Significations Of Houses

The zodiac consists of 12 rasis. Each rasi is said to form a house. When we talk about houses, we always have a point of reference. The rasi containing the point of reference is the 1st house. The next rasi is the 2nd house. The rasi after that is the 3rd house. Suppose Moon is in Aquarius and suppose we want houses with respect to Moon. Then Aquarius is the 1st house, Pisces is the 2nd house, Aries is the 3rd house, Taurus is the 4th house and so on. As we go around the zodiac, we reach Capricorn when we find the 12th house.

In the same chart, Sun may be in Taurus. When we find houses with respect to Sun, Taurus contains the 1st house, Gemini contains the 2nd house, Cancer contains the 3rd house and so on. If Ghati Lagna is in Virgo in the same chart, then the 1st, 2nd and 3rd houses with respect to Ghati Lagna are in Virgo, Libra and Scorpio respectively.

Thus we can find houses with respect to different references. The same sign may contain the 2nd house with respect to one reference and the 6th house with respect to another reference. If we mention houses without clearly specifying the reference used, it means that the reference used is lagna (ascendant). Lagna is the default reference when finding houses.

Different houses stand for different matters. The matters signified by a house also depend on the reference used. Each reference throws light on matters of a specific nature and that colors the meaning of a house. For example, the 11th house from lagna may stand for something and the 11th house from arudha lagna may stand for something else. It depends on the kind of matters shown by the two references – lagna and arudha lagna.

In addition, the matters signified by a house depend on the divisional chart in which we are finding houses. Each divisional chart throws light on matters of a specific nature. Again, that colors the meaning of a house. The 4th house from lagna in D-16 may mean something and the 4th house from lagna in D-24 may mean something else. We have already listed the areas of life seen from various divisional charts in the chapter on “Error! Reference source not found.”.

Significations of Houses

The matters signified by various houses are listed below. For further discussion on the results of various houses, readers may refer either to the ancient classics or to the modern classic – “How to Judge a Horoscope” (Vols I & II) by Dr. B.V. Raman.

First House: Physical body, complexion, appearance, head, intelligence, strength, energy, fame, success, nature of birth, caste.

Second House: Wealth, assets, family, speech, eyes, mouth, face, voice, food.
Third House: Younger co-borns, confidants, courage, mental strength, communication skills, creativity, throat, ears, arms, father’s death (7th from 9th), expenditure on vehicles and house (12th from 4th), travels.
Fourth House: Mother, vehicles, house, lands, immovable property, motherland, childhood, wealth from real estate, education, relatives, happiness, comforts, pleasures, peace, state of mind, heart.

Fifth House: Children, poorvapunya (good deeds of previous lives), intelligence, knowledge & scholarship, devotion, mantras (prayers), stomach, digestive system, authority/power, fame, love, affection, emotions, judgment, speculation.
Sixth House: Enemies, service, servants, relatives, mental tension, injuries, health, diseases, agriculture, accidents, mental affliction, mother’s younger brother, hips.
Seventh House: Marriage, marital life, life partner, sex, passion (and related happiness), long journeys, partners, business, death, the portion of the body below the navel.

Eighth House: Longevity, debts, disease, ill-fame, inheritance, loss of friends, occult studies, evils, gifts, unearned wealth, windfall, disgrace, secrets, genitals.
Ninth House: Father, teacher, boss, fortune, religiousness, spirituality, God, higher studies & high knowledge, fortune in a foreign land, foreign trips, diksha (joining a religious order), past life and the cause of birth, grandchildren, principles, dharma, intuition, compassion, sympathy, leadership, charity, thighs.

Tenth House: Growth, profession, career, karma (action), conduct in society, fame, honors, awards, self-respect, dignity, knees.
Eleventh House: Elder co-borns, income, gains, realization of hopes, friends, ankles.

Twelfth House: Losses, expenditure, punishment, imprisonment, hospitalization, pleasures in bed, misfortune, bad habits, sleep, meditation, donation, secret enemies, heaven, left eye, feet, residence away from the place of birth, moksha (emancipation/liberation).

We can find houses from houses and concatenate the meanings in some places. For example, the 3rd house shows younger brother. The 2nd house from the 3rd house is the 4th house (count 1, 2 from 3rd and get 3rd, 4th). So the 4th house shows the wealth, speech etc of younger brother. The 7th house from the 3rd house is the 9th house and it can show younger sibling’s spouse. The 11th house from lagna shows friends and the 4th house from lagna is nothing but the 6th house from the 11th house. So the 4th house stands for enemies, diseases and debts of friends. In this manner, we can deduce many additional meanings of various houses.

Common References for Houses

It may be noted from the list above that each house shows many matters. It may be confusing at first to pick the right meaning that is relevant in a particular analysis. It becomes easier with experience. We have to note the area of life seen in the divisional chart under examination. We have to choose the meanings of houses that are relevant in that area of life. For example, the 4th house shows education, vehicle, house and mother (among other things). A list of the areas of life seen in various divisional charts is given in the chapter on “Error! Reference source not found.”. We see from it that learning is seen from D-24, pleasures and comforts from D-16, house and immovable property from D-4 and parents from D-12. So the 4th houses in D-24, D-16, D-4 and D-12 show education, vehicle, house and mother (respectively).

