Photo Credit: astronlogia.com


In the previous post we became acquainted with the concept of Houses of the Natal chart and what they signify for the subject we had chosen, whose Horoscope is being drawn up. We also projected the Houses into space around the Earth and noted that the Houses were directional. We saw that at the time of birth the 12 Zodiacal Signs would become aligned with the 12 houses, one figuring in each. this would have astrological significance, depending on the nature of the Signs. The next step for the Pundit in drawing up the Horoscope would be to find out where the planets had got located in the 12 Houses.

Before he considers the effects of actual location of planets in the Houses and Signs therein, the Pundit however needs to determine whether they are malefic, benefic or neutral for the Natal Chart. This is determined on the basis of the Zodiac Signs (constellations) which they are said to own, as indicated in the scriptures.

The Sun and the Moon own one Sign each, the other planets own two Signs each but the Lunar Nodes Rahu and Ketu, also considered as planets in Hindu astrology, own no Signs. The chart below shows the Signs aligned with various Houses of the Natal Chart, the placement of planets in the Houses and the ownership of the Signs by the planets..



* The Sun owns Leo in the Second House.

* The Moon owns Cancer in the first House

* Mars owns Aries in the tenth House and Scorpio in the fifth House

*Mercury owns Gemini in the twelfth House and Virgo in the third House

*Venus owns Libra in the fourth House and Taurus in the eleventh House

* Saturn owns Capricorn in the seventh House and Aquarius in the eighth

* Jupiter owns Sagittarius in the sixth House and Pisces in the ninth house


We know that the 12 Houses signify various aspects of a person’s life. What we have yet to learn is that the 12 Houses are divided into regions or zones, which are auspicious, inauspicious or neutral. There are four categories into which the Houses of fortune are divided as shown in the diagram below:

(a) Central Area (Kendra), also called Angular houses – these are the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th.

(b) The holy Triangle (Trikon), also called the Triane Houses – the 1st, 5th and 9th.

(c) the three Houses of Acquisition (Trishdaya) – the 3rd, 6th and 11th.

(d)Houses on either side of the first House – the 2nd and the 12th.

(e) the eighth House, in a category of its own.

chart with vishnu-laxmi


The delineation of the chart into these zones is important for Jyotish astrology. The Central area is neutral. The Triane are auspicious. The last of the Triane, the 9th House is the most auspicious, representing fortune (Bhagya) and spirituality and righteousness (Dharma). The Houses of Acquisition (Trishdaya) are also referred to as sinful areas and are inauspicious. The 2nd and 12th on either side of the 1st ( the ascendant) are variable depending on the nature of the second Sign owned by their Lords. Planets owning Signs are referred to as their Lords. The 8th house is the House of mortality and therefore inauspicious. In scriptural lore the 1st House represents the Lord of creation, Vishnu, whereas the other two laterals of the Holy Triangle, the 5th and the 9th represent Laxmi, his consort, the goddess of good fortune and happiness.


It is only after the Pundit knows which Sign has fallen in a House that he can determine the nature of its owner, the planetary protagonist for the chart. The inherent nature of the planet will get modified and even transformed, depending on the placement of the Sign in one of the above designated zones. The most auspicious planet for the chart, irrespective of its inherent nature will be the one with a combination of Signs, one at the Centre and the other in the Triangle. A planet will be auspicious but blemished if being a benefic it owns a Sign at the Centre and another outside the Triangle. A planet will be doubly inauspicious if it owns two Signs, both outside the Centre and the Triangle. Such a planet may become a killer for the chart in question. Lords of triangular Houses ( planets owning a Sign in a triangular House) will produce evil effects except if they occupy their own Signs. Lords of Signs in the 2nd and the 12th will give results according to the placement of the other Sign they own. Lord of the Sign in the 8th House will be evil unless he is himself located in the 1st or 8th House or is also Lord of a Sign in a triangular House. A planet owning two Signs, both placed in Central houses will also be inauspicious for the chart ( Affliction of the Centre – Kendra Dosh).

