New House Model: An Overview

Q&A and discussion on Houses including house models and domification systems.
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Jim Eshelman
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New House Model: An Overview

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue May 09, 2017 10:22 am

NEW HOUSE MODEL: AN OVERVIEW
by James A. Eshelman
(Originally published sometime around 1981 in Zip Dobyns' periodical The Mutable Dilemma.)


In response to Zip's invitation in an earlier issue of M.D. (SAG 80), I'm taking this space to share the model I presently use for understanding houses. Throughout my time in astrology, I'd never been satisfied with the raison d'etre of the house series. With all due respect to the "12 letter alphabet" approach so intelligently put forth in this journal, I felt a lack of a unifying perspective to tie together the multiple meanings and diverse concepts regularly related to each of the houses. Even more important to me, I felt the absence of a visible order in the sequence of the dozen mundane sectors, a sequential order satisfying both to logic and intuition.

The key point in this model is that the series of houses is necessarily a clockwise cycle.

Consider that astrology, as a window upon the rest of Nature, reflects natural rhythms and cycles in human behavior. The series of signs is recognizably in the order Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc. because this is the order in which we continually experience the sign qualities due to the passage of the Sun, Moon, and (with periodic back-and-forthing) all of the other planets through the signs. In other words, each time we finish the experience of "Aries-ness" we can rightly expect to move into a phase of "Taurus-ness." Each year, the Sun and its inner-planet entourage reinforce this westward movement. Each month the Moon replicates it as well. The order of the signs is repeatedly reinstated in our consciousness, reinforced by a reiterated rhythm.

However, there is no comparable counter-clockwise pattern to the houses in nature. Every day, each planet rises, ascends to the Midheaven, sets, anticulminates, and prepares to reascend. The rhythm of the houses is clockwise. Every day, each of us experiences the sequential flow of two luminaries, eight planets, and however many other significant astrological bodies exist, passing through the houses in the order 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, ,5 ,4, 3, 2, 1 - a "countdown to selfhood." If there is to be found in the houses an orderly, sequential pattern - as I believe exists - it will most likely be found in following the path through the houses described by the planets themselves every day, even every hour, of our lives.

THREE TYPES OF HOUSES

Once the pattern described below became apparent to me, logical analysis revealed certain characteristics about it, particularly about the nature of angularity, succedency, and cadency. These make understanding the overall picture considerably easier.

Each angular house (1, 10, 7, 4) represents a culmination or fulfillment of a principle which has been building throughout the preceding hemicycle. For instance, the 1st house represents the stage in a planet's diurnal circling where it has been beneath the horizon, in the hemisphere of "selfness," more than it will be at any other time in its daily cycle. It is, therefore, a maximization of selfness.

Every cadent house (12, 9, 6, 3) is characterized by a reversal of current and is correspondingly a "decision zone." Readers familiar with the I Ching will have no trouble understanding the concept that once a principle has reached its maximum degree of manifestation in a given cycle, the current will naturally and even necessarily turn toward the opposite pole. Winter, and the withdrawal of heat, naturally and necessarily follow the point where summer's increase of heat has reached its peak. Or, to pick another example, when it has gotten as dark as it's going to get, the only thing remaining is for it to get lighter. This reversal of current is an appropriate reaction to the extreme which has been reached in one direction.

Therefore, when selfhood has reached its greatest degree of manifestation in a given cycle (1st house), the move will naturally be toward others-ness, beginning with a stage of selflessness represented by the 12th house. Or, as externalization reaches it peak (10th house), the next natural step in individual growth is to turn inward and develop the inner levels of being that have been somewhat neglected, i.e., the passage of into the 9th and 8th.

Cadent houses, therefore, I view as representing this reversal of current - a transition, often accompanied by considerable tension, confusion, or soul-searching, in which one is redefining oneself, still habituated to an old orientation yet moving toward the adoption of a new one. This may be a move from acute self-orientation to others-ness through selflessness (12th house), from outward, upward-reaching achievement to inner values (9th), from a primarily others-oriented perspective to one of responsible self-sufficiency (6th), or from profound inward-turning to curious exploratory movement into the outer world (3rd).

Finally, succeedent houses (11, 8, 5, 2) appear in a two-fold role. First, they are near approximations, just-unripe fulfillments, of the angular houses into which they will blend. The 11th, for instance, is the aspiration ("hopes and wishes") preceding achievement (10th). Secondly, each of these houses is a burst-forth into full involvement with the new orientation first encountered (and resisted) in the cadent house. Thus, after the peaking of selfhood in the 1st house, and the reaction against it in the self/non-self ordeal of the 12th, we see the first free, spontaneous flowing toward others-ness in the group-consciousness of the 11th.

