top of page

Whole Sign Houses - A Shortcut?

In this brief post, I have tried to argue against the statement, "WSH were used as a shortcut method".


First of all, I am not entering into the debate about which house system is the best and I would never do so. I use the WSH and don’t plan on switching at all. I am totally fine with anyone who uses any form of quadrant house systems. I also know that astrologers over the past 2000 years have used various forms of house systems and all those have coexisted. What really bothers me is the argument of the usage of WSH houses in antiquity (or even today) used as a shortcut or due to laziness in various forums. There are 1.5 billion people in India. At least 30% of the people are astrologers and most of them use the WSH. This has been the case since the past 2000 years. I see this has never been considered in any form of debate. In fact, on twitter, someone went on to doubt that Indians use WSH. Well, I am from India, and I use WSH. Almost every astrologer uses WSH except for some KP astrologers who use Placidus cusps and a few astrologers who make use of Bhava Chalit.


While Martin Gansten has mentioned that WSH is the default system of house division since antiquity, the one reason I always find it very difficult to understand is the idea of “shortcut”. The world before 2000 years was probably much slower than today’s world because of obvious technological advancements. The ability of man from both physical and mental means has largely diminished. Today, we use elevators and don’t take stairs. We don’t walk much but we take the cab or use our own car but the ancients might have walked 100s of kms. Our parents and grandparents would have walked very long and we must have heard stories from them. Imagine a period when there were no vehicles and people always relied on horses or any other animal to travel from one place to another. 


We are talking about an era when Almagest and Aryabhattiyam were written. Ptolemy was a polymath and a genius who wrote books on many subjects related to science. Most astrologers were astronomers and mathematicians. During the early antiquity, some of the most complex works on astronomy, mathematics and astrology were constructed and composed. While this being the case, why would an astrologer take a shortcut to use the WSH instead of quadrant houses? How long would it take for an astrologer to mark the quadrant cusps (Porphyry or Equal houses) who had already calculated the entire chart? We cannot argue that the client won’t wait, or the astrologer won’t have time. Are we really saying that people who did Primary Directions manually were lazy and trying to find shortcuts after all to mark the quadrant house cusps. Good luck doing profections or zodiacal releasing with quadrant houses! Unfortunately, this argument of laziness/shortcut doesn’t appeal as scholarly at all. Finally, in today’s world, won’t we work hard at anything that serves our clients in the best possible way? How different would this have been during the time of Valens? Not only does this claim raise technical questions but it also raises fundamental philosophical questions.


Before 200 years, life was much slower and we wouldn’t have had people making 10 sec or 20 sec Instagram reels to capture the attention of the people. Life was probably more laid back and less complex in the non-capitalistic world. I’m convinced the client wouldn’t kill Valens if he took a little more time to calculate the quadrant cusps and Valens would not take a shortcut merely due to laziness and provide a consultation and put his reputation at risk. In fact, those were times when astrologers had to be really precise and accurate because if not, their mistakes would put their life at risk. In that sense, we are talking about a really tricky period in history.  


Moreover, why would the astrologers during antiquity use quadrant houses for specific purposes like length of life and not for everything else? In my understanding, for the topics of life, most astrologers only used WSH based on the conceptual model and WSH was clearly not a shortcut. In my humble opinion, this entire debate is not really necessary because it doesn't matter which system someone uses but if we able to do our work to our clients well, nothing should matter. There are weird systems of astrology that don't even use houses. My stand is not to be taken as disrespect, it is just my position, and I will protect it because I surely think WSH are not any form of shortcut or laziness!


113 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page