Ashtakvarga, practical ways of using the tables

I have written on how to use Ashtakvarga on interpreting the transits of planets through the signs. It makes the judgement of the transits very easy. This table can be used for several other analysis with equal ease. This is the easiest tool for analysing the power of a planet to influence the signs of the horoscope. So check up any online Ashtakvarga calculator, input your birth details and get your combined Sarva Ashtakvarga table.

This is the example chart of Aleister Crowley, the greatest western occultist of recent times. A superlative genius. He created the Thoth Tarot which I use. His birth details are 12th Oct 1875, 11:43 pm at Leamington UK. His Birth chart, Navamsha chart and Ashtakvarga table are as follows.

Birth chart Aliester Crowley

Navamsha Aleister Crowley
Navamsha Aleister Crowley

Ashtakvarga, an easy way to analyse transits

The Ashtakvarga table has several rows and columns. The top row is the Signs from 1-Aries to 12-Pisces. The first right column is the Ascendant degree and the 7 planets. ‘The Eight divisions’. Rahu-Ketu are not used in this table, instead the Ascendant degree/ Lagna is considered as a full-fledged ‘planet’ by itself. Each row is the score of that planet in the specific sign, this can vary from 0-8 points. The lowest row is the combined score of every sign this can vary from 0-56. To interpret this table there are only two rules which you need to remember.

1) Look at every individual planet’s row. You will see that each planet gets some points from 0-8 in each sign. These points indicate the power of the planet to influence this sign. The basic rule here is this

  • If the planet is in a sign where its score is 5-8 then he will give good results.
  • If he is in a sign where the score is exactly 4, it will be average, not-good, not-bad.
  • If the he is in a sign where his score is 0-3, the results will be  inauspicious.

2) And the second rule. Look at the individual sign totals row, the lowest row, where the total score of each sign is computed. Here the range is from 0-56 points for each sign. Here you see the power of each sign to give results, because of its relationship with the planet’s placements.

  • A sign with a score of 30 or more points generally gives good results.
  • A sign with less than 25 points gives inauspicious results.
  • Signs with scores between 25-30 give average results.

You already know how to use the Ashtakvarga table for analysing the power of transits. Now for more ways to use it.

How to judge the power of a planet to give results in the birth chart?

What a planet is capable of giving is different, this needs to be analysed by matching keywords. Eg Moon in this chart, is the ascendant lord, with Rahu in the 9th house, aspected by the Sun and Saturn. So body and physical environment, the agent of the mind, astral self, emotions, ancestors, luck, past life’s merit, peers, patrons, spiritual father, religion, belief system, mother, traditions, cycles, nurture, security, protection, intuition, discipline, genius, intense desire to experience etc.

So even if he is going to give a lot of stuff, how powerful will be his results? This can be seen from the score that the planet has in the sign he is placed at birth. Eg the Moon in our example birth chart is placed in Pisces and the Ashtakvarga score for Moon in Pisces is a neutral 4 points. So Moon will neither give superlative nor bad results. They will be average. So it would be better the Moon energies are consciously improved by doing his Mantra, remedies, Sadhana, spiritual practice etc. In our example see the Saturn in Capricorn has the lowest score of 1. If you read contemporary accounts of Crowley, he was thought to be lazy, wicked, evil, crazy etc by the general society, he married several times the 7th house things were rather a mess, this matches to this low score of Saturn. Mars with him though exalted also has a score of 4, indifferent to very bad results for the 7th house tallied. This was as per our Rule (1). If you use Rule (2), Pisces has a total sign score of 29 so more or less average results. So the Moon remains average for this person, will work at 50% efficiency. And Capricorn has a score of 24, it is inauspicious. So the Saturn will give his results at very lower levels of his power.

So if you want to see how well a planet can give his results, check out his score in the sign he is in your birth chart, (rule 1). And the total sum of the sign (rule 2). Together these two scores will give you your insight.

