The following terms are used interchangeably between western and vedic astrology:
Ruler= lord Planet= graha Sign= rashi (not to be confused with rasi, rasi is the main birthchart) House= bhava Ascendant= lagna Angles= kendra (houses 1, 4, 7, 10) Trines= krikona (houses 1, 5, 9) Special aspects= glances
Nakshatras and Dasa Length
Nakshatras are the 27 lunar mansions of the zodiac. They illuminate personality traits and present a psychological portrait. We all start life based on the nakshatra the moon was placed in. Each of the seven grahas (termed planets in western astrology) which are sun, moon, mercury, venus, mars, jupiter, saturn and the shadow grahas rahu and ketu rule 3 nakshatras each.
The dashas, except the one we are born into, follow a fixed length of time for everyone. For example, my lunar nakshatra jyestha runs from 16 degrees 40 minutes scorpio to 30 degrees scorpio. Since I was born with the moon at 22 degrees scorpio, I started in mercury-moon and only experienced the bhukti of moon, mars, rahu, jupiter and saturn, and this took about 9 years and 4 months. Someone who was born at 17 degrees scorpio would experience all of the bhuktis of mercury’s mahadasha, and this would total the full 17 years of mercury’s mahadasha. The mahadashas and bhuktis all follow the same sequence of planets. Because the lifespan of all the mahadashas is 120 years, we will not experience them all. We experience all the planetary energies through the bhukti planet, which stays for 1-2 years during the time of the mahadasha planet.
The length of time for the mahadasha planet is as follows: Mercury 17 years Ketu 7 years Venus 20 years Sun 6 years Moon 10 years Rahu 18 years Jupiter 16 years Saturn 19 years
Rulers of the Nakshatras
Each nakshatra has a shakti which is a power to do a certain thing, a symbolism, a connected deity and myth, and its strengths, weaknesses and proclivities. They are to be interpreted in a symbolic way, as they can manifest differently for different people. Certain aspects of a nakshatra can be highlighted depending on the life lessons the person has come to earth to learn.
Sun: Krittika, Uttaraphalguni, Uttarashada Moon: Rohini, Hasta, Shravana Mercury: Ashlesha, Jyeshtha, Revati Venus: Bharani, Purvaphalguni, Purvashada Mars: Mrigashira, Chitra, Dhanistha Jupiter: Punarvasu, Vishaka, Purvabhadrapada Saturn: Pushya, Anuradha, Uttarabhadrapada North Node of the Moon (Rahu): Ardra, Swati, Satabhishak South Node of the Moon (Ketu): Ashwini, Magha, Mula
The 27 nakshatras are the lunar mansions. Nakshatras help to refine the psychological portrait. Each nakshatra has a Shakti, or a power to do a certain thing, a symbolism, a connected deity and myth, and its own unique strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. They are to be interpreted in a symbolic way, as they can manifest quite differently for different people. Certain aspects of a nakshatra can be highlighted depending on the life lessons the person has come to earth to learn.
When you have a graha in one of these nakshatras, the themes will be more apparent than usual when it appears in the mahadasha and bhukti sequence. For example, if you run a graha in ardra, you may cry a lot more than usual as its symbol is a tear drop. At the same time, you may find that you have much greater levels of self-awareness around the roots of your emotions and your personal triggers. If you run a planet in krittika you may experience situations that allow you to burn past karma, to transcend the levels of consciousness at a faster rate and in doing this to sharpen yourself. Running a planet in jyeshtha may cause you to lose everything or it can mean your great elevation after a period of major setbacks.
Ashwini: Shakti: the power to reach things quickly, the symbol is the horse’s head. Ruling planet is ketu. This nakshatra is connected with gardening and animals, in particular the horse. They are good listeners, and are young at heart. Ashwini is symbolic of new beginnings, taking action towards success. It tends to be quick and spontaneous, loving adventures, and straightforward in its dealings. There can be an interest in self-development and healing.
Bharani: Shakti: the power to carry things away, the symbol is the vulva. Ruling planet is venus. Bharani means “she who bears” and it has a direct connection with the womb or symbolically the power to nurture, create and destroy. Bharani takes a lot of time in planning as it likes to be well researched before taking action in the world, in this way the symbol the vulva relates to waiting for the right time to birth ideas. People with this nakshatra prominent usually have the capacity to endure much pain and emerge successful. Social justice and advocating for the rights of the marginalized are important, as well as a strong desire in fighting for fair outcomes. The themes of transformation and metamorphosis become prominent.
Krittika: Shakti is the power to burn or purify. The meaning is the cutters and the symbol is a sharp cutting blade. People born under krittika have the theme of undergoing burning until they purify themselves and can be quite courageous, ambitious, confident, and good leaders. It gives an eye for beauty and aesthetics, and to appreciate beauty in other people. They are passionate and appreciate authenticity in others.
Rohini: Shakti is the power of growth. The meaning is the growing and the symbol is the ox cart. People with rohini can have talent in music, art and fine art, as well as a love for beautiful things and luxurious surroundings or luxury goods. There is a tendency to be beautiful, to seek out beauty. Rohini is a charming and creative nakshatra. Rohini is steady when working and waits until the right time to launch important projects and ideas.
Mrigashira: Shakti is the power of fulfillment. The meaning is a well-trodden path and the symbol is the deer. People with mrigashira prominent can have big bright eyes, similar to a deer. It is an adaptable, sensitive and good natured nakshatra that is an eternal seeker or student. It can cause one to forever be searching for something, possibly mastery of a quality or pursuing a particular goal. Travel and wandering are associated with it. These people tend to be talented at public speaking or written communications.
Ardra: Shakti is the power of effort. The meaning is the moist one and the symbol is the tear drop. People under the ardra influence tend to have intense emotions and feel very deeply their own suffering and the suffering of others. They are not afraid of emotion and feel it can lead to a rebirth. Crying is cathartic for them and they develop empathy as a result of their genuine interest in healing and helping people.
