Strength of Planets
We must discriminate between strong and weak Ascendant types. A strong type Aries Ascendant would be willful, forceful, outgoing, outspoken,headstrong with much drive and initiative. Strength of planets should be determined by sign, house and divisional positions, as well as by directional strength and by aspect. A planet can only give the results it indicates if it has the power to do so.Elaborate calculations to determine exact planetary strength exist, as under Shadbala. Such calculations, however, tend to obscure the obvious. If, for example, the Moon is aspected by Mars, Saturn and Rahu and is weak in brightness, it will not likely give good results whatever its Shadbala or other strengths. So it is important to learn the obvious first and not to consider bewildering calculations which are only a matter of fine tuning.
- Generally speaking, aspect strength overrides positional strength.
Mercury in Virgo will not be good if aspected by several malefics. In addition, house strength usually overrides sign strength. For example, Jupiter in a bad house, like the twelfth even in its own or exalted sign, will still create some problems. On the other hand, Jupiter debilitated in a good house like the ninth or tenth will still give benefits.
Readings always require synthesizing various factors.
- First read the sign position of planets. This relates more to the soul or inner dimension.
- Then examine their house position. This shows their outer dimension or potential to manifest in the material world.
- Above all, note the groupings of planets and their indications as house lords.
- Try to ascertain the main pattern of planetary influences that exists in the chart. Determine the predominating or most characteristic planet, its allies and its opponents.
- Aspects that are nearly exact have a special power. Aspects that occur in the navamsha chart as well as in the birthchart also possess special power. Generally, the closer the aspects, the more likely they will occur in different divisional charts as well. This is particularly true for conjunctions.
There are no absolute rules of chart interpretation. All depends on our capacity to read the pattern of the chart according to the logic of how the main indicators function.