The Placidus House System: Astrology 101

In the intricate world of astrology, the house system used can significantly influence the interpretation of a horoscope. Among the various house systems, the Placidus system stands out due to its dynamic nature and widespread popularity. This article delves into the Placidus house system, discussing its origins, how it works, and why it is favoured by many modern astrologers.

What is the Placidus House System?

The Placidus house system, named after the 17th-century astrologer Placidus de Titis, is a method of dividing the celestial sphere into twelve houses that are not equal in size. This system is based on the concept of time rather than space, which distinguishes it from other systems that divide the ecliptic based on equal spatial segments.

Key Features of the Placidus System

  • Time-Based Divisions: Houses are calculated based on the time it takes for planets to rise and culminate above the horizon.

  • Unequal Houses: Each house can vary in size. The difference becomes more pronounced the further one moves from the equator.

  • Dynamic and Sensitive: The Placidus system adjusts the house cusps according to latitude and the specific time and place of a chart casting, making it highly personalised.

How Does the Placidus House System Work?

To understand the Placidus system, it's crucial to grasp how it divides the sky:

  1. Ascendant and Midheaven: The Ascendant (rising sign) and Midheaven (the highest point in the chart) are principal points.

  2. Great Circles: The system uses great circles dividing the celestial sphere into semi-arcs from the Ascendant to the Midheaven, each point's arc divided by two to place intermediate house cusps.

  3. Dependence on Geographic Location: The divisions are highly dependent on the geographic location, leading to significant variations in house sizes at different latitudes.

Historical Context

Placidus de Titis developed his system in the context of Renaissance astrology, which was deeply intertwined with emerging scientific ideas. His method was innovative because it integrated a more dynamic interpretation of astrological elements, reflecting the Renaissance emphasis on individual experience and complexity.

Why Use the Placidus House System?


  • Personalization: Provides a unique chart for every individual, considering specific times and places of birth.

  • Popularity: Widely used and tested, many astrologers are familiar with its dynamics and interpretations.

  • Depth of Interpretation: Allows for nuanced readings of the astrological houses, which can reflect more complex personality traits and life experiences.


  • Complex Calculations: The system can be difficult to calculate by hand due to its reliance on precise astronomical data.

  • High Latitudes: At extreme latitudes, some houses may become disproportionately large or small, or even disappear, which can complicate interpretations.

Practical Applications

Astrologers use the Placidus house system for natal chart readings, transits, solar returns, and other prognostications. Its flexibility and precision make it particularly useful for personal astrology, where the exact times and locations of events are known.

Universe background

Occultish provides Natal Charts and Horscopes using Placidus House System


The Placidus house system offers a rich framework for understanding the subtleties of a horoscope. Its dynamic nature provides a personalised astrological experience that aligns closely with an individual's life circumstances and personality. Whether you are a seasoned astrologer or a newcomer to the field, understanding the Placidus system can enhance your interpretations and deepen your appreciation of the astrological arts.

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