Phaladeepika Chapter 1 – Twelve Houses

The 12 Houses w/ Their 4 triangles

After the lists categorizing the signs in various ways, She Who Illuminates the Fruit now gives us similar seemly random lists of things which pertain to each of the twelve astrological houses. I will try to make some sense out of the lists for you. Be aware that this is just a study journal of Phaladeepika (She Who Illuminates the Fruit), I have more explanatory introductory information about the houses elsewhere on my sites and in my book.

First House

This is the main anchor point of a horoscope (lagna). It is built by the sign on the eastern horizon – where the Sun and stars are “born.” Thus the house pertains to everything concerning birth, and becoming physical, real, and tangible. It refers to the present.

Second House

This house supports the first, it supports our physical existence with things like wealth, practical learning, food, and family. Our supporting documents are here as well. Since it pertains to the face (see earlier info in other posts), it also pertains to one’s voice and speech. If the second house is “zoomed into” so that the face covers all 12 houses, the 2nd house would be the right eye.

Third House

This house draws the fourth house towards the physical self. Therefore it pulls our inner spirit towards our physical body and manifest reality. All of our desires are in this house, all our courage to achieve them, and our power are here too. Among family members (if you “zoom in” on the 2nd House) it holds your siblings. If the chart represent the face, this house is the right ear.

Fourth House

This is the deepest house in the underground sky – holding the essence our our inner being and private life. Therefore it is the home of our true inner happiness and comfort. All of our private property is also here – starting with our real estate (which begins with the home we occupy), including our cars, jewels, clothes, perfumes, etc. Among family members, the mother is in this house (as she is our original home in this world, and she is our deepest supporter).

Fifth House

This house draws the inner being of the 4th House towards other people. It concerns how we are able to interface our inner self with other people and is therefore the house of intelligence. Being the house in intelligence it pertains to the ancient sources of knowledge, scriptures and mantras. In other words recorded knowledge and formulae are in this house. The Soul itself is here. The 1st House is the body, the 5th the soul. Leadership skills are in this house (as a result of the personal strength of the soul combining with the intellect and knowledge here). Taxes are said to be here, and right now I’m not sure what thread that comes on – maybe it’s a mistake in the translation I am referring to?

Sixth House

This house supports the seventh house, the house of others. So the general theme is that it is a home for all things that don’t support you but support other people instead: Enemies, debts, mistakes, fear, humiliation & thieves for example. The seventh house is also the place of death (being opposite the 1st, the place of birth), the sixth house supports this aspect of the seventh by being the home of weapons,  wounds, and disease. Disease is caused by improper behavior. Almost comically, the father’s side of the family is here.

Seventh House

The constellation on the Western horizon builds this house, which is directly opposite to the 1st House. Since the 1st House pertains to oneself, the opposite, found here in the Seventh House, is other people. Among all the other people in our life, the most important is the spouse who (at least in America😉 has to be the opposite sex. As such our attitudes about relationships of a romantic nature are housed here. On another theme, since the 1st House is the beginning, or origin. The Seventh House is the end, or destination. This means death, as well as the roads that we travel on.

Eighth House

This house reveals and disperses the Seventh House. The 7th House holds death itself, so the Eighth holds the factor which disperses death – our life force. However, the Eighth House, being the home of our life force and longevity actually has more to do with death, practically, than the 7th, because death is merely an absence of life-force. Much of the Eighth House indications come from a lacking of quality because this is one of the four “hidden houses” So we hear of the 8th as the home of death, which is a lacking of life force. And as a result of the association of death this comes to be a sad place with endings, and such. Mantreshwara doesn’t list it specifically but the Eighth House is the home of psychology, astrology and occult sciences due to the fact that it is the home of the life-force itself, which all occult sciences study. Psychology is a “occult” in comparison to modern hard sciences such as chemistry and physics. Mantreshwara does not mention a sexual connotation for the 8th House, but previously noted it pertains to the sex organs. In my opinion, the 8th House is the home of one’s psychology pertaining to the creation of life itself (life force theme) – which is sex.

