Realm of Spirits

Ghost of His Brother

Sundar! Many women trembled at the very mention of the name. He was broad shouldered and strong and his presence was quite intimidating. But that was not the only reason why a hush fell every time he walked to a different section of the bank. Part of the reason was, of course, the authority he enjoyed by virtue of being the bank manager. The other, more pertinent, reason was that he was a known womaniser, and one who didn’t wait for a woman’s consent. His lust had to be satisfied, and his prospective partner’s wishes were immaterial. He fancied women with big, firm bosoms – the age didn’t matter so much. Judging by the number of women who cursed him, he must have got his way pretty often. Sundar’s wife had long ago run out of patience and often explained contemptuously to visitors that he couldn’t be trusted even with his own daughter.

In time, Sundar’s sons got married, but their wives soon discovered that even they were considered fair game for Sundar who was now ‘retired’ from the bank and well into his sixties. Wisely, one by one, the sons moved out with their wives, much to the chagrin of Sundar. With almost everyone in the neighbourhood aware of his propensities, and unwilling  to satisfy  his strong urges, Sundar had to fall back on poor women whom he trapped with the lure of a good job and outright cash payments.

A day came, however, when nature took a hand and Sundar became impotent. Doctors, hospitals, hakims, vaids – Sundar tried them all but drew a blank. It then occured to him that perhaps he could check out with someone who knew astrology whether he could ever regain his virility, and that’s how I met him.

“The desire is still as strong as ever,” he confided, “but my body doesn’t respond even though I’ve tried both internal and external stimuli. Will I ever be able to perform again?” His chart showed that a particular planet was debilitated. But Sundar wasn’t prepared to write ‘finis’ to his lecherous career.

“I’ve heard you’ve done research on remedies. Surely there must  be something that I can do! I’ll keep checking out with you.”

He did keep in touch for a while, and then his visits stopped. He’s either found a remedy or he’s given up hope, I thought to myself and forgot about it.

1399851_burning_2Almost a year later, Sundar called again. He had indeed found a remedy, he told me. The remedy was enough to make anybody sit up. He had been told that he should go to a cremation ground, obtain a coal from the burnt ashes of a corpse, and write down certain figures and mantras on a piece of paper with that coal. It wasn’t easy to walk into a cremation ground and obtain coal, from pyres which were still smouldering. And he had almost given up when his elder brother died of a heart attack. Sundar used the opportunity to pick up a coal. The priest and other grieving relatives observed him doing so, and though they didn’t know the purpose, they protested. But Sundar wasn’t going to give up his only chance on obtaining that prized bit of coal which would bring back his manhood. “He was my brother,” he argued, and refused to put back the coal. But now he was in deep trouble, in danger of his life in fact, which is why he had turned to me for help.

“I brought the coal home,” he told me, “and put it reverently in a drawer. But that very night, my dead brother appeared before me, yanked me out on bed and almost thrashed me to death. He’s given me twenty four hours to dispose off that  coal from his ashes in the appropriate manner, otherwise he’s going to kill me. “What should I do?” The answer was obvious: do as his brother wished, and forget about his own need. I suggested that he could take the coal to the Yamuna river, and immerse it in the water in much the same way as you immerse the ashes from a dead body. But even though the twenty four hour deadline was closing in, Sundar decided to gamble till the very end.

Ten minutes before the deadline, his dead brother arrived and tore off his clothes. But Sundar still pleaded, “What use is that coal to you now? It can be your parting gift to me and I’ll be grateful all my life.”

The moment he said this, his wife saw him cringing from what were obviously blows. Left with no choice, Sundar pulled on a fresh pair of clothes, pulled out the coal from the drawer and immmersed it in the Yamuna. He hasn’t been bothered by his brother again, but he hasn’t given up his quest for a remedy either.

horoscopic chart

Jesus of Nazareth: The Super Virgo

Jesus Christ has spiritually elevated billions of believers during the past two millenia. It is but natural that there be interest of his devotees in the times and circumstances of his birth. Opinions abound about the likely time of birth of the great master though there could be little concrete proof of the validity of the various opinions about this matter. Working on the times of birth of ancient historical characters is a daunting task for any one. A Vedic astrologer perhaps is better suited to decipher more closely the likely time of birth of such an individual, armed as he is with the profound principles of Jyotish handed down to him by the sages of yore. It is with the background of Vedic astrology only that Francis R Day has attempted to pinpoint the time of birth of Jesus Christ and given the planetary positions for that moment of time. A lot of labour on the part of the author has gone into the preparation of this article and it deserves critical attention of the discerning reader. – Editor

jesus_christThere have been many dates proposed for the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in the range 1-8 BC. Dating the birth of Jesus is a controversial issue and various theories have emerged as to what celestial phenomena prompted the Magian astrologers mentioned in the gospel of Matthew to leave their homeland and venture to Bethlehem to pay homage to the newborn king. Most authorities believe that it was a natural astronomical event (including comets and supernovas) which had a deeper astrological meaning for the Magi. Whilst there has not been agreement on the date of the birth of Jesus, it will be useful to examine the main theories to see which offers the best potential in finding a birth date. Finding the birth time of the man known as Jesus of Nazareth, the religious teacher and healer from Bethlehem will have implications in the areas of astrology, astronomy and history.

The first question to be clarified is why should astronomical events be of importance when looking for a birth time for Jesus. This relates to a passage in the gospel of Matthew, which states that the Magi (astrologers or wise men from Babylon) had seen “A Star”.1 Being aware of the prophecies surrounding the coming of a King or Messiah they headed in the direction of Bethlehem. They arrived at Bethlehem to pay homage to the young king shortly after the child’s infancy. This is the story most historians would agree upon.

The main contending theories on the Star of Bethlehem are as follows:

Heliacal rising and lunar occultation of Jupiter – 6BC

Astronomer Michael R. Molnar has proposed a date of 17th April 6BC for the birth of Jesus based on the heliacal rising (before the Sun) and lunar occultation of the planet Jupiter in the constellation Aries.2 He looks at royal combinations in Greek astrology as practiced in that period. The basis for this interpretation is a bronze coin minted at Antioch and showing a Ram looking back at an overhead star. Aries the Ram signified Judea, Samaria and Palestine according to the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy and King Herod ruled these lands. Molnar thinks the coin was issued by the Romans of Antioch to commemorate their takeover of Judea in 6AD and provides a celestial omen about the birth of a king of the Jews.

Molnar shows how various factors in Greek astrology converge to form a regal chart on 17th April 6BC. These include heliacal rising of Jupiter and lunar conjunction (occultation), rulers of trines well positioned, exaltation of the Sun in Aries and Venus in Pisces, attendance and Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Saturn in Aries. He doesn’t stipulate a birth time for this day mentioning that any chart for the day is suitable for a Regal birth but some times are better than others. Molnar also maintains that the occultation or exact conjunction of the Moon with Jupiter does not need to be visible (the conjunction occurred during the day) since the Magi were looking for an astrologically significant event, not an astronomically visible one.

In Vedic astrology the conjunction of Jupiter and the Moon is called Gaja-Kesari yoga (Elephant, Lion). Parashara says of this yoga : “If Jupiter is in an angle from the ascendant or from the Moon, and if he is in conjunction with and is aspected by a benefic and if he (Jupiter) is not in a debilitated or combust or inimical sign, the yoga thus caused is called the Gaja Kesari yoga. The native born in this yoga will be splendorous, wealthy, intelligent, endowed with many virtues and be a favourite of the king.”3

Since the Jupiter/Moon conjunction (yoga) forms the main foundation in Molnar’s theory, it needs to be examined in more detail.

A strong Gaja Kesari yoga in a chart can give rise to regality, political success, high status, fame and wealth. Parashara mentions the words “wealth” and “favoured by the king”. This is a yoga for worldly success, not renunciation. Jesus renounced external wealth and the material life and was at odds with the government of the day.

If this yoga is taken as the basis of “regality”, there are several blemishes to be considered.

1. The Moon is depleted due to the extreme waning phase (approximately one day from new moon).

2. Mars, the dispositor of the yoga and all planets associated with the yoga, is combust. This creates a weakening effect on Saturn, Moon, Jupiter and Sun. The Sun has effectively caused its dispositor, Mars, to become weak and less effective. This in turn has its effect on the Sun and associated planets.

3. Jupiter is associated with malefic Sun, Rahu and debilitated Saturn.
This is not a yoga that would give rise to an individual with the qualities and stature of Jesus of Nazareth. We could focus on an exalted Sun (possibly in an angle) to boost this chart but it suffers from a Rahu/Ketu affliction, a late sign degree and a combust dispositor (Mars). Also, the sage Parashara does not include strong angular luminaries in the Pancha Mahapurusha yogas, i.e., yogas for a great being.

Michael Molnar has produced some splendid research on astronomy, astrology and history of time around 6BC but his proposed date for the birth of the Christ falls short from the Jyotish perspective.

Triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn – 7BC

The triple conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Pisces in 7BC is another explanation proposed for the Star of Bethlehem. Research has been carried out by David Hughes in this area.4 He concluded that the star was a tangible physical phenomenon and came to a date of 15th September 7BC for the birth of Jesus.

Pisces was associated with the nation Israel, Jupiter was the regal planet and Saturn was known as the protector of the Jews.

The conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn were on 29th May, 1st October and 5th December 7BC. At the closest conjunction the planets did not appear to be closer than about two apparent lunar diameters. The previously mentioned passage in Matthew refers to a star, not an arrangement of stars (planets). If Matthew meant an arrangement of stars then there is the possibility he had knowledge of astrology. There is no evidence to suggest that astrology was part of his worldview and it seems that he was relating a physical observation of a star or bright object by the Magi.

In the spring of 6BC there was a Jupiter, Saturn, Mars conjunction. This again constitutes an arrangement of stars and not a single star.

Jupiter/Venus conjunction – 3BC

Dr Ernest Martin, history and theology professor, author and former director of the Foundation for Biblical Research and the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge proposes that two extremely close conjunctions of Jupiter and Venus (August 3BC and June 2BC) formed what was seen as the star of Bethlehem.5 The second conjunction looked like one bright star. This theory has been popularized by John Mosley, Program Director at Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, USA. Over 600 planetariums in America and Europe have revised their Christmas star shows to present solutions to the star of Bethlehem more in line with Martin’s views.6

Another notable astronomical event was the conjunction of Jupiter with the star Regulus on 14th September 3BC. Regulus is the star associated with kings and royalty and Jupiter was transiting Leo and in particular, the nakshatra Magha, “The Mighty One”. Magha’s symbol is a palaquin, the royal seat upon which the king was carried while travelling. Jupiter entered Leo (and Magha) on 15th August 3BC.

Bepin Behari states : “Magha is concerned with sustaining and assisting the evolutionary impulse; in discharging this responsibility, its primary task is to overcome the various obstacles to the fulfillment of that particular dharma. The primary impulse of Magha is metempsychosis; it leads to transmigration of the soul and involves the ego in the evolutionary process.”7

At this time, Jupiter appeared as a morning star and the account in Matthew (2:1,2,9) states that the Magian astrologers saw the star rising above the eastern horizon.

Dr Martin has given a date in his book for the birth of Christ based on his extensive historical research but in particular a symbolic passage in the bible, i.e., Revelation 12:1-5. This date is 11th September 3BC between sunset and moonset.

“And there was a great wonder [sign] in heaven; a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder [sign] in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his head. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.”

The woman represents the constellation Virgo. This constellation is the only sign of a woman located on the ecliptic. The Sun and the Moon are amidst or in line with the body of this woman.

