Yama Peyarchi – the Transit of Pluto

Yamraj - the God of Death; the God of following DharmaThree astrological events of significance take place during February 2020: Mercury retrograde and the transit (Peyarchi) of Pluto (Yama) and the imposition of Karl Sarpa Yoga with all the planets hemmed in between the lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu.

Mercury Retrograde

Mercury is the planet of communication, swift exchanges of information and intelligence. In this day and age of information superhighways, Mercury (and Saturn) both play a significant role as humanity has come to rely upon mobile phones, tablets, computers and broadcast news across several media and streaming services. All of which may – from time to time – go haywire during Mercury retrograde.

The period of Mercury Retrograde will be from 17 February to 10 March.

Mercury is in Aquarius, in Shatabisha nakshatra, which signifies the “100 physicians”; a lunar mansion of healing, so there is hope during this time of retrograde for a solution to the COVID-19 virus affecting so many people in China and elsewhere – where people have fear.

Of three Mercury retrograde spells in a year this one is “medium-rare” and maintains a steady pace without becoming too stuck and drawn-out. Still, expect the classic retro experience – delays and confused or thwarted communication, mistakes in media and commerce and generally an extra effort to get your message across. This isn’t an ideal time to launch a book, website or sign an important contract, and it’s worth devoting extra time to editing your work.

Mercury retrogrades 2020
Mercury retrogrades 2020

The Outer Planets:

Vedic Astrology does not take notice of the outer planets, except when they change signs.

The Scientific Point of View

Pluto is an icy dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, a ring of bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was the first Kuiper belt object to be discovered and is the largest known dwarf planet. Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 as the ninth planet from the Sun. Wikipedia

Pluto is the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but is less massive than Eris. Like other Kuiper belt objects, Pluto is primarily made of ice and rock and is relatively small-about one-sixth the mass of the Moon and one-third its volume. It has a moderately eccentric and inclined orbit during which it ranges from 30 to 49 astronomical units or AU (4.4-7.4 billion km) from the Sun. This means that Pluto periodically comes closer to the Sun than Neptune, but a stable orbital resonance with Neptune prevents them from colliding. Light from the Sun takes about 5.5 hours to reach Pluto at its average distance (39.5 AU).

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) downgraded the status of Pluto to that of a dwarf planet because it did not meet the three criteria the IAU uses to define a full-sized planet. Essentially Pluto meets all the criteria except one-it “has not cleared its neighboring region of other objects.”

Planets known by their Effects

Most practitioners of Vedic astrology disregard the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Literature of Vedic Astrology only uses the traditional nine grahas: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn and lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu. However, Neo-Vedic or contemporary Vedic astrologers attend to the outer planets when they change signs, or perhaps, when they change nakshatra, or turn retrograde. There is no rulership, dignity nor debilitation assigned to the outer planets. They are known by their effects.

Uranus was discovered through the telescope on March 13, 1781 by William Herschel, while Neptune’s path was calculated – using Newtonian method by John Couch Adams and Urbain le Verrier in 1846. A similar process led to the “discovery” of Pluto. The existence of a significant gravitational body-mass in the area was cosmologically predicted long before Pluto was actually “discovered”. It was predicted because Pluto’s effects can be seen on other objects/fields in his region.

When we have effects in the life of a person, and the standard horoscope does not offer any explanation; nor varshpala, mandi, gulika, like this, there are unexplained effects. It is then we look to the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. At one time it used to be said that Uranus was a “higher octave” of Mercury, Neptune a “higher octave” of Venus, and Pluto a “higher octave” of Mars. It is thought now, given the advance of humanity into the Golden Age (4th and 5th dimensions) that these descriptions lack finesse and that archetypes might aid understanding and comprehension of unexplained effects. The great Swiss psychiatrist, Dr. C.G. Jung once wrote “that which we do not face in the unconscious, we will live as fate”.

We understand that certain effects can be assigned to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – standard attributions – Uranus as creative and potentially chaotic, Neptune as inspirational but potentially delusional, and Pluto as darkly transformative; these attributions tend to ring true. Vedic Astrology assigns deities to planets, and according to the ancient palm leaf called Vasishtha Nadi, the names of the grahas or planets (yet to be discovered) would be Prajapati (Uranus), Varuna (Neptune), and Yama (Pluto).

Understanding the Outer Planets:

(Denis Harness writes,)

An important question still remains to be answered: Is there any evidence of commentary on the outer planets from ancient Vedic culture? In 1994, I had the good fortune of meeting the renowned Hindu astrologer and Vedic scholar from India named Narendra Desai. For many years until his death in April 2001, he taught workshops and gave private consultations throughout the United States. While sharing his knowledge at a Vedic Astrology conference in the Washington D.C. area in 1994, he began to speak about the importance of the outer planets. According to Mr. Desai, he saw an ancient Vasistha Nadi palm leaf in a museum in Madras, India, which predicted that three important grahas or planets would be discovered by the astrologers of Kali Yuga (this day, this age).

