There are 9 graha in Jyotish. There are the two luminaries, Sun and Moon. The two nodes, Rahu and Ketu are called astral planets, Chhaya-graha. Then the 5 ‘Tara-graha’, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The definition of ‘graha’ is completely astronomical and on the energy levels from the Surya-Siddhant written by Maya-danav.
The Tara-graha move in eight different motions, vikala, vakra, anuvakra, manda, mandatara, sama, chara and atichara. This is their apparent movement and occurs because they are revolving around the Sun but we are watching them from the Earth. Planets give their results as per their direction of movement and the speed of their moment. Most astrologers ignore this point. For example, the fastest Moon governs emotions which change the fastest. And Saturn governs work related to karmic rebalance which is the slowest thing. Do note the the direction and speed of the planets in your birth chart.
‘Vikala’ means no movement, the planet seems to be stationary. This can be for hours or upto a few days depending on the planet. e.g Saturn the slowest seems to stop / stambhit, for about 10 days before he changes his apparent direction of motion while the fastest Mercury is stationary/ stambhit for a few hours. So when a planet is about to turn from retrograde to forward he goes stationary for some time. And similarly when he is about to change direction from forward to retrograde he will be apparently still for some time. You will get very rare horoscopes which have stationary planets at birth. But these make for an interesting study so writing a bit about them.
First of all is the routine planet’s analysis from the birth chart which you have to do. You know it by now,
- Which house/ sign is he placed in.
- Is he exalted, debilitated, in friendly environments, has matured etc.
- Which planet is aspecting or conjoint him.
- Which houses/ signs/ planets is he aspecting.
- Which houses does he rule over in that chart. ie where are the signs owned by him placed?
- If you feel confident, check his Ashtakvarga scores. And check his sign in the Navamsha. This will add more to your reading on what this planet is responsible for in life. What aspects of life are linked to his energies. (If you find this complicated, drop it for now, do not confuse yourself)
- After this, check if he is the ruler of the current Mahadasha /main-period or sub-period/ Antardasha as per the Vimshottari system. If so his influence on the person will be more.
- Finally check if his current transit is favourable. You can use the Ashtakvarga chart for this if you know how to. Or you can use this general guideline that transit in 6/8 or 2/12 axis to the original position of the planet generally gives difficult results. And his transit to the 5/9 axis from his birth position generally gives favourable results.
Now that you know what all your planet in focus signifies, read on.
A stationary planet, with reference to the Earth, is not moving at all. It is still. All of his energies are converted from kinetic to potential. This planet, especially if he is Jupiter or Saturn, will be the strongest force in your chart. Its energies are very intense and the attributes and influence of the planet is highly pronounced. (Eg if you run along a muddy road, your feet will make light impressions in the mud. But if you stand still at one place, your feet make deep impressions at that one spot.)
This degree where the birth planet is stationary is hit by the planet’s energy very strongly. Here the planet is changing his way of expression from the outwardly directed to the inwardly directed or vice versa. This degree becomes very sensitive. It is like the planet is staring very fixedly at this point of the zodiac, pouring all his energy here. Note this degree and analyse your life events when other planets in transit cross it, you will definitely see a pattern emerging.
Such a big potential energy sitting in one of your houses can easily become a source of imbalance. His energies are amplified at that degree of the zodiac and he can confers extraordinary potential. If he is placed well and capable of giving auspicious results then its ok, you will use his massive potential at some point of time in your life. But if he is poised to give unfavourable results, then you will be denied the things linked to this planet, or you may not get opportunities to use his abilities or you may not have the confidence to act on his talents. So do analyse this point very carefully.
Having the potential but not being able to use it is always problematic. If in your practice, you see a chart is good but its promise is not being fulfilled, do check if any of the planets are stationary. Events linked to this planet are often delayed, but when they do occur they hit like a ton of bricks. Maturity of the planet is an important consideration here. The planet will give drastically different results before and after his age of maturity. This placement gives very high spiritual ability in later life, but this is almost invariably triggered by extreme events.
Now for the outer planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, they go stationary when they are placed 120deg from the Sun (this is called a trine aspect or the trikon). So in the birth chart, one of the trikons will be affected by the Sun-stationary planet energy. The 1/5/9 axis is the Dharma trikon, the 2/6/10 axis is the Arth trikon, 3/7/11 axis makes up the Kama trikon and the 4/8/12 axis makes up the Moksh trikon. Whichever trikon this stationary planet and its trine-placed Sun occupies, life will be more intense for these aspects of life on the whole.
