The gazes of the planets

When you read classical books on astrology you will get cryptic references on the body, gaze, hair etc of the planets which will make no sense to you. But then you have to understand that the books in Sanskrit are written in the form of ‘sutra’ ie one word in this Sanskrit shlok here has multiple layers of meanings. You are required to think upon what the word means and how it can be applied to your current question. 

So in this post, let’s see how the ‘gazes of the planets’ work out. (This post is not evaluating your intelligence level, there are different patterns which are used to determine that).

Where your eyes are, what you see, influences how you think, perceive and later act. Where you gaze at, contributes to your personality and also to how others perceive you to be. Eg in a meeting if you look steadily at the main speaker, then you will come across as a confident and bold person. If, rather than looking at the main speaker, you look sideways, here and there, this will make it seem you have something to hide.. shifty-eyed! Or if you are not willing to look up and keep your gaze lowered, this will label you as being scared or refusing to speak up for your opinions, not confident. 

First Sun and Mars. As per the classics, these two grahas have upward gazes. Their eyes are open and they look straight upwards, no fluffiness or shiftiness or hazed out looks here. This means that if you have a dominant Sun or Mars influencing your ascendant sign, ascendant lord or birth Moon you will be more ambitious. You are direct, less tact and more to the point. You are capable of visualising potentially great things and are quite hopeful about the future. You are more extrovert and willing to act on what you think. And you will act more on the visual cues in your environment and your actions will be quite visible too. As you see steadily, clearly, you also evaluate what you see against your precise standards. If your personality is dominated by upward looking planets then you will grasp charts, images, things that you read etc, ie you learn more easily through visual cues. Your output is also better if you deliver something that can be ‘seen’. How something ‘looks’ has the most impact on you.

If your Sun is influencing your personality then you are more concerned about your honor, entitlements, your duties and responsibilities. If your nature is primarily Martian, then whatever you ‘see’ will be first evaluated for its competitive, strength and ability related aspects. If you have Sun or Mars strongly placed in some house then you will look ‘upwards’ on the keywords of these houses. Eg a strong Mars in the 11th house, will make you be more active when interacting with large groups of like-minded individuals. You will be more forward thinking and can plan things related to such groups more effectively.  And their influence will be visible in your physical eyes too. You will have clear open eyes, eyelids will open completely and the gaze will be direct and confident. You are a leader who has a clear vision and the capacity to make it happen. 

Then Mercury and Venus are the two grahas who look sideways. This means that these two are aware of the main thing in focus but they are more interested in what is happening around the main focus point. The peripheral things are more interesting to them. If your personality is dominated by these sideways looking planets, then you are a more adaptable, versatile and imaginative person. You are the quintessential multitasker. You can look around the main point for more opportunities and more information. You are more open to options and like to explore possibilities. One interesting thing is that these two planets will grant you better learning through the ears, ie you will better understand the things which you hear. The subtle nuances of speech, the things said between words, you understand these completely. Thus you will always have access to secret information, as you tend to look around the main thing being presented to you. You are also more capable of speaking in code or secret communications. You are more attuned to ‘sound’. I think some heavy Mercury or Venus people can actually ‘hear’ their thoughts!

If you are Mercury-dominated then you are interested in the logic, practicality of the peripheral things which can be then used to improve the efficiency of the main focus point. Such people are very valuable in office teams as they are the ones who help the leader in achieving the goal his envisaged goal in the best possible manner even if it means bending a few rules when no one is looking. If your Venus is guiding you, then you try to look for the best possible options which are not only practical but also legal, fair, elegant and graceful. You will not be a rule breaker here. A Venus dominated person will know the best possible choices in all topics possible.

Your physical eyes will also show this same characteristic of quickness, brightness, eagerness and you will look around searching for diversity and interesting stuff, as one thing does not hold your attention for long.

