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The Western Wisdom Teachings
Information for Astrology Courses

[Note: With the exception of the required chart calculation worksheets, you will find here all of the reference materials needed for the Junior and Senior Astrology Courses.]

Table of Contents

How to Erect a Chart for South Latitude

  To erect a chart for South latitude simply add 12 hours to the Sidereal Time at birth. First proceed according to instructions given on page 32 of Simplified Scientific Astrology and Lessons 1 to 5 of the Junior Astrology Course. Then to the calculated Sidereal Time add 12 hours; if the sum is more than 24, subtract 24 hours and the remainder will be the Sidereal Time at birth, for a birth occurring in South latitude. At the bottom of the page in the Tables of Houses you will see the word Houses followed by 4-5-6-7-8-9; these are the houses you use, that is, you start with the 4th house instead of the 10th as usual. For example, if Cancer is on the 10th house, then in a chart for South latitude it will be on the 4th and Capricorn will be on the 10th house.

  The reason for adding 12 hours to the Sidereal Time and starting with the 4th house cusp in the Tables of Houses, is that houses in the Southern Hemisphere are rotated and inverted in their relationship to the ecliptic from their counterparts in the Northern hemisphere. This procedure makes it possible to use the same Table for both north and south latitudes.

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Some Difficult Points in Astrology

  In the course of some years of correcting lessons in Astrology it becomes evident that thewre are certain particular questions which, although explained in the printed lessons, do not seem to be explained well enough. At least a great many students have trouble with them. These questions are concerned with time, both local and Greenwich, and with the directions in which the planets and the signs move or appear to move; also with the method of subtracting a certain degree and minute of one sign from a certain degree and minute of another sign in order to find out how many degrees a planet has traveled when it has moved from the first point to the second.

  Then the matter of cusps, what they are and where they are, seems to bother many students. Please take a good look at the following diagram:

  The signs never change their order. Every sign has 30 degrees. The 30th degree of Aries lies next to the 1st degree of Taurus and so on around the horoscope. This is invariable. Aries may be anywhere in the horoscope, but it is always followed by Taurus and the other signs in the same order.

  You will notice that the 1st degree of Aries is at the end of the line which divides the 1st house from the 12th house. This point is called the "Ascendant," and is gthe "cusp" of the 1st house. The line next to it, the one which divides the 1st house from the second, is called the cusp of the 2nd house. Gemini 1 is on the "cusp" of the third house, and so on around the wheel.

  The spaces between the circles, where the symbols of the zodiacal signs are, is supposed to be the belt of the zodiac. The space inside is supposed to be the space occupied by our solar system, and the symbols of the planets are placed there. Thus the planets are between us and the zodiacal sigsn, and focus with the vibrations of the signs and concentrate them in certain "houses," which are the departments of life.

  The central circle is supposed to be the earth, and you who are looking at it are supposed to be out in space toward the north pole looking down on a plan of the earth at the birthplace, and hence you are looking south. (This is the case when you are in the northern hemisphere. If you are in the southern hemisphere the opposite is true.) Now if you will imagine yourself in sych a place you will see that the eastern horizon, or the rising sun, must be on your left hand. Hence the point on the left side of the map is called the Ascendant. it is here that the sun and all the planets rise above the horizon.

  The point occupied by Capricorn 1 is called the Midheaven, and is abbreviated from the latin word Medium Coeli into M.C. This is the point directly overhead. The opposite point is directly underneath and is the position of the sun at midnight; it is called the nadir.

  You will readily understand that as the earth turns in the direction marked by the arrow, the signs of the zodiac apparently rise in the east toward the Midheaven. The planets are said to be "in" certain signs. They are, of course, not actually in those signs. We mean that they are between those signs and the earth, and hence only seem to be in them. The vibrations from a sign are tinged with the vibrations of whatever planet is between us and that sign.

  The planets all move through the signs in the direction from the first degree of the sign toward the last degree. The sun, for example, enters Aries 1, noves through Aries and passes out of Aries at the 30th degree, and enters the 1st degree of Taurus. This is the way all the planets move, although there are times when there is an apparent backward motion, and the planet is said to be "retrograde." This motion is apparent only, but the effect of this apparent motion is ver real.

  You will readily understand that the signs of the zodiac do not move. Their apparent motion is due to the rotation of the earth, but you will often hear the statement that they do move. Understand this in the same way that you understand the statment that the "sun rises." The sun does not rise, but its apparent rise is caused by the rotation of the earth. Similarly, the signs are said to move, and they appear to move. it is easier and shorter to speak of their moving than it is to enter into a long explanation of the apparent motion. For the same reason we do not quarrel with anyone who speaks of the sun rising. We know perfectly well what he means.

  Now that we have explained this we will give you a diagram showing in a visual way the direction of motion of the signs and the planets. The planets do really move, the signs only appear to do so.

   Diagram 2 will show you the direction of travel of the signs and planets. Diagram 1 has already shown you the numerical order of the signs. it is manifest that if Mars is in the 1st degree of Aries and the 15th degree of Aries is on the Ascendant, than Mars must be in the 12th house. Similarly, if Venus is in the 16th degree of Aries then venus must be in the 1st house.

