PART 1 - 1

Information about Planets and Houses

The Zodiac, Signs and Planets:
The work "Bhrigu Sutram" deals with the effects of various planets in the twelve houses of the horoscope. Before taking up the main work, it will be useful for the readers to have some idea of the Zodiac, the twelve parts of the Zodiac viz., the signs and the qualities characteristics and significations of the planets as well as the significations of the twelve houses. In this chapter we propose to give information about the Zodiac, signs and the planets. The significations of the twelve houses will be given in the next chapter.

The Zodiac
The Zodiac is a circle of space surrounding the Earth. It may be imagined as a belt in the heavens about 15 degrees wide in which the planets travel. It is the Sun's apparent path that is called the ecliptic. The zodiacal circle is divided into twelve parts, each part containing thirty degrees of space called the signs of the Zodiac. Thus a sign is one twelfth division of the zodiacal circle and is denned as containing 30 degrees of celestial longitude: 12 signs each measuring 30 degrees constitute the circle of the Zodiac or 360 degrees. In this circle the planets travel each in its own orbit, one outlying beyond the other. The twelve signs of fhe Zodiac are Aries (Mesha), Taurus (Vrishabh), Gemini (Mithuna), Cancer (Kataka), Leo (Simha), Virgo (Kanya), Libra (Thula), Scorpio (Vrischika), Sagittarius (Dhanu), Capricorn (Makara), Aquarius (Kumbha), and Pisces (Meena). It is these twelve signs through which the planets travel or transit from west to east, going through one sign after another in their order from Aries to Pisces. Each sign possesses a specific influence. The planets also as they travel around the Zodiac exert an influence according to their separate nature and position in the Zodiac.
Although according to modem Astrology there are twelve planets viz., Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, Kethu, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, Hindu Astrology recognises only the first nine. Each sign of the Zodiac is owned by a planet who is termed as its 'ruler'. Sun and Moon rule one sign each viz., Leo and Cancer respectively. Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn rule two signs each. There is controversy about Rahu and Kethu ruling some signs but the fact is that they being shadow planets do not own any signs but cast their influence according to signs in which they are placed, or lords of those signs, or according to planets influencing them by aspect or association. Mars rules Aries and Scorpio, Mercury Gemini and Virgo, Jupiter Sagittarius and Pisces, Venus Taurus and Libra and Saturn Capricorn and Aquarius.

 1 Sun-The Father and Life Giver
Sun is the king of the solar kingdom. He is also called the 'Father of Stars'. Sun is about 93 million miles away from the Earth. He is the largest amongst the planets. His diameter is about 110 times that of Earth and Sun is nearly 27,19,000 miles in circumference.
Being the centre of all life force and energy and the giver of Prana, Sun is worshipped as Sun God. He is said to represent the creator, the Brahma, with his four faces to have a survey of all the four directions causing four seasons and the four elements namely Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Westerners call the Sun, Apollo. The Sun takes exactly one year to go round the ecliptic. It has only the direct motion. It is never goes retrograde. According to Hindu Astrology Sun is the soul of Kalpurusha (The Moon is his mind, Mercury his speech, Mars his strength, Jupiter his knowledge and happiness, Venus his desire or lust, Saturn his misery).
For all living beings Sun represents the positive and primal front whereas the Moon represents the negative influence. Sun is constructive and creative, Moon is preserving and formative. Sun is the father, Moon is the mother. The Sun and Moon are considered sovereigns. Jupiter and Venus are ministers. Mercury is the young prince. Mars is the commander-in-chief and Saturn is the servant. Sun is the king and the Moon is the queen. Sun and Moon are also considered luminaries. People with Sun as the ruling planet will have honey coloured eyes. The face will be large and round. The stature will be average. The hair and the colour of the body will have a light shade.
Sun rules the direction East and "Grishma" Rithu (Summer season). In the birth chart Sun represents the father of the native. In the woman's chart Sun indicates her husband (There is another school of thought that Jupiter represents the husband in a female's chart). In service Sun shows the administrative head or Government. The Sun offers us the power of resistance and vitality. He governs the breath of life. He rules our consciousness and denotes the individuality. He gives the force and self will and makes one determined and decisive. The Sun in nature is hot, dry, masculine and life giving. He possesses the power of absorption of the nature and influence of any planet within an orb of 8 ½ degrees of his conjunction.
Sun represents health, the vital principle, general prosperity and high office, positions of rank and title, government affairs and officials, new undertakings, publicity, popularity, superior or proud and haughty persons. Sun governs the sides, upper portion of the back, heart, right eye of the male and left eye of the female. His day is Sunday, metal gold and colour orange. If he is not hampered by unfavourable disposition or malefic aspects or association and is dignified by position in the horoscope, Sun bestows a nature which is ambitious, proud, magnanimous, frank, generous, humane, firm and honourable. Men ruled by the Sun aspire to positions of rulership and by their earnest nature inspire others with a respect for their abilities, so they usually attain positions of trust, responsibility and honour where they are perfectly at home and capable of practical execution to a very satisfactory degree.
If the Sun at birth is unfavourably placed and is otherwise undignified, the native is inclined to be too forceful, lordly, domineering, positively arrogant and extravagant, inclining also to sickness of a feverish inflammatory nature, eye affliction and heart disorders as well as loss of position, credit or esteem due to impulsiveness of these natives.
The Sun's gems are diamond and ruby. Sun owns Leo. He is exalted in Aries and debilitated in Libra. 10 degrees of Aries is highest exaltation point and 10 degrees of Libra is his lowest debilitation point. Initial 20 degrees portion of Leo is his Mulatrikona and the remaining 10 degrees is Swakshetra. The Sun's friends are Moon, Mars and Jupiter. Venus and Saturn are his enemies. Mercury is neutral to him.

