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The Planets are the main activating forces of karma and freewill in Vedic Astrology. The planets are called Graha, they are sun, moon, mars, mercury, jupiter, venus, saturn, rahu and ketu. Their sanskrit names are surya, chandra, kuja, mangala, muruga, budha, Guru, brihaspati, shukra and shani.
The Sun - The higher Sun is the Self or Soul, the lower is the expression of our false self or ego. Every heartbeat, thought, inspiration, act of photosynthesis or anything else real or imagined on Earth has been fueled by Sun's power. His is the energy of confidence and power, consistency and inspiration. The strength of the Sun will show our inherent capacity for truth and transformation. The Sun is the only light in the chart, or in life. The other planets merely reflect the Sun's Light. It is the ONE that connects all things - the ocean of light that is our true nature. As such it illuminates the path of truth, giving the strength to sacrifice our smaller desires so that we may purify and reclaim our Self as the highest truth.
Keywords: Soul's energy, Confidence, consistency, Power, Self-growth and development, Ego, Father

The Moon - The higher Moon reflects the joy and sharing that comes with having peace of mind, the lower Moon shows the neglect and withdrawal we experience when faced with losing that peace. The Moon is the Soul as it descends into matter, and it is our connection to this soul through sense mind and body.  It is where we are the most easily hurt and the most vulnerable. The Moon shows the quality of our nurturing and our capacity to nurture others. It shows the clarity of our perceptions and how they are distorted as well as our basic desire to have peace of mind. The Moon is like the window we are looking through. Whatever affects the Moon, deeply affects our life and outlook.
Keywords: Peace of mind, connection or neglect, other people, the public, Mother, nurturing

Mars - The higher Mars is the spiritual warrior, stopping at nothing to know the truth so as to free the soul from bondage. The Lower Mars is the combative and opinionated nature to which we can be reduced. Mars gives us the discipline and focus to improve and transform our life through right action based on our principles. When his principled energy is directed inward toward higher purposes, he brings the courage to face our internal weaknesses and improve our lives. When directed toward outer and lower purposes he is the very energy we are struggling against. This lower nature creates a paradigm of security based on our opinions, not on God's law (Dharma). These limiting opinions will bring us into conflict with others and takes us further from the truth he is seeking.     
Keywords: Physical strength, Focus, opinions, aggression, logic, discipline, recklessness, friends and Brothers

Mercury - The higher Mercury is the God of discrimination, and the capacity of the mind to be fair and balanced. The lower Mercury can drain our mental energy through over stimulation and trivia, leaving us unable to recognize the important details to focus on and strengthen. Mercury is discrimination, for either good or bad. Proper discrimination implies neutrality; such is the nature of Mercury. This neutrality can lead to a disconnected, ungrounded intellect or one prone to bad influences.  His nature is also to play, be curious and experiment, as it is through these activities that we hone our skills and through proper speech and clear communication that we are able to manifest something tangible from them. He governs the detail-oriented nature of the mind. Mercury shows if we will become ensnared in the details or organize them into a paradigm of truth, which leads to our freedom.  
Keywords: Speech and communication, skills, intellect, dexterity, equanimity, neutrality, curiosity, playfulness

Jupiter - The higher Jupiter is God's grace, wisdom, ethics aligned with right behavior and optimism. The lower Jupiter can be a haughty showman, concerned with appearance, status and the admiration of others. Jupiter is our capacity to do good, and to always wish to choose the good over the bad. He is where we expand in life and want to share God's grace. Through wealth, children and education we expand externally; through faith and valuing God's grace we expand internally. Jupiter rules all of these domains. We all have a higher vision of ourselves that we are expanding toward -Jupiter shows that vision and how we would like it to play out in our lives. Jupiter gives us the hope that things will get better. A weak Jupiter will either lack hope or be unrealistic in expressing it. A foolhardy optimism is possible. Jupiter aligned with our sense of duty will allow for our higher vision to not only lead us externally but also expand internally.
Keywords: Knowledge, Expansion, (children, education, spirituality) teachers and teaching, Optimism

