Backstory: In July 1981, I went on a national radio talk show in Montreal to discuss the upcoming Royal wedding between Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. To the surprise of the moderator, I said their marriage would fail within seven years. The switchboard promptly lit up with agitated callers, castigating me, and astrology, and the CBC network itself, for airing such heresy. I stuck to my guns, explaining why (a combination of poor synastry and electional charts) their union wouldn’t last. But I went home feeling chastised, and had to wait five years before rumors of their failing marriage began to vindicate my prediction.
I have no desire to repeat history, especially the castigation part, but when I compare the charts of Harry and Meghan I get that déjà vu feeling all over again, this time through the eyes of Vedic astrology as opposed to a western perspective back in 1981.
First, let’s take a look at the charts of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle.
The Dashkoota system, India’s most popular method of synastry, uses ten principles (the porutthams, or kutams) to evaluate compatibility by gauging the relative Moon positions of the prospective groom and bride. This is such a well-established practice that all astrological software provides a module by which any couple can be evaluated.
The maximum score that can be achieved is 36 although personally I’ve never seen that in any couple, however happy, that I’ve assessed. But human nature, as any married person will testify, doesn’t require perfection, rather something merely functional. According to one esteemed pundit, a “passing grade” of 20+ is good enough for the couple to make their marriage work without further intervention, eg, requiring someone to change their names, avail themselves of remedial pujas or yajnas, or resort to marital counseling.
But a score of 16, such as between Harry and Meghan, should typically serve as pause for concern and consideration of the alternatives. However, in all fairness, I’ve had many occasions to observe a less-than-passing grade in Dashkoota scores, and yet couples still muster the wherewithal to make their marriage work. So a low score is a warning, but not the kiss of death.
For those who are interested, Hart de Fouw’s book Light on Relationships goes into compatibility analysis to a significant degree. Perhaps the most accessible and useful technique is that wherein we examine the four cornerstones of each chart – Ascendant, Moon, Sun and Venus – comparing each set of factors in one chart to those in the other.
This gives us a 4×4 matrix with 16 pairs of contacts, simply counting houses (inclusively) between any two factors to establish a broad-brush prognosis. For example, since Harry’s ascendant is Sagittarius and Meghan’s is Cancer, the count from CN to SG is six, while the count from SG to CN is eight, so we label the relationship between their ascendants as a 6/8. And so on, for each and every other pair of factors. In Harry and Meghan’s case, here’s their matrix:
We can then tabulate and summarize the results to establish a compatibility bias, using positive versus negative relationships to arrive at a net score.
Although it’s not the case with Harry and Meghan, in many couples we’ll end up with eight positive vs eight negative pairings, for a null result and no bias one way or the other. In those cases, we must then inspect the “spine” of the 4×4 matrix, isolating only the key cornerstone comparisons, ie, Asc to Asc, Moon to Moon, Sun to Sun, and Venus to Venus, as shown in bold in the matrix for Harry & Meghan. In their case, it only confirms our suspicions, for here every critical pair of cornerstones is in an inimical relationship, openly or secretly. So however much I hate to be a bad-news bear, the evidence here suggests that this Royal couple will face difficulties as time goes by.
Of course, they don’t sense this yet, but what bitter divorce didn’t first begin with a honeymoon? Karma will work its way through. This is the ironic thing about astrology. As my teacher’s guru used to say, Jyotisha has teeth, and it can bite.
In the Hindu world, when horoscope matching reveals a couple’s compatibility falling short of a “passing grade,” pundits will typically make the best of a lacklustre pairing by selecting a good muhurta. Thus, under the premise that a good beginning will ensure a good ending, they hope to protect the marriage.
In Harry and Meghan’s case, their wedding chart seems to suggest that no astrologer, eastern or western, played a role in choosing that date or time. As noted on Astrodienst (astro.com), they exchanged wedding vows and were pronounced man and wife at 12:39 on May 19, 2018.
