You are on page 1of 8

http://cyberastro.

com/articles/rahu_ketu Article on- Understanding Rahu Ketu

Understanding Rahu / Ketu and their impacts on the life of an individual are one of the most difficult and challenging task for an astrologer especially in toda y s context. To begin with, they are not even planets but just two imaginary astro nomical points in the Zodiac. But in Vedic astrology they are treated as planets only. In fact the common reference in Vedic astrology is they are shadowy plane ts. Rahu and Ketu are basically two mathematical points and are called the two lunar nodes and which are necessary to explain the astronomical phenomena of Lunar Ec lipse and Solar eclipse. They are also known as Moon s North node and Moon s South n ode. The point where Moon crosses the ecliptic while traveling from south to nor th is known as Rahu, the North or the ascending node. The point where Moon causes the ecliptic while traveling from north to south is known as Ketu, the South or d escending node. The astronomical calculation necessary to compute the latitude of these two poin ts are based on this concept of the movement of Moon and is the cause of eclipse s. The nodes are thus two points 180 degrees apart, which is why they are always located opposite to each other in an astrological chart or horoscope. The ancient astrologers who were also professional astronomical observers felt t he enormous influences of the eclipse on the affairs of human beings on earth. T hey could not explain these cosmic influences based on the traditional 7 planets which they had identified in the cosmos with their naked eyes. They had realize d that the relationship between the movements of earth, the moon and the Sun hol ds the key to the life on our planet. It will not be out of context to mention t hat it is not merely a statistical coincidence that Moon is just about the right size and right distance from the Earth to completely cover the Sun exactly duri ng a total Solar eclipse. Moon symbolizes the feminine or Ying principle and Sun symbolizes the masculine or Yang principle. The interplay between these two principles is the creative forc es behind all creation. The two lunar nodes are the symbolic representations of this very imbalance between the Yin and Yang principles of nature and represent the dialectic of creation through the contradiction between Yin and Yang princip les in nature The Mythology of Rahu/Ketu across different civilization: Egyptian Civilization: There have been several associations of serpentine images reflecting the cyclical nature of time and celestial forces guiding life of hum ans on earth. In one legend there is a mention of Serpent demon Apep who was the enemy of Ra (The Sun God). He represented all darkness and evil as well as comp lete wisdom and enlightenment. This is the same cosmic forces that are represent ed by nodes in Astrology. Greek civilization: Greek mythology is full of stories around the battles of Her cules, the son of Jupiter destroying the 9 headed sea serpent Hydra and the cons tellation Draco (Drago). In another story Apollo the sun god kills a huge serpen t near Delphi. Chinese Civilization: It is full of stories of different dragon .Dragon symbolis m represents the same cosmic forces, which the lunar nodes represent in astrolog y. This is why the other names of Rahu/Ketu are Dragon s head/ Dragon s tail. In Chi nese mythology Dragon is associated with highest form of wisdom and enlightenmen t and power.