Then we have Saturn and Rahu, the two planets with downward gazes. Lowered eyes are primarily associated with secrecy, tiredness, sleep, rest, mental fatigue, laziness etc. If the eyes are directed downwards, away from the main focus point and away from the peripheral then there is a chance that the mind may enter the deepest psyche where the undefined formless yet powerful fantasies lie. This is more evident when it is a Rahu-dominated personality. On the psychological levels, a personality heavily influenced by Saturn can show low self-esteem, loss of confidence, fear, nervousness, depression, insecurity etc which can get crippling if you do not make conscious effort to keep yourself buoyant. If it is Rahu then these internal feelings of inadequacy can result in a false bravado which can get you into trouble in life.

But there is a positive side to all this too. If you are looking downwards,  you are actually looking at your own hands.  So your main input is from the sense of ‘touch’. You can think in unexpected ways and arrive at extraordinary conclusions. But for this you have to train your mind to at least remember what the focus point is. If you can do this much, you can not only gain different perspectives which touch the root/core of the issue but you can also decisively and consistently act to deliver practical and grass-root type of solutions. However attractively a thing might be packaged you have the ability to get to its basic foundations, to see its core. 

You are not imaginative, in the sense you cannot think of 5 different things in your mind and solve them. You cannot ‘visualise’. You are focussed entirely on what is actually in your hands at a point of time. Multitasking is not your forte. You are a slow and methodical thinker and are effective in your own way. If your horoscope indicates a good intelligence level this power to think ‘in touch’ is necessary in solving complicated problems which require dedicated step-wise analysis. Again you need to physically touch stuff in order to learn well, or study very practical and real examples as your imagination is limited. Also your output would be best if it were in real physical things, eg construction, making models eg if you write you would prefer a pencil/paper rather than a computer screen! 

Again your physical eyes may be heavily lidded, you may open your eye-lids only halfway. You will frequently look down at your hands and use hand gestures a lot while communicating. (This description of the physical eyes must be seen the context of individual cultural and physical build etc).

Then we have the Moon and Jupiter who look all around equally. If your personality is dominated by either of these, then you have the ability to see the whole picture. You are capable of learning as well as delivering in all the possible modes which were discussed above. You are the least judgmental of the lot as you can accept everything without pride of prejudice. A broad mindset, you are also capable of having insights which the others cannot. You are capable of adjusting your behaviour to the situation or the person interacting with you. You do not lie and neither will you tolerate others lying to you. If the rest of the horoscope is supportive then you have an ability to perceive the ‘truth of the situation’. If this planet is the Moon,  then you are highly perceptive, as the intuition is also available. If this planet is Jupiter then there is kindness and benevolence coupled with understanding. The physical eyes will be bright, gentle and beautiful in these people.

Ketu is sightless as obviously he has no head, he is the headless body of Svarbhanu. So if you have a personality overly dominated by Ketu, you are basically an introvert. You are influenced entirely by ‘gut-feel’, the innate intuition which is sensed by the entire body. With no head to direct what you sense, you take in the influences from your surroundings in a strange ego-less non-judgemental manner. You are never influenced by your environment, as there is no personal ego. In the absence of the sense of self, there is nothing which the environment can influence in the first place! You are within a situation but not influenced by it, so your gut-feel will grant flashes of incisive intelligence. If the rest of the horoscope is supportive you are someone who ‘thinks’ so out of the box that it is genius. The physical eyes will look hazed out, unfocussed and the eyelids may not open fully. There will be a strange opacity in the gaze.

So now, observe your best friend. If he looks up while he is thinking most likely he has a Sun or Mars dominated personality. If he looks to the sides as he thinks then its Mercury/Venus. If he looks down as he mulls over stuff, then his is a Saturn or Rahu dominant nature. If he looks in random different directions when thinking, then it is the relatively balanced Moon or Jupiter. If your friend refuses to think and generally follows what you tell him but shows rare flashes of temper/intelligence, he is most likely a Ketu dominated personality. So you see, reading the books in Sanskrit is so important. Just one shlok on the gazes of the planets has given us such in-depth information on the psychology of the person. How he understands, how can he be expected to act and on what types of cues! 

