A quick capsule on how the horoscope is set up and what each house signifies. Learning astrology/Jyotish is all about matching patterns. The 360 degrees of the skies are divided into 30 degree units called rashis or signs, Aries to Pisces/Mesha to Meen. The exact degree of these 360 degrees which was rising at the east the instant you were born is the Ascendent. Taking this all important point in the skies, the 12 houses are set up each of 30 degrees. So if you were born when the 15th degree of Taurus was rising in the east, the first house in your horoscope would be from 0 degrees of Taurus to 30 degree Taurus, your second house would be 0 deg Gemini to 30 deg Gemini and so on till your 12th house would be from 0deg Aries to 30 deg Aries. Thus you get the 12 houses/bhava of the chart.
Now each of the houses signifies a particular aspect of your life and your body. For example,
- First house/Ascendent – Personal self, status in society, ego, the head
- Second house – the family assets, the lineage, family history, the shoulders
- Third house – the neighbourhood, extended family, brothers/siblings, your arms and your boldness
- Fourth House – the mother, landed property, emotional security, comfort zones, the chest specifically heart
- Fifth house – the education, the children, the expressions of creativity, the lungs and diaphragm
- Sixth house – disease, debts, enemies, arguments, the digestive system
- Seventh house – partnerships, wife/husband, agreements, the back
- Eighth house – death, routes into the unknown subconsciousness, organs of reproduction
- Ninth house – the external religious behaviour, the deceased ancestors, the thighs
- Tenth house – the father, the profession, the knees
- Eleventh house – the networking of people, the sources of gain, luck, the calves
- Twelfth house – the deep subconscious, the internal spirituality, the losses, the ankles
These keywords are generally the same for and can be used for the 12 rashi/signs also.
Now in vedic astrology, there are nine graha. Graha in Sanskrit means a “force” not planet. There is this site http://spokensanskrit.org which is invaluable for understanding the meanings of Sanskrit words. A single Sanskrit word has numerous meanings so do visit this site to increase your working knowledge of regularly used Sanskrit words.
- Surya – Sun – personal ego, source of all energy in the horoscope, father
- Chandra – Moon – emotions, mind, mother, emotional security comfort
- Mangal – Mars – valor, expression of the personal energy, competitiveness, brothers
- Budha – Mercury – analytics, communication, calculations, thinking process
- Devguru Bruhaspati – Jupiter – expansion, teacher, conventional knowledge
- Daityaguru Shukra – Venus – relationships, spiritual teacher, esoteric knowledge
- Shani – Saturn – restriction, contraction, karmic balancing, work
- Ketu – South Node – apathy, indifference, non-interest, repulsion
- Rahu – North Node – greed, craving, attraction, over-reaching
Of course there are several more meanings to these, but I have listed out just a few important ones which are the easiest to remember to start with. The rashis/signs have their own meanings too which are similar to those of the houses.
Start a journal and keep on adding more keywords as you study and apply your studies in reading horoscopes.
So there are 9 planets/graha, 12houses/bhava and 12 signs/rashi. Now you use your common sense, a bit of intuition and the interactions between the keywords to interpret.
If your Moon is in the 3rd house in Virgo. So add these sets of keywords (emotions, mind, mother, emotional security comfort), added to (the neighbourhood, extended family, brothers/siblings, your arms and your boldness) plus (disease, debts, enemies, arguments, the digestive system). You will get a person who finds emotional comfort in talking, is a good communicator, knows the right words to use, is very confident especially with his maternal relatives, mother and quite patriotic about his homeland. He may be a counsellor as he can talk to to others about their problems/diseases etc, or a nursing/practical work related to health/has to serve.
The horoscope is all about how these 12 signs, 12 houses and the 9 grahas interact. And if this was not enough, the grahas naturally keep on moving in time and space, so to predict one has to calculate the interactions of these birth positions with the current positions of the grahas. It does sound complicated but it is mathematics coupled with your intuition. The mathematics for this is all from the Surya siddhanta written by Mayadanav. And the intuition comes with regular spiritual practice.