Shadow planets Rahu and Ketu are ever retrograde in their motion. Forever chasing Sun and Moon in order that they might avenge their separation by Sun and Moon after the Churning of the Ocean. With such action, they cause the eclipse of Sun and Moon. As planets, they move through the birth chart and gochara (transit) in backwards - retrograde - moving motion and every 18 months, change signs and their all - important Rahu-Ketu Axis, which has significance for nations and their leadership in particular. They also elicit, by their transit and retrograde motion, changes within the human person. Rahu and Ketu affect all with their transits. During June of 2014, Rahu and Ketu will change signs (peyarchi).
The Armour of Rahu
Rahu is an asura (unlike other planets ) and son of sage Kasyapa and an ogre called Simihika. He was born with a serpent head. When Mohini (the feminine form of Lord Vishnu) was distributing the nectar to the devas, Rahu entered the row and sipped the nectar. The Sun and Moon who saw this informed Lord Vishnu about this. Lord Vishnu cut him into two pieces. The piece which had head is Rahu. The piece without head is Ketu. Both pieces continued to live and circle the Earth in an anti-clockwise manner. Rahu creates all the problems that are created by planet Saturn. This Armour of Rahu (Kavacham) should be read on Saturdays to ward of any problems caused by this planet.
Pranamami sada Rahum, soorpakaram kireetinam,
Saimhikeyam karalasyam, lokanamabhaya pradham.
I always salute Rahu, who holds a winnow, who has a crown,
Who is like a lion and is terrible looking,
And who grants protection to people
Neelambara sira pathu, lalatam loka vanditha,
Chakshushi pathu may Rahu, srothre thwardha sareeravan.
Let my head be protected by he who wears blue silk,
Let my forehead be protected by he who is worshipped by the world,
Let Rahu protect my eyes and semi bodied one protect my ears.
Nasikam may dhoomravarna, soolapanir mukham mama,
Jihwam may simhika sunu, Kantam may katinamgrika.
Let the smoke-coloured one protect my nose,
And let he who holds the spear protect my face,
Let the son of Simhika protect my tongue,
And let my neck be protected by he who perceives by smell.
Bhujangeso bhujai pathu, neela malyambara karou pathu,
Pathu vaksha sthalam manthri, pathu kuksheem vidhunthuda.
Let the lord of serpents protect my arm,
Let my hands be protected by he who wears blue garlands,
Let the minister protect my breast,
And let the wise one protect my belly.
Katim may vikata pathu, ooru may sura poojitha,
Swarbhanuni januni pathu jange may pathu jadayaha.
Let my hip be protected by the funny one,
Let my thighs be protected by he who is worshipped by devas,
Let my knees be protected by him who makes the Sun his own,
Let my calves be protected by him who is sluggish.
Gulphou grahapathi pathu, padhou may bheeshanakruthi,
Sarvanyangani may pathu neela chandana bhooshana.
Let my ankle be protected by the lord of planets,
Let my feet be protected by he who looks terrible,
And let all my limbs be protected by him who wears blue sandal paste.
Raheridham kavacham rhudhi davasthudham yo,
Bhakthya padathyunu dinam niyatha suchi sanu,
Prapnothi keerthimathulam sriyamrudhi maayura,
Aaroghya mathma vijayam cha hi thath prasadath,
He who invests himself in this armour of Rahu,
Daily reads it with devotion according to rules cleanly,
Would get incomparable fame, plenty of wealth, long life,
Health and great victory in life due to his blessings.
Ithi Sri Mahabharathe Drutharasthra jayantha samvade
drona parvani rahu kavacham sampoornam,
Thus ends the Armour of Rahu occurring in the middle
of discussion between Drutharashtra and Jayantha
which occurs in the chapter on Drona in the great epic Mahabharatha.
The myth and legend of Rahu has the demon Swabharnu present at the churning of the ocean, where from came many gifts; the last was the pot of amrit, the nectar of immortality. The demons stole this nectar and agreed to share with the gods. Rahu left the demons and attempted to obtain the nectar by way of trickery. The Sun and Moon told Lord Vishnu, the head was separated from the body. This is literally, a separation of head and heart. This is the main illness of modern life.
Separation of head and heart literally decapitates the human from his or her true humanness. Wants, momentary needs and desires take the upper hand. There is no time for reflection, evaluation, discrimination, for bringing feelings into the picture and balancing with the intellect, the faculty for discrimination within. A sensible and balanced decision making process exerts self-control and self-management over needs and wants and fleeting desires. Time is of the essence, we may take time, and not haste, waste nor worry. We can take time, recollect ourselves and our goal in life and calmly examine the situation and discriminate right from wrong. Modern sociology and psychology tell us that those people who delay gratification more often achieve their goals in life than those who engage themselves in immediate sense gratification.
