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The Systems Approach to Interpreting Horoscopes

David M. Hawthorne, M.S., J.B.


In this article you will learn a simple, practical approach to Vedic astrology. The Systems !pproach to Interpreting Horoscopes, as developed "y #ro$essor V.%. &houdhry o$ 'urgaon, India, is "ased on classical Jyotish principles, and was tested under the empirical studies o$ more than (),))) charts over a *)+year period. The Systems !pproach is easy to learn and apply, and simpli$ies the process o$ reading charts. It is $ast, precise, and gives you con$idence in your analysis. More than ,)) Vedic astrologers worldwide are now practicing the Systems !pproach. This is Vedic astrology in its most contemporary form. THE MAIN POINTS OF S STEMS APP!OA"H -vents and indications in li$e are ruled "y the $our elements o$ astrology. the planets, houses, signs and planetary periods. During their operating periods, the planets "less the person with the signi$ications ruled "y them relative to their strength and placement in the horoscope. The main points are. /. Identify the Most Effecti#e Point $MEP% of e#ery ho&se' The Most -$$ective #oint is "ased on the rising sign degree. 0or e1ample, i$ the natal chart rising sign is /) degrees, /( minutes 2regardless o$ any sign $rom !ries to #isces3, then the Most -$$ective #oint o$ every house is /) degrees, /( minutes. *. Note the fi#e(degree or)' 4henever a planet is within $ive degrees o$ any other planet, or is within $ive degrees on either side o$ the Most -$$ective #oint o$ any house, whether "y con5unction or aspect, in either the natal chart or "y transit, then the planet s "ene$ic or male$ic in$luence is considered close and applica"le. Bene$ic and male$ic planets, however, can co+e1ist without pro"lems 2whether "y con5unction or aspect3, when they are sa$ely outside the $ive+degree or" $rom each other.

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6. *etermine the f&nctional nat&re of planets. #lanets operate as either $unctional male$ics or $unctional "ene$ics in any given chart. The $unctional male$ic planets are 7ahu and %etu $or all rising signs, along with planets ruling mooltri8ona signs $alling in the dusthana 2inauspicious3 houses 9 which are the si1th, eighth, and twel$th houses, as counted $rom the ascendant. :nder Systems !pproach, the mooltri8ona signs are /, ;, (, <, =, >, and // ++ !ries, &ancer, ?eo, Virgo, ?i"ra, Sagittarius, and !@uarius. These signs are ruled "y Mars, Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, respectively. This is an important 8ey to accurate readings. In the $uture, simply note whether any mooltri8ona sign 2/, ;, (, <, =, >, or //3 $alls in the inauspicious si1th, eighth, or twel$th houseA and, i$ so, the rulers o$ these houses "ecome $unctional male$ics $or that rising sign speci$ically. This e1plains why some people have good results with traditional male$ic planets, and poor results with traditional "ene$ic planets. In other words, Sun, Mars, and Saturn are not male$ics $or every chartA and, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Moon are not "ene$ics $or every chart. The application o$ this principle shows that the num"er o$ $unctional male$ic planets varies $or each rising sign, as indicated in the $ollowing list. !ries. Taurus. 'emini. &ancer. ?eo. Virgo. ?i"ra. Scorpio. Sagittarius. &apricorn. !@uarius. #isces. 7ahu, %etu, and Mercury 7ahu, %etu, Venus, Jupiter, and Mars 7ahu, %etu 7ahu, %etu, Jupiter, and Saturn 7ahu, %etu, and Moon 7ahu, %etu, Saturn, Mars, and Sun 7ahu, %etu, and Mercury 7ahu, %etu, Mars, and Venus 7ahu, %etu, and Moon 7ahu, %etu, Sun, and Jupiter 7ahu, %etu, Moon, and Mercury 7ahu, %etu, Sun, Venus, and Saturn

Bote. I$ a planet is not a $unctional male$ic, then it is a $unctional "ene$ic. There are no neutral planets in this system.

