zodiac

The Zodiac, Signs and Planets

The work "Bhrigu Sutram" deals with the effects of various planets in the twelve
houses of the horoscope. Before taking up the main work, it will be useful for the
readers to have some idea of the Zodiac, the twelve parts of the Zodiac viz., the
signs and the qualities characteristics and significations of the planets as well as the
significations of the twelve houses. In this chapter we propose to give information
about the Zodiac, signs and the planets. The significations of the twelve houses will
be given in the next chapter.

The Zodiac

The Zodiac is a circle of space surrounding the Earth. It may be imagined as a belt
in the heavens about 15 degrees wide in which the planets travel. It is the Sun's
apparent path that is called the ecliptic. The zodiacal circle is divided into twelve
parts, each part containing thirty degrees of space called the signs of the Zodiac.
Thus a sign is one twelfth division of the zodiacal circle and is denned as containing
30 degrees of celestial longitude : 12 signs each measuring 30 degrees constitute the
circle of the Zodiac or 360 degrees. In this circle the planets travel each in its own
orbit, one outlying beyond the other. The twelve signs of fhe Zodiac are Aries
(Mesha), Taurus (Vrishabh), Gemini (Mithuna), Cancer (Kataka), Leo (Simha),
Virgo (Kanya), Libra (Thula), Scorpio (Vrischika), Sagittarius (Dhanu), Capricorn
(Makara), Aquarius (Kumbha), and Pisces (Meena). It is these twelve signs
through which the planets travel or transit from west to east, going through one
sign after another in their order from Aries to Pisces. Each sign possesses a specific
influence. The planets also as they travel around the Zodiac exert an influence
according to their separate nature and position in the Zodiac.
Although according to modem Astrology there are twelve planets viz., Sun, Moon,
Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, Kethu, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto,
Hindu Astrology recognises only the first nine. Each sign of the Zodiac is owned
by a planet who is termed as its 'ruler'. Sun and Moon rule one sign each viz., Leo
and Cancer respectively. Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn rule two signs
each. There is controversy about Rahu and Kethu ruling some signs but the fact is
that they being shadow planets do not own any signs but cast their influence
according to signs in which they are placed, or lords of those signs, or according to
planets influencing them by aspect or association. Mars rules Aries and Scorpio,
Mercury Gemini and Virgo, Jupiter Sagittarius and Pisces, Venus Taurus and
Libra and Saturn Capricorn and Aquarius.

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