Zip Dobyns, who is both an astrologer and the author of several books on the subject, came up with the idea that would become known as the “Astrological Alphabet.” Astrology students said they needed a way to better understand themes that come up over and over in the chart. This system was made to meet that need. As just one example, the number 5, the constellation Leo, and the fifth house are all connected. The author says that the sign, the house, and the planet are not “the same,” and that this is just a way to figure out what a person’s twelve basic drives are.
However, this straightforward method of astrology is rejected by the more established schools of thought. According to one of the Zip Alphabet’s detractors, the field of astrology has been severely harmed as a direct result of the invention of this system. From his perspective, there is no correlation between houses and signs, and he further argues that planets do not correspond to zodiac signs. The critic continued by praising Charles Carter’s astrological works. Carter’s judgments of the sign and the house are similar to Dobyn’s. In one of his publications, Carter makes the following statements in relation to this topic:
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 chart 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!
During one of Liz Greene’s seminars, a student asked her about how she used the phrase “sign = house” in her highly regarded book Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil. In this case, it was emphasised a lot that Saturn’s house placement has the most effect. However, the energies of both the sign and the house are similar.
Astrologer Karen Hamaker-Zondag says that we shouldn’t think of the houses as only showing external events because they seem to have a strong connection to how a person thinks and feels. In other words, we shouldn’t just think of a person’s house as a reflection of the outside world. So, signs and houses are not the same thing, but a person’s house says a lot about who they are as a whole.
It is one of the peculiarities of our Western culture and of accidental way of thinking that we locate everything outside ourselves, and treat events as independent on or ‘occasionally dependent on’ what is going on in psyche…This thinking has found expression in astrology in the dogma that the houses represent circumstances and events and that the only use of the houses is to help us discover what external factors will confront us…Here is where the astrological houses gain new significance. It is no longer the interpretation of circumstances that is important but the understanding of the relationship between these circumstances and the underlying psychological factors…In the astrological concept of house lie both the ‘idea’ as a psychological factor, and the external imposition of form and circumstances, and it should be noted that it is psychic material which gives shape to the physical material, and therefore has priority. The houses are traditionally taken to represent the circumstances and situations which will enter into the life of the individual. Modern psychological opinion has advanced the viewpoint that there is a significant relationship between events outside the individual and his psychological makeup. Now, the houses as indicators of circumstances are also the representatives of areas in the human psyche. Psychological Astrology: A Synthesis of Jungian Psychology and Astrology