astrology: in conversation with my conscience

Me (M): Thank you very much Conscience for agreeing to this meeting despite your busy schedule!

Conscience (C):  I am only as busy as you are!

M: My questions, this time, are centred around astrology. I know you always give very honest answers. I’ll begin now!

C: Sure!

M: My first question is –  Does astrology work? Can you please share your experiences?

C: Astrology works! Period. I commenced learning astrology, over 15 years back. My first teacher was Dr A.P. Rao (adjunct faculty at the Hindu University of America). The initial classes were harrowing. I would it very difficult to understand what was being taught – though the teaching was lucid. But astrology gradually grew on me. I remember one of the first tests we were administered. We were given blind Birth Charts, charts with no details or background of the person (native). From the given charts, we were asked to decode the illness of the native. My analysis was that the person was suffering from a mental illness. My analysis took all of five minutes using only the D1, D9 and the D10 charts. I was taken aback with the accuracy of my diagnosis. So was my teacher!  Just this one successful analysis, very early in my long journey with astrology, successfully proved to me that a good diagnosis can be made with birth horoscopes. Subsequently, of course, I have made scores of very accurate astrological predictions. I have no doubt mind that astrology works.

M: Scores of accurate predictions are fine. How about your inaccurate predictions?

C: There have been many. However, very few of those can be termed as a complete washout. In many cases, the timelines did not match – the events took place earlier (up to 3-4 months earlier) or later (up to 9 months later). However, many have been accurate to the last 30 -40 days of the event – even when the prediction was made, say, 24 months earlier. The predicted events did take place. Of course, though astrology is perfect the astrologer is not. I am certainly not perfect. I have learnt a lot from my failed predictions. I have tried to find out why these predictions may have failed. This is not unlike the failed launch of a space rocket. The first SpaceX rocket failed. They dug into the cause of the failure and fixed it. Astrology is indeed rocket science!

M: If astrology cannot give guaranteed predictions, why should anyone consult an astrologer?

C: Good question! Can a medical science professional, say a doctor, guarantee your wellness? Can a doctor ensure that the very first prescription will lead to a guaranteed cure? Can a surgeon guarantee that every surgery performed will lead to the promised cure? Can an automobile technologist guarantee that there would be no failures in a car’s systems even within the first few days or a month of use? Can a rocket scientist guarantee the there would be no launch failures even when all launch parameters are met?  Can a Psephologist (one who predicts election results) assure that the predicted party will win? Can a Stock Broker, who uses advanced statistical methods, predict the trajectory of the price of scrips with absolute certainty? No science, medical or rocket can guarantee success. Similarly, no astrologer can guarantee perfect predictions. Like an engineer, doctor or a scientist, the astrologer uses all the skills at his/her disposal to give an accurate prediction. Guaranteeing success is beyond the capability of the astrologer.

M:  Many astrologers do not use Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Does this not affect the accuracy of their predictions?

C: No! The Rishis knew that there were forces beyond the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury Jupiter and Saturn which were influencing human life. They, therefore, created two mathematical points, Rahu and Ketu to perfectly explain events without the need to use Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.  Uranus is only a higher octave of Mercury, Neptune is similar to Venus and Pluto is a higher octave of Mars.

M: Did you say Earth? Does astrology take into consideration the Earth as a planet? I have not heard of astrologers using the reference of the Earth.

C: The Lagna or the Ascendant indirectly represents the position of the Earth on the Birth Chart. The Lagna changes as the Earth rotates around its axis. The sign rising on the eastern horizon is determined by the rotation of the Earth on its axis. Similarly, the position of the Sun in the Birth Chart also take into account the position of the Earth as the Earth revolves around the Sun. The influence of the Earth is certainly taken into account in every birth chart.

M: One more question. Does the discovery of Chiron not affect how predictions are made?

C: No! Chiron takes about 50 years to cover all the twelve signs. In a birth chart, the Lagna/Ascendant is like the seconds hand of a clock. The Moon is like the minute hand of the clock. The Sun represents the hour hand of the clock. Venus, Mercury and Mars are like additional hour hands – helping locate the exact hour. Jupiter is like a half day hand of the clock (twelve-hour hand of the clock – showing when a half day is complete). Saturn is like a thirty-hour hand – showing changes every 30 hours.  These are very broad timings. Our ancients, in their considered judgement, decided that the hands of a clock which depicted time broader than the sweep of Saturn was not very useful. A clock which shows a broad time beyond Saturn is not very useful. Neither is Chiron which shows broad trends which could happen over many decades.

M: That was useful clarification. Could I ask more questions when I come across them?

C: I’ll be ready when you are!



pai paddhati – a layman’s guide – part I

Pai Paddhati is a system of analysing a horoscope or a Birth Chart created using the using the rules of Vedic or Sidereal astrology. The purpose of this post is to give a step-by-step process for using the Pai Paddhati.

The Pai Paddhati was created by Dr Arjun Pai of Dr Arjun Pai Astrology. He was assisted by Dr Kanholy Santhip Krishnan, Ms Eve James Mendoza and astronomer Dr Aditya Togi.

