Vedic Astrology & Palmistry

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Webinar review: Kepler’s Astrology Research Team (ART)

September 19th, 2018 · Astrology, Instruction, Science

Interested in learning how to conduct astrological research? Set your agenda for the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month. That’s when Kepler’s Astrological Research Team (ART) meets to discuss past studies, current best practices and future projects.

The series, coordinated by Courtney Roberts and facilitated by Glenn “Mitch” Mitchell, seeks to provide potential researchers with useful guidance in conducting research.

In this week’s webinar, we learned that the most common error of neophyte researchers lies in mistaking astronomical significance for astrological significance.

  • If your research involves Sun signs, you have to know that births are not evenly distributed. In northern hemispheres, more people are born in summer months, June through September.
  • If your study involves ascendants, be aware that in the northern hemisphere the signs of long ascension, Cancer through Sagittarius, are far more common rising signs than the other six.

Courtney noted some interesting studies out there to support these cautions, eg, Didier Castille’s article on France’s population and the zodiac, and encouraged us to catch up on the current literature.

Mitch walked us through a very cogent explanation of control groups and why properly-designed studies demand them. Mitch is an astrologer and a statistician who can discuss methodology in plain English, for which I am grateful, because such clarity can’t be taken for granted.

A key takeaway for me was when he discussed “significance.” Statistical significance is when you find a difference between control and study groups that can’t be explained by chance. Practical significance is when you find the same thing but have to ask yourself, is it big enough to really matter, and what argument can I make for its real-world significance?

Mitch provided a brief overview of what’s available in astrological software that supports some robust level of research capability. There are many vendors, so over the course of this series he’s promised to discuss their features, including some live demos of what can be done with the various software.

The session wound up with an expression of interest in various ongoing and future projects. If you want to learn more, tune in for the next ART webinar, which will be Tuesday October 2nd.

Visit the Canaveral Research site and get on their mailing list to be advised of these and other series promoting fact-based astrology.


Alan Annand (BA, BSc, DFAS, ACVA-II) is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His recent research paper “Mercury Retrograde in Disasters” was published in the American Federation of Astrologers’ Research Journal Vol.18 this past summer. You can read his article here.



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Webinar review: Qualitative Research Methods for Astrologers

September 9th, 2018 · Astrology, Instruction, Science

Yesterday I “attended” a webinar offered by the Canaveral Research Center (home of the Kepler Conference) coordinated by Courtney Roberts and moderated by Glenn “Mitch” Mitchell. The workshop featured Dr. Will Morris who, as “guest lecturer,” has an extensive background in academic research methods, as well as a comprehensive acquaintance with the full spectrum of major astrological systems.

Dr. Morris gave us a presentation on the principal research methods: case study, grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography, historical research, narrative research, and action research. For a neophyte like me, this was an eye-opener regarding the range of different methodologies available. It was also thought-provoking in terms of tentative research topics and, more importantly, how to best approach them.

There was an equally good discussion on mixed methods in research, using both quantitative and qualitative data, and the “triangulation” process of using different data, investigators, theories, methods, and environments to achieve the most robust analysis of a subject.

Aside from taking notes on the lecture material itself, throughout the webinar I was busy jotting down fresh ideas for research that some of these discussions inevitably sparked in my imagination.

Four astrologer-researchers offered “works in progress” on which Dr. Morris provided constructive criticism. David Perkins presented an analysis of musical trends over a century’s worth of Saturn cycles. Kyle Pierce discussed his concept of kindred births via recurring shared planetary patterns. Faith McInerney correlated Chiron and Pluto aspects to booms and busts in financial cycles. Russell Ohlhausen analysed astro-physiognomy via common elements in the charts of celebrities vs their “ordinary” doppelgangers.

The presentations, feedback and discussions lasted almost three hours, providing great value for the price of admission, and much food for thought. Based on this experience, I’d encourage all budding astro-researchers to get on the CRC mailing list, and keep an eye out for future offerings.


Alan Annand (BA, BSc, DFAS, ACVA-II) is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His recent research paper “Mercury Retrograde in Disasters” was published in the American Federation of Astrologers’ Research Journal Vol.18 this past summer. You can read his article here.

Future speaking engagements:

  • Saturday, October 20th, 2018, State Of The Art (SOTA) conference in Buffalo, New York, on the subject of “The 27 Nakshatras” (asterisms) used in Vedic astrology, the so-called mansions of the Moon. No previous sense of humor required.
  • Saturday, January 26, 2019, The Kepler Conference in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the subject of “Prime Malefics in the Charts of Killers.” Attendees must be 18 or over, and have no previous record of violent offenses. See a preview of findings in this brief article.

Alan has written several books: Mutual Reception delineates 66 combinations of house lord exchange in western astrology; Parivartana Yoga is a companion volume for Vedic astrologers; Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer useful techniques via biographical profiles, mundane event analyses, and technical essays; his New Age Noir mystery trilogy features an astrologer. You can find his books on Amazon and elsewhere.


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John McCain: maverick with a heart

September 7th, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity, Instruction

By all odds, John McCain should have died in Vietnam. His survival made him a legend worthy of what is truly great about America: demonstrating courage under fire, and acting with honesty and integrity in support of principles that transcend individual well-being for the sake of one’s country.

His chart has several classic yogas. Sasha yoga, created by Saturn in its own sign in the ascendant, is the strongest among them, making him an icon of conservative values. The Sun/Saturn opposition across the horizon creates a Dharma-Karma Adhipati yoga via lords of the 1st and 7th, and since both planets are strong, this became a signature of two things – his leadership in bipartisan politics, and the anti-establishment streak that many times led him to break ranks with his own Republican party policies. A second DKA yoga, this time with 4th lord Venus and 5th lord Mercury together in the 8th reflected some of the many traumas, both personal and professional, that he experienced in his lifetime. This latter pair also constitutes a Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga, which reflects both his physical and political survival despite many reversals during the years.

McCain came from a military family. (Chandra Mangala yoga across the 6/12 axis reflects a fighting spirit, on both a personal and professional level.) His father and his grandfather were both four-star admirals in the US Navy. As a consequence, he was born in Panama where his father was stationed at the time, and he later attended 20 different schools as his family moved around the USA and the Pacific theatre. His frequent changes of residency and schools are reflected in 4th lord Venus debilitated in the 8th house.

McCain attended the US Navy Academy, from which he graduated in 1958. He had a high IQ but an anti-authoritarian streak, and finished near the bottom of his class. He completed flight school in 1960, during which time he earned a reputation as a party animal and a mediocre pilot. He crashed twice and collided with power lines another time, but walked away largely unscathed. Vehicles are ruled by the 4th house, whether cars, ships or planes. The sorry state of 4th lord Venus reflects his many misfortunes under transport.

He requested a combat assignment during the Vietnam War and was assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal which suffered a cataclysmic fire in July 1967. An electrical malfunction caused a rocket to accidentally explode among a group of planes on the flight deck, setting off a series of fuel explosions that killed 134 sailors and wounded 161 others, including McCain. The USS Forrestal fire occurred during Rahu dasha, Venus bhukti, as did his final combat mission three months later.

In October 1967 his Skyhawk attack plane was shot down on a mission over North Vietnam. McCain broke both arms and legs, and almost drowned when his parachute came down in a lake. When the North Vietnamese pulled him out of the water, they prodded him with bayonets and struck him with rifle stocks, crushing one of his shoulders.

His captors initially refused to treat his injuries, torturing him instead for information until they discovered his father was an admiral. He spent six weeks in hospital, during which he received minimal care, lost 50 pounds and saw his hair turn white. Other prisoners thought he wouldn’t survive.

