Tag Archives: jyotish

Planets and Their Indications

Summary: Planetary indicators (Karakas) of a range of physiological, psychological, and sociological phenomena related to an individual. Including a discussion of how the placement of the planets in a birth-chart affects these indications.

Planets as Physiological, Psychological, and Sociological Indicators

In Vedic astrology planets are used as indicators (Karakas) of a range of physiological, psychological, and sociological phenomena that relate to the individual.

Vedic astrology sees the whole cosmos and all the people in it as part of an inter-connected whole. So, in this system, the planetary positions at birth just represent coded information about a person’s returning karmas. It is the job of the astrologer to decode this information and translate it into actual predictions.

A key component of chart interpretation is to know what each of the planets indicates. The following list gives us a basic understanding:

Sun (Surya)

Physiological Indications: Health and general well-being

Psychological Indications: Power and influence

Sociological Indications: Father

Other Indications: Self-realisation

Moon (Chandra)

Physiological Indications: Fertility, heart, younger years

Psychological Indications: Mind, memory, emotions, happiness

Sociological Indications: Mother

Other Indications: Affluence

 Mars (Mangala)

Physiological Indications: Energy, stamina

Psychological Indications: Drive, courage, ambition

Sociological Indications: Younger siblings

Other Indications: Military, enemies, property

 Mercury (Buddha)

Physiological Indications: Nervous system, speech

Psychological Indications: Logic, intelligence, education

Sociological Indications: Friends

Other Indications: Business, communication, dance, drama

Jupiter (Guru)

Physiological Indications: Fat

Psychological Indications: Wisdom

Sociological Indications: Children

Other Indications: Wealth, guru, philosophy, law, religion

 Venus (Shukra)

Physiological Indications: Semen

Psychological Indications: Pleasures

Sociological Indications: Wife

Other Indications: Luxury, singing, poetry

 Saturn (Shani)

Physiological Indications: Longevity, bones

Psychological Indications: Patience, grief, adversity, renunciation

Sociological Indications: Servants

Other Indications: Land, wood, metal


Physiological Indications: Strange illnesses

Psychological Indications: Frustrations

Sociological Indications: None

Other Indications: Worldly benefits, gambling, thefts


Physiological Indications: Strange illnesses

Psychological Indications: Psychic abilities

Sociological Indications: None

Other Indications: Enlightenment, strange events

Planetary Placement Affects The Above Indicators – For Better or Worse

If a planet is ‘well placed’ in a birth chart, then all the above indicated associations are likely to be very positive for the individual concerned.

If the planet is ‘poorly placed’, then all its associations are likely to provide some degree of difficulty, obstacles or challenges.

By ‘well placed’ we mean a planet in a favourable sign, such as its own or exalted sign, or in a good house (e.g. the 5th or 9th) or well aspected by a planet that has positive associations (a ‘benefic’) for that ascendant.

By ‘poorly placed’ we mean the planet is in an unfavourable sign (e.g. weakened or debilitated) or an unfavourable house (e.g. 6th, 8th, 12th), or aspected by a planet with negative associations (a ‘malefic’) for that particular ascendant.

So for example, if the sun in a person’s birth chart is exalted (i.e. in its sign of exaltation – Aries sidereal), or in the 9th house (even better if both exalted and in 9th!) we can expect that person to have excellent health and well-being (physiological indications): good self-esteem, power and influence (psychological indications): good relationships with his father (sociological indications): and be interested in self-realisation and personal evolution (other indicators).

If the sun was poorly placed in a birth-chart (e.g. in its sign of debilitation [Libra sidereal] or in the 6th, 8th, 12th houses, or aspected by a malefic influence) then we could expect possible health problems, lack of self-esteem, maybe problems with father, etc.

Of course, there are many other indicators and subtle layers of chart interpretation, but this principle is fundamental to assessing an individual’s chart. It is a cornerstone of the subject!

Additional Resources on Jyotish


Planetary Strengths or Powers

Summary: Covers a key component of chart interpretation – assessing the ‘strength’ or ‘power’ of a planet from its sign placement in a birth-chart. Also explains house rulership (ownership) and ‘friends and enemies’ concepts

In Jyotish, a key component of chart interpretation lies in assessing the ‘strength’ or ‘power’ of a planet.