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ANA+ SIN, THE P+ANETS AN* HO-SES Batal chart and transit interpretations are always done with re$erence to the ascendant. Interpretations are not done using any other sign, house, or lord independent o$ the rising sign. Meas&ring the strength of the planets. There are 6) degrees in every sign. #lanets in the $irst $ive degrees o$ a sign are considered in in$ant state and are rendered wea8. Similarly, planets in the last $ive degrees are considered in old age, and are also wea8. Just as an in$ant or elderly person cannot protect or provide $or others, these planets need to "e strengthened when they are $unctional "ene$ics in a chart. The results o$ planets vary in degree o$ strength as per their longitudes. That is, when planets are in their in$ant state their power is )C, *)C, ;)C, <)C, ,)C, and /))C when they are ), /, *, 6, ;, and ( degrees, respectively. 4hen planets are in their old age state their power is /))C, ,)C, <)C, ;)C, *)C and )C when their longitude is *(, *<, *=, *,, *>, and 6) degrees, respectively. /ea0 Planets. #lanets are considered wea8 i$ they are. /. In their signs o$ de"ilitation. *. !re com"ust. 6. !re in the state o$ in$ancy 2$irst $ive degrees o$ a sign3. ;. !re in the state o$ old age 2last $ive degrees o$ a sign3. (. #laced in an inauspicious house 2the si1th, eighth, and twel$th3 in the natal chart or "y daily transit. ! wea8 planet does not have the a"ility to $ully protect either its general or particular signi$ications. The general signi$ications re$er to the su"5ects ruled "y the planet. The Sun, $or e1ample, rules $ather, status o$ the native, heart, digestive system, etc., irrespective o$ the house lordship o$ the Sun in a natal chart. The particular signi$ications re$er to. /. The signi$ications o$ the house where the planetDs mooltri8ona sign is placed, and, *. The house where the planet is placed in the natal chart. Afflictions. The a$$lictions to the planets and houses are caused "y the close con5unction or aspect 2within $ive degrees3 o$ the $unctional male$ic planets in a natal chart. 4henever a wea8 planet is a$$licted "y a $unctional male$ic planet, the results o$ its signi$ications mani$est with delay, or su$$er altogether. !$$lictions in the natal chart cause damage during the entire su" period o$ the wea8 planet or o$ the a$$licting planets.

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!$$lictions to the wea8 planet during the transit in$luences cause only short+term damage, and last only $or the duration o$ the operating transit in$luence. E1alted Planets. 4henever planets are placed in their signs o$ e1altation they are considered to have additional strength. 4hether or not they are placed on the e1act point o$ e1altation has very little relevance. The e1altation power, however, is reduced i$ the planet is wea8 in in$ant or old age state, or i$ it is closely a$$licted "y $unctional male$ics in the chart, or i$ it is "adly placed in either the si1th, eighth, or twel$th house. "om)&st Planets. 4hen the Sun is a $unctional "ene$ic planet, its con5unction with other well+placed $unctional "ene$ic planets is considered good. It gives e1ponential growth relative to the signi$ications o$ the planet in close con5unction with the Sun. However, the com"ust planets will su$$er when they are under the transit male$ic in$luences. En the other hand, when the Sun is a $unctional male$ic and is closely con5unct with other planets, then the planets involved su$$er. This is "ecause the planets "ecome a$$licted "y the con5unction o$ the $unctional male$ic Sun permanently ++ due to their natal chart positions. The com"ust planets also su$$er in transit a$$lictions. Meas&ring strength of the ho&ses. The strength o$ the houses and the signs is gauged through the strength o$ their lords and the con5unctions and aspects to the Most -$$ective #oint o$ the houses. Analy2ing non(mooltri0ona signs. :ntil and unless there is a close male$ic in$luence on the Most -$$ective #oint o$ a house containing a non+mooltri8ona sign, the signi$ications o$ that house will not "other a person. That is, generally people will not see8 astrological consultations or remedies relevant to the signi$ications o$ those houses containing non+mooltri8ona signs. -se of di#isional charts. The divisional charts are used $or 5udging the strength o$ a planet while studying its impact in a particular $ield. !ny planet occupying its sign o$ de"ilitation in a particular divisional chart will $ail to protect its signi$ications in the natal chart in its su" periods. 4e consider the lord o$ the ascendant o$ the divisional chart. I$, $or e1ample, the ascending sign o$ the dasamsa 2pro$ession chart3 is a mooltri8ona sign o$ a particular planet, the same planet is also considered as a prime determinant o$ the pro$ession. However, i$ there is no mooltri8ona sign in the ascendant o$ the dasamsa, we then consider the position o$ the primary and secondary determinants o$ the pro$essional a$$airs o$ the natal chart in the dasamsa. 0or 5udging the strength o$ the primary and
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secondary signi$icators, we have to see i$ these planets have gone to their signs o$ de"ilitation in dasamsa. "apa)ility of planets to )less 3ith their significations. It is necessary to study "oth the natal chart and the transit position o$ the planet. The planet will "e a"le to "less the native with "oth its general and particular signi$ications i$ it is strong in "oth the natal chart and in transit. P+ANETA! PE!IO*S AN* !ES-+TS The planets, according to their strength in a horoscope, give the results o$ the signi$ications and houses ruled "y them in their main and su" periods. Though various types o$ planetary periods $or speci$ic com"inations in a nativity are mentioned in classical te1ts, the Vimshotri Dasha system has "een mentioned $or general applications and is used e1clusively under the Systems !pproach. During the su" period o$ a planet, the $ollowing three signi$ications are operating. /. The general signi$ications o$ the planet. *. The particular signi$ications o$ the house where the mooltri8ona sign o$ the operating planet is placed. 6. The signi$ications o$ the house where the planet is placed. The results o$ the general signi$ications o$ the su" period lord depend upon its $unctional nature, strength, placement, and any close aspects or con5unctions to the su" period lord. !es&lts of main and s&) period lords. -vents ta8e place during the periods o$ operating planets. The $ollowing ta"le is use$ul in analyFing results o$ the main period 2mahadasha3 and su" period 2antardasha or "hu8ti3.
Main Period Lord Functional Malefic Functional Malefic Functional Malefic Functional enefic Functional enefic Sub Period Lord Functional Malefic Functional enefic !If "ell place# an# strong$ Functional enefic !If "ea& or afflicte#$ Functional enefic !If "ell place# an# strong$ Functional enefic !If %a#ly place# an# "ea&$ Functional Malefic Results Will cause suffering Will %esto" goo# results Will create only hope !that #oes not get fulfille#$ Will %esto" 'ery goo# results Will %esto" a'erage results "ith misfortune #uring unfa'ora%le transit influences Will cause mil# sufferings

