Ascendants and functional malefics

There was a question on the luckiest ascendant, so a quick post. This logic is based on the ‘functional malefic’ concept.

  • A planet who owns the 6th, 8th or 12th house counted from the ascendant sign, in a chart will act as a functional malefic for the horoscope. Especially so if its Mooltrikon sign falls in any of these turbulent houses.
  • Rahu and Ketu are functional malefics for all ascendant signs.
  • The lord of the 3rd house, if badly placed, will act as a functional malefic, so check out the individual horoscope for this factor. The 3rd house is a very typical house, can go either way.
  • The ascendant lord cannot overtly be a malefic for a chart, this is applicable for Aries, Libra and Aquarius ascendants. But if you get a chart with these ascendants, do evaluate the power of the ascendant lord to get a clear idea of what results he is going to confer. eg I have noticed that for Aries and Libra, the rate of change is very high, the personality goes through periodic cycles where there is severe disturbance, followed by a mini-melt-down, followed by an astonishing rebound and growth. For Aquarius ascendants, there is an undefinable loss of personality in the sense that they are always defined by their background groups. Alone, without his social support, an Aquarius ascendant seems a shadow of his self.

Ascendants and functional malefics

So this is the list of functional malefics for each ascendant sign,

  • Aries- Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
  • Taurus- Mars, Jupiter, Rahu, Ketu
  • Gemini- Rahu and Ketu
  • Cancer– Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu (possibly Mercury as per individual chart)
  • Leo– Moon, Rahu, Ketu
  • Virgo- Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu
  • Libra- Mercury, Rahu, Ketu (possibly Jupiter as per individual chart)
  • Scorpio– Venus, Rahu, Ketu
  • Sagittarius- Moon, Rahu, Ketu
  • Capricorn- Mercury, Sun, Jupiter, Rahu, Ketu
  • Aquarius- Moon, Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
  • Pisces- Sun, Saturn, Venus, Rahu, Ketu

Here we have followed the concept that the mool-trikon sign of the planet should fall in the 6th, 8th and 12th houses for it to be classified as a full blown functional malefic. But do remember that even if a planet’s regular sign falls in these 6th, 8th and 12th houses of turmoil, he can be an agent of pain in your life. (For Moon we do not consider his Mooltrikon sign Taurus, but his own sign Cancer)

  • I have added one possible malefic for Cancer ascendant, ie Mercury. And Jupiter as a potential malefic for Libra ascendant. Their mool-trikon sign falls in the 3rd house for these ascendants. The 3rd house is a rather typical house, can go either way so always check it from the individual chart.

If you look at this above list critically, Virgo and Pisces ascendants have a whopping five planets as clear-cut functional malefics. People born under these ascendant signs have more happening and traumatic events in their life. The influence of the three houses of turmoil is more in their lives and more unfavourable incidents associated with the keywords of these houses occur. Broadly diseases, debts, enemies, losses, stress, catastrophic transformation etc can occur with more frequency. (Cancer will fall in this list, if in the individual chart, Mercury is unable to give auspicious results. eg If Mercury is aspected/ conjoint Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu)

Now whenever the Sun is a functional malefic, you should analyse his proximity to Mercury too. Mercury is more often combust than other planets. So if in the chart, a malefic Sun consumes a beneficial/ neutral Mercury, Mercury is unable to give his results and you have one less positive/neutral planet in your chart. Second possibility is Venus being combust by a malefic Sun, as he too remains rather close to the Sun. This scenario is possible for Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces ascendants, so check this in the individual chart.

Second possibility is if the Sun combusts a functional malefic planet then he too becomes a malefic! The Sun can combust all the 5 tara-graha, but this possibility is more for Mercury and Venus as they are the inner planets, closer to the Sun.

  • Aries, Cancer, Libra and Aquarius have Mercury as a functional malefic so if such a malefic Mercury is swallowed up by the Sun in combustion, the Sun will take on all of Mercury’s attributes including his this functional malefic nature.
  • Then Scorpio and Pisces have Venus as a functional malefic so if the Sun combusts a malefic Venus, he too will become a composite Sun+Venus malefic power.

In the horoscope, check if the ascendant lord is influenced by these functional malefics. This reduces his power to adjust your personality and your environment with each other. Also check if the birth Moon is under malefic influence, as this directly affects the mind, emotions and mental processes.

  • eg for Cancer ascendant, Moon (ascendant lord) conjoint Jupiter is not a very auspicious combination. Even if Jupiter is considered to be beneficial, he is a functional malefic for this ascendant.

