Why Rahu/Ketu have no aspects..

Planets/ Graha can influence certain degrees of the zodiac from where they are placed. These are called aspects or vision/drushti. You need to know the aspects because they can completely change the results these planets can give in your life. Obviously a planet will give full results in the sign/house that he is placed in. And depending on the strength of the planet in your chart, he can give results as if he is actually placed in the house he aspects.


As per Vedic astrology, these are very limited aspects which a planet can have,

  1. Every planet (except Rahu/Ketu) aspects the sign/house placed exactly opposite it, 180 degrees away. e.g planets placed in the 1st house will aspect the 7th house of the chart.
  2. Then Mars has 2 additional aspects – He aspects the fourth and the eighth house from where he is placed. So his aspects are 4th, 7th and 8th house from where he is.
  3. Jupiter has 2 additional aspects, he aspects the 5th and 9th houses from where he is placed in the chart. So his aspects are 5th, 7th and 9th.
  4. Saturn has 2 additional aspects – He influences the house 3rd and 10th from where he is placed. So its 3rd, 7th and 10th for Saturn.

These aspects are very easy to remember. The planets inwards from the earth do not have additional aspects, they have just the basic 7th house aspect. The three outer planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have additional aspects.

Now for Rahu/Ketu, there are several differing opinions on their ability to aspect, but there are very few actual references from the texts. In my experience, they do not have any aspects. Not even the normal diametrically opposite 7th house aspect. This is because they themselves are diametrically opposite! If there is some planet with Ketu, the correct analysis would be ‘conjoint Ketu’ and not ‘7th aspected by/opposite Rahu’. Ketu doesn’t have a head!, thus no eyes, no vision/drushti! Rahu desires everything except Ketu, he is done with the things that Ketu signifies so doesn’t see him at all! So Rahu cannot have even the 7th house/opposite aspect. These 2 graha/forces sort of merge with the planets they are conjoint with or if placed alone, they give results with the owner of the sign they are in.

  • e.g. So if you have a Jupiter+Rahu in the 1st house, Jupiter will take on qualities of Rahu and when he ‘sees’ with his 5th-7th-9th aspects, it will be a composite Jupiter+Rahu ‘seeing’ there.
  • e.g. If you have a Ketu sitting alone in Taurus in the 11th house, he will give results as per Venus’s power in the chart and the results will be as per the keywords of the 11th house and Taurus.

The planets when they aspect,

  1. they influence the houses,
  2. the signs placed in the houses
  3. and also other planets if placed in those houses.

If two planets are together in one sign they influence each other if they are less than 15 degrees apart. The planet which is stronger naturally has more influence over the other. If they are more than 15degrees apart but in the same sign they will not influence each other so much but both will influence the sign and house they are placed in.

Now if you get into the western concept of astrology, you are bound to be a bit confused. Semi-sextile, sextile, square, trine, square, quincuncx opposition etc. Semi-Sextile – When two planets are 30 degrees apart. Sextile – When two planets are 60 degrees apart. Square – When two planets are 90 degrees apart. Trine – When two planets are 120 degrees apart. Quincunx – When two planets are 150 degrees away. Opposition – When two planets are 180 degrees apart. I can never remember these and very frankly these others are not true aspects/vision/drushti.

These are basically an extension of the Trikon concept (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksh trikon), Bhavat bhavam, Argala, Badhak, etc concepts that we use in Vedic Jyotish. Never learn things by rote, always try to understand why it happens the way it does. Only then you can confidently analyse the interactions of the planets/houses with each other.



Graha from the Suryasiddhant

Vedic philosophy is not theoretical, it is completely practical. Prime importance is given to the one who Experiences. Obviously things have to be in motion to be observed and experienced. This motion is either in time or in space or in both.

