The Art of Synthesis: The Houses Ruled by Planets

by Hank Friedman

[As with all of my other Jyotish writings and teachings, I dedicate this to my incomparable Vedic astrology guru Hart deFouw, who led me from the wilderness into the Light of Jyotish.]

Introductory note: When my inner Muse guided me to write this article, I had no idea how well the principles introduced in it would work. Since then, I've applied these principles several times, and found them very effective.

This article is based upon the fact that in Vedic astrology, the true planets -- Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn -- each rule two signs, and therefore also rule two houses. The two houses ruled by a planet have themes in common, which then become confluently affected by the condition and placement of their ruler.

If the planet is strong and well-placed, then the themes (especially the positive ones) are likely to be augmented, but if the planet is weak and poorly placed, most of the themes will be destabilized and the challenges will be magnified.

I have created three tables -- below -- indicating the shared themes of each planet for each rising sign (Ascendant), and then I've given examples of using the table to explicate people's lives.

How to use the tables

The Plus and Minus Signs: The + and - columns. In addition to the columns indicating the rising sign, houses ruled, and the shared themes, there are one or two additional columns that show one or two plus signs (+) or one minus sign (-). These columns reveal the "tilt" -- the lean towards the positive or negative -- for each of the pair of houses.

A double plus ++ shows that for the specific Ascendant, the planet rules two good houses, and therefore is dubbed the "Raja Yoga Karaka" which means that the planet is likely to significantly enhance the themes of the house it occupies, especially if it has strength and/or is with (or opposite to) a planet that rules an angle or trine.

A + sign indicates that the planet either rules good houses, or its rulership over a good house outweighs its rulership of a neutral or more challenging house. The latter result happens when a planet's moolatrikona sign is on a good house. (The moolatrikona signs are: Virgo for Mercury, Libra for Venus, Aries for Mars, Sagittarius for Jupiter, and Aquarius for Saturn.)

Planets with a plus sign for a specific Ascendant are likely to give good results unless very weak or otherwise have poor placement (E.g. with, flanked by, or aspected by malefics).

A minus sign indicates that for a specific Ascendant, the planet either rules two challenging houses, or its rulership of a challenging house outweighs its rulership of a positive house (same moolatrikona rule as above). The term kendradhipati dosha indicates that Jupiter or Mercury rules two angles other than the Ascendant. This weakens their positive nature, and may create problems for the themes of the house occupied.

The presence of a minus sign for a specific Ascendant means that unless the planet is particularly well placed (e.g. in strong yogas, etc.), it may indicate problems for the shared themes indicated in the table.

For example, in the first table below, for the houses ruled by Saturn, for those with Cancer rising, Saturn's placement will influence the person's sexual patterns, but the fact that the stronger of the two signs/houses ruled by Saturn is the 8th house makes this placement challenging, and sexual issues are more likely to arise than sexual fulfillment. I.e. because the stronger sign occupies the challenging house.


Houses Ruled By Saturn

Ascendant Houses Ruled Shared Themes
Capricorn 1 & 2 + appearance
Sagittarius 2 & 3 expressing
Scorpio 3 & 4 personal territory, relocation
Libra 4 & 5 ++ Raja Yoga
Virgo 5 & 6 - faith & doubt
Leo 6 & 7 + involvement with others
Cancer 7 & 8 - sexual patterns
Gemini 8 & 9 + deep understanding
Taurus 9 & 10 ++ Raja Yoga
Aries 10 & 11 achieving goals
Pisces 11 & 12 - gain & loss
Aquarius 12 & 1 + identity & surrender

Saturn Examples

Chuck Berry – the father of rock and roll – had Libra rising, so Saturn becomes the Raja Yoga Karaka. As such, it brought him fame and fortune as a result of his singing (Saturn is in the Second House of singing). He was known for his entertaining performances and his incredible creativity, both reflected by Saturn's ownership of the 5th house.


Albert Einstein had Gemini rising. His Saturn indeed brought him deep understanding as 8th and 9th lords., which he used in his career (Saturn in the 10th house). Note: Saturn is strong because it is in a Parivartana Yoga (and Raja Yoga) with Jupiter. Saturn's 8th house lordship gave him the instincts and perseverance to investigate deeply into the nature of the Universe, while the 9th house lordship gave him the ability to create a General Theory of Relativity, i.e. to place his ideas into a larger context.


