Gauging the strength of a sign/rashi in the chart is of basic importance. The ability of a sign to give results depends on individual chart positions. Some of the things you should analyse are,
- The house the sign gets placed in (if in the dushamsthan, 6th, 8th, 12th will pull it down. etc)
- The owner of the sign, where is he placed and with what power (exalted, debilitated, with friends, under malefics etc).
- The planets placed in this sign. Also which houses these planets own (owners of the dushamsthan can cause problems anywhere, etc).?
- Aspects (benefic/malefic etc) on the sign by other planets
However there are a few generic rules which are applicable throughout in predictive astrology.
First – All signs do not have the same levels of energy,
- Odd signs are more energetic than even signs.
- Moveable (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. ), stable (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) and dual- natured signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) have progressively higher levels of energy
- Then the sequence, earthy (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), watery (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces), airy (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) and fiery (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) has increasing levels of energy.
- Thus combining these, you get this sequence,
So you can consider the Sagittarius, Leo and Gemini to be highly energetic, with lots of action and events going on. If your chart has these signs with good influences you will be lucky, small events keep on happening around you, pushing you onward. If you have malefic influences here, you will seem to be caught in a whirlwind of events over which you have little control. Cancer, Taurus and Capricorn are the low intensity signs, events linked with these tend to be milder, slower and more manageable. The other signs are average.
Second – Now directions, in your chart, check out how your signs are placed. If they are placed as per their nature, then they are more powerful and if placed 180deg opposite then their power to give results reduces.
- Fiery signs are more effective if placed in the east in your chart, i.e. near the ascendant
- Earthy signs are more effective in the south, near the 10th house
- Airy signs more effective towards the west, i.e. around the 7th house
- Watery signs are more effective towards the north, i.e. around the 4th house.
- Events indicated by Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius and Capricorn tend to occur during the daytime
- The other 8 signs are more inclined to work in the night and twilight periods.
Fourth – Some more factors which influence the effectiveness of the signs.
- More the number of planets occupying a sign, the more powerful it becomes. Empty signs have comparatively lesser power to give results.
- We are using the basic chart with the ascendant as the first house, D-1 for this analysis, but you can go one step deeper and analyse the D-9 too similarly to go one step more into your personality.
- The more a planet has travelled into a sign, the more power that sign gains. i.e. if Sagittarius has Jupiter at 1deg and Cancer has Moon at 23deg in your chart, comparatively Cancer has more power to give results. (Gandant moon in the very end of the Mercury owned Nakshatras gains immense power to give results, but these results are very traumatic.)
- The more a planet has travelled into a sign, the more power his own signs get. E.g If Sun in Aries has travelled upto 25deg, then his Leo sign wherever it may be placed also will benefit and gain power.
- Now if you have a sign which has resident planets and both the signs flanking it are also occupied, then this sign gains more importance and power to give results.
- If a sign is occupied by retrograde planet, it gains importance as such planets are linked to significant karmic loads, thus will play important roles in your life.
- Also the signs owned by retrograde planets gain importance and ability to give results.
Fifth – Then there are 2 particularly sensitive signs. Virgo and Pisces are the most sensitive of the lot, especially vulnerable to malefic influences. So if you get a chart with these as the birth Moon sign or even as the ascendant sign, do a thorough analysis of the malefic influences in the chart as they will disproportionately affect the individual on the physical/ascendant or mental/moon sign levels.
Also look at the houses and aspects of life indicated by Virgo and Pisces in your life. This is a very delicate axis. If you have malefic influences here, they will disproportionately affect your entire chart wherever they may be placed.
Till now we were looking at the power of the signs to give results. Meaning how likely they are to create significant events in your life. These life events can be seen as good or bad from your perspective. Now the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’,
Sixth – To evaluate the inherent benefic or malefic nature of the signs. This is sort of a ‘benefic’ and ‘malefic’ generalisation. Some signs tend to cause tensions, some tend to solve the problems, some jump in to help, some push you further into the danger, some tend to sit back and enjoy the drama, while yet others suffer. No zodiac sign is completely malefic/benefic, if it is more inclined towards benefic, it will give results which are good, perhaps health, happiness, financial gains, etc. A sign with a malefic inclination might give more tension inducing ‘bad’ results.
- Even signs are more benefic as compared to the odd signs.
- The zodiac signs (Vedic astronomy) are linked to the constellations and the lunar mansions. Thus if the sign rises in the east in a upright posture (Sheershodaya – ) it is considered more benefic than the signs rising in the sideways or inverted posture.
- Signs belonging to natural benefics are obviously benefic, while those belonging to the natural malefic are considered to be malefic. (Exception will be the signs belonging to the chart-specific Yogkarak planets)
- So if you link up all these points you will get this sequence,
- Virgo and Pisces are the most benefic,
- Then come Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Libra as slightly benefic.
- Followed by the neutral Scorpio and Sagittarius.
- The slightly malefic Leo, Capricorn and Aquarius.
- And finally the most malefic Aries.
In my experience, pinpointing events in life to the precise day takes time. Even if you have the software at hand, calculating these things is time consuming. I have not done a detailed life prediction for myself till date! I do a yearly reading on my birthday for the trend of the events to happen and leave it at that. And second is accurate birth time. I know mine, one of my Jyotish teachers showed me the calculations using my palm prints and did the calculations to the second, but doing birth time rectification to this level for clients is not feasible. If you miss the birth time by even a couple of minutes your calculation in timing events goes off by months! And the clients are not patient enough to wait till you think and calculate, they want instant answers!
Astrology is used for two things, one to know more about your own personality so that you can grow, and the second is to predict events so that you are more prepared to deal with them when they happen. Either way you need to know the power of the basic birth chart, i.e. the houses, the signs and the planets and the power they have over the different aspects of your life.
(There was a question on using the signs in predictions. Apparently I was just writing about houses!)