Tag Archives: jyotish astrology

Planetary Aspects

Summary: Explaining the concept of ‘Planetary Aspects’ in Jyotish and examining the rules needed to apply these principles. Also highlighting the major differences between aspects in Vedic Astrology and Western Astrology.

Planetary aspects are important and the rules in Jyotish are very different from those in Western Astrology.

Planets occupying a house will ‘cast their field of influence’ across the birth-chart and affect (for better or worse) other houses and any planets positioned in these houses ‑ this is called an aspect.

    • Aspects are directed from one house to another house (unlike in Western Astrology)
    • Aspects in Jyotish are therefore not from a planet’s ‘orb of influence’ (e.g. a 10 degree sector) to another planet’s ‘orb of influence’
    • Therefore, a planetary aspect can affect a house even if the aspected house is devoid of planets. This is a very important difference!
    • Planets in houses, as well as empty houses, can all be influenced by planetary aspects ‘beaming’ onto them from across the birth-chart
    • Aspects occur from planets positioned anywhere in one house (e.g. Sun at 2 degrees in 1st house) to affect planets positioned anywhere in another appropriate house (e.g. Saturn at 29 degrees in 7th)

A Simple Example of an Aspect

In this diagram, the Sun projects its field of influence across the chart onto the 7th house counted clockwise from the Sun. In this particular chart this house corresponds with the sign of Libra.

What are the effects of this? That really depends on a number of interrelated factors involved in chart interpretation. Firstly, an important factor is determining the ascendant in this chart. This will determine if the Sun is a functional benefic or malefic influence. Then we would need to see in what house the Sun was placed in order to assess its strength. Having done this we could see what house corresponds with Libra.

Suppose we had a Sagittarius ascendant. The Sun is then ruler of the auspicious 9th House (Leo in this chart) and it is placed in its sign of exaltation (Aries). It will then beam a very positive energy via its aspect into the sign of Libra. As this corresponds with the 11th house we would expect all affairs of the 11th House to be strengthened and improved by this aspect. We could therefore expect ‘gains, profits and the fulfilment of desires’ to be improved.

Aspect principle in Jyotish Atrology

Sun Aspects only 7th House

Aspect Rules

    • Rahu and Ketu do not cast any aspects – but all the other planets do
    • All other planets aspect the 7th house from themselves
    • Mars also aspects houses 4th  & 8th  from itself
    • Saturn also aspects houses 3rd  & 10th  from itself
    • Jupiter also aspects houses 5th & 9th from itself.

Any interpretation of the effects of aspects needs to consider both the natural characteristics and the functional characteristics of the aspecting planet.

Aspect Diagram for Mars

Mars Aspects 4th, 7th and 8th Houses in Jyotish

Mars Aspects 4th, 7th and 8th Houses from itself in Jyotish

Aspect Diagram for Jupiter

Jupiter Aspects 5th, 7th and 9th Houses in Jyotis

Jupiter Aspects 5th, 7th and 9th Houses from itself in Jyotish

Aspect Diagram for Saturn

Saturn Aspects 3rd, 7th and 10th Houses in Jyotish

Saturn Aspects 3rd, 7th and 10th Houses from itself in Jyotish

Conjunction and Combustion

Vedic Astrology uses the term ‘conjunction’ to indicate that two or more planets are together in the same sign or house – even if positioned near the opposite edges of a house. So, if the Sun was placed at 1degree Taurus and Saturn at say 28 degrees Taurus they would be termed ‘conjunct’ in Jyotish.  However, unlike Western Astrology Jyotish does not differentiate between oppositions, trines, etc.

When planets get too close to the Sun they get damaged and become ‘combust’. The exact degree needed for this to happen depends on the planet. If a planet is closer than 10 degrees to the Sun we need to be aware of possible ‘combustion’ effects and research the exact limits for the particular planet. ‘Combustion’ causes problems such as weakening the planet and its indications, the houses it rules, etc. ‘Combustion’ does not apply to Rahu or Ketu.

Resources for Students of Jyotish

Functional Benefics and Malefics for All Ascendants

Summary: List of the functional benefic and functional malefic planets for each of the twelve ascendants in the sidereal zodiac used by Vedic Astrology. Essential information for chart interpretation and remedial measures.


