Basic Concepts of Astrology

The sky as seen from earth appears as a sphere with earth as its centre. This hypothetical sphere is called Celestial Sphere or Celestial Globe.
Our solar system is very very small as compared to our universe. The distances of stars seen in the sky are so huge that they hardly appear changing their positions in the celestial sphere even in thousands of years. In other words the celestial sphere appears like a black hollow sphere on which is stars are fixed on its surface from inside. Obviously the structure made by stars practically does not change with time.

Since the planets of our solar system including Sun and Moon are comparatively much nears, they can be seen moving in the Celestial Globe. In Indian Astrology all such heavenly bodies, which appear moving are called Grahas(planets). Because our earth moves around the Sun on almost a circular path, the Sun appears moving around the Earth on a circular path on the Celestial Sphere from west to east. All the other planets (Grahas) also appear moving along this circle from west to east, on a 9 degree wide path, which is called Zodiac.(Do not confuse with the daily apparent motion of heavenly bodies which is from east to west, due to rotational motion of earth.)

In ancient times only 5 planets namely Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were known, as they can be seen by naked eyes. If Sun and Moon are also included the number of planets(Grahas) becomes 7.

What are Rahu and Ketu?

Apparently Sun and Moon both move around the earth on apparent circular paths, with their centres as the centre of earth. The two circles cut each other on two points. These two points are 180 degree apart from each other. Because of the movement of the path of Moon, the two cut points also move on the zodiac from east to west, i.e. opposite to other planets. It takes around 18 years in completing one revolution. These two points are called Rahu and Ketu. It is why "No Moon" and "Full Moon" falling near these two points cause Solar and Lunar eclipses respectively and it appears that Rahu and Ketu are trying to swallow Sun and Moon.
The total number of planets thus becomes 9.

What are Signs i.e. Rasis. and Nakshatras

All the planets move on a about 9-degree wide circular path on the Celestial Sphere with its centre as the viewer on the earth. This path is known as Zodiac. The 360 degrees of the Zodiac is divided into 12 signs or Rasis, each having 30 degrees, as indicated below:

Rasi No.

Degree

Rasi / Sign

Lords of Rasi

Greater than or equal to

Less than

1

0

30

Mesh / Aries

 Mars

2

30

60

Vrishabh / Taurus

 Venus

3

60

90

Mithun / Gemini

 Mercury

4

90

120

Kark / Cancer

 Moon

5

120

150

Simha / Leo

Sun 

6

150

180

Kanya / Virgo

 Mercury 

7

180

210

Tula / Libra

 Venus 

8

210

240

Vrishchik / Scorpio

 Mars 

9

240

270

Dhanu / Sagittarius

Jupiter 

10

270

300

Makar / Capricorn

Saturn 

11

300

330

Kumbh / Aquarius

Saturn

12

330

360

Meen / Pieces

Jupiter 

The Zodiac is also divided into 27 parts, each having 13 degree and 20 minutes size, which are called Nakshatras or Constellations.These are as indicated below:

Nakshatra No.

Degree

Nakshatra

Greater than or equal to

Less than

1

0

13/20

Ashwani

2

13/20

26/40

Bharani

3

26/40

40/00

Krittika

4

40/00

53/20

Rohini

5

53/20

66/40

Mrigashira

6

66/40

80/00

Ardra

7

80/00

93/20

Punarvasu

8

93/20

106/40

Pushya

9

106/40

120/00

Ashlesha

10

120/00

133/20

Magha

11

133/20

146/40

Purva Phalguni

12

146/40

160/00

Uttara Phalguni

13

160/00

173/20

Hasta

14

173/20

186/40

Chitra

15

186/40

200/00

Swati

16

200/00

213/20

Vishakha

17

213/20

226/40

Anuradha

18

226/40

240/00

Jyeshtha

19

240/00

253/20

Moola

20

253/20

266/40

Purva Sharha

21

266/40

280/00

Uttara Sharha

22

280/00

293/20

Shravan

23

293/20

306/40

Dhanishtha

24

306/40

320/00

Shatabhisha

25

320/00

333/20

Purva.Bhadrapad

26

333/20

346/40

Uttara Bhadrapad

27

346/40

360/00

Revati

The Nakshatras and Rasis (Signs) are recognized by the structure made by the stars on that part of zodiac and their names are also given as the structure appears. The planets appear moving over the Rasis/nakshatras. The planets move with different speeds, as indicated below:

Planet

Time Taken to cross one Rasi

Moon

2.5 Days

Mercury

On average one month

Venus

On average one month

Sun

One Month

Mars

1.5 Months

Jupiter

One Year

Rahu/Ketu

1.5 Years

Saturn

2.5 Years

Uranus

7 Years

Neptune

15 Years

Pluto

40 years

The speeds of Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu are almost constant, while other planets change their speeds. Rahu and Ketu move from east to west while all other planets move from west to east. The planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto some time move in opposite direction ( for short duration) i.e. from east to west. This motion is called retrograde(Vakri) motion.
We know that the earth receives radiations and other influences from the sky. These influences are not same from all parts of the sky. Each rasi (sign) or nakshatra has its own influence depending on the radiation coming from part represented by it. The influence of a planet therefore is affected by the Rasi occupied by it.

