Retrograde planets, Saturn

Saturn is the planet most likely to be retrograde in a chart. Approx 26% of the charts you get will have Saturn in his apparent backward motion.

Retrograde planets are teachers with a different agenda. They teach you by rewinding events in your conscious life. You review and re-analyse, again and yet again. The conscious event is never directly in sharp focus, your feelings, instincts and indirect impressions add more dimensions to the experience. You may not be able to clearly express yourself in the matters ruled by the retrograde planets. A jumble of feelings, you may not be sure about what you ‘feel’ and what you should be ‘doing’. On these matters your conscious and sub-conscious are in conflict.

If you have more than one planet retrograde in your chart you will need to find out the relative strengths of each to know their relative influence on you. As a starting point you can consider the planet which has advanced most into its sign, i.e. with the highest degrees, to give more results.Retrograde planets, Saturn.jpegSaturn teaches you to maintain the society and helps you maintain your public/visible role in it. Saturn is the owner of the 10th and 11th house of the natural zodiac. Thus he is the natural agent of your work, profession, your birth father, your luck, gains from every aspect of your life, like-minded groups etc. (The father in the spiritual sense, the Guru, is the 9th house). Most importantly on the spiritual context, Saturn gives you the work-plan which helps rebalance your karma systematically. He keeps a tally of how much work has been done and how much more is required to balance your this life’s karma target. The strength to persevere. All of us hope and are optimistic, but the next step towards success is to work steadily without faltering, this is Saturn. On the emotional front, Saturn is often dour, forbidding, causing restrictions, constrictions and not-happiness.

On the inner levels, Saturn’s job is to reduce ‘self-ego’, the inflated sense of personal self.

A retrograde Saturn will often start with a complicated relationship with the father or people in authority who discipline you. This begins in the childhood itself so has implications throughout life. We are required to live our life with self-discipline and responsibility. Often it is the father who teaches the child the value of discipline and corrects his behaviour if required. But a child with retrograde Saturn may subconsciously resent his father and all that he teaches. He might perceive his father to be distant, not-loving, emotionally unavailable or absent.

In life, resources are limited and you need to plan and be systematic about using them. As you grow, the ability to organise life and its resources becomes even more vital. You live in a society and its norms and legal/social behaviour is important. A retrograde Saturn is sometimes a balancing act. You have to think of positive goals which support Saturn’s natural role and also his role in your personal chart. Saturn signifies society in all ways, so retrograde or not, he will find ways to make you work for the society. So over time, especially after Saturn matures at the age of 36yrs, you might find your own ways of contributing. You tend to choose an external apparent freedom which is strictly regulated by your internal self-discipline. A retrograde Saturn allows you to use your talents differently, you may work in a profession considered ‘odd’ by the society. If the chart supports, you may be an eccentric professor who thinks differently, a brilliant artist who creates unusual works, or even an astrologer! All forms of jobs and professions are Saturn.Retrograde planets, SaturnSaturn’s energies are turned inwards, so the conscience is always hyper-alert. This internal voice reviews every step you take and every word you speak, always, non-stop, to an extent that you might feel an underlying fear of everything you do. ‘Are you doing things the way you are you are supposed to do?’, The internal self is hyper-strict, always finding faults. This over time can lead to low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence and an inability for self-love. The solution here is to direct the energies. Try to develop your own frame of reference, Saturn will allow this. You can develop your own internal sense of self-discipline so that you are more comfortable with what you do. Try to intuitively feel what is really important to you than what you were taught is important in life. You are required to be more subjective than objective. Look for patterns not separate events.

Retrograde Saturn will work with and through the planets he is associated /conjunct /aspected by /aspecting /house owner etc with. So e.g. if he is with a direct Mercury, try to find Saturn’s subjective influence on the Mercury-linked actions you do. You might think on what society needs, a thought, an intellectual reform, you might initiate a ‘process’ for the welfare of the society, speaking out, communicating, writing! Several social reformers had a retrograde Saturn who powered their thoughts and actions. These individuals were highly convinced of the correctness of their thoughts and were considered radical by the society of that time. Retrograde Saturn does provide the internal energy to work hard, the person knows he is right and unaware of the odds, perseveres and brings about fundamental changes.