Taurus, Capricorn and Aquarius ascendants, have four planets as functional malefics. (Libra can come in this category if in the specific chart, Jupiter is under the influence of even more malefics and is incapable of giving auspicious results.) And Aries, Leo, Scorpio and Sagittarius ascendants, have three functional malefic planets. Finally Gemini ascendant has only two, ie the common Rahu/ Ketu as the functional malefic energies in the chart.

So I would say that Gemini ascendant is the luckiest ascendant to have, as it practically has no functional malefics. Except Rahu and Ketu who are astral planets entrusted with the express job of creating turbulence in our life. The remaining 7 planets are either neutral or beneficial so this ascendant has a relatively smoother life compared to the remaining eleven signs of the zodiac.

The toughest would be Cancer, Virgo or Pisces ascendants.

  • Virgo and Pisces because of the five planets who work directly as functional malefics.
  • Cancer because he has four (five, if Mercury also afflicted), but these include Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu, the slowest planets. If something goes wrong in a Cancer’s life, it can take ages to first suffer through the problem and then ages to recover from it.

Ascendants and functional malefics

Now a bit more on how to use this concept.

  • If the functional malefic in the birth chart is on the exact central degree at the house he is placed in, he exerts more negative influence on the matters of this house. eg if your birth rising degree is 3deg Leo, the middle of the 1st house is at 3deg Leo. Look out for the planets transiting around 3deg in any sign and their effects on you.
  • If the functional malefic is closely conjunct or aspects any other birth planet, he will affect their power to give auspicious results.
  • In transit too, these planets give their worst results when they are passing through the center of a house or conjunct/ aspecting any birth planet.

Finally one more aspect of this list must be considered. Check which ascendant has slow moving or fast moving planets as its functional malefics.

Leo and Sagittarius have only Moon as their functional malefic. Moon is the fastest planet going at 2.25days/sign. So the trials in their life will pop in suddenly, maybe an acute attack of some problem in life and then as suddenly pop out. There can be more frequent problems as the Moon transits around the zodiac in about 28days. But perhaps this is better as you do not have to endure under a problem for years.

  • eg If you know that the next 2.25days are going to be typical, you can do something about it, eg re-arrange your work schedule etc or just sit through knowing that it will end in 2.25days.

Aries, Libra, Scorpio, Aquarius have the Sun, Moon, Mercury or Venus as their functional malefic. These ‘inner planets’ are also fast moving, approx a month in a sign. So the problems faced by these people do not last for long, though may have a yearly sort of periodicity. Here a problem can last for about a month (might resurface maybe a year later if the dasha/other transits permit.) However note the combustions of these planets in your birth chart and in transit which can modify results.

  • eg If a Cancer ascendant at birth has Mercury conjoint Sun and both aspected by Saturn. Then those periods when Mercury goes combust in the skies (three times a year) wil, inflate his ego, affect his thought processes, make him temporarily selfish, unable to accepts others views, create even more misunderstandings because of this, might cause severe fights with siblings or teammates or neighbours, or extended family members, losses in trade etc be especially problematic for him.

For Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Capricorn and Pisces ascendant people, the outer planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn figure in the list. These take longer times to transit signs, Mars can take 2-6 months, Jupiter 1 yr and Saturn 2.6yrs, per sign. So for these people, troubles in life will last for a longer period, they will have to endure under problematic situations for months/ years. And recovery from these episodes will be slow. However periodicity will be lesser. Mars completes one round of the zodiac in 2yrs, Jupiter in 12yrs and Saturn in 30yrs.

  • I have mentioned in my previous posts, that Cancer ascendants should take special care and try to focus on their spiritual growth than material objects during the next few years. Now you see, Jupiter, Ketu, Saturn, are/ will be transiting their 6th, 7th, 8th houses back to back. Two houses of turmoil, 6th and 8th and 7th is a very cryptic house, decisions taken here convert to karma very quickly.

You must have read about functional malefics in your studies on astrology, so this is how you gain more information using this concept. Astrology is about seeing patterns and linking them together with common sense and a bit of intuition. You must study your sample horoscopes of your family/ friends and see how your ideas and concepts really play out in life. This is how you learn with every chart you read.

Ascendants and functional malefics

Bhavat bhavam, convert the potential into the actual

Bhavat bhavam is an important concept in analysing houses. I have written about one way of looking at it in this earlier post. It means ‘house of the house’, ie to analyse a house, you also need to check the power of the house placed that same number of houses away from it. A house may have the potential but this bhavat bhavam house provides the opportunities for the potential to be realised. If the house under scrutiny is a house of turmoil, then the bhavat bhavam for this house will reduce the effects of the turmoil in life. And if the house concerned is an auspicious house then the power of the bhavat bhavam house will accentuate the beneficial effects.