A planet that is classified as ‘strong’ brings many benefits and signifies positive returning karmas. In general, ‘strong’ equates with ‘good’!

There are two ways in which ‘strong’ equals ‘good’

Firstly some of the benefits will be in the life areas indicated by the natural associations or indications of that planet.

For example our health, power, self-esteem, relationship with father are natural associations or indicators of the Sun. Whereas our mind, emotions, memory are associated with the Moon. (See the aricle on ‘natural indications’ of planets for details)

Secondly, a strong planet brings benefits to the Houses associated with the signs it ‘owns’ or ‘rules’ [1].

Assessing Planetary Strength from Sign Placement

Although there are numerous ways of assessing a planet’s strength, a fundamental indication of strength is to assign a particular state depending on the sign of the zodiac in which the planet is located. Sometimes even the sector of the sign (say the first 10 deg.) makes a difference to the level of ‘strength’.

In Vedic astrology there are certain signs in which a planet is said to be ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’ and so can deliver benefits, whereas in other signs it is said to be ‘weakened’ so we might expect more challenges, difficulties or negative returning karmas in the life areas associated with it. Therefore the strength of a planet depends on its relationship with the sign of the zodiac in which it is placed (or passing through).

When beginning astrology, we can make quite a good initial observation of a birth-chart simply by first looking to see if each of the nine planets is in one of the four key categories of strength.

These are called, ‘Exalted’, ‘Moolatrikona’, ‘Own House’, ‘Debilitated’ (weakened or ‘fallen’).

The state of ‘Moolatrikona’ (no direct English equivalent word) brings benefits somewhere between the best state ‘exalted’ and the good state ‘own house’.

The sign where a planet is weakest (Debilitated) is exactly 180° opposite its position of maximum strength (Exalted).

Suppose we take a naturally positive planet such as Venus. If Venus is in its sign of Exaltation (Pisces), it will bring tremendous benefits (both to its natural indicators, and also to the two houses associated with the signs it rules – Libra and Taurus; the house numbers linked to these signs will of course depend on the particular ascendant in the birth-chart). However, if Venus is located in its sign of Debilitation (Virgo), it will bring no benefits whatsoever.

Therefore the same planet can act in very different ways according to its sign placement!

Planetary Strengths or Powers by Sign Placement


Exalted sign: Aries (maximum strength at Aries 10°)

Moolatrikona sign: Leo 0° to 20°

Own sign: Leo 20° to 30°

Debilitated sign: Libra (maximum weakness Libra 10°)


Exalted sign: Taurus 0° to 3°

Moolatrikona sign: Taurus 3° to 30°

Own sign: Cancer

Debilitated sign: Scorpio (maximum weakness at Scorpio 3°)


Exalted sign: Capricorn (maximum strength at Capricorn 28°)

Moolatrikona sign: Aries 0° to 12°

Own signs: Aries 12° to 30° and Scorpio

Debilitated sign: Cancer (maximum weakness at Cancer 28°)


Exalted sign: Virgo 0° to 15° (maximum strength at Virgo 15°)

Moolatrikona sign: Virgo 16° to 20°

Own signs: Virgo 20° to 30° and Gemini

Debilitated sign: Pisces (maximum weakness at Pisces 15°)


Exalted sign: Cancer (maximum strength at Cancer 5°)

Moolatrikona sign: Sagittarius 0° to 10°

Own signs: Sagittarius 10° to 30° and Pisces

Debilitated sign: Capricorn (maximum weakness at Capricorn 5°)


Exalted sign: Pisces (maximum strength at Pisces 27°)

Moolatrikona sign: Libra 0° to 15° and Taurus

Own signs: Taurus 15° to 30° and Libra

Debilitated sign: Virgo (maximum weakness at Virgo 27°)


Exalted sign: Libra (maximum strength at Libra 20°)

Moolatrikona sign: Aquarius 0° to 15°

Own signs: Aquarius 15° to 30° and Capricorn

Debilitated sign: Aries (maximum weakness at Aries 20°)


There are considerable differences of opinion in the ancient texts about the signs where Rahu and Ketu are strong or weak. So the following are quoted using the best sources I have available.

