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Varieties of Lagna

Rashi Lagna


Lagna * Line

amasthamsha * atmasthana


Ascendant Sign * First House * Rising Sign

Ligne * Linea * Baseline * Initiation * Onset * Beginning * Birth * Initiation * First Step * Starting Line * Ascendant

Any rashi, graha, or calculated point in the nativity can be used as a lagna-baseline from which to begin the count.

Jyotisha is essentially a large accounting system the accuracy of which depends on the correct application of essentially of"Counting Rules ".

Each of the twelve bhava and each of the nine karaka-graha can become a lagna for specific purposes.

Examples of baseline * alignments:

  • Putra bhava-5 or Guru-lagna becomes a baseline from which predictions can be made regarding one's children and creative-procreative endeavors

  • Vidya-bhava-5 or Surya-lagna can be used as the first step from which to count the outcome of one's political performance and potentials

  • Karma-bhava-10 or the lord of the 10th navamsha can be used as a baseline from which predictions are made regarding career, profession, job promotion, public reputation and social dignity.

  • For one in the role of husband-figure, Yuvati bhava in D-1 or in D-9 or Zukra-lagna becomes the baseline from which predictions are made regarding marriage conditions and the lifestyle of the wife-figure.

  • For one in the role of wife-figure, Yuvati bhava in D-1 or in D-9 or Guru-lagna becomes the baseline from which predictions are made regarding the lifestyle of the husband-figure. Marriage as a social relationship can be accounted from Zukra-lagna.

Varieties of Lagna Alignments

First-step baseline from which outcomes can be predicted by counting a particular number of Steps

  1. Rashi lagna = bhava-1 = Tula Bhava. Rashi lagna forms the baseline for most of the social-material events of life.

  2. Chandra lagna= rashi of Chandra. Chandra lagna forms the baseline for most emotional experiences in life, primarily kinship and marital relationships, specifically with parents and children.

  3. swamsha forms the baseline for most calculations regarding the psycho-emotional dynamics of any endeavor, and the influence of the higher Self including questions of "how may I best serve?"

  4. Each varga has a relative first bhava which is formed by using a particular multiplier (9, 12, 60 et-cetera) upon the value of the precise degree of the birth lagna of the D-1. Taking the varga's primary lagna (its relative first bhava), count appropriately to find confirmation of the identical lagna in radix.

  5. Each varga can be divided into 12 solar parts (12 rashi) or 27 lunar parts (Nakshatra). There will be a rising Nakshatra in every varga. Nakshatra themselves are divisible into 4 quarters * pada, and for some predictive purposes the specific Nakshatra quarter or its subdivision may be set as a lagna.

  6. Karakamsha lagna = Shows the most active and creative (create, kriya, kri, karak) behaviors in the present lifetime. In modern era, the karakamsha usually shows highest expressions of profession and public performance.

  7. Arudha lagna = Shows the public image. For example, gochara Guru crossing the arudha lagna indicates that public opinion temporarily becomes more generous and open-minded. Gochara Shani = public opinion temporarily more materialistic and scarcity-minded.

  8. Upa-pada lagna = arudha of bhava-12. The A-12 profiles our most private reality, especially matters of the marital bedroom.

  9. Prana-pada = a delicate, specialized lagna potentially used to rectify birthtime

  10. Visheshika lagna = "special purpose" lagna derived by mathematical calculation of the starting line = Hora lagna, Bhava lagna, Ghati lagna

