Predicting the Success of Your Efforts

There are many different astrological factors which help determine one’s success in life. Predicting when, and through what means, one should apply oneself to achieve one’s desires is a perennial question that astrology strives to answer.

The 10th house sector of the birth chart is generally referred to as the House of Success. But the 10th is really the karma for Status and Recognition, which may result as much from one’s inheritance, luck, or help from others, as from one’s own actions. Perhaps the most satisfying success is that which develops from your own Initiative and Effort. It is the 3rd house where one demonstrates Personal Desire and Making Effort through one’s Everyday Actions. There is some inherent appeal here to the ambitious amongst us who like to believe that personal free will, rather than fate, is the basis of success. The truth is that life is more of a mixture of the two. Understanding this part of your astrology birth chart gives you a better idea of how destiny, nature, and timing can help you to best apply yourself in the pursuit of success.

The essence of the 3rd house is how the soul in this lifetime deals with and overcomes the inertia of the mundane surrondings in which it finds itself. As always in Vedic Astrology, when trying to analyze the karma related to a particular house there are several factors that need to be considered: the nature of the zodiacal sign placed here, the location and condition of the lord of the house (the planet that owns the sign in the 3rd), the nature of any planets placed in or aspecting this sector of the chart, and lastly the disposition of thekaraka (natural significator) of the house, in this case Mars, itself the planet of Effort and Initiative.

Each of the zodiac’s signs has certain characteristics. The sign that winds up in your third house will suggest the approach towards solving the problem of overcoming the inertia of the your circumstances. Due to the natural order of the zodiac, each Rising Sign has a specific sign as the 3rd from it. For example: each of the Air signs (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) has a Fire sign (respectively: Leo, Sagittarius, Aries) in the 3rd house. Fire signs are very pro-active and forceful. Thus Air sign people, even though naturally mental and disposed towards cooperation with others, display a certain “pushy” quality when it comes to implementing their Ideas and Desires.

The house position of the 3rd house ruler gives a clue as to what department of life your efforts are naturally directed at and most likely to result in success. For instance, if the 3rd house ruler shows up in the 7th house, efforts and desire are expressed through partnerships and/or success in places at a distance from the birth place (two of the significations of the 7th house). The third house ruler showing up in the 5th house is a combination for potential success through one of the 5th house activities: creativity, sports, speculation, involvement with children, teaching. The third house ruler in the 12thhouse indicates efforts and potential success involving 12th house significations: dealing with unknown people in unknown places (e.g., through the internet), actions with institutions, or the inner world of psychology and meditation.

More details of the 3rd house karma, as well as the ease or difficulty by which the karma is realized, is shown by the condition of the 3rd house ruler. If the planet is in its own sign, or exalted, or associated with a natural benefic (Jupiter, Venus), then success of efforts is more certain. If however the planet is in an inimical sign, or associated or influenced by malefic planets (Mars, Saturn, Ketu), then accomplishment is more problematical. Likewise, we can look at the situation regarding Mars in the birth chart. Since Mars is the natural significator of the 3rd house, it functions like a secondary ruler of the 3rd house. A strong Mars in your birth chart contributes much to the success of your efforts, and can compensate for a weakened 3rd house ruler.

Planets located in the 3rd house have a lot of influence on the type and nature of the efforts and potential for success. Malefic planets such as Mars and Saturn are useful in the 3rd house. Mars is the planet of Force and Courage; in the house of Efforts it provides bold initiative backed up by a powerful desire that helps to push one through to achievement. Saturn as the planet of Focus, Discipline, and Organization helps seeing endeavors through to completion. Venus as the planet of Agreement and Harmony is useful when one’s desires necessitate getting the cooperation of others. But when planets influence a house (i.e., by being placed opposite the 3rd, in the 9th house) the effects are different: a natural malefic like Mars or Saturn aspecting the 3rd house actually makes achieving success through effort more of an uphill battle, whereas a benefic planet like Venus or Jupiter contributes a more favorable energy pattern.

After analyzing the birth chart karma for success through 3rd house efforts, the next question is When will be the Best Time for making that effort. Using the well-known Vimshottari Dasha (aka “Planetary Period System”) we can tell when the karma of the 3rd house gets activated either through the periods of the ruler of the 3rd or periods of a planet occupying the 3rd. Again, the nature and condition of the planet concerned will give the details of the success potential.

But sometimes one has to wait years for an appropriate planetary period to begin. In that case, the best astrological technique for timing is to use the Transit System of analysis. A planet’s current or future position in the observable zodiac, when transposed to a house in your chart by way of its sign, will influence outcomes related to the actions and events of the house containing that sign. Having 12 significators to watch (including the nodes, Rahu and Ketu, as well as the “modern” planets Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) gives more opportunities within a given year for potential influences to impact a given sector of the birth chart.

The transits of Mars and the Sun, both firey ambitious planets, are beneficial to third house themes of courage and initiative. Rahu as the significator of Desire and Innovation also helps to energize your intentions and efforts. Jupiter as the planet of opportunities is welcome in this sector, although one has to beware of jumping on too many bandwagons and not getting anything accomplished. Conversely, Saturn brings focus and discipline and although it may delay the fruition of one’s efforts, it does bring lasting accomplishment. Venus and Mercury transits are fairly short-lived, and although good for cooperation, have more mild effects which may not lead to anything significant. Ketu transiting the 3rdhouse brings change and instability, and is not usually beneficial except for spiritual pursuits.

As always, the idea in Vedic Astrology is to keep yourself in alignment with the planetary energies. In the case of the Third House of Efforts and Desires, we are given a choice between “go with the flow” or to take action on behalf of our desires. With an understanding of our personal karma and awareness of possibilities for overcoming the ambient inertia, we can take a shot at victory and the resultant satisfaction that success brings.