Category Archives: Astrology Blog


South Africa Eclipsed

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 lining shines bright, things could get bumpy.

During 2015 I mused more than once to a friend and astrology colleague of mine that South Africa’s economy, it’s wealth and standing, could experience a severe knock in December 2015. This casual prediction was substantially based on the fact that ‘The New South Africa’ was then to have it’s ‘third quarter Saturn Square Saturn‘ (while entangled with Neptune). I’ll get back to that later on.

As it turned out, this musing proved to be dramatically accurate when Jacob Zuma, on the 9th of December 2015, suddenly replaced South Africa’s finance minister at the time, Nhlanhla Nene, who was apparently doing slightly too good a job at curbing the irrational expenditure projects of Zuma and co., with an obscure individual named David van Rooyen.

Zuma and van Rooyen
Zuma admonishes van Rooyen, dubbed the ‘weekend special’ minister: a meme from the times

This resulted in the ZAR currency losing a quarter of it’s value just about overnight. Barclay’s annouced it was withdrawing from South Africa. Respected liberation struggle veterans called for Zuma to resign. It quickly became clear that nobody was impressed and that South Africans from all walks of life were just about ready to riot- quite literally.

The ANC leaders clearly read the mood right and panicked, and in a desperate bid to placate the markets and a bewildered angry nation, Zuma’s new anonymous finance minister was replaced, a mere four days after his appointment, with the internationally respected Pravin Gordhan, who has previously served in this position.

The Presidency issued the following on the 13th of December 2015, four days after van Rooyen’s appointment:

I have received many representations to reconsider my decision. As a democratic government, we emphasise the importance of listening to the people and to respond to their views

Pravin Gordhan
Pravin Gordhan

This restored some semblence of stability, but has resulted in a national credit rating downgrade to ‘Junk Status’ looming on the horizon. A fate everyone is praying Pravin Gordhan can avert.

President Zuma justified his unfortunate decision on the claim that Nhlanhla Nene’s services were required in a position relating to the BRICS bank. This was news to Nene and there has been no subsequent substantiation of it that I’m aware of.

While the installation of Gordhan averted an immediate calamatious downward spiral of the South African currency, and an avalanche of public fury directed at the President, this debacle helped to further open up a can of worms that had been bursting at the seams for a while. It started to bring under wider public scrutiny the full extent of the inordinate influence on government appointments by the Indian Gupta family.

Many of Zuma’s ministerial and judicial appointments in recent years have raised eyebrows. More often than not the appointments seem nonsensical in that the candidates tend to lack the experience, qualifications or established integrity required to properly fulfill their important functions in the governance of the country. Each time this occured there were grumbles and protestations, but the ANC government were invariably unmoved. However, the appointment of David van Rooyen as Minister of Finance was so farcical that it opened the floodgates of widespread frustration with Zuma and the interference of the Gupta’s in state affairs right accross the spectrum of South African society.

It’s clear that Pravin Gordhan is not a Zuma devotee, but the only man that can reassure international investors that there is some sort of sanity and integrity at the helm of South Africa’s finances. Pravin Gordhan was born on the 12th of April 1949. His time of birth is unknown. Curiously, Zuma happens to be born on the same date, if his official birth date is correct, but is 7 years older. See their charts below with transits for 13 Dec 2015:

Pravin and Zuma


London Riots
Incidentally, the riots in London in August of 2011 occured under a comparable Mars/Uranus/Pluto T-Square configuration.

You can see that at the time Mars had plugged into the longer term Uranus/Pluto Square, and had precipitated this sense of sudden emergency, and explosive public anger.

Zuma has transiting Mars Opposition natal Sun and transiting Sun Opposition natal Mars at that time. It would have been difficult to dodge the many urgent and frank ‘representations‘ addressed to him.

Gordhan, at the time of his unforeseen and reluctantly made appointment, was under Mars Opposition Mars with transiting Pluto slotting into a tight Square to his natal Mars, where it will hover for much of 2016. It’s clear he’s in a brutal environment and in a period of intense self-assertion, and that it’s not going to go away in a hurry. It is widely known that he is against certain Zuma linked plans for treasury expenditure, such as the outrageously expensive nuclear power stations Zuma surreptitiously invited Russia to build for South Africa (not surprisingly Zuma’s son is partnered with the Gupta’s Uranium mining interests).