List of Functional Benefics and Malefics for all Ascendants

Aries: Taurus: Gemini: Cancer: Leo: Virgo: Libra

Scorpio: Sagittarius: Capricorn: Aquarius: Pisces

This information is absolutely essential knowledge and forms a key component of chart interpretation.

It is also vital for prescribing the correct remedial measures for bringing balance to the planetary energies for a particular ascendant. As a general rule, planets that are functional benefics can be strengthened by wearing appropriate gem-stones. However, functional malefics cannot be strengthened in this way and other techniques, such as planetary mantras, used.

This list of functional benefics and malefics for all twelve ascendants is aimed at students of Jyotish who already have some knowledge about this topic. Please note:

    • The numbers in brackets e.g. (9&12) refer to the houses ‘ruled’ or ‘owned’ by the planet relative to the particular ascendant in the sidereal zodiac.
    • Rahu and Ketu do not own any houses, so are not classified here as ‘functional’. They are therefore just natural malefics.
    • The notes sections below have been taken mainly from Parashara
    • The degree of positivity / negativity is given a grade, from 1 to 5, where this information has been available [1].
    • A Grade 5 for benefics means this planet is the most beneficial and auspicious possible, much more so than a grade 1 benefic
    • A Grade 5 for malefics means this planet is the most dangerous and problematic possible, far worse than a grade 1 malefic
    • Not all Jyotish Astrologers will be in 100% agreement on all of the following points. There are many layers and ‘exceptions’ in Jyotish, but the following will serve as a good initial guide.

Aries Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Jupiter                       (9 & 12)           Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Sun                            (5)                    Auspicious – grade 2
    • Mars                         (1 & 8)             Helpful to auspicious planets

Functional Malefics:

    • Saturn                       (10 & 11)         Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Mercury                    (3 & 10)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Venus                        (2 & 7)             Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Mars has Moolatrikona of Aries (1) so predominantly favourable.
    • Mars helps Sun, Jupiter – some also include Moon in this respect.
    • Saturn associated with Venus is not good.
    • Association of Jupiter-Sun; Jupiter-Mars, Mars-Sun are good.
    • Conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter will not produce auspicious result.
    • Jupiter at disposal of a malefic gives inauspicious results.

^Back to Top

Taurus Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Saturn                       (9 & 10)           Very auspicious (Yogakaraka)
    • Mercury                    (2 & 5)             Auspicious
    • Sun                            (4)

Functional Malefics:

    • Jupiter                      (8 & 11)           Very adverse indeed
    • Mars                         (7 & 12)           Maraka
    • Moon                        (3)


    • Moon as 3rd Lord is not auspicious (but not too bad: 3rd house is not as bad as 6th, which is itself less bad than 11th.)
    • Parashara says Venus, even though he is ruler of 1st, is Malefic – presumably as Libra is 6th sign from Taurus and Moolatrikona for Venus. Others argue that Venus is a benefic for Taurus Lagna as it rules the first house – which is both a Trine & Kendra simultaneously. They say that the ruler of the ascendant is always a benefic influence.
    • Mercury by joining Saturn/Sun acts more effectively.

^Back to Top

Gemini Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (5 & 12)           Auspicious – grade 2
    • Saturn                       (8 & 9)             Auspicious – see notes
    • Mercury                    (1 & 4)             Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Mars                          (6 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Sun                            (3)                    Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Venus is highly favourable: 5th (Libra) is his Moolatrikona.
    • Saturn’s (8 & 9) role not mentioned by Parashara: it should be O.K. as 9th (Aquarius) is his Moolatrikona, but check other factors in chart.
    • Sun owning 3rd is not helpful.

^Back to Top

Cancer Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mars                          (5 & 10)           Auspicious – grade 2 (Yogakaraka)
    • Jupiter                       (6 & 9)             Auspicious – grade 2
    • Moon                        (1)

Functional Malefics:

    • Venus                        (4 & 11)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Mercury                    (3 & 12)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Saturn                       (7 & 8)             Strong Maraka


    • Mars well related to Sun or Moon or Jupiter is very good.

