Summary: Explaining the concept of ‘Planetary Aspects’ in Jyotish and examining the rules needed to apply these principles. Also highlighting the major differences between aspects in Vedic Astrology and Western Astrology.
Planetary aspects are important and the rules in Jyotish are very different from those in Western Astrology.
Planets occupying a house will ‘cast their field of influence’ across the birth-chart and affect (for better or worse) other houses and any planets positioned in these houses ‑ this is called an aspect.
- Aspects are directed from one house to another house (unlike in Western Astrology)
- Aspects in Jyotish are therefore not from a planet’s ‘orb of influence’ (e.g. a 10 degree sector) to another planet’s ‘orb of influence’
- Therefore, a planetary aspect can affect a house even if the aspected house is devoid of planets. This is a very important difference!
- Planets in houses, as well as empty houses, can all be influenced by planetary aspects ‘beaming’ onto them from across the birth-chart
- Aspects occur from planets positioned anywhere in one house (e.g. Sun at 2 degrees in 1st house) to affect planets positioned anywhere in another appropriate house (e.g. Saturn at 29 degrees in 7th)
A Simple Example of an Aspect
In this diagram, the Sun projects its field of influence across the chart onto the 7th house counted clockwise from the Sun. In this particular chart this house corresponds with the sign of Libra.
What are the effects of this? That really depends on a number of interrelated factors involved in chart interpretation. Firstly, an important factor is determining the ascendant in this chart. This will determine if the Sun is a functional benefic or malefic influence. Then we would need to see in what house the Sun was placed in order to assess its strength. Having done this we could see what house corresponds with Libra.
Suppose we had a Sagittarius ascendant. The Sun is then ruler of the auspicious 9th House (Leo in this chart) and it is placed in its sign of exaltation (Aries). It will then beam a very positive energy via its aspect into the sign of Libra. As this corresponds with the 11th house we would expect all affairs of the 11th House to be strengthened and improved by this aspect. We could therefore expect ‘gains, profits and the fulfilment of desires’ to be improved.
- Rahu and Ketu do not cast any aspects – but all the other planets do
- All other planets aspect the 7th house from themselves
- Mars also aspects houses 4th & 8th from itself
- Saturn also aspects houses 3rd & 10th from itself
- Jupiter also aspects houses 5th & 9th from itself.
Any interpretation of the effects of aspects needs to consider both the natural characteristics and the functional characteristics of the aspecting planet.
Aspect Diagram for Mars
Aspect Diagram for Jupiter
Aspect Diagram for Saturn
Conjunction and Combustion
Vedic Astrology uses the term ‘conjunction’ to indicate that two or more planets are together in the same sign or house – even if positioned near the opposite edges of a house. So, if the Sun was placed at 1degree Taurus and Saturn at say 28 degrees Taurus they would be termed ‘conjunct’ in Jyotish. However, unlike Western Astrology Jyotish does not differentiate between oppositions, trines, etc.
When planets get too close to the Sun they get damaged and become ‘combust’. The exact degree needed for this to happen depends on the planet. If a planet is closer than 10 degrees to the Sun we need to be aware of possible ‘combustion’ effects and research the exact limits for the particular planet. ‘Combustion’ causes problems such as weakening the planet and its indications, the houses it rules, etc. ‘Combustion’ does not apply to Rahu or Ketu.
Resources for Students of Jyotish
Introduction to Jyotish. A range of articles for people entirely new to Vedic Astrology. Including: Introduction, FAQs, Origins and Karmic Implications.
Key Concepts in Jyotish. Articles covering the Sidereal Zodiac, Planetary Forces, Forecasting Analogies and ‘Planetary Antidotes’.
For Western Astrologers. Articles examining major differences between the two systems and the paradigm shift needed by Western Astrologers wanting to understand the subject.
Learn Jyotish. An extensive collection of articles covering key facts, concepts and methods. Aimed at ‘foundation level’ students. Includes essential information needed before beginning chart interpretations. Covering: Chart Formats, Planets, Houses, Mahadasha Periods, Transits, Aspects, Birth-time Errors, Natural and Functional Benefics / Malefics, Chart Interpretation Basics, etc.