## Systems, houses, signs, the math

In a horoscope there are 12 houses and there are 12 signs. But there are different ways of fitting the houses over the signs, different math and different systems of astrology. The main system in Vedic Jyotish is the Parashari system by Rishi Parashar. The entire text of the Bruhat Parashar Hora Shastra is available, it is detailed, mathematical and gives answers. It is the fundamental system of Jyotish. Others have modified Parashari as per their own concepts creating systems like Jaimini and KP.

For beginners it is best to learn Parashari first.

Now to draw the horoscope. Ideally the Shripati system is used to calculate the houses. It is an unequal house system. Currently no one uses it much as there is no reliable software for this and calculating by hand for every chart is tedious. Here the ascendant degree will be at the exact center of the 1st house. And simultaneously the descendant degree at the exact center of the 7th house. The zenith will be the exact center of the 10th house and the nadir at the exact center of the 4th house. Houses as per Shripati can be exactly 30deg or lesser or more than 30deg in extent. All the house/ bhava in a horoscope will be exactly 30deg in width only if the birth was on a day when the day and night duration was exactly 12hrs at that time/ place. In all other cases, the houses will always be greater or lesser than 30deg in width and you will have varying widths for various houses in a single chart, unequal houses. So doing its calculations requires a good understanding of math. (If you are good at math then read ‘Sripati paddhati’ by V.S.Shastri. )

But to make all this simpler for students,

• If the birth location is within the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, use the Equal houses system with Bhav-chalit. Here each of the 12 houses will be 30deg in width. It is simple to understand and will give sufficiently accurate results.
• If the birth place is beyond the tropics then professional Vedic astrologers will apply the Shripati system in toto. But for students, use the same Equal house system with Bhav-chalit as an approximation. This will still give reasonably accurate answers.

So we will always use Equal house system with Bhav-chalit in Parashari.

• Here each house will be 30 deg in width. Equal houses.
• The ascendant degree will be at the exact center of the 1st house. Here is where we will use Bhav-chalit.

How to do the Bhav-chalit shifting.

1. If your birth rising degree is exactly 15 deg then you do not have to do any shifting. Use the horoscope provided by the software. The rising degree is already at the center of the 1st house. The house and the sign will exactly overlap. ie if your rising degree is 15deg Scorpio, then the 1st house will be exactly the same as the sign Scorpio. The second house will be exactly the same as the Sagittarius sign and so on.

2. If your rising degree is between 0 to 14 deg then you have to do a correction for shifting the planets. Suppose the rising is at 5deg Scorpio. So add and subtract 15deg to this to get your 1st house. The rising degree has to be at the center of the 1st house.

• The 1st house will be from 20deg Libra to 20deg Scorpio. The rising degree Scorpio 5deg is the exact mid-point of the 1st house. The sign and the house do not overlap as the house is partly in Libra and partly in Scorpio signs. In this if eg Saturn is in 25deg Libra then this Saturn will be in the sign Libra but shift to the 1st house. So Saturn’s results have to be interpreted as per Libra sign in the 1st house
• The second house will be from 20deg Scorpio to 20deg Sagittarius. If Mercury is in 29deg Scorpio then he will be considered to have shifted into the 2nd house of the horoscope. His result will be as per Mercury in Scorpio sign in 2nd house
• Ie any planet beyond 20deg in a sign will shift into the next following house.

3. If the rising degree is between 16-30 deg you have to apply the shift here too. Suppose the rising degree is at 25deg Gemini. Add and subtract 15deg to get the degree extent of the 1st house.

• So here the 1st house will extend from 10deg Gemini to 10deg Cancer. The rising 25deg Gemini will be the exact center of the 1st house. If you have eg Jupiter at 4deg Cancer then he will be considered to be in the 1st house. Jupiter’s results will be as per Cancer sign in 1st house.
• The 2nd house will be from 10deg Cancer to 10deg Leo. And eg if you have Venus in 6deg Gemini then this Venus shift to the 12th house for this chart, but his sign remains Gemini. Venus’s results will be as per Gemini sign in 12th house.
• Ie any planet who is placed till 10deg of any sign will shift backwards into the earlier house.

In Equal house with bhav-chalit,

• the extent of each house is 30deg.
• The ascendant degree is at the centre of the 1st house.
• The planets can shift their houses but will never change their signs.

