viparita-salabhasanaViparita Raja Yoga

Not every cloud has a silver lining, but when it does, it provides an example of how Viparita Raja Yoga works.

This yoga operates on the principle that, effectively, two wrongs make a right. For the mathematically-inclined, this is like multiplying two negative numbers and getting a positive, as in (-2) x (-5) = 10.

For those who prefer examples from the world of sociology, let’s assume most of society is good, and should be allowed to circulate freely, except for three types of individual:

  • The physically ill, infected with a dangerous and contagious disease,
  • Criminals, whose propensity for violence threatens law and order, and
  • The insane, whose uncontrolled behavior poses a threat to public safety.

When such negative elements are recognized and properly controlled, the sick are isolated in a hospital, the criminals are put in prison, and the insane are placed in a mental asylum. There’s a place for every “undesirable”, and every undesirable should be in his place.

In astrology, the trikasthanas represent the “bad neighborhoods” of the chart, and the trik lords represent, for example, the sick (6th), the criminal (8th), and the insane (12th).

Viparita Raja Yoga occurs when two or more trik lords move to other trikasthanas not owned by them. Like a bad guy obliged to leave his own bad neighborhood, to seek refuge in another equally bad ‘hood. For example, this requires the 6th lord moving to the 8th or 12th house, the 8th lord moving to the 6th or 12th house, and/or the 12th lord moving to the 6th or 8th house.

The odds of each trik lord finding itself in another trikasthana not its own are two out of 12, or one in six, ie, a 16.7% chance for a Viparita “Lite.” The odds of this happening simultaneously for two trik lords are 1/6 x 1/6 = 1/36, or a 2.8% chance for a “Medium” Viparita. The odds of all three trik lords achieving this at the same time are 1/6 x 1/6 x 1/6 = 1/216, or a mere 0.5% chance for a “Pure” Viparita.

No matter which planets end up becoming trik lords, all 12 ascendants can allow two of these trik lords to occupy other trikasthanas not their own. All of mankind has a 2.8% chance of forming this “Medium” Viparita Yoga.

But a “Pure” Viparita Yoga involves a full mala or garland of all three trik lords migrating to other trikasthanas not owned by them. What are the odds of this for the 12 ascendants?

Tier 1lg-01-ar Tier 2lg-08-sc

Four classes of ascendants are ranked here by chance of forming a pure Viparita Yoga:

  1. Tier 1 comprises the first six ascendants – Aries through Virgo, plus Sagittarius and Aquarius. If you examine the trik lords for these eight ascendants, you’ll find those three planets all enjoy freedom of movement with respect to their fellow trik lords. The chances for any of these eight ascendants to have a pure Viparita Yoga is 0.5%.
  2. Tier 2 involves only ascendants Libra and Scorpio. For example, with Scorpio rising, the 6th lord is Mars, 8th lord is Mercury, 12th lord Venus. Although Mars can range anywhere, Venus and Mercury are tied to each other. As “inferior” planets, they can never be more than 76 degrees apart. That’s no problem when 8th lord Mercury occupies the 6th, and 12th lord Venus takes the 8th. But if Mercury is in the 12th, Venus can’t possibly go to either the 6th or the 8th. This reduces the chance of forming a pure Viparita Yoga to 0.4%.
  3. Tier 3 involves Pisces ascendant whose trik lords are Sun, Venus and Saturn. Although Saturn could be anywhere, the Sun and Venus are tied to each other, never more than 48 degrees apart. For this ascendant, the Sun can go to the 8th while Venus goes to the 6th, because they remain within range. But if the Sun goes to the 12th, Venus can’t go to the 6th, because that would put them on opposite sides of the chart. So the chances for Pisces lagna to have a pure Viparita Yoga are only 0.3%.
  4. Tier 4 involves only Capricorn ascendant, whose trik lords are Mercury, Sun and Jupiter. Jupiter could be anywhere, but the Sun and Mercury are bound the closest of all planets. The nearest two houses are the 6th and 8th, but since the Sun and Mercury are on a 28-degree leash, they can’t even straddle those two houses. And forget about either of them moving to the 12th on the opposite side of the chart. Therefore, it’s actually impossible (0% chance) for Capricorn lagna to have a pure Viparita Yoga.
Tier 3lg-12-pi Tier 4lg-10-cp

When we review the gamut of Viparita Yogas, we see that it’s relatively common (16.7%) to find a single trik lord in another trikasthana, thus forming Viparita “Lite.” However, to have two trik lords migrate to other trikasthanas not owned by them, the odds quickly drop off to only a 2.8% chance. And yet all ascendants are equally capable of achieving this “Medium” Viparita.

However, raise the bar to a full mala – a “Pure” Viparita Raja Yoga in which all three trik lords move to other trikasthanas – and the odds become very long. For 11 ascendants, the chances of this happening are only 0.3-0.5%, and in the case of Capricorn rising, literally impossible.

Maybe these observations serve as a lesson. Karma must run its course, and for certain of us, there’s no getting off the hook. For Capricorn rising, a Saturn-ruled ascendant, there is no silver lining. Saturn is the slow-moving cloud. You can run but you can’t escape the storm. Some of us must resign ourselves to getting wet.


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.