Finally, Marilyn Monroe's sexual patterns – exemplified by Saturn as ruler of the 7th and 8th houses for her Cancer Ascendant – were both publicized and the cause of much emotional pain. With her Saturn exalted in the 4th house, she was first molested in her own home, and later became a sexual icon.


Houses Ruled By Venus & Mars

Ascendants Houses Ruled Venus Shared Themes Mars
Taurus/Scorpio 1 & 6 - health & illness -
Aries/Libra 2 & 7 - maraka (poverty, illness, death) -
Pisces/Virgo 3 & 8 - longevity & challenges -
Aquarius/Leo 4 & 9 ++ Raja Yoga, both parents ++
Capricorn/Cancer 5 & 10 ++ Raja Yoga ++
Sagittarius/Gemini 6 & 11 + friends & enemies +
Scorpio/Taurus 7 & 12 - sexuality -
Libra/Aries 8 & 1 + failure & success +
Virgo/Pisces 9 & 2 + wealth & mentorship +
Leo/Aquarius 10 & 3 efforts to succeed, initiative, enterprise
Cancer/Capricorn 11 & 4 friendship & joy
Gemini/Sagittarius 12 & 5 + spirituality & wisdom, spontaneous play, creativity, & flow -

Venus & Mars Examples

Paul Newman has Sagittarius rising, with Mars in the 5th house in its own sign of Aries. Did it bring him wisdom, creativity, and flow? Certainly. He is considered one of the best actors of all times, and was generous and wise enough to start a company – Newman's Own – whose profits all go to charity. (Note that Mars both rules and aspects the 12th house of charity).

[Note: the reasons why Paul Newman's Mars manifests positively instead of negatively given that Mars received a minus sign for Sagittarius rising is due to three factors: 1. Mars is strong (in its own sign) and the ruler of the 5th house (its Mulatrikona sign], 2. Mars is aspected by a doubly strong (dig bala and own sign) Jupiter the great benefic, 3. Even though Mars is aspected by an exalted Saturn, more importantly, as lord of the second house, Saturn forms a preeminent Dhana (wealth-producing) yoga with Mars as 5th lord.]


Paula Abdul's Venus in her Virgo rising chart exemplifies her wealth and mentorship. She has had huge successes in the entertainment industry because her 11th house Venus participates in a wonderful Raja Yoga with Saturn (lords of the 9th and 5th mutually aspecting each other). Her kind words of wisdom to those just breaking into show business are remarkable, and to the point.


I chose Clint Eastwood, focusing on Mars in his Libra Ascendant chart, because I wanted to address the "maraka" issue. He has already run (and survived) his Mars dasa, and in fact his success grew tremendously during it. How can we reconcile the indications of "poverty, illness, death" with his ascent during the activation of his maraka planet?

First of all, remember my words above: "unless the planet is particularly well placed "?

Mars is in his own sign of Aries on the 7th house, forming a Ruchaka Yoga (one of the Pancha Maha Purusha yogas), which also recurs from the Chandra Lagna (i.e. it is also in an angle from the Moon). In addition, Mars aspects its own 2nd house – remember the proverb "even a rogue smiles on his own home" – and therefore strengthens both maraka houses. Therefore, instead of Mars causing these problems, it prevents them!


Contrast Mr. Eastwood's strong and yoga-forming Mars with Bobby Darin's Venus in his Aries rising chart. Venus again rules the two maraka houses: the 2nd and 7th, but it is not strong by placement, and is aspected by two malefics: Rahu and a powerful Saturn, and Venus is also debilitated in the Navamsa chart. Mr. Darin was frail as an infant, had Rheumatic fever at age 8, which further damaged his health, and he died at the age of 37. While he didn't suffer from poverty (although his career did go into decline in the '60s), illness plagued him repeatedly, and he died young.