168af66b7830b48519aa42d158641777.jpg

You can make more detailed use of the table to find out will some planet’s influence are more powerful than other? In our above table, the Moon-Pisces is aspected by Sun and Saturn both.

  • Now the Sun is in Virgo with a score of 6. Sun influences Pisces with a score of 4. Combining these two the effect of the Sun on the Moon-Pisces is quite high and auspicious.
  • Saturn is in Capricorn and has a score of 1 and Saturn-Pisces is 6. Combining these two, the effect of the Saturn on the Moon is of low intensity and more inclined to be inauspicious.
  • Sun (Virgo-6) is inherently more able to give auspicious results than Saturn (Capricorn-1). Both are aspecting the Moon, but the influence of Saturn (score in Pisces is 6) is more than the Sun (his score in Pisces is 4). And Saturn is basically going to give inauspicious results because of his original placement. Sun being inherently more auspicious, even though he influences Moon only indifferently, his overall result will be auspicious.
  • So we can interpret this in words, Moon will be adversely affected by Saturn, the restrictions of Saturn will weigh on the astral/emotional self. Karma, discipline, social pressures, requirement to work systematically, social image, regular income etc will be a burden on the mind.
  • Moon is being supported by the Sun, so divine inspiration,  creativity, genius, center-stage etc will all be sought after and will be received by the person during the lifetime.

When we analyse our birth horoscope, we count the houses from the rising sign, the regular birth chart. And in the second Birth Moon chart, we count the birth moon sign as the first house and interpret the signs and planets in relation to the Moon’s placement. But every planet is powerful in its own way, so we should ideally draw a separate birth planet chart for every planet, eg a birth Jupiter chart where birth Jupiter’s sign is counted as the first house. But doing this for all the planets would be quite confusing and tedious. So we calculate the Ashtakvarga. Arriving at this Ashtakvarga table is also quite a tedious affair, but now our software does it, so its just a click of a button.

eb510d425f9589330eedcadd1bbe527c.jpg

Now how to use Ashtakvarga chart in determining the power of the Dasha periods.

The most commonly used system for Dasha, planetary periods is the Vimshottari Dasha system. This is the first system that is taught for students and is quite accurate and easy to understand. There are five layers of planetary periods, sub-periods, sub-sub-periods, as every minute of your life is mapped out (Maha-dasha, Antar-dasha, Pratyantar-dasha, Pran-dasha Sookshma-dasha).

Let’s analyse the Mahadasha/main period and Antardasha/sub-period using Ashtakvarga. Suppose that for our example chart, the current Mahadasha is Jupiter and the Antardasha is of Mercury. This will be written as Jupiter-Mercury. Your software will also give the Dasha for your birth details, check it out. Sometimes you see that the Dasha period ruler planets occupy the best positions in your birth chart, are capable of giving such good results, but in the actual period, these good results do not materialise. Then you need to see the Ashtakvarga table.

Now to apply rule (1), check where Jupiter is in the sky now, the current transit sign is Scorpio. Check Jupiter in Scorpio score from the example chart. In our example it is 7, very good results expected. Now Mercury, the sub-period lord, is currently in Libra. In the ashtakvarga table above Mercury-Libra has 7 points again very good results. Next apply rule (2). Here the total of Scorpio is 25, this is on the lower side, inauspicious. And Libra has a total score of 27, indifferent, not good/bad. So we can combine these results and say that, at this point of time, this person will have reasonably good results for this Vimshottari Dasha main/sub period combination. However he should be alert for anything happening unexpectedly. This analysis should be re-done when the Jupiter transits onwards to Sagittarius and Mercury transits to Scorpio as the dynamics change. Ashtakvarga makes things so very easy!

So if you want to see how the combined dynamics of the current transit plus the current Dasha main-lord and sub-lord works out to be, check out the Ashtakvarga table and follow the two rules.

