In astrology, we need to time events. Making predictions is a necessary analysis. For this we have the Dasha systems. The most popularly know is the Vimshottari dasha system but there are the others too, like Ashtottari, Yogini or Kaalchakra. The potential of the birth charts is converted to reality only during specific Mahadasha/ antardasha main and sub periods (there are further smaller subdivisions too, eg Vimshottari has 5 sub-levels, but interpreting them is tedious). Sub-periods can be upto 2-3yrs in length. So, within a sub-period how do we pinpoint the exact time when an event is to occur. (The potential of the birth chart is the basis of all predictions so do analyse your birth chart in detail before going on to timing events. This will include at the very basic, the birth chart, the birth Moon chart, the Navamsha D9 and the Ashtakvarga.) There are a few rules given in the classical texts for pin-pointing events with transits and Dasha.
There are some planet based Dashas like Vimshottari and Yogini. Here the periods in life are ruled by a sequence of planets.
Check out your main and sub periods from your vedic astrology software. eg Vimshottari Dasha system, you are in the Saturn Mahadasha, Venus Antardasha. Saturn Mahadasha continues for 19 years and in this this is the Venus sub-period is about 2yrs 9 mths. So you should be analysing Saturn for 19yrs and Venus specifically for 2yrs 9mths. During this time you should be aware of what Saturn and Venus are upto in the current skies. Their transit positions, combustion, retrograde, conjunction/aspects with other planets. You are interested in the movements of these two planets in the transit as they directly affect you.
When this planet transits the signs owned by his enemies or his sign of debilitation or gets combust he will be unable to give auspicious results in his period.
- Eg For Saturn this would be when he transits signs owned by enemies, Leo, Cancer, Aries (also debilitated) and Scorpio. He will get combust once a year for about 25days. So during these times during the 19yrs Mahadasha he will be unable to express himself fully.
- Eg for Venus, this would be during this transits in Cancer and Leo the signs ruled by enemies. He will get combust once a year for about 20days. Look out for these transits during his Saturn-Venus 2yr 9mth sub-period.
Now when the owner of a time period is in his own signs, his sign of exaltation or in signs of friendly planets naturally he will give auspicious effects. Even during retrogression, he can give good results as during this period he allows re-thinking and revising, so you are able to take more considered decisions.
- Eg For Saturn this would be when he transits Capricorn, Aquarius, Gemini, Virgo, Taurus and Libra (also exalted). He will get retrograde once a year for about 3-4 mths.
- Eg for Venus, this would be during transits in Gemini, Virgo, Libra, Taurus, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces (exalted). He will get retrograde once a year for about 3-4 mths.
In all this keep track of Saturn’s and Venus’s interactions with each other in the current skies. We are comparing their real time transit interactions with each other.
- Eg If they go in the 6/8 or 2/12 axis then their ability to mutually interact gets compromised. Eg if Saturn is in Gemini and Venus is in Taurus its a 2/12 axis. Or if Venus is in Virgo and Saturn is in Aries 6/8 axis.
This is how the potential of the promise of the Dasha is fine-tuned using the transits. Do appreciate the difficulty of predicting pin-point events. So if you want to see how the Saturn Mahadasha-Venus sub-period is going to be, you need to know the potential of the birth chart, then track the movements of Saturn and Venus throughout the 2yrs and 9mths in the future. You have software, panchangam and ephemeris to help you but still it will take time, a few hours or more.
And there are some Sign based dasha systems, like Kaalchakra, Jaimini rashi dasha etc where the periods in life are ruled by signs and not planets.
The concept remains the same. Identify the Sign/Rashi whose Dasha is on. What all this sign signifies in your birth chart will be in focus during its time period, the background energy. Then check out the transiting planets which will be in or aspecting this sign during its time period. Whatever these planets signify will be in focus on the background of the sign. Their comfort levels, combustion, retrogression etc will help pin-point events. This analysis will also take time.
If you are used to working with the Jaimini rashi Dasha systems, you can draw the Dasha pravesh chart for the exact minute the Sign/Rashi Dasha starts. It gives a quite reliable summary of the events possible during this period. For the other Dasha systems knowing the exact minute for the start of the time periods is not possible, so you cannot use the Dasha pravesh chart.
Interpreting Dasha and transits against the backdrop of the birth chart requires time and practice. Practice with your and your family/friends charts whose exact birth details you know. Get your experience and then start doing the readings professionally. So open your own chart, try to tally events of the past 6 months and then try to predict the events possible in your life for the next 6 months. Practice.