Rashi Lagna
  1. Mesha-Arya = Aries

  2. Vrishabha-Urisha = Taurus

  3. Mithunaya-Dvamdva = Gemini

  4. Karkata = Cancer

  5. Simha-Leya = Leo

  6. Kanya-Parthya = Virgo

  7. Thula-Vanika = Libra

  8. Vrizchika = Scorpionis

  9. Dhanuzya-Haya = Sagittarius

  10. Makara-Draco = Capricorn

  11. Kumbha-Ghata = Aquarius

  12. Meena-Antya = Pisces

Twenty-Seven Nakshatra Lagna

  1. Azvini
  2. Bharani
  3. Krittika
  4. Rohini
  5. Mrigaziras
  6. Arudra-Orion
  7. Punarvasu
  8. Pushya
  9. Azlesa
  10. Magha
  11. Purvaphalguni
  12. Uttaraphalguni
  13. Hasta
  14. Chitra-Tvastri
  15. Swatika-Vayu
  16. Bisaja
  17. Anuradha
  18. Jyeztha
  19. Mula-Nirriti
  20. Purvazadha
  21. Uttara-azadha
  22. Shravana
  23. Dhaniztha-Vasu
  24. Shata-bisaja
  25. Purvabhadrapada
  26. Uttarabhadrapada
  27. Revatika
28th (intercalary) Nakshatra = Abhijit
Vocabulary = 'Lagna'


"Adhered, adhering or clinging to, attached to, sticking or remaining in, fixed on, intent on, clasping, touching, following closely

  • following on a person's heels; with; sticking to following the road; with

  • One who has penetrated the heart;

  • One who has entered on a course of action, one who has begun to

  • meeting, intersecting, cutting (said of lines)

  • immediately ensuing

  • passed (as days)

  • consumed by, spent in; furious through being in rut (an elephant)

  • bard or minstrel (who awakes the king in the morning)

The point of contact or intersection (of two lines)

  • The point where the horizon intersects the ecliptic or path of the planets

  • The point or arc of the equator which corresponds to a given point or arc of the ecliptic

The division of the equator which rises in succession with each sign in an oblique sphere

  • The point of the ecliptic which at a given time is upon the meridian or at the horizon

  • The moment of the sun's entrance into a zodiacal sign

The rising of the sun or of the planets

  • (in astrol.) a scheme or figure of the 12 houses or zodiacal signs (used as a horoscope)

  • The whole of the first astrological house; {zubha};{zobhana};{anukUla}

  • An auspicious moment or time fixed upon as lucky for beginning to perform anything

The decisive moment or time for action, decisive measure"

Applied geometry : the"science of lines "

Rashi Lagna (first house) characteristics rule the physical appearance and body image, in addition to personality integrity as contained in the social-material lifestyle .

Appearance and the social reward or stigma that it creates, are determined by:

  • the rashi(sign) ruling the first house

  • the Nakshatra (lunar mansion) ruling the lagna Each nakshatra is divided into four steps = 'pada'

  • the drishti (aspect) which is cast upon the first house by any planet.

Each lagna has certain predispositions which match the portfolio of its swabhava.

  • These predispositions are only themes, and must be confirmed by other factors to justify true predictions.

  • These subtle rashi-lagna traits are not determining per se, but they will reinforce other influences, such as corresponding strength in the swabhava, strong lagnesha, Chandra etc.

The reasoning process of Jyotisha does not permit excessive generalization.Each life is completely unique.

  • Therefore each radix, navamsha, and supporting varga chart should be analyzed in detail to reveal the profile of an individual and the sequence of life events forecast via the dasha.

  • Nevertheless, because each of the twelve lagna signs enforces a characteristic set of bhava rulerships a practicing Jyotishi will eventually observe common behaviors amongst those who share the same radix lagna, swamsha, and other varga lagna .

In practice there are a large number of"lagna" which signify the baseline character of all of life's enterprises.

To judge the harmony of married life, find each spouses natal Moon situated in swamsha or navamsha nodal lagna of their spouse. Without this level of psychic validation, marriage is inherently uncomfortable .

To judge the timing of marriage, consider the lagna formed by Rahu-Ketu axis in both radix and navamsha charts.

Timing of marriage also depends on bhukti ruler of swamsha

To judge the emotional character and all responses to life proceeding from that field of perception (a big job) use the Chandra lagna.

  • To judge ALL emotional relationships within a family, including the emotional (not the material) relationship with the siblings, parents, and spouse, read from Chandra lagna.

