Shadbala and the Moon

This essay will discuss about how the Moon fulfills its purposes and expresses its qualities in Sthana Bala, Dig Bala and Ayana Bala.

(Author: J. Saragih — Year Two Astrological Apprenticeship Student)

General introduction of the Shadbala

Shadbala (Shad=Six, Bala=Strength) shows six types of the potency of each planet. This technique allows us to gain deeper insight into a person’s innate capacity for utilizing the raw power of the planets in a variety of life situations and circumstances.

The planets represent our active consciousness. A horoscope is a snapshot of how we have consciously progressed our spiritual journey up until the moment we were born. Generally speaking, a well situated planet (e.g. good dignity, positive rashi aspects and high ishta) indicates that we have worked and gained some good experiences with the planet in our previous incarnations. Still, it is quite possible that even if a person has a planet that shows positive quality overall, at certain situations, they may not feel the strength or unable to utilize its energy efficiently. In this instance, Shadbala is very useful because we can take a look at each shadbala and sub-shadbala to understand what segments we need to pay more attention.

Each strength in Shadbala tells us something specific about each planet:

1. Sthana Bala – the positional strength; where the planet is located in the sky

2. Dig Bala – the directional strength; which house the planet is placed

3. Kaala Bala – the strength due to the time of one’s birth (year/month/day/hour)

4. Ayana Bala – the strength in relationship to the Sun’s movement through the sky

5. Cheshta Bala – the strength due to the motion and brightness of the planet

6. Drig Bala – aspectual strength; gentle/cruel influence on the planet

Each bala shows how the planets are going to meet their responsibilities. The following table shows a minimum number required for every planet in each Bala to accomplish its goals.


The planets are grouped into three and there is a mutual support within the same group.

  1. Sun, Mercury, Jupiter: deal with our capacity to have inspirations, achieve our goals and have purpose in life
  2. Moon & Venus: deal with the inner satisfactions and contentment
  3. Mars & Saturn: deal with troubles and hardships in life

The Moon

The Moon is our individual “I”. It allows us to feel that we are different and exist separately from one another. While the Sun also represents our individual consciousness, it is our most direct connection to the Source (Divine Consciousness). The Sun is the center of our solar system and the Moon is the agent in which reflects the sun’s light, with which, illuminates each one of us on Earth. Hence the Moon is the Mind, uniquely coloring our perceptions and experiences. The planet rules our feminine/passive qualities: emotions, feelings, receptiveness, intuition and imagination. It represents our capacity to feel what is right for us so that we can fulfill our heart’s desires. Still, due to the fact that we have our own individual “I”, things that we associate ‘satisfying’ are subjective and different from person to person. However, no matter how subjective it may seem, the true feeling of satisfaction can only be fulfilled when a person sincerely learns how to have resonance with their Moon.

  1. Sthana Bala – the positional strength

Sthana means “place, position, something is standing or rooted in”. Sthana Bala is the positional strength of the planets. It is one of the complex balas as it consists of five sub-balas:


Together they show how we stand in the form of the planet and how we are rooted in the power/potential of the planet. It shows our ‘default’ setting and posture that expresses who we are in the world.

The table below shows that this individual has the Moon with highest points in Sthana Bala (238.7 out of 133 required points). This person has 179.5% (238.7/133=1.79) of its required potency which means the Moon is 1.79 times more than its average (=1.0) strength.

When a person has strong Moon in Sthana Bala, they naturally appreciate and express the receptive qualities of the planet. It empowers them to be caring, receptive and in tune with the emotional needs of themselves and others. High Sthana Bala Moon allow them to understand that everyone is equally as important, and everyone is here to express their unique self and experience fulfillment in this world. They have the ability to accept others as who they are and enjoy their company whilst not losing sense of self. This usually makes them pleasant, approachable and popular.

We can see that Venus’ score is slightly under the required points (130.2/133); and has 97.9% (0.97=below 1.0) of its raw power to fulfill its responsibilities. As mentioned, the planets in each group can support one another.

