Meridian House System

There is little information on the Meridian House System. Australian astrologer, David Cope, who worked under the magical name of Zariel, created it in the early 1900s in an attempt to fix the older Morinus method — he changed the emphasis from the ecliptic to the meridians. It does have many similarities to the older method  but the major difference is that its cusps are on the meridians and not equatorial.   

This effect will be noticed if you have have a lot of “cusp” planets, and from our observations, the planet now goes to the previous house. 

Alfred Witte and the Hamburg school used the Meridian system before abandoning the house system entirely and going to his 90 Degree Uranian Dial.   Other fans were Astrometeorologist Carl Payne Tobey & Sydney Omarr  were also fans.



Major Notes:


  • The Meridian like the Morinus aims to minimise intercepted houses and keep the houses as close to 30 degrees as possible.
  • Cusps are based on the Meridians which lend a certain amount of stability to the chart because of their North-South axis, so  interceptions are few though they will still appear in extreme northern latitudes.
  • This University of Illinois site explains the phenomena well. 
  • The Midheaven is not tied to the 10th house.
  • The Ascendant is not tied to the 1st house.

Meridian example

Writer cum explorer Jack London’s natal chart in Meridian (Zariel in Janus 5) format.

Our example chart here is writer adventurer Jack London.  Neither chart links the ascendant to the first house cusp, a notable feature of the predecessor formats.  Pluto in the Meridian is in the 12th house; while in the Morinus it is in the first.

Typically in both systems, the houses are 28-32 degrees wide something that rarely happens in the Placidean where they can shrink as far as 8 degrees wide to as large as 40 but that was their aim — house stability.

Morinus example

Writer-explorer Jack London’s chart in Morinus format.

As the cuspal houses are calculated along different lines, they differ.   This is noticeable  in the London chart above with Uranus at 19 Leo 00 in the 3rd house in the Meridian, and safely 5 degrees away from the cusp,  but in Morinus is right on the cusp.  

Another noticeable difference is in the Meridian London’s Saturn is 24 Aquarius 22 and in the tenth house; in the Morinus, while located at the same degree , now  conjunct the Midheaven in the ninth house.

And since we are discussing Midheavens, in the Meridian, London’s Venus is one degree away from the Midheaven. 22 Aquarius 33.