The Navamsha Chart in Vedic Astrology

Vedic Astrology employs many different techniques and formulas for evaluating the qualities, strengths and weaknesses of planets in the birth chart. One of these techniques is the use of “Vargas” or Divisional Charts, sometimes referred to as Subcharts, or Harmonic Charts. These charts are each created by applying a specific mathematical formula to the original data provided by the Birth Chart. Each divisional chart is then used to help interpret a specific part of life.

The most important of these Harmonic Charts is the Navamsha Chart. It is calculated by dividing the 360 degree zodiac into 108 equal segments. Thus the size of each segment ends up being 3 degrees and 20 minutes of arc. There are 9 segments in each 30 degree zodiacal sign, hence the name Navamsha, based on the sanskrit word “Nav” meaning Nine. Each amsha or division is ascribed to a particular sign, following each other in the natural order of the zodiac. Thus the first division goes from  0 degrees Aries until 3 deg, 20’ and is called “Aries navamsha”, the 2nd division from 3 deg, 20’ to 6 deg, 40’ becomes Taurus navamsha, the next one is Gemini, and so forth. When you get to Pisces the 12thdivision, the next one is Aries again. The sequence of 12 zodiacal signs repeats itself 9 times to complete all of the 108 segments in the zodiac. The astrology software makes short work of the otherwise laborious calculation.

Each planet and important point (such as the Rising Degree) ends up in a particular place in the Navamsha Chart, which is usually different from the sign and house it occupied in the Birth Chart. The new chart constructed by this process is then interpreted according to the rules and guidelines described in the ancient texts. The navamsha chart is used in many different ways. What follows is a description of some of the common applications.

One of the most important uses of the navamsha chart is to determine the inner or true strength of a natal planet. This is done by noting what sign the planet occupies in the navamsha chart. If a planet is placed in one of its own signs (for instance, Venus in Libra) then that planet is considered strengthened by the navamsha. If on the other hand the planet is in an “enemy” sign, or its sign of debilitation (Venus in Cancer; Venus in Virgo) then it has been weakened in the navamsha. Even if a planet is otherwise “good” in the birth chart, if it loses power in the navamsha its ability to do good has been compromised.

Another techique for the navamsha interpretation is to find out which planet is the “Navamsha Ruler” of a natal planet. If Mercury is in Pisces in the navamsha chart, then Jupiter as the ruler of the sign Pisces, becomes the “Navamsha Lord” of Mercury. Now going back to the original natal chart, the astrologer looks to see if Jupiter is in a relationship with Mercury (for instance, Jupiter conjunct Mercury). If so, it means that Mercury has gained strength by its association in the birth chart with its navamsha lord.In this case since Jupiter is a generally Benefic planet, the resulting strength is a favorable one (Jupiter + Mercury enhances Learning and Wisdom). In other cases the combination may result in a planet gaining strength in a negative way, such as Saturn in a relationship with Venus adding an element of Selfishness or Cruelty in partnership.

Most famously the navamsha chart is used to analyze a person’s marriage prospects. The birth chart’s 7th house is what is normally examined for relationship karma. Checking  how well the planetary ruler of the 7th house fares in the navamsha chart evalutates the inner strength of the lord of the marriage house. Now another dimension can be added by analyzing the 7th house of the navamsha chart and its ruler. It has been found that in a large proportion of successful marriages the 7th house ruler in the navamsha chart of each partner is a prominent planet in the other partners natal chart. For example: if Leo is the sign of the 7th house in a person’s navamsha chart, then the partner likely has Sun as a dominant planet in their birth chart, such as Sun occupying the 1st house.

The navamsha, being the 9th divisional chart, shows more details about the 9th house of the natal chart. The 9th house is the house of Dharma and Destiny. Thus the navamsha can be examined for details about “where you are going.” Traditionally this meant what sort of life your next lifetime would be. But we can also look at it as a chart displaying the soul’s overall path. In this context the original birth chart becomes the chart of the present life; what sort of lessons the soul has chosen as an expression of its larger purpose. Sometimes the navamsha chart planets are especially strong but the natal chart looks like a disaster. This would indicate a strong soul choosing to undergo difficult lessons for this life.

The subcharts (there are many of them) are collectively used for making Predictions for a person. This technique is coordinated with the Vimshottari Dasha (planetary period system) to determine which areas of life will be especially benefited, or else weakened, by any particular planet’s period or subperiod. For instance, if someone is in their Moon period and the Moon occupies the 7th house of the navamsha chart in a friendly sign, the prediction would be for marriage during that time of the person’s life. In a more general way, how a planet fares in the navamsha chart gives further clues about how the person fares during that planet’s period.

Each of the subcharts gives details of the karma of the house of the natal chart explicitly associated with that harmonic chart. For instance, the Dashamsha chart is the 10thdivisional chart; it can be examined for details associated with the 10th house, i.e., Career, Business, Status. The Chaturamsha is the fourth divisional chart; it is examined along with the 4th house of the natal chart for the person’s prospects for owning a home, property, assets. But of all the divisional charts, the navamsha chart stands alone as the most important harmonic chart. Using a whole range of techniques and special formulas,  the navamsha chart becomes a gold mine of information for the astrologer; understanding the navamsha helps greatly in the interpretation of the birth chart.

5 thoughts on “The Navamsha Chart in Vedic Astrology

  1. Birat Acharya

    Hello Ron,

    Would you have anything to say about those who have same lagna for D-1 and D-9?

    Thanks,

    Birat Acharya

    Reply
    1. ronberger Post author

      The condition of identical lagna for both the original chart and the navamsa constitutes a Vargotama Navamsa, indicating that the characteristics of the rising sign gain even more prominence in chart analysis. This makes the analysis a bit more straight forward, since a secondary rising sign does not have to be considered.

      Reply
  2. Vid

    Thanks for the nice article Ron!
    Few questions….
    1. What if atmakaraka Mars is exalted in lagna in birth chart , and in lagna in Virgo in navamsha , would it mean atmakaraka losing it’s strength and hence towards the life purpose of the soul ? Or would it mean tweaking of the path of the soul ?
    2. If Jupiter Venus occupy 12 th house in navamsha, do they lose strength as it’s the house of loss or does the soul move towards spirituality ?
    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Thank you again , article like these help us understand more ,
    Namaste,

    Reply
    1. ronberger Post author

      Using the navamsa positions of a planet helps to determine the underlying strength of that planet. In your example: Mars exalted in the Rasi chart, vs Mars going to a somewhat weaker position (via sign) in the navamsa indicates that the exalted Mars in rasi is not as strong as it appears. On a whole other level, Mars in the lagna in navamsa is problematic for another of the navamsa meanings: relationship success. The house positions in navamsa (and this assumes an accurate birth time) help to determine what sort of results the planet brings, adding another dimension to what that planet signifies in the rasi chart. Also, “migrating” the planet from its navamsa position back to the rasi (via sign) gives more details of where in the person’s chart the energy will manifest.

      Reply

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