Each planet is a teaching, a door to liberation - it has its own being and consciousness. While some planets are considered "benefic" and others "malefic", all planets represent energies that are one-sided, and which require proper balancing for true harmony. Vedic astrology is not simply about predicting the future, but the art of interacting with the higher cosmic energies represented by the planets and bringing their beneficial forces into our life. If we don't understand the energy of a planet working within us, it will lead us to sorrow and conflict. If we take too much or too little of the energy of any planet, we will experience imbalance and disorder in our life. Finally, if we only take the energy of the planet at a superficial level, it will lead us into despair. However, if we learn to balance the planetary energy within us and take it as a part of our deeper self, it will lead us to harmony and higher spiritual awareness.
In the Vedic chart, the sky is divided into twelve 30-degree divisions. Each division has a house number from one to twelve and a corresponding zodiac sign. In 24 hours, twelve different houses/signs will rise, making your chart different from others born on the same day as you. Further divisional charts are also used to make very specific predictions, which require the birth time to be accurate to within a couple of minutes, as even twins will have different destinies. Each house in your chart is used to read a certain aspect of your life.
While, some of the signs of the Zodiac have similar meaning to those in Western Astrology, they are not used in the same way. In Vedic Astrology nobody is one sign type. There are hundreds of factors that have to be taken into account to determine the person's dominant sign. Also, Vedic astrology uses three main ascendants; the Sun sign (ie. which sign the Sun is placed) to determine the person's connection to their soul nature, the Moon sign for the how their mind/emotions are functioning and most importantly the sign that was rising in the eastern horizon (Rising Sign) at the time of birth to determine the nature of this incarnation. Since the rising sign will change every two hours, in twenty-four hours there will be twelve different rising signs.