Using Whole Signs, and the Moon Switching Houses

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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 write AstroFix. I have an Aries Sun, Leo Moon, and Virgo rising. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.
  • firetiger13

    Michelle! whole signs!! im glad to see this that's all .. i love your blog

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    I agree. I'm not completely rejecting Placidus, but….I just went through about 10 charts of people I know to see how the charts change, and it's quite interesting. Whole signs seems to reflect people as they are more accurately. Placidus seems to confirm my personal ideas about people which may or may not have anything to do with who the person really is- that's an early observation, subject to change ;D

    The 11th house Moon thing gets tricky for me as well because my natal Moon at 2 Leo squares Uranus at 6 Scorpio- so there's at least some of the 11th house flavor to it.

    The constellations are uneven. I sometimes think about what Jamie Funk does over at Funkastrology- he just ignores the signs altogether. There's something to be said for that method.

  • Chris

    Omg I can really relate to your post. I also have moon in the 11th (whole sign or not). I have Saturn in the 12th and spend a lot of time alone. I recently switched from placidus to whole signs for natal, but found that although the whole sign works the best, the placidus is valid and should also be considered. The constellations are uneven and seep into one another, and I think the houses tend to do that too. Btw, my moon is at 6 degrees Capricorn (hello Pluto) and I have recently had the urge to join groups even though I feel a bit uncomfortable in them!

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    I meant which house- I'm guessing still the 10th house. Believe or not I was thinking about your chart while writing this and wondering what you would think.

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    I agree. I'm not completely rejecting Placidus, but….I just went through about 10 charts of people I know to see how the charts change, and it's quite interesting. Whole signs seems to reflect people as they are more accurately. Placidus seems to confirm my personal ideas about people which may or may not have anything to do with who the person really is- that's an early observation, subject to change ;D

    The 11th house Moon thing gets tricky for me as well because my natal Moon at 2 Leo squares Uranus at 6 Scorpio- so there's at least some of the 11th house flavor to it.

    The constellations are uneven. I sometimes think about what Jamie Funk does over at Funkastrology- he just ignores the signs altogether. There's something to be said for that method.

  • Chris

    Omg I can really relate to your post. I also have moon in the 11th (whole sign or not). I have Saturn in the 12th and spend a lot of time alone. I recently switched from placidus to whole signs for natal, but found that although the whole sign works the best, the placidus is valid and should also be considered. The constellations are uneven and seep into one another, and I think the houses tend to do that too. Btw, my moon is at 6 degrees Capricorn (hello Pluto) and I have recently had the urge to join groups even though I feel a bit uncomfortable in them!

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    I meant which house- I'm guessing still the 10th house. Believe or not I was thinking about your chart while writing this and wondering what you would think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christine.truong1 Christine Truong

    It's still Cancer. Why do you ask?

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    Where does your MC fall using whole signs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/christine.truong1 Christine Truong

    I think my mind is so fixed on the placements I have in Placidius, that I feel slightly uncomfortable with using whole signs. Most of my planets are at the end of houses, so — my Moon would be in the 11th. Chiron-Jupiter conjunction would be in the 10th. Pluto would be in the middle of the 2nd house. Sun+Mercury in the 8th, Neptune/Uranus/Saturn in the 4th, and Mars + Venus in the 6th, with Venus conjunct the descendant.

    While we're on the subject of 11th or 12th house Moons, I definitely feel like my Moon should remain in the 10th. I don't like working with groups. I value “the individual” over “the collective.” I've once said that I don't like organized-anything. I don't like organized-religion, I don't like the idea of nationality. It irks me to think of my peers getting caught up in one political group.

    I just feel like I've identified with the house placements I have in the Placidius system so well, that I'd have a hard time thinking of myself in whole-sign terms. :P

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    It is interesting isn't it? I think it takes some getting used to, but I seem to be getting used to it rather quickly. It makes sense!

    Thanks for reading :D

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    GJ, what browser are you using? I can try to push Share/Buzz further to the left so it doesn't interfere. I'm so glad you told me!

  • GJ

    Thoughtful observation. Thanks for sharing.

    By the way, is anyone else annoyed by the “facebook share buzz” widget. When I go to this site it appears on the left side of the screen and gets in the way of everything I want to read. I have to scroll carefully and can only read a slice at a time. So annoying I want to leave, but I really don't want to leave because I like this site, the subjects and the posts.

  • C3029052

    Wow, something to think about. Great stuff Michelle, glad you enjoyed the conference.
    My whole chart is different now…Pushed my Mars and Saturn into 7th house. Always felt that way in regards to 7th house stuff..interesting :-)

  • jotracey

    Exactly! I can sell coal to Newcastle when I get going & the hands always get a workout.I have problems with “me” stuff, but that is the Pisces Merc & of course it is Rx… anyways all good food for thought. Thanks again.

  • http://astrofix.net/ Michelle

    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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