Zuma March eclipse 2016What’s more, on the 9th of March 2016 there was a solar eclipse that occured at 18 degrees Tropical Pisces, within a degree of Square Zuma’s natal Jupiter, while Saturn at that time was stationary in Opposition to his natal Jupiter. Note also transiting Pluto Inconjunct (Quincunx) natal Jupiter.

At the end of March 2015 Zuma experienced a humbling defeat in a Constitutional Court judgement that found that he, as President of South Africa, had failed to uphold the constitution in the flagrant way the findings and recommendations of the Public Protector relating to his controversial Nkandla homestead had been ignored and distorted. He made a rather feeble apology which failed to awe, by anyone’s standards.

When Jupiter is highlighted in a tense and less than harmonious way it may manifest as legal problems, since Jupiter is inherently related to law and justice and ‘social ethics’. Transiting Saturn Opposing Jupiter alone would be enough to bring about a severe curtailing of one’s freedom to act lawlessly, to spend frivolously, and to ignore social and legal duties. It often further results, particularly in business and professional matters, in ‘separations’, or the severing of ties as a result of unresolvable impasse. In this regard, his colleagues, the Gupta’s, have skipped the country for good, or until things cool down, and under current conditions he’d be likely to notice a thinning of his allies. As Rob Hand puts it in Planets in Transit, Saturn Opposition Jupiter ‘is a useful, if not always pleasant, encounter with reality‘.

As you can see in the graph below showing transiting Saturn in relation to his natal Jupiter, November/December 2016 is another peak in the same process. This coming period may well bring him further social, legal and financial challenges.

Zuma Sat opp Jup

One intriguing fact that arises from the birthday shared by Jacob Zuma and Pravin Gordhan, is that they will experience near simultaneous triggers from transiting planets to their natal Suns (which are both located around 21-22 degrees Tropical Aries), and it so happens that there’s lots of action coming to that part of the zodiac as Uranus first, then Pluto, respectively Conjoin and Square that degree in the years immediately ahead. The following Uranus/Pluto timeline would apply to them both. The straight broken horizontal line represents the natal Sun’s degree.

Zuma Gordhan uran pluto sunI don’t know how it’s going to play out for Gordhan, but from Zuma’s current position, the coming Square of slow moving transiting Pluto to his natal Sun, that only properly climaxes from 2018 to 2020, will almost certainly involve problematic relationships with powerful people and institutions he’s evaded in the past. It’s a very awkward time to have powerful enemies, and Zuma has several both inside and outside of the governing party.

When you add Mars to the picture you can isolate what will likely be vigorous peaks in the longer term process of Uranus and Pluto aspecting the Sun’s degree in Zuma (and Gordhan’s) natal charts. The battles then come out into the open; brewing confrontations become unavoidable.

Pravin and Zuma shared transits mars uran plut

Suffice it to say that South Africa’s current President, whether or not he manages to hold onto that position much longer, will find it rather more difficult in future to contain the pace and intensity of developments. The most severe test to his power to control the direction of events and insulate himself from others who seek his downfall will come in 2018 and beyond, if his birth date is accurate.

Now, quite apart from Zuma’s personal battles, a key motivation in writing all of this is to call attention to indications in the chart of the New South Africa that there’s more where December 2015’s sudden setback came from. The fact that my hunch about the likely effect and approximate magnitude of the December 2015 was accurate does not bode particularly well for the rest of 2016.

As a brief aside, the whole astrological question of whether a country has a birth chart, and then, if it’s accepted that it might, what the determining ‘birth’ moment would be, is not without potential for ambiguity and controversy. It’s far clearer when dealing with the birth charts of human beings, where precise birth moments are easy to identify.

When a nation is ‘born’ or so substantially transformed as to mark an entirely new epoch of it’s existence, the astrological map of the ‘National Birth’ may be pinned by different astrologers to different critical events in the birthing process. A certain amount of intuition may be required to identify the ‘seminal moment’, particularly if you hope to create a complete chart, with an Ascendant and Houses derived from a fairly precise and specific time and place.