This explanation of Pai Paddhati here is neither with the permission of its creators nor does it carry any endorsement from them. However, the method itself is in public domain and thus, this blog post does not in any way infringe on any copyright on the methodology.  The original explanation for this technique was given in three separate public domain videos on KRSchannel hosted on YouTube. The original video links are here:

  • Video One: A short explanation of the technique by Mr Kapiel Raaj
  • Video Two: Part I of the exposition of the concept on KRSchannel by the team which created this system
  • Video Three: Part II of the exposition of the concept on KRSchannel

For those who find the written word more vivid than a video, here is a step-by-step walk-through of the process:

  • Download the Pai Chart or the Pai Table from here
  • I use the Pai Table (Excel) rather than the Pai Map (Schematic representation) of the same Pai Table. I will, therefore, use the Pai Table to explain this process

Before you read this further, download the Pai Table:

Now, let’s look at the various columns of the Pai Table:

  1. Column 1 is the Rasi in which the planet being analysed is placed. Column 2 is the Nakshatra Pada of the Rasi in which the planet being analysed is placed. So, if the planet is in Aries in Ashwini Pada 1 then Ashwini 1 will be shown in column 2. Column 3 is the Rasi Lord. The Rasi Lord for Aries is Mars. Column 4 is the Nakshatra Lord. The Nakshatra Lord for Ashwini Pada 1,2,3 or 4 is Ketu. Column 5 is the Navamsa Lord. If a planet is in Ashwini Pada 1 in the Birth Chart (D 1 Chart) then that planet will be in Aries, in the D9 chart (Navamsa Chart). So, the Navamsa Lord is Mars as it owns Aries in the D9 chart too. Column 6 is the Purushartha of the Nakshatra Pada that the planet is placed in. For example, the Purushartha of Ashwini Pada 1 is Dharma or Goal Orientation or Target Orientation and that of Ashwini Pada 2 is Artha or Money Orientation and so on.

2.The next column is the SC Column. SC is Soul Cycle. All the 27 Nakshatras have been categorised into 9 parts as under:

  • SC I: Ashwini, Bharani and Krittika
  • SC II: Rohini, Mrigashira, Ardra
  • SC III: Punarvasu, Pushya, Ashlesha
  • SC IV: Magha, Purva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni
  • SC V: Hasta, Chitra, Swati
  • SC VI: Vishakha, Anuradha, Jyeshtha
  • SC VII: Mula, Purva Ashadha, Uttara Ashadha
  • SC VIII: Shravana, Dhanishta, Shatabisha
  • SC-IX: Purva Bhadrapada, Uttara Bhadrapada,

So, if you are analysing a planet in, let’s say, Bharani then Aries becomes the Lagna for that analysis (since Bharani is placed in Aries) and the 1st House becomes an important point for analysing that chart. Let’s take another example. If the planet that you want to analyse is placed in Vishakha Pada I then Libra becomes the Ascendant (Lagna) as Vishakha I is placed in Libra. If the planet you need to analyse is placed in Vishakha Pada 4 then Scorpio becomes the Ascendant as Vishakha Pada 4 is placed in Scorpio. Since Vishakha is part of Soul Cycle (SC) VI the 6th house from Scorpio (Vishakha 4) or the 6th house from Libra ( for a planet in Vishakha 1,2 and 3) becomes an important part of the analysis.

3. The column after SC (Soul Cycle) is the Rasi Cycle or Rasi Pada (RP). Each Rasi has 9 Padas. For example, Aries/Mesha has Ashwini Pada 1,2,3 and 4. This is followed by Bharani 1,2,3 and 4. This is followed by Krittika Pada 1 – completing the 9 Padas of Aries or Mesha Rashi. So, a planet in Aries Pada 1 will have Soul Cycle 1 and Rasi Cycle or Rasi Pada 1. If a planet is in Ashwini Pada 2 then it will be considered as  having Soul Cycle 1 and Rasi Pada 2. These details can be taken from the Pai Table or the Pai Map. So, when analysing a planet in Ashwini Pada 2, one will make Aries the Lagna (as Ashwini Pada 2 falls in Aries). Since the Soul Cycle for Ashwin is 1 (for all 4 Padas of Ashwini), the First House will be an important part of the analysis. Next, since planet under analysis is in Ashwini pada 2 the RP (Rasi Pada) is 2 making the 2nd House as an important focal point. The First House deals with self. The Second House deals with wealth/family. So with this combination of SC 1 and RP 2, the wealth or family or one’s own wealth could be analysed.

4. The next column is NL-O.  NL-O stand for ‘Nakshatra Lord’s Own House. If the planet being examined is in, say Bharani Pada 1 then the Nakshatra Lord’s Own Houses (NL-O) are Taurus and Libra. This is because the Nakshatra Lord of Bharani (under the Vimshottari Dasha System) is Venus and Venus owns Taurus and Libra.

