The Houses: Temples of the Sky

The Houses, Temples of the Sky

In December 2023, the second book I translated was published, “The Houses: Temples of the Sky” by Deborah Houlding. This book first appeared in 1997 and was republished in 2007 by The Wessex Astrologer Ltd. I am pleased to have completed translating this book into Japanese with the support of Taigensha (Natural Spirit Ltd.).

Deborah Holding, the author, studied at Qualifying Horary Practitioner. Similarly, I pursued learning within the very same program. Though our paths never directly crossed, this translation has forged a connection.

My fascination with astronomy has been a constant since childhood, though my relationship with astrology wasn’t as immediate. When I first delved into astrology in the early 90s, the zodiac division into 30-degree signs and planetary meanings were concepts I readily absorbed, but the Houses posed a different challenge. I felt a sense of dissonance and realized there was room for enhancement, a need for elucidated guidance on the foundations and circumstances of the Houses’ establishment. Moreover, the astronomical explanations in astrology books often need to be clarified. Typically, a brief description accompanies a rudimentary celestial sphere diagram, but comprehending this sphere in astrological terms is challenging. It’s a labyrinthine concept, even more so for those without an astronomical background. It’s no wonder many readers bypass these explanations.

I intended to write my book on the Houses. The motivation was that there were no specialized books on the Houses in Japan yet. And also, the House requires astronomical understanding. Not much has been written about the House’s historical formation process and mechanism. Such books are rare even abroad, and this book is one of them. Why are there so few books on the House? Because when we mention the mechanism of the house, the fields involved are wide-ranging: mythology, history, astronomy, mathematics, and so on. Since the 20th century, astrology has built a high affinity with occult knowledge, spiritualism, and psychology, while the distance between astronomy and mathematics has only opened up.
With the advent of the PC/Mac, only software developers developed an astronomical understanding. Their existence has supported the current astrology. But on the other hand, we practitioners no longer need to think about the mechanism behind it. I don’t think many astrologers want to touch on this subject. It is the same for me. Even though I like astronomy and astronomical observation, I don’t understand it mathematically nor study history and mythology as much as I should. Deborah Holding is a very learned person, and when it comes to astrology, she dares to go into things she is uncomfortable with. I felt this especially true during the translation. As a result, it would be better to introduce this book than to write my book.

Traditional information has been updated since this book’s initial publication, and many excellent books have emerged. Despite this, I felt compelled to present this book as a reference for the Houses and thus embarked on the translation. I differ from the author because I am a strong proponent of the whole-sign system, but that difference is minor. The true essence of this book resides in its lucid and brief explanation of the genesis and historical trajectory of the Houses. It meticulously dissects the meaning, origin, and utilization of the 12 Houses, their historical context, and significance from various angles, such as ancient myths, philosophy, seasonality, astronomy, and symbolism. The book also illuminates the hierarchy of power within the Houses, the significance and basis of Angles, and the interpretation of unfortunate Houses, forming a critical understanding necessary for practicing astrology.

Astrology is the art of interpretation derived from the meanings implied in celestial alignments. For astrologers and those familiar with the culture of the stars, this book will provide a unique opportunity to view the starry sky through a different lens.

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