The effect of each planet in your life – Vedic Astrology

Lakshmi at Skanda Vale Ashram
Lakshmi at Skanda Vale Ashram

In my Master Vedic Astrology Course , we alternate between studying each planet in detail as it occurs in our charts (yours first then mine as tutor), and then we then spend time in ‘techniques consolidation’, applying the techniques of Vedic Astrology. First, the Moon in the student’s chart is studied, then the Moon in my chart as teacher – and so on through the planets, with techniques consolidation in between.

And always throughout the course the crucial thing is that we seek is to bring the most enlightened consciousness to the superbly accurate declarations about our natal and predictive charts that Vedic Astrology gives. Remember: astrological interpretation is only as good as the level of consciousness of the astrologer applying it.

So I thought it would be helpful if I wrote this post summarising the techniques for analysing a planet’s standing and behaviour in a sign in Vedic astrology, and if you would like to take the matter further with dedicated individual tuition, you can enroll on my Master Vedic Astrology Course.

By the way, the computer will of course make these calculations for you, but it’s good to know the principles that lie behind the neat table that the computer produces. And in any case, if you enrol on my course, you get full provision of all the charts and tables you need, plus full study notes and reading list.

Of course, having gone through this routine of establishing a planet’s standing in your chart, you also need to take into account such indicators as direction and velocity. And I would repeat that the good news is that computer programs to work out the dignity and relationships of the planets in your birth chart for you.

I think you will appreciate the sure and accurate declaration that is the hall mark characteristic of Vedic Astrology. What Vedic Astrology can tell you about your life is breath-taking.

This post covers the following ten sections:

  1. Possible Standing of Planets in a Vedic Birth Chart
  2. Exaltation of Planets
  3. Mulatrikona
  4. Planet in Own Sign of Planets
  5. Permanent Friendship
  6. Temporary Friendship of Planets
  7. Combined Friendship of Planets
  8. Practical meaning of Exaltation and Debilitation
  9. Effect of the Houses a planet rules
  10. Effect of the Ascendant on the planets’ status in your Vedic birth chart.
  1. Possible Standing of Planets in the Vedic birth Chart:

Exaltation: A planet is strongest when it is placed in a sign of exaltation, especially the closer it is to the actual exaltation degree, e.g. Jupiter in Cancer. A planet is in an extremely happy condition when it is exalted and is in an extremely miserable condition when it is debilitated

Moolatrikona: The next strongest positon for a planet is when it is placed in a moolatrikona sign, e.g. Jupiter in Sagittarius.

Rulership: A planet stands in its own strength when it is placed in its ‘own sign’, the sign it rules, e.g. Jupiter in Pisces.

Great Friendship




Great Enemy

Debilitation: A planet is at its weakest when it is placed in a sign of debilitation, especially the closer it is to the actual exaltation degree which is opposite the degree of exaltation, e.g. Jupiter in Capricorn.

Now, let’s look into the detail of these different planetary behaviours:

  1. Exaltation of planets

Planet                     degree of greatest exaltation

Sun                         10º          Aries                       Mesha

Moon                     3º            Taurus                   Vrisha

Mercury              15º            Virgo                      Kanya

Venus                  27º           Pisces                     Meena

Mars                    28º           Capricorn              Makara

Jupiter                   5º           Cancer                   Karkaṭa

Saturn                  20º           Libra                      Tula

Rahu                      Taurus                   Vrisha

Ketu                       Scorpio                  Vṛścika

NB 1: Except Mercury who is exalted in Virgo/Kanya no other planet gets exalted status in its own house.

NB2: Parashara Ch. 3  gives Planet/Graha descriptions and he tells us that Planets are divine incarnations. We experience them through the filter of our own karmas.

NB 3: it is crucial to remember that ‘strong’ does not equal ‘good’. For example an exalted Jupiter can behave like a first rate malefic. It can be vulgar and showy and ungroundedly expansive. Having noted that a planet is Exalted, you need to analyse the standing of the planet in your particular birth chart. For example a strong Jupiter in the 6th House can attract enemies.  You need to determine what are the deeper karmic/dharmic lessons of your exalted planets and establish what ‘exalted’ means precisely in the individual case. It’s impossible to predict what the exalted planet will give, just by knowing the sign. Some exalted planets can actually be extremely disruptive and challenging. Some exalted planets can lead to great success in life but can be experiences very stressfully and unhappily. And of course you have to take into account whether the exalted planet is a benefic or a malefic, and take not if there’s a divine lesson being offered if the exalted planet is retrograde.