Martin states : “She occupies in body form a space of about 50 degrees along the ecliptic. The head of the woman actually bridges some 10 degrees into the previous sign of Leo and her feet overlap about 10 degrees into the following sign of Libra, the Scales. In the period of Jesus’ birth, the Sun entered in its annual course through the heavens into the head position of the woman about August 13, and exited from her feet about October 2. But the apostle John saw the scene when the sun was “clothing” or “adorning” the woman.”8 Martin takes this position of the Sun as being mid-bodied to the woman and postulates:

“The only time in the year that the Sun could be in a position to ‘clothe’ the celestial woman called Virgo ….. is when the Sun is located between about 150 and 170 degrees along the ecliptic. This ‘clothing’ of the woman by the Sun occurs for a 20-day period each year……In 3BC., the Sun would have entered this celestial region about August 27 and exited from it about September 15.”9

Martin refines the birthday further by locating the Moon position. Revelation states that the Moon was “under her feet”. The feet of Virgo represent the last 7 degrees of the constellation. In order for the description in Revelation 12 to be satisfied astronomically, the Moon has to be positioned in the last 7 degrees of Virgo. At the same time the Sun must be positioned mid-bodied within the constellation to give the clothing appearance.

Martin notes: “In the year 3BC, these two factors came to precise agreement for about half an hour, as observed from Palestine or Patmos, in the twilight period of September 11th.The relationship began about 6:15 p.m. (sunset), and lasted until around 7:45p.m. (moonset). This is the only day in the whole year that the astronomical phenomenon described in the twelfth chapter of Revelation could take place.

This also shows one other important point. The Moon was in crescent phase. It was a New Moon day, the start of a new lunar month.”10

The “crown of twelve stars” and the “red dragon” referred to in the symbolism are thought to refer to the constellations Coma Bernice and Draco.

Rectification of date and time of birth

When reading Dr Martin’s theory on the Star of Bethlehem it occurred to me to examine the solar eclipse chart previous to his proposed birth event date and also the Lunar New Year chart for the capital of Judea. These charts are useful for mundane predictions. The Lunar New Year chart can give an indication of the type of events which may transpire in the country in the one year period from 16th March 3BC. If Dr Martin’s theory on the birth time of Jesus is correct then these charts should show definite indications for this event.

Solar Eclipse Chart (Chart 1)

This solar eclipse chart is quite significant. Ketu is closely conjunct the eclipse point within minutes and Saturn is closely conjunct the ascendant. The eclipse point squares the ascendant. This is the type of eclipse chart that would suggest a significant event in the locality within days or weeks of the eclipse, certainly before the next solar eclipse. Less than 2 days later there was Jupiter/Venus conjunction. There was also a lunar appulse eclipse on 26th August 3BC. This occurred at approximately 7degrees from the descendant at Bethlehem.

It is to be noted that eclipse charts are quite relevant for specific localities in an astrological sense even though the eclipse is not visible in that location. Eclipse charts for cities are important for making predictions when there is no official birth chart.

During the ruthless reign of King Herod there was a growing expectancy that a Messiah would arise in Judea and deliver the people from their tyrannical Roman enemies.

In the solar eclipse chart, Saturn is close to the ascendant. Saturn has multiple significations in this mundane chart. The ascendant represents the common people and Saturn’s position here shows that the people are oppressed. Saturn is also yoga karaka (lord of a kendra and a trine) so some favourable benefits can also occur. In its lordship of the highest dharma house (9th house) it shows a manifestation or crystallization of the highest collective aspirations or desires (of the masses). Saturn is also the 10th lord so it indicates the king or the servant of the people.

Ascendant lord Venus represents the people in this mundane chart and is closely conjunct exalted Jupiter, the karaka of children. Since Venus is also 6th lord, this suggests that a child may be born who may help and serve the people. This person will be more than a superficial helper or healer. Since Jupiter is 8th lord, a transformation of religious and spiritual values is possible over time. The eclipse falls in the 4th house representing the opposition to the government. This eclipse appears to herald the coming of the messiah and the potential for change in the collective consciousness.

Lunar New Year Chart (Chart 2)

The Lunar New Year chart (Luni- Solar) is cast for the new moon in Pisces at the capital of a country to give annual mundane predictions. The year begins with the Chaitra Shukla Pratipada which indicates the beginning of the first tithi or Pratipada (moon phase) of the brighter half (Shukla Paksha), falling in the month of Chaitra. The exact moment of the beginning of this year coincides with the exact conjunction of the Sun and the Moon in the sign Pisces which marks the end of Amavasya and the beginning of Pratipada. I have cast the chart for Caesarea where the ruling powers were located but a chart for Jerusalem will be very similar.

The new moon is in the 5th house (children) conjunct Uranus (humanitarian, revolutionary). The fifth house lord is exalted Jupiter located in the 9th house (religion, spirituality). These astrological indications support the birth of a special individual in the eyes of the Jewish people.

Refining the birth time

The birth event is possible soon after the August solar eclipse. The period 27th August – 15th September as mentioned above is quite relevant.

If the August solar eclipse could be compared to the day counter on a clock, the Jupiter/Venus conjunction is the hour hand and the Mercury/Venus conjunction (1st September) is the minute hand. Those ancient astrologers noting this event would have known the promised event was near. The chart for sunrise at Bethlehem on the 1st September 3BC shows an exact Mercury/Venus conjunction and the Moon conjunct the MC. It would be tempting to take this time or the sunrise time for the next morning as the birth event but in keeping with the passage in Revelation we need to wait for the next major astronomical event-the new moon on the 9th September 3BC (late afternoon). This is the second hand on the clock.

Dr Martin has given a birth time of 6:15 pm to 7:45 pm corresponding to sunset and moonset. This time interval includes the ascendants Aries and Pisces. Based on the under mentioned considerations, I have not selected either of these signs for the birth ascendant of Jesus.

The case for a Virgo ascendant

A combination of factors suggests that the ascendant should be Virgo.

. The ascendant for the exact Jupiter/Venus conjunction at Bethlehem on 12th August 3BC was 25 degrees Virgo and the Moon position was 5Vi40.

. Virgo is the 5th house (children) sign in the pre birth solar eclipse chart.

. Virgo fits with the “Virgin Birth” scenario (of which there are many theories).

. Virgo is the sign of a healer, a servant and one who is skilled with the hands (trades).

. For a Virgo ascendant, the Rahu/Ketu or karmic axis would go 12/6. The 12th house is the house of moksha or final liberation and the 6th house is the house of enemies, service and healing. The 12th house emphasis gives an interest in the hidden mysteries of life. These things were prominent in the life of Jesus.

For a Virgo ascendant, the birth would have been in the morning. But which morning? There are two possibilities based on the Moon position -the 10th or the 11th September 3BC.

It is now necessary to further examine the passage from Revelation 12:1-5.

The woman (Virgo) is described as being clothed by the Sun. This will occur when the Sun is in Virgo but the constellation will not be visible when the Sun is above the horizon. When the Sun is below the horizon before sunrise or after sunset, the constellation will still be visible through the faint glow of the Sun. I propose this is what the apostle John meant when he said, “clothed by the Sun”.

Let’s examine the sequence of events from the time of the new moon. The new moon was mid afternoon on 9th September 3BC. At sunset, the Moon dipped below the horizon. Approximately 11 hours later, the Sun was below the horizon (before sunrise ) and the glow of the Sun would be giving the special clothing effect to the woman (Virgo). Also the Moon had moved towards her feet and had just entered the nakshatra Chitra, “The Star of Wonder” whose symbol is the “Shining Jewel.” I propose that the birth of Christ occurred near this time.

From astrological considerations, the ascendant is Virgo near sunrise. On the evening of the 10th and especially the 11th which Dr Martin takes as the birth time, the Moon is in Libra and the ascendant will be Pisces or Aries. Also the Moon will have moved out of its kendra (angular) position. It is most probable that the Moon is placed in a kendra for a prominent religious figure who had a special affinity with the public. It is important to locate the Moon position correctly and in addition to kendra location, its position was also determined to give a Vimshottari dasha sequence (the main timing tool used in Vedic astrology) for the event of crucifixion (29AD to 33AD) (see Chart Analysis). The planetary dasha sequence based on the Moon position for this event is best seen with a Virgo Moon (24Vi59).

Although Vedic astrology does not normally utilize the outer planets, the Moon/Pluto conjunction and Moon/Uranus opposition on the morning of 10th September are noteworthy and help to confirm the Moon position. The Moon/Pluto conjunction can give a life of transformation on all levels with a death and rebirth of the emotional body. The person is sensitive to the psychological needs of others and exudes healing energy. There is emotional intensity. Braha writes the following: “Fortunately, the Moon-Pluto conjunction indicates strong spiritual development and a phenomenal capacity for self-discipline. The person intermittently uses these abilities to completely remake and remold himself. He has powerful energy to regenerate his cellular structure and improve himself in any area of life. He is a walking mass of human potential”.11

I have moved the birth time back from the time found by Dr Martin by about 1.5 days.

Dr Martin has taken the birth event time for when the new moon became visible. I propose an earlier birth time, which better fits with the above astrological factors.

I have arrived at a birth time of 10th September 3BC, 5.23 am LMT, Bethlehem, Judea.
Sidereal Ascendant 14°36′ Virgo (Krishnamurti ayanamsha) (See Chart 3)

Astronomical events leading up to the birth of Christ

. 10th August 3BC: Solar eclipse (see eclipse chart for Bethlehem).
. 12th August 3BC: Jupiter/Venus conjunction.
. 15th August 3BC: Jupiter enters Magha nakshatra.
. 26th August 3BC: Lunar eclipse near descendent for Bethlehem.
. 1st September 3BC: Mercury/Venus conjunction.
. 9th September 3BC: New Moon mid afternoon.
. 10th September 3BC: Moon enters Chitra nakshatra.
. 10th September 3BC: Birth of Jesus.
. 14th September 3BC Jupiter/Regulus conjunction.

General overview

. The ascendant is Virgo.
. The luminaries Sun and Moon, and Venus and Mercury are in the ascendant.
. Venus and Mercury are in the nakshatra Uttara Phalguni.
. The ascendant and the Sun are in the nakshatra Hasta and the Moon is in the nakshatra Chitra.
. Mars and Saturn occupy the Dharma houses, i.e., 5th and 9th house. Dharma is being established in one’s most natural path in life or being attuned to one’s purpose.
. Jupiter and Ketu occupy the 12th house of moksha (final liberation or self-realization). Planets in this house show that moksha may be a strong focus for the individual if other factors support.
. Due to the number of planets in Virgo, there is a strong Mercurial influence on the individual.
. It is the combination of Sun, Moon and ascendant lord Mercury in Virgo in the ascendant which makes Jesus a “Super Virgo”.

Virgo ascendant

The ascendant is 14 degrees Virgo in the nakshatra Hasta. Virgo’s symbol is “A maiden, often in a boat, holding wheat in one hand and fire in the other”. This suggests cooking or transforming a commodity so it can be digested. Also if the fire represents the digestive fire then the symbol represents refinement or purification that must occur before the process of digestion and assimilation.

Virgo is, therefore, a sign of purification and being the 6th house of the natural zodiac represents disease. This gives Virgos an interest in healing, health care and service-orientated activities. Virgos often develop skill at a trade. The maiden is a virgin so the symbolism “born of the Virgin Mary” is fitting.

The ascendant is powerful. The four planets in the ascendant are disposited by exalted ascendant lord Mercury which receives directional strength (dig bala) and forms a Pancha Mahapurusha yoga (Bhadra yoga) or combination for a great being. This yoga is particularly strong as it occurs from the ascendant as well as from the Sun and the Moon. Since Bhadra yoga involves Mercury, the emphasis here is on learning, intelligence and virtue and the skill to effectively address and inspire an assembly.

The ascendant is in the nakshatra Hasta. Hasta is observed in the sky as an open hand giving blessings to humanity. Hasta is a nakshatra associated with the hands and it is reasonable to assume that Jesus worked in the same trade (carpentry) as did his father Joseph.

In the book “Stars and Your Future” by Jain, (similar to Sabian symbols but specifically for the sidereal zodiac), the Ascendant is in the “Degree of Arising”.

“A radiant rainbow in the centre of which is the Sun in its brightness.”

“Denotes a lover of nature in her grandeur, one of artistic, mystic and philosophic mind, who will move about a great deal and travel to various places. He is capable of spreading the light of truth and of helping many to see and appreciate its marvels. This degree is a fortunate one and promises much.”12

The Sun is close to the ascen_dent in the nakshatra Hasta and is a few degrees below the horizon -The dawn of a new era! This is a person who has courage and power and will not go unnoticed. He is a leader. The Sun is considered a malefic in Vedic astrology and its position close to the ascendant can give some irritability or outbursts of anger at times.

