The houses are divisions of the heavens relative to the birthplace, and te signs are divisions of the heavens relative to the vernal equinox. The Zodiac appears to move at the rate of one degree in every four minutes, but the Houses are considered stationary relative to the birthplace.

The birthplace is always considered the highest place on earth. And from that point four imaginary lines are drawn to the four cardinal points, North, East, South and West. Imagine a line drawn from your birthplace to the point directly overhead where the Sun is at noon. That would be directly South, and this line is regarded as the cusp of the Tenth House, which for that reason is called the midheaven. If this line is extended through the centre of the earth, to the opposite side of the earth and thence into space, that lower part would point North, and form the cusp of the Fourth House called the Nadir, which is opposite the Tenth.

These two points are invested by the same degrees of the Zodiac, at any given time regardless of whether the birthplace is near the pole or the equator. In the latter case, we may also imagine a line drawn at right angles across the Meridian, (as the line in the horoscope from the Midheaven to the Nadir is called), from East to West, and that would then form the cusps of the First and Seventh Houses. By dividing each of the four sections into three we would have twelve compartments of equal size, namely thirty degrees each.

But all birthplaces are not on the equator, and owing to the spherical shape of the earth and the inclination of the earth's axis, the sizes of the houses vary more and more as we approach the poles, so that some houses may have only twelve or fifteen degrees, while others have more than sixty. See page 49 for a more detailed analysis.

The reason for this division of the earth into houses may be comprehended when we consider that the Sun's rays affect us differently in the morning, at noon and at night, also in summer and winter; and if we study the cause, we shall readily see that it is the angle at which the ray strikes us or the earth which produces the difference in effect. Similarly with the stellar rays, Astrologers have observed that a child born at or near noon, when the Sun's rays strike the birthplace from the Tenth House, has a better chance of advancement in life, other things being equal, than one born after Sundown, for the latter generally remains a servant. Therefore they say that the Tenth House determines social position and honor, but the Sixth House, which is just below the Western horizon rules service and employment. By similar observations and tabulations it has been found that the other planetary rays affect the various departments of life when their ray is projected through the other houses, and therefore each house is said to 'rule' certain things. The student will find a diagram of the houses and the affairs ruled by each on pages 30 and 31.

The divisions of houses are sometimes called 'mundane' houses; and the signs of the Zodiac are also loosely spoken of as the 'houses' or 'homes,' of the plants which rule them, for instance, Virgo is the 'house' of Mercury, Capricorn is the 'home' of Saturn.

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