The Ashtakvarga does not use Rahu/ Ketu in the table. They have no points and no scores. The main reason is that these planets have no material results on their own. This table talks about the material and tangible results only. No psychological babble here. So if you have clients who want to know definite results, marriage, money, children, health, job, property you have to see the Ashtakvarga. Everything is reduced to numbers here, so you can arrive at a percentage of intensity, percentage probability or 50% chance that this will happen sort of results. of course to improve the percentages you have to prescribe some spiritual activity, remedy or something which will help bringing that planet more in focus.

But the Dashas? Rahu and Ketu are owners of Dasha periods and they also transit, but they do not have a score here. So I use an approximation which has worked for me. (If you think it is incorrect, do not use it). The reasoning being, Rahu and Ketu give material results through the planet who is conjunct him.  If there are no planets conjunct him, ie in the same sign, then Rahu and Ketu take on the characteristics of the sign’s planetary owner. So in the above example I would use the sign-score of Sun to get an idea of Ketu’s Dasha period. And the sign score of Moon to get an idea of Rahu’s Dasha period.

So here was a very practical post on using Ashtakvarga in more ways,

  1. To judge the power of a planet to give results in the birth chart
  2. To judge the power of a sign to give results in the birth chart
  3. To judge which planet has the maximum influence over a sign
  4. To judge which planet has the maximum influence over another planet
  5. To use Ashtakvarga chart in determining the power of the Dasha periods

 

5268e1f0c11533722470b2c55c494ca7.jpg

(There was a question on using the Ashtakvarga, thus these two posts. I would recommend books by C.S.Patel to those who want to learn more, but his books are more for the advanced students. For the beginners, try using the tables for basic analysis as I have written and later read the books.)

Start learning astrology systematically

People today are interested in astrology. There are casual enthusiasts and then there are the really genuine students who want to learn it in detail. If you want to really learn and practice astrology, either for your personal growth or as a profession, you should understand that it takes time. It takes 3 yrs to get a basic graduation degree and 4yrs for a professional one! So you should consider this much time as the basic minimum to learn astrology to the level of getting your predictions correct. It is a life-time learning process and you will learn with every chart you analyse. There are several government Universities which offer a B.A. in Astrology at quite reasonable fees, some of them offer distance courses too. Here you get a certificate so this might help in your professional practice.

Start learning astrology systematically

Self-study is necessary, you will need to read books, some of the essential authors are,

  • B. Suryanarain Row (The oldest. I think the first astrology author in modern times, books are in English.)
  • B.V. Raman (son of B. Suryanarain Row. I grew up on his books and the Astrological Magazine, English books)
  • Gayatri Devi Vasudev (daughter of B.V. Raman and a very good writer herself, writes in English)
  • J.N. Bhasin (has written several books, most are available in English and Hindi)
  • K.N. Rao (very logical. Apart from the combinations, also discusses the theory. You can read some of his books like a story, are a delight to read)
  • H.N. Katve (all of his books are in Marathi. If you know Marathi you should read them .Extensive knowledge. Some books are translated to Hindi.)

Their books are in very simple and easy to understand language. Most of them have written beginners books for introduction to the fundamentals of astrology. Several of their books are available on archive.org, I would suggest you download a few, see which ones you like and then buy them. These are quite inexpensive at Rs 200/- max. Having a paper book in your hands means you can make your notes in it, or add your own observations, stick notes in it. Soft-copies and software are very useful, but paper and pencil also are needed. At some point of time you will have to read at least two classics Bruhat Jataka and Bruhat Parashar Hora Shastra. There are other classics also, but these two are necessary. These above authors use these classics and some have written commentaries on them. You can read these later when you are a bit advanced in your study.

Earlier reading Panchangam and learning maths was very important. We had to calculate the positions of the planets etc using the panchamgam and only then could we draw up the horoscope. Today with the advent of software and online horoscopes, learning maths has become optional. For software Jagannath Hora or Parashar Light are the best, but they are professional level paid software. For android ‘Hindu calendar’ by developer ‘Alok Mandavgane’ and for iPhones ‘Drik panchang’ by developer ‘Adarsh apps’ is quite adequate to begin with. In the settings, put in your location and the Lahiri/Chitrapaksha ayanamsha.