(This would seem to make sense. Uranus was discovered in 1781 and spends seven years in each sign. Neptune was discovered in 1612 by Galileo but he didn’t realise it was a planet. Neptune was “officially” discovered in 1846 and spends 14 years in each sign. Pluto was discovered in 1930 and has an orbit of 248 years. Due its elliptical orbit, Pluto may spend anywhere between 11 to 32 years in each sign.)

The great seer Vasistha was the author of a number of hymns in the Rg Veda (dated 3000 BC) and was considered a great priest of the kings. According to the ancient palm leaf the names of the grahas or planets would be Prajapati, Varuna, and Yama. The palm leaf went on to reveal that the astrologers of Kali Yuga (this day, this age) would need to decipher the significance and meaning of these powerful grahas. It was refreshing to hear a traditional astrologer from India speak with such an open mind toward the influence of the outer planets. (source)

Transit of Pluto – Yama Peyarchi

Full colour Pluto taken by Voyager II

Pluto changes signs on 25 February 2020, moving from Sagittarius to Capricorn, in Uttara Ashadha nakshatra, and is vargottama in the Navamsa chart (vargottama: it moves into Capricorn in both the Birth Chart, and the Navamsa, the 9th harmonic).

Pluto in Capricorn
While Pluto is considered agency for control and manipulation, corruption, perversion, purging and cleansing, Capricorn is democratic and egalitarian; it does not have time for ego and autocracy – you will see many egos crushed during this period. Pluto is the active agent for catharsis and release; there is transformation and healing. Pluto can empower, intensify, regenerate and renew our purpose in life. On the other hand, Pluto can probe, piecce, purge and cleanse, expel and exterminate that which is not serving our life’ purpose, our soul contract.

The best way to deal with this transit is to be humble, realistic, practical, keep your feet on the ground and be reasonable. Capricorn gives you nothing for free, and if you make the efforts, you get rewards. If there are some difficulties or obstacles, take them in your stride and remain calm.

Yama and Dharma

There is the Hindu deity Yama, mostly known – and feared – as the God of Death: Yama, the god who judges the souls at the end of life. His other name is Dharmaraja, and he is called Lord of Justice, said to be rightly judging souls for their accumulated deeds on Earth. Said to be blue in colour, he rides a he-buffalo, and holds a rope and a stick (danda).

By the time of the Puranas, Yama is said to be the son of Surya and Sangya (who is the daughter of Vishwakarma), and is the brother of the planet Shani. He is one of the eight guardians of directions, responsible for south. He is the lord of the dead, and all mortals go to his court to be judged. His scribe Chitragupta, keeps a record of all the deeds of men. Yama sentences the soul to either heaven or hell based on the balance of Karma. In his role as the judge, Yama is also referred to as Dharmaraja, the lord of justice. His knowledge of the scriptures is immense and and he is the ultimate arbiter of truth and falsehood.

Dharma is ‘the vesture of the cosmos’; it has both a general and a personal application: the harmony of the world must be maintained, and an individual’s dharma must be fulfilled by adherence to the duties and obligations relating to each person’s inherent nature, profession, status and stage of life as laid down by the ancient lawgivers. The Gita teaches, ‘It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another.’ Dharma is that particular course of conduct which will produce maximum benefit both for the thing concerned and for the rest of the universe. ‘Dharmam moolam jagat’ – dharma is the basis of the Universe. It sustains the world. It is not only divinely ordained but part of divinity itself: ‘Dhārayati iti dharma’ – that which sustains is dharma.

Kala Sarpa Yoga

Kala Sarpa Yoga happens when the lunar nodes Rahu/Ketu have all the the planets between them.

In 2020, this will take place from February 25 when Mars transits and passes Ketu (in Sagittarius). This is a rare situation and is only occurs when Jupiter and Saturn are on one side of the Rahu Ketu axis. This is an unsettling transit and it can make us feel that our life uncertain. We have to find purpose in following daily routine, and remind ourselves that “I am the Light, I am the Love, I am“. This is the utterance of Divinity echoed in every heart. When it comes to duty, and responding to calls for action, sometimes we have no choice; however, being extra cautious with all the other choices you have to make and taking care in making every decision is the key to dealing with it successfully.

The Rahu-Ketu axis is found between Gemini and Saggitarius. All the nine planets (and the outer planets) are hemmed in between them. When Moon breaks the Kala Sarpa, it is kemadruma or isolated – so our emotions are volatile and we can feel lonely and unsure.
The Dates

From February 24 (Mars conjunct Ketu) until March 4 (the Moon breaks it)
From March 17 (Moon conjunct Ketu) until March 31 (the Moon breaks it)
From April 13 (Moon conjunct Ketu) until April 27 (the Moon breaks it)
From May 10 (Moon conjunct Ketu) until May 25 (the Moon, then Mercury breaks it)



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