Behari says of this placement : “His area of operation may be away from the home, in a distant land, possibly for a humanitarian cause.”13 He also notes that this placement can give the person feminine physical features.
According to Jain, the Sun is in the “Degree of Endeavour”.

“A rough fire mountain, from several parts from which smoke is rising. On one of the slopes labourers are working.”
“Denotes one who exercises patience and persistence in his life’s work, and whose position is often attended with much worry and personal danger. His soul is full of enterprise. He is magnetic, psychic and extremely active. This degree gives good imagination.”14

Venus and Mercury are located in the nakshatra,Uttara Phalguni (Star of Patron) where they form a Raja yoga (kendra-trinal lord combination). Strong and unafflicted Raja yogas give rise to success, influence, celebrity and kingship. We would expect to see at least one Raja yoga for the man who became “King of the Jews”.

Venus is in Neecha Bhanga Raja Yoga. This gives a cancellation of debility allowing some strong beneficial effects to manifest. Uttara Phalguni is symbolised by a bed or hammock and shows a person’s desire to help others and alleviate suffering. This nakshatra also gives leadership qualities, courage, endurance, fighting for righteous causes, esteem from others and a desire for moksha.

The waxing Moon is in the Ascendant having low brightness (pakshabala) (only 14 hours from the new moon). The new moon signifies new beginnings and this was a new beginning for the word of God on earth. This Moon position can give a magnetic personality, well respected and happy and a type of elusiveness due to unconventional thinking.

The degree for the Moon in Jain’s most useful book is as follows:

“Degree of Overcoming.”

“A man from whose forehead streams a dazzling white light, passing through a fiery valley, at whose end are beautiful lawns, flowers and trees bathed in brilliant sunlight.”

“Denotes one of an affectionate, hopeful, sincere nature who endeavours to do by love alone what others are attempting to do by force. Gifted with a will of strength, he is able to resist and subdue all the demons which rise against him; thus is his spiritual nature uplifted, and he is inspired and helped from occult sources. He will have struggles in life and difficulties which seem insurmountable, but he knows he will overcome them, and he overcomes them all, for they are but sent to teach him what worldly life is and what it may be.”15

Courage, endurance and initiatives

In addition to the Sun occupying a prominent position, Mars lord of the 3rd house (courage and valour) is exalted in the 5th house. He is a fighter and a leader – a spiritual warrior with drive, ambition and courage. Mars is strong and gives him the energy and endurance to achieve his goals whether on the material or spiritual level.

Jesus needed great courage to bear the strength of his convictions and to achieve many goals in his short ministry. He became a serial pest, stood up to the establishment, confronted the money changers in the temple, proclaimed he was the coming messiah and continued in his actions despite the knowledge that he would be “the sacrificial lamb” that the Jews demanded.

Mars is also lord of the 8th house of life energy. Whatever he did he put his whole being into it.

Knowledge, teaching and disciples

Mars is exalted and close to the 5th house equal cusp in the nakshatra Shravana- The Star of Learning. This nakshatra is associated with religious teachers and sacred oral traditions. Mars is also lord of 3rd house of communications making Jesus a master at imparting orally transmitted knowledge. Mars is a planet of action thus he taught by example also.

Mars’s dispositor Saturn is in the 9th house of religion and higher knowledge and a nakshatra exchange between Mars and the Moon further highlights the strong emphasis on religious teaching.
Since this powerful Mars is in the 5th house, Jesus spent much time and energy with his selected disciples so that they could continue to spread the “word”.

Public notability and fame

The Sun, the Moon and exalted Mercury in the ascendant shows a person of distinction, celebrity and charisma. Jesus’s renown has not waned through the centuries.

In the time when Jesus was involved with his ministry his celebrity was mainly with the poor, downtrodden and oppressed. This is shown by Saturn (oppressed) in the 9th house (his ministry) and Jupiter lord of the 4th house (public and mass appeal) in the 12th house. Such a person will attract the people who are not seen much or who are in confinement.

Since ascendant lord Mercury is in the nakshatra Uttara Phalguni (Star of Patron) people would approach him for support. Uttara Phalguni is the nakshatra of public prominence.

Healing and service

Virgo the 6th house of the natural zodiac is the sign of healing and service. Ascendant lord Mercury is exalted in the star of the healer-Uttara Phalguni. This shows a person who feels and cares for the suffering of humanity. This is also indicated by the 12th lord (sorrow of the masses) Sun close to the ascendant.

Rahu is placed in the 6th house in the nakshatra Shatabhisha (its own nakshatra) which means “the hundred physicians” or “hundred healers”. It bestows gifts in the healing arts by pouring forth the cosmic waters from the pitcher (of Aquarius) to nourish humanity.

Rahu is well placed in the 6th house (Aquarius) and may give a person a strong desire to heal others (and the ability to defeat rivals). Since Rahu is manipulative and Rahu’s dispositor Saturn rules over the lepers and the disabled, this person could miraculously cure them, but his healing abilities extended further than this. Saturn is in the house of religion and spirituality, the highest dharma house and Saturn aspects its own house (6th) so he is a gifted spiritual healer as well. Since Saturn is in the nakshatra of the Moon and the navamsha of the Moon his healing abilities extend to the mind and emotions. We could say that he is a healer on all levels of the being from the gross physical to the highest spiritual realms.

Holy pilgrimages and travel

Jupiter’s placement in the 12th house suggests that hidden or esoteric knowledge may have been gained in far away places. This is confirmed by 12th lord Sun close to the ascendant. Jupiter is also the 4th lord (home) so it seems Jesus would have spent much time away from his birth place learning with wise elders and spending time in solitude, preparing for his divine mission on earth.

Religion, spirituality and ministry

Since Mars rules the 3rd house of initiatives and is disposited by Saturn which is located in the 9th house and aspecting the 3rd house, Jesus was a man of action in a religious sense. After his learning and solitude phase he went into dynamic activity mode-The spiritual warrior! The 6th lord Saturn in the 9th house in Taurus allowed him to serve the spiritual needs of others in a very wise and practical manner. Saturn in this position can give enmity with teachers and religious leaders and we know that Jesus had many confrontations with the religious leaders of the time and with established religious practices. Venus is the 9th lord of religion, debilitated in the ascendant. It has Neecha Bhanga Raja Yoga. After setbacks and obstacles Jesus rose to become a spiritual giant. Venus is also the 2nd lord of speech so what Jesus said was significant and the knowledge he gained was given out for all to hear.

Renunciation and Moksha (final liberation)

The 4th lord Jupiter, located in the 12th house, in the nakshatra of Ketu, is a classic combination for renunciation of home comforts. The 12th lord Sun close to the ascendant can give ascetic tendencies.

The moksha houses are 4th, 8th and 12th houses. The 8th lord Mars aspects the 12th house and 8th house, the 4th lord Jupiter is placed in 12th house and aspects the 4th house and the 8th house, and the 12th lord Sun is close to the ascendant. Additionally Jupiter is in the nakshatra of moksha karaka Ketu and Jupiter and Mars are conjunct in the navamsha ascendant.

These combinations of moksha lords indicate that this theme was a strong focus in this man’s life. Finding the kingdom of heaven within relates to moksha. And one saying of Jesus is-“Seek first the kingdom of heaven, then all else will be added”.

Venus lord of 2nd house (possessions) and karaka for comforts is debilitated in the ascendant showing his strong ability to renounce the things of the world.

Betrayal, sacrifice and crucifixion

The 7th lord Jupiter is placed in the 12th house. This is a combination for deception and betrayal. There is also affliction to the 12th house of secret enemies by the Rahu /Ketu axis within a 5 degree orb of the equal cusp. The 8th lord Mars also afflicts the equal cusp of the 12th house. Crucifixion cannot be seen here specifically but Jesus’s final sacrifice can be seen from the malefic Sun (12th lord) with close orb to the ascendant.
The applying aspect (trine) between 8th lord (longevity) Mars and 6th lord (enemies) Saturn, shows that his death (and dharma) was due to his enemies.

Longevity, death and immortality

Longevity is difficult to determine from a natal chart. This appears to be a chart for high longevity with exalted ascendant lord Mercury and exalted 8th lord Mars which are both well placed. There are some factors which may contribute to a short to medium life span. Ascendant lord Mercury is debilitated in the navamsha. This can give an underlying weakness even though Mercury is exalted in the Rashi chart. The 12th lord Sun is also afflicting the Ascendant. Dashas and transits at the time of death also need to be considered.

There are many dates given for Jesus’s crucifixion. The dates given are usually in the range 29AD to 33AD in the month of April. The solar eclipse on the 29th March 32AD is ominous. The solar eclipse is conjunct the natal 8th cusp, eclipse ascendant and eclipse Pluto are conjunct the IC. The Vimshottari dasha period is Jupiter/Venus. Both planets are marakas or planets that can show death or deathlike experiences in their periods. I would suggest that the crucifixion was shortly after the March solar eclipse.

It is to be noted that the 8th house and the 8th lord are exceptionally strong. The 8th lord Mars is exalted in a trine and it aspects the equal cusp of the 8th house (its own sign Aries). This can give a type of immortality. Jesus lives on through the biblical accounts, the stories, his message and the modern media. In that sense he is immortal.

The 12th house and “The After Death State”

One of the significations of the 12th house is the “Destination of the soul after death”.
A theme in the Christian religion regarding the state after death is that after the soul leaves the body, it is evaluated in a type of judgment. The soul may then experience heaven, purgatory, hell or loss of awareness. Christians propose that when Jesus returns to earth in the “second coming” there will be a final judgment. The placement of Jupiter (justice and judgment) in the 12th house of Jesus’s chart fits with this theme.

Actors who have played Jesus in the movies

The purpose of Tables 1, 2 and 3 is to present the chart data of some actors who have played the role of Jesus and compare their charts with that of Jesus. This comparison is not a primary rectification tool but can give useful information. This synastry needs to be used with discretion because different actors portray different qualities of a character and some miss the mark.

Table 1: Actors’ Birth Data
Actor Birth Data Source Movie Date
Robert Powell 1st June 1944, 8:00 am,Salford, Manchester, England Robert Powell16 Jesus of Nazareth 1977
Jeffrey Hunter 25th Nov. 1925, 2:13 am,New Orleans, Louisiana, USA Steinbrecher C King of Kings 1961
Franco Nero 23rd Nov. 1941, 10:30 pm,Lazzaro Palma, Italy Steinbrecher AA The Bible 1966
Willem Dafoe 22nd July 1955, 7:30 pm,Appleton, Wisconsin, USA Steinbrecher AA The Last Temptation of Christ 1988
James Caviezel 26th Sep. 1968,Mount Vernon, Washington, USA The Passion of the Christ 2004
Table 2: Actors’ Planetary Degrees, Krishnamurti ayanamsha, Mean Rahu
Actor Asc Mon Sun Mar Mer Jup Ven Sat Rah
Robert Powell 18Ge15 12Vi13 17Ta38 12Cn37 23Ar18 27Cn29 10Ta34 4Ge34 7Cn09
Jeffrey Hunter 13Vi19 8Pi49 9Sc50 15Li08 1Sg30 28Sg17 27Sg02 26Li08 5Cn31
Franco Nero 15Cn08 15Cp00 8Sc13 19Pi17 22Li58 25Ta24 25Sg25 1Ta37 25Le55
Willem Dafoe 8Cp05 23Le42 5Cn18 14Cn19 21Ge36 15Cn15 25Ge17 21Li22 1Sg32
James Caviezel 8Sc+/- 10Vi25 9Le49 5Li40 26Le54 6Li48 0Ar12 16Pi23
Table 3: Shows a comparison of planets/ascendant in the actor’s chart withplanets/ascendant in Jesus’s Chart
Actor Birth Data Source
Robert Powell Ascendant Square Ascendant
Moon Conjunct Ascendant
Mars Opposes Mars
Sun Trine to Ascendant
Jeffrey Hunter Ascendant Conjunct Ascendant
Moon Opposes Ascendant
Moon Opposes Mercury
Franco Nero Moon Trine Ascendant
Moon Conjunct Mars
Ascendant Sextile Ascendant
Willem Dafoe Mars Opposes Mars
Mars Sextile Ascendant
Ascendant Sextile Mercury
James Caviezel Sun Conjunct Ascendant
Ketu Conjunct Ascendant

Many actors have played the role of Jesus over the years. Most birth times are not available. Midday charts are used if birth data was not available.

