Faster planets exerts more direct force, slower planets are less direct and noticeable through their effects. For an observant eye, the effects of Mercury and Moon are easily noticeable. The effects of slow planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto are not so immediate. The trans-saturnian bodies like Uranus, Neptune and Pluto move so slowly that the effects of their cycles reveal themselves only at the macro level that may span centuries.
The faster planet defines the dynamics of the aspect. All other aspects behave in exactly the same manner.
The illustration below shows a very simplified version of the planetary cycle. The cycle starts with the conjunction, waxes through several aspects to its culmination at opposition, followed by the waning period of same sequence of aspects in reverse order until the next conjunction. The illustration supposes the Sun — Pluto cycle that starts with the Sun being in the same position as Pluto not illustrated but easy to figure out. An applying aspect is traditionally considered to have a stronger influence than a separating aspect.
If the faster planet changed its direction — from direct to retrograde , or from retrograde to direct — that changes the quality of the aspect: an applying aspect becomes separating, and conversely, a separating aspect becomes applying.
Some aspects, especially those of slower planets, may experience a number of direction changes on their way through the area of an aspect. Applying and separating aspects are better understood in the context of conjunction between two planets. An analogy with the New Moon — which is the moment of the Sun — Moon conjunction that marks the beginning of a lunar month — gives us some ideas. An applying conjunction brings some undertones of an hour of judgement and forces of karma.
Separating conjunction often highlights the achievements of past lives and starts to build the new life upon them. That is true when we look at the conjunction because a conjunction is the boundary that separates the two periods of waxing and waning processes.
Harmonic Charts. Vedic astrologers use harmonic charts as part of their basic chart analysis. Harmonic charts which are called vargas, amshas, or divisional charts are calculated by dividing each sign into a number of sections and assigning a sign to each section. In Vedic astrology, the calculation of some of the harmonic charts differ from Western methods.
The Vedic use of harmonic charts is unique. Each chart represents a different life theme, such as career, parents, spouse. Analysis of that chart supplements the information about the life theme given by the natal chart.
For example, the navamsha divisional chart identical to the Western ninth-harmonic chart is the sub-chart that indicates marriage. This chart is evaluated alongside the natal chart for marital compatibility and timing. A difficult navamsha chart might reflect conflicts within the marriage, or divorce, or the inability to find a partner. In the navamsha chart of Arnold Schwarzenegger, it's clear that he wouldn't easily find a stable relationship; he married for the first time at age The navamsha chart has many other purposes, including assessing the second half of life, the strength of planets, and the quality of a person's self-expression.
Since divisional charts change much more quickly with shifts in the birth time than natal charts do, they are also routinely used for chart rectification, which many Vedic astrologers perform. Lunar Mansions.
Whereas Western astrology seldom takes lunar mansions into account, astrologies based upon lunar calendars Chinese, Tibetan, Indian use them extensively. In Vedic astrology, lunar mansions are called nakshatras; for more than 3, years, they have been the centerpiece of Vedic electional astrology — choosing when to get married, go to war, build a house, etc. The nakshatras are also used in natal astrology and in several predictive techniques. The Chinese and Arabic astrologers use 28 lunar mansions, but modern Vedic astrologers primarily use 27 lunar mansions.
The Moon takes Differences in Approach. Approaching All Facets of Life. One thing that initially put me off about Vedic astrology was the blunt and often harsh assessments of planetary combinations. At the time, I had picked up a book that said that people with a particular configuration would die of leprosy. Readers should understand that the ancient astrological texts both in the East and in the West used extreme examples as points of emphasis, to make the concepts stick in the student's memory.
These texts were not meant to be read by oneself, but only under the tutelage of one's mentor, who could explain the meanings of each verse. That said, Vedic astrology covers every part of life, from the most ignoble to the most divine. Even the foremost classical texts contain verses on genital size and quality, addiction and incest, how to know whether a child will die young, the indicators of specific diseases, the expected length of life, and much more. They also reveal combinations for spirituality, asceticism, and enlightenment.
Vedic astrology also shows the fixed karmas in the chart — that is, patterns that are clearly going to be present in a person's life. For example, every Vedic astrologer who looked at my chart knew I would never have children. Some modern humanistic astrologers have trouble getting comfortable with the Vedic willingness to face every condition of life.
Yet, in many ways, this approach enables us to understand our clients that much better. Malefics and Benefics. Although modern Western astrologers tend to shy away from such concepts as benefic or malefic, Vedic astrologers do not.
They understand that, to effectively describe and predict the ups and downs of life, even the extreme tragedies, one needs a language and a set of principles that elucidate both the good and bad facets of existence. I initially had a very hard time looking at negative factors in any chart, be it Western or Vedic. Gradually, I have come to realize that Vedic astrology is neither pessimistic nor fatalistic; rather, it's just trying to help people to understand their lot in life.
One of the first times I experienced the value of a negative delineation was when I told a client that it would be very hard for her to pull together a career in this life. Her surprising response was: "Thank God! The Lunar Nodes. Since then, most Western astrologers have interpreted the North Node as indicating the direction one is meant to move toward in this life; and the South Node, as the direction taken in past lives, which one is meant to move away from.
For more than 3, years, Vedic astrologers have treated the lunar nodes as planets, and used them for both natal analysis and prediction. Although the North Node can indeed represent success, determination, and drive especially if it is associated with or aspected by a strong Jupiter , it can also represent obsession, greed, lust, overindulgence, narcissism, extreme materialism, rebellion, and alienation.
And though the South Node can indicate self-undoing and the places in our lives where we must learn to let go, it also represents such positive themes as achieving spiritual detachment and enlightenment and developing higher values — as well as negative patterns such as self-doubt, self-sacrifice, inhibition, self-effacement, paralysis, and feeling overshadowed and invisible.
Most Western astrologers forget that the core astronomical meaning of the nodes is that they are the "eclipsers" — the points responsible for eclipsing the Sun and the Moon. It is this meaning that informs much of the Vedic usage of the nodes.
In Jyotish, when a planet is associated with one of the nodes, its expression is usually amplified, exaggerated, obscured, or distorted in some way. The Primary Vedic Predictive Method. Most Western astrologers use transits especially by outer planets and progressions as their principal methods of prediction, supplemented with solar returns, directions, etc.
Vedic astrologers employ several predictive methods including transits , but their preferred method is a system called Vimshottari Dasha.
This system, which is surprisingly similar to Hellenistic astrology's Time Lords, is actually very easy to understand. At any given time, a person is under the primary influence of one planet. Everyone is born during a period dasha of a specific planet. To determine what planet governs the period starting at birth, we look at what planet rules the lunar mansion nakshatra occupied by the natal Moon. From then on, the person's life unfolds under the influence of one planet at a time, in a fixed sequence. For example, if you were born under the influence of Jupiter, then after that period ended, you would next be under the influence of Saturn, and then Mercury, etc.
Each planetary period has its own fixed length e. The first period, starting at birth, is usually less than the full length of the dasha, depending upon how far into the lunar mansion the Moon was in the natal chart. The dasha system allows the astrologer to assess what will happen during any period in a person's life by looking at all of the factors that the particular planet called the dasha lord rules, relates to, and signifies in the birth chart.