Punarvasu: Shakti is the power of wealth or substances, the meaning is prosperous again and the symbol is the quiver of arrows. Punarvasu people have a marvellous ability to come back after defeat stronger than ever by reflecting on past mistakes and rebuilding after loss. It is important to them to never give up and always look to a brighter day. They are advocates for fighting against injustice and restoring equality in society.
Pushya: shakti is the power to create spiritual energy, the meaning is “nourishing” and the symbol is a cow’s udder. They have the gift for nurturing people. Pushya gravitates towards philosophy and teaching, and love the process of ongoing learning. They make good leaders and this is considered to be luckiest nakshatra.
Ashlesha: Shakti is the power to poison, the meaning is the clinging and the symbol is the coiled snake. Ashlesha deals with metamorphosis and transformation; because the symbol is the coiled snake, they have a special ability to unlock the kundalini energy from the base of the spine and achieve self-realization. There can be interests in studying psychology and metaphysical subjects to give them a greater understanding of people. When they feel threatened or humiliated, they can make one of the most formidable enemies, even when against a much more powerful opponent.
Magha: Shakti is the power to leave the body, the meaning is the great one and the symbol is the throne room. This nakshatra is connected with ancestors so sometimes this manifests in an interest in cultural tradition or following the footsteps of one’s ancestors, following a guru, or forming a special bond with an elder. As the symbol is the throne, it produces a regal or authoritative demeanour as well as generosity and a sense of abundance. Magha is intuitive and sensitive. Dolores Cannon, who was a clinical hypnotherapist and prolific author had her lagna in magha. She spent decades connecting with the higher self of her clients while taking them into a state of super consciousness and speaking directly to their council of elders, who shared with her the person’s purpose in their current lifetime. The 23rd Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau followed in the footsteps of his famous father Pierre Trudeau who was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada.
Purva Phalguni: The Shakti is the power of procreation, the meaning is the former red one and the symbol is the hammock or bed. This nakshatra protects the happiness of couples who are married and is lucky with finances, often able to acquire unearned money or assets. It is important to them to be fair and equitable. They are creative, passionate, sensual and especially enjoy the company of children.
Uttara phalguni: the Shakti is the power of wealth and accumulation through partnership or marriage, the symbol is a cot or bed and the meaning is the latter red one. This is a nakshatra that is charitable, genuinely enjoying helping those in need, particularly the oppressed or underprivileged. This nakshatra does benefit financially through others but this can be through business partnerships, clients, friendships or other sources. Promotes happiness in marriage.
Hasta: the Shakti is the power to gain what we are seeking and place it in our hand, the meaning is the hand and the symbol is the hand or fist. As Hasta relates to the hands, people under this influence typically have skills relating to their hands, which can include things such as cooking, handwriting, palmistry, fixing things, handicrafts, gardening, magic tricks or any type of hands on activity. Hasta people are practical, detail oriented, critical, and goal focused. They are business oriented, and have a strong ability to cooperate with others for the sake of mutual goal fulfillment.
Chitra: Shakti is the power to accumulate good karma, the meaning is the bright and the symbol is a shining jewel. They tend to be bright people, engaging speakers and take pride in what they create. They have a conscientiousness around creating good karma through charitable acts, service and donations.
Swati: the Shakti is the power to scatter like the wind, the meaning is the independent one and the symbol is the young sprout swaying in the wind. Swati is related to the wind; cherishing their independence and persevering despite the changing winds of fortune until they reach success. Swati enjoys wandering and travel and sharing with others what they learn.
Vishaka: Shakti is the power to achieve many goals in life, the meaning is the forked one and the symbol is a gateway covered with leaves. Vishaka is the most ambitious and accomplishment oriented nakshatra, and becoming successful at whatever they do is a top priority. There is a healthy sense of courage and competition. Bill Gates, who at different points has been the richest man in the world, has his venus and Saturn in vishaka.
Anuradha: Shakti is the power of worship, the meaning is the additional radha and the symbol is a gateway covered with leaves. Anuradha people are diplomatic, appreciate diversity, value friendships, working as pairs and in teams, and function well when cooperating with others towards their goals. They make good leaders as they like to see people working together towards a shared goal. Joe Biden has his ascendant, sun and venus in anuradha. He is known as part of two famous and historic pairs; first as VP to the first Black president of the United States, Barack Obama and second as President to VP Kamala Harris, the first woman to be elected into office. He is known for promoting diversity amongst his first cabinet, who is the most diverse in the history of the U.S.
Jyeshtha: the Shakti is the power to rise, overcome and conquer, the meaning is the eldest and the symbol is an earring. Jyeshtha people tend to be authoritative and frequently find themselves in senior or leadership positions. It is one of the most resilient nakshatras, they can lose everything and come back stronger than ever. They are protected no matter how bad things get. They tend to be courageous, enthusiastic and accumulate power. Julie Chen Moonves has her moon in jyeshtha. About 6 months after entering the mahadasha of the moon, at 34 years old she married Leslie Moonves, at the time president and chief executive officer at CBS Television. She experienced a significant increase in personal leadership and material power that continued to increase her career opportunities and net worth for the entire duration of the moon’s mahadasha. He was one of the highest paid CEOs during his career, and currently his net worth is estimated to be around 800 million dollars. In 2018 as a result of sexual harassment claims against Les, Julie had to resign from The Talk, a talk show she moderated for 8 seasons. However, true to jyeshtha, she was protected and got to keep her job on Big Brother (one of my favourite shows, I’ve been watching since the first season in 2000!), a show she has hosted for over 20 years now. Jyeshtha is extremely loyal and protective of loved ones, and after this scandal, she began signing off as Julie Chen Moonves, to show public support to her husband. Donald Trump who has gained extreme wealth, had multiple businesses file for bankruptcy, rebound after these losses to gain even more wealth and power, host a successful TV show, become President of the U.S. and then become one of the few to not gain a second presidency. No matter what obstacles come into his path, he seems to always be protected and rises up like the phoenix from the ashes. He has his moon and ketu in jyeshtha. The moon mahadasha ran from July 1982 to July 1992. In October 1989-May 1990 he ran moon-ketu. In that period, according to an article in the New Yorker, his businesses lost about $517.5 million dollars. The Washington Post stated that by April 1990, his businesses had debts of about $3.4 billion according to the financial records.
