Analysing the Vimshottari Saturn Mahadasha

Dasha analysis is used to time events in life. The planets control your life in a sequence called the Dasha. There are several Dasha systems, of these the Vimshottari is generally applicable, accurate and is the first Dasha system you learn. 

The Maha-Dasha sequence is,

Thus the human lifespan is total of 120 yrs. Depending on the exact position of your birth Moon, ie the Nakshatra and the degrees, you will begin your life sequence. Ensure that you have your accurate birth time else there is no point in calculating Dasha. Not everyone will experience all the 9 graha Mahadasha during their lives. 

Considering Saturn’s current transit in his own Capricorn which will be followed by his transit in Aquarius, if you are going through the Saturn Mahadasha (or even his antar-dasha in other planet’s mahadasha-s) at this point of time, you will experience high intensity results. Depending on if Saturn is favourable or not for you, these results will be auspicious and helpful to you, or not.

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Saturn Mahadasha

  • If your birth moon Nakshatra is Pushya, Anuradha or Uttarabhadrapada then at the time of your birth you had the Saturn Mahadasha going on. The balance of the planet’s dasha period remaining at birth is calculated using the location (degree minute second) of the Moon in the nakshatra.
  • For the other birth Nakshatra, Saturn Mahadasha can occur at any point of time in life in the sequence.
  • Saturn will also influence you during his sub-periods, ie Antardasha, in other planet’s Mahadasha ie main periods.

So open your Vedic software, the Dasha section. If there are options here, choose the Vimshottari Dasha system. See which planet’s Mahadasha is going on for you. If this is the Saturn Mahadasha then this post is for you.

If you were born in Saturn Mahadasha. You were always a mature and responsible little person even as a child. Possibly your parents were working hard and you did not get much time with them in your childhood. Maybe your grandparents or someone elderly took care of you. You are serious at your core, punctual about time and meticulous about work. You live within your means, do not waste anything. Time is precious to you. You have schedules and tasks to perform. You are stable, sincere and dependable. You are friendly with everyone, but you do not have close life-time friendships. You generally get along with people older or more mature than you. Life unfolds rather predictably, slowly but surely, you gain wealth, social prestige and recognition, especially so after your late thirties.

If you go through your Saturn Mahadasha later in life. It is very long period, 19yrs and a lot can happen in this time. Here you will be more focussed on your work, social presence, the process of ‘settling down’. If you are older than 36yrs, then this time can be quite productive as you harness the power of Saturn in the real sense and grow. 

Generally, Saturn in his Mahadasha, will make you work systematically to work off your karma. Whichever houses Saturn is linked to, he will give you tasks to perform. Whatever aspect of your life is linked to him will be your ‘work-place’ for these 19yrs. He expects dedication, sincerity and honesty. So expect social obligations, duties to the parents and elders, earning prestige and social position, gaining assets and wealth, working within the restrictions of social law, he will keep you busy for these 19 yrs. This will be a character building time, he is polishing your personality. There will be crises from time to time, he will test you. He will force you to become efficient, budget, fully utilise what you have and appreciate the use of your assets. Your hidden talents will be pushed out in the open. What you desire is irrelevant to him as he has your own karmic agenda to enforce. There might be an underlying sense of loneliness or weariness during this time but there will be focus. He generally does not grant emotional satisfaction as he systemically removes all illusions, misplaced hopes, unwarranted expectations and brings you face to face with the practical reality. But there will be a sense of a job well done. He will reduce your tolerance for hypothetical or impractical or dreamy stuff. You will be granted practical knowledge about real material things, tangible stuff. If you work, then he will ensure that you get your exact rightful gains. His energies are slow, subdued and spread over a longer period of time. Events roll out slowly but steadily here. He can delay things but does not deny you what you deserve. If you accept his influence, these 19yrs will be a very productive time. If not then it can get hopeless.

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Saturn Mahadasha is 19yrs long, so each of the nine sub-periods are also long and can extend upto 3yrs. Analyse the lords of the sub-periods/ Antardasha to get a clearer idea of how things will unfold.

