Divisional Charts(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
One of the powerful analytical tools of Vedic astrology, which is somewhat akin to the harmonic charts of western astrology, is the creation of a set of divisional charts by dividing the 30 degree span of each rashi or constellation by one of a defined set of discreet integers. The charts thus generated are composed of the parts of the rashi or constellation. The Sanskrit name for parts is amsha or varga and therefore these divisional charts are known in the literature as the amsha or varga kundalis (divisional wheels). As is the case with most of the classical Indian subjects, the use of the amsha charts is rich and varied. Many divisional chart techniques and traditions are less commonly known and applied; however, in the most widely used classical texts, there are 16 charts mentioned including formulas for their calculation, their names, and short descriptions of their functions and applications.
Most jyotishis and computer programmers use the system laid out in chapters 6 and 7 of the authoritative classical text, Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra. There are multiple names for some of the divisional charts. Those used below conform to Maharishi Parashara’s work. A convention for abbreviating their names for an English-speaking audience (D-1, D-2 etc.) has been adopted as a result of the work and research of She-shadri Iyer, a twentieth-century jyotishi from Bangalore.
The description of the 16 charts that follows represents the most popular and contemporary applications as derived from the brief verses of Parashara:
Rashi (D-1): The Janma Kundali or conventional birth chart. Each constellation of 30° corresponds to one of the twelve houses with the ascendant fixed by the time and location of birth. This is referred to as one rashi/one bhava (one sign/one house). Parashara uses the word “physique” for this chart but it is commonly used to examine all characteristics of the individual’s life.
Hora (D-2): Generated by dividing the 30° span of the rashi by the integer 2 creating two horas of 15° each. This chart is used for determining wealth.
Dreshkana (D-3): Generated by dividing the 30° span by 3 creating three dreshkanas of 10° each. This chart is used for a number of applications but the most classical approach is for matters relating to one’s co-borns or siblings.
Chaturthamsha (D-4): Generated by dividing 30° by 4 creating four parts of 7.5° each. Parashara uses the word “fortunes” for this chart. In practice, it deals with the matters of large fixed assets such as property.
Sapthamsha (D-7): Generated by dividing 30° by 7 and creating seven parts of 4.285° each. This chart is classically used to assess children and grandchildren.
Navamsha (D-9): Generated by dividing 30 into 9 parts of 3°20’ each. This chart is given special prominence in classical literature. It is the divisional chart to assess marriage and other partnerships but is also used as a confirmatory birth chart among many other applications.
Dashamsha (D-10): Generated by dividing 30 into 10 parts of 3° each. This chart details the all-important matters of career, fame, and success.
Dwadashamsha (D-12): Generated by dividing 30 into 12 parts of 2°30’ and used for the matter of parents and grandparents.
Shodashamsha (D-16): Generated by dividing 30 into 16 parts of 1°52’30” each. This chart is useful for information about conveyances. The modern applications are for cars, car accidents, boats, etc.
Vimshamsha (D-20): Generated by dividing 30° into 20 parts of 1°30’ each. Parashara uses the word “worship” and contemporary jyotishis use it for assessment of spiritual practices (upasana).
Chaturvimshamsha (D-24): Generated by dividing 30 into 24 parts of 1°15’ each. This chart is used for assessing how school and studies will go for the individual.
Saptavimshamsha (D-27): Generated by dividing 30 into 27 parts of 1°6’40” each. This chart deals with matters of strength and weakness (vitality).
Trimshamsha chart (D-30): Generated by dividing 30 into 30 parts of 1° each. Parashara uses the words “evil effects,” though many jyotishis use it to assess great misfortunes and fortunes.
Khavedamsha chart (D-40): Generated by dividing 30 into 40 parts of 45’ each. It is used to assess auspicious and inauspicious effects.
Akvedamsha (D-45): Generated by dividing 30 into 45 parts of 40’ each and is a chart for general indications.
Shastiamsha (D-60): Generated by dividing 30 into 60 parts of 30’ each. This chart is also used for general indications but has unique descriptive applications for each planetary placement.
In addition to the classical charts outlined above, the many followers of Iyer add four more amsha charts that have come through the Tajika tradition of astrology which is originally Persian or Arab and now thoroughly integrated into the Indian astrological tradition. These are the Panchamsha chart (D-5), which is used to delineate innate morality and spiritual orientation; the Shastamsha chart (D-6), which deals with health and disease; the Ashtamsha chart (D-8), which is concerned with accidents and longevity; and the Ekadashamsha chart (D-11), which details unearned wealth, conferring of honors, titles, ascension to the throne, etc.
The accuracy of the divisional charts becomes predicated on the accuracy of the birth time since the exact degree of the ascending point is the starting place for calculating the ascendant of the respective divisional charts. There is both an advantage and disadvantage in this regard. The ascendant of the more finely divided varga charts becomes less certain without a confirmed birth time. However, this can be turned around and used as a tool for arriving at a more accurate birth time as part of the process known as rectification.
There are two major categories for divisional chart analysis. One involves a quantitative evaluation of strength and the other is the more qualitative descriptive information that improves the specificity of the interpretation in the various arenas of life that fall into a given D-chart’s portfolio.
Quantitatively, there are two systems for determining the overall strength factor for a planet in a given nativity through examination of the divisional chart placements. One of these systems is a complex formulation of factors to arrive at a numerical expression of “strength.” This technique is known as Shad Bala. An important component of this analysis is the strength that a planet derives by its placement in certain advantageous constellations and houses in a certain defined set of divisional charts. The constellation in which a particular planet is placed in the main chart will most likely change when subjected to the mathematical formulas of divisional chart calculation. For example, Jupiter may be in the constellation of Cancer in the Rashi chart and be placed in the constellation of Capricorn in the Navamsha chart by applying the appropriate calculation and so on through the defined set of divisional charts. Some of these placements are in constellations that will add to the planet’s power and some placements will detract. This is the primary idea behind the determination of a quantitative measure that becomes one of the important factors in the Shad Bala calculation.
The other quantitative system is known as Vimshopaka Bala. This system factors the placement of a planet by constellation in defined sets of divisional charts, at least one of which is the complete set. The outcome of the calculation is a specific number for each planet that correlates to that planet’s strength with respect to varga chart placement. The practical application of this number is that a planet that may look weak in the birth chart can increase its strength according to its placements in the divisional charts and visa versa.
The qualitative side of divisional chart analysis is virtually endless in its possibilities with respect to interpretive richness. Each specific divisional chart can be analyzed on its own merits according to the rules of birth chart analysis and applied to that area of life it represents. This information can be correlated with what the birth chart reveals and the two can be reconciled, either resulting in greater confluence and certainty or modulating the interpretation by factoring in the appropriate divisional chart. There are techniques for more accurately predicting timing of events by combining the planetary placements in these varga charts with the dasha sequences for that native. Certain unique planetary combinations (yogas) can form exclusively in some divisional charts which greatly add to the understanding of a particular person’s destiny.
For further information, the reader is invited to look at the text of the classical works as well as explore more contemporary researches into the techniques of divisional chart analysis.