The toughest Vimshottari Antardasha

Vimshottari dasha system is the most common one which all students of Jyotish learn. In this, the format is a main-period/Mahadasha, sub-period/antar-dasha and further sub-sub periods, a total of 5 levels. The tone of this main-period is further modulated by the subsequent sub-sub periods. This covers the 120yrs of a human life. The Maha-Dashas are Ketu Mahadasha is 7years, Venus mahadasha is the longest at 20 Years, Sun Mahadasha is 6 Years, Moon Mahadasha is 10 Years, Mars Mahadasha is 7 Years, Rahu Mahadasha is 18 Years, Jupiter Mahadasha is 16 Years, Saturn Mahadasha is 19 Years and Mercury Mahadasha is 17 Years.

The important thing in analysing the Vimshottari is analysing the power and the nature of the Mahadasha MD ruler and the Antardasha AD ruler and the interaction between them. (If you are experienced enough you can attempt adding the rulers of the sub-sub periods etc to this analysis too.)

So open your vedic software, input your birth data and check what planet’s MD and which planet’s AD you are in at the present moment. We have to now analyse the relationship between these two planets to get a sense of how this sub-period will be like.

This is our example chart, Aleister Crowley the famous occultist and creator of the Thoth tarot deck, birth details, 12th Oct 1875, 11:43 pm Leamington UK. Suppose Crowley was in Jupiter MD and Rahu AD ie ‘Jupiter-Rahu’ period. Now analyse the birth chart, Cancer ascendant so Jupiter is a functional malefic (he owns the 6th and 9th houses and his mooltrikon sign Sagittarius lies in the 6th house, maha-dusham-sthan). Rahu is a functional malefic for all ascendants.

Birth chart Aliester Crowley

Analysing further. Jupiter is the owner of the 6th house, ie his mool trikon sign lies in the 6th house so he will bring in all the keywords of the 6th house into focus during this period. Ie debts, disease, enemies, arguments, imbalances of all sorts, all one-one relationships will break down, business relationships will also show the strain, spiritual practice will be affected. There will be stress, tension as Jupiter’s expansive abilities will expand the 6th house’s ‘serve or suffer’ motif. He owns the 9th house too, but this is just his own sign not his mooltrikon sign. So there will be some positives with some negatives. He will make Crowley dogmatic, rigid in his opinions, he will not be able to appreciate the others point of view, his teachers, professors, even people whom he considers his spiritual teachers can misguide him. For Cancer ascendant Jupiter cannot give beneficial results outrightly as he owns the 6th house. Some good results from the 9th house can be expected but these will be tainted by Jupiter’s ownership of the 6th house. Jupiter himself occupying the 4th house, Libra, with Mars and Venus. Thus his comfort levels are just average. So the Jupiter MD will not give overall very pleasing results. There will be some high points as the 9th house keywords give some benefits but the 6th house ownership over-shadows it all.

In this we have the Rahu AD, ie the Jupiter-Rahu period. Rahu is occupying the 9th house and with the Moon in Pisces. Any graha in the 9th house is capable of giving good results. Rahu is influenced by Moon and Jupiter. Of these Jupiter is the functional malefic. And Moon as ascendant lord is a benefic. But here we must consider that the Moon-Jupiter in the Shakata yog, 6/8 axis. So Moon and Jupiter are not comfortable with each other, which affects Rahu’s ability to give good results too. So Rahu gains more power to do mischief. And the keywords he will damage are related to the 9th house, Moon and Jupiter. So we cannot expect much good from Rahu during the periods he controls.

Then Jupiter and Rahu are mutually in the 6/8 axis.This is the most traumatic axis for two planets to be in as their energies are sucked up in the vortex of karmic suffering/ catastrophic changes. Both are highly uncomfortable with each other and cannot cooperate to give auspicious results on the physical planes.

