There are several heated debates among Vedic astrologers, and one that hovers near the top of the heat index is, "Which is the primary house of education?" Generally, north Indian astrologers attribute the 5th house, while south Indians give the 4th house. I've addressed this issue in three previous articles: What is the House of Education?, Ideas About the 5th House and Education, and The Three Most Important Houses of Education.
With regards to this question, both north and south Indians are right in my opinion. However, the 4th house is typically seen for compulsory foundational education (pre-college), while the 5th house is seen for non-compulsory college education, or the point when the student has choice in the subjects to study, and picking a major. So for educational counseling purposes, meaning when someone is trying to determine what they should study or major in, it's a 5th house matter. Also, the 5th house, 5th lord, or karakas Jupiter and Mercury will reveal favorable dasha periods as will be shown in the following example charts.
In K.N. Rao's excellent book, Astrology, Destiny, & the Wheel of Time, he says:
"The great Maharishi Parashara stresses the role of the 5th house for education. One need not go into this controversy at the moment. Through illustrations and one's own experience one can understand these problems."
This article provides a few good illustrations of how the 5th house can be seen for predicting periods of education. This is shown not only in the natal chart, but also in the D-24 divisional chart, also called the Chaturvimshamsha or Siddhamsha, which is the primary divisional chart for education. But first let's discuss the quote by Maharishi Parashara that K.N. Rao refers when he says that Parashara stresses the 5th house for education. Here's the quote:
"From the 5th house are to be seen amulets (yantras) sacred spells (mantras), learning, the splendor of the intellect, knowledge (vidya), sons (children), capacity to manage affairs (royalty), and fall from position (8th house from the 10th house)." - Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, verse 6, chapter 13
While the translated word is not 'education' itself as in 'academic pursuits,' it's hinted at by 'learning,' 'intellect' and 'knowledge.' The 5th house is the process of learning, increasing knowledge and exercising the intellect. Whether it's formal or informal education, or acquiring secular or spiritual knowledge it can seen primarily from the 5th house.
Another hint from classic texts that education can be seen from the 5th house, is in the Jaimini Sutras. In the Jaimini system, the karakamsha lagna and the 5th house from it indicate one's professional inclinations and the educational training suitable for that profession. Here's a quote:
"If Venus is alone in the Karakamsha or in the 5th from it, one becomes a poet, an eloquent speaker, and a good critic of literature." - Jaimini Sutram
The 5th house can be seen for undergraduate studies, while the 9th house can be seen for higher education or post graduate studies. Using the principle of Bhavat Bhavam, the 9th house is the 5th house from the 5th house, or the higher level or higher octave of the 5th house. Similarly, the 5th house, being the 3rd house from the 3rd house, can be seen as the higher octave of the 3rd house. It's the house of one's strong and intense interests, while the 3rd house represents one's casual hobbies.
The 5th house can also secondarily represent the 9th house, because it's the 9th house from the 9th house. Therefore, it primarily represents undergraduate degrees, but can also indicate post graduate degrees secondarily, as can be seen in the following examples.
Lastly, the most important karakas or significators for education are Mercury and Jupiter, and either planet's dasha can indicate a period of education, regardless if they have a connection with the 5th or 9th house or not.
Example 1 Natal Chart
This is the chart of a woman who began her master's degree in Civil Engineering during her Moon-Rahu dasha. Moon is the 9th lord, and Rahu is disposited (ruled) by Venus, which is in the 9th house from the Moon. She is now completing her degree during Moon-Jupiter. Jupiter is the 5th lord placed in the 5th house, aspected by exalted Mercury.
Example 1 Chaturvimshamsha Chart (D24)
In her D-24 chart, Moon is in the 5th house aspected by 9th lord, Jupiter. Rahu is in the 4th house aspected by 5th lord, Sun, and disposited by the Moon in the 5th house, which is aspected by 9th lord, Jupiter. This confirms that her Moon-Rahu and into her Moon-Jupiter dasha would be favorable periods for education.
Example 2 Natal Chart
This is the chart of a man who started his 7 year Mars dasha in November 1993 at age 16. It was in this dasha that he began college and completed his undergraduate degree. Notice that Mars is with 5th lord, Saturn, and in the 5th house from the Moon.
After his Mars dasha came his Rahu dasha begriming in November 2000. Shortly after Rahu dasha began, he enrolled in a Masters degree program followed by a doctoral program in Educational Administration, which combined took him about 10 years to complete. Notice how Rahu is disposited (ruled) by Mercury, which is placed in the 9th house aspected by 5th lord Saturn. Mercury is also in an exchange with 9th lord Venus, and conjunct the Sun, the 5th lord from the Moon.
Example 2 Chaturvimshamsha Chart (D24)
Looking at his D-24 chart, the position of Mars confirms that a Mars dasha will give be an educational period. Mars is the 9th lord, conjunct the 5th lord, Jupiter. Likewise, the same is true for Rahu's placement for his Rahu dasha. It is placed in the 7th house aspected by 5th lord Jupiter, and 9th lord Mars. From the Moon, Rahu is also in the 9th house.
Example 3 Natal Chart
This is the chart of a woman who has received numerous post graduate degrees. It was in her Saturn mahadasha that she entered college and completed her undergraduate BS degree. Notice how Saturn is both the 4th and 5th lord. She started a graduate level MS degree during her Saturn-Jupiter dasha. Within 5 months she began her 17 year Mercury mahadasha. Notice how Mercury is the 9th lord conjunct exalted 5th lord, Saturn. From the Moon, Mercury is in the 5th house conjunct mulatrikona 5th lord, Venus, and exalted 9th lord, Saturn. It was in Mercury mahadasha that she acquired two MS degrees, one PHD, and one JD degree. She is now a practicing lawyer.
Example 3 Chaturvimshamsha Chart (D24)
In her D-24 chart, Saturn is again the 5th lord, albeit heavily afflicted and debilitated in the 8th house, and exalted Mercury is conjunct the 9th lord Venus and 4th lord Jupiter.
The D-24 chart should be made use of to confirm a pattern in education that is already seen in the natal chart, as shown in these example charts. However, it needs to be understood that the D-24 chart is a very refined division and it can only be reliably used if there is an accurate birth time. Typically, the D-24 lagna will change every 5 or 6 minutes. If you have an accurate D-24 then you can predict education with much confidence. It will confirm what is already seen in the natal chart, that a dasha period is indeed a time for education and acquiring knowledge.
There are many more example charts that I could post because I've seen these patterns emerging quite consistently. But this is a start to hopefully convince students of the use the 5th house (and 9th house) for education, not only in the natal chart but in the Chaturvimshamsha or D-24 chart. But don't take my word for it. Test it out yourself and submit comments here or post a discussion on the forum.