Q&A and discussion on Houses including house models and domification systems.
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Is there some effect of having luminaries, individual planets, or the majority of planets above or below the earth? I see it suggested around the forum that a planet positioned beneath the earth is debilitating in some way and wanted to know more about this
This is a great question. Like many that you ask, it doesn't have a straightforward answer but there is much to say about it.
I'm pretty sure that the "hemisphere emphasis" approach that is common in (especially) 20th century Tropical texts will not hold up - especially because there are at least two different approaches in circulation that mostly give opposite conclusions.
Take fifty people well known to you that have at least 8 planets above the horizon and another matched size group that have at least 8 planets below the horizon and see if, without considering anything in their charts besides which pile they're in, if you can find a clear distinction between the two groups that holds up most of the time. I bet you won't find it.
That's the easy part of the answer.
Fagan and Bradley both went along, most or all of their careers, with a traditional point of view that attributed greater strength to a planet above the horizon than below the horizon. In particular, they often mentioned (and you're likely to see me copy) that a planet in the background and under the earth (below the horizon) is even weaker than a planet in the immediate background but above the horizon. This point of view seems entirely anchored in pure altitude (height above vs. below the horizon) since the 9th cusp region tends not to be considered as suppressed s the 12th, and the 3rd cusp is more likely to get a bad "really weak" than the 6th. It makes a certain sense and I've never come across gross contradictions (though I'm not entirely sure what those would look like), so I've tended to play along without really investing anything in the idea.
As far as I know, there is no hard evidence to support or undermine this idea, except... one really interesting possibility...
It is possible to mechanically mimic the most common shapes of the "Gauquelin curves" by combining three wave forms into a single curve in roughly equal strength. One of these curves is a 90° wave (along the prime vertical) that peaks at the angles (for expressiveness). A second is a 120° curve that peaks at the Ascendant and 9th and 5th cusps (three zones considered by Hindu astrologers to convey eminence in different ways). The third wave is a 180° curve that peaks at the MC and troughs at the IC, making the half above the horizon the stronger half. Add those all up... and you mimic the curve that shows the distribution of correctly themed planets for professional eminence.
This might be just a nice mathematical trick or it might mean something. If it does mean something, it might not be quantitative but might be qualitative: It doesn't stretch credulity that a rhythm for dynamic outward expressiveness, another that for somewhat obscure and unclear reasons has ancient links to professed royalty or eminence, and another that is... I dunno, "worldly" or "outerworld focused"? - would converge into an obscure, complex pattern linked to professional eminence.
It's a thought, eh?
If there is any actual distinction between above and below horizon, and if it is anything other than an "altitude in life" distinction, I suspect it is something subtle along the following lines (this is all conjecture): Planets above the horizon are neither more "inner" or "outer," no more "self" or "other," put are in a process (think of it as a journey) of shifting from primarily self-involved to primarily others-involved. Similarly, under this theory, planets under the horizon would be in a process of shifting from primarily others-involved to primarily self-involved. If a predominance of planets in one of these hemispheres means anything at all, it is likely (I say theoretically) that the person's life-path is more focused on one of these journeys rather than the other.
If hemisphere characteristics are ever demonstrated to mean anything, it will place all the more importance (perhaps even to the least technical astrologers) on the mundoscope, since one would want to know actually whether a planet is in one hemisphere or the other. (Your Moon is actually below the horizon, so you have a pretty even 6-5 split.)
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