Vaughn Paul Manley, M.A.
The dharma houses 1, 5, 9 are the houses of meaning, purpose, and inspiration. They can be also considered ‘fire houses’ since they correspond to the fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. When we are living in harmony with the dharma houses in our chart then our lives feel worthwhile. We feel inspired, passionate and on fire. The dharma houses are opposite the kama or desire houses, which represent what we ‘want’ to do, whereas the dharma houses represent what we ‘need’ to do to give our lives meaning. When we enter a dasha period of a planet who rules a dharma house then it represents a time when we become less willing to compromise what is most important to us.
If there’s a combination of the 9th and 10th lords in the natal chart it forms the best raja yoga called a ‘dharma karma raja yoga.’ It’s a combination between the highest of the dharma or fire houses (1, 5, 9) with the highest of the artha or earth houses (2, 6, 10). The 10th house is also called the house of karma or action. It suggests a person who is able to combine their inspiration with their career which can lead to the greatest success, amazing things begin to happen in their lives. Inspiration means to ‘breathe life into.’ To live inspired is to feel alive, to live with meaning and purpose. Let’s see an example
In Albert Einstein’s chart you’ll see a person who is able to combine his career with his inspiration. He has a planetary combination or yoga called a dharma karma raja yoga. It’s a combination between the 9th house of dharma and the 10th house of career. He has Gemini rising with Saturn (the 9th lord) in the 10th house. At the same time Jupiter (the 10th lord) is in the 9th house. Jupiter and Saturn exchange signs forming a parivartana yoga and a dharma karma raja yoga at the same time. This is phenomenal for his career and gave him great fame and success.
Albert Einstein’s Natal Chart
It’s interesting to see that Einstein’s Mercury, his ascendant lord, is in the 10th house in the intuitive and imaginative sign of Pisces. This is Mercury’s sign of debilitation, which seemingly suggests that his Mercury is weak in his chart. However, Mercury is also conjunct an exalted Venus in Pisces and therefore is involved in a neecha bhanga raja yoga. This yoga means that after initial struggles Mercury becomes a benefit to him in his life. Einstein famously failed in math in elementary school, but then later became recognized as a mathematical genius. This is because Mercury functions more intuitively and less rationally in the abstract sign of Pisces. He first intuited his Physics theories about the nature of the universe and then later worked out the mathematical rationalizations to prove it. Following his imagination into the mysterious hidden realms was what inspired him, and was how Einstein’s theories and inventions were born.
The 9th house is generally considered to be the most benefic house being the highest of the dharma or fire houses, 1, 5, 9. It’s the house of luck, fortune, divine grace, wisdom, one’s spiritual path, religion, philosophy, teachers and gurus, progress, travel etc. When one starts the dasha of a planet ruling the 9th house, in the 9th house, or aspected by the 9th lord it can represent a smooth time period of good karma and many blessings.
However, there are some subtler modifications that also need to be considered. The 9th house as a dharma house is only one category of houses. The 9th house is also one of the apoklima or mutable houses – 3, 6, 9, 12, which are a weak category of houses. Apoklima houses generally have a difficult time manifesting in the physical world because of their mutable nature. They are the 12th house from the angular or kendra houses, the houses of power. The 12th house from any house can represent the loss of the indications of that house.
The 9th is therefore the 12th house from the 10th house, the house of career. Oddly, it can therefore represent breaks in employment or career, perhaps for ethical or spiritual reasons, or travel. This may seem contradictory or confusing because of the benefic status of the 9th house as a dharma house. It’s a subtler point that needs to be considered.
Jyotish is a complicated science – it needs to be since we live complicated lives. It becomes very tempting to think in binary terms of black and white – this house is good, this house is bad. However, it’s the subtleties that give subtle accuracy to a reading. By understanding the different categories of houses separately we can remember the subtle modifications. I agree that the 9th house as a dharma house takes precedence over it being an apoklima house or the 12th house from the 10th. It’s generally the most beneficial house. However, you will see times that the 9th house acts less favorably and it may baffle you until you understand these other points.