Ninth House

This house draws the 10th towards other people and society. As such it is the home of noble social deeds, a.k.a. “religion” (at least that what religion is supposed to be). Good deeds is a synonym for religion in this context, and they are housed in the 9th House of the sky. Teachers and father-figures (from whom we learn good from bad, right from wrong) live in this house.

Tenth House

The constellation at the highest point in the sky overhead creates the 10th House. It is the central focal point for your public life. Therefore we hear that career dwells here, as does all your social recognition and status. Your ability to be an authority is here (in some ways the father is here as the authority figure, though he is in the 9th House when acting as a role model), as is your public conduct.

Eleventh House

This house draws the 10th house towards oneself and ones physical, tangible experience of life. So all the things one gains from society are found here: income, acquisition, profits, good news, etc. Friends dwell here. It is a prosperous place, if a bit greedy.

Twelfth House

This house reveals and disperses oneself (represented in the 1st house, it’s neighbor below). Expenses and the poverty which could result, spies, etc. live here. It is a place connected with what happens at the very end of life, funerals and knowledge of the afterlife or reincarnation are found here. Generally it is a rather miserable, confining place but the spiritual potentials of this house can make it valuable.

Miscellaneous Classifications

There are four houses which concern issues which are hidden or difficult to perceive and understand clearly:

  • 3rd House – desire & lust
  • 6th House – enemies & disease
  • 8th House – the life-force
  • 12th House – the afterlife

There houses get branded as “bad places” (literally, dusthana). Or, in the terms of one of my favorite punk rock bands: “Houses of Suffering.”

  • 6th – disease
  • 8th – death
  • 12th – annihilation

The four houses at the four cardinal directions are called “corners” or kendras. They are crucial to the horoscope as they are the four pillars on which the rest of life is built.

  • 1st House (East) – self
  • 4th House (North) – private life
  • 7th House (West) – relationship to other people
  • 10th House (South) – public life

Two houses are “trines” (Triangular in an equilateral triangle) or konas. They are very “good” places, sources of prosperity.

  • 5th House – intelligence
  • 9th House – morality

Four Houses are called “upward houses” (literally upachaya) they are houses where bad situations can be improved (by conscious effort) and brought closer to goodness and positivity.

  • 3rd – desire & lust
  • 6th – disease & enemies
  • 10th – public life
  • 11th – enjoyment

Mantreshwara then describes something that is not really widely discussed among western practitioners of Vedic astrology, at least not in my opinion or experience. He says that there are two chaturasra houses. In other words there are two houses that are 4 from the 1st and then the trine from that fourth which is the 8th. There is a lack of information about chaturasra, and Mantreshwara gives no explanation in Phaladeepika. I believe this section is nearly a direct quote from an older book, Brihat Jataka. Perhaps the commentaries on that work would explain more, but I do not have access to those commentaries. The 4th and 8th Houses, however, are “bad luck” positions in certain circumstances.

Finally we hear that there are three categories of houses, which are basically three categories of ability to directly be influential in life. Three categories of their “prominence.”

  • The kendras (Quadrants or Corners: 1,4,7, & 10) are the most influential houses in life.
  • The four houses after the four quadrants are less directly influential and more in the middle layer of influence in life: 2 – wealth, 5 – intelligence, 8 – lifespan, 11 – enjoyment. These are panaphara houses (a greek term, showing that Vedic astrology has started sharing concepts with European astrology quite a very long time ago)
  • The four houses after the four panaphara houses are the most background or underlying factors in life: 3 – desire, 6 – health, 9 – morals, 12 – expenses (apoklima houses)

Don’t forget that a house is more than one thing at the same time. In fact, if you can’t get into the idea that you have to simultaneously consider 2,3… dozen… different concepts – practicing astrology successfully is not something you will be able to do without making a huge effort to restructure your thought processes. So for example, the 10th House is an influential Kendra, and is also a house of improvement. The 11th House is also a house of improvement, but is not as directly influential or prominent. The 6th and 8th houses are both “Bad” and “Hidden” houses, but the sixth is a house of “Improvement” the 8th isn’t. The 3rd is also a hidden house and an improving house, but isn’t a “bad” one.

Let it all sink in over due time. Like I said in my introductory post. She Who Illuminates the Fruit is not a paperback book that you can “read.” It’s a reference manual that you have to learn.

– Vic DiCara

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