What are houses? As we have learnt earlier there are 12 zodiac signs in a birth chart. These 12 signs forms the 12 houses. The first house is determined by the rising sign – the ascendant or lagna. The sign next to it will be the 2nd house and so on.. Let’s look at the characteristics of these houses and what each one of them signify First House The 1st house represents your - self, your personality, the way you look, your attitude towards things, your will power (this also depends on the position of sun in your horoscope), composition of body, temperament, mannerism. Among parts of the body the head is governed by this house. The person with strong ascendant is capable to achieve name, fame and success during the dasha of the ascendant by sheer hardwork. Any malefic planet (we will learn about planets later) like Mars/ketu can cause hurt in the head region or some perennial issues. Second House The 2nd house represents your extension, your family, finance, wealth. It also represents one’s attitude towards family, possession, power. Its represents one’s speech. 2nd However has some negative qualities. It is one of the Maraka house and when combined with 6th, 8th or 12th house can cause multiplicity of problems. But we will understand this later. For right now it is important to learn what each house represents, what are the things one can benefit during the dasha of lords of this house. Among body parts second house represents the throat, and above throat area. Third House The 3rd house represents your further extensions your younger siblings, brother and sisters, your courage, short travels, your communication skills, contacts, one’s utilization of knowledge. Person with strong 3rd house is often good with communication and can easily make many friends and contacts due to this ability. A malefic planet sitting in 3rd house may not give the person happiness from younger siblings. Among body parts 3rd house represents neck, shoulders, arms and the upper part of the chest. Fourth House The 4th house represents your mother, your assets like house, land, property, vehicles, etc. Dwelling properties, as well as others. For students just exposed to astrology this may come as a question that if 2nd house represents our family why does 4th represent mother. 2nd house is used to judge your family in general sense, whether one had good family life. Whereas, 4th house is used to judge only the characteristics of your mother, your relationship with her, her nature in general sense. And can also be used to judge her health issues too. 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th form the Kendra and hence the lord of these houses are considered very good. Fifth House The 5th house is the house of creativity, child, love affair, higher education, risk taking. One can judge the characteristics of children, if one will have any children, boy or girl, quality of higher education one may receive, whether it will be smooth or with obstacles, one’s attitude towards affairs, creative expression it can be in any form not necessarily in arts only. The lord of 5th and 9th are considered very positive. But if malefics are deposited in 5th house generally means that the higher education of that person may not be very good or with hurdles. And the person may have to take external support for child bearing. One the other hand if the house and the lord is strong the person will be bestowed upon with good children and good education Sixth House The 6th house is one of the evil trines, including 8th and 12th. This house represents sickness, loan, enemies, litigation, court cases, servants. Among the negative things it also represents one’s job. It is very important for the 6th house to be strong for one to succeed in professional environment. All diseases arising due to wind, bile and phlegm are to be judged from this house. When the 6th house is weak a person most likely will have allergic diseases or weak stomach. Malefic planets in evil trine houses give better results than benefic planets, as they increase the negativity of the house. Seventh House The 7th house represents the house of partner. It is one of the important houses as the planet deposited in this house directly aspects the ascendant. (We will learn about aspection in the next chapter but as a rule all planets aspects the seventh house except rahu and ketu). This is partner house, partner means life partner as in husband and wife or business partner or boss in any cases these partner plays a very important role in one’s life. So it is good to have amicable and strong 7th. Success in one’s married life is judged by this house. Characteristics of the partner can also be judged from this house. Eight House The 8th house is one of the evil trine houses, and it represents longevity of a person. If 8th house is disturbed it causes issues like aches and pains, piles, hormonal issues, urinary diseases, depression, mental distress, delays, accidents, fracture, fear, etc. This house is considered for hereditary gains or sudden gains. This house is good for judging a person’s interest for occult sciences, under the ground things. This house is taken into consideration for politician. Ninth House The 9th house is the house of Bhagya your luck and destiny. It represents your spiritual/religious inclination, charity work, long journey, younger sibling of your spouse (3rd to 7th). It is one of the most positive house, a strong house makes one very lucky, pious, socially conscious and spiritually inclined. It is the house of dharma. It is a house for teaching, guidance and publishing. Planets deposited in 9th aspect 3rd house, hence depending on benefic aspection of male or female planets the person will have brother or sister. Tenth House The 10th house is the house of your karma. It states your direction in life. It is also the house of your father (7th to 4th), his characteristics and status. When the lord of 9th (bhagya) conjoins with the lord of 10th (karma) it is very auspicious and forms Raj Yog. Your 10th house is very important is judging one’s line of work, it is the house of business. It is the house of progress, responsibility and authority. It is house to judge success with one’s own efforts. If malefic planets are sitting in this house, it causes issues with father. Eleventh House The 11th house is the house of gain, fulfilment of desires. It represents once income, elder siblings, general affluence and prosperity. All gains are to be judged with this house. For example if a person asks you about child bearing you have to judge it with a combination of 2nd, 5th and 11th – as 5th is for child bearing, 2nd because your family is growing, and 11th because its fulfilment of desire and gain. So 11th is considered in any situation which benefits a person. Twelfth House The 12th house is the house of Moksha, loss, foreign travels – away from birthplace, medical expense, beyond control expenses, prison, hospitalization, difference of opinion, stubbornness, sexual enjoyment. It is one of the evil trine. A person with strong 12th house is often seen to have benefitted in foreign land, for if the person does not travel then all the negative impact can be seen. As this house is about loss it also helps one in losing one’s ego, transcending to a better self. This house also represents the path to moksha. In short these are the various characteristics of each houses. Ofcourse only when you start predicting you would realize how these work together and what combination has to be seen for various questions. Once I have explained all the basic, I will move on to explaining examples so that with each example you will understand things better.