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Kala Sarpa Yoga

April 2nd, 2017 · 2 Comments · Astrology, Instruction

kalasarpa_yogaKala Sarpa Yoga is not discussed in classical shastra. Rather, it arises from an oral tradition, probably with roots in South India. Some say it’s Tantrik in origin and, perhaps because of that, is subject to significant differences in interpretation.

Some describe Kala Sarpa as a major flaw in a birth chart, a dosha which foretells loss of everything, while others say it functions as yoga to bestow the power of a king, assuming the child who possesses it survives. It reminds us of that old saying, Beware of fire and water and Tantriks, for all three have the power to take your life.

Classes of Kala Sarpa

Kala Sarpa exists in four different classes, based on configuration, that are presented here in descending degree of potency:

  1. A “perfect” yoga is when (a) Rahu and Ketu occupy their opposing signs and have no association with any other planet; (b) the sapta grahas, Sun to Saturn, lie exclusively within the Rahu/Ketu axis, and all seven occupy the 150-degree zone created by the five intervening signs between the lunar nodes; and (c) each of the signs holds at least one of the seven planets. This full-fledged yoga is rarely found.
  2. A “potent” yoga is very similar in that it requires both (a) and (b) above, but not (c), so that, among the intervening five signs between nodes, one or more of them may be vacant.
  3. A “partial” yoga is when the seven planets gather exclusively on one side or the other of the Rahu/Ketu axis but one (or more) of the planets is in one (or both) of the signs occupied by the nodes.
  4. A “potential” yoga is when the seven planets fail to gather exclusively within the axis, but all seven planets occupy the seven signs counted exclusively in clockwise or counter-clockwise direction from the Rahu/Ketu axis.

(Note: the reader is advised to use “mean node” settings on astrological programs, because “true node” will sometimes differ by as much as 1.5 degrees or more, and thus move “the line of demarcation” in one direction or another, potentially transferring an adjacent planet in or out of the zones described in #3 and #4 above.)

kalasarpa_doshaQualitative criteria

From the above list of classes we realize that not all Kala Sarpa yogas are the same. Further, there are qualitative differences even among the same class. To assess these variations, for each class of yoga, we must ask seven questions:

  1. Does it occur under an eclipse? Since the nodes are considered enemies of the Sun and Moon, eclipses are damaging for both, since they occur during new moon (conjunction) or full moon (opposition). Therefore, consider a Kala Sarpa yoga during an eclipse as a double negative.
  2. Are the Sun or Moon associated with the nodes? Even in the absence of an eclipse, the alignment of the nodes on either luminary is negative.
  3. Does Jupiter aspect either of the nodes? The positive influence of the prime benefic can soften the effects of the nodes. This can be singular, eg, when Jupiter is five signs away from (aspecting) one node and three signs away (not aspecting) the other. The influence is dual when Jupiter lies on the nodal axis itself, thus affecting both nodes at the same time.
  4. Do Mars or Saturn aspect the nodes? The influence of malefics has a negative effect, further aggravating the nature of the nodes. As with Jupiter, the malefics Mars or Saturn can exert a singular or dual influence. Eg, when either is four or ten signs away from the nodal axis, they influence one node or the other. Or they can influence a node from other signs via their special aspects. But if either lies on the nodal axis itself, the influence on the nodes is doubly negative.
  5. Is there a stellium through which a transiting node might stir up trouble? Every 18 years, the node in whose direction the planets are moving will transit every planet on one side of the nodal axis. Since the transiting nodes agitate house occupants, most of us would prefer to have misery doled out in small portions, rather than served all at once. For this reason, a stellium with a critical mass of four or more planets in one sign/house is seen as negative, a hidden bomb waiting to be detonated.
  6. Are there any exaggerated grahas in the chart? The presence of Kala Sarpa can empower any exaggerated planet, for good or ill. Exaggerated planets are: exalted, debilitated, retrograde, combust, in planetary war, or new/full moon. Although both good and bad can occur, a majority of strong planets will give more yoga-like effects, while a preponderance of weak planets will make it seem like a dosha.
  7. What directional type of Kala Sarpa is it? When the planets move toward Rahu, it is called anuloma; when toward Ketu, it is viloma. Based on the premise that the serpent is a cobra whose fangs are located in its head, the anuloma type is deemed to be somewhat more problematic.

To get a feel for evaluating the different types of Kala Sarpa Yoga, we’ll look at the charts of four different politicians. Not that all politicians are snakes, but sometimes what looks like a rope later turns out to be a serpent…

Margaret Thatcher. “The Iron Lady” held three consecutive terms as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1979-90), was great buddies with Ronald Reagan, and triumphed over Argentina in the Falklands War.