Exalted sign: Taurus

Debilitated sign: Scorpio


Exalted sign: Scorpio

Debilitated sign: Taurus

House ‘Ownership’ or ‘Rulership’ Principles

A ‘strong’ planet also brings benefits to the signs associated with that particular planet. By ‘association’ we mean sign(s) the planet is said to ‘own or rule’. The Vedic seers allocated each of the signs to a particular planet:

Sign Ownership or Rulership by Planets in Jyotish

For example, the Sun is said to be the ‘owner or ruler’  of the sign of Leo (sidereal). A strong Sun therefore brings benefits to the house number in the birth chart that corresponds with the sign of Leo. It brings benefits to all life areas that specific house indicates. The house number (1 to 12) will of course depend of on a person’s ascendant. If a person had a Cancer ascendant, then Leo becomes the second house (counting clockwise). So a strong Sun would bring benefits associated with the second house e.g. wealth

Note that in Jyotish signs and houses correspond exactly – unlike in some western astrological systems.

Suppose a person had an ascendant in Aries – this sign then becomes the first house and the sign of Leo (counting clockwise from Aries – yes clockwise, unlike in the Western system) would be the 5th house. So, if the Sun was ‘strong’ (by sign placement – see below) the affairs indicated by the 5th house e.g. children, intelligence and education, would also be supported in a positive way. This is in addition to the natural indications of the Sun (health, power, etc.) being positively supported. 

Additional Measures of Strength – ‘Friends’ and ‘Enemies’

Professional astrologers add a number of other states lying between the ‘own house’ and ‘debilitated’ states. These are a bit more complicated for beginners but they ‘fine tune’ the chart interpretation.

These five intermediate states are named as follows: ‘Great Friends’, ‘Friends’, ‘Neutral’, ‘Enemies’, ‘Great Enemies’.

A planet positioned in a sign owned by a ‘Great Friend’ does well, but one in a sign owned by an ‘Enemy’ is weakened. Of course, planets don’t actually have ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’. It is just a convenient way of saying that a planet such as Venus is less ‘happy’ (so will bring less benefits) when positioned in the sign of an ‘enemy’ such as the Sun. Good Vedic astrological software will show these states for each planet in a birth-chart.

The above, together with ‘Exalted, ‘Own House’  and ‘Debilitated (‘Fallen’) are the primary planetary strengths or ‘Avasthas’.

For a proper chart interpretation we should take these nine detailed levels into account, but when we are starting to look at charts for the first time we can just use the four key states: Exalted, Own, Moolatrikona and Debilitated. They give a surprisingly accurate picture of an individual’s returning karmas! If you are in any doubts about the validity of Jyotish check these strength indicators out in the charts of your friends and family.

The sage Parashara quantifies the benefits a planet in each state can bring:

Exalted 100%, Moolatrikona 75%, Own House 50%, Friendly sign 25%, Neutral sign 12%, and Fallen/Enemies sign 0%.

This gives us a general idea of how the state of a planet affects the good it can do. We don’t have to take the above figures too literally – but they give a good illustration of the concepts.

Other Factors Which Influence Planetary Strength

There are also other factors which influence strength. For example, if the planet appears to be moving backwards against the background of the fixed stars (i.e. ‘retrograde’), if it is very close to the Sun (i.e. ‘combust’), or within about 1 degree of another planet (i.e. involved in ‘planetary war’). A planet’s position in the divisional charts (e.g. the ninth division or ‘marriage’ chart) also affects its overall power and ability to do good.

There are also other ‘Avasthas’ or ‘states’ which modify planetary strengths. Wikipedia comments: ‘Avasthas are basically secondary sources of strength which temper interpretations rather than reverse them’. If Wiki is talking about these other Avasthas (such as ‘youth’, etc.) and not the primary ones (Exalted, Own, etc.) then I agree. For those wishing to research this further, WikiZero has an interesting article on Avasthas.

These other influences on planetary strength will be covered in further articles.

