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Basics of Bhavs

House Keywords Zodiac Sign Natural Ruler
1st self, life, body  Aries  Mars
2nd possessions, money, material circumstances, livelihood  Taurus  Venus
3rd local movement, short journeys, communication, school, siblings  Gemini Mercury
4th home, family, roots, parent  Cancer  Moon
5th creativity, children, romance, entertainment  Leo  Sun
6th health, service, work, routine  Virgo Mercury
7th partners, marriage, open enemies  Libra  Venus
8th sex, death, inheritances, other’s money, loss  Scorpio Mars
9th travel, higher education, religion, spirituality, law Sagittarius  Jupiter
10th career, social position, dominant parent Capricorn  Saturn
11th friendships, associations, aspirations Aquarius Saturn
12th hidden matters, the unconscious, clandestine relationships, secret enemies, seclusion  Pisces Jupiter

 The chart is divided into 12 spaces, called “Bhavas” (houses). The Bhavas represent the various areas of your life in which the planetary effects and interactions can take place. Some areas of life are represented by more than one bhava.   The logic of how and why each of the 12 bhavas has been assigned its significations has four major parts: life chronology correspondence, physical correspondence, Rashi correspondence and relative counting. The 3 correspondence principles provide the foundation significations, whereas the relative counting principle extends the list to an almost limitless array of significations.      The correspondence principles all have a similar basis: considering two holistic values, there are precise connections between all the major parts of each.

For example,

When we consider the solar system with its planetary bodies, and the human life with all its aspects, we can find precise correlations between each heavenly body, and specific aspects of human life.  In the case of life chronology correspondence, the full span of life is mapped to the chart. The 12 houses correspond to various stages in life. The Ascendant corresponds to birth itself, the second house early childhood, etc up to the 12th house which corresponds to death.  In the case of physical correspondence, the full body is mapped to the chart. The first house corresponds to the part of our body that is born first (the crown of the head), the second house to the face, etc. up to the 12th house which corresponds to the feet. The Rashi correspondence maps the zodiac itself to the chart. The First house corresponds to the first:

  1.  The first House is the House of self. This includes self-awareness, the physical body, personality, and appearance, personal views on life, self-identity, self-image, early environment, and beginnings; how we initiate, how we’re impulsive. Any planets in this house will greatly influence your personality and how others perceive you.
  2. The second House refers to your own money and possessions, what you value, your hidden talents, sense of self-worth, self-esteem Possessions include anything a person owns (except the house/home which is ruled by the 4th House): cars, furniture, clothing, moveable property, investments and securities, etc. The 2nd house specifies how you gain and spend your own money, your attitude towards wealth and material possessions, and your potential for accumulating it/them.
  3. The third House is that of communication, which by extension includes one’s immediate environment: siblings, neighbors, short journeys, and all forms of transportation. The 3rd house also includes the intellect, the lower mind (details and small bits of information as opposed to the higher mind in 9th house), thinking patterns, and early education (before college). Communication includes messages, deliveries, gossip, phone calls, visits, reading and writing.
  4. The fourth House refers to the home and everything associated with it (both the childhood home & the current home):  family, land, personal foundations (inner emotional security), and your roots. Astrologers are divided over whether this house is associated with one’s mother or father. What is clear is that a person’s upbringing is associated with this House.

On a deeper level, the 4th house is the base of consciousness or the center   of our concrete existence. See how the cusp of the 4th house is the I.C., the lowest point on the chart, representative of things below the surface of Earth. Due to that, the 4th house was believed to rule the conditions at the end of life, and graves. As the root or base of your real self, the 4th house rules where you go when you “die” but also where you came from. For those who believe in reincarnation, the 4th house would give clues to your karmic lesson for this lifetime. It shows what karmic baggage you brought with you into this life. Even if you don’t believe in reincarnation, you’re likely to be surprised by what you find in your 4th house for it may move your soul.

Any planets in the 4th house affect your home life, your emotions, your subconscious, and possibly your relationship with your parents.

  • The fifth House refers to children, creativity, and the pursuit of pleasure. This includes personal interests, love affairs, sports, hobbies, speculation, risk-taking, teaching, drama, creative self-expression, love given, gambling. The 5th house is all about you being yourself and enjoying it.

Romance, dating, love affairs, and sexual relationships are ruled by this 5th house, yet marriage is assigned to the 7th. Why? Because, until very recently, marriage was not entered into for pleasure, for love, nor for personal fulfillment. Marriage was hardly even entered into by choice, but rather for the purpose of raising kids to preserve the values of a particular culture or religion. And these marriages were most often arranged according to class and financial status, a partnership befitting the 7th house.

Nowadays, it’s common to marry for love. To avoid confusion, remember: affairs of the heart are in the 5th house, but cooperative partnerships are in the domain of the 7th house.