These are the bhavat bhavam houses for the 12 houses of the horoscope.

  • 1st house – the ascendant has no Bhavat bhavam house
  • 2nd house – 3rd house (counted second from the 2nd house)
  • 3rd house – 5th house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 4th house – 7th house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 5th house – 9th house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 6th house – 11th house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 7th house – 1st house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 8th house – 3rd house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 9th house – 5th house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 10th house – 7th house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 11th house – 9th house is the bhavat bhavam
  • 12th house – 11th house (this is counted twelfth from the 12th house)

If you notice the Bhavat bhavam houses are all the odd houses of the chart. Every odd house is the bhavat bhavam for two other houses which are in an axis. The odd houses are related to the expression of the personality outwards, towards the others. These houses are the way you pull in the stimuli from the outer world and how you respond to these stimuli. These houses generally look outwards from the personality, ‘extro-spective’ and are more inclusive. This doesn’t mean that the even houses are less important than the odd houses. It just means that they have different orientations and functions. The even houses are more directed inwards, towards the home, the family, the self and the inner self. Here you are more introspective and more exclusive. The energies generated here are pushed inwards as you analyse the events occurring around you with reference to your individual self.

Bhavat bhavam, convert the potential into the actual

Now let’s check out the ‘house of the house’ using the trikon concept. The Dharma trikon is the 1st 5th 9th houses. The Artha trikon houses are the 2nd 6th 10th. The Kama trikon is the 3rd 7th 11th houses. The Moksh trikon is the 4th 8th 12th houses. The houses belonging to the Dharma and Kama trikon subtly influence the other houses in the chart through bhavat bhavam. The houses which are the foundation and the houses which are the desires/actions are the odd houses. And the houses which are linked to your secret self, your inner life, those things which have real meaning for the individual you are the even houses of the horoscope.

The ascendant house has no other house influencing it. This is a subtle reminder that the 1st house is the all important house which is the essence of the entire personality. If the 1st house is powerful enough, then just this one factor can elevate the quality of the entire horoscope significantly. The 1st house is the bhavat bhavam only for the 7th house. So for the 7th house to give its results effectively, the 1st house has to be strong. Obviously, 7th house is the second most important house of the chart. The 7th house is used to determine the significant partnerships, time of death etc. But now the 7th house is the bhavat bhavam for the 4th and 10th house. Ie the 4th and 10th houses can give their promised results only if the 7th house is powerful enough. And the 1st, 4th, 7th 10th are the pillars of the chart, kendra houses. So you see how the power of the 1st house subtly influences these pillars of your horoscope.

The houses placed in the 7/7 axis, ie opposite to each other have the same bhavat bhavam house and this is quite an important way of looking at the axis as a whole.

Then the 3rd house is the bhavat bhavam for the 2nd and 8th houses. The 2/8 axis is linked to your personal assets and how you use them, change them, evolve them through sudden opportunities. Your ability to navigate through these sudden changes is a function of your personal boldness and risk taking abilities, ie the 3rd house. The 2nd house gives the timing of death and the 8th house is the situation of death, so the bhavat bhavam the 3rd house is the desire for life, the courage to live. A powerful 3rd house will help actualise the positive potential of the 2/8 axis and reduce the inauspicious fruits of the 2/8 axis.

The 5th house is the bhavat bhavam for the 3rd and 9th houses. The 3/9 axis is how you create multiple options in life and also choose between them. The 9th house signifies universal philosophy. So in the 3/9 axis, you first create multiples and then synthesise then back to the singular. Here you try to understand rational logic as well as deep philosophy. The bhavat bhavam for both the 3rd and 9th houses is the 5th house. The 5th house is your personal genius, intelligence, creative actions, self confidence and self-ego. A auspicious 5th house will help you make better use of the power of the 3/9 axis.

The 7th house as we saw earlier is the bhavat bhavam for the 4/10 axis. The security and comforts that you are born with and the work that you would like to perform in this life. Both these houses are the kendra houses, pillars of the chart. The 7th house is one-one relationships which is the basic foundation of both the home and the society. A powerful 7th house ensures that you are successful on the home and the work fronts both.

The 9th house is the bhavat bhavam for the 5th and the 11th houses. The 5th house represents your self confidence, genius and your personal channel for divine inspiration. The 11th house is how you interact with the greater society and your gain from your personal creativity. To convert the promise of the 5/11 axis to reality, a powerful  9th house is necessary. This would mean that you would have the necessary life philosophy, luck, blessings from the Guru, help from your peers/patrons and your own auspicious benefits from your past lives to push the agenda of the 5/11 axis.