NB4. Stressfully: a planet can still suffer in your expression of it by being edge of sign (rashi sandhi) and yet be strong due to Mulatrikona
A planet in exaltation shows good effects. The planet is radiant. The dignity is high. The effect is fully auspicious; intelligent, aware and awake. But it can bring a lot of problems and be disruptive because they see the problems of its house. But we have the chance to learn from our mistakes if the planet is in high dignity. They wake us up. Exalted planets do not necessarily bring us mundane good, primarily we are to look for spiritual good

  1. Mulatrikona

Mulatrikona means ‘root trine’. The root intelligence of the planets comes through in these signs/degrees:

Sun                         Leo
Moon                     Taurus
Mercury                Virgo
Venus                     Libra
Mars                       Aries
Jupiter                    Sagittarius
Saturn                    Aquarius

In more detail:

Sun                         Leo                (Simha_ up to 20°
Moon                     Taurus          (Vrishabha) up to 27°
Mars                       Aries             (Mesha) up to 12°
Mercury                 Virgo            (Kanya) up to 20°
Jupiter                    Sagittarius  (Dhanus) up to 10°
Venus                     Libra             (Tula) up to 15°
Saturn                    Aquarius      (Kumbha) up to 20°

Note – Except for the Moon all other planets get the Moolatrikona condition in one of their own houses.

In Mulatrikona a planet is bereft of its fully auspicious effects by one fourth. It’s usually the masculine sign the planet rules, except for Moon and Mercury.

But a Mulatrikona planet gives more stable and tangible results

  1. Own Sign:

The third best condition for a planet is to be in in your Vedic birth chart is its own sign, one of the signs it rules:

Sun                         rules Leo             (Simha)
Moon                     rules Cancer        (Karkaṭa)
Mercury                rules Gemini        (Mithun) and   Virgo          (Kanyā)
Venus                     rules Taurus        (Vṛṣa) and         Libra          (Tulā)
Mars                       rules Aries            (Meṣa) and       Scorpio      (Vṛścika)
Jupiter                    rules Sagittarius (Dhanus) and  Pisces         (Mīna)
Saturn                    rules Aquarius     (Kumbha) and Capricorn (Makara)

In more detail:

Planet                    Best position

Sun                         Leo,  Simha from 20 to 30°

Moon                     Cancer, Karka

Mars                       Aries, Mesha from 12 to 30°

Mercury                 Virgo, Kanya from 20 to 30°

Jupiter                   Sagittarius, Dhanu from 10 to 30°

Venus                    Libra, Tula from 15 to 30°

Saturn                    Aquarius, Kumbha from 20 to 30°

Note – all planets except Moon recognize the same house as that which is their moolatrikona condition, as their own houses. But their other houses are also their own houses. The only exception is the Moon.

A planet in own sign gives half good results: it gives more stable and tangible results. E.g. Jupiter in Pisces (own sign) gives more stable results than Jupiter in Cancer (where Jupiter is exalted).

  1. Permanent Friendship

Here are the two groups of ‘permanent friends/enemies’:

  1. Mercury, Venus and Saturn are friends:
    rulers of the air and earth signs.
  2. The Sun, Moon, Mars and Jupiter are also mutual friends:
    rulers of water and fire signs.

Permanent Friendship in more detail:

PLANET                FRIEND                                NEUTRAL                            ENEMY

Sun                         Moon, Mars,                         Mercury                                 Venus, Saturn                                          Jupiter

Moon                     Sun, Mercury                        Mars, Jupiter,                        None                                                                                                           Venus, Saturn

Mars                       Sun, Moon,                           Venus, Saturn                       Mercury                                                    Jupiter

Mercury                 Sun, Venus                            Mars, Jupiter                         Moon                                                                                                         Saturn

Jupiter                    Sun, Moon, Mars                 Saturn                                    Mercury, Venus

Venus                     Mercury, Saturn                   Mars, Jupiter                         Sun, Moon

Saturn                    Mercury, Venus                   Jupiter                                    Sun, Moon, Mars

Rahu/Ketu            Mercury, Venus, Saturn     Jupiter                                    Sun, Moon, Mars

N.B. According to most astrologers, Rahu and Ketu have the same friendships as Saturn.
N.B. friendly planets are more able to function amiably together than when they are adversaries.
N.B. When a planet is placed in a sign which is ruled by a friend of that planet, that planet will be able to function much better than when it is placed in a sign which is ruled by an enemy.
e.g. Saturn rules Capricorn so Venus functions well in Capricorn.
e.g. Moon functions well in Virgo, because Virgo’s ruler, Mercury, is a friend of the Moon.

  1. Temporary Friendship

Temporary friends are the planets calculated from the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th and 12th house, calculated from the house where the other planet is placed.

Otherwise the condition is ‘mutual enemies’:

Temporary enemies are planets calculated from the 1st, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th house, calculated from the house where the other planet is placed.