First we intend. The intention is first created in the mind, then powered with various mantra, other energy rituals and their practice. Often these will result in events/creation which are perceived in real life, e.g. financial benefits, getting a child, a job, or spiritual progress. Then we have the inner Universe where we can never get physical proofs, subjects like the soul, birth, death and rebirth, karma, etc, so we use the science of Illumination to learn about these hidden truths.iu.jpgMost modern astrologers have this opinion that the Vedic system was unaware of the trans-Saturn planets thus did not use them. This is faulty thinking, as ‘graha’, the forces in astrology are erroneously translated to mean ‘planets’. The trans-Saturnian planets were quite well known to the ancient astronomers as Shwet/ Uranus, Shyam/ Neptune and Teevra/ Pluto but were never used in Jyotish because they are not ‘graha’.

The basis of all Jyotish mathematics is the Suryasiddhant written by Mayadanav in Sanskrit. This is the oldest book on astronomy and everything related to the movement of the earth and heavenly bodies. We still use this as the basis of all our calculations. There is no estimation on when it was written. This book is not correctly and completely understood even today. If you are interested it is available as a pdf on archive.org. Just an example, it mentions the avg length of the tropical year to be 365.2421756 days and the modern value is accepted at 365.2421904 days!

So Suryasiddhant gives the Jyotish definition of ‘graha’. A small maths,

  • As per the Suryasiddhant the motion of the Sun in time is called the kaksh/zone of the Sun. This is generally understood to be one Solar year long, and the Sun moves within this Kaksh/zone.
  • The zone of Saturn is 29.47 times the Sun’s zone. This can be simply understood as 29.47 solar years, which is also the time he takes to complete one revolution around the Sun.
  • After that the next planet is Uranus, he occupies a zone 84 times that of the Sun’s zone. For simple understanding this is the 84 solar years that it takes to make one complete revolution around the Sun.
  • Now the Lunar mansions/Nakshatra also have a similar zone in time (Bhakaksh). This zone is 60 times of the zone of the Sun. i.e. 60 solar years. The belt of the Nakshatra/the zodiac has a ‘orbital’ motion around the Sun which is 60 solar years long. A point to understand here, we are talking in terms of time not ‘outer space‘.

Now ‘graha’ is not a planet, it is defined by its astrological influences perceptible on Earth. As per Suryasiddhant, the outermost limit of astrological influence is the Bhakaksh, the zone of the Nakshatra/Lunar mansions who make up the Zodiac belt. No heavenly body beyond this zone has astrological impact on us on the Earth. Thus Saturn is the farthermost graha which is within the Bhakaksh boundary.

One point to be noted, we are talking in ‘time’. The Nakshatras are linked to the stars which are much beyond the solar system, but we are not talking about the physical stars/constellations here. We are analysing the effects of the energies of the belt of the Zodiac/the Nakshatra belt. There is no physical object between the zone of Saturn and the zone of Uranus. We are discussing the time it takes for these heavenly bodies to move and their movement in relation to the movement of the Sun.

This movement of the Bhakaksh is very important and mundane astrologers find events repeating themselves with each cycle of the Bhakaksh. The cycle is of 60 solar years (one solar year is 365 days 6 hours 12 minutes and 36 seconds ) These 60 solar years, which constitute the zone/Bhakaksh of the Nakshatra belt, have names (From ‘Prabhava’ to Akshara’ there are 60 names) and are used in predictions. There is a separate section in astrology called Medini Jyotish which deals with the land and the people both in time and space on a much larger scale. What we are using at present is Hora Jyotish or Phalit-Jyotish which gives predictions of individuals.

If you are interested do search on a phenomenon called ‘Teleconnections’ in global events. There is a cycle of 60 solar years in weather etc phenomena of the earth which are a part of Medini Jyotish. However we do not have experts on Medini Jyotish anymore, as after the Hindu empires collapsed about a thousand years ago there was no one left who knew how to use these concepts. No one was really interested in long term astrological calculations of nations and thus we stopped using the yamala tantras and the chakras and other tools of Medini astrology.

So to answer the question, in Vedic astrology we do not use the trans-Saturnine planets as they are not ‘graha’.


sun(This was a reply to a question on trans-Saturnine planets not being used in Vedic astrology, I hope it was of some help.)