Aries: With an Aries swamsha, the native will often have a reoccurring theme in their life of needing to “not sweating the small stuff”. A theme of having to continuously ignore the details and small hangups in life in favor of the big picture ideals and inspirations that serve as the real fuel for the Aries fire. They must devote themselves to whatever bigger sense of purpose they may have deep down, and pursue that, while ignoring much of the details, in order to be the ideal Aries individual and fulfill their true dharma. These types often get frustrated easily with the smaller and more detail oriented problems that must be patiently dealt with in life. They get hung up on the tedious details, and yet the more attention they put on them, the more they seem to notice more small problems to be fixed. Aries will need to learn to stop focusing there, and expand their viewpoint or to just “focus on the big picture in life” as we say in common speak.
Taurus: The Atmakaraka falling in the Navamsa of Taurus gives a major emphasis throughout life on material stability. It gives a focus on generating the resources needed to provide for oneself and the others which one is responsible for. This indicates one to have a path of learning to make good use of the natural resources of the earth as well as one’s own resources. Learning to be a productive person, with good self worth, good work ethic is also represented by Taurus. Those with an afflicted Taurus swamsha will often not use their resources wisely, and may even be the type of person to exploit the Earth’s natural resources for personal gain. A strong Taurus swamsha however, will be the opposite and will work in harmony with nature as much as possible while they provide for themselves and for others. With this swamsha, one will often have careers that work with the earth or deal with the production of necessary resources such as food, land, or housing.
Gemini: When the atmakaraka is placed in Gemini in the navamsa, there is a lot of karma being worked out with one’s intellectual development. Gemini is about cognition, and understanding. Gemini deals with the subjective intellectual ideas and concepts we have about life and how they are being met with the outside world and reality. A strong Gemini swamsha has healthy intellectual concepts which enable them to relate and function harmoniously in the world. An afflicted Gemini swamsha struggles with this, and its concepts and intellectual ideas about how life works dont get easily validated by the outer world. You may notice people who are so frustrated in life, but it is really because of their own ideas about how things should be. They go through life choosing to see things a certain way and so each time life isnt actually the way they think it should be, they are frustrated or confused or annoyed. Gemini therefore can be a very frustrated sign at times. Gemini can actually have such strong mental concepts, that when they arent being realized in the world, the irritation or frustration can be seen physically on the skin or through one’s weight changing. This is why Gemini is a sign of skin problems and weight fluctuations.
Cancer: When the atmakaraka is in Cancer in the Navamsa, one is said to be a Cancer Swamsha. The Cancer swamsha is a native who is developing in the emotional and feeling side of life. They will often live in foreign lands or travel abroad at least once in their life. They may have issues with “freezing up” or being frigid in a sense, in life. Hence the need to develop healthy emotional states. Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the most adaptable planet. These natives must follow suit and learn to be adaptable in life, which is also why they often end up living abroad. Living in a foreign land forces one to be adaptable because there inevitably are rules and conducts that are the not the way one is used to in their homeland but must abide by anyway.
Leo: The Leo swamsha is focusing on developing its capacity for responsibility and leadership. Leo is about running the kingdom in the most virtuous and responsible way. It is really not a sign of enjoying life on planet earth like so many people seem to think. It is a sign of duty and dharma. Whether the native is the leader of a country or just runs a convenience store, either way they must run their kingdom with the same degree of virtue and duty and responsibility. That is the goal of the Leo swamsha. The Leo swamsha will often have some important karmic emphasis on their own territory, their own kingdom in a sense. In the same way as Cancer may live in a foreign land or travel a lot, the Leo swamsha will focus on its own country and its own territory or kingdom that it is responsible for. Also, Leo swamshas can sometimes have a dharma that involves actual wild beasts of prey like lions or sharks somehow being involved in their life. Or at particular moments in their life, when an important moment of leadership is about to come up, a wild beast of prey perhaps graces them at that moment as if to inspire the native towards their dharma. It is this sort of thing that the Leo swamsha will experience in their path in life.