Additional Resources on Jyotish

The Twelve Houses and Their Indications

Summary: Covering the main indications of each of the Twelve Houses in Vedic Astrology together with explanatory notes and  House Classifications

This section is essential reading for students of Jyotish and covers the main areas of life associated with each of the twelve houses.

Most chart interpretations are structured on a house‑by‑house basis, so a knowledge of the houses and their indications are vital.

Standard Jyotish texts often give long lists of affairs associated with each house, but I have tried to be as concise as possible here in order to just emphasise the main indications.

First House – ‘House of Body’

House Indications:

    • Birth and our younger years as a child
    • Health, body, and strength
    • Our personality and temperament
    • Self‑confidence and self‑love
    • Prosperity and fame
    • ‘Dharma’ – our actions and activities that are most evolutionary

The 1st house covers important areas of life and a good [1] first house strengthens the whole horoscope.

It reflects our ‘self’ and all matters arising from this. The planet ruling the 1st house indicates the nature of our personality and tendencies to a large extent.

House Classification: Kendra / Dharma (i.e. Angular House / Action)

House Indicator [2]: Sun

Second House – ‘House of Wealth’

House Indications:

    • Accumulated wealth and money
    • Speech and verbal expression
    • Family life?

The 2nd house is the main indicator of the wealth we accumulate over the years.

The 2nd house is linked to speech – important in education

House Classification: Artha (i.e. Wealth)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Third House – ‘House of Brothers, Sisters and Desires’

House Indications:

    • Brothers and Sisters
    • Desires in general
    • Courage
    • Our motivation and efforts
    • Communication

A good 3rd house will give ‘happiness from brothers and sisters’: our brothers and sisters will be of help to us and our relationship with them will be good. Some astrologers limit the associations of the 3rd House to younger siblings.

The 3rd is an Upachaya or ‘growing ‘ house where malefic planets [4]  generally do well unless debilitated or otherwise weakened.

House Classification: Upachaya / Kama (i.e. ‘Growing’ / Desire)

House Indicator: Mars

Fourth House – ‘House of Happiness and Comforts’

House Indications:

    • Happiness and comforts
    • The affairs and well‑being of our mother and our relationship with her
    • Fixed assets such as property, land and buildings
    • Friends and relatives?

The 4th house governs the home and our mother (our mother’s well‑being is also seen from the status of the Moon).

This house reveals our overall happiness and contentment with all aspects of our life – for example physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial.

House Classification: Kendra / Moksha (i.e. Angular  /  Liberation)

House Indicator: Moon

Fifth House – ‘House of Children’

 House Indications:

    • Children, intelligence, education and the mind
    • Spiritual techniques, religious knowledges
    • Past life credit (positive returning Karmas)
    • Investment and speculation

The 5th rules children and gives information on the number of offspring and the happiness we will get from them.

It also governs both common sense, intelligence and education.

A good 5th house is often found in the horoscopes of virtuous people who have made considerable progress in this life.

The 5th is a very good house and planets placed in it usually benefit from being there.

House Classification: Trikona / Dharma (i.e. Trinal / Action)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Sixth House – ‘House of Enemies’

House Indications:

    • Enemies, competitors, jealous people, subordinates at work, obstacles
    • Illness, disease
    • Worries and anxieties

‘Enemies’ can mean competitors or anyone who can rise to a higher status in an organization than us.

A powerful 6th means we can get to the top of our chosen field easily.

The 6th is a ‘growing’ house or Upachaya ‑ problems indicated may get better in time. For example a health problem indicated by the 6th may be there in childhood, but be gone by the time we are an adult.

Malefic planets and their natural significations are generally ok in the 6th.

But houses owned by these planets that occupy the 6th are generally disturbed.

House Classification: Dusthana/ Upachaya /Artha (i.e. Negative / Growing / Wealth)

House Indicator is: Mars

Seventh House – ‘House of Marriage and Partnerships’

House Indications:

    • Married life, our partner, sexual passions
    • Partnerships of all kinds (for example – business)

The 7th house indicates the quality of married life and the well‑being of our partner.

