Viparita Raja Yoga: going under to cross over…
At some point in our mathematical education, we learned that two negatives can make a positive. For example, if we multiply two negative numbers, the product is positive. Logically, it doesn’t make sense, but mathematicians who know better say it does. Who are we to argue?
The phenomenon of Viparita Raja Yoga demands a similar leap of faith, something along the lines of, if you can just counter-balance the right amount of misfortune in your chart, you’ll come out ahead. That doesn’t make sense either, but we’re a lot happier to buy into it than we were back in high school, doubting the utility of negative numbers in general.
Viparita Raja Yoga
Most practitioners of jyotish are familiar with the broad definition of Viparita Raja Yoga: that when a trik lord (a bad thing) goes to a trikasthana (a bad place), it creates a net benefit for the owner of that chart. This is analogous to the way society approves when we put a criminal in prison, a virally contagious person in a hospital isolation ward, or a psycho in a mental institution.
Many students apply this quite liberally, citing the creation of Viparita Raja Yoga whenever the above occurs. But a careful reading of Parasara, Phaladeepika and Uttarakalamitra reveals a more stringent set of conditions for the formation of Viparita Raja Yoga:
Type A: The lord of a trikasthana must go to another trikasthana. Having a trik lord in its own house doesn’t qualify. Therefore, this requires one or more of the following: 6th lord in the 8th or 12th, and/or the 8th lord in the 6th or 12th, and/or the 12th lord in the 6th or 8th.
Type B: Alternatively, instead of trik lords moving to other trikasthanas, Viparita Raja Yoga can also be formed when any two or three trik lords form sambandha via association, mutual aspect or Parivartana Yoga between trik lords – and this can occur in any houses.
Strength: In both of the two types described above, the participating planets must have strength. In particular, at least one of the yoga-forming planets should have a first-class dignity, by which we mean swa rashi (own sign), exalted, retrograde, dig bala, or swa nakshatra.
In either type, there must be no involvement via association or aspect with any other (non-trik) planets, else there will be collateral damage. On the other hand, the association of any participating planet with the Rahu/Ketu axis is not a spoiler, since the nodes don’t own any houses via which to spread any misfortune.
Type A examples
Albert Einstein is a perfect example of the Type A formation. For a Gemini ascendant, the trik lords are Mars, Saturn and Venus. In his chart, 6th lord Mars is in the 8th with Rahu. Mars is exalted, so it has the necessary strength to qualify for Viparita Raja Yoga status. And the fact that Mars shares the 8th with Rahu doesn’t alter the nature of the yoga.
Einstein won the Nobel Prize for Physics when running Moon-Mars. He fled Nazi Germany and came to the USA during his Mars dasha, which proved to be both a prudent and lucrative move. Although he immediately secured a teaching position at Princeton, he also became the proverbial “stranger in a strange land.”
Lee Iacocca is another example of the Type A formation. For a Pisces ascendant, the trik lords are Sun, Venus and Saturn. In his chart, 8th lord Venus is in the 6th, while 12th lord Saturn is in the 8th.
Although Venus is in swa nakshatra, granting it the necessary strength to generate yoga, it is aspected by Mars, which shatters its yoga potential. On the other hand, Saturn in the 8th is exalted and is in contact with no other planet, so its yoga power remains intact.
After a major clash with Henry Ford at the end of his Jupiter dasha, Iacocca was fired from his job. But in his Saturn dasha he was courted by Chrysler and went on to completely rebuild the failing company, pioneering the mini-van concept, earning Presidential recognition and writing a popular biography.
Type B examples
At first glance, Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis also appears to have a Type A combination. For a Libra ascendant, the trik lords are Jupiter, Venus and Mercury. In her chart, 6th lord Jupiter is in the 8th with 8th lord Venus. And this combination is “clean” in that no other planet enters into the picture, neither by association nor by aspect.
When we review the rules, however, we note that a trik lord in its own trikasthana doesn’t qualify, so that means Venus in this case can’t produce Viparita Raja Yoga. And when we examine Jupiter, we see that it has no strength. Therefore, neither of these planets on its own produces yoga.
But if we consider these two trik lords as acting in concert, the combination qualifies as a Type B version of Viparita Raja Yoga. Here we have two trik lords, at least one of which is strong, and they are joined by association. As it happens, they’re both in the 8th house, but that isn’t what grants them the yoga-generating power. Because they are trik lords joining forces, they could have done so in any house.
The 8th comes into play when we consider two broad themes in her life. She married into the wealth of the Kennedy family with her first marriage, and into even more massive wealth in her second marriage to Aristotle Onassis. And her life was marked by tragedy – the assassination of both her husband John Kennedy and her brother-in-law Robert Kennedy. Jackie’s debutante ball, her entrance into “high-society,” came in Venus-Jupiter period.
Woody Allen provides a simpler and less ambiguous example of the Type B Viparita Raja Yoga. For a Leo ascendant, the trik lords are Saturn, Jupiter, and the Moon. In his chart, 6th lord Saturn joins 12th lord Moon in the 7th house.
The combination involves no other planet in association or aspect with this pair, so there’s no collateral damage. Also note that at least one of the pair is strong. In this case, Saturn is doubly dignified, being in its own sign and gaining dig bala in the 7th, easily qualifying it the power to generate yoga.
As almost everyone knows, the source of Woody Allen’s stress is relationships. He’s been married three times, and involved in long-term relationships with Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow. The one with Farrow ended disastrously after she discovered his relationship with her adopted daughter Soon Yi, whom Allen subsequently married.
His Saturn dasha ran 1972-91 and the 70s were particularly good for him. Annie Hall, the movie that perfectly dramatized his angst over relationships, and really established him as a bankable director, came out in 1977.
Lana Turner’s chart is an unusual example of a Type B pattern in that it has three planets forming Viparita Raja Yoga. For a Gemini ascendant, the trik lords are Mars, Saturn and Venus. In her chart, the three aren’t all in one sign, but in sambandha via association and mutual aspect across opposite signs.
No other planets are linked by association or aspect to this trio in 4th and 10th houses. Furthermore, all three participants are dignified. Saturn is retrograde, Mars has dig bala in the 10th, and Venus is exalted in Pisces. This gives the yoga all the potency it needs to deliver results.
Turner was discovered at age 16 and acted in over 50 films, often projecting an aura of promiscuous sensuality. Her personal life was a mess – always in and out of sexual escapades, married eight times, her father murdered when she was nine, while her own daughter stabbed one of Lana’s lovers to death. But she enjoyed the status of a serious actress and in her Saturn-Saturn period she received an Academy nomination for Peyton Place.
Thus, in these five charts we’ve seen examples of both Type A and Type B patterns. Whereas Type A needs only a trik lord in another trikasthana, Type B requires two or more trik lords in any house. But both types require that one or more of the participating planets have strength, and be free of influence from other planets.
Although these Type B examples didn’t explore all possible permutations, we should note that, if a pair of yoga-making planets is of mixed dignity, eg, one exalted, the other debilitated, the stellar qualities of the yoga are likely to be diluted. In such a case, the native might yet suffer the consequences of a weak participant, while only partially enjoying the benefits promised by a strong one.
Yoga vichara is vital. Scrutiny and evaluation separate the wheat from the chaff, and thus provide the discriminating jyotishi the critical judgment by which to offer interpretations or predictions that rise above the superficial.
Alan Annand, a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and the British Faculty of Astrological Studies, has written two Vedic astrology books. Stellar Astrology offers astrological techniques, in-depth celebrity profiles, and analysis of world events. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish.
His NEW AGE NOIR crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”
Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com