Tag Archives: houses in jyotish

‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Houses in Jyotish

Summary: Covering the Equal House concept in Jyotish, together with an analysis of ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ houses, including topics on: Kendra, Trikona, Dusthana, and Upachaya houses.

The Equal House Concept

Jyotish divides the 360 degrees of the sky up into twelve equal sectors of 30 degrees width and this produces twelve equal width ‘Houses’. Jyotish always uses the Sidereal Zodiac.

Each house governs particular areas of life. Details about the main significations of each house are given in the article ‘The Twelve Houses’. Most chart interpretations are based on a house‑by‑house analysis.

In Jyotish, each of the twelve houses corresponds exactly with a particular sign. Therefore in Vedic Astrology a house cannot overlap between two signs.

Western Astrology usually starts the first house at the exact degree of the ascendant. Not so in Jyotish. In vedic Astrology the first house corresponds with the whole sign that contains the ascendant, irrespective of its exact positional degree[1].

So in Jyotish, if our exact ascendant position is located at say 1 degree Leo, or 29 degrees Leo, or anywhere in between, then the first house corresponds exactly with the whole 30 degrees of Leo: the second house will correspond exactly with the whole of the sign of Virgo: the third with Libra, etc. The house containing the ascendant is shown by a diagonal line on the birth-chart.

Equal House Diagram in Jyotish

The South Indian chart format (probably easiest for beginners) numbers houses in a clockwise direction from the sign containing the ascendant (which is shown by the diagonal line in Leo in the above diagram)

The signs always stay in the same boxes in all charts, so Pisces will always be in the top left hand corner.

Houses do not have exactly the same meaning in Jyotish as they do in the Western system.

Errors in birth-times can throw the system out completely when an ascendant is near a boundary between two houses – but there are ways around this [2].

‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Houses

The planet ruling a particular house changes as the ascendant changes.

For example, the planet ruling the 1st house is the Moon for a Cancer ascendant but the Sun for a Leo ascendant (see article on which planets rule which signs).

Irrespective of the zodiacal sign to which they correspond, good houses strengthen planets placed in them and ‘bad’ houses weaken them.

Trikona or Trinal Houses

According to Jyotish the 5th and 9th houses (‘Trinal’ or ‘Trikona’ houses) are very good indeed in that planets occupying these houses do well and are strengthened.

The first house is also considered to be a trinal house by many astrologers.

Therefore the good, natural characteristics of the planet occupying either the 5th or the 9th are strengthened and can deliver the full benefits associated with them

Any houses associated with the occupying planet are also greatly strengthened.

The rulers of the 5th and 9th houses carry with them a positive energy.They bring this to the house in which they are placed.

They also benefit (with this positive energy) any planet they are near to (conjunct), or which they aspect.

Kendras or Angular Houses

The Kendras (Angular houses) i.e. 1, 4, 7 and 10 are ‘good’ houses. Planets placed in them are strengthened. These houses themselves represent benign things.

A good house has two effects: it strengthens planets in it and all of their associations; its ruler carries a positive energy with it and benefits wherever it is placed.

Dusthanas or Negative Houses

Houses 6, 8, and 12 (Dusthanas) are ‘negative’ houses.

The houses themselves do not represent anything inherently evil but they are said to be negative because they seriously weaken planets placed in them. So, the good natural characteristic of the planets occupying them suffer.

In addition, the houses ruled by planets occupying the 6th, 8th, or 12th are also weakened and damaged, so that matters connected with them are also harmed.

The planets that rule the 6th, 8th, or 12th houses are also considered to carry with them a negative energy – this disturbs the house in which they are placed, or planets they are near to (conjunct), or which they aspect.

The 8th is the worst of the three!

Although they are considered negative we should be aware that a good sixth house means we overcome our ‘enemies’, a good eighth indicates a long life, and a good twelfth means we have little expenditure and loss (and are making good spiritual progress towards enlightenment).

Upachaya or Growing Houses

Houses 3, 6, and 10 and 11 have been declared Upachaya houses (‘growing houses’) where any problems indicated get better with time and where malefic planets eventually do some good. Therefore malefics are generally best placed either in their Own, or Exalted signs, or in Upachaya houses.


[1] The ascendant is located in the sign of the zodiac that appears to be ‘rising’ on the Eastern horizon at the time of our birth. So, if we looked at the Eastern horizon at the time of our birth and saw it was at  20 degrees Capricorn, we would say we had a ‘Capricorn Ascendant’. The ascendant is shown by a diagonal line in the chart. Note: this is in the Sidereal Zodiac used by Jyotish – not the Tropical one used by Western Astrology.

[2] Very skilled and experienced Vedic Astrologers can ‘work backwards’ from life events to determine a person’s birth-time! This process is called ‘rectification of birth-time’.

Additional Resources for Students of Vedic Astrology

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