Houses By Quality And Element

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Just as the signs are related by quality and element, so are the houses. These qualities, to a lesser degree, can be applied to the houses as counted from the Moon.

"Angular" (Kendra in Sanskrit) houses are houses 1, 4, 7 and 10. These mark the angles or quadrants from the Ascendant. Planets situated in angles tend to be strong and active. Angular houses are similar in character to cardinal signs. They are sharp, energetic, decisive and penetrating. They give power for accomplishment and achievement and a generally outgoing or creative will in life.

Of these the tenth is regarded as the strongest position, then the seventh, fourth and first in order. Planets in the tenth dominate the chart and overpower even the ascendant.

Malefics in angles can cause a difficult or dark nature and inflict much damage in life, either on the person or through them. Benefics in angles afford luck, grace and protection.

"Succedent" houses (Panapara) are houses 2, 5, 8 and 11. Planets here are only moderate in strength. Succedent houses are similar in meaning to fixed signs. They show the accumulation of resources and the development of stability and reserve. They help us preserve and maintain things but are not good for new developments or bringing things to conclusion. Of these the fifth is the strongest, then the eleventh, second and eighth.

"Cadent" houses (Apoklima) are houses 3, 6, 9 and 12. Planets here are weak, uncertain or hidden in their action. Cadent houses are similar to mutable signs. They give mental sensitivity and general adaptability which can give a high intelligence. They also tend towards instability and insecurity and can cause mental and nervous problems. They are usually better than angular houses for spiritual development.

Of these the ninth is the strongest, then the third, sixth and twelfth.

Usually it is better to have some angular planets for a chart to give any success in life. In fact, quadrant planets are more important than cardinal ones in this respect. If we examine the charts of famous, successful or powerful people they will have strong angular planets, though their signs may be cardinal, fixed or mutable. For this reason the chart design used in north India is based upon the angular houses as the most important factor in the chart. A chart without planets in angles is regarded as without distinction or power. Yet malefics in angles, though they often give outward success, show a destructive character. Planets in angles allow us to accomplish things but too many planets in angles can cause us to lack in sensitivity or introspection. Spiritual astrology gives them less importance than does mundane astrology. In fact without some major cadent or mutable planets the spiritual life is usually not possible. Yet without some angular or cardinal planets no decisive course of action, spiritual or worldly, is possible.

Too many planets in any of these three groups can cause imbalance. Generally, a good balance of planets in all three is better than too many in any one and serves to give more harmony (sattva) to the nature.

When a person has planets in both cardinal signs and angular houses they may acquire a very decisive and aggressive nature, which can be highly rajasic. When a person has planets in both mutable signs and cadent houses their nature is rendered sensitive, weak or neurotic. When a person has planets in both fixed signs and succedent houses they are apt to be possessive and conservative. In all these cases both sign and house qualities mutually reinforce each other. Different combinations of house and sign qualities are possible and should be studied carefully. Both should be listed and examined relative to each other. Generally, the sign qualities will more reflect character traits and the house qualities capacity for success in the domains of life. Taking these factors independently of each other can lead to some mistakes.

For example, a person may have predominately angular planets but in fixed signs. This will give them an underlying fixed, stable and determined nature but a capacity for much action and achievement in the world. It may help balance out the danger, the inertia and possible stagnation, of too fixed a character. On the other hand, it may make the person firm as a rock in their character but aggressive in action; a hard person to deal with who imposes themselves upon others. Planets in mutable signs but angular houses, on the other hand, will give outer success and communication abilities but a basically changeable or possibly unstable character inwardly.

Apart from this basic system, other significant ways of correlating the houses exist.

"Trine" houses (Trikona) are houses 1, 5 and 9. They form a triangle relative to the Ascendant. Residency in a trine is a source of strength, like residency in a quadrant, though angles are stronger than trines. Jupiter likes trines as its trine aspect comes into play in them. The Moon also does well in them. In this regard the ninth house, though succedent, is still very good, it being the best trine. The fifth also gets boosted by this factor and becomes the best succedent house. Planets here, though not as strong for outer action as angular ones, are more important for the spiritual and inner nature. The lords of these houses also become very auspicious for the chart.

