Rahu and Ketu are always 180° apart. This constitutes an axis known as the Rahu-Ketu Axis or RKA. This axis is important as it divides the horoscope into two parts. This axis has a special relevance in health and disease and is of importance to medical astrology.
Both Rahu and Ketu are considered as malefics and any planets falling in the Rahu-Ketu axis get damaged. As Rahu and Ketu are both non-conformist, the damage tends to be revealed as unorthodox - opinions, beliefs, views, non-conformist to expectations and the status quo. While Rahu and Ketu are very good for the spiritual pursuits a person may have, they tend to damage the material dimensions of life.
On Monday, 14 July, the Rahu-Ketu axis will change from the Libra - Aries position it has held for the last 18 months. Ever retrograde, these shadow planets will retrograde out of Libra and Aries and move to a Virgo - Pisces axis early in the morning, where they will remain for the next 18 months. We look to the likely effects of this transition between signs and consider conjunctions and aspects.
Rahu and Ketu are not visible planets; they are called shadowy planets for they are not visible to any eyes. These planets have specific roles in the life of every human: the functions of karma (action) in human life. (Karma means action.) No human can be actionless; once birth occurs, the heart is beating, the lungs draw breath and the body begins to grow, thriving on the life force within. Surrounding that life force, the soul, are the chains of karma which have to be experienced in the life taken up.
Rahu and Ketu give the results of planets they are conjunct with, or, if the house is empty, then they will give the results of the Lord of that house in the birth chart. The following are the key signs for Rahu and Ketu:
- Exaltation: Rahu is exalted in Taurus and Ketu exalts in Scorpio;
- Moola Trikona: Rahu's moolatrikona is Gemini, and Ketu's moolatrikona is Sagittarius
- Sign Ownership: Rahu owns Aquarius and Ketu owns Scorpio. (Some others say that Rahu owns Virgo and Ketu owns Pisces. We follow the other ownership)
- Both Rahu and Ketu shed their malevolence and behave as benefics in the signs of Mercury (Gemini and Virgo) and the signs of Jupiter (Sagittarius and Pisces).
- According to Parashara, Rahu in Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio and Sagittarius produces Raja Yoga during its dasha or antardasha.
- Rahu and Ketu may behave as yogakarakas or bestowers of good fortune when they occupy a trikona or associate with a kendra lord, or vice-versa, occupy a kendra and associate with a trikona lord.
Rahu Ketu axis showing Rahu conjunct Mars by degree
ON July 14 Rahu moves to Virgo and Ketu moves to Pisces in the morning. This will influence the Jupiter exalted in the sign of Cancer. Ketu will mutually aspect Jupiter by trine. (Jupiter’s 9th trine aspects the Ketu and Ketu’s 5th trine aspects Jupiter). Note that when this happens, Rahu will be conjuct with Mars in Virgo in very tight conjunction, both depleted as they are within the borders of signs, what is called sandi. The exact degree conjunction shown above happens early morning at 29:58. You will see that Venus has just moved from Taurus to Gemini and is also sandi, with less than 1° of strength in Gemini. Very shortly thereafter, Mars will move to Libra.
This will then have five planets in air signs. The moon will be the only planet in an Earth sign, as Venus will have moved out of its own, Earth sign. Given the focus on air signs, we may expect some influence on the mind, particularly for vata types, and Mars in Libra may have peoples minds moving in abrupt, sudden streams. It is a time of actively seeking calm and mind-management rather than taking things normally and for granted.
Rahu normally is said to indicate irreligious pursuits; however, Rahu is a karmic dispositor and performance of karma as duty, and without reaching for the fruits are spiritual actions. Rahu is a karaka for travel and foreign countries, and is so spoken of as karaka for sacred pilgrimages. As Rahu will be in the natural sixth house, this is the house of service to humanity. Any travel for religious purposes or selfless service will be aided by Rahu's natural drive to magnify the impulse to serve one's fellows: men, women and children, suffering and in distress. Suffering is no stranger to those whom Rahu disposes karma; what one does with the karma that Rahu and Ketu present is the opportunity for spiritual advance.
Ketu is mokshakaraka, bestower of moksha, liberation from the cycle of death and birth. Ketu focuses on renunciation, knowledge of the self, detachment, sacred pilgrimages, penance, vedantic and philosophical knowledge. This transit of Ketu into the natural 12 house, Pisces, is well regarded for sadhana, meditation and other inner pursuits such as atma-vichara, self-enquiry.