Because he wouldn’t cooperate with North Vietnamese demands for information or statements for propaganda purposes, in March 1968 he was put in solitary confinement for two years, spanning Rahu-Sun and Rahu-Moon, the latter bhukti lord sitting in his 12th house. During this period his father was named commander of all US Navy forces in the theatre. The North Vietnamese offered him early release, but McCain refused, abiding with the US military Code of Conduct which had a “first-in, first-out” rule for prisoner-of-war releases.

His North Vietnamese captors in the “Hanoi Hilton” subjected him to severe torture in which he was bound and beaten every two hours, experiencing such pain that he was driven to the point of suicide, prevented only by the actions of his guards. He remained a prisoner of war for five and a half years until his release in March 1973, along with other POWs at the conclusion of peace talks ending the war. His wartime injuries caused him irreparable damage that, even after extensive physiotherapy, left him with a limp and rendered him unable to raise his arms above his head.

Back in America, he took command of a training squadron in Florida. Although he’d married in April 1965 before going to Vietnam, he became involved in several extramarital affairs in Florida that ruined his marriage, for which he subsequently blamed himself. With natural enemies Sun and Saturn opposed across the 1/7 axis, Kujadosha from a debilitated Mars, and marriage karaka Venus debilitated in the 8th, relationships were up-and-down.

He became a Navy liaison officer to the US Senate in 1977, his first taste of civil service in which he began making friends with both Republicans and Democrats. This was his Jupiter-Mercury period, in which both angular Jupiter and exalted Mercury provided the Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga relieving his debilitated Venus. He secured a divorce in April 1980 and a month later married a woman he’d been dating for a year or more, an Arizona heiress to a beer empire, both transactions occurring in his Jupiter-Venus period.

He retired from the Navy in 1981, moved to Arizona and ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. Accused by a local heckler of being a “carpetbagger,” an opportunist who wasn’t a real resident of Arizona, he explained that, being in a military family, he’d been obliged to move around a lot more than was normal. In fact, he said, the longest he’d spent anywhere was his five-and-a-half years in a Hanoi prison. The heckler fell silent and McCain went on to win his seat.

From there he progressed to the Senate in 1987 (Jupiter-Rahu), capturing the Arizona seat left vacant by the late Barry Goldwater. McCain completed five terms and was into his sixth when he died. Over the years, he developed a reputation as a man with a conscience who would often buck the party line if it didn’t sit right with his own principles.

His Sasha yoga was a testimony, not only to his stoicism during his years as a prisoner of war, but also his willingness to take tough stands. The Sun/Saturn opposition is a signature for a maverick, someone who is anti-authoritarian, and perhaps proud of it. And yet with that strong Saturn as an influence, his ego appeared to be largely in check.

Thanks to his Chandra Mangala yoga, he was known to have a temper, and wasn’t afraid to engage in combat, whether physical or legislative. In school he wrestled and boxed. As a pilot, he pushed the envelope in his flying. Whether dealing with hecklers in the crowd, or members of his own party with whom he disagreed on principle, he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. His debilitated Mars in the 6th indicates a fighter, however reckless, and its aspect on the ascendant gave it punch.

In 2000 (Saturn-Mars), he went head-to-head with George W. Bush in competition for the Republican nominee for President. Despite a vicious smear campaign from the Bush camp, spreading rumors that McCain had fathered a black child (he and his wife had adopted a child from Bangladesh), that he was a homosexual, that he’d been brainwashed in Hanoi and become a “Manchurian candidate,” he refused to respond in kind. He stuck to his principles and lost the leadership race.

Eight years later (Mercury-Mercury), he won the Republican nomination process and campaigned for President with Sarah Palin as his running mate, but this time lost to the Democrats under Barack Obama. His concession speech was gracious and he vowed to continue serving the country as best he could from the Senate where he had over the years acquired more and more senior committee appointments, in foreign policy, and especially the armed services.

In the 2016 Presidential campaign (Mercury-Rahu), he withdrew support for Donald Trump after hearing the Hollywood Tapes in which Trump bragged about groping women. From then on, he became something of a symbol for a mere vestige of the Republican Party that seemed otherwise eager to shed its principles so long as Trump kept on winning the support of the Republican heartland.

For a man of such high principles, one might ask, how can Venus, his 4th and 9th lord of morals, ethics and right behavior, be in such a ruinous state? Recall that his Venus has Neecha Bhanga Raja yoga, which arises under four different scenarios: (1) when the debilitated planet is associated with or aspected by its dispositor, (2) when the dispositor of the debilitated planet is in a kendra, (3) when the lord of the sign in which the debilitated planet would become exalted is in a kendra, and (4) when the planet that would be exalted in that debilitation sign is in a kendra.

See what happens in McCain’s chart: (1) debilitated Venus is associated with its dispositor Mercury; and (3) Jupiter, the lord of Pisces where debilitated Venus would become exalted, is in a kendra. The other two do not apply: (2) Mercury the dispositor of debilitated Venus is not in a kendra; and (4) Mercury that is exalted in Virgo, where Venus is debilitated, is not in a kendra.

So for McCain the whole portfolio of ethics has been a mixed bag. He was a role model during his five and a half years as a prisoner of war. But after the war, he had extramarital affairs and, by his own admission, ruined his marriage. In the early years of his political career, he was involved in a savings and loan scandal that earned him a slap on the wrist from the Ethics Committee, wherein he acknowledged his poor judgement and apologized. Throughout his subsequent Senate role, he worked zealously for Indian affairs, campaign finance reform and many other just causes. On the other hand, he backed unwinnable wars, and waffled on health care. He was a bundle of cantankerous contradictions, but America loved him anyway. Over the decades, his approval/disapproval ratings averaged about 60% vs 30%.

His career is roughly mapped out by his dasha sequence. Rahu dasha spanned the whole of his active military service. Jupiter dasha covered the period from his prison release through state-side non-combat roles and Navy liaison officer, to public office in the House of Representatives. His Saturn dasha saw him become the Senator for Arizona, a role in which he accumulated increasing stature and respect. Mercury dasha ushered in his failed attempt to win the Presidency, multiple frustrations during the Obama administration, and the brain cancer that ultimately killed him.

Although his actions in recent years polarized the Republican party, his integrity and reputation remained intact. Like the “slow walker” Saturn that commanded his ascendant, indeed his chart, his legacy will inevitably endure, and history will likely grant him an honored place among American heroes who made personal sacrifices for the sake of their country.


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.


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


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Aretha Franklin: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

September 2nd, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity

At first glance, there seems to be so little of significance in Aretha Franklin’s chart that we’re tempted to think, this can’t be right. If she was the Queen of Soul, where are the signs of royalty, soul, and awesome voice? In fact, there are so few yogas in her chart that you can count them on the fingers of one hand. And yet, sometimes, all you need is one hand to seize the crown.

For Aretha, her ascendant lord Venus is the planet that commands the stage. Venus is the karaka for the arts and entertainment, and because it’s the only occupant of a kendra, it becomes the most likely significator of her career. Venus is strong because it has dig bala in the 4th house, and it’s stable because it receives only an aspect from Jupiter. Venus is also in Parivartana yoga with Saturn in the 8th, a combination that strengthens both planets and the houses they occupy.

Among other things, the 4th house represents one’s tribe, congregation, constituency or fan base. From her earliest performance, standing on a chair in front of her preacher father’s congregation, Aretha has stood head and shoulders above the crowd.

In the 8th house, the association of 2nd lord Mars and 5th lord Saturn forms Dhana yoga. From there, they each aspect and thereby strengthen their own houses – Mars protecting the 2nd, Saturn protecting the 5th. Other than family and wealth, the 2nd house also rules the voice. And aside from children, the 5th also rules performance.

Her 8th house is a locus of exchange activity. In addition to the Parivartana between Venus and Saturn linking the 4th and 8th, there are two different Nadi yogas involving exchanges of star lords in the 8th. The Sun and Saturn occupy each other’s nakshatra, thus creating a symbiosis between the 6th and 8th houses. Furthermore, the Moon and Jupiter also occupy each other’s nakshatra, thus creating a link between the 8th and 9th houses.