  Now suppose that the Moon is in Aries 26 at one noon and moves to Taurus 8 by the next noon, and you wish to find out how far she has gone. You wish to subtract Aries 26 from Taurus 8 thus:

Taurus 08°--00'--00"
--Aries 26°--00'--00"

&nbso; But how can one subtract a larger nymber from a smaller? This is the very problem on which so many students meet shipwreck. let us see if we cannot explain it so clearly that no one can fail to comprehend. You cannot subtract 26 from 8 but you can borrow a whole sign of 30 degrees and add that to your 8, thus making 38, and then subtract 26 and you get 12, thus:


  But where do you get any authority for "borrowing" thirty degrees and from what do you borrow them? Look at diagram No. 1. The first degree of Taurus follows right after the 30th degree of Aries. Therefore the 8th degree of Taurus would be the 38th degree of Aries. Therefore the 8th degree of Taurus would be the 38th degree of Aries if a sign could have more than 30 degrees. That is just what you do when you "borrow." Let us see if this is correct. We told you that the planets move through a sign from the 1st degree to the 30th degree and then pass into the next sign at its 1st degree. Now the moon was in 26 of Aries and therefore had 4 degrees to go to reach the 30th degree. Then it went into the 1st degree of Taurus and had 8 degrees to move to reach the 8th degree. Add the 4 degrees of Aries and the 8 degrees of Taurus and you have 12 degrees.

  Let us now complicate this a little. Suppose the moon was in 26°--29'--47" of Aries and the following noon would be in Taurus, 8°--15'--38". That is as hard as any problem you will likely to meet. here it is:

Taurus 08°--15'--38"
Aries 26°--29'--47"

  This seems to be difficult but it is really very simple. Every minute contains 60 seconds. 15 minutes and 38 seconds is just the same as 14 minutes and 98 seconds. 8 degrees and 15 minutes is just the same as 7 degrees and 75 minutes. So you "borrow" to make your subtraction. 47 from 98 leaves 51. Then remember that you took one minute from your 15 minutes and so have only 14 minutes left and when you borrow 60 minutes from the 8 degrees you add it to the 14, not to the 15. hence you subtract 29 from 74 (not 75). This leaves 45. Then you proceed to borrow 30 degrees (1 sign) to add to your 7 degrees as explained before, making 37 degrees. This makes the subtraction look this way:


  In other words, the moon moved 11 degrees 45 minutes and 51 seconds. Now let us prove this. We will add the movement to the previous noon position and see if we get the proper answer.

Aries 26°--29'--47"

  This is the same as Taurus 8°--15'--38" with which we started.

  All of the subtractions from one sign to another are made in this way, and if you understand this one you will understand them all.

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The Julian and Gregorian Calendar

   The true length of the tropical year is not 365.25 days, but 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45.5 seconds, leaving a difference of 11 minutes and 14.5 seconds by which the Julian year is too long. This amounts to a little more than 3 days in 400 years.

   Pope Gregory, therefore, under the advice of the distinguished astronomer Clavius, ordered that the calendar should be corrected by dropping ten days, so that the day following October 4, 1582, should be called the fifteenth instead of the fifth; and further, to prevent any future displacement of the equinox, he decreed that thereafter only such century years should be leap years as are divisible by 400.

   Present differences of the two calendars is thirteen, and will remain so until the year 2100.

   May 12, 1886, according to the Julian calendar would be May 25, 1886, according to the Gregorian calendar.

Source: Manual of Astronomy. Young.

Aspects and Declinations

  Aspects of the planets to the MC, ASC, and Part of Fortune are calculated in the usual way, an orb of 6 degrees being allowed. For the Dragon's Head and Tail, only the conjunction is considered, and an orb of only 3 degrees is allowed. Students are requested to place these in their respective places on the Data Sheet for this and all future lessons. Aspects to the ASC, which represents the body, have an influence upon the health. Aspects to the MC indicate the nature of one's opportunities for spiritual advancement.

  The declination of the planets should be copied directly from the ephemeris for the day having noon nearest G.M.T., with the exception of the Moon, which requires a logarithmic correction in accordance with the G.M.T. Correction is made by the same method used in obtaining the Moon's longitude. if the declination of the Moon be less on the coming day than on previous day, treat as a retrograde planet.

Example, Lesson 20:

Declination of the Moon on Sept. 15th: 20.33
Declination of the Moon on Sept. 14th: -15.25

  The logarithm for 5.08 is 6698. This added to the permanent log., 6812, equals 1.3510. This converted into time equals 1° 4'. Subtract from 20.33 and the result is 19.29, declination of Moon. An orb of 1 1/2 degrees is allowed for parallels.

ASC--MC--Part of Fortune

  To find the declination of the Part of Fortune, Ascendant, or Midheaven, first take the longitude as shown in the chart. Then find the date (same year preferred) that the Sun was in the same degree (or nearest that degree) and sign. Note the date and see the declination of the Sun on that date. That represents the declination of the point in question. For example, let us use the chart for Lesson 20. We find the ASC in Leo 9 degrees and 2 minutes. We take our ephemeris for that year and find the date the Sun was in that degree (or nearest that degree), which is August 1st. (When the Sun is in Leo, we know it must be between July 23rd and August 23rd.) Now in the column of declinations of planets, on August 1st, we see the Sun's declination is 18-04. This represents the declination of the ASC. The same rule applies to the other planets.

Optional Responses to Astrology Lessons Questions

  As the time of the development of the Western Wisdom Teachings Astrology Courses preceded the widespread use of personal computers, many of the course questions are based upon the teaching of the manual method of chart erection, including the use of ephemerides and tables of houses. Presently, a wide selection of freeware, shareware and commerical astrological chart calculation software is available, and if you are currently using any of these products, it will probably seem unnecessary to you to use a manual method of chart calculation.

  Therefore, we suggest that you simply use your own software to answer the question when possible, or, at your own discretion, skip the question altogether.

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