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House Systems in Indian Astrology
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:07 pm    Post subject: House Systems in Indian Astrology Reply with quote

At present my very limited understanding is that the following house systems are widely used:

1 Whole Sign. The oldest house system and the most ancient in Indian astrology. This seems to be clear evidence of a transmission of Hellenistic astrological techniques to India. In this system the ascendant sign detrermines the entire first house and other houses follow in whole sign order.

2 Sripati System. This system seems similar in many respects to the western Porphyry system. It appears to be the oldest Indian house system after whole sign houses but I am not clear exactly when it was first adopted. The major difference with Porphyry is that the cusps are placed squarely in the middle of the house not at the beginning. The points from the ASC to MC and ASC to IC are trisected equally. These trisections are duplicated from the MC to DESC and DESC to IC. To find the beginning of the first house we identify the midpoint between the 12 th and 1st trisected sectors. To find the end of the first Sripati house we find the midpoint between the 1st and 2nd trisected sectors.

3.Placidus system-Not an Indian house system as such but one that seems to have become become very popular in modern Indian astrology in the so called KP system astrology.

4. Tajika Astrology. I am wondering about Tajika astrology introduced into India in the medieval period from Muslim sources. What house system does it tend to utilise?

Thanks

Mark
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Traditionally, all charts are read with whole sign system.
If the astrologer gets stuck then starts looking at Bhava sandhi and the like(Sripati).Also, Sripati is used in strength calculations.

Gayatri Devi Vasudev suggests to keep the ascendant point as mid-point of the house and 15deg on either side(Practical Horary Astrology).

Placidus- I haven't heard of this being used in Jyotish but anything is possible.

Tajika-I used the WSH but my experience is very limited.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pankajdubey wrote:
Quote:
Placidus- I haven't heard of this being used in Jyotish but anything is possible.


I wonder if that is because you are more focused on exclusively traditional Jyotish? I have repeatedly encountered references to the KP System (Krishnamurti Paddhati= (KP)) on Jyotish discussion forums. It was founded by the late Prof. K.S. Krishnamurti.

It seems to have some unique characterstics and doesn't follow traditional Jyotish. This includes use of Placidus houses. It also uses a slightly different ayanamsa from Lahiri.

http://www.kpjyotish.com/Kp.htm

Quote:
Also, Sripati is used in strength calculations.


Thanks. According to Robert Schmidt and his followers that was the way Porphyry houses were used in hellenistic astrology e.g. Vettius Valens.

Quote:
Tajika-I used the WSH but my experience is very limited.


Ok I just assumed it would be using a quadrant system as I thought the Persian/Arab astrology entering India by this point had adopted these house systems.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: House Systems in Indian Astrology Reply with quote

Mark's summary seems correct to me. The traditional Tajika authors I have read use Sripati houses.
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pankajdubey wrote:
Quote:
Also, Sripati is used in strength calculations.


I am just curious if any Indian astrologers ever use Sripati houses for topics i.e. house rulership/meaning rather than just to assess planetary strength?


Pankajdubey wrote:
Quote:
Gayatri Devi Vasudev suggests to keep the ascendant point as mid-point of the house and 15deg on either side(Practical Horary Astrology).


Interesting. That is identical to the system proposed by the German astrologer Johannes Vehlow (1890-1958) who was one of the greatest German astrologers in the 20th century. Today the system carries his name as the Vehlow house system.

Its rather ironic that an Indian astrologer like Gayatri Devi Vasudev may have adopted Vehlow's idea. It looks as if Vehlow himself was strongly influenced by Indian astrological techniques. Although its an equal house system the Vehlow system is reminiscent of the Sripati system with the Indian notion of house cusps in the middle of a house. He also advocated a house system derived from the house of the Sun. This is a common technique in Indian astrology.

Mark
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
I am just curious if any Indian astrologers ever use Sripati houses for topics i.e. house rulership/meaning rather than just to assess planetary strength?

I have never met, or read a book by, an Indian astrologer who used Sripati houses only for assessing strength. Those who use it tend to use it as a full-fledged house system. It is quite common, though, for Indian astrologers to consider both Sripati and whole-sign houses (what they call bhāva-cakra and rāśi-cakra) side by side.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Quote:
Interesting. That is identical to the system proposed by the German astrologer Johannes Vehlow (1890-1958) who was one of the greatest German astrologers in the 20th century. Today the system carries his name as the Vehlow house system.

