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Intelligence in Vedic Astrology

By Michael Laughrin (

Smart brainThere are two main planets that indicate intelligence in a Jyotish chart. The first is Mercury, which stands for cleverness, speech, mathematical and logical abilities and the intellect. Higher education is also indicated by Mercury, and this will be the topic of a future article. The other karaka (significator) for intelligence is the Moon, the general indicator of the mind.

The most important house that correlates with intelligence is the 5th house—the house of Purva Punya or past life credit. This past life credit can manifest as children, luck in investments or gambling, getting good mantras and/or initiations and INTELLIGENCE.

The other house that indicates intelligence, to some degree, is the 1st house—the house of the self. But the 5th house is, in my opinion, at least 2 to 3 times stronger than the 1st house as an indicator of native smarts.

Of course, the blessings of lord Jupiter also can indicate great intelligence. As a matter of fact, the sign Sagittarius (ruled by Jupiter) is considered to be among the most intelligent signs of the Zodiac.

As usual, the more connections there are among the planets and houses related to intelligence, the higher the IQ should be.

Here are some combinations for intelligence mentioned in the classic texts:

Brihat Jataka
*The Moon in the 5th house.
Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra
*The first house indicates the intellect, intelligence and the brain.
Garga Hora
*Moon, Jupiter and Venus in the 10th house—beautiful; very brave; endowed with sons and friends; has abundant wealth earned by his vast intelligence.
Jataka Parijata
*Birth in Ashwini nakshatra—the native has a great deal of intelligence.
*Moon in Pushya—possesses wealth and intelligence.
*If Jupiter is in exaltation, his own sign, or the 9th house, then the native becomes a lord of great beneficence equal in status to kings and admired for his conspicuous intelligence, energy and other great qualities.
Sanketa Nidhi
*The fifth house is the house of intelligence.
*Jupiter equals intelligence.
*When Jupiter aspects Mercury in Sagittarius or Pisces, the native will be rich by memory, intelligence and ancestors; furthermore, he is beautiful, noble and knowledgeable; he will be a king's minister or his treasurer; he is also a writer.
*Moon in the 9th house equals intelligence.
*Mercury in the 10th house indicates distinguished intelligence.
*If all the natural benefics are in benefic rashis in houses 2, 5, 8, and 11 while the natural malefics occupy dual signs, the native becomes a king, destroys all his enemies and is equal to Jupiter in intelligence.
*In a favorable Moon dasha, the native achieves success in undertakings out of his intelligence.
*Favorable Mercury dasha equals high intelligence.
*If the ascending degree is in the first half of Cancer, the native has eminence and intelligence.
Sarvartha Chintamani
*Intelligence is indicated by the 5th house, Mercury and the lord of the 5th house.
*If Mercury has full strength, and the 5th lord is aspected by a benefic and the 5th house is occupied by a benefic, the native possesses a keen intellect.
*If the lord of the navamsha occupied by the 5th lord is in a Kendra or trine and is aspected by the 5th lord, the native possesses keen intelligence.
*If the 5th lord is a benefic and is conjunct a benefic or in the sign of a benefic, then the native becomes a man of intelligence and wise.

In Chart J5, we see a woman with an IQ above 130 who consistently won academic awards and was noted for being the most intelligent graduate of her master's degree program. Why is this the case from the Jyotish point of view?

1. The house of intelligence (the 5th house) has one of the natural indicators of intelligence, the Moon, exalted in the 5th.
2. The lord of the 5th, Venus, is conjunct a natural benefic (Mercury) and is aspected by another benefic—Jupiter.
3. The main karaka of intelligence, Mercury, is conjunct Venus and is fully aspected by Jupiter.
4. All the natural benefics are in houses 2, 5, and 8 and all of the natural malefics (except Mars) are in dual signs.
5. The 1st lord aspects the 5th house.

Chart J6 shows a man who was a National Merit Scholar and who got three 800's on his College Boards. How come?

1. The 5th house of intelligence has two benefics in it.
2. The Moon aspects the 5th house.
3. The lord of the 1st house is in the 5th house.
4. The lord of the 1st (Venus) is conjunct the natural indicator of intelligence—Mercury.
5. The natural benefics are all in houses 2, 5 and 11.

Chart J7 is that of an 11-year-old girl who skipped a grade and was placed in honors classes at the same time.

1. The lord of the 5th (Jupiter) is in the 5th house.
2. The lord of the 5th is retrograde, adding strength to it.
3. The prime indicator of intelligence, Mercury, is in his own sign of Gemini in the 11th house.
4. The lord of the 1st house aspects the 5th house.
5. The lord of the 1st is conjunct the naturally brainy planet Mercury.
6. The lord of the 5th, Jupiter, aspects the 1st house, the 9th house and the lucky 11th house.
7. The 5th lord is a benefic and is in the sign of a benefic.
8. All of the natural benefics (the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter) are in angles, trines or the 11th house.

Chart J8 is that of a 17-year-old female who is valedictorian of her class, got almost a perfect score on her SAT's, and is an expert in classical singing and classical dance.

1. The lord of the ascendant, Venus, is conjunct the natural intelligence indicator, Mercury, in the 11th house of goals and desires.
2. The lord of the 1st and Mercury both aspect the 5th house of intelligence.
3. Jupiter, one of the main karakas of brains, is exalted in the 10th house of success.
4. Exalted Jupiter aspects the Moon, which is another karaka of intelligence.
5. The Moon has directional strength in the 4th house.
6. The lord of the 5th house, Saturn, aspects the 5th house.
7. Mercury is retrograde. That gives it a great deal of strength.

Summing up, if we look at Mercury, the 5th house and the lord of the 5th as primary indicators, we can usually spot a smart person a mile off. Secondarily, we can, if we choose, look at Jupiter, the Moon, and the 1st house. Thirdly, look at all the natural benefics and houses 2, 5, 8, and 11. It also helps if most of the natural benefics are in houses 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 or 11 and also if the natural malefics are in houses 3, 6, 8, 10, 11 or 12. I hope that this gives the reader some useful "rule of thumb" guides to quickly gauge intelligence in a Jyotish chart within 10 minutes or less. Also, please examine the Navamsha chart using the same rules.

(c) copyright 2007 Michael Laughrin.

From the October/November 2007 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter.

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