Ashtapadmadala chakra

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The grahas and their energies can be mapped geometrically too. The basic chakra/energy geometry used is this Ashtapadmadala chakra. The eight petalled lotus. This is also called the Kaalachakra and there is a whole tantra written on it. However for Jyotish purposes this is how you start, with a simple analysis to understand its basic dynamics.. There are lots of ways of using this Chakra to get layers and layers of information.

The basic layout of the chakra means the following,

  1. The outermost square is called ‘Bhaya’ boundary.
  2. The inner square is called Prakaara boundary.
  3. The innermost square is Durgantar boundary.
  4. The fortress of which the 4 nakshatra positions 4,11,18, 25 are the Stambha boundary.
  5. The central bindu is the Durg. This Durg represents the Point where Devi Mahmaya and Kaalpurush merge into the Ultimate. The Reality of yourself.
  6. The direction lines, East-west, North-south are auspicious Kendra.
  7. The diagonal direction lines North-east/South-west and North-west/South-east are the inauspicious Kona.
  8. The energy of the chart moves as per the arrows marked, following the sequence of the nakshatras. Energies moving inwards are constructive, give gains and are positive. Energies moving outwards are destructive, negative and create losses.
  9. The guardians of the directions are also important, Sun-East, Moon-North, Venus-West and Jupiter-South. Then the diagonals are Rahu-NE, Saturn-NW, Mars-SE and Mercury-SW.

For using this chakra you will need to have a basic understanding of the following

  1. Lunar mansions/Nakshatra (read here). Here for drawing this chart you will use 28 nakshatra including Abhijit.
  2. The Nakshatra occupied by each of the graha/planetary forces in your birth chart. And if which of the planets are retrograde. (When you open your horoscope in any software or panchang, the software will mention it, look for it.)

Now to draw your Ashtapadmadala Chakra for your birth time.

  1. Find out the Nakshatra occupied by Moon in your birth chart, this is to be written at point number (1) and then continue writing the rest of the Nakshatras as per their sequence in the Chakra diagram above. We have chosen the Moon Nakshatra as the “Guard” of the Chakra and the Moon sign will be called the “Ruler” of the Chakra.
  2. Now write the positions of all the other planets and the Ascendant degree too next to the nakshatra which they occupy as per your chart, in the Chakra.

(You can choose the Ascendant sign nakshatra as the start point, if your analysis is more on the physical self and the physical manifested reality. I prefer using the Moon nakshatra for a beginners exercise because Moon in my opinion is a bit more relevant than the ascendant degree, as it controls the filters of your perceptions! You are always more aware of your emotional perceptions than your actual physical reality.)

Suppose your birth time chakra now looks like this,

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Now the interpretation.

  1. Now the Bhaya outermost boundary has Moon, Mars and Mercury. These planets are the face you show to the world. You are perceived by your acquaintances and distant others to be a combined expression of these 3 planetary natures.
  2. The Prakaara boundary has Venus, Sun and Saturn. Your close friends will see you more as a combination of these 3 planetary energies.
  3. The Durgantara boundary has Rahu, Jupiter and Ketu. So the people closest to you know you as a combination of Rahu and Jupiter. (Ketu in this specific birth chakra analysis is considered neutral.)
  4. And finally the Stambha boundary has the ascendant degree itself. You are a highly private person and do not let anyone see the real you so easily!
  5. Planets on the Kendra – Moon, Venus, Ascendant degree. These energies and activities of these planets are positive in outlook, will reinforce the self. Just 3 energies are supportive. But they are the Moon itself and the Ascendant degree, which is good.
  6. Planets on the Kona – Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Sun, Ketu, Rahu. These energies and activities associated with these planets will cause reduction in vitality and stress to the inner core of your self.
  7. Now the energies of the entire chakra move as per the directional arrows so if some planet is retrograde its energy will move in a direction opposite to the general direction. A normally outward moving energy will move towards the inner self and a normally inward moving energy will move outwards towards the environment.
  8. Now the directions, Moon will always be in the East-Indra, it shows the influence of objects, materials, desires on the Moon which are being analysed in detail in this form of the Chakra. The natural planetary ruler of East is the Sun so this chart will show how we perform when our Lunar tendencies are given center-stage. Now in our example, Mars is in SE- Agni Kona. Martian energies added to the fiery corner will cause you to be quite hot-tempered and aggressive. Mercury in the SW-Niritti Kona will encourage you to use your Mercury’s energies in destructive ways causing losses.
  9. You can add another layer to your interpretation by considering the influence of the Nakshatra itself and its Nakshatra Ruler on its resident planet.

