Vedic Astrology Blog

Planet Basics
The Planets are the largest things around. Besides them, in our whole big multi million, mile expanse of space there is nothing.


The Planets are the largest things around. Besides them, in our whole big multi million, mile expanse of space there is nothing. It is just the Planets here, and we are on one of them. We are stuck on the surface of the Earth, which is just a small ball in a huge expanse of space, and we are rotating around on the surface, trying desperately to hold onto our lives by constant work, struggle, and all in futility, as we all die.

So, we are on one ball, but there is a number of other balls, and they are all whirling around in a circle around one bright Star. They are balls in a system of balls, a group of balls, and within a certain space surrounded by the Zodiac. So, we are very small players, dependent players, in a larger system.

Small items within a larger framework are dependent on the larger framework, as it is parts, where it goes, they go.

For example, a chip in my computer is burned if I burn my computer, it goes downtown if I take my computer downtown, and it was bought when I bought my computer.


Similarly, as things go in this Universe, so it goes for us. We are dependent. The Planets are splintered up parts of a greater whole. They each are representatives of different parts of a natural whole system. Their gravity pulls on each other; for example, every one knows that the Moon affects the tides. Well, guess what, it also affects the water inside us making our water, influenced emotions rise and fall with it is 27-day cycle around the Zodiac.

You were born on one of the spinning balls. The influences of all the parts of the Universe led to your appearance. You, like me, are very dependent on the nature we live in for your life, if the Sun stopped shining you and I would die, period. We are dependent on many things we cannot see.

The Planets are the significators of the unfoldment of all things in the Universe, reading their dance is to read the plan of unfoldment of all things, the plan of God, the Light of God, or Jyotish.


The Vedic Astrological system does not use the three outer Planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. These are mentioned in some old books I am told, but that is not important. I believe these Planets may have effects, I believe that just because they exist they are certainly meaningful and probably have a God personality behind them as the other Planets do, but since the Sages don’t talk about them we don’t use them. It is that simple.


The Planets we do use, Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu, have colors they rule, as well as notes, sounds, metals, elements, and more. You see, the wavelengths of the Planets, again, because they are the biggest and significant objects in the Universe and are affecting our world entirely, are to be found in all things.

For example, Mars rules Red, and Mars rules all Martial activities such as war and police work. Is not it funny that Red is always used in the kind of urgent areas of work where Mars people are often found, Red Cross, Blood Red, Red Fire Trucks, Red Flashing Lights, Red Hats, Red Stop Signs, and Red Circle with a line through it. So, the stone of Mars is Red Corral.

Once you learn Jyotish, you will know the Planets by all of these kinds of things as well. You will see the Planets in colors, in people’s faces, in the way they dress, in the sound of music, in the pace of a city, in the mood of a handshake everywhere. Everything is working under the strict control of the modes of material nature that means astrology, or more specifically, the unfolding Universal seasons based on the Universal clock.


The Planets rotate at fairly steady speeds and each on their own orbit band so that they do not collide, and in this way, with the Sun in the center they are rotating around and around, year after year. In fact, our year is the time it takes for our ball to go around the Sun one time. See, astrology is the basis of the calendar that is running your life already!

In astrology, the speed a Planet is traveling relative to our Planet affects how strongly it acts in a person’s life. A Planet is like a strong beam of light in your chart. The beam, if held still on one point, can ignite a fire. But if we just run the beam of light quickly across the dry leaves, nothing happens. It is exposure over time that allows a strong beam of light to begin to burn the object on, which it focuses.

So, when Planets are either moving slowly in relation to us or standing still in space, then their effects are heightened in the chart.

Yes, Planets seem to slow down, stand still, then proceed backwards, then again stop, turn around and go forwards again. This is because of the law of retrograde motion.


A Jyotishi must have a good idea of how the Planets move. I am going to briefly explain the basics to you.

In the picture below, notice Aries is at the top, Taurus is the pink “bulls head” at about 11 o’clock, and Gemini is the 2 green pillars at about 10 o’clock and so on. Those are the Signs. They are in space. They are the constellations of the Zodiac. The Sun is in the center, and the other Planets are rotating counter clockwise as in the arrows coming off Saturn This is all physical fact; this is astronomy, no voodoo here.

