ARTICLES: Learning With the Planetary Masters – Saturn,Rahu,Ketu & Mars

Learning With the Planetary Masters – Saturn,Rahu,Ketu & Mars


Effects of Rahu, Ketu, Saturn & Mars on the personality traits of human lives – a detailed discussion by Abhijita Kulshrestha

Honesty is the best policy. Sure.

However, it is equally true that it isn’t always rewarded.

To the contrary, one can be sure that punishments or punitive action is highly likely to follow as consequence of dishonesty.

So what effect does this have on people in general?

To err is human. We are people and by default will are bound to make errors or go wrong at one point in time or the other. And when punishment or reprimand is almost certain, human being naturally gravitate towards trying to absolve themselves somehow:

Is someone else to be blamed?

Can a very valid reason be offered that justifies the mistake?

Or if a well-crafted lie/ alibi can get one out of the sticky situation?

And don’t we all do it! It actually takes a brave heart, self-loving soul that has courage to forgive itself to rise up and say “Yes, I did it” or “Sorry, it was my error”.

Because this acknowledgement comes from a place of knowing that there’s no one who has it all together, who knows everything or is beyond the pale of rules that govern human beings. That we are all learning along the way, stumbling sometimes and sometimes sprinting! That we are under the tutelage of the same masters as have been the generations before and as will be those to come.

It does rile me up when most people with little awareness are quick to pin the blame of whatever is not going right in their lives on Rahu-Ketu, Shani or Mangal. These mighty planets, in fact great teachers become convenient pin cushions. It is often observed that one may not have decent level of knowledge about a subject, but will definitely have an opinion on it. What adds fuel to fire are the twisted myths and handed down phrases – these become shields to hide behind and get into one of the blame, justification, disowning options.

Let me elaborate on these four planets as briefly as possible to work on erasing some of these misconceptions. Why these four only – because these have been maligned severely for the lack of correct knowledge and information. Yes, they are intense malefics and can bring big, lasting changes in life. But the correct way to look at them are as teachers – if one would simply learn the lessons they try to teach! There are rewards to be had, if the lesson is learnt/ assimilated/ actioned upon well.

A word about general human beliefs: A big belief we all carry seeded within is this - what does not look like you or me cannot be accepted into the fold. It is unfamiliar, daunting. And unless we become comfortable with the idea of looking at the unfamiliar with a neutral emotion, chances are that it will seem like an insurmountable mountain due to lifetimes of bad conditioning.

Rahu and Ketu: Mythically, they are the severed parts of the same demon/ asur with Rahu being the head, and Ketu being the headless body in the form of a serpent.

Rahu, in its lower principle signifies lies, unhygienic living, confusion, loneliness, sexual deviance, unbridled desire/ ambition, delusions and mental affliction, skin disorders, repeat infections, addictions, obsessions and greed among several other things.

The same planet operating from higher principle denotes taboo breaking (isn’t it necessary sometimes, for instance, when years ago widow remarriage was embraced!), hard work, innovation, exploration, exotic experiences, ambition wealth generation etc.

A head has the sense organs of sight, smell, taste and hearing, so that is what it goes after! The tangible worldly desires. Do understand that it is an entity whose mandate in the scheme of the world is to be this very energy without the judgement of good and bad (these are constructs that have been created by the human mind) and it purely pursues its dharma in being so, therefore the universe can operate as it does. It is doing its job.

Right Rahu questions to ponder:

What are my deepest yearnings?

Will I be satisfied once my desires are met?

Is it possible that I may not be perceiving things correctly?

How can I get a good mentor/ guru to help me through the smoke and mirrors game?

Can I build a good physical exercise routine?

Are the lies/ suspicion standing in my way?

Am I forgetting to trust?

Astro Tip: Check for the suitability of a natural Hessonite Garnet or an 8-Faced rudraksha bead and seek mantra guidance on the same if possible.

Ketu, on the other hand is just the headless body of the serpent, this demon. It does not have any sense organs barring the sense of touch and the sixth sense that it has to learn to rely on when there is nothing else. This is the sense tapping into pure consciousness - the universal intelligence connecting with the supreme mind.

In its lowest principle, Ketu signifies isolation, mental disorders, inability to stabilise, or find joy in attachment - a deep sense of disconnection with everyone and everything.

In its higher principle, it is deep devotion, it is yearning for salvation/ nirvana/ moksha, it is altruistic activity, it is travel and it is even hitting a jackpot for financial gain suddenly. Often likened to a volcano, its results are sudden - once in a while occurrences, like a wild card with no prior notice. Again likened to a comet, it can threaten to scatter one’s identity into a gazillion fragments and getting a sense of self together then becomes difficult.

The mandate for this planet is to nourish the spiritual body - indeed the toughest one when people are only aware enough to chase material goals. Loss of job, loss of role as a functionary, loss of a relationship, loss of trust can happen leading to scattering of identity. This forces individuals to seek the truth - a more certain truth about ourselves about who we are and what we should be working towards.

Ketu is a teacher assigned to teach a class of most reticent children – the ones who are the rationalist, the non-believers and the others with fancy ID tags they like to tout.

There is no doubt that each one will encounter the master at one time or the other.

Right Ketu questions to ponder:

Am I nourishing my spiritual body?

Do I have a prayer regimen/ a ritual to connect with Higher Power, a God of my understanding?

Can I take up the opportunity I am getting to travel?

What does it feel to be an oddball, a person who has no friends/ few friends? Can I offer this empathy to others, become a better person?

What are the things/ people/ issues that really matter in life?

Can I meet other people to keep a fine sense of balance, not create risk of depression by isolating myself because of my own complexes?