Virgo: The Atmakaraka in Virgo navamsa can be very similar to Gemini swamsha as explained above, but with an added emphasis on digestion issues. Virgo swamsha basically must learn to digest all of life, the good and the bad. It must learn to “take it all in”, and not be so fastidious with its mental concepts (again like Gemini) about what it likes and doesn’t like, and what is right and wrong, etc. Virgo is sort of the sign of solving problems and so these people tend to be great at that, but are almost too geared towards problem solving, and so they look for problems, and naturally see them everywhere and there seems to be no end in sight and so the fragile virgo gets frustrated and irritated by this. It cant “digest” life, in a sense. Virgo is where the planet that rules the digestive system, Venus, is fallen. Again, showing that Virgo doesnt go with the flow easily, and must learn to. Venus represents sexual intercourse and so in many ways Venus falling in virgo shows difficulty for the Virgo in having intercourse with the world and with life itself if that makes any sense. The main remedy for this and the Gemini Swamsha is developing a type of spiritualized consciousness that can see everything as coming from the same Source. In the Vedic philosophy, the native must learn to see everything as Vishnu. The Thief is Vishnu, the Chief is Vishnu, the Mother is Vishnu, the Lover is Vishnu. All is Vishnu. The afflicted Virgo may struggle with this, but with practice, if they can learn to see all as Vishnu then eventually they start digesting life much more easily and start being happier and more even-minded. Their health will actually improve as well oftentimes. Their skin and digestion will improve as they stop creating so much inner friction with every problem they see. Once one sees that Vishnu is the doer of all things, then one just starts to relax more into life as a whole and true understanding can then begin to dawn in the native.
Libra: With a Libra Swamsha, the native has a life marked by trade and relationships. Libra is the sign of trade, it is symbolized as a balancing scale, which implies balancing as well as decision making and “weighing the options”. Libras can make some of the best businessmen if that is what the rest of the chart is pointing towards. Libra is also the sign of relationships, (which involve a lot of trading) as well as the public. Libra has a keen understanding of society and the social side of life. A strong and healthy Libra swamsha is able to relate to the world in such a way that it may not have much itself, but it trades what it does have so wisely and appropriately that it ends up with much more than most. Afflicted Libra swamshas may have to work harder at this, and diplomacy in general. They may have to work on making better decisions and seeing what others have to offer. Prince, the musician, has Saturn as the Atmakaraka and falling in Libra in the navamsa chart, and is a great example of a strong Libra swamsha. He ended up with a very fulfilled life. (His chart is really strong overall though as well, to be fair, and this is not the only reason for his success.)
Scorpio: Scorpio swamsha is a very fascinating one. They can be very extreme individuals, with whatever they do in life. Scorpio is a fixed rasi after all, so it can be very devoted and fixed on what it focuses on as being worthwhile. Scorpio swamsha is a person who is working on their vulnerabilities essentially. They are without a doubt going to face more emotional issues that bring up their vulnerable places because they are meant to battle through those issues. They often have difficult issues come up in the early family life, or a separation from the mother of some sort is also common. Or the Mother of the native may be there but less comforting than the average mother, etc. They have to learn to fight so much harder for everything that they get than the average individual, and this can lead to both positive and negative extremes. Paramahansa Yogananda is a very positive example of taking this energy and the death of his Mother in his early life to galvanize him to seek the Divine Mother with great ardor. Adolf Hitler is another example of a swamsha in scorpio, on the other more negative end of the spectrum. He suffered in a household where his Father abused his Mother and there was nothing he was able to do about it, likely leading him to have a hateful approach towards life in general. If the rest of the chart also supports it, these swamshas can make great spiritual progress in life, or can have a life that involves the occult or hidden side of life somehow. I have noted that two of the greatest Astrologers I have found in my life are Scorpio Swamshas. They seem to have learned to better deal with the troubles of life from their understanding of the somewhat hidden forces in life, such as the planets.
Sagittarius: Sagittarius swamsha, when aspected by malefics, is actually a sign of accidents and falls from heights. This was surprising to me, when I learned this. Most people paint Sag as this really lucky and joyful sign, and if not blemished than that often is the case. Sagittarius is the sign of the bowman, the archer. It symbolizes seeing the goal and pursuing it. But if there are malefics aspecting (rasi aspecting, we are talking about here) then the Bowman misses his mark, essentially. If all benefic planets are associated with Sagittarius then the person is likely to find grace from accidents and such, but this is rarely the case. In that case, the person may even work around accidents but still end up being okay for the most part, such as being a fireman or something of that sort. If cruel planets are aspecting, these people need to be cautioned to be more realistic with their goals and not expect things to work out easily on the first try. This can often be the case too, because Sagittarius is a sign of being overly optimistic; overconfident.