There is another special grouping of houses unique to Vedic astrology. Houses 3, 6, 10 and 11 are called "Upachaya" or increasing houses. Planets located in them increase in strength through time and give progressively better results as one gets older. Malefics, like the Sun, Saturn, Mars and the lunar nodes, do well in these houses, whereas they do not do good in trines (as they can indicate a malefic nature). The lords of these houses (except the tenth) however, are usually inauspicious and can cause harm as they are too impulsive in nature. Of these houses, the tenth and eleventh are the best locations, though the tenth is more specifically an angular house. The eleventh is a good place for planets to be located in the chart as malefics do very well here and benefics do not do badly either (though not necessarily when located here with malefics). We notice by these different house factors that planets do well when they are located above the horizon in the chart, by the Midheaven, in houses 9, 10 and 11. They represent how we affect the world in terms of our values (ninth house), actions (tenth house) and goals (eleventh house). Opposite them houses 3, 4 and 5 represent our self in terms of our vital energy (third house), emotional state (fourth house) and intelligence (fifth house).

The group of houses, 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8 are said to be "Apachaya" or houses of decrease. Planets located in these houses lose their strength through time and malefics do not do well here. Of these the eighth is the worst, probably the most unfortunate house to have planets located (though it can still give high intelligence and some other good attributes).

Houses 6, 8 and 12 are said to be difficult or malefic houses (Dushthana). Planets located in them are weakened and can cause problems. In the sixth they can cause disease or enmity. In the eighth they can cause disease, injury, loss or death. In the twelfth they can cause loss and sorrow. This is particularly true if they are under malefic aspects.

Malefic planets in the sixth may be good for power but still cause disease. Benefics in the sixth can be good for intelligence but can also cause disease. Mars in the eighth can cause violent death or losses. Saturn in the eighth, however, can aid in longevity, though not give prosperity. Benefics in the twelfth can give a spiritual nature or good rebirth. Venus, being exceptional in that it does good in the twelfth house and can give comfort and prosperity. Ketu does well in the twelfth and can give spiritual insight and the ability to ward off negative psychic influences. Rahu similarly is good in the sixth. It can give freedom from enmity and success through foreigners, though it can still contribute to nervous system disorders.

These houses are difficult points because they are places of transition, located on either sides of the seventh house (houses 6 and 8) and just above the ascendant (house 12).

Houses are related to the four goals of life. Houses 1, 5 and 9 relate to our basic nature, vocation or career (dharma). The first shows our basic nature in life, the fifth our creative expression and the ninth the higher aspiration we are seeking. Houses 2, 6 and 10 relate to our wealth and possessions (artha). The second house shows our basic possessions in life, the sixth the work and difficulties they cause and the tenth, what we are able to achieve through them. Houses 3, 7 and 11 relate to our desires (kama). The third house shows our basic vital energy, the seventh the ways we wish to enjoy it and the eleventh the goals we wish to achieve through it.

Houses 4, 8 and 12 relate to liberation (moksha), our seeking of transcendence. The fourth shows our basic seeking of peace and happiness, the eighth the struggle we have to go through to find it and the twelfth how we have to negate ourselves to arrive at it.

In addition, houses can be correlated to the elements, just as the signs. Houses 1, 5 and 9, like signs of the same number, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius, represent the element of fire. Houses 2, 6 and 10 represent earth. Houses 3, 7 and 11 represent air. Houses 4, 8 and 12 represent water. This, however, is a more secondary factor than house qualities and seldom deserves much weight. Yet a fiery planet in a fiery house will receive some boost thereby. Many planets in the twelfth, for example, are often found in the charts of those who drown.

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