I recall in the months and weeks leading up to 27 April 1994 that it was regularly announced on the radio and other media that the New Constitution of South Africa would come into effect at midnight- the first moment of- the 27th of April 1994. It was clear that this was viewed as a vitally important moment in time, since it represented a far more fundamental change than simply having a new party in government; it was an entirely new beginning.

Sensing that this was a momentous event, I decided to calculate the chart that very morning. I used the first moment of the day of 27 April 1994, Pretoria; the moment of the ‘coming into effect‘ of New Constitution.

This, in brief is why I use the chart below:

New Sa natal

So, you’ll see that Saturn is in the 2nd House of the chart, and that may have much to say about South Africa’s ‘finances’ and property. For one thing, it can indicate loss or lack of wealth and property, though it may also point to wealth gained through mining and agriculture, for example, and these are indeed South Africa’s strong suits. At a very basic level of interpretation though, Saturn in the 2nd House does point to ‘money’ and property as a vulnerable area.

The fact that Jupiter (in the 10th) and Saturn are in such a close Trine aspect does suggest that there is hope in the longer run for South Africa to become materially successful, and to enjoy good reputation in the international community. But that’s a more general and longer term indication. Currently, there is a crisis, and it seems to be well borne out in the transits to the ‘national birth chart’.

See the diagram below. This shows the position of the New SA natal Saturn as the broken straight horizontal line, and transiting Neptune as the wavy blue line. Where they intersect they are in exact Conjunction.

transiting netptune conjunct saturn

I was asked, around Christmas of 2014, by the Sunday Tribune newspaper (primarily distributed in the KZN province), to do that astro magic thing and predict on the country’s prospects for 2015.  I had submitted the following with transiting Neptune Conjunct SA’s natal Saturn in the 2nd House in mind:

“One theme that seems to be important in the chart for South Africa, for the coming two years or so, is a type of leaking of money, unaccountable losses, and a general undermining of the structures that provide stability to the economy. Mining and agriculture may be particularly vulnerable to poor management and veiled or deceptive dealings. Corruption is not something new to our country, but it looks like the coming two years will result in this becoming a more critical problem, and the severity of the situation is likely to come into sharper focus. In the longer run this may be a good thing since it will highlight the need for interventions.”

Neptune Conjunct Saturn saps energy and resilience, it’s eroding to structure, and indeed, Neptune is a planet associated with deception and veiled circumstances. ‘Corporate deception’ is easy to read in Saturn/Neptune. It represents a muddling of what should be very well structured and practical. Things tend to fall apart under Neptune/Saturn in hard aspect, often due to avoidance, evasion and fear; this gradually unfolding astrological process by itself would be enough to raise concern about South Africa’s economy and the integrity of institutions and ‘structure’ in society. Saturn/Neptune also answers to a type of weak or absent father image; an absence of ‘spine’.

My musing about the likelihood of South Africa experiencing a severe setback in December of 2015 was due to transiting Saturn getting potently involved in an already compromised situation, as shown in the graph below:

Sat and Nept to satIn December of 2015 South Africa experiened the ‘third quarter Saturn Square Saturn’ that occurs around 21 years of age; three quarters of the way to a Saturn Return. The above diagram shows that South Africa’s Saturn-Saturn Square is entangled with a Neptune-Saturn Conjunction.

These diagrams also indicate the process is far from over; transiting Saturn and Neptune will be very tightly engaging South Africa’s natal Saturn in the second half of 2016. Transiting Saturn will in fact sit stationary at 9 degrees Tropical Sagittarius, during most of August 2016, quite exactly Square South Africa’s natal Saturn at 9 degrees Pisces.

New Sa transits 1 sept 2016If this was not enough to make for ‘strong medicine’, the eclipse of 1 September 2016 seems to bring it all to a grand climax of sorts. This Solar Eclipse occurs at 9 degrees Virgo, exactly opposing South Africa’s Saturn at 9 degrees Pisces, at that time ‘beseiged’ by both transiting Saturn and transiting Neptune. Phew! If this doesn’t make something important happen I’d very very surprised. I don’t know whether it represents the point of ‘rock bottom’ from which a recovery can be hoped for, or whether it’s a ‘knock out punch’ that precedes a crash of some kind. If there’s anything in the chart for the New South Africa, the eclipse of 1 September 2016 will hit it hard!

