In the Vedic system, the signs of 30 degrees each are used as each of the 12 Houses.
The complete sign of the Ascendant is used as the 1st House, so if one has 13 degrees 20 minutes of Leo rising, then the whole sign of Leo is the 1st House, the complete sign of Virgo constitutes the 2nd House and so on.
The Angular Houses:
House 1 is you, House 4 is your home, House 7 is your spouse, and House 10 is your career. These houses correspond to the Physical Plane. When several planets tenant these houses in a horoscope, the native is more concerned with physical reality and manifesting things there. They are the houses of power, giving or not giving the native the power to manifest things in the physical world. They correspond to the Moveable Signs of the Zodiac, i.e., Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.
Since moveable signs’ energetic manifestation is centrifugal (moving away from a concentrated center), the angular houses which correspond to them are also centrifugal and are best described as creative, initiating, manifesting, building.
These houses create the foundation of your life. When these houses are strong, the chart holds power and distinction. When tenanted by malefics, the chart is still very strong and the person will be powerful, but only after he or she has worked very hard for it and “paid their dues” so to speak. Malefics in angles make a person ruthless because of the lack of natural luck in getting what they want. Benefics in angular houses will give immense success and the person will be of virtuous character and have a more jovial disposition. If natal planets occupy angular houses AND moveable signs, for example: Sun in First house AND in Aries, then the person will be extraordinarily outgoing and aggressive, but will lack in introspection. This is because the principle of manifestation is applying in both instances, i.e., the house and the sign.
House 1 – House of the Self
This is the house of your body and general character traits. It is also referred to as the Ascendant or “Lagna” in Sanskrit. It is roughly equivalent to the Western Sun Sign. The Moon sign and Moon nakshatra is also very important in Vedic Astrology and will be explained elsewhere on this site. You perceive and transmute energy through the lens of the Ascendant. It is who you are on a primordial level. It is who you are generally. When well aspected it can give fame, beauty, popularity, good health and the ability to make a good first impression. When afflicted, it can do the opposite.
The planet ruling the 1st house becomes a symbol for you in the chart. It is referred to as the “Ascendant Lord”. Its sign, house placement, and planets aspecting it, have a lot to do with your characteristics and the major karmas affecting you throughout life.
House 4 – House of the Home/Mother
The fourth house is watery, a house of moksha or enlightenment. The 4th is an angular house so planets here will manifest physically and give power to the chart. It symbolizes among other things, the endings of life, or old age. It also symbolizes the inner life of a person.
The fourth house is the point in the sky directly below the earth or “out of sight” at the time of the native’s birth. Therefore, it symbolizes things that are literally below the native, i.e., real estate, one’s home, fixed assets. Also, any type of conveyances, such as cars, planes, boats, or bicycles. It is an angular house so signifies foundations of one’s life.
Representing the mother, the first person to contact the native and build a relationship with him, the 4th house symbolizes general happiness and well-being, upon which the native builds his general attitude to life.
It also rules academic degrees and afflictions can prevent such. Body parts ruled are chest and breasts.
House 7 – The House of the Spouse
The 7th house in a kama house or house of desire. It is also an angular house corresponding to physical manifestation.
The 7th house, being an angular house, will give power to any planets posited within. Since planets posited here will aspect the Ascendant, the person will draw the from characteristics of that planet.
Ruling the wife/husband, look to the 7th house for clues as to the spouse’s character and appearance. As well as if the quality of the marriage and also divorce. While delineating these things, one must be careful to note the 5th house (love from spouse), the 2nd house (family life) for overall married life interpretation. Sexual passion is seen from this house.
The lord of the 7th house represents the wife, along with Venus, in a man’s chart. It will show the type of wife he will get and her general character. For a woman, along with the 7th house, Jupiter represents the husband.
7th house also denotes residence in foreign countries. For millennia in India, this was considered a terrible fate, so malefics here, especially Saturn, will make the person set up household far away from his native land. He or she will gain distinction in foreign countries.
House 10 – House of the Career
The 10th house is the strongest angular house. Planets placed here gain tremendous strength and are highly significant for a person’s character and life, overpowering even the Ascendant. The 10th, being an angular house, any planets placed here will manifest in physical reality.
