The Four Aims of Life and the Houses of the Horoscope

Jyotish, or Vedic Astrology, divides the twelve houses (or ‘bhavas‘) of the horoscope into four groups, each associated with one of the ‘puruṣārthas‘, or the Four Aims of Life.

Dharma (righteousness, morality) – 1st, 5th, 9th

Artha (wealth, material resources) – 2nd, 6th,10th

Kama (desires) – 3rd, 7th, 11th

Moksha (final liberation) – 4th, 8th, 12th

The idea that there are four aims of life is not specifically an astrological notion. It’s a basic tenet of Hindu or Vedic philosophy. This astrological correspondence is in fact an example of the close knit integration and ease of communication between Jyotish and other branches of Indian religion, culture and learning. It is similar, for example, with Jyotish and Ayurveda.

Western astrologers will recognize that these four groups distribute the houses into four triplicities that are normally associated with the four elements. Western astrologers may speak of ‘Fire Houses’ when referring jointly to the 1st, 5th and 9th Houses, and may describe the 2nd, 6th and 10th as ‘Earth Houses’, and so on. Some modern western astrologers have written on these house triplicities, and generally the elemental correspondences have guided their musings and observations.

This is all well and good, and many of those insights can complement and illumine what we can learn about these groupings from the Jyotish angle. It is worth noting, however, that the way Jyotish has linked these Four Aims of Life to the four house triplicities gives a more precise philosophical context, and arguably a greater importance, to this particular way of grouping the houses than you typically find in western astrology.

One quick technical point. The diagrams used in the case studies will show the chart for each subject using conventional Western astrological settings (Tropical Zodiac and Placidus Houses) on the left, and on the right of it, another chart applying the ‘settings’ used in Jyotish (Lahiri Sidereal Zodiac and Whole Houses). While more and more western astrologers are learning to read the vedic or Jyotish type square charts, they’re still somewhat esoteric to many. We’ll keep it simple by not adding new diagram formats to this discussion.

Without further ado.

The Dharma Houses – 1, 5, 9

‘Dharma’ is an excellent word for conveying an important insight into the nature of the 1, 5, 9, or the ‘Fire House’ triplicity. It becomes explicit that it is through the three Dharma Houses (or ‘Konas’ as they are also called) that we find or express our ‘true nature’, or ‘highest calling’. Call it self realization, creative intelligence and religion, if you like; they’re all faces or facets of the principle of dharma.

Like ‘fire’, dharma is a state of spontaneous honesty; it can’t be hidden or contrived in nature. There’s a purity, truth and integrity to fire. The houses of the Dharma Triplicity are considered the luckiest of all the houses, and are accorded great importance in Jyotish. The lords of these houses become, to some degree, ‘temporary benefics’, even when naturally malefic. Through these houses and the ‘fiery grace’ they represent, we can find our way, and align with truth and authenticity. Each individually, in our own unique way.

In the Baghavad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna, “One’s own dharma, performed imperfectly, is better than another’s dharma well performed. Destruction in one’s own dharma is better, for to perform another’s dharma leads to danger.”

One aspect of dharma is close to the notion of duty, but this should be distinguished from what we think of, or may presume to be, career, or even adherence to custom, although at times they can be closely united. When we ‘individuate’ successfully, when the dharma is strong in us, so to speak, then we will be gifted, inspired, alive and enthusiastic; we’ll be intelligent, creative and intuitively capable in certain specific directions. Perhaps this brings with it an automatic responsibility.

Arjuna was an unequalled warrior, and so for him to lose focus at the commencement of a great and important battle was to lose his dharma in a most lamentable way. Lord Krishna hence went to pains to discuss the nature of dharma and how it related to Arjuna’s immediate situation, to help him reorientate and realign.

And that climactic moment was no time for wannabe warriors who have little to gift the situation, and who were not truly called to this purpose, who would be out of their depth, and in more than bodily harm’s way.

To find your dharma (without a birth chart), you should ask yourself, what was Arjuna doing on his off days, like, for fun? If you’re alive enough you already know the things you have a love for, and a knack for. If you find your aptitude and develop it with fortitude, then if perchance one day a conch shell sounds, and it’s your cue, your moment to be the only genius available capable of wielding, or rather sharing your particular gift, you’re ready to show up and enthral the house, or save the day, as the case may be. Knowing who you are, and being who you are, and then showing up, at the right time, is key to finding and fulfilling your dharma.

The inherently auspicious nature of the 1st House and it’s lord is substantially due to the fact that the 1st House belongs to the Dharma Triplicity. Beyond that the 1st house is the only house where karma, which basically means action (the Angular houses), and dharma automatically meet.

Where these principles combine, dharma finds outer manifested physical expression, in action, and so good things naturally follow. This idea that there is a valuable alchemical potency in combining the Angular Houses with the Dharma Houses is important in Jyotish, and is the basis of certain Raja Yogas (‘king making’ combinations promoting success, power and prestige).

The 1st house is our ‘dharma crown’ – the seat of our identity, purpose and will. It shapes our personality; the plain visible naked truth of who we are.

Inasmuch as 5th house represents romance, affairs of the heart, children, and play or recreation, these themes are inherently about our most sincere and beautiful intentions, experiences and ideals. What greater sense of heartfelt joy and exhilaration is there than play and courtship? Dharma Houses give peak experiences in awareness and self-expression.

Jyotish believes that ‘poorva punya‘, or past life credit, is shown in the 5th house. We are able to wield the energy or faculties of planets in the 5th house easily, almost playfully, like something we have done forever. We enjoy the activities associated with planets in the 5th house, and so we may easily excel in them. Through our 5th house we access the ‘dharmic’ attributes of intelligence, sincerity and creative self-expression.

The 9th house is associated with religion in both Jyotish and Western astrology. The word dharma is often used almost synonymously with ‘religion’. In the 9th house the morality and spiritual aspiration associated with the word ‘dharma’ reaches its pinnacle of expression. Gurus and mentors, shown in the 9th House, point out the way, and lead us along the road to the achievement of our fullest possible individuation, or self-realization.

The Dalai Lama’s Jyotish chart places Mercury in Gemini in the 1st House and Saturn in Aquarius in the 9th House; so the 1st and 9th houses contain their own lords which greatly strengthens both. The natural benefic Jupiter, as 10th lord, is located in the 5th House (and from there aspects the 1st and 9th houses, since Jupiter in Jyotish specifically aspects within the triplicity it occupies). The Dalai Lama is an embodiment and teacher of ‘the Dharma’, and a person with a mission and purpose.

Another preacher man with a penchant for politics is Martin Luther King. His Jyotish chart shows Jupiter, or Guru, in the 1st house, happy in Mars ruled Aries, as lord of the 9th house. Here too Jupiter aspects both the 5th and 9th houses and strengthens the entire Dharma Triplicity. King’s 9th house contains 10th lord Saturn, in the sign Sagittarius. The Sun, his 5th lord, is in the 10th house in Capricorn. As already noted, such a combining of the Angular and Dharma houses is considered very empowering and auspicious in Jyotish. In King’s chart the lords of both the 5th and 9th are located in the most powerful of the Angular houses, while his fiery 1st lord, Mars, is located in the 2nd house of speech.


The Artha Houses – 2, 6, 10

Artha, or ‘wealth’, is the material resources we need to support our incarnated experience of life. Simple and clear. This idea is very close to what western astrologers would see in the ‘Earth Houses’; these houses do indeed relate to practical aspects of life.

When Artha is viewed through the prism of the Four Aims of Life, it helps give a clearer perspective to what ‘wealth’ is when viewed in the context of the other aims of life. It is clear that we need stuff, but we aren’t stuff, and have other business here too. It puts materialism in its place.

The 2nd House represents both food and money or material possessions in Jyotish. Food is in fact the most fundamental material need we have, the most basic material support we require, and we typically meet this need with money.

In Jyotish the 2nd House is further associated with ‘family life’. One could, or should perhaps rather call it ‘household’. Your immediate social support. The people who not only break bread with you, but also nurture and protect you in other ways as part of your innermost circle. It could be argued that to eat bad food, and to lack household nurture, is a brand of ultimately material poverty.

The 2nd House is ‘speech’; your style of speaking, whether generally truthful or not, and, you know, ‘your word is your wand‘. The 2nd House is by extension also associated with listening, memory and learning; you ‘bank’ and store a greater wealth of information if you have a good retentive memory.

Understanding and managing your 2nd house Artha is more holistic than eyeing the numbers on your bank account.

The 6th house, being the house of work and service, and by extension servants or employees, is where we earn our daily bread through the rigours of developing and applying useful skills. Our work needs to meet a certain standard to be of any use. It’s exacting. It is practical apprenticeship, compared to the honour and worldly authority of the 10th house. The 6th house can get you down if you don’t like being dynamic and efficient and can’t make yourself useful. Everyone sooner or later has to earn their keep.

There is an element of struggle in the 6th house, to a greater degree than with either of the other two Artha houses. Illness, accidents and enemies may here threaten our fortress. We have to meet these contingencies with fortitude, vigour, commitment and skill. The sterner malefic planets, in fact, yield useful results in the 6th house – wilting wallflowers and shrinking violets need not apply! Benefics struggle here, at least for at time, but ultimately improve due to the 6th house instinct for fixing and adjusting.

If you can manage crisis, and get the dirty work done, and conquer or subdue your enemies, and be ‘early to bed and early to rise’, you safeguard your kingdom and your Artha remains secured.

The 10th house is in a sense the highest or consummate expression of Artha. The ‘Arthashastra‘, an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, is essentially a handbook for those who attain to a full embodiment or mastery of what the 10th house represents: Political power, fame and social influence that can impact the lives of many. A brief perusal of this old tome of practical wisdom reminds one of how well one needs to know the world, society, and people, to manage Artha at that exalted level. You have to build bridges, wage war, wage diplomacy, uncover intrigue and conquer hidden enemies, grow the treasury. It’s a full time job, and I can well believe that it might in a civilized society eventually come with a manual.

If we are not at the very pinnacle of worldly power and influence, the 10th house will represent those who stand above us in the social hierarchy, and upon whose goodwill our Artha may substantially depend; the elders and authorities of our social organization. Our 10th house Artha represents the respect, recognition and honor we can gain as a ‘citizen in good standing with the state’. This good standing is achieved, at it’s most basic level, by diligent execution of duty, obeying the rules, and making yourself somewhat useful to society. This earns you a certain amount of protection and rights within ‘the kingdom’.

At a higher level you have a career that requires harder work, or greater skill, something fairly specialized, important and respected socially, and therefore as a doctor, lawyer, judge or military general, for example, your status ensures that you will enjoy a level of preferential treatment.

If we are able to rise head and shoulders above others through our ambition, self mastery and effort, and successfully undertake great works for the benefit of many, we are recognized, if not celebrated far and wide. If 10th House Artha is mastered, then, inasmuch as it is the highest of the artha houses, we as a matter of course tend to eat fine foods, our words are edicts or become public discourse, and we are spared much 6th house type subservience, rigor and dirty work. This would strictly speaking only really be possible, in it’s fullest expression, if all three artha houses are strong, but a strong 10th house can do a lot to ameliorate deficiencies in the 2nd and 6th houses.

Muhammad Ali, someone who rose to tremendous heights of fame and influence through his career achievements, has Mars in the 10th house in Aries in his Jyotish chart. His 10th house is enormously bolstered by this fact alone, and indeed, as Mars would have it, he was famous as a fighter.