Its rather ironic that an Indian astrologer like Gayatri Devi Vasudev may have adopted Vehlow's idea. It looks as if Vehlow himself was strongly influenced by Indian astrological techniques.

Gayatri Devi Vasudev uses her father's preferred system of house division. B.V. Raman tested a number of house systems and settled on the equal cusp as the center of houses. I believe this system was once popular in India. It's the house system I've used for many years. Somehow in modern times (perhaps due to western influence) whole sign houses have become popular, but I haven't found that they work well.

"According to one view, shared by the vast majority of people...the length of each Bhava will be 30 degrees---the influence extending 15 degrees on either side of the ascending degree (equal house system)...In our own humble experience extending for nearly 35 years, the equal house system appears to be yielding more satisfactory results." (B.V.Raman, A Manual of Hindu Astrology, p. 96. (First published in 1935)

B.V. Raman studied western astrology before rejecting it, but he is the person responsible for connecting the four elements to the Indian astrological triplicities. There is no history of element/sign correlation in India's classical texts.
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pankajdubey



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Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark wrote:
Pankajdubey wrote:
Quote:
Also, Sripati is used in strength calculations.


I am just curious if any Indian astrologers ever use Sripati houses for topics i.e. house rulership/meaning rather than just to assess planetary strength?


....
Mark


If you get a Janma Kundali prepared by a traditional astrologer, he will give a a Lagna chakra,Chandra rashi chakra(Moon in asc) and Bhava chalita chakra(showing bhava sandhi etc).
In delineation, Rashi is bhava is assumed but they take recourse to the bhava chakra if some issues are there-e.g an exalted planet not giving the intended result- then they would look at Bhava sandhi and navamsha and ashtakvarga strength and panchvargeeya bala.

I am talking of the average Jyotishi.The protocols for authorship and research are a bit more stricter and more comprehensive.

PD
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Mark
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Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
Gayatri Devi Vasudev uses her father's preferred system of house division. B.V. Raman tested a number of house systems and settled on the equal cusp as the center of houses. I believe this system was once popular in India. It's the house system I've used for many years.



Quote:
"According to one view, shared by the vast majority of people...the length of each Bhava will be 30 degrees---the influence extending 15 degrees on either side of the ascending degree (equal house system)...In our own humble experience extending for nearly 35 years, the equal house system appears to be yielding more satisfactory results." (B.V.Raman, A Manual of Hindu Astrology, p. 96. (First published in 1935)


Thanks Therese,

Very useful references. I wonder if Johannes Vehlow (1890-1958) came across B.V. Raman's work or developed his approach to houses independently? Considering Vehlow's use of a Sun based house system too it does sound likely that he encountered Indian astrological ideas. It certainly seems plausible he might have read Raman's book in 1935. Unfortunately, I dont know when Vehlow first proposed his new house system. In fairness to Raman I will call the system the Vehlow-Raman for now.

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Quote:
B.V. Raman studied western astrology before rejecting it, but he is the person responsible for connecting the four elements to the Indian astrological triplicities. There is no history of element/sign correlation in India's classical texts.


Ok that sounds like a good topic in its own right!

Therese Hamilton
Quote:
Somehow in modern times (perhaps due to western influence) whole sign houses have become popular, but I haven't found that they work well.


Your suggesting that whole sign houses may have become popular in India as a result of their revival in the west from the late 1990's onwards? That seems a bit implausible to me. Surely traditional Jyotish is dominated by whole signs houses in combination with Sripati anyway? Perhaps some modern western Jyotish astrologers were influenced by Project Hindsight but I would have thought its influence on traditional astrological practice in India would be negligible.

I appreciate sign division house systems (i.e. Porphyry) were in all probability introduced to India in the Roman period. The Influence of Persian/Arabic astrology in the early medieval period will have reinforced this trend. However, I always assumed whole sign houses continued to have a strong following. Arguably this only started to erode in the 20th century with the influence of Indian astrological teachers who had adopted western or reforming ideas on house systems such as B.V. Raman or Prof. K.S. Krishnamurti

I cant concur with your experience of whole sign houses but then I am not sidereal in practice so such comparisons are perhaps fruitless.