The timing of this wedding is problematic. First, it violates a fundamental rule of muhurta – to choose a day of the week that supports the activity. Although in the western world Saturday weddings are common, Hindus avoid them because Saturn doesn’t offer the warmth needed for a successful marriage. In India most marriages are conducted on the days of benefic planets, ideally Friday, the day of Venus, karaka of relationships.
Even from the perspective of Royal weddings, Harry and Meghan broke with tradition, since most Royal weddings have also avoided Saturdays: Elizabeth & Philip (Thursday), Charles & Diana (Wednesday), and William & Kate (Friday).
Another fundamental rule is to perform the wedding under a bright and waxing moon. Although this Moon is waxing, it’s still considered a dark moon, being barely more than four tithis beyond the Sun, and in some respects, thus considered a malefic. The Moon is also very close to a sandhi point, and thus forms no applying Tajik (or western) aspect with any other planet.
Other factors plague this chart, none of them major, but collectively contribute to a less-than-stellar prognosis. No benefics occupy any of the kendras. The Moon and Venus are in Gemini, whose duality implies fickle or inconstant affections. The 1st lord Sun and 7th lord Saturn are in a 6/8 relationship, although both are strong and therefore capable of generating and handling friction. The sookshma lords of the ascendant and descendant, Ketu and Rahu respectively, occupy dusthanas from which positions they undermine the marital axis.
Although their synastry appears to reveal compatibility issues, and their marriage chart is less than stellar, we must still take a closer look at the bride and groom’s individual charts to assess their capacity for relationship dynamics.
Although Harry has a Sagittarius ascendant, and dual signs typically have trouble with commitment, a few factors serve to mitigate it. For starters, he has Hamsa yoga with a double-strength Jupiter in the lagna, so this gives him moral fiber, and a bias for doing what is ethical if not noble, since Jupiter is the archetypal lord of dharma. With his Sun occupying its own sign in the 9th (another dharmasthana), this provides corroboration.
As for relationship dynamics, his 7th lord Mercury occupies a positive house, the 9th, where it’s aspected by, and in a friendly relationship with, 1st lord Jupiter. The 7th house itself is under both benefic and malefic influence, from Jupiter and Mars, respectively, but since both planets are strong, reflecting healthy behaviors, there’s no inherent problem there. But relationship karaka Venus is debilitated, albeit in a positive house under no malefic influence. This reminds one of the saying, “On the white robe of a saint, even the smallest stain appears notable.” Given the media fish bowl that Harry and Meghan will occupy for the rest of their lives together, even the slightest irregularity in their relationship will invite public comment and speculation, much to his chagrin.
If we assess the prospect of kujadosha, we note that Mars is in the 12th from his ascendant, and in the 8th from his Moon, while its position relative to Venus is neutral. So, he has moderate kujadosha but, in any event, after age 28 it’s a factor of diminished significance.
Harry married under Rahu dasha, Ketu bhukti. Since both are proxies for a strong 5th lord Mars, the tide of romance is in full flow, and a child could be in the works.
In his navamsa, Rahu and Ketu occupy positive houses albeit afflicted by Saturn. The dispositors of both nodes also occupy positive houses.
Thus, overall, his capacity to develop and nurture relationships is good.
With a Cancer ascendant in her birth chart, Meghan is more inclined to follow her emotional impulses, all the more likely in relationships since lagnesh Moon is in close conjunction with 7th lord Saturn. She has a strong and passionate personality, since the Moon is swa nakshatra in the 3rd house (a kamasthana), and forms Parivartana yoga with Mercury in the 1st house.
The planetary war between Jupiter and Saturn in the 3rd house poses a problem. Graha yuddha arises when two true planets lie within one degree of each other. Although technically there’s always a winner (Jupiter here because it’s brighter), planetary war typically harms both participants. If we assess Jupiter and Saturn to determine who in her life could be affected, the most obvious are the spouse (7th lord Saturn) and the father (9th lord Jupiter).
Meghan’s first marriage lasted only two years before ending in divorce. Although the 7th house can be seen as symbolic of the first spouse, it’s still a major factor for relationships in general. As for her father, it’s known that their relationship isn’t good, and that he’s something of a problem in her life.