Most people are scared of Saturn but he is the embodiment of the material we see around us. All social structures, hierarchies, markets, trade, commerce, rules, regulations, etc require Saturn’s blessings to prosper.  If the Saturn Mahadasha comes in mid-life then this period can grant successes all of life’s major activities like education, job, family etc. Saturn’s energies for material growth are best utilised at this age. The only condition is that you should be willing to work hard in a regular and disciplined manner.

Saturn is Yogkarak for Taurus and Libra ascendants so will give favourable results for these people. He is the owner of Capricorn and Aquarius so he always supports people with these two ascendant signs as the ascendant lord. For the other ascendant signs you have to check the individual charts in depth, for his role in the chart.

  • If Saturn is well-placed and capable of auspicious results, then these 19yrs can be an extraordinary period, full of work, achievements, social mobility, professional successes, growth and fame. You will make more friends, contacts, people who think and act like you. For people who are in politics, governance or need social visibility he will help. If he is in his own sign or sign of exaltation or aspected by benefics or even in a Kendra or a Kona house supported by auspicious planets, then too he will support you during his Mahadasha.
  • If Saturn is unfavourable for you then expect issues connected to health, property, wealth, profession, litigations etc. Medical conditions related to skin, nerves, bones, ‘dryness’ in the body parts and ageing related diseases can pop during this time. There will be detachment, frustrations, restlessness, denial and loneliness on the mental front. Legal issues with the government. Delays and challenges in the parts of life he influences. He will also give the strength to endure the distress he will cause, but life will be more difficult than average during this period. Some things will be spoilt forever. But even though there may be troubles, they will not stretch continuously for 19 yrs. The underlying theme may be Saturn’s but the lords of the sub-periods also have their say. If the lord of the Antar-dasha is favourable then the troubles will reduce in his antardasha. 

 If you feel that this is all beyond you at the beginner level, I have written two posts on a quick analysis for the sub-periods based on which houses these the planets own (here and here). 

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Now to tailor the Mahadasha predictions for your personal life. This requires some basic understanding of Jyotish. Each horoscope is unique and will have its own unique analysis. This post is to help you learn.

Step 1 is to analyse the power of Saturn in your chart.

You should know what Saturn controls in your life and the power he has to deliver his results. You should know what he is going to give you, only then predicting the timing will be of any use. So analyse your Saturn as follows,

  • Saturn in your basic birth chart
  • Which house and in which sign is he placed in? Which parts of your life is he controlling?
    • Eg Saturn in 3rd house will be your siblings, income from trade, your hands, the internal confidence to take necessary actions, skills, practicality, etc.
  • Which houses does he own? Where are Capricorn and Aquarius signs placed in the chart?
    • Eg Capricorn placed in the 11th house will mean that Saturn is in charge of your friend circle, like minded groups, all gains in life, money from speculation, older siblings, etc.
    • Eg Aquarius in the 5th house, means that Saturn is connected to your education, children, students, creativity, confidence, genius, etc.
  • Marak – If Saturn connected to the 2nd, 7th or 8th houses then you must check the longevity aspects. If the longevity is at an end, then he can indicate the timing or cause of physical death in his Dasha periods.
  • Is Saturn exalted/ debilitated? How comfortable is he in the sign he is occupying? Naturally an exalted planet will give more pleasing results than a debilitated one. 
  • Is he retrograde?
  • Or combust?
  • Which planets is he conjoint/ aspected by?
    • Which other aspects of the personality is he influencing or being influenced by? If he is influenced by benefics then more favourable and pleasing results.
    • eg Saturn aspecting or conjoint Rahu can give a rather intense personality.
  • What kind of power does he have.
    • His shadbala, avastha etc also can be seen for more insights into his nature in your chart. You can go as deep as your level of study.
  • Has he matured?
    • Is his maturity being held back by conjunction with later maturing planets? Planets give more sensible results after maturity. His Dasha period after maturity will give more useful results.

This detailed analysis will tell you which aspects of your life will be more in the foreground as your Saturn mahadasha rolls on. Be clear on his karakatva, ie all that he stands for in your chart, before predicting anything.