 2 Moon-the Mother and Mind.
Moon is the planet nearest to the Earth. It is the only planet in the solar system which revolves round the Earth. The Sun is the generator of power whereas Moon is conductor of power lent by the Sun. Moon shines only by the reflected light of the Sun. The distance between the Earth and Moon is approximately 2,38,000 miles. The Sun gives the spirit and life to all planets and Moon rules the lives of the beings on Earth. Sun represents individuality whereas Moon shows one's personality. Moon also represents mother if a person is born at night Moon is feminine. Hence the person under the rulership of Moon becomes timid, vacillating receptive and convertible. Moon governs the impregnation, conception, birth of child, the animal instinct the union and the embryo. It also rules the infant stage of a person and it has powerful influence on their lives.
Afflicted Moon at the time of birth causes ailments frequently and does not allow to have proper growth. Natives ruled by Moon generally have white complexion and charming eyes. They are plump and of short stature. They walk with a rolling gait. Moon's influence is said to be cold, moist, phlegmatic and feminine. She is fruitful and convertible in nature according to her position in the chart and her aspects and location in the zodiac (by sign) at that time. Her proximity to the Earth and rapidity of motion render her a powerful significator in all branches of 15 astrology. She makes a complete transit of the zodiac (i.e. all the signs) every 27 days, 7 hours and 43 minutes. She rules liquids, fresh water, milk, public commodities like groceries, fish, drinks etc., also sailing, brewing, nursing and females generally. Moon influences the growth of all plant life. She governs the brain, breasts, left eye of the male and right eye of the female. Her day is Monday, metal silver, colour white; gem pearl and other white stones. People ruled by Moon are usually sensitive, emotional and domesticated, possessing a love for home and kindred. They have a good memory. Having a fertile imagination and being also very conscientious, they meet with many ups and downs in life. They are quite receptive and mediumistic and frequently possess musical talent They like water and natural beauty.
If the Moon is not favourably disposed, the natives may be either too easy going and given to self gratification and over indulgence in eating, drinking or pleasure, or are too changeable, negative and uncertain. Person ruled by Moon do well as nurses, cooks, confectioners, grocers, gardeners, matrons, dealers in liquids, stewards, clerks, companions and in other occupations of a common, public or fluctuating nature. Waxing Moon is considered a benefic and waning Moon a malefic. Moon owns Cancer. She is exalted in Taurus and debilitated in Scorpio. Her highest exaltation point is 3 degrees of Taurus and the lowest debilitation point is 3 degrees of Scorpio. The first 3 degrees of Taurus constitute Moon's exaltation portion and the remaining 27 degrees portion is her Mooltrikona. The whole of Cancer is her swakshetra.