Discrimination, detachment, delay of gratification and taking in the big picture are all tools we have within ourselves. We can use these tools; where Rahu is in the birth chart, the transit chart, the annual (varshapal) chart are of critical importance, for these are the particular areas of engagement that we have to pay attention to. Rahu is of vata nature, windy, airy, fast moving when he comes in and takes over. Rahu, having no real abode, takes on the qualities of the sign he is transiting; Rahu also magnifies the energies of the planets he is associated with. So Rahu multiplies the magnetic and light energy being transmitted via the Sun to the planet, manifold times. Add this to a vata, windy, fast moving nature within the psyche-soma complex (the mind and body, the ego and the intellect) and it is easy to see why all nous is frequently thrown out, and the forces within rush ahead with army boots on where angels fear to tread!
A failure to pause and reflect and bring to bear the inner agencies and faculties that the human has exhibits lack of character, lack of integrity and groundlessness: this sums to a lack of true humanness. There can be beings with human form, how they act, what they think and what they do—the correlation between these three determines the capacity and exercise of self-awareness and self-control within. We assess a person by their actions, their words, and their thoughts, from which we derive their motivations. Rahu is a pretender, a fraudster, a charlatan, a trickster. Rahu will cogently use the facilities of knowledge within and argue convincingly to follow a course of action, indeed, even prove why such a course must be taken! We must remember Socrates who said (among many other things), "The un-reflected life is not worth living!"
We understand that that the influence of Rahu in general is expansionary; boundaries are pushed back, new territories and new experiences are sought and realised. Rahu is the visionary, the pioneer, the advance army going forth in reconnaissance of new horizons. All this is good, but what is the foundation? What is the qualification? What is the experience, what is the acumen and wisdom within? A great leap forward is all well and good, but where is the grounding, the measurement, the evaluation, the criterion, the reflection, the elements are brought into the decision making process? We are not talking about an army here, nor an expedition to the South Pole. We are talking about people having relationships, people pretending they have qualifications to do the job, people who take risks, people who betray people - or their Alma Mater and their education - and people who present exotic strategies that are seemingly without any foundation. We are talking about capital, investment, sales, profits, returns. Rahu exercises influence in all these aspects of human life and work.
This is a great heap to lay at the feet of Rahu, but Rahu as shadow planet can only deliver in retrograde, in eclipse, in darkness sans substance. The full burst of magnetic energy, the full burst of light comes from the major luminaries, the Sun and Moon and the five luminary planets which reflect the light of the Sun: Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Venus. Rahu may magnify or increase the results of these planets in signs and houses, in conjunction and with aspect (Rahu aspects a full 100% to the fifth, seventh, ninth and twelfth signs and houses away.) So we understand that Rahu takes the energies of signs and houses into its character - manifest as word, action and deed) multiplies them and then expands the influence of the planet it is conjunct with. That's a lot of magnetic energy, influence and aspect without foundation. Rahu is ever retrograde and has the longest of the Vimshottari dasha, 19 years. Rahu moves through all the signs of the horoscope, changing signs every 18 months or so. In the life of a person, Rahu will have impact on every area of that life, be it in the personality, the earning of wealth, the relations with siblings, the home and family, the use of intellect and application of thought as action, health, spouse, family, the capacity to reflection, the relations with friends, the workplace and other social networks. Rahu influences all these dimensions of modern life.
Arthava Veda gives the following mantra
May we get welfare from the planets and Moon. May we get welfare from the Sun as well as Rahu.
How do we obtain welfare from Rahu? It is very clear that we need to take time, delay gratification, exercise our intellect, and join our head and heart. We may take the long view, we may examine our facts, we may explain what they mean and imply, we may look to the impact on others, we may examine whether our course of action brings us peace within, or some other emotion such as restlessness, anxiety and lack of peace. How do we prevent this separation of head and heart? How do we join these and create a life of peace and satisfaction, along with achievement of our goals? The heart is the key. Which way we turn the key determines our life and our experiences. If we turn the key to the world within and the intellect, the voice of conscience and the inner wisdom, we will have peace. If we turn the key to the world, we may expect wants, desires, lack of peace, illusions and sufferings. In order to get welfare from Rahu, we must take the one thing which we have in ample measure, time, and make our decisions carefully with an eye to the outcomes and how we might feel with those outcomes.