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Saturday, June 5, 2010


Rahu's appearance is being discussed because it is seen to affect a persons appearance when it is
in a position to do so in a nativity.
Rahu has a body of a serpent connected to a human head, and thus is fearful to behold.
The various names assigned to Rahu in Vedic texts - the fierce, the terrible, the appalling, the
serpent, the head, the blue, the black, the fanged, half-bodied, the smoky headed, having blood
and red eyes, having death like looks, having big whiskers - give a clue to its appearance.
Rahu is supposed to be the second eldest among the planets but the face shows no such elderly
characteristics. In fact it has a strange, hypnotic touch to its face, which it imparts to the natives
when placed close to the cuspal degrees of the first or the second house of a chart. Its face is said
to be black with a smokish tinge. There is no equal of Rahu in imparting out of the ordinary faces
and appearances.
In my view the face of Jazz legend Miles Davis is a good example of what Rahu can do to one's
appearance. It is experienced that a lot of the present day beauty queens who get sudden fame
through winning international beauty pageants have either Rahu in the second house or
connected in some way to the Ascendant or second house.
Rahu is seen to represent tall persons. Any connection of Rahu with the Ascendant in a chart
adds to the height of the native. Rahu also has a predominantly airy constitution, which is usually
associated with a wiry or lean physique.
Among the five senses Rahu is especially connected with the sense of hearing. A highly
developed sense of hearing or complete deafness helps identify a Rahu personality.
According to one view it is supposed to be uncouth in appearance and shabbily dressed in black
pauper's clothing, but there are other views that show Rahu to be having the appearance of a
fierce warrior dressed immaculately in bright-multicoloured clothing.
In a way these two types of appearances represent the dual nature of Rahu - one that can give
material prosperity and the other which gives material adversity. Usually the material adversity
side has more spiritual benefits attached to it, which is not to say that there is no spiritual growth
when Rahu gives material prosperity.
The colours associated with Rahu are - flame red and bright yellow, all shades and variations of
blue like sky blue; purple and violet; all shades of brown; all the pastel shades and sunset
colours. Electric blue is a colour which is strongly connected with Rahu. In the spectrum of
electromagnetic waves or different types of light, Rahu represents ultraviolet light, which as we
know is invisible to the human eye as it falls out of the visible spectrum of light represented by
There is also a certain sort of lordliness attached to its appearance and manners in much the same
way as Sun. However there is a subtle difference as the lordliness that Sun displays has a certain
benevolence attached to it. The charisma and magnetism attached with Rahu is also quite
different from the Sun in much the same way a light emitted by an electric bulb is different from
the sunlight.
Despite its lordliness its glance it downwards. This can be used to trace the people with strong
influence of Rahu on the Ascendant. It can also be used to judge the state of mind of a person at
any given point in time. A downward glance relates to a predominantly Rahu or Saturn state of
mind. It must be remembered that Saturn also has a downward glance.
In Vedic traditions its image is made in a variety of ways. One image has four arms holding a
trident, a sword and a discus. The remaining hand is making a gesture, which grants boons. Its
head is facing south and is decorated with a hessonite crest jewel. It is shown riding a lion.
Another image has it with only two hands, one holding a blanket and the other a palm leaf. It is
seen as riding on a chariot driven by eight horses. Another image has Rahu holding a spear and
scimitar. As we will discover in the next few sections, all these images reveal Rahu's
functionings and attributes.
Rahu is supposed to be a mighty and naughty child of Maya (illusory power of nature), and thus
has a lot of dualities attached to its Mayavi (illusory) nature. It relates more to the Seventh Ray
energy of esoteric astrology as it represents a force displaying all the possibilities within the
realm of existence.
'Rahu' translates into 'the seizer' [ergreifen, fassen, packen]. It is interesting to note that the
Sanskrit term for a planet, 'graha' also translates into 'seizer'. The planets definitely are seizers in
the sense that they seize human beings and make them act and behave in a certain way.
The various names assigned to Rahu in Vedic texts - the chief; the advisor of the demons; the
minister of the demons; ever-angry; the tormentor; bitter enemy of the luminaries; lord of
illusions; one who frightens the Sun; the one who makes the Moon lustreless; the peacemaker;
the immortal (having drunk the divine nectar); bestower of prosperity, wealth and ultimate
knowledge - give a clue to its basic energy and attributes.
Rahu can thus be said to be associated with the dualities of nature and their subsequent fusion. It
can be the deceitful, shady, untrustworthy sort of character when working through its lower
aspect. Its energy is supposed to be behind all sorts of criminal tendencies, unlawful activities,
and perversions.