Now observe yourself and try to see how your dominating planet influences your thought processes. If you need to do some course-correction start training your eyes to ‘look’. eg if you are Rahu influenced person, train your eyes to look upwards so that you can change the way you think and act. It will be difficult at first, but it is in reality the simplest thing. Look where you wish to Act.

Mool-trikon signs

This is a simple to understand concept. A planet if placed in a specific section of the zodiac, he can give exceptional results.


Degree of zodiac

Corresponding Sign in birth chart


121 – 130 deg

1-10 deg of Leo


166 – 170 deg

16 – 20 deg Virgo


180 – 190 deg

0 – 10 deg Libra


34 – 60 deg

4- 30 deg Taurus


0-18 deg

0-18 deg Aries


240 – 253 deg

0 – 13 deg Sagittarius


300 – 320 deg

0 – 20 deg Aquarius

The logic behind these degree ranges is something called “avastha’, meaning status, condition or situation. These avashtas are used to gain more depth into the reading. There are several categories of avastha. Jyotish is very deep and thorough. These states are calculated using the degrees of the planet, the nakshatras they are in the navamsha, etc things, but now you can just read it from your software. These avasthas are not very commonly used as interpreting them requires time and a fine understanding of human psychology. You can try analysing your own birth planets if you feel like it. The interaction of the mind, emotions and soul energy is linked to the material here. There are several types of avasthas, this is just for your information.

Classification One – There are 3 levels of Avastha/ states described. These indicate the levels of self-awareness that the planet possesses. Every planet is capable of giving results, but only if it is aware of its ability to give these results. This first level of classification indicates just this.

  1. Jagrut/ Awake (own or exaltation sign), full results
  2. Swapna / Dreaming (friend’s or neutral planet’s sign, nil results,
  3. Sushupti / deeply asleep (enemy’s or debilitation sign) states, about 5% or nil

Classification Two – These are 5 levels of Awasthas /states. Represented as the age of planet, the five states are and the power of the planet to give visible results is,

  1. Bala / infant – 25%
  2. Kumara / child – 50%
  3. Yuva / youth – 100%
  4. Vruddha / aged – 10%
  5. Mruta/ dead – 5%

Classification Three – The 6 levels of Awasthas /states which represent the feeling of self-esteem, self-worth, sense of accomplishment of the planet, in a way the mood of the planet. The six states represent worldly benefit and losses, health and happiness.

  1. Lajjita/humiliated – Planet in the 5th house in conjunction with rahu or ketu, Saturn or mars. Averse to humanity, philosophy god
  2. Garvita/proud – Planet in exaltation sign or moolatrikona zone. happiness and gains
  3. Kshudita/hungry – Planet in enemy’s sign or conjoined with enemy or aspected by enemy. Grief
  4. Trashita/thirsty – Planet in a watery sign, aspected by a malefic and not associated with a benefic., Losses, Wicked deeds
  5. Mudita/sated/happy – Planet in a friend’s sign or aspected by a friend and conjoined with Jupiter, Gains
  6. Kshobhita/guilty/repentant – Planet in conjunction with sun and aspected by malefics and an enemy. Penury

Planets in lajjita, kshudita, kshobhita and trashita create miseries and lead to disruption of the house they are in. Lajjita being the best of these four states will give something and will not be totally destructive. The house occupied by these planets is more affected than if the house lord is in one of the four states. For example the lord of 3rd house in kshobhita state in the 7th house will represent worse effects for the 7th house and not the 3rd.

Classification Four – 9 levels of Awasthas /States. Represent the emotional state of spirit, these take into consideration its position within house. The visible effects of a planet are expressed fully in the first three states, medium in the next two and little or nothing in the remaining four.

