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The Basics of Eastern Astrology

Vedic Astrology

This page is all about the eastern form of astrology or, 'Vedic Astrology' and the contents of this article is intended to help any one who wishes to learn how to practice 'Vedic Astrology'. All the essential points of this form of astrology have been listed.

Vedic Astrology uses the sidereal zodiac, which is based on the position of the planets in the sky. It varies from the tropical zodiac used in Western astrology, which starts at the vernal equinox (the first day of spring) each year, or about March 20. The two systems vary by approximately 23°, so your ascendant and house system will be different when cast using Vedic astrology. The following points are of particular importance in Vedic astrology:

  1. The nodes of the Moon play a very important role in Vedic astrology. The north node is called 'Rahu' and the south node is called 'Ketu'. These nodes form aspects just like regular planets. There are no corresponding equivalents for 'Rahu' and 'Ketu' in Western astrology. These Vedic planets are essentially malefic in nature and are referred to as the Serpent's/Dragon's head (Rahu) and tail (Ketu). 'Rahu' and 'Ketu' have and eclipsing effect on other planets, particularly the Sun and the Moon and have been compared to a black-hole a white dwarf.
  2. There are nine Vedic planets and planets have rulerships over houses based on the 'Mooltrikona' sign of the planet. Therefore, the area of a person's life ruled by a planet is determined by the ascendant of the native. For example, the Sun is the lord of the house associated with Leo. In addition to this, each planet has general specifications that pertain to that specific planet (for example, the Moon rules felinity).
  3. The strength of planets varies from very strong to very weak, depending on a number of factors established, obviously the stronger a planet the better the result. Weak planets do not provide good results in the areas ruled by the planet and are more susceptible to affliction. The following factors that contribute to planetary weakness:
    • Placement in one of the malefic houses - 6th, 8th or 12th (unless it is its own 'Mooltrikona' sign).
    • Placement in it's sign of debilitation.
    • Placement in the first or last 5° of a sign.
    • Placement in it's debilitated sign in the ninth division of the natal chart.
    • If it's depositor is weak, i.e. it occupies the 'Mooltrikona' sign of a weak planet.
    • If with respect to the Moon, it is within 72° either side of the Sun.
    • If it is closely accepted by any functional malefic planet.
    • If the most effective point of the house that it occupies is closely afflicted by a functional malefic planet.
    • If the most effective point of it's 'Mooltrikona' sign is closely afflicted by a functional malefic planet.
  4. The 'Close Afflictions' given above refer to an orb of one° or less.
  5. A weak planet can be afflicted by an orb up to 5° from a functional malefic planet. However, a strong planet is only afflicted by an orb of one degree or less.
  6. Exceptions to these 'Affliction' rules apply when the aspect is from:
    1. The most malefic planet, an aspect from a functional malefic placed in the 6th, 8th or 12th houses.
    2. A conjunction with Rahu or Ketu (the Rahu-Ketu axis).
    3. A functional malefic that is also afflicted.
    4. More than one functional malefic at the same time.
  7. The functional nature of the planets also varies by ascendant. If a planet is a functional malefic, then any other planet that it aspects, is afflicted, leading to adverse effects caused by the afflicted planet. Planets ruling the 6th, 8th and 12th houses are functional malefic and afflict other planets, if the aspect is close (within 5°), even if they may otherwise considered to be "strong." The main sufferings in a person's life arise from planets that are either weak or afflicted or both.
  8. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto do not play a role in Vedic astrology.
  9. The aspects for each planet in vary by planet. All planets aspect 0° (conjunction) and 180° (opposition). Other angles are as follows:
    • Jupiter and Rahu/Ketu aspect 120 and 240°.
    • Saturn aspects 60 and 270°.
    • Mars aspects 90 and 210°
  10. Vedic astrology considers three kinds of aspects:
    Transit to natal, natal to transit (relevant at times when the two planets involved aspect at different angles) and transit to transit.
  11. The house system is sign-based; in other words, a sign never overlaps two houses.
  12. Each house has a 'Most Effective Point' or "MEP" which is the degree of the ascendant. So if a planet aspects the MEP of a house, it benefits or afflicts the significations of that house, depending on whether it is a functional benefice or functional malefic.
  13. Vedic astrology identifies varies periods or ages in a persons lifetime, each of which are ruled by particular planets (and the strength or weakness and/or affliction of that planet in the chart). These 'Dashas' have the affect of shading all transits in that period by the nature of the active 'Dasha' period.
  14. The charts are drawn differently in Vedic astrology. We suggest using the northern style. Once you are used to it, it will become quite intuitive. In this system, it is easy to identify each house quickly. The numbers drawn on the chart refer to the sign, not the house. Aries is 1, Taurus is 2, etc.
  15. Vedic astrology uses not just the main chart, but also divisional charts that shed additional light on specific aspects of the person's life.
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Houses of the Birth Chart

Astrological Characteristics

The following table shows the houses and planets that control different aspects of life, according to this form of astrology.

