Planets and Signs – Forces and Fields

The field of activity is not determined by the nature of the planet influencing it. Nor is the nature of the planet determined by the field of activity. This is just like a person in a house. The person who happens to be in it does not determine the nature of the house, nor is the person determined by the nature of the house in which he resides. Both factors influence each other. The person may alter the house and the house may limit the activity of the person. Hence, it is a question of compatibility or appropriateness of place and function.

The signs represent the field of activity. The planets represent the forces in operation within that field. It is important to remember the following rule:

  • The signs maintain their integrity of meaning regardless of the planets within them or aspecting them.
  • Similarly, the planets maintain their integrity of meaning, regardless of the field or sign in which they are acting.
  • The house that the sign rules in the chart specifies the field of activity represented by the signs. The sign shows the character of the field. The house shows its affect upon the outer world. A person with Taurus rising will have a Taurean field of activity or manifestation in the material world because Taurus is the sign of fixed earth. They will have a strong sense of matter, beauty and order. They will have a lot of work to do on a practical, material or physical level with the accumulation, development and refinement of form. Their lives will be oriented towards practical manifestation in the material world. Even when highly evolved spiritually, they will still have to manifest that spirituality through a mastery of the world of form. They will seek order, structure, beauty or love.

On the other hand, someone with a Libra Ascendant will be strongly oriented to the social world and toward the projection of ideas to change the world because Libra is cardinal air. They will be more socially, politically, group or friendship oriented and will like to be leaders in social or intellectual contexts. Their ideas and ideals will be more important to them than practical matters and they will be willing to sacrifice worldly goals and possessions for them.

The planets represent the kind of energy the individual will manifest within the field of activity represented by the sign. Taurus Ascendant strongly aspected by Saturn will give the individual concern with property, possessions, banking and a conservative trend of character or at least an extreme practicality in life and need for control and domination in the material world. Saturn’s contracting nature will combine with the earthly qualities of Taurus.

Libra Ascendant strongly aspected by the Sun will make for a strong political, military, social or intellectual leader. The Libra field of activity will be dominated by the quality of the Sun.

Such are the discriminations that the astrologer must make in combining sign, house and planetary influences.

  • The signs show the nature of the field.
  • The planets show the quality of energy operating within that field.

Generally, the ruler of the sign will have the strongest energy to influence it. If the ruler of a sign aspects its own sign or is strongly placed, the field and the force operating within the sign will be of the same character and strength. For example, if Aries is the Ascendant and Mars is in Leo, another fire sign, the properties of the Aries Ascendant will be increased. However, if Mars is in Virgo, a difficult sign for it, many of the properties of the Aries Ascendant may be weakened or inhibited. The individual may have ill health or difficulty in self-expression.

  • If the nature of the sign and that of planets aspecting it is similar to the ruler of the sign, the sign gains more strength.

For example, Aries ascendant aspected by the Sun and Mars will be strong because both of these are fiery planets and friends. However, if it is aspected by natural and temporal malefics like Saturn and Mercury, which represent air and ether, it will be weakened.

Yet this general rule has exceptions. As the ruler of the sign is only one planet of nine, other planets commonly overcome its influence. For this reason, individuals may have a quality of energy or body type different than the predominant element of the Role.

House Inter-Relationships

The combinations listed below are among the common or general yogas of Vedic Astrology.

All or Most Planets above the horizon (Houses 7-1)

This creates an outgoing, worldly or political nature because the planets are in the visible half of the chart. The individual will be social or work oriented, communicative but possibly superficial. They will easily reveal themselves and make their lives a public affair. It will be difficult for them to keep secrets or to be uninfluenced by their social environments. They may be evolved spiritually but will express their spirituality through work or communication. They will be drawn into public activity, even though their basic nature (as revealed by the signs) may be more private.

All or Most Planets above the horizon (Houses 7-1)

This creates an introverted or inward nature because the planets are in the invisible half of the chart. The individual will be indrawn, inexpressive or not revealing of their true feelings or motivations. They will hide things, keep things close to themselves and can be hard to understand. More evolved types will be drawn towards meditation. They can be successful in the outer world, but they will work behind the scenes or through other people.

All or Most Planets in the eastern half of the Chart

The individual will be more self-motivated, individualistic and self-expressive because planets are in the eastern or personal side of the chart. They may be selfish, egoistic or simply individualistic. They may talk much about themselves and be impulsive in their behaviour. Relationships may prove difficult for them.

All or Most Planets in the western half of the Chart

The predomination of planets in the relationship side of the chart will make the person relationship oriented. They may define themselves by the people with whom they are in partnership. Self-identity and self-worth may be difficult to establish. They will find it difficult to stand alone. However, they can be aggressive in relationship.

Opposite Houses

Duality is the essence of life. These prime dualities of life are outlined in the relationship between the houses, between each house and its opposite. Planets in opposite houses reflect these prime issues. The Rahu-Ketu axis, which is always in opposite houses, does this as well.

Houses 1 and 7

These are the houses of self and other. Planets here show issues in relationship and self-identity. When the planets involved are of harmonious nature, they show harmony of self and partner. When the planets are of conflicting nature, they show conflict between the self and other, between personal drives and relationship needs.

Houses 2 and 8

These are the houses of personal and collective resources. They show material and financial issues. Badly disposed, they show the loss of personal resources to groups, organizations or to society at large. Well disposed, they show both personal and collective gains. These are also houses of personal and collective expression. They can show conflict of expression with the partner. They can also show the ability to communicate on both personal and collective levels. Afflicted, they can give health problems because the eighth is the house of death and the second a death-dealing (maraka) house.

Houses 3 and 9

These are houses of dharma, vocation and motivation. The third shows our basic energy, drive and curiosity, what we like to do of our own accord when not seeking any collective goal. The ninth shows the principles that we stand for in the world. It shows what we think is our duty, what we feel a responsibility or calling to do for the benefit of the world. The third is what we like to do and represents following our own personal motivations. Issues between these houses centre on the conflict between the personal and social usage of our energies, personal interests and enthusiasms versus collective and spiritual responsibilities. Harmony between these two houses shows a harmony of desire and duty, of personal will and spiritual purpose.

Houses 4 and 10

These are houses of the private life versus the public life, of personal identity versus social roles. Here the issues of individual needs versus social responsibility come out. Some of these are similar issues to the third and ninth houses, but for those houses it is a question of values and the usage of energy; for these houses, it is a question of home life and work life. Conflicts between the domestic and the work sphere are shown here. Also shown is the relationship between our heart’s desire (fourth house) and its public realization (tenth house). It shows the relationship between desire (fourth house) and karma (tenth house).

Houses 5 and 11

These are both houses of gain, expansion and creativity, the former in the personal sphere, the latter in the collective sphere. Issues here are those of creativity and self-expression.

The fifth house shows our intelligence and creativity. The eleventh shows how we communicate and share it on a group or collective level. A conflict between these two houses shows a conflict between personal and public aspirations for the person.

Houses 6 and 12

These are houses of negation and sorrow. The sixth house shows factors that negate our personal well-being, the twelfth house those which negate our social well-being. Issues between these houses relate to disease, enmity, sorrow and loss. On a higher level, these are the issues of service and surrender. This is a very sensitive axis and malefic influences on this axis can cause much harm, though malefics in the sixth house itself can be beneficial.