Essentials of Vedic Astrology Block 1: Static Horoscope
Lesson 2A: Characteristics of the Signs (key to the signs in detail)


Characteristics of the Signs (key to the signs in detail)

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RASHIS (SIGNS)

Each sign has a set of characteristics which defines it. Some of these characteristics are unique - such as their Number, Name, Symbol, Principle and Limb (Body Part) Of Kalapurush - and some of them are shared with other signs - such as their Ruling Planet, Gender, Quality, Element, Locomotion and Nature.
However, the shared characteristics are allocated in such a way that each combination is unique to one sign only.
Though there are a number of other characteristics used in Jyotish for various purposes, the main ones we shall be dealing with in this course include:

1. Sign Number
2. Sanskrit Name
3. Western Name
4. Symbol (Linga)
5. Principle (Siddhant)
6. Limb (Body Part) Of Kalapurush
7. Ruling Planet
8. Gender
9. Quality
10. Element (Mahabhuta)
11. Locomotion
12. Physical Nature (Dosha)


1. Sign Number
Each rashi is allocated its own number, which denotes its sequence of order in the zodiac, and is used for purposes such as drawing charts.

2. Sanskrit Name
The Sanskrit Name describes in a word the symbol of the rashi.

3. Western Name
These are the Signs' Names with which we are most familiar. They are derived from Latin and correspond closely with the Sanskrit Names.

4. Symbol (Linga)
The Symbol describes the characteristics of the rashi in a pictorial way, both literal and metaphorical. The symbolic metaphors are rich in connotation and can be interpreted on a number of levels. It is usually an animal or human form, or a combination of human and/or animal forms.

5. Principle (Siddhant)
The Principle of each sign is simply the fundamental idea which underlies that sign's archetype.

6. Limb (Body Part) Of Kalapurush
If Kalapurush (The Wheel Of Time Eternal) can be anthropomorphically described as a human body, then every sign can be seen as a limb, or body part, of that body. Every sign is placed in that body more or less in descending order, beginning with Aries as representing the head and ending with Pisces being placed at the feet. This representation can also be used when reading a personal chart for determining a native's health issues and physical characteristics.

7. Ruling Planet
Each rashi has a planet which rules or governs it and from which it derives many of its qualities. If a planet rules more than one sign, then each sign expresses different aspects of that planet's portfolio.

8. Gender
Each sign is allocated a gender, either male or female, alternating in that order for the entire zodiac, beginning with Aries.


9. Quality
Just as in Western Astrology, each sign has allocated to it one of three major qualities. They are (with Sanskrit word in brackets):

- Cardinal (Chara)
- Fixed (Sthira)
- Mutable (Dvishvabhava)

They are allocated in that order starting with the sign of Mesha (Aries), repeating until every sign in the zodiac is assigned a quality.

10. Element (Mahabhuta)
Each sign has allocated to it one of the four elements of:

- Fire (Agni)
- Earth (Prithvi)
- Air (Vayu)
- Water (Jal)

They are allocated in that order starting with the sign of Mesha (Aries), repeating until every sign in the zodiac is assigned an element.

11. Locomotion
Each rashi can be classified in terms of its locomotion.
The classifications are:

- Biped (two-footed)
- Quadruped (four-footed)
- Creeping (centipede)
- Aquatic (swimming)

An order of dominance (or pecking order) exists according to these classifications.

- Biped rashis dominate the Quadrupeds, except Simha.
- Bipeds dominate Aquatics.
- Aquatics are edibles for Bipeds and Creeping.
- Simha has supremacy over all, except Creeping.

The classification to which a rashi belongs is obvious by looking at its symbol.

12. Physical Nature (Dosha)
Each sign is allocated a Physical Nature (Dosha) in relation to the affect on the physical constitution and health according to the Vedic medical science of Ayurveda. Traditionally in India, Ayurveda and Jyotish are regarded as syncretic disciplines, where each refers to the other as purpose necessitates. Again beginning with Aries and repeating until Pisces, the order in which the doshas are allocated to the signs is as follows:

- Pitt
- Vata
- Kapha.
- Tridosh


back to contents table

Essentials of Vedic Astrology - Lesson 2A Sign Characteristics ©2006 Astrosalon p/l


Home | Lessons | Consultations | Yagya | Nadi Astro | Yatra | Contact | Testimonials