This was how to shift the planets with the Bhav-chalit concept.

You have to remember one more thing. In the case (2) and (3) above, where the rising degree is not at the very center of the sign, each house in the horoscope contains two signs. So interpreting the chart requires some practice. Especially if the rising degree is at the very edge of the sign.

If the birth rising sign is at the very edge, eg it is at 1deg Libra. Then the 1st house will be from 16deg Virgo to 16deg Libra. ie it will be composed of the 16-30deg Virgo section and 0-16deg Libra section. The 1st house is practically 45% Virgo and 55% Libra. Similarly for the rest of the houses, each house will carry influences of both the signs which compose it. Here in this example this persons facial features will be a mix of Virgo and Libra. The way he talks, his family life will be a mix of Libra and Scorpio, this is the 2nd house and so on. So be careful while interpreting such charts.

In fact with such charts your software will not give accurate readings if it does not take the bhav-chalit into account. You may also be required to do some calculations by hand. eg when planets shift houses you have to calculate the Ashtakvarga by hand in case your software does not consider the shifted positions of the planets.

With the advent of software, astrology students have stopped learning the math. I would advise you to at least draw your own horoscope, the 10 divisional charts and the Ashtakvarga table by hand. This exercise will be very helpful in understanding the basic concepts. Jyotish is math+intuition fuelled by your spiritual practice.

There are two variations to the original Parashari system which are popularly used by astrologers.

1.Jaimini system is an important system but it is a bit cryptic. There are texts missing or partially understood. You can learn it if you wish to. The house/ bhavas are calculated the same as original Parashari. Ie you will use Equal house system with Bhav-chalit.

2. Krishnamurthi paddhati/ KP system is a system developed in the past century. He uses the Placidus system for setting up the horoscope. Here the concept is that the first house starts with the rising degree. Ie if your ascendant degree is 20deg Aries then your first house will begin with 20deg Aries and will extend till 20deg Taurus. If you are following KP system, you have to compulsorily use Placidus as KP does not use the bhava/ house concept but uses a novel star lord and sub-lord etc concept. KP is an accurate system but is different from the original Parashari.

You cannot use Placidus with Parashari or Jaimini, if you do, the readings will be inaccurate.

For students and the casual enthusiasts this debate on which maths or system to use can be confusing. I had got a question on this so this post is the simplest practical answer. (I have not discussed 3D geometry or astronomy as it would create more confusion).

So to begin with, learn Parashari with the Equal house system and Bhav-chalit. Later when you get more confident of the math/ concepts you can learn Jaimini or KP or try out your own theories on your study samples.

## Exalted and debilitated planets, retrograde and forward

In a horoscope you will often see planets which are debilitated/ neech-avastha or exalted/ uccha-avashta. The normal reaction is to feel worried if you have some neech planets and feel happy if you have some planets exalted. The general understanding is that the planet gives his perfect results when he is placed in his exalted sign and gives his worst results when he is situated in his sign of debilitation. But this is not the complete picture so if you have a few debilitated planets in your chart, there is no need to get stressed out.

Every planet gives his results, in whatever condition he is in, he will express his energies. This expression may be on your physical level, mental state, material level, spiritual level, etc. It might be sadness, happiness, despair, ecstasy, neutral plain-ness. It may promote outgoing behaviour, social engagements, business sense, spiritual inclination, seclusion, desire for learning, etc. Every placement in the chart was chosen by you at your moment of birth. This was your higher self choosing, so the chart is the best possible alignment for you to potentially work off your karma. What you make of this potential is your free will and conscious choice.

On to exalted and debilitated planets, a quick re-cap,

 Graha Exalted Debilitated Sun Aries 10th deg Libra 10th deg Moon Taurus 3rd deg Scorpio 3rd deg Mercury Virgo 15th deg Pisces 15th deg Venus Pisces 27th deg Virgo 27th deg Mars Capricorn 28th deg Cancer 28th deg Jupiter Cancer 5th deg Capricorn 5th deg Saturn Libra 20th deg Aries 20th deg Rahu Taurus 20th deg Scorpio 20th deg Ketu Scorpio 20th deg Taurus 20th deg

Now the finer detail, on exaltation. Eg Jupiter is exalted at the precise 5th deg of Cancer. ie from 4.01 deg to 5 deg. So if in your chart he is,