  1. Deepta/Brilliant (exaltation) best possible results,
  2. Swastha (own sign) generally auspicious results,
  3. Pramudita/Joyful (extreme friend’s sign) average results,
  4. Shanta/Contented (friend’s sign),
  5. Deena/deficient-humble (neutral’s sign),
  6. Dukhita/sad (enemy’s sign),
  7. vikal/anxious panicky (with a malefic planet),
  8. Khala/malicious/wicked (inauspicious sign – debilitation),
  9. kopa/Infuriated (conjoined with sun).

Classification Five – activities that the planet is supposed to be interested in.

  1. Shayana – resting
  2. Upaveshana – Sitting down
  3. Netrapani – Leading
  4. Prakashana Illuminating
  5. Gamana – Coming
  6. Agamana – Coming and going
  7. Sabha – In the audience
  8. Aagama – Flowing
  9. Bhojana – Eating
  10. Nrityalipsa – Dancing
  11. Kautuka -admiring
  12. Nidra – Sleeping

Mool-trikon signs

Now about the Mool-trikon. A planet reaches his ‘garvit’ ‘proud’ status when he is within the mool-trikon degree range. The other types of status in this avastha- system are,

  • Lajjit – shy, modest, sensitive
  • Garvit – proud
  • Kshudit – hungry, starving
  • Trushit – strongly desirous
  • Mudit – happy, delighted
  • Kshobhit – irritated, disturbed, unsteady

When the planet is in his Mool-trikon range, he is able to give excellent results. This planet is extremely comfortable as the energy of this degree range matches his nature perfectly. If there are no malefic influences on this planet here the results will be better. You can consider these to be somewhat like exalted planets. If you observe the chart, all the planets except Moon have their mool-trikon ranges in one of the signs they own. Moon is a bit different as he has his Mool-trikon range in Taurus, his sign of exaltation and not in Cancer, his own sign.

The nature of the planet completely matches the nature of the environment provided by the Mool-trikon range. eg Jupiter’s nature more matches the nature of the Sagittarius environment rather than Pisces, though he rules both of them. A Jupiter placed in Sagittarius gives more positive and visible auspicious results than when he is placed in Pisces. In Pisces he will give his favourable results but they will be more on the inner level rather than the material, invisible to the others.

Mool-trikon means the base of the triangle or the triangle which makes up the foundation. If a planet is in Mool-trikon his positive benefits will also spread to the houses placed 5/9 from it. This house with the planet will act as the anchor to that 1/5/9 trikon axis to which it belongs. (Remember the Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksh trikon concept?). Eg Moon has his Mool-trikon in Taurus, so such a Moon will positively influence Virgo and Capricorn signs and the related houses of the chart. If you have such charts in your study samples do this analysis for yourself and see how the trikon axis as a whole benefits from planets placed in their mool-trikon ranges.

If you have a planet in his mool-trikon range in your chart, you will see positive effects during his dasha periods, depending on what he signifies in your chart, eg new house, property, job, promotions, birth of child etc are some of the comforts possible. There is confidence in your dealings with the matters of this planet and you feel due pride in your accomplishments here. ie This planet gives favourable results on both the material and emotional levels. But before predicting results do check the power of the entire horoscope to support and especially the power of the Ascendant lord and the Moon. (If in the spiritual context, then the Sun too.)

Rahu and Ketu have no specific mool-trikon degrees as mentioned in any of the reference classical texts.


Mool-trikon signs


Analysing a single placement

The Question is most important.

There are just these 9 planets/graha, the 12 houses and the 12 signs, these in all their infinite permutations and combinations will answer anything and everything about life, death and beyond. So always ask what you really want to know. If you have clear questions you will get precise answers. Sometimes I get clients who just want to know ‘what the horoscope says’, there is no real answer to this sort of question.