Functional enefic

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Functional enefic

Functional Malefic !If in'ol'e# in close con)unction or aspects "ith other "ea& planets$

Will cause gra'e concerns*tragic happenings

I*ENTIF IN, T!ANSIT INF+-EN"ES. Transits re$er to the planetary positions at any given time a$ter the date o$ "irth. Transiting planets are studied with re$erence to the natal chart ascendant and position o$ the planets in the natal chart, and not with re$erence to the natal Moon sign. Signi$icant events are triggered "y the transit o$ planets over the natal planetary positions. 4henever a $unctional male$ic planet transits a wea8 natal position, it triggers an undesira"le incident concerning the planet and the house involved. This is more so when the wea8 natal planet is also wea8 in transit. The a$$licted planets and houses are those with which the $unctional male$ic planets $orm e1act or close con5unctions and aspects. The result o$ a particular house will "e in$luenced "y a transiting planet when it is near to its Most -$$ective #oint, depending upon its $unctional nature whether "ene$ic or male$ic. The impact o$ transit $unctional male$ics is on "oth $unctional male$ics and "ene$ics. The su"5ects governed "y the planets are their general and particular signi$ications. The signi$ications o$ a $unctional "ene$ic planet are harmed when it transits the natal position or close aspect o$ a $unctional male$ic planet. 4henever planets in transit $orm con5unctions amongst themselves, the events occur depending upon their $unctional nature in connection with the house with re$erence to a particular ascendant. 4henever the $unctional "ene$ic planets transit auspicious natal positions, they trigger happy incidents. During the main periods o$ the $unctional "ene$ic planets, "ene$ic transit e$$ects are more pronounced, while male$ic transit e$$ects are mild. Similarly, during the main periods o$ $unctional male$ics, the "ene$ic transit e$$ects are mild while the male$ic transit e$$ects are more severe. !eading transit res&lts. The su" period lord sets the trends. However, transit e$$ects can supersede the trend results o$ the su" period lord and create signi$icant events. The male$ic e$$ects o$ slow moving $unctional male$ic planets, i.e. Jupiter, Saturn, 7ahu and %etu, are more pronounced when during the course o$ their close con5unctions or aspects, they "ecome stationary, or move more slowly as compared to their normal speed.

