The essential meaning of the houses is explored in terms of the link to the signs and their planetary lords. The interpretation of the houses is based on the important writings of vedic astrologer and author, V. K. Choudhry, who has pioneered the Systems‘ Approach, a simple but scientific approach to horoscopic astrology based on the fundamentals of vedic astrology.
Whole-sign house system
Importantly, in the original horoscopic astrology the houses are considered to be equivalent to one whole sign. While the whole-sign house system appeared in ancient Greece, later developments in Western astrology changed this original scheme to dissimilar sized houses beginning and ending at odd places in the zodiac. In the Systems‘ Approach, the whole-sign house system is used. The origin of house meanings is likely linked to each sign in terms of the ordering seen in the Aries rising horoscope shown here. Importantly, as the rising sign changes, the meaning of each house remains unchanged.
The signs and their lords
In the Systems' Approach, the planet ruling a Moolatrikona (MT) sign becomes a functional ruler of the house that its MT sign falls into. In addition to its general nature, the planet carries with it, more importantly, a functional nature of the particular house its MT sign falls in. The other sign a planet may 'own' (excluding the Sun and Moon) becomes less important for the overall horoscopic interpretation. That said, whatever house a planet resides in, its functional and general indications get expressed in that area of the life. The dynamic changes for each ascendant. Those with the sign Aries rising are expected to approach life differently than those with say the sign Virgo rising. Mars becomes 1st lord for Aries while Mercury becomes 1st lord for Virgo. Hence, people with the sign Aries rising in their horoscope tend to be more action-oriented than those with Virgo rising, who tend to be more analytical.
Auspicious and malefic houses
The first, second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth, tenth and eleventh houses are auspicious, while the sixth, eighth and twelfth houses are malefic. This means that the planets ruling MT signs falling in one of the auspicious houses becomes a functional benefic and its indications can be read from its natal condition. Meanwhile, a planet owning a malefic house takes on the energy of it and becomes a functional malefic. Additionally, the Moon‘s nodes, Rahu and Ketu, become functional malefic planets for all ascendants. Further, Mercury becomes sixth lord for Aries ascendants, as the sign Virgo falls into the sixth house. By the same token, Mars becomes eighth lord for Virgo's as the sign Aries falls in the eighth house. In short, the planets take on a different functional meaning for each ascendant, depending on the house where their MT sign is located. There are many more considerations for a horoscopic reading based on SA vedic astrology, but this gives some sense of the logic.
Polarity of the houses
The nature of each houses is explained very thoroughly by author and astrologer V.K. Choudhry. Here, however, the focus is on the logic of opposites in astrology, as a means to help the reader understand more easily the meaning of each house.
First and seventh houses
The first house represents
“the person, his innate nature and state of health, vitality, longevity, happiness, personality, appearance, prosperity, general disposition in life, reputation and status, desires and their fulfillment.“The seventh house, by comparison, represents
“long term relationships, legal ties, spouse, partners in life and partners in business, vitality, potency, fertility, passion, outgoing nature, adultery, moral conduct, pleasures, comforts and life in foreign lands, success in love affairs, conjugal life, home abroad, travel, trade or business, expansion.“What is interesting about this polarity is the link between the self and other. With a strong self and physical body one is, other things being equal, more likely to attract a good mate and enjoy a harmonious marital life. In return, a good mate can reflect well on ones own sense of self. A rich businessman seeking a "trophy wife" is a case in point. Ideally, spouses are of equal importance, such as Simon de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre, reflecting well on each other as philosophers. In some sense, the significant other becomes a mirror of the self. Moreover, strong planetary influences on the first house or its lord become helpful to the person and the same applies when positive influences are seen on the seventh house, all things relating to the spouse are then strengthened. For instance, Arnold Schwarsenegger has important 4th lord Mercury on the ascending degree boosting his physique and intellect. As Mercury also aspects his 7th house, he married an accomplished and intelligent woman, Maria Shriver, from the legendary Kennedy family, who made a name for herself as a reporter. In mundane astrology, countries with powerful planets in the most effective point (MEP) of the 7th house tend to have important international relationships, like the USA and Israel.
Second and eighth houses
The second house represents
“wealth, family, livelihood, nourishment, male child, higher education, professional position, spouse, second marriage, continuance of married life, possession of precious stones and metals, money in cash, earning capacity, financial status, fortune, prosperity, movable properties, speech, vision.“In turn, the eighth house represents
“longevity, research, interest in mystical sciences, occult, enlightenment, inner and outer transformations, past and future events, inheritance, death, will and testament, insurances, easy gains, marital-tie, vulnerability, fear, accidents, obstructions, litigation, bankruptcy, theft, losses, misfortunes, disgrace, disappointments.“This polarity brings out the link between the family, wealth and status indications of the second house on the one hand and the easy gains and seperations in life of the eighth house on the other hand. Having a good family and wealth predisposes one to easy gains in life, including inheritance. At the same time, it is the ties of family life that ultimately expose us to the final seperations of death from those we dearly love. Family life can also bring obligations that become obstacles to what we want to do.