Mayan Civilization : For Mayan s, their whole culture was based on the imagery of a great lordly serpent called Ahau Can The Ahau Can replaces it s fangs every 20 days which was the basis of their calendar, and they made great progress in astronomy and astrology calculations. Their ancient calendar is still used to predict ecl ipses in a very accurate manner. Vedic Civilization: The puranic legend on the birth of Rahu/Ketu goes as follows - A celestial demon called Swarbhanu undertook a severe penance invoking Lord Brah ma, the creator. Brahma pleased with his penance conferred the status of a plane t to him. During the celestial churning of the ocean, Dhanwantari, the divine physician ca me out with amrita the divine nectar, which will grant immortality to whoever will drink the nectar. Initially there was a pact between Gods and Demons that it wi ll be distributed equally among Gods and Demons. But Gods did not want demons to taste the Divine Nectar. They did not exactly play cricket or be fair. Lord Vis hnu took the form of beautiful damsel and took the responsibility of distributio n of Amrita to both Gods and Demons. The plan or rather conspiracy was that Gods and Demons will sit in separate rows and the distribution will start with Gods. Vishnu will ensure that the Divine Nectar will finish before he begins the dist ribution to Demons. All the demons were tricked and they were overwhelmed with t he beauty of the damsel except Swarbhanu who saw through the conspiracy hatched by Lord Vishnu. He disguised himself and sat in the God s row. He managed to drink the divine nectar and Vishnu though he was aware who he was but remained quiet as he also knew about Brahma s blessing on him. Both Sun and Mo on discovered his presence and asked Vishnu to destroy him. Vishnu severed Sharv anu s head with his Sudarshan Chakra. But it did not kill him as he had already ta ken the nectar. The severed head was joined with a serpent s tail and conferred by Brahma the status of planet known as Rahu. The Mythology of Rahu/Ketu across different civilization: The remaining body of Sharvanu was attached to the head of a serpent and was als o conferred the status of planet because of Lord Brahma s boon and became known as Ketu. Sharvanu now divided into two became a bitter enemy of Sun and Moon. He d ecided to afflict Sun and Moon eternally through his newfound planetary status. This is how the eclipses were born according to this Puranic legend, when Sun an d Moon are swallowed by Rahu /Ketu during Solar and Lunar eclipses. The nodes in Western Astrology: Western astrologers relate Rahu with the positiv e image of Jupiter and they relate Ketu with the negative image of Saturn. Rahu is treated as a generally benefic planet and Ketu is treated as a generally male fic planet in the chart. It interprets North node as a point of easy expansion o f energy, towards material success. Whereas the south node is interpreted as a p oint of obstruction, limitations and misfortune. They also relate the two nodes Karmically. The north node is considered as a tri gger for manifestation of good Karma from unselfish past life which provides ene rgies to perform good Karma in this life. The south node is regarded as a trigge r for manifestation of bad karma from past life through which the individual fur ther his own selfish interest at the cost of others. The nodes in Vedic Astrology: In traditional Vedic astrology both the nodes are considered malefic forces in our chart. Rahu is considered like Saturn, the grea ter malefic and Ketu is considered like Mars, the lesser malefic. In today s conte xt, this is a too simplistic interpretation of the nodes. Also there is a fundam ental contradiction in this approach with the inherent nature of these planets w

hich is otherwise recognized by Vedic astrology. I, for one would rather relate Rahu with its active outward energy with Mars, an d Ketu with its active internal and secret forces with Saturn. What is more impo rtant that in order to understand the impact of Rahu and Ketu we have to examine with which other planets and houses they are associated in the natal chart or c onnected in terms of aspect and lordship of signs in the houses they are located . Also there is a need to synthesize the western concept of Karmic triggers, esp ecially when we are analyzing their impact during transit in present day interpr etation of Rahu/Ketu. We just cannot take a simplistic view, that it is all bad and condemn the individual who is experiencing the period/ sub-periods of Rahu/K etu or experiencing a difficult transit through different houses. I will take up these issues in my next article. -Satrajit Majumdar Reference: 1. Astrology of Seers- David Frawley 2. The Rahu Ketu Experience- Prash Trivedi ========================= Follow up Article on - Understanding Rahu Narrated by Satrajit Majumdar Ketu

In this second article on Rahu & Ketu, I shall first take up the nature of Rahu and Ketu and what they signify in our life: Rahu and external appearance: If Rahu is connected with Ascendant either by loca tion or lord ship or by aspect in a person s chart, then the person is likely to b e tall. Rahu is believed to have an airy element; hence Rahu s connection with Asc endant will make the person lean and thin also. Ketu and external appearance: Any association of Ketu with Ascendant will indica te a short person. But the characteristic of Ketu person will be that they will have sharp penetrating and hypnotic eyes like that of a serpent. Lordship, exaltation and debilitation of Rahu/Ketu: There are conflicting opinio ns among ancient seers on this subject. The most prevalent view and which is als o credited to sage Parashar is that Rahu is the co-ruler of Aquarius along with Saturn. The main contention is that Aquarius is a mysterious sign and there is m ore to it than Saturn. This is why modern western astrologers consider Uranus is the co-ruler of Aquarius along with Saturn. But some astrologers consider that Rahu is also the co-ruler of Virgo along with Mercury, because Mercury alone can not fully explain the nature of the subtle sign Virgo. The exaltation sign of Rahu is considered by most astrologers as Taurus and ther efore the sign of debilitation for Rahu will be Scorpio. But some astrologer s con sider the exaltation sign to be Gemini and the sign of debilitation will be then Sagittarius. Sage Parashar attributes the rulership because there is more to Scorpio than be always at 180 degrees and opposite for Ketu will be Scorpio and the sign altation sign for Rahu will be Gemini, n for Ketu and Sagittarius will be the Signification of Rahu/Ketu in our Life: of Ketu to Scorpio along with Mars, again Mars. Again by definition since Ketu will to Rahu in the chart, the exaltation sign of debilitation will be Taurus. If the ex then it should be the sign of debilitatio sign of exaltation for Ketu.

