The concept of Domification embodies the universal life pattern that emerges within the human being.
The Houses system is a dynamic extension of individual faculties originating from the Ascendant. It plays a crucial role in human experience as it overlaps with archetypal contents given by planetary presences in the zodiac signs. This system bridges two realities; one is still potential, and the other represents the moment an individual meets the world and becomes self-aware. It symbolises the journey of the unconscious towards the conscience and the passage from light towards the thought.
The cosmic order is manifested by the annual revolution expressed in the zodiac’s twelve symbols, representing the ever-changing energetic relationships between the Sun and the Earth – the alternation of the seasons. The yearly course is in analogy with the daily equatorial movement, where the twelve Houses are the earthly counterpart of the celestial archetype. This process gives birth to a form that is static and dynamic simultaneously. It is static because it is symbolically already completed and dynamic because it requires time to develop its potentialities, which occur in the arising, growing, and declining of our daily microcosm.
The Domification and other elements of a birth chart provide various astrological classifications. However, the interpretation possibilities within these classifications are limited to statistical-symbolic generalisations. While the granularity of these classifications is high, they still do not represent the uniqueness of an individual’s personality and destiny.
In fact, the formation of a distinct identity cannot be observed solely through astronomical representation. For instance, even when two individuals share the same astrological configuration – as in the case of astro twins – their paths may diverge despite their symbolic kinship. Taken separately, the event’s genetic, cultural, and family foundation and astrology concurrence are sterile in providing a cause for individuation. Only their union provides the necessary conditions for individuation. This is the point where the individual becomes the bearer of their self’s instances, and the link between signifier and signified matures within the confines of the birth event.
The incarnation Cross
The two fundamental axes in astrology, namely the horizon and meridian , tserve as the framework for the incarnation cross. This spatial arrangement symbolises the universal life pattern that manifests itself as a specific entity in human representation.
The cross scheme serves as a reference model, providing a structure that divides the planes of human representation into hemispheres and quadrants. It offers the unborn child a spatial orientation system by symbolically representing the unborn child as the centre of the cross. This positioning “squares” the child and places them within a space subdivision at right angles. In this sense, the symbolism of the number 4 represents the entry of anima mundi into individuality , a necessary process because space only exists when subjective vision arises, creating a need for a reference system that can relate the self to the objects of experience, meaning the non-self.
The Ascendant-Descendant line, situated along the horizontal axis, serves as an identifier of the event’s horizon, in our case, the place of birth, that separates the visible space (sky) from the hidden space obscured by the Earth’s mass. This initial and primary representation of the ‘sky’ symbolises the perception of the external world made possible by the senses, which tune in, so to speak, to represent a humanised universe.
The vision of science
In the quest for a more “humanised” reality, it is worth noting that even the scientific community employs methodological principles that acknowledge an inclusive role for the observer beyond mere objective experimental data. For instance, the Strong Anthropic Principle (SAP) posits that the laws of the universe must be compatible with the observer’s consciousness, allowing for the development of conscious life. The Participatory Anthropic Principle (PAP) takes this a step further, suggesting that the universe requires an intelligent observer to trigger the collapse of the wave function, which transforms a superposition of states into a relatively concrete reality. This principle underpins the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, according to which phenomena only become real when observed in the context of an experiment. In sum, the observer’s consciousness is essential in giving meaning to the universe.
Stephen Hawking’s proposed theory operates on a cosmological level, which still remains relevant to our ongoing discussion. In his theory of imaginary time, he posits that the universe is without a definitive beginning or end. To solve the paradox presented by the singularity – known as the Big Bang – he utilises the concept of imaginary numbers, which transform the temporal parameter of spacetime coordinates into spatial coordinates. In this scenario, the singularity presents itself as any other point within the infinite four-dimensional spacetime, except to arise as a singularity in ordinary time.
The metaphysical expression
The works of Guénon shed light on the realisation of the integral or universal man; he anticipates Hawking’s idea and emphasises the need to relinquish the representation of time as a temporal succession to access simultaneity. This involves transforming time into a fourth spatial dimension. The primordial point, which is formless and dimensionless, is self-opposed, creating the first definition of space, the distance, which becomes a movement in the temporal condition. It is the centre from which the entire spatial extension is measured through the six-direction cross. All potential space points can be identified with the primordial point in succession or simultaneously by transcending the temporal condition. Space is the pure power of being, the passive element, and every point within this spatial representation is comparable to a centre of being in the representation space, but only virtually until it is assimilated to the primordial point.
