Astrology – the noblest of sciences (Dante)
The best way to understand the science behind an astrological reading is to follow the rigorous process that an astrologist takes when doing a reading.
Vedic astrology focuses on the complex, ever-changing interactions between the houses, signs and planets.
You can see the 12 houses as the various rooms of a palace. Each room is used for a particular purpose. A specific sign in a room would indicate the décor and atmosphere of that room. The planets would be the people who inhabit the rooms. If a room has two or more planets, they will engage or interact with each other.
First, we look at the rising sign or ascendant. What sign is it? What is the element?
Fire, earth, air or water. What is the quality of the sign: cardinal/moveable), fixed, or mutable/dual? Are the signs odd or even, male or female, active or inactive, yang/solar or ying/lunar in nature?
The signs and the planets
Each sign is owned by a planet and influences its nature:
Aries – Mars | Taurus – Venus | Gemini – Mercury | Cancer – Moon | Leo – Sun | Virgo – Mercury | Libra – Venus | Scorpio – Mars | Sagittarius – Jupiter | Capricorn – Saturn | Aquarius – Saturn | Pisces – Jupiter
The Sun and Moon own one sign each, while the planets have two: one odd or male sign and one even or female sign.
Then we look to see what sign is in the ascendant, or the rising sign of the person (the house facing the eastern horizon at time of birth). In Vedic astrology, the sign changes approximately every two hours, so we have 12 signs in each 24-hour period. Then we analyze the strength and influences on the owner or lord of the first house and in turn each house as we go around the chart. Is it strong, weak, happy or afflicted? Are any planets aspecting it or conjunct?
Aspect: The influence of a planet directed at another celestial body or part of the chart. Using our palace analogy (see above), if a person (planet) in one room is looking at a person in another room, then that look or ‘aspect’ will affect that other person.
Conjunction: The mingling of planetary energies when two or more planets occupy the same house (or the same room in the palace).
The above analysis gives insights into the basic nature of a person
The 12 houses
Then we go around the 12 houses of the chart, and look at what is the sign and what planets are in or influencing each house. If many planets are in or aspecting the house, then it’s more complicated to assess the net result.
The 12 houses represent all the various aspects, functions and events in a person’s life. Each house represents certain aspects of life, which can be summarised as follows:
o The 1st house is a snapshot of the person.
o The 2nd house relates to the face, early life, wealth, speech, oral expression and aspects related to the face.
o 3rd house: brothers, support in life, writing skills, discipline.
o 4th house: mother, assets, car, etc, and inner peace.
o 5th house: mind, stomach, creativity.
o 6th house: health and illness, competitiveness, legal disputes.
o 7th house: partnerships, day-to-day life, marriage.
o 8th house: chronic illness, spiritual transformation.
o 9th: the house of Dharma spiritual path, guru, luck.
o 10th house: career, name and fame, profession.
o 11th house: gains from profession, acquaintance network, income.
o 12th house: enlightenment, living overseas.
“For all its complexity … astrology remains fundamentally simple. It offers a time-honored system of symbols that sum up key aspects of human life while providing profound insights and practical guidance.” – Anne M. Nordhaus-Bike, author of Follow the Sun: A Simple Way to Use Astrology for Living in Harmony
The nine celestial bodies
In Vedic astrology, we mainly use nine heavenly bodies: the two luminaries, the Sun and the Moon; the five planets, and also the nodes of the Moon – Rahu (or dragon’s head) and Ketu (dragon’s tail), which represent the north and south node of the moon respectively.
The essence and nature of these celestial bodies are:
Sun – the King, the Father, the soul, the life force and vitality, authority and political power, charisma
Moon – the Queen, the Mother, the mind, receptivity, intuition
Mars – the Commander in Chief, strength, power, stamina, courage, determination
Mercury – the Prince, youthfulness, intelligence and intellect, speech and communication, wit, networking
Jupiter – Minister/Chief Justice, wisdom, law and ethics, solution, generosity, wealth, growth, gurus and teachers, tradition, diplomacy, long-distance travel
Venus – Minister/Advisor, senses and sensual desires, sexuality, prosperity, vehicles, pleasures, romance
Saturn – Servant, lord of karma, discipline, focus, sorrow and grief, old age, sickness and death (delivers the most difficult yet rewarding life lessons)
Rahu – Dragon’s head, army personnel, courage, pioneering, inventive; diplomacy
Ketu – Dragon’s tail, mystical knowledge, meditation, discrimination and non-attachment
If the above planets are afflicted, corresponding negative traits will prevail.
Planets are like people; some get along naturally while others compete. The degrees (young, middle-aged, old) of the ascendant and of each planet in each house are also important factors.
The consultation consists of working out the net result or promise of each house, based on the quality of the sign, the planets influencing the space, and how they are affected by one another.
Using planetary periods, we can explore the promise of any period of your life, in particular the next six months or year, etc, and the timing of what is coming up.
If this is all new to you, you will probably find it hard to make sense of it. But you can gain rich understanding of how astrology works by going through the process of a reading of your personal chart. Calodagh will be happy to do that for you – on the phone, by Skype or in person. You can contact her here.