Astrology is not just about which planet falls in which sign and aspects what. It is seeing patterns. There are just the 12 houses, 9 planets and they tell you about your entire life. Every nuance is important here. Analysing the distribution of the planets in the horoscope can be used to determine if your current life is for ‘enjoying’ the ‘fruits’ of your past lives karma (bhog yoni) or are you more into action using the potential of your past lives (karma-yoni)? Open your horoscope, (Vedic astrology app). Locate your exact rising degree. Add (or subtract) 180 deg from this to get the exact setting degree. The 10th house is the zenith, the highest degree above your head as you were born. The 4th house is the nadir, the degree exactly below your feet.
The 1st and the 7th houses are a bit special as the center of the house lies on the horizon. Half above, the ‘bright half’ the conscious and half below, ‘dark half’ the subconscious. These two houses are different, planets placed here also behave differently. But for the purposes of this post, let’s divide them also into two halves, one in each half of the zodiac, dark and bright. (But do try to think for yourself the significance of the 1/7 axis and their half bright/dark natures.)
The houses 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th and half of the 1st and 7th are in the dark half. You have limited conscious control on these things. Here you are dished out karma, depending on your past lives actions. If you have more planets below the horizon ie 5 or more planets, then you are in a Bhog-yoni. You are more into enjoying the fruits of your past karma. These fruits may be auspicious or not depending on the actual placement and power of the horoscope. The planets are the karma active for you in this life. Eg planets here can give a luxurious life but only for this one, their influence will not go onward to the further lives. The houses/ signs/ planets here are active for only one life, the present one. You are required to bear with this karma, sweet or rotten, in this life. You do not have significant opportunities to create new directions for your future lives now. Involution.
The houses 8th 9th 10th 11th and the halves of the 1st and 7th above the horizon (bright half). If you have more planets above the horizon ie 5 or more planets, then you are the action hero, it is a karma-yoni. Here you can change the direction of your current and future lives by your conscious actions. If the planets here are capable of giving auspicious results, you have more options, if they are unfavourable you have less options. But you will have the option of active choice. The possibility of creating new karma exists as you use the potential of these planets to act. And what can create can also destroy, so if you use these planet’s energies, you can also destroy the seeds of karma and also prevent new karma from being created. You will be put in situations where you will choose your path. These choices will be very significant, momentous even, as the path you choose will affect your current as well as future lives, far-reaching karmic consequences. Evolution! Choose well.
Note in which half, the Ascendant lord, the Sun and the Moon lie in. These 3 planets are the most important ones for your chart. They work differently in the dark and the bright half.
There is nothing good/bad, correct/wrong or auspicious/unfavourable here. Both bhog-yoni and karma-yoni are important for the soul’s evolution. One represents the power of current choice and the other is the choice of birth. You might think of them as ‘will’ and ‘instinct’. These represent the way your current life is oriented. If you know this you can be better adjusted and satisfied with your current life, Jyotish is self-illumination.
The 1st house is half dark and half bright, its exact center on the horizon. Your essence, personality/immediate environment. Some of these things are in your control but some are in-built. Eg your vitality or your body structure is in-built but you can consciously increase it by doing spiritual practice or going to the gym. Or you can reduce it by living an unhealthy lifestyle. Your choice. This house represents your potential energy and your conscious action both. How you convert the entire potential of the dark half into the action of the bright half is majorly controlled by the 1st house.
If you have a planet in your 1st house, he will have a very significant effect on your entire self. The sub-conscious karma can be converted into a powerful spurt of conscious action if this planet is very strong. Now is this planet is in the bright half, you will have a choice on where you direct the energy, the conscious will is strong. But if he is in the dark half of the 1st house this choice was made by you at the time of birth, the instinct will dominate.
(I know a chart with a Yogkarak Mars debilitated in the dark half of Cancer ascendant. It is very instructive to observe him, his birth chart, the effects of transits on him and the conflict between his sub-conscious instinct and conscious will. If you have any Cancer or Leo ascendants in your study, observe them the next 5yrs are going to be very happening. More so for Cancer.)
The ‘bhog’ fruits of karma represented by the subconscious half have to be gone through. This fruit baggage at your back determines the power of your essence, your personality. As you finish these fruits, you are given options to create new. This is the morning dawn, things are being brought out into the open, into the active conscious. Remember the direction of movement of the zodiac? 1st house is your essence, try to use this essence so as to get the maximum benefit from what you expend.
The 2nd is family, the family’s accumulated wealth, its history, voice, vision etc. You cannot change these things much just accept them and try to live with them. Any planet here will give its effect and you cannot do much to alter it. Eg one chart is born in a very rich family, but Ketu in the 2nd cleanly separated him from his family’s assets, he sees the astral dimension clearly and also stammers.