Rahu is supposed to be a powerful but naughty manifestation of Maya (the illusions of nature). Rahu manifests the dualities of nature in all it s intensities and th eir subsequent fusion. It can operate in all three Gunas as defined in Bhagavat Gita . It can function in Rajasik (active) mode when it gives material prosperit y, It can function in Satvik (harmony) mode when it gives knowledge and wisdom a nd can boost a person spiritually. It also functions in Tamasik (passive) mode w hen it is associated with all kinds of criminal, violent, dark and destructive f orces in nature. It is discontent incarnate and a person can never be content or satisfied under it s influence. It very easily takes the form of the planet with which it is assoc iated in the chart either through conjunction or lordship or aspect, and can dis play and intensify either the positive aspects of the planet or the negative asp ects of the planet. When associated with Sun, it can manifest the positive aspec ts of self confidence and creativity or it can manifest the negative aspects of extreme ego, pride and selfishness. With Moon it can intensify the lunar energies either in positive fashion or in t he negative fashion. It can create hallucination, illusion, paranoia and other m ental imbalances and dependencies. Or in rare cases it can induce a pure state o f spiritual trance when the mind and ego get completely dissolved in divine cons ciousness. With Mars, it can boost the Martian energy and make a person highly p roactive and focused in his goal. But in the negative sense it can make the pers on highly aggressive and make him prone to violence. With Mercury, Rahu can supply an intuitive dimension to the analytical intellect of Mercury in positive sense. But in negative sense, it can make the person tot ally calculative and manipulative for narrow personal gain. Rahu can enhance the expansive and positive energy and wisdom of Jupiter. Jupite r is justice and law and signifies conventional wisdom. Bur Rahu is lawlessness incarnate and is the Robinhood among planets. The merging of these two energies can sometimes create a good balance and can be very positive but in the negative sense it can cause disaster, delusion through overexpansion especially on the m aterial plane. Rahu in conjunction with Venus will either make a relationship or it will break relationship. With Saturn it can cause extreme pessimism and negative energies. It can intensify all the base instincts of Saturn of greed, avarice and selfishn ess But it can create the highest level of material success and can accelerate t he process of Saturn which gives success very slowly and after a lot of grinding and struggle. In conclusion Rahu is the Dragon s head, it is always looking ahead and it signifi es the future. It is the force that detaches us from the past and in the process it attaches us to the future. Rahu signifies the eternal hope and optimism in o ur life. We can put its energy to work constructively for us or we can succumb t o its delusions and Tamasik nature. The signification of Ketu: Ketu also has the same duality as Rahu, one which gra nts material prosperity and the other which causes material adversity. Ketu is a force which is identified with surprises, exceptions, confusions, strangeness a nd any other bizarre events in our life. It is also identified with intuitive aw areness and all other states beyond the realms of rational perception. Ketu is t he planet which signifies sudden gain and sudden losses in extremes. Kings becom ing paupers overnight and paupers becoming kings overnight are the events in the realm of Ketu. In this Ketu is similar to Saturn but the process of Saturn is n ot sudden, it is always a slow painful affair, or success after great struggle.

