Astrology is mathematics. Thank god for software these days, else earlier going to an astrologer for a consultation was a day-long affair as he would have had to calculate everything by hand. Thus prashana/question method was more popular where the astrologer would be asked only one important question and he would answer it using the planetary positions of the instant the question was asked.
But now we have accurate birth times and software so we can accurately chart out every aspect of our lives. Now let’s check out why divisional charts are so important.
For answering specific questions in Vedic astrology, we have to check out the divisional charts. Making life predictions using just the birth chart (D-1) will give incomplete results. If you cannot access the divisional charts, or have doubts regarding the exact birth time, use the prashna/question system as it will give better accurate readings. An example now. If suppose Venus is exalted in the birth chart (D-1), so you think he will give good results. But Venus signifies several things, from sexual pleasure to ultimate moksha! So how do you narrow down the result? Check the D-9, if you find this Venus debilitated, the chances of a spouse and pleasure in the married life are dim. But then you see that in the D-20 chart he is again exalted, so you are now sure that he is going to give results related to spiritual progress.
So the birth chart D-1. In one day there are 12 possible ascendants and thus 12 variants of basic birth charts also called as the 1st divisional chart. Thus the Ascendant in D-1 changes every 2 hours. So can we realistically expect that everyone born with the same D-1 in that day is the same? No! This difference is because the higher divisional charts change every second, fine-tuning the personality. You can use the D-1 for an overview of how the life will unfold and the major events and stuff, it is the basis of all your reading. But for a good prediction you cannot predict from a single position; you always have look for patterns in the placements. If the same placements are repeated in the birth chart and in the divisional charts the event can be predicted with confidence. Consider the D-1 as the foundation and the divisional chart as a layer overlaid on it to fine-tune. It requires some learning, some practice and a bit of intuition. Quite do-able!
Now D-2 also called the Hora divisional chart. In this chart the ascendant changes every 1 hour. The Hora chart is used to determine if the energy of every planet is more into expression and creation (solar type of energy) or accumulation and consolidation (lunar type of energy). This D-2 is used to determine the wealth that a person will be able to create or accumulate in his lifetime. A simple analysis here is to see how the planets from D-1 shift here. How many get into the Lunar section and how many into the Solar section, thus you know if you will be more into creating wealth with your intelligence or into hoarding and multiplying.
D-3 also called Dreshkansha. This D-3 ascendant changes every 40 minutes. This chart used to determine the brothers/sisters and interactions with your siblings, team-members, your extended family and neighbourhood. Conversations, communications and commercial activities in small groups. Personal courage and support from the close community is seen from this D-3 chart. (Also longevity can be seen from here as the lord of the 22nd amsha of this chart is linked to the physical death.) A simple analysis again here check out where the planets from D-1 get placed in the D-3. If the lord of the 3rd house in the D-1 gets well placed in D-3 obviously good results.
D – 4 the Chaturthansha ascendant and thus this divisional chart changes every 30 minutes. This is where you check out the details regarding the childhood, environment of the home, comfort, stability, security, landed property and most importantly your Luck/auspiciousness. Your education till college and getting a professional degree. Here too, check out how the planets from D-1 get placed in this D-4. If an exalted lord of the 4th house of the D-1 gets debilitated in the D-4 you will not get much happiness in the matters related to the 4th house.
D- 7 Saptamsha is used to understand more about the legal partnerships that a person will get into. The nature of his partners. And also the benefits that he will get from such alliances, contracts, bargains and negotiations. This will include children. This D7 ascendant sign will change every 18 minutes. This is especially important as you will get clients who will have problems regarding childlessness.
D- 9 the more well known Navamsha (full post here) chart. This D9 ascendant sign changes every 13 minutes. It represents the foundations of your life in every way possible. In Sanatan Dharma the spouse helps you in performing your duties and is called Dharmapati/Dharmapatni thus spouse is seen from the D-9. This chart represents the fruits of auspicious behaviour from your past and present lives. This is very important and if not anything else at least refer to this chart in addition to the D-1.
