Shadbala and the Moon – Considering Dig, Ayana and Chesta Bala

MoonThe moon is receptive, feminine, Yin, it travels from light to dark and back again. The health of the moon in a chart shows our ability to adapt to our ever changing environment. The state of the moon tells how receptive we are. The moon, Chandra, is fickle like Vata with its constant transformation. During the Moons wane it takes away and then gives when waxing, showing its benefic, Kapha nature. The moon is our emotions and our mind. Not mind in the a mercurial, computing sense, but rather our “Manas -that which connects our sense organs with the intellect and then to the soul.” Dr JV Hebbar, Our inner, primal knowing, intuition, our ability to imagine. The moon gives insight (inner sight) to what does not exist yet, our ability concentrate and meditate and to dream what might be.

We will be considering how the state of the moon is effected by Dig Bala- directional strength, Ayana Bala- strength based on placement in the hemispheres and Chesta Bala- strength based on the speed a planet travels.

Dig Bala is the area of Shad Bala that calculates a planets strength based on its specific location. Each planet gets points in Dig Bala when it is placed in a direction where its innate nature can thrive. For instance, the Sun and Mars represents our power, activity, how we effect the world. So it makes sense that those planets would receive points when they are placed in or near The 10 Th house or cusp of taking action in the world, the Southern portion of the chart.

Since the Moon represents our inner contentment and feelings, it will have more strength and be naturally supported when at home, near the 4th cusp. It is important to calculate Dig Bala based on cusps rather than houses. The cusp will show the exact point of activity and this degree will vary depending on the time of year and proximity to the equator.

Dig Bala is about direction, how we direct or focus our life. We can look at a planet’s Dig Bala points to see how a person will act. How they will direct their attention and the strength of their focus.

The Moon is about contentment, liberation and inner peace. Venus is our comfort in the world, our experience with the material plane and ultimately, how we make choices that lead to higher fulfillment. Venus and the Moon combine efforts to achieve contentment, related to the 4th house or cusp. This is the northern area of the chart, the realm of the Devas. The North is where the Gods sit in blissful meditation, free of the need to act or do. With happiness and contentment we are at peace, there is nothing to do or achieve. The North and the 4th house is an area of Moksha, liberation.

Moksha is not easy to achieve. It is not necessarily what our day to day lives consist of. Most lives are focused on survival, action and enduring- Martian and Saturnine characteristics.

Therefore, it makes sense that Dig Bala points would be easier to achieve for the planets that provide strength for our basic needs. Sa and Ma need 30 points/ Virupas to have sufficient Dig Bala. Ve and Mo require 50 points to have sufficient directional strength. This is difficult to achieve, showing that most people lack the ability to follow their imagination (Mo) to make choices that create a better life (Ve). It is common for both Mo and Ve to lack sufficient Dig Bala. Dig Bala is the voice of the planet that calls you to fulfill its destiny or its karmic plan for you. If a planet is weak in Dig Bala, you can not hear it. The moon’s voice is quiet and internal. In order to hear it you must find stillness and peace. You must have focus and time to look inward and assess how you truly feel. How would it feel (Mo) to listen to your heart? It takes great strength to hear this soft, subtle voice and then to then follow it (Ve).

When Moon is low in Dig Bala a person may not be able to get in touch with or trust their inner compass. They may have emotional blocks and not be able to imagine feeling stable, safe or having enough resources, so they remain depressed or unfulfilled. If Ve has strong Dig Bala it can help the situation by motivating the person to make healthy decisions to fulfill a desire, therefore avoiding regret.

A Moon strong in Dig Bala will allow a person to imagine a possibility- hear the call to long term inner happiness. Unfortunately, it is rare to have sufficient Dig Bala in both Moon and Venus.

Our Natal chart is not necessarily our fate. We are evolving and making choices all the time. We can strengthen our moon with meditation, stillness and Yoga. Focusing inward and cultivating our imagination can help us tune into our voice and access that internal compass. This challenging work can help us to move in the direction of our dharma and be without regret.

Ayana Bala– Ayana means course and more specifically, the course of the Sun. There are two courses of the Sun which are Uttara ayana, when the Sun moves north and the Southern course, Dakshini ayana, when the Sun moves South. This Bala shows the value a planet obtains based on its declination to the Equator. A planet’s innate nature and ability to resonate with either the higher vibrations of the North or the lower, more Earth bound realm of the South.

The Moon (and Saturn) is activated in the less ideal Southern Hemisphere. If the moon is in a sign from libra to Pisces, it will be better able to function. The North being the realm of light, clarity and the Devas, the polar opposite is the South, the trenches, the home of the Ashuras, where idealism isn’t the best tool for resolving conflict.

Ayana bala is the strength that measures the personality trait of how one navigates through conflict and adversity. Polarities create conflict. Ayana Bala is about conflict resolution. The Moon being our ability to adapt, regardless of our environment. Helping to make it through by what ever means necessary. The moon is not about being ideal or righteous, its about seeking what works and making peace then moving on.

A Moon low in Ayana Bala can make for a poor sport. Someone who has difficulty riding the waves of life, some one who may cling to conflict and have difficulty learning the lessons of loss. A Moon strong in Ayana Bala will enable a person to be adaptive, understanding, less judgmental. Allowing for conflict to pass, less resistant to loss. Ability to accept the ups and downs/ the waxing and waning of life.

Venus can assist with low Moon Ayana Bala by helping the person choose better battles. Counseling ( a Venusian activity) can encourage them to have better judgement, to know when to disengage and help with discernment.

Chesta Bala is about strength through motion and behavior. It is how a planet moves through space and how a person moves through life. Chesta Bala shows how it will benefit through aspects, it is related to Ishta and Kashta. The higher the Chesta Bala the brighter it looks in the sky, the brighter it shines, the better it may function-with more clarity. Chesta Bala shows a planets light, its innate qualities and its ability to reflect those in its most confidant / brightest form. Chesta Bala is about how we shine but also what we attract and our confidence. We can have talent and opportunity, but in order to put it to use we must believe in ourselves. A planet low in Chesta Bala will be an area of life that may sit dormant or undeveloped. This is where we may be afraid to fail, and that attracts more failure and doubt.

The Moon reflects the sun’s light of pure consciousness which in turn creates our soul, our individualized sense of self. What we are receptive to, our likes and dislikes, our idiosyncrasies. A healthy Moon allows us to be our unique selves and shows our relationship to the self. With A Moon high in Chesta Bala, a person can embrace their own individuality and also accept others for who they are. High Chesta Bala Moon allows a person to ‘Let It Be’. They are comfortable with themselves and this helps others to be more at ease. High Chesta Bala Moon creates an ability to appreciate others, a mothering nature- as in equal love for all regardless and with out judgement.

Low Chesta Bala Moon can show a person who lacks a sense of self, is insecure about themselves. Someone who finds it difficult to shine. They may not know what is important to them and may define themselves by others. This could be someone who was neglected as a child, the Moon being our ability to receive. To help low Chesta Bala Moon, the person should be encouraged to recognize their self worth, that worthiness is something we are all born with as divine beings. Practicing self care, receiving and acceptance of themselves and others as individuals.


This article was submitted by Whitney Burke-Wade, a student of the astrological apprenticeship course, for our Shadbala Class. For more information on our self-study astrological apprenticeship course please visit: