Vedic Astrology Blog

Signs or Rashis

The Signs of the Zodiac, or the 12 main constellations, are Colorings. They color the Planets within them, and they color the Houses, which they are for a given chart.

Signs or Rashis

The Signs of the Zodiac, or the 12 main constellations, are Colorings. They color the Planets within them, and they color the Houses, which they are for a given chart.

The Signs and their Lords

Planets own signs, and hence in the table we give the Lords of the Signs. The Planets have natures, as we have already shown to some degree, and these natures are reflected in their Signs. Most of the Planets rule two Signs, and in those cases the qualities of the Planet are somewhat split between the two Signs. It is the Sun and Moon who each rule only one Sign , and the rest rule two Signs each and in a certain order. So, here is another way of viewing the Zodiac, one where the “Kind and Queen” are at the top, and the rest in order by House:

Sun/Moon Owns
Mercury ruled
Venus ruled
Mars ruled
Jupiter ruled
Saturn ruled

In the above diagram, the King Sign Leo (Simha, Leo, means Lion) is on His own right side, and the Queen Sign Cancer is on His left. The Signs on “her side” of the Zodiac are listed on Her side (Gemini to Aquarius) and the Signs on His side of the Zodiac are listed under Him (Virgo to Capricorn).

Notice the top two, Virgo and Gemini, are ruled by Mercury, the next two by Venus, and so on. This is the order of the Planets by orbit moving out from the Sun.

Mercury orbits close to the Sun, because as the Prince, Mercury must remain close to the Power center, otherwise he is likely to be kidnapped, because you know how scoundrels like to kidnap the children of the rich and famous, and Mercury, he’s so gullible anyway.

Venus needs to be close to the Power also because without light, which cares what she looks like, nobody can see who is beautiful in the dark. So, She, Venus, needs the light of the Sun to be seen. Also, beauty and pleasures need support they are not independently wealthy. In fact, indulgences tend to decrease wealth. Prostitutes work for money, not charity. The arts are the pastimes of the rich and powerful. Low, hard working, poor people barely have time or money for fancy Venusian things like nice clothes, nice cars, jewelry, perfumes, hairstyles, and so on. So, where we find mundane Power, and where we find the mundane center, there we will find a greater degree of Venus as well. Venus clings to the Central Powers of this material plain.

Next comes Mars. Mars also needs the Sun and is dependent upon the Sun for His life. For example, militias need the funding of their governments to exist. Also, when a soldier kills an enemy, he is a hero. But if the same soldier kills a civilian (like the famous Timothy McVeigh example) then he is an outlaw. So, Mars derives his dispensation as the Commander in Chief from the Sun, who as the King gives Mars his importance. Without this blessing, Mars’s “thug qualities” or “get it done” abilities become misled easily. Mars follows orders and does heavy things for the cause of whoever is giving the orders. Soldiers who fight in battle are similar in that they are all soldiers, by they are separated by the ideals that drive their commanders or countries. Mars by nature is a follower of Power, and so he is close to the Sun, after the Young Prince and the Young Lady of course, being a chivalrous gentleman who lets “children go ahead”.

Next comes Jupiter. Now Jupiter and Saturn are “way out there” in terms of being quite a distance from the Sun. Jupiter does not need the Sun. The classical Vedic Guru, while he may live in the palace of the King, is never under the King. If the King betrays his Guru, the Guru leaves, and no soldier will ever arrest the Guru, and by no means ever would a soldier (a Kshatriya) kill or in any way give trouble to the Guru of the king, or any Brahmin for that matter.

In classical Vedic literature, many stories are told of what great lengths Kings went to in order to satisfy and please the Brahmin class, and especially the leading Brahmins, who if they could, they tried to persuade through humbly submitting themselves to come live with them as advisors. Kings know that good advisors are the key to remaining in power. Guru’s, or real Brahmins, know what is what and who is who, and by using astrology and other means of divination, they can often know what is coming. Not caring for the Spiritual implications of such things, the Kings are simply concerned at harnessing such powers for themselves, to fortify their materially lucrative positions as Kings.

But, the Brahmins are very standoffish. They help righteous Kings not because they like the Kings so much themselves, but because the people in general, and all the creatures of the land, will be better served if a righteous King is in power. If a bad King is in control, then everyone suffers. Caring for the welfare of all, the Righteous Brahmins help the Righteous Kings to gain and keep power. The evil-minded Brahmins help the evil minded Kings, and together these two dacoits team up and scheme it up.

So, Jupiter stands far away, because the principles He adheres to personally, and likes to teach, are based on Dharma or higher principle, which does not care for the desires of any particular King or anybody else. In the eyes of Higher Dharma, a King is just a Soul, like everyone else. All great Kings and Demigods, and never the reverse bow to the real Guru, like Brihaspati.