In Muhammad Ali’s chart Mars is lord of the 5th in the 10th which, adding a further layer of ‘luck’ and ‘authentic self-individuation’ to what his strong Mars in the 10th indicates. For every Cancer Ascendant Mars is the ‘Raja Yoga Karaka‘, or ‘kingly power significator’, and thus a temporary benefic, due to it’s lordship of one Angular and one Dharma house (or Kona).

In short, Ali’s Artha was tremendously bolstered by his strong 10th house, even though Rahu in the 2nd House (‘bad mouthing’, household disruptions), and Saturn’s debilitation in the 10th house (problems with authorities), may have blighted his overall Artha package slightly.


Leonardo da Vinci has, in his Jyotish chart, an exalted Sun in Aries in the 6th house, as lord of the 10th house (which already says a whole lot about him). Both the 6th and 10th benefit so far. The lord of the 6th house is exalted Mars in Capricorn in the 3rd house.

Jupiter, lord of the 2nd house, is comfortable enough in the 4th house, and is Conjunct 9th house lord Moon. The Moon and Jupiter, as two natural and temporal benefics (being lords of the 9th and 5th respectively), aspect the unoccupied 10th house with beneficial influence, supporting his social prestige and status.

Leonardo da Vinci was a meticulous, but also a bold and pioneering worker. He believed in his own practical ability, and he gained opportunities to demonstrate it:

‘In 1482, he earned the attention of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, when he wrote that he could build portable bridges and bombardments, make cannons and other war machines of the day, build ships, and sculpt using a variety of materials. In the Duke’s service, he became a principal engineer and architect for many of the Duke’s military operations and, in 1502, after the Sforzas were driven out of Milan, Leonardo entered the service of Cesare Borgia as his chief architect and engineer, overseeing work on the fortresses of the papal territories in central Italy.’

Gordon Ramsay, we know, is capable of producing and regularly savours the finest foods in the world. It is almost patently obvious from his Jyotish chart at a glance, what with exalted Jupiter in the 2nd house of food and all. Jupiter is lord of the 10th – he’s famous for it! Occasionally, when he’s done giving some young would be chef the third degree for gross and disgusting inefficiency, and he’s whipped everyone into shape, he utters words of counsel and encouragement to his hapless apprentices and reality tv victims.


This tension and aggression, and the rather terse expressions he has been known to utter when he pours his scorn and derision on fools who f*ck up, is clearly shown in the Ascendant lord, Mercury, being located in the 6th house, in Scorpio (and then there’s also the debilitated Sun in Libra in the 5th which can have issues around co-operation vs. authority and dominance).

The Kama Houses – 3, 7, 11

While the 3rd, 7th and 11th houses are indeed, as Rob Hand designates them in Horoscope Symbols, ‘social houses’, a theme which is commonly associated with the air element, the Jyotish attribution of Kama, or desire, to this triplicity, reveals a further underlying theme among these houses that is not apparent from western astrology’s usual take.

The 3rd house represents our immediate or short term desires. These require an almost instantaneous gratification and invoke our physical dexterity (the use of our arms or limbs), our communication skills, and also our courage, to achieve their fulfilment. The 3rd house thus shows ‘prowess‘. In Jyotish, performing arts is an important 3rd house theme; performance requires of one to be very agile, expressive and motivated. Apathy gets you nowhere, and is the antithesis of 3rd house kama.

The well known Kama Sutra, you will agree, is essentially a manual for effective execution of 7th house matters? Well, at least in terms of the more physical and overt meanings of the 7th house. The desire for a mate drives us at a primal level, like a deep obsessive longing. As the reflection of the 1st house, the 7th house can be the missing half of the 1st house. We’re not quite ourselves until we complete that search.

If it’s not going to be a mate, we can’t evade the fact that there is this otherness that will periodically crystalize into form as someone or some thing that we need to face, and embrace, or come to terms with. You will sooner or later deeply desire, for example, the services of doctor, or lawyer to help you meet life’s vicissitudes. They really can complement you at that the right time. You’d be a fool not to seek and court them. We cannot be all thing unto ourselves.

Although Jyotish typically takes the 6th house as the house of ‘enemies’, the 7th house can certainly manifest as those we need to confront and encounter in a more competitive way. Even competitors are potentially our complement, or indispensable other half, in that through meeting the challenge they pose successfully, our all important 1st house, or self, is validated, vindicated and satisfied.

The 11th house, western astrology teaches, is the house of ‘hopes and wishes’. This resonates closely with the Jyotish notion that the 11th House represents your longer term life goals, or longer term desires. The 11th house may thus reveal the nature of your longer range life objectives, and your ability to realize them. We become gradually more and more empowered in wielding the faculties or energies associated with planets in our 11th house, since they represent the person we want to become, or the things we wish to grow and cultivate in ourselves and our life experience in the future.

It is interesting to note that all three Hitler’s Kama houses are strong. Two of them, the 3rd and 7th, contain their own lords, while the 11th lord, Sun, is exalted in an angular house, with a powerful dispositor.


Jupiter in Jyotish aspects the 5th and 9th house from it’s position. Something, loosely, like a trine. It therefore blesses the entire triplicity it occupies. The 3rd House benefits from the occupancy of Jupiter, it’s own lord, and both the 7th and 11th gain strength from the aspect of Jupiter to both these houses directly, and then also to their lords. Hitler had no deficiency of Kama.

I don’t mean to suggest only villians do Kama well, but look at the chart of Aleister Crowley. The notorious magician who not only had countless affairs and sexual intrigues with people of both sexes. He practised sex magic with zeal, hiring prostitutes for the purpose if he was not able to seduce suitable candidates.


Here Mars and Saturn are located in the 7th, and both are very strong by sign. Saturn is lord of the 7th in the 7th, so that in itself somewhat protects and empowers it, which means he could fulfil much 7th house Kama. However, Jyotish associates both Mars and Saturn in the 7th, each on their own, as potentially indicative of sexual excess and impropriety, which by all accounts, he achieved.

His Sun in the 3rd house contributed to his high energy level and enthusiasm, his theatrical interests and abilities, as well as his curiosity and courage.

The Moksha Houses – 4, 8, 12

The word ‘Moksha‘ is normally translated as ‘final liberation’. It is associated with the destination of the soul after death, and generally the hidden world beyond the physical plane, and our relationship to it. It’s best exponents, those who have mastered and attained this aim of life in full measure, may be anonymous to us, since they would seek little in the way of public life and external validation.

Even on a more everyday level, the realm of Moksha, as described in our natal charts, deals with some of the most elusive and intangible inner experiences we can have. We rarely fully understand them or possess the faculties and resources to clearly see their workings.

On the surface the 4th house relates to the most mundane and accessible manifestation of this ‘Watery Triad’ and its essentially spiritual concerns. The mother, one of the 4th House’s most basic meanings, with her womb creates a bridge between worlds.

Symbolically at least, the Sun finds itself in the 4th house at midnight, when all are asleep in the shelter of their homes, in that mini-death that follows and precedes every day of outer waking activity. It is in this daily womb experience that we are restored, rebuilt, and prepared for our daytime reincarnation.

At a stretch, poetically, we could possibly say the 4th house represents a primal cosmic umbilical chord, stretching right up to the great Cosmic Mother. We emerge life after life, and day after day, from this mysterious hidden source.

The 8th house is persistently associated with death, even though in both the Western and Vedic traditions there are references to the 7th house being the house of death. It is certainly true that the 8th house has a fateful and calamitous quality. It can be highly destructive of conditions that support our physical or psychological equilibrium, but then, as the aghori Vimalananda put it, ‘Moksha is the dissolution of your delusion‘, and your delusion may at times be enabled by pleasant circumstances. It is also a place that is more distinctly associated with the world of departed souls, and our own awareness of such perplexing mysteries as our own mortality. The deepest, darkest recesses of the psyche, and the very secrets of the universe, are bound up in the 8th house, and it takes the likes of psychologists, shamans, astrologers and occultists, to penetrate through the veils.

When stark truths and fears are courageously faced, when we can cut our losses and rise from the ashes of our own destruction, whether in this world or the next, we win thereby one more grain of conscious immortality- which is certainly a brand of ‘Moksha’. Many healers who have survived 8th house trials and tribulations eventually guide and encourage others with the light of this glowing ember of ‘phoenix medicine’.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and also wiser, one might hope, inasmuch as one hallmark of wisdom is a recognition of the ephemeral nature of our outer life and circumstances, or the ‘cosmic maya’ that enthrals the spiritually blind. A wisdom leading naturally to a deeper trust and reliance on those things that are most real but least visible, in the world of appearances.

The 12th house is, not unlike the 8th house, one of loss, limitation and bondage, as far as outer appearances go. We here have to surrender to forces and laws of the cosmos far beyond our grasp and control. Yet potentially through the 12th house paths of meditation or monastic seclusion, or sacrificial spiritual service, we may attain to that true inner peace and serenity ‘that passeth all understanding‘. The ultimate experience of Moksha is this transcendental bliss.

It is in fact true that Jyotish sees through the 12th House the texture of the private realm of the bedroom, bed pleasures, and thus this house also reveals our capacity to ‘surrender to bliss’ in that everyday aspect of our lives.

It is written that the 12th house, in particular, shows the destination of the soul after death. Who can evaluate the accuracy of this? I can’t, but if it is to be shown anywhere, the 12th house would be a fitting choice. Here’s to you not finding any hot and bothered looking planets in your charts’ 12th!

Dharma, Artha and Kama, or at least our cycle of incarnated experience of them and possible attachment to them, must ultimately be dissolved in the ocean of Moksha, until the worlds once more are bridged, and preparation for a new cycle begins.

Parahamahansa Yogananda, founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship, and author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of Yogi, has a Leo Ascendant in his Jyotish chart, with Moon, lord of the 12th house located in the 1st house.

Venus is in the 4th house, while Mars and Jupiter both occupy the 8th house in the sign Pisces. This 8th house of his is especially strong since Jupiter is a benefic, and lord of the 8th in the 8th. Moreover, Mars is Raja Yoga Karaka, or a powerful temporary benefic for the Leo Ascendant, and so is capable of yielding beneficial results in the realm of its house location.

Yogananda brought ‘kriya yoga‘, an ancient and hitherto secret form of yogic meditation, to the west. His famous book has proved to have perennial appeal, and still fans the flames of aspiration in the hearts of spiritual seekers across the globe. There is an entire chapter in Autobiography of a Yogi, entitled, Outwitting the Stars, in which Yogananada’s guru, himself an astrologer, prescribes an astrological bracelet to protect him from a period of impending illness, and, in response to Yogananda’s scepticism, eloquently explains where astrology fits into the scheme of things.

Reading Yogananda’s extraordinary book gives glimpses into a world of miracles and magic that few people can present quite so convincingly. He died after a long and fruitful life as a spiritual teacher. His corpse was unusual in that it did not decay at anything like the usual rate.

A notarized statement signed by the Director of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park testified:

No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death….This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one ….Yogananda’s body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability.

Yogananda records meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, and initiating him into the kriya yoga technique, at Gandhi’s request.


Mahatma Gandhi’s own chart shows the Sun located in the 12th house, pointing to a distinct inner orientation in Gandhi’s life, despite the fame and worldly power he attained (thanks in part to powerfully placed 1st and 10th lords in his Jyotish chart). He was imprisoned on many occasions, and embraced these times of relative quiet and seclusion to work on correspondence, or for reflection.

There are principles of Jyotish chart interpretation that I have not employed in these case studies, to keep it simple, but which would be part of a more complete and sophisticated assessment of a person’s capacity to achieve the Four Aims of Life in good measure.

