Although this class will mostly use the South Indian chart format, it is useful to become familiar with both styles. The North Indian chart looks very similar to some charts used in Europe in the middle ages. It is a square chart, with interesting lines drawn from the corners and with lines drawn from mid-point to mid-point of each side. It is a house based chart. The ascendant is usually marked by a number in the top opening (1=Aries; 2 = Taurus; 3=Gemini; and so forth. To give examples, a Libra rising would be marked 7, a Sagittarius would be marked 9, and a Pisces 12)) and the chart is read counterclockwise, so the top left side opening is the 2nd house and the top right hand opening the 12th house.
The South Indian chart is a bit simpler in conception in that it is a series of twelve squares, around an open space. It is a sign based chart and is read clockwise. Pisces (we’ll get to the Sanskrit terms for these signs a bit later) always sits in the upper left side of the chart, Aries is in the next box, Taurus follows, and Gemini sits in the upper right hand corner.
You can see examples of both chart styles in James Braha’s and William Levacy’s books. I would encourage you to experiment with both, to see which style you prefer.
Students are expected to spend five to fifteen hours per week on the Vedic Astrology material. After studying this week’s Vedic reading assignments, please ponder the following questions: What are the possible origins of Jyotish and its relationship to the Vedas? Can you think of a reason why there is so much information packed into the first nine pages of Mantreswar’s Phaladeepika?