• Eg at 3rd deg Cancer in the forward motion. He is moving towards his exact exaltation point. He is in a state of pleasurable anticipation, optimistic, thus gives better visible results. The things connected to Cancer, the house in which Cancer is placed in and the houses/signs owned by Jupiter, are all viewed positively because of Jupiter’s upbeat mood. You can thus expect auspicious results.
• Eg at 3rd deg Cancer in retrograde motion. Here Jupiter is moving in an apparent backward motion. Now he feels bad. He had his sights on the point of exaltation but as he has become retrograde he could not achieve his goal. He is moving away from the goal, retracing his steps. He knows he will be re-attempting his goal again when he enters his forward motion. This state of the planet is rather demotivated, he does not give his full results despite being in his sign of exaltation Cancer. Something like a mountaineer who has to turn back, when touching distance of the summit he desires.
• Exact 5th deg in forward motion. He is exalted delighted satisfied. This is the top of the zodiac for Jupiter, from 4.01deg to 5deg, he has achieved everything. The visible results of this placement will be excellent!
• Exact 5th degree and in retrograde movement. He is happy at the summit, that does not change. But when he is retrograde he will apparently move backward, then again start forward and cross his exhalation degree again. Thus the happiness is colored with this knowledge. He knows there will be a brief going downwards but he will get one more opportunity to be at the top. So good results.
• Eg in the 10th deg in forward movement. Jupiter has crossed his highest point, it is behind him now. The state of remembered happiness does exist, so he is willing to give good results. But this quantum will be less than the happiness of the exaltation point as he is on his way down from his personal top. So slightly less exuberant results.
• Eg in the 10th deg and retrograde. He has reversed his motion and is going back towards his point of exaltation. He will give quite good results, as he is again optimistic. There is a shade of seriousness now, the planet seems to be more intent about his work. This is his second attempt at the summit and he is determined to make the most of it. Good results.

In general, when a planet is approaching his exact point of exhalation, his results are optimistic. This phase is called the Aroha phase, he is ascending. When he is moving away from the exaltation point, ie in Avaroha phase, the quantum of optimism reduces changing the results that he is capable of delivering. I consider a 15deg section before the high point as the Aroha section as the planet is preparing himself for the climb, is optimistic. So for Jupiter this would be 20-30deg Gemini and 0-5deg Cancer. And similarly a 15deg section after the high point as the section where he descends as the Avaroha section. For Jupiter this would be 5-20 deg Cancer. See the topmost point is only 1deg, very short, it is rather unstable, as every way from here is down. So if you are born with such a highly exalted planet, make sure that you use its energies sensibly with your conscience as your guide. Do some spiritual practice so that you create some asset which will be useful in your next lives too.

Now about debilitation. Again eg Jupiter, who is debilitated deepest at 5th deg Capricorn, ie 4.01-5 deg.

• Eg If he is at 3rd deg Capricorn in forward motion. He knows that he is falling into his deepest point of the zodiac. There is desperation and intense dejection, so the results are not auspicious.
• Eg if he is at 3rd deg Capricorn in retrograde motion, here it is like he has been saved at the last minute from falling into the abyss. His results will be better than expected. He was descending, falling to his deepest neech-point, but the change of apparent motion has helped him, now he is climbing away. This puts him in a good mood. He knows that debilitation will come later but at present he is relieved and able to give reasonably good results. The mindset would be wary for the future but reasonably well-settled for the present.
• Eg if he is in 5th deg Capricorn in forward motion. He is in the exact point of highest debilitation. Highly pessimistic, depressed, dejected etc. But as the motion is forward, he knows that he is moving out of the depths. However the mind-set has to be trained to remain patient and endure as this is just 1 deg, after this, the only way is up.
• Eg if he is in 5th deg Capricorn in retrograde motion. This is again the deepest nadir, so the dejection depression etc will exist. As he will move in the apparent backward position and climb up there will be improvement. The mind should be trained to remain patient. But the planet will fall again as soon as he regains his forward motion. So overall this position gives a very pessimistic mindset.
• Eg If he is at 10th deg Capricorn in forward motion. Here Jupiter would be very happy to have come out of the nadir point and is moving away from it. He has suffered, there is more seriousness and maturity but he is getting back up. The mindset would be eager, but with a wary eye on possible problems.
• Eg if he is at 10th deg Capricorn in retrograde motion. Here the hopelessness is the maximum as the planet has already experienced his full Neech-state and is falling back again. The planet will give quite inauspicious results.