Eclipse 1 sept

And even if we discarded the South African ‘national chart’ I’m working with altogether, we’d have reason to take a closer look at the 1 September 2016 eclipse from Pretoria’s perspective.

Here’s the chart for that moment, in Pretoria: Saturn is Conjunct the Ascendant within a degree (with Mars in tow), while Square the Eclipse Degree (Sun/Moon) and Neptune.

eclipse 1 sept 2016 pretoria

This is what it looks like on an astrocartography map:

Eclipse astrocartography

Eclipse globe map from wikiThe actual point of maximum eclipse occurs just north of Mozambique. Yes indeed the skies above Pretoria will darken on the 1st of September 2016, and at the moment of Maximum Eclipse, Saturn, who is nobody’s fool and everybody’s teacher, will peep above the Eastern Horizon at that location, to deliver such gifts as he may see fit to dispense.

I won’t pretend to know, for certain, how all of this is going to play out, but I feel almost duty-bound to share these observations, albeit that it portends a rather rocky road ahead for South Africa. In fact, it’s already so patently obvious, without any astrological input, that South Africa is in the midst of a crisis and that it’ll be some time before the current chaos has fully transformed into relative stability and cohesion.

I do think that South Africa’s second Jupiter Return, in the last quarter of 2017, can bring a renewed sense of vision and purpose, improved international standing, respectable leadership, and economic progress; considering that Jupiter is located in the 10th House of the SA chart, Opposing the Sun and Trine Saturn.

I thought it was quite significant from the start that Nelson Mandela’s Moon would be Conjunct the 10th House Moon in the New SA chart. The 10th House is associated with the ‘leader’ and ‘boss’ and also has a ‘father’ connotation. South Africa lost her beloved patriarch as Saturn crossed over this shared Moon. Jyotish teaches that Transiting Saturn Conjunct Moon brings about ‘the loss of those who have protected us’ when we are younger, and our own final demise when we are old.

Cyril Ramaphosa in Tehran.jpg
Cyril Ramaphosa

Musing, yet again, aloud here, I notice one of the top ANC leaders who may well succeed Jacob Zuma, and failing that will remain be very close to helm, is the current Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa. We don’t know what time he was born, but it’s clear that his Moon is very near that of Mandela and the New SA 10th House Moon. If he happened to take over while Jupiter is in Tropical Scorpio, between latter 2017 and latter 2018, I would think it a good omen. See below Mandela, then Ramaphosa, then New SA Moons:

Scorpio 10th with Mandela and Ramaphosa

 Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika

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.

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The Astrology of the Ebola Outbreak of 2014

Total Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 directly above Guinea- the birth moment of the outbreak:

Eclipse imageI would speculate that around this time, somewhere in or near Guinea, the Ebola virus, once fearsome but presumed dead and buried, wakes up, and starts incubating in a human being. It could be up to 21 days before its host would start to feel ill. It would be quickly downhill from there for that first victim who would be vomiting and sweating. Friends and family would be highly exposed, as would any medical workers attending to the patient, since nobody would have suspected the extreme danger of the situation. It could take up to another 21 days for this first round of new infections to show symptoms and become contagious in their turn. It’s easy to see how it took until early 2014 before it started becoming apparent that there was some new virulent virus rapidly spreading in that area. I believe the first suspicions and suggestions that it was the resurrection of the Ebola virus occurred quite some time before the first official confirmation and announcement of it, which occurred around the 22nd of March 2014, immediately after the Equinox.

