by Stefan Stenudd
Envelope Horoscope Diagram
The traditional Complete Astrological Chart
Here is what you need to know in order to read them.
Based on the HousesThe envelope horoscope diagram is based on the twelve astrological Houses. They start with the cusp of the 1st House in the east (which is the left of the diagram). This point is the same as the Ascendant.
The 1st House is the triangle pointing directly to the east (the left). It is followed by the other eleven Houses counter-clockwise, each one a triangle of the same shape and size. See this illustration from the book The Arcana of Astrology by William Joseph Simmonite from 1890:
Envelope horoscope diagram. From The Arcana of Astrology by William Joseph Simmonite, 1890.
In the middle square, the astrologer always noted the name of the person, the time of birth, and such things. I have seen many such horoscope diagrams where the birth year is missing, but the hour and minute is mostly recorded with care. It has to be remembered, though, that in the past the day usually started in the evening, not in the middle of the night, and there were no time zones, so local time was used.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the common language used in the notes was Latin.
In Simonite's book there is an additional diagram giving clues to how the Houses should be interpreted, what parts of life they govern:
The Houses explained. From The Arcana of Astrology by William Joseph Simmonite, 1890.
Back to LutherNow, you should be able to read Martin Luther's envelope horoscope chart. here it is again:
Martin Luther's envelope chart horoscope.
Anyway, here his Ascendant is 2° Leo. Since each House starts at 2°,it's obvious that the Equal-House system is used, and neither Placidus nor Regiomontanus. Most of his planets are in the 3rd and 4th House. The only heavenly body outside those two Houses is the moon in the 12th.
Observe that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are missing, since they were not discovered until long after his time.
ZODIAC SIGNSThe twelve Zodiac signs and what they mean in astrology.
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About meI'm a Swedish astrologer, author and historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. My personal website: stenudd.com