I’m thinking in particular about the principle of ‘Bhava Karakas‘. We could call this ‘planets as house significators‘. Mars, for example, is for everyone the Karaka or significator for the 3rd and 6th houses. Mars does not have to be associated with these houses by occupancy or rulership to have this status, but the condition of Mars will have an impact or bearing on the ability of these houses to flourish. The tremendous potency of Mars in Muhammad Ali and Adolf Hitler’s charts (being in its own sign and angular by house placement in both instances), elevated their 3rd and 6th houses (and thus kama and artha respectively) substantially by this dignity, despite no direct link to these houses by occupancy or lordship. An article on another choice morsel of Jyotish method, for another day.

As Sri Yukteswar explained to Paramhansa Yogananda, in their conversation about astrology immortalized in Yogananda’s autobiography, ‘only when a traveler has reached his destination is justified in discarding his maps‘. Astrology can be just that for us; a map to guide us on this often beguiling journey through life. Understanding the Four Aims of Life in the context of the houses of the horoscope helps us orientate in each of these important aspects of living.

South Africa Eclipsed

This gallery contains 25 photos.

I would like here to share here some observations regarding South Africa’s current state of crisis, and point out what appear to be fairly dramatic astrological indications of an aggravation of the situation in the not too distant future. I do believe there’s a silver lining to the current dark cloud, but before that silver […]

Could Trump become King?

trumpDonald Trump has taken everyone by surprise. His presidential campaign has not only been in the spotlight for his drastic and inflammatory remarks, and the violence at his rallies, he’s been alarmingly successful.

In the minds of many, a Trump Presidency is something of a farcical global apocalypse to contemplate. One would have thought that in this day and age it should not be possible for anyone to get this far, with this level of support, selling this crass and brutal ‘American Greatness’. And yet, so it is.

But let’s look at the astrology as objectively as possible. See below Trump’s Tropical/Placidus chart on the left (typical western settings) and the Sidereal/Whole House chart on the right (typical Vedic astrology settings).


Donald Trump entered this world, just in time for a total lunar eclipse – yes, there were omens! – on the 14th of June 1946, at 10:54 am, in Queens, New York. His birth data is rated as “AA” (from birth certificate) on’s astrodatabank, and thus highly likely to be accurate. It’s an update from a widely used previous time of 9:51 am, which was rated “A” (from memory), and which placed his Ascendant at 17 degrees of Tropical Leo.

So far this updated data’s Ascendant of 29 degrees Tropical Leo- on the fixed star Regulus- does seem to work. Interestingly enough, for one thing, it brings Mars closer to the Ascending degree, and by my reckoning, Mars remains every bit as much in the 1st House. Trump is brash, aggressive, competitive; plain and simple.

His Progressed Sun has just lately arrived at a Conjunction to his Ascendant (and Regulus). He’s ready to rule; this reaffirms around this year of his the life, the ‘Trump as King’ narrative he’s managed to get us all embroiled in.

Kenneth Johnson desribes Regulus, as if it were written for Trump:

“The Greeks regarded Regulus as a mixture of Mars and Jupiter (it is slightly reddish in color), and wrote that those who have this star prominent are esteemed, commanding, independent, outspoken, great-souled and honor-loving, often wealthy and born leaders of men. There is a certain amount of Martian contentiousness or quarrelsomeness involved.

Similarly, the lunar mansion of Magha, marked primarily by Regulus, is said to produce natives who are kingly, proud, larger than life, restless, ambitious, wealthy, arrogant, and (once again) born leaders. The Hindu tradition adds that they are more often than not conservative as leaders (think of Winston Churchill, with his Moon conjunct Regulus). This star would have marked the summer solstice in 3000 BCE.”

No doubt having Mars on the Ascendant in Leo (Tropical or Sidereal in this case) goes a long way towards reinforcing these indications of quarrelsomeness and contentiousness in Regulus Rising. But Mars is the Raja Yoga Karaka (roughly, ‘kingly union significator’), and thus a great benefic for every Leo Ascendant. This elevated status of Mars for the Leo Ascendant is a result of Mars being simultaneously lord of the Angular 4th House (containing Scorpio) and the ‘Dharmic” 9th House (containing Aries). Therefore, the powerful placement of Mars in Trump’s 1st House (by Jyotish rules in the sign of a friend), contributes to his ability to succeed through his forceful character.

Looking at his chart through the Sidereal lens, I’d note that Moon in Sidereal Scorpio does nothing to abate the martian tone of his personality expression (like Saddam Hussein in this particular), and it may arguably contribute to his knack for offending women with his abrasive and insensitive manner.

While the Moon gains some strength and benefit from being at home in the 4th House (a factor that would support real estate ownership, thanks in large measure to the Moon’s strong dispositor), she suffers debilitation in Sidereal Scorpio.

Note the following by James Braha on specifically a Waxing Moon in the 4th House, which Donald has:

“This is the best position for the Moon, as it gets dik bala, or directional strength in the 4th House. The person will be happy and content. He will be close to his mother and benefit from her. The mother will be fortunate and long lived. The person will have a good heart and be very kind and tender. He will be fortunate in owning fine homes and all kinds of conveyances (cars, boats, planes, etc.). He will enjoy many comforts and luxuries…. The person will be sensitive to the cares of masses and interested in protecting them. He will inherit maternal or ancestral property or wealth. He may gain from farming, agriculture or landscaping”

Trump smirkThis is in many respects a remarkably accurate interpretation. Even the unassuming statement that he ‘will be happy and content‘ is worth reflecting on. Moon in the 4th so effectivly reinforces his innate self acceptance (cause his mama loved him), that it reinforces his external confidence (already overty strong with Sun in the 10th, and Mars in the 1st). The specific and clear reference to real estate and conveyances speaks for itself.

It’s interesting to note Braha’s observation that a waxing Moon in the 4th indicates ‘caring for masses and wanting to protect them‘. Certainly a whole swathe of the masses seem to be feeling the love. Of course it speaks of arguably a genuine element of good old fashioned family values in Trump. Moon in the 4th with Sun in the 10th makes it easy for Trump to be a ‘strong and caring father figure’ to those less concerned with rational and well articulated political policies.

James Braha, going into greater detail than one normally finds in astrological ‘cookbooks’:

“If the Moon is in Scorpio in the 4th House…The person will be mean or cruel hearted. He may have problems or diseases of the heart.. The person will lose or sell fixed assets at different points in his life… He will not have been breast-fed”

Was Trump breast-fed? I don’t know, and even if he was, its really more a symbol of a deficiency or maladjustment in what should otherwise be a zone of the chart that relates to our capacity for tender caring, for a sense of belonging and community and all those sweet instincts. I guess in this respect Trump is well mirrored in a large number his supporters; salt of the earth types, (‘deplorables‘, as Hillary put it) who love tribe and nation so fiercely that it makes them a little unruly at rallies. They’re ‘passionate’, Trump concedes, because they really love their country. And yet, it does look a little ‘mean or cruel hearted’, when you say you wanna punch someone in the face, for example.

He’s a rough diamond, our Donald.

As far as Sun Signs go, Trump’s Sun in Sidereal Taurus seems an obvious reference to his practical and acquisitive instincts, but there are several other factors indicating his capacity to generate and amass wealth. Jupiter, a natural benefic, is lord of the 5th House, and located in the 2nd of money and property. In the Jyotish paradigm any planet ruling a “Kona” House (1st, 5th or 9th) becomes thereby something of a benefic. So, Jupiter’s benefic status is assured and reinforced for the Leo Ascendant on that account. Jupiter is not particularly well placed in Virgo though, it’s true, but Mercury, Jupiter’s dispositor, is in its own sign, somewhat strengthening Jupiter on that account.

Mercury’s rulership of both the 2nd and 11th makes it a key significator of finances and income for every Leo Ascendant. Trump’s Mercury being in Sidereal Gemini in the 11th House therefor has important financial implications. The 11th House is every bit as much a ‘money house’ as is the 2nd, and in Jyotish several ‘Dhana Yogas’, or ‘combinations for wealth‘, require that the lord of the 11th House be located in the 11th, with other supportive factors, such as strong 5th and 9th lords. In this context Trump’s Mars as 9th lord, in a congenial sign, and in the 1st House, supports his ‘luck’.

If indeed the Ascending degree of 29 Tropical Leo be true, transiting Uranus and Pluto, combined with the eclipses of 8 October 2014 and 4 April 2015, would have been quite tightly aspecting his Ascendant by 45 degree multiple aspects (semi-square and sesquiquadrate); in fact, we could view it as Trump’s Ascendant on the transiting Uranus/Pluto Midpoint, at various times in 2014 and particularly 2015. These eclipses in a sense merely amplified that Uranus/Pluto stirring.Trump eclipses of 2014 and 2015Could this be something of an ‘awakening to destiny as an agent for revolution‘ (as the same planetary events seem to have done for Vladimir Putin, via their aspects to his natal Sun, for example)? Looks like this got Trump started, or rather, ignited, with a sense of purpose. Even now, in the latter half of 2016, transiting Pluto remains within a degree of Sesquiquadrate (135 degree angle to) his Ascendant.

Ok, now here’s something of an astrological revelation. Donald Trump ends 18 years of Rahu Dasha and commences the 16 years of Jupiter Dasha days after the election of the President of the USA in November 2016! That’s uncanny timing for a major ‘changing of the guard’ in his life.

Trump Jyotish

Does this mean he will win the election and become President of the USA? It certainly is marking the end of 2016 as a major turning point in his life. He won’t be the same after this, whether he wins or loses. And, I’d cautiously predict, that he will become a better person in the years ahead as a result of this awakening of Jupiter, whether he’s running the world, or simply minding his own chain of restaurants and golf courses. The end of 2016 brings to an end for Trump 18 years of the Dragon’s Head in the 10th House. While Rahu in the 10th House may indicate professional success, ambition, and worldly power, Rahu’s nature is inherently turbulent, and tamasic. Jupiter, by contrast, is satvic, or ‘pure’. He will always be what and who he is – a rather coarse and boorish bloke – but even so, such virtue and wisdom as he is capable of may well reveal itself in his Jupiter Dasha.

The fact that Trump has a Jupiter Return as he enters Jupiter Dasha, which from there forms a Trine aspect to his Sun, does nothing to weaken his prospects at the and of 2016, and January 2017, when the new President of the USA will be sworn in.

We do not have an official birth time for Hillary Clinton. There are a number of conflicting reports. Among the most credible contenders is a birth time of just after 8:00am. I have not immersed myself in trying to resolve this mystery, but at this stage I consider this 8:00am time (more than one source quotes that time within a few minutes) to be fairly convincing. By Jyotish Sidereal/Whole House settings the Sun is located in the 1st House, Saturn is in the 10th House, with Mars, in Cardinal signs. The Sun, however, is debilitated, as is Mars. She is viewed my many as ruthless.


This is somewhat obvious from the tight Mars/Pluto Conjunction, regardless of which sign it’s in, but Mars being debilitated can point to a cowardly or underhanded use of force. Rightly or wrongly, she has been accused of rather malicious and nefarious acts, such untimely and suspicious deaths of many significant individuals when they were on the brink of exposing or testifying against her. Her role in the instigation and fostering of needless wars, have led many to feel that she would do little as President of the USA to reverse the many controversial and ill conceived military and political entanglements of America on the world stage. The simmering tensions between Russia and America could easily escalate under her stewardship, whereas, curiously, Putin and Trump have already established a very cordial relationship. Yes, Trump may be something of a buffoon, but Hillary’s no less ‘crooked’, and its not a given that hers is a better hand at the helm.