The principle I work on here is that when rectifying the chart of an historical character, it is often found that key planetary positions or angles in the charts of actors playing the role will correlate closely (by aspect) with key planetary positions or points in the character’s chart-Day’s Rule.

This is not surprising. These actors often spend several months in the shoes of the character attempting to resonate with the person. As an example, take the chart of Robert Powell who starred in the movie “Jesus of Nazareth” which received quite favourable reviews. For example:

“Among the numerous superlative performances, surely the most notable is that of Robert Powell in his role as the Nazarene, whose performance subtly captures the humanity of the Son of God, neither adding human weakness where none is present (vis-a-vis The Last Temptation of Christ), nor resorting to docetic immutability (Greatest Story Ever Told).

Indeed, one senses that Jesus is fully aware of who He is in this film.” – Amazon Reviews

A recent movie about Christ to grace the big screen was “The Passion of the Christ” directed by Mel Gibson. The data I have for Mel Gibson, the director of this movie is 3rd Jan 1956, 4.45pm, Peekskil, New York, USA. (Steinbrecher Class B). He has a Virgo Moon (6Vi50) and his Rahu/Ketu axis is conjunct Jesus’s Saturn so he certainly identified with the suffering!


The pre sunrise chart for the 10th September 3BC is the chart of a spiritual giant, a teacher and a gifted healer. The message and the teaching of Jesus continues to reverberate down through the corridors of time. There is more that can be said. Western astrologers will see a different angle. My main aim in this article has been to present the birth time of a person who has had a profound influence on the morality and spirituality of the western world.
The birth time I have found is in alignment with the historical research and findings of Dr Ernest Martin. I have made a 1½- day adjustment in the birth time found by Dr Martin with the additional proposal for a Virgo ascendant.

I believe this newly found birth time for Jesus of Nazareth, the religious teacher, leader and healer from Bethlehem, will be of interest to astrologers, astronomers, historians, theologians and others.

References and Notes

1. Matthew 2:1,2,9.
2. Michael R Molnar, The Star of Bethlehem-The Legacy of the Magi, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London, 1999.
3. Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Translation and Commentary by G C Sharma, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, India, 1994.
4. David Hughes, The Star of Bethlehem: An Astronomer’s Confirmation, Walker & Co .New York, 1979.
5. Ernest L Martin, The Star of Bethlehem: The Star that Astonished the World. Second edition, ASK Publications, PO Box 25000, Portland, OR 97225, USA, 1996.
6. “The basic premise of Martin’s book is that there is enough information available from the archaeological and historical records, as well as from the biblical accounts in the New Testament, to formulate a self-consistent sequence of events that fits the incidents associated with the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. In doing so the author adopts a chronology for the reign of Herod the Great that moves the date of Herod’s death to 1 B.C., a few years later than most accepted estimates.

“The point of such an exercise is to reconcile statements about the birth of Jesus given in the New Testament book of Luke with available historical facts. A later date for the death of Herod would permit the census of Quirinius to have occurred in 3 or 2 B.C., the latter being the 25th year of the reign of Caesar Augustus as emperor of Rome, when the Roman senate bestowed upon him the prestigious title Pater Patriae (Father of the Country). In that event the census of Quirinius could have been undertaken as part of an exercise to obtain an oath of allegiance to Augustus from all citizens of the Roman empire, including those in Judaea.”

“One of several problems attached to such an interpretation is that it implies that Quintilius Varus was governor of Syria on two occasions, one of which, by necessity, coincided with the period immediately prior to the death of Herod when he presided at the trial of Herod’s heir Antipater. Martin has found a nifty solution for that problem through his deciphering of a partial inscription found on a stone (the lapis tiburtinis) found near Tivoli, which is located about 20 miles east of Rome adjacent to a villa that was maintained by Varus. It is Martin’s contention that the inscription can be interpreted as indicating that Varus was indeed twice governor of Syria, possibly in 2 B.C. as well as during the period 6-4 B.C.”

David Turner, JRASC book reviews Feb 1998, The Royal Astronomical society of Canada.
7. Bepin Behari, Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology, Passage Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 1992.
8. Martin.
9. Martin.
10. Martin.
11. James Braha, How to be a Great Astrologer- The Planetary Aspects Explained, Hermetican Press, Florida, USA 1992.
12. M.C Jain, The Stars and Your Future, Sagar Publications, New Delhi, India, 1997.
13. Bepin Behari, Planets in the Signs and Houses, Passage Press, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 1992.
14. Jain.
15. Jain.
16. Information received from Robert Powell was that he thought his birth time was 8am. This has to remain unverified data. Hopefully in the future I will be able to obtain some life events to verify this time.


Mark Kidger, The Star of Bethlehem, An Astronomers View, Princeton University Press 1999.
Hart DeFouw and Robert Svoboda, Light on Life- An Introduction to the Astrology of India, Penguin, 1996.
John Mosley, The Christmas Star, Los Angeles: Griffith Observatory, 1987.
Dr K.S. Charak, Yogas in Astrology, Systems Vision, New Delhi, India, 1995.
Dennis M. Harness, PhD, The Nakshatras, The Lunar mansions of Vedic Astrology, Lotus Press, USA, 1999.
James Braha, Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer, Hermetican Press, Florida 1986.

Realm of Spirits

The Man who ate a Human Brain

Maldevta is a popular picnic spot near Dehra Dun. Thirst overtook us while trekking to Maldevta and we decided to ask for some water at a small thatched hut about a eight hundred scrubby hundred yards from the canal we were following. A dusky, well built man wearing a skimpy loin cloth emerged from the dark interior of the hut. Why, of course, we could have water, he answered. He didn’t have that much left, just a couple of glasses, as he’d just finished cooking, but we were most welcome to it. Was this his permanent residence, we asked him conversationally? Oh no, he had no fixed place of stay. There was a cremation ground just a stone’s thrown away, and he’d built this hut as he had been waiting for a lawaris body (homeless person’s body which is generally cremated by a philanthropic organization or trust). As luck would have it, after waiting for some three months, such a body had arrived just yesterday, and he’d been able, in exchange for a good luck charm, to obtain the head of the dead man. In fact, he’d almost run out of water as he had used most of it for cooking the dead man’s brain with some rice. He brought out a blackened pot and showed us the contents. He’d already had one portion of it, and would have to space out eating the cooked brain and rice over the next three days. Repelled, chilled, yet curious, we asked him who he was.

braineater1He was an aghori, he said, and Calcutta was his birthplace. After early initiation when he was just nine years old into Tantric Kali worship, he’d moved into other deeper sadhnas (disciplines), but always, it was with the forces of the dark. The rules and demands of the search for power in which he was now engaged ordained that he had to eat at least one human brain annually.

Already, he had acquired the ability of divining the future. He could actually show us our future, in case we were interested. Why didn’t we come in ? Fascinated yet afraid that at this isolated spot we might end up becoming his annual meal, we left somewhat hastily, forgetting all our lessons in politeness.

Over the next few days, I couldn’t get the aghori out of my mind. When a brigadier and his wife came to seek a reading from the cards as they were in deep trouble with a court martial looming on the horizon, it gave me the opportunity to go back to the aghori, with the anxious brigadier and his wife in tow. After all, he had said he could show one the future. What better way of testing the claim ?

He was still there, at the peak of his powers, he informed us, as he’d recently consumed the human brain. This time, we entered his hut and our eyes soon became accustomed to the dimness. The aghori requested us to sit, and as we sat cross-legged on the earthern floor, placed a lota (container) of water before us. “Look into the water” he commanded. And in the water, we saw the brigadier, older, dressed in civilian clothes. After several sequences, we saw the brigadier with the Supreme Court clearly visible in the background, and he was wearing a dark blue suit and distributing sweets to a group of people who were with him.

Some months after this amazing incident, the brigadier wanted to take a friend to meet the aghori, but when we reached there we found the hut in a sad state : it was just a bundle of grass and straw and twigs strewn on the ground. Enquiries at the cremation ground revealed that the aghori had been driven away by irate residents of Raipur, a nearby suburb.

Seven years passed with only occasional meetings with the brigadier, who was no longer in active service and was fighting his case in the civil courts. One day I received a message from him. The Supreme Court was to give the verdict on his case. And when I went on the appointed day, apart from other settings, there, outside the imposing Supreme Court building, was the Brigadier, dressed in a dark blue suit, distributing sweets just as he had been seven years ago in the lota of water the cannibal aghori had placed before us.

Realm of Spirits

Chandwati’s Spirit

She had always had a sharp tongue, which cost her a lot of goodwill. But she paid perhaps the biggest price for her whiplash of a tongue when she died. Estranged family members did an indifferent job of her last rites, skipping quite a few mandatory rituals. The result was that though Chandwati left her body, she wasn’t able to leave earth and travel to the astral plane to which the majority of souls are supposed to go.

Trapped, Chandwati requested Chetram, the uncle of Parasram, the purohit, to strike a deal with her family. Chetram was a mystic who had the power of communicating with spirits. In return for ensuring a place to stay in her old home, Chandwati offered to run errands for him. The family didn’t take kindly at all to the idea of having Chandwati in their midst in a disembodied state.


The alternative was to free her from earth, but that entailed heavy expenditure on ceremonies and pundits, and the family baulked at that prospect. So conditions were set on both sides. Chandwati’s main demand was that nobody would speak ill of her ; if they did, they would have to pay a price for it. The family’s chief demand was that she should not interfere in their lives. She was, by mutual agreement, given a small, disused room on the terrace.

The arrangement worked out well for the first couple of months. And then the first signs of trouble began to appear. Chandwati was unable to resist poking her nose into the family’s business affairs and would come out with loud comments. When they began to complain about her unwanted presence in their midst she retaliated by irritating them by spiriting away the food at meal times, hiding someone’s shoes when the person had to leave for an important business meeting and other acts which soon sent the family up the wall. Chandwati’s response was simple : “Speak good of me, and I’ll be good to you. And as for my comments, its my duty to speak up if you’re making a bad business decision.”

Before long, the acrimony and sparring reached a critical stage when Chandwati, outraged by a family member – Rajeshree’s description of her as a “churail (bad spirit) they were stuck with”, threatened to chopp off her hair. An equally outraged Rajeshree promptly went to Chetram to complain, and that night, in front of the eyes of shocked family members, a pair of scissors appeared in the air and snipped off Rajeshree’s plait of hair never to grow again. As a child, I was fascinated by Rajeshree Tai’s ear length hair.

After the hair chopping incident, there was peace and both Chandwati and her reluctant family adopted a policy of “Live and let live”. In fact, Chandwati developed a soft spot for Rajeshree’s daughter, Pushi, for whom, for one reason or another, the family was unable to get a suitable matrimonial match.

One day, a boy and his family came to “see” Pushi all the way from Bidar. They came with a distant cousin of the family, and were put up in the guest room. As had happened with other “boys” and their families, the family from Bidar found a number of “defects” in her pimply skin, too thin and so on. Heartbroken, Pushi poured out her heart to Chandwati, who decided to swing into action. When the Bidar family went to their room to collect their hold-all and suitcases, they found a strong lock on their door. By the time the lock was broken open, it was long past their train departure time. The elders conferred amongst themselves, and took the unexpected happening as a sign to reverse their decision and say “yes” to the match. And Pushi and the boy from Bidar exchanged the customary engagement gifts thanks to Chandwati’s handiwork.

Chandwati stayed on for some more years, till the time Chetram became too old to act as her “spirit control”. But instead of abandoning her, Chetram, at Chandwati’s own suggestion, took her to Gaya, where, after performing the necessary rituals, he left her in the company of other earth-bound spirits.


An Introduction to the Yogini Dasha

Once upon a time, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were strolling in the forests of the Himalayas. Puzzled by the applicability of various dashas in astrology, Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva, “There are innumerable dasha systems in astrology, but in the Kaliyuga, which dasha would tell us in a flash the results of a person’s Karma?”

