Rasis and Bhavas in Astrology - Rashis (Signs)
Understanding Rasis and bhavas are crucial to understanding Astrology. The rashis are the Rajasic quality or the mental and emotional force operating behind the Bhava. It is through the Rasis (signs) that the planets express their nature as psychological forces and as house / sign lords. The planet that rules the house / sign will be the Lord of any planet that is contained in it and determine the energy behind what is produced through the house. He term rasi actually means, "Heap". It is a strange word, but a meaningful one. The rasis are a heap of energy with many attributes.
Here is a list of the 12 rasis:
Aries is a ram.
Taurus is a bull.
Gemini is a man with a club and a woman with a lute.
Cancer is a crab.
Leo is a lion.
Virgo is a virgin in a boat with grains in one hand and a light in the other.
Libra is a man in a bazaar with a balancing scale in hand.
Scorpio is scorpion.
Sagittarius is a centaur with the hind part of a horse and the front of an archer.
Capricorn has the face of a deer with the hind part of a crocodile
Aquarius is a person with an empty water pot.
Pisces shows two fish lying near each other, their heads pointing in opposite directions.
The Sage Parashara gives many details about each rasi. There is a lot of information we can learn about each sign by delving into this information. This table has several of the important attributes of each rasi.
1. Element - The element shows the inherent physical and psychological motivation operating behind each sign. These elements are deeply related to the 4 aims of life.
The 4 aims of life are:
1. Dharma (right action) related to fire signs
2. Artha (wealth and security) related to earth signs
3. Kama (happiness) related to Air signs
4. Moksha (liberation) related to water signs
Fire Signs are related to dharma and finding our true identity. Our dharma is what we feel compelled to do in the highest sense, and the sacrifices we are willing to make for it. Fire signs will follow their intuition and will plot a bold and daring course through life. Fire represents our passionate nature, so they are inspirational and action oriented with natural leadership qualities. But can also be self-centered, impatient, impulsive, aggressive and competitive.
Key: Fire can either illuminate the path of truth or create smoke and obscure it. It either warms or burns. Planets in Fire signs will seek truth and inspiration and if unable will become frustrated.
Earth Signs are related to artha and our feeling of security. It is the money and resources we need and what we to do keep it. Earth signs are material and security oriented. Earth signs will follow practical and tangible results through which they will plot a comfortable, steady and secure path through life. Earth represents the senses, so sensual indulgence and laziness can be seen in the Earth element. They are usually hard working, down to earth, reliable and patient. But may also be narrow-minded, greedy, conservative, stubborn, cautious, reserved, and possessive.
Key: Earth can either provide the stable ground that supports our path or the mountain of materiality we must overcome. Planets in earth signs will seek tangible results and if unable to realize them, can keep us stuck on a course, unable to change direction.
Air Signs are related to kama and our need for happiness. Kama is the happiness we derive from the things we have, and the connections we must make in order to fulfill ourselves in the world. Air signs will follow their intellect and communication skills as it leads them to a curious and social course through life. Air represents intellectual and physical stimulation, thus social interaction and communication, high education, a sense of humor and wit, are all very prominent with Air Signs. But the person may also be spacey, ungrounded, loose morally, superficial or eccentric.
Key: Air either provides the understanding and discrimination we need to separate fact from fiction or it shows the false mental story obscuring that deeper understanding. Planets in Air signs seek mental understanding, when this fails they will look for physical stimulation.
Water Signs are related to Moksha. Moksha is our desire to be free of the confines of mind and body and the difficulties this brings. Water signs will follow their feeling, emotional nature, which plots a subjective course through life that can be quite painful as Water signs are generally the most aware of their separation from Spirit. Water represents the connective emotions and deep perceptions, thus the intangible world of feelings and perceptions and devotion are very important to these natives. A highly empathic nature is seen here, and a desire and ability to heal. Yet given this subjective nature, they may be very needy and moody and as a result, manipulative and dependant.
Key: Water either provides the emotional attunement and sensitivity that can lead us to devotion and surrender, or if those emotions are negative, that can cripple us to the point of stasis. Planets in water signs will seek connection and transcendence, when this fails they will become clingy, self-pitiful and self absorbed.
2. Modality - Rashis are Moveable, Fixed or Dual. The Modality shows whether the course in life will be steady, changeable or a combination of the 2.