The debilitation of Hillary’s Sun is to some degree ‘cancelled’ by the great potency of Venus in her Jyotish chart: Lord of the 1st in its own sign, and located in the 1st. It greatly enhances her capacity to gain prominence, popularity and influence (Mohandas Gandhi had Venus is Sidereal Libra in the 1st).

Saturn is the ‘Raja Yoga Karaka’ for every Libra Ascendant, making Saturn the best planet and a great benefic for her. Her Saturn in the 10th becomes particularly capable of raising her to great heights (Hitler had the same pattern: Sidereal Libra Ascendant with Saturn in the 1oth House). The 10th Lord, Moon, is located in the 5th House in Aquarius. It is in fact in Mutual Reception with Saturn. This creates an extremely powerful ‘yoga’ for professional and political success. [and incidentally nice pretty daughter; Moon in the 5th. See also Obama’s Jyotish chart’s Moon in 5th]

So, yes, she has some very powerful features in her chart that could raise her up, and have raised her already to a level where is appears to be just about above the law. But her position is not unassailable. She is in Sun Dasha from 2015 to 2021. Just recently Congress served a subpoena on the FBI to provide complete and unredacted documentation on investigations into Hillary. This says a lot in itself. Her reputation and credibility are being questioned at the highest level, literally bringing different limbs of goverment into conflict with each other.

A debilitated planet in the 1st House, apart from harming your reputation, can also harm your body. Hillary recently collapsed at a gathering, feeding growing concerns about her health. It has even been speculated that she may have to withdraw. See below her Progressions for September 2016.

hillary-clinton-prog-and-natal-sept-2016Her progressed Sun has just passed a Square to natal Neptune and is applying to an exact Square to progressed Neptune. The progressed Moon has just lately arrived at a Conjunction with natal Neptune, bring the entire progressed Sun-Neptune Square into particularly sharp focus between roughly August and October 2016. That it could harm her health would not come as a surprise to astrologers. It also complicates this pivotal final stage of her campaign.

I won’t claim to know what will happen, but it appears to me, astrologically, that Trump is stronger right now, than Hillary. But that said, it’s tempting to assume that the election date (8 November 2016), and the day or two thereafter when the results are finalized, as well as the Presidential Inauguration (20 January 2017), would look clearly better for one of them than the other.

Looking it these dates more closely seems to me to favor Hillary. It really isn’t a clear cut situation.

On the 8th of November Hillary will have tr.Moon in the 5th, approaching a lunar return (which properly occurs on the 10th). She has a Mercury Return immediately before the election (which an 8am birth would conspicuously place on her Ascendant). She’s bound to be busy and doing a lot of speaking. In itself this Mercury Return is quite useful, but it is Square her Saturn. She may be more than a little anxious perhaps?

Soon after the election, around the time the results would be emerging, tr.Mercury is Quincunx her natal Uranus, which could be ‘surprise news’ of an upsetting kind, or possibly a technical emergency, or it may simply be nervous over stimulation? tr.Mercury is at that time also Square her Node axis, which could translate into important public announcements and speeches.

Trump has Venus all over his Sun and Moon a day or two before the election, which can be cheerful enough. Smiles, perhaps, for the camera. But then soon after tr.Mercury is Quincunx his Sun and Trine his Saturn, pretty much on the day of the election itself. Awkwardly humbling information or statements? Is this a concession speech, or is he just complaining about something?

Hillary has tr.Mars Sextile her natal Jupiter, which becomes exact a day or two after the election. This, I must confess, is a strong ‘victory signature’ (somewhat reinforced by the concurrent Lunar Return in her natal 5th). At that same time Trump has tr.Mars Quincunx Ascendant, and, apparently on the 10th of November tr.Mercury Squares his Mars. Is he angry, insulting or even threatening then, or just tense and busy?

A few weeks later, on the 20th of January 2017, at the time of the inauguration ceremony, it’s intriguing to see that Trump has tr.Jupiter very closely Trine his natal Sun (which by itself would seem like a perfect time to be crowned), but tr.Saturn opposes his Sun while Conjunct his Moon around that time also! It’s certainly not an unimportant and uneventful time for him. Saturn Conjunct Moon is arguably here worse than Saturn opposing Sun. It can make for self-pity (and note that Trump has progressed Moon Conjunct Natal Saturn, exact between the time of the election and the inauguration). Transiting Mars Squares his Sun and Moon a day or two prior to the inauguration date. Is he throwing a tantrum? He’s certainly looking cross, or very virulent and forceful.

The Moon is in Tropical Scorpio/Sidereal Libra on the 20th of January 2017; in Hillary’s 1st House by Whole Sign houses. She may well be ‘shining’, or having a public moment. It can place her in the spotlight. Tr.Mercury is Semi-Square her natal Mercury, and possibly her Ascendant also. An oath? A speech?

During the early part of January of 2017 tr.Jupiter is Sextile Hillary’s Saturn. That normally means you’re about ready for a ‘promotion’. The elders and authorities like your work and assist you in laying your plans. At that time tr.Saturn is also Trine her natal Saturn.

Hillary’s Moon is tightly Square both Trumps Sun and Moon. Around the time of the inauguration transiting Mars and Saturn are in hard aspect to all of these. Could the loser be acrimoniously venting, or privately seething? They could certainly hiss at each other around then, given half the chance.

It’s not an easy one to call, but I think Hillary takes it, perhaps even by dubious stealth (she managed to so with Bernie Sanders, it seems). Trump may complain bitterly, and who knows, perhaps rightly.

If Trump wins, which perhaps he should (not on the basis of any great merit of his, only in comparison to his ‘Crooked Hillary‘), then I expect he will suffer some other create personal loss as a result of his Sade Sati; Saturn’s Transit over his Moon. I expect that he will lose the election, and yet I do not expect Hillary to have a very easy time in the early part of her likely presidency. She may for a time remain harassed by the threat of legal proceedings against her. In fact, with her being in the Dasha period of a debilitated Sun (under which Bill Gates too, fell foul state institutions), she may struggle to maintain an unopposed authority, and may have to fend off many challengers.

It may well happen that Trump turns to fairly constructive socially orientated work after the election. Transiting Saturn Conjunct Moon and Opposting Sun is big milestone in a person’s life. It can sometimes be a great triumph at the end of a Herculean effort, but it is more often a lesson in acceptance and surrender. If he wins, he will certainly feel the grave weight of his responsibility, which can only be a good and formative thing, for him, and any possible Trump presidency.


bernieIn closing, I light a candle of rememberance for Bernie Sanders, the real chosen President of America, if you ask me. Annointed by a ‘dove’, no less, when Venus came, in a blink, to greet the Jupiter-Saturn Square and eclipse of March 2016. Truly, Bernie, with his noble Sun in Sidereal Leo heart, and the humanity of Moon in Sidereal Pisces, stood for much of the change the world is begging for. Change that some rather calculated people in this world fight tooth and nail to forestall. The dice was loaded. And now, countless Americans are faced with a very uncomfortable choice. Things aint right!

And yet, it was beautiful and meaningful to watch Transiting Jupiter – Guru in the language of Vedic astrology – pirouette around Bernie’s Sun at the peak of his campaign, while both were Trine Pluto, and to see inspired leadership in action, and inspired, hopeful people in support. His parting message: Run for office and become the visionary leaders of tomorrow. You’re a lion too.

As Pushkar Baba once framed it in Rishikesh, ‘GOD means Go On Duty‘.

The Making of a Devil’s Wife: the Horoscope of Eva Braun

Adolf and Eva with dogsAt least one of my astrologer friends rolls her eyes every time there’s yet another Hitler autopsy on the slab. I can sympathize. And yet it’s hardly surprising that the natal chart of Adolf Hitler is one of the most studied. His impact on the course of modern history has been enormous and is arguably still palpable today. That he exceeded all normal bounds of ambition and ruthlessness is one reason we’re so fascinated by his astrological signature. If astrology is able to look into character and destiny, we understandably expect that it will enable us to gain insight into extraordinary people whose ideas and actions shape history, as well as ordinary people whose lives develop in extraordinary ways.

Eva Braun is ostensibly an ordinary girl whose life developed in an extraordinary way, and through her we in a sense get to glimpse Hitler by reflection, through the lens of her chart, and particularly of course at first glance through her 7th House.

Eva Braun and Hitler at dinner table
She was born on the 6th of February 1912, at 12:30am, in Munich, Germany. Her time of birth has recently been verified through the recovery of her birth certificate, thanks to the efforts of one of’s forum members. Her birth data on’s astrodatabank has been upgraded to AA, meaning the data is considered as reliable as it gets. This is in itself a good reason to pay Hitler’s story another quick visit, from a new angle, since this new verified birth time is a valuable addition to our collective store of important historical birth data. So, I’d like to share with you here a few first glance observations with a focus largely on the Sidereal placements of Jyotish.

Eva Braun Trop

                       Eva Braun’s Tropical/Placidus chart on the left, her Sidereal/Whole Sign chart on the right

Eva Braun Jyotish chart Jagannatha with Dasas

                    Eva Braun’s chart in Jyotish format, with commencement of Rahu Dasha circled in red


Eva’s father was a school teacher and her mother had worked as a seamstress before marriage. It seems noteworthy that her parents got divorced when she was 9 years old (half a Node cycle- Node Conjunct Saturn?). They did remarry a year or two later (it is believed primarily due to financial pressures), which does imply that she came from a household with some internal, probably fairly hidden, problems and stresses. This seems to be borne out (through the western lens) by the extremely tight Square aspect between the Moon and Pluto in her chart, as well as the Square of Sun and Saturn (with Saturn in the 4th House from the Sun). Both these aspects in different ways can point to an oppressive domestic and family environment. She most likely became quite desensitized to control, domination and coercion in intimate relationships through the tensions in her early life.

Moon in the 12th House of the Jyotish chart further implies that her mother was somehow a victim, someone who sacrificed a lot and felt trapped. The person with Moon in the 12th House has a natural inclination to hide, and to avoid the harshness of world if at all possible. This theme of reclusiveness is reinforced by Ketu (South Node) in the 1st House of the Jyotish chart. Ketu is the ‘Karaka’ or ‘significator’ for the 12th House in every chart; having Ketu located in the 1st House brings 12th House themes to the fore in Eva’s life. Ketu in the 1st (not to speak of Moon in the 12th) won’t empower you in the external world, though it can make for an active inner life, and a natural tendency to sacrifice and surrender.

With the Ascendant lord Venus in the 3rd House she would have been engaging, friendly and charming enough, despite her thin-skinned streak. I would imagine that the educational parental influence of angular Mercury in the 4th, and Jupiter’s position in the 2nd House of speech, would support her ability to present and speak well, able to hold a fairly high level of cultured and congenial conversation.

With Sun in the 4th she got to ‘rule the roost’, I’d imagine, just a little during the years she spend living at the mountain retreat Hitler had her holed up in. Within that very private domestic sphere her authority would find some acknowledgement, by staff perhaps, and sometimes by great generals. But ever under Saturn’s shadow.

Having Ketu in the 1st House inevitably places Rahu (North Node) in the 7th. While western and vedic astrology have an essentially near identical view of the what the planets mean and represent in a chart, their respective take of the Nodes is one area in which they differ markedly.