 3 Mars-The Brother and Courage
Mars is one of the outer planets. It is nearer to the Earth than any of the other outer planets like Jupiter, Saturn etc. Mars is smaller than Earth and its diameter is around 4,200 miles. According to mythological beliefs Mars is said to be the deity of Buddhists and the God of Romans. He is the God of war and also of hunting. Mars (or Aries in Greek, Artos in Egyptian, Angarka, Magnala, Kuja is Sanskrit) is said to be the son of Jupiter. According to Hindu beliefs Mars is said to be the son of the Earth and is called Bhumi-putra. He is the God of dispute, destruction and war. Mars is a dry, fiery planet, masculine by nature. Mars has much to do with one's ambition and desires. Mars symbolises the senses and rules the animal instinct in man. Generally Mars is treated as a malefic planet. If Mars is not afflicted, he gives self confidence, endurance, impulse for all ventures and heroic deeds, strength, courage, combativeness, sharp wit, faculty to argue, go ahead spirit etc. Mars bestows the nature with quick mental activity and extraordinary muscular strength, great organising ability, power for practical execution, independent spirit, force of character, strong determination, ambition to come out successful in the material field in spite of any opposition, and above all, leadership in all pursuits. If Mars is weak and afflicted in a horoscope, the native will be rash, will lose temper quickly, will be foolhardy and also quarrelsome. He will use brute force to settle his affairs and may become a drug addict. He may turn out to be the worst type of sexualist and satisfy his sexual urges in novel ways.
People born with Mars as their ruling planet will have white complexion with a shade of red. The native will be tall and muscular. Their eyes will be round. Their waists will be narrow. Mars is the chief governor for brothers and landed property. His colour is red-gems, coral, ruby, and all red stones- day Tuesday. Mars governs the sex organs, bladder, muscular system, head, face, left ear and sense of taste; also cuts, bums, scolds, etc. He rules copper, gold, iron and steel, surgery, chemistry, military matters and wars, policemen, surgeons, dentists, butchers, those of quick temper and reddish complexion. Being averse to dictatorship, persons influenced by Mars usually find the best outlet for their special ability when in business for themselves or in positions when they can direct the work of others. Being quite inventive and mechanical, they become good designers, builders and managers and usually make their way to the front in whatever they undertake. Mars owns Aries and Scorpio. He is exalted in Capricorn, the highest exaltation point being 28 degrees of4hat sign. He is debilitated in Cancer, the lowest debilitation point being 28 degrees of that sign. The first 12 degrees portion of Aries is his Mooltrikona and the rest is his Swakshetra. The whole of Scorpio is also his Swakshetra. Sun, Moon and Jupiter are friends of Mars. Mercury is his enemy. Venus and Saturn are neutral to him.

 4 Mercury-The Messenger of Gods
Amongst all the planets Mercury is nearest to Sun. It revolves round the Sun in 88 days. Its diameter is nearly 3,200 miles. Mythologically Mercury was known as Thoth, Hermes and "The Messenger of Gods". It was usually portrayed as a youth, flying with wings at his heels, bearing a cadaceus made of olive wood about which were twined serpents, the rod being surmounted with a pair of wings. This symbol represents the essential qualities of the planet, duality, speed and wisdom. According to Hindu mythology Mercury is said to be the son of Moon. Mercurial people generally have a youthful appearance.
The influence of the planet Mercury is neutral, dualistic, cold, moist, sexless and convertible. He gives favourable results when he is in good association and receives benefic aspects. Mercury can rarely be seen with naked eye as he is never more man 28 degrees from the Sun. When he is within 8 ½ degrees of the Sun, he is treated as combust or burnt up and loses great deal of its ability. His influence is best when leaving the Sun. Mercury rules that part of the intellect which is susceptible to cultivation through study, precept, observation and imitation. Mercury influences the nervous system, solar plexus, bowels, arms, mouth, tongue, sense of sight, perception, understanding, interpretation and expression. He deals with travelling, teaching, clerkship, speaking, writing, printing, publishing, literature, stationery, secretaries, book-keeping, correspondence, mailing etc.
His day is Wednesday and his metal is liquid metal or quick silver. His colour is green and his gem is Emerald. If Mercury is well placed in the horoscope, the natives make good linguists, orators, writers, reporters, teachers, secretaries, accountants, etc., being fully capable of maintaining any position where adaptability, dexterity, perception, skill, quick wit, imagination and good memory are required. They usually conduct their work in an orderly, methodical, systematic and handy manner being adept at simplifying arrangements. Mercury shows the type of mentality one is endowed with, as he governs the reaction to one's sense and impressions. Being an intellectual planet, the Mercurian is highly intelligent, ingenious and analytical. He will grasp the subjects very quickly. He gives the native retentive power and reproductive ability. A well placed and well aspected Mercury represents a subtle political brain and intellect, a logician with learning and discretion.
A person influenced by Mercury will have curiosity to master occult sciences also. He will be versatile, good in mathematical calculations, engineering, accounts etc. If Mercury is afflicted, the native will be clever, cunning and mischievous, he will turn out to be a great gambler, the worst liar, a conceited showy person, he will pretend as though he knows everything while actually he is devoid of real learning. The affliction of Mercury will also cause excess nervous activity both of body and mind. There is also consequent effect on the health detrimental to the operation of bowels and other organs under the dominion of this planet. Mercury is the chief governor for education and uncle. Mercury owns Gemini and Virgo. He is exalted in Virgo, the highest exaltation point being 15 degrees of Virgo. He is debilitated in Pisces, the lowest debilitation point being 15 degrees of Pisces. The first 15 degrees of Virgo is the exaltation portion of Virgo, 16 to 20 degrees portion is his Mooltrikona and the rest is Swakshetra. The whole of Gemini is also his Swakshetra. Sun and Venus are friends of Mercury, Moon is his enemy and Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are neutral to him.