So her relationship prospects overall are mixed. Her 7th lord Saturn is with lagnesh Moon but in graha yuddha with Jupiter. Her 7th house is occupied by Ketu and aspected by malefics Sun and Mars with scant support from a weakened Jupiter. Her Venus is ordinary.
Meghan married under Jupiter dasha, Saturn bhukti, the two planets in graha yuddha. Since Saturn is her 7th lord, this would seem to be inauspicious.
In her navamsa, Saturn presents further problems. Although it occupies a positive house, it’s debilitated. Furthermore, in the scheme of amsha vichara developed by Seshadri Iyer, the Moon is considered an enemy of Saturn, so the two in proximity pose further complications for Saturn periods.
The best and worst of times
Indeed, Saturn looms large in this couple’s life. Harry and Meghan met on a blind date on July 1st, 2016, when a dark waning Moon in Taurus was opposed by Saturn in Scorpio. They married on a Saturday at an hour when Saturn ruled the 7th house.
In Harry’s chart, his Aries Moon is opposed by an exalted Saturn. In his navamsa, Saturn has dig bala in the 7th and is aligned on the nodal axis. In Meghan’s chart, her Virgo Moon is conjunct 7th lord Saturn, which is itself damaged by planetary war with Jupiter. In her navamsa, Saturn is debilitated.
The seven-year-itch is a classic piece of folk wisdom generally applied to marriage, and it’s always a reasonable place to start looking for trouble. Why seven years? It’s when Saturn makes its first square to the position it occupied at the time of marriage. If we project from May 2018, seven years out will make it 2025. Is anything of interest happening in their charts at that time?
Harry moves from Rahu to Jupiter dasha in March 2025. Jupiter doesn’t present an obvious problem for relationships in either his rashi or navamsa. However, Jupiter might open up an era of “freedom” or independence, and you can read between the lines…
In Jupiter dasha, his Saturn bhukti runs from May 2027 to November 2029. Does Saturn present a problem for Harry? In the rashi it opposes his natal Moon but, more significantly, it gives results for its nakshatra dispositor Rahu. Rahu is debilitated in the 6th house, from which position it can undo marriage, since it is 12th from the 7th. Rahu also acts as a proxy for its dispositor Venus, debilitated in the 10th house of status. Thus, in Saturn bhukti he could see the unraveling of his marriage with public consequences in the media.
This naturally raises the question, what’s happening for Meghan in 2027? She began her Jupiter dasha in 2015, and it’s already problematic because of its war with 7th lord Saturn, under whose bhukti she married. But allow seven years and a bit, and we see that in December 2026, she enters her Moon bhukti.
The Moon is significant, not only because it’s her lagnesh, but also a critical player in a complex entanglement of planets. It’s in tight conjunction with the Jupiter/Saturn pair in planetary war, and it’s in Parivartana with Mercury. Allow Moon/Mercury to exchange positions in your mind’s eyes, and you find Moon with Rahu, a destabilizing influence. Her Moon bhukti runs until April 2028. Thus, we’ll have between Harry and Meghan a common overlap of “interesting times” from May 2027 to April 2028.
Transiting Saturn will enter Aries in June 2027, from which position it will associate with Harry’s Moon, the heart of his Sadhe Sati period. Meanwhile, Saturn will oppose itself (the archetypal midlife crisis) and in so doing, aspect both his 2nd lord and 2nd house of family.
Transiting Saturn in Aries would be in Meghan’s 10th house, from which point it will also aspect her 10th lord Mars in the 12th. The notion of a “fall from grace,” seen against the backdrop of her restless and self-expressive Jupiter-Moon bhukti conjures up the possibility of a split, or something in the nature of a scandal falling short of divorce.
Further fine-tuning is moot, and although I’ve given it some thought, I won’t bother readers with the details, except to say that September 2027 might be the highlight of that year, at least insofar as tabloid coverage of this Royal couple is concerned.
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.”
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