It is discontent incarnate and is never satisfied in much the same vein as the famous 'rolling
stone' lines - " I can't get no satisfaction...". It can lie, cheat, betray trust or go to any extreme to
achieve its ends. Its nature in these lower aspects covers all the bad points of the dark side of the
human psyche. Thus it comes as no surprise that is the originator of many types of morbid fears,
suspicious, sadistic, and self-destructive tendencies.
All this negativity of Rahu can be equated with a sort of negative Saturn, Mercury and Venus
combined. The point to note out here is that the greater degree of intensity that Rahu possesses
makes the situation more dangerous that is the case with other planets. The saving grace is that it
only occasionally manifests the extremes of these negative qualities.
However all these negative tendencies have a positive side to them. For example the
revolutionary nature of Rahu stems from its innate dislike for authority (Sun). When the
authority is corrupt and mindless, as is generally the case in present times, this revolutionary
spirit becomes very important. Without a revolt both on an internal and external level no
meaningful change can take place.
Rahu is the force that creates a Robin Hood. Despite being an outlaw he utilized his tendencies
for the greater good. This is usually the case when Rahu functions through its higher principle. It
retains some of its dual nature even when it is functioning through its highest aspect. The main
difference when it works though this principle is that it aims become much more unselfish and
humanitarian. It will still lie or cheat to archieve its ends but the goal would usually be in
harmony with the cosmic plan.
It is seen that it retains a quarter of its illusory nature even then functioning in its most spiritual
mode. A very good example of this can be seen in the life of Krishna, the eighth incarnation of
Vishnu in the present round of Ages. He is supposed to have taken birth in the ending phase of
the Dwapara Yuga (Silver Age) around 5000 years ago.
He was a revolutionary for his times in every sense of the word as he broke all the existing social
and religious taboos, and was the main architect of MahaBharata, a highly destructive World
War. His chart is discussed in a later chapter that deals with the nodal axis influence in various
houses. He did not mind using any method whatsoever including lying to fulfil his work on
Earth, but everything he did was to manifest the cosmic plan, which is exactly how Rahu
functions when working through its higher principle.
Since Vishnu is the deity governing the planet Mercury and has a definite connection with the
serpent power as discussed earlier, it is inferred that Rahu is closely related to Mercury. It shares
qualities like wit, quickness of thought, and communication ability with Mercury.
Rahu being an illusory planet, possesses a basic Mercurial nature with some spice added to it.
Some wise men postulate that Mercury has a quarter influence of the nodes attached to it even
when it has no relation with them in a chart. This can be seen from its rulership of Gemini and
Virgo, the signs that Rahu is most comfortable in. This topic is dealt in further detail when
Rahu's sign rulership, exaltation and debilitation are discussed.
It has been experienced that in a nativity, only Mercury and Jupiter can control Rahu's energy.
Rahu is also a significator of intellect in much the same way Mercury is, but the difference is that
Rahu has to do more with the intuitive part of the intellect instead of the calculative,
informational, discriminating part. This is why Rahu when working through its higher principle
can be seen as the higher aspect of Mercury, which related to real knowledge and the ability to
look through illusions.
Rahu also gets influenced in a chart to a large extent by the planets it is associated with in a
chart. Like Mercury it relays their energies without losing its inherent nature in the process. This
mutable quality of Rahu is what makes it behave sometimes like Mars, Jupiter or even the Sun
and the Moon.
Rahu, when relaying the energy of Mars, appears more aggressive even though a certain degree
of aggression is inherent in its nature. It can boost the Martian energy in a chart but can also
cause its perversion in many a case. Most of the unnecessary violence perpetuated on this planet
has its roots in this perversion.
It has been notices in observations that most of the charts of criminals of all types have Rahu
influencing the energy of Mars in some way or the other. The famous criminal John Dillinger has
Mars-Rahu conjunction in eighth house. Even Saddam Hussein has Mars-Rahu conjunction in
his fifth house!
However this combination is also found in the charts of revolutionaries, who are fighting for a
just cause, as it provides the vitality to go ahead with one's thinking. The celebrated Indian
revolutionary warrior, Shivaji, who fought against the Moghul rule in India, has a Mars-Rahu
conjunction in his chart.