 5 Jupiter-The Great Fortune
Jupiter the mighty planet is called a giant of the solar system. It has a diameter of 88,000 miles. Jupiter takes a little less than twelve years to go once round the Sun. Mythologically, Jupiter is the preceptor of Gods. Old Greeks considered Jupiter as the father of Gods-Zeus. Egyptians call Mm Ammon. Jupiter is said to possess and offer 'Sathwaguna'. Our fortunes are governed by Jupiter who is the chief governor for money. Jupiter is termed as 'Greater Fortune' and is said to be hot moist, sanguine, temperate, social, expansive, masculine and moderate. He governs the blood, liver, veins, arteries and thighs. He rules higher education and signifies judges, councillors, bankers, brokers, theologians, philanthropists, also science, law, reason and comparison. He rules financial dealings, speculation, shipping business and foreign affairs. His day is Thursday, metal gold, colour yellow and gems yellow sapphire and Topaz.
Typical Jupiterians are usually termed jovial owing to the fact that Jupiter gives such characteristics as socialiblity, hope, benevolence veneration, compassion, justice, honesty, spirituality, also well developed faculties of proportion, calculation and location. The Jupiterian is usually quick to hit the mark as his symbol is the Archer. In the business world, natives ruled by Jupiter become interested in large popular enterprises and deal much in matters related to lawyers, judges, bankers, brokers and physicians. Science and medicine, insurance and commercial travelling often engage their attention, also affairs of philanthropic, charitable and religious or benevolent import. Jupiter is called the 'Greater Fortune' because, unless he is ill placed in the horoscope, he bestows a considerable amount of what appears to be good luck upon natives who are suited for positions of dignity, trust or power in business and social circles. Having a logical, broad mind, considerable self possession, self confidence and determination, they usually inspire confidence and attain responsible positions. Jupiter is fiery, noble, benevolent, fruitful, jovial, optimistic, positive, and dignified planet. He is the greatest benefic. However, much other planets may be ill posited and threaten difficulties to a person, if Jupiter is strong and well placed in a chart, he will enjoy the providential help at least at the last moment to tide over the difficulties and get rid of evil. Jupiter also indicates how far one will respect the elders, preceptors and religious scriptures. Jupiter makes one law abiding, true, honest, sincere and dutiful. If Jupiter is afflicted in the horoscope, the native will be an extremist and unconventional. He will be extravagant and lavish. The other evil effects would be over optimism, false hopes, carelessness, debts, disputes, failure in speculation, gambling, worry through children, false prestige, loss of reputation, mis-judgment and miscalculation, etc. Jupiterians are well built and may have a huge belly. They will have good growth in youth, have muscular body and become so stout as to command respect from others. Jupiter is also considered as significator for children (Santan Karaka). Jupiter owns Sagittarius and Pisces. He is exalted in Cancer, the highest exaltation point being 5 degrees of Cancer. He is debilitated in Capricorn, the lowest debilitation being 5 degrees of Capricorn. First 5 degrees portion of Sagittarius is his Multrikona and the rest is hi'-' Swakshetra-The whole of Pisces is also his Swakshetra. The Sun, the Moon and Mars are friends of Jupiter. Mercury and Venus are his enemies Saturn is neutral to him.

