The Division of the Zodiac
From the astrological point of view, for the purpose of charting the planetary positions and calculations etc, the 360 degrees of the zodiac was divided into 12 equal parts, called Rasi or sign, of 30 degrees each. This is the 1st basic division. In the Vedic astrology there are 9 Grahas or planets which influence our lives. Out of these seven – the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn – are actual heavenly bodies. The other two – Rahu and Ketu – are shadowy planets whose positions are calculated mathematically. Vedic astrology ignores Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto.
These 9 planets own certain rasis, represent several things in our life, have several inherent qualities and influence certain facets of our life. It all depends on how these planets are placed and in which rasis they are placed. Let us understand these basics first.The names of the 12 Rasis (Zodiac signs) in their natural order and their rulers:
1. Aries or Mesha is ruled by Mars.It extends from 00:00 degrees to 30:00′ in the zodiac.
2. Taurus or Vrishabha is ruled by Venus. It extends from 30:00 degrees to 60:00′
3. Gemini or Mithuna is ruled by Mercury. It extends from 60:00 degrees to 90:00′
4. Cancer or Karka is ruled by the Moon. It extends from 90:00 degrees to 120:00′
5. Leo or Simha is ruled by the Sun. It extends from 120:00 degrees to 150:00′
6. Virgo or Kanya is ruled by Mercury. It extends from 150:00 degrees to 180:00′
7. Libra or Tula is ruled by Venus. It extends from 180:00 degrees to 210:00′
8. Scorpio or Vrischika is ruled by Mars. It extends from 210:00 degrees to 240:00′
9. Sagittarius or Dhanu is ruled by Jupiter. It extends from 240:00 degrees to 270:00′
10. Capricorn or Makara is ruled by Saturn. It extends from 270:00 degrees to 300:00′
11. Aquarius or Kumbha is ruled by Saturn. It extends from 300:00 degrees to 330:00′
12. Pisces or Meena is ruled by Jupiter. It extends from 330:00 degrees to 360:00′So it is clear that the sun and the moon own one house each and all the other 5 planets own 2 houses each. Rahu and Ketu do not own any houses.
The rasis are further divided into several categories. The categories are: The Trikona or Triangular groups.
The 1st triangle formed by Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are Agni-Tatwa or Fire signs. They are active, aggressive, adventurous and dominating by nature and are good leaders and administrators. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Dharma aspect predominant.
The 2nd triangle formed by Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are Bhu-Tatwa or Earth signs. They are down to earth, practical and careful by nature and have a good sense of money. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Artha aspect predominant.
The 3rd triangle formed by Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are Vayu-Tatwa or Air signs. They are intelligent, carefree, jovial and social by nature and enjoy life more than the other signs. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Kama aspect predominant.
The 4th triangle formed by Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are Jala-Tatwa or Water signs. They are emotional, sensitive, romantic, artistic, nature loving and spiritual by nature. These signs, and people with these signs strong, have the Moksha aspect predominant.