Thus, we have three different houses – the 4th, the 6th and the 9th – whose occupants are in sambandha with an occupant of the 8th. As a consequence, she has had more than her share of trials and tribulations.

Her parents (4H & 9H) separated when she was six, and her mother (4H) died just weeks before Aretha turned 10. Her father (9H) was shot point-blank in the chest during a home robbery and remained five years in a coma before he died. She lost a $1.4M house (4H) to a devastating fire. And in the last decade of her life, she was plagued with health (6H) problems, ranging from hypertension to pancreatic cancer.

Aretha grew up in a lively household with three siblings. Her father was one of the country’s most influential ministers whose circle of friends included civil rights activist Martin Luther King, as well as popular performers of the day like Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke. But his constant philandering became too much for Aretha’s mother, who left the marriage when Aretha was just six years old, leaving the young girl in her father’s care.

The Moon occupies the 9th house, showing the powerful emotional connection she had with her father. Her 9th lord Mercury is in the 5th house of ministry, amped up by the presence of mokshakaraka Ketu, and solidified by the aspect of its dispositor Saturn. In acknowledgement of Reverend Franklin’s oratorical skills, people called him “the man with the million-dollar voice.”

Early in the dasha of Saturn, lord of her 5th house, Aretha became an unwed mother – her first child born when she was just 12 years old, the second when she was 14, in Saturn-Saturn and Saturn-Mercury, respectively. With 7th lord Mars in the 8th, she was not lucky in love. One of her sisters referred to her first husband as “a smooth gentleman pimp.” She married twice, the first in Saturn-Venus, and the second in Mercury-Sun, neither of which lasted the test of time. She later went on to have two more children.

She signed with Columbia Records in 1960, and released her first single in September of that year, both during her Saturn-Venus period. Note that Saturn participates in the only two yogas of significance in her chart, while Venus as lagnesh was instrumental in her establishing herself.

The high-water mark of her career was in Saturn-Rahu, during which period she scored nine Top Ten hits on Billboard, among them the famous “Respect” of February 1967. Coming as it did on the heels of the civil rights movement, in the middle of the women’s liberation era, and at the height of the anti-Vietnam war protests, it became a virtual protest anthem for a generation.

Aretha enjoyed a career that spanned over six decades. She mixed and mingled with religious and civil rights leaders, and earned widespread respect in a society that typically withheld it from Afro-Americans. When she was inducted to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012, Franklin was described as “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of black America” and a “symbol of black equality.” When she sang at Barack Obama’s inauguration, she brought tears to the eyes of President Obama, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and half of America.

When she died of pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018, music lovers around the world cried all over again. The Queen of Soul is dead. Long live the Queen.


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.


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

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Vladimir Putin: the spy who came home with the gold

July 18th, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity, Instruction

When most astrologers look at Vladimir Putin’s chart and see Venus rising in Libra opposite Jupiter in the 7th house, they say, no, that can’t be right. In fact, I recently read an article in which an astrologer suggested at the outset that it was incongruous that such a configuration, with its implications of art, beauty and social grace, could be front-and-center in the chart of an ex-KGB boss best known as the ruthless and repressive leader of modern-day Russia.

In the rectification exercise that followed, the astrologer then rotated the chart until a more appropriate [my italics] ascendant could be found, in this case, Capricorn rising at 17h00. After that, the astrologer went on to interpret Putin’s chart in light of this new ascendant and, in all fairness, did a good job of making sense of both the man and the major events of his life and career.

Which is a lesson in itself…

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and we all indulge in it to make sense of what we have to work with, interpreting with selective reasoning those parts that work, perhaps ignoring those that don’t. Anyone who’s done many rectifications is familiar with that queasy feeling when two different ascendants each present their own logic, neither perfect, but both compelling in their own arguments, and yet only one can be right…

In the case of Vladimir Putin, Astrodienst ( indicates that he was born October 7th, 1952, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, with a birth time of 09h30, which apparently comes from some official state source. The cynical among us will say, well then, if it comes from the Kremlin, it can’t be true. Gentlemen, start your rectification engines.

Isaac Starkman, the ubiquitous astrologer whose alternate birth times appear in so many of Astrodienst’s entries, has rectified Putin’s birth time to an exact 12h39m16s, which renders a sidereal Scorpio ascendant. I have no idea of the logic behind that time, but I do know that it arises from a software program, and is therefore suspect, or at least hypothetical, as admittedly are all our speculations, including my own.

In the case of both Starkman’s and the other astrologer’s rectification, their resulting ascendants of Scorpio and Capricorn, respectively, have an attractive but superficial logic. Each designates a prime malefic, Mars or Saturn, as the ascendant lord and embodiment of evil in modern political guise. But is that all there is to it? Napoleon, Mussolini and Hitler all had Libra ascendants too.

When I look at Putin’s chart, I don’t see anything illogical about Venus rising in a Libra lagna. Malavya yoga merely tells me that, here’s a person with charisma and power. And its mutual aspect with retrograde Jupiter doesn’t make it softer, but stronger.

Furthermore, Venus and Jupiter in sambandha form Viparita Raja yoga. This particular variation occurs when two (or more) trikasthana lords combine by association or mutual aspect, while at the same time neither is associated with nor aspected by the lord of another positive house. [See Uttara Kalamrita, 4:22]  In order for this yoga to come to full and positive fruition, the participating grahas should be strong. In this case, swarashi 8th lord Venus mutually aspects retrograde 6th lord Jupiter, and neither is influenced by any other planet to dilute their effect.

According to NATO’s handbook, the preferred tactics in Russian information warfare can be summarized as “dismiss, distort, distract and dismay.” Indeed, it is the role of the 6th lord to befuddle, conspire against, destabilize and undermine one’s opponent. Meanwhile, the role of the 8th is to brutalize, destroy, torture and traumatize that same opponent.

These two powerful grahas (swa Venus and retrograde Jupiter) combine to Putin’s advantage, enabling him to outmaneuver and overpower his opponents. By sowing confusion and discord, he creates his own “fog of war” wherever he goes, and no matter what happens, he has a Plan B. Viparita yoga operates to his advantage, allowing him to succeed in circumstances of chaos, whether of his own making or not.

Lest we become overly fixated on Venus and Jupiter across the horizon, let’s be reminded that Putin has the nodes in the angles too, and they are always malefic, regardless of their lords. But it’s instructive to note in his case that Rahu’s dispositor Saturn occupies the 12th while Ketu’s dispositor the Moon occupies the 8th. Both trikasthanas are considered to be “hidden” houses. And when we pause to review Putin’s career, remember this: once a KGB agent, always a KGB agent. His whole career has been built on covert activities, stealth and subterfuge. Most of his life is in the shadows.

People may say, I just don’t see in this chart the brute that everyone says he is. Well, consider this. Mars in the 3rd is just one potential signature of an athlete and a fighter, but it aspects Ketu in the 10th, a planet with which it shares pitta qualities of restless energy and potential aggression. Furthermore, Mars and Jupiter are in Parivartana yoga, and the key to understanding this is what happens when we consider (virtual) Mars in its post-exchange position.

Once we transpose Mars and Jupiter in our mind’s eye, we get Mars in the 7th in Aries, from which position it then aspects lagna and lagnesh Venus. And there’s the brute that wasn’t obvious before. From the 7th, virtual Mars still aspects Ketu in the 10th, and also aspects its own sign Scorpio in the 2nd, with financial ramifications (more on this later). Meanwhile, virtual Jupiter in the 3rd again invokes athleticism and courage, and supports (strengthens) via its aspect that virtual Mars in the 7th, which is now a clear and present indicator of aggression in the chart.

