|What is meant by houses or bhavas in a horoscope or Kundali?|
A horoscope consists of the twelve Zodiac signs or Rashi, as they are called in Sanskrit, which are place in a circle. These Rashis are from Aries to Pisces, numbering one (Aries) to Twelve (Pisces). Each of these signs is divided into 30 degrees and they make a full circle of 360°.
Due to the rotation of the Earth on its axis the twelve zodiac signs seem to be travelling from East to West in the sky. The point in the horoscope which represents the eastern horizon is called an Ascendant or a Lagna. The Rashi or the zodiac sign which was positioned or rising on the eastern horizon at the time of birth of a person thus also becomes his horoscope's ascendant.
Now, a horoscope is divided in twelve houses numbering from one to twelve. The first house is by default the 'Ascendant' and the sign rising on the eastern horizon is placed in this first house. The sign next to it is placed in second house and so on the rest of the signs are placed in the rest of the houses. The planets transiting in Leo are now said to be placed in the second house and those in Virgo now come in the third house.Thus, a horoscope is formed.
For example, if a person has a Cancer ascendant then the sign of Cancer will be in the first house, Leo in the second, Virgo in the third and so on.
These houses are also called 'Bhavas'. Their position remains fixed and the ascendant remains in first house in all horoscopes. But, with the ascendant shifting to different signs, the placement of Rashis in the houses also keeps on shifting accordingly. Thus every shift in the ascendant changes the position of the planets in a horoscope.
These Bhavas or houses symbolize different parts, aspects and characteristics of life. The first house governs the self, personality, overall health, ego, etc. The second denotes wealth, family, etc. Third is for siblings and valour. This way every house has been given some special attributes. With help of the Rashi and the planets placed in every house and the mutual intearactions of the houses and the planets a Jyotishi analyzes a horoscope and gives predictions about the future.
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