The foregoing is only a brief outline of a very complex compendium of intricate rules to determine the nature of the planets for a chart but would doubtless give the reader some understanding of how an analysis is made of location of Signs in the chart.


The Pundit can now determine how the planets are going to behave in the chart even before he actually considers the effects of their location in the Houses. From their ownership of Signs located in different zones of the chart he learns whether the owners are auspicious, inauspicious, killers or neutral for the specific chart, irrespective of their inherent benefic or malefic natures. Let us see what picture emerges for our case study of the person whose horoscope we have taken for our study.

1. Mars (though malefic) is the most auspicious planet for this chart as it owns a Sign in  a Central house, the 10th and a Triangular house, the 5th.

2. Jupiter owning a Sign in a Triangular House, the 9th is auspicious but also owning a Trishdaya House, the 6th, becomes blemished. however, as the 9th House is the most powerful triangular House, he retains most of his auspiciousness.

3. Venus owning a Central House and a Trishdaya House (11th) is inauspicious.

4. Mercury is neutral owning the 12th House but also owning the 3rd (Trishdaya) becomes inauspicious.

5. Saturn owning the 8th House is evil and further owning the 7th becomes a ‘Killer’ ( the 2nd and the 7th Houses are also deemed as ‘Marak Sthana’, areas of death).

6. the Sun owning the 2nd House is neutral ( as it owns only one House and the nature of the second affecting this position therefore does not arise).

7. The Moon owning the 1st House, the ascendant House of birth ( both Central and Triangular in definition) should be auspicious if it itself is suitably located and in the right phase at birth of the subject – this we shall examine later.

This is the final look of the planets for the chart in question. However this picture is likely to change further depending on where the planets have actually got located in the chart at birth. Now that this major exercise is over the Pundit turns to the next stage, which is to determine where the planets have got located in the chart in the twelve Houses of fortune with the twelve Signs already located therein. Here again the process involves perusal of the ephemeris to find the longitudes of the planetary positions at birth and their calibration to obtain a precise longitude of the place of birth.


Finally the planets appear in our subjects Natal Chart as shown below:

                                              ( IN THE CHART ABOVE THE NUMBERS REPRESENT THE ZODIAC SIGNS )

 Numerous questions arise in the mind of the Pundit when he sees the completed chart above. These relate , we have already seen, most importantly to the ownership of the Signs by the planets and their resulting status for the chart; whether they are going to be malefic or benefic for it. Other issues include the presence of the planets together in a House (conjunction), mutual relationship, their aspects on one another, their relationship to the Signs they occupy, their relationship to the Houses where they are located, their inherent natures, their significations, their strengths for the chart, whether they are well placed for the chart and beneficial or otherwise.

The planets are the real protagonists apart from the subject. They are as complex as the subject whose life they are supposed to control and influence. I have in the preceding posts on Stellar India sought to give a detailed expose of the planets in mythology, popular lore and scriptures. With the benefit of that detailed background we are in a better position to appreciate their true natures and the manner in which they are intended by providence to influence lives.

We saw that the Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter are mutual friends, though the Moon is indifferent to Jupiter ( having eloped with his wife). The Moon regards his son Mercury with amity, though Mercury sees his father Moon with enmity. Saturn and Venus are mutual friends and both regard the Sun and Moon as enemies. Saturn furthermore regards Mars as n enemy. The Sun reciprocates the sentiments of Saturn and Venus with hostility, though the Moon’s nature is such that it does not regard any planet as an enemy. Saturn we saw is an estranged son of the Sun. Mercury views the Sun and Venus as friends. This friendship is reciprocated by Venus. Saturn views Mercury as a friend but this is not reciprocated.

