Do you have a planet in the Gandanta Zone : In Vedic Astrology this is where a water sign gives way to a fire sign?

Michael Conneely
Michael Conneely

Gandanta is an evil condition affecting planets close to the transition point from a water sign to a fires sign in Vedic Astrology, damaging the manifestation of the planet in the life of the individual.

These are the Vedic sign transition points: Pisces to Aries, Cancer to Leo and Scorpio to Sagittarius.

I specialise in this issue, and you would benefit from a reading from me if you have a planet in one of these zones: see my astrology readings website: or join my Vedic Astrology course:

Immediately in assessing this issue, we come up against an issue of definition of the term Gandanta:

I take the view that any planet (or Ascendant/Lagna placed in the last two degrees of a water sign or the first two degrees of a fire sign is detrimentally affected by that position, and the closer the planet is to the actual transition point, the worse the effect. My own Moon is at 29 deg 56 Pisces, which is very severe Gandanta. See:

gandanta zoneBasically a Gandanta planet in the birth chart exposes the person to weakness and downfall, though the position can be very good for spiritual realisation.


gandanta 4Basically the problem is that the position exposes the person to the perception that the physical/material psycho-mental realm we call this world is unreal, that it is Maha Maya the Great Illusion. The perception generated in the tiny infant is that the true Reality lies beyond or beneath this world.


shiva shakti 2In Hinduism that true reality is called the creative mating of Shiva-Shakti.

In Buddhism it is called The Void. In other mystical spiritual paths it is called the Ground of All Being, for example.
Being born in the Gandanta Zone means that the person will have Ketu Dasa (Ketu predictive period) dominating their childhood. To be exposed to Ketu Dasa as a tiny infant means things like being born in an isolation hospital, being homeless for one’s first five years, being placed in an orphanage, being exposed to dereliction of parenting – all of these varying in severity depending on how exact is the Gandanta placement of the planet, especially Moon or Sun.

Kali Skanda ValeWorse than that, if the planet, especially Moon or Sun is in the last degree of the water Sign, especially if the planet is in the last few minutes of the water sign, a worse complication arises. This is that the child will actually experience a change of Dasa at an age too tender for him to be able to cope with such a change.

If the child is born in the closing minutes of the last degree of the water sign, he will be born into Mercury Dasa, transitioning soon into Ketu Dasa.

Having my natal Moon at 29 deg 56 Pisces, I myself was born at the very end of Mercury Dasa transitioning at age six weeks into Ketu Dasa, at which date I was placed in a convent orphanage. Worse that that, Mercury in my birth Chart is ruler of the 12th House of Loss.

You can work through your lifetime to heal and empower any planet that is in the Gandanta Zone in your birth chart, though the closer the planet is to the transition point the harder such healing is. See the healing methods I use detailed on my websites.

However it is crucial to note that such healing and empowerment cannot apply if it is the Moon that is in the Gandanta Zone. If you have Gandanta Moon this is a karmic knot around the issue of mothering, and the more you try to do anything to actively resolve it, the more the knot tightens; you have to learn to live with it and somehow manage your mind around its constant presence. Gandanta Moon means that Mother will not be there for you.

Just a further point: if the Gandanta Moon is in the 9th House of Father, as mine is, it will also mean that in some way Father will not be there for you, either.

Some Vedic Astrologers take the view that the Gandanta zone starts at 29 deg 12 of the three water signs: Pisces, Cancer and Jyestha, in other words at the end of nakshatras: Pisces, Ashlesha and Jyestha. In this strict definition the Gandanta extends to 00 deg 48 of the following fire sign.

However, James Braha Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer, page 341, takes the broader view that Gandanta is the range two degrees either side of the transition point from a water sign to a fire sign. Braha describes Gandanta as: ‘An Evil condition…often causes death to an Indian child if other horoscope conditions are greatly afflicted.’

Most Vedic astrologers state that any planet occupying the Gandanta zone is deleteriously affected by it. However, Braha tends to use Gandanta only for Moon or Lagna placed in these degrees.

Of course there is also a separate type of Gandanta in Moon Phase or ‘Panchanga’ as well, also called ‘Tithi Gandanta’.

I have come across many Indian astrologers who use the last four and first four degrees as indicative of Gandanta: I disagree with this.

However, the key thing to note is that the closer to the sign divide the Gandanta is, the stronger the disastrous or challenging events it foretells.

Personally, based on my chart: my experience over years of living with it and years of being a Vedic Astrologer, I would most definitely tend to accept James Braha’s definition, but I would also definitely say that for the fullest Gandanta effect, the planet must be situated between 29 deg 12 of the three water signs: Pisces, Cancer and Jyestha, in other words at the end of nakshatras (lunar signs): Pisces, Ashlesha and Jyestha AND THAT the Gandanta extends to 00 deg 48 of the following fire sign.

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