If you want to come to terms with the power of retrograde planets, you have to go through a highly introspective process. Self-reflection is key. This however happens over a life-time. As you contemplate, your powers of intuition also increase, this will lead to increased trust in your own feelings. You will be able you love yourself, ‘self-love’. Only then will the subjective, seemingly irrational influences on your psyche be gradually accepted and integrated. However odd these subconscious feelings may seem, they are a pattern which will gradually synthesise and make sense. Retrograde Saturn is a great power-house, if you can use it in the sub-conscious levels, it will manifest in your physical reality too. Try to be comfortable with these inner dialogues and self-doubts, as they will make sense eventually.


Retrograde planets, Saturn

Worst houses for the planets to be in!

Sometimes in life, you get assignments which make you feel that death would be better than what you are being made to do. Well, the planets also feel like this sometimes! If they are placed in their ‘maran karak sthan’, they are required to work in ways completely against their fundamental natures. This is different from debilitation of the planets, debilitated conditions are as per the characteristics of the signs and the planets. Maran karak sthan is based on the logic of the houses and the nature of the planets.

When a planet is placed in its ‘death zone house’, its vitality gets reduced and it feels suffocated, it wishes it could rather die that continue in this house! Its extreme discomfort will then adversely affect its ability to give results,

  • affect this house that it is in,
  • affect the houses that it aspects,
  • also the houses in which its signs are placed,
  • and all the things that it stands for naturally (natural karak).

Worst houses for the planets to be in maran karak sthanSaturn (1st house) is most uncomfortable in the first house, unless it happens to be Libra where he manages to somehow pull on (is exalted here and also its Yogkarak). Planets which perform well in the 1st house are the vigorous energetic outgoing planets like the Sun and Mars. Health, beauty, energy, vitality, speed, spirituality, confidence, authority and action. Now Saturn is not much of these things! He is slow, slowest! Constricted, restricted, dour, low on enthusiasm, aged, loaded with work, under strict discipline, no personal ego, no distinct personality, work and more work. Sun is King, Mars is the Warrior and Saturn is the Servant!

In the zodiac signs too, Saturn is debilitated in the first house Aries, owned by Mars and the Sun gets exalted here. In the first house thus, Saturn cannot stand the outgoing spirit, enthusiasm and fire and goes into Maran avastha (death state).

Jupiter (3rd House) – The natural ruler of the 3rd house is Mercury and the natural agent/karak is Mars. If Jupiter is placed in 3rd house, he gives less than optimal results.

The 3rd house has the potential to become the worst house of the horoscope as it is linked to the desires of the dual mind. All forms of duality are welcomed here and converted into desires, these desires then work their way through the horoscope (Kama trikon) and are finally achieved in the 11th house, the house of gains. A philosophic graha like Jupiter feels drowned in duality and desires which are repugnant to his basic nature. Jupiter is the karmic mirror of the chatty, juvenile, number-crunching Mercury (but then who likes the reflection seen in the mirror? Jupiter is no different!) He feels out of place in the environment of the 3rd house. This is the house of courage/ Parakram, so connected to Mars. The natures of Jupiter and Mars are completely opposite can been seen from the fact that Jupiter is debilitated in Capricorn and exalted in Cancer, the exact opposite of Mars.

Brotherhood and college gangs, Mars and Mercury. Jupiter is the benevolent planet of expansion, humanitarian views, abstract philosophies and wisdom. When such a planet has to live in the house of boldness, he feels uncomfortable with the violence of Mars and the immaturity of Mercury and reaches his ‘death state’.

Doing some Jupiter related activities in the right context may help re-balance his state, e.g you can offer to teach some poor children in your free time, or write on philosophical subjects.

Mercury (4th house): Natural karaka/determinator of the 4th house is the Moon, the 4th house deals with emotions and happiness. Mercury is ‘analysis’ and logic, in every way possible. Emotions have very little to do with logic and likewise. So he feels rather lost here. The 4th also symbolizes ‘needy love’, and Mercury loves being the brash adolescent. Your kid, when he suddenly becomes a teenager, won’t like being cuddled or smothered with maternal love. Something of this sort happens to Mercury in the 4th house. Tell your teenager to sit at home and not go out with his friends/siblings and see what happens! And the other aspect of the 4th house is to provide security and emotional comfort, an immature Mercury is unable to fit in this role either, nurturing is not his thing. Looking after the house, lands, properties is a grown-up’s job.