Do these next only if you are an advanced student, else you might end up confusing yourself

  • Saturn in the Navamsha D 9 chart.
    • Do this same analysis using the divisional chart 9. The Navamsha chart will give a perspective on the sub-conscious expectations and the sum total of Saturn’s potential. 
  • Saturn in the birth Moon chart.
    • You can repeat this same analysis in your birth Moon chart to see how Saturn Mahadasha is going to affect you on the emotional aspects of your life. The birth Moon chart is the same as your D1 birth chart, just that the sign containing the birth Moon is counted as the 1st house.

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Step 2 is to analyse the power of the Sub-period lords

Smaller sub-periods within the main period/ Mahadasha are called successively Antar-dasha, Pratyantar-dasha, Sookshma-dasha and Pran-dasha. The logic on how to analyse these even smaller units remains the same for each planetary owner of the sub/sub periods. The lord of the sub-period will give his results within the broad framework of the overarching Saturn’s power.

  • Find out the power of the sub-period planetary lord and the aspects of life that he controls just like you did for the Saturn above.
    • Eg if the Saturn Mahadasha and Moon antardasha. you will have to find out both Saturn’s and Moon’s power to give results.
    • Analyse the relationship between the Saturn and the sub-period owner planet. Are they friends/ neutrals/ enemies?
    • If they are in the uncomfortable 6/8 axis from each other then that sub-lord’s sub-period will not be so comfortable.
    • If they are in the 5/9 axis or 3/11 axis the sub-period will give significant gains.
      • Eg if Saturn Mahadasha and Jupiter Antardasha. Both are neutral to each other.
      • If Saturn is in 5th house and Jupiter in 9th house. Both are in the pivotal Kona houses, and in the powerful 5/9 axis from each other. This could be one of the best periods of your life.
      • If Saturn in 3th house and Jupiter in 8th house. This time will not give good results, as there will be turbulence in life related to the 3rd and 8th house keywords.

Do this next only if you are an advanced student, else you might end up confusing yourself

  • Step 3 is the routine transits of the planets.
    • These can the modify results indicated by the Dasha to some extent. So draw your birth chart (D-1) on a paper and superimpose the current planetary positions on it. Use a different coloured pen so that you can make sense of the composite chart you are drawing. Analyse how the transits are affecting the planets. We use the dasha+transits to fine tune events.
    • Ashtakvarga, Janma-nav-tara, Moorti nirnay, Ashtapadmadala chakra etc are some of the ways you can analyse transits depending on your level of skill.

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Now with this background, let’s briefly analyse the Saturn Mahadasha and its Antardasha/ sub-periods. This is just a starting point for you to base your own analysis on. 

1. Saturn antardasha follows the Rahu antardasha in the Jupiter Mahadasha.

  • This period sets the tone for the next 19yrs of your life. This is the first sub-period in sequence so if this time goes reasonably well for you then the rest of his Mahadasha too can be expected to go well. If this period is not going well, ie if problems erupt with no solutions or issues in profession and relationships etc then you must take corrective actions, ie Daan or Mantra, which will help alleviate the problems caused by Saturn.
  • If Saturn in your birth chart is capable of favourable results then you will be kept busy and you will get the due credits. There will be progress on the social, professional and material front. Increased work, lesser time for leisure, more responsibilities, perhaps a promotion, more interactions with the society etc. Marriage and children are also possible which create a sense of maturity.

2. Mercury antardasha

  • Saturn considers Mercury as a friend. Mercury is neutral to him.
  • So if they are well placed in your chart then this period will go well. Logic and mental faculties add power to the work you are doing. This will result in gains especially from profession and business, money flow will increase. You will be more competitive, less emotional and more logical in your approach. You will be able to network effectively, find out tips and secrets and put your skills to use. Use this time well.
  • You may be required to do something for your siblings and extended family which might give you stress from time to time.

3. Ketu antardasha

  • Saturn and Ketu together are an explosive mix. This is a relatively short period but can get intense. Physical and emotional health may be hit. You will feel more aggressive in the aspects of life linked to Saturn and Ketu. So keep your temper in control, keep conflicts to a minimum and focus on your goals. Unnecessary travelling, weakness, loss of money etc are possible. Ketu causes disillusionments and separations. So if your chart is strong you might get into spirituality and if the chart is weak then you will feel depressed.
  • If their mutual combination is favourable then there will be flashes of inspiration and insights so use these well. Your intelligence will support you, thus you can profit from calculated risks. Also pilgrimages or some spiritual experience is likely.
  • Unpleasant experiences on the psychic levels, astral dimensions and dream states are possible which might drain you. So take due precautions.

