Your Sun Sign: what you are “brilliant” at, how you need to be successful in life.  A supported, well-placed Sun indicates overall success, vitality, and authority in life; an afflicted, ill-placed Sun indicates a troubled, frustrated, or blocked life.  The Sun can also be used as an alternate ascendant or lagna. 

Your Moon Sign: where you find yourself on a day to day level, your mind, and your emotional response tendencies;  a well placed, supported Moon indicates overall success and happiness in life; a blocked or frustrated Moon many times will indicate mental troubles, basic unhappiness, and discomfort in life.  The Moon can also be used as an alternate ascendant or lagna. 

Your Ascendant (Lagna): Usually the most important sign, how you interface with the world; your basic motivations and psychology.  A well supported ascendant indicates good fortune and ease with others; an afflicted Ascendant indicates misfortunes and overall difficulties. 

Your Atmakaraka—this is the planet that indicates the nature of your spirit, an extremely important point in your astrology that you need to know and understand.  The atmakaraka is the planet in your chart that is the most advanced degrees of any sign. 

Other Karakas

Amataya karaka = career
Bhatri karaka = desires, skills and brothers
Matri karaka = mother, education, status
Pitri/Putri karaka = children, creativity, intelligence, father
Gnati karaka = service, illness, servants
Dara karaka = wife/husband, partnerships

Your Arudha Pada—the house that indicates your “image” in the earth, what people may more readily understand you by.  Your arudha pada figures highly into your public persona and karma; it indicates what people most “refer” you by. 

Your Nakshatra—this is the subtle secret zodiac employed in Vedic astrology which lends further information about your character and figures prominently in predictive techniques as well as other techniques. 
The Varga Charts:

Rasi chart—your natal chart
Navamsha chart—used in fine tuning the natal chart but also indicating overall destiny, spirituality and marriage issues
Dasamsha chart—used for your career and reputation issues, significant things you do
Dwadasamsha chart—used for indicating issues from your previous lifetime and parental issues

Your Yogas—are special planetary and house combinations in your chart indicating different positive and negative life conditions; such as panchamahapurusha yoga which indicates a soul of advanced spiritual attainment, amala (stainless) yoga indicating a pure reputation and virtue in life, or kemadruma yoga indicating a soul who is “lost” and has great difficulty finding their way in life, etc. 

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