 6 Venus-The Lover
Venus is much closer to the Sun than the Earth. The size of Venus is similar to that of the Earth. Venus has a diameter of 7,600 miles. Venus can never be more than 48 degrees away from the Sun. Venus is the brightest planet in the solar system. Mythologically, Venus is considered to be the Goddess of love, marriage, beauty and comforts. It is called Maha Lakshmi, wife of Lord Vishnu. Venus is also called one eyed. Greeks call Venus the Aphrodite. Venus is called Kama, for one's passion depends on its strength. Venus produces people of average height, of plump body, and with a round and pimpled face, kind and pleasing eyes, pleasant voice, sweet smile and curly hair. Venus is termed as a feminine planet. Venus rules the sense of touch and to a great extent the disposition. Venus inclines to all that pertains to the higher attributes of the mind, music, poetry, painting, singing, drama, opera, acting and all refined amusements and adornments. The influence of Venus is expressed as generous, kind, good humoured and loving. Venus is considered benefic, warm, moist and fruitful. Venus governs the throat, kidneys, veins and ovaries. His day is Friday, metal silver, colour white and gem diamond.
Men and women ruled by Venus are noticeably kind and social. When well placed Venus endows the native with a pleasant and handsome countenance, symmetrical form and graceful manners. Venus inclines to harmony and as this planet rules the sense of touch, he favours art, music and decoration. By their pleasing personality the subjects of Venus are natural peacemakers; their refined nature softens the ruffed feelings of friends and convert anger to pleasure. As Venus is the promoter of pleasure, these people are splendid entertainers and excellent hosts.
When afflicted, Venus produces unsatisfactory domestic conditions, anxiety in love, difficulty with friends of through finances. Venus rules the skin, throat, veins, ovaries and internal generative organs and these are adversely affected by over indulgence in amusements, eating and drinking. Venus is called Kalathra Karaka, that is the chief governor for marriage. Venus also indicates the partner in business. Venus is the chief planet connected with vehicles (Vahana). For those born during day time Venus is the significator for mother. Venus owns Taurus and Libra. Venus is exalted in Pisces, the highest exaltation point being 27 degrees of Pisces. Venus is debilitated in Virgo, the lowest debilitation point being 27 degrees of Virgo. First 20 degrees portion of Libra is his Mutrikona and he rest is his Swakshetra. The whole of Taurus is also his Swakshetra. Mercury and Saturn are' friends of Venus. The Sun and the Moon are his enemies. Mars and Jupiter are neutral to him.

 7 Saturn-The God Yama
Saturn is called 'Sanaischara' as it moves along the Zodiac leisurely and more slowly than other planets. He is the outermost planet amongst the planets recognised by Hindu Astrology. Saturn is smaller than Jupiter and his diameter is around 75,000 miles. Saturn takes 291/2 years to go round the Sun. Hence on an average Saturn remains in a sign for about 2 ½ years. Saturn is called 'Yama' as he is the chief governor for longevity. Saturn is said to be 'lame' and the son of The Sun. Saturn is sometimes symbolised as Father Time. According to Western belief in olden days Sater or Satan was the name given to Saturn and he signified devil, darkness, secrecy, loss and misfortune. His nature is cold, dry, phlegmatic, melancholic, earthy and masculine. When Saturn is well placed or well aspected, the person is grave, profound, prudent, cautious and of excellent organising and executive ability. If Saturn is afflicted, the native is apt to be bigoted acquisitive irritable, discontented and complaining. Saturn governs the teeth, bones spleen, knees, right ear and sense of hearing. He rules brick laying, pottery, masonry, plumbing and other laborious and uncongenial employment. He denotes aged persons, thin, nervous, dark, reclusive-also farmers, miners, coal and junk dealers, property owners etc. He rules land, property, mines, lead and dealings in real estate. Day Saturday, metals iron and steel, colour dark blue or black, gem blue sapphire or other blue and black coloured stones. The influence of Saturn is commonly called evil and in this respect he is much maligned, but in reality there is no evil since all things work together for good ultimately. Saturn acts as a deterrent and because he brings denial and necessity into some lives, he has been considered as an oppressor, a Satan "He that filleth with pride will suffer a fall"; for Saturn will bring the native to his knees, humble him, and by means of restrictions, limitation and adversities, will cause the individual to ponder, study and seek to find the source of woe that in future may be overcome. Thus while Saturn is a destroyer (of false ideals), he is also a redeemer, in that he brings to mind a state of introspection and stimulates effort towards perfection and victory. Saturnians are extremely sensitive but they hide their feelings and emotions under a mask of reserve. If frequently censured, they withdraw from association and their progress and development are much delayed. Saturn is considered to be favourable for people born in the signs owned by Venus whereas Saturn is evil to those born in the signs governed by Mercury. He is also beneficial when he is in his own sign, or when he occupies the signs of Jupiter or when he is exalted. Saturn when benefic makes a person true, reliable, honest, sincere, faithful and chaste. He aids concentration, meditation prayers, etc. Saturn is the chief governor for longevity (He is called Ayush Karaka). If he occupies the house of longevity, namely, the 8th house in a horoscope, the native gets a long span of life. Saturn owns Capricorn and Aquarius. He is exalted in Libra, the highest exaltation point being 20 degrees of Libra. He is debilitated in Aries, the lowest debilitation point being 20 degrees of Aries. For Saturn the first 20 degrees portion of Aquarius is his Multrikona and the rest is his Swakshetra. The whole of Capricorn is also his swakshetra. Mercury and Venus are friends of Saturn. The Sun, the Moon and Mars are his enemies. Jupiter is neutral to him.