Using the house that the Moon is in as an ascendant, and looking at planets occupying the 7th house from the Moon also gives useful additional advice on marriage.

A strong Navamsa chart [5] is beneficial for relationships.

The 7th is also responsible for some aspects of travel.

House Classification: Kendra  / Kama (i.e. Angular / Desire)

House Indicator: Venus

Eighth House – ‘House of Transformation’  

House Indications:

    • Life, longevity, death
    • Wills and legacies
    • Intuition, occult practices, secret and esoteric matters

The 8th is called the “house of death” as it governs the nature and cause of death.

However, a good 8th, together with a well-placed Saturn, gives a long and energetic life.

The 8th is a Moksha house stirring an interest in personal evolution.

According to some astrologers the 8th governs long term illnesses, chronic mental and physical diseases, and sexual diseases.

The 8th generally damages planets occupying it (there are exceptions ) and the houses they rule.

House Classification: Dusthana / Moksha (i.e. Negative / Liberation)

House Indicator is: Saturn

Ninth House – ‘House of Fortune’

House Indications:

    • Luck, fortune and general prosperity
    • Religion, faith, worship, spiritual teacher, higher knowledge of all kinds, law
    • Some aspects of our relationship with our father
    • Long journeys to sacred places, some aspects of travel

The 9th is of equal importance to the 1st house

It indicates our luck or fortune.

The 9th is the best house of the horoscope. Planets placed within it do well and the 9th ruler itself carries with it a very positive energy. Some astrologers consider the 9th, rather than the 5th, to govern past‑life credit.

A good 9th gives a tremendous amount of luck and fortune ‑ almost a sort of divine grace.

A person’s relationship with his spiritual teacher is seen from the ninth ‑ in India this was the father of the family (at least in the early years, before getting a spiritual guru later on). So some aspects concerning the relationship between a person and his father are therefore seen from the 9th.

House Classification: Trikona / Dharma (i.e. Trinal / Action)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Tenth House – ‘House of Status and Power’

House Indications:

    • Our status, fame, career
    • Authority figures, government officials, authoritative institutions
    • The status, power and authority of our father

The 10th house gives the degree of success, respect and status we will achieve in our chosen career.

The 10th is an Upachaya or “growing ” house where malefics can do well ‑ unless in their fallen status or poorly aspected.

Many factors relating to a persons’ father are seen from the 10th.

House Classification: Kendra  / Upachaya / Artha (i.e. Angular / Growing / Wealth)

House Indicator: Mercury

Eleventh House – ‘House of Gains , Profits and Desires’

House Indications:

    • Profits, gains and income in general
    • Desires, wishes, opportunity, ambitions

The 11th differs from the 2nd in that it rules gains and profits “by any means” so even if the 2nd house is weak there can still be considerable income ‑ although this may not lead to much accumulated wealth.

The 11th rules the fulfilment of major desires. A good 11th brings many opportunities which is how a person can fulfil his desires.

The 11th is a “growing” house or Upachaya where malefics can eventually do well.

House Classification: Upachaya / Kama (i.e. ‘Growing’ / Desire)

House Indicator: Jupiter

Twelfth House – ‘House of Loss and  Expenditure’

House Indications:

    • Expenditure, financial waste and loss, misfortune
    • Salvation, final liberation, enlightenment,
    • Journeys to far off lands

The 12th is concerned with loss of all kinds.

A good 12th indicates we will retain our wealth.

A good 12th also indicates we are well on the path to higher states of consciousness and enlightenment.

Planets in this house are generally  harmed ( there are exceptions ) as are the houses they rule.

House Classification: Dusthana / Moksha (i.e. Negative / Liberation)

House Indicator: Saturn

Parts of the Body Associated with Each House

Each house is associated with a part of the body, so houses that are in some way badly weakened can indicate possible problems in the physiology in their associated area.

House       Part of Body

1                 Head

2                 Eyes, face, mouth, upper throat

3                 Arms, shoulders, lower throat

4                 Chest, heart

5                 Stomach

6                 Region of navel

7                 Body below the waist

8                 Reproductive organs, anus

9                 Hips, thighs

10                Knees

11                Calves of legs

12                Feet

House Classification

Houses 5 and 9 (Trikona) are considered ‘very good indeed’.  This is because planets placed in them are strengthened.  The houses these planets rule also benefit from their ruler being in the 5th or 9th house.