There are several compelling reasons why the Total Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 should be considered the birth or genesis of the outbreak. For one, Saturn was tightly Conjunct the Sun and Moon at the time. This would be almost enough, considering who Saturn is, and considering that people were starting to arrive in hospitals with the symptoms not long afterwards- as early as January 2014 I have read. That eclipse was not only quite precisely on the MC in Guinea at the time, but the narrow epicentre of eclipse path barely missed it. In other words, the eclipse (tagging grim Saturn along) peaked directly above the Guinea area. That eclipse could truly be said to have cast its deepest shadow, and opened the valves for Saturn I believe, while directly and almost perfectly above Guinea.

world map showing eclipse path

Africa astrocartography for Nov 13 eclipse

It seems important to note that Mars and Pluto were in the wings, aiding and abetting Saturn’s reign over this eclipse. You cannot conjure a more fearsome and ruthless trio! Here are some of Reinhold Ebertin’s words for this type of combination:

“… the rage or fury of destruction, bodily injury or harm (murder, the death of many people)… the necessity to fight for one’s existence or life…”

Sun, Moon and Saturn exactly on MC in Guinea at time of eclipse. Note that this eclipse occurred on the Mars/Pluto Midpoint
Sun, Moon and Saturn exactly on MC in Guinea at time of eclipse. Note that this eclipse occurred on the Mars/Pluto Midpoint

Then, incredibly, we find that this Solar Eclipse of 3 Nov 2013, which occurs directly above Guinea, was on the Ascendant in Dallas!  What’s more, the actual ‘flight path’ of the eclipse almost literally swoops from its point of maximum eclipse above Guinea to southern North America. The virus did just that- it traveled directly from where the eclipse was on the midheaven, to where it was on the ascendant and still near the narrow epicentre of the eclipse path!  It’s quite amazing.

Ebola in Dallas eclipse path

At the time of the Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 the Sun, Moon and Saturn were in the Ascendant in Dallas
At the time of the Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 the Sun, Moon and Saturn were in the Ascendant in Dallas

 Ebola in America Fort Worth Dallas

The Grand Cross of April 2014

Joni Patry posted a clip on youtube about the Ebola Virus and spoke about Mars in Sidereal Virgo, and the fact that it went retrograde within that sign this year. I can believe that the period of retrogression of Mars could infuse the sign it occurs in with a fuller dose than usual of its hemorrhagic virility. Mars in Virgo, of course, can describe, in simple terms ‘acute or feverish health complaints‘, as well as, arguably, the idea of a ‘health emergency and crisis‘. Mars is hot and bothered, and Virgo is health. Easy enough to see a link there. I may not have been inclined to look at it this way, even though I use the Sidereal zodiac routinely, but I think it may be part of the picture.

As far as zodiacal symbolism goes I can see in Mars in Virgo an aptness, a supportive environment for the manifestation of a ‘health war‘, but not the cause of the event. I do find it a fitting coincidence that Mars entered Sidereal Virgo pretty much as one full incubation period after the Nov 2013 eclipse was completed. Allowing for the 21 day incubation period, there’s a rather tight fit between Mars entering Sidereal Virgo (on the 26th of November 2013), and the likely first cases of manifested ‘health crisis’, such as a severely sick person arriving at a hospital.

It tempts me to reconsider the Grand Cross that caused such a stir in the first half of 2014, but through the Sidereal Zodiac lens. Consider that the Mutable signs disperse, engage with neighbors (Gemini), they travel (Sagittarius), and they’re also very literally associated with such things as health, hospitals, sacrifice, etc. (Virgo-Pisces).

I read on one of the regular timelines on the outbreak that on the 4th of April:

a mob attacks an Ebola treatment center in southeastern Guinea. Healthcare workers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia face growing hostility from fearful, suspicious local people.

This sounds like that violent and defiant Mars/Uranus/Pluto. This particular event on the 4th of April occurred as the Sun was Conjunct Uranus and Square both Pluto and Jupiter. During April Mars not only Opposed the Sun on the 8th (in Sidereal Virgo/Pisces), but was rapidly backing earlier into Virgo (Tropical Libra), approaching its appointment with the Grand Cross around 25 April 2014. Although somewhat inadequate to the severity of the crisis, I expect that there may well have been something of a panic and a chaotic scurrying effort around this time to manage the ballooning epidemic. Doctors rushing in, makeshift facilities being quickly erected in a chaotic and extremely hazardous environment.

I think the Cross stirred things up whichever zodiacal way you look at it, and that’s the more important general point.

