The Campanus House System: Astrology 101

Among the various house systems employed by astrologers to divide the celestial sphere, the Campanus house system stands out for its geometric and spatial precision. This system, attributed to the medieval mathematician and astronomer Johannes Campanus, offers a distinctive approach to astrological charting by focusing on great circles perpendicular to the horizon. This article explores the Campanus house system, its methodology, historical context, and practical applications in modern astrology.

What is the Campanus House System?

The Campanus house system divides the celestial sphere into twelve houses based on great circles that are perpendicular to the local horizon. Each house is delineated by circles passing through the north and south points on the horizon and intersecting the ecliptic. This method creates a three-dimensional and locally centered view of the astrological houses, emphasising the spatial relationships between celestial bodies as seen from the birth location.

Key Features of the Campanus System

  • Geocentric and Horizon-Based: Utilises great circles dividing the celestial sphere perpendicular to the Earth's horizon at the birth location.

  • Equal 30-Degree Segments: Each house spans an equal 30 degrees of celestial longitude, though their appearance may vary in a chart due to projection.

  • Focus on Local Space: The system is sensitive to the observer’s location, emphasising the importance of local space in astrological interpretations.

How Does the Campanus House System Work?

To understand how the Campanus system operates, consider its calculation method:

  1. House Cusps: Each cusp is the point where a great circle, perpendicular to the horizon, intersects the ecliptic.

  2. Three-Dimensional Perspective: This method considers the Earth as a sphere, projecting house divisions as three-dimensional space sectors.

  3. Latitude Consideration: The system adjusts for the native’s geographical latitude, making it particularly relevant in areas with extreme latitudinal positions.

Historical Context and Development

The Campanus house system is named after Johannes Campanus, who lived during the 13th century. His work on astronomical tables and astrological theory influenced later developments in both fields. The system was particularly popular during the Renaissance, when astrologers emphasised the harmonious geometric relationships between celestial and terrestrial realms.

Why Use the Campanus House System?


  • Spatial Accuracy: Provides a precise spatial representation of the sky at the moment of birth, enhancing the accuracy of astrological readings.

  • Stellar for Event Astrology: Often used in electional astrology (choosing auspicious times for events) because of its emphasis on local space and horizon orientation.

  • Useful Across Latitudes: Functions effectively across a wide range of latitudes without the distortion experienced in some other house systems.


  • Complexity in Understanding: The geometric basis can be complex for beginners to grasp.

  • Less Common in Practice: Not as widely used as systems like Placidus or Whole Sign, potentially limiting comparative insights.

Practical Applications

Astrologers employ the Campanus system in both natal and horary astrology, where the local space and exact geometrical relationships are crucial for accurate predictions. It is also favoured in mundane astrology for analysing events tied to specific locations.

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Occultish provides Natal Charts and Horscopes using Campanus House System


The Campanus house system enriches astrological practice with its geometric precision and emphasis on the observer’s local horizon. Its method offers a unique lens through which to view the celestial influences at the time of birth, providing insights that are deeply rooted in the spatial and visual realities of the celestial sphere. Whether for personal exploration or professional practice, understanding and utilising the Campanus house system can significantly deepen the interpretative richness of astrological analyses.

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