Capricorn: Capricorn is a very fascinating swamsha. It can make one involved in aquatic animals, particularly crocodiles and alligators. Capricorn itself is the sign of crocodiles and all aquatic beasts. Capricorn swamsha also makes “villages”, as Jaimini puts it, an important karmic factor. Sometimes these people always feel like they have to leave the home town or village that they grew up in to make it in the world and be successful. Often they are right as well. This is because Capricorn is about as far away as it gets from the signs of royalty and success, the prime real estate of the zodiac. That would be Cancer and Leo, the signs of the King and Queen; the summertime when all is plentiful. Capricorn is opposite of those signs and rasi drishtis them (dhristi is the word for aspect in Jyotish, literally meaning “sight” or “glance”. This means that Capricorn literally “sees” the Leo rasi), wishing it could have what they seem to have. This is also part of why Capricorn is a very driven and ambitious sign. They often dont feel very supported in their home towns and therefore move away. Capricorn is also a sign of tumors, and cancer is more likely to be the thing to take out this person, so they need to get themselves checked out more regularly for that sort of thing as they age. Capricorn is also a sign of Kapha, and stagnation, like the swamps and alligators and crocs that it also rules. Jaimini also states for capricorn swamsha, “Things flying in the air”, which is very mysterious and intriguing. One interesting thing is I have noticed people who are pilots or involved in flying to often be having planets in the 10th house of their chart, like the 10th sign Capricorn. I also find Gemini coming up a lot for pilots, but havent done enough research on this to be sure. We may speculate and say that Capricorn would be the sign of flying in planes, and perhaps even UFOs would fall under this sign.
Aquarius: Aquarius is the swamsha of the “maker of tanks and ponds” according to Jaimini. Which is to say that one is involved in providing resources that make life more bearable for everyone. Everyone needs water and to help provide a source of water is to be a real humanitarian, which is what Aquarius is, essentially. This water is also symbolic of psychological wholeness, which is the true goal of Aquarius, to become whole in oneself, and accept and make peace with all of one’s weaknesses and shortcomings, and just be okay with them and love oneself anyway. This is why Aquarius may seem so odd or weird. It is because they are learning to stop doing things to compensate for their inner lack, and instead to just be there with the lack…..and eventually it goes away, but it might seem weird to other people passing by in the meantime. This probably has to do with why they get stereotyped in western astrology as being without charm and aloof. Sometimes Aquarius people will be social workers or people who do a lot of service of some kind, other times they may do more of a pyschological service for people, and sometimes they may actually work around water and provide it in a literal way as well.
Pisces: Pisces swamsha, as the last sign of the zodiac, is the most spiritual sign and the sign of “Kaivalya” or liberation of consciousness, according to Jaimini. He also says of it, “perpetual dharma”, and seems to convey that Pisces is a sign of steady spiritual progress throughout the life of the native. As long as the rest of the chart points mostly in that direction I do find this to be true, but you will also find many cases of Pisces swamshas that live a very negative life and are most definitely not progressing spiritually as well so that is not always the case. Edgar Cayce is an interesting example of a Pisces swamsha, and I hope to do an article on his chart soon. Robin Williams is another example, someone who is most definitely a sensitive soul with spiritual inclinations, but the rest of his chart had many difficult karmas indicated, and so he often could not bear the pain of life on earth and needed to escape or find liberation through more immediate means such as drugs. That is a more mixed example, which is often the case. We could say that this placement makes the person more sattvic and naturally inspired, within the context of the rest of the chart. Roy Eugene Davis, the last living direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, is another example of a positive pisces swamsha. He has written many books and lectured on Self Realization for over 50 years and in countless countries, and is noticeably more realized than the average spiritual author/public figure.
These twelve swamshas are very important signs for the individual, and one will also note that the sign the atmakaraka goes to in the rashi chart will also have some of these significations as well, but not as much as the navamsa chart. For example, Robin Williams is a pisces swamsha, but has scorpio as a rising sign, so this reinforces more of the difficult emotional struggles and battles that he would face on his path in life. Say it was a cancer rising, and no tough aspects from Sun, Saturn, or Rahu, then he may not have had such a painful life and perhaps could have enjoyed more of the positive Pisces qualities in life.
The planet that is falling in the swamsha determines a great more of it, but this is one important part of the puzzle of what ones dharma will involve in this life. With some careful study and application on charts, one should begin to see some clear correlations of the charts examined and the associations described above.
Look at some charts of friends you know and see if any of these indications correlate. These significations are also true if someone has their rising sign or sun in one of these signs, but not as significantly I have found. But take note of the sign that the atmakaraka goes to in the Rashi as well as the Shastiamsa as well, those signs will also have an emphasis in a person’s life. The Navamsa is the most important one though, and that is the only one that is called the Swamsha*.