The essential point to note regarding the Nodes in the context of this discussion of Eva Braun and her relationship to Hitler, is that Jyotish considers both Rahu and Ketu to be malefics. Though Rahu is extroverted and Ketu introverted.

Here’s a snippet of James Braha’s interpretation for Rahu in the 7th House (from his invaluable book, Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer).

“… there will be disturbances in married life. Domestic harmony is greatly lacking, and there will constantly arise issues with the spouse to be dealt with. The person will have compulsive and insatiable desires to be in a relationship. The marriage partner may be powerful, domineering, or worldly and of a strong desire nature…”

This interpretation gives a hint of how Jyotish would describe an embodiment of Rahu: powerful, domineering, worldly, with strong (insatiable) desires. As you can see in the diagram of Hitler’s Jyotish chart below, he was in Rahu Dasha, the major planetary period of Rahu, throughout the time of his boldest mischief.

Now, along with Rahu, perhaps one of the most intriguing placements in Eva’s Jyotish chart is Saturn debilitated in Aries in the 7th House. This is astrological poetry; the partner is an irritable old tyrant.

Quite apart from it’s house placement, this awkward Saturn in Aries placement would present a challenge to her own ability to gain recognition, and to assert herself appropriately and timeously. It reinforces, or is reinforced by, the tendencies of Moon in the 12th and Ketu in the 1st already noted. It weakens or suppressed her ability to express her individual identity, and to have it acknowledged.

Eva first met Adolf Hitler when she was only 17 years old (1929), while working in the studio of Heinrich Hoffman, Hitler’s official photographer. It was only after the apparent suicide of Hitler’s half-niece in September of 1931, for whom he seemed to have developed a suspiciously intense affection, that he became more intimately involved with Eva Braun.

Curiously, their intimate relationship seems to have started as they nearly simultaneously began the 18 years long period of Rahu Maha Dasha. In her case a relationship was clearly indicated for that time, since Rahu is in the 7th House of her Jyotish chart. That it would be with a powerful and perhaps maniacally ambitious person, and that it may all become something of a whirlwind, is quite consistent with the way Jyotish tends to view Rahu. The fact that Mars, Rahu’s dispositor and lord of the 7th, is located in the 8th, along with Rahu’s union with debilitated Saturn in the 7th, does little to indicate a naturally ‘happy marriage’. The fact that it was shrouded in secrecy is also easy to see in this symbolism (reiterated in the Square of Venus and Saturn in Hitler’s chart).


Hitler tropical wheel

                      Hitler’s Tropical/Placidus chart on the left, his Sidereal/Whole Sign chart on the right

Hitler Jagannatha

                   Hitler’s chart in Jyotish format with commencement of Rahu Dasha circled in red

Eva, not unlike Hitler’s very favourite little niece, did try to commit suicide on two occasions before her eventual death in April 1945 by suicide with Hitler, a day or two after their actual formally solemnized wedding.

The first occasion was shortly after their relationship began, while she was in the Rahu-Rahu period (the first sub-period of the 18 year Rahu Dasha).

It’s natural that you begin an important relationship when the Dasha period of a planet in the 7th House begins, and, yes, it’s not likely to be a bed of roses if this 7th House planet is a malefic, aspected by another malefic, without the aspect of a benefic, and with a poorly placed dispositor. However, this alignment between Hitler and Eva’s Dasha cycles is an important point to consider in the context of their relationship. In Light on Relationships (1) the authors note that there is a principle known as Sama Dasha, literally ‘same dasha’, that states that compatibility is greatly enhanced when a couple are running the same planetary dasha period- especially at the time of the commencement of their relationship.

In this case the overlap of their planetary period sequence is so nearly precise, as such long cycles go, that Hitler and Eva would often be in the same sub-period also, and I would assume this would further enhance the relevance and applicability of this rule ‘Sama Dasha’ principle. It may well account for the fact that they did ultimately seem to form a fairly functional, if perhaps imperfect and challenging relationship.

Their Ascendants are, in Jyotish terms, in the same sign, Libra, giving them an identical sign/house overlay if you use Whole Houses. This would synchronize their experience of the transits of the planets through the houses. This is in itself quite a strong element of ‘compatibility’, and probably gave them a genuine sense of ‘getting each other’, and being able to tune into a similar view of various areas of life at the same time.

And even beyond all this it seems clear that Hitler provided her exactly what her chart’s Moon/Pluto and Sun/Saturn Square shows she was expecting from a partner, and her life: a lot of control, and a tightly conscribed freedom of movement, a strict parent, protection in a virtual prison from any form of real responsibility and self-definition in the world.

Hitler’s Jyotish chart is by comparison a great deal stronger, at least in terms of indications of a capacity to do what Eva found so difficult: to courageously forge an identity in the world through self assertion and a powerful career involving shouldering huge responsibility. All the assertive, authoritative and expansive planets are extremely strong by sign: The Sun is Exalted in Aries, with Mars in Aries in it’s own sign, and Jupiter in Sagittarius also in it’s own sign. Jyotish views a multitude of planets in their own or exaltation signs as an indication that the person has the capacity to rise to ‘kingship’, even if born into a lowly family.

Saturn is furthermore a great benefic for the Libra Ascendant, so it’s location in the 10th shows abundant potential for a successful political career.

But Venus in his chart is caught somewhat between a rock and a hot place in her tight engagement with Saturn and Mars by Square and Conjunction respectively. This can manifest in a multitude of ways, but it certainly it implies certain less than sensitive ways of ‘loving’. A need for domination of one party over the other is easy to see there. There’s huge libido and lust for life in such a tight Conjunction of Venus and Mars, made more coldly carnal by Saturn, and he no doubt found the satisfaction of much of his sexual desire in Eva, who would probably be willing to do anything.

Browsing the internet I found (2):

“One actress, Renata Müller, spread rumours about Hitler’s alleged proclivity for self-abasement, with suggestions that he knelt at her feet and asked her to kick him. When she fell to her death from a window in 1937, many questioned the verdict of suicide.”

The rumours she apparently spread about Hitler, and rumours about her ‘suicide’, may or may not have been true, but looking at the symbols, they’re believable.

In the Dasha Periods of Rahu and Ketu their dispositor plays a particularly large role in showing where the energy of that Dasha period is going, so to speak. In Hitler’s chart Mercury is the dispositor of Rahu (in Sidereal Gemini) and of all the many planets located in his 7th House Mercury is closest the 7th House cusp. I think this brought him a full and powerful manifestation of a young and pretty girl who would be the closest thing he’d have to a mate, as he entered this period, but that’s just one level of it’s manifestation.

On another level this Rahu Dasha and it’s awakening of Mercury in Aries on the Descendant in Hitler’s chart provided an ideal platform for getting heard, for impressing others with his intelligence, efficiency and frank eloquence, if not indeed inflaming them to war in grand orchestrated speeches. In support, the Moon and Jupiter in Sagittarius in the dexterous 3rd House gave him mastery of all the necessary theatrics, and would make him extremely lively and engaged in what he’s doing.

So, the while the favourable and empowering house placement of Rahu and it’s eloquent and convincing dispositor Mercury enabled his rise, Rahu just doesn’t know when enough is enough…

I’ll defer the deeper questions and myriad further ways these charts could be analysed to you, dear astro pilgrim, if the astrology of this piece of history intrigues you at all. For me, Eva Braun’s chart helped fill out my picture of Hitler a little; his astrology and psychology. And though the two of them may have had some issues, there’s something almost sweet about that fact that, well, even Hitler had a girl, and they shared quite a lot over a long period of time. And even though the role she accepted was rooted, some might say, in early family dysfunction, Eva may well have almost enjoyed herself at times; the glamour of being the secret lover of a powerful man. She found a more or less viable form for her grim 7th House. They were in some respects, a very normal couple.

Aptly, they eventually married good and proper, under a canopy of fire and brimstone, and left this world by suicide, not unlike Romeo and Juliet, together.



(1) Light on Relationships: The Synastry of Indian Astrology, by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda. Published by Samuel Weiser Inc.. Pg. 104.


The Yogas of Jyotish

Indian astrologerOne of the most intriguing and valuable features of Jyotish is it’s vast canon of Yogas and associated aphorisms. The word ‘yoga’ essentially means to ‘join’ or ‘unite’, and here can be translated as an astrological combination or ‘union of factors’ with specific implications. The Yogas of Jyotish are the fruit of centuries of observation, codified into a rich body of lore regarding the effects of several hundreds of possible permutations of the heavens.

Some are simple, and yet useful, and their purported meaning would be unsurprising and even familiar to a western astrologer, due to all the DNA shared by western and vedic astrology. Others are a lot more complex, and may involve linking or synthesizing factors in the chart that a superficial analysis would easily overlook. These yogas are therefore ‘analytical templates’; a means to inculcate certain analytical habits that can reveal the presence of notable patterns in a chart.

Of course all yogas are not of equal importance and potency. Some are fairly commonplace and found in the charts of many people. These would need much reinforcement from other factors to yield a dramatic example of what is claimed for them. Others can only occur under rare astrological conditions, and would represent such a powerful confluence of factors that fairly striking manifestations of the yoga’s effect would probably be evident.

Even when the criteria for a relatively rare yoga are met in a chart, there is further refinement in analysis for the astrologer to undertake in the consideration of the finer specifics of the chart in hand. These will modify the strength, texture and specific zones of influence of the yoga.

Apart from the obvious utility of having various special indications in a chart cononized and memorized, through studying the yogas the more general rules and principles of Jyotish are further elucidated for the student. Clues are given regarding how the basic rules of Jyotish can be more expertly used in chart interpretation and chart synthesis, beyond the strict confines of the formalized yogas.

Before looking at a few of the widely known and useful yogas of Indian astrology, a few preliminary technical considerations.

What I’m presenting here is intended for application to charts calculated according to the ‘Jyotish astronomical settings’, using the sign and house measurements conventional to that system.

If you are a western astrologer or student you are probably using the Tropical Zodiac and Placidus Houses, and beyond using Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, you probably consider a number of other more recently discovered astronomical bodies also.

For the purposes of working with these ancient Yogas of Jyotish let’s for the time being keep to the 9 planet paradiagm of Jyotish: the 7 planets the days of the week are named after, and the two Nodes, Rahu and Ketu.

To calculate the sign and house placements of the planets from the Jyotish perspective, you need to use the Sidereal Zodiac (select the Lahiri Ayanamsha on your software if you don’t have a specific preference), and Whole Sign Houses. (1)

With Whole Sign Houses the 1st House covers precisely the expanse of the entire Ascending sign, the whole of the following sign will be the 2nd House, and any planets occupying that sign will be in the 2nd House, the whole of the following sign will constitute the 3rd House, and so on.

In the case study diagrams that follow, the diagram on the left shows the chart using conventional western Tropical/Placidus settings, and on the right you will find the Sidereal/Whole Sign chart.

With that out of the way:

The Pancha Mahapurusha Yogas

Pancha’ means five, ‘Maha’ means ‘great’, ‘Purusha’ means ‘person’ or ‘being’. So, the Pancha Maha Purusha Yogas are ‘five combinations that produce a great being’.

These yogas are formed when Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus or Saturn (the ancient planets excluding the luminaries and nodes) are located in their own or exaltation signs while also being in a ‘Kendra’ (or angular house- 1st, 4th, 7th & 10th).

That’s the usual definition. Light on Life, by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda (2) states that these yogas are also formed when these planets are in their own or exaltation signs, while being in the ‘Kona’ or ‘Dharma’ houses (1st, 5th & 9th). Planets located in these Houses have ‘flair’, and can express their attributes freely.