The 11th house is the bhavat bhavam for the 6th and 12th houses. The 11th house is the ‘house of gains’, but then what is gain? The 6th house is about the deepest understanding of your personal karma imbalance, it is a very serious house. The 11th house can reduce the harshness of the 6th house and help you work out your karma in a gentler manner. The 12th house is the final culmination via meditative states, you have rebalanced the karma and have gained something very Real. The 11th house can reduce the losses signified by the 12th house and increase its positive qualities. This is the real gain which is signified by the 11th house. So if the 11th house is powerful you will be able to use the 6/12 axis in the real sense and increase your awareness levels.

The entire chart is interlinked. You cannot see one house in isolation and neither does one placement make a reading. There are patterns within patterns and influences from unlikely places. So if you get charts where the promise of a house is denied or reduced, then do check out the power of its corresponding Bhavat bhavam house. This is very useful concept in Jyotish and helps in analysing the power of the chart to convert the potential to the actual.


Bhavat bhavam, convert the potential into the actual





Mutual exchange of houses, Parivartan

Mutual exchange is a very significant combination and you will see it in your client’s charts often. It is when planet 1 resides in the sign of planet 2 and planet 2 is placed in the sign of the planet 1. e.g. Saturn is placed in Virgo and Mercury is placed in Capricorn. But to make sense of this we also have to see which houses are involved in this exchange. So e.g. Taurus ascendant, Saturn in Virgo in 5th house and Mercury in Capricorn in the 9th house gives the complete picture. This is called Parivartan Yog, or mutual exchange of signs.

This combination is like two house-owners have exchanged houses, one lives in the property of the other. So both take care of the other’s house and remain in harmony with each other. It increases the power of both the houses involved.

First analyse the houses concerned and what kind of results are expected from them. If the results are positive they will be enhanced and if the expected results are negative they too will be enhanced. If the planets involved are benefics you can expect ease in life. And if they are malefics they will make life more difficult, but also grant the power to face situations and come out successfully. In the long term this exchange does improve the results of both the houses.

In this combination, the power of both planets to give results is boosted. If one of these planets is debilitated or in his maran-karak sthan/ death zone, the exchange helps him come out of his discomfort. This combination will subtly influence the other signs owned by each other too. Eg Mars and Venus have exchanged their signs, Venus in Aries and Mars in Taurus. In this case, Scorpio and Libra things in life will also be boosted. If the two planets are inherent friends/ neutral to each other, then the exchange gives better results on all levels. If the two planets involved are inherent enemies, then there will be material benefits but some side-effects on the internal levels.


The types of Mutual exchange combinations,

1. One of the two planets rules the 6th, 8th or 12th houses of turmoil, dushamsthan and the other planet owns a house other than these. This is a challenging and potentially difficult placement. If you have this in your chart, do channelise your energies by doing some regular spiritual practice. Here the owner of the 6th, 8th or 12th house benefits, he becomes stronger and the results of the dushamsthan house concerned are enhanced but are more purposeful by the influence of the other planet. The dusham and its owner become less malefic in life. The other planet however takes on the qualities of the house of turmoil ie the ‘servitude and suffering’ of the 6th or ‘shocking transformation’ of the 8th or ‘loss of manifested’ indicated by the 12th house. His capacity to give good results is now colored by the effect of these qualities on him.

e.g. ruler of the 12th exchanges with the 4th lord, there would be secrecy, perhaps illegal deals, patriotic but living away from homeland in secret as a spy, an executioner/jailor serving the nation, etc. Here the mother will be the cause of more pain and spiritual growth will be faster. But you have to go through the entire chart for the exact results as the nature of the planets involved will also add more details.

2. When one planet rules 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th or 9th  and the second is the ruler of any house except 6th, 8th or 12th. This is the most powerful type of exchange. Here all the houses involved are the shubh/auspicious houses and signify the good things in life, 1st is your personal health, body, vitality, environment etc. If both the planets are reasonably well placed in their signs, you can expect very good results. Matters of the two exchanged houses are enhanced. There have been film stars and politicians with this type of combination. It shows a sudden rise, social status, riches, successes connected to the matters of the houses and planets involved.

3. There is one possibility where both the planets are the owners of the 6th, 8th or 12th houses. The owners of the turbulent houses exchange within themselves. This is highly beneficial and is called Vipreet Raj Yog, have written about it in this post here. This combination can elevate the chart’s quality and grant very good results related to material as well as spiritual life.