The 15deg section before the low point is the Avaroha-descending section. The planet is falling into the abyss. So for Jupiter this would be 20-30deg Sagittarius and 0-5deg Capricorn. But Sagittarius is his own sign so the effect of the impending debilitation will not be much here. And similarly a 15deg section after the high point as the section where he climbs out of the depth is the Aroha section. For Jupiter this would be 5-20 deg Capricorn. Results will always be better in a climbing up placement rather than in the falling down placement.

The depth of debilitation is just one degree, the falling in and climbing out is longer. As in life, the climbing up/down parts are longer for the planets too, the extreme point is just one degree. So if you are born with a debilitated planet know that you have to act. Act with intention and a desire to achieve.The energies are stilled at this point, if you can manage to move them even a bit, you will be going up. The tremendous potential of this position can be best diverted into the sub-conscious for internal growth. There will be disappointments but use the energy of the external negativity to search for permanent happiness within. With this placement you can actually find it within you. The route will not be easy, but you are aiming for the greatest prize, naturally the difficulties will be the hardest. Start a regular spiritual practice, this is the crutch you will use on your way.

The speed of planets, the nature and direction of their movement is a very important criterion in analysing horoscopes. There are eight types of movements of the planets (Post), and the faster planets give quick results. Especially for Saturn, Jupiter and to some extent Mars, this factor is quite important. Venus and Mercury also go retrograde/ fast/ slow etc but the time periods are shorter for them.

Another way of looking at this is, suppose Jupiter always gives 100 units of results. These will expressed in the conscious and the sub-conscious in different ratios. These 100 units as per your chart are then divided into various types of results, eg 20% for material riches, 30% for wisdom, 20% for spirituality and 30% for religiousness. In his best exalted state he will give expression to all these results in your conscious life. The full % of each type of result will be given to you. You will see and feel these effects of Jupiter in your life. There will be satisfaction and pleasure in achievements. Involved more in these Jupiter things, you will want more of these. (On the sub-conscious levels, you are using up the accumulated luck/merit/benefit of your past lives. So remember to do some merit-giving activities so that you have something for your next life.)

In his worst debilitated state however, he will be unable to give the full 100 units in the conscious state. His expression here will be less maybe just 20 units will be given depending on your chart. You will consciously be made aware of the decrease in satisfaction, the ephemeral nature of the material. There will be a movement away from the external show of Jupiter-things a desperate search for pleasure. This is a crucial point. If your moral compass is weak or you are willing to be satisfied by temporary measures, you might take the wrong path in life, eg drugs, addictions etc. This is a slippery slope and most of the debilitations cause such problems. In fact addictive behaviour with its very temporary ‘high’, is actually a desire for the permanent ‘high’ that you get during your spiritual practice.

But see, Jupiter has to give 100 units, it is compulsory. The remaining 80 units are ‘locked’ due to debilitation. If you can divert your mind or do some astrological remedies, or do some mantras, you can use their power to unlock the remaining 80units, which will be then used in giving you spiritual satisfaction. For the rare few, who can divert this desire for satisfaction, this energy to the correct direction, the spiritual results will be unimaginably high. Your sub-conscious mind will be pulling in these energies and Jupiter will give his results more internally. You will be made aware of the higher divinity within you. (If the pull of the debilitated planet is very strong and the person intends to find his real self, then such people can actually renounce the society and take sanyas.)

If there are several debilitated planets in your chart first analyse them in depth. Then try to shift your mindset consciously. Try to focus on the higher spiritual. Do some regular spiritual practice, try to be patient, keep your intention strong. They will benefit. Every planet gives his full results, only their style and direction of expression varies.

## Start learning astrology systematically

People today are interested in astrology. There are casual enthusiasts and then there are the really genuine students who want to learn it in detail. If you want to really learn and practice astrology, either for your personal growth or as a profession, you should understand that it takes time. It takes 3 yrs to get a basic graduation degree and 4yrs for a professional one! So you should consider this much time as the basic minimum to learn astrology to the level of getting your predictions correct. It is a life-time learning process and you will learn with every chart you analyse. There are several government Universities which offer a B.A. in Astrology at quite reasonable fees, some of them offer distance courses too. Here you get a certificate so this might help in your professional practice.