Mula: the Shakti is the power to destroy or damage, the meaning is the root and the symbol is tied up roots. Mula loves to learn about secret things, and make great investigators or researchers. Mula is fierce, daring and ready for battle. They often become empathic through difficult personal experiences and are skilled at helping other people overcome personal difficulties, similar to the wounded healer (chiron in western astrology). They have talent for seeing things from a different perspective than most others.
Purva Ashadha: the Shakti is the power to invigorate or energize, the meaning is the former undefeated and the symbol is the winnowing basket. The symbol relates to power of discrimination and discernment. It is a nakshatra associated with victory, especially early on but they also have the endurance for the long haul.
Uttara ashadha: the Shakti is the power to give an unstoppable victory, the meaning is the latter undefeated and the symbol is the tusk of an elephant. There is a great deal of patience and endurance, and though things may look challenging in the beginning, they can win in the end. They don’t like shortcuts and tend to lay foundations that last. They show loyalty to those who have helped them and ensure to return the favour.
Shravana: the Shakti is the power to connect, the meaning is the ear and the symbol is the three footprints. This is a nakshatra connected with hearing and listening, and tends to be an engaging speaker. The footprint relates to being on one’s feet. Maintaining proper priorities so that order is maintained is important to them. Shravana desires a good reputation and is conscious of what they do publicly.
Dhanishtha: the Shakti is the power to give wealth and fame, the meaning is the wealthiest and the symbol is the musical drum. Dhanishtha is a nakshatra that likes to be admired, even famous. It is connected with wealth, both earned and unearned, and tends to make a person prosperous. Dhanishtha can have a special skills rhythm, instruments, song writing, singing, music and dance. Dolly Parton has her sun in dhanishtha, and it is closely conjunct her chart ruler mercury. She has had 25 songs reach the number 1 spot on the country music Billboard top 100, which is a tie with singer and songwriter Reba McEntire, has her own label Dolly Records and has sold over 100 million records worldwide. Reba has venus in dhanishtha and has sold more than 75 million records worldwide.
Shatabhishak: Shakti is the power of healing, the meaning is a hundred physicians” and the symbol is an empty circle. This nakshatra may give an interest in alternative or esoteric subjects. This is the nakshatra most associated with the power of healing, particularly alternative healing and ailments that are harder to heal or diagnose. Justice and morality are important to shatabhisha, who consciously tries to do the right thing.
Purva Bhadrapada: Shakti is the power of spiritual fire, which elevates consciousness, the meaning is the “the front lucky feet of a funeral bed” and the symbol is a front end of a funeral bed. This nakshatra is associated with very intense and deep emotions, and the purpose is to go through the fire and experience a purification, similar to krittika. They can often help others go through their darkest days, and provide comfort and security to them.
Uttara Bhadrapada: Shakti is the power to bring rain, the meaning is the back lucky feet of a funeral bed and the symbol is the back end of a funeral bed. Like the nakshatra before, this one is also connected with fire, deeply held emotions and subsequent release. They are gifted with the power to get to the core truths, and share them in a way that is relatable for others’ knowledge and growth.
Revati: Shakti is the power of nourishment, the meaning is wealthy and the symbol is the drum. Revati people are usually gifted with the ability to nurture and care for others, they tend to be generous with time and money, and have an affinity for children and pets. Revati likes to stay positive by focusing on what they have rather than what they don’t, and as a result feel abundant even if materially they aren’t.
Mercury rules gemini and virgo Venus rules taurus and libra Mars rules aries and scorpio Jupiter rules pisces and sagittarius Saturn rules capricorn and aquarius Moon rules cancer Sun rules leo Ketu and rahu do not rule signs. They are influenced by the sign of their dispositor (e.g. if ketu is in gemini its dispositor is mercury as mercury rules gemini)
There are 12 houses, termed bhavas, in vedic astrology, and the house meanings are largely the same as western astrology, though there are a few notable differences in the vedic system.
1st: Thanu bhava: physical body, appearance and level of attractiveness, mannerisms and manners, how one views the world and is viewed by it, first impressions, general health and diseases, confidence and self-esteem, reputation, fame and notoriety. The first house is both a kendra and trikona, which are desirable.
2nd: Dhana bava: material possessions, self esteem, values, ethics and morals, attitudes towards material things, earned income, ambition towards finances. In the vedic system the 2nd house relates to the family we are born into, what types of food we like to eat, our speech, learning and education. Dhana translates to wealth.
3rd: Sahaja bava: siblings, short trips and errands, immediate environment, elementary and high school, how the mind acquires and processes ideas and information, extended family, hobbies, ideas and debate, and communications. In the vedic system, it also represents courage and perseverance, dance, arts, skills with the hands, creativity, and acquiring languages. It is an upachaya or growing house, along with the 6th and 11th houses, it means that planets placed here or ruling these houses can improve with time.
4th: sukha bhava: home, mother, subconscious mind, sense of safety, domestic preferences and experiences, cultural pride and attachment, extending hospitality, comfort and security, circumstances at the end of life or surrounding the passing of the body. In the vedic system it represents vehicles, pets, wealth of a material nature, happiness, sense of inner peace, mental and emotional health. It is a moksha house, along with the 8th and 12th houses, and can relate to seeking spiritual knowledge, deepening our faith and experiencing greater levels of consciousness.