4. The 3rd house is very typical, it can go both ways. So before judging, check if there are more malefic or benefic influences on it. If there are more malefic influences, you should consider it to be a house of turmoil, dushamsthan, just like the 6th, 8th and 12th houses. The 3rd house, if given scope, can act as an even worse house than the usual three dushamsthan. So if your 3rd house is tenanted by malefics, consider it to have gone over to the dark side! But if you have beneficial influences on the 3rd house it can grant exceptional ability to think, work, take decisions, gives courage and this increases with time.

So if the ruler of the 3rd house and the ruler of any other house, except the three dushamsthan (6th, 8th, 12th) exchange, this combination can produce exceptional individuals, writers, authors, literary genius, politicians, celebrities etc. Such a person is hardworking and can ultimately be quite well-known/ prosperous. Can be skilled in drawing, teaching, handicrafts, trading etc. Can use the hands and voice very well. has the ability to think, choose and act. However can be superficial in all other aspects of life and over-think stuff. There might be problems in life, but the person is quite capable of overcoming them.


After you have analysed the houses in exchange check out the planets next. If the planets involved are the natural benefics, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury and Moon they will grant generally auspicious results. These effects of the planets have to be seen in the context of the houses as above, not stand alone. And check for the chart specific malefic, functional benefic or Yogkarak possibilities first.

  • Eg Mars is a natural malefic but will grant more competitiveness and ability to win. The added skills will depend on the other planet, ie Mercury here will add his logic/analytical ability to the fire of Mars.
  • Saturn is a natural malefic, so any exchange with Saturn will increase the workload and also the stamina. Things might get more slow and require more disciplined work. Depending on the other planet, the type of work will be indicated, eg Venus here will add to business, legal cases, judicial activity etc, might be a lawyer or a judge.
  • Sun is a natural malefic so will grant confidence for all the houses involved. He will channelise the abilities of the other planet and use it to create opportunities for himself. This can grant self-centered behaviour, the person will focus on himself always, but creativity, gains and luck is enhanced.

If you get a chart with exchanges, analyse it carefully. Add up the keywords and see what you get.

  • Consider first the houses involved,
  • Then the types of houses involved as detailed above in the four points.
  • Then the planets involved and their characteristics.

The effects of this exchange of signs or Parivartan are especially enhanced if,

  • The ascendant sign or ascendant lord is involved
  • The birth Moon is involved.
  • You are going through the Mahadasha or Antardasha of the planets who have exchanged the houses/signs. Open the Vimshottari dasha section of your Vedic astrology software to know which planets main-period and sub-period is on for you.

Mutual exchange or Parivartan is a good combination in the horoscope and its overall result seen over a life-time is always beneficial on some level or the other.



Ashtakvarga, practical ways of using the tables

I have written on how to use Ashtakvarga on interpreting the transits of planets through the signs. It makes the judgement of the transits very easy. This table can be used for several other analysis with equal ease. This is the easiest tool for analysing the power of a planet to influence the signs of the horoscope. So check up any online Ashtakvarga calculator, input your birth details and get your combined Sarva Ashtakvarga table.

This is the example chart of Aleister Crowley, the greatest western occultist of recent times. A superlative genius. He created the Thoth Tarot which I use. His birth details are 12th Oct 1875, 11:43 pm at Leamington UK. His Birth chart, Navamsha chart and Ashtakvarga table are as follows.

Birth chart Aliester Crowley

Navamsha Aleister Crowley
Navamsha Aleister Crowley

Ashtakvarga, an easy way to analyse transits

The Ashtakvarga table has several rows and columns. The top row is the Signs from 1-Aries to 12-Pisces. The first right column is the Ascendant degree and the 7 planets. ‘The Eight divisions’. Rahu-Ketu are not used in this table, instead the Ascendant degree/ Lagna is considered as a full-fledged ‘planet’ by itself. Each row is the score of that planet in the specific sign, this can vary from 0-8 points. The lowest row is the combined score of every sign this can vary from 0-56. To interpret this table there are only two rules which you need to remember.

1) Look at every individual planet’s row. You will see that each planet gets some points from 0-8 in each sign. These points indicate the power of the planet to influence this sign. The basic rule here is this

  • If the planet is in a sign where its score is 5-8 then he will give good results.
  • If he is in a sign where the score is exactly 4, it will be average, not-good, not-bad.
  • If the he is in a sign where his score is 0-3, the results will be  inauspicious.

2) And the second rule. Look at the individual sign totals row, the lowest row, where the total score of each sign is computed. Here the range is from 0-56 points for each sign. Here you see the power of each sign to give results, because of its relationship with the planet’s placements.

  • A sign with a score of 30 or more points generally gives good results.
  • A sign with less than 25 points gives inauspicious results.
  • Signs with scores between 25-30 give average results.

