Interpreting a Chart

Reading a Vedic Horoscope

In a Vedic reading, the chart is taken as a whole to understand all aspects of one’s life. Merely commenting on the position of the Sun or Moon taken on its own would be like a weaver looking at one patch instead of the whole carpet to make a judgement.

In Jyotish the 12 signs are derived from the stars that make up the Zodiac and these are seen as fixed (relatively speaking) and the grahas (loosely defined as planets) are the moving bodies in the backdrop of the stars as seen from the earth. Only nine grahas are taken into account viz. Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and Rahu and Ketu (north and south nodes of the moon) respectively. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were not visible to the naked eye, hence were not taken. The Ascendant is the point on the eastern horizon of the sky at the moment of birth.

A human being has different layers of consciousness viz., the soul, body, mind and intellect. Likewise in a chart the Ascendant represents the body and intelligence, the Moon the emotions and mental faculty and the Sun, the soul of the individual. The positions of all grahas are taken together to arrive at a judgement with special emphasis on Ascendant Lord, Moon and the Sun. The 12 signs show the environment in which one has to operate. The 12 signs are composed of 27 Nakshatras or stars which influence the signs at a subtle level. The 12 houses are ruled by the nine grahas and govern different areas of the life of an individual and the position of planets in various houses show the part of life that will be affected by the planet.

For example when the Sun is in Aries it is exalted and when placed in the 10th house, it has directional strength and becomes very positive. On the other hand, when placed in the 4th house it not fortunate at all and in the 12th has death like energy. Sun in Aries in the 10th house for a Cancer Ascendant, confers high status to the person and makes him wealthy as Sun lords the 2nd house, Leo. The same exalted Sun in Aries for a Scorpio Ascendant would be in the 6th house and thereby making the individual focus on service, Sun being the 10th house ruler of work, but he may not be wealthy. Even to conclusively make these judgements one has to look at the conjunctions and aspects of other planets and signs that the Sun receives.

The dasha system unique to the Vedic astrology system, shows the time period governed by different grahas and is used to time specific events. Apart from the main chart called the Rasi, there are 15 other divisional charts derived from the Rasi Chart that are recommended by Sage Parashara to be seen for marriage, children, career, wealth, devotion, internal strength and various other aspects.

There is also a king maker in the chart called the Atma Karaka or the soul significator, the graha with the highest degree. The Atma Karaka shows the purpose of the soul in this birth and the chart has to be thoroughly examined from this point separately.

There are a lot more things to be considered and the explanation given above is not exhaustive, however a knowledgeable Vedic astrologer with the blessings of his Guru and reasonable experience is able to have multi-dimensional view to arrive at an appropriate judgement quickly.

9 Grahas (Planets)

Grahas Significations
Sun (Surya) Own self, father, influence, health, vigour, fortune, copper-red colour, eastern direction, shrine
Moon (Chandra) Mind, emotions, understanding, royal favour, mother, affluence, white colour, north
Mars (Mangal) Courage and strength, disease, guna, younger brother, lands, foes and paternal relations, blood-red colour, southern direction, fire place, kitchen
Mercury (Budha) Speech, relatives, discrimination, maternal uncle, friends, brownish green colour, northern direction, playground, garden
Jupiter ( Guru) Intelligence, knowledge, wealth, happiness, progeny, priest, advisor, yellow colour, north-east direction, treasury
Venus (Shukra) Wife, vehicles, ornaments, virility, pleasures and enjoyment, advisor, variegated, south eastern direction, bed-room, clubs and bars
Saturn (Shani) Longevity, livelihood, adversity, misery, elderly people, black colour, western direction, hillocks
Rahu Foreigner, outcaste, widower, abstract thinking, unlimited ambition, paternal grandfather, dark blue colour, south west corner, forests
Ketu Astrologer, maternal grandfather, widow, saints, flag, high-rise, small machines, smoky grey in colour, upward direction, ant hills


The 12 houses in a Vedic Chart

The 12 Rasis (Signs)

Rasis Ruler Description
Aries (Mesha) Mars Head, Hind rising, animal sign, bulky, royal, wanders in hills, abode is earth containing minerals, direction is east, night -strong, fire element, last drekkana is most intelligent, rajas guna, blood-red in colour
Taurus (Vrishabha) Venus/Moon Face, Hind rising, animal sign, abode is villages, cow-stations, and farms, direction is the south and belongs to business community, 2nd drekkana is fortunate, night strong, earth element, rajas guna and white in colour
Gemini (Mithuna) Mercury Arms, Head- rising, human, 2nd half is cultured and learned, abode is villages, gambling dens, pleasure houses, western direction, night strong, air element, parrot-green in colour
Cancer (Karka) Moon Heart area, Hind rising, bulky, group, abode is pond and moves in the forests, night strong, belongs to priestly class, sattva guna, water element, pale pink in colour
Leo (Simha) Sun Stomach area, Head rising, animal sign, bulky, 1st drekkana is powerful, resides in forests and deep mountain caves, eastern direction, belongs to warrior class, sattvika, day strong, pale in colour
Virgo ( Kanya) Mercury/Rahu Hip area, Head rising, human, medium build, harvest, grains, residing in hills, pasture lands, southern direction, day strong, business community, virgin, child-like, tamas guna and is of various colours
Libra (Tula) Venus Sexual Organs, Head rising, medium build, destructive, market place, resides in west, day strong, wanderer, rajas guna, servant caste, black in colour
Scorpio (Vrichika) Mars/Ketu Reproductive organs, Head rising, slender, multi-tasking, day strong, priestly class, resides in holes, west direction, amphibian, has a sharp sting especially in the 1st drekkana, hairy and reddish brown in colour
Sagittarius (Dhanu) Jupiter Thighs, Head rising, human in the first half and animal in the 2nd, even body, protects with weapons especially in the 1st six degrees, sattvika, night strong, fire element, warrior class, wanderer, resides in the east, barracks and stables, yellow in colour
Capricorn (Makara) Saturn Knees, Hind rising, animal in the 1st half and aquatic in the 2nd half, unwieldy huge body, inflexible, wanders in earth and forests, tamas guna, earth element, variegated in colour with blue hues.
Aquarius (Khumba) Saturn/Rahu Shanks, Head rising, medium sized human, strong in day resides in deep water, western direction, drugs and alcohol manufacture and consumption, belongs to servant caste, air element, tamas guna and brown in colour
Pisces (Meena) Jupiter/Ketu Feet, Head and hind rising, aquatic, medium sized, the 3rd drekkana is spiritual, northern direction, priestly class, sattva guna, healthy, day strong, water element