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Assessing a Planet Astrologically


Kavi Karnapura

The following was written by Kavi-Karnapura, as an assignment for the Year 1 Astrological Apprenticeship Program. Kavi summarizes many of the principles covered during our first year’s astrological exploration in a detailed an thoughtful manner. Deep contemplation and application of the following principles, when assessing a planet’s strength and weakness within a chart can reveal many aspects of one’s karma.

Assessing a Planet

1) Check the raśi aspects to the sign the planet is in.

3 Types of raśi aspects:

  1. Mutable signs aspect each other.  These are Gemini, Virgo, Pisces and Sagittarius.
  2. Active signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn)  aspect fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) – except the one next to them.
  3. Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) aspects the active signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) – except the one next to them.

Raśi aspect show the fertility of the raśi. Typically separative influences (from the Sun, Saturn and the Nodes) are detrimental to sign fertility along with the general dignity of planets. Saumya grahas such as the Waxing Moon, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury in good dignity greatly improves fertility.

Raśi determines the archetypal energy of the bhāva. For example Aries brings initiative and instinct to a house and Libra seeks harmony and companionship.

2) Check the prosperity of the house

“Prosperity or Annihilation of House: Predict prosperity of the house which is conjunct or is aspected by a benefic. Also when its lord is in Yuvavastha or Prabuddhavastha or in Kaumaravastha or in the 10th house, the bhava’s well-being is indicated. The bhava which is not aspected by its lord or whose lord is with a malefic planet or with one of the lords of evil and other such houses or is defeated in planetary war or is one of the three avasthas, viz, Vriddhavashta, Mritavastha and Suptavashta.” – Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra, Chapter 11, verses 14-16.

1. Is house conjunct or (rasi) aspected by a benefic?
2. Is house lord with a benefic planet?
3. Is the lord in an adult (Yuva) or teen (Kumara) state (Avashta)?
4. Is the lord awake (Jagrat)?
5. Is the lord in the 10th house? [1,4,7,10] Active; [1,5,9] Supportive.
6. Is the lord aspecting its own house?  This is benefic even if the house lord is a natural malefic.
7. Is Me or Ju in or aspecting house? [Moist, fertile energy of growth, fruition and fruit]

1. Is house conjunct or (rasi) aspected by a malefic?  Own lord when malefic does not count.
2. Is house lord with a malefic planet?
3. Is house lord old (Vriddha) or dead (Mrita)?
4. Is house lord sleeping (Sushupti)?
5. Is the house lord with an evil house lord (3, 6, 8, 11, 12)? [8,6,11,3, 12 from most to least detrimental] Is house not aspected by its lord?
6. Is house lord defeated in planetary war?
3) Consider the planet’s dignity.
3.1) The dignity of a planet show whether it can produce those things and states that it is a karaka for in a wholesome way.

Here it is useful to draw upon the 3 levels of Avasthas (Jagrātadi…) as levels of awareness, the three states are Awake (own, exaltation or mūlatrikona sign), dreaming (friend’s or neutral planet’s sign using the panchadha aggregate friendship classification) and asleep (enemy’s or debilitation sign) states.

Jupiter’s dignity, for example, shows whether a person will have meaning and purpose in their life and also their capacity for spiritual guidance and joyous wisdom.

3.2) Secondly, the ability of the house[s] (ruled by the planet we are assessing) to wholesomely manifest the states of being they represent also depend on the planetary dignity. In exultation or its own home a planet is in the so-called jagratādi avastha and is therefore awake to the needs and concerns of the bhāva.

When, for example the ascendant lord is in poor dignity, the physical body will be weak.

3.3) Dignity further modifies the quality of the bhāva-yogas the planet is involved in.

4) What planets are conjunct and aspecting the planet in question?

Here we consider natural friendship and enmity between planets and incorporate iṣṭha and kaṣṭha index ascertain the nature of the mutual influences.

5) How might the planet effect the house by its innate nature?

Here we consider planetary gender, krūra/saumyā, luminosity, guṇa, cast, sight, locomotion, element etc.

6) How might the planet affect other planets it is conjunct with?  See #4.

7) What does the state of the planet (house position, dignity, aspects to the planet) say about the karakatva of the planet? How does what a planet signify transform by the influence of placement and natural friends, neutrals and enemies.

7.1) House Placement.
Planets placed at angles (1,4,7,10—houses of power, Viṣṇu-sthāna) typically support active and visible involvement with their respective karakatva.

Venus, for example, placed at an angle with the ascendant, in good dignity and supported by benefic aspects will amplify the themes of beauty and comfort including benefits from women and love. In the 6th house, in poor dignity and aspected by natural malefics Venus can cause depts, delays and depravity with regard to its karakatva.