5. The next column is ‘H’. H stands for House and indicates the House No. of the Houses specified under NL-O. The Houses under NL-O (above) are Libra and Taurus. Since Bharani 1 was being examined above, the sign of  Aries (where Bharani 1 is placed) becomes the Lagna for the purpose of this example. With Aries as the First House (Lagna), Taurus becomes the Second House and Libra becomes the Seventh House. Therefore 2 and 7 are the indicators here indicating the role of Houses 2 and 7 for the purpose of the analysis of this chart.

6. The next column is NL-M. NL-M stands for the Moolatrikona Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord. If Bharani 1 is being examined (as an example), then NL-M is represented by Libra as Libra/Thula is the Moolatrikona Rasi for the Nakshatra Lord Venus.

7. The subsequent column is H. This H stands for the House No. of the Nakshatra Lord which was identified in point 6 above. It was identified above that the Moolatrikona Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord, Venus is Libra. Libra or Thula is the 7th House from Aries – where Bharani Pada 1 is placed. So, the 7th House becomes important in this analysis.

8. The next column is NL-E or the Exaltation Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord. If Bharani Pada 1 is being examined then the Nakshatra Lord is Venus and the Exaltation Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord is Pisces/Meena Rasi.

9. The column after NL-E is, once again, H. This H  here stands for the House No. of the Nakshatra Lord which was identified in point 8 above. It was identified above that the Exaltation Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord, Venus is Pisces. Pisces/Meena the 12th House from Aries – where Bharani Pada 1 is placed. So, the 12th House also becomes important in this analysis.

10. The next in line is the column NL-D or the Debilitation Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord. If Bharani Pada 1 is analysed then the Nakshatra Lord is Venus and the Debilitation Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord is Virgo/Kanya.

11. The column after NL-D is, once again (not again! They could have called this HD instead of H!) H. This H stands for the House No. of the Nakshatra Lord which was identified in point 10 above. It was identified above that the Debilitation Rasi of the Nakshatra Lord, Venus is Virgo. Virgo/Kanya the 6th House from Aries – where Bharani Pada 1 is placed. So, the 6th House also becomes important in this analysis.

12. Now, the column is II-M or the Invisible Influence of the Moolatrikona Planet. Here’s how you determine it. If Bharani 1 is being analysed (or a planet in Bharani 1) then the Rasi in question is Aries/Mesha since Bharani 1 is placed here. The question to be asked is: ‘ Is there a planet which has its Moolatrikona position in Bharani Pada 1 in Aries?” The answer is that Mars has its Moolatrikona position in Aries in Bharani Pada 1 (The Moolatrikona position of Mars extends from 0 degrees to 12 degrees in Aries). So, Mars becomes an important  planet in this analysis

13.M,E,D – H:  This is the heading of the next column. M stands for Moolatrikona. E stands for Exaltation position. D stands for Debilitation position. Here you have to check if any planet has its Moolatrikona position in Bharani Pada 1 which is being analysed. Mars has its MT (Moolatrikona) position in Bharani Pada 1 (which is the Nakshatra being analysed). Mars will cast its influence on Aries (its Moolatrikona House) which is House No. 1 (Aries as Lagna), on Capricorn which is the Exaltation Rasi of Mars (House No. 10 from Aries) and Cancer which is the Debilitation House of Mars (House No. 4 from Aries). So, in this chart analysis, the MT sign (Aries which is the First House) will get the benefit of  the positive influence of Mars, Capricorn, which is the 10th House will get the benefit of being the Exaltation position of Mars and Cancer which is the 4th House may suffer (this is the place where the native needs to work hard)  if the native does not put in extra effort in this part of his/her life.

14. The next 2 columns are II-E and M,E,D -H. The concept of Moolatrikona (MT) which was applied in point no. 13 above has to be applied if there is any planet which has it Exaltation Positon in Bharani Pada 1 (the Nakshatra being analysed). Since no planet has its Exaltation position here, there is no Invisible Influence (II)  associated with the Exaltation of any planet in connection with Bharani Pada 1.

15. The last two columns are II-D and M,E,D – H. Check if any planet gets debilitated in the Nakshatra being analysed – which in this case is Bharani Pada 1. No planet gets debilitated here so there is no II (Invisible Influence) of any planet on its Moolatrikona Sign, Exaltation Sign or Debilitation Sign. However, if the Nakshatra being analysed had been Bharani Pada 2 then you would have noted that Saturn gets debilitated in Bharani Pada 2. If this had been the case then Saturn would have cast its Invisible Influence (II) on Aquarius which is its MT sign and the 11th Rasi from the Lagna (Aries which hold Bharani Pada 2). Saturn would have also cast its II (Invisible Influence) on Libra which is the 7th House from Aries and the Exaltation Sign of Saturn. Also, Saturn would have also cast its influence on the Lagna (First House) which is Aries and which is the Debilitation Sign of Saturn.

This concludes an explanation of Pai Paddhati. In the next instalment, I will analyse a chart using this technique. Should you have any queries, leave a comment or write to me.