1. Moveable Rashis will change course dramatically and often in life. This inner restlessness can create many disturbances and make success, prosperity and fulfillment hard to come by. Although naturally skilled at initiating projects they lack the consistency to finish the job. They may like excitement and change, yet be bored with the humdrum. Inspiration and initiative is their greatest gift. It is best that they choose a course in life where more practical types support their ingenuity. Planets in these signs may be restless and changeable.
2. Fixed Rashis are the most consistent and the best at staying the course. They are slow to initiate and slow to change. However they are usually the most prosperous in life, or at least they have the best chance at prosperity, as the most prosperous thing we can do is be consistent and not give up or change course. The danger here is staying on a path too long, unable or unwilling to change direction. Consistency and organizational skills are their greatest gifts. Stubbornness and stasis are the dangers with the fixed Modality. Planets in these signs will act the same way, plodding and moving steadily.
3. Dual Rashis contain the energy of both the Moveable and the Fixed Rashis. They are flexible and capable of changing course or staying the course. They are the most volatile of all signs, always attuned to the possibilities and consequences of changing or staying the course. They also have an excellent possibility of success if they are able to properly decide which course to take. The strength of the Dual Rashis is in their ability to adapt and communicate effectively. In many ways, the dual rashis are not as concerned with worldly advancement as, ruled by Mercury and Jupiter, they are the most intellectual in nature. Planets in Dual Rashis will be flexible and able to adapt when necessary.
3. Polarity (Male / Female) - The modality is very important in understanding how the Sign will naturally function and in which direction its energy will move.
Male - The male signs are extroverted, positively charged, thus they project energy into the world and will actively seek and engage when faced with difficulty. Their strength is in the power of initiation, yet they can be impulsive if there are compromising factors. Male signs are more likely to be focused on the positive side of life, ready with many possible options and solutions when problems arise. Male signs are likely to be more physical in nature. Planets in male signs will exhibit a more active, expressive attitude, more positively charged and dynamic, yet may lack introspection.
Female - The female signs are introverted, negatively charged, thus they absorb and reflect on the worlds energy and will not react when faced with difficulty. Their strength is in the power of reflection, yet they can be too passive and not act when necessary. Female signs are more likely to be focused on the negative side of life, ready to give up before trying to fix a problem. Female signs are likely to be more emotional in nature. Planets in female signs will exhibit a more reflective, sensitive attitude, more internally charged with an attitude of preservation, yet they may lack the ability to act positively.
4. Guna - The 3 gunas are the 3 qualities of nature. All matter and experiences contain the 3 gunas in varying forms. The term Guna actually means "that which binds. We are bound to the world through one of the 3 Gunas, the 3 qualities of nature. Each Sign has a guna. Planets in that sign will be activated by the quality of the Guna operating through that sign.
The 3 Gunas are:
Sattwa: Inspiration and goodness, Knowledge and light. Sattwic Signs and Planets in them will compel us to act because there is the possibility of doing something good or bringing peace and harmony into the world. They are interested in others as much as themselves.
Rajas: Desire and motivation that creates turbulence and passion. Rajasic signs and planets in them will compel us to act in order to fulfill our individual goals and desires, or to experience pleasure. They are achievement oriented and self-interested.
Tamas: Difficulty, trouble, resistance inertia and ignorance. Tamasic signs and planets in them will compel us to act because there are obstacles to overcome and problems to solve. They are interested in avoiding trouble or preventing it, for others or ourselves.
5. Feet - The number and type of feet will show the inherent strength of that sign and planets operating through it. The number of feet can measure the inherent physical and character strength.
1. Quadruped - The strongest overall - like the 4 legs of a table they are the most stable and steady
2. Biped - The next strongest - they are more adaptable than the quadruped, yet not quite as strong.
3. Insect / Watery - Not as powerful as biped or Quadruped overall, yet they are more clingy and tenacious
4. Footless - The weakest of all. Only Pisces is footless and thus are at the mercy of the tides of life.
6. Appearance - The appearance of a rasi shows the nature of things produced through that house. For example if the 7th lord is in a long rasi, the person will get a spouse that lasts a long time.