On top of all this, Putin is smart. Never mind that he has a law degree. He’s been wheeling and dealing with oligarchs behind the scenes for more than three decades, and he knows what he’s doing. All four of the natural benefics are strong – the Moon and Mercury exalted, Jupiter retrograde and Venus in its own sign. Saraswati yoga requires that all three of Mercury, Jupiter and Venus be strong in a kendra, trikona or 2nd house. In this case, Mercury misses the mark by virtue of house position. However, if we consider the Sripati house system (similar to Porphyry used by western astrologers, except that the “cusps” become the center of the houses), Mercury moves into the 1st, while Jupiter moves into the 8th. So it isn’t perfect, but Venus and Jupiter are strong enough to carry the day anyway, and Mercury has its own power regardless.

Governmental involvement is generally seen via combinations involving the 5th (ministry), the 9th (judiciary) and the 10th (administration). Putin has 5th lord Saturn associated with 9th lord Mercury, a Raja yoga, in the 12th house. Note that a 12th house position doesn’t diminish this yoga, but rather conceals aspects of it behind the scenes. His 10th lord Moon would seem to be out of the picture until we note that it occupies a Sun nakshatra, while the Sun occupies a Moon nakshatra, a mutual reception of star-lords called Nadi yoga. This may be subtle, but it does ultimately link 10th lord Moon with the Sun (karaka of kingship) and the trikona lords Saturn and Mercury.

When it comes to wealth, the Sun as a money lord of the 11th directly combines with both trinal lords Mercury and Saturn to form two Dhana yogas in the 12th. Again, this implies some degree of secrecy. Putin’s tax returns suggest he’s just a well-paid civil servant, but his actual wealth is immeasurable, although suspected to be well into the billions. He owns multiple properties throughout Russia, and the revelations of the Panama Papers have exposed many of his associates with multi-million-dollar portfolios held in secret bank accounts. Forbes magazine, a virtual Bible of who’s who in financial circles, named Putin as the most powerful person in the world for four years running, 2013-16, and they weren’t just talking about political currency.

Putin has a less-than-perfect but serviceable Lakshmi yoga, a rare combination for massive wealth. Lakshmi yoga is formed by the 9th lord and Venus in their own or exalted signs in kendras or trikonas. In Putin’s case, 9th lord Mercury is exalted in the 12th, while his swarashi Venus occupies the lagna. As noted earlier, when viewed from the Sripati house system, Mercury moves into the 1st house, giving us some justification to say this fulfills the spirit if not the letter of the yoga.

For the record, I tweaked Putin’s birth time by only 11 minutes, making it 09h19 in order to satisfy through the amshas many of the known events of his life. In the balance of this article, I’ll occasionally refer to salient factors in certain amshas, which interested readers can follow up on their own.

Aside from what we think we know about the “public” Putin, does this chart with Libra rising work for the many other details that are available about his life? Let’s see…

He projects an image of health and vitality, a sportsman and athlete who promotes activity, adventure and physical exercise. Lagnesh Venus in the lagna gives him a relatively youthful appearance, and he’s been depicted in many instances competing in judo events, riding horseback, swimming in frigid waters, and so on. He first took up judo when he was 12 years old, and in 1964 he was running Mars dasha, Jupiter bhukti, the very planetary exchange that lends credence to his athleticism.

He studied law, graduated in 1975 and promptly went to work for the KGB. At the time of his graduation, he was running Rahu-Saturn. Rahu occupies the 4th house of education, and Saturn is associated with his exalted 9th lord Mercury of higher education. Saturn is also swarashi in the lagna of his D24 (chaturvimsamsa), a measure of education and knowledge.

He worked for the KGB for the rest of his Rahu dasha, most of it in East Germany where, thanks to his fluency in German, he operated as an agent under the cover of being a translator. Needless to say, that whole period was an education in spycraft, a skill set he has undoubtedly honed while in power.

He got married in Rahu-Venus. Both period lords are in positive houses in the D9 (navamsa), and Venus is exalted. He had two daughters, one in Rahu-Sun, the other in Rahu-Moon, and both bhukti lords are stable in the D7 (saptamsa). After 30 years, in which time transiting Saturn went from his ascendant, around the chart and back, he separated and divorced in Saturn-Sun. In the D9, Saturn is afflicted by the nodal axis, and the Sun is in a negative house.

He resigned from the KGB in Jupiter-Saturn, and took control of the St. Petersburg Committee for External Relations, a role in which he was responsible for managing international relations and foreign investments. Note here that bhukti lord Saturn is the nexus of two key patterns in his chart – government ministry and wealth generation – concentrated in his 12th house. During his tenure, he oversaw the sale of $93 million in metal exports in exchange for food aid that never materialized. No one knows where the money went. An ethics committee recommended his firing but he somehow dodged that bullet and moved on.

He changed jobs in Jupiter-Venus, moving from municipal to state jurisdiction, and ended up with a similar but much larger portfolio as Deputy President of Property Management for Russia as a whole. It’s useful to note here that Venus is the most powerful planet in the chart, ruling not only his ascendant but the 8th house of other people’s wealth. From this point on, through the rest of Jupiter dasha and into Saturn dasha, he forged deals with the oligarchs of Russia, gaining massive financial benefits in exchange for political protection and sponsorship of Russia’s vast oil, gas and mineral resources.

In Jupiter-Sun, he became head of the FSB, Russia’s federal security service and successor to the infamous KGB. In Jupiter-Moon, a succession of events took him to the peak of the political pyramid – he was appointed as Prime Minister to President Yeltsin, nominated President-designate on Yeltsin’s resignation, then formally endorsed by the Russian parliament. Recall that Sun and Moon are interlinked as mutual nakshatra dispositors, ruling both the 10th and 11th houses from the shadowy trikasthanas they occupy.

His entire Jupiter dasha reflected a spectacular ascendancy in power and wealth. In the rashi, Jupiter rules two upachaya houses of improvement, and in its periods also delivers results for its nakshatra lord, that powerful Venus who is lord of both the 1st and 8th houses. Furthermore, Jupiter is dignified in several key amshas dig bala although debilitated in the D4 (chaturthamsa) of property and net worth, swarashi and dig bala in the D10 (dasamsa) of professional success, and exalted in a positive house in the D11 (ekadasamsa) of fabulous wealth.

In Saturn dasha, Putin’s attention began to shift from domestic to foreign matters, starting with the post-Soviet states of Georgia and Chechnya. Provoked by ongoing conflicts with the latter, Islamist militants took 1100 people (including 777 children) hostage at a school in Beslan. Russia’s ruthless military response, although it cost 334 lives, cemented Putin’s tough-guy image. Note that the event occurred in Saturn-Saturn, where 4th lord (schools) Saturn is in the 12th (loss), and Saturn delivers on behalf of its nakshatra dispositor Mars, karaka for police, military and violence in general.

Incidentally, three different planets – Mercury, Saturn and Rahu – all occupy nakshatras of Mars. That means that in each of their periods, as well as that of Mars itself, this kshatriya (warrior-king) graha is projecting his image into the world via the Parivartana with Jupiter in the 7th. This has been accomplished through Putin’s personal involvement in sports, his sponsorship of world athletic events (eg, 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, 2018 World Cup in Moscow), as well as the flexing of Russia’s military strength.

Since the outset of his Saturn dasha, Putin has orchestrated several international interventions. In Saturn-Sun, Russia annexed the Crimea and started a proxy war to destabilize Ukraine. In Saturn-Moon, Putin sent troops to support President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. In Saturn-Mars, Russian operatives influenced the 2016 US Presidential election. In Saturn-Rahu, Putin scored a major political coup in Helsinki when Donald Trump said he took Putin’s word over that of 17 American intelligence agencies regarding Russia’s meddling in US elections.

