Definitions and Characteristic of the Signs (Rasis) and the houses (Bhavas)
Definitions and Characteristic
1. May the Supreme Divine Light (the Sun) who once above the horizon remains on end in view for six months (solar) to the pole dwelling Celestials, for half a month (Lunar) to the Moon dwelling manes and for 12 hours (entire day time) to the earth dwelling mortals and some times changes his direction to the north (Uttarayan) and some-times to the south (Dakshinayan), bless us with unlimited prosperity, good luck, splendor and beatitude.
2. I, the astrologer Mantreswara, first offer my respectful obeisance to Saraswati, the Goddess of speech and learning, to my family deity, to my
preceptors, to the nine planets (the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu) to Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva who bestow knowledge of the past, present and. future, and then give here for the benefit of astrologers a lucid version in a simple manner of the teachings of sages Atri and Parasara.
3. The first thing is to ascertain the exact time of birth of the native minutely in Ghatikas, Vighatikas etc., on the basis of tool measurement or by the gnomonic shadow and other apparatus. Then the positions of the planets (longitude) in Rasi (sign), amsa (degrees), Kala (minutes), and Vikala should be worked out by actual observation and mathematical instruments. The assessment of results should be made thereafter by taking into account the longitudes of the various houses (Bhavaspast) and the strength of the houses and the planets.
4. Assuming that the horoscope represents the Kalapurusha, then the parts of the body beginning with the Ascendant (Lagna) will be as under:
First house (Lagna-Ascendant) — the head
Second house — the face
Third house — the breast
Fourth house — the heart
Fifth house — the belly
Sixth house — the waist
Seventh house — the groins
Eighth house — the private parts (Sexual organs)
Ninth house — the two thighs
Tenth house — the two knees
Eleventh house — the two calves
Twelfth house — the two feet
The end portions of the signs Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are known as Rasi- Sandhisj. There are other learneds who apply this term to the end portions of all signs.
Notes — The house which is occupied or aspected by benefits or whose lord is bestowed with strength, the part of the body represented by that house will be strong and well built. If the lord of a house be weak or be occupied or otherwise afflicted by a malefic, the corresponding part of the body will be weak or diseased.
5. The dwelling of the twelve signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces are — (1) forest (2) agricultural land with water (3) bedroom (4) chasm with water (5) mountain (6) land with water and food crops (7) house of a Vaishya (8) cavity or a hole (9) residence of the king (10) watery forests (11) the spot frequented or used by potters and (12) water, in that order.
Notes — Generally this information proves useful in queries regarding theft of articles or missing persons etc.
6. The lords of the twelve signs are as under:
Aries – Mars Libra – Venus
Taurus – Venus Scorpio – Mars
Gemini – Mercury Sagittarius – Jupiter
Cancer – The Moon Capricorn – Saturn
Leo – The Sun Aquarius – Saturn
Virgo – Mercury Pisces – Jupiter
The signs of exaltation and fall of the seven planets from the Sun onwards are as under —
Planet Sign of exaltation Sign of fall
The Sun Aries Libra
The Moon Taurus Scorpio
Mars Capricorn Cancer
Mercury Virgo Pisces
Jupiter Cancer Capricorn
Venus Pisces Virgo
Saturn Libra Aries
This means that the seventh or the opposite sign from the sign of exaltation of a planet, is the sign of fall or debilitation.
Notes— There is great difference of opinion amongst the ancient learneds about the exaltation and debilitation signs of Rahu and Ketu. Mantreswara has expressed no opinion in that regard. According to Sarvarth Chintamani the exaltation sign of Rahu is Gemini and his sign of debilitation is Sagittarius.
Reverse is the case with Ketu. According to Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra Taurus and Scorpio are respectively the exaltation signs of Rahu and Ketu and the signs opposite to them are their signs of debilitation.
The highest points of exaltation and the lowest points of debilitation of the various planets are as under:
Planet Highest points of exaltation
Lowest point of debilitation
The Sun Aries 10th degree Libra 10th degree
The Moon Taurus 3rd degree Scorpio 3rd degree
Mars Capricorn 28th degree Cancer 28th degree
Mercury Virgo 15th degree Pisces 15th degree
Jupiter Cancer 5th degree Capricorn 5th degree
Venus Pisces 27th degree Virgo 27th degree
Saturn Libra 20th degree Aries 20th degree
Notes — For example Jupiter at the 5th degree of Cancer will be in deep
exaltation. Then he moves downwards from that point and gets into deep debilition when he reaches 5th degree of Capricorn.
7. The Moolatrikona signs of the planets the Sun onward are Leo, Taurus, Aries, Virgo, Sagittarius, Libra and Aquarius respectively. Below are given the portions of the own sign and Moolatrikona from the Sun onwards :—
Planet Sign Moola trikona portion Own sign portion
The Sun Leo 0° – 20° 21° – 30°
The Moon Taurus 4° – 30° –
Mars Aries 0° – 2° 13° – 30°
Mercury Virgo 16° – 20° 21° – 30°
Jupiter Sagittarius 0° – 10° 11° – 30°
Venus Libra 0° – 5° 6° – 30°
Saturn Aquarius 0° – 20° 21° – 30°
The various signs have been classified as biped or human signs, reptile or (Keeta) or centipeds, watery or quadruped (Chatuspada) as detailed below :
Human Quadruped Centiped Watery
Gemini Aries Scorpio Cancer
Virgo Taurus Capricorn
8. The signs which rise with their back (Prishtodaya) are Taurus. Cancer, Aries and Capricorn. The signs which rise both from their back and front
(Ubhayodaya) are Gemini and Pisces. The rest appear with their heads are called Sirsodaya signs.
