southern hemisphere

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southern hemisphere

1. that half of the earth lying south of the equator
2. Astronomy that half of the celestial sphere lying south of the celestial equator
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

Southern Hemisphere

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The Southern Hemisphere is the half of Earth located below the equator. Because most tables of houses are developed for the Northern Hemisphere, casting horoscopes for the Southern Hemisphere involves an extra set of calculations. To construct a southern chart with a northern table, an extra 12 hours must be added to the sidereal time for which it is being cast (for the moment of birth in the case of a natal chart), calculate the house cusps, and then the signs on the cusps exchanged for their opposite signs (i.e., for the sign 180° away). Computer chart-casting programs do these extra calculations automatically.

The reversal of seasons that occurs in the Southern Hemisphere has raised certain questions about how the standard tropical zodiac should be applied below the equator. In particular, there is much seasonal symbolism associated with the signs: Ever-youthful, pioneering Aries is the sign of spring; cold, restrictive Capricorn is the sign of winter; and so forth. In southern latitudes, these associations become meaningless. Some astrologers have proposed shifting the zodiac 180° in the Southern Hemisphere. Thus, someone born on November 2 in Buenos Aires, for example, would be a Taurus rather than a Scorpio; someone born on September 2 in Capetown, South Africa, would be a Pisces rather than a Virgo; and so forth. Despite the apparent logic of this argument, few southern astrologers have found a 180° shift in the zodiac useful in the practice of their craft. It thus does not appear that this proposal will be adopted in the foreseeable future.


Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.
DeVore, Nicholas. Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: Philosophical Library, 1947.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.