^Back to Top

Leo Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mars                          (4 & 9)             Very auspicious indeed – grade 5 (Yogakaraka)
    • Jupiter                       (5 & 8)             Auspicious – grade 2
    • Sun                            (1)

Functional Malefics:-

    • Mercury                    (2 & 11)           Very Inauspicious – grade 4
    • Saturn                       (6 &7)              Inauspicious – grade 2
    • Venus                        (3 & 10)           Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 1


    • Many say Venus is unreliable for this ascendant.
    • Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus will not produce auspicious results.

^Back to Top

Virgo Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (2 & 9)             Very auspicious (Yogakaraka)
    • Mercury                    (1 & 10)           Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Mars                         (3 & 8)             Very Inauspicious – grade 4
    • Moon                        (11)                  Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Jupiter                       (4 & 7)             Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 1


    • Suns (12th) role depends on associations – o.k. if joins good planets in good houses.
    • Saturn (5th & 6th) not mentioned by Parashara: favourable by virtue of 5th and relationship with Mercury – but some doshas due to 6th Lordship.
    • Jupiter (4 & 7) is a Maraka

^Back to Top

Libra Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mercury                    (9 & 12 )           Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Saturn                       (4 & 5)             Auspicious – grade 3 (Yogakaraka)

Functional Malefics:

    • Jupiter                       (3 & 6)             Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Sun                            (11)                  Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Mars                         (2 & 7)             Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 1


    • Venus owns 1 & 8.  Parashara terms Venus a Neutral. However, some would argue Venus, as lord of lagna, is auspicious. Interesting!
    • Moon (10) associated with Mercury (9 & 12) causes Rajayoga.
    • Mars is a Maraka

^Back to Top

Scorpio Ascendant

 Functional Benefics:

    • Moon                        (9)                    Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Jupiter                       (2 & 5)             Auspicious – grade 2
    • Sun                            (10)                  Auspicious – grade 1

Functional Malefics:

    • Mercury                    (8 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Venus                        (7 & 12)           Inauspicious (see notes) – grade 2
    • Saturn                       (3 & 4)             Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Mars (1 & 6) is Neutral. However, some would argue Mars, as lord of lagna, is auspicious. Interesting!
    • Venus is a Maraka
    • Sun and Moon associated are Yogakarakas.

^Back to Top

Sagittarius Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Sun                            (9)                    Very auspicious – grade 4
    • Mars                         (5 & 12)           Auspicious – grade 2
    • Mercury                    (7 & 10)           Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Venus                        (6 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Saturn                       (2 & 3)             Inauspicious – grade 2


    • Moon as 8th ruler is not mentioned as inauspicious. Apparently Moon is o.k. if related to Mercury, Sun, or Mars
    • Mercury is auspicious – 10th is Moolatrikona
    • Sun and Mercury mutually associated give Yoga
    • Association between Moon and Jupiter gives a good Yoga
    • Jupiter is Neutral

^Back to Top

Capricorn Ascendant

 Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (5 & 10)           Very auspicious  (Yogakaraka)
    • Mercury                    (6 & 9)             Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Mars                         (4 & 11)           Inauspicious – grade 3
    • Jupiter                       (3 & 12)           Inauspicious
    • Moon                        (7)                    (see notes)


    • Saturn (1 & 2) is Neutral. However, some would argue Saturn as ruler of ascendant is auspicious. Interesting!
    • Sun (8) is Neutral.
    • Moon is Maraka

^Back to Top

Aquarius Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Venus                        (4 & 9)             Very Auspicious indeed – Grade 5 (Yogakaraka)
    • Saturn                       (1 & 12)           Auspicious

Functional Malefics:

    • Jupiter                       (2 & 11)           Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Moon                        (6)                    Inauspicious – grade 2
    • Mars                         (3 & 10)           Inauspicious – grade 1
    • Sun                            (7)


    • Venus gives Rajayoga.
    • Saturn’s Moolatrikona sign is Aquarius, so it is considered auspicious.
    • Mercury (5 & 8) should be auspicious but gives mixed results according to association.

^Back to Top

Pisces Ascendant

Functional Benefics:

    • Mars                         (2 & 9)             Very Auspicious – Grade 4
    • Moon                        (5)                    Auspicious – Grade 2
    • Jupiter                       (1 & 10)           Auspicious – Grade 1

Functional Malefics:

    • Saturn                       (12 & 11)         Very adverse indeed – grade 5
    • Venus                        (3 & 8)             Very Inauspicious – grade 4
    • Sun                            (6)                    Inauspicious – grade 2
    • Mercury                    (3 & 7)             Inauspicious – grade 1


    • Pandit Ojha States: Sambandha between Mars and Jupiter gives Rajayoga.

