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8.8 and 8.9 : The lunar nodes ( Rahu and Ketu) : “ Rahu creates smoke, has a dark body, resides in foests and engenders fear; he is airy (vata) in constitution. Ketu is similar to Rahu---------------- Parashari, 3.30

Apart from 7 planets, Vedic astrology regards certain significant points of planetary relationships as minor or secondary or shadowy planets. The two most important of these are the nodes of the Moon. The north node, or dragon’s head is called Rahu in Sanskrit; the south node, or the Dragon’s tail, is called Ketu in Sanskrit.

The lunar nodes are considered to be shadowy planets. Astronomically they represent the points at which Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic, the celestial equator. These are the places at which the Moon crosses the point of the Sun’s orbit, at which eclipses can occur. The lunar nodes show the times when the solar and lunar forces obstruct each other or cancel each other out. They show the potential for short circuiting, as it were, our solar and lunar energies. They are thus very sensitive points that can cause repercussions in the total field of planetary forces.

Rahu the north or the ascending node, is the point at which the Moon crosses the ecliptic to the north; Ketu the south or descending note is where it crosses the it to the south. The influence of Rahu is thus ascending, expanding and externalizing, but of what is largely a negative force. The Ketu is descending, contracting and internalizing. Hence it is less negative than Rahu.

Eclipses of the Sun and Moon can occur in proximity to either of the nodes. The nodes were regarded mythologically as the demon which swallows the luminary and causes the eclipse. In Hindu mythology the two nodes represent the head and the body of the demon or Asura who had disguised himself in the assembly of Gods who came to drink the ‘Amrita’ churned out of the ocean to gain immortality. The demon was recognized by Moon who informed lord Vishnu who immediately severed his body in two parts, the head was known as the Rahu and the body was known as the Ketu. Since the demon had already tasted the Amrita so it also became immortal in its both upper part as well as the lower part.

As such Rahu and Ketu have the power to overcome the Sun and the Moon, and in this sense they can be stronger than any of the planets. In Vedic astrology, therefore the conjunction of any planet with either of the lunar nodes is regarded as a kind of eclipse of that planet wherein its energy is in some way obstructed, negated or liberated. In Vedic astrology therefore Rahu/Ketu are both very important factors in chart interpretation. They possess the power not only to negate planetary influences, but because eclipses are points of energy transformation, they have additional special properties to transfer or to augment planetary influences for good or ill. Vedic astrologer called Pras trivedi in his book on Rahu/Ketu has described them as Karmic planets and they act as Karmic triggers in conjunction with other planets to dispense Karmic results in our life at different points over which we have no control.

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cyberastro