Horoscopes developed with the early Greeks and Babylonians. These early astrologers made a conformation that all charts are represented in a certain way.
It is as though you are standing facing south with the east to your left and the west to your right. At this point, the north is below your feet.
The compass points, when placed on a birth chart, fall in unexpected places. Note the east is on the left, the west in on the right, the north is at the bottom, and the south is at the top.
Is this news to you? Well, that is where the word NEWS comes from North, East, West, and South. However, on a birth chart, the compass points are in different places.
The four angles are the ascendant (ASC), the descendant (DEC), the Midheaven or Medium Coeli (MC) and the Immum Coeli (IC). There are two main axes in a chart, the ASC/DEC
Ascendant / Descendant axis – (Self / Other)
The impression you make on others. How others see you. It shows the self and your personality. The façade or mask you wear. It indicates the vehicle you use to get through life. The ascendant fronts for you. Other initially see your ascendant before they get to know you and then they see your Sun.
The descendant gives ideas on how you treat other people and strangers. It shows your relationship with the general public. This point also indicates who you are looking for in a partner. The descendant shows your spouse in sharp focus.
The Midheaven is at the top of the chart, and it indicates how the world sees you. The Midheaven suggests your highest achievements possible. Life outside the home and your public persona are shown here. The MC has a lot to say about your career and how you carve a life out for yourself. It is about all the things you do in the public domain. It shows your public face as opposed to your private face.
The IC shows the foundations of your life and from where you are coming. It is your private life. It suggests your family dynamics and the inside of your home. It can indicate the situation in your twilight years.
In an astrology chart there are four hemispheres: north, south, east and west.
Bearing in mind that you only count the seven visible planets, which are the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
A hemisphere is emphasized when it contains more than five planets.
The Hemisphere Ruler
The hemisphere ruler is the planet that rules the sign on the cusp of the angle of the hemisphere.
The northern hemisphere ruler is the planet that rules the sign on the ascendant.
The southern hemisphere ruler is the planet that rules the sign on the descendant.
The eastern hemisphere ruler is the planet that rules the sign on the MC.
The western hemisphere ruler is the planet that rules the sign on the IC.
If the hemisphere ruler is found in its own hemisphere that planet gains status.
Spans from the first house to the sixth house.
The northern hemisphere shows your personal matters it is the private hemisphere).
When the northern hemisphere is strong
If the northern hemisphere is emphasized, your identity and personal resources bring success. You are probably a private person and like to keep it that way. Your family is behind you in all you do. You may sometimes be distracted by worldly commitments or demands made on you by your career or society. Strong northern hemisphere people are often introverted.
From the seventh house to the twelfth house
The southern hemisphere indicates your outside world it is your public hemisphere.
When the southern hemisphere is strong
You are an extrovert if the southern hemisphere is emphasized in your chart. Your outside life is the highlight of your life. It is likely that you relish public acclaim. You probably strive for career and status. You may be distracted and even annoyed by the demands of your family and their needs.
The eastern hemisphere encompasses the six houses from the tenth house to the third house. The eastern hemisphere is known as your self-hemisphere.
When the eastern hemisphere is strong
You are subjective, and everything is really about you. You are a self-motivated and self- oriented and much can be achieved in life. You value independence and may forsake marriage. You enjoy your own company and have many personal projects on the go. You demand personal freedom to come and go at will which does not sit well with the demands of a marriage or partnership unless your partner is flexible as well.
The western hemisphere includes all houses from the fourth to the ninth. Interaction with other people (the “other” hemisphere).
When the western hemisphere is strong
Your interaction with others is the main focus of your life. You value personal relationships and marriage. You prefer to negotiate with others to find a win-win situation where possible. You learn about yourself through your interactions. There is a danger that you can become buried in a dead-end relationship.
The twelve houses can be divided into three groups.
This is known as the triple division of the houses.
There are Three Divisions
The first division
The second division
The third division
The first triple division starts below the ascendant. There are four houses in each triple division. Each triple division has one of each of the four natural houses (by sign) of the elements of fire, earth, air, and water
Using the usual planetary count of only the visible planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn and thus seven planets in all) count the planets in each triple division to find the strength or weakness.
Triple Division Strength
Triple divisions are strong when they contain five or more planets, or they are weak when they have no tenants.
First triple division – Me
The first division includes the first, second, third and fourth houses.
It is the me division.
Second triple division – We
The second division includes the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth houses.
It is the we division.
Third triple division – They
The third division includes the ninth, tenth eleventh and twelfth houses.
This Guest Post is by UK astrologer James Hirlehey.
The four humours are the cornerstone of reading a chart for the health and well-being of the native, as well as determining their character and temperament from a more traditional perspective. This article will introduce the four humours and will give you some suggestions for your own study and research.
What are the four humours?
Most people have heard of the four humours in the context of Ancient Greek philosophy. They are generally taught as being related to bodily fluids in the following way:
Sanguine – blood
Choleric – yellow bile
Melancholic – black bile
Phlegmatic – phlegm
Later, an astrological student might learn that sanguine relates to the element air, choleric relates to fire, melancholic relates to earth, and phlegmatic relates to water. Then, if you study further, you might learn about temperament in the context of general personality traits of each of these humours.