Natal Chart Houses
Valuable Material Assets
4th, 2nd
Mars, Venus
12th, 4th, 7th
The Sun, Venus, the Moon
The Sun, Mars
Creative Intelligence
5th, 2nd
Venus, the Moon, Mercury
Basic Education
The Moon, Mercury
Academic Life, Qualifications, Knowledge
5th, 2nd, 9th
Mercury, Jupiter and the Sun
Spiritual Education
The strength of the Sun and Jupiter
2nd, 7th, 4th
Venus, the Moon
9th, 4th
The Sun, Jupiter
Financial Solvency
6th, 2nd
The Moon, Venus
Overseas Assets
12th, 7th, 6th
Planetary influences on the 4th
Overseas Travel
12th, 7th, 6th
The Sun, Venus
General Fortune
9th, 4th
The Sun, Jupiter
General Health (also 5th for emotional health)
6th, 1st
The Sun, Mars, the Moon, Mercury
7th, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 12th
Jupiter, the Sun
5th, 2nd
Jupiter, the Sun
11th, 2nd, 5th
Jupiter, Venus, the Moon
8th, 9th, 4th
The Sun and Moon
Planets in the 6th house
1st, 8th, 12th
Worldly Possessions, Material Comforts
12th, 7th, 4th
Marital Ties
8th, 2nd, 4th, 12th
Married Life, Long Term Relationships
7th, 4th, 2nd, 8th, 12th
The Moon, Venus
4th, 9th
The Moon
Mental and Emotional State
Professional Position
10th, 2nd, 5th, 3rd
Mercury, Venus, Jupiter
5th, 2nd
Jupiter, the Sun
11th, 2nd, 5th, 3rd
Jupiter, Venus, the Moon
Short Trips
7th, 9th
Spiritual Life
9th, 4th
The Sun, Jupiter
2nd, 5th, 5th
The Sun, Jupiter
Moveable/Immoveable Property
Venus, Mars
2nd, 11th, 5th
The Moon, Jupiter
7th, 2nd, 4th, 8th, 12th
Venus, the Moon

The Stars & Constellations

Astrology & The Stars

In addition to the more commonly known influences of zodiac signs over the temperament of an individual, the constellation or 'Birth Star' under which a person is born, also has a particular influence. As you will note from the table below, each zodiac sign is associated with certain stars, hence the characteristics of zodiac signs and birth stars are closely related. The birth star under which a person is born can only be determined from their individual horoscope, cast from their exact birth data through an astrological analysis.

There are 23 constellations and each has certain basic characteristics. Although they are general in nature, they give further insights about the nature of the person in question. In Vedic astrology the different constellations, also sometimes referred to as 'Stars' are:

  1. Ashwini: A person born under this star has an enigmatic personality. Has a strong ability to gain knowledge and a well developed intellect, faith in religion, is ambitious, philosophical and social.
  2. Bharani: Under the influence of this star a person is majestic, changing moods, is business minded, influential and can occupy a position of influence.
  3. Krittika: A person has a logical, analytical mind, creative ability, changing fortunes, is bold, enthusiastic, brave, technically minded and is a quicker learner.
  4. Rohini: A person born under this star is learned, influential, fond of travelling, artistic, business like, spiritual, but has changing affections.
  5. Mrigasira: Great powers to acquire knowledge and indulge in research. Such people may occupy high positions, have noble views of life, are attractive and can acquire mystical powers.
  6. Aridhra: People born under this star tend to be religiously minded, responsible, artistic, brave. indulge in legal matters, can be lazy, have leadership qualties, are are passionate.
  7. Punarvasu: Such people are good natured, cultured, helpful, but can be vane and experience a lot of failure and success.
  8. Pushya: This is an auspicious star to be born under. Such people are devotional, wealthy, kind natured, multi-talented, well placed, but are also suspicious.
  9. Aslesha: Such people are moody, short tempered, harsh in their speech, wealthy, religious, slow.

The following quarters (padas) of the constellations comprise the twelve zodiacal signs:

Constellation (Nakshatra)
Padas (Quarters)
Space on the Elliptic from 0° Aries
  1. Ashwini
  2. Bharani
  3. Krittika
  • 4
  • 4
  • 1
  • 13°:20'
  • 26°:40'
  • 30°:00'
  1. Krittika
  2. Rohini
  3. Mrigasira
  • 3
  • 4
  • 2
  • 40°:00'
  • 53°:20'
  • 60°:00'
  1. Mrigasira
  2. Aridra
  3. Punarvasu
  • 2
  • 4
  • 3
  • 66°:40'
  • 80°:00'
  • 90°:00'
  1. Punarvasu
  2. Pushya
  3. Aslesha
  • 1
  • 4
  • 4
  • 93°:20'
  • 106°:40'
  • 120°:00'
  1. Makha
  2. Pubba
  3. Uttara
  • 4
  • 4
  • 1
  • 133°:20'
  • 146°:40'
  • 150°:00'
  1. Uttara
  2. Hastha
  3. Chitta
  • 3
  • 4
  • 2
  • 160°:00'
  • 173°:20'
  • 180°:00'
  1. Chitta
  2. Swathi
  3. Visakha
  • 2
  • 4
  • 3
  • 186°:40'
  • 200°:00'
  • 210°:00'
  1. Visakha
  2. Anuradha
  3. Jyesta
  • 1
  • 4
  • 4
  • 213°:20'
  • 226°:40'
  • 240°:00'
  1. Moola
  2. Poorvashada
  3. Uttarashada
  • 4
  • 4
  • 1
  • 253°:20'
  • 296°:40'
  • 270°:00'
  1. Uttarashada
  2. Sravanam
  3. Dhanista
  • 3
  • 4
  • 2
  • 280°:00'
  • 293°:20'
  • 300°:00'
  1. Dhanista
  2. Satabhisha
  3. Poorvabhadra
  • 2
  • 4
  • 3
  • 306°:40'
  • 320°:00'
  • 330°:00'
  1. Poorvabhadra
  2. Uttarabhadra
  3. Revathi
  • 1
  • 4
  • 4
  • 333°:20'
  • 346°:40'
  • 360°:00'
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