The grahas and their energies can be mapped geometrically too. The basic chakra/ energy geometry used is this Ashtapadmadala chakra. The eight petalled lotus. This is also called the Kaalachakra or Kota chakra and there is a whole tantra written on it. However for Jyotish purposes this is how you start, with a simple analysis to understand its basic dynamics. There are lots of ways of using this Chakra to get layers and layers of information.
The basic layout of the chakra means the following,
- The outermost square is called ‘Bhaya’ boundary.
- The middle square is called Prakaara boundary.
- The innermost square is Durgantar boundary.
- The fortress of which the 4 nakshatra positions 4,11,18, 25 are the Stambha boundary.
- The central bindu is the Durg. This Durg represents the Point where Devi Mahamaya and the Kaalpurush merge into the Ultimate. The Reality that you are.
- The direction lines, East-west, North-south have the auspicious Kendra points. These are 1 2 3 4 8 9 10 11 15 16 17 18 22 23 24 25.
- The diagonal direction lines North-east/South-west and North-west/South-east are the inauspicious Kona. In this chakra they are the numbers 5 6 7 12 13 14 19 20 21 26 17 28
- The energy of the chart moves as per the arrows marked, following the sequence of the nakshatras. Energies moving inwards are constructive, give gains and are positive. Energies moving outwards are destructive, negative and create losses.
- The guardians of the directions are also important, Sun-East, Moon-North, Venus-West and Jupiter-South. Then the diagonals are Rahu-NE, Saturn-NW, Mars-SE and Mercury-SW.
For using this chakra you will need to have a basic understanding of the following
- Lunar mansions/ Nakshatra (read here). For drawing this chart you will use the 28 number of nakshatra which include Abhijit.
- The Nakshatra occupied by each of the graha/ planetary forces in your birth chart.
- And if any of the planets are retrograde. (When you open your horoscope in any software or panchang, the software will mention it, look for it.)
Now to draw your Ashtapadmadala Chakra for your birth time.
- Find out the Nakshatra occupied by Moon in your birth chart. Write this name at point number (1) and then continue writing the rest of the Nakshatras as per their sequence in the Chakra diagram above. We have chosen the Moon Nakshatra as the “Guard” of the Chakra and the Moon sign will be called the “Ruler” of the Chakra.
- Now find out all the nakshatra occupied by all the planets and the ascendent degree in your birth chart. Now in the chakra, write the names of all the planets from your birth chart and the ascendant degree, next to the nakshatra which they occupy as per your chart.
(You can also choose the Ascendant sign nakshatra as the start point. Do this if your analysis is more on the physical self and the physical manifested reality. I prefer using the Moon nakshatra for a beginners exercise because Moon in my opinion is a bit more relevant than the ascendant degree, as it controls the filters of your perceptions. You are always more aware of your emotional perceptions than your actual physical reality.)
Suppose in your birth chart
- Moon is in Ashvini
- Ascendant degree/Lagna in Poorva-phalguni
- Sun in Hasta
- Mercury in Chitra
- Venus in Ashleysha
- Mars in Punarvasu
- Jupiter in Moola
- Saturn in Poorva-ashadha
- Rahu in Uttara-phalguni
- Ketu in Poorva-bhadrapada
So your your birth time Ashtapadmadala chakra now looks like this,
Now the interpretation.
- Now the Bhaya outermost boundary has Moon, Mars and Mercury. These planets are the face you show to the world. You are perceived by your acquaintances and distant others to be a combined expression of these 3 planetary natures.
- The Prakaara boundary has Venus, Sun and Saturn. Your close friends will see you more as a combination of these 3 planetary energies.
- The Durgantara boundary has Rahu, Jupiter and Ketu. So the people closest to you know you as a combination of Rahu and Jupiter. (Ketu in this specific birth chakra analysis is considered neutral.)
- And finally the Stambha boundary has the ascendant degree itself. You are a highly private person and do not let anyone see the real you so easily!
- Planets on the Kendra – Moon, Venus, Ascendant degree. These energies and activities of these planets are positive in outlook, will reinforce the self. Just 3 energies are supportive. But they are the Moon itself and the Ascendant degree, which is good.
- Planets on the Kona – Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Sun, Ketu, Rahu. These energies and activities associated with these planets will cause reduction in vitality and stress to the inner core of your self.
- Now the energies of the entire chakra move as per the directional arrows so if some planet is retrograde its energy will move in a direction opposite to the general direction. A normally outward moving energy will move towards the inner self and a normally inward moving energy will move outwards towards the environment.
- Now the directions, Moon will always be in the East-Indra, it shows the influence of objects, materials, desires on the Moon which are being analysed in detail in this form of the Chakra. The natural planetary ruler of East is the Sun so this chart will show how we perform when our Lunar tendencies are given center-stage. Now in our example, Mars is in SE- Agni Kona. Martian energies added to the fiery corner will cause you to be quite hot-tempered and aggressive. Mercury in the SW-Niritti Kona will encourage you to use your Mercury’s energies in destructive ways causing losses.
- You can add another layer to your interpretation by considering the influence of the Nakshatra itself and its Nakshatra Ruler on its resident planet.
Interpreting the planets placed in the nakshatra requires some practice. You will have to link up the keywords of,
- The planet
- The sign
- The house that he is in the birth chart, ie the chart with the ascendant sign as the 1st house. And also his position in the birth Moon chart, ie the chart where the birth Moon sign is counted as the 1st house.
- The energies of the nakshatra that he is in and how these will modify the planet at the subtle levels. ie the yoni, gana, nadi etc.
- The nakshatra devata /deity. The nakshatra technically do not have planetary rulers. The deities rule the Nakshatra.
For your first brush with this very useful Chakra, I think this much is enough. This Ashtapadmadala Chakra fascinates me, so have written a second post for beginners, read here.