We should also take cognisance of the kind of matters shown by various references and interpret the meaning of a house accordingly. The 4th house from lagna, the 4th house from arudha lagna and the 4th house from paaka lagna can mean different things, depending on the matters shown by lagna, arudha lagna and paaka lagna. Now we will learn about the most common references used in finding houses and the matters shown by them.

Depending on the matter we are analyzing, we should look at the correct divisional chart, the correct reference and the correct house. Then only good results can be obtained. All this complexity may be perplexing to new students. However, there is something we should realize. Human existence is a very complicated thing and it is silly and unscientific to expect a simplistic model for the complicated human life. Though Vedic astrology has too many parameters used in chart analysis, they are all important as they give us the degrees of freedom necessary for modeling something as complicated as human life. However, if we do not understand what each parameter means and end up using them in a mixed-up way, we will get nowhere. So readers should strive to understand these basics very clearly.


Lagna is the most commonly used reference when finding houses. If no reference is mentioned when houses are listed, it means that lagna – the default reference – was used. Lagna shows true self. If we are trying to understand someone’s status in society, lagna may not be the correct reference. Status does not relate to “true self”. It is a part of the illusion of this world. However, if we are trying to understand someone’s intentions in doing something or someone’s knowledge or someone’s persistence, it relates to “true self”. So they are seen from the houses counted from lagna. Lagna shows true self. It shows the overall spirit of “I” (self).

Chandra Lagna (Moon lagna)

Chandra lagna means Moon taken as a reference. We can find houses from Moon. Because Moon is the significator of mind, these houses show things from the perspective of mind. For example, someone may be working in a routine job, but he may have an active and enterprising mind and he may be using it in his career. In that case, the 10th house (career) from lagna may have the influence of Saturn (routine job) and the 10th house from Moon may have the influence of Mars (active and enterprising).

Houses counted from Moon are useful in looking at things from the point of view of mind. When we judge how happy one is, how ambitious one is and how one views one’s career, the role of mind is paramount. So Chandra lagna should not be ignored.

Ravi Lagna (Sun lagna)

Ravi lagna means Sun taken as a reference. We can find houses from Sun. Because Sun is the significator of soul, these houses show things from the perspective of soul. For things related to physical vitality also, Sun is an important reference.

Arudha Lagna

Computation of arudha lagna (AL) will be explained in the chapter on “Error! Reference source not found.”. For now, the readers should remember that arudha lagna shows how a native is perceived in the world. It also shows the status of a native.

A planet in the 10th house from lagna may give some important developments in one’s profession. A planet in the 10th house from Chandra lagna may give some important mental activity in one’s profession. A planet in the 10th house from arudha lagna may give some important developments in one’s professional status.

Paaka Lagna

Paaka lagna is important when analyzing the natal chart, dasas and transits. Paaka lagna is nothing but lagna lord taken as a reference. If someone with Pisces lagna has Jupiter in Cancer, then Cancer becomes paaka lagna. If someone with Leo lagna has Sun in Virgo, Virgo becomes paaka lagna.

Rasis represent situations and forces influencing the course of a native’s life and planets represent individual beings. Lagna lord represents the physical self of a native. So that is what paaka lagna shows. Houses counted from paaka lagna throw light on matters related to the physical self of a native.

Lagna shows the concept of self and it deals with one’s true personality. The physical existence of the person is different from this conceptual self. This applies to all divisional charts. Let us take an example. The 5th house shows scholarship, memory and success in competition. All these are related to learning and they are seen in D-24, the chart of learning. But they are better seen from different references. Let us find the best reference for each.

Success in competition is related to the illusions and perceptions of the world and so the most appropriate reference is arudha lagna. The 5th house from arudha lagna shows success in competition. Scholarship is not a measurable attribute of the physical existence. It is a property of one’s true personality and one’s conceptual self. So the 5th from lagna shows scholarship. If we take the self that exists physically and take its part as applicable to the area of life shown by D-24 (i.e. learning), memory is a direct attribute of that self. Memory is a property of one’s self that physically exists. So the 5th house from paaka lagna shows memory the best.

Saturn’s transitover the rasi containing one’s lagna may throw obstructions and hamper one’s activities. Saturn’s transit over the rasi containing one’s Chandra lagna may create frustration and mental depression. Saturn’s transit over the rasi containing one’s paaka lagna may leave one feeling sick all the time and attack the physical vitality.

Karakamsa Lagna

Atma karaka stands for the soul of the person. Atma karaka is an important reference point in a chart. Because the soul is an important factor in deciding the nature of inner self than the physical existence, atma karaka is an important reference point in navamsa chart. Navamsa chart throws light on the inner self and the rasi occupied by atma karaka in it is called “Karakamsa”. We can analyze navamsa chart with respect to Karakamsa. The 12th house from Karakamsa shows the liberation of the soul and the situation of Ketu there is conducive to moksha. Propitiation of the deities corresponding to the strongest planet in the 12th house in navamsa from Karakamsa lagna can take one’s soul towards moksha.

Ghati Lagna

Ghati lagna (GL) shows self, from the point of view of power, authority and fame. When we analyze promotions in career or political power of politicians, this reference is very important.

Hora Lagna

Hora lagna (HL) shows self, from the point of view of wealth. This reference is important when analyzing one’s wealth.

Quick Summary

Trines: Prosperity and flourishing
Quadrants: Sustenance and vital activity
Upachayas: Gains and growth
Dusthanas: Setbacks and obstacles
Argala sthanas: Decisive influences

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