Look to this house for career success and fame. The 10th house is the midheaven, or the point in the sky directly above the earth at one’s birth. Because of this, actions and phenomena associated with this house are highly visible.
The Succedent Houses:
House 2 is wealth, family life, childhood, food & drink, speech, environment; House 5 is children, love affairs, quality of love from spouse, investments, gambling, sports, creations such as paintings, books, sculptures, spiritual practices such as mantra, tantra, yoga; House 8 is manner of death, 1st spouse’s income, mysticism, astrology, occult knowledge (knowledge of hidden things), longevity, sexual attractiveness, venereal diseases, wills, insurance claims, surgery; House 11 is friends, income, titles, and a slightly malefic house because it is the 6th from the 6th and 12th from the 12th.
Succedent houses are, among other things, “gains” of the Angular Houses. The 2nd house is earnings from yourself, like your income and quality of home life, the 5th house are the gains of your home life, i.e. children, quality of love from spouse and other creations one would do at home. The 8th House is gains from your spouse i.e. the spouse’s income. The 11th House denotes “gains” from your career such as friends and large sums of money.
House 2 – House of Wealth
The 2nd House denotes the quality of family life. Afflictions to such can cause an unhappy childhood. In delineating married life, it is important to note the condition of the 2nd House along with the 7th and the 5th. Body parts represented by this House are the face and teeth. Afflictions to the 2nd can cause dental problems or give facial scars. Since the 2nd rules speech, malefics in the 2nd will cause a person to be overly argumentative and want to constantly bicker. I have seen this through personal experience. I knew someone with a debilitated Mars and Rahu in the 2nd (both extreme malefics and one of them debilitated!) and he had incredible problems with his teeth. A few of them rotted out, due to his 2 pack of cigarettes a day habit (2nd house rules food, drinks, and drugs; again, anything that “feeds” a person, gives them pleasure).
The 2nd rules writing ability and teaching. An overwhelmingly well-disposed 2nd House will create a famous writer. Personally, I have seen that an active 2nd House will predispose the Native towards constant reading and learning. Many people with active 2nd Houses work in book stores or love to read on the Internet.
The quality of what a person eats and drinks can be seen here. Also, foul language and the tendency to lie is seen from this house.
House 5 – The House of Children
The 5th House rules children, but also rules “creations” of any kind, such as paintings, drawings, sculptures, films, novels, etc. A well fortified 5th House will bring many of these things whether they be children or some other type of creation. Afflictions to the 5th, especially Mars afflictions, can bring abortions or miscarriages.
A person’s past life karma is seen from this House. If one does not believe in “past lives”, then you can say that a person’s inevitable life choices can be seen here. This manifests as unavoidable actions in the area of life where the 5th Lord is located. For example, if the 5th Lord is in the 3rd House, then the person has unavoidable karma linked to the arts and/or short distance travel (inner-city travel), sales, younger siblings, and/or manual dexterity. The 5th House Lord posited in the 4th House will bring inevitable Karma with one’s Mother, real estate, conveyances, and the inner life of the person.
The 5th House rules sports, speculation and gambling. It also rules intelligence. A well posited Mars in the 5th can create an athlete. Jupiter well fortified in the 5th can make someone brilliant or interested in religious techniques such as chanting mantras or pranayama.
House 8 – The House of Death
This is the traditional explanation of this House but can be misleading because the 8th is also a House of Life. The 8th House is considered when delineating a person’s longevity. The manner of death can be seen from this House. The 8th House rules the occult sciences, such as Astrology, Mediumship and Psychic practices. Occultism is literally “hidden knowledge”. Sometimes an active 8th House will put a person in touch with alternative realities, I have often seen them have contact with ghosts. This usually manifests when there is a malefic influence on the 8th.
The 8th House is also the House of sexual attractiveness. Strong 8th Houses give the person “sex symbol” status.
