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Yogas and Astrology

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Questions about the course? Send mail to Roeland de Looff, the author or the course material

The charts of Gandhi and Kennedy that are mentioned in this text are shown at the end of the text.


A unique characteristic of Indian astrology are the yoga’s. Yoga’s are planetary positions that lead to a certain result. We have already discussed one yoga, that of raja yoga.

This was mentioned in diagram 8. This is a simple yoga. It was a matter of one planet and the houses over which it was lord. There are literally thousands of these kinds of yogas. In India, an astrologer must know them of by heart. Then it is said that the first thing an astrologer needs, is a good memory. During this course, we shall discuss a number of yogas. Studying a horoscope for the presence of yogas presents an astrologer with new dimensions in horoscope interpretation. When you analyse a horoscope for the presence of yogas, as discussed below, you will quickly obtain insight into the principle components of a horoscope.


Pancha mahapurusha yogas are yogas that are easy to find in a horoscope. To begin our analysis for this group of yogas, we note the position of the ascendant and the Moon.

The Moon is an exceptionally important planet in Indian astrology, and for this reason, we can use the sign the Moon is in as an alternative ascendant. So if we look for yoga’s we can look for them from the ascendant but we can also take the Moon as a starting point in our search for yoga’s.

For instance, if we say that a certain planet must be placed in a kendra house to be considered as a planet making a yoga, the kendra house is calculated from either the ascendant or from the sign the Moon is in.

Example: We have a Moon placed in the fifth house. Kendra houses calculated from the ascendant are the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses. Kendra houses calculated from the Moon in this example, are the fifth (first house calculated from the Moon), eighth (fourth house calculated from the Moon), eleventh (seventh house calculated from the Moon) and the second (tenth house calculated from the Moon) houses.

And now to the yogas and their consequences:

In short, the characteristics of a certain planet are strongly emphasised in a pancha mahapurusha yoga.

Example of a ruchaka yoga: Adolf Hitler had Mars in Aries in the seventh house. Mars is in its own sign (also a moolatrikona sign) and in a kendra house (the seventh house). How he used the ruchaka yoga is evident. This yoga need not be used is this manner. Many sports people have a ruchaka yoga in their horoscope.

A bhadra yoga enables a person to become good in commerce and communicating.

A hamsa yoga could be seen in the horoscope of a learned person, a clergyman or someone who has a lot of good fortune in his life.

We could expect a malavaya yoga in the horoscope of a millionaire or a beauty queen. We can see a malavaya yoga in John F. Kennedy's horoscope (which has been enclosed with the course). In his horoscope, Venus is in its own sign, in the ninth house (this is a kendra house as seen from the Moon). In his horoscope, this resulted in great riches and because of meeting many beautiful women, a great deal of sexual enjoyment. However, we can see this yoga also in the horoscope of the peaceable Gandhi. In this horoscope, Venus is in the first house in a moolatrikona sign. In both examples, we see expressions of Venus (peace, sexual enjoyment, riches) but, depending on the rest of the horoscope, the malavaya yoga has unfolded in different ways.

A shasya yoga is fitting for the horoscope of a politician or a director.

 Let us not forget we find pancha mahapurusha yogas in the horoscopes of approximately of half the population, and certainly not everyone is famous. Only the appearance of such a yoga is by no means enough to warrant fame. Other aspects in the horoscope must also support this.


A parivartana yoga occurs when planet A is in the sign of planet B, and planet B is in the sign of planet A.

For example, if Mars is in Taurus and Venus is in Aries, Mars is in the sign of Venus and Venus is in the sign if Mars. In Western (horary) astrology, this position is called ‘in reception'. If this position occurs in your own horoscope, it is indicated by a small wave (˜, in mutual reception with another planet). Although the computer programme that we use for our printouts regards this as a beneficial condition code, that is not always the case. We can ascertain that the influence both planets have on each other is similar to that of a conjunction. If this is beneficial or not depends of the character of both planets and especially the houses they rule. There are three kinds of parivartana yogas.

Dainya yoga: This yoga occurs when one of the planets participating in the yoga is lord of the sixth, eighth or twelfth house. These are dushtana houses that generally have an unfavourable influence.