Astro Tip: Check for the suitability of a natural Cat’s Eye Chrysoberyl or a 9-Faced rudraksha bead and seek mantra guidance on the same if possible.

Saturn: It is almost guaranteed that you may have experienced the dread people have of this planet and often times citing the reason that “Shani bhari hai” or it’s the wrath of Saturn. This great planet handles the Department of karmic retribution – doing the book balancing and dishing out results in accordance with ones karma. Most people cry because he does his job well, especially during sade sati or 4th and 8th transit, without fear or favour.

The simplest analogy that comes to my mind is this – currently (at the time of writing this article), it is the mango season. Mango the king of fruits with its golden sticky sweetness has a different hold over the senses. When the season is here, one is spoilt for choice from the different varieties of this fruit that have different taste. Human beings are definitely like this - they want the best Alphonso to begin with - the most expensive variety but as the season inches towards a close, one can be found scouring markets for the last batches of Neelam - another variety that is significantly cheaper to afford them the last of this precious taste; A sensory treat.

Likewise as human beings, we will settle for any shade of joy and happiness and we change them. Life however is a different kettle of fish - it is intricately enmeshed with the cycle of karma. Imagine, enjoying your mangoes while you do and then not being willing to pay the price!

Some may argue that I have a mango tree or that I own an orchard. Great. Sure you do. But to tend to it and to keep the fruit protected from birds and impish passers-by (who see a good chance of having some) may cost you time, effort and money – to maintain a watchman or a gardener or two.

Everything in life needs to be paid for - sometimes the currency is money, other times it is tears and heartbreak, disease, lost, service of elderly or the ailing, prolonged periods of incarceration – whether in a jail or your own mind, incarceration nonetheless and any of the several other ways to level a debt! Also known as karmic rinaanubandh – karmic debt. And this balancing of books is done precisely by Saturn. Enjoy your mangoes savour them, but make sure that you pay for them or that you are willing to pay for them.

The equation of choice and consequences is working through this department. These books cannot be cooked. As reiterated in several conversations and articles - one must hold on to Satya (truthfulness), Samay (respect for time) and Sanskaar (honour for tradition) for best outcomes when it comes to Saturn. It is not to say that one should live in fear, only that you do your best.

Saturn, in its highest principle is grand stature, worldly achievements, victory over difficult professions and realms, solemn appearance, highly disciplined individuals, who are aware of the transactional nature of most interactions. It is also about secret ownership of treasures and uncommon knowledge.

In its lowest principle, Saturn is misery, depression, fearful, vice, penury, criminal intent ruthlessness, cold and unfeeling nature and loneliness amongst many other.

Right Saturn questions to ponder:

Is it the right thing to do?

Am I managing my time well?

Am I being honest to myself?

Am I respecting and helping the elderly, underprivileged?

Can I do routine, boring work without complaining?

Can I look at life as seasons, something that operates in cycles?

I am conscious of my rights, but am I equally conscious of doing my duties?

Am I patient?

Am I willing to let go? Or do I hoard memories, grudges?

Astro Tip: Check for the suitability of a natural Blue sapphire / natural Iolite or a 7 - Faced rudraksha bead and seek mantra guidance on the same if possible.

Mars: If Saturn is associated with cold calculating side, Mars is the brute force, the indomitable one that does not hide behind anything; it must strike with the gale-force the moment. It is raw power, the force to reckon with and the irrepressible compulsion. Mars is the warrior chief of Gods. It simply knows taking a situation head on as if it were a challenge and gunning for victory.

Mars in its lowest principle is poor vitality, inability to assert oneself properly, poor health and skin issues, blood disorders, accidents and explosions, difficulty with sexual expression or identity, excess fear and inferiority complex, cold, repressed anger, low will power and stamina.

In its highest principle, Mars is force, assertion, athleticism, energy, go-getting spirit warrior mind set, career in armed forces, career as a surgeon, bravery, conquest, raw sexual attraction, dominance and earthiness. Mars takes care of attainment of desires through effort. However, anger and expression of anger and also in its domain. Mars is all about understanding one’s own energy and channelizing it appropriately.

One could simply say “Mangal ka prakop hai” or that it’s Mars creating problems, shirk away from owning up responsibility, from learning restraint or justifying a temperament related problems.

Right Mars questions to ponder:

Am I throwing my weight around too much?

Is my conduct dignified?

Do people feel threatened or extra bossy around me?

Should I stand up for myself?

Should I be less aggressive?

Am I doing enough physical exercise?

Am I drinking enough water?

Should I stay away from heat aggravating foods?

Is any memory of abuse/ violence impacting my relationships?

Astro Tip: Check for the suitability of a natural Red Coral or a 3 - Faced rudraksha bead and seek mantra guidance on the same if possible.

The ideal thing to do here would be to assess one’s own personality and responses in different situations. Each grade teacher has a lesson for us. Instead of pinning the blame we’d all do a lot better to learn and move forward. So next time choose better, choose growth.


Abhijita Kulshrestha, is a Senior Director, Astrologer, Life Coach & Gemologist with Gemstoneuniverse. She is a PGA and GIA certified Astro-Gemologist with additional qualifications from prestigious institutions like SSEF .Abhijita is essentially a communication professional and holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism besides being a NLP practitioner. Prior to her soul-level engagement with the world of Vedic astrology, gemstones and association with Gemstoneuniverse, she had a long stint in 'word smithy’! She’s had professional stints at Mudra institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA); RK Swamy BBDO, Bangalore and Times of India. She is a published author at Huffingtonpost and Entrepreneur and has been featured in several international publications of repute. More.


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