Houses Ruled By Jupiter & Mercury

Ascendants Houses Ruled Jupiter Shared Themes Mercury
Sagittarius/Gemini 1 & 4 ++ raja yoga ++
Scorpio/Taurus 2 & 5 + family +
Libra/Aries 3 & 6 - courage & doubt -
Virgo/Pisces 4 & 7 - kendradhipati dosha -
Leo/Aquarius 5 & 8 + blessings & obstacles -
Cancer/Capricorn 6 & 9 - doubt & faith +
Gemini/Sagittarius 7 & 10 - kendradhipati dosha -
Taurus/Scorpio 8 & 11 - challenge & ease -
Aries/Libra 9 & 12 + wealth & expenditure -
Pisces/Virgo 10 & 1 ++ raja yoga - success, fame, popularity ++
Aquarius/Leo 11 & 2 + money +
Capricorn/Cancer 12 & 3 - surrender & assertion -

Jupiter/Mercury Examples

Jane Roberts. Jane Roberts was well known in the late 20th century as the channeller of the entity Seth, and published several best-selling Seth books. Her Jupiter's rulership over the First and Fourth Houses clearly enhanced her Fifth House self-expression, and enabled her to achieve fame and influence a great number of people.


Albert Einstein's chart (displayed earlier) is an excellent example of the AND principle. The AND principle states that when there are both positive and negative features to a planet's placement, BOTH will manifest, in different ways. So Albert Einstein's Jupiter forms a Raja Yoga and Maha Parivartana Yoga with Saturn, and he pioneered in Physics and won a Nobel Prize. But his chart also shows Kendradhipati Dosa, because Jupiter rules two angles (without one of them being the Ascendant). This blemish – which is what the word dosa means – manifested very clearly in his life, too. Significant portions of his later theoretical work – 9th house Jupiter placement -- didn't pan out (e.g. in quantum physics and unified field theory), and as the 7th lord, his first wife's relationship with him was troubled and ended in divorce.


Shia La Beouf is a successful actor with Aquarius rising. His Jupiter, by ruling both money houses: the 11th and the 2nd , becomes the temporal significator of wealth. Jupiter is of course already the natural significator of wealth, too. Jupiter in Shia's chart has directional strength (by being in the First House), and is unaspected by malefics, so it clearly indicates financial success.


A More Comprehensive Analysis

Muhammed Ali

When we examine Muhammed Ali's chart, we immediately see many outstanding features. The Cancer Ascendant is aspected by five planets, including its lord, the Moon. Even though the Moon is dark (just past New) it participates with the strong (retrograde) Venus in a Raja Yoga (First Lord with Fourth Lord). In addition, the debilitated Saturn in Aries is profoundly ameliorated by both being in an angle and being with its dispositor Mars in Aries (which creates a Neechabhangha Raja Yoga), and Saturn's retrogradation gives it additional strength.

Mars itself is profoundly powerful, being both in its own sign and having directional strength (by being in the 10th house), and forms an incredibly significant Ruchaka (Maha Purusha) Yoga that repeats in both the Chandra (Moon) and Surya (Sun) Ascendant charts. (In other words, Mars is in an angle from the Ascendant, Sun, and Moon, which deeply reinforces this yoga.)

All of this explains why he because such a successful World figure. [People with many planets aspecting the Ascendant often are famous.]

In addition, he has a massive passion combination: Saturn aspecting both the Moon and Venus, intertwining the owners of the three houses of passion -- 1, 4 and 7 – and all three factors with exaggerated condition (Saturn and Venus Retrograde, and the Moon Dark). He was known to be incredibly "popular" with the girls, and to be deeply enamored of them.

But let's apply the principles of this article too. For Cancer rising, Saturn becomes the significator of sexual patterns, and indeed, it was his career and fame (Saturn in the 10th house) that brought him an endless supply of available women.

If we examine Mars, we discover that for his chart, it's the Raja Yoga Karaka! So an already extraordinary Mars in also the most providential planet in his chart! No wonder he was so indomitable. In fact, Mars also aspects its own 5th house, and he was renowned as a performer, and for his spiritual convictions and intelligence (all 5th house themes).

Venus signifies friendship and joy for his Cancer Ascendant, and as a strong yoga-forming planet, it gave him many powerful partners (7th house) and allies.

Jupiter's themes of doubt and faith appear in his chart as faith instead of doubt because Jupiter is strong (retrograde) and pristine (completely unaspected by malefics). Its 11th house placement blossomed in his involvement with his church, with charities and world causes.

And finally Mercury's themes of "surrender and assertion" are perfectly represented in his famous "rope-a-dope" boxing strategy. He would let himself be hit over and over by his opponent (surrender) until his opponent was exhausted, and then assert his dominance and win!

[I randomly chose Muhammed Ali for this example, knowing that the principles would work. Many of the other charts in this article were also chosen at random.]

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