In most cases, the lord of the sixth, eighth or twelfth house will be strengthened by the benefic influence of the other planet.

However, the other planet involved in this yoga is always damaged.

Example: When Sagittarius is on the ascendant, the Moon is lord of the eighth house and the Sun is lord of the ninth house. Should the Moon be in Leo and the Sun in Cancer, then we have a dainya parivartana yoga. In this case, the Sun will be damaged because it has to battle with the difficult energy of the eighth house. The Moon however, will get a boost from the influence of the favourable ninth house energy.

A possible interpretation for the lord of the eighth house when it is favourably influenced: Perhaps the person involved here will receive an inheritance (eighth house) from his father (ninth house), or he may be a teacher (ninth house) of psychology (eighth house).

A possible interpretation for the lord of the ninth house when it is unfavourably influenced: Probably this person's father (ninth house) has had a problematical life because the lord of the ninth house has been affected by the influence of the lord of the eighth house, which has to do with all kinds of problems. In addition, it is possible that his good fortune (lord of the ninth house) will be tainted (influence of the lord of the eighth house).

Kahala yoga: This occurs when one of the planets of this yoga is lord of the third house. The other planet may not be lord of the sixth, eighth or twelfth house (because we then have a dainya yoga). The third house is the house of energy and strength. A kahala yoga would mean that the person involved would invest a lot of energy and vigour in improving his circumstances.

Example: If Taurus is on the ascendant, the Moon is lord of the third house and Saturn lord of the ninth and tenth houses. Supposing the Moon is in Capricorn and Saturn in Cancer. Then we have a kahala yoga. This person will put a lot of energy (third house) into his career (tenth house) and into broadening his horizons (ninth house).

Maha yoga: When a parivartana yoga occurs between the lords of the first, second, fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth, tenth or eleventh houses, we have a maha yoga. The lords of the third, sixth, eighth or twelfth houses may not be involved, because then we would have either a dainya yoga or a kahala yoga. This yoga enriches the planets involved.


This group of yogas is caused by planets being placed around a certain house and/or planet. The most generally occurring scissors yoga is when two benefics or malifics enclose a planet or a house.

Scissors yogas can also be called kartari yogas. Kartari means scissors.

Example: Let us assume that Venus is in Taurus, Saturn (a malefic) in Aries and Mars (a malefic) in Gemini. Two malefics enclose Venus. Therefore, Venus will not be able to function optimally. In Western horary astrology, we know the term enclosed, which is used when a planet in enclosed by two malefics. In Indian astrology, the term enclosed is used for containment in a negative sense, and also for containment with positive consequences.

  • We call enclosure by malefics of a planet or a house papa kartari yoga.
  • We call enclosure by benefics of a planet or a house shubha kartari yoga.
  • Example: If Venus is in Taurus, Jupiter (a benefic) in Aries, and the Moon (a benefic) in Gemini, then Venus will function exceptionally well. This is shubha kartari yoga.

    A house can also be enclosed, although there is no planet in that house.

    Example: Mars is in the fourth house, the fifth house is empty and Saturn is in the sixth house. This can have awkward consequences for the children, because two malefics enclose the fifth house. In this case, the fifth house encounters a papa kartari yoga.

    However, when Venus is in the fourth house and Jupiter in the sixth house, everything pertaining to the fifth house will be beneficially influenced. In this situation, the fifth house is strengthened by the occurrence of a shubka kartari yoga.

    The planets can form these scissors yogas, but not Rahu and Ketu.

    This type of scissors yoga is common. When the first house is enclosed, it is of particular importance. This is because the first house is so important. One could say that the first house is the horoscope in miniature.

    In Gandhi's horoscope we can see that the first house is enclosed by the Sun (malefic in the twelfth house) and Saturn (malefic in the second house). This is a papa kartari yoga, which caused a certain number of problems in his life.


    There are a number of scissors yogas that apply specifically to the Moon or the Sun.

