Morin’s use of Whole Sign Houses

The great 17th century French astrologer Jean-Baptiste Morin de Villefranche used both whole sign and quadrant house systems. He regarded Regiomontanus as “formal” houses and whole sign houses as “accidental ones.” For example, in his delineation of the chart of King Gustav Adolf of Sweden who has Sagittarius rising and Saturn in Leo in the 8th Regiomontanus house but the 9th whole sign house, he interpreted that the king would die (8th house) in a foreign land (9th house).  Here is a page from the original text of Morin where he discusses his approach.

Morin use of two house systems

The paragraph which begins at the red arrow reads (my translation): “Similarly in the nativity of King Gustav Adolf of Sweden, Saturn is formally in the 8th house and accidentally in the 9th, is exiled in the fire sign Leo and is damaged by a square from Mars in the 12th house …”

This is the king’s chart with Regiomontanus houses:

Gustav natal terms

Morin was, of course, correct in his delineation.  With Mars in the 12th square Saturn debilitated in Leo in the 8th Regiomontanus house but 9th Whole Sign house, the king was shot to death in 1632 in a battle in Germany, a foreign land.  Morin was not aware of the planet Neptune (a god of moisture) in Leo in the 8th together with Saturn.  It turns out that part of the reason for the king’s demise was a heavy fog on the day of the battle.  The king got separated from his troops in the fog and was shot to death by enemy soldiers.


All original material in this blog is copyright Anthony Louis 2019.

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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4 Responses to Morin’s use of Whole Sign Houses

  1. paul says:

    or equal houses.Nothing there suggests whole houses

    • Hi Paul,

      If you read the paragraph in the context of the chapter and of Morin’s other writings on houses, the only reasonable interpretation is that he is referring to Whole Sign houses by the term “accidental” houses. In Book 17 he discusses equal houses at length and rejects them as erroneous, giving several examples of how the equal house system does not accord with his experience in interpreting charts. Since he makes use of “accidental” houses to interpret Gustav’s chart, he clearly does not regard them as erroneous and, in fact, they do accord with his experience. The only logical explanation is that Morin regards a whole sign’s numerical order from the 1st house to be an accidental house system.

      When I first read this paragraph in the Latin version many years ago, I checked with James Holden who translated Book 17 of Morin on the Houses, and James was in agreement that Morin meant whole sign houses in this paragraph.

      Take care,

  2. Ray says:

    Hey Tony,

    Thanks for your interesting post. You added the Neptune / fog information there. Do you think that traditional astrology would not be able to describe the full picture comparing to modern astrology? (just curious)

    In this case, would the ruler of 8th house – the Moon have something to do with “foggy or wandering” meaning?

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