However, Jupiter does appreciate the way the Sun gets things done. Like’em or not, Kings have power, and Jupiter recognizes this. Since Jupiter is also a male Planet by behavior, and a grandiose thinker too, He likes to team up with the King to get things done in the Kingdom. So, Jupiter and the Sun are friends.

Saturn stands very far away from the Sun. This is because He rules the dirty and low, and the workers. The King does like to see these people because they are doing all the hard work of His many commands. They are not paid much, and they are lives are pretty humble, possibly even miserable. For where there is material light, there must be material darkness. The kind of Light the Sun advocates is the kind where He is the center. Spiritual light emanates independently from each object in the Spiritual World, but here, the Sun is in the center. This mandates that they must be those who are “far from the center in the darkness of the outer regions”, and this is Saturn, and the people Saturn rules.

Offices of the Gods

The Signs are the offices of the Gods. Through these Signs, the Gods do their works. When they are in their offices, they are able to work very well. When they are “looking at” their offices, which is called “aspecting”, then they can oversee and thus protect their offices. But when they are neither in their offices nor seeing them, then their offices may be plundered by enemies.

In Jyotish, the Signs are the Houses the two are synonymous. There are 12 Signs, and therefore 12 Houses. However, they are separated by what they rule. For example, Sagittarius rules “High Ideals”. That is true, whichever House Sagittarius ends up being in. If Sagittarius is in the 4thHouse, then the person has high ideals in the areas of Emotions, which is something the 4thHouse rules, independently from whatever Sign is there. The 9th House independently rules religion, so if Sagittarius is there, then the person will have high ideals in the area of religion.

As stated, all the Planets accept the Sun and Moon rules two Houses. These Planets “split up” their natures into these two offices. For example, in Aries and Scorpio Mars stores His tendencies. In Aries, we find the brute force energy of Mars, and His warrior tendencies, whereas in Scorpio we find his nasty bite and secret spy tendencies.

Some of the Planets are friends and some are enemies. So, if an enemy Planet is in a Sign and the Lord of that Sign is off doing other business, and is not watching that office closely, then the enemy Planet in the Sign is free to harm the Sign, and thus harm the House the Sign is in. In the same way you would think of offices or bedrooms, and the protection thereof, so also you can think of Signs and Houses as the Planets move around amongst them.

Affecting how planets feel and can act

As stated, Planets have natural tendencies for example, Mars is fiery, a soldier, and aggressive. Saturn, as another example, is slow, low, and a hard worker. So, these natural tendencies are either helped or blocked by the nature of the Signs as they move through them. We judge these interactions in the chart very closely.

Take Mars again for example. Mars is fiery and energetic. So, think about water and fire. What does water do to fire? So, when fiery Mars is in a water Sign, His fire is “put out” to some degree. So, Mars does not like water Signs because he cannot behave as fiery as he would like. This would indicate in a chart that the fire in the person is hampered. Signs are also designated as male or female, movable, nonmoving or mutable, and other designations. All of these designations either help or hinder the Planets depending on their natures as people with their various personalities.

Coloring parts of the body and life

The Signs convey their nature upon the parts of our life where they sit. For example, the Sign in the 1st House, which rules the body, will greatly affect the nature of our body. The Sign in the second House will affect our saving of money and the way we speak, as the second House rules over these things. The Sign occupying the third House will color our approach to younger siblings and college degrees, as the third House rules those things, and so on.

So, think of Houses as ruling specific parts of life, whereas the Signs are more coloring agents who add the specific character. Houses rule Things, Signs give Character. That is a good basic rule to remember.

As having Karakas

Signs do have Karakas of their own, things that they rule over, and these things will manifest through the House the Sign tenets, or occupies. So, for example, since Cancer, a Sign, rules emotions, whatever House it occupies, those areas of life will take on an emotional nature in that person. Since Capricorn rules Jungles, wherever House it occupies will have some connection with Jungles, or dangerous places full of diversity where the law cannot reach or touch.

As combining with planets and aspects

Signs have a natural color or radiance for certain things. For example, Pisces radiates Peace and Calm. This wavelength or ray, is trapped by any Planets in Pisces in a chart, and is bent or combined with that Planet’s own ray or wavelength, to form a combination ray. For example, if Saturn were in Pisces in a chart, we would combine Peace with Low work, and that person might find their peace in humble work. If Saturn was in Virgo, which rules over farming, then that person might find their work in dealing with agriculture in some way, depending of course, as always, on other factors in the chart.

The important point to remember is to blend the Sign’s nature with the Planet’s nature, to come up with a blended effect. This also goes for aspects. If a Planet aspects a Sign, it casts its nature upon the House where the Sign resides, and ultimately therefore matters governed by that House and Sign combination take on some of the qualities of the aspecting Planet.

Therefore, the key to Jyotish is to be able to mentally combine many factors into one cohesive reading. The learned Jyotishi combines the effects of Planets, Signs, Houses, and aspects on a very regular basis.

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