  • The sixth House refers to daily work, service, diet, health and physical sickness, physical ability to work, employees. This includes volunteer labor, civil service work, caretaking, and mundane daily tasks. The 6th house really involves the quality of your work, the quality of the jobs you perform, as opposed to an actual career (career is represented by the 10th house). Daily mundane tasks include personal hygiene and our method of responding to everyday crises.
  • The seventh House is sometimes referred to as the House of marriage, but it encompasses all one-to-one relationships: marriage, business partnerships, contracts, cooperative relationships, and also divorce, separation, quarrels, open enemies, and law suits.

The difference between the love affairs of the 5th House and love relationships of the 7th is that the 7th House refers to more permanently binding relationships, whereas the 5th House refers to affairs that may be temporary. When the 5th House affair progresses into a serious relationship, we can say that the relationship has “moved into the 7th House.”

7th house relationships are about cooperation and sharing, and they generally serve some functional purpose in the larger social community (i.e. a marriage). This is different from a 5th house love affair, whose only qualification is “butterflies in the stomach.”

The 7th house includes the way you relate to those closest to you. Planets in this house will influence your manner of relating. They also give clues to issues that arise in your relationships.

Simply put, the 8th house is the polar opposite of the 2nd house. Whereas the 2nd rules your own individual possessions, the 8th house rules what a relationship owns (joint finances).

  • The 8th House is one of the most misunderstood Houses. This is probably because the things represented by the 8th House seem to have nothing in common with each other, or they seem to be negative. This House governs death, regeneration, taxes, inheritances, wills & legacies, sex (the actual act of sex), latent occult ability, joint resources, your partner’s money and possessions, spouse’s money, bankruptcy, losses, personal sacrifices, alimony, clairvoyance.

On a positive note, this House is about transformation and healing. But transformation and healing require some type of death, loss, or injury first. This House rules those processes and things by which we transform and become more powerful. Yes, this includes the act of sex.

The ninth House refers to philosophy, religion, law, learning, higher education (as opposed to early education by the 3rd House), ethics, morals, long journeys, travel, foreign countries and interests, spiritual urges, dreams, visions, higher mind, ideas, understanding and wisdom, books, publishing, ceremonies, and rituals. This is the House of big thoughts and big ideas.

  • th house “understanding” is more complex than 3rd house “knowledge”. The act of “knowing” belongs to the 3rd house because it implies simply the direct contact of a person with something in his environment. Understanding involves the synthesis of known data.

While the 3rd house refers to an individual’s need to understand his close and personal environment, the 9th house is an area in which one seeks to discover the significance of larger fields of social existence which one may not experience directly but which his mind may explore through the use of analogy, generalization and abstraction. The 3rd and 9th houses symbolize the 2 polarities of the human mind, the concrete and the abstract.

In summary, the 9th house includes experiences that we encounter when we search for the meaning of things. Whatever expands your field of activity or the scope of your mind – long journeys, contact with other cultures, great dreams, and even experiences with fortunetellers.

  1. The tenth House is the House of status, honor, community power, prestige, reputation, and professional career. In our society, this includes financial success, but only as it relates to community power and prestige. It’s not about gaining “material stuff” as it is in the 2nd house. The 10th house wants success for the sake of honor and social status.

This house includes social foundations (as opposed to personal home foundations in the 4th), recognition, personal achievements, social responsibilities, sense of duty, authority figures, politicians. This House encompasses the most public areas of one’s life, and the career that you grow into, as opposed to daily work and odd jobs ruled by the 6th House.

As with the 4th House, astrologers are divided over whether the 10th House rules one’s mother or father. Those that say the 4th House rules the mother, say the 10th House rules the father, and vice versa. What is clear is that the 4th House rules the nurturing, home-body parent, while the 10th House rules the public, success-focused parent (the parent who “wears the pants”).

As with the other angular houses, any planets in this house are very important. Planets in the 10th house, the sign on the cusp of the 10th house, and its ruling planet will greatly influence your career and your general reputation in public.

  1. The eleventh House is the House of community, large groups, and friends. It refers to memberships, hopes, goals, ambitions, wishes, social groups, associations, humanitarian interests. It also refers to self-realization, liberty, legislation and regulation.
  2. This is probably the most misunderstood house of all. The twelfth House refers to the subconscious, the hidden self that exists apart from our physical everyday reality. This includes the unconscious mind, subconscious memory, and subconscious habit patterns from the past, mental illness, karmic debts, self-deception, escapism, spiritual realization, limitations, frustration, and ultimately our self-undoing.

On a physical, material level, the 12th house includes things that take us away from everyday life: institutions (such as hospitals, prisons, and government offices), places of confinement, secrets, secret relationships, hidden enemies, and self-sacrifice for others. It also refers to sorrow, tribulations, widowhood, grief, funerals, exile, seclusion, bribery, subversion, murder, suicide, kidnapping, and endings.