The houses are a twelvefold division of the sky baSed upon the point of the zodiac rising on the eastern horizon. Their meanings are similar in both Vedic and western astrology. However, in the Vedic system the house cusp marks the middle of the house, not its beginning as in the western system, which causes some differences in their calculation and placement.
The houses parallel the signs in terms of many of their indications, with some variations. The signs and houses as fields of activity correspond to certain parts of the body as follows:
1. ARIES governs the head, the brain and the eyes, specifically the front of the head down to the eyes and the back of the head to the base of the skull. It reflects the Mars, fiery or Pitta energy in the head. The first house similarly rules the head and the brain.
2. TAURUS governs the face, the upper neck to the larynx and the back of the neck to the shoulders, including the cerebellum. It reflects the Venus, watery or Kapha energy in the face and neck. The second house governs the same regions, particularly the vocal cords and the faculty of speech.
3. GEMINI governs the shoulders, the upper arms and upper chest, including the lungs. It reflects the Mercury, airy or Vata energy of movement and expression in the upper region of the body. The third house governs the same regions, particularly the arms.
4. CANCER governs the front part of the chest to the border of the ribs and the elbows, including the stomach and the breasts. It reflects the lunar, Kapha or watery energy in the chest, heart, lungs and stomach. The stomach, which is like the mother, is the main site of Kapha in Ayurveda. The fourth house governs the same regions, particularly the emotional aspect of the heart.
5. LEO governs the solar plexus region and the middle back region, including the small intestines, as well as body vitality in general through the heart. It reflects the solar, fiery or Pitta energy in the circulatory and digestive system and Pitta's connection with the blood. The fifth house governs similar regions, but is also connected to the intellectual mind and to the reproductive system, the capacity to have children in either women or men, reflecting the child that is held in the belly.
6. VIRGO governs the middle and lower abdomen, including the colon. It also governs the hands. It rules over the digestive system in general, as well as bodily health as a whole. It reflects the Mercurial -earthy and Vata - energy in the large intestine, which is the main site of Vata in Ayurveda. The sixth house has similar associations relative to overall health, digestion and the lower abdomen.
7. LIBRA governs the lower abdomen and the lumbar region, including the kidneys and internal genitalia. It reflects the Venus, airy and Vata energy in the sex organs and more specifically the female reproductive system. The seventh house has similar associations to the reproductive system and sexuality.
8. SCORPIO governs the sacrum, rectum, bladder and external sex organs of the male. These reflect mainly a Mars energy, including male sexual vitality. The eighth house has similar indications of sexual vitality and governs the same regions of the body.
9. SAGITTARIUS governs the arteries, the lower back, hips and thighs. These are largely Pitta systems of action and expression but also sites where Kapha or bodily fat can accumulate. The ninth house has similar associations to the hips and surrounding region of the body.
10. CAPRICORN governs the bones and joints as well as the knees in particular. The bones and joints are mainly sites of Vata and reflect a Saturn energy. The tenth house also governs the knees and our standing in life.
11. AQUARIUS governs the power of exhalation and the skin, as well as the calves. It reflects the Saturn, airy and Vata energy that works through these regions. The eleventh house has similar indications.
12. PISCES governs the lymphatic system as well as the feet. It reflects the Jupiter, Kapha and watery energy that sustains the body. The twelfth house has similar indications.
An important principle of Vedic astrology is that if both the sign and house of the same number are afflicted, the corresponding bodily part suffers. For example, if Saturn aspects the ninth sign Sagittarius, the ninth house and their rulers, arthritis or paralysis of the hips is likely. If Saturn aspects the fifth house from the Ascendant, the fifth house from the Moon and their rulers, there is likely to be infertility in women, with possible surgery or hysterectomy. It is important to cross-reference signs and houses in order to verify the results of planetary influences.
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