In Putin’s D10 (dasamsa), Saturn is swarashi in a positive house, thus perpetuating a long-term play on the world stage. And speaking of play, consider the game of chess, which Russians have largely dominated since WW2, to such an extent that the game itself is practically synonymous with Russian culture. Games are ruled by the 5th, strategy by the 9th. In Putin’s chart, the relevant planets are Saturn and Mercury, conjoined in the stealthy 12th, both in Chitra, which is known for its craftsmanship. In Putin’s case, think spycraft, and you gain an appreciation for his abilities.

Following Yeltsin’s resignation, Putin served two four-year terms as President of Russia, during 2000-2008. Bound by the constitution, he was then obliged to step down, at which point his political ally Dmitry Medvedev became President, but promptly appointed Putin as Prime Minister. They even had a name for this political maneuver – Rokirovka – which is Russian for “castling,” a chess term referring to a rule wherein the King and Rook pieces are allowed to make a two-in-one move for defensive purposes.

This transition period occurred during Putin’s Saturn-Mercury and Saturn-Ketu periods. During the (interim) President’s tenure, Medvedev introduced a new law permitting subsequent Presidents to serve six-year terms instead of just four years. After Medvedev finished his term, Putin was allowed to stand for re-election again, which he handily won, and was then installed for six years. Thus, he was back in power again in Saturn-Venus, stronger than ever, in the bhukti of the strongest planet in his chart.

He faced some opposition in 2012, including the girl band Pussy Riot (when else but in a Venus period?) which he characteristically dismissed with criminal charges and imprisonment, meanwhile crushing the nascent LGBT movement in Russia. As befits his Venus in Libra public persona, Putin has always cultivated his law-and-order image. He portrays himself as a socio-cultural, political and religious conservative, just trying to protect the best interests of the Motherland.

At the same time, he has been violently repressive in order to control public opinion. State-owned media is strictly controlled in Big-Brother fashion, allowing only sanctioned points of view. Scores of journalists have been imprisoned, tortured and murdered to silence their criticism or exposure of wrongdoing by Putin and his cronies. The media in general, signified by 9th lord Mercury, is heavily afflicted by the Sun and Saturn in the 12th. Meanwhile, the free press of the democratic world, despite being an endangered species, continues to point out Putin’s human rights violations and his state-sponsored criminal enterprises.

With his recent re-election to the President’s office in the spring of 2018, Putin is now installed for what is supposed to be his last six-year term in office, which will take him up to 2024. Mercury dasha begins in 2022 and so, political chess grandmaster that he is, Putin will already be planning his endgame. With his powerful Mercury in the 12th, we can reasonably expect that it will be covert, strategic and highly profitable. Mercury is swarashi in both his D4 (chaturthamsa) of net worth and D11 (ekadasamsa) of fabulous wealth, and exalted in both his D9 (navamsa) and D7 (saptamsa), potentially extending his legacy to his heirs, both familial and political.

Who knows, perhaps some grateful oligarchs will make a movie about Putin’s life: The Spy Who Came Home with the Gold.


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.


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


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Ted Bundy, criminal chameleon

July 4th, 2018 · Astrology, Crime

The weird thing about Ted Bundy, people later reflected, was that he never looked the same from one photograph to another. Even in person, he had the ability to metamorphose, with a glance or a turn of his head, from someone of charming intelligence to one of cunning violence. Criminal investigators later attributed his chameleon-like nature as key to luring many of his victims to their ultimate deaths.

Bundy’s rapes and murders may have spanned two decades, although his confirmed homicides all occurred in the mid- to late-70s. During this period, he attended university to study psychology and law, conducted research for the Republican Party, and worked for a crime reduction program, even writing a pamphlet on rape prevention. Meanwhile, he was breaking into apartments to bludgeon and sexually assault young women, or luring them into his car for transport to remote areas where he would rape and kill them. When his name turned up on suspect lists, he was often discounted because of his good looks and his education.

Bundy’s chart is striking for two reasons – he has a Kala Sarpa pattern through the 4th and 10th houses that splits the horoscope in two, and a Pravrajya yoga in the 4th house whose four planets straddle Ketu. Based upon my research into Kala Sarpa, I’ve learned that it’s relatively uncommon, occurring in only one of eight charts (12.5%), with roughly the same frequency as a Dharma-Karma Adhipati yoga. However, in the charts of killers it turns up more frequently, appearing in one out of six charts (16.8%).

Kala Sarpa doesn’t always signify sociopathy or other mental disorders, although it can indicate extreme behavior, appearing in the charts of politicians, artists, scientists and other notable achievers in their respective fields. But under the right influence, primarily that of a strong Jupiter or other dignified planets, it can assume yoga status, thereby amplifying beneficial features of the chart, often through the agency of exaggerated planets.

Under the wrong influences, Kala Sarpa becomes a dosha – a flaw, a problem, a stain on the native’s karma. In Bundy’s chart, several negative influences come to bear. To start, he was born the day after a partial solar eclipse. Since the nodes are considered enemies of the Sun and Moon, casting shadows on them, either luminary in the same sign as a node is problematic.

In Bundy’s case, lagnesh Sun is on the nodal axis, so the ego is subject to aberrations. The Moon is also on the nodal axis, and its extreme weakness – dark, debilitated and afflicted by three malefics – made him vulnerable to his most morbid thoughts. An assessment of the manas, or emotional mind, reveals agitation: Mars, lord of the 4th, lies on the nodal axis; Ketu occupies the 4th; and the Moon as karaka for the manas is the most fragile planet in the chart.

Over the years, various psychologists have assessed Bundy as having bipolar, multiple personality, or antisocial personality disorders. Others have characterized him as a narcissist, a sociopath, and the rarest of types, a true psychopath.

Bundy was born at 11:35 PM on November 24, 1946, in Burlington, Vermont. His mother was unmarried, and in order to preserve her reputation, young Bundy was raised by his mother’s parents as if he were their own. Years later, Bundy’s mother took him to Washington State, where she remarried and had four other children. Bundy never accepted his stepfather and resented his mother for not having shown him the love he needed, a simmering anger that ultimately spilled over in violence against other women.

Anger is apparent in his chart. Mars occupies Scorpio in the 4th from which it aspects the 7th. Kuja dosha is evident with Mars in poor house position relative to the lagna, the Moon and Venus. Exalted Ketu is in the same sign, and is itself Mars-like. Last but not least, the Sun with Mars is practically a signature for someone with impulse control or anger management issues, while Ketu’s magnification pushes it all over the top.

Bundy began acting out while still in high school, poring over true crime magazines for pictures of victims, especially women. He became a peeping tom, spying on women late at night, a behavior that’s often a precursor to rape. He was arrested twice for burglary and once for auto theft, but was let off with warnings each time because he was a good student.

The Pravrajya yoga in the 4th house is a veritable gold mine of interpretation. Although in the best of cases, Pravrajya can be an indicator of spiritual power, in the worst cases it can manifest as a kind of obsessive-compulsive disorder, with undertones of ritualistic behavior.

Education is a 4th house theme. Although Bundy had an on-and-off academic record, he did persevere. He studied psychology at university, and later switched to law, presumably learning enough about both to manipulate people as well as the legal system.

The 4th house also rules vehicles. For many of his marauding years, Bundy drove around in a beat-up VW Beetle, picking up young women hitchhikers, or luring them from beaches and parks to his car where he’d overpower them and take them to some remote location. He knew his way around other cars as well, and stole dozens of them, both in his early years and later, during the time when he was on the run, having broken out of jail after his arrest.

The 4th house also rules property and land. After staking out the residences of potential victims, he used weak access points to break into apartments and dormitories. He knew his geography too, and would often take his victims into back roads and remote sites to avoid discovery. In interviews with psychologists and law enforcement officers in his final years, he talked about some of these places with an eerie reverence: “…and the grounds where you killed them… become sacred to you…” He often returned to these crime scenes to dress his victims in different clothes, paint their nails, wash their hair, and have sex with them again until putrefaction or foraging predators put an end to that.