This pattern repeats itself in each quadrant. There will be found, four times around the horoscope, a sequence wherein a principle reaches its strongest manifestation; is reacted against in a counter-balancing, redeciding movement toward its opposite pole, often accompanied by some degree (great or small) of initial tension or resistance; and a final, free flowing with the new principle in the form of a spontaneous acceptance.

HEMISPHERE CHARACTERISTICS

I previously referred to the lower half of the horoscope as the hemisphere of selfness. This does not mean that I consider a majority of planets in this hemisphere to mean the individual is primarily self-oriented. Often it means just the opposite! What I do mean is that every planet passing through houses 6 through 1 (clockwise) is in the act of discovering what selfness is all about and, gradually, step-by-step, moving toward selfness from othersness.

[2007 NOTE: The weather can be cold, but a person out in the weather can stay warm - for a while!]

Similarly, every planet above the horizon is somewhere in the process of moving from selfness toward othersness, the exactly opposite pattern. This does not mean that someone born with every planet above the horizon, clustered primarily in the 8th and 12th houses, will be a basically social type. It only means that, from the initial resistance to the idea that "My ego isn't the only thing in the world" of House 12, to the potentially total absorption in a sense of bonded pairing in the 7th, the planet is discovering what the experience of "Thou" is all about, and coming increasingly into alignment with that experience.

Similarly, planets on the left side of a horoscope are all ascending, or moving upward and outward, while those on the right side are all descending, or moving [downward and] inward.

With this simultaneously compressed and lengthy introduction completed, let's make a brief stop in each of the houses. I suggest you use the basic concepts given as a study guide, considering whether the points you find most characteristic of each house are simply, elegantly contained in the basic idea I list for that house. I believe that any shortcomings in what follows are in my ability to articulate abstractions, not in the model itself.

THIRD HOUSE

In the beginning was the Word.

We have to begin somewhere, so why not at the bottom of the chart, the instant of midnight, traditionally attributed to "the beginning and end of the matter?" As a planet, in its normal diurnal movement, departs the 4th cusp, where matters are "closest to home" both psychologically and environmentally, it begins its ascent toward the Midheaven, a movement outward into the world. In these first steps it is, however, habitually attuned to the private, to what is close to its roots, so its first discovery is within a tiny perimeter of close relatives, neighbors, etc., just outside of its nest.

We'll return to the 3rd house later, after passing through the entire cycle that leads to it.

SECOND HOUSE

A planet in the 2nd house has been in the hemicycle of selfness longer than any planet except one in the 1st. It, therefore, represents a high degree of selfness, yet not full self-identification. I refer to the 2nd as the house of the proxy-self, i.e., of things (including concepts) almost identified with self, which one attaches to oneself but doesn't perfectly identify with. "Selfish," certainly a 2nd house word by tradition, simply means "approximating the self."

After the first, timid moves toward the outer world in the 3rd house, the 2nd represents a free-flowing surge toward encountering the outer world. This requires the ability to manipulate its various facets. Yet still being close to the bottom of the chart, this is primarily in terms of privateness, so resources are viewed as mine.

FIRST HOUSE

A very simple principle. Having passed through the lower hemisphere, planets here are most acutely identified with the concept of self. As the midpoint in the hemicycle of externalization, this purest selfness is to be externalized; i.e., it represents a concept of self specifically intended to be put forth toward others. ["Emerging self"]

TWELFTH HOUSE

Having come to identify thoroughly with selfness, a planet is now cast across the horizon into the realm of othersness. Being habituated to selfness, it faces a reversing of current. This may be called self-sacrifice or, more accurately, selfness-sacrifice. Initially, there's a resistance to this selflessness which, in healthy development, passes. Thus, in this house a planet confronts the realization that it cannot successfully operate in terms of selfish interests.

Planets in the 1st house are acutely identified with "I." Therefore, the 12th represents a dis-identification with a planetary principle. Since every factor in the chart is a facet of oneself, this dis-identification usually means a shifting of the principle to an unconscious level of operation.

Bursting from its contained selfness below the horizon, the planetary principle here merges into the expanses of infinite openness where it begins to identify with the collective, with the all, universalizing its manifestation.

The traditional assignment of "secret enemies" actually means "secret others," just as the 7th house is traditionally that of "open friends" and "open enemies." The contrast here reveals what I believe to be the true significance of those two key phrases: In the 12th house, "others-ness" is just being discovered, and is therefore an issue by virtue of its not being understood. The entire concept of "other" is foreign in this stage of intra-psychic adjustment. In contrast, by the time the planet has passed to the 7th house, "other" is as understood as it will be in the current cycle. That is, others are "known."

