The Astrological Alphabet is a system developed by Zip Dobyns, who is the author of several astrology books. The main premise of the astrological alphabet was to develop a way for astrology students to understand repeated themes in the chart. The numerical division is quite simple. The first sign/house of the zodiac and ruling planet, Mars, all relate to letter 1. The 5th house, Leo and the Sun are all connected to the letter 5. Now, the author specifically states in her work that sign, house, and planet are not the “same” and this is only a method used to understand the twelve basic drives in the personality.
The system has been highly criticized by the traditional branch of astrology, as they have a disdain for such methods. However, I was left completely baffled by one critic of the Zip Alphabet, making the claim that it has caused great harm to astrology. In his view, houses do not equal signs, signs do not equal planets. However, if the critic actually read Zip’s work – the author clearly says they are not the same. Nonetheless, this particular critic went on to praise the late Charles Carter in every book review. I own four books written by Charles Carter, he is truly a man who expressed excellent ideas on the subject of astrology, and here is what was noted in his observations on sign and house, almost identical to Dobyn’s thinking. Here is an extract from his website regarding this debate:
I shall deal chiefly with Leo rising and Sun in Leo, but I mention that some of the most Leo people I know have heavy stresses on the 5th house and next to nothing in the sign. It used to be said that sign was character and the house the field in which it is expressed, but frankly this is wrong. It is, in my view, a major mistake. The lady who interviewed me on television recently struck me as one of the most Leo persons imaginable. But her natus showed nothing but Neptune in that sign: however, she had Sun, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury in the 5th, with Mars close to the cusp. You may imagine that Mercury conjunction Jupiter, with Capricorn rising, and with this satellitium in the 5th, made her one of the most self-confident persons imaginable. She insisted on announcing me as “President Emeritus of the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society” although she didn’t know what “Emeritus” means and also asked me what “theosophical” signified. She said the title sounded so fine! If that isn’t Leo, I don’t know what is!
Carter was agreeing with the exact same system that Dobyns uses. I assumed that the reviewer had read most of Carter’s work in detail, but perhaps not.
Here is a PDF from Zipporah Dobyns. I encourage people to make up their own minds. In one lecture, a seminar by Liz Greene, a student questioned the author on her opinion of the use of sign equaling house in the highly acclaimed work: Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil. In this case, it was greatly emphasized that the house placement of Saturn has the greatest impact.
The mythical battle between the old (Saturn) and new (Uranus) astrology reenacts itself daily in all of the astrological communities, and it can get ugly at times. Uranus’ discovery shook the traditional system, and some ancient astrologers still cling to old methods out of security, relying on a system based on a whole other world, at least in terms of growth in consciousness. Modern astrologers are busy promoting new planets and new consciousness in the world.