1. Prominent - There will be a quality of importance and notice ability to the things produced here.
2. Long - There will be longevity to things produced here.
3. Even - There will be moderation or evenness to things produced here.
4. Bulky - There will be too much of something produced here. An excessive amount
5. Medium - There will be an average pace or quality to things here. Not extreme.
6. Large - Likes to do big things, dramatic or in a large way.
7. Slender / Hairy - Will only keep what it needs, itís hairy nature are the feelers that connect to its environment.
6. Lord - The Lord simply refers to planet that rules the Rashi in question. Look to the explanations of the planets for this information.
Bhavas - Houses
Our lives here on Earth through our physical bodies are shown through the Bhavas. The Sanskrit term literally means, "Coming into existence, Birth. It is through what is shown through the houses that our karma is born materially. It is here that Purusha is expressed as Prakriti in a world of consequence. Each house has many attributes, yet underneath there is a deeper concept key to that house.
The Planet in parentheses is the Planet that is the Karaka (significator) of that house.
The italics are literally from Brihat Parashara Hora Sastra (translation by Ernst Wilhelm)
1st house - (Sun) - "Body and appearance, cognizance and caste as well as strength and weakness, comfort, pain and oneís own true state are looked at from the Lagna (intersecting) Bhava."
Traits: Physical body and health in general, shows the head, the ego, the Self, general prosperity and well-being, basic self expression, physical constitution, personality.
Key: The Self. This is the place where the lower qualities of Self are transmuted into the higher ones. The more disconnected we feel from the higher Self the more wee will act through our lower self as a separate personality, emphasizing the body. This is the most important house in the chart as an angle and a trine.
2nd house - (Jupiter, Mercury) "Wealth, grains, family, death, collections, friends and metal, minerals, gems, etc. are all looked at from the Dhanasthaana (place of wealth)
Traits: The gathering and holding resources, food, livelihood, speech, childhood and domestic tendencies, financial success (or not) through career, face.
Key: Security and what we value. If we do not feel secure with ourselves and valuable due to a poor childhood for example, we will seek validation through outer forms of value like wealth, and luxuries and try to gain the approval of others by appearing successful or by proper speech having good taste, etc.
3rd house - (Mars, Mercury) "Courage and servants maintained, siblings, etc. upadesa ( initiatory instructions), journey, deprivation of parents, death and discernment are looked at from the difficult place"
Traits: Siblings, Self will, power and prowess, friends, motivation, Hobbies and interests, impulses and intentions that drives us. Curiosity, rashness, displays of force, Courage
Key: Our individual efforts and desires. We must act as an individual at times in order to grow and flourish, test our beliefs and experiment. Yet there is only so much we are able to accomplish by our own efforts. It takes Godís grace to make all actions complete. The third house shows where we must learn act, yet let go of the fruit of our actions.
4th house - (Moon) "Vehicles and other such, relatives, mother, happiness, etc. as well as other such yearning, and deposits, land and house are considered from the 4th."
Traits: Mother emotions and our feeling potential, peace and happiness, property, upbringing, education, popularity, vehicles, what is internal and private, where we are most sensitive.
Key: Our Inner emotional strength, and capacity for Peace. Our outer happiness and success is nothing but a reflection of our level of inner peace. In a chart, the 4th house is the Nadir, the lowest point of the chart, what is most hidden from the world. As the 1st moksha house the 4th house shows the individual need to retreat from the world and want total freedom from it.
5th house - (Jupiter) "Yantra (amulet), mantra, knowledge and also intelligence, continuance, children and fall from royalty are seen from the child house."
Traits: Children and all creative expressions, intelligence, education, speculation, romance, past life credit, spiritual practices, ability to give birth to our ideas
Key: Individual Creative Intelligence. Each of us is unique and has the capacity to express that unique nature through the 5th house. Through the function of our unique nature we can have children, become educated, do spiritual practices and develop the discrimination to see truth from fiction. As dharmic house the 5th house shows our desire to evolve creatively to fulfill our destiny.
6th house - (Mars, Saturn) "Maternal uncle, enemies, wounds and such, and also the step-mother are considered from the sixth Bhava.
Traits: Health and disease, immune system, work and service, foreigners, karma yoga, pets, effort, our capacity to do hard labor, vanquish our enemies and overcome obstacles
Key: Where we must work to improve our condition. Our physical constitution and ability to fight off disease, as well as the enemies and competitors with whom we do battle will all force us to purify and improve ourselves. As the 2nd Artha house, it shows the work and drudgery of our material nature. The highest aim of the 6th house and highest road to improvement is through karma Yoga, selfless service.