Venus - The higher Venus is Divine Love and devotion through surrender, the lower Venus is hedonism and over indulgence in sensory pleasures. Much of our human life is learning to transmute our physical desires, from the animal (sensory pleasure) to the human (human love) to the God (Spiritual devotion). Venus is key to this transformation as she rules all three of these important qualities of life. Her Sanskrit name means "sperm", as it is she who shows how much vitality we will ultimately have. In truth we all want the same thing in life, which is to be happy.  Venus is the planet that gives us happiness, but maturity with Venus is learning to find happiness in the things that replenish our energy, not drain it. The main issue with Venus is how high of a price we are willing to pay for our happiness. Part of this discipline is learning to think of the needs of others, thus the first lesson of Venus is to respect and value others needs as much as our own. A strong Venus will not pay too high of a price for happiness and thus not leave our selves and others feeling devalued through the selfish pursuit of our desires. From this point of selflessness a deeper devotion to God emerges. 
Keywords: Pleasure, love, sex, happiness, sensual desire, service, devotion, courtesy, manners, vitality, respect, improvement

Saturn - The higher Saturn is a Monk in meditation, the lower is a cold, ruthless individual, disconnected from his feeling nature and other people. It is through Saturn that we come to experience ourselves as a separate being and make peace with our limitations or not, the ultimate limitation being death itself. Saturn rules the nervous system and through it creates painful complexes that reinforce our separation from God, through form and concept. Anxiety, fear, sorrow, insecurity, loss and life's painful lessons are all ways Saturn teaches us to give up attachment to form and not take things so personally. His neuroses will teach us perseverance and Self-control, as we will hide behind a wall of self-sufficiency to avoid being seen in our state of weakness. However, at some point something much bigger than what we can control will force us to our knees, like the death of a loved one, a chronic illness or an excessive amount of responsibility that was our distraction. These crises force our pain into the open where we must face them. Those who cannot learn from life and the hard lessons of Saturn will be reduced to bitterness and foolishness in old age. The greatness of Saturn is that he teaches us sensitivity to others and a respect for all; for once we have suffered we become sensitive to all who suffer. Once his ability for control is properly aligned with dharmic purposes, Saturn gives the perseverance and concentration to put into practice what we have learned, not just acknowledge it mentally. He allows us to be alone to work through our salvation, which is the only possibility. 
Keywords: Ambition, fear, responsibility, the perseverance and capacity for hard work, stress, isolation, Old people

Rahu - Rahu, the north node of the moon, shows the main forces of desire that have compelled us to take a body in this lifetime. Rahu represents material desire, but because he is not a physical planet he operates on the subconscious level. He distorts our perceptions and colors the world according to his desires. He tends to obliterate the essence of things, focusing on their material substance. He is our deepest subconscious material desire. Rahu obsesses over the things we need to learn so we can eventually be freed of them. There are certain lessons we can only learn in a physical body, in the physical world, and rahu's obsessions indicate those things. Rahu will tend to feel like Saturn in that both of these planets bring stress and fear. The stresses of Saturn are based on the tangible known things in the universe that can go wrong, the health, the income, etc.; rahu feels stress and worry about the many unknown, undeveloped qualities of our mind and experience. His obsessions are all attempts to assuage the undeveloped part of our consciousness. Yet Rahu can be very spiritual when powerful and aligned with dharmic planets. When we desire truth, Rahu can bring Spiritual progress very quickly. Rahu affects all Spiritual growth in one way or another, as it is he who represents matter and the purification of matter.   
: Obsession, attachment, distorted perception, blowing things out of proportion, psychic ability 

Ketu - Ketu, the south node of the moon, is the other half of the demon, the headless body. Where Rahu obsesses over the things of this world, Ketu seeks to be freed from them. Rahu is material and loses the essence of things in their substance. Ketu perceives the essence of things but is unsatisfied with anything substantive in the world. Whereas Rahu shows where we are obsessed to grow and experience new things, Ketu is where we may want to fall back on familiar patterns and become stuck in them. Ketu brings doubt and a sharp criticism to the areas of life that he sees, resulting in us looking ever higher to find the truthful answers to them. Yet he is eternally unsatisfied, noticing only what is missing from whatever he is influencing, thus those areas of life will be especially hard to "work on" as we will be filled with our deepest levels of doubt and self - loathing where Ketu is concerned. Ketu will tend to feel like Mars in that both Ketu and Mars are critical and opinionated. Ketu has the same sharp and focused nature. His criticism is based on past skill and it is where we will fall back on a set of ideas of how things should or should not be. These ideas close him off to the greater and necessary possibilities that must be considered in order for the karmas with him to be completed. Ketu is the completer of karmas and shows where we must "lose our head" around what we have experienced and mastered, in order to eventually be freed of it. 
Keywords: Dissatisfaction, detachment, solitude, intense scrutiny, liberation, explosive nature.


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