The Saptamsha (“7th Harmonic” or “D-7”) is one of the more interesting divisions. Like all divisional charts, this is merely a finer view “of an area of life extrapolated from the birth chart1,” a deeper scrutiny of the qualities that are inherent in the birth chart’s indications. Generally, the areas of our lives are indicated by the 12 houses in the birth chart. For example, the 5th house deals with creative capacity, children, beliefs and mantras; the 7th house shows the part of life that trades, equalizes and partners with others in every sense; the 9th house shows our dharma or role in life – “what we are married to” – so this house is looked at for our long-term purpose.
At a surface level, the D-7 looks like it is a blending of all the indications of the 5th, 7th and 9th houses of the D-1 (birth chart) and can be confusing. I have honestly, innocently, tried to look up how to calculate the D-5 when I should have been calculating the D-7 more times than I care to admit, especially when asked about children, a 5th house matter in the D-1. I had to search a bit for a satisfactory answer about why the D-5 doesn’t include indications for children. After all, the D-2, D-3 and D-4 are refinements of essentially the same things as their corresponding houses in the birth chart. Logic would suggest that the D-5 would be used similarly.
Our Year 3 Vargas Course1, Class 1, introduced the D-7 as “legacy…so most often, children; what comes out of our relationships.” The 7th house and the D-7 give insights into the use of the individual creative capacity that we can see from the 5th house; it’s like the 5th house is the potential energy and the 7th house is the kinetic use of that potential with our capacity to come together with others as the catalyst.
Ernst Wilhelm’s explanation of how the D-7 functions is especially helpful in understanding this point. In his video and related essay Saptamsa Varga2, he also explains that pivotal to the idea of the D-7 is that it shows the results of one’s legacy through a relationship with another. It is not until we bring in a relationship with another that we get the results indicated by the D-7. The 7th house of the D-1 shows our ability to engage in effective relationships from which new things are created that would not be possible if the one remained an individual. Even the legacy of a king or great leader is a relationship with others; they can only be great if there is someone else to remember them or to carry on their work. The D-7 shows our capacity to create something that lives beyond our own years.
A good way to start to understand this varga is through the general indications of each of the planets within the D-7. The Sun represents the creative spirit and our creative inspirations. A well-placed sun in the D-7 would give strength to the idea that the person can consistently tap into their creativity. The Moon represents the ability to receive and nurture that creative capacity such that it can be sustained. A weak Moon would not be able to grow the creative inspiration that came from the Sun. Mars shows logical skills and therefore can help us to effectively apply creativity in the world. Since Mars also is our ability to stand for what is right and just, when well-placed, it would allow us to pass on high morals to children or leave a dynasty that positively impacted many lives.
Mercury is our ability to manage the children or the details of one’s dynasty. After the Sun gives the inspiration, the Moon gently fortifies and guides this inspiration out into the world to stand on its own, Mars gives the higher orders that Mercury must assemble and execute. Mercury brings some rajas for action, intercourse, and the ability to maximize the efficient use of those creative resources; often in our everyday life, this manifests in how we manage our children.
Jupiter in the D-7 signifies children themselves and is the primary karaka for this varga. Since this is the 5th varga given by Parashara and Jupiter is the 5th planet in their natural order, he has an affiliation to this space. Jupiter rules our ability to see the big picture for the greater good beyond our own lives, towards things of longevity. Venus is naturally affiliated with balanced pleasure and wholesome enjoyment in the sense world and so signifies enjoyment of intercourse in the D-7. Venus is also Shukra, the essence of life that is physically passed to offspring and so it also signifies genetics in the D-7. An extremely weak, challenged Venus in the D-7 could indicate genetic defects for one’s children.
Saturn is the ability to endure the hardship associated with raising children and the capacity to see any creative endeavors through to the end. A strong Saturn provides the ability to withstand the daily tedium and challenges of childrearing and the steady perseverance needed to complete a creative process or to raise a conscientious child. The confusion and innovation offered by the nodes, Rahu and Ketu, specifically in the D-7 can bring sexual perversion, innovation in partnerships and creative ventures, and lots of frustration from children or creative pursuits.
