Using Whole Signs, and the Moon Switching Houses

balancing a bubble on handI attended the lecture First Steps in Traditional Astrology with Demetra George at the Northwest Astrological Conference (NORWAC) last week. Demetra addressed using the whole sign house system and I think I may convert. The whole sign house system sets every house cusp at 00 degrees starting with the sign of your Ascendant. Although I’ve tried the whole sign method before, I consistently used Placidus anyway.

3 excellent reasons to use whole signs

  • You no longer have to deal with interception
  • You don’t have the complication of planets on cusps
  • Planets and signs are decidedly in one house

I am going to use the whole sign system for now. I still have to check out how using whole signs affects my progressed chart and transits.

NORWAC Experience: A 12th house Moon in an 11th house Moon world

When I first learned that I had the Sun in the 8th house and the Moon in the 11th house I thought, of my Sun, “Well, that makes sense.” When it came to my Moon however, I remember thinking, “I’m surprised it isn’t in the 12th house.” Using whole signs, my Moon is in the 12th house.

The dream

It was difficult for me to connect with people at NORWAC, but I had been forewarned by a dream:

There are chessboards set up in a place that seems like a bar. Astrologers are gathered in twos and threes around the chess tables. I want to join them, but they maneuver to let me know that I am not welcome.


I spent the first two days feeling lonely. Moon conjunct Saturn in the 11th house: feeling alone in the crowd. In a keynote lecture Jeff Jawer stated the need to “Set and follow intentions.” After he said that I became alert to my original intention for going to NORWAC: to learn, and to bring information back for my blog- not to become best friends with everyone. It would have been nice to become best friends with everyone, but that’s not why I went. Once I simply accepted that I wasn’t fitting into any groups (Saturn in the 11th) I became entirely comfortable being by myself (Moon in the 12th). I set up my laptop, put on my big headphones, went into my own world, and sent out a barrage of tweets on the remaining lectures- that’s what I should have been doing the whole time I was there.

Ironically, the moment I stopped caring, was the moment people began speaking to me.

The more I try to move outside myself and be gregarious or outgoing, the more I fail.

Some people are capable of  successful “outreach” but I don’t seem to be one of them.

Moon in the 11th or Moon in the 12th?

How does a Moon conjunct Saturn in the 11th house differ from a Moon conjunct Saturn over the 11-12 cusp? If the Moon in its distilled essence shows what makes us happy, I have to ask myself, “Am I happier with a group of people or am I happier by myself?”

Points for and against an 11th house Moon

  • I’m not a joiner and never have been
  • I don’t belong to a single organization or group (except my tarot group which I may be leaving soon)
  • I don’t join or champion any causes
  • I try only so hard to fit in and make connections with people, then I go do my own thing
  • I used to get pissed-off when teachers would ask us to “break up into groups” for projects in school
  • My mother and I are friends

This all seems emphatically Saturn in the 11th house, and not Moon in the 11th house- except that I am friends with my mother.

Points for and against a 12th house Moon

  • I like working by myself
  • I like working behind the scenes
  • Jobs, like customer service, where I have to interact with a lot of people all day long, completely upset my equilibrium
  • Sometimes I dread having to talk to people face to face
  • I like internet groups like Twitter and Facebook because I can remain hidden while socializing
  • I’ve been keeping a dream journal since 1999
  • I’m fascinated by past lives

If I use whole signs, my 11th house ruler (the Moon) is in the 12th house which supports wanting to be in groups where I can remain hidden.

When I try to embrace the concept of the 11th house Moon I feel like I am reaching outside of myself, squinting my eyes, straining, and trying to make it fit. With the 12th house Moon, I feel more relaxed and more me. I think, if I really had an 11th house Moon, I’d want to be more outgoing, even with the Saturn conjunction- but I don’t. No amount of people saying, “You need to break out of your shell!” actually makes me want to break out of my shell.

Other planets that switch in my chart using the whole sign method

  • Venus  from 7 —-> 8
  • Mars from 10 —->11
  • Jupiter from 8 —-> 9
  • Juno from 12 —-> 1

I could stay with Placidus because it’s comfortable, but I want an understanding of my chart that feels right. Demetra George said that she, “Went through an identity crisis when she switched house systems.” That’s how I feel!

One reason why I’ve been resistant to embrace a 12th house Moon is that I am aware of the tendency of astrologers to pick and choose their astrology to make themselves appear in the best light. It seems to me, in forums and around the web, that people often want to push their planets into aspects, configurations and houses that make them appear smarter, sexier, more mysterious or psychic than they really are. I want to be careful about not allowing myself to fall into this vanity trap. The clincher about the whole signs method is that, using it, my brother and I both have an 8th house Sun and 12th house Moon.

View your chart using the whole sign method

Go to astro.com, Free Horoscopes, Extended Chart Selection and then select “whole signs” from the House Systems drop-down box.

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About AstroFix

I’m Michelle and I have an Aries Sun, Leo Moon & Virgo rising.

  • Yes, it's definitely something to give serious consideration to. I've been thinking about it non-stop since last weekend. I would imagine a 1st house Mercury to be very chatty and talkative, lots of hand gesturing and such, and a 12th house Mercury? Not so much!

  • jotracey

    This great stuff. I have often felt the same way about my 12th house Mercury (which sometimes seems more 1st house) & my 8th house Mars who really gets off on travelling the world. As for Saturn I would be super pleased to push him into the 2nd… to a degree. In the whole sign system Saturn would move onto the cuspof the 2nd (0 aries), Mercury at 6Pisc would move to the 1st & Mars at 3 Scorp would become a 9th house mars. Food for thought indeed.

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