  • The current mahadasha-paticreates a lagna for judging the events of the mahadasha. Always measure the angle from the mahadasha- patito the current bhukti-pat when predicting the impact of a Vimshottari dasha time period.

  • Lords of rising Lagna of all the varga have special powers in determining the outcomes of the special portfolio of each varga


Any Graha can constitute a natural lagna or baseline from which to measure their characteristic projections.

  1. Professor Surya needs to hold the center. Using Surya lagna as a baseline, measure political, theatrical relationships and all matters of Divine Intelligence.

  2. Professor Chandra wishes to secure a place. From Chandra lagna as a baseline, measure protective, anchoring relationships and all matters of emotional security-protection-shelter-habit.

  3. Professor Budha needs to tell a story. From Budha lagna as a baseline, measure articulatory, communicative relationships and all matters of the argumentative, logical mentality.

  4. Professor Mangala wants to win the race , to be first. From Mangala lagna as a baseline, measure competitive, innovative relationships and all matters of the flesh-body.

  5. Professor Guru wants to teach wisdom. From Guru lagna as a baseline, measure philosophical, guiding relationships and all matters of higher wisdom.

  6. Professor Zukra needs to be partnered with another entity. From Zukra lagna as a baseline, measure paired, negotiating relationships and all matters of contractual two-part balance.

  7. Professor Shani wishes to regulate. From Shani lagna as a baseline, measure lawful, obligatory relationships and all matters of social regulation, material structure, and effects of Time.


Subject: Ascendant nakshatra importance compared to moon nakshatra

Q: Hi Barbara,

I am from Calcutta,India.

I have been a fan of your website for a couple of years now.

As mentioned in the subject line,

Which is more important ? Ascendant nakshatra or Moon nakshatra?



They are equally important but they are different. For questions about emotional comfort and relationship compatibility, Chandra nakshatra is of top importance.

However for purpose of understanding the personality styles, special talents, and career expressions of an individual, the nakshatra of the birth lagna (rashi lagna) is key.

Wishing you every happiness, healing from sorrow, guidance by inner light, and success in all of life's endeavors,


Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotishavidya

Q: Dear Barbara,

Our family astrologer calculates all events from the Chandra lagna. He says that only one lagna is needed to create good predictions.

For example, he says that the Vimshottari Dasha system is based only on Chandra. According to him, Eveery other lagna is unnecessary.

He is well respected in our community.

You seem to use the "radical lagna" alot. Youe description of the life events of famous personalities seems right. I am wondering why you need to use this extra lagna.


As articulated in Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Jyotishavidya is a "science of the lines". Every bhava can become a lagna. Every degree and every minute in the circle of the ecliptic can become a lagna. A Jyotishi who has extensive experience with answering a wide variety of questions will usually know exactly where to place the divinatory query line.

Both the Chandra-lagna and the radical lagna are important. The rising nakshatra and Chandra's nakshatra are also important. The navamsha lagna (swamsha) and the dashamamsha lagna can also be important.

All of these lagna are important. Which lagna becomes the baseline for answering the question will depend upon the nature of the question.

For questions about sibling relationships, the parents, and one's own emotional condition (for example, emotionally based illness) then the counting begins from Chandra-lagna.

If your family astrologer is being asked to answer only questions about the family's psycho-emotional inter-relationships, then Chandra-lagna could be a sufficient basis for those types of questions.

For questions about social-material achievement, such as a job promotion or buying a house, the radical lagna becomes the baseline for material things.

For questions about marriage timing, the navamsha lagna becomes important.

People who live in a very traditional village environment tend to follow a very predictable routine. Chandra rules everything in life that is routine, following the rhythms of nature. Therefore for the deeply traditional agricultural folk, the Chandra lagna may be adequate to answer most questions. However Chandra-lagna is not sufficient for questions about intellectual or professional life. For most modern folk, a combination of lagna is usually necessary to handle a variety of questions about all the complicated things in modern life.