The 4th house also represents the sum of your astral, sub-conscious, dream, other-dimensional self. This is a very huge ‘database’. Moon is the father of Mercury. He allots just that much information to his son, which he can use and analyse productively. But when Mercury is in 4th he has access to this ultra-humongous database and he starts his number-crunching and database analysis, and then drowns in the data and the analysis. And then our teenager again directly in his father’s control! No wonder Mercury feels death is better than a sojourn in the 4th house.

You can try helping your mother, write up her household accounts. Or learn a skill related to house-keeping, maybe interior designing as a hobby?pexels-photo-531360.jpegVenus (6th house): Natural karak of 6th house is Mars and its natural owner is Mercury. The 6th house is one of the dushamsthana, the houses of turmoil. This is the house of celibacy, aloneness, debts, disease, enemies and karmic servitude. Here all relationships breakdown, all fairness is lost and all partnerships are dissolved. It is just you and the karma you have chosen to resolve in this life. The worst relationship possible.

Venus is debilitated in Virgo. On the material levels Virgo is the eternal virgin young woman and Venus is the agent of relationships and the pleasures from it. Both concepts are contradictory.

On the spiritual level, Venus tries to take you to your most fulfilling relationship which is the relationship you have with your own self, this is liberation in the truest sense. But in the 6th he is forced to oversee bindings on the soul. Everything that weighs you down is the domain of the 6th. Rather than working on your truest relationship with yourself, you are made to work hard and serve others! No wonder Venus, in 6th, goes into the Maran Avastha/’death state’.

If you have time and are so inclined, maybe you can help out as a counsellor to people suffering from conflicts, or help out in old age homes and orphanages.

Mars (7th house): 7th house is equality, marriage, partnerships, fairness, business, legality. Mars is the warrior, challenger, pioneer, fighter, the ‘first’, champion, swords and blood. Can someone imagine Ghengiz Haan as a sophisticated, intellectual, fair, law-abiding equal partner? Mars in 7th house is just this image! In the 7th, he will bring in his excessive energy, aggression, loss of temper and war. All the things that are controlled by the 7th or related to the 7th house will eventually suffer with Mars in control. Also the things that Mars stands for in your chart will suffer.

If your partner thinks the same as you do, you can try competing with her/him, video games to jogging as you prefer. Then again, the gym is always an option.

Moon (8th house): Moon placed here is in Maran Karak Sthan (Death Zone). From the sign point of view too, Moon is debilitated in Scorpio, the 8th natural sign. Moon in the 8th is not considered auspicious. Moon is the nurture that creates the body and the mind both. This Moon in the house of death adversely affects the mind/body. There is little maternal love, nurture, emotional anchors, mental comforts in such horoscopes. The lens of perceptions in the house of catastrophic transformations!

In the spiritual sense, Moon is the reflection of Mahamaya, the illusion that is Creation. So when he is placed in the house of death he realises sub-consciously that the Reality is different from the Illusion he represents, thus goes into his ‘death state’.

For such a placement, some deep spiritual practice where you manipulate your vital energies, e.g Dhyan or the physical Hatha yog type of practices would help.

Sun (12th house): Natural ruler of the 12th house is Jupiter and it signifies losses of the physical manifested. Loss of consciousness, loss of ego, loss of the body, loss of everything that the personality and losses of everything that houses 1 to 11 signify. The 12th house signifies sleep, loss of health, astral travel, sensual pleasures, the diffused other dimensions, the dream and the other states and is the ‘creative’ part of the Moksh trikon. Sun is individuality, personal ego, the individual soul, creation, individual personality, sharpness, radiance, good health of the mind/soul. When he is asked to contribute to the 12th house, it goes against his fundamental nature. He becomes very uneasy and this affects his role in the horoscope. Hence 12th house is the death zone i.e. Maran Karak Sthan for Sun.

The luminaries, Sun and the Moon are responsible for creation and consciousness. Now when the Sun is placed in the 12th houses (or to a lesser degree if in the 4th or 8th) there exists a deep unrest in the soul. The soul realises that ‘creation’ is an Illusion, that it, itself is not Reality, it is bound to dissolve ultimately so that the actual Reality can be experienced. This causes deep spiritual discomfort, unless you can use these energies for your spiritual growth. For such a placement again, deep mediation is a way out.