They are also ‘good’ in that the planet ruling the 5th and 9th, even if a natural malefic such as Saturn, becomes a functional benefic and carries a positive energy with it wherever it is placed.

Houses 6, 8 and 12 (Dushtana) are considered ‘bad’.  Planets placed in them are weakened. The houses ruled by the planets that are placed in the 6, 8 or 12th houses are also weakened.

The rulers of the 6, 8 and 12th generally cause problems somewhere in the chart – even if they are natural benefics such as Jupiter (this applies provided the planet does not also rule either the auspicious 5th or 9th House.)

Houses 3, 6, 10 and 11 form a special category called Upachaya or ‘growing’ Houses.  Malefics do well in growing houses and eventually produce good results. Problems indicated by a ‘growing’ house get less with time.

Houses 1, 4, 7 and 10 are the angular houses (Kendras) and planets placed in them are strengthened.

Houses are further classified in groups of four, starting with the first house: Dharma (Duty – evolutionary actions), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Enlightenment). This grouping then repeats with the fifth house being Dharma, six Artha, seventh Kama, eighth Moksha, and repeats again – ninth Dharma, tenth Artha, eleventh Kama and twelfth Moksha.


[1] When we say a house is ‘good’ we will be considering factors such as: looking at the status and strength of the planet that rules that house. (e.g. ‘Exalted’ or ‘Own House’ status); in which house the ruler is placed (e.g. in the auspicious 9th); any natural benefic planets such as Venus in the house itself; any positive aspects to the house from benefics such as Jupiter, etc.

[2] We can further assess the state of a house by looking at the status and ‘wellbeing’ of its ‘indicator planet’. This can modify our interpretation of house affairs – although it is of less importance than the main factors (e.g. status of house ruler, occupying planets, aspects, etc.). Knowledge of the indicator planet’s natural indications corresponds with the affairs of the house it is associated with. For example, Venus is associated with love and passions, so it ties in nicely with the seventh house – the house of marriage. So this association agrees with our understanding.

Further Resources for Students of Jyotish

Introduction to Vedic Astrology – Jyotish

Summary: This article is a brief introduction to Vedic Astrology. It covers the links with yoga, and the basic aims and applications of the predictive and preventive Vedic Astrological System – also known as Jyotish or Yogic Astrology.

Links with Yoga

Jyotish is asister’ subject of Yoga and originated from the same ancient Vedic Tradition. Jyotish is also often referred to as ‘Yogic Astrology‘ or ‘Vedic Astrology’.

Jyotish is closely related to the other Yoga related sciences –  Ayurveda (a holistic Vedic Healthcare system) and Vastu (Vedic design of life-enhancing buildings and living spaces).

Jyotish Astrology, just like Ayurveda, was ‘revealed’ or ‘cognized’. It was not discovered – neither was it invented by mankind, nor developed by trial and error over a period of time.

Vedic Astrology’s Predictive Capabilities

The most widely used area of Vedic Astrology is called ‘Hora’ and deals with predicting an individual’s returning karmas, as decoded from the planetary arrangements in a person’s birth-chart. So, Jyotish is very much  ‘karmic astrology’.

Jyotish attempts to predict both the benefits and the obstacles we might experience in all areas of our lives [1] and, most importantly, when in our life [2] we might encounter those benefits or problems.

Vedic Astrology’s Preventive Capabilities

Apart from being just predictive, Jyotish aims to be ‘preventive’ too. It offers practical techniques to modify a person’s returning karmas. These are known as ‘Planetary Antidotes’ or ‘Remedial Measures’.  So Vedic Astrology provides the ultimate form of ‘karmic re-balancing’.

The capabilities of Jyotish enable the effects of potential problems in the future, caused by returning karmas (decoded from planetary positions in our birth-chart and expressed as ‘planetary imbalances’), to be first identified and then minimized, or even avoided completely. Similarly, very good periods in our lives can be predicted and the time used to full advantage.