Wishing you every happiness, healing from sorrow, guidance by inner light, and success in all of life's endeavors,


Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotishavidya

Q: Dear Barbara,

Which lagna to use? If Chandra that is Moon is in 4th house with strong graha then which lagna to read from Chandra lagna or radix?

A: Namaste,

Jyotisha readings use radical lagna and Chandra lagna as well as swamsha. From the radical lagna , predict the social-material outcome. That's the easy part.

From the Chandra lagna, predict the emotional outcome. Many people feel their psycho-emotional reality much stronger than their material reality, because they are sensitive to the thoughts and reactions of their family and neighbors. Also children feel emotional reality more vividly than social-material reality. However everyone does register both levels of perception at all times.

If your Chandra-lagna is strong, you are probably a sensitive person with a powerful awareness of the tidal movements of the ocean of emotion in which we all live, and you are happy when the environment feels rhythmic, predictable, and secure. When Chandra-lagna is strong, the family relationships are very important and Chandra-lagna = an important basis of prediction because the person's reality is strongly defined by their feelings.

However not everyone has a strong Chandra-lagna; for some nativities, the Moon is relatively weak (or damaged); these people may lack empathy or seem less sensitive; if Chandra lagna is weak, they may lack finer sensitivity toward feelings and focus more on rough material-sensual experience. The next more subtle psycho-mental level of perception is reckoned by the D-9 navamsha, so for questions about marriage relationship and the impact of own own thoughts and expectations upon our reality, as well as the impact of the bombarding thoughts of others, look to the navamsha for insights.

Many people are not aware of the subtle effects of the thoughts of other people upon our minute-to-minute experience in the world; however this is a very potent impact.

Married people or those involved in very demanding business partnerships = often more sensitive to the power of the thoughts of their spouse-partner because they must negotiate with the thoughts and expectations of the partner day-in, day-out.

Also people who meditate, and people in scholarly or reflective professions such as teachers and healers are often very sensitive to the psycho-mental level of reality because they notice the power of thought in the lives of their students and clients. That power of mirroring from people close to us = seen via navamsha especially via the swamsha and navamsha chandra.

Next, consider that every lagna has (at least) sixteen variations. If the birth time is accurate, the varga lagna should be assessed as well: dashamamsha (D-10) lagna for the impact of subconscious expectations and career environment which affect our perception of social importance and professional respect.

Shastyamsha lagna (D-60) gives insight into the guiding beliefs and expectations which shape the stream of incarnations over the period of several lifetimes; and transits to the D-60 can be very important; However, the birth time must be absolutely accurate to use the D-60 therefore only veteran Jyotishi use the D-60 and only after they have tested the birth time and have confidence in its accuracy.

Finally, there are numerous special-purpose baselines such as Arudha lagna which tells us about public opinion.

OK, I know this is too much to think about. Your simple question was whether it is better to use radical lagna or chandra lagna as the best basis for Jyotisha predictions. The answer is that accurate Jyotisha readings always use a minimum of three lagna as bases for prediction: radical lagna = social-material outcome; chandra lagna = emotional behaviors; and swamsha = psycho-emotional environment specifically the impact of intimate companions.

Wishing you best success in your study of the samayavidya,


Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotishavidya

Q: Dear Barbara,

I am an amateur student of Jyotisha and enjoy reading your writings on the many aspects of this subject.

I have a question to ask you about Chandra Lagna. To calculate the Chandra chart, most astrologers suggest that the Rashi or the house

occupied by Chandra should be placed at 0 deg/baseline of the horoscope.

But would it not be more accurate if I placed Chandra at 0 degrees of the horoscope? For example if Chandra is at 24deg of its Rashi or its house, then occupancy of other grahas in houses from Chandra might be radically different in the two methods of drawing the Chandra chart.

A: Namaste

The question you're asking is not only about how to establish the chandra lagna . It's a broader question about how to establish any"baseline", any ascendant line, any lagna. Should the line be drawn through the degree of the rashi that is occupied by the graha, or through the zero degree of the rashi? Will predictions be more accurate when effects are measured from the zero degree of the 30-degree rashi ("equal house system") or will the predictions be more accurate when measured from the actual degree in which the graha resides ?