He had two modus operandi, both of which can be read from his chart. One was home invasion, in which he’d break into a residence, bludgeon his victims comatose, violently rape them, then either strangle or beat them to death. For this method, we need look no further than the triad of kshatriya planets – the Sun, Mars and Ketu – in the Scorpio 4th house, with their collective themes of control, anger and savagery.

His other method was psychological, drawing on the good nature of his unsuspecting victims. Wearing a cast on his arm or leg, sometimes with a crutch in hand, he’d feign helplessness and ask a young woman to help him carry some books to his car in a remote corner of a parking lot. Once there, he’d knock her out with a crowbar and drive to some pre-selected location where he could rape and kill her at leisure. His pretense of being handicapped can be seen in the two luminaries, both in the 4th house, which coincidentally rules the study of psychology. The Sun has a very low shadbala score, while the Moon is dark and debilitated. Meanwhile, based on their respective degrees, the Sun’s avastha is in its “old age” and the Moon is in its “infancy.”

Perhaps due to his legal studies and his involvement in crime prevention initiatives, Bundy was a clever criminal. He left virtually no physical evidence at any of his crime scenes. On one occasion, after having abducted a woman from a downtown alley, he brazenly returned to the scene the next morning to retrieve her earrings and a shoe before the police could find them. His victims were all young white women, ages 15 to 25, usually alone, although sometimes he was bold enough to take them in pairs.

Although he ultimately confessed to having killed roughly 30 women, the true number of Bundy’s victims remains unknown since he refused to discuss other cases that were “too close to family,” “too close to home,” or involved “victims who were very young.” In hindsight, it appears that he may have committed his first murder in 1961, shortly after the onset of his Venus dasha.

The graph below depicts the pattern of his suspected and known murders by bhukti period. Morbid as it might seem, my ongoing research into serial killers has revealed that murder is often stimulated under the influence, singly or conjoint, of planets that own or occupy trikasthanas, or planets in the nakshatras of those same trik lords and occupants. Of these, planets connected to the 8th and 12th houses are the most ominous. Logically, the 8th is the house of anti-dharma, being 12th from the 9th, while the 12th is antithetical to life itself, being symbolic of loss and the end of all things.

In Bundy’s case, all of his murders occurred in Venus dasha. Venus occupies the 3rd, a mild dusthana, but occupies the nakshatra of Jupiter, the 8th lord with which it’s conjoined. Many of Bundy’s suspected but unproven murders occurred in Rahu and Jupiter bhuktis. Rahu does work for planets with which it’s associated or aspected, as well as its rashi and nakshatra dispositors. Among these, the most relevant here is the debilitated Moon, which both aspects Rahu and disposits it by nakshatra, meanwhile owning the 12th house.

The vast majority of Bundy’s murders occurred in his Saturn bhukti. Powerful (retrograde) Saturn rings the bell three times – it occupies the 12th, it owns the 6th, and it occupies its own nakshatra, thus reinforcing its dual role as trik lord and occupant. During a few months of freedom between his first and second arrests, Bundy murdered again during his Mercury bhukti. Since Mercury occupies the nakshatra of 8th lord Jupiter, this gave it malefic power.

After being particularly active in 1974 and 1975, his Saturn bhukti, Bundy was flagged by investigators in five different states – Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and Idaho – as being a common suspect in multiple unsolved murders with similar characteristics. He was placed under active suspicion and arrested, still in the bhukti of 12th house Saturn.

Given his legal training, he successfully applied to defend himself. Left alone in a law library, he jumped out of a 2nd-floor window and made a run for it, only to be recaptured within six days. Six months later, he escaped again, this time using a hacksaw blade to cut a hole through the roof of his cell. He fled in a stolen car, making his way from Colorado to Florida via bus, airline, train and more stolen cars.

Although he’d intended to go straight and lay low, he couldn’t find a job and soon resorted to shoplifting and stealing credit cards from unguarded purses in shopping carts. Unfortunately, he couldn’t control his other impulses either. On January 15, 1978, he entered a sorority house at Florida State University and violently attacked four young women, killing two. Later the same night, he attacked another woman who survived and, two weeks later, killed another young woman. A week later, he was stopped by a policeman for driving erratically in a stolen car. He tried to escape but was overpowered and handcuffed, after which the officer found in Bundy’s car evidence linking him to the Florida State murders.

His murder trial received national coverage, and was attended by 250 reporters from around the world. After conviction, he spent a decade on death row, was foiled in yet another escape attempt, and was electrocuted on January 24, 1989. He was then running Moon-Rahu. As noted earlier, the Moon is the weakest planet in the chart while Rahu acts as a powerful proxy for that same Moon, lord of the 12th and significator of the end.


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.


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




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The Singapore Summit: Nobel Peace Prize or WWF smackdown?

June 8th, 2018 · Astrology, Instruction

On Tuesday, 12 June 2018, 0900 local time in Singapore, Donald Trump and diplomats of the USA will meet with Kim Jong Un and delegates of North Korea to discuss, among other intermediate proposals, the ultimate denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Here is the horoscope for the tentative commencement of those discussions.

In brief, the pros and cons for this event are as follows:

(+) Gemini is rising, and Mercury is in its own sign, therefore swa rashi and with digbala, which implies some relatively flexible proposals coming from the American side of the table.

(+) Mercury and the lagna are hemmed by benefics (Shubhakartari yoga) Venus and the Moon, which implies smooth talk from America, and yet that Moon is so dark that it is technically a malefic, so this may take the form of inducements with vague promises.

(-) Tuesday is a day for going to war, not negotiating an end to hostilities.

(-) The Moon is in Krittika, a nakshatra that carries a lot of baggage in the form of heat, tension, phobias, schizophrenia, wounded pride, complex subjective motives, nervous breakdowns, temper tantrums and feuding, none of which are conducive to rational discussion.

(-) The Moon is dark and only two tithis away from a New Moon, which is not productive for fostering rapport and cooperative dialogue for long-term agreements.

(-) Both luminaries, Sun and Moon, occupy the 12th house in a fixed sign, which suggests intransigent positions, threatening to end things before they even get started.

(-) Mercury and the lagna are hemmed by malefics (Papakartari yoga) Rahu and the Sun, which implies tough talk from America, and maybe too much of that.

(-) The 7th house is occupied by a double-strength Saturn (retrograde and digbala) which makes for a tough-minded North Korea not easily swayed.

(-) The 7th lord is a double-strength Jupiter (retrograde and swa nakshatra) which suggests North Korea knows it holds a strong hand and is capable of playing the long game.

(-) The 7th lord Jupiter aspects both the lagna and lagnesh Mercury, while Mercury only aspects the 7th house and its occupant Saturn, so the North Koreans may be better able to negotiate favorable terms.

(-) The Parivartana yoga between 2nd lord Moon and 12th lord Venus suggests the USA will offer financial inducements in order to buy the North Korean’s compliance, yet the influence of malefics on both those houses implies that such offers may be misrepresented (to either the North Koreans or the public) and/or costly.

(-) Since both the luminaries are in the 12th, the houses they rule suggest that what is said (2nd) and what is signed (3rd) will likely be insufficient and/or detrimental to the position and the reputation of the USA.

(-) In short, this was a poor choice for scheduling a summit that must bear the burden of establishing a whole new era in Asian geo-politics.

In somewhat different language, this same argument is presented in the video link below:


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.


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



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Harry & Meghan: Marriage of the century or star-crossed misadventure?

June 7th, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity, Instruction, Karma

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.

The wedding

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 (, 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.”

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.