^Back to Top


[1] I gained information on the five point grading system for benefics and malefics from the Jyotish pundits of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi over 30 years ago. If anyone has any comments, or can further update me on this, you can contact me via the information on the Contact page of this site.

^Back to Top

Further Resources for Students of Jyotish


Planetary Strengths or Powers

Summary: Covers a key component of chart interpretation – assessing the ‘strength’ or ‘power’ of a planet from its sign placement in a birth-chart. Also explains house rulership (ownership) and ‘friends and enemies’ concepts

In Jyotish, a key component of chart interpretation lies in assessing the ‘strength’ or ‘power’ of a planet.

A planet that is classified as ‘strong’ brings many benefits and signifies positive returning karmas. In general, ‘strong’ equates with ‘good’!

There are two ways in which ‘strong’ equals ‘good’

Firstly some of the benefits will be in the life areas indicated by the natural associations or indications of that planet.

For example our health, power, self-esteem, relationship with father are natural associations or indicators of the Sun. Whereas our mind, emotions, memory are associated with the Moon. (See the aricle on ‘natural indications’ of planets for details)

Secondly, a strong planet brings benefits to the Houses associated with the signs it ‘owns’ or ‘rules’ [1].

Assessing Planetary Strength from Sign Placement

Although there are numerous ways of assessing a planet’s strength, a fundamental indication of strength is to assign a particular state depending on the sign of the zodiac in which the planet is located. Sometimes even the sector of the sign (say the first 10 deg.) makes a difference to the level of ‘strength’.

In Vedic astrology there are certain signs in which a planet is said to be ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’ and so can deliver benefits, whereas in other signs it is said to be ‘weakened’ so we might expect more challenges, difficulties or negative returning karmas in the life areas associated with it. Therefore the strength of a planet depends on its relationship with the sign of the zodiac in which it is placed (or passing through).

When beginning astrology, we can make quite a good initial observation of a birth-chart simply by first looking to see if each of the nine planets is in one of the four key categories of strength.

These are called, ‘Exalted’, ‘Moolatrikona’, ‘Own House’, ‘Debilitated’ (weakened or ‘fallen’).

The state of ‘Moolatrikona’ (no direct English equivalent word) brings benefits somewhere between the best state ‘exalted’ and the good state ‘own house’.

The sign where a planet is weakest (Debilitated) is exactly 180° opposite its position of maximum strength (Exalted).

Suppose we take a naturally positive planet such as Venus. If Venus is in its sign of Exaltation (Pisces), it will bring tremendous benefits (both to its natural indicators, and also to the two houses associated with the signs it rules – Libra and Taurus; the house numbers linked to these signs will of course depend on the particular ascendant in the birth-chart). However, if Venus is located in its sign of Debilitation (Virgo), it will bring no benefits whatsoever.

Therefore the same planet can act in very different ways according to its sign placement!

Planetary Strengths or Powers by Sign Placement


Exalted sign: Aries (maximum strength at Aries 10°)

Moolatrikona sign: Leo 0° to 20°

Own sign: Leo 20° to 30°

Debilitated sign: Libra (maximum weakness Libra 10°)


Exalted sign: Taurus 0° to 3°

Moolatrikona sign: Taurus 3° to 30°

Own sign: Cancer

Debilitated sign: Scorpio (maximum weakness at Scorpio 3°)


Exalted sign: Capricorn (maximum strength at Capricorn 28°)

Moolatrikona sign: Aries 0° to 12°

Own signs: Aries 12° to 30° and Scorpio

Debilitated sign: Cancer (maximum weakness at Cancer 28°)


Exalted sign: Virgo 0° to 15° (maximum strength at Virgo 15°)

Moolatrikona sign: Virgo 16° to 20°

Own signs: Virgo 20° to 30° and Gemini

Debilitated sign: Pisces (maximum weakness at Pisces 15°)


Exalted sign: Cancer (maximum strength at Cancer 5°)

Moolatrikona sign: Sagittarius 0° to 10°

Own signs: Sagittarius 10° to 30° and Pisces

Debilitated sign: Capricorn (maximum weakness at Capricorn 5°)