5th: putra bhava: self-expression, confidence, romance and dating, acting and drama, theatre, artistic composition, creativity, taking risks, particularly games of chance or gambling, one’s experiences with children, ways of relaxing and preferences in means of spending leisure time and vacations, games and entertainment. In the vedic system the 5th relates to intelligence, memory, poorva-punya or past life credit, general fortune, writing and publishing, planning for the future, mantras and other spiritual practices.
6th : roga bhava: chores, mundane life, diet, exercise, nutrition, jobs to make a living as opposed to career in the 10th, illnesses and diseases, unequal relationships such as employer and employee or teacher and student, landlord and tenant, open enemies, lawsuits, ways of battling and competing, overcoming one’s enemies, personal challenges or self-limiting beliefs. In the vedic system it is a dusthana or grief producing house and an upacahaya, growth oriented house. It represents dealing with criticism, analysis and discernment.
7th house: kalatra bhava: equal partnerships, marriage, separation and divorce, open enemies, relationships between professionals and clients, long lasting relationships, legal issues, second child. It generally governs the extent to which you can preserve harmony in your relationships, for example level of diplomacy and tact and what qualities you seek in another person. I notice that people tend to seek out professionals, friends, business partners and clients who closely match their seventh house indicators, as it represents complimentary qualities to your own.
8th house: mrityu bhava: inheritances, joint resources, windfalls, sudden losses, sex, death, taxes, length of life, esoteric subjects, alternative healing, metaphysics, studies in consciousness, meditation, transformation and metamorphosis, kundalini energy, breakthroughs in awareness, psychotherapy, a fall from grace, humiliation, scandal, radical change in status, mental health issues and disorders, material losses in relationships, defeat, loans and debts.
9th house: dharma bhava: seeking wisdom and knowledge, guru and disciple, advanced scriptures, foreign travel, pilgrimages, philosophy, father, university studies and performance, seeking for truth, refining belief and value systems, expanding one’s awareness, morality, politics, religion, writing talent, prosperity.
10th house: karma bhava: career, social status, power, success, professional reputation, public persona, authority, relationship with those in authority, sense of purpose in life. In vedic astrology, the father can be seen from both the 9th and 10th houses, as opposed to just the 10th in western astrology.
11th house: labha bhava: fulfillment of dreams, desires, hopes, goals and wishes, expansion, achievement, groups, charitable and humanitarian efforts, universal compassion and love. In the vedic system the 11th house symbolizes earnings through one’s career as opposed to money coming from other sources. The 11th house in vedic astrology symbolizes the elder siblings in particular while the 3rd is siblings in general but younger siblings specifically.
12th house: vyaya bhava: search for enlightenment or moksha, ashrams and holy places, intuition, trust in the workings of the universe, interest in uncovering mysteries, introspection, transcendence, experiential awareness of deep spiritual truths (as opposed to an intellectual understanding of the same), permanent foreign settlements or extended stays in foreign countries. As the 12th is a dusthana house, on a material level it can bring losses, grief, isolation, sudden or large expenses, penalties and persecution, misunderstandings, self-consciousness, lack of self compassion, gullibility, falling prey to scams, sudden reversals in status, difficulty earning money, lack of self confidence or ambition, self doubt and uncertainty. In the vedic system the 12th relates to both quality and quantity of sleep and degree of sexual fulfillment.
Nature of the Dasas Based on Graha
Mahadashas and bhuktis are in a general way influenced by the nature of the planet.
In a venus mahadasha there would be more than average chances to be in a romantic relationship or married, a focus on beauty, and comfort or relaxation and entertainment.
In mercury’s mahadasha there will be more focus on oral and written communications, short travels and learning. Siblings and extended family may be prominent.
In saturn’s mahadasha, there may be more work, challenges, delays, oppression, obstacles and tests but there are opportunities to succeed if one builds a steady foundation. Saturn can be restrictive even if it is auspicious in the chart due to the natural malefic nature of the planet.
In Ketu’s mahadasha there may be more interest in mysticism, spirituality, consciousness, metaphysics, esoteric subjects, meditation and seeking enlightenment but there can also be losses, disappointments, isolation, misunderstanding and grief. You may feel more introspective than usual.
In the sun’s mahadasha, the ego and individuality become a stronger focus, you can feel higher or lower self esteem and confidence depending on the sun’s condition. People will notice your efforts more than usual. There can be emphasis on male figures, particularly father types.
In the moon’s mahadasha, you may feel more in touch with your emotions, as the moon represents mind and happiness, the condition of the moon will determine whether you are more prone to positive or negative thinking. You may have more significant interactions with females, particularly mother type figures. It is a period that feels very personal, reflective and with a deep need to express yourself. You may feel more sensitive and vulnerable.
In rahu’s mahadasha, there can be major twists of fate and unexpected or shocking events. Sometimes there can be addictions or constant strivings for more of something such as knowledge, money, fame, power or success. The outer world and your performance in it can be a focus. The period of rahu-ketu or ketu-rahu are usually periods of reduced free will and a karmic twist that can alter your life in a big way. The condition of their dispositors, planets that rule the signs they are in, can shed more light into what rahu or ketu will bring.
The period of jupiter can bring blessings, fortune, wisdom, higher knowledge, foreign travel, religion, devotion, faith and optimism. It will expand whatever is in your life. It can bring a spiritual guru or teachings that greatly accelerate your growth.
In mars’ mahadasa, your vitality, determination, passion, leadership ability, sexual interest, confidence and ambition will be heightened. Physical activities, sports, or more intense exercise may appeal to you more than usual. As mars is a naturally malefic planet, there can be accidents, power struggles, and you may have more fights and arguments. A kuja dosha, an affliction to marriage by mars being placed in certain houses in the rasi, can manifest even if you are past mars’ age of maturity which is 28 but you feel it more intensely if you were married before 28. This is true even if you and your partner match with regards to kuja dosha, i.e. you both have it or don’t have it from both the lagna and chandra lagna. If one person has it and another doesn’t, it causes trouble in marriage. The kuja dosha positions are mars in the 1st, 4th, 7th, 8th and 12th houses from the lagna or chandra lagna.