BIRTH CHART

Birth chart is presentation of planets and Zodiac in the sky, relative to native at the time of birth. For casting birth chart/horoscope, we must know the position of planets in the zodiac and the position of the zodiac w.r.t. to the native. Lagna is required for getting the position of Zodiac.

What is Lagna

Due to rotational motion of the earth on its axis (on rotation in 23 Hours and 56 Minutes), the entire zodiac appears rotating arround the earth from east to west. Obviously it also takes 23 Hours and 56 Minutes for one rotation. The Rasi rising in east at the time of birth is defined as lagna. The persons born in same lagna would have received almost similar cosmic influences if planets are ignored. Therefore Lagna plays a important role in making forecasts about a person. The effect of a planet is dependent onthe lagna.

What are Bhavas

The Lagna is defined as first house of the birth chart of the person. The next rasi is called second house, the next to it is called 3rd house and so on. The influence on the planet depends on (1) the rasi occupied it (2) the lagna of the native (3) the bhava in which the rasi occupied by the planet falls.

The following table describes what a bhava represents:

SN

HOUSE/BHAVA

REPRESENTATION

1

First

Self, health, entire body, overall personality, head

2

Second

Face, right eye, money

3

Third

Brother/sister, bravity, neck, small journey

4

Fourth

Mother, mind, heart, mental peace, education, vehicle, house

5

Fifth

Chidren, intelligence, stomach

6

Sixth

diseases, enemies, abdomine

7

Seventh

spouse, married life, urogenital system

8

Eighth

life/death,

9

Ninth

fortune, religious deeds, fame, long journey

10

Tenth

father, job

11

Eleventh

income, profit

12

Twelfth

expenditure, loss, left eye

 How To Make Predictions

BENEFIC AND MELEFICS

Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are "SHUBH" OR benefic planets.

Saturn, Mars, Sun, Rahu and Ketu are "PAP" or melefic planets.

Moon is in neither of the categories. Sun is supposed to be a bit different from melefic. It is sometimes called "KROOR" or cruel planet instead of melefic.

UCHCH AND NEECH

  SUN MOON MARS MERCURY JUPITER VENUS SATURN
UCHCH RASI 1 Mesh (Aries) 2 Vrishabh (Taurus) 10 Makar (Capricorn) 6 Kanya (Virgo) 4 Kark (Cancer) 12 Meen (Pieces) 7 Tula (Libra)
NEECH RASI 7 Tula (Libra) 8 Vrishchik (Scorpio) 4 Kark (Cancer) 12 Meen (Pieces) 10 Makar (Capricorn) 6 Kanya (Virgo) 1 Mesh (Aries)
FRIEND'S RASI 4,8,9,12   4,5,9,12 2,6,7,10,11 1,5,8 3,6,10,11 2,3,6
ENEMY'S RASI 2,3,6,7,10, 11   2,3,6,7,10, 11 1,4,5,8,9,12 2,3,6,7,10, 11 1,4,5,8,9,12 1,4,5,8,9,12

LORDSHIP OF A BHAV

Lord of a bhav is the lord of the sign (Rasi) falling in that bhav. For example in the Simha Lagna Chart(Chart having Leo as ascendent), the Sumha Rasi falls in first house hence, lord of first house would be Sun. Similarly, Vrischik (Scorpio) rasi falls in 4th house hence lord of 4ht house will be Mars.

GOOD AND BAD BHAVAS

 Kendra  Bhavas 1,4,7 and 10 are called "Kendras". These are good places.
 Trikona  Bhavas 1,5,9 are called "Trikonas". These are also good places.
 Triks  Bhavas 6,8, and 12 are called Triks. Thases are bad bhavas
 Other  Other bhavas 2,3,11 are medium bhavas.
A planet sitting in good bhav gains power, while sitting in bad bhav looses strength. A planet sitting in own rasi, uchch rasi or friends rasi gains strength, while sitting in neech rasi or in enemy's rasi looses strength.

If a lord of a house is sitting in a good bhav or in own rasi/uchch rasi or friends rasi the aspects related to that bhav are enhansed,

Similiarly, If a lord of a house is sitting in a bad bhav or in neech rasi or in enemy's rasi the aspects related to that bhav are decreased,

Melefic planets sitting in a bhav reduces good results and increases bad results of the bhav.

Benefic planets sitting in a bhav reduces bad results and increases good results of the bhav.

Apart from above there are other things used in Vedic Astrology for making prediction. There are certain combnations of planets, called "YOGA", play important role in making predictions. Vimshottary dasha and gochar movement of planets are used for making predictions for different age of he native.