JPEG Margaret Thatcher 2xThatcher has a “perfect” Kala Sarpa. There are no planets in the same signs as the nodes. All of the intervening houses are occupied by one or more planets. This is a relatively rare occurrence. Now let’s assess its condition:

  1. Eclipse? No. That’s good. Give one point: +1
  2. Sun and Moon associated with nodes? No. Good. Add another point: +1
  3. Jupiter aspects either/both nodes? No. Too bad. Take away one point: -1
  4. Mars or Saturn aspect either/both nodes? Yes, Saturn aspects Rahu. Too bad. Take one point: -1
  5. Stellium stirred by transiting node? No. That’s good. Give one point: +1
  6. Exaggerated grahas? Yes. Saturn is exalted. Give one point: +1
  7. Direction of Kala Sarpa? Viloma, planets moving toward Ketu. Good. Give one point: +1
  8. Net overall: 5-2 = 3 points, so this is Kala Sarpa Yoga.

Benito Mussolini. The youngest Prime Minister in Italian history, Mussolini ran the country like a dictatorship from 1922-45. Like fellow fascist Adolf Hitler, his control unraveled in WW2, and he was deposed and executed.

JPEG Benito Mussolini 2xMussolini has a “potent” Kala Sarpa. There are no planets in the same signs as the nodes. Some of the intervening houses are not occupied. This is less desirable than the “perfect” type where planets are spread out more evenly.

Now let’s assess its condition:

  1. Eclipse? No. That’s good. Give one point: +1
  2. Sun and Moon associated with nodes? No. Good. Add a point: +1
  3. Jupiter aspects either/both nodes? Yes. Jupiter aspects Rahu. Give another point: +1
  4. Mars or Saturn aspect either/both nodes? No. That’s good. Give another point: +1
  5. Stellium stirred by transiting node? No. That’s good. Another point: +1
  6. Exaggerated grahas? Yes. Moon is exalted. Give another point: +1
  7. Direction of Kala Sarpa? Anuloma, planets moving toward Rahu. Poor. Take away one point: -1
  8. Net overall: 6-1= 5 points, so this is Kala Sarpa Yoga.

Robert Kennedy. Attorney General USA (1961-64), Kennedy was a Democratic presidential candidate until assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan. One of Marilyn Monroe’s lovers, he left behind a wife, 11 children and a traumatized America.

JPEG Robert Kennedy 2xKennedy has a “partial” Kala Sarpa. There is one planet, the Moon, in the same sign as Ketu. But even though the Moon is very close to crossing that line of demarcation, all planets remain on one side of the nodal axis.

Now let’s assess its condition:

  1. Eclipse? No. That’s good. Give one point: +1
  2. Sun and Moon associated with nodes? Yes. Moon is with Ketu. Bad. Take away a point: -1
  3. Jupiter aspects either/both nodes? No. Too bad. Take one point: -1
  4. Mars or Saturn aspect either/both nodes? Yes. Mars aspects Ketu, and Saturn aspects Rahu. That’s doubly bad. Take away points: -2
  5. Stellium stirred by transiting node? No. That’s good. Add a point: +1
  6. Exaggerated grahas? Yes. Saturn is exalted. Give a point: +1
  7. Direction of Kala Sarpa? Viloma, planets moving toward Ketu. Good. Give another point: +1
  8. Net overall: 4-4= 0 points, so this is Kala Sarpa that is both yoga and dosha.

Donald Trump. Real estate mogul and reality show celebrity, Donald Trump is now the 45th President of the USA. A pathological liar, he’s also a misogynist, racist bigot who may have slept with the enemy to gain the White House.

JPEG Donald Trump 2xTrump has a “potential” Kala Sarpa. Similar to Kennedy, his Moon is in the same sign as Ketu, but in Trump’s case the Moon has narrowly crossed the line of demarcation, and now lies on the other side of the nodal axis.

Now let’s assess its condition:

  1. Eclipse? Yes. That’s bad. Take away two points: -2
  2. Sun and Moon associated with nodes? Yes. Sun is with Rahu, Moon is with Ketu. Bad. Take another two points: -2
  3. Jupiter aspects either/both nodes? Yes. Jupiter aspects Rahu. Good. Give one point: +1
  4. Mars or Saturn aspect either/both nodes? Yes. Mars aspects Ketu. Bad. Take away another point: -1
  5. Stellium stirred by transiting node? No. That’s good. Add a point: +1
  6. Exaggerated grahas? Yes. Jupiter is retrograde, and the Moon is mixed, both debilitated and full. Give two points, take away one for net: +1
  7. Direction of Kala Sarpa? Viloma, planets moving toward Ketu. Good. Give another point: +1
  8. Net overall: 4-5= (-1) points, so this Kala Sarpa is more dosha than yoga.

Summary

As we saw at the outset, there are four different classes of Kala Sarpa dependent on configuration, ie, how closely they match the ideal of planets all on one side of the nodal axis, and evenly distributed in signs other than those occupied by the nodes.

thuvitha - CROPWe also saw how each Kala Sarpa must be qualitatively assessed, via the consideration of several mitigating factors. Benefic and malefic influences help determine its bias – to act as a yoga bestowing positive results, or as a dosha delivering negative outcomes.

Like all forms of yoga vichara, this exercise demands the weighting of criteria and an overall judgement that may be subjective. The charts provided here serve only as examples in a pro forma of analysis, and do not attempt to delve deeper into the nature or timing of results, whether good or bad. That is the subject of a future work.

~~~

Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. 

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.”

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00006]He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.

Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com

You can find his books on Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

 

 

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