The italicized interpretations quoted below for the Mahapurusha Yogas are from an ancient Jyotish text named Phaladipika (3), as presented in Light on Life.

Ruchaka Yoga is the Mahapurusha Yoga of Mars, formed when Mars is in Aries, Scorpio or Capricorn, while also in an angular house.

“The person born in Ruchaka Yoga will have a long face, will acquire wealth by doing many daring deeds, will be brave, will overcome his enemies, and will be powerful and arrogant. He will become renowned for his merits, will be a leader of an army, and will emerge victorious in all his attempts.”

Adolf Hitler (Fig. 1) and Muhammed Ali (Fig. 2) both have Mars in Sidereal Aries; Hitler in the 7th and Muhammad Ali in the 10th. Both were in different ways ‘professional warriors’ who were also arguably ‘powerful and arrogant’ and ‘overcame their enemies‘- much of the time at least.

Hitler Tropical and Sidereal astro

 Fig. 1 Adolf Hitler

 Fig. 2   Muhammad Ali

No doubt both Rudolf Steiner (Fig. 7) and Condaleezza Rice, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to George W. Bush (Fig. 3), owed much of their dynamism, confidence and force of character to the Ruchaka Yogas in their respective charts.

Rice astro

Fig. 3  Condoleezza Rice

Bhadra Yoga is the name for the Mahapurusha Yoga of Mercury and is formed when Mercury is in Gemini or Virgo, while also occupying a ‘Kendra’ (angular house).

“The person born in Bhadra Yoga will be gifted with long life and keen intellect, will be clean, will be praised by the learned, will lead men, will be very rich, and will be clever in addressing an assembly.”

The Dalai Lama (Fig. 4), known for his ready wit and youthful good humour, and a relentless teaching and speaking itinerary, was born with Bhadra Yoga (Mercury in Gemini in the 1st) in his Jyotish horoscope.

Dalai Lama

Fig. 4   Dalai Lama

Bill Gates (Fig. 5) has it too (Mercury is exalted in Virgo, lord of asc, in the 4th). Along with the general Mercurial attributes of intelligence, ingenuity and knack for languages, ciphers and codes, the mercantile (earthy) and utilitarian aspect of Mercury is in his case conspicuous too. (4)

Bill Gates astro

Fig. 5  Bill Gates

Hamsa Yoga is the Mahapurusha Yoga of Jupiter (Guru). It is formed when Jupiter is located in Sagittarius, Pisces or Cancer, while also being in an angular house (1, 4, 7, 10).

Hamsa’ means ‘goose’ or ‘swan’, and it is believed that the goose can separate (discriminate) between milk and water. A theme of spiritual discernment is implied. We know that Jupiter has holistic knowledge (is ‘endowed with all branches of learning’), and this can provide a breadth of perspective that makes accurate and balanced discernment possible. Naturally such a powerful Jupiter may make one a teacher of some kind, and indicates integrity and nobility of character.

“The person born in Hamsa Yoga will be a king extolled by the good… He will possess a beautiful body, will eat sumptuous food, and will be of a righteous disposition.”

The venerable Nicholas Culpeper (Fig. 6), herbalist, physician and astrologer, was born under Hamsa Yoga. It’s quite a fine example of the power of such an extremely beneficial yoga has the to mitigate other less helpful factors, such as his debilitated Sidereal Sun, Mars and and Saturn. (5)

Culpeper astro

 Fig. 6   Nicholas Culpeper

In Culpeper’s case the lord of the 1st is in the 1st which greatly safeguards his ‘name and fame’, character, and physical safety. Jupiter in an angular house in particular (even if not exalted or in own sign) is said to cancel many adverse yogas in a chart.

The mystical yet practical Rudolf Steiner (Fig. 7) had Jupiter in Cancer in the 10th. He emerged as the leading figure of the Theosophical movement in Europe around the time his Jupiter Dasha (16 year long major period of Jupiter) began.

Steiner astro

Fig. 7   Rudolf Steiner

Malavya Yoga is the Mahapurusha Yoga of Venus (Shukra). It is formed when Venus is located in Taurus, Libra or Pisces, while also being in an angular house (‘Kendra’).

“The person born in Malavya Yoga will have strong limbs, will be resolute, wealthy and endowed with wife, children and good fortune, will be prosperous, will eat good food, enjoy pleasures and command good vehicles, and will become famous and learned. He will possess unperturbed senses.”

Good looking David Beckam’s Jyotish chart (Fig. 8) contains Malavya Yoga (Venus in Taurus in the 1st House). He’s conspicuously ‘endowed with wife and child‘, and he is as famous for his Venusian virtues and life narrative as his athletic prowess (that seems amply accounted for by nimble Mercury on his Ascendant and Mars in the 10th).

Beckham astro

 Fig. 8 David Beckham

Shasha Yoga is the Mahapurusha Yoga of Saturn. It is formed when Saturn is in Capricorn, Aquarius or Libra while also being located in a Kendra (angular house).

“The person born in Shasha Yoga will be extolled by all, will have good servants, will be strong, will be a king or the headman of a village, will be wicked in disposition, will have intrigues with women not his own, will usurp others’ wealth, and will be happy.”

Barack Obama (Fig. 9) qualifies for Shasha Yoga. Naturally an exceptionally empowered Saturn will help a political career.

Obama astro

Fig. 9   Barack Obama

See below (Fig. 10) Margaret Thatcher’s exalted Saturn in Sidereal Libra in the 1st; an effective leader perhaps, but much reviled also.

Thatcher astro

 Fig. 10 Margaret Thatcher

Speaking of ‘wicked in disposition’, the notorious magician Aleister Crowley, dubbed the ‘wickedest man the world’ had such a potentized Saturn, regardless of which zodiac and house system you use, along with two other Mahapurusha Yogas in the Jyotish chart.

Crowley astro

Fig.11   Aleister Crowley

Bhava Karakas

A quick note on Bhava Karakas. A necessary digression for a full appreciation of this discussion on the Mahapurusha Yogas.

Bhava’ is the word conventionally used in Indian astrology for an astrological ‘House’. ‘Karaka’ translates as ‘significator’. If a Bhava’s Karaka is strong, it bodes well for the Bhava or House.

The Karaka planet represents, or has an important bearing on, the themes associated with the house/s for which it acts as significator. A house may be well fortified in terms of the planets that occupy it, it’s lord’s location and condition, etc., but if that house’s significator is in very poor shape, the house will be somewhat undermined none the less.

Conversely, a house which may seem to be undermined by virtue of the nature of the occupying planets (containing malefics), or the location and condition of it’s lord (lord in inimical sign and/or house), or the aspects (from malefics) to the house and it’s lord, may yet gain some substantial redemption if that Bhava’s Karaka is very powerfully placed.

Although there are some slight variations in the scheme of these ‘House Significators’, the table below will give you a good idea of the most commonly accepted correspondences.

Bhava/House                Karaka/Significator
1st House                           Sun
2nd House                         Mercury, Jupiter
3rd House                          Mars
4th House                          Moon, Venus (sometimes Mars)
5th House                          Jupiter
6th House                          Mars, Saturn
7th House                           Venus (Jupiter traditionally for women)
8th House                           Saturn
9th House                           Sun, Jupiter
10th House                         Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn
11th House                         Jupiter
12 House                             Saturn, Ketu

The point to note here is that the Mahapurusha Yogas not only alert us to the fact that a given planet is close to it’s maximum possible strength (in terms of sign and house placement), and therefore most likely a dominant force in the chart, a close reading of some of the above aphorisms from Phaladipika quoted above reveals that certain elements of the interpretations are not simply descriptions of the planetary symbolism or planetary types, the houses for which the planets act as permanent general significators (bhava karakas) inform the meaning of their significator planet’s exalted status.

This is very explicit in such traditional statements as ‘will command good vehicles’ for Malavya Yoga, the Mahapurusha Yoga of Venus. The 4th House of the horoscope in Jyotish represents cars, vehicles and conveyances (boats perhaps), over and above much of the other general significations for the 4th House shared with western astrology, such as the home, real estate, the mother (some western astrologers would agree, others not), and so on. It’s clear the aphorism, in it’s reference to ‘vehicles’, is doing so on the basis of the fact that Venus is a Karaka or signficator for the 4th House of vehicles.

The charts below (Fig. 12) belong to a client of mine. The tropical western chart on the left, and on the right the Jyotish chart in something closer to it’s native format, showing the Dasha life cycle periods. Venus is here in Sidereal Pisces in the 10th House, and so his chart contains Malavya Yoga. He arrived by bicycle to our first meeting, which occurred about a year after he had begun his 20 year long Venus Dasha (the major period of Venus, in which her role in the chart would blossom).

In the course of breaking all the good news to him, and on the basis of my experience of the accuracy of this link between cars, the 4th House and Venus, I said, “As an aside, it says you will have good vehicles. You may always have had good vehicles, but the vehicles you will now have will be particularly good. It’s a silly little thing, but there’s something that’s awakened in you that will be reflected in high quality cars. Have you gotten a new car in the past year?”. He replied: “Just now. It’s a Porshe GT..(bla bla). Ordered it a year ago”. If you think about it, that’s a very specific statement to make to a rather average looking stranger who arrived on a bicycle. It could easily have been quite wrong, or very much less spectacularly correct.

There is naturally great promise in the Dasha or planetary period of a planet forming a Mahapurusha Yoga.


Fig. 12  the portent of a Porsche purchase in Malavya Yoga

Going back to the aphorism for Bhadra Yoga in Mantreswara’s Phaladipika, the Mahapurusha Yoga of Mercury: the planet of eloquence, or at the least literacy (so essential to basic professional if not political success) is one of the Bhava Karakas for the 10th House of social status. This makes ‘will lead mean’ in Phaladipika’s interpretation for Bhadra Yoga more specifically meaningful and suggestive than it may appear at first glance. Without command of Mercury, 10th House aspirations are missing an essential ingredient; yet with a very empowered Mercury on the other hand, 10th House potential abounds. A super-strong Mercury (being Karaka for the 2nd House also) may thus mean the native ‘will be very rich’.

In Phaladipika’s aphorism for Shasha Yoga, the Mahapurusha Yoga of Saturn, we find ‘will have good servants‘ (6th House), ‘will usurp the wealth of others’ (clearly 8th House), ‘will be wicked in disposition‘ (6th, 8th & 12th), ‘will have intrigues with women not his own‘ (the 12th House in Jyotish is associated with bed pleasures, not to speak of ‘intrigues‘ being covered well by 8th and 12th). An extremely powerful Saturn naturally ‘enhances’ the houses for which it is a Bhava Karaka; the 6th, 8th and 12th.

Mata Hari’s chart (Fig. 13) contains Shasha Yoga (according to Light on Life’s broader definition of the formation of Mahapurusha Yogas, which includes the 5th and 9th Houses, over and above the Kendras), since Saturn is in Aquarius in the 5th House. This yoga recurs from her ‘Chandra Lagna’, or ‘Moon Ascendant’- a principle which will be expanded on below- since Saturn is in it’s own sign and the 1st House from the Moon.

Mata Hari astro

Fig. 13 Mata Hari

Needless to say many good people are born with Shasha Yoga in their charts. By Light on Life’s criteria that would include the Dalai Lama (Fig. 4), who has Saturn in Aquarius in the 9th (lord of 9th in 9th preserves the 9th, even if it’s Saturn), but it always points to a certain prominent Saturnine streak which may, in it’s more exalted manifestation, show as constructive practicality in worldly matters, and even aptitude for politics (Saturn is a 10th House Karaka), where the need to navigate through a world of secrets, sins and intrigues (8th and 12th Karaka) is par for the course, even if you have the noblest intentions.