This cross was most dramatically exact around the 25th of April 2014, but Mars spent the entire first half of 2014 weaving in and out of creating Crosses, of varying degrees of geometric precision, out of the hovering T-Square composed of Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. This in itself contributed to Mars being a very busy and provocative player on the world stage during the first half of 2014. Apart from the actual wars- with bombs and guns going off and people being killed- raging in several places in the world in that period, the level of animosity between such great powers as Russia and America seemed to reach unprecedented levels. It was a generally tumultuous period both astrologically and globally on the world stage; things were ‘feverish’.

Sidereal Mutable Grand Cross 25 April 2014

As I see it, the Sidereal Mutable Grand Cross, spearheaded as it was by a sickly Virgo Mars who kept coming back for more ‘health war’, may have been the perfect storm in which the outbreak could grow and spread. Perhaps there was just so much chaos everywhere else in the world at the time (Vladimir Putin, with his Sun aligned to the cross, helped to take care of that, in an admittedly rather Cardinal fashion), that it was difficult for those on the ground who were realizing that the situation was dire and urgently needing a focused global response, to get anyone’s attention. When you see how relatively small and effectively contained previous outbreaks of Ebola  have been, in terms of fatalities, you realize that this current resurgence is a whole new order of crisis. Perhaps it is fitting that the astrological factors contributing to the situation would be many and various.


The Equinox of March 2014: the Identification and Announcement of the Ebola outbreak

Just about every chronology of the current severe outbreak begins immediately after the Equinox that occurred on the 20th of March 2014 and refers to the announcement that there was a new and serious outbreak of the Ebola virus in the region of Guinea. The astrocartography map for the oracular moment of the Equinox shows Mercury and Neptune on the Descendant close to Guinea. The thing to note is that this is merely the coming to light- ‘news of the suffering’, as Mercury/Neptune could be read- of something that has been festering for some some time, and is already somewhat out of control.

Mercury and Neptune on the Descendant near Guinea in the Equinox chart
Mercury and Neptune on the Descendant near Guinea in the Equinox chart

A friend remarked, regarding this Mercury/Neptune on the Descendant near Guinea in the Equinox chart, that the announcement itself may be of dubious accuracy or misunderstood, which seems a fair point to ponder, however else you might interpret it.

The Equinox chart shows a Moon/Saturn Conjunction, which is widely Conjunct the November 2013 Eclipse. In a blogpost at the time of the Equinox I wrote that this could represent ‘bereavement’. Bear in mind this is a chart for the world for the coming year.

the Moon and Saturn in Conjunction in the Equinox chart, not very far from the Nov 2013 eclipse point
the Moon and Saturn in Conjunction in the Equinox chart, not very far from the Nov 2013 eclipse point


August 2014: Mars arrives at the eclipse degree, then soon afterwards Conjunct Saturn

August 2014 was an important month. Mars crossed over the Nov 2013 eclipse point around mid August, and then formed a Conjunction to Saturn on the 25th of August. I expect this was something like an important climax in the process, and that a critical watershed point was reached here that resulted in the world recognizing once and for all that this was truly an ominous global threat. I certainly felt I noticed a sharp spike in the sense of urgency and concern in the reporting on Ebola around this time, which I was only incidentally exposed to. I wasn’t tracking it, and I don’t watch television.

Mars arrives at the Eclipse degree around mid-August 2014
Mars arrives at the Eclipse degree around mid-August 2014

I found an interesting affirmation of this impression in an article  on the leading role of Cuban doctors in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Lamenting the lack of appropriate international response to the crisis, the article states:

“André Carrilho, an illustrator whose work has appeared in the New York Times and Vanity Fair, noted the moment when the background hum of Ebola coverage suddenly turned into a shrill panic. Only in August, after two US missionaries caught the disease while working in Liberia and were flown to Atlanta, did the mushrooming crisis come into clear focus for many in the west.”


Here are a few further notable facts about the Ebola story in August:

Aug 8: WHO declares Ebola an “international public health emergency” but stops short of calling for a ban on international trade or travel.

Aug 12: WHO says death toll from the outbreak has risen above 1,000, and approves use of unproven drugs or vaccines.

A Spanish priest with Ebola dies in a Madrid hospital.

Aug 14: WHO says reports of Ebola deaths and cases from the field “vastly underestimate” the scale of the outbreak.

Aug 15: MSF compares the Ebola outbreak to “wartime,” says it will take about six months to control.