Everything in the dasa and bhukti sequence must be considered in light of the rasi and navamsa. An overall strong and auspicious chart will excel even more during good periods, and handle the challenging periods with equanimity. This doesn’t mean they won’t suffer, only that they have more resilience to succeed again. On the other hand, a weak and inauspicious chart may only get average results during good periods and be in an ongoing struggle during the challenging periods, which they may not be able to fully recover from. The dasas and bhuktis can only bring what is promised in the chart, referred to as the natal promise.
The dasa-bhukti you are born into, has a tremendous influence over your life. This is similar to the fact that the first 3 years of a person’s life are critical to their later adjustment and success, partly via their attachment style (secure, anxious or avoidant). The condition of these grahas shapes personality, by nakshatra, house it is in and rules, sign, dispositor, planets that it is the dispositor for, aspects and yogas it participates in. For example, I notice that serious spiritual seekers and people who live their lives in ashrams or other religious orders often have their first mahadasa and bhukti connected with the 5th, 9th or 12th house, ketu, jupiter, or a planet that tightly aspects jupiter or ketu or is the dispositor of ketu or jupiter.
A sequence containing the same grahas will not be experienced in similar ways, this is even more evident before versus after the navamsa gets activated. Running venus-ketu is different from running ketu-venus because of the maha dasa’s dominance. If the person is neither married nor in their mid-thirties or older, running the dasa of planets connected in the navamsa may not manifest in the way the navamsa suggests. For example, if you have a conjunction of mercury, jupiter and venus in the 2nd house in the navamsa and these happen to form dhana, wealth producing yogas, running venus-jupiter-mercury at age 27 may not bring as much money (or any significant amount of money) as running venus-mercury-jupiter at age 34. On the other hand, at the time of meeting your future long term or marriage partner, the three planets are usually connected in the navamsa regardless of age. In addition, age, phase of life, and the different transits and eclipses operating simultaneously guarantees that sequences with the same grahas are considerably different.
Yogas are planetary unions that can give success or failure. Planets are usually part of both auspicious and inauspicious yogas and will give all the results of yogas they are a part of, one does not cancel out the other. There are hundreds of yogas. They are always active though they come to life more when one of the planets involved comes up by mahadasa or bhukti. The strength of the yoga is directly tied to the strength of the planets composing it.
Planets can connect through a ruler of one house placed in an another house, the ruler of one house in the nakshatra of the planet of another ruler, through mutual or special aspect of the rulers or a ruler on another house, or through parivatana yoga, mutual exchange. I’ll give you an example of a dhana yoga for cancer lagna. The rulers of the 2nd and 11th houses are the sun and venus, as the 2nd and 11th houses are leo and taurus respectively. The sun and venus can connect through parivartana yoga if sun is in taurus, libra, or pisces and venus is in leo. Venus can be in the 2nd or 8th houses, such that it aspects leo or sun can be in the 5th or 11th house such that it aspects taurus because sun and venus can only aspect by conjunction and opposition. Venus can be in one of the sun’s 3 nakshatras or the sun can be in one of venus’ 3 nakshatras.
Raja yogas: raja means king. Bestows success, honour, prestige, high status and generosity. Formed when rulers of kendras, 1, 4, 7 and 10 combine with rulers of trikonas 1, 5 and 9.
Dhana yogas: wealth producing yogas. The most significant of which is the association of the 2nd and 11th houses which produce mega wealth. The houses of prosperity are 1, 2, 5, 9, 11 and the 8th is often involved in the yoga with inheritances, windfalls, settlements or other money one did not have to earn themselves. Connection with the 1st house is most desired as that brings the money to you. The dhana yogas will still work even if placed in dusthana houses, and the wealth may be related to that house’s domain, for example in the 12th the person may be a famous yoga or meditation teacher or spiritual/ metaphysical author.
Saraswati yoga: Goddess saraswati gives knowledge, learning and wisdom, and gifts with art and music. It can make one a scholar in a field of interest. Jupiter, mercury and venus are in kendras, trikonas or the 2nd house and Jupiter must be strong, in a friendly sign or in a sign it owns. Note that for an aquarius ascendant, the conjunction of Jupiter, venus and mercury in pisces is not only a saraswati yoga but an extremely powerful dhana yoga connecting the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th houses.
Pancha Mahapurusha yoga: mercury (bhadra), mars (ruchaka), venus (malavya), jupiter (hamsa) or saturn (shasha) must be in a kendra from the lagna or the moon and be in its own sign or exalted. This yoga is not active if the graha is in a dusthana house. It enhances the qualities of the graha and makes it more prominent in personality.
Lakshmi yoga: Goddess Lakshmi gives wealth, prosperity, beauty and a prosperous home life. Lord of the 9th house must be exalted, in its own sign or in a Kendra, the first house must be strong and auspicious and venus should be exalted or in its own sign in an angle or trine, or for wealth, in the 2nd or 11th houses.
Vipareeta yoga: the lord of the 6th, 8th or 12th house must be placed in another dusthana house. This is only applicable if the planet is in the house alone, though it can be aspected by other planets other than the conjunction. For example, for a gemini ascendant, mars as 6th house lord must be in capricorn, which is the 8th house or libra which is the 12th house. This yoga tends to produce initial struggle for the graha but functions like a phoenix rising from the ashes, and tends to become well-known for successfully overcoming an adverse situation. All of them are good for attracting wealth. There are three different names for each dusthana house.