Again, I think the good news is that the computer works this out for you, but it is very much necessary to understand the principle involved.

  1. Combined Friendship

This is the combination of the temporary and permanent friendships:

  1. Temporary friend + permanent friend = great friend GF
  2. Temporary friend + permanent neutral = friend F
  3. Temporary friend + permanent enemy = neutral N
  4. Temporary enemy + permanent friend = neutral N
  5. Temporary enemy + permanent neutral = enemy E
  6. Temporary enemy + permanent enemy = great enemy GE

N.B. If rulership of two houses gives mixed results then the relationship is neutral (or equal)

N.B. Planets in a friendly sign give one quarter good results

N.B. Planets in debilitation give no good effects, rather do they give inauspicious results which are quite the reverse to what is stated.

Very Important Principle: what a planet will deliver in your life is based on the houses it rules, not where it occupies. The house it occupies is where these results will manifest.

In debilitation: the planet gives good effects – it gives inauspicious effects. Even if they bring power they bring darkness.

  1. Practical Meaning of Exaltation and Debilitation:

Here are some useful ‘buzz words’ to demonstrate the meaning of a planet being Exalted or Debilitated:


Aries – must act on our soul nature. Sun gives full effect in Aries.   It’s confident consistent power, your True authentic self. But it can burn others.
9th house from house it rules: Libra – we are defined by others. It is a case of ‘is it OK with you if I am strong and powerful?’

Taurus – stabilize the mind and heart and consciousness arising therefrom.
Scorpio – unsettled or stagnant emotions. 11th house from the house it rules. Ruled by Mars therefore volatile. Emotionally restless but stuck (Fixed Water). Held past pains. Imagined fears.

Capricorn – ambition: Cap is 3rd sign from Scorp the other sign mars rules; long-term focus on actions, strategy and consideration of consequences, 10th house from the sign it rules: practical.
Cancer – erratic actions based on steamy emotions

Virgo – Careful precise intellect. Serious than usual. Exalted in the house it rules, and the 4th from its other ruled house.
Pisces – blurring the details, imprecision.

Cancer – expansion through the heart. Jupiter is the karaka of children in the sign of motherhood. Selfless love.
Capricorn – bogged down in material worry. Capricorn is a worried sign Lack of hope

Pisces – finds happiness in everything. Pisces is 6th house from Libra, 11th house from Taurus (11th is the public and ambition). So Venus is exalted in cruel houses from the signs it rules: Taurus and Libra. So if Venus is a cruel house lord it can be very disruptive especially if it’s a cruel house lord.
Virgo – finds many reasons to be unhappy. There is a high potential to reach for.

Libra – sensitive, careful with others, Saturn is engaged and committed and  Non-destructive. Saturn is Exalted in 10th house and 9th house from the sign it rules: 10th and 9th : actions and values
Aries – impulsively destroying structure , can act from insecurity and insensitivity, whereas Saturn’s inherent nature is to protect us. In Aries Saturn is challenging.

  1. The effect on a Planet of the House(s) a Planet Rules:

Favourable Houses:
The favourable houses are the Kendra houses (1st., 4th., 7th. and 10th. house) and the trikona houses (1st., 5th. and 9th. house).
The Kendra houses are also called angles. They are houses of action. Planets that are the lord of a Kendra house bring positive favourable action into our life.
The Trikona houses are auspicious houses and therefore bring prosperity and dharma into life.

Unfavourable Houses:
If a planet is lord of the 3rd., 6th., 8th., 11th or 12th house, it will represent negative energy.
But note that the 3rd and 6th are Upachaya or growing houses and we can get better at them with age and experience.
The third house is the eighth house calculated from the eighth house.Because the third house is the eighth house from the eighth house, the negative effects of the lordship of the eighth house repeat themselves in the third house.  And the eleventh house is the sixth house calculated from the sixth house. This is the reason the effects of a planet being lord of the eleventh house are in some ways similar to the effects of being lord of the sixth house. The lord of the eleventh house is a temporary malefic, but the lord of the eleventh house also has its positive aspects since the eleventh house is also the house of gain and can usually increase your expansion and riches.

The character of a House a planet rules greatly affects how it will manifest in your life. For example, take malefic Saturn is a malefic and benefic Jupiter :

If benefic Jupiter is lord of the eighth house in your chart, then Jupiter also represents eighth house energy, 8th House is the House of Death. N.B. we can work with the 8th house energy in two ways: + astrology, healing, yoga, psychology etc, or obstacles, scandal etc.
and if malefic Saturn is the lord of the ninth house in your chart, then Saturn stands for the good energy of the ninth house. However, despite this it is always the case that Saturn is naturally a malefic in your life and Jupiter is naturally a benefic.  However if Saturn is the lord of the beneficial ninth house and Jupiter is the lord of the difficult eighth house, then Saturn becomes a temporary benefic and Jupiter becomes a temporary malefic. The situation is ‘temporary’ i.e. different in every horoscope.