Exalted sign: Pisces (maximum strength at Pisces 27°)

Moolatrikona sign: Libra 0° to 15° and Taurus

Own signs: Taurus 15° to 30° and Libra

Debilitated sign: Virgo (maximum weakness at Virgo 27°)


Exalted sign: Libra (maximum strength at Libra 20°)

Moolatrikona sign: Aquarius 0° to 15°

Own signs: Aquarius 15° to 30° and Capricorn

Debilitated sign: Aries (maximum weakness at Aries 20°)


There are considerable differences of opinion in the ancient texts about the signs where Rahu and Ketu are strong or weak. So the following are quoted using the best sources I have available.

Exalted sign: Taurus

Debilitated sign: Scorpio


Exalted sign: Scorpio

Debilitated sign: Taurus

House ‘Ownership’ or ‘Rulership’ Principles

A ‘strong’ planet also brings benefits to the signs associated with that particular planet. By ‘association’ we mean sign(s) the planet is said to ‘own or rule’. The Vedic seers allocated each of the signs to a particular planet:

Sign Ownership or Rulership by Planets in Jyotish

For example, the Sun is said to be the ‘owner or ruler’  of the sign of Leo (sidereal). A strong Sun therefore brings benefits to the house number in the birth chart that corresponds with the sign of Leo. It brings benefits to all life areas that specific house indicates. The house number (1 to 12) will of course depend of on a person’s ascendant. If a person had a Cancer ascendant, then Leo becomes the second house (counting clockwise). So a strong Sun would bring benefits associated with the second house e.g. wealth

Note that in Jyotish signs and houses correspond exactly – unlike in some western astrological systems.

Suppose a person had an ascendant in Aries – this sign then becomes the first house and the sign of Leo (counting clockwise from Aries – yes clockwise, unlike in the Western system) would be the 5th house. So, if the Sun was ‘strong’ (by sign placement – see below) the affairs indicated by the 5th house e.g. children, intelligence and education, would also be supported in a positive way. This is in addition to the natural indications of the Sun (health, power, etc.) being positively supported. 

Additional Measures of Strength – ‘Friends’ and ‘Enemies’

Professional astrologers add a number of other states lying between the ‘own house’ and ‘debilitated’ states. These are a bit more complicated for beginners but they ‘fine tune’ the chart interpretation.

These five intermediate states are named as follows: ‘Great Friends’, ‘Friends’, ‘Neutral’, ‘Enemies’, ‘Great Enemies’.

A planet positioned in a sign owned by a ‘Great Friend’ does well, but one in a sign owned by an ‘Enemy’ is weakened. Of course, planets don’t actually have ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’. It is just a convenient way of saying that a planet such as Venus is less ‘happy’ (so will bring less benefits) when positioned in the sign of an ‘enemy’ such as the Sun. Good Vedic astrological software will show these states for each planet in a birth-chart.

The above, together with ‘Exalted, ‘Own House’  and ‘Debilitated (‘Fallen’) are the primary planetary strengths or ‘Avasthas’.

For a proper chart interpretation we should take these nine detailed levels into account, but when we are starting to look at charts for the first time we can just use the four key states: Exalted, Own, Moolatrikona and Debilitated. They give a surprisingly accurate picture of an individual’s returning karmas! If you are in any doubts about the validity of Jyotish check these strength indicators out in the charts of your friends and family.

The sage Parashara quantifies the benefits a planet in each state can bring:

Exalted 100%, Moolatrikona 75%, Own House 50%, Friendly sign 25%, Neutral sign 12%, and Fallen/Enemies sign 0%.

This gives us a general idea of how the state of a planet affects the good it can do. We don’t have to take the above figures too literally – but they give a good illustration of the concepts.

Other Factors Which Influence Planetary Strength

There are also other factors which influence strength. For example, if the planet appears to be moving backwards against the background of the fixed stars (i.e. ‘retrograde’), if it is very close to the Sun (i.e. ‘combust’), or within about 1 degree of another planet (i.e. involved in ‘planetary war’). A planet’s position in the divisional charts (e.g. the ninth division or ‘marriage’ chart) also affects its overall power and ability to do good.