  • Sunapha yoga: Planets in the second house (other then the Sun) calculated from the Moon – richness, financial benefits. The effects of this are stronger if benefics are situated in the second house calculated from the Moon. Should there be one or more malefics in this second house from the Moon, the effect will be limited, or there will be no effect at all.
  • Anapha yoga: Planets in the twelfth house (other then the Sun) calculated from the Moon - religious. This effect increases if there are benefics in the twelfth house calculated from the Moon, but should it concern one or more malefics, the effect is limited or non-effective. In Kennedy's horoscope, Saturn is in the eleventh house, which is the twelfth house calculated from the Moon. He was not known to be a particularly religious man.
  • Durudhura yoga: Planets (other then the Sun) in both the twelfth and the second house calculated from the Moon - rich and high morals (especially if it concerns beneficial planets).
  • Kemadruma yoga: There are no planets in either the twelfth or the second house calculated from the Moon. Other planets do not support the functions of the Moon. The person will feel lonely and lead a rather difficult life. There are many ways in which this difficult yoga can be neutralised. An example: should the Moon be in either a kendra or a trikona house, in conjunction with another planet or being aspected by Jupiter this yoga will be greatly neutralised.
  • Gandhi had Kemadruma yoga in his horoscope, because there are no planets in either the twelfth or the second house calculated from the Moon. However, the Moon is in the tenth house (a kendra house). This greatly neutralises the Kemadruma yoga.


    Now we shall discuss the scissors yogas of the Sun. Planets in the second or the twelfth house calculated from the Sun, will strengthen the Sun (naturally in their own manner, according to their character).

  • Veshi yoga: When a planet (other then the Moon) is in the second house calculated from the Sun, it forms a veshi yoga. This yoga gives riches and status, at least when this yoga is formed by benefics. If it is formed by malefics it can lead to all kinds of problems.
  • Voshi yoga: This occurs when a planet (other then the Moon) is placed in the twelfth house calculated from the Sun. This yoga supports spiritual development and intelligence, at least when it is formed by a benefic. A malefic in the twelfth house calculated from the Sun will give us problems.
  • Kennedy had both a benefic and a malefic in the twelfth house calculated from the Sun. He was intelligent (the influence of Mercury), but the fact that he was murdered had something to do with the powerful malefic Mars (in a moolatrikona house) in the eighth house, which is the twelfth house calculated from the Sun. This very same Mars also gave him his sex appeal.

    The eighth house represents death as well as sexual charisma. A powerful Mars in that house can lead to a violent death (Mars as powerful malefic) as well as a lot of sexual charisma. The Voshi yoga increases the above effects.

  • Ubhayachari yoga: There is a planet (other then the Moon) in both the second and the twelfth house calculated from the Sun. This brings good fortune in many areas, but again only if it involves benefics. Malefics will create trouble.
  • When a person has both a Veshi and Voshi yoga, he actually has Ubhayachari yoga.

    It would be logical to expect a yoga when there are no planets in the second or the twelfth house calculated from the Sun. This is not the case. The Sun is in itself, a powerful planet, and it can function very well alone, without the support of other planets. A benefic in the vicinity is always appreciated, but it is not necessary.

    Several of the aforementioned yoga’s will appear in everyone's horoscope. Because they appear so often, they are yoga’s, that can only lead to sizeable results, when they are related to other indications.


    I have already explained that there are literally thousands of yogas. The following list is of particularly important yoga’s. One must realise that this is only a very small selection. For those who wish to learn more on this subject, I refer to the list of books for further reading. The book 'yogas in Astrology' by K. S. Charak contains especially good descriptions of yoga’s. The book written by Hart deFouw also gives a lot of attention to this subject.

  • Raja yoga: The lords of a kendra and a trikona house are in conjunction, mutually aspected or in reception. This is a combination of good fortune (trikona house) and action (kendra house), so take advantage of it. I would like to point out that a raja yoga could be formed by one planet, and also by two planets.
  • Example: With an Aries ascendant, the Moon is lord of the fourth house and the Sun is lord of the fifth house. Should the Sun and the Moon be in conjunction in a horoscope with an Aries ascendant, the two planets then form a raja yoga. In this case, the Moon is lord of a kendra house (the fourth) and the Sun is lord of a trikona house (the fifth).