D-10 Dashamansha is the tenth divisional chart and will indicate the fruits that you will get from your profession, ie. social mobility, public reputation, respect in your profession and obviously salary/money too. Here you are required to do a duty to the society in general, how will this duty be, this public responsibility? A burden or an easy task? How you conduct yourself in the society. And how will you benefit from doing this duty, your power and position, for this check out the D-10. This chart and its ascendant changes every 12 minutes. Especially important is the placement of the lord of the 10th house of the D-1 and where he shifts to in the D-10. You will get clients with questions on profession and job, for this question you will need to refer to D-1, D-9 and D-10.
D – 12 the Dwadasha-ansha indicates parents and grandparents. Their role in your life, their assets available to you their lifespans etc. How they will support you and also how you will be required to take care of them. This ascendant and the resultant chart changes in about 9 minutes. This house also represents the fruits of your actions from your immediate past life. Eg. Sometimes you get a client enquiring about the health of an ailing parent whose birth details are not available.
The D-16, Shodasha-ansha, This ascendant changes every 7 minutes. This is related to vehicles and travel. Will you travel a lot? In a train or in a flight? The need to travel and the ease, comfort and happiness associated with it is seen from here. e.g. Accident prone D-16 charts should avoid risky behaviour while travelling or better yet, use public transport.
D – 20 The Vimshamsha, a very important chart used for calculating the spiritual and philosophical outlook. And for actual wisdom. This ascendant changes every 6 minutes. Check the placements of the owners of the Dharm trikon = 1st, 5th, and 9th houses in the D-1 and see where they shift to in the D-20 for spiritual growth.
D – 24 Chaturvimshansha to be seen for formal education. This ascendant changes about every 5 minutes. Clients often ask about the higher education of their children. This chart represents higher education. And the D-4 above is lower education. D-24 is also the intelligence and academic achievements. For counselling a student on which professional course he needs to choose, you should analyse D-24 and also D-10. Spiritual powers or ‘siddhi’ also can be seen from this D-24 chart. (for Siddhi check out the Moksh trikon of the D-1 too.)
D-27 Bhansha. Nakshatra amsha ascendant changes every 4 minutes or so and this chart represents the sum total of all the strengths and weaknesses in the personality. It can also indicate the opportunities for growth and the possibilities where you will face misfortune in life. It is in a very deep way how you perceive (rationally and intuitively) all that you experience of this manifested world. You always can change how you perceive by reflection, study, developing your own philosophy, achieve a neutrality and manage your thought patterns. This chart also indicates if and how you can do this.
D- 30 Trisham-ansha – D-30 is an extension of the 6th house of the D-1 birth chart. It tells you about the potential for misfortunes, debt, disease, servitude, enemies, and general problems in your life. Pain and suffering and if any remedies can be seen from here. This ascendent and thus this chart changes every 4 minutes.
D – 60 – Shastiamsha, this is the final results that a planet will give in a lifetime. I have written a full post on this D-60 here.
There are several more types of varga charts (D-108 Ashtottarashata-ansha is the last vedic varga chart which indicates the possibility of final moksha and experiencing your own divinity. Its ascendant changes every 2.2 seconds), all of them have their own significance but then the astrologer also has to be well qualified and interested enough to analyse them. Deciphering varga charts may seem very crazy, I am a bit worried if I might have scared you off learning astrology. But they are easy, you have the correct birth-time, you can predict everything about the chart with reasonable confidence.
Always remember the D-1 birth chart is the manifested physical chart. All the higher divisional charts indicate the potential. You should take cues from the higher charts, these are the ‘seeds’ which will ultimately manifest. It is in your hands to increase or decrease their influence on you. Like the example of the exalted Venus, if the person knows that he is going to be great in the spiritual arena (D-20), but not so much in the married life (D-9), he can take a decision to focus completely on his Sadhana and forgo getting married. Or he can take remedial actions which will allow him to focus more on his married life (to support the debilitated Venus in D-9) and forgo his spiritual potential. Ultimately remember that the choice is always in your hands.
So use your divisional charts to find out what is in your hands, the potential that you have within you and change. Change your thoughts and focus on your plus points so that you can positively influence your own life.
(Thank you to the kind soul who suggested this topic, hope this post helps!)