For your first brush with this very useful Chakra, I think this much is enough. This Ashtapadmadala Chakra fascinates me, so will write more about in future.



Argala in Jyotish

There are so many ways you can use your horoscope to pull even more information. And because there are not many Jyotishis left who know and then who actually use these techniques, we are missing out on these tiny nuances of analysis. Here is the Argala of Jyotish to pique your interest.laces-2.jpgArgala means a bolt, latch, impediment or check, and as a concept is quite simple to use. It gives valuable insights which you might miss out in your regular analysis. Use the basic birth chart D-1 for Argala analysis.

A very simple example, if you have a client with problems with his mother, naturally you will check out the 4th house, birth moon and everything to do with it to come to a conclusion. But still you are not satisfied and the situation does not tally with the charts check the argala/obstructing forces on the 4th house (and the moon too). The astrological concept is this..

  1. The 2nd, 4th and 11th houses counted from a house or a planet are its principal argala/obstruction. The planets and signs here and their powers will influence the potential of the house under consideration.
  • The planets placed in the 12th can nullify the argala of 2nd house.
  • The planets placed in the 10th can oppose the argala presented by the 4th house.
  • The planets in the 3rd can nullify the argala presented by the 11th house.
  1. The 5th and 8th from a house or a planet present the minor argala/obstacle to the matters of that house.
  • The minor argala presented by the 5th house can be nullified by the sign/planet placed in the 9th house.
  • And finally the minor argla of the 8th will be nullified by the position in the 6th house.

This may have sounded very confusing but its quite simple. Let’s continue our simple example just to get you thinking about this topic. ‘Someone not getting along with his mother.’

From the 4th house the house second is the 5th house. Obviously in his interactions with his mother, if this person is only about his own good times (topics of the natural 2nd) which in his chart are represented by the planets in the 5th (also ego, self-referential behaviours, selfishness etc seen from here), the interactions with the mother represented by the 4th are going to suffer. These tensions can be less or more depending on the number/strength of the planets placed in 5th.

  • Now the obstruction represented by the 5th (second from the 4th house) will be nullified by the planets positioned in the twelfth from 4th, i.e. the 3rd house. If there are strong planets here they will make this person to be of some service to his mother in some way, eg take her to family or community functions. This person may feel like this is an imposition on him but doing this will immensely improve his relationship with his mother.

The next obstruction will be presented by the situation in the house counted fourth  from the house under analysis. So fourth from 4th is the 7th house. (topics of the 7th include spouse, partnerships etc). Naturally if the 7th is strong with several planets placed here to reinforce it, the arrival of the wife/husband will diminish the relationship with the mother drastically. Also if the person does a lot of business with a lot of partners the relationship with the mother will be obstructed.

  • So this obstruction presented by the fourth from house concerned, will be countered by the house counted tenth from the house. So tenth counted from 4th is the 1st house/ascendant sign. So if this 1st house is strong enough with strong planet placements, the obstacle presented by the 7th house on the matters of the 4th house/mother will diminish. If the person has a strong personality he will not let the spouse/partnership dominate his relationship with his mother.

The third argala on matters of the 4th/relationship with the mother is to be seen from the power of the house counted eleventh from the 4th, i.e. the 2nd house. This is also quite logical, the eleventh from house represents the larger landscape, interactions with wider groups and income/gains of that house. In this case, if the planets placed in the 2nd house are strong enough the relationship with the mother will be placed secondary to the benefits/gains/resources that he will get from her. Also he will prefer interacting with a larger group of maternal figures in his family (matters of the 2nd house) rather than his personal mother.

  • This obstacle will be nullified by the planets and power of the house counted third from 4th, i.e. the 6th house. If these planets are strong enough they will create situations where the person will be required to again be of service to his mother, especially in common interactions in the extended family and in the neighbourhood.

This was a very simplistic example of how argala works in Jyotish. This is a very useful concept and is used in birth chart analysis and also in Prashana. It is more important in Prashna and should be always used before coming to a conclusion here. argalaDo remember that a single placement can never be used for drawing conclusions. Astrology is about learning to recognise patterns. Nothing is fixed in stone, it is never absolute. These patterns show tendencies and probablities. Absolute results cannot be predicted ever. Humans have free will and if you can recognise the pattern and the freedom of choice that you have in it, you can change the course of events, always!

Vedic Jyotish is like the bottomless ocean, you can keep learning for a lifetime and even several lifetimes, it is very enjoyable. You have so many precise tools in your hands which you use to unravel the mystery of your own self!



