For the Students of Hindu Vedic Astrology by Dr. A. Shanker

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Celestial Houses and their ordering differences!

It is not at  all difficult to divide the heavenly circle into twelve parts. However, it is debatable as to  which of them are to be the first and the twelfth. Philosophers are of the view that when the sun starts its journey from the equator i.e. the house of Arics it is directed to the north and keeps on drifting in the north direction upto three houses namely Taurus, Gemini  and  cancer till there is formed a north to south gap of 23.5 degrees between the equator and the sun which is called spring equilibrium. It is the time when the climate in the northern world from the equator becomes temperate. Since the first crop among summer, winter and rains is the summer and the summer brings rains which in turn causes winters, if in any year there is moderate summer rainy and winter season also will be moderate that year. Similarly, if any year has no summers it many have scant or no rains. As the summer heat starts from the month of April when sun  has stepped into the house of Aries the same will he established as the first celestial house in the heavenly circle. Taking into consideration the congregation of stars its shape is likened to a ram same as the ram leads the sheep herd. All houses in the Zodiac are likened to sheep who one led by a sacred animal i.e. ram and hence it represents the house of Aries.

House of Taurus: The second stage

When the sun starts from the house of Arieas it comes into contact with the house of Taurus  at the second stage. Indians call if Brakh Rashi. This house is likened to a bull which is recognized as the second house of the heaven. It has on its hump the Pliads i.e. Kritika nakshatra which rises in the east in the months of decmber and January and is visible till the last quarter of the night. The sun enters this house in the month of May. The seers established the sign of bull far this house considering the religious sanctity of this animal. Due to being worshiped more than other animals it was taken as the symbol of  the second celestial house.

House of Gemini: The Third Stage

After the house of Taurus the sun enters its third stage namely  the house of  Gemini the  depicted with twin  boys joined at the waist. This house has three very bright starts which are the waist belt. These stars are clearly visible when looked at after the dusk in winter evenings at 10-15 degrees from the Pliads in the east. The house is named Gemini on the basis of the image formed by the cluster of stars. The Greeks consider the twin boys to be representative of Jupiter.

House of Cancer: The Fourth Stage

After the house of Gemini the fourth house is of cancer seen blurred in the east and north directions from Gemini. This has been repelled from all houses to the north. Its shape is imagined as a sea crab. When the sun enters this house it is directed to the South from the north. It is the time when the  world’s regions northward from the equator have summer season. This is considered in India the first raining day. In other countries also such as Iran, Italy, Arbia and Egypt rains start with this season.  Having reached the equator the sun begins its journey in the house of Aries and gradually moves to the north by three house. When the sun enters the house of Cancer it is redirected to the south. As soon as the sun moves to the south there starts raining reason along with summer. As much as the sun moves to the South the summer heat gradually recedes till the sum reaches the house of Sagittarius when climate becomes as temperate as it was during the time of sun’s stay in the house of Aries because the house of Sagittarius also is situated at the equator.

House of Leo: The Fifth Stage

When it is scorching summer due to stuffiness and suffocation  during rainy season the sun enters the fifth stage namely the house of Leo which means  lion after which this house has been named. When these houses were discovered the world was scantly populated. The earth was frequented by different animals and beasts whose imprints are still found in the civilized world. Since Lion is frightening and ferocious animal and this season brings intolerable heat astrologers named this house after lion.

Houses of Virgo: the Sixth Stage

When the sun starts to move from the north to the south it comes in contact with the house of Virgo at the sixth stage. Its shape has been imagined as a damsel holding in one hand an ear of  hyacinth.  The  Greeks considered it to  be the goddess of beauty born of sea waves and water foam.

House of Libra: The Seventh Stage

This house also is situated on the equator when the sun enters the house of Libra, the seventh stage, it again comes to the equator. Then the climate in the southern world down the equator becomes temperate which is known as the autumnal crop  point. This house is likened to a pair of scales with pans and beam. Since day and night become equal during this period the house is named after a pair of scales that keep the two pans balanced.

House of Scorpio: The Eighth Stage

Out of twelve celestial houses the brightest and the most  clear one is the eighth house namely Scorpio. It is likenend to a Scorpion. When the sun  enters the house of Scorpio it is redirected from the north to the south. It is dubbed as inauspicious or ominous house. It is visible in rain season from dusk to dawn. Its clutches and parts of body and tail are seen amidst cluster of galaxy. In ancient times, Scorpio symbolized eternal darkness and bad omen. Greeks sill consider the stay of moon in the house of Scorpio as inauspicious.

 House of Sagittarius: The Ninth Stage

This is the ninth celestial house. When the sun moves ahead of the house of Scorpio and enters the house of Sagittarius it is redirected from the north to the South gradually. It is likened to a male who is human up to the waist while the lower body resembles a neck less horse. The man is holding an arrow and bow in his hands. Arrow and bow were prominent arms during the time when the celestial houses were discovered. Imprints of such arms are still seen in today’s civilized world. It were Greeks who likened this ninth celestial house to a bow or dhanu due to its significance as a  weapon.

House of Capricorn: The Tenth Stage

House of Capricorn is the tenth among twelve celestial houses. Same as there is intolerable heat in the northern world up the equator with entry of the sun in the house of cancer there is extreme winter when it  enters the house of Capricorn. However, the climate in the countries like South Africa and Australia situated south of the equator is reverse to it. When the sun enters the house of Capricorn the climate in the southern world down the equator starts to become hot and when the sun reaches the house of Cancer the climate becomes cold. However, same as the limit of the house of  Cancer is determined due to repulsion of the sun from the equator by 23-5 degress to the north the limit of the house of Capricorn has been established due to repulsion of the sum from the equator by 30-5 degree to the south. This house in shaped by 28 stars which the Greeks liken to a crocodile.

House of Aquarius: The Eleventh Stage

Moving ahead of the house of Capricorn the sun enters the house  of Aquarius. Astrologers have  likened it  to a person standing on a patch of heaven with a small bucket  in his hand. This house pertains to rains. It is called ‘aagada bahaar ‘in Iram and mahawat in India. These rains in moderate amount benefit spring crops.

House of Pisces : The Twelfth  Stage

The Twelfth  house is of Pisces. The sun stays in this house from 21st February to 20th March when it is autumn season. Then starts spring season as the sun enters the house of Aries. This house is marked by a pair of fish that pertain to water. Since this season has frequent rains astrologers have likened it to a fish.

Dr. A. Shanker

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