This extreme nature of Ketu personality can be best exemplified with two example s. Hitler the aggressive and cruel person as well as Mother Teresa the embodimen t of self less service is both examples of strong Ketu personalities in their re spective charts. Like Rahu, Ketu in association with other planets alter or enha nce their both and negative qualities to the extreme. Ketu can enhance the quali ties of Sun in both constructive and destructive manner. It can internalize the positive energy of Sun giving clear and deep insight. The opposite is also true, with negative energies of Sun it can create extreme confusion which can make th e person s existence in present and in real world impossible in form of serious me ntal affliction like severe depression and suicidal. Ketu in association with Moon can make a person very psychic which can be used t o heal others, but it can also prompt the person to practice dark forces of natu re like black magic and other unholy occult practices. It can make a person an e xtreme paranoid and can even make him a mass murderer (like Hitler) Ketu in asso ciation with Mars, will intensify the Martian energy either in positive or in ne gative ways. This is the most fiery and combustible combination between two plan ets. In the mundane level it had led to world war in the past. This combination shows that the person had been working with the Martian energy in previous lives . In the positive aspect the person has Martian talent and potential which he mu st apply in his present life for constructive purposes. It gives piercing instin ct and power of intense concentration. The Key characteristic of Mars is logic a nd that of Ketu is intensity. But usually this is a difficult and challenging combination in the chart. The pe rson experiences an extreme swing between high energy and complete lack of energ y. It creates extreme characteristics like intolerance, aggression, vengeance. T he person can be both victim of atrocity, torture and other abnormal behaviors o r aggressor and torturer himself. The key word of Ketu is unusual and the key wo rd of Mercury is intellect. At the positive level the person can have unusual in tellect that of a genius. But at the negative level, the person can suffer from extreme confusion and he can be scattered brain. The combination of Jupiter and Ketu is the most fortunate combination in the cha rt. It shows good Karma from past lives, the fruits of which will be experienced in this life. Jupiter is the only planet which can control and neutralize the n egative aspects of Ketu. The keyword of Jupiter is expansion and that of Ketu is constriction. This can cause a rare balance and harmony in an individual s life. But usually this causes some ups and downs and struggle in a person s life. But if the person has perseverance and patience, this combination will usually ensure success at the end. However some ancient seers consider this combination as an extreme negative comb ination. According to them instead of Jupiter harmonizing the negative energy of Ketu, It is Ketu which completely negates all Jupiter s energy. They belong to th e school, which believes Rahu and Ketu are always out and out negative and evil. However it is also possible that Ketu while magnifying the energy of Jupiter , it can cause a person s downfall through over expansion and illusion of grandeur. The combination of Ketu with Venus will certainly create out of ordinary behavio r in matters of love, passion, and in relationship. Ketu can refine Venus energy or it can pervert Venusians energy which can lead to abnormal sexual behavior, like homo sexuality and lesbianism. Usually with this combination person can exp erience great and intense love and passion as well as great disappointments in l ove and marriage. The combination of Saturn and Ketu is also the most challenging combination betw een planets. It suggests that the person is bringing deeply ingrained Saturnine detachment and pessimism from past lives which in combination with Ketu in this

life gets further intensified and such a person can be innately pessimistic from the very beginning. But if both these planets are working in their highest leve l of positive qualities, then this combination can create Saints and prophets as well as great revolutionaries. Prophet Mohammad had this combination in his 10t h house Scorpio. Cheguevara had this combination in the Ascendant. I have now come to the end of this article. Today is the mother s day. As we talk about Rahu/Ketu and their lunar nature and their connection with Shakti or cosmi c yin forces. I should end this article with prayer for the Divine Mother and pr ay for her blessings for the entire universe. The world today is suffering from extremes of all forces, it is only the blessings of divine mother can save us fr om the ultimate catastrophe. ======================== Concluding Article on Understanding Rahu and Ketu Narrated by Satrajit Majumdar This is the concluding article on the Rahu/ Ketu series which I have been sharin g with our members since the beginning of this present transit of Rahu/ Ketu thr ough Capricorn/ Cancer on 30th April, 2008. This transit will continue for next 18 months. We had also informed you through our various communications that during the begi nning of this transit there will be conjunctions between debilitated Mars and Ke tu through Cancer, which is extremely inauspicious for mundane events. This comb ination can create war or devastating natural disaster. Fortunately till date th ere had been no hot active war in any part of the world but in it s fury and in it s power of destruction, the world had not escaped. The massive earthquake in Chi na and devastating cyclone in Mayanmar has caused destructions and loss of life in proportions which are in the same scale as loss of life and destructions duri ng the Second World War. As long as we do not get personally involved, mundane t ragedy remains as an intellectual abstraction for us, and it is impossible for u s to actually feel the extent of this tragedy in our daily life. In this concluding article, I shall discuss one of the combinations in the natal chart of Rahu/Ketu, which is very complex called "Kala Sharpa" Yoga. Many of us are familiar with this combination because of our visit to astrologer s or reading astrological information in web-sites, media etc, like Kujadosha or Manglik affliction in the chart and Sade Satti. The common elements in these co mbinations are that these are all constituted by the participation of natural ma lefic planets. For example Kala Sharpa yoga is formed by Rahu/Ketu. Manglik affl iction is caused by Mars. Sade Satti is caused by Saturn. The important difference is- the first two combinations are caused by the static configuration of either Rahu/Ketu or Mars in the natal chart. Some of us may ha ve these two combinations in our natal chart and others will not have it. Those of us who have these combinations in their chart will experience the impact thro ughout their lives. But Sade Satti is caused purely by transit of Saturn and its specion condition with respect to the position of natal Moon in our chart. All of us normally will experience definitely 2 Sade Sattis and those of us who live s really long will experience a third one also every 30 years in our life. I clarified this, because many a time, a client who comes to consult us often as ks me whether he has Sade satti in his chart or not. Now let us take up what is Kala Sharpa Yoga in our chart. The meaning of "Kala Sharpa": In Sanskrit Kala means "Time". Sharpa means "Snake