  • Adhi yoga: There must be art least two, but preferably more, benefics in the sixth, seventh and eighth house calculated from the Moon - leadership.
  • Explanation: Benefics in the sixth and/or eighth house support the seventh house (refer to scissors yoga’s). A benefic in the seventh house will of course lead to a better functioning of that house. However, the seventh house is opposite the Ascendant. Because of this, it also has consequences for the functioning of the ascendant. When a planet is placed in the seventh house, it will aspect the first house. This is the reason that a strong seventh house also gives us a strong first house.

    Inasmuch as the first house is the whole horoscope in short, a strong first house is of particular importance. It then follows that the consequence of adhi yoga is a strong first house, which will therefore lead to positive results.

    Analogically an adhi yoga calculated from the Moon, will also allow the Moon to function much better. The Moon is the most important planet in Indian astrology. That the Moon should function well is therefore of great importance.

  • Amala yoga: A benefic placed in the tenth house calculated from the ascendant or the Moon - philanthropic and benevolent attitude towards mankind, career in the social sector
  • If a malefic is placed in this position, it may be favourable for the owner of the horoscope (explanation: malefics in upachaya houses are good and the tenth house is an upachaya house). However, it may mean, that he attains a high-ranking position at the cost of others. At the very least, he will not be very particular in choosing the avenues leading to social success.

    Gandhi has in his horoscope, amala yoga calculated from the ascendant (Moon in the tenth house) and amala yoga calculated from the Moon (Jupiter in the tenth house from the Moon).

  • Ashubha mala yoga: When all the benefics are placed in the sixth, eighth and twelfth houses - the benefics become powerless: misfortune, a difficult life.
  • Budhatiya yoga: The Sun and Mercury are in conjunction and are placed in the first, seventh, fifth or eleventh house - an intellectual. J.W. Goethe had this combination in his horoscope.
  • Explanation: The first house is the most important house in Indian astrology, and when the Sun and Mercury are placed in the seventh house, they aspect the ascendant. The intellect is a facet of the fifth house.

    The intellectual combination of the Sun and Mercury is favourable for the intellect. When the Sun and Mercury are placed in the eleventh house, they aspect the fifth house. If Mercury is in combustion, the budhatiya yoga remains intact, but the person involved will find it difficult to convince the public of his good ideas. The budhatiya yoga will manifests, but it can only be publicly displayed with the greatest difficulty.

  • Chandra Mangala yoga: The Moon and Mars in conjunction or opposition - riches (often caused by women), probably made by unscrupulous means. It can also cause problems with the mother. Chandra is the Indian name for the Moon, and Mangala is the name for Mars.
  • Charussagara yoga: Planets placed in all the kendra houses - good reputation and good fortune (better when it is formed by benefics). The kendra houses are the pillars of the horoscope. Planets placed there are extremely effective. When planets are occupying all the kendra houses, their energy will be powerfully felt, which in most cases, will be a good thing (especially when it concerns natural or temporary benefics).
  • Srik yoga: This occurs when only natural benefics placed in the kendra houses - comfort, good luck, abundance.
  • Explanation: When there is srik yoga, the natural benefics will be very influential in life, which of course, is very positive.

  • Sarpa yoga: Only malefics are placed in the kendra houses - misfortune, a difficult life.
  • Gaja Kesari yoga: The Moon and Jupiter are either conjunct, square or in opposition - good luck, intelligence, and high morals. In this yoga, the Moon and Jupiter influence each other. The connection between the planet, which is the most important for our life on earth, the Moon, and the planet of good luck and fortune, Jupiter, has favourable effects.
  • Both Gandhi and Kennedy have Gaja Kesari yoga in their horoscope. That of Gandhi is the stronger because in his horoscope, both the Moon and Jupiter are placed in kendra houses, whilst in the Kennedy horoscope the Moon in placed in a dushtana house.

  • Shakata yoga: When the Moon is placed in the sixth, eighth or twelfth house, calculated from Jupiter - fluctuating fortunes.
  • This is more or less the opposite of the Gaja Kesari yoga. When the Moon is placed in a dushtana house calculated from Jupiter, we have a difficult relationship between these two planets.

  • Maha Bhagya yoga: For a man: The ascendant, the Sun and The Moon are placed in uneven signs and he is born in the daytime - very fortunate. Uneven signs are, by the way, positive; masculine signs (the air and fire signs). Daytime is also masculine.
  • For a woman: The ascendant, the Sun and the Moon are placed in even signs, and she is born during the night - very fortunate. Even signs are negative; feminine signs (the earth and water signs). The night is feminine.