4. Venus antardasha

  • Venus and Saturn are good friends. But both are strict taskmasters. If they are well placed then they will give material stuff, relationships and wealth. Marriage, children and other one-one relationships will seem more significant and you will be more involved in them. This might be a good time to earn money and invest or accumulate wealth.
  • But they can also cause a deep set dissociation as you might face intense karmic rebalancing with the one you love the most. The negative effects are reduced if Venus and Saturn are favourable for you, ie turmoil you face finally make sense and you will eventually gain significantly. I have written a post on this antardasha here.

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5. Sun antardasha

  • Sun and Saturn are father and son and mutual enemies. But if they are well placed and in a comfortable axis with each other then there will be an unexpected elevation in status, money, authority etc. Especially if you are connected to the public in some way they will bring recognition and expansion of your personality. Then this would be a good time for people in HR, politics, governance etc where there is more interaction with the people and the system.
  • Otherwise this time is generally uncomfortable. The father, teacher, elders, children can create problems. Your boss and others in authority will not allow you to express yourself fully. Issues in profession are common. Take care of your health, heart, heat and cold related issues can cause complications. 

6. Moon antardasha

  • Moon and Saturn together is a recipe for ‘fear’. Even if Moon and Saturn are favourable for your chart, this antardasha can trigger emotional issues, tiredness, fear, disease etc. Stress from your maternal relatives, children or mother, eg their health may be a concern. Or problems with investments, property, finances, home, etc. Profession and status can be affected so best be alert during this sub-period.

7. Mars antardasha

  • If Mars is powerful and capable of giving good results with Saturn, then in this sub-period you will be able to use your aggression productively. There will be opportunities to show your confidence and initiative in work. But again this is a fiery mix, so do control your temper. You can use this time to get back at your enemies and cut off potential problems before they get too big. You might travel and gain in places away from your homeland or in areas outside your comfort zone.
  • But if they are together incapable of favourable results then there will be arguments in the family, with siblings, issues over land and resources, needless travel, loss of wealth, injuries, surgeries and accidents are possible.

8. Rahu antardasha

  • Saturn and Rahu together can increase destructive tendencies. If you can channelise this energy outwards in some productive way then you can gain. There will be some opportunities but be careful to choose only the ethical and practical ones. Avoid cheating others. 
  • There might be some interference from the psychic, astral and dream states during this sub-period.

9. Jupiter antardasha

  • This is the chidra dasha, the last sub-period of the Vimshottari Saturn Mahadasha.
  • If your ascendant is Taurus, Libra, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius or Pisces then you will have an easier time. Or if Jupiter and Saturn both are capable of giving auspicious results together, then the turmoil will exist on manageable levels and it will be for your own good.
  • This last sub-period is generally an intensely karmic time. Expansion and contraction together. Issues in profession or society can cause stress. Education, work and finances can be affected. The immediate family may be disturbed. Unforeseen events can occur depending on which aspects of your life are controlled by Jupiter and Saturn.
  • The reason is that Jupiter will take stock of all the work you have done, or failed in and grant you a wise and optimistic perspective. You will finally make sense of this work Saturn made you do, 19 long years. If something has failed to nourish your soul or failed to make you wiser it will be firmly discarded. What you have gained will be solidly consolidated. Thus the element of the unexpected during this sub-period.
  • You have worked through a significant portion of your karmic baggage and Jupiter in his kindness will help you finally appreciate yourself.

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Everyone who wants to learn astrology should analyse their own horoscope first. Get into the habit of pulling out your own chart for a detailed analysis every 6 months, take a couple of hours over this exercise. Look at the Dasha periods and transits that will happen over the next 6 months, try to predict 1-2 things which might happen. These can be very simple things to begin with, eg some disturbance over the 4th house = some issue related to mother. Some positivity over the 10th house = progress in profession. Evaluate for yourself how accurate you are getting.