Aug 20: Liberian security forces in Monrovia fire live rounds and tear gas to disperse crowd trying to break out of Ebola quarantine. One teenager dies of gunshot wounds.

Aug 24: Democratic Republic of Congo declares an Ebola outbreak in its northern Equateur province, apparently separate from the larger West African outbreak.


Apart from the glaring way Mars crossing over the Eclipse degree seems to have excited the situation to a boiling point, that last entry, referring to an apparently separate outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo catches my eye. I could not help getting the impression that- particularly during the two weeks immediately after the Mars/Saturn Conjunction on the 25th of August- many people in my own community were getting acutely ill with infections not responding to the usual treatment. I was in fact one of them. I have never sweated like that from a fever, and in all seriousness I thought for a while I might have caught Ebola, so similar were the symptoms! 1500 kilometers away, my brother’s girlfriend was hospitalized soon after the Mars/Saturn Conjunction, acutely ill due to some difficult to trace and uncommon viral or bacterial cause. Could it be that the November 2013 eclipse (which incidentally occurred on my Ascendant) spawned many little cousins of what we have called an Ebola outbreak? It seems a plausible idea, and I think I’ve seen evidence of this. Perhaps some of these lesser “eboli” only started really waking, or flaring up, when Mars crossed the Nov 2013 Eclipse degree and arrived at a Conjunction with Saturn, and then were ready to invade those who were astrologically aligned to the eclipse, perhaps? My brother’s Moon is in Tropical Scorpio, close to where the Mars/Saturn Conjunction occurred…


Equinox 2014: America’s first Ebola case diagnosed in Dallas

It is reported that Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed in America, started experiencing symptoms on the 24th of September 2014; the day after the Equinox, and the day of a New Moon. A few days later, after initially being sent home with antibiotics by healthcare workers when he sought help, he was diagnosed, at a Dallas hospital, as having contracted Ebola. The extraordinary fact that the Nov 2013 eclipse was on the Ascendant in Dallas and on, or very close to, the eclipse path, has already been described above. This was a defining moment in the unfolding drama. It announced that nobody was safe, anywhere.

I find it intriguing that there’s a very tight Mars/Neptune Square in the Equinox chart, a configuration often associated with contagious infections (Mars and Neptune were in fact in Opposition at the time of the Nov 2013 Eclipse). It implies the world will become aware of this susceptibility to contagion, at least during the coming quarter. Immediately after both Equinoxes in 2014 there have been dramatic revelations about the Ebola virus. As I understand it the ‘0 deg Aries Point‘, which is animated by all Equinoxes and Solstices, relates to things coming onto the world stage, things becoming public knowledge. This seems to be well borne out by the way the Equinoxes have been immediately followed by a big leap in public awareness of the crisis.

Curiously, the news that Ebola had arrived in America broke as the Moon in Sidereal Scorpio crossed over Mars and the star Antares, sending a tremor of fear and trepidation through the world’s most powerful nation (Antares is a red star in the heart of the scorpion; ‘Antares’ means ‘rival of Mars’ being similarly red in color, and so there was quite a dramatic meeting of ‘redness’, highlighted by the Moon, as this important news came to light).

The chart for the Equinox of 23 September 2014 places Saturn close enough to the Descendant near Dallas to warrant mentioning; perhaps it could be read as an ‘encounter with grim reaper’? It’s certainly not going to be protective. Saturn on the Descendant Aspects the Ascendant.

Saturn was on the Descendant in Dallas in the chart for the Equinox of 23 Sept 2014
Saturn was on the Descendant in Dallas in the chart for the Equinox of 23 Sept 2014


Saturn is close the Descendant in Dallas in the 23 Sept 2014 Equinox Chart
Saturn is close the Descendant in Dallas in the 23 Sept 2014 Equinox Chart

I have no doubt there is more to the astrology of the Ebola crisis than I have managed to unravel, and maybe some of the above is somewhat speculative. However, I may not have bothered trying to dig deeper about this topic at all had that 3 Novemeber 2013 Eclipse not spoken to loud and clear and true. In my opinion, it is the one solid gleaming gem of astrological revelation regarding this outbreak, and I call it that because it could be something of a key to understanding eclipses better in general, and more specifically in relation to important epidemics.