ELEVENTH HOUSE

After resistance to othersness in the 12th, a ready flowing with othersness appears in the 11th. Yet, being near the eastern edge of the horoscope, there is still a strong habituation to selfness which remains a potent factor. Thus, here we find group consciousness, but with a marked sense of individuality within the group.

Being nearly to the 10th - the second most upreaching House of the horoscope - the 11th indicates reaching toward achievement, or the aspiration which precedes attainment.

TENTH HOUSE

To state it most simply, this is the culmination of 10th house-ness! Fill in that blank with your articulation. I think of it as a flowering of one's personal outreach from innermost self, peaking in one's fullest expression of who one is in the world. "Identity" and "authority" are my two preferred keywords for the Meridian (4th/10th axis).

NINTH HOUSE

Having culminated in externalization in the 10th, we now experience a reversal of current. Emphasis on externalized, manifest form must give way to something inner, which is the value and meaning behind the form. In the 9th house we confront the ambivalence of being drawn anew to descend within ourselves, while still habituated to the established outer structure previously established.

What results is the beginnings of wisdom, yet framed in terms of established structures, codes, patterns, and designs (law, established religions and philosophy, etc.). This is the initial step toward that deeper, freer self-probing that appears in the 8th.

EIGHTH HOUSE

Next to the 7th (literally), this is the most others-oriented house, planets here having spent almost as much time in the upper hemisphere as they will in the current cycle. It therefore represents near-identification with others, thus those things nearly (but not quite) considered part of others: their possessions and other resources, including (and perhaps especially) their psychological resources. Generally, therefore, anything which is attributed to, or attached to, or equated with others.

Following a resistance to internalization in the 9th, we encounter a flow toward internalization in the 8th, toward wishing to take charge or the inner world. Inner matters for values and meaning in the 9th is now stripped of old codifications and structure, i.e., of exoteric dogma, so that it becomes more esoterically or existentially meaningful.

I've rarely found the 8th house to refer to one's own death, incidentally. It's often involved when another dies. It seems active in one's own long-term terminal illness, but not in abrupt death. I consider it, therefore, more to represent a confrontation with Thanatos (or any other dramatic life-issue), than one's actual passing. Concepts about death and other vital issues are reflected here.

This combination of inward-turned self-searching with others-orientation often results in projection and unconscious encountering of one's own deeply important issues by actively seeking out others to enact them.

SEVENTH HOUSE

Another simple principle (as all angular houses are), to be elaborated by each reader as (s)he wishes. This is the house where "othersness" is maximized, a planet having been as long above the horizon here as it will be in the present cycle. ["Submerging self"]

SIXTH HOUSE

Having come to identify thoroughly with othersness, a planet is now drawn across the horizon into the realm of self, facing a reversal of current. In this house, a planet confronts the realization that it cannot successfully continue to rely on others but must develop individual responsibility and capability. It therefore represents a crisis or decision-point of self-reliance.

Since energies here are habituated to othersness, and haven't entirely disconnected from othersness, the efforts put forth still seem to be "for them;" hence the idea of service. A key theme of this house when emphasized is the need to squarely confront the worthwhileness and value of oneself for one's own sake, rather than just for others. One is required to forgo thinking of others for a while and return (recycle) attention to oneself for one's own distinctive survival. The inter-connectedness of health themes with this scarcely require mentioning.

Often relationship difficulties show with an emphasis on the 6th house if one is ambivalent on self/other issues. The natural, appropriate tendency is toward pulling oneself away from others-ness, sacrificing relationship (only so far as is genuinely necessary, it is hoped), and giving more priority to oneself.

FIFTH HOUSE

The essence of the 5th house is aliveness, freedom, and a spontaneous flowing with selfness. This follows the initial ambivalence about self vs. other experienced in the 6th. Yet, being still near the western edge of the horoscope, the 5th retains some quality of othersness.

Therefore, we find expression of selfness in a particularly unbridled form. Yet this self-expression naturally occurs in the context of others, even in relating, thus generating all of the 5th house idea of romance, playmates, need for acknowledgment, etc.

Creativity succeeds rote performance (6th). To me, most ideas of children emerge indirectly from matters already outlined here; but there is a further point which makes creativity and procreativity significant issues in the 5th. We're approaching the end of a cycle in the 4th house, the return of the point-consciousness (I.C.) from which we first emerged; and there appears to be in Nature a declaration that a transmission of acquired experience, or the communication of some form of what one has accumulated (genetically, artistically, etc.), is an essential step before the closing of a cycle.

FOURTH HOUSE

Being the sector of maximum in-turning, this is a deeply personal zone. It is a culmination of descent into oneself, diving toward the most intimately private core of identity. All the multiple layers of early environmental formative factors come into play and are re-encountered as one re-descends toward one's psychic origins, and need not be re-articulated here.