There are also other ‘Avasthas’ or ‘states’ which modify planetary strengths. Wikipedia comments: ‘Avasthas are basically secondary sources of strength which temper interpretations rather than reverse them’. If Wiki is talking about these other Avasthas (such as ‘youth’, etc.) and not the primary ones (Exalted, Own, etc.) then I agree. For those wishing to research this further, WikiZero has an interesting article on Avasthas.

These other influences on planetary strength will be covered in further articles.

Additional Resources on Jyotish

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 Vedic Astrology – Jyotish

Summary: This article is a brief introduction to Vedic Astrology. It covers the links with yoga, and the basic aims and applications of the predictive and preventive Vedic Astrological System – also known as Jyotish or Yogic Astrology.

Links with Yoga

Jyotish is asister’ subject of Yoga and originated from the same ancient Vedic Tradition. Jyotish is also often referred to as ‘Yogic Astrology‘ or ‘Vedic Astrology’.

Jyotish is closely related to the other Yoga related sciences –  Ayurveda (a holistic Vedic Healthcare system) and Vastu (Vedic design of life-enhancing buildings and living spaces).

Jyotish Astrology, just like Ayurveda, was ‘revealed’ or ‘cognized’. It was not discovered – neither was it invented by mankind, nor developed by trial and error over a period of time.

The knowledge we get from Jyotish, when combined with our practice of Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama forms a key component of an ‘Integrated Vedic Lifestyle’ – making life happier, easier and more fulfilling.

Vedic Astrology’s Predictive Capabilities

The most widely used area of Vedic Astrology is called ‘Hora’ and deals with predicting an individual’s returning karmas, as decoded from the planetary arrangements in a person’s birth-chart. So, Jyotish is very much  ‘karmic astrology’.

Jyotish attempts to predict both the benefits and the obstacles we might experience in all areas of our lives [1] and, most importantly, when in our life [2] we might encounter those benefits or problems.

Vedic Astrology’s Preventive Capabilities

Apart from being just predictive, Jyotish aims to be ‘preventive’ too. It offers practical techniques to modify a person’s returning karmas. These are known as ‘Planetary Antidotes’ or ‘Remedial Measures’.  So Vedic Astrology provides the ultimate form of ‘karmic re-balancing’.

The capabilities of Jyotish enable the effects of potential problems in the future, caused by returning karmas (decoded from planetary positions in our birth-chart and expressed as ‘planetary imbalances’), to be first identified and then minimized, or even avoided completely. Similarly, very good periods in our lives can be predicted and the time used to full advantage.

Jyotish gives a whole range of ‘remedial measures’ in order to correct any planetary imbalances that occur in a horoscope.  This enables us to avert potential problems that might otherwise have arisen in the future. Remedial measures might involve the wearing of an appropriate gemstone in a prescribed manner, acts of charity, use of specific mantras, vedic ceremonies such as yagna or yajna.

Best Time for Every Action

The second area of Vedic Astrology is called ‘Muhurta’. It suggests the best possible times to begin an important action such as getting married, building a new house or starting a business. There is a phrase ‘well begun is half done’. Actions started at the times suggested by Muhurta have all the laws of nature supporting their successful outcome.

Higher Purpose of Vedic strology

The enlightened Vedic Master Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, said:

“The purpose of astrology is to take you to the ultimate truth that the entire universe is one organism. It’s one Being, one consciousness, one Self, that manifests itself into this varied universe”.

Published in Art of Living’s ‘Daily Sutra’, May 2003.


[1]  Jyotish deals with predictions involving the four key areas of life: Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha.

Artha covers ‘wealth’ (money and prosperity, ‘wealth’ of children, ‘wealth’ of knowledge, ‘wealth’ of food, ‘wealth’ of health, etc.). Dharma covers duty, character, actions that will be evolutionary and follow natural law (e.g. type of career), etc. Kama means desire, so it covers relationships, all types of desires, pleasures of the senses, etc. Moksha covers spiritual and personal growth towards Self-realization.

[2]   Jyotish identifies key periods called the ‘Maha Dasha Periods’ where returning Karmas, for better or worse, are delivered by the ‘Cosmic Postman’ via the nine planets. A planet’s inherent nature, where it is placed in a birth-chart, the houses it ‘rules’ and in which it is placed, and other planets nearby and aspecting it all affect the outcome.

Additional Information on Vedic Astrology