Lord Shiva said, “It is the Yogini dasha.” And thus Lord Shiva revealed this dasha to Goddess Parvati. In the Kaliyuga, after careful examination of this dasha on a chart, the results do not go wrong. By knowing the mere name of the Yogini operating for a person, the things happening in the life of that person during the period of Yogini can be known. According the Rudrayamal, the Yogini dasha gives excellent results in Kaliyuga:

क्रितादिकालत्रितये वरिष्ठं दशागणं यद्गदितं पुराणैः।

The dashas propounded by various ancient masters were excellent for the three yugas – Satyayuga, Tretayuga and Dwaparayuga – but for Kaliyuga, dasha calculatation based on Yogini dasha is great for giving all types of results.

In view of the above statement, it is surprising why this dasha is not more universally employed.

The conditions of applicability of three dashas – Vimshottari, Ashtottari and Yogini – are given thus:

Out of the three dashas applicable at the time of birth, Vimshottari dasha should be applied for the births at night during Shukla Paksha and Ashtottari dasha for births during day in Krishna Paksha. In all other cases Yogini dasha gives results.

It is generally observed that Yogini dasha, like Vimshottari dasha, gives results even if applied unconditionally.

The Basics

There are eight types of Yoginis: Mangala, Pingala, Dhanya, Bhramari, Bhadrika, Ulka, Siddha and Sankata. It is believed that the planets Moon, Sun, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Rahu have evolved respectively from the Yoginis Mangala, Pingala, etc. The sequence of these Yoginis, their lords and operative periods are given in Table 1.

Table 1

Order of Yoginis, their lords and dasha periods

Yogini Lord Period
Mangala Moon 1 year
Pingala Sun 2 years
Dhanya Jupiter 3 years
Bhramari Mars 4 years
Bhadrika Mercury 5 years
Ulka Saturn 6 years
Siddha Venus 7 years
Sankata Rahu 8 years
Total Period : 36 years

Please observe that the sequence of Yoginis is alternatively benefic and malefic and their periods are progressively increasing by one year.

Calculation of Yogini Dasha

Yogini dasha is a nakshatrika dasha based on the nakshatra of the Moon at the time of birth. Note down the nakshatra number of the Moon, taking Ashwini as nakshatra number 1. Add 3 to it. Divide by 8. The remainder represents the Yogini dasha operative at the time of birth. It should be restricted to whole numbers and remainder be noted down.

Dasha at Birth = (Moon’s nakshatra + 3) / 8

If the remainer is 1 the dasha operative at the time of birth is Mangala, if 2, Pingla, and so on.









8 or 0



Dasha operating at the time of birth

Suppose a person is born when the Moon was at 7s10°0′ (Scorpio 10 degrees). To calculate Yogini dasha operative at the time of birth, note down the nakshatra of the Moon which is Anuradha, nakshatra number 17. To this figure add 3. The result is 20. Now divide by 8. The quotient is 2 and the remainder is 4.

Dasha at Birth = (Nak # of Moon + 3) / 8 = (17+3)/8 = 20/8

Quotient = 2, Remainer = 4

Remainer 4 indicates that Bhramari dasha was running at the time of birth.

Calculation of Balance of dasha

To calculate the balance of dasha –

1. The balance of dasha is dependent on the degrees remaining to be traversed by the Moon in its nakshatra. Note down the extent of Moon’s nakshatra. In the above case the nakshatra is Anuradha which spans the arc 7s3°20′ to 7s16°40′.

2. Subtract the longitude of the Moon from the nakshatra ending degree.

End of Anuradha nak. = 7s16°40′

Longitude of the Moon (–) = 7s10°00′

Difference (say ‘A’) = 7s16°40′

3. Convert the difference ‘A’ into minutes by multiplying its degrees with 60 and adding the remaining minutes. The result is 400′.

4. Multiply the full period of Yogini operating at the time of birth with difference ‘A’ and divide by the full extent of nakshatra 13°20′ (or 800′).

Dasha balance = (Period of Yogini x difference ‘A’) / 800′

The Yogini operating at the time of birth was Bhramari whose full extent is 4 years or 48 months.

Dasha balance = (48 months x 400′) / 800′ = 24 months (2 years).

Calculation Sub periods of Yogini Dasha

In the major period of each Yogini, sub-periods of all Yoginis operate according to the propotional periods in the natural order starting from its own sub period. For example in the major period of Dhanya, sub-periods of all Yoginis will operate starting from Dhanya. The sub periods of all Yoginis operating under their major periods are given in Table 2.

Table 2 : Yogini Dasha Major and Sub Periods
Yogini -> Mangala(1 year) Pingala(2 years) Dhanya(3 years) Bhramari(4 years) Bhadrika(5 years) Ulka(6 years) Siddha(7 years) Sankata(8 years)
Sub periods y-m-d y-m-d y-m-d y-m-d y-m-d y-m-d y-m-d y-m-d
Mangala 0-1-10
Pingala 0-0-20 0-1-10
Dhanya 0-1-00 0-2-00 0-3-0
Bhramari 0-1-10 0-2-20 0-4-0 0-5-10
Bhadrika 0-1-20 0-3-10 0-5-0 0-6-20 0-8-10
Ulka 0-2-00 0-4-00 0-6-0 0-8-00 0-10-00 1-0-0
Siddha 0-2-10 0-4-20 0-7-0 0-9-10 0-11-20 1-2-0 1-4-10
Sankata 0-2-20 0-5-10 0-8-0 0-10-20 1-1-10 1-4-0 1-6-20 1-9-10
Mangala 0-2-00 0-1-0 0-1-10 0-1-20 0-2-0 0-2-10 0-2-20
Pingala 0-2-0 0-2-20 0-3-10 0-4-0 0-4-20 0-5-10
Dhanya 0-4-00 0-5-00 0-6-0 0-7-00 0-8-00
Bhramari 0-6-20 0-8-0 0-9-10 0-10-20
Bhadrika 0-10-0 0-11-20 1-1-10
Ulka 1-2-00 1-4-00
Siddha 1-6-20

The Benefic-Malefic Rulership of Yoginis

The eight Yoginis Mangala, Pingala, Dhanya, Bhramari, Bhadrika, Ulka, Siddha and Sankata are governed respectively by the Moon, the Sun, Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Rahu. Some have the opinion that the first half of Sankata is ruled by Rahu while the second half is ruled by Ketu.

We see an imbalance of benefic and malefic periods operating through Yogini dasha in the life of an individual. The rulership of these Yoginis is alternatively benefic and malefic. Out of a total period of 36 years of Yogini dasha, 16 years are ruled by benefic planets – Mangala (Moon 1 year), Dhanya (Jupiter 3 years), Bhadrika (Mercury 5 years) and Siddha (Venus 7 years). The remaining 20 years are ruled by malefic planets Pingala (2 years), Bhramari (Mars 4 years), Ulka (Saturn 6 years) and Sankata (Rahu 8 years).

The Naamakshara

The Naamakshara is the first letter of the alphabet in an individual’s name. It is a common practice in India to name a new born child according to the Naamakshara indicated by the pada of the nakshatra of birth of the child. The nakshatra of birth is that nakshatra in which the natal Moon is located. Each nakshatra has four padas or quarters, and each pada indicates certain letters of the alphabet. All these alphabets are unique. At the time of birth, the placement of Moon in a particular nakshatra pada decides the first alphabet of the name of the child. If this system is followed, as has been the practice in India, by merely knowing the name of a person, we can know the nakshatra of his Moon.

There are many advantages of this system. For all the dashas based on the nakshatra of the Moon, the dasha operating at the time of birth and its approximate balance can be calculated. By adding various periods of dashas, the present operative dasha of a person can be found out. Since the operative Yogini dasha reveals a lot about the likely things happening in the life of a person, even in the absence of a proper horoscope, we can know a lot about the person. The marital compatibility of two persons is also based on the Moon’s nakshatra. The operative period of sadhe-saati can be known since it is based on the placement of Moon in a sign and the transit of Saturn in or around that sign.

The table on the facing page reveals the meanings of Yoginis and the results of Yogini dasha major periods as given in the classics. It is generally observed that irrespective of the disbursement of planets in the horoscope of individuals, Yogini dasha periods do give results according to thier meanings as explained in the table.

Analysis of Individual Houses

The key to interpretation of a horoscopic chart lies in the assessment of the strength and weakness of different houses of a horoscope. The twelve houses of a horoscope encompass all the areas in the life of an individual. The strength or weakness of a house will influence the results attributed to that particular house. The quality, quantity and nature of results of individual houses are dependent upon the combined indications of the disposition of the three factors, namely: the house, the house lord, and the karaka or significator.

House: The house is influenced either by placement or by aspect of planets. Influence by the lords of malefic houses or by natural malefics will adversely influence the results ascribed to that house. Similarly placement or aspect of benefics or lords of benefic houses enhances the results of the house concerned. Placement of the house lord in its own house protects the house and it will always improve the results of the house.

House Lord: Disposition of the house lord in one of the trines or kendras gives positive results while placement in Trika (6th, 8th or 12th) houses is a negative factor for the house.

Significator: Ill disposed, weak or afflicted significator gives trouble in respect of the areas indicated by significator.

A deep analysis of these three factors – the house, the house lord and the significator – will indicate whether the results attributed to the house will be negative or positive and also the extent to which they will be adverse or favourable. Relevant divisional charts play a pivotal role in the final outcome of the results.

Significator Planets for the Twelve Houses

House Significator Planet
First House Sun.
Second House Jupiter for wealth, Mercury for speech.
Third House Mars for co-borns and valour, Saturn for servants and subordinates.
Fourth House Moon for mother, Venus for conveyances, Mars for lands and properties.
Fifth House Jupiter for children, Mercury for education.
Sixth House Mars for accidents, Saturn for sickness, Mercury for maternal relations.
Seventh House Venus for spouse.
Eighth House Saturn for longevity.
Ninth House Sun for father, Jupiter for guru, teacher or religion.
Tenth House Sun for profession.
Eleventh House Jupiter for elder brothers-sisters, and gains.
Twelfth House Saturn for separation or renunciation, Venus for bed pleasures, Ketu for emancipation.

Houses to be considered for different significations

Relation Significator Planet and House
Father The Sun and the ninth house from the Sun.
Mother The Moon and the fourth house from the Moon.
Younger brothers and sisters Mars and the third house from Mars.
Elder brothers and sisters Jupiter and the eleventh house from Jupiter.
Spouse Venus and the seventh house from Venus. Some are of the opinion that for female horoscopes, Jupiter should be considered for spouse.
Children Jupiter and the fifth house from Jupiter.
Maternal Uncle Mercury and the sixth house from Mercury.
Lands and properties Mars and the fourth house from Mars.
Luxuries and conveyances Venus and the fourth house from Venus.
Education Mercury and the fifth house from Mercury.
Longevity Saturn and the eighth house from Saturn.

Maraka Houses and Planets

The eighth house from the lagna is the house of longevity. The eighth from the eighth house is the third house, an alternative house of longevity. Twelfth from any house causes loss to that house. In this case twelfth from third and eighth houses are second and seventh houses respectively, which cause loss of longevity and as such are called death inflicting houses or maraka houses. The seventh and the second lords also become the killer or maraka planets. The planets posited in the maraka houses, with the killer planets, and the planets aspected by the killer planets also gain death inflicting powers and become maraka or killer planets. The lord of the twelfth house is also considered a maraka. Saturn is the unconditional maraka for any lagna. Rahu, if placed in sixth, eighth or twelfth house also becomes maraka.

Application of Yogini Dasha on Horoscopic Charts

Before applying dasha system to a horoscope in order to time events, a general assessment of the horoscope is essential. Each house needs to be examined from the lagna, as well as its Karaka. In addition, while examining a particular house, that house needs to be treated as lagna and all other houses considered in relation to that house. For example, in matters of progeny, one needs to consider the fifth house from the lagna, the fifth house from the Karaka Jupiter and also the fifth house from the fifth (i.e., the ninth house from the lagna). In addition, the appropriate divisional chart should also be considered. While considering the appropriate divisional chart, however, it needs to be remembered that the lagna of the divisional chart is additionally significant in respect of the appropriate aspect of life signified by that chart.