 8 Rahu and Ketu-the Shadowy Planets
Rahu and Ketu are called shadowy planets by our ancients. They are not substantial heavenly bodies with an observable body shape or mass like the Sun, Moon and other planets. Hindu mythology has in its characteristic way symbolised these two parts of a single body. According to a Puranic story after churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan) came out a divine elephant, a horse, a physician, the Goddess of wealth and Amrita or immortality. About the distribution of Amrita there was a serious dispute amongst the Devas and Asuras. The Supreme Lord (Lord Vishnu) assuming the shape of an alluring Mohini, took charge of distributing the Amrita with the consent of both Devas and Asuras. She so distributed the Amrita that all of it was consumed by Devas but one among the Asuras had stealthily joined the ranks of Devas and got a share of Amrit but was discovered and exposed by the Sun and the Moon. The Supreme Lord cut the Asura in two pieces but as he had taken Amrita both the severed parts remained alive though separated. The head got the name of 'Rahu' and the body and tail 'ketu'. This made Rahu and Ketu eternal enemies of the Sun and the Moon.
Periodically they succeed in swallowing the Sun and the Moon (This is during eclipses) but they escape as they are immortal. The fact that has since been universally accepted is that Rahu Ketu are celestial points on the Zodiac with regulated movement and orbit and they have a distinct and predictable influence in horoscopes. The motion of these points which is always retrograde, can be calculated as accurately as the position of the Sun or the Moon, through owing to their being without substance, this cannot be verified by visual observation.
Westerners have named Rahu and Ketu as Dragon's Head and Dragon's Tail respectively. Caput and Cauda are the other names given to them by Westerners. To understand how these imaginary points are accurately located and their movements are calculated we have to consider the apparent paths in the heavens of the two planets the Sun and the Moon, that is, the paths along which the Sun and the Moon appear to an observer on earth, to rotate. The Sun appears to move along an ellipse of which Earth is a focus. The plane of this ellipse is inclined to the terrestrial Equator at an angle of 23 degrees. The Moon, as the satellite of the Earth moves round it and its path is also elliptical with the Earth as a focus, and plane of this orbit is inclined to the Equator at an angle of 28 degrees, so that the planes of the orbits of the Sun and the Moon appear to the observer on Earth to be inclined to each other at an'angle of 5 degrees. The two points at which the orbit of the Moon cuts the orbit of the Sun are called nodes, and they are exactly 180 degrees apart. The point of intersection formed when the Moon's motion is from South to North, is said to be ascending node and named Rahu, and the point of intersection formed when the Moon's motion is from north to south is called the descending node or Ketu. It has been observed that the nodes have a retrograde movement in the Zodiac at the rate of 19 degrees 20 minutes per year. Rahu and Ketu are said to stay in a sign for about 18 months. Rahu and Ketu indicate one born in a low caste; one who may have intrigue with girls; is one whose thoughts and actions will be evil. One will resort to outcastes and low born as well as in bred people.
There is quite a controversy amongst the ancients about the signs owned by Rahu and ketu and signs in which they are exalted and debilitated. For example, according to Uttara Kalamrita an ancient classic on Hindu Predictive Astrology Rahu is exalted in Taurus and debilitated in Scorpio, vice versa of Ketu. This work also assigns the sign Aquarius as owned by Rahu and Scorpio as owned by Ketu. Mooltrikona of Rahu has been fixed as Gemini and Mooltrikona of Ketu has been given as Virgo. Sanketnidhi another recognised work allots Gemini as the exaltation sign of Rahu, Virgo as his own sign and Sagittarius as the exaltation sign of Ketu and Pisces as its own Sign. It is also believed that Rahu acts like Saturn and Ketu acts like Mars. The Gem of Rahu is "Gomed" and that of Ketu Cat's Eye. For further information about Rahu and Ketu please see Part II Chapter Eight.