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Koch House System

Misconceptions of the
Koch House System

When the chance observer gazes at an astrological chart for the first time, it is easy to make the erroneous assumption that the 12 "pie pieces" are the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Sign divisions are usually not represented, which can begin or end at different signs in different places, these pie pieces lines indicate the house divisions, not the 12 signs of the zodiac.

Professional Astrologers differ about how to draw the houses, although almost all agree that the first house should begin on the eastern horizon and the seventh house (180° away) should begin on the western horizon.

Walter’s, like the also popular Placidean house system, the Koch House System finds the house cusps intervening between the ascendant and the medium coeli by trisecting the time, in this case the time it takes to rise from the horizon to the ecliptic.

In actual practice, Walter’s Koch House System cusps do not vary significantly from Placidean cusps.

House Cusp
In astrology, the term cusp refers to two different but related divisions.

First, a cusp is the dividing line separating a sign from its preceding sign.

For example, someone born just prior to the Sun’s movement out of Cancer and into Leo is said to be "on the cusp of Leo" or "on the Cancer - Leo cusp."

An individual with his "Astrology Birthday" on a cusp is said to manifest traits of both signs. On the Cancer - Leo cusp, the best of Cancer and the best of Leo.

Also the concept of Decan / Decantes comes into focus.
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Second, the cusp is the dividing line separating a house from the preceding house.

Example: if an individual's seventh house begins at 10° Aries and ends at 13° Taurus, the person's seventh house cusp is at 10° Aries.

Planets located at the end of one house so that they are very close within 5° to the next house are said to influence the affairs of both houses.

Midheaven or Medium Coeli, MC
Chart showing the Midheaven or medium coeli (MC), the Imum coeli the lowest point (IC) Ascendant (Asc) and the Descendant.

When calculating a chart, the Ascendant is calculated which gives the outer personality of the subject and opposite of this exists the Descendant.

The semi-circle above the line between these points represents the visible heavens.

Bisecting this line generates the meridians.

The Upper Meridian is the Medium Coeli (MC) - the zenith of the heavens. The highest point above the observer's horizon attained by a celestial body.

The Lower Meridian is the Imum Coeli (IC) - the nadir of the Heavens. Diametrically opposite the zenith, the lowest point on the celestial sphere, directly below the observer.

Chart showing the Midheaven or medium coeli, the Imum coeli the lowest point, Ascendant and the Descendant.
Koch House System
The great majority of systems begin the tenth house at the degree of the zodiac that is highest in the heavens and the fourth house at exactly 180° away from the cusp of the tenth house.

The Koch house system (pronounced 'coke'), also called the birthplace house system, is a very recent one.

Like many German astrologers of those days he was imprisoned in a concentration camp (1941-45, Dachau).

In cooperation with H. Specht and others he developed in the early sixties, Walter Koch put the Koch House System forward in early 1970's.

Walter Koch’s (1895-1971) house system isn’t significantly different from the ancient system of Alcabitus.

The Koch House System though relative beginner, in terms of the years and generations that have studied Astrology, this Koch House System has quickly become popular.

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