It is interesting to note that Ernst and Shristi Wilhelm’s Kala software does include the option for a Padchamsa. Searches for this term led to a 5th divisional chart that consistently was thought by astrologers to indicate matters such as “spiritual authority, the ability to isolate from material world and to become source of inspiration and ethics3.” Another described this non-Parashari chart as addressing “past life merits, spiritual inclinations and mantra siddhi4.” These ideas are all consistent with the meaning of the 5th house in the D-1.
An example chart can help illustrate the specific purpose of the D-7. We can ask, is this person likely to have children or to leave something that persists beyond his lifetime?
Pictured above is the D-1 of an individual ruled by Saturn with an Aquarius ascendant. The ruler of the ascendant is in the 6th house in neutral dignity, also ruling the 12th house. The first house is tending towards prosperity, meaning that the house itself can more easily manifest first house things (body, personality and life path). The sign of Aquarius is one of gains, mental scrutiny, assimilation into groups and benefits from self-acceptance. Saturn can make a native serious, hard-working and mature for their age. It is important to consider all of this because the ascendant, its lord, and the related strength of that lord will greatly influence all aspects of the person and their life; they are the common coloring given to everything within this person’s life and their path, but also the fundamental strength or weakness underlying it all.
Saturn is the weakest planet in this chart, specifically weak in kala bala and in ayana bala. Saturn will have the help of Mars to mitigate the weakness in kala bala; however, in ayana bala, they both are lacking, bringing difficulty with accepting challenges in life and giving up easily. Mars will help Saturn here to see the value of the hard work needed in some cases but not with any consistency.
Since Saturn is in the sign ruled by his enemy, Moon, and has planetary aspects from Sun and Mars, his other enemies, he will have a difficult time enduring any hardships and dependability should be inconsistent. Inconsistent would be the best description of the results I would expect from this Saturn overall, especially when it comes to matters of the Moon. Saturn is likewise delighted by Venus significantly and has an almost full planetary aspect from the great, gentle Jupiter. This will help to support Saturn through love, giving him the belief that help is available when burdens become too much to bear. This Saturn-Venus combination often brings with it a greater sense of appreciation for what they have, but only after they have endured the hardships related to Saturn.
Jupiter is the karaka for children and is in the second house of the D-1, its own home of Pisces. Even though the house has rasi-aspects from the two nodes, Rahu and Ketu, and has a cruel Sun conjunct Jupiter, it still tends slightly towards prosperity when all factors are considered. Looking at Jupiter and its house placements initially seems favorable towards children/legacy. However, if we look at what is 5th from Jupiter, we find Saturn in the 6th, which is not necessarily supportive.
Next, checking the 5th house, another indicator for children in the D-1, we find it is Gemini, ruled by Mercury in the 1st house. The 5th house contains the south node, Ketu. This shadow planet is not inherently bad and can still produce beneficial or desirable results in the native’s life but does not necessarily support the idea of children/legacy. It tends to make things confusing. Examining the state of Mars, the planet most like Ketu, we find that he is exalted in the 12th house of this chart. Since Ketu is like Mars, he gives better results when Mars is in better shape. Ketu also acts through the ruler of his house – in this case Mercury, in enemy dignity, asleep and in an adolescent state. Mercury is the strongest planet in this chart, though lacking in chesta bala and drik bala. These weaknesses challenge Mercury’s task of communicating needs and asking for what they need or even what they want. There is not enough support from Sun or Jupiter in these particular balas to make it sufficient. The person will tend to feel unheard and often experience frustration and resentment as a result. Since Mercury is in the ascendant, this will be prevalent throughout their life and, and since Mercury is ruling the 5th and 8th, it will be especially related to children, beliefs and sudden losses. Hardships will be borne when the person fails to express confidently and clearly. Overall, this house seems uncertain with regard to its ability to yield children or a legacy.