Analysing a single placement

For example, here is just this one placement – Libra ascendant, Venus in 5th house/Aquarius with Ketu. (Just with this, not considering their house owners and not considering Rahu) What all can you deduce from this one line? See if you can get some of these following answers! With this placement there is a potential for,

  • a highly balanced personality, disciplined, intellectual and fair nature, lucky!
  • Inferiority complex, shy, uncertain in public
  • oval face, fair or light colored hair, shorter than average stature
  • Backache always
  • problems in normal vision
  • can see ‘extra’ things with the eyes, psychic abilities, can be a tantric with significant occult abilities
  • significant access to past life experiences, will have relationships with people known from the past lives, will live in places/situations with karmic connections to the past lives and know it!
  • has no sense of personal self, detached from the personality and the environment.
  • first half of the life will go in a haze, second half (after 48yrs) will be more aware of himself
  • has no personal ‘self-love’, as cannot relate to himself in any way whatsoever, unaware of self, ‘hazed-out’.
  • Odd sense of dress and makeup. At least one thing will be out of place in the dressing style. e.g. maybe mismatched socks always.
  • life is characterised by ‘change’, there is something changing continuously, rate of change is very high
  • can engage in several marriages or affairs, will indifferent to relationships, these will be karmic in nature
  • few real friends, but will be known as a public figure by several
  • education /knowledge /wisdom will be quite impressive but the person is not bothered about his educational qualifications. Will not boast about this. Will have knowledge of the occult.
  • will have gains from various sources, several routes of wealth.
  • is capable of making connections with large numbers of people belonging to like-minded groups
  • Can get into spirituality and practice and can progress quite a lot. If this happens will worship the Devi, the feminine personified Divinity.
  • Marriage to someone significantly older or to someone who is away from home a lot
  • problems in child-birth if female chart. Even if it is a male chart, his wife will suffer during pregnancy and childbirth, surgery or something will occur.
  • Child will also have psychic abilities.
  • Will have few children and will be attached to the child. Child too will be attached to him.

This was briefly, a cursory look at one placement and you have now so much potential information about the person. All these things will happen at some point of the life. But when? And ‘how much’? You will also need to evaluate the intensity of the events. E.g will the person just wear spectacles for his life time or will he be affected by an undiagnosable medical problem to the eyes? Without this targeted reading this all will be too much and perhaps irrelevant.

  1. So the next step would be to look up the Dasha. With the Vimshottari Dasha there will be one peculiarity. Ketu Mahadasha of 7yrs is sequentially followed by Venus Mahadasha of 20yrs. So a combined seamless 27yrs of Ketu-Venus dominated period. A significant chunk of life where these results will be expressed. If the person is in this 27yrs period these above observations will be accentuated.
  2. To fine tune the timing and intensity of the readings look up the transits of Ketu and Venus. How their in-transit position is influencing their original position in the birth chart.

Now if you have the complete birth chart/ physical aspects, the birth moon chart/ psychological context and the navamsha chart D-9/ complete potential, the entire life story is open before you. So you need a definite question!

There is no good or bad placement of the planets/ houses/ signs, they just exist. In the above example, the person would have several problems but then there are so many things which are really good too. The chart is a tool, each planet/ house/ sign is a bundle of energy resonating with you. These do not control you nor do they influence you, They Are You. Unless you understand this you cannot make use of the horoscope.

The other methods of divination, like cards or runes are question oriented. The client will ask a question and you will give a definite answer. I have had clients who didn’t have questions, just a vague sense of unease. For this too, cards/ runes have a solution, there is a way you can access their subconscious mind. But it is only in astrology that you will get ‘just tell me about my chart’ type of clients. To get them to open up, you can look at the current in-transit chart and their birth chart and tell them one interesting thing about their relationship, wealth, profession or health (most clients are quite similar in this respect). And do encourage the client to ask. Help him frame a question which you can then answer. Only then will the session be fruitful for both of you.

For your self-analysis too, ask yourself questions and look for patterns in your chart which indicate the answer. Analysis requires time, a sense of intuition and a habit of reading patterns. So practice.


Analysing a single placement