From Lesson #5: The Essential Meaning of the Houses (Bhavas)
By Vaughn Paul Manley, 2004.
All Rights Reserved.
The Houses – The Twelve Locations in the Sky
A house is a place of residence. In astrology, the houses, also called the “Bhavas” in Sanskrit, are the locations in the sky where the planets reside. The sky is divided into 12 houses consisting of 30 degrees each, that encircle the earth: 30 degrees x 12 houses = 360 degrees. In the Vedic system each house is equivalent to one sign.
The 1st house is located at the Eastern horizon and the rest of the twelve houses follow counter clockwise as shown. The 1st house is also called the “Ascendant” or “Rising Sign” because just as the Sun ascends or rises on the eastern horizon so do all the planets and signs as they follow their path in the sky along the zodiac belt. Each house represents a different domain of activity in our lives. A planets’ placement in a house will therefore energize that house with the qualities of that planet.
The Powerful Angles (Kendras)
The Angular houses, also called the “Kendras” in Sanskrit, are the houses 1, 4, 7, 10 in the chart. They take up the prominent regions in the sky – the eastern and western horizons, overhead, and down below. If you understand these 4 houses then it will be much easier to understand the other 8 houses.
The first principle that will help you to understand the Angular houses is that they are the four “Pillars” of the chart. They give strength, protection, and power, for better or for worse, depending on whether there are benefic or malefic planets located there. If a chart has natural benefic planets in the Angular houses, like Jupiter or Venus, then it will give overall protection to the chart.
This alone will help to minimize the negative effects that may be indicated in the chart, while maximizing the positive effects. The person will generally be protected against ill health, have positive character traits, progress well in his or her lives, be influential etc.
If there are malefics on angles then the person will generally experience ill health, have negative character traits, misuse his or her power by dominating others, thereby provoking conflict and opposition.
How can the power of Angular houses be explained?
First of all, the 1st house represents “The Self” or “You” in your natal chart. From the 1st house, the 4th house and the 10th house form 90-degree angles and are squared to “You.” [These] represent power in relation to “You.” That power can either be used to protect or harm.
The 7th house also becomes powerful in relation to the 1st house or “the self” because it’s exactly 180 degrees in opposition. Think of two magnets held exactly opposite one another. They are either attracted or repelled when they are in exact alignment. This forms a very powerful polarity of opposites.
Consider also how the angular houses form a cross, which is a universal symbol of protection and power that pre-dates Christianity. The diagram [to the right] resembles a Maltese cross, used by the military order of the Knights of Malta. This further illustrates the concept that the Angular houses are places of power and protection.
The North Indian chart style displays the Angular houses clearly with large squares in the center of the chart as shown in the diagram below.
Two Sets of Polarities
The Angular houses represent two sets of polarities:
1st house “The Self” – 7th house “The Other”
10th house “Outer Public Life” – 4th house “Inner Private Life”
We can learn a lot about the Angular houses and their polarities by considering the movement of the Sun throughout the day. Here are some descriptions of the Angular houses and their polarities based on this concept:
1st house: When the Sun enters the 1st house at sunrise it’s the beginning of the day. We generally take personal time and attend to our physical body needs. The 1st house therefore represents the beginning of life for “The Self,” our physical bodies, appearance, and character traits. It sets the tone for our entire lifetime.
7th house: When the Sun enters the 7th houses at sunset it represents a social or romantic time with “The Other.” Watching a sunset is generally considered a time to be with friends or your romantic partner. The 7th house is therefore a social house that represents relationships and particularly intimate relationships and marriage.
10th house: When the Sun enters the 10th house it is directly overhead at midday. It’s a time when most people are in full swing with their active lives. The 10th house therefore represents our “Outer Public Life,” and is an active, career oriented house.
4th house: When the Sun enters the 4th house it is below the horizon at midnight and represents our “Inner Private Life.” It’s generally the time when we’re the least active and the most internal. Most people are at home sleeping or doing quiet activities that connect them to their thoughts or feelings. The 4th house therefore represents our home, domestic life, mother, the mind (not intellect) and emotions.
The Four Quadrants
The four Angular houses generally represent four quadrants, with each quadrant consisting of three houses.
– The “Self” quadrant, or rising hemisphere, consists of the 12th, 1st, and 2nd houses.
– The “Other” quadrant, or setting hemisphere, consists of the 6th, 7th, and 8th houses.
– The “Outer Public Life” quadrant, or upper hemisphere, consists of the 9th, 10th, and 11th houses.
– Lastly the “Inner Private Life” quadrant, or lower hemisphere, consists of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th houses.
When first analyzing a chart it is helpful to look for clusters of planets in the quadrants. Since the locations of the planets represent “focalized” energy, this first glance method allows us to quickly see in what quadrant a person is likely to be focused. This will immediately tell us something about the person.
Here are descriptions of the four quadrants:
The “Self” Quadrant (12, 1, 2) – When there are clusters of planets in the “self” quadrant these planets were rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth. This quadrant represents the dawn of personal inspiration, new beginnings, initiating new directions. The person will tend to be self-focused, driven, independent, and self-motivated. He or she may also tend to be selfish and self-centered.
The “Other” Quadrant (6, 7, 8) – If there are clusters of planets in the “Other” quadrant these planets were setting in the western horizon at the time of birth. This quadrant represents the end of day, when our work is finished, and we are able to be social. The person will tend to be focused on others, sociable, and relationship-oriented. He or she may also tend to lack personal motivation, and be needy or “co-dependent” in their relationships.
The “Outer Public Life” Quadrant (9, 10, 11) – If there are clusters of planets in the “Outer Public Life” quadrant these planets were visible overhead at the time of birth. This quadrant represents midday when we are the most active, and focused on our public, professional lives. The person will tend to be career driven, active, influential, and extroverted. He or she may also tend to be workaholic, overly active and ambitious.
The “Inner Private Life” Quadrant (3, 4, 5) – If there are clusters of planets in the “Inner Private Life” quadrant these planets were not visible at the time of birth. This quadrant represents midnight when we are the most inactive, and focused on our private, domestic lives. The person will tend to be domestically oriented, private, quiet, emotionally sensitive, and reflective. He or she may also tend to lack career motivation, be inactive, and moody.
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