Chronic illnesses and accidents are seen from this house. An 8th House blessed by benefic planetary occupation or aspects will give the Native protection from serious injury. Venus in the 8th, in a man’s chart is problematic and usually indicates divorce. Because the 8th House is also a house of destruction, planets posited there can be seriously harmed as well as their significations.
House 11 – The House of Large Sums, Gains and Friends
The 11th House signifies gains from side ventures and large sums of money. When one enters a period of the 11th House Lord, or Jupiter or Saturn transit through the 11th House, that time is distinguished by financial gains or losses from other sources besides one’s daily job. It also signifies an increase or decrease in the social life.
The 11th House also rules the eldest sibling. Afflictions to such will give either a strained relationship with them or a hard life for the sibling.
The Cadent Houses:
The Cadent Houses are House 3, the House of younger siblings, performing arts, short distance and inner-city travels, manual dexterity; House 6, the House of enemies, co-workers, subordinates, general health, medicine, service jobs, restaurants and caterers; House 9, the House of spiritual teachers, higher knowledge (knowledge of the future), foreign and long distance travel, good luck, 2nd marriage, foreigners; House 12, the House of Enlightenment, sexual pleasure, hospitals, jails, far-away, remote lands.
House 3 – The House of the Siblings
The 3rd House rules the performing arts and artists in general. The product of the artist such as paintings, films, songs, etc., is ruled by the 5th House. The quality of the relationship or the quality of life for the siblings can be seen here. Short distance travel and inner-city travel are ruled by the 3rd House. The 3rd House rules salesmen, public relations, retail. It also rules arms, shoulders and hands. As a natural consequence, manual dexterity such as carpentry and mechanics is seen from this house.
Curiosity and courage are attributes of a well-disposed 3rd House. A person who has affliction to the Third is fearful and often has more than one phobia.
House 6 – The House of Enemies
“Enemies” is a rather strong word to describe the 6th. Think of enemies as anyone who can benefit from a situation more than you can. Co-workers and people with whom you are taking a test can be thought of as “enemies” in this sense. People with a well-fortified 6th House usually make great test-takers. Benefics in the 6th House make a person very well liked so that they have no enemies. Malefic planets (Mars, the Sun, Saturn, Rahu & Ketu) are welcome in the 6th and give the person the power to defeat his or her enemies.
General health is ruled by the 6th, so benefics here will give excellent health but poor digestion. The 6th rules digestion and a malefic in the sixth (a house where malefics are welcomed) will give power to the digestive system.
Some astrologers say that the 3rd House rules secretaries, but I have found from experience that the 6th House holds that distinction. It rules all detail work and subordinate positions.
House 9 – The House of Fortune
The 9th House is the most auspicious House of the 12 Houses. It provides good luck in life, higher knowledge, spirituality, and a spiritual teacher. Differing from the 5th House which is the House of Mantras and Spiritual Techniques, the 9th House provides the person with a spiritual teacher and the interest in and blessing of spirituality. The 9th House rules knowledge of the future which is considered higher knowledge.
A healthy dose of Luck is seen from this House. If the 9th is afflicted, problems are not easily solved. Ruling foreigners and long-distance and foreign travel, if the 9th is afflicted, the Native has problems in these areas, such as losing luggage at the airport, problems with his/her passport, negative experiences in foreign countries, etc., etc. If the 9th is well disposed, the opposite is the case.
The father is seen from this House. Some astrologers deem the 10th House as the House of the Father, but this has not been my experience.
House 12 – The House of Enlightenment
A horoscope in which the 12th House figures prominently, gives the native a disinterest in worldly pursuits and an interest in Enlightenment. Monks, nuns, yogis, saddhus and ascetics are ruled by the 12th House. If the 12th House energy does not manifest in this way, then there is a great deal of sexual pleasure experienced by the Native.
Captivity and seclusion are 12th House matters. Hospitals, jails and monasteries are 12th House places. When the native has severe 12th House detriment, the person is often in and out of jail.
The 12th also rules far away, distant lands like Bangladesh, Nepal or Java, not foreign countries like Britain or France. Spiritual seekers often go to these distant lands to seek out a guru. Far-away lands can also be thought of as the Alaskan tundra or Antarctica.