Rahu also functions in a Jupiterian manner as advocated by Western astrology, only when when
it is associated with Jupiter in some way. Rahu has an airy disposition and thus possesses an
inherently expansive nature, but there are a lot of differences, as Jupiter is the planet of law while
Rahu is lawlessness incarnate. The merging of these two energies can sometimes create a good
balance and at other times cause disaster through over-expansion especially on the material
This over expansive nature of Rahu causes unnecessary scattering or wasting away of energies in
a lot of cases, but there is a lesson to be learnt in the events that follow as a result. The
disintegrating influence of Rahu through ungrounded optimism and expansion is in fact one of its
most dangerous traits.
Although Rahu is an airy planet it is quite fixed in its approach. The perfect example of how the
airy element can be unrelenting and powerful as a tornado, which blows everything that comes in
its way.
There is a creative side of Rahu's nature and disposition, which resembles that of Sun. Rahu is a
force which can either nourish a personality like Sun nourishes all life on earth, or just consume
it like the harsh desert which is not conducive to life. Rahu is also related to the egoic selfconsciousness
in much the same way as Sun, the only difference being the fact that Rahu is not
the real thing but only a mirage.
It can be said that while Sun represents our true personality, and related directly with the spark of
the Godhead within us, Rahu represents the outer personality we have formed through our
experiences in our numerous lives. This is why Rahu is sometimes known as the 'Artificial Sun'.
Rahu's presence in the sign Leo or the Ascendant or any association with Sun assists in easy
expression of the soul personality. This expression manifests in the outer world as selfconfidence,
self-assurance and creativity. In a negative sense it can manifest as selfishness, pride,
self-aggrandizement and megalomania.
Rahu has an innate reverence for the Universal Mother principle, which in our solar system
manifests through Moon. Even though Rahu is said to have enmity with Moon, the major scope
ot its activity is lunar in a lot of ways. This is because Rahu is born out of the causative force
sustaining this Universe, which is supposed to be feminine in its attributes.
It is termed as the 'Negative Moon' by some astrologers as it seems to represent the dark side of
the lunare nature. Though true to an extent, as Rahu does further hallucination, illusion, paranoia
and other such mental states, this is still a lopsided view, because certain very spiritual yogas
(combinations) involving the Rahu-Moon combination find mention in the works of ancient
Vedic seers.
Another reason for this identification is that is has the power to strengthen, weaken or completely
neutralize the lunar forces. The presence of Rahu in the sign Cancer or fourth house or its
association with Moon in a chart is a sure indicator of importance of a mother figure in the life of
a native in some form or the other.
Again a lot depends upon the aspect, lower or higher, through which Rahu is functioning in a
chart. For example, there is a difference between a negative trance induced by use of drugs or
other negative methods, and a spiritual trance induced by dissolving the mind and the ego in the
divine consciousness. In both cases Rahu has a significant part to play, and the catch lies in the
difference in degree of evolution. Since in the present day and age Rahu functions through its
higher principle in relatively few individuals, the 'Negative Moon' theory holds true for the
The planet, which Rahu most closely resembles, is Saturn, and as we will discover later it even
shares a rulership of a sign with Saturn. Besides sharing an airy temperament, another thing they
have in common are the colours black and white.
Rahu's close relationship with Saturn can be seen from the fact that it represents Ultra Violet
light, which falls just before the Violet light of the visible spectrum, represented by Saturn. In
this way Rahu can be seen as a higher octave of Saturn. The fact that Ultra Violet light is not
visible to human eyes highlights the more mysterious functionings of Rahu as compared to
Just like Saturn, Rahu is supposed to have a lazy disposition and is a long-term planner. In can
thus give a constantly worrying nature. The human follies like greed, avarice and selfishness
resulting from an excess of Saturnine energy are also attributed to the lower aspects of Rahu.
Most of the devilish (to use a Christian term) aspects of human nature attributed by astrologers to
Saturn are in fact related to Rahu. Rahu and not Saturn is the Devil (or Satan), which all the
puritans and pseudo-religionists fear, but they don't realize that in their own extreme way they
are falling prey to the same force that they term as devilish. As the wise know, there is no such
thing as evil or pure in nature - everything that exists is sacred!
Rahu can be considered to be the expert among the planets when it comes to scheming and
plotting. It is the master of manipulation.This is why it can be said to be a better politician than
Saturn. It comes as no surprise that the polity of Rahu is not always orthodox or bound by
prevailing social standards. Insensitivity is a term that can be ascribed to Rahu in much the same
way as Saturn.