- Stationary Mercury – He goes retrograde 3 times a year and when he apparently changes his direction of motion he goes stationary for a few hours to a day.
- Stationary Venus – He goes retrograde every 1.6yrs for about 6 weeks, and when he apparently changes his direction of motion he goes stationary for upto 2-3 days.
- Stationary Mars – He goes retrograde once in 2 yrs and for about 2-3 months. And when he apparently changes his direction he goes stationary for upto 3-4 days.
- Stationary Jupiter – He goes retrograde for about 4 months every year. He goes stationary for upto 4-5 days each time he apparently changes his direction of movement.
- Stationary Saturn – He goes retrograde every year for about 4-5 months. Every time he changes his apparent direction of movement, he can stay still for upto 5-6 days.
Stationary Mercury – I haven’t come across any charts where a stationary Mercury caused problems. This is partly because of Mercury’s impressionable nature and the things that he signifies. If aspected by benefics and capable of giving good results this placement is quite good. He is more capable of adapting to things and quite skilful. So generally his gifts are amplified, creative writing, acting, media, politics, are all his forte. Our current world belongs to Mercury, it is all about communications. So a stationary Mercury in my opinion gives good results unless he is heavily spoilt by bad placement or malefic aspects.
Stationary Venus – In the charts I have seen, a Stationary Venus too has given good results. He signifies balance, beauty, spiritual growth, wealth and relationships of every type. The personality is emphasised by Venusian traits and often excels in professions indicated by Venus, creative arts, singing, voice, banking, finance, business etc and even the personal life seems to be good. However these individuals tend to be attracted by sensual pleasures and worldly things especially so while young, later in life there may be an abrupt shift to the spiritual side of life if the placement allows it.
Now the outer planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These, if stationary in a chart, have a more pronounced impact on the personality compared to stationary inner planets, Mercury and Venus.
Stationary Mars – Generally this shows repressed anger, an inability to express one’s aggression in a safe way. It can neither go outside to the outer world or can be channelised into the internal consciousnesses. Do analyse this Mars’s position very carefully. There is a sense of power around these individuals, aggression or assertiveness depending on the placement. There is almost always heightened sexual quality too. The person may be an active athletic type or into the occult or into the army or some place where he is seen as a pioneer. This Mars will give a highly prominent personality, it will be someone well-known in whichever field he takes up. But whichever profession he takes up, there should be scope for aggression or sexual activity. eg a politician who becomes a Defence minister perhaps, or a highly popular celebrity with a string of affairs or a psychologist who studies sexuality etc.
Stationary Jupiter – If this is in the birth chart, the person has a deeper link to the esoteric, occult, spiritual etc. The activities related to this house and the houses he aspects (5/9) will not progress, there will be suffocation and frustration. This is especially a concern as a Trikon will be affected in its entirety, thus disturbing the life as a whole. After Jupiter matures, he will be less attracted to material things. Jupiter linked abilities faith, benevolence, teaching, internal worlds etc will be more in focus. This may manifest as a religious vocation or as a more humanitarian and all-inclusive attitude in life.
Stationary Saturn – If he is able to give good results, or is a Yogkarak (Taurus and Libra ascendants), he grants more stability, structure and ability to work. His job is to ensure that your karmic targets for this life are met. So he does this with great intensity and focus. He matures late at the age of 36yrs so till then the personality suffers from restrictions. The person may seem older for his age, more serious, less able to take life easily. However later in life he can give significant social and professional success, an ability to stick to what was committed, a disciplined nature, willing to work and the ability to persevere.
Stationary planets in transit – The outer planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are especially important as they indicate events on a global scale. Extreme events like wars, natural disasters, heat waves, forest fires, industrial tragedies, bombings, assassinations of important people, political upsets are triggered. Jupiter especially will have his say in finance, gold prices, food production and general well-being of the planet Earth. Saturn going stationary in transit often triggers extreme events which are often linked to discipline or karmic retribution. eg important judgements in courts linked to justice, real and delivered.
Even if you do not have stationary planets in your birth chart, they will occur quite regularly in transit. It is always instructive to observe the planets going stationary in transit. Depending on where they occur in your chart in transit, life-changing events can be triggered. Especially so when its your ascendant lord or any of the outer planets. Or if your Mahadasha or Antardasha ruler planets. They will indicate a change in some area of your life. They might indicate job changes, changes in residence, disputes, career issues, health, rash behaviour, expenditures, losses, etc if they are adverse for your chart. Even if they are capable of giving positive results, they will first create such an emergent situation and then give you success in over coming it.