So overall this Jupiter-Rahu period would have been difficult for Crowley. (This was a basic analysis, you can add more pointers from the Ashtakvarga charts, the shad-bala values, the navamsha, their nakshtra etc depending on your level of study/experience)

Remedies for combust planets

Now come back to your horoscope,

Check which planets are placed in the 6/8 axis. The MD and AD of these two planets will be the most traumatic ones in your life. Eg if Jupiter and Saturn are placed in the 6/8 axis in your birth chart then Jupiter-Saturn and Saturn-Jupiter periods will cause trouble. Or if Venus and Saturn are placed in the 6/8 axis in your birth chart both the Venus-Saturn and Saturn-Venus periods will be traumatic.

Find out which are the functional malefics in your chart. And if they are adequately supported by benefics or made even worse by aspects from other malefics? Periods ruled by the functional malefics are invariably stressful. Eg in our example horoscope, Cancer ascendant, so Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Rahu and Ketu related periods have potential for causing trouble. Eg Now if a Cancer ascendant person is in a MD or AD of these planets then he will definitely face some issues in life during this period. Eg Jupiter-Saturn, Saturn-Jupiter, Jupiter-Mercury, Mercury-Saturn, Saturn-Mercury, Rahu-Jupiter etc all combinations of these planets sub-periods will give stress. The exact source of this stress will be the energies of the houses they own, the houses they are placed in and the houses which they aspect.

Next if the MD and AD ruling functional malefic planets themselves are placed in the dushamsthan. Ordinarily the logic is that malefics in dushamsthan in the birth chart are a good thing. Use a thorn to remove a thorn concept (vipreet raj yog). But a problem arises when the same planet controls two houses, one dushamsthan and one auspicious. In our eg, it is Cancer ascendant, Jupiter controls the 6th dusham and 9th Kona, the Dharmasthan. Or Saturn controls 7th, a kendra house and 8th, a dusham. Here if the malefic planet is placed in a dusham sthan or not supported by benefics then the other auspicious house owned by him also suffers. Eg If in our example, if Saturn were placed in the 12th house, he would reduce the intensity of the 8th house issues but also reduce the auspiciousness of the marriage, partnerships, intimacy, finances, spiritual practice etc. Or if Jupiter is powerless it will reduce the karmic burdens of the 6th house but also reduce the auspiciousness of the 9th house, so the blessings from the ancestors, guidance from teachers, real Learning, progeny, auspicious benefits from past lives, sense of the divine, in fact every aspect of the current life will be affected by ill-luck. This effect on the other auspicious house can be alleviated if this house is occupied or strongly aspected by a benefic. But if this other auspicious house is even more adversely affected by malefic influences then it will be worse.

Finally check the current transit of the MD and AD planets in the skies. If these are transiting through crucial houses of the chart they will have severe impact on you. eg in our example, Crowley is going through Jupiter-Rahu, right now Jupiter is in Capricorn and debilitated (his movement is very weird this year). Rahu is wrecking havoc in Gemini. One eclipse was in Dec 2019 another is due in Jun2020. So Rahu is in his element, causing mischief. So Crowley if he were alive now, he would really have had a bad time just from these two planets activities. And at the last, superimpose the current transits on the birth chart to get an overview on what houses are under stress and which ones can give good results. For Crowley, Saturn and Mars are in Capricorn currently, so a big boost of energy which can be used for growth but he will take his toll on the physical body. ie Saturn return. Sun in Aries is favourable for profession related activities (though he is in the 6/8 axis from the birth Sun) etc and so on.

I hope you use this post to find out the challenging periods in your life and be more prepared to face them. In such potentially adverse periods it is better to remain alert about your thoughts, words and actions. Especially if the karmic heavyweights like Saturn, Rahu and Ketu are involved or planets who control the longer Vimshottari dashas are involved, as actions taken here can have long lasting impacts.

 

Retrograde and combust planets are unfair?

Mooltrikon signs

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

Planet

Degree of zodiac

Corresponding Sign in birth chart

Sun

121 – 130 deg

1-10 deg of Leo

Mercury

166 – 170 deg

16 – 20 deg Virgo

Venus

180 – 190 deg

0 – 10 deg Libra

Moon

34 – 60 deg

4- 30 deg Taurus

Mars

0-18 deg

0-18 deg Aries

Jupiter

240 – 253 deg

0 – 13 deg Sagittarius

Saturn

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

 

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