In case of the Yogini Dasha, the lords of the different Yoginis are to be considered as the operative dasha lords. To apply Yogini dasha on the horoscope of an individual, first of all take note of the Yogini dasha-antara (major and sub-periods) operating for the period under consideration. Next, find the lords of the relevant Yoginis (major and sub-periods). These dasha lords need to be assessed from the following points:

1. Rashi chart :

(a) from the house under consideration; and

(b) from the significator.

2. Divisional chart :

(a) from the lagna;

(b) from the house under consideration; and

(c) from the significator.

An attempt will be made here to explain the method of application of Yogini dasha through some example horoscopes related to varying areas of life of different natives. For constraints of space only the birth charts and the dwadshamsha charts are being given in the present article; the navamsha charts are not being included in this discussion.


The Sun is considered the significator for the father of a native. If the Sun and the ninth lord are weak or placed in malefic houses, along with affliction of the ninth house, the ninth lord or the Sun by the Trika lords (6th, 8th or 12th lords), it could be a combination for ill-health or even fatality to the father of the native. In order to judge the events pertaining to one’s father, the following factors need to be considered:

(a) Rashi chart: the Sun, the ninth from the lagna and ninth from the Sun

(b) Dwadashamsha chart: the lagna, the Sun, the ninth from the lagna and the ninth from the Sun.

Example One

The native belonging to Chart 1 (born April 24, 1985; 17:39 hrs IST; 28°N39′, 77°E13′) lost his father at an early age. The ninth house is occu-pied by the eighth lord Mars and aspected by a retrograde sixth lord Saturn from the third house. The placement of an exalted eleventh lord Moon also in the ninth house aspected by a debilitated Jupiter from the fifth are relatively ineffective factors for mitigating the affliction to the ninth house. The ninth lord in the seventh, though exalted, is retrograde and associated with a debilitated Mercury.

The Sun, the significator for father, is placed in the adverse eighth house associated with Rahu, without any releiving factor. The ninth house from the Sun receives the aspect of the eighth lord Mars while the ninth lord Jupiter is debilitated and aspected by a retrograde Saturn.

In the dwadashamsha chart, the lagna is heavily afflicted, being occupied by a debilitated Mars, the malignant Ketu and a retrograde Venus. There is no benefic aspect on the lagna or the lagna lord. The ninth lord Jupiter, which also happens to be the sixth lord, is aspected by a retrograde eighth lord Saturn from the sixth house. The ninth lord from the Sun is also heavily afflicted.

Yogini Dasha

The native lost his father on October 1, 1989 when he was running the Yogini dasha of Sankata-Siddha, equivalent to Rahu-Venus.

In the birth chart the major-period lord Rahu is placed in the eighth house with the Sun, the significator for father. Rahu represents Saturn, which occupies the eighth house from the Sun and the seventh (a maraka house) from the ninth house. By its placement in Mesha, it also represents Mars which occupies the ninth house and owns eighth house from the Sun. Venus, the sub-period lord is the owner of the ninth house from the lagna. It is a maraka (lord of the second as well as the seventh) from the Sun and occupies the twelfth from it.

In the dwadashamsha chart, Venus as well as the Rahu-Ketu axis involve the lagna. From the Sun both of them fall in the adverse six-twelve axis. From the ninth house, Venus happens to be the retrograde lord of the eighth house associated with Mars and Ketu.

Example Two

Chart 2 (born September 1, 1989; 9:17 hrs IST; 28°N39′, 77°E13′) belongs to the younger brother of native of Chart 1. He was only a month old when he lost his father.

In the rashi chart the ninth lord is debilitated in the lagna and aspected by a retrograde sixth lord Saturn. The Sun is afflicted in the twelfth house by its association with the eighth lord Mars and with Ketu. The ninth from the Sun is owned by Mars which is afflicted by the Sun and Ketu. The Moon joins this combination of Mars, Sun and Ketu in the twelfth house without providing any relief; it is a weak Moon which is debilitated in the Navamsha (Prepare the navamsha chart to see this!).

In the dwadashamsha the lagna is occupied by Ketu and aspected by Mars. The Sun, the significator as well as the lagna lord, occupies the adverse sixth house. The ninth house from the lagna receives the aspect of the eighth lord Jupiter and the ninth lord associates with a highly malefic retrograde sixth lord Saturn.

Yogini Dasha

The yogini dasha operating at the time of his father’s death was Ulka-Bhadrika ruled respectively by Saturn and Mercury.

In the Birth Chart, the major-period lord Saturn is the sixth lord aspecting the ninth lord Venus. Saturn also happens to be a maraka, being the lord of the sixth and the seventh houses, from the Sun. The sub-period lord Mercury is conjoined with the ninth lord Venus and aspected by a retrograde sixth lord Saturn. From the Sun, Mercury occupies the maraka second house.

In the dwadashamsha chart Saturn is a maraka being the lord of the sixth and the seventh houses from the lagna. From the ninth, it occupies the second house. Its association with Mars, the ninth lord, further confirms the affliction to the father during the dasha of Saturn. Mercury occupies the sixth house from the lagna and owns the sixth as well as the ninth from the Sun.

To further elucidate the above mentioned principles, two more charts of siblings are being given here.

Example Three

Chart 3 (born on August 5, 1981; 7:20 hrs IST; 28°N39′, 77°E13′) belongs to a female native who lost her father in a road side accident at the tender age of seven. Mars, the lord of the ninth from the lagna, occupies an inimical sign and is aspected by the sixth lord Saturn. The Sun occupies the adverse twelfth house and falls in the Rahu-Ketu axis. The ninth from the Sun is aspected by the seventh and the eight lord Saturn. Jupiter, the lord of the ninth from the Sun, is under a dual malefic influence of Saturn and Mars.

In the dwadashamsha, the ninth lord occupies the sixth house in association with Ketu and the twelfth lord Venus and is aspected by the sixth lord Mars. The ninth house receives the aspect of Mars and Saturn. From the Sun the ninth house is occupied by Rahu, aspected by the sixth lord Moon and the twelfth lord Saturn. Venus, the ninth lord from the Sun is associated with Ketu and the sixth lord, the Moon and aspected by Mars. The association of the fourth lord Saturn with the sixth lord Mars in the third house, aspecting the ninth house, without any relief from benefic association or aspect indicates a vehicular accident to the father of the native.

Yogini Dasha

The native lost her father in November 1988 when she was running the Yogini dasha Dhanya-Ulka owned by Jupiter and Saturn respectively.

Jupiter is the lord of the sixth as well as the ninth from the Sun, is associated with the sixth and the seventh lord Saturn and aspected by Mars. From the Sun, Saturn owns the highly malefic seventh and eighth houses. Both Jupiter and Saturn occupy the second house which falls in the sixth from the ninth.

In the dwadashamsha chart, Jupiter as the second lord from the lagna as well as the Sun associates with the Sun in the eighth from the ninth house. Saturn in association with the sixth lord aspects the ninth from the third, the twelfth from the Sun. Both Saturn and Jupiter aspect the ninth house from the Sun.

Example Four

Chart 4 (born on December 26, 1985; 7:00 hrs IST; 28°N39′, 77°E13′) belongs the the younger brother of the above native. The Sun, the Karaka for the father as well as the ninth lord, occupies the lagna in association with the sixth lord. The ninth house from the lagna as well as the Sun receives the aspect of Saturn.

In the dwadashamsha, the lagna lord is associated with the malefics Mars, Ketu and the sixth lord Moon. The ninth lord from the lagna occupies the twelfth house, aspected by the eighth lord Mercury. The ninth house receives the aspect of Mars. From the Sun, the ninth lord Jupiter in the seventh is aspected by the eighth lord Mars while the ninth house itself is aspected by Saturn. Considering the ninth house of the dwadashamsha as the lagna, a highly malefic combination consisting of Moon, Mars, Saturn and Ketu forms in the sixth house. From the ninth house, the fourth lord falls in the sixth house; from the Sun too, the sixth lord falls in the fourth house; both these confirm the promise of an accident in the dwadashamsha chart.

Yogini Dasha

The Yogini dasha operating at the time of the adverse event was Sankata-Bhadrika equivalent to Rahu-Mercury. Rahu represents Saturn which latter falls in the twelfth from the lagna as well as the Sun, the Karaka as well as the ninth lord. Rahu by its position in Mesha also represents Mars which owns the twelfth house from the lagna as well as the Sun and is joined by Ketu. Mercury, in association with Saturn and under the aspect of the eighth lord Moon, falls in the twelfth house from the lagna as well as the Sun. In the dwadashamsha, Rahu occupies the eighth from the lagna and the sixth from the Sun. Mercury owns the eight house from the lagna and the sixth house from the Sun. As the lord of the sixth from the Sun, Mercury occupies the fourth house and is aspected by the Maraka Venus.


The Yogini dasha should be applied not only from the lagnas of the birth chart and the divisional chart but also from the house under consideration and the significator for that house. The position of the significator and the appropriate house thus function as alternative lagnas. These principles will be further elucidated by appropriate examples in subsequent articles.

Astrology Primer Astronomy Basic Concepts

The Vedic System of Calculating the Ascendant

The most important point in the construction of a horoscope is the Ascendant. The ascendant is the point of cutting of the ecliptic by the eastern horizon of a place.

The earth spinning on its axis in a linear movement takes 24 hours to complete one rotation. But what exactly is the duration of a day? There are many types of days prevalent.

Sidereal day: The time taken by earth to spin one complete rotation of 360 degrees on its axis. Average duration of one sidereal day is 23 hrs, 56 min, 4.091 sec.

Savana day: The duration of time between one sunrise to another sunrise is a Savana day. For people living in northern hemisphere, from winter solstice day onwards, the sunshine hours (dinamana) increases and night hours (ratrimana) decreases. As the sunrise every day is earlier than the previous day, the duration of the savana day is less than 24 hours till the Sun reaches its maximum declination at summer solstice. After that the dinamana reduces and the ratrimana increases. Since the sunrise of every day is later than the previous day, the duration of the savana day is more than 24 hours till it reaches the winter solstice again.

Mean Solar Day: The average of all the days of a year. It’s duration is equal to 24 hours.

The Vedic system recognises a day as the duration of time from one sunrise to the next sunrise. This span, known as a Savana day, is measured in units of ghatis. One Savana day is equal to 60 ghatis and each ghati is divisible into 60 palas or vighatis.

The earth continuously spins on its axis in a west to east direction. For a person situated on the surface of the earth, different signs of the zodiac appear to rise in the eastern horizon and set in the western horizon. With the completion of one rotation of the earth, all the twelve signs of the zodiac rise and set during one sidereal day.

Rashimana (Oblique Ascension)

Rashimana is the rising periods of signs of the zodiac. As there are twelve equally divided signs of the zodiac and it takes approximately 24 hours for all the signs to rise, therefore, one sign should take about two hours to rise in the eastern horizon. But it’s not so. As the plane of the ecliptic is inclined at an angle of 23.5 degrees to the plane of the celestial equator, the rising time of different signs is not uniform. The time taken by different groups of signs at the equator is given in Table 1.

Table 1.

Time taken by different group of signs to rise at the Equator

Group Signs Rashimana in
I Aries Virgo Libra Pisces 1674 asus 1h51m36s
II Taurus Leo Scorpio Aquarius 1795 asus 1h59m40s
III Gemini Cancer Sagittarius Capricorn 1931 asus 2h08m44s

Rashimana values are calculated for Sayana signs and are measured in units of Asus. One unit of Asu is equivalent to 4 seconds of sidereal time. Rashimana values vary from one latitude to another. These values once calculated for any place do not change from year to year.

Charakhandas (Ascensional Differences)

Variations in the rising of different signs at different latitudes can be calculated with the help of Charakhandas or ascensional differences for those latitudes.