Temperament and humours are far more intricate than this, however, and they form the foundation for Western Astrology.
The two polarities
The four humours are based on two polarities, hot/cold and wet/dry. The hot/cold polarity is rather straightforward. It relates to literal heat and coolness, but it also relates to activity level. Hot is active and busy, and cold is passive and calm. The wet/dry polarity is a little more complicated. It has to do with unity and separation. Wet connects and brings things together, and dry separates them and creates distinctions.
The correspondence between the humours, elements, and polarities is as follows:
Sanguine – Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) – hot and wet
Choleric – Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) – hot and dry
Melancholic – Earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) – cold and dry
Phlegmatic – Water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) – cold and wet
How the four humours were used historically
Before the 17th Century, the humours provided the structure by which astrology and medicine were practiced. When interpreting a Natal Chart, the astrologer would determine the temperament of the native, or that person’s natural balance between the polarities. Any medical or dietary advice would take into account the individual’s natural temperament as well as the apparent imbalance that could be determined by symptoms and by the chart that was cast to diagnose the patient.
The animals and plants that are used as food or medicine also have temperament. The way foods or plants are prepared can alter their temperament. For example, cooking heats food, baking dries it, and boiling moistens it. Different activities also alter temperament as well. For example, most exercise is heating, and rest is cooling.
Other applications of temperament
The principle of temperament also has application to the seasons, planets, and phases of the Moon. The temperament of the seasons is:
Spring (Aries, Taurus, Gemini) – hot and wet
Summer (Cancer, Leo, Virgo) – hot and dry
Autumn (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius) – cold and dry
Winter (Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) – cold and wet
The sign correspondences with the seasons are based on the Northern Hemisphere. It could be that these sign correspondences are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a topic that is wide open for astrological research.
The planetary temperament correspondences are not uniform in traditional sources. In William Lilly’s Christian Astrology, they are listed as follows:
Saturn – melancholic, cold and dry
Jupiter – sanguine, hot and wet
Mars – choleric, hot and dry
The Sun – hot and dry
Venus – phlegm with blood, temperately cold and wet
Mercury – variable according to the other planets nearby, but alone, melancholic, cold and dry
The Moon – phlegmatic, cold and wet
The temperament of the phases of the Moon are as follows:
New Moon to 1st Quarter Moon – hot and wet
1st Quarter Moon to Full Moon – hot and dry
Full Moon to 3rd Quarter Moon – cold and dry
3rd Quarter Moon to New Moon – cold and wet
Incorporating the Four Humours in Chart Interpretation
The easiest way to begin incorporating the four humours is to use the two polarities to take the temperature of the chart, as it were. There are various methods for calculating temperament, but a very simple approach is to just count the planets by element.
We can try this with the chart of the famous celebrity and talk show host, Oprah Winfrey:
Every astrologer needs to decide for themselves what planets and chart points to use, but for this example, let’s use the Traditional Planets, the Ascendant and the Midheaven.
Sun – Aquarius (Air), hot and wet
Moon – Sagittarius (Fire), hot and dry
Mercury – Aquarius (Air), hot and wet
Venus – Aquarius (Air), hot and wet
Mars – Scorpio (Water), cold and wet
Jupiter – Gemini (Air), hot and wet
Saturn – Scorpio (Water), cold and wet
Ascendant – Virgo (Earth), cold and dry
Midheaven – Gemini (Air), hot and wet
By a simple count, we have 6 hot/3 cold, 7 wet/2 dry. By this count, Oprah Winfrey is hot, meaning she likes to be busy and active. Hot people also tend to be more extroverted than cold people. She is also very wet. This means that she tends to see how things and people are alike, and that she likes to bring people together.
As you are experimenting with temperament, you can try adding other things into the mix and see what happens. For example, you may want to add in the season of the Sun, the phase or the Moon, and the Part of Fortune. If you do that, you get:
Season – Winter, cold and wet
Phase of Moon – 3rd Quarter, cold and wet
Part of Fortune – Scorpio, water, cold and wet
Adding these three into the mix would make her even in the hot/cold polarity 6/6 and even more wet with a score of 11/2.
If you want to study and experiment further, there are many other formulas that have been used for calculating temperament in the astrological tradition. As an aspiring astrologer, it is good practice to play with different planets and chart points, and perhaps try different formulas to see what seems to yield the most accurate results for you.
When experimenting with new techniques, the best practice is to start with your own chart, as you know the most about yourself. Then branch out to look at the charts of people you know well, like your friends and family. This way you can see for yourself if the four humours are useful to you in interpreting a chart,
In this article, we have looked at the four humours and the principles behind them. We have also looked at how they were used historically and have given suggestions for how to begin to incorporate them into your own chart analyses. Hopefully, this will give you the tools you need to start experimenting with the four humours on your own.
James Hirlehey is a part-time astrologer at numerologysign.com and spiritual guide from the UK. He has been fascinated with astrology and divination from a young age, and his love for all things spiritual has only increased over time.