The Ascendant and its planetary Lord

The ‘Lagna’ in Jyotish is the intersection of the east horizon with the ecliptic at a given time. This Lagna at the moment of your birth becomes your Ascendant degree. The rashi/sign in which this degree falls is your Ascendant sign and its planetary ruler the Lagnesh. In the excitement of the Moon-signs and Sun-signs, you often ignore the Ascendant-sign/Lagna and its planetary ruler/the Lagnesh! The Ascendant is extremely important as the tone of the entire horoscope is set from planet. For peeping into your personality there are a minimum 3 charts that you need to refer.

  1. The basic birth chart called the first divisional chart D-1, or the Janma kundali.
  2. The Chandra kundali, where the placement of the planets is the same as the D-1 above but the moon sign is counted as the first house. The chart is redrawn by shifting the houses accordingly.
  3. The Navamsha chart or the 9th divisional chart, but only if you are sure that the birth time is exact to the minute, else it is of no use, it will mislead.

The Ascendant Lord/Lagnesh has a very special place in the chart and you really should analyse it separately for gleaning the maximum information from its placement.

A Lagnesh is empowered and capable of giving very good results if

  1. It is exalted
  2. It is in its swakshetra or a favourable house in the chart.
  3. In company of or aspected by benefic planets or functional benefics for that ascendant sign.

Such a Lagnesh will give a favourable situation of birth and a family of comfortable means and status in society. It will also provide you with a good quotient of self-confidence and expression. The sign/house in which the lagnesh is placed will provide an indication as to where you will feel most comfortable. E.g the lagnesh in the 10th house will grant you extra comfort in your professional life, you will be socially well known because of your activities in the professional field.

On the other hand a badly placed Lagnesh is when

  1. It is debilitated or in the dushamsthana, the 6th, 8th or 12th houses.
  2. It is in unnatural movement and situations like combust or retrograde or the loser of a planetary war.
  3. It is conjoint or aspected by malefic or functional malefic planets.

Such a Lagnesh will not be able to express itself fully. You will be born in a rather socially low family. Your personal self-esteem and awareness and Ego will be low. And thus your role and activity in the social context will be of a lower degree. e.g. The ascendant lord in the 6th house will bring you to situations where you will be surrounded by the negativity of disease, debts, enemies, either serving or suffering!pexels-photo-1577494.jpegThe Ascendant Sign of the birth chart and its Lord.

This is the foundation of the manifested social, material, ego and physical environments of your life. The activity patterns of your life. The physical structure of the body/face and the major personality traits, which also indicate how the society will respond to you. E.g if you are beautiful you will be better received in the society. The house/sign which is occupied by the ascendant lord, Lagnesh is of particular importance. E.g one of my clients has his Libra ascendant lord Venus/Shukra in the 5thhouse in Aquarius/Kumbh. He works for the government, is a good judge, fair/balanced and likes writing. The Lagnesh and its position determines which environment is best suited for giving you social recognition and also the best use of your personal attributes (irrespective of your personal inclinations/emotions). Thus Lagnesha has a role in your career choice. The ‘physical personality’ is the birth chart or the first divisional chart.

The Chandra Kundali and the birth Moon rashi and its ruler.

In this birth Moon chart, the placement of the planets is the same as the D-1 chart but the first house is the birth Moon sign. The moon sign will tell you about those environments where you will be naturally comfortable. Also to predict the emotional outcome of an event the moon chart is to be referred. We are not just our physical body visible to the normal two eyes. We are also our ‘other’ body which is sensed by the Third eye. You must have felt this instinctive reaction to someone you have just met, you might excessively like or dislike or feel fear or repulsion towards someone for no good reason. There is a reason for such instinctive reactions and this depends on the Chandra kundali/Moon chart.

In simple words, your aura and response of others to your aura is determined here. You perceive others on the basis of their aura, your perception of ‘beauty’ ‘clean’ and even physical qualities like ‘height’ etc have a significant aura component. You may feel small when depressed or expanded when overjoyed. Here your perception of yourself is also linked to the aura. Your emotions are reflected in the aura. Your physical body is the product of the astral, the causal, the spiritual etc bodies. These are also felt through the aura. If your moon chart is well balanced, irrespective of what happens in the physical world, internally you will be quite happy. This is the ‘emotional personality’, the domain of the Moon chart.

The Navamsha D-9 chart and its Lagna/Lagnesh

Now we come to the third chart. The 9th divisional chart tells you, ‘How do you really see your own self?’.

