There are nine planets in Vedic astrology and these are divided into two groups, while Uranus and Neptune are essentially used in Western astrology calculations:
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:
The Sun, Mars and Jupiter are male, the Moon, Venus, Mercury and 'Rahu' are female, while Saturn and Ketu are neutral.
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.
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.
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:
- 'Vasant', (Spring) : Venus
- 'Grism' (Summer) : The Sun and Mars
- 'Varsha' (Rainy) : The Moon
- 'Sarad' (Autumn) : Mercury
- 'Hemanta' (Dewy) : Jupiter
- 'Sisira' (Winter) : Saturn