Raja Yogas

Raja’ means ‘king’. Raja Yogas are combinations for ‘kingly success’. There are many types of combinations that constitute a Raja Yoga of some grade or other.

I want to focus here on presenting a particular common approach to identifying Raja Yogas: the ‘Dharma Karma Adhipati Yogas’, or ‘combinations of the lords of fortune and action’. These occur through various relationships between Kendra (1st, 4th, 7th & 10th) and Kona (1st, 5th & 9th) lords. Combinations of the 9th and 10th lords are considered particularly powerful.

Karma’ means simply ‘action’ (no guilt implied). The Kendras or angular houses (1st, 4th, 7th & 10th) represent externalized manifestation and movement and are regarded as ‘karma houses’. Western astrology and Jyotish have in principle an identical view of the angular houses being the ‘foreground’ of the chart, where the energies of planets are most obviously active and exteriorized.

The 1st, 5th and 9th Houses, or ‘Konas’, the houses that correspond to the signs of the fire triplicity of the zodiac, are also known as ‘Dharma’ houses in Jyotish. Dharma can translate roughly as ‘authentic self-expression’, or sometimes as ‘life purpose’ in the context of the horoscope. These ‘fire houses’ represent, in a sense, where we are most inspired and most free and most true to our essential nature.

If you think of 1st House, it’s the very simple pure truth of who we are, as revealed in our face, and at our birth. The 5th House, the heart, the bosom, the house of romance and play, is in its ideal manifestation a peak state of joy and exhilaration, and a type of completely honest and pure self-expression. The 9th House is the ever expanding horizon of the ignited seeker, who transported thereby above and beyond limitations and gloom that oppress souls who cannot access this state. These Konas in Jyotish are considered distinctly auspicious.

If you can get this fiery grace and creative intelligence (Konas) to combine with ambition, action and manifestation (Kendras), you can become a ‘raja’.

A king is one whose worldly actions are mandated by dharma. When the action and dynamism of the Kendras is combined with the inspiration and integrity of Konas, you get an alchemical blend that produces ‘works aligned to authentic purpose’. Success (without error or sin due to misaligned intentions, methods and motives) is the result.

In Richard Branson’s chart (Fig. 14) Moon is lord of the 1st House (a Kendra) in mutual aspect (due to being in opposite signs as per Jyotish rules for Aspects) to 9th lord Jupiter. So this is a Raja Yoga of a kind in his 2nd and 8th Houses. It could be added that Jupiter as 9th lord being in mutual aspect to 7th lord Saturn forms another Raja Yoga combination in the same 2nd/8th axis.

Branson astro

Fig. 14 Richard Branson

Consider that the Ascendant lord is always lord of both a Kendra and a Kona automatically, and in that lies much of it’s assumed benefic status for that Ascendant, even when it’s a natural malefic. The fact that it is both a Kendra and a Kona could be cited also as a reason for the 1st House’s pre-eminence among the Houses.

Some Ascendants (not all) have a planet, apart from the Ascendant lord, that is lord of one Kendra and one Kona. This is only possible for Taurus, Cancer, Leo, Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius Ascendants. This planet become known as the Raja Yoga Karaka (‘kingly combination significator’) for that particular Ascendant and becomes a powerful benefic regardless of it’s natural status as either benefic or malefic.

For the Taurus Ascendant, Capricorn being in the 9th and Aquarius in the 10th makes Saturn the Raja Yoga Karaka.

For the Cancer Ascendant, Scorpio in the 5th and Aries in the 10th makes Mars the Raja Yoga Karaka. (6)

For a Leo Ascendant, Scorpio in the 4th and Aries in the 9th makes Mars the Raja Yoga Karaka.

For the Libra Ascendant, Capricorn in the 4th and Aquarius in the 5th makes Saturn the Raja Yoga Karaka. (7)

For the Capricorn Ascendant, Taurus in the 5th and Libra in the 10th makes Venus the Raja Yoga Karaka.

For the Aquarius Ascendant, Taurus is in the 4th and Libra in the 9th making Venus the Raja Yoga Karaka.

Gaja Kesari Yoga

Gaja Kesari Yoga’ translates literally as ‘elephant lion combination’.

Here’s Parashara’s definition:

“Should Jupiter be in an angle from the Ascendant or from the Moon, and be conjunct or aspected by (another) benefic, avoiding at the same time debilitation, combustion and inimical sign, Gajakesari Yoga is caused. One born in Gajakesari Yoga will be splendorous, wealthy, intelligent, endowed with many laudable virtues and will please the king.”

Mohandas Gandhi’s chart (Fig. 15) seems a good example of this yoga. Jupiter, in the sign of a friend, aspected by a strong Venus, is in a Kendra (angular house) from the Ascendant, being located in the 7th House, and also in the a Kendra from the Moon, being in the 10th House from the Moon (if the Moon’s constellation is taken as the 1st House).

Gandhi Tropical and Sidereal astro

Fig. 15  Mohandas Gandhi

The ‘Chandra Lagna’, quite directly ‘Moon Ascendant’, is a chart in which (whole) houses are projected from the Moon sign as the originating point, as is normally done with the east horizon. Yogas that recur in the both the natal chart and the Chandra Lagna chart are thereby reinforced, as is the case with Mahatma Gandhi. Some yogas, such as Gajakesari Yoga, are specifically calculated from the Moon in addition to the regular Ascendant. Incidentally, transits (through houses) are regularly calculated from the Chandra Lagna.

All else being equal, Gajakesari Yoga will be formed when the Moon is in Square or Opposition aspect to Jupiter. Some western astrologers would give this configuration a negative interpretation due to the negative connotations associated with the Square and Opposition aspects. Through this yoga’s lens the ‘angularity’ of Jupiter is beneficial in that it brings the ‘laudable virtues’ of that planet to the fore. You present well, you ‘please the king’and become the preferred candidate.

Chandra Mangala Yoga

The name of this combination could be translated simply as ‘Moon Mars Union’. This yoga is formed when Moon and Mars occupy the same house. It is also widely considered to be present when the Moon and Mars are in opposite signs and houses, and thus in mutual aspect.

That it should be a signature for wealth in a chart may surprise some, but that is what this combination promises, according to Jyotish tradition. It is true that in some cases it may come with some form of negative aggression, fights in the family, along the lines western astrologers would expect from a hard aspect of Moon and Mars, but, it also seems to imply a certain streetwise self-assertiveness that enables you to compete effectively, and thereby succeed in business.

I know of one case where a person exhibited all the love of fitness and grooming associated with Chandra Mangala Yoga, and started a little weight loss clinic, but she could never get it off the ground and was always lamenting: her Moon Mars union was located in the 12th House, with all the typical associated defeatism. She showed the spark of Chandra Mangala Yoga’s entrepreneurial promise, but, as far as I could tell, was perpetually sabotaging herself.

It’s not however surprising to find this combination in chart of Bill Gates (Fig. 5) in the more empowered angular 4th and 10th houses. It describes his competitive spirit, and his initiative, but there’s more than just Chandra Mangala Yoga showing wealth in his chart, as one would expect from someone whose name becomes synonymous with wealth. His chart contains other impressive combinations that can raise you above others, or give you extraordinary worldly power.

Parivartana Yoga

Parivartana Yoga is an ‘exchange of lords’ between two houses. It occurs when two planets occupy each other’s signs, as would occur between Moon in Pisces and Jupiter in Cancer, for example, or between Moon in Scorpio and Mars in Cancer. In western astrology this is known as ‘mutual reception’.

It is considered generally beneficial and auspicious, but the nature (malefic/benefic) and dignity of the planets involved will be important to consider. The two examples given above would yield very different stories. Parivartana Yoga powerfully links two houses in the natal chart.

Note the Parivartana Yoga between the Sun and Moon in Richard Branson’s chart given above. Here the 1st and 2nd Houses are combined by mutual reception; the 1st lord is in the 2nd and the 2nd lord in the 1st, and both planets are well placed in each other’s signs.

In the chart of Albert Einstein (Fig. 16), Jupiter is in Aquarius and Saturn in Pisces: Jupiter is lord of the 10th located in the 9th, and Saturn is lord of the 9th, located in the 10th (this linking of the 9th and 10th in itself constitutes a type of Raja Yoga). Einstein, fittingly, was offered the Presidency of Israel, but declined.

Einstein astro

Fig. 16 Albert Einstein

As we will see below in the ‘Combinations for Penury’, Parivartana Yoga can at times simply point to a very powerful, but otherwise unfortunate entanglement between house lords. Parivartana Yoga or it’s more familiar term, Mutual Reception, is simply one of the most powerful ways planets and the houses for whom they act as lords can interact or exchange influence.

Saraswati Yoga


Fig. 17 Saraswati by Raja Ravi Varma

Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of music, learning and the arts. She is typically depicted holding a book, and a musical instrument. One with Saraswati Yoga in their natal chart can attain great heights in education, they can become extraordinarily erudite, they may excel in the arts and more or less any branch of learning they care to apply themselves to.

Saraswati Yoga is formed when Mercury, Venus and Jupiter are located in a Kendra (angular house), a Kona (a trinal house- 1st, 5th, 9th), or the 2nd House. All the planets (Jupiter in particular) should be well placed by sign.

It is easy to believe and understand that for someone to be truly gifted in the arts and sciences they may require a number of faculties and skills to be well developed. When the three most refined and cultured planets are all in houses and signs that support their full and empowered expression, the composite result is this ‘blessing of Saraswati’.

The inclusion of the 2nd House in the criteria for this yoga’s formation is due to it’s association in Jyotish with education, learning, speech and memory.

In practice you will find several horoscopes in which the criteria for Saraswati Yoga are very nearly, but not completely, met. You will then find much of the potential for attainments in learning and the arts present in the person’s life or personality expression, but it would be easier to bring it into full bloom when all the criteria are not only met, but supported by further indications in the chart. Simply having a single one of the three planets involved in this yoga in a Kendra (angular house), Kona (‘trinal’ house), or in the 2nd House enhances intellectual, artistic, or academic potential to some degree.

Einstein’s chart qualifies, unsurprisingly, to a large extent for Saraswati Yoga; except for the debilitation of Mercury in the sign Pisces. This debilitation is however ‘cancelled’ by a ‘Neecha Bhanga Yoga’.

Neecha’ means debilitation and ‘Bhanga’ the breaking thereof. This breaking or cancelling of the debilitated status of a planet can occur in a number of ways. For one, the stronger the debilitated planet’s dispositor is, the better. If a debilitated planet’s dispositor is in an angular house, this cancels the debilitation. In Einstein’s case Mercury’s debilitation is cancelled by the fact that Venus, the planet that would be exalted in Mercury’s debilitation sign (Pisces), is in fact so powerfully placed in his chart.

Luciano Pavarotti (Fig. 18) has a well formed Saraswati Yoga in his chart: Venus in the 2nd, Mercury in the 4th, Jupiter strong by sign in the 5th. His Ascendant lord in the 9th House would no doubt have assisted him in finding his vocation.


Fig. 18   Luciano Pavaroti

Amala Yoga

In the words of Parashara:

“If there be exclusively a benefic in the 10th from the Ascendant or Moon, Amala Yoga exists. Amala Yoga will confer fame lasting as long as the moon and stars endure and will make the native honoured by the king, enjoy abundant pleasures, be charitable; fond of relatives, helpful to others, pious and virtuous”

Amala’ means ‘stainless’. The person enjoys a sterling reputation, since they do good works that benefit society and show goodwill to others in their public dealings.