Now, pinpoint the Earth in the above picture. Now draw a line in your mind from the Earth to all the other Planets, each one directly, then continue each of those lines through the Planets and on to the Zodiac Sign behind them. You will end up with a drawing as under:

Notice the yellow lines now coming from the Earth through each Planet, and onto the Signs behind each Planet. So, when we speak of the Signs the Planets are in, we are speaking “Geocentrically”, which means, “Earth as the viewing center”. Notice the red line coming from the Earth over near to the Cancer symbol; this is my representation to talk about “The Ascendant”, which is also fine to call “The Lagna” or “The rising Sign”. Looking directly East from the place of a birth, we will see (or not see if it is daylight out) a certain Sign rising, one of the Signs of the Zodiac is ALWAYS rising on the Eastern Horizon from EVERY point on Earth at ALL TIMES. Trust me on that.

So, what Sign was rising at the moment of a birth becomes the degree point of the Ascendant, and the Sign involved takes over as the First House of the chart. So, the above chart has something like 25º Gemini rising because that is where my red Ascendant line is touching. Then notice that the line through the Moon ends up at around 20º Taurus, and see all the others. Here’s how the chart would be drawn Vedic:


This is the Geocentric, or Earth Centered drawing of the Planets at the same moment as the previous Sun Centered Universal drawing. Notice we are placing the Planets in the Signs as they appear from Earth, not the Sun. Astrology is about the effects the Planets are “beaming at us”, not at the Sun.

The reason Gemini is rising is because it WAS rising on the Eastern Horizon in our Hypothetical chart previously shown.

The Signs of the Zodiac are ALWAYS in the same order. The stars do not swim around at all. They stay in the same places. Only the Planets travel around. So, once you establish the rising Sign, the rest of the Signs just follow around in order filling the remaining 12 spaces or Houses in the chart.

In Jyotish, there are 12 Houses because there are 12 Signs. The Houses and Signs are synonymous; whichever one is rising is the 1st House. It does not matter how much of that Sign is rising whether the 1st part or the last part has already come, whatever that Sign becomes our rising Sign or the 1st House. The rest of the Signs just fill in using their natural order.


Consider the drawing below. As Mercury moves along on the other side of the Sun, notice that the points in the background Signs that it hits or points to are moving forward from Scorpio to Sagittarius.

Now when Mercury comes up alongside the Sun and is soon going to be coming between the Sun and Earth, there is a point where for a short time, to it is cresting on the edge of it is orbit in relation to us, it appears to stand still when we judge by looking at the Sign behind it. This is called “Stationary”. It happens at about the point shown below:

At this point, what really happens is this: The energy from the Sign behind the Planets is focused by the Planets onto us much like a prism would do if angled just right. The Planets are reflector points, and the Zodiac Signs give off certain types of rays or influences. This is what is always going on.

But what’s happening special at the time of a Planets “station” (That is when it appears to standstill against the Zodiac backdrop) is that we are getting an extra long dose time of just one spot in a Sign being focused through that Planet at us.

In the above drawing, the spot of about 27º Sagittarius is being focused through Mercury upon the Earth. We would say, in astro, jargon, “Mercury is Stationary Retrograde at 27º Sagittarius”.


The Planets are actually never turning around. They just appear to be. After “stationing” as in the above drawing, Mercury comes up between the Sun and Earth and appears to be moving backwards if we just judge from the Sign “behind” Mercury. See this in the drawing below:

Notice that as the days roll by and Mercury is aborting just normally around the Sun as it always does, it appears to be moving backwards when we judge by the Sign and Sign part that appears behind Mercury as viewed from our viewpoint here on Earth.

Now if you think about the other Planets, those circling inside our orbit such as Mercury and Venus and those outside our orbit such as Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, you will find that they all do this. The Sun and Moon never go retrograde in relation to us.

In Jyotish, a retrograde Planet is strong generally, although retrogression is also sometimes causing “exact opposites” as it represents travel direction opposite to the norm. Generally, however, retrogression, which appears in charts very frequently, serves to make Planets stronger. A Planet that was stationary on or around the day of birth is very prominent or powerful to do whatever the chart says it will do, and if a Planet was recently stationary and at the time of birth is just starting to move again, same thing, very strong. This is just one point of Jyotish. I’m not trying to over stress it, I was just covering the movements of the Planets so that these physical realities will have some home in your brain as you proceed to talk about them in Jyotish.
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