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    Articles: Rahu in Vedic Astrology NEWS FEED

    Rahu in Vedic Astrology

    The Story of Rahu | The Mystery Maker’s Secrets

    Lord Rahu


    This particular article is devoted to the understanding of Rahu – the planet that signifies the material/ illusory (mayavi) realm and all hopes and aspirations related to them. Until the consciousness opens up and the human being evolves, the individual merely has the understanding of the three dimensional world, that he or she inhabits.

    It is but logical that a lot of confusion and lack of clarity would prevail, especially in an area of study where actual/ real perspective is missing. And more so, where only personal opinions, fears and little knowledge prevail.

    In the world of Vedic astrology, similar is the case with planets Rahu and Ketu. The dimension of complexity is compounded at the very level of appearance of their entities itself - the imagery of both these planets is a mix of human physique and the Naga or serpent form. The element of mystery begins here and comes with a dash of fear too, putting any enquiries into the realm of Lunar Nodes at bay.

    The subterranean creature, the serpent has almost always held a negative, vile and fearsome image in the mind. If explorations stop in their tracks due to fear, the real shall remain unknown.

    This particular article is devoted to the understanding of Rahu – the planet that signifies the material/ illusory (mayavi) realm and all hopes and aspirations related to them. Until the consciousness opens up and the human being evolves, the individual merely has the understanding of the three dimensional world, that he or she inhabits.

    It is necessary that a good understanding of this be arrived at, before attempts are made to understand, simpler-yet-faraway realms of spirituality and higher dimensions.

    Vedic story of Rahu

    Eons ago, Swarbhanu, the demon whom we know as present day Rahu, was born to Simhika and Viprachitta. While Simhika was one of the daughters of King Dakhsha (better known as Sati’s father); Viprachitta was the maanas putra or the mind child of Brahma or the creator of the universe.

    Swarbhanu performed great austerities and when Brahma appeared he wished for a boon to be granted the status of a planet. Brahma obliged him and Swarbhanu was accorded the status of a planet. Much later when the gods and demons churned the great ocean, Swarbhanu’s story assumed larger meaning.

    Churning of the Great Ocean

    Among several things that emerged during the churning was also the pot of divine nectar or amrita. Whoever consumed even a drop of this nectar would become immortal. Knowing this, the gods were worried of the consequences, if any of it fell into the hands of the demons. Mahavishnu cleverly took the form of enchantress Mohini, who took upon the task of equally distributing the nectar (the plan was to finish off the entire pot of amrita giving them to gods only). Swarbhanu sensed the trick and quietly went and sat between the Sun (Surya) and the Moon (Chandra) in changed garb. By the time the two luminaries alerted Vishnu of the presence of the demon Swarbhanu among them, he had already partaken a drop of the nectar.

    Mohini the enchantress

    Vishnu sent his discus - the Sudarshan, to sever Swarbhanu’s body into two. Since Swarbhanu had already become immortal, the two severed parts remained. Swarbhanu’s head got attached to the body of a snake, coming to be known as Rahu and torso got attached to the head of the serpent, coming to be known as Ketu.

    Vishnu Hurling Sudarshan at Swarbhanu

    The head of serpent, forward looking Rahu is a shadow planet, one of the two Lunar Nodes also known as the North Node of the Moon or the Dragon’s head. The serpent imagery has lot more to do than just inspire fear or a sense of mystery.



    The serpent in mythological representations has always denoted time. Especially so, if one looks at the symbol of ouroboros or the serpent eating up its own tail (representing the cyclical nature of time).

    Before we delve further into Rahu’s link with time and its usefulness in our construct of reality, let us first understand significations of Rahu in all ways possible.

    Significations of Rahu as per Vedic Astrology

    Rahu is, in understanding as accorded by Vedic Astrology or smoky appearance. He is rather amorphous, the illusion creator, the shape shifter. So understanding him, his nature and his working would take more than an ordinary level of work and relentless hacking away at the illusion of Maya.

    He is described in the Vedic texts as the smoke colored, the fearsome, the dark complexioned, he who has red eyes and neck down the body of a serpent. He has a hypnotic look and can capture/ captivate/ grip one’s mind completely.

    Rahu is often regarded as the “Artificial sun” in the horoscope and has stately dimensions. He however, is not as grand as the Sun but rather subdued. Rahu is sometimes also known as the higher octave of Saturn. The Sanskrit saying “Shani vat Rahu” (that Rahu acts like Shani) is fairly well known.

    Rahu Governs Nakshatras (Lunar mansions): Swati, Ardra, Shatabhisha

    Co-rulership of signs (debatable): Aquarius, Virgo

    The Rashi of exaltation is Vrishabha/ Taurus.

    The Rashi of debilitation is Vrischika/ Scorpio.

    The Mula Trikonaas of Rahu is Mithuna (Gemini)

    Direction of Motion: Retrograde

    Nature: Airy, bereft of satisfaction

    Date / Tithi: Astami , panchami (some follow this opinion as nagas are worshipped on this tithi)

    Hessonite the Gem of Rahu

    Gem: Hessonite garnet, orange brown agate

    Day: Saturday

    Time of the day: Powerful and active through night

    Color: Ultraviolet, electric blue

    Symbols: Trident, sword, horse shoe magnet

    Seasons: Peak of winter (cold and dry)

    Distance attributed: 20 yojanas

    Creatures associated: Nocturnal creatures, reptiles, owls, elephants

    Age of manifestation: Between 42 and 47 years of age

    Substances / things governed:

    • tobacco,
    • intoxicants
    • drugs
    • alcohol
    • Smoked meats
    • Cigars
    • fertilizers
    • pesticides
    • plastics and polymers
    • ivory
    • garlic
    • vinegar
    • pungent and spicy foods
    • cumin
    • fennel
    • leather
    • animal skin
    • flesh
    • disinfectants
    • poisons
    • pharmaceuticals
    • smoke
    • clouds
    • clothes worn below waist
    • phenomenon of lightening
    • sexual perversion/ deviant behaviour
    • sense of hearing
    • Secrecy
    • Scheming



    Physiological and Psychological maladies associated with a malefic Rahu


    • Insanity
    • Pain
    • Hysteria
    • Phobias
    • Manic behaviour
    • Severe Discontent
    • Seeking external validation and approval
    • Wants to "possess" but satisfaction will be suspect
    • Psychic pollution/ attacks
    • Hand-me-downs and stigma originating from it


    Careers associated with Rahu

    Harry Houdini


    Harry Houdini 1874- 1926


    • Magicians,
    • Illusion makers (like Houdini)
    • Politicians
    • Pilots
    • Aeronautical engineers
    • Travel agents
    • Negotiators
    • Detectives
    • Espionage
    • Secret agents
    • Tattle-tales
    • Electrical and electronics
    • Pimps, flesh traders
    • Butchers
    • Jugglers
    • Hunters
    • Thieves
    • Blackmailers
    • Secrecy, scheming, espionage
    • Cruelty
    • Cheating, Fraudsters
    • Con men
    • Outcasts
    • Taboo breaker
    • Crypt Keeper



    Understanding the Rahu Energy at Work


    Rahu represents material ambition. Its influence and energies make an individual extremely ambitious where life is all about growth and mindless expansion, the kind that comes without semblance brought about by wisdom.

    Instant Gratification

    It is a sort of hunger laced with greed, which may not find satisfaction. Those under the influence of this planetary energy seek immediate gratification. There is also a strong inclination to ride piggy back on another's success. The Individual enters a sort of hypnotic trance where only the obsessive ambitions and desires or the disappointment stemming from not getting what one wants, dominate.

    The advent of Rahu’s planetary period is marked by a strong urge to explore culturally different setting. It sparks a passion for all things foreign and makes one an exotic experience seeker. It can also bring about sudden shocking events/ setbacks that can fuel an identity crisis, that can keep one in its grip for very long. The attachments generated during this period are very difficult to let go off, as the individual falsely believes that he or she cannot make do without the object of desire/ person/ achievement that slipped out of hand.

    Rahu’s significations have been explained above. But to understand his workings, it is important to understand the ramification of which house he is placed in and even more than that, he is influenced by the lord of the house he is placed in. For instance, Rahu placed in Leo, or Surya’s rashi will amplify the need to recognition, authority and all else that the Leo stands for!

    After all, the Node is only a shadow planet and will take on the characteristics of the despositor along with his own peculiarities. He is a sworn enemy of the luminaries and adversely affects the mind and ego if placed in conjunction or in house ruled by Moon and Sun respectively.

    Phra Rahu in Thai art depicted eating up the Sun causing eclipse

    Phra Rahu in Thai art depicted eating up the Sun causing eclipse

    Wisdom and Remedy for Rahu Planetary Period

    The other important thing to understand is that Rahu can work in an individual’s chart from the higher principal or the lower principal. In case, Rahu works from the higher principle, it helps the individual overcome the negative things it stands for! In case it works from its lower principle deviant behaviour, immoral acts, and entrapment with affect of vices, addictions and is very likely.

    So when one asks the question whether wearing Rahu’s gem pacifies it or amplifies its effects, the right answer would be that it does both, but depending upon the individual case. If Rahu is placed in the sign of Pisces or Sagittarius or is placed in 8th or 12th house of the natal chart, the recommendation has to be made with great care.

    The most important lesson to understand is that Rahu’s placement in a person’s natal chart determines the place where most karmic energy comes through and where most work should be done. It is the way forward. It is though the most difficult task as Rahu’s influence induces lethargy and action may not be easy. Rahu’s association with time is this very placement – the beginning of Maya’s web. Moving forward through karma, without getting stuck in tracks due to setbacks, grief or frustration is the key.

    Bhagwan Rahu at Thirunaageswaram

    Bhagwan Rahu at Thirunaageswaram

    Those under the influence of Rahu who experience pain and anguish at a deep level should visit the Naganatha Temple at Thirunageswaram, Tamil Nadu, India. This pilgrimage brings great relief. Praying to Goddess Durga and Godess Saraswati also helps during the planetary period of Rahu.

    One can read more about the Modus Operandi of Rahu.

    Selected Rings, Pendants and Talismans made available to patrons in September 2013 Table Natural Hessonite Gemstone Facts


    Natural Hessonite


    3.32 carats





    Planetary Energy


    Patron Location

    Bangalore, India

    All inclusive Price

    $ 200.82 / INR 12652



    Featured today is a fine Ceylon Hessonite garnet of 3.32 carats set in sterling silver as a Rahu talisman pendant. The oval shaped hessonite gem has a deep burnt orangish cinnamon color displaying the perfect roiled or heat wave effect.

    Natural Hessonite in silver Pendant

    Hessonite or Gomedh is the gemstone of planet Rahu and is used in a talisman during its planetary period. Rahu is also known as the North Node of the Moon.

    Note: The above links generally exist on the website for a period of 40 days after which they are periodically deleted to make way for new gemstones and to enable faster browsing.

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    Abhijita Kulshrestha

    Abhijita Kulshrestha is a communications professional and held the position of Research Associate at MICA- Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad before becoming certified Planetary Gem Advisor from PGA Thailand. At present she is a senior consultant at She is a certified NLP Practitioner from NFNLP and AJP from Gemological Institute of America-GIA



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