You already know how to use the Ashtakvarga table for analysing the power of transits. Now for more ways to use it.

How to judge the power of a planet to give results in the birth chart?

What a planet is capable of giving is different, this needs to be analysed by matching keywords. Eg Moon in this chart, is the ascendant lord, with Rahu in the 9th house, aspected by the Sun and Saturn. So body and physical environment, the agent of the mind, astral self, emotions, ancestors, luck, past life’s merit, peers, patrons, spiritual father, religion, belief system, mother, traditions, cycles, nurture, security, protection, intuition, discipline, genius, intense desire to experience etc.

So even if he is going to give a lot of stuff, how powerful will be his results? This can be seen from the score that the planet has in the sign he is placed at birth. Eg the Moon in our example birth chart is placed in Pisces and the Ashtakvarga score for Moon in Pisces is a neutral 4 points. So Moon will neither give superlative nor bad results. They will be average. So it would be better the Moon energies are consciously improved by doing his Mantra, remedies, Sadhana, spiritual practice etc. In our example see the Saturn in Capricorn has the lowest score of 1. If you read contemporary accounts of Crowley, he was thought to be lazy, wicked, evil, crazy etc by the general society, he married several times the 7th house things were rather a mess, this matches to this low score of Saturn. Mars with him though exalted also has a score of 4, indifferent to very bad results for the 7th house tallied. This was as per our Rule (1). If you use Rule (2), Pisces has a total sign score of 29 so more or less average results. So the Moon remains average for this person, will work at 50% efficiency. And Capricorn has a score of 24, it is inauspicious. So the Saturn will give his results at very lower levels of his power.

So if you want to see how well a planet can give his results, check out his score in the sign he is in your birth chart, (rule 1). And the total sum of the sign (rule 2). Together these two scores will give you your insight.


You can make more detailed use of the table to find out will some planet’s influence are more powerful than other? In our above table, the Moon-Pisces is aspected by Sun and Saturn both.

  • Now the Sun is in Virgo with a score of 6. Sun influences Pisces with a score of 4. Combining these two the effect of the Sun on the Moon-Pisces is quite high and auspicious.
  • Saturn is in Capricorn and has a score of 1 and Saturn-Pisces is 6. Combining these two, the effect of the Saturn on the Moon is of low intensity and more inclined to be inauspicious.
  • Sun (Virgo-6) is inherently more able to give auspicious results than Saturn (Capricorn-1). Both are aspecting the Moon, but the influence of Saturn (score in Pisces is 6) is more than the Sun (his score in Pisces is 4). And Saturn is basically going to give inauspicious results because of his original placement. Sun being inherently more auspicious, even though he influences Moon only indifferently, his overall result will be auspicious.
  • So we can interpret this in words, Moon will be adversely affected by Saturn, the restrictions of Saturn will weigh on the astral/emotional self. Karma, discipline, social pressures, requirement to work systematically, social image, regular income etc will be a burden on the mind.
  • Moon is being supported by the Sun, so divine inspiration,  creativity, genius, center-stage etc will all be sought after and will be received by the person during the lifetime.

When we analyse our birth horoscope, we count the houses from the rising sign, the regular birth chart. And in the second Birth Moon chart, we count the birth moon sign as the first house and interpret the signs and planets in relation to the Moon’s placement. But every planet is powerful in its own way, so we should ideally draw a separate birth planet chart for every planet, eg a birth Jupiter chart where birth Jupiter’s sign is counted as the first house. But doing this for all the planets would be quite confusing and tedious. So we calculate the Ashtakvarga. Arriving at this Ashtakvarga table is also quite a tedious affair, but now our software does it, so its just a click of a button.


Now how to use Ashtakvarga chart in determining the power of the Dasha periods.

The most commonly used system for Dasha, planetary periods is the Vimshottari Dasha system. This is the first system that is taught for students and is quite accurate and easy to understand. There are five layers of planetary periods, sub-periods, sub-sub-periods, as every minute of your life is mapped out (Maha-dasha, Antar-dasha, Pratyantar-dasha, Pran-dasha Sookshma-dasha).

Let’s analyse the Mahadasha/main period and Antardasha/sub-period using Ashtakvarga. Suppose that for our example chart, the current Mahadasha is Jupiter and the Antardasha is of Mercury. This will be written as Jupiter-Mercury. Your software will also give the Dasha for your birth details, check it out. Sometimes you see that the Dasha period ruler planets occupy the best positions in your birth chart, are capable of giving such good results, but in the actual period, these good results do not materialise. Then you need to see the Ashtakvarga table.