" This Yoga signifies the time aspect of Rahu and Ketu, the serpent planets. As mentioned earlier Ketu represents past and Rahu represents future, so together, this represents the complete circle of time field in which we exist throughout e ternity. This is why Rahu/Ketu is also known as Karmic triggering planet. There are different views and controversies among Vedic astrologers on what exac t combination in the chart constitutes Kala Sharpa Yoga in the chart. The most aut hentic view is the one which is mentioned by sage Parashar in Hora Shastra. This Yoga is formed when all the planets excluding the outer planets are hemmed betw een the axis formed by Rahu and Ketu in the chart. The outer planets are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and we should not consider their position in the chart. This means even if there is one planet among the remaining 7 Vedic planets (Sun, Moon , Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn) is outside the axis formed by drawing a line joining the exact position of Rahu and Ketu by their degrees in the two Zo diac signs opposite to each other in the Zodiac, then Kala Sharpa yoga will not be formed. Even if that single planet is located in either of the same signs whe re Rahu and Ketu are located in the chart. However , we have astrologers, who would like to scare the client will mention t hat Kala Sharpa Yoga will be there even if that single planet is located in eith er of the signs belonging to Rahu and Ketu. On questioning, they may admit that it is not a full Kala Sharpa Yoga but a partial Kala Sharpa Yoga. There is nothi ng known as partial Yoga, it is either there or not there. Similarly we have astrologers, who would not like to give the bad news to their clients; they have formulated exception to this rule given above. So, they have maintained exceptions like, the combination is not valid if the planets are hemm ed between Rahu and Ketu (that is degree wise Rahu is ahead of Ketu in the zodia c), the opposite view is also there, that the combination is not valid if the pl anets are hemmed between Ketu and Rahu (that is degree wise Ketu is ahead of Rah u in the zodiac. Same exceptions are cited by taking the houses in consideration . But Parashar defines the combination in unambiguous terms as mentioned in the beginning. What is the impact of this combination in our natal chart? Since by this combina tion one half of the chart will have all the planets and the other half will be empty, there will be mighty imbalance in a person s life. The houses in the occupi ed side will get all the focus and attention in a person s life, and the houses in the unoccupied side will get no focus or priority in the person s life. We cannot outright condemn Kala Sharpa Yoga as most inauspicious in every aspect of our life nor can we take the opposite view that it is most desirable in our life. Specially when many of the world famous personalities have or had this com bination in their chart. Pandit Nehru, the first prime minister of India had this combination where all h is planets were hemmed between the 6th and 12th house in his chart. Ketu is in h is 6th house and Rahu was in his 12th house. There were no planets between his f irst and 7th house in his chart. His whole life was devoted to the cause of Indi a and to establish the rightful place for India among the league nations. This w as done at the cost of stability, bliss and harmony in his personal life. This i s what the imbalance was all about. Another extreme example was Joseph Goebbles, the propaganda minister of Hitler, who had Kala Sharpa Yoga was between Ketu in Cancer in second house and Rahu in Capricorn in 8th house. He was the second most powerful person in Nazi Germany. His cruelty, insensitivity, and his lies were an essential component of Nazi atr ocities and genocide of Jews during Second World War. There is one school of thought who believes that Kala Sharpa Yoga do not allow a

person to rise to a high position in life. This is not true as it is clear from the above two examples. There are many prominent people in the world who had this combination in their c hart. George Bush, the president of USA is another example. But invariably such people rise to their prominence by paying a heavy price, which does not give pea ce, harmony in some aspects of their life. Eventually they become a victim to su ch an imbalance in their life. Nehru at the end of his life was a very lonely and a disappointed person with gr eat feeling of betrayal and shattered dreams and ideals. Goebbles committed suic ide when Red army was outside his bunker. The main remedy for Kala Sharpa Yoga is done by invoking the blessings of Lord S hiva to subdue the serpentine planets. It is believed that the most effective re medy for Kala Sharpa Yoga will be to perform the Yagna in the Tryambakeshwar tem ple of Lord Shiva near Nasik in Western India.