Jyotish gives a whole range of ‘remedial measures’ in order to correct any planetary imbalances that occur in a horoscope.  This enables us to avert potential problems that might otherwise have arisen in the future. Remedial measures might involve the wearing of an appropriate gemstone in a prescribed manner, acts of charity, use of specific mantras, vedic ceremonies such as yagna or yajna.

Best Time for Every Action

The second area of Vedic Astrology is called ‘Muhurta’. It suggests the best possible times to begin an important action such as getting married, building a new house or starting a business. There is a phrase ‘well begun is half done’. Actions started at the times suggested by Muhurta have all the laws of nature supporting their successful outcome.


[1]  Jyotish deals with predictions involving the four key areas of life: Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha.

Artha covers ‘wealth’ (money and prosperity, ‘wealth’ of children, ‘wealth’ of knowledge, ‘wealth’ of food, ‘wealth’ of health, etc.). Dharma covers duty, character, actions that will be evolutionary and follow natural law (e.g. type of career), etc. Kama means desire, so it covers relationships, all types of desires, pleasures of the senses, etc. Moksha covers spiritual and personal growth towards Self-realization.

[2]   Jyotish identifies key periods called the ‘Maha Dasha Periods’ where returning Karmas, for better or worse, are delivered by the ‘Cosmic Postman’ via the nine planets. A planet’s inherent nature, where it is placed in a birth-chart, the houses it ‘rules’ and in which it is placed, and other planets nearby and aspecting it all affect the outcome.

Additional Information on Vedic Astrology


Vedic Astrology FAQs 1

Summary: Introductory FAQs on Jyotish (Yogic or Vedic Astrology) including its benefits and predictive capabilities, links with yoga, karmic implications and the many differences compared with Western Astrology

Q. What exactly is Vedic Astrology?

A. Vedic Astrology, also known as Jyotish or Yogic Astology, is a very ancient astrological system that is both ‘predictive and preventive’. It gives high probability [1] predictions about our returning karmas and their likely effects in this lifetime. It has unique methods for predicting when in our lifetime these karmic effects are likely to manifest.

Vedic astrology comes from a tradition that believes in maximising an individual’s evolution. It contains a range of remedial measures (‘Planetary Antidotes’) to counteract any returning negative karmas and rebalance the planetary forces that appear in our birth-chart. So, Vedic astrology is really the ultimate form of karmic engineering!

Q. Is Jyotish Astrology in any way linked to Yoga?

A. Yes – both subjects come from the same ancient Vedic Tradition. Both have withstood the long test of time, bringing benefits to generation after generation. Jyotish (Vedic Astology) is one of Yoga’s sister sciences, along with subjects such as Ayurveda (Yogic Healthcare), Vastu (Yogic designed living spaces) and Pranyama (Yogic breathing). All of these are important ‘Vedic Technologies’ for today’s stress filled world.

Q. What benefits could we expect from a Vedic astrological chart interpretation?

A. There are many levels of answer to this question. Firstly, there are practical benefits that we can experience on a day-to-day basis regarding our overall happiness and obstacle-free progress. Vedic astrology can clarify issues around health, happiness, career, relationships, family, children, finances, good fortune, spiritual growth, peace of mind and enlightenment. All of these areas can be seen from the Vedic birth-chart and they correspond with the Vedic concepts of Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha [2].

On another level, if we need answers to problems in specific life areas we often find a Vedic perspective useful – it tends to put things into a more cosmic and time limited framework.

Following a Vedic consultation a Jyotish Astrologer will usually recommend some remedial measures to help rebalance adverse planetary effects. By following these recommendations (e.g. the wearing of an appropriate gemstone – very different from the birthstone in Western astrology) many people often feel a burden has been lifted, obstacles removed and that life simply flows more easily.

On a higher level still, the ultimate purpose of Vedic astrology is to help us realise that we are not just an individual living alone in a vast universe, but that we are intimately connected to its very fabric. We are not only in the universe, the universe is in us!

Q. What are the main differences between Vedic Astrology and Western Astrology?

A. Both systems have their unique strengths. Western Astrology tends to focus more on psychological factors and the mind. Vedic Astrology tends to focus more on predicting returning karmas.