To know the Charakhandas of a particular place with the help of ‘Hindu Dial’, measure the length of the mid-day shadow, on the day of the equinox, of a shanku of 12 units length (please refer to Astrology Primer # 5, Vol.1, No.5). Put this figure at three places and multiply the first figure with 10; second with 8 and; third with 10 divided by 3. This gives the Charakhandas for I, II, and III groups of signs respectively. These Charakhanda values are in palas or vighaties. To convert these values to asus, multiply the charakhandas by six.

Signs of Long Ascension and Short Ascension

For people living in the northern hemisphere of the earth, on the day of winter solstice, when the Sun is at zero degrees Sayana Capricorn, the sunshine hours are the shortest. With the rising of the Sun, sign Capricorn rises in the eastern horizon followed by other signs in sequence. At the time of sunset, the point rising at the eastern horizon would be 180° opposite the Sun’s longitude (thus zero degrees Cancer). Therefore, during the daytime signs Capricorn to Gemini rise in the shortest duration of time, while at night the signs Cancer to Sagittarius take the longest duration of time.

Table 2.

Signs of Short and Long Ascension for Northern Hemisphere*

Signs of Short Ascension* Signs of Long Ascension*
10 – Capricorn

11 – Aquarius

12 – Pisces

1 – Aries

2 – Taurus

3 – Gemini

4 – Cancer

5 – Leo

6 – Virgo

7 – Libra

8 – Scorpio

9 – Sagittarius

* For southern hemisphere short and long ascension rashis are reversed.

When the Sun is at summer solstice (zero degrees Sayana Cancer) during the daytime signs Cancer to Sagittarius spend the longest duration of time to rise and during night signs Capricorn to Gemini take the shortest duration of time.

Sign which takes longer time in rising than the time taken by same sign at the equator, is the sign of long ascension and the sign which takes shorter time in rising is the sign of short ascension. Signs Capricorn to Gemini are short ascension signs while Cancer to Sagittarius are long ascension signs for norther latitudes. Reverse is the case for people living in the southern latitudes.

As the latitude of the observer increases, the duration of signs of long ascension become much longer while the duration of signs of short ascension become much shorter.

Calculation of rising times of different signs (Rashimana) for a particular place

After knowing the Charakhandas of a particular place, we can calculate the rashimana of different signs. Add the Charakanda values, in asus, to the rashimana values at the equator in their respective groups for signs of long ascension and subtract the Charakhandas from their respective groups for signs of short ascension.

Correlation of the earth with the Zodiac

Calculation of ascendant for any given moment is an effort to establish a relationship between the horizon of the observer on the earth with the zodiac.

The earth is spinning continuously on its axis. To an observer, being located on the surface of the earth, it appears that the earth is stationary and the sky with all the stars and heavenly bodies is drifting towards the west after rising in the east.

To establish a relationship of the earth with the zodiac, we have to refer to some identifiable point on the zodiac. The rising, setting or the meridian passage of this point is to be observed to find out the actual position of this point at any given moment of time for the place of location of the observer. Once we know the position of one point of the zodiac, we can relate the other points of the zodiac with respect to this identifiable point.

This identifiable point could be a star or a planet or the vernal equinox (zero degrees Sayana Aries point) of the zodiac. When we observe the passing of the Vernal Equinox on the meridian of a place, it is zero hours Sidereal time for that place. Sidereal time at any given moment indicates the time elapsed since the vernal equinox crossed the meridian of that place.

The Indian system makes use of the position of the Sun in the zodiac to establish a link between the earth and the zodiac. At the time of sunrise, the centre of the Sun is touching the eastern horizon. Sunrise is considered to be the beginning to the day and that day remains in force till the next sunrise. The duration of this day is considered to be equal to sixty ghatis. One ghati is roughly equal to 24 minues of time.

The longitude of the Sun is identical with the cusp of the sign rising at the time of sunrise. A track of the number of ghatis and palas passed since sunrise is kept and is called Ishtakaala.

Since the rashimana values are for Sayana signs, the longitude of the Sun is also considered in Sayana values.

Inputs to calculate the Ascendant

In order to calculate the cusp of the ascendant, we need the following:

1. The time of sunrise at the required place on the relevant day.

2. The Sayana position of the Sun at the time of sunrise at the place in question. In case the available ephe-meris provides the nirayana position of the Sun, the Sayana position may be obtained by adding to it the appropriate ayanamsha.

3. The ishtakala or the duration of time elapsed from the time of sunrise.

4. Rashimana or the duration of the rising of different signs at the particular latitude of the place.

Steps to Calculate the Ascendant

The following steps describe the method of calculation of the ascendant for a given place at a given date and time. For example, let’s calculate the ascendant rising at Gurdaspur, India (latitude 32°N02′ longitude 75°E31′) on April 1, 1997 at 12.00 hours IST.

Step 1. Calculate the Charakhandas

On the ‘Hindu Dial’, measure the length of the mid-day shadow, on the day of the equinox, of a shanku of 12 units length.

Table 3:
Length of the equinoctial shadow of a Shanku of 12 units at different latitudes
Lat. Length Lat. Length Lat. Length Lat. Length
01° 0.21 16° 3.44 31° 7.21 46° 12.42
02° 0.42 17° 3.66 32° 7.50 47° 12.87
03° 0.63 18° 3.90 33° 7.79 48° 13.33
04° 0.84 19° 4.13 34° 8.09 49° 13.80
05° 1.05 20° 4.37 35° 8.40 50° 14.30
06° 1.26 21° 4.60 36° 8.71 51° 14.82
07° 1.47 22° 4.85 37° 9.04 52° 15.35
08° 1.69 23° 5.09 38° 9.37 53° 15.92
09° 1.90 24° 5.34 39° 9.72 54° 16.52
10° 2.11 25° 5.59 40° 10.06 55° 17.13
11° 2.33 26° 5.85 41° 10.43 56° 17.79
12° 2.55 27° 6.11 42° 10.80 57° 18.46
13° 2.70 28° 6.38 43° 11.19 58° 19.20
14° 2.99 29° 6.65 44° 11.58 59° 19.97
15° 3.21 30° 6.93 45° 12.00 60° 20.78

The length of the shadow at Gurdaspur (32 degrees latitude) from the above table is 7.5 units. Now multiply this figure with 10, 8, and 10/3 respectively to get the Charakhanda values in palas or vighatis.

Group Shanku length x value Charakhanda in palas
I 7.5 x 10 = 75 palas
II 7.5 x 8 = 60 palas
III 7.5 x 10/3 = 25 palas

Multiply each with 6 to convert the values in asus.

Group Charakhanda x 6 Charakhanda in asus
I 75 palas x 6 = 450 asus
II 60 palas x 6 = 360 asus
III 25 palas x 6 = 150 asus

The derived values of 450, 360 and 150 are the charakhandas for I, II and III groups of signs respectively.

Step 2. Calculate the Rashimana

The Rashimana for different groups of signs at the equator are:

Group Signs Rashimana
I 1, 6, 7, 12 1674 asus
II 2, 5, 8, 11 1795 asus
III 3, 4, 9, 10 1931 asus

To the above rashimanas we apply the Charakhanda corrections as worked out above to obtain the rashimana for different signs at the latitude in question. Add the Charakandas to their respective groups for signs of long ascension and subtract the Charakhandas from their respective groups for signs of short ascension.

Group Signs Rashimana in
Short Ascension Asus hr-mn-sc
I 1, 12 1674 – 450 = 1224 1:21:36
II 2, 11 1795 – 360 = 1435 1:35:40
III 3, 10 1931 – 150 = 1781 1:58:44
Long Ascension
I 4, 9 1931 + 150 = 2081 2:18:44
II 5, 8 1795 + 360 = 2155 2:23:40
III 6, 7 1674 + 450 = 2124 2:21:36

Step 3. Find out the Sunrise time

From the ephemeris, calculate the sunrise time on the given date for the place of birth. For Gurdaspur the sunrise time is 6h:20m:40s (IST).

Step 4. Find out the Sayana Sun

Again from the ephemeris, calculate the position of Sayan Sun at the time of sunrise. If the available ephemeris provides the longitudes of planets in nirayana values, add the ayanamsha to the Sun’s longitude to get the Sayana value. The nirayana longitude of the sun at the time of sunrise on April 1, 1997 is 11s17°31’16”. Adding to this the ayanamsha value on the given date, i.e., 23°49’06”, we get the Sayana longitude of the Sun at the time of sunrise as 0s11°20’22”. This also indicates the longitude of the ascendant at the time of sunrise.

Step 5. Find out the Ishtakala

Ishtakala is the time elapsed since the time of sunrise to the time of birth. Traditionally the time of birth is recorded in ishtakala only. Since in our example the time of birth is in hours-minutes, etc., it can be converted to ishtakala by subtracting the time of sunrise from the time of birth.

Time of birth : 12h:00m:00s

Sunrise time : 06h:20m:40s

Ishtakala in hrs. : 05h:39m:20s

Step 6. Cusp of the Ascendant

From Step 4 above, we know the sign that the sun is in at sunrise and, therefore, the cusp of the sign rising at the time of sunrise. The duration of this sign being known (Step 2), it is possible to work out how much of this sign has yet to rise above horizon and how much time it will take to do so.

Long. of Sun (Cusp at sunrise): = 0s11°20’22”
Bal. of sign Aries yet to rise: (30°00’00” – 11°20’22”) = 18°39’38”
Time taken by 30 degrees of Aries to rise: = 1h:21m:36s (Step 2)
Time taken by 18°39’38” of Aries to rise: (1:21:36 / 30°) x 18°39’38” = 0h:50m:45s

After 50m:45s of sunrise (i.e. from 7h:11m:25s onwards), the sign Taurus will start and last for 1h:35m:40s (i.e., upto 8h:47m:05s). The next sign Gemini (with a duration of 1h:58m:44s) lasts until 10h:45m:49s. Cancer (duration of 2h:18m:44s) lasts until 13h:04m:33s which includes our time of birth (12 noon). Thus we have Cancer rising at 12 noon.

Time elapsed from the onset of Cancer lagna upto the time of birth (12:00:00 – 10:45:49) = 1h:14m:11s
Arc of Cancer rising in 2h:18m:44s = 30°
Arc of Cancer rising in 1h:14m:11s = (30° / 2:18:44) x 1:14:11 = 16°02’30”

Thus we get the cusp of ascendant at 12 noon as Cancer 16°02’30”. This is the Sayana value. Reduce the ayanamsha from this value to obtain the cusp of the ascendant in nirayana value. Thus the nirayana ascendant would be: 3s16°02’30” – 23°49’06” = 2s22°13’24” or Gemini rising at 22°13’24”.

Astrology Primer Astronomy Basic Concepts

How to Create and Use Vedic Sundial

This article explores the ingenuity of ancient Vedic scholars in extracting the vast astronomical information with the help of very simple instruments.

Here we propose to explain the method of erecting a ‘Vedic Sundial’ as described in the Narada Purana (II.50.125-131), believed to be one of the ancient classics compiled around 1700 BC, and the Surya Siddhanta, one of the most important Indian astronomical classics.

The erection of the ‘Vedic Sundial’

Select a flat smooth stone or prepare a cemented surface, and level it with water. Draw an even circle having a radius of 12 units of any measurement. In the centre of this circle fix a cylindrical shaft, called ‘Shanku’. The Shanku is divided in twelve equal parts and has a height equal to the radius of the circle.

The classics refer to the unit of measurement as angula or ‘a finger’s-breadth’. The Shanku should be two angulas in diameter, uniformly circular (cylindrical), twelve angulas in height and made of strong wood. If according to this measurement a Shanku of twelve angula is formed, it will have a height of about nine inches.

Knowing the directions

Mark the two points on the circle where the extremity of the Shanku’s shadow touches the circle, once in the forenoon and again in the afternoon. Please refer to the diagram below. Points A and B represent the forenoon and the afternoon points respectively.

Considering these two points as the centre, draw two bisecting arcs a and b, forming the shape of a ‘fish’. Draw a line passing through the ‘mouth’ and ‘tail’ of this fish. This line is the north-south direction line. The line will pass through the centre of the circle O and touch the circle at two points N and S, indicating the north and south points. This line also indicates the meridian of the place.