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


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Sean Hannity, “opinion journalist”

May 2nd, 2018 · Astrology, celebrity

Many serpents are immune to the venom of their own species. Perhaps this explains the cozy relationship between two current examples of the Kala Sarpa pattern – president Donald Trump and “opinion journalist” Sean Hannity.

Snakes also have forked tongues, lurk in dark places, and are noted for their peculiar mating habits, wherein they engage in swarms with other snakes. If the snakeskin analogy fits, see how well Hannity wears it. He’s prone to double-speak and has switched opinions on so many issues, eg, Wikileaks, presidential golf vacations, foreign policy, etc, that he spins like a weather vane in a tornado. He’s a media conduit for dark conspiracy theories, eg, the birther movement, Clinton corruption, and the deep state that threatens to undermine the presidency of King Cobra himself. That’s why he’s a regular fixture at conservative political conferences, a “fluffer” to excite the crowds with populist porn.

But by any measure, Sean Hannity is a roaring success. He earns $36 million annually from book royalties, speaking engagements and hosting his own show at Fox News, from whose pulpit he dispenses conspiracy theories and fuels right-wing outrage on a daily basis. This has made him the darling of ultra-conservatives in general, and BFF of the current president in particular.

Hannity was born at 10:30 AM on December 30, 1961, in Franklin Square, New York. (Rodden rating A, data courtesy of Astrodienst.) Given his astrological chart, there’s lots of energy here to justify his current status as media standard-bearer for Trump’s version of America.

Upon first glance, his chart reveals two salient features. First and foremost is the Kala Sarpa configuration with Rahu in the 6th and Ketu in the 12th. And as soon as we see a Kala Sarpa we must ask ourselves, is it a yoga or a dosha? To assess this, we run through the following checklist:

(1) Does it occur under an eclipse? No. (2) Are the Sun or Moon associated with the nodes? No. (3) Does Jupiter influence either node? Yes, Jupiter is with Ketu. This could create yoga, but Jupiter is debilitated, so it’s flawed. (4) Do Mars or Saturn influence either node? Yes, Saturn is with Ketu. This creates dosha, and because Saturn is in its own sign, it’s significant, but it could be manageable. However, Mars (more dosha) also aspects Ketu and, because Mars is combust, it’s something of a maverick. (5) Is there a stellium that can be stirred up by a transiting node? Yes, he has four planets in Sagittarius, of which, more on this later. (6) Are there any exaggerated planets in the chart? Yes, as noted, Jupiter is debilitated. And technically, all three of Mars, Mercury and Venus are combust, although Mars is perhaps the most affected.

Bottom line, we’ll call this a Kala Sarpa dosha, especially since both nodes in trikasthanas give it a negative spin. Rahu in the 6th is aspected by combust Mars, debilitated Jupiter and swa Saturn. Ketu in the 12th is associated with Jupiter and Saturn. Consider also the nodal dispositors – Rahu’s sign lord is the Moon in the 8th house, while Ketu’s dispositor is Saturn in the 12th.

Kala Sarpa amplifies whatever exists in the chart. This brings us to the second salient feature of Hannity’s chart – his four-planet stellium in Sagittarius forming Pravrajya yoga. Although in some charts this can manifest as religious zeal, in others it may simply indicate a person who applies his energies with single-minded devotion.

In Hannity’s case, the 11th house cluster suggests involvement in networking, social media and politics. The Sun/Mars combination makes him a zealot, especially in Sagittarius, but the association of Mercury and Venus gives him verbal facility and a certain charm with the masses.

When a Kala Sarpa pattern crowds the planets into half of the zodiac, Pravrajya yoga becomes relatively common, but it doesn’t always convene compatible bedfellows. However, in Hannity’s case, the cluster delivers five Raja yogas, many with “governmental” affinity, involving lords of the 5th, 9th and 10th. The result has been a huge following of the politically like-minded, a ready audience for three successful books, his daily talk show, and the friendship of the president.

But that stellium is disposited by debilitated Jupiter in the 12th house, and therein lies its vulnerability. Associated with lagnesh Saturn, Jupiter as money lord of the 2nd and 11th houses forms two Dhana yogas. But what does that income depend upon?

The 2nd house is a measure of many things – wealth, but also education, diet, and what comes out of one’s mouth. An active 2nd house can be the mark of a public speaker or an author, but the condition of the 2nd house and its lord also functions as a lie detector. Note that 2nd lord Jupiter is debilitated in the 12th house and afflicted by Saturn and Ketu. The 2nd house itself is aspected by the same two malefics that render his Kala Sarpa dosha-like.

Hannity is a college dropout, but he’s spent a lifetime in talk radio and television. His messages may be inspirational to some but he’s packing heat, and his gun is loaded with invective. He’s a conspiracy theorist and a tireless fabricator of alternate facts. According to The Washington Post, Hannity “repeatedly embraces storylines that prove to be inaccurate.” Does that mean he’s a liar, or just a little dumb?

He supported the birther movement questioning Obama’s citizenship, and continued talking about it long after Obama had produced his birth certificate. During the 2016 presidential race, he promoted false theories about Hillary Clinton’s health, the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich, domestic election rigging, and Russian interference. In April 2018, he ran a segment claiming there were “criminal” connections between the Clintons, special counsel Robert Mueller, and former FBI Director James Comey.

Ironically, while attacking the FBI for their raid on Trump’s personal lawyer a week earlier, Hannity was revealed to be a secret client of Michael Cohen too, a relationship he’d kept hidden. Suddenly, Hannity’s in a calamity of his own, and there’s no way to sweep it under the carpet. Indeed, the carpet itself may conceal other vermin (ruled by the nodes) and now that his Kala Sarpa has been activated, there may be revelations of worse to come.

So what’s driving this public relations crisis for Hannity? He’s currently running Saturn dasha, Mars bhukti, both of which activate his Kala Sarpa dosha. Saturn lies on the nodal axis, giving it a critical mass of background radiation, like spent nuclear fuel rods buried years ago but still leaking. Then there’s combust Mars (aspecting Ketu) in whose period the first wisps of smoke have now appeared. Meanwhile, the transiting nodes have returned to their natal positions, stirring up the Kala Sarpa dosha that’s been dormant all along.

Conventional astrological wisdom says that, during dashas and bhuktis, we should monitor the transits of the respective period lords. So with Hannity running Saturn-Mars, consider these two malefics. Anyone who’s been tracking the sky this season is probably aware of the graha yuddha between Mars and Saturn that occurred on April 2nd, 2018.

Planetary war always causes collateral damage. Saturn is Hannity’s ascendant lord, so he’s a prime candidate for some suffering. Mars rules the 3rd (siblings) and the 10th (the boss), so it’s potentially problematic from a corporate overlord point of view, even though to date Fox News is still taking Hannity’s word that his discussions with Michael Cohen were “almost exclusively” about real estate.

Note, however, that the Mars-Saturn conjunction (14SG50) was only half a degree from Hannity’s 11th house Sun. Since the Sun is his 7th lord, we can speculate that “significant others” will be affected by this graha yuddha too. That might include his BFF the president, their common lawyer Michael Cohen, and of course, Hannity’s wife.

Reporters have been quick to ask Hannity about his client-attorney relationship with Cohen. It’s alleged that Cohen paid $130K in hush money to prevent Stormy Daniels from discussing her affair with Trump, and brokered a deal whereby RNC fundraiser Elliott Broidy paid $1.6M to silence a Playmate with whom he’d had an affair. Reporters now want to know, if birds of a feather flock together, did Cohen help suppress a secret affair involving Hannity too?

Hannity denies it, but is it unthinkable? Let’s think about it.

Lagnesh Saturn is strong (some say, naughty) in the secret house of bed pleasures. It’s also given abundant opportunity by Jupiter, whose debilitation offers no moral impediment. And these bedfellows are corrupted by their alignment with the nodal axis.