When Venus is weak in Sthana Bala, its capacity to evaluate best possible options may be faltered, but with the support from the Moon one can intuitively follows their gut feelings and select good things in life.

If the Moon is weak, one may feel lost as their sense of good or bad is affiliated; but if Venus is strong, it can help them to weigh the scales of possibilities and make right choices that lead to higher fulfillment in life.


  1. Dig Bala – the directional strength

Dig Bala shows how the person directs their life by utilizing the intelligence and efficiency of each planet. By looking into Dig Bala, we can understand a person’s raw potential to move in a certain direction in life as well as their ability to take actions necessary for further growth. It shows how we self-navigate ourselves for higher fulfillment.

Each planet gains Dig Bala in a particular direction. The closer the planet is situated to its direction of strength, the higher points it gets in Dig Bala.

Jupiter & Mercury, the planets responsible for managing and finding interests and sense of purpose in life, get most strength if they are situated in the 1st House of Self. The furthest house from the1st is the 7th and this is where Saturn gets the highest Bala; where one learns how to let go of unrealistic expectations and desires so that they can successfully build relationships with others.

The Sun & Mars are the planets for initiative and action and they gain most strength in the 10th house of career and status in the world.

The Moon & Venus gain Dig Bala in the 4th House. The house is associated with happiness, emotional stability, and security. These planets direct us to choose that which ultimately makes us feel good, healthy and content; there is no sense of regrets with the decisions we make with the guidance of these planets.

However, it is very difficult to satisfy Moon and Venus in Dig Bala, despite the fact that these planets require the highest points amongst all planets. It is because we tend to focus on regrettable experiences, hardships, and difficulties in life, which interferes with our ability to navigate life. We silently ignore the voices coming from within, and instead choose to prioritize fulfilling temporal desires and needs to get by each day. Many of us think we know what we want and that what we are doing in life is aligned with the internal calling.

Still, the fact that many of us experience the feeling of emptiness and sense of hopelessness clearly indicates that many of our paths are not aligned with the available guidance of the Moon and Venus.

Moon & Venus are teaching us the importance of listening to our hearts and becoming conscious of our emotional needs. The Moon sees all directions and illuminates all the possibilities one can take. Its sattvic quality guides us to envision new directions. Venus gives the capacity to make decisions that are truly fulfilling, not merely out of compulsions.

  1.   Ayana Bala – the strength for dealing conflicts

Ayana means course or movement and it is related to the Sun’s course through the sky: it divides the Earth into two segments of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. According to the Vedic philosophy, the Northern hemisphere is the realm of the devas which represents ideals and inspirations. The Southern hemisphere is the realm of the asuras and is associated with hardships and difficulties.

The devas and asuras are always opposing against each other, as each side believe they are the ‘right’ one. This is also reflected in our own consciousness. We all have our own beliefs and values to defend, and try to prove ourselves right when we are challenged by the opposite view or disagreement from others.

This concept is applied when we look into the planets in Ayana Bala. Planets strong in Ayana Bala shows they have the capacity to deal with conflicts.

Each planet has their preference of being in the North or South hemispheres.

The Sun, Jupiter, Mars prefer to be in the North; the Moon & Saturn do best if they are in the South. Mercury can do well in both places, but does better if it is placed further North or South.

While it makes sense why Saturn does well in the realm of the asuras, it is quite surprising that the Moon, the planet of femininity and comfort, also prefers to be in the realm. The Moon uses its adaptable and receptive qualities to stay at peace in the middle of the storm.

Low Ayana Bala Moon indicates lack of tolerance for conflict and one gets caught up with their own beliefs and tries to force ideals on the situations of other people.

High Ayana Bala Moon allows one to be empathetic to the environment and know that the same one thing can be perceived differently from different angles, just like the reflection of the Moon in water. Instead of asserting one’s opinions, strong Ayana Bala Moon people intelligently select the most receptive and calmest way suitable to the situation so that things can pass peacefully. They knows that best approach is “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.


  1. The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology Vol 1, Richard Fish & Ryan Kurczak, 2012
  2. The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology Vol 2, Ryan Kurczak & Richard Fish, 2014