Venus  Mercury         
 8 Scorpio        Mars    Moon              
 9 Sagittarius   Saturn  Sun     
10 Capricorn   Saturn  Venus             
11 Aquarius    Saturn  Mercury         
12 Pisces         Saturn  Moon              

These 12 pairs of Planets are behind the traditional Hermetic interpretations of the Houses.  Each Planet is assigned key-words that when concatenated suggest the life-segment that the Houses partition. 

"Planet"           Key-Words                  Key-Words
Mars                Active              Initial to Intermediate
Sun                                          Self     
Mercury          Structure         Mentality
Venus              Relations         Social Position           
Moon                                       Regulator
Saturn              Transition       Mature

House        Pairs                      Concatenation                         Hermetic Tradition
1         Mars    Sun                  Active Self                              Body & Personality
 2         Moon   Venus              Regulator of Social Position  Possessions & Obligations
 3         Mars    Mercury          Initial Mentality                     Lower Mind & Education
 4         Moon   Sun                  Regulator of Self                    Homelife & Mother
 5         Sun      Mercury          Self Mentality                         Emotionality & Creativity
 6         Mars    Venus              Intermediate Social Position  Employment & Health
 7         Venus  Mercury          Structured Relationships        Marriage & Partners
 8         Mars    Moon               Intermediate Regulator          Transition & Inheritance
 9         Saturn  Sun                 Mature Self                             Friends and Hopes
                                                                                    Higher Mind & Interests (traditional)
10        Saturn  Venus              Mature Social Position           Positions & Honors
11        Saturn  Mercury          Mature Mentality                    Higher Mind & Interests
                                                                                    Friends and Hopes (traditional)
12        Saturn  Moon               Transitional Regulator           Karmic Debt & Spirituality

It is obvious that the 9th and 11th House interpretations have been switched, because Saturn & Mercury (House 11) is "Mature Mentality", which logically would be "Higher Mind and Interests".  These switched interpretations are shown in gray, underneath the corrected interpretations shown in Orange.

It is clear that the Houses are generally progressing through life.  Mars represents the advent and progression of life (and Mars is distributed through the first 8 Houses), and Saturn represents the transition to death (and Saturn is clumped together in the last 4 Houses).

Sidereal Time

Sidereal periods of rotations and revolutions of astral bodies are measured by a return to facing a given star, while solar periods measure by a return to facing the Sun.  Due to the revolution of the Earth around the Sun in the same direction as the Earth's rotation, starting from facing the Sun a full sidereal rotation of the Earth does not return to facing the Sun.  The Earth must rotate an additional distance to complete a full solar day, since it has moved around the Sun during that time in its orbit.  The average solar day is longer than the sidereal day by 3.9425 minutes.

Sidereal Astrology uses the actual star constellations, while Tropical Astrology is based on the seasons.  Today, in Tropical Astrology, on the spring equinox the Ascendant is by definition at the cusp of Aries, but the actual constellation rising is Aquarius, due to the precession of Earth’s axis (refer to article on Sun, Earth, Moon).  To work with Sidereal Astrology the Tropical Zodiac must be shifted back by 2 Signs, such that the spring equinox is Aquarius, followed by Pisces and then Aries. 

The Natal Horoscope

The Natal Ascendant is the Sign rising at the horizon at the moment of birth (first breath).  A Natal Horoscope first locates the Signs of the Planets by degrees, and places them in a pie-chart of the Zodiac (seen at left below).  To locate the planets an Ephemeris is used, which logs the daily planetary positions for noon at Greenwich, England (zero degrees longitude).  The time of birth is adjusted to Greenwich-time by adding (if west of Greenwich) or subtracting (if east) 4 minutes for each degree of the longitude of birth (irregular time zones and daylight savings complicate this).  The time of birth, adjusted to Greenwich-time, is used to proportion the planetary locations between the bracketed noon position logs in the Ephemeris.

Note: Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is the average time at which the Sun passes the zero longitude (Greenwich Meridian), but due to the varying velocity of Earth’s elliptical orbit the solar day varies in duration by time of year.  The elliptical orbit and the tilt of the axis combines to vary the discrepancy between the Greenwich Mean Time (an average) and when the Sun actually crosses the Greenwich Meridian (ahead by up to 16 ½ minutes, and behind by as much as 14 minutes), with the result that the calculated ascendant using GMT is often inaccurate.

After the Planets are located, the cusps of the Signs of the Houses are positioned on the pie-chart, automatically placing the Planets in the Houses.  The Ascendant is the Sign (by degree) that is rising on the horizon at the moment of birth.  The Houses are numbered, and begin with the Ascendant (as seen at right below). 

To position the cusps of the Houses a “Table of Houses” is used.  A single table suffices, set for the cusp of Aries, because subtracting the sidereal time (found in the daily Ephemeris) adjusts any day of the year to the spring equinox (cusp of Aries).  However, the table has entries for every degree of latitude, because a circle seen at an angle is oval, and the greater the angle (called the declination) the more squished the oval, so the Table of Houses delineates cusps for the Houses for each degree of latitude.  The House segments are wider at the top of the oval and narrower at the sides of the oval.

Esoteric Astrology (interpretation of the Natal Horoscope) is based on a generalized psychological system of human characteristics.  It is primarily a platform for psychological counseling (possibly a Bohemian product of traveling Gypsies).  The system of astrology defines characteristics common to all people, so interpretations are only selecting a personalized subset from a totality of aspects that all apply to everyone.  Thus it is essentially irrelevant if the horoscope is accurate, uses stars or seasons, or corrects the switched Houses of 9 and 11.

There is no established scientific connection between personal psychological characteristics and either the stars or the seasons.

Beyond the static esoteric interpretations of the Natal Horoscope, progressive esoteric astrology compares the natal planetary configuration with the current planetary configuration.  It is possible that the angular relationships between Sun, Earth and Moon (and perhaps the other planets as well) affect the configuration of molecules of air, and stamp the body with that configuration at first breath.  This concept could validate progressive astrology as comparing current air molecule configurations (being breathed) to the stamp of the first breath.

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