THIRD HOUSE: Reprise

In meditation, one discovers that, following the quiet, poised contact with that Point of Innermost Being, there is characteristically an instant when that Point becomes a seed, a reinitialization; and there follows an often prolific flow of cognition. This cognition, immediately succeeding the I.C>, completes our basic themes of the 3rd house.
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Re: New House Model: An Overview

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue May 09, 2017 10:24 am

Bogdan574 wrote:Speaking of houses Jim, which signs rule which houses? Are they like in Tropical Astrology, or do the signs rule over different houses?
I make no such correlations. That leads down a misleading path.

Houses and signs have reverse-sequentiality. That is, planets naturally move through houses is a clockwise fashion but naturally move through signs in a counter-clockwise fashion. And, more generally, they are two different kinds of thing. I cold argue an Aries-rising model or a Libra-rising model, and I'd still miss the core idea of the house model.
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Re: New House Model: An Overview

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue May 09, 2017 10:24 am

Bogdan574 wrote:Jim, are the houses associated with any of the signs and planets in your model?
My view:

There can be no inherent connection if we see signs and houses as having a continuity of meaning in their sequence, because the sequence of houses and signs is exactly backwards. That is, planets - Sun and Moon always, and other planets nearly always, move through the signs in the order Taurus, then Gemini, then Cancer, etc. But they always move through the houses in the sequence 1st, then 12th, then 11th, etc. If there is any developmental flow (the meaning of one leading toward and setting up the meaning of the other, or being part of a sequential story), then these can't be the same.

On the other hand, there may be some commonality in the human psyche of any sort of twelving in general, so we might expect analogies. The Tropical tradition of Aries = 1st, Taurus = 2nd, etc. has well-developed analogies that, from pure force of habit, are hard to force from the brain, but that aren't at all invariably useful. One can also get strong, useable analogies from the opposite, Libra = 1st, Scorpio = 2nd, etc., though these also are imperfect. As I have thought through the houses in the past, the latter model has always given a clearer, closer relationship to the most obvious phenomena associated with the houses so, were I forced to pick one of these for some purpose, I'd pick the latter; but I'm in no sense sold on it as being an actuality. (Of course, I'm not sold on houses themselves being actualities <g>.)

If houses exist, and if either of these models has some practical reality, it may also be - as often happens in polarities - that both of the models are simultaneously of value. That would be the case of broadly thematic similarity exists between signs and houses but they're not exactly the same thing (which, in fact, is as close as I think we're likely to find them). In cases like that, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle go together differently in different contexts.

I have ended up tending to use signs - primarily the Libra = 1st model, but sometimes with a mixture of its flip - as mnemonics, not presuming any inherent connection to each other at all but, as a result of decades of rotating them in the mind, a series of mental associations I have built up that remind me of thoughts I want to think when I think about the houses.

Clear as mud, right? <g>
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Re: New House Model: An Overview

Post by erikboen » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:54 pm

Is there no logic in reversing the houses: what rises in the east, above the horizon becomes house 1, what sets in the west below the horizon becomes 8. 4 is then culminating but keeps the traditionally 10th house references and 10 is anti culminating but keeps the traditionally 4th house delineation. It is around asc and desc that the big changes occur. Below horizon in the east is 12th house(instead of1) and above western horizon is 6th house. I would associate this new 8th house with death, as it clearly enters the Underworld, whereas the 6th is still above the horizon and does not have a link with the Underworl yet. New 10th also has a link to death(deepest point going down the Underworld). Just a thought. I noticed when Pluto transited my Jupiter in the old second house(Scorpio rising and Jup in Sag) I was devastated and retired from work for 1 year, on sickleave. This would ring true , when indeed Jupiter is Lord of 12 in 12. I could never agree with planets rising and being located in the 12th, once they peep over the horizon, it is so counter the visual experience... namaste.

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Re: New House Model: An Overview

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:03 pm

erikboen wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:54 pm
Is there no logic in reversing the houses: what rises in the east, above the horizon becomes house 1...
My view is that it would accomplish nothing but confusion. If I were to talk about what everyone else calls the 8th house, and call it the 5th because it's the 5th counter-clockwise zone following breaking the eastern horizon... it would just confuse. A label is a label, not the thing itself.
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Re: New House Model: An Overview

Post by Jim Eshelman » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:52 am

BTW Eric, if I were to renumber these counter-clockwise, I'd start with the 3rd and call it the 1st. Though the most wonderful thing about a circle is that every point on it is a starting and ending point for looping around it, the easiest way to portray the model above is to start at the IC as an "initialization" spot.

Nonetheless, I don't think it's worth setting everyone sideways ono their ears and losing the ability to communicate with other astrologers by renumbering things. :)
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