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Astrology & Planets

A grid of three rows and three columns of 9 planetary symbols.

Planets power a chart, as they influence the houses of a chart in their own characteristic ways. Planet also means, ‘Wanderer’, which is true of their nature, as they move in their own orbits through space. A planet is a celestial body that follows a solar orbit, but in astrology planets represent astrological characteristics and influences that cannot be attributed to actual physical planets, as they exist in our solar system.

There are nine planets in Vedic astrology, known as the 'Navgrah' and they are divided into two groups, while Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are essentially used in Western astrology calculations. The planets in these two groups have a close affinity, that is they are considered to be friendly towards one another, but are opposed to (enemies of) the planets of the opposing group. These two groups are given below, the planets in these respective groups share common characteristics:

Group – I
  1. The Sun
  2. The Moon
  3. Jupiter
  4. Mars
Group – II
  1. Saturn
  2. Mercury
  3. Venus
  4. Rahu
  5. Ketu
Western Astrology
  1. Uranus
  2. Neptune
  3. Pluto

The more rational amongst us will question how these celestial bodies can have an influence on our lives. After all, planets that are made of rock and gases and in certain cases have noxious clouds of sulphuric acid and oceans of ammonia. It defies conventional logic. However, according to Hindu mythology, every object of significance has a spirit. This includes the planets, nature, the earth, creatures, rivers and oceans and so on. Certain highly evolved beings gained the blessings of the Gods through their deeds and spiritual awakening and were conferred as the deities of each planet. These deities became the guiding forces of the spirit of each planet. The planets symbolise these deities and have the characteristics of their respective deity.

In astrology, the Sun and Moon are included as planets, although astronomically, they are not. ‘Rahu’ and ‘Ketu’ are planets that are exclusive to Vedic astrology, whereas Pluto, Neptune and Uranus are a part of Western astrology not included in traditional Vedic astrology calculations. The planets of both groups, with exception of Mercury and the Sun and to a lesser extent Saturn and Jupiter, are neutral or opposed to one another.

In Vedic astrology planets are assigned different qualities which determine their characteristics and hence their influences in a chart. However, the effects that a planet can have depends on it’s position in the chart in question, the houses that it rules over and influences and the influences of other planets in the chart. Some of the qualities associated with planets are:

Planetary Genders:
The following planets are of a male gender and have masculine characteristics:

  1. The Sun
  2. Mars
  3. Jupiter
The following planets are of a female gender and have feminine characteristics:
  1. The Moon
  2. Venus
  3. 'Rahu'
While the following planets are of a neutral or "Trans" gender and have non-binary characteristics:
  1. Saturn
  2. 'Ketu'
Although the Earth is not taken into astrological calculations, as the Earth is the theatre on which astrological influences play out, the Earth's gender is feminine.

Castes of Planets:
Planets also follow the Hindu caste system. Jupiter and Venus are ‘Brahmins' or priestly, the Sun and Mars are 'Kshatriyas' or warriors, the Moon is 'Vaishya', or a trader, Mercury is a 'Vaisya', Saturn 'Shudra', or a lower caste and Rahu and Ketu are outcastes. According to another view Mercury is a 'Shudra', and Saturn an outcaste. There is yet another view according to which Mercury is of a mixed caste.

Planetary Natures:
Mercury, Jupiter and Venus are naturally benevolent. Similarly the waxing Moon is a benefic. The waning Moon and Mercury can be malefic. The Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu are naturally malevolent.

Planetary Qualities:
The Sun, Moon and Jupiter are 'Satvika', or have pure characteristics, Mercury and Venus of 'Rajas' or have worldly, material or passionate characteristics and the remaining planets viz. Mars, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu are of a 'Tamasik', or dark, ignorant or carnal nature.

There are six seasons that correspond to the following planets:

  1. 'Vasant', (Spring) : Venus
  2. 'Grism' (Summer) : The Sun and Mars
  3. 'Varsha' (Rainy) : The Moon
  4. 'Sarad' (Autumn) : Mercury
  5. 'Hemanta' (Dewy) : Jupiter
  6. 'Sisira' (Winter) : Saturn
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Corresponding Gemstones and Talismans:
The corresponding gemstones and talismans for each planet are:

  1. The Sun : Ruby and the Surya Yantra.
  2. The Moon : Pearl, moonstone and the Chandrama Yantra.
  3. Mars : Red coral and the Mangal Yantra.
  4. Mercury : Emerald and the Mangal Yantra.
  5. Jupiter : Yellow sapphire/topaz and the Brahaspathi Yantra.
  6. Venus : Diamond and the Shukra Yantra.
  7. Saturn : Blue sapphire and the Shani Yantra.
  8. Rahu : Agate, hessonite and the Rahu Yantra.
  9. Ketu : Cat’s eye and the Ketu Yantra.

Physical Constituents:
In ‘Ayurveda’ the Human body is considered to be constituted of seven materials or 'Dhatus', These also correspond to different planets:

  1. The Sun : Bones
  2. The Moon : Blood
  3. Mars : Marrow
  4. Mercury : Skin
  5. Jupiter : Fat
  6. Venus : Semen
  7. Rahu : Muscles


There are five elements constituting the entire Universe. They are:
  1. Prithvi or Earth
  2. Apah or Water
  3. Teja or Fire
  4. Vayu or Wind
  5. Akasha or Ether.
These are the subtle things of which you see the grosser forms in the world. The Sun and Mars own fire, the Moon and Venus water, Mercury earth, Jupiter ether and Saturn wind.

Planetary Cabinet:
The Sun and Moon are the Royal Couple, Mars the Commander, Mercury the Crown Prince, Jupiter and Venus are Ministers and Saturn the Servant. These seven planets also represent in order Soul, Mind, Courage, Speech, Wisdom, Happiness, Sexual passion and grief. They also represent the senses and their functions thus, Mercury governs smell (nose), the Moon and Venus the taste (tongue), the Sun and Mars form (eye) Jupiter sound (ear) and Saturn, Rahu and Ketu touch (skin).

Planetary Aspects:
The planets have four kinds of aspects. The mode of looking at the 3rd and 10th houses from the one occupied by a planets is termed a quarter aspect, looking at the 5th and 9th is half-aspect at the 4th and 8th houses is a 0.75 aspect and at the 7th house is full aspect. There is a speciality in the case of Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. In the case of Saturn even the quarter aspect is considered to be full. So, his aspects fully at the 3rd, 7th and 10th house from the house occupied by him. In case of Jupiter even half aspect is considered to be full. So his aspects fully the 5th, 7th and 9th houses from the house occupied by him. In the case of Mars even a 0.75 aspect is full. So his aspects fully the 4th, 7th and 8th houses from the house occupied by him. You know that Mars and Saturn are among Malefic. Hence their aspects cannot but be malevolent in nature.

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