Rahu and Ketu
Who are these guys, you wonder? Well, so do I….These two, known as The Nodes, are not easy to grasp for any of us, as they are the “shadowy planets” which cause eclipses. That is because they are literally shadows that cause eclipses. So when the Full Moon comes into close proximity of these Two Nodes we will observe a Lunar eclipse, and when the New Moon comes into proximity of the two – we will observe a Solar eclipse.
Mythology of RAHU and KETU
Of course, Indian Mythology has a more dramatic depiction of the two, who used to be two parts of one body. The body of a Gian Demon, who’s symbol is a serpent snake. He was a an outcast, the one who didn’t belong. Out of a strong desire to belong and to be immortal like the rest of the Gods he one day dressed up in disguise and went to a ball of the Gods, during which a nectar of immortality was offered. Upon arrival the scoundrel found and tasted the precious nectar and just as he did so, the Sun and the Moon saw through him and recognized him for who really was. This very moment Lord Vishnu beheaded the rascal, making the demon into two immortal halves – Rahu being the head and Ketu the tail. And so began Rahu and Ketu’s animosity towards the two luminaries.
Meaning of Rahu and Ketu
One could briefly describe Rahu as someone who’s driven by desires and obsessions, he gets what he wants, no matter the cost, even if he gets his head cut off. He is never satisfied, though, and wants more. He represents delusion, addictions, sudden changes. When one’s influence of Rahu is strong in one’s chart – get ready for a roller-coaster ride. He is associated with poisons, insanity, faulty logic. There is, nonetheless, a positive side to Rahu – he is protective of his clan, he brings change, shakes up the status quo, giving us a chance to get free from the old, opening up new horizons for us. My teacher describes him as an “itch that one could never scratch off”, meaning we never really gets satisfied with this area of our life. On a positive side, however, Rahu can get rid of the old, bringing everything new and foreign. Rahu also stands for break-throughs and discoveries, in a Rahu-an kind of way.
Ketu is the tail, the headless one. Under his influence one seeks liberation (Moksha), renunciation, devine knowledge, retreat-like state, an unconditioned surrender. He is detachment and separation, mental instability, doubt, hard-to-diagnose disease, fears. Ketu is not bad in his nature and in the lives of spiritually inclined people his function is to provide a deepest fulfillment through meditation and contemplation, not the pain and suffering one otherwise might experience. If only one dares to take the time for the contemplation it requires.
Since Rahu and Ketu are exact opposite of each other, their effects are to be considered simultaneously. Due to there shadow-like nature, it is very difficult to generalize the effects of their transit in your individual chart without looking at the whole chart in-depth, so if you want to see how this transit affects you this year, please reach out.
The Karmic planets
Rahu and Ketu are also referred to as “Karmic planets”. They bring up all of the conditioning and patterning of our being and show us all our delusions, obsessions and wrong views.
How do we best navigate the two rascals? The best we can do is to live a healthy life style. Develop respect to everything devine, to our ancestors, fellow human beings and all beings. Being thoughtful, using common sense and discrimination. Slowing down is very important.
A deeper understanding of what Rahu and Ketu represent in each and individual chart will reveal the shortcomings to overcome, and freedoms to obtain.
This is just a small attempt to give some insights to an enormous subject. However, it is impossible to grasp the depth and vastness of Jyotish, a study and mastering of which requires a live’s long commitment, in one simple article.