The adversities that both these planets seem to inflict are just lessons that always turn out to be
rewarding in the long run. Success when it comes through Rahu or Saturn arrives only after some
sort of a struggle. The only difference is that Rahu gives it with a certain degree of suddenness
while Saturn grinds slowly. Rahu like Saturn is quite an expert at raising people up and then
bringing them down, but gives lasting success as well, if one does not completely lose one's
Rahu however acts in a predominantly Saturnine fashion only when it is associated with Saturn
in a nativity, or is placed in the tenth/eleventh house, or is placed in the signs
There is a strong Venusian tinge to Rahu's nature, which usually shows itself in a love of show
and pomp when Rahu is functioning through its lower aspect. Rahu is capable of manifesting
highest Venusian energies like universal love, compassion and harmony as well then working
through its higher principle.
The Venusian tendencies of Rahu are highlighted when it is placed in the sign Taurus or the
second house, or is in association with Venus. There is a strong urge for comfort and luxury
when Rahu is manifesting these energies on an earthy plane. In my view earth is the secondary
element of Rahu.
This is where the materialistic side of Rahu comes out, and probably this is the reason why it is
seen as a planet giving great material prosperity in the Western system. The problem is that this
materialistic side of Rahu usually knows no boundaries and can be said to be responsible for the
terrible phenomenon known as greed, which is the core reason behind all the present day mess in
which humanity finds itself.
Rahu also has a diplomatic nature, which is very similar to that of Venus. Rahu like Venus is by
nature a social planet and enjoys company. Rahu is supposed to give an artistic temperament in
much the same way as Venus, but as always there is a touch of unorthodoxy involved. Rahu's
Venusian side is highlighted when it is either associated with Venus in a nativity, or is placed in
the second/seventh houses, or is posited in the signs Taurus/Libra.
Rahu has a peculiar heavy, hypnotic and sarcastic tone to its voice, which it usually imparts to a
native when it is related in some way with the second or third house. The voice of the famous
songwriter/singer Bob Dylan who has Rahu placed in his second in his chart is a very good
example of a 'Rahu-voice'.
Sarcasm is one of the main aspects of the nature and disposition of Rahu and it is second only to
Ketu when it comes to giving a sarcasting and hurting tongue. There is often a wonderful sense
of humour attached to Rahu's sarcastic nature. This is why Rahu along with Mercury can be
regarded as the king of satire among planets.
Rahu shares some of its nature with two of the outer planets as well. Rahu is a revolutionary,
creative, shocking, individualistic force in much the same vein as Uranus. As we would discover
later, it is assigned co-rulership of a sign in the Vedic system that has Uranus as its co-ruler in the
Western system.
Rahu knows no national boundaries and thus has a very international and all-inclusive
perspective on things, a quality very similar to that of Uranus. The international perspective of
Rahu also causes major problems when it is working through a lower principle, im much the
same way the negative use of Uranian energies can be quite destructive.
There is a special relationship between Rahu and Neptune as both are the planets representing
the ocean of illusion, which forms a backdrop for the play of existence. Rahu when working
through its higher principle displays positive Neptunian qualities like heightened awareness of
higher realms, true compassion for all existence and a need for rising above the illusion of the
material realm.
When working through its lower principle it drowns one in illusions and fantasies usually
relating to the lower dark sides of existence. Rahu is the planet of intuition, extra sensory
perception and other such phenomenon related with the astral body. Rahu, like a negative
Neptune, can makeone lose one's self in chasing after mirages or hallucinations, which can either
be induced by drugs or other techniques.
Cloudiness is a term common to both these planets when functioning through their lower aspect.
Rahu is the force or emotion behind such things as suicide and homicide, where it totally clouds
the capacity of clear thinking. This vagueness, cloudiness and confusion, usually related with
Neptune, is attributed to Rahu in the Vedic system. Rahu is the planet of delusions and psychosis.
If Rahu is working through its higher aspect, then this confusion usually leads to wisdom and
enlightenment. Rahu has a Dionysian way of thinking very similar to that exemplified by Aldous
Huxley - "road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom".
In Vedic astrology Rahu is supposed to maintain friendly relations with Mercury, Venus and
Saturn. It is neutral towards Jupiter and Mars and maintains enmity with Sun and Moon. Rahu is
also said to have a predominantly tamasic disposition.
According to the ancient Vedic wisdom, nature has three major gunas (attributes) - rajasic
(active), sattwic (balanced) and tamasic (passive) - the interplay which creates, sustains and
finally ends the Universe. One must remember that Rahu can function in all the above mentioned
modes - Rahu functions in a Rajasic mode when giving prosperity, in a Sattvic mode when
giving knowledge and wisdom. It can also function in a state beyond the three attributes - the
eternal state beyond time, space where the source of everything manifest and unmanifest lies.