The famous astrologer Robert Hand (Fig. 19), who will no doubt be remembered and praised for his work long after he leaves this world, has Amala Yoga in his chart, counted from the Moon (and, incidentally, also Saraswati Yoga from the Moon). Jupiter’s exaltation greatly strengthens this yoga in his chart.

Robert Hand

Fig. 19 Robert Hand

Dhana Yogas

Dhana Yogas are a specific group of yogas that promise great wealth. A close look at how they’re structured reveals certain important Jyotish principles regarding how wealth is more generally judged in the horoscope. The first thing to note is the pivotal role of the 11th House as the house of ‘gains’ and income. Although the second house is also associated with money and property in Jyotish, the 11th House is even more closely scrutinized in this matter.

A few examples will illustrate.

From Brihat Parashara Hora:

“Should a sign of Venus be in the 5th House and occupied by Venus himself while Mars is in the 11th House, the native will obtain great riches.”

Only Gemini and Capricorn Ascendants can have a Venus ruled sign in the 5th House. For this yoga to be formed Venus must be in the 5th, in either Libra or Taurus respectively, and thus in her own sign. This is a great boost for the 5th House and it’s lord. If Mars is in the 11th for a Gemini Ascendant it has to be in Aries, it’s own sign, so then the lord of the 11th is in the 11th; a great boost for the 11th. If Mars is in the 11th for a Capricorn Ascendant it will also be in it’s own sign.

If you refer back to Bill Gates’ chart (Fig. 5), you’ll see he has something close to this Dhana Yoga, but not perfectly. His Ascendant is Gemini, Venus is in Libra in the 5th (with an exalted 9th lord Saturn), but his Mars (a key wealth significantor for the Gemini Asc as 11th lord) is in the angular 4th with it’s exalted dispositor, and not itself in the 11th as per the strict criteria for this yoga.

Here’s another Dhana Yoga structure according Parashara that applies only to the Aries Ascendant:

“Should Leo be 5th House and occupied by the Sun himself as Saturn, the Moon and Jupiter occupy the 11th, the native will be very affluent.”

Again here you have lord of the 5th in it’s own sign, and lord of the 11th in it’s own sign. Moon (lord of the angular 4th) and Jupiter (lord of the beneficent 9th) reinforce the benefit gained by the 11th House due to containing it’s own lord, and perhaps further serve to mitigate 11th lord Saturn’s essentially malefic nature.

For Leo and Scorpio Ascendants:

“Should Jupiter be in the 5th identical with his own sign as Mercury is in the 11th, the native will be very affluent.”

For a Leo Ascendant Jupiter needs to be in Sagittarius in the 5th House, and Mercury in the 11th in Gemini. For the Scorpio Ascendant Jupiter would be in Pisces in the 5th, with exalted Mercury in Virgo in the 11th.

Similar rules for wealth are applied to other Ascendants which would result in very well dignified 5th and 11th Houses.

Lakshmi Yoga

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth and fortune. Many modern depictions of her show gold coins streaming from her palms.

Lakshmi Yoga is formed when lord of 9th House and Venus occupy their own or exalted signs while in Kendra (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th) or Kona (1st, 5th, 9th) Houses.

We noted earlier that Bill Gates (Fig. 5) has a nearly fully formed Dhana Yoga in his chart, thanks largely to his Venus in Libra in the 5th House (but failing on account of the position of Mars). His chart does however fully meet the criteria for Laksmi Yoga. Saturn, exalted lord of his 9th, is Conjunct Venus in her own sign as lord of the 5th in the 5th.

Combinations for Penury

Chapter 42 of the sage Parashara’s Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra, titled ‘Combinations for Penury’ opens thus:

“1. O Lord, you have stated many yogas related to acquisition of wealth. Please tell me such yogas causing utter poverty.
2. The native will be penniless if the Ascendant lord is in the 12th as the 12th lord is in the Ascendant along with a Maraka lord (death inflicting planet, the 2nd or 7th lord) or be in aspect to such a planet.
3. The native will be penniless if the Ascendant lord is in the 6th while the 6th lord is in the Ascendant with Conjunction or aspect of a Maraka lord.
4. Should the Ascendant or the Moon be with Ketu while the Ascendant lord is in the 8th, the person concerned will be penniless.
5. If the Ascendant lord along with a malefic is in the 6th, 8th or 12th while the 2nd lord is in an enemy’s sign or debilitated, even a royal scion will become penniless.
6. If the Ascendant lord is Conjunct an evil house lord (lord of 6th, 8th or 12th) or Saturn and be devoid of benefic aspect the native will be penniless.
7. Should the 5th and 9th lords be respectively found in the 6th and 12th and be in aspect to Maraka planets, the native will be penniless.”

It goes on to list several more combinations in like vein, some more complex than those listed above.

Kemadruma Yoga

When there is no planet (excluding the Sun) conjunct (in same sign as) the Moon, and no planet in the 2nd or 12th Houses from the Moon, and no planet in an angular house from the Ascendant (in the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th); Kemadruma Yoga is formed.

According to B.V. Raman’s Three Hundred Important Combinations, Kemadruma Yoga indicates:

“The person will be dirty, sorrowful, doing unrighteous deeds, poor, dependent, a rogue and a swindler.”

Freedom Cole notes in his book Science of Light that Kemadruma Yoga is cancelled by ‘the aspect of Jupiter’ (presumably to the Moon).

This criteria for this undesirable yoga combines at least two significant principles of Vedic astrology. One is that the familial Moon in particular is a planet that benefits from association and the proximity of other planets. Even malefics are better than nobody nearby at all. This yoga tends to produce a sense of alienation from others.
The other is the importance of planets in the angular houses in enabling us to carve a way for ourselves in life through the externalization and outward expression of our talents.

Shakata Yoga

The Moon in the 6th, 8th or 12th from Jupiter creates Shakata Yoga. ‘Shakata’ means ‘cart’. This yoga is said to cause the native’s fortunes to rise and fall like a cartwheel. B.V. Raman says ‘the native loses his fortune and may regain it’ and adds that while it may bring some periodic losses, it will not inevitably devastate your life.

This yoga is nullified if the Moon occupies a Kendra (angular house).

Perhaps Oscar Wilde (Fig. 20) owes some of the ups and downs in his fortunes to the Shakata Yoga in his chart (which is otherwise greatly bolstered by the powerful placements of Mars and Jupiter).

Oscar Wildre astro

Fig. 20 Oscar Wilde

Kala Sarpa Yoga

Kala’ means time and ‘Sarpa’ means serpent. ‘Time Serpent Combination’ is therefor a close translation.

Kala Sarpa Yoga is formed when all seven planets (Sun to Saturn) are located between Rahu (North Node) and Ketu (South Node); in other words, all the planets of classical astrology on one side of the Nodal axis.

This is a rather peculiar and mysterious yoga. It is associated with dramatic life developments, or extraordinary life circumstances. There may be a meteoric rise and association with royalty and society’s elite, but also sudden and catastrophic reversals. There’s an element of unpredictability about it.

The controversial Donald Trump’s chart (Fig. 21) contains Kala Sarpa Yoga (8) and sure enough his career has been quite extraordinary, with dramatic successes and failures. Linda Johnsen notes that the yoga ‘was fully activated in Trump’s chart because he was born so near a lunar eclipse, the nodes palpably signalling their power’. (9)


Fig. 21  Donald Trump


This article has attempted to give you some idea of how ‘Yogas’ are employed in Jyotish to identify and interpret astrological combinations with special significance. There are hundreds more of these yogas to investigate beyond this small sampling.

It is true that some of the old aphorisms of traditional Jyotish may in certain respects be outdated, or culturally ‘alien’ to westerners, but I believe only superficially so. ‘The more things change the more they stay the same’; it’s just as true that within Jyotisha’s ancient lore there are timeless techniques and principles we can still learn from today.


(1) There’s more to learn about the various diagrammatical format and tabulation conventions of Jyotish, but it’s not essential for us to go into it here now. These basic adjustments of the ‘calculation settings’; the application of a Sidereal Zodiac and Whole Houses, will give the correct Jyotish sign and house placements. Bear in mind when converting charts in this way that if the Ascending degree of a Sidereal chart is close to the cusp of two signs, a small error in the time of birth could result in a dramatic change in the house placements of all the planets.
(2) Light on Life, an introduction to the Astrology of India, by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda. Penguin Books, 1996.
(3) “Phaladeepika is a treatise on Hindu astrology written by Mantreswara. The text is written in lyrical Sanskrit verse comprises 865 slokas and 28 chapters. It is one of the more significant works on Hindu astrology, along with Bṛhat Parāśara Horāśāstra of Parashara, Brihat Jataka of Varahamihira, and Jataka Parijata of Vaidyanatha Dikshita. It deals in a most comprehensive and authoritative manner with almost all astrological aspects of human life.”
(4) There seems to be some doubt about the correct time of birth for Bill Gates. I have to date been working with the ‘shortly after 9:00pm’ chart as found in Solar Fire’s archive of famous charts. I notice that gives a chart for 10:00pm but acknowledges the other ‘shortly after 9:00pm’ possibility in the source notes.
(5) Nicholas Culpeper did indeed suffer his share of tragedy and frustration attributable to the debilitated planets in his chart. His mother died of breast cancer when he was young, and he himself was shot in the chest during military service. Note debilitated Mars in Sidereal Cancer also in the chart of Mata Hara (Fig. 13), executed by gunshot.
(6) This Raja Yoga Karaka status of Mars for the Cancer Ascendant further enhanced the ‘fame and success making potential’ of Muhammed Ali’s Mars in the 10th.
(7) Hitler’s Saturn in the 10th was therefore more certain to raise him to a high position. It is a curious fact that Mohandas Gandhi wielded power and changed the course of large scale social events through extreme fasting, shown, it seems, in Saturn as Raja Yoga Karaka in his 2nd House.
(8) Solar Fire’s database of famous charts, and other sources, give his time of birth as 9:51am. This ambiguity is noted in the source notes of the astrodatabank entry on Donald Trump.
(9) Hindu Astrology Lessons- Richard Houck (editor), Groundswell Press, pg. 141.

Advanced Astrology… for beginners (webinar course)

Equinox in DallasFour sessions: 8, 9, 15 & 16 November, 7-9pm (South African time, GMT + 2hrs)

This is a foundational astrology course that presents core techniques of western astrology. We will explore the symbols that are used in astrology: planets, signs, houses and aspects. The focus of the course is on learning to work in a practical way with Aspects, both in terms of birth chart interpretation and in the context of life cycles (Transits).

All the lessons will be recorded and sent to participants after the course. Every participant will receive a link to download the content of the following disc containing valuable resources:

Course fee: ZAR600 (if paying from a South African bank account) or US$60 via PayPal

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Introduction to Vedic Astrology (webinar course): 5, 12 & 19 Nov 2014

Ganesh1081[1]If you know your way around a western astrological birth chart, and you’ve been keen to explore Jyotish, this short intensive course is for you! This course will cover chart calculation, the core principles of chart interpretation, as well the rules for applying the unique ‘Dashas’ or planetary periods of Vedic astrology.

Three consecutive Wednesdays: 5th, 12th & 19th of November, 7-9pm (South African time, GMT + 2 hours)

Cost of course: ZAR600 (if paying from South African bank acc) or $60 (via PayPal).


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