Three Fundamental Aspects of Astrology
Three basic features of Vedic astrology are planets, signs, and houses. Planets indicate a specific energy, for example one attribute of Mercury, the little finger, represents communication. They are the “what” of the three. Signs show “how” the energy of each planet will be expressed. For example the hot Sun finds its expression through Aries, a fire sign, an excellent conduit to direct this brilliant, intense heat. With this placement in the chart, we channel effectively the vibrant energy of this powerful force. All characteristics of the Sun: integrity, personal magnetism, and competence, to name a few, flow through us. Needless to say our intensity and focus can “make the impossible possible.” Houses indicate the 12 different departments of life and “where” the energy of each planet will be channeled – keeping in mind to what extent the quality of that planet’s nature is being expressed. In our earlier example, the Sun in Aries, if on the ascendant, indicates a strong sense of self and one who is openly expressive. In contrast, the same Aries Sun, yet in the 12th house, may indicate someone who uses their intensity in ways not obvious to others; for example, they may prefer to work more in the background, rather than being in the limelight.
Though these three factors are inherent to the study of astrology, they are mentioned here as introductory concepts to better understand the main thrust of this article, that is to explore what life issues we have been drawn to address in the present, and ones that can have a powerful influence, impacting our entire life perspective.
Accordingly, the ascendant sign, the ruling planet of that sign, and the placement of that planet in one of the 12 houses, points to these areas of life that we are instinctively (karmically) drawn to and can feel compelled to experience.
The Ascendant and its Ruling Planet
Lastly, a word regarding the ascendant and its ruling planet. Visualize the Earth as a ball in the center of a much larger ring comprising the constellations, of which an integral part are the 12 signs of the zodiac. If we were to look beyond the eastern horizon and far out into space at the exact time of our birth, the zodiac sign “ascending” at that time would be assigned to the ascendant or first house of the chart.
Moreover, each of the 12 signs has a ruling planet that corresponds to the energy associated with it – for example, the Sun in Leo in the description above. However, not all individuals with a Leo ascendant have their Sun in Leo. For instance, a Leo ascendant with the Sun in Virgo moves the Sun into the second house; therefore, the ruler of the 1st is in the 2nd house.
The Lord of the Ascendant (1st house) in the 1st House
Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, is associated with the first house, the ascendant, or rising sign. Aries is ruled by Mars, a dynamic, outgoing, and fiery planet. Consequently, one with this placement may exhibit these qualities, specifically expressed through the persona, as the first house is strongly identified with the self and the body; you may feel strongly motivated to project your personality, and self-image in ways that you can be known for who you are as a unique individual, as well as for your personal standpoint.
The lord of the 1st house being in the 1st house – for example, a Leo ascendant with its ruling planet Sun sitting in its own home in the ascendant, rather than being placed in any other house, is powerful in itself. You are openly expressive, and have a magnanimous nature that can be charming, charismatic, yet can also be intimidating to others blinded by your brilliant light. This marriage of planet and sign, then, lends even greater force to one’s self-expression as well as to one’s front and center visibility as a result of this placement. It is necessary, however, to see what is the ascending sign and its ruling planet, as this will have a markedly different flavor towards influencing the manner of your self-expression.
The Lord of the Ascendant (1st house) in the 2nd House
The 2nd house is associated with finance, assets, and as such the immediate family that we were born into, whether that was one of rags, riches, or somewhere in between. The ruler of the ascendant placed in the 2nd house shows that we can focus our attention towards attaining materialistic goals. In that we all need to take care of our needs, we must take care that we do not overemphasize the acquisition of “things” that, as a result of our consumer society, become more wants than needs. Traditionally this house is a “marak” house, which translates as killer. As our true nature is to attain a spiritual connection with our soul, focusing on more mundane worldly affairs can simply detour us away from this quest. In this respect, the 2nd house is deemed “marak”. How we use our assets and personal resources, whether for personal gain and security or to be used, recognizing that we have the free will, privilege and awareness to support others for some higher, nobler purpose will be seen in part through this house.
As this is also the house of speech and communication, you may discover that you have a desire to write and/or teach. Be careful the power of words, making certain that what you relay to others is always said with humility and based on the truth.
The Lord of the Ascendant (1st house) in the 3rd House
The lord of the ascendant sitting in the 3rd house of courage, yet also of “putting the nose to the grindstone”, shows that we have come into life to face it head on. Perhaps in a previous life we did not put a 100% effort into accomplishing our goals, and so have come back into this one to persist and persevere with our present life goals. This house is also associated with the hands. Accordingly, artists, musicians and those who use their hands in various other creative ways often have a strong 3rd house. Regardless your profession, keep in mind that expectancy without expectation would be a good formula for living a happy, productive life. And as the 9th house of good fortune is directly opposite the 3rd, the labor that you put in with all your heart and good intentions will simply manifest as 9th house blessings and godsends that can come your way.
The Lord of the Ascendant (1st house) in the 4th House
The lord of the ascendant in the 4th house indicates issues around home, stability, roots and happiness. At all costs we seek to find the stability in life that perhaps we were not able to accomplish in the past. Your mom can be a great influence in your life, yet depending on the strength of this house – planet/s located here as well as planets aspecting this house from other areas of the chart will determine, for example, if this influence will be helpful or not; your mom may be your best friend, or maybe you left home very young as a result of maternal conflict.
The Moon, which is the indicator of mom as well as our emotional stability, is traditionally well-placed in this house. How we interpret the enormous amounts of stimulus received daily through the senses is determined by the quality of our Moon by sign and house placement. We cannot underestimate the powerful influence that the Moon has on our thinking and our behavior. Consequently, whether your Moon is in the 4th house or not, it is important that you control your emotions by elevating them into devotion. In this way, regardless the circumstance you find yourself, objectivity, clarity, and love will be the guiding force behind your feelings, thoughts and actions.
The Lord of the Ascendant (1st house) in the 5th House
The lord of the ascendant in the 5th house shows that you are mentally active; your mind, intellect, and creativity are your main channels for self-expression. Education and academic studies may be a source of inspiration for you. Away from the classroom environment, you pursue your student identity; you can be a perpetual student in that every day is another opportunity to learn something new. Your mind is awakened to many ideas, concepts, and theories keeping you adaptable, open and “young in mind”. Whether a poem, a treatise, or a child (the 5th house is also the house of children) everything that issues from you is a creative expression of your soul. As such, the 5th house also relates to mantra, the vibration of higher consciousness. The planet/s in the 5th house and/or the ruler of this house will determine, then, to what extent we are functioning on a mundane worldly level or if we are resonating more on a higher level of awareness. As such, the 5th house will indicate if we are using our mind according to “buddhi”, discriminative intelligence, or “manas” translated as the mind, guided in limited fashion by the ego.
The Lord of the Ascendant (1st house) in the 6th House
The lord of the ascendant placed in the 6th house shows that you have come into this life to face its challenges, become powerful, and to resist any negativity that life throws at you. The 6th is traditionally called the house of health and resistance, yet it is also the house of strength. On a material worldly level, many athletes have a strong 6th house, as they have had to develop strength and persistence to challenge and win over their competitors. On a spiritual level, the strength gained in the 6th house enables you to conquer any opposition. Often, however, the opposition is the interior battle between ego and spirit. To win the battle of life, you need to resist what is bad and not to resist what is good. To paraphrase the words of a great saint, we need to “do the right thing at the right time for the right success”. In another quote, he has said “Truth always wins in the end”. With these phrases in mind and put into action, virtue rules and we become happier and closer to spirit, our true heritage.