Often you meet someone who has a very low opinion of himself though the society regards him very highly, or someone who thinks very high of himself and the public thinks he is a crook. This mismatch of the self-opinion and public-opinion can be understood from the D-1 birth Lagna and the D-9 Navamsha Lagna. This is very useful in analysing a personality and in counselling. Eg If you get a client whose D-9 Lagnesh is Jupiter, this person will be interested in the philosophical side of things. The solid things of the material will not make much sense to him. So while recommending a remedy for him if you should suggest mantra-jaap, he will like doing it. But if the D-9 Lagnesh were Saturn, he would prefer to work e.g. helping others, as a more appealing way for satisfying karma. You determine your deep motivations and your astral resources from the 9thdivisional chart.


I see a very strange trend in modern western astrology. They have forgotten the basic mathematics of Astrology and added asteroids and what-nots to their version of astrology, thus messing it up. You don’t need to complicate the science, instead focus on the basic analysis. The basic birth chart and the 9 planets can be used to know everything about yourself. Now this is an example of how you draw extra information from the basic birth chart D-1. Every planet is the natural keyword of an aspect of your life and from each planet’s sign you can draw a chart for that specific planet. This planet-chart (like moon chart) will be a variation of the basic birth chart D-1 but drawn with that planet’s sign as the first house.

  1. The Sun loves the center-stage. The Surya-lagna and the corresponding Surya-kundali will tell you all that you know about creativity, divine intelligence, self-confidence, political performance and other qualities of the Sun that you are channeling in this life. Eg the 3rdsign/planets from the birth Sun will tell you how you shine in your sibling groups, and if your communications have a high intelligence and analytical ability.
  2. The Moon wants emotional security. So the Chandra Kundali, described above, will tell you all that you feel about emotions, stability, protection from all aspects of your life. Eg the 10thsign/planets from your birth moon will tell you how you feel emotionally about your profession.
  3. Mercury likes to analyse. Here from the birth Mercury sign as the first house, you draw the Mercury chart. Find all about conversations, messages, arguments, logic, chitchat, siblings, analytical power, perceptions and juvenile behaviour. Eg the 7thsign/planets from the birth Mercury will tell you how you communicate with your spouse and your partners.
  4. The Venus needs partnerships of all types, either with a physical partner or a deity or your higher self. The Venus chart counted from the birth Venus sign as the baseline will show you how partnerships, alliances, marriage and negotiations work in your life. E.g. the 10thsign/planets from this Venus birth sign will tell you if your professional life is based on fairness, and if you enjoy a fair partnership in your office/profession related relationships.
  5. The Mars wants to win always, he represent the status of the physical body. From the birth Mars sign you can find out how vital you are in all aspects of your life. Eg. The 5thsign/planets from the birth Mars sign will tell you how your competitive spirit is utilized in matters of personal creativity and genius, or your children.
  6. The Jupiter loves to teach and philosophise. To know how your wisdom and sense of humanity affects your life and relations check out the placement of the signs/planets counted from the birth Jupiter sign. E.g. To find out how you will guide or be guided by your ancestral spirits and sub-conscious check out the 12thsign/planets from your birth Jupiter sign.
  7. The Saturn will ensure you work in a lawfully correct scheduled manner. To determine all society related obligations, material work, Time, and resistance and constrictions in your life check out the placements of the planets/signs counted from the birth Saturn sign. E.g. To determine the sense of restrictions and obligations related to your children see the 5thsign/planets counted from the birth Saturn sign.

pexels-photo-1224263.jpegIn addition, there are several other charts which are used for very specific purposes. And there are the higher divisional/varga charts. Your local astrologer will rarely use them as they require detailed mathematics as well as knowledge to interpret. So if as a beginner in astrology if you encounter any terms like, Arudha lagna, Indu lagna, Vishesheka lagna, etc you can safely ignore them. Jaimini system especially has loads of such charts and special degrees, but it is an advanced phase of astrology. Right now we are analysing how your personality is built up using the three major charts where their Ascendant sign and its ruler planet are the foundation stones.

No two persons are the same and in Jyotish you cannot ever generalise, there are multiple forces which work together to influence and create a certain outcome. Analysing these forces is ultimately 75% mathematics and 25% intuition. Unless you develop your intuitive capacity by regular spiritual practice you really will not excel as an astrologer/Jyotishi.

And finally will let on a secret. The physical manifested body is produced from your past-life energies, i.e. the resources of the astral self. You can change your physically manifested body by consciously accessing and manipulating the energies available in the astral self. You may have noticed people who actively do yogic practices, dhyan etc which manipulate the pran/vital energy, look visibly younger, energetic and radiant. My Dad is in his seventies and doesn’t have a wrinkle on face! You too should develop some spiritual practice which will not only nourish your soul but also sustain your physical body as long as you choose to reside in it.