Judging career aptitudes is one of the most difficult areas of astrology. Occasionally, a chart will offer a clear picture that makes it easy to see vocational direction. More often, however, it’s a mixed bag that defies simple categorization. Nonetheless, by following some basic rules of Vedic astrology (along with some Western ideas), we can catch a glimpse into the person’s probable areas of worldly engagement. And by using some of Jyotish’s unique timing techniques, we can predict when the most favourable periods for career advancement will be.
In Vedic astrology, one assesses career by blending the influences of key houses and planets. The most important house is the first house or lagna. If we had only one house to analyze before making a judgment, this would be it. The first house represents the person as a whole and therefore planets or aspects here can shape a person’s outlook that reflects the planets’ significations. The first house ruler orlagnesh is also important. A person with Pisces rising that has lagnesh Jupiter closely conjoined by Venus will probably need to express that Venusian side in some fundamental way in their lives. But that only narrows down our choices somewhat since Venus encompasses a fairly wide range of vocational options. It may be art, entertainment, beauty and cosmetics, or prostitution, to name a few. We can narrow down these choices even more by looking at the rest of the key factors in the char
Next we need to examine the condition of the luminaries, the Sun and Moon. Since they are fundamental to the personality, they will often find expression in the career. If the Sun is placed in Gemini conjoining Mercury aspected by Mars, this might suggest a computing career or something else that blends the notion of information, communications, and technical knowledge. Or maybe the Moon is placed in Virgo, the sign of healing, and rules the 6th house of Cancer and is placed in the 8th house. This combination may give an interest in the health field, especially the areas of alternative health and life extension as represented by the 8th house. Moreover, let’s say this combination was aspected by the first lord Saturn, thus linking it back to the first house or the person as a whole. This is precisely the combination we see in the chart of Deepak Chopra.
As in Western astrology, the 10th house is most closely connected with career. Here I like to make primary use of the whole sign 10th house and its lord to assess career influences. The unequal 10th house cusp or MC may also be used for supplementary information. While the house position of the 10th lord does not necessarily dictate the direction of career, it can sometimes express its flavour or style. Again, it is important to look for repeating themes. If the 10th lord is in the 8th house and the nodes are prominent in some way and the person has Scorpio rising, then we might start to look at typical 8th house careers such as metaphysics or affairs of the dead.
Another strategy is to find the best house, the best sign, and the best planet in a chart. Perhaps there is there an exalted planet in the horoscope. If there is, it may exercise a strong influence on career selection particularly if it’s dispositor and nakshatra dispositors are well placed. The same goes for swakshetra planets, or planet in its own sign. Jupiter in Sagittarius may guide the native towards law, academics and religion if it is closely aspected by Mercury or Venus and its nakshatra dispositor (Ketu, Venus or Sun depending on where in Sagittarius it is) are well placed and associated with the 10th house.