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Introduction to the Layered Approach to Chart Interpretation

By Michael Laughrin,

As far as I know, I created this layered approach to Jyotish chart interpretation. I give thanks to my teachers Hart de Fouw, Narendra Desai, and K.N. Rao.

Imagine thin sheets of colored plastic layered on top of each other. The total effect of all the sheets in a pile will be the clearest when they all show the same color or a harmonious color with those of the individual sheets making up the pile.

Here is a list of most of the layers that may make up a pile for one planet in one sign in one house:

  1. Sign
    1. Male or female
    2. Element
    3. Fixed, mutable or moveable
    4. Planet that owns the sign
  2. House
  3. Planet in house
    1. Natural qualities (karakas)
    2. Acting as agent of another house, i.e., lord of house 12 in house 9.
  4. Aspects onto the house
  5. Aspects onto the planet under scrutiny
  6. Nakshatra placement of the planet.
  7. Transits aspecting or conjuncting the planet under focus.

This is all a lot to consider. So, for purposes of brevity and comprehension, we will limit ourselves to numbers 2 and 3 above in this article: House, and Planet in house.

Let us consider Jupiter in the 9th house in Virgo and see what it might mean.

The first thing we notice is that the Lagna is Capricorn and that Jupiter is an enemy of the Lagna Lord Saturn.

Next, we see that Jupiter rules the 12th house and the 3rd house in this chart.

Then let us consider the 9th house by itself. What does it stand for? It rules father, guru, religion, law and philosophy. It also rules higher education and long distance travel. It is also a house of Luck.

What does Jupiter stand for? Guru, higher education, law, religion, philosophy and children – to name a few.

What do we find in common between Jupiter and the 9th house? We find that guru, religion, philosophy and higher education are the common themes. Could we then conclude that the native has an unusually strong interest in gurus, philosophy and religion? I believe that the answer is Yes. Can we see long distance travel related to spiritual matters? Again, a Yes. Has the native attended institutions of higher education? Yes.

Now let us see the layer of the 12th house (Jupiter is lord of the 12th in this chart) with the layer of the 9th house. The 12th house stands for loss, meditation and enlightenment, the guru's ashram, the sleep state and the Unconscious mind. Also it rules hidden enemies, raw sex, and institution of confinement, such as jails, hospitals, mental hospitals, monasteries and ashrams. What do the 12th house and 9th house have in common? Gurus, meditation, travel. Also both houses rule foreign things. The native has become a teacher of meditation and has traveled to foreign countries to meditate, to learn meditation and to teach meditation. Also, a lot of money has been spent on spiritual courses, retreats and certificates.

Jupiter also rules children and the 9th house, being the 5th house from the 5th house of children, is a secondary house of children (it is the main house of grandchildren). Does the native have children? The answer is both "no" and "yes." There are no birth children, but there are stepchildren. Astrologically, because Jupiter, the ruler of the house of loss, in a house of children (and Jupiter is fully aspecting the main house of children), we would expect loss of children or no children. Where do the stepchildren come from then? This will take a slight digression. The native has Venus in the 5th house. Venus, a female planet that owns the 5th house (Taurus, in this case) is in the 5th house. So, you guessed it, the native has two stepdaughters but no sons or stepsons.

Then we have the layer of the lord of the 3rd house in the 9th house and what do we get? Again, look for the similarities between the 3rd house, the 9th house and Jupiter. All rule travel and the native has lived out of the country for more than 1-1/2 years. Also, he has traveled many times, attending retreats, courses of spiritual instruction, and living in various spiritual communities. Also, the 3rd house represents one's own efforts: the native, at first, trained himself to be a Vedic Astrologer. Later he did receive various certificates in Vedic Astrology. The 3rd house is also a creative house that stands for the arts and writing. The native has written two books, one of them about Jyotish. Jupiter stands for classical music and the native is a musician who was trained classically.

This is a mere taste of the layered approach to Jyotish chart interpretation.

Michael Laughrin
October 2005

(c) copyright 2005 Michael Laughrin.

From the October/November 2005 issue of Michael Laughrin's North American Jyotish Newsletter. Click to subscribe to this free Jyotish newsletter.

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