The Sun is a mild malefic. Saturn is entirely malefic and so is Mars. Jupiter is the most benefic of planets and Venus is benefic too. Mercury has an uncertain nature, mostly neutral, assuming a benefic or malefic attitude depending upon the company and location he is in. The Moon is a changeable planet. When in the ascendant mode to full-moon it is benefic but when in its descent to no-moon it becomes malefic. The two Lunar Nodes are always malefic. Yet these inherent natures are subject to change for the chart. Thus a benefic need not necessarily bestow good fortune, nor a malefic, misfortune. For instance an inherently good person can cause you harm and an evil person can in fact be of advantage, depending on the circumstances. These circumstances would include the House they occupy, the Sign they inhabit, the company they are in, their mutual relationship in a chart, the Houses on which their aspect (sight) falls. For instance a benefic planet in the company of a malefic in a House will lose some of his beneficial capabilities as also the malefic some of his evil intentions. Further, if they are enemies they will disturb the tranquility of the House, much like two quarrelsome persons invited to a party will create tension there. Like friends together would create a positive environment in a House. Enemies ‘looking’ at each other would disturb the peace of the relevant Houses and friends viewing each other would enhance the favourable results. Furthermore a planet in a Sign owned by an enemy would be unable to do good, much like a person in the house of a hostile person. Planets in friendly Sign, those belonging to friends, would be relaxed and able to act effectively to promote the prospects of the House. They may even develop special relationships, like being in mutual exchange of Houses, which would further enhance their capabilities and bring more powerful effects.

When looking at the completed chart, the learned Pundit’s thoughts would now focus on the nature of the Signs the planets occupy, in the following order:

 are they

(a) in the Sign they own (Swa-Rashi)

(b) in a Sign in which the planet is in exaltation ( each planet is assigned a Sign in which it is in exaltation )

(c) in a Sign in which the planet is in debilitation ( the 7th sign from the one in which it is in exaltation is the one in which it is in debilitation – i.e. 180 degrees next)

(d) in a Sign belonging to a friendly planet or an enemy planet.

He also proceeds to calibrate their strength (Bal) for the chart. They could be infant, youthful, aged or combust, depending on their longitudinal coordinates which may place them in the first, second or third section of the constellation or too close to the longitude of the Sun. There are also other complex considerations on the basis of which the strength of a planet is determined. A powerful planet will do its job, good or bad with certainty, a weak planet will do it halfheartedly and a combust planet will be ineffective either way. The final analysis of our subject’s chart after studying the location of the Signs, considering their lordships and noting where and with whom the planets are located, evaluating their locations in terms of being in their own Signs, in exaltation or debilitation, calibrating their strengths, reveal the following:

He notes first that none of the planets are in their own Signs, in exaltation or debilitation. Next he notes whether they are in friendly, enemy or neutral Signs, depending on who the owner is. The Moon is in a neutral Sign. Mars, the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Saturn are in friendly Signs. Jupiter and Rahu are in enemy Signs and Ketu is in a neutral Sign. He also notes that Saturn and Venus are in an exchange of Signs ( each located in the others Sign) and have therefore developed a special relationship in the chart and being friends this creates a ‘Rajyoga’ or very auspicious circumstance for the subject.

The Moon, Lord of the ascendant Sign Cancer, also happens to be the most powerful planet for the chart and being in ascendant phase at time of birth ( 14 Shukla Paksh – day before full moon) is in a state of empowerment. The subject’s birth was also on a Monday, reckoned as the Moon’s Day. the Moon is located in the 10th House of career and achievement, a Central House. These factors make for a strong and well placed Moon, which is going to be a positive influence for the chart, If the Moon was, say in the 11th or 12th House and was weak and in the dark half of descending phase, the picture would have been quite negative.

The placement of Mars, already emerging most auspicious for the chart, based on its ownership of Signs placed in a Central House, the 10th and a Triangular House, the 5th – becomes even more auspicious by getting located in the most powerful House of the Holy Triangle, the 9th house, which is the House of fortune, spirituality and righteousness. There is no blemish either on account of being in any enemy’s Sign, as Jupiter the owner and Mars the tenant are friends.

The placement of the Sun and Mercury in the 5th House ( part of the Holy Triangle) is also quite positive. They are not enemies sitting together but Mercury has become ‘combust’, its coordinates being too close to the Sun thus loosing effectiveness.