Self-study is necessary, you will need to read books,

• B. Suryanarain Row – The oldest. I think the first astrology author in modern times, books are in English. Basic astrological concepts have been elaborated upon. He had the advantage of being the first English writer so has written a lot.
• B.V. Raman – son of B. Suryanarain Row. I grew up on his books and the Astrological Magazine. English books as did most astrologers in Bharat. His beginner level books are good.
• Gayatri Devi Vasudev – daughter of B.V. Raman, writes in English.
• J.N. Bhasin – has written several books, lucid language and most are available in English and Hindi.
• K.N. Rao – His early books are very logical. Also discusses the theory in later books. He has edited books written by his students so you can read those too for a different perspective and case studies. In English and quite useful.
• H.N. Katve – all of his books are in Marathi. If you know Marathi you should read them. Extensive knowledge. Some books are translated to Hindi.
• Chandulal Sarkarlal Patel – English books. He is the only author I trust for Ashtakvarga and Navamsha analysis. Not beginner level, but there are several books/ articles written in a clear style and are an essential read.
• Shakti Mohan Singh – He has written a lot in English but his one book on Kalachakra Dasha is very important, the only book which gives this Dasha system accurately. (Though we start learning with Vimshottari Dasha, then learn Ashtottari and Yogini, Kalachakra is one dasha which the advanced student has to learn.)
• More authors here

Earlier reading Panchangam and learning maths was very important. We had to calculate the positions of the planets etc using the panchangam and only then could we draw up the horoscope. Today with the advent of software and online horoscopes, learning maths has become optional. (But the serious students should practice the math also. It helps better understanding). For software use the free Jagannath Hora. And Parashar Light is the best professional level paid software if you want to buy, it is expensive. For android and iPhones ‘Drik panchang’ by developer ‘Adarsh apps’ is quite adequate to begin with. In the settings, put in your location and the Lahiri/ Chitrapaksha ayanamsha.

So from my point of view this was the basic minimum for learning Jyotish in depth. Now the actual study, this is broadly in these parts.

• Analysing the charts, at least the birth chart, moon chart and the D-9 Navamsha chart.
• Ashtakvarga for both birth chart and transits (as learning one additional system is required).
• Analysing Dasha – Generally Vimshottari Dasha is used. (There are more Dasha systems, but first learn Vimshottari.)
• Analysing transits – comparing the present placement of the planets in the sky in relation to their at-birth positions

Analysing the Charts

Get any one of the beginners books you like. Read it through cursorily, get an overview first. Now pinpoint 10 keywords for every sign/ house/ planet. Write your own notes. And in the software input your own details and see how your birth chart looks like. When learning astrology you need to do the practical stuff by analysing charts, just reading the books won’t be enough. So,

• Start doing a house by house analysis of your own Birth Chart. E.g if the ascendant/ first house is Capricorn, look up the keywords of Capricorn and its owner Saturn. See if these link up with your actual personality. Do this very cursory analysis for each of the 12 houses.
• Then do the 9 planet analysis, (we do not use Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, they are not graha). Eg. Saturn is placed in 5th house, Taurus sign. So how does he behave, look up the keywords, analyse how they are expressed in your life.
• Then do a house-lord analysis. Eg Saturn as the lord of the 1st house is placed in Taurus sign 5th house. Analyse how the finer details are now being filled in. Do this for all the 12 houses. Try to see patterns. Astrology at this level will be more trends and possibilities, accuracy will come with time and practice.

(There are videos available on Youtube. Since I haven’t seen any of them I cannot recommend any. But I would stress this, first read these books by senior astrologers. Then listen to youtube videos. These senior astrologer’s experience is very valuable, thus their books. My relatives don’t ask me see their charts, they get after my Dad. Dad has been an astrologer for more years than I have been alive, experience always matters.)

Moon chart analysis is neglected these days but it gives valuable insights into the emotional behaviour of the person. Turn around your chart so that the Moon’s sign takes the 1st house place. Now see how the planets and ascendant sign align with the Moon. Eg. One relative has her Moon in 6th house. She is always uncomfortable. The ascendant sign is placed eighth from the Moon. So her personality/ environment and her emotional comfort are adversarial to each other. If you can see these things in the chart and also in the person in front of you it adds to your confidence.

