The Topocentric House System: Astrology 101

Astrology employs various house systems to analyse a birth chart, each with its unique approach to dividing the celestial sphere. Among these, the Topocentric house system stands out for its precision and innovative methodology. This article explores the Topocentric house system, detailing its foundations, how it operates, and its impact on astrological interpretation.

What is the Topocentric House System?

The Topocentric house system is a modern approach to astrological chart division that was developed to enhance the accuracy of house cusps calculations. Created by Argentine astrologers Wendel Polich and Nelson Page in the late 20th century, this system is known for its meticulous attention to the Earth-centered (topocentric) perspective of the celestial sphere.

Key Features of the Topocentric System

  • Earth-Centered Approach: It uses the observer's exact location on Earth as the center point for calculations, which provides a highly personalised chart.

  • Precision in House Cusps: Ensures more precise delineation of house boundaries by considering topographical factors.

  • Geocentric Alignments: Focuses on the actual observable positions of celestial bodies from Earth, enhancing the contextual relevance of astrological readings.

How Does the Topocentric House System Work?

The Topocentric house system utilises a complex mathematical model that accounts for the observer’s position relative to the Earth’s center. This is how it operates:

  1. Observer-Based Coordinates: The system calculates the positions of planets and house cusps from the exact location of the observer, rather than a generalised geocentric perspective.

  2. Adjustments for Latitude and Longitude: These calculations adjust for the observer's latitude and longitude, providing a unique chart for each individual, even those born at the same moment but in different places.

  3. Refinement Over Time: The system has been refined to ensure that it remains reliable across different latitudes, especially beneficial for locations near the Earth's poles, where traditional systems often falter.

Historical Context and Development

Developed in the 1970s, the Topocentric system was a response to the need for more precise astrological calculations that could account for the individual's specific geographical context. Polich and Page sought to improve the accuracy of house cusps predictions, especially crucial for time-sensitive astrological techniques like progressions and returns.

Why Use the Topocentric House System?


  • Enhanced Accuracy: Provides highly accurate house cusp placements which can alter the interpretation of a natal chart significantly.

  • Personalised Readings: Ideal for personal astrology where the exact birth location is known, influencing the nuanced interpretation of the chart.

  • Adaptability: Performs well across a wide range of latitudes, making it versatile for international use.


  • Complex Calculations: Like the Placidus system, Topocentric calculations can be complex and typically require software to compute accurately.

  • Less Familiarity: It is less widely used than systems like Placidus or Whole Sign, which may limit comparative insights and peer discussions.

Practical Applications

Astrologers favour the Topocentric system for natal and mundane astrology to ensure that every aspect of the chart is tailored to the individual’s birth context. It is particularly valued in regions with extreme latitudes, where other systems might provide skewed or unusable results.

Universe background

Occultish provides Natal Charts and Horscopes using Topocentric House System


The Topocentric house system offers a sophisticated tool for astrologers seeking precision in their chart calculations. By considering the specific geographic details of an individual's birth, it provides a deeply personalised and contextually accurate astrological analysis. Whether you are an experienced astrologer or an enthusiastic beginner, the Topocentric house system enhances the depth and accuracy of your astrological interpretations.

Copyright © 2024 Occultish. All rights reserved.