The Twelve Houses and Their Indications

Summary: Covering the main indications of each of the Twelve Houses in Vedic Astrology together with explanatory notes and  House Classifications

This section is essential reading for students of Jyotish and covers the main areas of life associated with each of the twelve houses.

Most chart interpretations are structured on a house‑by‑house basis, so a knowledge of the houses and their indications are vital.

Standard Jyotish texts often give long lists of affairs associated with each house, but I have tried to be as concise as possible here in order to just emphasise the main indications.

First House – ‘House of Body’

House Indications:

    • Birth and our younger years as a child
    • Health, body, and strength
    • Our personality and temperament
    • Self‑confidence and self‑love
    • Prosperity and fame
    • ‘Dharma’ – our actions and activities that are most evolutionary

The 1st house covers important areas of life and a ‘strong’ [1] first house improves the whole horoscope.

It reflects our ‘self’ and all matters arising from this. The planet ruling the 1st house indicates the nature of our personality and tendencies to a large extent.

House Classification: Kendra / Dharma (i.e. Angular House / Action)

House Indicator [2]: Sun

Second House – ‘House of Wealth’

House Indications:

    • Accumulated wealth and money
    • Speech and verbal expression
    • Family life?

The 2nd house is the main indicator of the wealth we accumulate over the years.

The 2nd house is linked to speech – important in education

House Classification: Artha (i.e. Wealth)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Third House – ‘House of Brothers, Sisters and Desires’

House Indications:

    • Brothers and Sisters
    • Desires in general
    • Courage
    • Our motivation and efforts
    • Communication

A good 3rd house will give ‘happiness from brothers and sisters’: our brothers and sisters will be of help to us and our relationship with them will be good. Some astrologers limit the associations of the 3rd House to younger siblings.

The 3rd is an Upachaya or ‘growing ‘ house where malefic planets [4]  generally do well unless debilitated or otherwise weakened.

House Classification: Upachaya / Kama (i.e. ‘Growing’ / Desire)

House Indicator: Mars

Fourth House – ‘House of Happiness and Comforts’

House Indications:

    • Happiness and comforts
    • The affairs and well‑being of our mother and our relationship with her
    • Fixed assets such as property, land and buildings
    • Friends and relatives?

The 4th house governs the home and our mother (our mother’s well‑being is also seen from the status of the Moon).

This house reveals our overall happiness and contentment with all aspects of our life – for example physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial.

House Classification: Kendra / Moksha (i.e. Angular  /  Liberation)

House Indicator: Moon

Fifth House – ‘House of Children’

 House Indications:

    • Children, intelligence, education and the mind
    • Spiritual techniques, religious knowledges
    • Past life credit (positive returning Karmas)
    • Investment and speculation

The 5th rules children and gives information on the number of offspring and the happiness we will get from them.

It also governs both common sense, intelligence and education.

A good 5th house is often found in the horoscopes of virtuous people who have made considerable progress in this life.

The 5th is a very good house and planets placed in it usually benefit from being there.

House Classification: Trikona / Dharma (i.e. Trinal / Action)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Sixth House – ‘House of Enemies’

House Indications:

    • Enemies, competitors, jealous people, subordinates at work, obstacles
    • Illness, disease
    • Worries and anxieties

‘Enemies’ can mean competitors or anyone who can rise to a higher status in an organization than us.

A powerful 6th means we can get to the top of our chosen field easily.

The 6th is a ‘growing’ house or Upachaya ‑ problems indicated may get better in time. For example a health problem indicated by the 6th may be there in childhood, but be gone by the time we are an adult.

Malefic planets and their natural significations are generally ok in the 6th.

But houses owned by these planets that occupy the 6th are generally disturbed.

House Classification: Dusthana/ Upachaya /Artha (i.e. Negative / Growing / Wealth)

House Indicator is: Mars

Seventh House – ‘House of Marriage and Partnerships’

House Indications:

    • Married life, our partner, sexual passions
    • Partnerships of all kinds (for example – business)

The 7th house indicates the quality of married life and the well‑being of our partner.

Using the house that the Moon is in as an ascendant, and looking at planets occupying the 7th house from the Moon also gives useful additional advice on marriage.

A strong Navamsa chart [5] is beneficial for relationships.

The 7th is also responsible for some aspects of travel.

House Classification: Kendra  / Kama (i.e. Angular / Desire)

House Indicator: Venus

Eighth House – ‘House of Transformation’  

House Indications:

    • Life, longevity, death
    • Wills and legacies
    • Intuition, occult practices, secret and esoteric matters

The 8th is called the “house of death” as it governs the nature and cause of death.

However, a good 8th, together with a well-placed Saturn, gives a long and energetic life.

The 8th is a Moksha house stirring an interest in personal evolution.

According to some astrologers the 8th governs long term illnesses, chronic mental and physical diseases, and sexual diseases.

The 8th generally damages planets occupying it (there are exceptions ) and the houses they rule.

House Classification: Dusthana / Moksha (i.e. Negative / Liberation)

House Indicator is: Saturn

Ninth House – ‘House of Fortune’

House Indications:

    • Luck, fortune and general prosperity
    • Religion, faith, worship, spiritual teacher, higher knowledge of all kinds, law
    • Some aspects of our relationship with our father
    • Long journeys to sacred places, some aspects of travel

The 9th is of equal importance to the 1st house

It indicates our luck or fortune.

The 9th is the best house of the horoscope. Planets placed within it do well and the 9th ruler itself carries with it a very positive energy. Some astrologers consider the 9th, rather than the 5th, to govern past‑life credit.