The Prishtodaya signs Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, Aries and Capricorn and the Ubhayodaya sign Gemini fall under the jurisdiction of the Moon and are termed as nocturnal (strong at night). The other signs are governed by the Sun and are known as diurnal signs (strong during day time).
Count from the sign last passed by the Sun. The first sign is called Urdhawa (bending upwards) the second sign is known as Adah (beneath), the third sign is termed Sama (even) and the fourth sign is known as Vakra (Crooked). The same order applies for the other eight signs.
Notes — For example the Sun has last passed Virgo. Then the signs from
Virgo to Leo will be in this order – Kanya – Urdhava, Adah, Even, Vakra, Urdhava,
Adah, Even, Vakra, Urdhava, Adah, Even.
9. The following are some farther classifications and indications of the twelve signs —
Aries Moveable Entrance Mineral Fierce Odd East
(Chara) (Dwara) (Dhatu) (Krura) (Vlshama)
Taurus Fixed Outside Vegetable Auspicious Even South
(Sthlra) (Bahih) (Mula) (Saumya) (Sama)
Gemini Dual Inside Animal Fierce Odd West
(Ubhaya) (Garbha) (Jeeva)
Cancer Moveable En trance Mineral Auspicious Even North
Leo Fixed Outside Vegetable Fierce Odd East
Virgo Dual Inside Animal Auspicious Even South
Libra Moveable Entrance Mineral Fierce Odd West
Scorpio Fixed Outside Vegetable Auspicious Even North
Sagittarius Dual Inside Animal Fierce Odd East
Capricorn Moveable Entrance Mineral Auspicious Even South
Aquarius Fixed Outside Vegetable Fierce Odd West
Pisces Dual Inside Animal Auspicious Even North
The six houses from the 7th represent the left side limbs of the Kalapurusha, while the other six houses i.e. those reckoned from the Ascendant represent right side limbs.
10. [In a birth chart there are twelve house. Each house has been given several names indicating the various subjects it deals with.]
The names by which the first house or the Ascendant is known are Lagna, Hora, Kalya, Deha, Udaya, Rupa, Seersha, Vartmana (present) and Janma.
The second house deals with Vitta (wealth), Vidya (learning). Swa, Annapana (riches, food and drinks), Bhukti (eating), the right eye, face (Asya),
letter or document (Patrika), Speech (Vak) and Kutumba (family) and thus adopts these appellations.
11.-12. — The names given (or the subjects allotted) to third house are Duschikya, Uras (breast), the right ear, army valour, prowess and brother.
The subjects or designations for the fourth house are house, land, maternal uncle, a sister’s son, a relation, a friend, conveyance, mother, kingdom, cow, buffalo, perfume, clothes, ornaments, the nadir, hibuka, sukha (happiness), water, bridge and river.
The fifth house deals with (and has designations accordingly) the mark of the sovereign, taxes, soul, intelligence, knowledge of the future, life, progeny, belly, Vedic knowledge and other religious scriptures.
13. — The sixth house deals with debts, arms, thieves, wounds, diseases, enemies, paternal relations, battle, wicked acts, sins, fear and humilialtion.
The subjects dealt with by the seventh house are desire, passion, setting, sexual desire, a way, people, husband road and wife.
14. — For the eighth house subjects allotted are Mangalya (the living of the husband during the life time of the wife), Randhra, filthiness, mental pain, defeat or humiliation, longevity, sorrow, blame, death, impurity impediments and slavery.
The ninth house deals with preceptor (guru), deity (devta), father, auspiciousness, poorvabhagya (previous luck), worship, penance, virtuous act or
virtue, grand son, and noble family. (Some of the learneds in the North are of the view that all about father should be examined from the 10th house, because 10th is 7th to the 4th house dealing with the father. The view of Phaladeepika seems to be based on the logic that the 9th being 5th to 5th house (dealing with progeny) should be the most appropriate house to be connected with father).
15. The subjects (names) designated for the 10th house are business or trade, ranker position, honour, occupation, profession, sky or zenith, conduct, quality, inclination, gait, command and Meshurana (to give orders).
The matters to be considered from the eleventh house are gains, income, acquisition, receipt of wealth, accomplishment, splendor and prosperity, profits, veneration, elder brother or sister, left ear, anything juicy, delightful news.
16. The expressions used for the twelfth house are misery, leg, left eye, loss, spy, last rites, poverty, sins, bad expenditure and imprisonment or confinement. Described above are the designations of the twelve houses or the subject matters to be examined from them. The 3rd, the 6th, the 8th and 12th are known as Leena Sthanas (hidden houses).
17. The 6th, the 8th and 12th houses are also called Dusthanas (evil houses). The remaining houses are considered good and auspicious. The 1st, 4th, 7th and the 10th houses are termed as Kendra, Kantaka or Chatushtaya.
18. The 2nd, the 5th, the 8th and 11th houses from the Ascendant are called Panaphara houses. The 3rd, the 6th, the 9th and the 12th are termed as Apoklima houses. The 4th and the 8th are also known as Chaturasra houses. The 3rd, the 6th, the 10th and 11th are Upachaya houses. The 5th and 9th are called trines (Trikona houses). The trines have been considered as very auspicious houses.