Moving to examine the 7th house of the birth chart, we find it is Leo, ruled by the Sun and occupied by the Moon. The house tends very heavily towards annihilation, meaning that the ability for this house to produce its affects is hindered and tends towards difficulty. It does not have the support of rasi-aspect from its lord (the Sun), the Sun is in neutral dignity and is sleepy and old. The Moon is almost full (powerful), waxing (gentle) and in neutral dignity, therefore bringing mixed results, like Saturn. Since the Moon often indicates our place of popularity with other people, this is a person that can very easily get into sexual relationships, which may lead to more easily having children. However, flipping this chart to read it from the Moon gives a fifth house of Sagittarius where we find Rahu and Jupiter in the 8th house ruling Rahu, which is generally not supportive.
Reviewing bhava yogas related to the Moon, the Sun (ruler of the Moon) and the 7th house gives potential indications. Looking first at the ruler of the 7th in the 2nd, Parashara says of this bhava yoga: “the lord of Wife standing in the Wealth – the one born possess many women, acquires wealth from the union with his wife and is a procrastinating person5.” Given the state of the 7th house, the Moon and the Sun, I would lean more towards the difficult aspects of this combination, such as “does not pick good business partners, too many sexual partners cause complications, emotionally imbalanced mate.”
Looking next at the ruler of the 5th in the 1st and again focusing on inconsistent or difficult indications due to the state of Mercury (discussed above) and the placement of Ketu in the 5th could yield the inability to think clearly, children who harm the native’s health and strain their personality, prone to cheating and fanatical about ideas5.
Overall, reviewing the D-1 is inconclusive on the matter of children/legacy. Here is the D-7 of the same person:
Within the D-7, we want to look at the ascendant and its lord, the position of Jupiter (both the karaka of children AND the ascendant’s ruler in this chart) and the 7th house of the D-7. Jupiter is in enemy dignity in the D-7 and located in the 12th house of seclusion, liberation and losses. Often, the 12th house shows the things we are forced to give up. Jupiter is also ruling the 10th house, another important bhava to check in any varga chart because it shows what is activating it or giving the chart its power. Here it is driven by delays and loss, with Jupiter’s placement in the 12th and its ruler being Saturn. Saturn in the D-7 is infant and sleepy and in enemy dignity, as well as the weakest planet in the chart and the karaka of delays, suffering and loss. The person is looking less likely to leave a significant legacy or have children.
Supporting this assertion is the emphasis of 6th house matters in both the D-1 and the D-7. Often the 6th house can show what is holding something back. In the D-7, Jupiter is 6 houses from the 7th house, indicating delays or expense. In the birth chart, the ascendant lord goes into the 6th house and rules the first and the 12th, further emphasizing and linking loss to 6th house matters. In the D-7, the 5th cusp, another indicator of children, goes into the 6th house.
The 7th house is ruled by Mercury in the D-7, who is in the second house, conjunct Venus. The second house is Aries, where Mercury is in friend dignity. While this will bring fire and action to the matters of the 7th house, it is important to note that the indications of the varga charts never supersede the indications in the D-1. Mercury being in a better state in the D-7 gives a bit more support to Mercury overall but does not override the difficulty expected from Mercury as indicated by the D-1.
I would not expect this person to have children or leave a significant legacy beyond his lifetime. As this essay tries to illustrate, the Saptamsa is the key to this conclusion. The birth chart alone can often give contradictory indications and the varga charts help us to see more deeply which indications are more likely to manifest.
***This article was written by Kim Koistinen, a Year 4 Astrological Apprenticeship student, for our class on the vargas. Kim also serves as the registrar for the Sedona Vedic Astrology Conferences. For more information on enrolling in our self-study astrology course please visit: https://vedic-astrology.teachable.com/
1 – Ryan Kurczak, Asheville Vedic Astrology Apprenticeship Program, Application of the Vargas Course https://ashevillevedicastrology.wordpress.com/events/application-of-the-divisional-charts-vargas-of-vedic-astrology/
2 – Ernst Wilhelm, Saptamsa Varga, www.astrology-videos.com
3 – Williamz Astro World, Facebook, Varga (Divisional) and Harmonic Charts, posted August 19, 2015
4 – Naveen Rana, https://www.thevedichoroscope.com/2017/04/19/divisional-charts/, April 19, 2017
5 – Ryan Kurczak and Richard Fish, The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology Volume II, 2014