The ‘Lagna’ in Jyotish is the intersection of the east horizon with the ecliptic at a given time. This Lagna at the moment of your birth becomes your Ascendant degree. The rashi/sign in which this degree falls is your Ascendant sign and its planetary ruler the Lagnesh. In the excitement of the Moon-signs and Sun-signs, you often ignore the Ascendant-sign/Lagna and its planetary ruler/the Lagnesh! The Ascendant is extremely important as the tone of the entire horoscope is set from planet. For peeping into your personality there are a minimum 3 charts that you need to refer.
- The basic birth chart called the first divisional chart D-1, or the Janma kundali.
- The Chandra kundali, where the placement of the planets is the same as the D-1 above but the moon sign is counted as the first house. The chart is redrawn by shifting the houses accordingly.
- The Navamsha chart or the 9th divisional chart, but only if you are sure that the birth time is exact to the minute, else it is of no use, it will mislead.
The Ascendant Lord/Lagnesh has a very special place in the chart and you really should analyse it separately for gleaning the maximum information from its placement.
A Lagnesh is empowered and capable of giving very good results if
- It is exalted
- It is in its swakshetra or a favourable house in the chart.
- In company of or aspected by benefic planets or functional benefics for that ascendant sign.
Such a Lagnesh will give a favourable situation of birth and a family of comfortable means and status in society. It will also provide you with a good quotient of self-confidence and expression. The sign/house in which the lagnesh is placed will provide an indication as to where you will feel most comfortable. E.g the lagnesh in the 10th house will grant you extra comfort in your professional life, you will be socially well known because of your activities in the professional field.
On the other hand a badly placed Lagnesh is when
- It is debilitated or in the dushamsthana, the 6th, 8th or 12th houses.
- It is in unnatural movement and situations like combust or retrograde or the loser of a planetary war.
- It is conjoint or aspected by malefic or functional malefic planets.
Such a Lagnesh will not be able to express itself fully. You will be born in a rather socially low family. Your personal self-esteem and awareness and Ego will be low. And thus your role and activity in the social context will be of a lower degree. e.g. The ascendant lord in the 6th house will bring you to situations where you will be surrounded by the negativity of disease, debts, enemies, either serving or suffering!
The Ascendant Sign of the birth chart and its Lord.
This is the foundation of the manifested social, material, ego and physical environments of your life. The activity patterns of your life. The physical structure of the body/face and the major personality traits, which also indicate how the society will respond to you. E.g if you are beautiful you will be better received in the society. The house/sign which is occupied by the ascendant lord, Lagnesh is of particular importance. E.g one of my clients has his Libra ascendant lord Venus/Shukra in the 5thhouse in Aquarius/Kumbh. He works for the government, is a good judge, fair/balanced and likes writing. The Lagnesh and its position determines which environment is best suited for giving you social recognition and also the best use of your personal attributes (irrespective of your personal inclinations/emotions). Thus Lagnesha has a role in your career choice. The ‘physical personality’ is the birth chart or the first divisional chart.
The Chandra Kundali and the birth Moon rashi and its ruler.
In this birth Moon chart, the placement of the planets is the same as the D-1 chart but the first house is the birth Moon sign. The moon sign will tell you about those environments where you will be naturally comfortable. Also to predict the emotional outcome of an event the moon chart is to be referred. We are not just our physical body visible to the normal two eyes. We are also our ‘other’ body which is sensed by the Third eye. You must have felt this instinctive reaction to someone you have just met, you might excessively like or dislike or feel fear or repulsion towards someone for no good reason. There is a reason for such instinctive reactions and this depends on the Chandra kundali/Moon chart.
In simple words, your aura and response of others to your aura is determined here. You perceive others on the basis of their aura, your perception of ‘beauty’ ‘clean’ and even physical qualities like ‘height’ etc have a significant aura component. You may feel small when depressed or expanded when overjoyed. Here your perception of yourself is also linked to the aura. Your emotions are reflected in the aura. Your physical body is the product of the astral, the causal, the spiritual etc bodies. These are also felt through the aura. If your moon chart is well balanced, irrespective of what happens in the physical world, internally you will be quite happy. This is the ‘emotional personality’, the domain of the Moon chart.
The Navamsha D-9 chart and its Lagna/Lagnesh
Now we come to the third chart. The 9th divisional chart tells you, ‘How do you really see your own self?’.