Planets placed in the houses completely antithetical to their nature, get uncomfortable, feel like death/Maran avastha, and do not give good results on the material front. However what is bad for the material is good for the spiritual. So if you have such Maran sthan placements in your chart, do think. Analyse your life, you might see some events which have adversely affected you. But then every event happens for a reason. Ultimately everyone’s goal is spiritual advancement. If you can consciously work with your horoscope, you can make use of every placement in a positive way.


Worst houses for the planets to be in maran karak sthan





Planetary war, Graha Yuddha

Planetary war is a peculiar astronomical condition where several planets are together in one sign at once. In terms of speed, the Moon is the fastest graha, next is Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Rahu/Ketu and then Saturn which is the slowest. And then the fast-moving ones catch up to the slower planets and the distance between the two becomes less than one degree, this is Graha Yuddha. This peculiar conjunction affects the powers of the planet who has the lesser degrees, it is considered to have lost the war! The Sun, Moon, Rahu and Ketu do not involve themselves in such fights. Only the five, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are involved in Graha Yuddha.

The logic behind this is quite simple. A planet is considered to give more results, the deeper he advances into a sign. e.g. A Jupiter which is placed at 4 deg in Leo and a Mercury placed at 5 deg Leo. In this case, Mercury is more capable of giving results related to Leo than Jupiter based on their degree placement in the sign. And in terms of war, Mercury is the the victor.Planetary war, Graha YuddhaThis ‘planetary war’ concept is not very important in analysing birth horoscopes but is applicable in Prasna, in analysing the effects of transiting planets and in mundane astrology. There are four types of planetary war,

  1. Occultation – In this case the two planets have the same direction of movement and the lie on the same degree. And the planet nearer to the earth completely obstructs the one who is farther away. (Chhadan or Bhaed)
    • can cause failure of rains, discord among prominent people, clashes between nations,
  2. Apasavya – This is occultation but when one of the planets is moving in a forward motion and the other in a retrograde motion.
    • Internal flights among the ruling class
  3. Obstruction – In this case the planetary spheres touch each other but do not overlap. Just their edges touch. (Ullekh or Rodh)
    • can cause confusions in government, internal unrest, civil war, famines,
  4. Anshu-mardana – This is when the planets are 1-5 deg from each other and their energies/rays clash with each other.
    • disease and poverty can spread among the populations.

In the present time, in June/July, a planetary war will occur in Gemini and then in Cancer as Mars, Mercury and Venus are going to move together, in forward and also retrograde motions. During this period they will also be with Rahu while in Gemini. They will also accompany the Sun and occasionally go combust. The present times are highly confused with retrograde Saturn and Ketu in Sagittarius and a retrograde Jupiter in Scorpio.

This confusion in the Gemini – Sagittarius axis will create war like situations in the world, with religion – fueled aggression. When it hits the Cancer – Capricorn axis it will cause problems for homeland security and social issues which will affect large sections of the society.

In analysing transits, also remember that the planet which has advanced more into the sign dominates, so in June you have Mars in Gemini leading the Sun, Mercury and Rahu. Two fiery planets, Sun, Mars and one airy, Rahu with the impressionable adolescent Mercury. As Mars dominates all these, summers have been intense, forests have been on fire, people have been very passionate about causes (Indian elections!), rains are late, people will have been suffering heat-related health issues etc. The situation will marginally improve as Mercury overtakes Mars and till he exits Gemini. And this is all happening with Rahu, the agent of desire, in Gemini aspected by the agent of constriction, i.e Saturn from Sagittarius.

People with ascendants or birth moon sign, Gemini, Sagittarius and to some extent Virgo are badly affected, ‘heat’ in all its possible forms will be after them. Aries and Scorpio are better off as Mars is the winner of the Graha yuddha. Taurus should take care especially, of the health and avoid accidents while driving, might be required to live away from home for some time. Cancer is not in a very favourable position either. Pisces will feel the heat and body/mind fatigue. For the rest of the signs it is average.

To get more personal, look into your birth-chart and check out what the Gemini-Sagittarius means to you, which houses it falls in. Expect problems from this axis and its keywords.

The present times till September 2019, when Saturn will turn forward again, are very happening, with events moving very fast. Do keep notes and keep track of what is happening, it is going to be quite educational. But in your personal lives try to keep calm and work through situations as they present themselves. It is the ideal time to study the effects of transits, retrogrades, planetary war, combustion etc as so many planets are involved.


Planetary war, Graha Yuddha