This is a very frequent question on the mind of an astrologer as to what should be the main reference of the predictions while examining a horoscope. Astrologers frequently struggle with this problem. However, as they mature, they realize the answer to the this main question is – BOTH!
Both ascendant and moon as as important to horoscope judgement as are day and night to a day and head and tails on a coin. One is incomplete without the other. Sun makes it a triad, but in this article, we will limit our discussion to Ascendant and Moon.
Before starting to judge the horoscope, it is important to understand what Ascendant & Moon stand for in the horoscope. Ascendant is the first house and stands for the general strength of the chart. It symbolizes fame, success, status in the society. On the health front, it denotes physical strength, constitution – robust or sickly, appearance, vigour and energy. Being the first house, ascendant is indicative of head and brain. On the other hand, Moon as a planet indicates mind, emotions and feeling. A person’s personality type is governed by Moon in a horoscope. In a horoscope, diseases of the mind, i.e, psychological disorders are usually diagnosed by looking at Moon’s position.
In any situation, a person’s reaction is two folds. First is the instinctual and emotional response to the situation. Immediately following is the actual response/action, which comes after the person has quickly analyzed the situation in his/her mind. They are quite distinct responses, yet the actual portrait of the person is incomplete if we take just one of them into account. The differences between the two are quite stark in grievous situations, e.g., one of the toughest is losing ones parents. If a person loses his mother, he may be emotionally distraught and broken from inside, yet he would not let this show on himself. The rituals and daily motions of the 13 day antyeshti period are executed to perfection by such a person. The emotional response to the situation is indicated by Moon, while the approach to problem is governed by the ascendant.
The signs that ascendant and moon occupy are also very important. The behavior of the person is defined more by the sign occupied by Moon. A person with Capricorn ascendant would be very practical and businesslike in his approach. But if the same person has Gemini as the moon sign, he would appear most of the time as nervous, agitated and having difficulty to come to a decision.
Houses from the ascendant indicate a trait, area and domain of action within a horoscope. E.g. the first house, the ascendant denotes health, physical well being, the 2nd house indicates family, wealth, spoken communication, third indicates brothers and sisters, courage, initiative, etc. When counted from the Moon, the houses indicate how the person perceives these domains emotionally. Similarly the first house from moon indicates emotional health and well being, 2nd house indicates the emotional attachment with the family and joy of saving wealth, third from moon indicates the real inward courage etc. This is the basis of distinguishing the two positions and where the the judgement becomes interesting… Lets take an example of 2nd house that denotes the savings, wealth and family. 2nd from ascendant may be very strong with a well placed lord, benefic drishtis and hence give the real materialistic pleasure to the person whose horoscope is under consideration. At the same time, 2nd from Moon may be placed really badly with malefic drishtis, lord placed in 8th house etc. This person would be miserable in dealing with the family on an emotional level. Take a similar example of 6th house. 6th house denotes enemies, obstacles, illness and worries. 6th from Moon would therefore indicate emotional obstacles – i.e., something that the person truly would hate.
Based on this argument, the relative position of Moon and Ascendant becomes important. Take an example of Aries lagna & Simha rashi, i.e., they are located in a trine from one another. This is a good combination for knowledge, education and logic. Counting from 5th house, 10th is 6th house. Hence, this person would always have problems with 10th house indicators. Promotions would come after much emotional turmoil. There would be problem with authority at work. Depending on the aspects on 7th and 10th house in D1 and same houses in D10, this person would be better off in a business and working with others on equal footing.
Since 6th from Moon causes emotional distress, location of Moon in 8th house, unless it is very powerful in the chart, is an adverse combination. In this case, ascendant (self) becomes 6th from Moon. This makes a person very self critical and frustrated with themselves. They would not be happy with their own physical appearance, strength etc. This can be cause of many undiagnosed emotional problems. Rahu’s or Mars’ aspect to such a Moon would make the problem worse.