Start learning astrology systematically

So from my point of view this was the basic minimum for learning Jyotish in depth. Now the actual study, this is broadly in three parts.

  • Analysing the charts, at least the birth chart, moon chart and the D-9 Navamsha chart.
  • Analysing Dasha – Generally Vimshottari Dasha is used. There are more Dasha systems, but first learn Vimshottari.
  • Analysing transits – comparing the present placement of the planets in the sky in relation to their at-birth positions

Analysing the Charts

Get any one of the beginners books you like. Read it through cursorily, get an overview first. Now pinpoint 10 keywords for every sign/ house/ planet. Write your own notes. And in the software input your own details and see how your birth chart looks like. When learning astrology you need to do the practical stuff by analysing charts, just reading the books wont be enough.

  • Start doing a house by house analysis of your own Birth Chart. E.g if the ascendant/ first house is Capricorn, look up the keywords of Capricorn and its owner Saturn. See if these link up with your actual personality. Do this very cursory analysis for each of the 12 houses.
  • Then do the 9 planet analysis, (we do not use Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, they are not graha). Eg. Saturn is placed in 5th house, Taurus sign. So how does he behave, look up the keywords, analyse how they are expressed in your life.
  • Then do a house-lord analysis. Eg Saturn as the lord of the 1st house is placed in Taurus sign 5th house. Analyse how the finer details are now being filled in. Do this for all the 12 houses. Try to see patterns. Astrology at this level will be more trends and possibilities, accuracy will come with time and practice.

(There are videos available on Youtube. Since I haven’t seen any of them I cannot recommend any. But I would stress this, first read these books by senior astrologers. Then listen to youtube videos. These senior astrologer’s experience is very valuable, thus their books. My relatives don’t make me see their charts, they get after my Dad. Dad has been an astrologer for more years than I have been alive, experience always matters.)

Moon chart analysis is neglected these days but it gives valuable insights into the emotional behaviour of the person. Turn around your chart so that the Moon’s sign takes the 1st house place. Now see how the planets and ascendant sign align with the Moon. Eg. One relative has her Moon in 6th house. She is always uncomfortable. The ascendant sign is placed eighth from the Moon. So her personality/environment and her emotional comfort are adversarial to each other. If you can see these things in the chart and also in the person in front of you it adds to your confidence.

Use your books, write notes and stick them in the books. Making notes helped in your college. It is the same, you are learning a new subject.

Start learning astrology systematically

After you are comfortable with all this you can go on to divisional charts. Open your software and only if you have the exact birth time, open your Navamsha or 9th Divisional Chart on your software. Check which signs/houses the planets shift to as compared to the Birth Chart. (I have written some separate posts on Navamsha). This is a full analysis in itself and requires time. There are technically 16 important divisional charts, but exact birth time to the minute is generally not available, so D-9 is generally enough. (Generally birth time does differ upto 5 mins, ie the nurses may not record 10:33am exactly but rather record 10:35am)

Then practice some more.

Get your parents horoscopes, your grandparents, brothers/ sisters/ uncles/ aunts etc horoscopes, people whom you know already and can observe for years later. Do this analysis for their charts. (You might not be sure of their exact to the minute birth time, so do the Birth Chart and Moon chart analysis). Especially charts of any close relative who is beyond 60yrs. They have lived their lives and you can use them as the perfect study subjects. They will be willing to talk to you about significant events in their lives. If you get 15 charts to follow you are in a good place. We generally know about our relatives behaviour, mind-set, marriages, children, jobs, financial position, social status, health etc. So a full-rounded study of the charts is possible. Take your time over this very basic study, these 15 charts are your foundation. You can increase your collection as you get more subjects. Just maintain them, number them etc. If you can follow them upto their deaths it will be a complete study. (My Dad still has his hand-drawn charts collection from 50+yrs ago.)