By transposing the image in a metaphysical key, we can observe the ‘man’ principle (which is not restricted to the human form, male and female, as we know it) represents the universe’s ability to comprehend itself, not in a teleological or finalistic sense, as this would imply a progression of time, but as the very being of the universe, of the “whole”. One of the limitless possibilities of the universe is its ability to exist as ‘two’, reflecting itself via the extension of a spacetime process.
Let us now focus on the configuration of the local space. In the two-dimensional horoscope representation, the vertical and horizontal axes of the cross signify the active and passive principles, respectively. Although not localised, the central or primordial point of the cross of the macrocosm, upon the creation of space, assumes the position of the centre of universal manifestation. By means of symbolic transposition, it is transformed into the centre of man, that is, the ego. From this point of self-awareness, the ether or the quintessence of alchemists, the elements of the quaternary (Fire, Air, Water, Earth) descend in order of production. These elements are not to be interpreted as material and gross substances but as primordial principles or causes at the origin of physical manifestation.
The meaning of the horizon in human experience
The phenomenon of the ‘invisible’ experience, which remains hidden by the Earth’s mass, is associated with the sensitive aspect of human perception. This perception serves as a gateway for the celestial principle in its role as a generative force. The individual’s awareness of the external world is awakened through this gateway and is felt as a ‘sensation.’ Symbolically, this awareness is represented by the Descendant, which marks the birth point of the Houses above the horizon. However, mere sensation is inadequate to facilitate self-awareness, which can only be achieved through the presence of the Other and the intuitive understanding that arises from it. This understanding results from an inner vision rather than external imagery and is represented by the Ascendant, which signifies self-awareness arising in the world.
Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy, represents the merging of intuition and sensation, of inner sense and objective expression, through his tripartition of the soul. This formative principle of waking consciousness constantly awakens life from the unconscious state of dreamless sleep. The sentient soul, for Steiner, perceives an object and generates its representation, which leads to a process between the soul and the ego. The latter experiences the sensation of permanence through memory and gives rise to the duration of knowledge. In the rational or affective soul, the ego directs its activity towards elaborating the objects of perception and intimately preparing their contents. Finally, in the conscious soul, the ego becomes independent of external events, becomes self-knowledge, and reflects itself in universality through an internal process. Although the soul principle is split into three parts for ease of understanding, it is, in fact, a single body that unfolds its potential over time.
For Dane Rudhyar, a famous humanist astrologer who partly follows the Jungian classification, the intuitive process underlying the sense of self gives rise to feeling, an inner category of intuitive motions. At the same time, sensation, based on sensory impression, generates thought, a stabilisation offered to the vagueness and temporariness of the feeling itself. As one can guess, different words describe the same experience: the integration of an internal and external perceptual process – represented by the Ascendant/Descendant axis – through sensation and thought. Intuition acts as a mirror because the very existence of a world outside of us is nothing but the possibility of knowing ourselves through reflection.
The evolutionary principle
We now come to the meaning of the vertical axis of the incarnation cross. Its intersection point with the horizontal axis signifies an individual’s core of self-awareness, which takes on a unique value. This intersection represents the formal manifestation of the hierogamy between Heaven and Earth, depicting the meeting of the Active and the Passive, the Spirit and the Soul, the Pneuma (breath) and the Matter. The vertical axis – the Midheaven – governs the embodied self’s existence and penetration into the forms of the objective world. In the opposite sense, it represents a descent into the inner core of one’s being, as indicated by the symbolism of the Imum Coeli.
The nadir of the horoscope, commonly referred to as the ‘Midnight Sun’ of Freemasonry, symbolises the state of consciousness in its undifferentiated form, enveloped within itself as it is yet to be spatialised or manifested. As the awareness of its form arises, distinguishing between self and non-self along the horizontal axis that creates the space of representation, consciousness evolves into the power of individuation – the Midheaven – the element that unites the inner and outer world.
In a spiritual sense, this model highlights the potential for growth and transcendence of human limitations. More concretely, it underscores the inclination for extra-individual fulfilment that social development provides.
The Ascendant/Descendant axis demarcates the division of the celestial sphere into the upper and lower hemispheres, and the prevalence of planets in either hemisphere influences the manifestation of an individual’s personality traits. A greater planetary concentration in the upper hemisphere indicates a need for external validation and recognition, while the lower hemisphere’s dominance represents a life governed by inner experiences. The Midheaven/Imum Coeli axis separates the horoscope into the eastern and western hemispheres, and the planetary emphasis in either hemisphere reflects an individual’s evolutionary tendencies. A preponderance of planets in the eastern hemisphere suggests a proactive approach and an individual’s ability to shape their destiny. In contrast, the western hemisphere’s dominance implies that the environment significantly shapes an individual’s life path.