Maraka Houses: another issue to do with the effect on a planet of house Rulership is rulership of the ‘Maraka Houses’ or death-dealing 2nd and 7th Houses in your chart. This situation brings misfortune and can undermine your vitality and the Lords or occupants can bring you problems despite the fact that that the seventh house is also a Kendra house, and therefore possesses a number of positive characteristics and can provide us with loving and worthwhile relationships. And a powerful lord of the second house can provide us with a good income as well as bring us problems.

Lord of two Houses: Many planets are lords of two houses. It is possible that a planet is lord of both a favourable and an unfavourable house, the result will be that the lord becomes neutral. It is extremely auspicious if a planet is lord of either the fourth, seventh or tenth houses and, at the same time, lord of either the fifth or the ninth house. This is raja yoga!

However, if the seventh house is part of this raja yoga, it will not be as strong because the seventh house is a maraka house.

Kendra houses are masculine; trikona houses are feminine. Raja yoga thus integrates the masculine and the feminine and thus is favourable. The Kendra houses are action houses; the trikona houses are good fortune. The lord of the first house as a temporary benefic, even if it is also the lord of a difficult house.

  1. The final consideration to take into account is the effect of the Ascendant

Whether a certain planet is temporarily malefic or benefic depends on the sign of the ascendant. It is from the ascendant that the house division is decided.

The fact that a planet is a friend or enemy of the ascendant lord may be the decisive factor when deciding whether the planet is a temporary malefic or temporary benefic.

Here is a Table to show the effect of the Ascendant on the planets in the chart. The figure in the column under each planet shows the ruler of the sign counting off from the Ascendant. B = Benefic status; M = malefic status. Asterisk shows the intensely favourable Raja Yoga status. As I said, fortunately the computer calculates the effect of the Ascendant on each planet for us, and all students enrolling on my course receive all necessary charts and tables. And as you can imagine, such sure and precise and powerful declaration is created by this Vedic system! For example, I am a Vedic Cancer rising, so I can see and understand and chart my life in the knowledge that Mars has raja yoga qualities for me.

Ascendant      Sun      Moon     Mercury     Venus      Mars         Jupiter     Saturn

Aries                5 B        4 B         3, 6 M          2, 7 M      1, 8 B        9, 12 B      10, 11 M

Taurus             4 B        3 M         2, 5 N         1, 6 B        7, 12 M     8, 11 M     9, 10 B*

Gemini             3 M       2 M         1, 4 B          5, 12 B      6, 11 M     7, 10 N       8, 9 N

Cancer               2 N      1 B           3, 12 M       4, 11 M      5, 10 B*   6, 9 N         7, 8 M

Leo                      1 B      12 N        2, 11 M         3, 10 M     4, 9 B*    5, 8 B         6, 7 M

Virgo                 12 M      11 M       1, 10 B           2, 9 B       3, 8 M     4, 7 M        5, 6 N

Libra                  11 M      10 B       9, 12 B            1, 8 B       2, 7 M     3, 6 M        4, 5 B*

Scorpio              10 B       9 B        8,11 M             7, 12 M    1, 6 B       2, 5 B          3, 4 M

Sagittarius          9 B        8 M       7, 10 M           6, 11         5, 12 B     1, 4 B          2, 3 M


Capricorn            8 M        7 M      6, 9 B             5, 10 B*    4, 11 M    3, 12 M       1, 2 B


Aquarius                7 M         6 M         5, 8 B       4, 9 B*      3, 10 M     2, 11 M      1, 12 B


Pisces                     6 N          5 B          4, 7 M       3, 8 M       2, 9 B        1, 10 B      11, 12 M


Footnote – Sign Names


I end with a Sanskrit-English list of the sign’s names for your reference:


Meṣa (Aries), Vṛṣa (Taurus), Mithuna (Gemini), Karkaṭa (Cancer), Siṁha (Leo), Kanyā (Virgo), Tulā (Libra), Vṛścika (Scorpio), Dhanus (Sagittarius), Makara (Capricorn), Kumbha (Aquarius) and Mīna (Pisces)




I hope this Post will be helpful and useful. If you wish to pursue the matter in more depth, enrol on my Master Vedic Astrology course, where you get dedicated, personal 1 to 1 tuition in the style of the Oxford tutorial system I myself experienced, plus – and this is crucial: careful bringing of the most enlightened consciousness possible to the phenomena that Vedic Astrology so surely declares.


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