A good 9th gives a tremendous amount of luck and fortune ‑ almost a sort of divine grace.

A person’s relationship with his spiritual teacher is seen from the ninth ‑ in India this was the father of the family (at least in the early years, before getting a spiritual guru later on). So some aspects concerning the relationship between a person and his father are therefore seen from the 9th.

House Classification: Trikona / Dharma (i.e. Trinal / Action)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Tenth House – ‘House of Status and Power’

House Indications:

    • Our status, fame, career
    • Authority figures, government officials, authoritative institutions
    • The status, power and authority of our father

The 10th house gives the degree of success, respect and status we will achieve in our chosen career.

The 10th is an Upachaya or “growing ” house where malefics can do well ‑ unless in their fallen status or poorly aspected.

Many factors relating to a persons’ father are seen from the 10th.

House Classification: Kendra  / Upachaya / Artha (i.e. Angular / Growing / Wealth)

House Indicator: Mercury

Eleventh House – ‘House of Gains , Profits and Desires’

House Indications:

    • Profits, gains and income in general
    • Desires, wishes, opportunity, ambitions

The 11th differs from the 2nd in that it rules gains and profits “by any means” so even if the 2nd house is weak there can still be considerable income ‑ although this may not lead to much accumulated wealth.

The 11th rules the fulfilment of major desires. A good 11th brings many opportunities which is how a person can fulfil his desires.

The 11th is a “growing” house or Upachaya where malefics can eventually do well.

House Classification: Upachaya / Kama (i.e. ‘Growing’ / Desire)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Twelfth House – ‘House of Loss and  Expenditure’

House Indications:

    • Expenditure, financial waste and loss, misfortune
    • Salvation, final liberation, enlightenment,
    • Journeys to far off lands

The 12th is concerned with loss of all kinds.

A good 12th indicates we will retain our wealth.

A good 12th also indicates we are well on the path to higher states of consciousness and enlightenment.

Planets in this house are generally  harmed ( there are exceptions ) as are the houses they rule.

House Classification: Dusthana / Moksha (i.e. Negative / Liberation)

House Indicator: Saturn

Parts of the Body Associated with Each House

Each house is associated with a part of the body, so houses that are in some way badly weakened can indicate possible problems in the physiology in their associated area.

House       Part of Body

1                 Head

2                 Eyes, face, mouth, upper throat

3                 Arms, shoulders, lower throat

4                 Chest, heart

5                 Stomach

6                 Region of navel

7                 Body below the waist

8                 Reproductive organs, anus

9                 Hips, thighs

10                Knees

11                Calves of legs

12                Feet

House Classification

Houses 5 and 9 (Trikona) are considered ‘very good indeed’.  This is because planets placed in them are strengthened.  The houses these planets rule also benefit from their ruler being in the 5th or 9th house.

They are also ‘good’ in that the planet ruling the 5th and 9th, even if a natural malefic such as Saturn, becomes a functional benefic and carries a positive energy with it wherever it is placed.

Houses 6, 8 and 12 (Dushtana) are considered ‘bad’.  Planets placed in them are weakened. The houses ruled by the planets that are placed in the 6, 8 or 12th houses are also weakened.

The rulers of the 6, 8 and 12th generally cause problems somewhere in the chart – even if they are natural benefics such as Jupiter (this applies provided the planet does not also rule either the auspicious 5th or 9th House.)

Houses 3, 6, 10 and 11 form a special category called Upachaya or ‘growing’ Houses.  Malefics do well in growing houses and eventually produce good results. Problems indicated by a ‘growing’ house get less with time.

Houses 1, 4, 7 and 10 are the angular houses (Kendras) and planets placed in them are strengthened.

Houses are further classified in groups of four, starting with the first house: Dharma (Duty – evolutionary actions), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Enlightenment). This grouping then repeats with the fifth house being Dharma, six Artha, seventh Kama, eighth Moksha, and repeats again – ninth Dharma, tenth Artha, eleventh Kama and twelfth Moksha.


[1] When we say a house is ‘strong’ we will be considering factors such as: looking at the status and strength of the planet that ‘rules or owns’ that house. (e.g. ‘Exalted’ or ‘Own House’ status is good); in which house the ruler is placed (e.g. very positive when in the auspicious 9th); any natural benefic planets such as Venus in the house itself; any positive aspects to the house from natural benefics such as Jupiter, etc.

[2] We can further assess the state of a house by looking at the status and ‘wellbeing’ of its ‘indicator planet’. This can modify our interpretation of house affairs – although it is of less importance than the main factors (e.g. status of house ruler, occupying planets, aspects, etc.). Knowledge of the indicator planet’s natural indications corresponds with the affairs of the house it is associated with. For example, Venus is associated with love and passions, so it ties in nicely with the seventh house – the house of marriage. So this association agrees with our understanding.

Further Resources for Students of Jyotish

Introduction to Jyotish. A range of articles for people entirely new to Vedic Astrology. Including: Introduction, FAQs, Origins and Karmic Implications.

Key Concepts in Jyotish. Articles covering the Sidereal Zodiac, Planetary Forces, Forecasting Analogies and ‘Planetary Antidotes’.

For Western Astrologers. Articles examining major differences between the two systems and the paradigm shift needed by Western Astrologers wanting to understand the subject.

Learn Jyotish. An extensive collection of articles covering key facts, concepts and methods. Aimed at ‘foundation level’ students. Includes essential information needed before beginning chart interpretations. Covering: Chart Formats, Planets, Houses, Mahadasha Periods, Transits, Aspects, Birth-time Errors, Natural and Functional Benefics / Malefics, Chart Interpretation Basics, etc.