This is an eternal question in Jyotisha and indeed in most systems of astrology. Equal houses seems counterintuitive because zero degrees is not the actual lagna.

For making predictions from the radical lagna of the natal birthchart, most Jyotishi will consult both the"rashi chart" wherein the radical lagna is set at zero degrees of the rashi that was rising on the eastern horizon of the earth at the time the native took their first breath immediately after birth.

However a"bhava" chart is also constructed to represent the bhava starting from the actual degree of the rashi that was on the eastern horizon. In a bhava chart drawn from the actual rising degree, a radical kundali like my own, which features a precise lagna of 29:xx Thula, would have nearly every graha in bhava-2 moving into bhava-1, nearly every graha in 4 moving into 3, etc. The bhava chart is a good reminder to the Jyotisha about the relative locations of the graha vis--vis the edges of the rashi boundaries.

Perhaps surprisingly, for purpose of making predictions using the combined tools of Jyotisha dasha systems (notably and primarily the Vimshottari dasha ) equal house lagna produce much more accurate predictions. Vimshottari dasha tends to not yield useful predictions when graha in one rashi are considered to be split into two different bhava. This outcome is the same when making predictions from the Chandra-lagna. Even if for example Chandra is located at 29:xx of Mesha, predictions will go askew if a graha in 1 degree of Thula is considered to reside in 6th-from-Chandra.

Many new students balk at this outcome, because the logic seems wrong. Particularly students familiar with tropical astrology and its rising-degree ascendant lines find the equal house system to be counterintuitive. However, tropical astrology does not produce useful predictions, nor does it offer a Dasha timeline system. So, my advice is to work with equal house lagna for a year or so when making your Vimshottari Dasha-based predictions, and keep a record of your successes.

In case any prediction failed, go back and re-analyze it: would it have been more accurate if non-equal lagna had been used? My experience is that using equal-size sthana which all set their first degree to match the radical lagna will work much better in modern Jyotisha. But your results might be different. And whatever your results, please publish them so that others may benefit from your research!

Wishing you every happiness and success in your study of the samayavidya,


BP Lama, Jyotisha

Q: Dear Barbara,

varaha mihira clearly says in brihatjatakam that the adhana lagna is the most preferred lagna for assessment.

but we all read horoscopes based on the time of first independant existence, namely the time when the head is out/ first cry..(as the adhana lagna is not available in most cases) naturally, there is a great difference in the readings.

whats your opinion? when 3 degree 20 min can change a lot of things..273 days difference can surely change a lot, no?

thx for your time.

A: Namaste, Thanks very much for your compliments [...]. I am delighted to know that you are finding the materials useful in your study of the knowledge tradition of Jyotishavidya

You ask a good question about the timing of the empirically measured first moment of the incarnation.

  • Since the adhana lagna is not available, except in rare cases and perhaps by clairvoyant methods, it is prudent to use the data that is presently available.

  • These days it is quite practical in most homes and hospitals to record the moment of the baby's first breath outside the womb.

  • The spirit (prana) enters the newborn's body in the moment of the first in-breath. Most religions celebrate the breath (brah) as a primary vehicle of divine spirit.

  • Therefore in Jyotisha practice we accommodate the reality of our historical era: we don't have access (normally) to the time of conception, so we use the data that we are equipped to obtain, which is the first Earth-breath. Knowing that this data is incomplete, we ask for divine guidance in working within its limitations.

It would be nice if one could simply cast a chart for 273 days before the day of first breath to capture the day of conception, but unfortunately gestation times vary - some babies are born quite healthy after only eight months in utero and others (like my son!) are several weeks "late".

  • IMO, using the moment of first breath to place the natal lagna is a good practice that will yield useful predictive results in Jyotisha.

  • But you are right to have doubts! The time of conception, as Varaha Mihira tells us, would be an ideal moment to set the janma lagna - if we could obtain it :)


Barbara Pijan Lama, Jyotishavidya


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