Keep referring to your books. Doing this analysis, gradually your concepts of directional strength, combustion effects, retrograde movement, planetary war, exalted/ debilitated, etc will get clear. Take your time over this analysis. Keep adding finer details and take notes. Tally your analysis with the personality. This will add to your confidence.

Most people prefer studying celebrity charts, I don’t. My clients are the regular human beings with regular problems. Celebrity charts are not typical charts, they have combinations which give extreme results and only in one direction. e.g notorious criminal, freedom fighters, film stars, politicians. Their charts are extraordinary from only one angle, rest of the life aspects are often in bad shape.

And read your books and write the important observations you make.

Dasha analysis

Now to level up, in your software, there is a section on Vimshottari Dasha, Check out which Mahadasha and which Antardasha is going on for your own chart. I have written about analysing Dasha generally and planet-wise in my previous posts. You will need to do this once in few months to 1-2 yrs. You can also do it for your sample charts and observe if the analysis matches the actual events in life.

You studied so hard for school/college, this is no less! You are learning to predict the future and understanding the past.

Start learning astrology systematically

Analysing transits

The next thing is getting a sense of transits. Start with analysing the Moon’s effect on yourself. I have written about it in this post. Keeping track of the Moon transits will get you in the habit of referring to your Panchangam/Software everyday. Observe and analyse your emotions and behaviour. Now you are a student of human nature. So be dispassionate and critical. Keep your own notes. Take 3 months over this to get your own interpretation of how the Moon affects your moods. After this you should try predicting how your day is going to be. This small daily prediction boosts your confidence. Eg one of my relatives, Moon in the 6th house, ie the ascendant sign is counted eighth from the Moon. (Ascendant sign represents the head, transit Moon in the sign eighth from the birth Moon creates stress and changes in pressures of body liquids.) She always gets a splitting head-ache when the Moon transits her 1st house.

You can similarly analyse other planets transits. Especially the transits of Saturn and Rahu/Ketu and Jupiter, are longer in duration should be studied. The Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars move quite fast, like 1-2  months per sign. These do not have very drastic effects either (unless one of them is your ascendant sign ruler), so you can take up their transits analysis later on.

This is a brief frame-work on understanding the horoscope and the past and present situations. To do this confidently will take time, so study for 1hr every alternate day at least regularly.

Now predictions,

Some senior astrologers write out a full life report. It requires time, a week perhaps, and a very good understanding of the potential of the horoscope to give results and the future transits and dashas in which these results can be expected.

But generally clients have a 3-4 questions which are about current situations or the near future, which can be answered easily. I have written a few posts on these topics. And of course there are books which you should refer for more details. You can start taking questions from your sample chart relatives after about 6months of personal study. This will help you gain confidence. For professional clients I would suggest only after 3yrs of study.

(It would help immensely if you do regular Gayatri mantra Jaap. This will increase intuition, sharpen intelligence and grant protection.)

Learning astrology is always useful, you get to know a lot about your own self and also about others. And it has its spiritual side too. So why do you want to learn it? Think a bit on this too, it will motivate you. Life is quite short with so many things to do. Astrology/ Jyotish just like any other subject requires time, interest and study. Start with something simple and build upon it. Wishing you all the best in your pursuit of Illumination.

 

Start learning astrology systematically

 

(This post was in response to this comment I received in the contact form, 

“Sir, I am highly shocked the depth of your knowledge in this aspect. I wasn’t a keen follower of astrology but I am interested in it. So sir can you please suggest me, where can I get in depth knowledge of it. (It would be highly appreciated if you could teach me.) Yours sincerely, A fan of yours”

Dear Reader, Thank you for the compliment you have given me. I value your asking me to teach. But you see, astrology in the sense it should be taught and learnt requires a face-to-face teacher, which I cannot do. However I encourage you to start reading something on the topic and at least some self-study on the lines of this post. If there are any questions I can help you with, I will genuinely try. All the best to you in your studies.)