The demon Taraka was killed by Kartikeya, the son of Lord Siva. His 3 sons Tarakaksha, Vidyunmali and Kamalaksha were furious and wanted to take revenge. They worshiped Brahma and asked for a boon of immortality. Brahma said he cannot grant that. They came up with a clever idea. They asked from Brahma for 3 cities which will float in the heavens, the skies and the earth plane respectively. These cities can only be destroyed when all 3 are aligned in straight line and can be destroyed only by a single arrow and that too shot by none other than lord Siva himself. Brahma granted them their wish. So gaining virtual immortality, the 3 demon brothers started creating havoc. Gods pleaded to Siva and Siva agreed to help. Vishwakarma, the celestial architect designed the heavenly chariot. Sun became the right wheel and Moon the left wheel, Vishnu entered the arrow of Siva and Brahma was the charioteer. Siva went on the chariot and at the exact time when 3 cities were aligned when Pushya Nakshatra was rising on the horizon and at the Muhurata of Abhijit, Siva shot the arrow and destroyed the 3 cities.
From that point on, Siva received the name Tripurantaka, the slayer of the 3 cities.
Siva is the divine archer. He is the spirit. Three cities represent the three gunas – sattva, rajas and tamas. All three gunas have to come to a state of equilibrium (in a straight line) before the divine archer (Siva) can shoot the arrow of wisdom (Vishnu) and kill (harmonize) all three cities (gunas) and thus give redemption to the jivatma or embodied soul. The time has to be ripe for such liberation, so the arrow has to be shot at the right moment / Muhurata.
Siva is not just the destroyer. He is Brāhman, He is Purusha, He is Sadāsiva, He is pure consciousness. He drank halāhal (the poison coming out of the churning of the Ocean) to save humanity. Will a destroyer do that? He brought holy river Gangā on earth by carrying her weight in his matted hair. Will a destroyer help nourish the earth?
He is not just the destroyer. He is all five: the Creator, the Preserver, the Destroyer, the Māyā (illusion) and the Grace. The word Siva means the auspicious one. He embraces everyone. He is Pashupati, the lord of all creatures. For Siva, there is no good or bad, there is no right or wrong. He is the friend of demons and ghosts. He wears snakes around his neck and carries a skull as his begging bowl. He smears ashes of the dead on his body and dwells in cremation grounds and icy caves of the mountains. Kubera (the king of yakshas), Ravana (the king of demons) and Shukra (the guru of asuras) are among his greatest devotees. There is nothing inauspicious when we are talking about Siva. And there is nothing else other than Siva. Om Namaha Sivāya.
If you go for a reading to an astrologer, they will talk in terms of Houses and Signs. For most people who have had minimal exposure to astrology, it is not easy to comprehend what the astrologer is talking about. What is a House and what is a Sign and how to look at your chart? Full zodiac is 360 degrees. In Vedic astrology, there are 9 Planets, 12 Houses and 12 Signs. In Equal House system, each house spans 30 degrees along the ecliptic. The picture below shows the North Indian style of representing a horoscope. First House is on the top in the middle and you go counter-clockwise to 2nd house, 3rd house and so on all the way to the 12th house. Houses are imaginary, Signs are real. 12 imaginary Houses overlay on top of the 12 Signs of the zodiac in the background. The Sign of the First House is known as the Ascendant or the Rising sign – it is the Sign or constellation that was rising on the eastern horizon when you were born. The position of Houses remains fixed in every chart i.e. the 1st House will always be on top in the middle, 2nd house next and so on. But the Sign that each of these houses falls in may change from one person to another depending on their time and place of birth. Houses represent different areas of our life. For example 1st House is the house of our self, our physical body and intellect. Whereas Signs are the environment and tools that are available for the 9 Planets to deliver karma.