Strength of Planets
We must discriminate between strong and weak Ascendant types. A strong type Aries Ascendant would be wilful, forceful, outgoing, outspoken, headstrong with much drive and initiative. Strength of planets should be determined by sign, house and divisional positions, as well as by directional strength and by aspect. A planet can only give the results it indicates if it has the power to do so. Elaborate calculations to determine exact planetary strength exist, as under Shadbala. Such calculations, however, tend to obscure the obvious. If, for example, the Moon is aspected by Mars, Saturn and Rahu and is weak in brightness, it will not likely give good results whatever its Shadbala or other strengths. So, it is important to learn the obvious first and not to consider bewildering calculations which are only a matter of fine tuning.
- Generally speaking, aspect strength overrides positional strength.
Mercury in Virgo will not be good if aspected by several malefics. In addition, house strength usually overrides sign strength. For example, Jupiter in a bad house, like the twelfth even in its own or exalted sign, will still create some problems. On the other hand, Jupiter debilitated in a good house like the ninth or tenth will still give benefits.
Readings always require synthesizing various factors.
- First read the sign position of planets. This relates more to the soul or inner dimension.
- Then examine their house position. This shows their outer dimension or potential to manifest in the material world.
- Above all, note the groupings of planets and their indications as house lords.
- Try to ascertain the main pattern of planetary influences that exists in the chart. Determine the predominating or most characteristic planet, its allies and its opponents.
- Aspects that are nearly exact have a special power. Aspects that occur in the navamsha chart as well as in the birth chart also possess special power. Generally, the closer the aspects, the more likely they will occur in different divisional charts as well. This is particularly true for conjunctions.
There are no absolute rules of chart interpretation. All depends on our capacity to read the pattern of the chart according to the logic of how the main indicators function.
Many Planets in one sign
This shows a very concentrated and sometimes unbalanced person. If malefics are involved, they become stronger in such conditions. Too close proximity of planets muddies the planetary rays.
This combination can cause renunciation or loss regarding the domain of life represented by the house/sign involved.
Many Planets in even sign
This gives more feminine, receptive and passive qualities.
Many Planets in odd sign
This gives more masculine, active and aggressive qualities.
Most Planets in the First Half of the Zodiac
This keeps us in a movement of personal projection, initiation and manifestation as the first half of the zodiac is the personal sphere. The direction of energy is from within to without.
Most Planets in the Second Half of the Zodiac
This keeps us in a movement of completion, universalization and communication as the second half of the zodiac is the collective sphere. The direction of activity is from without back to within.
Most Planets in the First Quarter of the Zodiac (Houses 1-3)
This gives a self-motivated but often self-centred person, expressive and dynamic but perhaps lacking the capacity to hesitate or observe himself. The first quarter of the zodiac relates to our personal drives and urges.
Most Planets in the Second Quarter of the Zodiac (Houses 4-6)
This gives a strong sense of self, work and identity. The individual will be prominent in their work and create an issue of their personality. The second quarter of the zodiac relates to our mind and character.
Most Planets in the Third Quarter of the Zodiac (Houses 7-9)
This gives a strong sense of relationship, emotion and principle. The individual will project themselves very strongly into relationship and social goals as the third quarter of the zodiac relates to relationship and emotion.
Most Planets in the Fourth Quarter of the Zodiac (Houses 10-12)
This gives a more social or collective orientation but a tendency towards diffusion and loss of self-control. The individual is moving from the collective field toward immersion in himself.
The fourth quarter of the zodiac is the collective realm.
Most Planets in Moveable or Cardinal Signs
This makes a person move and change easily both inwardly and outwardly, while maintaining a certain focus and direction.
Most Planets in Fixed Signs
This makes a person fixed both inwardly and outwardly, slow to change but persistent in what they do.
Most Planets in Mutable or Dual Signs
This makes a person shifting, indecisive or flexible. They go back and forth and cannot hold to a fixed position or one consistent direction of movement.
(These three qualities are described more in the Astrology of the Seers (89-94, 109-112), as are the four elements below. Here we are summarizing the main points.)
Most Planets in Earth Signs
This keeps one in the field of earth manifestation, the body, making things for the practical world.
Most Planets in Water Signs
This keeps one in a sphere of water, which equates to emotional and intuitive manifestation.
Most Planets in Fire Signs
This keeps one in the field of fire either outwardly as fiery occupations or inwardly as a perceptive or wilful personality.
Most Planets in Air Signs
This keeps one in the field of air, generally communication, intellectual, or social activities.