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In essence, the su" period planet sets the trend as per its mooltri8ona sign lordship, house placement, and other in$luences on it in the natal chart. The transit planets then cause in$luence whenever they come into contact with the su" period planet s natal or transit position. 4henever the transit planets transit over the natal $unctional male$ic planets, then the signi$ications ruled "y the transiting planets su$$er "adly. 4henever a transiting $unctional male$ic planet transits the Most -$$ective #oint, it a$$ects the house in which it is located and all the houses that it aspects. Ta8e, $or e1ample, a natal chart with a Sagittarius ascendant. In this chart, the sign o$ ?i"ra is placed in the eleventh house. Bow, suppose the eleventh house lord, Venus, is placed in the twel$th house o$ loss. Then, during the su" period o$ Venus, there could "e loss relating to eleventh house signi$ications ++ such as income, $riends, or elder si"lings. -ven the death o$ the elder si"ling could occur i$, "y transit, the $unctional male$ics 7ahu and %etu $orm a close con5unction or aspect to any o$ the $ollowing. /. The Most -$$ective #oint o$ the eleventh house. *. The natal position o$ Venus. 6. The transit position o$ the su" period lord, Venus. ANA+ TI"A+ TE"HNI4-ES The 8ey issues in analyFing a horoscope are. /. Identi$ying the $unctional nature o$ planets in a nativity. *. The techni@ues $or 5udging the strength o$ a planet. 6. The distinction "etween the wea8 andGor a$$licted planets. ;. The impact o$ wea8 andGor a$$licted planets. (. The or" o$ longitudinal di$$erence $or 5udging the impact o$ con5unctions and aspects. <. Identi$ying the impact o$ the Most Male$ic #lanet. =. The Most -$$ective #oint o$ various houses in a chart. Ho3 to analy2e a chart. Bote the ascendant degree, which "ecomes the Most -$$ective #oint o$ every house. :nderline the $unctional male$ic planets. Identi$y the con5unctions and aspects within a $ive+degree or" $rom each other. #ut a circle around the planets and houses that are a$$licted due to the close in$luence o$ the $unctional male$ic planets. Bote the wea8, "adly placed, and a$$licted planets, andGor the su" period o$ the $unctional male$ic planets 2$or trend results3. ! $unctional "ene$ic planet "ecomes wea8 i$ placed in any o$ the male$ic 2si1th, eighth, or twel$th3 houses. The SystemsD !pproach also considers the strength or wea8ness o$ a planet that is placed in the mooltri8ona sign o$ another planet.
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#ro"lems are always with regard to the wea8, "adly placed and a$$licted planets or the su" periods o$ the $unctional male$ics. Short+term pro"lems are indicated "y the male$ic transit over the wea8 natal planets. 'ood results are identi$ied $or the signi$ications o$ the well+placed strong planets having good and close con5unctions or aspects. The "est thing an astrologer can do is to indicate, in the shortest possi"le time, the strong and wea8 areas in a chart and prescri"e the appropriate remedies. AST!O+O,I"A+ !EME*IES The pro"lems in li$e are caused "y wea8 or "adly placed $unctional "ene$ic planets or a$$lictions to them. To help people overcome their pro"lems, the astrologer advises appropriate astral remedies, such as meditation and spiritual practices, color and gemstone therapy, the wearing o$ a 8avach or amulet as a protective shield, and the participation in pu5as and yagyas, etc. The strengthening astrological remedial measures are suggested $or all the $unctional "ene$ic planets even i$ they are not wea8 and a$$licted in the natal chart. The strengthening measures provide a preventive cover to the planets against their transit wea8ness. Similarly, the propitiating remedial measures are advised $or all the $unctional male$ic planets even i$ they are not $orming close a$$lictions in the natal chart. The propitiating remedial measures provide a preventive cover $or transit and natal a$$lictions. 4hen planets indicate tragic happenings, people usually do not per$orm astral remedies to protect themselves against the e1pected losses. 2The wea8ness o$ Jupiter and the lord o$ the ninth house is always a contri"uting $actor in this regard3. The indications o$ time can only "e modi$ied with the help o$ the astral remedies. :ntil and unless the astral remedies are per$ormed, the e1tent o$ the services o$ the divine science o$ astrology is very much limited. The planetary relationships give results as per the indications in case no preventive remedies are per$ormed.

-H!M#?- &H!7T

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5OHN F' 6ENNE* 7 5!'