In this context people might find it interesting to check out the philosophy forum looking at pioneering research using the Octuple or 8 sector chart. Sari's (Papretis) research focuses on the Gauquelin research and notes that the bulk of the Gauquelin plus zone are zodiacally behind the angles not ahead of them.

The Gauquelin research seems to seriously challenge any house system that starts with house cusps at the angles. This includes nearly all the house systems used in western astrology today e.g. Placidus, Koch, Equal ( from ASC), Topocentric, Alcabitius, Regiomontanus, Campanus etc. In contrast it seems to offer some vindication for the Indian method of placing house cusps in the centre of houses. In particular this seems to favour the Sripati system above any other. Both the Vehlow-Raman and Whole sign systems do much better than most western systems at picking up Gauquelin plus zones along the ASC-DESC axis. However, they are less successful at doing so along the MC/IC axis due to the equal 4th/10th houses being used.

Mark
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Therese wrote:
B.V. Raman studied western astrology before rejecting it, but he is the person responsible for connecting the four elements to the Indian astrological triplicities. There is no history of element/sign correlation in India's classical texts.

Mark wrote:
Ok that sounds like a good topic in its own right!

Contemporary western Jyotish writers (and perhaps Indian writers as well) have followed in Raman's footsteps and place the fire-earth-air-water categories with the zodiac signs. Then they have no choice but to copy the meanings to the signs, which logically isn't going to work. That's why I've been trying to dislodge this error with posts on forums and in articles in the last year or so. Cyril Fagan completely rejected the element/sign corrleation, so there is no sidereal tradition for elements assigned to trigons. (Unless one assumes that ancient western astrology was sidereal.)

Quote:
Mark wrote:
Your suggesting that whole sign houses may have become popular in India as a result of their revival in the west from the late 1990's onwards? That seems a bit implausible to me. Surely traditional Jytosh is dominated by whole signs houses in combination with Sripati anyway? Perhaps some modern western Jytosh astrologers were influenced by Project Hindsight but I would have thought its influence on traditional astrological practice in India would be negligible.

Perhaps giving the credit to western writers is a bit of a stretch. I'd have to go back and review the older modern texts as well as the classics. It does seem, however, based on Raman's statement that I quoted, that the whole sign house system wasn't the only popular way to calculate houses. Sripati has always had a place in India's astrology, and we know that house system placed the cusps at house centers.

Quote:
I can't concur with your experience of whole sign houses but then I am not sidereal in practice so such comparisons are perhaps fruitless.

Looking at actual birth charts for which we have a life history might be helpful in a comparison. Somehow astrologers don't often get into this kind of coooperative research.

Quote:
The Gauquelin research seems to seriously challenge any house system that starts with house cusps at the angles. This includes nearly all the house systems used in western astrology today e.g. Placidus, Koch, Equal ( from ASC), Topocentric, Alcabitius, Regiomontanus, Campanus etc. In contrast it seems to offer some vindication for the Indian method of placing house cusps in the centre of houses. In particular this seems to favour the Sripati system above any other. Both the Vehlow-Raman and Whole sign systems do much better than most western systems at picking up Gauquelin plus zones along the ASC-DESC axis. However, they are less successful at doing so along the MC/IC axis due to the the equal 4th/10th houses being used.

I wonder....will we ever be able to settle the house question with dedicated research? For myself I tend to see cusps as centers of influence rather than marking the beginnings of houses. Raman has stated that planets at house junction points (bhava sandhis) lose their power. I can look up that reference if anyone is interested. I'm fortunate to have obtained Raman's books when there were so many occult and metaphysical bookstores in the 1970s. Now they are still available at Astroamerica.com and sometimes on Amazon.

Therese
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Contemporary western Jyotish writers (and perhaps Indian writers as well) have followed in Raman's footsteps and place the fire-earth-air-water categories with the zodiac signs. Then they have no choice but to copy the meanings to the signs, which logically isn't going to work. That's why I've been trying to dislodge this error with posts on forums and in articles in the last year or so. Cyril Fagan completely rejected the element/sign corrleation, so there is no sidereal tradition for elements assigned to trigons. (Unless one assumes that ancient western astrology was sidereal.)