Now to apply rule (1), check where Jupiter is in the sky now, the current transit sign is Scorpio. Check Jupiter in Scorpio score from the example chart. In our example it is 7, very good results expected. Now Mercury, the sub-period lord, is currently in Libra. In the ashtakvarga table above Mercury-Libra has 7 points again very good results. Next apply rule (2). Here the total of Scorpio is 25, this is on the lower side, inauspicious. And Libra has a total score of 27, indifferent, not good/bad. So we can combine these results and say that, at this point of time, this person will have reasonably good results for this Vimshottari Dasha main/sub period combination. However he should be alert for anything happening unexpectedly. This analysis should be re-done when the Jupiter transits onwards to Sagittarius and Mercury transits to Scorpio as the dynamics change. Ashtakvarga makes things so very easy!

So if you want to see how the combined dynamics of the current transit plus the current Dasha main-lord and sub-lord works out to be, check out the Ashtakvarga table and follow the two rules.

The Ashtakvarga does not use Rahu/ Ketu in the table. They have no points and no scores. The main reason is that these planets have no material results on their own. This table talks about the material and tangible results only. No psychological babble here. So if you have clients who want to know definite results, marriage, money, children, health, job, property you have to see the Ashtakvarga. Everything is reduced to numbers here, so you can arrive at a percentage of intensity, percentage probability or 50% chance that this will happen sort of results. of course to improve the percentages you have to prescribe some spiritual activity, remedy or something which will help bringing that planet more in focus.

But the Dashas? Rahu and Ketu are owners of Dasha periods and they also transit, but they do not have a score here. So I use an approximation which has worked for me. (If you think it is incorrect, do not use it). The reasoning being, Rahu and Ketu give material results through the planet who is conjunct him.  If there are no planets conjunct him, ie in the same sign, then Rahu and Ketu take on the characteristics of the sign’s planetary owner. So in the above example I would use the sign-score of Sun to get an idea of Ketu’s Dasha period. And the sign score of Moon to get an idea of Rahu’s Dasha period.

So here was a very practical post on using Ashtakvarga in more ways,

  1. To judge the power of a planet to give results in the birth chart
  2. To judge the power of a sign to give results in the birth chart
  3. To judge which planet has the maximum influence over a sign
  4. To judge which planet has the maximum influence over another planet
  5. To use Ashtakvarga chart in determining the power of the Dasha periods



(There was a question on using the Ashtakvarga, thus these two posts. I would recommend books by C.S.Patel to those who want to learn more, but his books are more for the advanced students. For the beginners, try using the tables for basic analysis as I have written and later read the books.)

The adversarial 6/8 axis 

In the horoscope, certain axis are considered adversarial to the personality. The worst possible mutual placement is the 6/8 axis (Shad-Ashtak), then the 2/12 axis and to some extent the 3/11 axis. This post is about the 6/8 axis. This can manifest in the following ways.

  1. Houses in mutual 6/8 axis
  2. Planets placed in mutual 6/8 axis
  3. Sign and its ruler planets placed in 6/8 axis

The adversarial 6/8 axis 

Houses in mutual 6/8 axis

The 6th is the karma you have chosen to resolve in this life, it is a burden, but a burden consciously chosen at the moment of birth. But awareness of the burden does not make it any less easier to bear. The 6th is debtors, litigation, all that causes unbalance, servitude, service, suffering, betrayal, distrust, suffocation, broken promises, breached agreements, victimhood, suppression, theft, disease, illicit, conflict etc. You are required to serve people under these conditions or suffer in this way at other’s hands, this is the naked face of karma. Here you are required to give more than you receive, to rebalance the karma from your past lives. 

The sixth counted from every house represents all these adversarial actions with reference to the matters of that house. Will write about this one example, the rest of the houses will be on the same lines.

e.g. the sixth from the 7th house will indicate how you are required to serve/suffer in the marriage contract. Possible problems in your marriage will be seen from the 12th house. Malefic influences in the 12th house indicate that you are required to ‘give’ more of yourself than your spouse in the marriage partnership. You might have to juggle office, work, cooking, housekeeping etc while your spouse is relatively free of all this. You might be forced to work more, give more of your energy in keeping this relationship going. This may cause you emotional or physical stress. Emotionally you might feel that you are being loved ‘less’, the marriage will not give you the support you need. On the physical plane you might not be able to enjoy the comforts of life, good clothing, healthy food or rest. You might be considered to be inferior to your spouse in the social context. Your spouse may be physically exploitative/abusive or you might feel him/her to be so. This exact result will depend on the actual malefic planets connected to the 12th house. It is possible that your spouse does not actively mistreat you, but you will feel his/her behaviour to be exploitative, depending on the malefics influencing your 12th house. If there are benefic influences on the 12th house these results will be minimised.

