House System Comparison

According to a great book by Howard Sasportas “The Twelve Houses”, he does a short house comparison in the back appendix 2: To quote from his book…..

The Ecliptic Systems: Equal House, Porphyry, Natural Graduation, and M-House systems the house cusps are all determined by divisions of the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun around the earth).

Equal house is simple, the houses are divided into 12 equal houses of 30 degrees each. It avoids the problem of intercepted houses. Some feel it over emphases the horizon at the expense of the MC/IC axis. Some feel the equal house system enhances the ecliptic of the Suns path and therefore it gives more emphasis to the Solar Principle or ego.
            The Porphyry System also uses the ecliptic as the reference for the Ascendent, and also allows the MC to coincide as the 10th house cusp. The other houses are divided into three equal sections along the ecliptic. The value is that the 4 angles are used in the system for reference (inherited and parental). The down side is that there is no logical reason why the unequal space of the quadrants is divided equally.

The Space Systems: The basis of the space systems its to take the celestial equator, the horizon , or prime vertical and divide it into 12 parts. Examples Campanus, Regiomontanus, Morinus, East Point.

The Campanus System uses the prime vertical as the main frame of reference. In this way the position of a planet in respect to the horizon and meridian of the place of birth assumed more significance than the position of the planet along the ecliptic. Instead of the houses being projected onto the zodiac, the signs and houses were viewed in relation to the houses. There is one problem with the space systems and that is that at higher latitudes where the angle of the ecliptic become more acute, the house cusps become more unequal to an extreme.
            The Regiomontanus System is a modification of the Campanus system. The celestial equator is divided into equal arcs of 30 degrees and projected onto the ecliptic. This places the emphasis on the earths own daily rotation.
            It is thought all the space systems give the chart a more Lunar influence. They include some subconscious aspects of the personality.

The Time Systems: The house cusps are found by equally dividing the time it takes for a point i.e. Asc. or MC to travel an arc of the celestial sphere. Examples are Alcabitus, Placidus, Koch, Topocentric.

Placidus System: The 11th and 12th house cusps are found by trisecting the time it takes any degree of the ecliptic to travel from the Asc. to the MC. And likewise the time it takes any degree to travel from the IC to the Asc. is also trisected to give the 2nd and 3rd house cusps.  The one problem with this system is that at latitudes of greater than 66 ½ degrees many degrees never touch the horizon, and therefore in the higher latitudes these degrees can never become the Asc. This system is good for emphasizing overall life goals, since it is based on time it is also good for horary and electional astrology.
            Koch System: This is based on using the arc of oblique ascension of the place of birth. This method like the Placidus system fails in the more Northern latitudes. It is one of the most accurate for correlating facial features with the cusps of the chart. Good for determining where you are and where you are going in life. Also what your current choices are.
            The Topocentric System: Is a refinement of the Placidus system. It is derived through a study of the nature and timing of events. The cusps of the houses are determined through a great plane passing through the location of birth, and not a great circle. There is also not problem with the polar regions. And below the 50 degree latitude the house cusps have been found to be within 1 degree of  the Placidean house cusps.”

All in all it depends on the taste of the Astrologer. Also on how well the house system fits the person in the reading. My personal choice is Placidus, but mostly due to being the most familiar with it. Hope this helps.