Harsha Vipreet Raj Yoga: when the 6th lord is in the 8th or 12th bhava from the lagna. It gives special talent in overcoming enemies much more powerful than oneself and courage to overcome personal difficulties with grace. Saral Vipreet Raj Yoga: when the 8th lord is in the 6th or 12th bhava from the lagna. It tends to give unearned wealth and/or vindication from defamation or false allegations. Vimal Vipreet Raj Yoga: when the 12th lord is in the 8th or 6th bhava from the lagna. It could give success abroad or with foreign cultures, ability to find a genuine guru or a truly service-oriented or charitable disposition.
Gaja kesari yoga: moon and jupiter are both strong and in kendra to each other. This tends to be stronger if both moon and jupiter are in the angles, 1, 4, 7 and 10 in the chart but can be successful in any house. It brings fame, success and positive recognition for one’s talents.
Yoga Karaka Planets
If a planet rules two desirable houses, namely 1 kendra and 1 trikona, they are termed a yoga karaka planet and are able to give good results on their own if they have other sources of strength and auspiciousness and don’t have to necessarily be part of another yoga to give excellent results. Venus, mercury, jupiter and the moon are by nature benefic and mars, saturn, the nodes and the sun are by nature malefics. However, if a planet that is malefic by nature rules a trikona and a kendra, it becomes a yoga karaka planet and is very benefic if the planet is in good condition on its own.
Cancer lagna: mars as it rules the 5th and 10th houses Capricorn lagna: venus as it rules the 5th and 10th houses Taurus lagna: saturn as it rules the 9th and 10th houses Leo lagna: mars as it rules the 4th and 9th houses Libra lagna: saturn as it rules the 4th and 5th houses Aquarius lagna: venus as it rules the 4th and 9th houses
Neecha bhanga raja yoga Neecha bhanga raja yoga can mitigate the effects of a fallen planet such that it may struggle toward the beginning of its dasha but gradually improves. It can’t reverse the challenging effects entirely but can help the condition of the planet to function much better than it would on its own, even allowing in some cases for that planet’s qualities to achieve excellence in someone’s life by giving outstanding effects during its mahadasha and bhukti. The following are some of the conditions in which neecha bhanga raja yoga can operate.
The planet owning the sign where the fallen planet would be exalted aspects it. Given the moon is exalted in taurus, an aspect from venus on the moon would be helpful. Venus aspects by conjunction and opposition, so it would have to be in taurus or scorpio.
The planet owning the sign where the fallen planet would be exalted is a kendra to the moon (Jupiter in taurus, scorpio, leo or aquarius) or in a Kendra from the ascendant (houses 1, 4, 7 and 10). Jupiter is exalted in cancer, the moon’s own sign. Jupiter can also help the moon by its trinal aspect onto scorpio from cancer or pisces.
If the fallen planet is conjunct an exalted planet or planet in its own sign. This would be mars conjunct moon in scorpio. If mars was fallen in cancer, being conjunct the moon would help mars. Mercury could be conjunct either venus or Jupiter, given venus is exalted in pisces and Jupiter is exalted in pisces.
If the sign that the fallen planet is debilitated in aspects it. This would be an aspect from mars to the moon given that the moon is fallen in scorpio and mars rules scorpio. Mars can aspect via the opposition, conjunction and special 4th and 8th glances on a house/ planet. Therefore mars could be in scorpio, taurus, leo or aries.
If the sign that the fallen planet is debilitated in is in a Kendra from the moon or ascendant. For debilitation of the moon, this would be mars in leo, scorpio, taurus or aquarius or houses 1, 4, 7 and 10.
The fallen planet participates in a parivartana yoga (mutual exchange) with the planet that owns or is exalted in the sign it is in. For example moon in scorpio and mars in cancer or venus in virgo and mercury in libra, taurus or pisces.
The fallen planet is retrograde
The planet will be helped if it is fallen in the rasi yet exalted or in its own sign in the navamsa. For example, The navamsha is called the fruit of the tree, and must be studied together with the rasi before making predictions or creating a psychological portrait. It is a chart that becomes activated when you get married or are in your mid thirties, whichever is earlier. If you marry and divorce before your mid thirties, your navamsa is still active even though you may be single or in a relationship but not married.
Pushkara is a nourishing influence on a planet, it can add tremendous sweetness, grace and beauty to a planet’s functioning, allowing it to reach great heights. Pushkara is applied to the degrees within the rasi chart and show where the planet is found in the navamsa, via the pada (4 subsections within a nakshatra of 3 degrees 20 mins each). The navamsa position is always ruled by a benefic; jupiter, mercury, venus or the moon. It is always a special influence when you do see it with regards to any planet or the lagna, but if you see it 3 or more times it can make a person outstanding. It is not applied to any other divisional chart except the navamsa.
Fire signs: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius; 20 degrees 0 mins to 23 degrees 20 mins, navamsa is libra 26 degrees 40 mins to 30 degrees 0 mins, navamsa is sagittarius
Air signs: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius; 16 degrees 40 mins to 20 degrees 0 mins, navamsa is pisces 23 degrees 20 mins to 26 degrees 40 mins, navamsa is taurus
Earth signs: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn: 6 degrees 40 min to 10 degrees 0 mins, navamsa is pisces 13 degrees 20 mins to 16 degrees 40 mins, navamsa is taurus
Water signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces: 0 degrees 0 mins to 3 degrees 20 mins, navamsa is cancer 6 degrees 40 mins to 10 degrees 0 mins, navamsa is virgo
Vargottama and Dig Bala
If a planet is in the same sign in the rasi as it is in one of the divisional charts, it is termed vargottama which is a position of strength and will allow the more powerful qualities of the planet to shine through. This is particularly true if the planet is vargottama in the rasi and navamsa. It is a factor in bringing good results during that planet’s mahadasha or bhukti.
Dig bala is when a graha gains directional strength by virtue of being in a particular house. This is having the moon and venus in the 4th house, saturn in the 7th, sun and mars in the 10th, jupiter and mercury in the 1st. It is a factor that aids in positive expression of the planet during its dashas and bhuktis.
