Shadow Planet – Gulika

Shadow planets have no mass but are known by their effects. Well known shadow planets are Rahu and Ketu, which have their different effects, particularly when all planets are located between them. There are other shadow planets, and one in particular is known as Gulika, sometimes called a “child of Saturn”, and the effect of Gulika is similar: delay and frustration. These act as a counter-weight to instant gratification.

Shadow planets have no mass, but are known by their effects. One such example of a shadow planet was astrologers positing the effects of Pluto before it was discovered. It was discovered where it was pinpointed to be. The existence of a significant gravitational body-mass in the area was cosmologically predicted long before Pluto was actually “discovered”.

There are several shadow planets (upa – shadow, graha – planet). These are named Dhuma, Gulika, Indrachapa (or Chapa), Parivesha, Vyatipata, Upaketu (or Sikhi) and Pranapada. Gulika is also known as Maandi (the slow one). These shadow planets – they are known by their effects.

Similar in density to Rahu-Ketu, Gulika has no mass and is therefore undetectable with the material eye. It is however vividly obvious to the psychic eye located in the Ajna chakra at the point between the two material eyes. Gulika is traditionally asserted to be a highly malefic influence, which very much slows things down.

Understanding Gulika

Gulika is beneficial in the houses of increase – 3rd, 6th, and 11th – these are domains which improve over time. They are ruled by Mercury and Saturn. In the house of karma or career (10th) Gulika develops public religious behaviors, especially a visible devotion to tapasya (sacrifice and penance). In the 10th, Gulika slows down progress toward career recognition but Gulika there will not fully impede career results. Gulika – Maanda has associations with: slow, tardy, moving slowly or softly, loitering, idle, lazy, sluggish; apathetic, phlegmatic, indifferent.

In any other house, Gulika is somewhat inauspicious; but the outcome must be interpreted in context of the planet which controls Gulika’s house of residence. There can be the feeling of frustration, of being thwarted in attaining one’s goals. Outcomes are hindered, delayed, criticized. One potential function of Gulika in lagna is to slightly delay the proper development of the physical body.

In fact, many great healers are born with Gulika in the first house. Their life histories often show an early childhood struggle with some disease or condition, which difficulties create their spiritual laboratory, and thus develop their divinely inspired healing abilities.

Gulika was traditionally asserted to be terribly malefic; in practice Gulika is just one of many indicators which must be balanced within the context of the entire life chart. There is no justification for superstitious fear of Gulika.

The Modern World:

In an instant we all can – and expect to – do our banking, book a holiday online, or check a medical diagnosis. Success needs to be now. We don’t have time to wait, or waste. And nowhere has instant gratification found a more welcome home than in the modern world of touchscreen and WiFi, of devices and apps, of television on demand, music in the pocket, and 24/7 connectivity.

Put instant payment into this equation and you can want, desire, pay and own in seconds. Everything is in the present moment. There is no delay, there is no path to fulfilment, there is no journey of human longing and effort to obtain satisifaction. Long term goals do not exist in this fast world of instant connectivity, 24/7. There is no frustration. No delay. No wait time.


  • 1. the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals
  • 2. an act of hindering someone’s plans or efforts
  • 3. a feeling of annoyance at being hindered or criticized

Frustration and delay are not a part of modern human endeavour. Instant choice over-rules the long term outcome, the setting of goals and learning life’s lessons. What are the lessons of this life?

We have all taken human birth for different reasons. There is a unity in mankind for all belong to the human race, be they rich or poor, black or white, prince or pauper. Just as the human race is one, their feelings, thoughts and behaviour are different. It would be an uninspiring experience if we found we were all exactly the same. Fortunately, we are not. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

The soul chooses a body, a mother and a father, a family environment to be born into. The planets in astrology aid in mapping out the life path and how we embody our life’s purpose. We have all come to this planet earth for reasons we have chosen. And the journey is all the more exciting, as life unfolds, for the veil of forgetting is cast over us when we are born, and once again, we begin life anew.

The planets – and shadow planets – have a place in this life journey. Life comes from light itself, from the Source, the uncreated light that gives light to all the Suns in all the Universes. The Central Source of life is the giver of life and light. The planets have a role to play in that they reflect light to our souls at the point of birth, and aid in the unfolding of the life-journey – by delivering light in its various combinations and colours to the soul.

Part of the patterns of light in our live is the absence of light. Gulika, shadow planet, as its name implies, represents the absence of light in compartments, experiences and striking circumstances of our lives. We also have all the skill sets we need to surpass this and overcome the challenges that Gulika represents from time to time. Our character, our integrity, our goodness will be determined not by the challenges but the kind of person we are when we best our challenges and retain our goodness, our beauty of character, our truth. All the tools to do this are within us – in particular, management of the mind, curbing of attitudes, and remembering we can choose how we feel in any situation.

Samasta loka sukhino bhavantu – may all the beings – in all the worlds – be happy!


 Shadows pass across the path of our lives; our character is determined by how we deal with same.




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