Well -- Valens is one of the few ancient 'western' authors (if Alexandria can be called western) who do correlate triplicities with elements, and his zodiac didn't begin at the equinox. In India, the correlation has existed at least in Tajika texts since the late Middle Ages. The Perso-Arabic source texts were a mixed bag, being derived from both tropical and sidereal sources, but the Indian Tajika tradition is sidereal.
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin wrote: (corrected name)
Quote:
In India, the correlation [of elements to signs] has existed at least in Tajika texts since the late Middle Ages. The Perso-Arabic source texts were a mixed bag, being derived from both tropical and sidereal sources, but the Indian Tajika tradition is sidereal.

Martin, do you have an older classical Indian Varshaphal text that mentions the correlation of elements to signs? I assume you are talking about India's Varshaphal system (solar returns) which is based on Tajika principles. I have three Varshaphal texts. In the earliest one (Varshaphal or The Hindu Progressed Horoscope by B.V. Raman) there is no mention of elements. Houses receive all the attention. The text I have is the 8th edition published in 1969 (Raman Publications). I don't know the date of the first edition. Raman writes:

"Coming to the Tajaka on which the present exposition is based, it is found that this system is of later origin and growth...But it seems to have been put in a language which could be understood by more than the scholars as far back as 500 B.C." (page 17)

India's strong point isn't historical accuracy!!

The second text I have is Sumeet Chugh's Varshaphal or Annual Horoscope (Sagar Publicactions, 1995). The elements aren't mentioned in that book...at least I couldn't find mention of them..., and again, the houses are emphasized as in Raman's book.

The third text I have is Dr. K. S. Charak's A Textbook of Varshaphala (1993). He does mention that the "Inherent Nature" of signs are "fiery, earthy, airy and watery" in the introductory section of the book (p. 15). But this publication time period was during the first American Jyotish symposiums in California, USA when Dr. Charak was a featured speaker. This is the period when western concepts began to enter India's astrology in a big way. In the early 90s "Vedic" became the accepted term for India's astrology. Origin: the United States of America.

To show how powerful western influence can be, B.V. Raman's My Experiments with Astrology (1926-1936) (recent re-print 1985) when re-published in an expanded edition in 1992 (revised 1996) became The Autobiography of a Vedic Astrologer!!

Prior to the early 90s India's astrology was referred to as "Hindu" or simply "Indian." I think we can assume that the mention of elements in relation to zodiac signs in the Varshaphal system is quite late and has been introduced in contemporary times. (Unless someone can come up with a classical text that says otherwise.)

Recently I had a conversation with Ronnie Dreyer on this topic. Ronnie had just finished a university degree in Sanskrit. She said that in her search she could not find an element/sign correlation in India's classic texts, though there is a strong element/planet correlation.
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Martin Gansten
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Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese Hamilton wrote:
Mark, do you have an older classical Indian Varshaphal text that mentions the correlation of elements to signs?

This is Martin, not Mark. Yes, I'm talking about Sanskrit texts from within the Tajika tradition, not modern books about Tajika.

Quote:
I assume you are talking about India's Varshaphal system (solar returns) which is based on Tajika principles.

Strictly speaking, the school or system is called Tajika, and varshaphala or the annual revolution is one technique within that system. In reality, of course, it has become the defining technique. But Tajika also has its own teachings on horary astrology (prashna), etc.

Raman's statements on historical matters may be safely ignored. Wink
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Therese Hamilton



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Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martin wrote:
Quote:
Strictly speaking, the school or system is called Tajika, and varshaphala or the annual revolution is one technique within that system. In reality, of course, it has become the defining technique. But Tajika also has its own teachings on horary astrology (prashna), etc.

Martin, are those texts only in Sanskrit then, no English translations? Sorry about the mis-read of your name. My excuse is that I've had house guests all month, and for me that's exhausting. I do get confused on which Perso-Arabic techniques have made their way to India.
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wondering if anyone could clarify more on the history of divisional charts in India?

I have read that most of the traditional texts that explicitly teach a method of domification favour the Sripati system, described by the author Sripati in his 'Jatakakarmapaddhati' (c. 1050 CE).

I have also seen it suggested that in the 'Brihatparasharahorashastra' (c. ???) does not detail any one method of deriving the cusps, but it does contain passages which mention that the distance between two cusps is a variable factor, as with unequal house cusps.

Mark
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