Vedic Aspects (Drishti)
Vedic astrology uses whole signs in studying aspects. However, similar to western astrology, the tighter the orb, the more powerful the aspect. These are relevant for aspects, yogas and timing with transits, which are used to understand the dasas. For example, a connection between the 2nd and 11th house lords (rulers) is a dhana yoga promoting wealth. For the taurus ascendant the second lord is mercury and the 11th house lord is Jupiter, the dhana yoga is operational if the aspect between them is exact or separated by 29 degrees. However, a 10 degree aspect is less powerful than a 5 degree aspect which is in turn less powerful than an exact aspect, all other features being equal. This means the wealth acquired can be higher with a tighter orb. Venus, mercury, the sun, and the moon only aspect by conjunction and opposition. Mars, jupiter, saturn and the nodes aspect by conjunction and opposition but all have special aspects they cast in addition to these. When counting, you start with the house the planet is in, i.e. 3 houses from the 5th house is the 7th house.
The special aspects are the following:
Mars: 4th and 8th houses from it Jupiter, rahu and ketu: 5th and 9th houses from them Saturn: 3rd and 10th houses from it
Some houses can be unaspected and some houses can receive several aspects. Houses with several aspects tend to be more prominent in the person’s life.
When a planet makes an aspect to a house that it rules, it is beneficial for that house, regardless of whether it is a benefic or malefic planet. For example, if you have a cancer ascendant, Saturn in the 1st, 5th , 7th or 10th house and mars in the 1st, 7th, 3rd or 12th house, both mars and saturn will aspect the 7th house in capricorn via their special and regular aspects. Saturn rules capricorn and mars is exalted in capricorn. This can make the partner of the client exhibit the positive qualities of capricorn, such as being hardworking, dutiful, success-oriented, committed and ambitious, yet it doesn’t take away the natural malefic influences of mars and saturn and it will still cause obstacles and challenges in the marriage, which may or may not lead to separation or divorce. It could possibly delay or deny marriage if there are other indicators showing the same. You would have to look at the rasi and navamsa charts as a whole to determine how the 7th house will operate, for example whether it also receives benefic planetary influences, and the condition of the 7th house ruler and dispositor, the aspects and yogas they participate in too.
The graha will function according to the sign it is in. If venus is in taurus, pisces or libra, it functions to the best of its ability, because venus rules taurus and libra and is exalted in pisces. On the other hand, venus is fallen in virgo, where it significantly struggles to express its nature and its domains can suffer. A planet wouldn’t necessarily be weak in the signs opposite to its rulership. However, there is within the exaltation and fallen sign a degree where it hits its highest and lowest point. The following is a chart of the signs of rulership, exaltation, fall and the exact degrees of exaltation and fall. The sun and moon only have one sign they rule. The moolatrikona position is the dominant sign of a planet’s rulership given that mercury, venus, mars, saturn and jupiter rule two signs each. It is thought to be next in auspiciousness after exaltation. Rahu and ketu do not rule a sign, though they are thought to be exalted in scorpio and taurus respectively.
Sun rules leo, is exalted in aries, is fallen in libra and its exact degree of exaltation and fall is 10 degrees of aries and libra respectively Moon rules cancer, is exalted in taurus, is fallen in scorpio and its exact degree of exaltation and fall is 3 degrees of taurus and scorpio respectively Mercury rules gemini and virgo, is exalted in virgo, is fallen in pisces and its exact degree of exaltation and fall is 15 degrees of virgo and pisces respectively Venus rules taurus and libra, is exalted in pisces, is fallen in virgo and its exact degree of exaltation and fall is 27 degrees of pisces and virgo respectively. Moolatrikona sign is libra Mars rules aries and scorpio, is exalted in capricorn, is fallen in cancer and its exact degree of exaltation and fall is 28 degrees of capricorn and cancer respectively. Moolatrikona sign is aries Jupiter rules sagittarius and pisces, is exalted in cancer, is fallen in capricorn and its exact degree of exaltation and fall is 5 degrees of cancer and capricorn respectively. Moolatrikona sign is sagittarius Saturn rules capricorn and aquarius, is exalted in libra, is fallen in aries and its exact degree of exaltation and fall is 27 degrees of pisces and virgo respectively. Moolatrikona sign is aquarius
Planetary friendship plays a role when signs are not in their own, exalted or fallen signs. There are friends, enemies and neutrals. It is beneficial for a graha to be in a sign that is friendly to it. An easy way to remember it is that sun, mars and jupiter are friends, such that if these planets are placed in each other’s signs, they are in friendly signs. Venus, mercury and saturn are friends such that if these planets are placed in each other’s signs, they are in friendly signs. The moon does not view any planet as an enemy, however mercury, venus and saturn view the moon as an enemy. Planets from opposite groups sun, mars and jupiter versus venus, mercury and saturn do not necessarily view all grahas in the opposite group as an enemy, they may be either neutral or an enemy. As well, just because one planet from one group views a planet from the other group as an enemy, it doesn’t mean that view is reciprocated.
The sun views moon, mars and jupiter as friends, mercury as neutral, and venus and saturn are enemies. The moon views sun and mercury as friends, mars, jupiter, saturn and venus are neutral and it views no planet as an enemy. Venus rules saturn and mercury as friends, jupiter and mars as neutral and sun and moon as enemies. Mars views sun, moon and jupiter as friends, venus and saturn are neutral and mercury as an enemy. Mercury views sun and venus as friends, jupiter, mars and saturn are neutral and moon as an enemy. Jupiter views sun, moon and mars as friends, saturn as neutral and venus and mercury as enemies. Saturn views mrcury and venus as friends, jupiter as neutral and sun, moon and mars as enemies
Age of Maturity
Each graha has an age of maturity during which significant events related to that graha occur.
