“When the Atmakaraka is in Aries Navamsa, fear is produced and one is wasted into despondency by the besiegement of rats and cats. A malefic joining makes this more certain.” – BPHS, Effects of Karakamsa, (Translated by Ernst Wilhelm)
As you can see, understanding the meaning of the svamsa rasi takes quite a bit of contemplation and chart analysis. Based on Parasara’s description above, and Jaimini’s even shorter sutra, we might think the person is literally plagued by rats and cats.
The rat is thought to represent our base desires, and because Jaimini uses the number 5, Panca, this symbolizes the 5 elements and 5 senses that we aim to please. The rat represents a wandering mind full of desires, and cats the struggle of defeating them. Aries swamshas will often be concerned with the idea of “purity,” either mocking the concept of morality or working to overcome their desire nature. During the time these Sutras were written in India, the cat was symbolic of fake ascetics or hypocrites. Aries svamsas may struggle with “impostor syndrome” or feeling as though they can only reveal parts of themselves. Aligning actions with your true nature is a main concern for this svamsa.
Oscar Wilde has his swamsha in Aries, and it’s apparent his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray was inspired by his personal struggle with morality and indulging the senses. Some say he lived a double life, and he said himself that the three main characters represented three aspects of himself. His famous play The Importance of Being Earnest is a commentary on being your authentic self and not living false truths.
Rats and Cats also represent conflict, and the Aries svamsa person may find themselves involved in conflict or burdened by the conflicts of those around them. Oscar Wilde’s own life was afflicted with drama in this way.
Aries Svamsa can feel as though their lives are plagued with problems that interfere with their greater aspirations. There is often an issue of cleanliness – keeping their outer and inner worlds clean. This svamsa gets bogged down with the “little” things in life and wastes time not taking care of them. If you have Aries as your svamsha, you must make peace with little things you don’t want to do and try to simplify your surroundings. Life gets better for Aries Swamsha when they learn to take joy in mastering the small, basic tasks that overwhelm them.
I have found that many Aries Swamsha deal with poverty at some point in their lives and struggle to have their basic needs met. This fits in with rats representing that low place in life where one must steal and scavenge to meet their needs.
It’s important to note that Jaimini’s description of the svamsa rasi focuses on afflictions. While some are more difficult than others, each show challenges to overcome in order to find fulfillment.