Hannity’s Moon is in the 8th house. Although this might simply reflect a knack for unearthing weird conspiracy theories, it’s also the house of sex-for-hire. The Moon is in a dual sign, and so too are the 7th lord Sun and three other associates in Sagittarius. Multiple indiscretions, anyone?

If we need any more fuel for that speculative fire, take the perspective of chandralagna. Debilitated Jupiter now becomes the 7th lord, and in the 5th is associated with libidinous Saturn amplified by Ketu. That Pisces 7th house is now aspected by malefics Mars and Saturn. This is troubling for relationships in Hannity’s life – personal, professional and political.

When confronted, some cobras raise their heads as high as they can, the better to intimidate another predator. So Hannity will be strident in his denials. With a Sun-Mars conjunction, outrage is his default personality. But like most snakes, he has another unique trait – the ability to shed his skin and grow another. And there’ll always be a nest of vipers he can call home.


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.


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


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Prime malefics in homicidal charts

April 7th, 2018 · Astrology, Crime, Science

Prime malefics in homicidal charts

Despite our best intentions, many people find murder fascinating. And yet because it’s the worst of crimes, to rob another person of their life, we hold killers in contempt. Even as we despise them, however, we struggle to understand them, to know what quirk of gene, character or fate compelled them to commit such a heinous act.

Basic astrology tells us that, at the heart of every crime, evidence of the prime malefics must inevitably be found. Mars is the significator of fighters and warriors, of rage and violence. Saturn represents executioners, undertakers and death itself. The moon’s nodes, Rahu and Ketu, because of their association with eclipses, are associated with the notion of “snuffing out the lights.” And although the nodes can act as proxies for any planet with which they have a relationship, their default affinity is with the two visible graha most associated with killing. Thus, Rahu does duty for Saturn, as Ketu does for Mars.

More ominously, perhaps, Rahu and Ketu reflect derangement, a disturbance of the natural order, a violent rent in the fabric of normal behavior. Nodal influence disturbs the emotions, mental stability, relationships, health, career and everything else it touches. Little wonder that we regard the shadow planets as prime suspects in cases of murder.

As part of a larger study on nodal effects, I’ve been gathering birth data for perpetrators of homicides. To date, I have 195 timed charts for known killers. Although this falls short of what a statistician might want for a serious study, I remind myself that I’m an astrologer, not a statistician, and I’m just doing what I can. Until I’ve gathered more data, I ask the reader to regard the following as preliminary findings in my ongoing research.

Rahu in the houses

My original focus was the nodes, so let’s start with them. Because Rahu represents the head of the celestial cobra, it’s typically regarded as the more dangerous of the two nodes. The head of the cobra contains the eyes to see (or mesmerize) its quarry, the fangs to inject venom into its victim, and the hinged jaws via which it can swallow its paralyzed prey.

My analysis of nodal positions by house in the horoscopes of killers revealed the following: Rahu in the 10th and 6th houses turned up more frequently than any other house. (Note: the chances of any planet turning up in any house are one in 12, or 8.33%. In this article, I’ve chosen to comment only on those placements occurring in 10% or more of the horoscopes under study.)

Conventional wisdom says natural malefics do well in upachaya houses (3rd, 6th, 10th, and 11th). Whether we dare speak of “doing well” within the context of homicide is debatable, but the key observation here is that, regarding Rahu as an agent of evil, it seems to wreak its havoc most readily in houses 10 and 6.

One characteristic of the king cobra, which can grow up to 18 feet in length, is that it’s capable of rearing up until its head is five feet off the ground, almost the height of a human. As such, it can strike primal fear into anyone nearby. Whether it intimidates by its mere presence, or subjugates by its fixed stare, is moot. This research includes several serial killers, Ted Bundy among them, whose Rahu in the 10th is an appropriate example of his ability to charm, seduce and compel his victims to a killing field.

Cobras and other serpents are also masters of camouflage and stealth, lying in wait until their unwary prey walks within striking distance. Thus, the 6th house is symbolic of the victim’s blind spot (12th from the 7th) from which the cobra can strike without warning. Here we have killers like Albert DeSalvo, aka “the Boston Strangler,” whose Rahu in the 6th symbolizes operating under cover of darkness or disguise, or using the element of surprise to overpower and kill his victims.

Mars in the houses

Because Rahu and Ketu are generic malefics who act like Saturn and Mars, respectively, I also examined the disposition of those visible malefics in the charts of homicidal perpetrators. The graph below illustrates the frequency of Mars’ appearance by house in the charts of these 195 killers:

Using a greater-than-10% frequency cut-off for significance, I found Mars exceeding that value in houses 8, 9 and 7. Without jumping through hoops to make sense of this, note that the 8th is the prime trikasthana with its associations of violence and trauma. The 9th is the house of dharma, wherein “crooked” Mars typically violates ethics. And the 7th is the “other” upon whom the violent rage of the murderer is projected.

Saturn in the houses

When I looked at Saturn’s frequency of appearance by house in killers’ charts, I found an entirely different disposition of house placements:

Again, using the 10% frequency cut-off, I found Saturn’s presence higher in houses 1, 11 and 12. To tease out the logic, let’s keep it simple. Saturn in the ascendant suggests a potentially cold personality, a person with scant regard for others. Its position in the 11th echoes that notion of malefics doing well in upachayas, but perhaps more importantly, from the 11th house Saturn also aspects the ascendant. As for the 12th, this trikasthana is associated with the ultimate loss of anything, including life, while Saturn itself is the karaka for death. Imprisonment, which Saturn in the 12th also represents, is frequently the fate of the perpetrator.

The proxy role of the chaya graha

As is generally well known, the chaya graha have the capacity to act as proxies for any planet with which they have a relationship in the horoscope. The most potent are those with which they associate by sign, and those by which they’re aspected. Next in significance are their dispositors, by sign and nakshatra. In this research, I’ve focused on the nodes’ capacity to act for Mars and Saturn, via association and aspect only.

In examining the 195 horoscopes in hand, I discovered that the influence of Mars and/or Saturn on the nodes was largely unremarkable. On average, Mars or Saturn will associate with or aspect one of the nodes in 33% of all charts. On the other hand, if we require both Mars and Saturn to associate with or aspect a node, this will be found in less than 3% of charts. But in both instances, murderers weren’t much different from the average population.

The sole exception was when Mars and Saturn simultaneously occupied the same signs as Rahu or Ketu. In other words, Mars and Saturn were both with Rahu or both with Ketu, or Mars with Rahu and Saturn with Ketu, or Mars with Ketu and Saturn with Rahu. Although the odds of this occurring in the general population are only 2.78%, the frequency with which this pattern occurred in murderers was 4.95%.

Admittedly, this is only a couple of percentage points different from what’s expected on average. However, note the right-hand scale on the graph above, where I’ve plotted “Significance” as a ratio of observed occurrence versus expected occurrence, and you’ll see that it’s almost double what’s expected by chance. Again, this is a small study, and my home-made yardstick of “significance” is certainly less robust than the far more rigorous definition used in formal statistical analysis. And yet, it does flag one factor for interpretation.

As chaya graha and malefics, Rahu and Ketu have their generic natures, Saturnian and Martian, respectively, so they already represent a tag-team of trouble. But the nodes are also amplifiers of whatever else contacts them. So if Mars and Saturn join in, we get an exponential increase of power on this classic axis of evil.

Mars and Saturn are also malefics, but natural enemies as well. When they sit on either or both ends of the nodal axis, they simultaneously influence each other, and both nodes. If we borrow the terminology of an arson investigator, this is like adding an accelerant (eg, gasoline) to an already-combustible material.

Thus, Mars, Saturn and the nodes combined will only serve to bring out the worst in each other. Even though they lurk unseen as shadow planets, Rahu and Ketu pull strings to provoke, as Shakespeare put it, murder most foul.


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.


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




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