Third and ninth houses
The third house represents
“younger brothers or sisters, neighbors, courage, physical strength, sports, initiative, entrepreneurial nature, the power of understanding (learning), communications, short journeys, initiation into spiritual techniques, writing and communicative capability“.The ninth house represents
“father, preceptor, spiritual learning, spiritual inclinations, intuition, charity, virtue, duty, destiny on the basis of past lives and resultant happiness, meditation, foreign travel, long journeys of short duration and life in foreign lands, education abroad, grace, luck, general fortune, sudden and unexpected gains, religion, pilgrimages, philosophy, law, medicine, remedies, past, etc.“The polarity brings out the link between the action, speech, writing and courage of the 3rd house and the guidance that life offers us based on a deeper understanding and the wisdom of the 9th house. Appropriately, the younger siblings seen in the 3rd house propel us to act while the father seen in the 9th house gives guidance into adulthood. The houses also indicate travel, one short and the other further a field. At the same time, the polarity is seen in the fact that by taking action (3rd house) we become more likely to realise luck (9th house) in life.
Fourth and tenth houses
The fourth house represents
“mother, happiness, upbringing, relatives, friends, supporters, basic education, vehicles and conveyances, domestic peace, mind, mental peace, spiritual life, confidence, righteous conduct, close of life, comforts, luxuries, country of birth, immovable properties, real estate, land, wells and tanks, house, home, assets.“while the tenth house represents
“profession, career, vocation, promotion, livelihood, power, fame, public esteem, status, position, honor, karma in life, character, authority, government, employer, living abroad, ambition, next birth, happiness from male progeny, debts."
The fourth house is arguably one of the most important houses as it expresses the deepest motivations in life while the 10th house represents the outer expression or manifestation of these motivations. The polarity of these houses is seen in terms of success in life and acceptance by others (10th house) being a major part of realising contentment in life (4th house). The rewards of acceptance are also linked to the home and conveyances. The high and mighty in life often enjoy mansions and luxury cars while the poor and unrecognised live in meaner conditions.
Fifth and eleventh houses
The fifth house represents
“intelligence, emotions, discernment and discrimination, intellectual and mental talents, memory, creative intelligence, emotional happiness, love, romance, lover, speculative gains from investments, organizational ability, success, progeny, children, knowledge, wisdom, higher learning/education, training, fall from position, social life, inclinations, spiritual pursuits, disciples and students, devotion, mantras, yantras, amulets, resources and merits we bring into life, future, digestion, etc.“By comparion, the eleventh house represents
“income, prosperity, gains, profit, friends, elder brother or sister, hopes and aspirations and their fulfillment, etc.“
The polarity brings out the link between children, romance and creativity of the fifth house and the hopes and wishes in life and income of the elevent house. The children impel us to provide for them, requiring income (11th house). A social life and creativity are important for earning income and obtaining work. Elder siblings and friends (11th house) also tend to be helpful to us in life in gaining our desires. Our deepest hopes are often linked to our children.
Sixth and twefth houses
The sixth house represents
“disputes, diseases and injuries, debts, enemies, opponents, competitors, thieves, fears, doubts, worries, vices, weaknesses, sound financial position, maternal uncles, service, employees, good health and protection against losses through theft, fire and cheating, misunderstandings, confrontation, litigation.“and the twelfth house represents
“expenses, losses, expenditures for charity, end of life, exile, life in foreign lands, obstructions in life, separation from family, going astray, withdrawal into retreat, transcendence, enlightenment, seclusion, imprisonment, hospitalization, pleasures of bed, sound sleep and work behind the scenes, as work in a hospital, asylum, prison, military quarters, or monastery, etc.“The polarity of these two malefic houses is also interesting, for what it can teach us about observing and avoiding their lessons. The opposition in life, lack of health and debts acquired of the sixth house are often linked to the losses, far away places and deeper realisations in life of the 12th house. Through debts we may realise losses and vice versa. Enemity and arguments may bring us losses and even compel us to move far away for a fresh start. Poor health may result in lost opportunities or failure. Selfish acts, including secret romances, may bring us enemity. This is why the best way to avoid such setbacks is to reduce enemity through flexibility, compassion and patience while also avoiding selfish acts. It is also important to take care of ones own health to be able to more fully participate in life.