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Rahu & Ketu

Rahu and Ketu are strange and unique concepts in Vedic Astrology. They are not planets in the classical definition of planets. They have no mass. Rahu and Ketu are the two lunar nodes. Rahu is known as the Dragon's Head and Ketu as the Dragon's tail. They are just two astronomical points. Rahu is the point at which Moon crosses the ecliptic to the north. Ketu, the south or descending node, is where it crosses it to the south. Eclipses of Sun and Moon can occur in proximity to either of the nodes. The nodes were regarded mythically as the demon which swallows the luminary and causes the eclipse.

As such, they have the power to overcome the Sun and Moon, and in the sense they can be stronger than any of the planets. The subtle relationship between the Sun, the Moon and the Earth plays a large part in the unfolding of each individual's consciousness. The conjunction of any planet with either of the lunar nodes is regarded as the kind of eclipse of that planet wherein its energy is in some way obstructed, negated or liberated. Thus Vedic Astrology regards these two nodes as among the most 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 bad. It was necessary to introduce the concept of Rahu and Ketu in detail, as they are usually alien to a western person.

The South node or Ketu is regarded as a point of difficult Karma from a past life in which the individual furthered his own selfish interest at the expense of others. The South node, on the positive side, can develop strong concentration and mastery of obscure or arcane subjects.

Ketu, though regarded as less malefic than Saturn, is something like Mars in its malefic aspects. Ketu creates doubt, disturbance, anger, ambition, willfulness and a critical and often narrow vision in life, which may lead to conflict and argument.

On the positive side, Ketu means a flag. It has the power to boost up the effects of strong planets with which it is conjoined. Ketu gives sudden and unexpected results for good or bad. On the spiritual front Ketu gives perception, liberation, wisdom and psychic sensitivity in a more genuine way but can give us a too limiting, critical view of things.