The 3rd is courage, boldness to choose between options, neighbourhood, extended family, small trade, team-workers, siblings, even gossip and rumours. Planets here will influence these things but again you consciously do not have much control over these things. You simply have them. eg Moon here may give a lot of boldness in the astral realms and the strength of the mind and Jupiter here can add his dose of hope to it but where will you use this boldness? The 3rd house just gives you this modified boldness. This is your ‘possession’, you possess these things, the planets can only modify the qualities cannot direct them. The goals must come from somewhere else (1st or 9th house?).
Now the 4th house, one of the pillars of the chart. The act of arriving on this earth, the mother, houses, safety, comforts, early education, heart, innate intelligence, the bindings of your current incarnation on your individual soul. Any planet here contributes immensely to your emotional, spiritual, physical make-up. You cannot alter or modify these influences much, slightly tweak them at max. Can you change your birth mother? Eg if you have a Sun+Mercury here it will make you very analytical, intelligent, matter-of-fact, limited external display of emotions. But what you analyse and use your intelligence for, is not decided by this house.
The 5th is personal genius, creativity, children, intelligence, confidence, etc. These are inborn traits, you cannot teach someone creativity. You possess these things, but using them? Eg Love affairs of the 5th can happen as a matter of routine, but converting them to marriage requires the 9th house’s destiny, 7th house’s choice powered by the 1st house’s essence. The 5th house strangely, is also all those situations where you have limited scope of choice! A simplistic eg, you use your 5th house, create a child, now you do not have the option of ignoring it. You have to carry on with what you create here. A very strong planet here, eg a single Rahu will give immense personal creativity, make you very famous in society, occult abilities and love affairs too, but will leave no scope for one-one equal partnerships ie marriage/ business, spiritual practice is also affected. Ketu here will give flashes of creativity, incisive intelligence which might be diverted in several love affairs or extreme asceticism. Again you do not have wilful control over the planets here and the tendencies they indicate, it is more on instinct.
When reading the horoscope, the 1-5-9 axis should be analysed in depth. This is the Dharma trikon, the Foundations. It shows how innate genius and divine luck feeds into your personal essence.
The 6th house is your karmic impediments, the requirement to serve or suffer. Is your life journey easy or difficult? If the scope for mental, physical, emotional suffering is restrained it is a good thing, so malefics work better here. Disease, debts, enemies, conflicts all ‘loss of balance’ are the domain of the 6th house. These are karmic stumbling blocks from your own deepest psyche. They are active in this life and in the dark half. You suffer or serve but at least pending karma is rebalanced. You cannot wish this away/avoid it now, it is the fruit of your past life’s actions. Facing up to them courageously is perhaps the only option.
Now we come to the 7th house. I find this house the most dangerous. This house is just like the 1st house, half dark and bright. This house is called the mirror of the 1st house and is the second most important house of your chart. But here we have conditions exactly opposite to the 1st house. The 1st is the time of birth, the 7th gives you the time of death. Here it is the metaphorical dusk, evening twilight, things are being obscured. The movement is towards the dark half. You choose, you act and immediately the energy is obscured, it enters the sub-conscious. Have you balanced pending karma or created a new mess, this is not clear to you now.
The karmic choices you make here will have their consequences in some future life’s bhog-yoni, they will become the fruit which you will enjoy/endure then. This is the hidden danger of the 7th house. You create karma under the influence of desire (kaam trikon), this karma then destabilises your essence, ie the 1st house/foundation (dharm trikon). Then you endure its ‘fruits’. Then when you finish the ‘fruits’, you get the scope for new choices in some future karma-yoni. It can get very convoluted if you are not alert. (Plus its Bhavat bhavam effect on the 1st house)
The 7th house is half in the bright side. So you have the option of choice. But half is in the dark so you are not in the least consciously aware of what that choice has done to you. (Direction of the zodiac’s movement). Has it drained your essence or has it given more power to your 1st house? And once a choice is made here it cannot be revisited. You make the conscious choice in the bright half and immediately the subconscious registers it in the dark half. Here instant karma is dished out in the same life and a portion kept for the next lives.
The point is that you can make conscious choices about the stuff related to the 7th house. You can choose which blanks you want to fill. The choice of one-one partnerships, business partners, marriage or spiritual practice is critical. The rising and setting degrees of the chart are very sensitive points of the chart and any decision you make here can have very deep repercussions. Eg if you select a wrong business partner he might cheat you. If you marry the wrong person he will drain you and you might regret it. If you choose the wrong spiritual practice it will harm. This is the house of the evening twilight, the malevolent forces are more active here. If you have a planet placed in the 7th examine his effect on your life-choices in depth.
And also be alert when other planets transit this sensitive house. That is why the current Saturn transit over Capricorn is so interesting for the astrology student. If you have any Cancer ascendant sample in your database, do follow his life-events for the next 5yrs. Or even Leo ascendants.
(‘To choose consciously’ or to ‘follow your sub-conscious’ is often a debate.
- For the karma-yoni people, individual conscious choice may predominate as per your own chart’s positions.
- I go with the sub-conscious as per my own chart combinations I am enjoying the fruits of my past karma. If I feel something very strongly, it is correct.