This is the chart o$ the son o$ #resident John 0. %ennedy, the late John 0. %ennedy, Jr., who tragically died in an airplane crash at sea on July /<, />>>. His wi$e, &arolyn, and her sister, ?auren, were also 8illed in the accident. The rising sign is ?eo. The Most -$$ective #oint o$ every house is /,.6> degrees. The $unctional male$ics $or this chart are 7ahu, %etu, and Moon. The $unctional "ene$ics are Sun, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn. 7ahu and %etu, at /,.*= degrees, are e1actly on the Most -$$ective #oint and closely a$$lict the houses they occupy and aspect, i.e., the $irst, third, $i$th, seventh, ninth, and eleventh houses in the chart. 2:nder Systems !pproach, 7ahu and %etu aspect the $i$th, seventh, and ninth houses $rom their positions in either the natal or transit chart.3 7ahu, the signi$icator o$ une1pected events and calamities, a$$licts Saturn, the signi$icator o$ longevity, and Venus, the signi$icator o$ wi$e and conveyances. 7ahu also closely a$$licts the $irst house 2personal calamities3, the $i$th house, 2he had no children3, the seventh house 2his wi$e died with him3, and the ninth house 2his $ather was assassinated3. %etu, the signi$icator o$ miseries and o"structions, closely a$$licts Mercury, the ruler o$ the second house o$ status and continuation o$ $amily li$e. Sun, the ruler o$ the rising sign, is well placed in the $ourth house and shows good results relative to mother, $i1ed assets, and domestic happiness. The well placed and una$$licted Sun, along with 7ahu in the $irst house, gave him $ame, $ortune, position, charisma, and
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popularity. The Sun and well+placed lord o$ the ninth house, Mars, also gave him gains, good $ortune, and e1ecutive s8ills. The lord o$ the second house, placed in the third house, gave him status in li$e through his own sel$+e$$orts. The well+placed Jupiter gave him higher education and a degree in law. Bote that none o$ the planets are placed in the male$ic si1th, eighth, or twel$th houses. This helped provide John 0. %ennedy, Jr. with good health, $ame, wealth, status, mental development, sel$+e$$orts and initiatives, education, partners, and good $ortune. :n$ortunately, even all o$ these well+placed planets were not a"le to sa$eguard against the close a$$liction o$ the 7ahu+%etu a1is to the Most -$$ective #oints o$ the various houses they occupied and aspected in the chart. The astral remedies could have helped to reduce the impact o$ the male$ic in$luences and severe a$$lictions indicated in this chart. Timing of E#ents !t the time o$ his death, John 0. %ennedy, Jr. was running the Saturn main period and Mercury su" period. The main period lord, Saturn, is the natural signi$icator $or longevity and is a$$licted in the natal chart "y 7ahu, the signi$icator o$ une1pected events and calamities. The su" period lord 2and operating planet3, Mercury, is closely a$$licted in the natal chart "y the aspect o$ %etu, the signi$icator o$ violent accidents, miseries and wounds. Bote that Mercury is placed in the air sign, ?i"ra, ruled "y Venus. Venus is the signi$icator o$ conveyances, and is under the e1act a$$liction o$ 7ahu "y aspect $rom the $irst house. En the day o$ John 0. %ennedy Jr. s death, Mercury was transiting the twel$th house o$ loss, closely con5unct transiting 7ahu. Sun, the lord o$ the chart, was e1tremely wea8 in transit at ))./( degrees in the male$ic twel$th house. Moon, the Most Male$ic #lanet in this chart, was transiting the $irst house, over his natal 7ahu. In addition, transiting 7ahu and %etu in the twel$th and si1th houses, respectively, were at />./) degrees, 2within one degree o$ the Most -$$ective #oint3, thus a$$licting all o$ the houses they occupied and aspected ++ including the male$ic si1th, eighth, and twel$th houses. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

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*a#id M' Ha3thorne7 M'S'7 5'8'7 received his Master s degree, and the titles o$ Jyotish Bhanu and #ro$essor o$ !strology, $rom the Systems Institute of Hindu Astrology, 'urgaon, India. He is the co+author, along with #ro$essor V.%. &houdhry, o$ !strology $or ?i$e. How to Be Jour Ewn Vedic !strologer. Mr. Hawthorne is a mem"er o$ "oth the American Council of Vedic Astrology (ACVA), and the Systems' Institute of Hindu Astrology (SIHA). He is also the #resident o$ the International Institute of Predictive Astrology (IIPA), with more than ,)) Vedic astrology mem"ers $rom ;) countries worldwide. Mr. Hawthorne can "e reached at !stroview, Inc., (), B. Second St., 0air$ield, I! (*((< :S!. Tel. <;/+;=*+6=>>. http.GGwww.astroview.com.

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