Use your books, write notes and stick them in the books. Making notes helped in your college. It is the same, you are learning a new subject.

After you are comfortable with all this you can go on to divisional charts but only if you have the exact birth time. Open your Navamsha or 9th Divisional Chart on your software. Check which signs/ houses the planets shift to as compared to the Birth Chart. (I have written a few posts on Navamsha). This is a full analysis in itself and requires time. There are technically 16 important divisional charts, but exact birth time to the minute is generally not available, so D-9 is generally enough. (Generally birth time does differ upto 5 mins, ie the nurses may not record 10:33am exactly but rather record 10:35am)

Then practice some more.

Keep referring to your books. Doing this analysis, gradually your concepts of directional strength, combustion effects, retrograde movement, planetary war, exalted/ debilitated, etc will get clear. Take your time over this analysis. Keep adding finer details and take notes. Tally your analysis with the personality. This will add to your confidence.

Ashtakvarga is an important analysis and you should be able to use the basic Samudaya-ashtakvarga table at the very least. I have written few posts on this. Delve deeper as you study more.

Most people like studying celebrity charts, I don’t. My clients are the regular human beings with regular problems. Celebrity charts are not typical charts, they have combinations which give extreme results and only in one direction. e.g notorious criminal, freedom fighters, film stars, politicians. Their charts are extraordinary from only one angle, rest of the life is often in a bad shape.

Dasha analysis

Now to level up, in your software, there is a section on Vimshottari Dasha, Check out which Mahadasha and which Antardasha is going on for your own chart. I have written about analysing Dasha generally and planet-wise in my previous posts. You will need to do this once in few months to 1-2 yrs. You can also do it for your sample charts and observe if the analysis matches the actual events in life.

You studied so hard for school/college, this is no less! You are learning to predict the future and understanding the past.

Analysing transits

You can similarly analyse other planets transits. Especially the transits of Saturn and Rahu/Ketu and Jupiter, are longer in duration should be studied. The Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars move quite fast, like 1-2  months per sign. These do not have very drastic effects either (unless one of them is your ascendant sign ruler), so you can take up their transits analysis later on.

This is a brief frame-work on understanding the horoscope and the past and present situations. To do this confidently will take time, so study for 1hr every alternate day at least regularly.

Now predictions,

Some senior astrologers write out a full life report. It requires time, a week perhaps, and a very good understanding of the potential of the horoscope to give results and the future transits and dashas in which these results can be expected.

But generally clients have a 3-4 questions which are about current situations or the near future, which can be answered easily. I have written a few posts on these topics. And of course there are books which you should refer for more details. You can start taking questions from your sample chart relatives after about 6months of personal study. You know these charts and you will be more confident predicting from them. Even if they do not want to ask anything, you can try to predict some small things from their charts which will occur in the next 3 months. (eg 6th house lord transiting over birth Moon will result in a minor illness, and this will happen. You can call your relative up to confirm if he is unwell). This will help you gain confidence. I would suggest taking up professional clients doing only after 3yrs of study.

(It would help immensely if you do regular Gayatri mantra Jaap. This will increase intuition, sharpen intelligence and grant protection.)

Learning astrology is always useful, you get to know a lot about your own self and also about others. And it has its spiritual side too. So why do you want to learn it? Think a bit on this, it will motivate you. Life is quite short with so many things to do. Astrology/ Jyotish just like any other subject, it requires time, interest and study. Start with the simple concepts and build on them. You are studying human nature and human affairs from every possible perspective here. Wishing you all the best in your pursuit of Illumination.

(This post was in response to this comment I received in the contact form,

“Sir, I am highly shocked the depth of your knowledge in this aspect. I wasn’t a keen follower of astrology but I am interested in it. So sir can you please suggest me, where can I get in depth knowledge of it. (It would be highly appreciated if you could teach me.) Yours sincerely, A fan of yours”

Dear Reader, Thank you for the compliment you have given me. I value your asking me to teach. But you see, astrology in the sense it should be taught and learnt requires a face-to-face teacher, which I cannot do. However I encourage you to start reading something on the topic and at least some self-study on the lines of this post. If there are any questions I can help you with, I will genuinely try. All the best to you in your studies.)

