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Jyotish 101

By Michael Laughrin,

To me, astrology is, essentially, wonderfully simple. For beginners: forget the yogas, the exceptions, the different dasha systems. It all boils down to several simple rules:

  1. The good houses are 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 11. If the ruler of a good house falls in any good house, that house brings good results. For example, if the ruler of the 1st house (the house of the self) falls in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 9th, 10th or 11th houses, the health and self-confidence of the native will tend to be good -- all other things being equal.
  2. If the ruler of a "bad" (3, 6, 8 or 12) house falls in a "bad" house, the results will be good.
  3. Natural benefics (the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter) in a house bless that house.
  4. Natural malefics (Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu) in a house hurt that house.
  5. Pay attention the significator of the issue being studied. For example, Jupiter stands for children. Jupiter being strong in the chart will significantly increase the chances of having children and deriving happiness from children.
  6. Functional benefics (the rulers of houses 1, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 10) placed in a house help the affairs of that house (even if that functional benefic is a natural malefic). For example, Saturn in the 11th house in a Taurus Ascendant chart helps the finances and career prospects more than it hurts them because Saturn rules the 9th and the 10th houses for Taurus Lagna. That Saturn does more good than harm.
  7. Functional malefics tend to hurt the house they are placed in even if they are natural benefics.
To judge the strength of a house in the simplest way:
  1. Is the ruler of the house strong? If yes, that covers 40% of the story.
  2. Look at the planets in the house (or aspecting the house). If they are benefic, either natural or functional, that will tend to lift up the affairs of that house. Another 40% accounted for.
  3. Finally, look at the significator of the house in question. For example: marriage. First, look at the ruler of the 7th house. Next, look at the planets in the 7th house (or aspecting the 7th house). Last, but not least, how is Venus doing? If the ruler is well placed, perhaps in the 9th house, and we have the Moon in the 7th house, and Venus is in its own sign in the 5th house, we can confidently predict early marriage, happy marriage, fulfilling marriage.
If you stick to these few simple rules, AND REALLY MASTER THEM, you will be able to amaze people with your astuteness and accuracy. However, there is a price for everything. First, you must memorize which planet owns each sign and where each planet is exalted and debilitated. Second, you must know the simple meaning of each house. Third, you must know the most important things ruled by each planet.

AND, MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, FORGET ALL THAT FANCY STUFF YOU'VE BEEN FILLING YOUR HEAD WITH AND STICK TO THE BASICS! Please note that this only applies to the beginning stages of Jyotish. It's kind of like music: practice the scales and arpeggios and the rest will tend to take care of itself.

(c) copyright 2007 Michael Laughrin.

(This article was published in the February/March 2007 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter. )

Other articles on Jyotish:
5-11 Axis in Jyotish
Astrological Notes on Professions
How to Get the Most From Your Jyotish Reading
Jupiter Combined with One Other Planet
Introduction to the Layered Approach to Chart Interpretation
Mantras for the Planets and More
Navamsha Chart, The
"Same Planet" Jyotish Chart Comparison Method
Tasty Jyotish Tidbits
The Moon
Weather Prediction and Vedic Astrology

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