7th house - (Venus, Jupiter) "Wife, distant journey, trade, lost sight and death of oneís own body are looked at from the wife Bhava."
Traits: Long term romantic relationships, general relations with others, business associates. As opposite the ascendant, it shows to what we are most drawn and the most challenged to learn.
Key: Where we learn to compromise. Marriage partners and business associates are relationships where we enter into agreements with others. In them we must negotiate and play fairly and give up some of what we want in order to get something better. Our sense of Self is at its lowest and our desires high in this second kama house, thus we learn the value of compromise through the 7th.
8th house - (Saturn) "Longevity, battle, cheats, impassables /strongholds, wealth of the dead and the soul course - what begins and what after the wise see all from the cavity/flaw (Bhava)."
Traits: Transformation through difficulties, things breaking, destruction, dissolution, sex, death, the occult, dark / hidden side of life, longevity, research, Confronting our mortality
Key: Transforming our insecurities into strengths. Parashara calls this Bhava the cavity or flaw." It is where we are faced with our mortality and endings, our insecurities in the face of another and our neediness and fears. It is through the changes we undergo through the 8th house that we realize and become more than just a mind / body experience.
9th house - (Jupiter) Fortune, wifeís brother, religious law, brotherís wife, pilgrimages, etc. are all looked at from Dharmasthaana.
Traits: Religious, philosophical or ethical principles, grace, dharma (life purpose). Shows our highest principles operating in the world, shaping our life events, or their inability to do so.
Key: Our capacity to be open to the flow of Godís grace. Luck, wealth, spiritual values and teachers are all a part of Godís grace flowing into our lives. Our receptivity to it is shown from this house. As the 3rd dharma house it shows our highest dharma operating in the world and becoming universalized.
10th house - (Mercury, Jupiter, Sun) "Empire, space, occupation, respect, father, absence from home and obligation are looked at from Vyomasthaana (sky house)."
Traits: Career, public status, material achievement, skill, success, our ability to affect on the world. Politics. Can be even more influential than the 1st house.
Key: The power of our actions, our highest worldly actions. As following the dharma bhava, the 10th house will show our ability to affect the world in a dharmic way through our actions. Loosely translated as the house of career, the 10th house shows how we will act. This does not always translate into a career however.
11th house - (Jupiter) "Acquisition of various objects, sonís wife, income, increase advancement and domesticated animals are looked at from Bhavasthaana."
Traits: Our highest aspirations and goals, financial and material gains, older siblings, large groups of people, our peers, impulse, abundance and excess. Where we expand in life.
Key: Our highest ambitions for the world, including wanting to save it. As the last kama house, it shows what we are desiring in the highest sense and what will be the results of our actions. It is here that the soul is becoming universalized. Through associations with large groups of people we will compare ourselves and either try to help them by realizing we are all the same, or rise above them if our awareness is still limited.
12th house - (Saturn, Ketu) "Loss/expense, the result of the enemyís actions, gain of last possession, all this should be known by the wise from Vyaya."
Traits: Our subconscious and hidden nature. House of loss, liberation, isolation and decrease. A wastage of energy is observed here. Foreign journeys. Isolated through sorrow or peace.
Key: Where we must let go of things and learn to be alone. Following the house of increase is the house of loss. Everything is temporary in life, it will change and we will lose everything eventually. It is through the 12th house that we lose things and must remain with the only thing that can never be taken away, our true eternal Self. In order to do be with ourselves we must learn to be peaceful in solitude.
Below is a chart that shows the 4 goals of life as played out through the houses in an Astrology chart. The first group shows our individual attitudes and desires manifesting as we approach these goals. The second shows these goals as involving or being fulfilled through other people. The third shows our desire to universalize these goals and share them with the world.
Similarities and Differences between Bhavas and Rashis
Regarding Bhavas and Rashis, each House and Sign are mirror reflections of those opposite to them. Each Bhava shows a focus in a certain area of life and its complimentary opposite.
Similar is the case with the Rashis, though they represent more psychological energies. Particularly, each ascendant will be challenged to learn the lessons associated with its opposite sign.
Also important is the similarity between the number of the Bhava and the number of the Rashi. The 1st house is a lot like Aries, 2nd house is a lot like Taurus, 9th house a lot like Sagittarius, etc.
The chart below shows this clearly