## How to determine longevity, step-wise.

‘How long will I live’ is a fascinating question for all of us and we can arrive to a reasonable conclusion using our horoscopes. There are a lot of technical combinations which are linked to determining longevity. But for beginners this can be complicated so here is a step wise list to help you, determine if a person is to have a relatively longer or a shorter life.

1. For the ascendant in question, which planets are the functional benefics and functional malefics (there is a table below for reference)?
2. Analyse the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses (Kendra), are there benefics placed here? These houses and their planetary owners wherever they be placed should be strong. If so, longer life.
3. The 3rd, 6th and 11th (Upachaya) houses, are there malefics located here?The owners of these houses should not be too strong. If so, longer life.
4. Ascendant lord or the birth moon, is he placed in the 6th, 8th or 12th houses of turmoil? If so, shorter life.
5. Are there malefic planets in the ascendant sign? If so, shorter life.
6. Is the ascendant lord or the birth moon under malefic aspects? If so, shorter life.
7. The first Mahadasha and Antardasha of this life, the one you start with at birth, are these planets capable of giving favourable results? i.e Have you made a good start in this life? e.g. if the birth is in Gandant nakshatra, or in the periods of the lords of the 6th, 8th or 12th houses, there will be problems in birth and early childhood, which will have impacts on the entire life-time.
8. The ascendant sign, the ascendant lord, the birth Moon and the Sun are the basic energies which grant vitality and health. They should be strongly placed to give good results. If so, longer life.
• The current transits, check if the malefics in transit are going to give evil results, then the life will be short.
• If benefics in transit can provide strength to the horoscope, then recovery should be predicted.
• Check which mahadasha and antardasha is on at the time. If these are of malefic planets or of planets capable of conferring physical death/Marak, then life will be short.
• If the Mahadasha and antardasha are of benefics or of the ascendant lord, you can predict a longer life.
• If you get questions on children or the very aged, the position of the Moon should be given more importance than the ascendant lord.

Some points to remember,

1. Natural malefics are Sun, Mars, Saturn,
2. Natural benefics are Jupiter, Venus, Moon, Mercury
3. If Moon and Mercury are influenced by malefics they will not give good results.
4. If benefic planets are retrograde, they give neutral to average results.
5. If benefic planets are combust, they give neutral to average results.

Here is a table where the functional malefics and benefics for each ascendant sign are listed out, for your easy reference.

 Sr. Sign Benefic Malefic Neutrals 1 Aries Mars, Sun, Jupiter, Moon Rahu, Ketu, Mercury Venus, Saturn 2 Taurus Saturn, Venus, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mars, Jupiter Sun 3 Gemini Venus, Saturn, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Mars, Jupiter, Sun Moon 4 Cancer Moon, Mars Rahu, Ketu, Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury Venus, Sun 5 Leo Sun, Mars, Jupiter Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mercury, Venus Saturn 6 Virgo Venus, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Jupiter, Mars Sun 7 Libra Saturn, Venus, Mercury Rahu, Ketu, Sun, Jupiter Mars 8 Scorpio Moon, Jupiter, Sun, Mars Rahu, Ketu, Mercury, Venus Saturn 9 Sagittarius Mars, Sun, Jupiter Rahu, Ketu, Mercury, Venus Moon 10 Capricorn Venus, Mercury, Saturn Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mars Sun, Jupiter 11 Aquarius Venus, Saturn Rahu, Ketu, Moon, Mars Jupiter Sun, Mercury 12 Pisces Moon, Mars Rahu, Ketu, Sun, Venus, Saturn Mercury, Jupiter

This might seem like a baby post, but this is the framework which you begin with. Only after you do this much, you shoud look for combinations/yog with complicated names to fine tune your analysis. This analysis is not very simplistic as you might think it to be, try it with the horoscope of someone in your family who is quite aged, e.g. grandparents, and if you can find reliable birthdates of people who died young. Practice.

And remember Jyotish has a significant component of intuition too. So we give special importance to Omens/Shakun in Jyotish, if while reading a chart you hear an accident on the roads outside, this has to be taken into account as a negative influence on the question being analysed. And finally, quality of life is more important than the length so try to live life with a positive and enthusiastic mindset!