21 June 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Lesson #1

 The Horoscope

The horoscope simply shows the positions of the various planets in the sky at the time of birth, and it can be drawn in a number of ways. Astrologers in North India show it as a rectangle, a square or a circle with diagonal lines, while those in South India draw it as blocks placed in a rectangular box. An example of each kind is shown in the Fig 1.1.

Whether the horoscope is drawn up in a circular or a rectangular way, North Indian or South Indian way, it makes no difference as far as the reading of the life’s affairs is concerned. What is required is the complete understanding of the following three things.

1. Signs of the Zodiac
2. Houses of the horoscope
3. Planets

If an astrologer becomes even slightly negligent of any of these he can draw incorrect conclusions. It is therefore essential to describe these three topics in detail so that a student of astrology can combine the effects of these three and make correct predictions. I will initially give a brief description of the houses, signs and planets and later on deal with them in detail one by one. This procedure is followed so that you can grasp the principles of astrology slowly as you go along reading this book. I do not want to burden you with the astrological terms or mathematical calculations right in the beginning. I hope that you enjoy reading this book as you learn about this great ancient Indian tradition.


Fig 1.1 shows a few horoscopes. If you look carefully you can see that each horoscope is divided into 12 parts. These parts are known as houses of the horoscope. We count these houses counterclockwise starting from the first house as shown Fig 1.2 for the North Indian style.

There is never a change in the sequence of the houses. The first house is also known as ‘Janma Lagna’ or Ascendant. This means that the counting always starts at the ascendant. It may be noted that in the chart 1 of the Fig 1.1, the first house is the one that has the digit 4 and the planets Jupiter and Moon. The second house is the one that has digit 5; third house has the digit 6 and the planet Rahu, so and so forth. The twelfth house is where the digit 3 is written. In the chart 2, the first house is the one that has digit 2 and planets Moon and Saturn. Second house is the one with digit 3 and Rahu, etc.

It is important to remember that no matter what digit is placed in the first house, the counting or sequencing of the houses remains unchanged. It always starts at the house marked as ascendant in Fig 1.2, and proceeds counter-clockwise. Also remember that digits written in the houses do not represent the house numbers. We will describe houses in greater details later in chapter 6.

Astrological Signs

The earth and other planets revolve around the Sun. Beyond the planets, is the sky where the stars can be seen. Since the planets are constantly moving and the relative position of the stars is fixed, the stars are used to describe the positions of the planets. Path chalked by the planets during their revolution is known as Zodiac. The ancient astrologers have divided the Zodiac in 12 parts, as shown in Fig 1.3.

Each part is known as a Sign and each sign contains a number of stars. The ancient stargazers connected the stars to imagine a figure for all signs, just as a small child connects the dots to make a picture in a drawing book. It is obvious that while imagining the figures, the ancient astrologers kept the behavior and physical appearance of the humans in mind. The full description of the figures will be given in Lesson #2. Here we give only the names of these figures or the astrological signs:

Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra,
Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces

A beginner in astrology should not only remember the names of the signs but also their order.

Since there are 12 signs and 12 houses in the horoscope, each house of the horoscope contains a sign. The signs are not represented in the horoscope by their names like Aries, Taurus, etc., but merely by the digits, 1,2, etc. The digits corresponding to the signs are also given in the Table 1.1. Thus digit 1 is used for the sign Aries, 2 for Taurus, 3 for Gemini, so and so forth. If you see a digit in a house of the horoscope you should immediately realize the sign that house contains. For example, if the first house contains the digit 4, as is the case in the chart 1 of the Fig 1.1, its sign is Cancer, because the digit 4 is set for Cancer. If a house contains digit 10, its sign is Capricorn. So it is important to commit to memory not only the names of the signs but also their corresponding digits. Note that the digits are written in the horoscope and not the full names of the signs merely for convenience.

It is stated earlier that the order of the houses does not change, although signs in the house may change. The signs of houses are determined from the time of the birth of a person. The earth spins around its own axis once a day. Therefore it moves through each sign in approximately 2 hours. From earth it looks like as if the Sun is moving through each sign in about 2 hours. The sign through which the Sun is passing through at the time of the birth of an individual, due to earth’s spin, is known as the ascendant-sign. In the Chart 1 of the Fig 1.1, the ascendant-sign is Cancer, but in the chart 2, it is Taurus. Once the sign of the first house is determined, the signs of the following houses are merely the subsequent signs. For example, if the ascendant is Virgo(6), as is the case in Fig 1.4, Libra(7) will be the sign of second house, Scorpio(8) of the third house, Sagittarius(9) of fourth house and Leo(5) of the twelfth house. Fig 1.4 shows an example chart and gives the full explanation of signs and planets of all houses.

In the South Indian style horoscope (Chart 3 and 4, Fig 1.1), the houses are sequenced not in the counterclockwise direction, but in the clockwise fashion. The houses are shown as blocks and these blocks are arranged in a rectangle. The first house is the one that has ‘Birth’ or ‘Lagna’ meaning ascendant written in it. Thus First house could be different in different horoscopes. Here not even the signs or their corresponding numbers are written in the horoscope. The sign Aries is always assumed to be the second block of the upper row of the blocks as shown in Fig 1.5. The other signs are progressed in clockwise direction as indicated. Thus in the south Indian style chart, the signs are fixed in the blocks, but the first house (ascendant) varies.

We shall be following more convenient North Indian, rectangular style in this book. However, if somebody wants to pursue the South Indian style, he can always convert a chart under discussion to the South Indian style. For practice, use Fig 1.1. Here charts 1 and 3 are same, and charts 2 and 4 are same. The most of the software programs that are used to construct the horoscopes can easily draw both kinds of horoscopes. There are a large number of commercially available programs. To draw a horoscope using these programs you would need your date of birth, time of birth, place of birth and time zone. You should also know if the daylight saving time was effective for the date of birth. With this information you may perhaps get your chart drawn up on the world-wide-web.

During the course of study of this book you will need to draw the North Indian style chart on paper. For practice, first draw the outer box, then the two diagonals followed by the rhombus in the box, as shown here.


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