These twelve houses are the blueprint for life. Understanding them will not only allow one to read a Vedic astrology chart, but will also help elucidate how life works, by recognizing and appreciating the interconnectivity of the entire universe.

The eastern horizon where the Sun rises is the first house called the ascendant. In Sanskrit it is called the lagna, which means it is the tying down point of the chart. The place on the western horizon where the Sun sets is the seventh house. The houses exist in a static position in the sky above us; they are the divisions of the sky.

Houses represent areas of our life; the area of our body and health, the type of food we eat, the situation of the home, etc. There are a total of twelve houses each representing a different area of life.

House External Significations People Body
1 Body, health, strength Self Head
2 Wealth, food, sustenance Close family Throat
3 Effort, courage, willpower Siblings Arms, shoulders
4 Home, happiness, heart Mother Chest, breasts
5 Intelligence, decision ability Children, students Solar Plexus
6 Enemies, legal cases, sickness Servants/Pets Lower abdomen
7 Business, social interaction Spouse Pelvic region
8 Debt, loans, chronic disease Lenders Genitals
9 Guru, teacher, philosophy Father Thighs
10 Karma, career, occupation Boss, biological father Knees
11 Monetary income Friends Calves
12 Hospital, ashram, foreign lands, away time Bill collectors, those who cause us loss Feet


The rising sign (lagna) represents the body, and the sign placed there will have a large influence on the physical characteristics of an individual. As the fourth house rules home, the sign there will influence the conditions of the home. If a benefic (saumya) planet is placed in the fourth it supports all the good qualities of that sign by bringing good people into the home, while if a malefic (krūra) planet is placed in the fourth, it will bring out all the bad aspects of that sign by bringing negativities to the household. In this way, the various details are determined about the person’s life. The sign represents the situation while the planets represent people or animate beings. The signs represent the inanimate surroundings.

There are multiple layers to a chart. It can be read as the native in relation to working in the world, or it can be read completely as the physical body. For example, the third house represents the arms and shoulders --if Mars, a breaking planet is placed there, then there is a large chance the arm may be hurt or damaged in some way. If Saturn is in the third house, there may be arthritis in the arm. The fourth house is the home, and if Saturn is placed there the home life will be more harsh or lonely. On the physical level, Saturn will also give irregularities in the heartbeat or a heart that needs more activity to warm up. In this way, the world is a maṇḍala that exists in the physical body, in the world outside of a person, and in every interaction in life. Everything is interconnected as seen through the Jyotiṣa chart.

The fixed sky above is divided into twelve houses that are 30 degrees each. The stars in the sky are divided into twelve constantly moving signs. While the houses remain stationary, the signs move. The houses represent areas of life, areas that everyone has, such as mother, father, physical body, etc. The signs move through these houses to indicate the situations in these areas of life. The planets show where the energy of life is more focused and whether it is positive or negative. Everybody has positive and negative planets and situations, everybody has a shadow and a light, it is just a matter of where and when.

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