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The First House: Part I

By Michael Laughrin, 

First of all, as far as I am concerned, the first house and its ruler account for at least 50% of the "juice" of a Jyotish chart.  In other words, the first house is as important as all the other 11 houses put together.

Why does the first house get so much attention? Well, let us examine it more carefully.  The first house rules the body, mind, personality, self-confidence, and general chances of name and fame.

Here are some common astrological issues:

  1. Health is ruled primarily by the first house and not by the 6th house (Western astrologers, in particular, have this difficulty).  The 6th house rules sickness. 
  2. Everyone thinks that career is ruled by the 10th house.  Well, all angles -- houses 1, 4, 7 and 10 stand for action (Lord Vishnu) and the most important of the angles is, you guessed it, house Number 1.  Therefore, career can also be determined by the planets in the first house and/or the lord of the first house (especially if it is strong) or planets aspecting the first house if they are strong. 
  3. Marriage is ruled by the 7th house and Venus but the tendency to get married and how one acts while married is ruled, at least according to me, primarily by the first house. 
  4. No matter how weak the first house or its ruler is, the first house is YOU.  The first house shows your personal style -- how you dress, how you walk, talk, carry yourself and act.  Embrace it.  Enjoy it.
  5. When the dasha running in your chart is the dasha of the lord of the 1st, that is the time for Yourself 
    1. Dasha of the 7th house - one tends to be dominated by the spouse, or fame, or the concerns of others
    2. Dasha of the 5th house - dominated by children or creativity or mantras
    3. Dasha of the 9th house - dominated by the guru or one's teachers, one's father or one's religious preceptors
    4. Dasha of the 11th house - one is dominated by concerns for friends, social groups or the strong desire for money.
  6. One may have all kinds of glorious yogas in one's chart, but if the first house is not strong, those combinations for power or wealth or fame will not much manifest.

I mentioned several times in the paragraphs above, "if the first house is strong."  How do we decide if the first house is strong or not?

Here are some possible signs of a strong first house:

  1. Lagna lord in the lagna.
  2. Lagna lord in a friendly sign.
  3. Lagna lord in house 4, 5, 7, 9 or 10 (usually indicates great strength).
  4. Lagna lord in house 2 or 11 indicates moderate strength.
  5. Lagna lord is vargottama.
  6. The exact ascendant degree is vargottama.
  7. Natural benefics (one or more) are in the first house. The natural benefics are the Moon (but it must be at least 60 degrees away from the Sun), Mercury, Venus and Jupiter.
  8. Natural benefics aspect the first house.  
  9. The lord of the 1st is conjunct one or more natural benefics.
  10. The lord of the 1st is aspected by one or more natural benefics.
  11. Subhakartari Yoga means "hemmed in by benefics." In other words, if there are natural benefics in the 12th  house and the 2nd house, that is a great sign of strength for the 1st house.
  12. The closer the rising degree is to the exact middle of the rising sign (15 degrees is the best degree), the stronger the 1st house is.

Conversely, here are some signs of weakness for the first house:

  1. The rising degree is sandhi (either 29 degrees, 0 degrees or 1 degree of a sign).
  2. The lagna lord is combust.  Narendra Desai, one of my Jyotish gurus, did not much worry about combustion unless the planet and the Sun were also in the same Navamsha - in other words, the two planets have to be 3 and 1/3 degrees apart or less.
  3. The lagna lord is sandhi.
  4. The lagna lord is in house 6, 8, or 12.  
  5. The lagna lord is conjunct 1 or more natural malefics (Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu).
  6. The lagna lord is aspected by one or more natural malefics.
  7. Natural malefics (one or more) are in the first house.
  8. Natural malefics aspect the first house.
  9. Papakartari Yoga is when the first house is '"hemmed in by malefics."' in other words, the 12th house and the 2nd house each has a natural malefic in it.  
Confused?  Just add up the strong qualities of the first house, then subtract the weak qualities and see what sort of number you get.

I sometimes think that you could do a pretty good Jyotish reading simply by a deep, thorough analysis of the first house (and maybe the Sun and the Moon, if you have extra time).

My conclusion?  Know the first house and you will know the chart (and the person).

(c) copyright 2009 Michael Laughrin.

From the December 2009 / January 2010 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter. )

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