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According to Vedic philosophy, the soul evolves through the twelve houses of the zodiac from birth—the first house—, to death—the twelfth house. The original Hindi names for the houses reflect the meaning associated with each house. Although the houses represent the sequence of life’s events through infancy, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, old age, and the end of life, we carry with us the totality of the activity of our lives simultaneous to each individual event. For example, although we may be a teenager focusing on the energy of the fifth house (education), we can, through the power of our mind—in memory and imagination—experience events of the past such as birthdays, funerals and days special to us. We can even have conversations with people dear to us who have died. We can also place ourselves in events of the future such as our graduation, marriage, even death. Therefore, we travel simultaneously through all the houses of the zodiac even though one may be of particular importance at any given moment of our lives.
Our birth chart is based on the 360-degree celestial sphere that consists of twelve zodiac constellations. It contains twelve houses of 30 degrees each that signify important aspects of our life. Although there are many graphic representations of the twelve houses of our birth chart, we are using the Equal House System favored in North India. It consists of a square divided into twelve segments, each representing one house.