Often you meet someone who has a very low opinion of himself though the society regards him very highly, or someone who thinks very high of himself and the public thinks he is a crook. This mismatch of the self-opinion and public-opinion can be understood from the D-1 birth Lagna and the D-9 Navamsha Lagna. This is very useful in analysing a personality and in counselling. Eg If you get a client whose D-9 Lagnesh is Jupiter, this person will be interested in the philosophical side of things. The solid things of the material will not make much sense to him. So while recommending a remedy for him if you should suggest mantra-jaap, he will like doing it. But if the D-9 Lagnesh were Saturn, he would prefer to work e.g. helping others, as a more appealing way for satisfying karma. You determine your deep motivations and your astral resources from the 9thdivisional chart.
I see a very strange trend in modern western astrology. They have forgotten the basic mathematics of Astrology and added asteroids and what-nots to their version of astrology, thus messing it up. You don’t need to complicate the science, instead focus on the basic analysis. The basic birth chart and the 9 planets can be used to know everything about yourself. Now this is an example of how you draw extra information from the basic birth chart D-1. Every planet is the natural keyword of an aspect of your life and from each planet’s sign you can draw a chart for that specific planet. This planet-chart (like moon chart) will be a variation of the basic birth chart D-1 but drawn with that planet’s sign as the first house.
- The Sun loves the center-stage. The Surya-lagna and the corresponding Surya-kundali will tell you all that you know about creativity, divine intelligence, self-confidence, political performance and other qualities of the Sun that you are channeling in this life. Eg the 3rdsign/planets from the birth Sun will tell you how you shine in your sibling groups, and if your communications have a high intelligence and analytical ability.
- The Moon wants emotional security. So the Chandra Kundali, described above, will tell you all that you feel about emotions, stability, protection from all aspects of your life. Eg the 10thsign/planets from your birth moon will tell you how you feel emotionally about your profession.
- Mercury likes to analyse. Here from the birth Mercury sign as the first house, you draw the Mercury chart. Find all about conversations, messages, arguments, logic, chitchat, siblings, analytical power, perceptions and juvenile behaviour. Eg the 7thsign/planets from the birth Mercury will tell you how you communicate with your spouse and your partners.
- The Venus needs partnerships of all types, either with a physical partner or a deity or your higher self. The Venus chart counted from the birth Venus sign as the baseline will show you how partnerships, alliances, marriage and negotiations work in your life. E.g. the 10thsign/planets from this Venus birth sign will tell you if your professional life is based on fairness, and if you enjoy a fair partnership in your office/profession related relationships.
- The Mars wants to win always, he represent the status of the physical body. From the birth Mars sign you can find out how vital you are in all aspects of your life. Eg. The 5thsign/planets from the birth Mars sign will tell you how your competitive spirit is utilized in matters of personal creativity and genius, or your children.
- The Jupiter loves to teach and philosophise. To know how your wisdom and sense of humanity affects your life and relations check out the placement of the signs/planets counted from the birth Jupiter sign. E.g. To find out how you will guide or be guided by your ancestral spirits and sub-conscious check out the 12thsign/planets from your birth Jupiter sign.
- The Saturn will ensure you work in a lawfully correct scheduled manner. To determine all society related obligations, material work, Time, and resistance and constrictions in your life check out the placements of the planets/signs counted from the birth Saturn sign. E.g. To determine the sense of restrictions and obligations related to your children see the 5thsign/planets counted from the birth Saturn sign.
In addition, there are several other charts which are used for very specific purposes. And there are the higher divisional/varga charts. Your local astrologer will rarely use them as they require detailed mathematics as well as knowledge to interpret. So if as a beginner in astrology if you encounter any terms like, Arudha lagna, Indu lagna, Vishesheka lagna, etc you can safely ignore them. Jaimini system especially has loads of such charts and special degrees, but it is an advanced phase of astrology. Right now we are analysing how your personality is built up using the three major charts where their Ascendant sign and its ruler planet are the foundation stones.
No two persons are the same and in Jyotish you cannot ever generalise, there are multiple forces which work together to influence and create a certain outcome. Analysing these forces is ultimately 75% mathematics and 25% intuition. Unless you develop your intuitive capacity by regular spiritual practice you really will not excel as an astrologer/Jyotishi.
And finally will let on a secret. The physical manifested body is produced from your past-life energies, i.e. the resources of the astral self. You can change your physically manifested body by consciously accessing and manipulating the energies available in the astral self. You may have noticed people who actively do yogic practices, dhyan etc which manipulate the pran/vital energy, look visibly younger, energetic and radiant. My Dad is in his seventies and doesn’t have a wrinkle on face! You too should develop some spiritual practice which will not only nourish your soul but also sustain your physical body as long as you choose to reside in it.