Astrology in the Southern Hemisphere has always been a subject of contention among scholarly astrologers. The Western and Vedic astrological traditions were developed in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is from that perspective that we interpret the movement of the planets (grahas), houses (bhavas), and signs (rashis). For the most part, astrologers have interpreted the movement of the planets in the Southern Hemisphere the same as in the Northern Hemisphere. But most serious-minded people find this unsatisfactory. How can we apply the same interpretations when, at the same point in time, one hemisphere is under the winter solstice, and the other beneath the summer solstice?
By analyzing planets, houses, and signs in detail, we can determine how these concepts should be applied to Southern Hemisphere horoscopes. We find that planets and houses can be interpreted almost the same as in the Northern Hemisphere. But signs (rashis) need to be completely redefined. We discuss the planets and houses here.
The planets/grahas exert the same influence in the Southern Hemisphere as in the Northern Hemisphere, except for the Lunar Nodes. To adapt the Nodes to both hemispheres, we must interpret the Nodes as ascent toward and decent from the polar regions, not as ascent toward and descent from the North Pole specifically. In the Northern Hemisphere, the north is seen as the height, the south as the depth. This sense of direction is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere.
In Western astrology, in the Southern Hemisphere, we would interpret the North Node as the comfort zone or impediments to be overcome, and the South Node as what we must achieve in life. This is the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere interpretation. In Vedic astrology, in the Southern Hemisphere, the North Node would be interpreted as Ketu, the worldly misfortune that brings enlightenment. The South Node would be interpreted as Rahu, the source of frenzy and addiction.
The meaning of the houses/bhavas remains the same (1st = self, 2nd = money, 3rd = neighborhood… ). The temporal order of the houses remains the same. But the spatial position of the houses is reversed. They are a mirror image about the vertical axis. When we view the celestial equator and ecliptic from the Southern Hemisphere, we see that the eastern horizon (the Ascendant) is at our right, not our left. The signs/rashis ascend or cross the Ascendant moving counter-clockwise, not clockwise. In Western and Vedic astrology, the houses/bhavas are assigned their meanings according to their temporal sequence, the order in which they cross the eastern horizon. This meaning is retained in the Southern Hemisphere. The temporal sequence is the same as the North. But the spatial sequence is a mirror image. The first house (bhava) is below the horizon on the right (not left). The seventh house is above the horizon on the left (not right).
Copyright (c) 2012 Franz Josef Stern