A Western birth-chart is a good starting point for counselling.  If we are seeking insights into our thoughts, feelings and psychological inner-self then Western Astrology has a lot to offer.

Vedic Astrology on the other hand, focuses more on karma and predicting what karmas will manifest in our lifetime and when those effects will occur. It also offers remedial measures to greatly lessen returning negative karmas. So, Vedic Astrology is both predictive and preventive.

Vedic Astrology differs greatly from Western astrology in its underlying concepts and methods. Unlike Western Astrology it uses the fixed or sidereal zodiac, it only uses the nine ‘planets’ up to Saturn, and has unique predictive methods (Mahadasas – far more important than ‘transits’) not found in the Western system. In Jyotish the ascendant is a key factor and unlike the Western system the sun sign is of much less importance.

We should also be aware that present problems or difficulties may be the result of our current environment or lifestyle and not due to returning karmas. The application of the other yoga related Vedic sciences of Vastu (Yogic designed living spaces) and Ayurveda (Yogic health care) can often help in these cases.

Q. How is it possible to make future, life-long predictions from just the planetary arrangements at the time of an individual’s birth?

A. We all know that an acorn will grow into an oak tree. It will not grow into a sycamore tree or a fir tree. Within the seed is contained all the information to structure the oak tree. We cannot say for sure how many branches it will have, or exactly how big it will grow because these things can be influenced by environmental factors. But, the structure and growth of the oak tree are encoded in its DNA within the acorn.

Similarly the probable effects of our returning karmas (which are governed by the sequential unfoldment of the laws of nature) are reflected in the ‘code’ contained within the planetary arrangements in our birth-chart. This implies we were not born at a random time by chance and reflects the Vedic view of the interconnectedness of all life and matter in the universe.

Q. What are the ‘remedial measures’ mentioned in Jyotish?

A. The Vedic tradition believes that people should live healthy, happy and fulfilled lives. So Vedic Astrology contains a whole range of remedial measures that are designed to greatly reduce the influence of our returning negative karmas. These measures can help restore balance and harmony in our lives. Because we are part of an integrated whole, then by participating in certain vedic ceremonies (yagnas or yagyas) , performing prescribed acts of charity, reciting specific sanskrit mantras  or wearing appropriate gemstones we can modify or deflect (to a large extent) returning karmas so that we do not have to suffer the consequences in this lifetime. So, Jyotish enables us to both detect and ‘deflect’ returning karmas! For more details see article on ‘Planetary Antidotes (Upayes)’.

Q. Can we change our returning karmas without recourse to the remedial measure of Jyotish?

A. Yes, this is certainly possible. It is said that the grace of the Guru can greatly modify returning karmas. Anyone in a position to receive the grace of an enlightened spiritual master should consider themselves truly blessed!

Spiritual practices such as regular meditation can also modify karmas. Many Jyotish astrologers are amazed that the predictions they made from the birth-chart about returning negative karmas are greatly reduced in the lives of long-term meditators.

It is also said that acts of charity are valuable at modifying certain karmas. An enlightened Vedic scholar has said that we are more likely to hold on to our hard earned wealth if we give a small proportion (e.g. a few percent) of it away to charity every month! In addition, helping and serving others (the Indian concept of ‘Seva’) is extremely worthwhile.


[1] Some suggest ‘high probability’ means around the 70% accurate mark in the hands of a skilled Vedic astrologer

[2] Jyotish deals with predictions involving the four key areas of life: Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha. Artha covers ‘wealth’ (money and prosperity, ‘wealth’ of children, ‘wealth’ of knowledge, ‘wealth’ of food, ‘wealth’ of health, etc.). Dharma covers duty, character, actions that will be evolotuionary and follow natural law (e.g. type of career), etc. Kama means desire, so it covers relationships, all types of desires, pleasures of the senses, etc. Moksha covers spiritual and personal growth towards Self-realization.

Additional Information on Jyotish

Further information on Jyotish can be found in Vedic Astrology FAQs 2 and in the article  Introduction to Vedic Astrology