Planets placed in trines (1,5,9—houses of grace, Lakṣmī-sthāna) typically support a sense of ease when it comes to manifesting their karakatva in a person’s life.

Planets placed in difficult houses 3, 6 and 11 will improve over time and to some degree, the matters indicated by the planets placed there.

7.2) Dignity of the Planet and Aspects
Lajjatādi avastha are considered. For example, a weak debilitated aspect from Mercury will be far less significant than the 90 degree aspect of an exulted Sun when we consider Mars’s karakatva of martial strength.

We may also want to consider Tajika aspects.

8) What does the appropriate house from the planet further indicate about the karakatva?

  1. Sun: Lagna, physical vitality, confidence in projecting one’s individuality. Life vision.
    10th from Sun, status and public visibility.
    9th from Sun, vitality of one’s relation to Guru, the father, grace, truth and culture.
  2. Moon: 4th from the Moon, emotional sustenance, happiness and comfort. Support from mother, vehicles. Domestic ambience.
  3. Mars: 3rd from, courage, cohorts and competition.
    4th from, property and land.
    6th from, instinctive response to debts, disease, delays and enemies. How Mars deals with his enemies.
  4. Mercury: 4th from, skill in managing emotions and the home.
    5th from, intelligence.
    10th from, skills in managing career.
  5. Jupiter: 2nd from, capacity to support, save, and hoard.
    5th from, creative, and speculative ability. Capacity for growth through publication, speculation and performance.
    8th from, growth from other people’s money, joint assets.
    9th from, religion, culture, Guru and spiritual guidance.
    10th from, growth of status and recognition.
    11th gains and profit.
  6. Venus: 7th from, relationships and partners.
    8th from, sexual union.
  7. Saturn: 6th from, capacity for enduring scarcity, delays and hardship.
    8th from, capacity to endure transformative experiences, trauma and chronic pain. Longevity.
    10th from, ability for grit in realizing one’s ambitions.
    12th from, ability to endure renunciation and letting go. Capacity for sustained giving.

9) How does the planet’s karakatva influence the houses it’s a karaka for.

  1. Sun: ascendant, vitality.
  2. Moon: 4th house, mother, home, vehicles.
    Mars: 3rd house, courage competition, younger siblings.
    4th house, mineral wealth, land and property.
    6th house, enemies, delays debts and disease. Weapons.
  3. Mercury: 4th house, emotional intelligence.
    10th house, ability to manage career and status.
  4. Jupiter: 2nd house, savings and resources.
    5th house, creativity and children.
    9th house, religion, worldview, culture.
    10th house, reputation.
    11th house, gains and aspirations.
    12th house, growth from charity and renunciation.
  5. Saturn: 6th house, debts, delays and disease.
    8th house, radical transformative experiences. Trauma.
    10th house, enduring the stresses of public visibility and status.
    12th house, capacity to endure loss.

10. Consider the balādi avastha

The fruition of karma BPHŚ 45:3-4

“3. The 5 ages of a karma….
Infant, youthful, adolescent, old, and dead are the states of planets placed in the ascending order at the rate of six degrees in odd signs. This arrangement is reverse in the case of even signs.
4. Resultant strength of a karma…
One fourth, half, full, negligible, and nill are the grades of results due to a planet in infant, youthful, adolescent, old, and dead states.”

11. Consider jagratādi avastha: How conscious is a planet.

The state of consciousness of a planet from deep sleep to dreaming to wake will indicate how conscious one is of that planet signifies (karakatva) and the states of being or bhāvas related to it.

12. The iṣṭha and kaṣṭha received by the planet.

Benefics share their iṣṭha, malefics share their kaṣṭha.
Benefics keep their kaṣṭha for themselves and what they rule, while malefics keep their iṣṭha for themselves and what they rule.
Iṣṭha and kaṣṭha are dependent on balādi avastha, which in turn depends on jagratādi avastha.

13. What houses do the planet rule?

14. How does the placement of the planet bring its house indications with it to the house it’s occupying?

The 2nd lord, for example, brings the theme of resources in relation to the house it occupies, The 6th brings the theme of enemies, debts, delays and disease to the house it occupies.

15. How are the bhāva-yogas the planet is involved in modified by house placement, house combinations and planetary influences received by the planet?

Here we bring our analysis (points 1-14) into consideration regarding the specific bhāva-yogas in a chart.

For example: Having the 5th Lord in the 11th House; “The lord of Offspring abiding in Gain – the one born is learned, beloved by the people, an author, of great expertise and joined with many children and much wealth.” If the 5th Lord is Jupiter and his position in the 11th house is in good dignity themes revolving around financial gain and children are enhanced. If however we have a debilitated Saturn as 5th lord in the 11th we can expect problems in the areas indicated by the yoga, such as children, for example, hindering the achievements of goals.



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