Where does it go from here, this Ebola outbreak? I don’t know. This is not everyday astrology, and I don’t want to guess. This investigation is if anything a learning journey for me. I’m merely sharing my musing as I go along. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if there is still news to be had about this story when the Equinox of 2015 comes around…

Ebola and the Total Solar Eclipse of November 2013

I remember well the total solar eclipse of 3 November 2013. I had noticed, as other astrologers would have, that Saturn was to be located very close to the Sun/Moon Conjunction that created the eclipse. At first glance this is pretty ominous, since old Saturn is the Greater Malefic of the planetary family. A type of grim reaper archetype.

I am not an expert on eclipses, and I can’t claim to have researched them carefully in the past, but non-the-less, it seemed a natural conclusion that this eclipse would in some way act as a channel and amplifier of Saturnine energy. I thought, back then, that it was a fairly big omen, and I was almost surprised at the apparent absence of dramatic world events at the time (but of course that was just a subjective impression, and I didn’t think more of it). I do recall though, that at the very time of the eclipse, in the hour of totality, I was at a Permaculture conference and several children there suddenly got very ill! It was quite surreal; everything seemed fine one moment, and the next there were writhing moaning sick children everywhere.

Then, at the end of March 2014, someone posted about the Ebola outbreak in an astro-medical facebook group. The post didn’t contain any grand astrological conclusions, and didn’t link the outbreak to the eclipse. It simply presented something of a timeline and some basic facts about the outbreak, such as the fact that it seemed to originate in or near Guinea, the incubation period of the virus, etc.

It then suddenly dawned on me that the first actual cases of the illness, which would most likely not have been diagnosed and reported, would probably have occurred not too long after the ominous looking Saturnine Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013.

I decided to look at the astrocartography map for the time of the eclipse, just on the off chance that this eclipse had been focused somehow on Guinea and that part of Africa. Lo and behold!- the Sun/Moon/Saturn Conjunction was quite exactly on the Midheaven in the Guinea area of Africa! Soon after a virulent reemergence of the Ebola virus.

astrocartography map shows eclipse with Saturn on the Midheaven in Guinea at the time of eclipse
astrocartography map shows eclipse with Saturn on the Midheaven in Guinea at the time of eclipse

You can see it clearly on this chart for Giunea’s capital at the time of the eclipse:

Sun, Moon and Saturn exactly on MC in Guinea at time of eclipse. Note that this eclipse occurred on the Mars/Pluto Midpoint.
Sun, Moon and Saturn exactly on MC in Guinea at time of eclipse. Note also that this eclipse occurred on the ruthless and violent Mars/Pluto Midpoint.

There’s another notable layer to this, pointed out by a member of the facebook group. The actual path of totality ran very close to Guinea, and, as you can see below, arrived at the point of maximum eclipse pretty much where that path is closest to Guinea.

world map showing eclipse path

The plot thickens….

The first case of Ebola diagnosed in America occurred in the Dallas area of Texas. At the time of this eclipse the Sun, Moon and Saturn (and the ominous Mars/Pluto Midpoint) were on the Ascendant in Dallas!!

At the time of the Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 the Sun, Moon and Saturn were in the Ascendant in Dallas
At the time of the Solar Eclipse of 3 November 2013 the Sun, Moon and Saturn were on the Ascendant in Dallas

Ebola in America Fort Worth Dallas

What I find completely incredible is the fact that although the factors involved in the eclipse are on the Ascendant in places far north and south of Dallas, it seems to me that that southern part of North America is more or less on that same eclipse path that comes to close to Guinea, where the point of maximum eclipse occurred.

Ebola in Dallas eclipse path


Vedic Astrology Lessons in Vrindavan

train to Vrindavan
On the train from Delhi to Vrindavan; I was fortunate to be perched on a luggage rack. This was the view below.

In 2011 I spent four months in India on something like an astrological pilgrimage. I consulted with several astrologers to get an insight into how they work, and to deepen my own understanding of Jyotish. This video was taken in the sacred town of Vrindavan, where Krishna is said have spent his childhood, on the banks of the Yamuna river.