However Vimshottari periods of the 12th house lord will be tiring for you in the context of your marriage. This may be his Mahadasha/main period or his Antardasha/sub period in the Mahadasha of another planet.

And then the nature of the 12th is also a drain (counted sixth from) for the relationship. 12th is imagination, you visualise/fantasise about your perfect spouse, wasting your precious time/emotions/internal energy doing so. 12th is also sleep, You might not sleep properly after marriage for as simple a reason that your husband snores! But your energy is drained. 12th also signifies the energy expended during physical intimacy which naturally occurs after marriage, this is also an energy drain.

Now the other half of the axis, the eighth from. The 8th house is fundamental changes in the self-identity linked to sudden shocking events. This is a trying traumatic house. But if you can navigate through and accept the change it works for the good.

Lets continue with the 7th house example, the eighth counted from the 7th is the 2nd house. The 7th is the house of negotiations, bargains, equitable sharing, fairness, relationship, legal contracts and marriage. So after you get married immediately, you and your spouse are required to lose your individual identities and merge. You lose your name, house, job, family, familiar relatives, social identity, emotional foundation, entire mind-set, your physical-body, your energy-bodies and all these are transformed. I have seen this happen, a few mantra, the Agni/fire rituals, the Vivah/marriage ceremony and the auras of the two are changed completely. There is no going back. This transformation creates the 2nd house of family, shared resources, lineage, shared history, shared good times, speech, wealth, wealth-generating behaviour, the common ‘face’ you two show to the outer society etc. If there are benefic influences here, you go through this transformation easily and this contributes to your marriage success. Malefic influences on the 2nd houses creates unpalatable changes in marriage like a second spouse. In a marriage it is necessary that the two partners change, if they do not change the marriage itself will end. 

The adversarial 6/8 axis 

Planets placed in mutual 6/8 axis

Then the planets placed in such mutual axis are adversarial to each other and tend to give not-so-comfortable results. e.g. Libra ascendant. Mercury in the 4th house and Jupiter in the 9th house. (Mercury is ruler of the 9th and 12th houses. And Jupiter rules the 3rd and 6th houses here.) If you count from Mercury, Jupiter is placed eighth from him. And if you count from Jupiter, Mercury is placed sixth from him. Thus they are in the adversarial 6/8 axis and will not work well together. This means that the agents represented by Jupiter and Mercury will not give comfortable results when taken together. There will be several ways in which this works out. Your spiritual teacher will not teach you the necessary skills. Your university professor will not have time to guide you in your course work. If you fall seriously ill, you will not get the proper medicines in time. You cannot expect genuine feelings from your brothers/cousins/extended family, etc.

As per the Vimhottari system, the 120 yrs of human life is divided into main-periods/mahadasha of the planets. Within these main-period, there are sub-periods/antardasha. If the owner of the Main-period and the owner of the sub-period are in the 6/8 angle their give a bad time. In the above example, two periods will be especially traumatic, first will be the Antardasha of Mercury in the Mahadasha of Jupiter. And the second will be the sub-period of Jupiter in the main-period of Mercury. Be careful during these two typical sub-periods as all the agents of stress will be active.

Sign and its ruler planets placed in 6/8 axis

The 6/8 axis works in a third way. The house and the placement of the house owner in the 6/8 axis gives not-so-favourable results. In the above example, Jupiter (in 11th house) and his sign Pisces (placed in 6th house), are in the 6/8 axis from each other. So you cannot expect Jupiter to give favourable results with respect to the 6th house and neither can you expect Pisces to perform well here. Some expected results, health problems will be created with no easy solutions, you may not afford a doctor, or the medicines, wrong diagnosis will occur. Dream states will drain the energy. You might travel astrally draining your energy. Sleep will be disturbed, deep sleep may not be available. Meditative states may be difficult to achieve. You will not be allowed solitude. Guidance from spirits can actually misguide!

Again in the above example, Mercury (in 4th house) and his sign Gemini (in 9th house), are in the adversarial 6/8 axis from each other. So the things connected to these will also not give good results. Some results which can be expected, you will always be confused about your spiritual/philosophic path. Spiritual teacher may not guide properly. Mother will be argumentative and drain the energy. There might confusions connected to your higher education. Your peers/patrons/seniors will not guide properly, etc.

In a horoscope you will naturally analyse the 6th and the 8th house counted from the ascendant. But you will also need to analyse the 6th and 8th from the birth Moon, this placement will give you an indication on what will cause stress and trauma on the mental/emotional levels.


The adversarial 6/8 axis