Aryabhatt Vedic Lession
Ancient Indian teaching methods involved a personal instruction by the teacher to his disciple.The teacher, called as ''Guru', would generally live in seclusion, away from city life, and have a select group of disciples, called 'Shishyas'. It would only be the good fortune of a 'shishya' if he managed to secure a good 'guru'. Similarly, a great 'guru' would strive to find a deserving disciple. The teacher-disciple relation used to be a highly affectionate relationship, with the teacher commanding the same, nay more, reverence from his disciple as the latter owed to their parents. The ancient historical records of India find their place in the Puranas. In these Puranas, generally there is a story being told by an elevated sage to one or more seekers of knowledge.
The Signs
There are twelve signs of the zodiac. One of the signs happens to be the sign rising at the eastern horizon at the time of birth. This rising sign is called the lagna or the ascendant. The lagna happens to be the first house of the horoscope.By this is meant that the houses and signs do not coincide. The first house has the label of the sign rising at the time of birth, the second bears the label of the sign that will rise next, and so on.
The nine grahas (from the Sun to Ketu) or 'planets' are the occupants of these houses. The houses represent certain characteristics.The signs falling in these houses also represent certain characteristics, and the two intrmingle to indicate something newer.Then the planets which occupy them inflict further modifications.
In order to be able to make any fruitful predictions, it is essential to understand the meanings of the signs, houses and planets.
A Horoscopic Chart
(A) North Indian Chart is the one in which the order of the houses is fixed. It consists of four central rhomboidal houses (which are numbered 1, 4,7 and 10, starting from the upper central rhomboid) and eight triangular houses. The sign rising at the time of birth is marked in the first house or the upper central rhomboid, and the remaining signs marked in regular order in an anti-clockwise direction.
(B) The South Indian Chart has the signs in a fixed order in the chart. The lagna is marked in the appropriate sign. The remaining houses are counted in a clock-wise direction.
(C) An Eastern Indian Chart, often used in Bengal and Orissa, also has the signs in a fixed order in the chart. The ascendant is marked in the appropriate sign. The remaining houses are counted in an anti-clockwise direction.

Whatever the type of horoscopic chart preferred, the planets are placed in the houses bearing the signs in which the planets are located astronomically.
The Signs ( or Rashis )
The signs of the zodiac have special features which are being described here.
(1) Appearance and Habitat : The twelve signs of the zodiac each have a specific appearance and a habitat.
The sign Mesha resembles a ram. It circulates among the goats, the sheep and region holding wealth and precious stones. It wanders on grassy lands, and around lakes surrounded by vegetation.
The sign Vrisha resembles a bull. Cowhouses and farmlands are its place of residence.
A man and a woman bearing a trumpet and a harp represent the sign Mithuna whose places of residence are the couch and the lounge.This dual sign haunts the sports lovers and the pleasure houses.
Karkata has the appearance of a crab and lives in water. Its places of residence include water-filled garden beds,river banks and un-inhabited lands.
Simha (resembling a lion) resides in the mountains, forests, caves, inaccessible places, deep ditches and the living places of hunters.
Kanya (consists of a woman) standing in a boat and holding corn and a lamp in her hand, inhabits women's pleasure rooms.
Narda! Tula is represented by a man holding a balance in his hands, and its residences include lanes, bazaars, towns, routes and buildings.
Vrishchika resembles the scorpion in appearance. It moves in crevices and pits. Its areas of residence include poisons, animal excreta, stones and insects.
Of Dhanu, the legs are like those of a horse. It is radiant and holds a bow and arrow.
The mouth of Makara is like that of a deer, shoulders like those of a bull and eyes like those of an elephant. It moves in the rivers and resides in the ocean.
Kumbha resembles a man wearing wet clothes and holding on his shoulders an empty pitcher.It moves in gambling houses and resides in drinking dens.
The sign Meena consists of two fishes lying side by side, the head of one being beside the tail of the other.It haunts pious places, temples of gods and houses of Brahmins.
(2) Parts of the body :The various signs from Mesha onwards represent (1) head, (2) face, (3) shoulders, (4) chest, (5) heart and stomach, (6) abdomen, (7) lower abdomen and groin, (8) external genitalia, (9) thighs, (10) knees, (11) calves, and (12) feet.
(3) Stature :
Of short stature are signs Mesha, Vrisha, Kumbha and Meena (i.e., 1, 2, 11 and 12).

Of tall stature are the signs Simha, Kanya, Tula and Vrischika (i.e., 5, 6, 7 and 8).

Of even stature are the signs Mithuna, Karka, Dhanu and Makara (i.e., 3, 4, 9 and 10)

(4) Diurnal strength :

Strong during night are the signs Mesha, Vrisha, Mithuna, Karka, Dhanu and Makara. Except Mithuna, they rise by the hind side (Prishtodaya)

Strong during day
are Simha, Kanya, Tula, Vrischhika, Kumbha and Meena. Except Meena, they rise by the head(Sheershodaya).

Mithuna too rises by the head.

Meena rises both by the head and the tail (Ubhayodaya)
(5) Malefic/Male : Odd signs, viz., 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.
(6) Benefic/Female : Even signs, viz., 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12.
(7) Movable or otherwise : Signs 1, 4, 7 and 10 are movable ; they indicate change and mobility.
Signs 2, 5, 8 and 11 are fixed ; they indicate stability and fixity.

Signs 3, 6, 9 and 12 are mixed ; they indicate a balance between the fixed and movable signs.
(8) Directions :
East signs 1, 5 and 9.
South signs 2, 6 and 10
West signs 3, 7 and 11.
North signs 4, 8 and 12.
(9) Inherent nature :
Fiery signs 1, 5 and 9.
Earthy signs 2, 6 and 10
Airy signs 3, 7 and 11.
Watery signs 4, 8 and 12.
(10) Biological characters :

Quadrupeds signs 1, 2, 5, posterior half of 9, and anterior half of 10,
Bipeds signs 3, 6, 7, 11, and anterior half of 9.
Insect ( Keeta) signs 4 and 8.
Those inhabiting water (Jalachara) signs 12, and rosterior half of 10.
(11) Constituent characters :
Mineral (Dhatu) signs 1, 4, 7 and 10.
Vegetable (Moola) signs 2, 5, 8 and 11.
Animal (Jeeva) signs 3, 6, 9 and 12.
(12) Caste :
Kshatriya signs 1, 5 and 9.
Vaishya signs 2, 6 and 10.
Shudra signs 3, 7 and 11.
Brahmin signs 4, 8 and 12
(13) Lords : Of the twelve signs, starting from Mesha, the lords are respectively Mars, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Saturn and Jupiter.