The placement of Jupiter and Saturn in the 11th House is also positive, as planets located in the 11th, the House of ‘Gains’, give benefits. They too are not enemies, though Jupiter is indeed in an enemy Sign, while Saturn is not.

Venus is in the 7th House, which is not considered positive because Venus is the significator of the House of marriage and sexuality and according to scriptures being in the house of which it is a significator disturbs the issues with which both are concerned.

The placement of Rahu in the 2nd and Ketu in the 8th are causes of worry, both being inauspicious planets and unfortunately placed.

Overall however the emerging picture is quite positive and promising  and several potential ‘Rajyogas’ are apparent. Of course there are pitfalls as well, as in any life.


The Pundit has also to take into account the question of aspects ( their sight falling on a House where another planet is located) of planets on one another and on the Signs and Houses. different planets cast their vision in different ranges from where they are located in the chart. Most cast a vision on the seventh House (at 180 degrees)from where they are, including the location. Saturn, Mars and Jupiter have multiple visions in addition to the standard seventh. Once the Pundit knows which House is aspected by the planets, he makes conclusions according to scriptural aphorisms on aspects. When a planet aspects a House, its inherent benefic or malefic nature affects the issues concerned with that House. When a planet aspects a planet it affects (a) the aspected planet’s signification ( each planet represents certain issues as significator eg Venus is significator of conjugal affairs and sex. (b) the issues represented by the Houses in which the Signs owned by the aspected planet are located. Let us illustrate from our subject’s chart for greater clarity:

Jupiter a benefic brings positive effects from its aspects on the 3rd,5th, and 7th Houses, namely Houses of achievement, progeny and spouse respectively. As the sun is in the 5th House ( Holy triangle) it also sends positive energy to the House it owns, the 2nd. Likewise it brings benefits to the Houses owned by Mercury ( which is also aspected by it in the 5th House) the 3rd and 12th Houses.

On the issue of planetary strengths the Pundit arrives at the following conclusion:

Moon – very benefic – auspicious

Venus – benefic – but inauspicious for chart

Mars – greatly reduced malefic – most auspicious for the chart

Jupiter – benefic – auspicious but blemished for chart

Saturn – less malefic- but eventually a ‘Killer’ for the chart

Sun – malefic – but generally neutral for the chart

Mercury – malefic – inauspicious but generally ineffective being combust

We observe that thus far the exercise has been merely to describe the conditions of the playing field and the strengths and weaknesses of the protagonists and how they are likely to interact to determine the destiny of the subject. This will show broadly how each House will be affected favourably or adversely in respect of the issues within its jurisdiction. The precise and detailed predictions would come at the second stage when it would have to be analysed to what extent the generalizations apply or to what extent they have to be modified. This exercise would involve a detailed examination of each House in the chart which we will attempt in future posts.


Sage Parashar

Finally we need to note that Jyotish astrology has two aspects – the Math. ( Ganit) and the predictions ( Phalit – fruit). while the Math is based entirely on the science of astronomy and mathematics and is precise and scientifically accurate in every detail, the predictions covering interpretations of the astronomical facts for the life of the subject and his destiny, are an entirely different ball game which relies on scriptural aphorisms with no explanation of the reason for their conclusions. The Phalit is derived from scriptural verses attributed to the legendary sages of the period of the earliest Vedas, prominent among whom were the sages Parashar and Jaimini, the first emphasized the role of the planets while the second stressed the importance of Signs for predictive astrology. Sage Parashar’s treatise of 11000 verses, the ‘Brihat Parashar Hora shastra’ is the essential basis of Jyotish predictive astrology. Parashar is believed to have lived around the third millennium BC and his treatise is in the form of a dialogue between him and his disciple Maitreya who poses the questions. Parashar is also said to be the grandfather of Veda Vyas the author of the Mahabharat epic which contains the Bhagvad Gita. According to scholars the present form of Parashar’s treatise was conceived in the 7th or 8th century AD piecing together the lost ancient version from manuscripts and traditions. The present version is believed to have been recompiled in the 19th century.


Photo credit: panoramio.com Sage Parashar temple Himachal Pradesh