  • Saraswati yoga: When Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are placed in kendra houses, in a friendly sign, or even better, in the second house – writer, learned person, speaker, intellectual.
  • When they are in a favourable position, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury can provide wisdom.

    In Gandhi's horoscope, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are placed in kendra houses. It is true that Jupiter and Mercury are placed in, for them, neutral signs, but as all the named planets are either in conjunction with each other, or aspect benefices, the Saraswati yoga here is extremely powerful.

  • Vasumathi yoga: Benefics placed in upachaya (the third, sixth, tenth or eleventh houses) houses calculated from the Moon or the ascendant - riches. Kennedy had Jupiter and Venus in the tenth house calculated from the Moon. Two out of three benefics in upachaya houses calculated from the Moon provide reasonably strong vasumathi yoga.

    No horoscope is without yogas. Favourable yogas are frequent. Still many people lead lives which shine in their mediocrity. Persons with favourable yogas are not always rich and famous.

    The cause of this lies in just how a certain yoga is placed in the horoscope. If we want to form an opinion as to just how a yoga expresses itself, we shall have to examine the following.

    1. How strong are the planets connected to the yoga?
    2. Example: Let us assume that the Moon is placed in Scorpio in the third house and Jupiter is placed in Aquarius in the sixth house. We could say that there is a Gaja Kesari yoga. However the Moon is in her fall and Jupiter is in a dushtana house. Both planets are in trouble. The yoga can hardly be felt. Refer to my comments about the Gaja Kesari yoga (yoga number 27) of Gandhi and Kennedy.

    3. What aspects do the planets forming the yoga receive?
    4. When, in the previously example of a Gaja Kesari Yoga, Saturn (a malefic) aspects the Moon, and Mars (also a malefic) aspects Jupiter, then yoga will hardly be visible. Because of the aspects from unfavourable planets, both the Moon and Jupiter are under pressure. This is the reason the yoga is threatened with failure.

    5. How strong are the rulers of the signs where the yoga planets are placed?

    If the (positive) promises made by a planet are to be kept, it is of great importance that the ruler of the sign where that planet is placed has a favourable profile in the horoscope. The ruler is the owner of a house. A planet placed in a house, lives in and rents that house. If the owner of a house runs into problems, then the occupants of that house will be affected as well, if only for the reason that there is no budget for the upkeep of the house.

    Example: When the Moon is in Scorpio and Jupiter in Taurus, it will not be very favourable if Mars (ruler of the house where the Moon is placed) is in fall in Cancer and Venus (ruler of the house where Jupiter is placed) is in fall in Virgo. Again the yoga will become almost invisible.

    Before you forecast great fortunes and fame based on certain yoga‘s, study the above material.

    9.6 EXERCISE

    Study your horoscope for the occurrence of the above mentioned yoga’s. Please send in a list of these yoga’s and make a short interpretation of them.

    Mahatma Gandhi 2-10-1869, 2.33 GMT, 21.40 N., 69.42 E.

    6th Pisces 

    7th Aries
    Jupiter 28.11

    8th Taurus

    9th Gemini

    5th Aquarius



    10th Cancer
    Rahu   13.40
    Moon   27.56

    4th Capricorn
    Ketu 13.40



    11th Leo

    3rd Sagittarius

    2nd Scorpio
    Saturn 20.17

    Ascendant 4.34
    Mercury   11.45
    Venus      24.25
    Mars        26.23

    12th Virgo
    Sun  16.55


    John F. Kennedy 29-5-1917 GMT: 20.13, 42.20 N.,71.07 W.

    7th Pisces 

    8th Aries
    Mars       25.43
    Mercury  27.53

    9th Taurus
    Jupiter    0.21
    Sun        15.09
    Venus     24.04 

    10th Gemini
    Ketu         18.29

    6th Aquarius



    11th Cancer
    Saturn        4.27

    5th Capricorn

     John F.


    12th Leo
    Moon         24.36  

    4th Sagittarius
    Rahu        18.29


    3rd Scorpio

    2nd Libra

    1st Virgo
    Ascendant  29.43