Again form a ‘fish-figure’ on the north-south line by drawing two bisecting arcs n and s keeping the north and south points as their centres. A line formed by joining the ‘mouth’ and ‘tail’ will be perpendicular to the north-south line and is known as the east-west line. The east-west line passes through the centre of the circle and cuts the circle at two points E and W indicating the east and west points. The east-west line, is also called the prime vertical. The point O, the point of intersection of the north-south and east-west lines, which is also the centre point of the circle where the base of the Shanku lies, is the zenith point.

Thus, after knowing the four directions, by forming similar ‘fish-figures’ (bisecting arcs) between the two points of the directions, find out the four intermediate directions and mark them appropriately.

Draw a circumscribing square, having its sides equal to the diameter of the circle and the four corners of the square touching the four cardinal direction lines NE, SE, SW, NW. The east and west sides of this square are each divided into twenty four parts to form a linear scale. Its use is to aid in ascertaining the length of any given shadow.

Find the position of the Sun

The Indian system of astronomy primarily does the calculations in the Sayana (tropical) system. To convert the planetary longitudes to Nirayana (sidereal), subtract ayanamsha for the given moment from the Sayana position.

Mid-day shadow: When the shadow of the Shanku coincides with the north-south line, the Sun is exactly on the meridian of the place. At that time it is local noon or mid-day of that place. The shadow thus formed is referred to as the mid-day shadow.

Equinoctial shadow: When the Sun is either on the vernal equinox or on the autumnal equinox, the shadow of the Shanku thus formed on the mid-day is termed as Palabha or equinoctial shadow.

Equinoctial line: Mark the extremity of the mid-day shadow on the day when the Sun is at the equinox. Draw a line parallel to the east-west line, touching this point. The line is called the equinoctial line. Refer to the diagram on the right.

North declination line: On the day of the summer solstice, when the Sun is at its maximum declination north, mark the extremity of the midday shadow and draw a line touching this point, parallel to the east-west line and mark it summer solstice line or north declination line.

South declination line: Again on the day of the winter solstice, when the Sun is at its maximum declination south, mark the extremity of the midday shadow. Draw a line parallel to the east-west line passing through this point and mark the line as the winter solstice line or south declination line.

In the above paragraphs we have referred to summer and winter solstice as applicable to persons in the earth’s northern hemisphere. For people in the southern hemisphere, for example Australia, Sun’s maximum northern declination is referred to as winter solstice and Sun’s maximum southern declination as summer solstice.

Now we have got three lines: north declination line, equinoctial line and south declination line. The equinoctial line will be in between the two maximum declination lines of the Sun. On the north-south line, divide the distance between the north declination line and the equinoctial line in three parts, and the distance between the equinoctial line and south declination line also in three parts. On the left side of these six divisions mark vertically from top to bottom 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4. On the right side of these six divisions again mark from top to bottom 10, 11, 12, 1, 2 and 3. These numbers represent the rashis. If the person is located near the equator, these divisions will be uniformally spaced out. But if the person is located far north of the equator, the divisions for signs Libra to Pisces would be more spaced out compared to the divisions for Aries to Virgo. Reverse would be the case for a person located far south from the equator. For persons located at higher latitudes, north or south, it is best to mark the extremity of shadows on the days of Sayana Sankranti (entrance of Sun in Sayana rashis) either of the six rashis of Uttarayana (Capricorn to Gemini) or Dakshinayana (Cancer to Sagittarius).

Observe the extremity of the midday shadow of the Shanku on any day of the year on the scale. When the Sun is in its southward course, the shadow point on the scale indicates the position of the Sun among six rashis from Karka (Cancer) to Dhanu (Sagittarius). When the Sun is in its northward course, the midday shadow point on the scale indicates the position of the Sun among six rashis from Makara (Capricorn) to Mithuna (Gemini).

Astrology Primer Astronomy Basic Concepts

The Basic Concepts of Astronomy Relevant to Astrology

The Branches of Vedic Astrology

Jyotish is considered to be one of the Vedangas (part of Vedas) propounded by lord Brahma by the scientific study of which human beings can accomplish virtue. Jyotish shastra or the science of Vedic astrology, is a compilation of 4,00,000 verses (vide Narada Purana, II.50.2). Vedic astrology has mainly three branches – Siddhanta (the principle), Jataka or Hora (astrology for individuals) and Samhita (astrology for masses).

Siddhanta, also known as Ganita, deals with the mathematical calculations, the methodology of calculating planetary positions, knowledge about time, place, direction, lunar and solar eclipses, their rising and setting, planetary movements, conjunctions, retrogression, etc.

Jataka (Hora) deals with the techniques of interpretation of horoscopes of individuals. It describes signs, planets, their qualities, family situations/ circumstances at the time of birth, arishta (mishaps), longevity of the native, different dasha systems and their results, profession (sources of livelihood), ashtakavarga, varied types of yogas, results of planetary positions in different houses, signs, nakshatras, aspects of planets, planetary combinations, female horoscopy, circumstances at the time of death, cases of unknown birth time, etc. The term ‘Hora’ has been applied to ‘Jataka’ or natal astrology, as well as to the ‘Muhurta’ or electional astrology (i.e., selecting the appropriate moment to commence an undertaking).

Samhita is that branch of astrology which is related to masses and is a compilation of varied subjects like the results of rising and setting of planets, appearance of different types of comets, varied types of chakras, predicting about rainfalls, earthquakes, natural disasters and epidemics, results of planetary movements on kingdoms, nations, masses and commodities, etc.

The Geocentric System

It is a human tendency to refer to other things in relation to oneself. Sitting in a moving train, we see things passing by the train – trees, farms, hutments, etc. A common question arises in our mind – which is the station coming next? At the back of our mind we do know that it is not the station which is going to come, it is the train which will reach the next station. Similarly we refer to the rising and setting of the Sun. But we do know that it is not the Sun which is rising or setting, it is the spin of the earth which makes it appear so.

Because we feel stationary on the solid earth, the sky seems to spin around us in complicated ways. In our quest to understand what we see, our ancients had evolved a most innovative and powerful tool.

As nothing is stationary in the universe, whether it is a satellite or a planet or even a star, it is convenient to imagine our position in the universe – the earth – as its centre and the whole of the universe moving around us in constant motion. Thus considering the relative positions and movements of all heavenly bodies with respect to the earth is the Geo-centric system. On the other hand, when we consider the relative position of planets (including the earth) in respect of the Sun, it forms the basis of the Helio-centric system. Vedic astronomy and astrology are essentially geo-centric in their concept.

The Earth

The earth is spherical and rotates from west to east around its axis. The axis of the earth is an imaginary line which, passing through its centre, connects its two poles, the north pole and the south pole. Another imaginary line running across the largest circumference of the earth, equidistant from its poles and running in an east-west direction, is called the equator.

The Celestial Sphere

Think of the sky as a great, hollow, crystalline sphere surrounding the earth. Imagine the stars to be attached to the inside of the sphere like thumbnails stuck in the ceiling. The sphere takes one day to rotate, carrying the Sun, the Moon, the planets and the stars from east to west. We know that the sky is not a great, hollow, crystalline sphere. The stars are scattered through space at different distances, and it isn’t the sky that rotates once a day. It is rather the earth that rotates once in a day around its axis. It is convenient as a model of the sky. This model of the sky, the Celestial sphere, is an imaginary hollow sphere of very large radius (infinity) surrounding the earth and to which the stars seem to be attached. On this imaginary sphere the celestial equator, the celestial poles, and other reference points are marked as they are done on the earth; these represent the extensions of the equator and the poles, etc., of the earth into infinity.


The earth takes one year to complete its rotation around the Sun. From the earth, it appears that the Sun moves around the earth. This apparent path of the Sun is known as ecliptic. An imaginary belt of 18 degrees width with ecliptic in its centre is known as the zodiac. Many groups of stars appear to have been studded on this imaginary belt. Vedic astrology recognizes 27 such groups of stars called nakshatras.

The zodiac encircles the earth like a circle consisting of 360 degrees. If this circle is divided into 27 equal parts, each part will be of 13 degrees and 20 minutes arc, known as a nakshatra. Each nakshatra is further divided into 4 quarters (padas or charanas), of 3 degrees and 20 minutes arc each.

Twelve divisions of the zodiac will have an arc of 30 degrees each, known as rashis (or signs).

The above figure shows rising of the Sun in the eastern horizon. The line passing through the centre of the Sun is the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun created by its ‘revolution’ around the earth during its annual journey. The group of stars, referred to as the nakshatras, are the fixed reference points in the zodiac used to locate the position of the Sun, the Moon and other heavenly bodies. All the planets considered in Vedic astrology for the purpose of interpretation, do not decline beyond the belt of the zodiac. They may be on the ecliptic or towards the north or sourth of the ecliptic depending on their latitude with reference to the ecliptic.

For example, the orbit of the Moon is inclined at an angle of 5 degrees to the ecliptic. The Moon does not go beyond 5 degrees on either side of the ecliptic. The orbit of the Moon cuts the ecliptic at two point. In its orbit, when the Moon is on the ecliptic while moving from south of ecliptic to north, this point is known as Rahu or the ascending node of the Moon and when the Moon is on the ecliptic while moving from north of ecliptic to south of ecliptic, this point of intersection is known as Ketu or the descending node of the Moon.

The point of sunrise with respect to the observer keeps changing during the year. If A is the point of sunrise when the Sun is at vernal equinox (around March 21 every year), the point of sunrise will appear to move northwards till it reaches the summer solstice (B) on or around June 21. from this point it will start its southernly journey (Dakshinayana) during which it reaches the autumnal equinox (again A) around September 23 and further until it reaches winter solstice (C) around December 22. At this stage it starts its northward journey (Uttarayana).

Tropical Zodiac

The most crucial point in the division of a circle is to know the starting point of the circle. The point where the ecliptic cuts the celestial equator is known as equinox. There are two such equinoxes – the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox. When the Sun is passing from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere, it cuts the equator at vernal equinox. When the division of the circle of the zodiac is with reference to vernal equinox as its starting point, the zodiac is referred to as the Sayana (or tropical) zodiac, the divisions of this zodiac into twelve equal parts are the Sayana rashis, and the positions of planets in this zodiac represent the Sayana longitudes of the planets.

The Precession of Equinoxes

If we could watch the sky for a few hundred years, we would discover that the north celestial pole is moving slowly with respect to Dhruva (Polaris) star. The celestial poles and the celestial equator, supposed to be the fixed reference marks, are moving very slowly because of the slow change in the direction of Earth’s axis of rotation. This slow top-like motion is called precession. Earth’s axis sweeps around in a cone, taking almost 26,000 years for each sweep.

Precession is caused by the gravitational pull of the Sun and the Moon. Because earth is not a perfect sphere – it has a slight bulge around its equator – Sun and Moon pull on it, trying to make it spin upright in its orbit. This forces earth’s axis to precess.

The result of this precession is that vernal equinox, the cutting point of the ecliptic and the celestial equator, drifts westward on the ecliptic by an approximate angle of 51 seconds of an arc each year. So we have a new vernal equinox every year and hence a new staring point of the Sayana zodiac. This results in the shifting of the Sayana signs.

Sidereal Zodiac

The Vedic system does not depend on this shifting zodiac and relies on a fixed point on the zodiac as its starting point. There is no clear cut demarcation of this starting point in the zodiac. Some consider this point to be 180 degrees opposite to the Chitra nakshatra. Some consider it to be slightly to the east of the Revati nakshatra, while still others opine differently.

When the division of the circle of the zodiac is with reference to the Vedic starting point, the zodiac is referred to as the Nirayana (or Sidereal) zodiac, the twelve equal parts are the Nirayana rashis, and the positions of planets in this zodiac represent the Nirayana longitudes of the planets.

The angular difference between the vernal equinox and the Vedic starting point of the zodiac is known as the Ayanamsha. When the Vedic starting point is with reference to Chitra nakshatra, the Ayanamsha is refered to as the Chitrapaksha Ayanamsha. According to this system the first point of Sayana zodiac and Nirayana zodiac coincided in the year 285 A.D. The corresponding value of this Ayanamsha on January 1997 is 23°48’56”.