Sun – 22
Moon – 24
Venus – 25
Mars – 28
Mercury – 32
Saturn – 36
Rahu/North node – 42
Ketu/South node – 48
These effects are reflective of the nature of the graha as well as its unique role in your chart, which can be good or bad depending on the strength and auspiciousness. If the planet is seriously afflicted, you can experience setbacks and losses but if the planet is well-placed, you can step into a higher level of personal power. Sometimes both can happen simulatenously if the planet has mixed indicators (which most of the time this is the case). For example, I have seen many clients with kuja dosha, which is an affliction to marriage from the planet mars being in certain houses from the lagna or chandra lagna, divorce, separate or break up a long term, serious relationship during ages 27-28, or make the decision to do so within the next year.
The vedic system considers age differently than the west. For example if the maturity age is 16, it is actually the year that you turn 15 as you have completed 15 years and are starting the 16th year. However, the effects are usually apparent over the following year, so if mercury has it’s maturation at age 32, you would likely see its effects for what westerners consider ages 31-32. There can be related events within about 6 months before the maturation age as well.
There are multiple ways of assessing the planetary focus by examining different ascendants. We look at the lagna, the 1st house of the chart, then there is the chandra lagna (1st house is determined by where the moon is), then the surya lagna (1st house is where the sun is) and the dasa lagna (1st house is where the mahadasha planet is). All of these can add subtle nuances, especially if they overlap, for example if you are running a venus mahadasha and you have the sun conjunct venus. The sign in which this venus-sun conjunction fell would have more influence in determining the effects of the dasha. For instance if the conjunction fell in taurus and jupiter transits through sagittarius, sagittarius is 8 signs from taurus. The client may have 8th house matters dominate during that period, such as a death of a parent and/or inheritance and this may not be visible from the other lagnas. Different lagnas differ in importance and influence depending on the client’s chart, so I believe the best approach is to study the dasas and transits from these four perspectives.
Combustion and Cazimi
A planet that is combust the sun will lose some of its power, the closer to the sun, the more power is lost. It gets overshadowed by the sun, which is blocking its expression and vitality such that it behaves in a weak or depleted manner. Each planet has a different orb of influence as follows:
To give an idea of potential manifestations, mercury combust can make one too subjective or failing to analyze situations or people properly, Venus combust typically results in romantic and marital issues, or issues with self esteem and material success, while mars combust can lead to over confidence or misplaced aggression.
Cazimi is a special condition when a planet is within 17 minutes from the sun. For example if you have the sun at 20 degrees, 30 mins gemini, a planet is cazimi from 20 degrees 13 mins gemini to 20 degrees 47 mins gemini. It allows the planet to shine in the sun’s radiance and boosts the planet’s positive qualities in the person’s life. It is an empowering influence, that is similar to a planet being exalted. For example a cazimi venus can give significant material luxury while a cazimi mercury can bring outstanding brilliance and innovation.
There are 16 divisional charts we use in vedic astrology, each relating to a different area of life. For example the D10, dashamsha chart is the career, the D9, navamsha is the fruit of the tree and marriage chart, the D7, saptamsha chart is the children and the D20 vimshamsha chart is the chart of spiritual progress. You would have to analyze the condition of the dasha and bhukti ruler in each subchart to understand the effects it will give for that area of life during its reign. It is possible that the dasha ruler is strong in the rasi but weak in the saptamsha, which would relate to problems with children or other 5th house matters such as past life credit. The sign position of the mahadasha relative to the bhukti in each divisional chart plays a role in the harmony of that period. Planets placed in a trinal 1-5 relationship, conjunction 1-1 or opposition 1-7 will function more harmoniously as compared to planets placed in a 6-8 quincunx or 2-12 semisextile position. Planets in a 3-11 position improve over the course of the sequence as upachaya numbers and planets 4-10 will have more of focus on career or family.
A planet placed in the ascendant of a divisional chart will always bring significant events related to that subchart. For example, if you have jupiter in the ascendant of the navamsa, then it is likely you have significant relationships during jupiter bhuktis. It doesn’t necessarily mean you will get married in the bhukti of jupiter. Significant events in a divisional chart can also occur when the mahadasha planet is connected to the bhukti planet, for example by aspect, either a full aspect or the special aspects of jupiter, mars and saturn, by one planet being in the nakshatra of the other, or by one planet in the specific divisional house, like the 10th house of the dashamsha and then connected to the other planet in some way. The essential dignities of the planets in the 16 charts, along with the vimshopaka bala score of the planet contributes to its overall strength. You would examine the 16 charts and see how many times a planet is exalted, in its own sign, or moolatrikona for insight into this.
Sade sati is the approximately seven and a half year transit of saturn over the moon in the rasi chart, and the two houses on either side of it.
It is a period of intense challenges, significant setbacks, mental stress, depression, anxiety, difficulty with authority figures, difficulty in your relationship with mother, or a lot more than usual difficulties in her life, you feeling like taking 1 step forward and 3 steps back, people taking advantage of you or hurting you, abuses of power. Brings fixed karmic events that can seem very unfair, without just cause, and sometimes completely out of the realm of probabilities that you ever imagined. It could be events that change your life overnight. These experiences can only be properly understood in terms of past lives and are due to karmic imbalances needing to be purified. Saturn over the moon can cause comparisons to others, self-criticism, feeling stuck, lack of motivation and feeling like things are out of your control, sometimes a learned helplessness. It can bring great accomplishments as well, particularly so if either the moon or Saturn is very well placed but no one can escape the challenging emotional experiences sade sati inevitably brings.
Sade Sati is particularly hard to deal with when you run your saturn or moon mahadasa or bhukti concurrently. While everyone will experience the saturn and moon bhuktis during sade sati, not everyone will have the mahadasa being one of these grahas at the same time. One has to develop an attitude of equanimity to overcome this period successfully.