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Rahu Ketu are the Lunar Nodes in Vedic Astrology. 

Rahu and Ketu are the Lunar Nodes in Vedic Astrology.

Rahu and Ketu - (excerpts from "The Ascendant - The 108 Planets of Vedic Astrology")

Rahu and Ketu are the Lunar Nodes in Vedic Astrology. They are Grahas in that they grab and attach us to our karma just like the starry Grahas, yet they do not rule over Rasis like the other starry planets. They are shadows, the eclipse points where the Earth�s orbit around the Sun intersects with the Moon�s orbit around the Earth. Even though they are not physical planets they are perhaps the most influential forces in the chart. It is along the Rahu / Ketu axis that the main forces of karmic desire are seen.
The myth of Rahu and Ketu sheds much light on their function and greater possibility. Shortly after the beginning of time, the Gods and demons were in a terrible war, neither side making any progress. So they decided to join forces and churn the milk ocean to get the pot of amrita (immortal nectar) at the bottom. Once the nectar was extracted then came the job of distributing it. The Gods, not wanting the nectar to fall into the hands of the demons, devised a plan. Lord Vishnu disguised himself as the enchanting and beautiful Mohini to distribute the nectar. The Gods and Demons were seated on two different sides of an aisle as Mohini distributed the nectar to the Gods only.  The demons were too enchanted by her beauty to notice she was not giving them the nectar. However one demon, Rahu, noticed what was happening and disguised himself as a God and managed to get a drink of the nectar. As soon as this happened, the Sun and Moon told Lord Vishnu what was happening and Vishnu returned to his form as Vishnu and let fly his sudarshan and chopped Rahu in half, but only after Rahu managed to take a drink of the nectar. Thus he is immortal, but chopped in half. The head is Rahu and the tail is Ketu.

 
Rahu is a head without a body. Everything he comes into contact with he becomes obsessed with, like a person with a voracious appetite. 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. Rahu�s obsessions indicate those things. All human beings are crazy in some way, Rahu shows the area of life where we are unbalanced and obsessed. Rahu keeps us obsessed until we learn detachment from what he is influencing. As such, he represents attachment. Losing our higher Self to the things of this world is the main reason we suffer in life. Rahu�s obsessions bring much suffering as long as we desire experience. Once we desire liberation, Rahu is incredibly spiritual.

 
Ketu 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 wants to grow and experience new things, Ketu wants to fall back on the familiar and withdraw, creating a fear of stagnation and disgust with the familiar that is often turned inward as self-disgust. Ketu brings doubt and sharp criticism to the areas of life that he sees. Eternally unsatisfied, he only notices what is missing from whatever he is influencing. He presides over the absolute aspect of God. He is strict and exacting and sucks the worldly joy out of all he touches, including the things Rahu is obsessed over through house and sign. It is the push and pull of Rahu�s obsession and Ketu�s doubt that allows the soul to learn the lessons of the Nodal house and sign placement.

Rahu and Ketu in Rashis

The Rashis show the emotional and psychological forces that compel us to act. The Rashi placement of Rahu will show the psychological temperament we are developing in this lifetime. It shows emotional energy that creates stress in our life. The Rashi of Ketu shows the temperament we have recently developed and where we have skill. It shows where we are critical of others and ourselves. 
Rahu in Aries / Ketu in Libra - Ketu in Libra shows they have developed a measured and thoughtful approach to decision making, one which carefully considers all consequences and the price to pay. Skill and diplomacy with others is also highly developed. Rahu in Aries shows the native must develop the ability to act on impulse and follow their instincts. This will make them act first and think later as well as be more self interested or self inspired.
Rahu in Taurus / Ketu in Scorpio - Ketu in Scorpio shows a native who has experienced the intense, probing nature of the mind, one which is painfully aware of death / rebirth, life�s ups and downs and endings. They have established a certain amount of Peace with that difficult side of life. Rahu in Taurus shows they are learning to develop more consistent emotional patterns, rather than the emotions being pulled to their most turbulent extreme. These increased stability allows for deeper, more long lasting and valuable emotional connections. Given the turmoil possible with the Nodes, they are exalted when in this placement.  
Rahu in Gemini / Ketu in Sagittarius - Ketu in Sagittarius shows a native who has established a hopeful, idealistic and innately spiritual mindset in their recent lives. Faith in God and a higher purpose are areas of life, which they are well acquainted. Rahu in Gemini will bring forth a curious, multifarious approach that compels the native to test their beliefs not just accept them blindly. This placement will make one Spiritual in a cosmic sense, not just religious in an orthodox sense. The Nodes are also very well placed in this position, as Rahu is able to develop through the psychological quality of Gemini.
Rahu in Cancer / Ketu in Capricorn - Ketu in Capricorn will show a native who is skilled in controlling the many external factors in life. Psychological strength was buttressed by a powerful career, bank account, worldly achievement, etc. Rahu in Cancer shows inner emotional strength is being developed in this lifetime. Learning to understand and develop control over our emotional turmoil is the lesson here. This is one the most difficult placements for the Nodes as we feel the need to developed the very area of life where we are the most insecure.

Rahu and Ketu in Bhavas

The Bhava where Rahu and Ketu resides show external areas of life that we are trying to develop or that we have recently developed. Rahu shows the areas of life that we want to experience, want to achieve. It shows our material attachments. Ketu shows where we would like to withdrawal, what we have already experienced and thus tend to neglect and where we will have detachment. Rahu feels
   
Rahu in the 1st house / Ketu in the 7th house - Ketu in the 7th shows that in recent past lives there was an over reliance on partners and others in general, when defining the sense of Self. This will make for a native who is very critical of partners and partnerships. In this life the Self as and individual is being developed. Thus the native with Rahu in the 1st will see all of life�s situations as opportunities to grow. When un-evolved this will make for high levels of egocentricity, when evolved high levels of Spirituality. These people may have their individuality suppressed early in life in order to find it later. 
Rahu in the 2nd Ketu in the 8th house - Ketu in the 8th house shows a native who in recent past lives benefited greatly from
others resources and other people�s money, thus their inherent sense of value came from others. This will make a person who is very reluctant to rely on others to help them. Rahu in the 2nd house makes for a person who will work hard to develop their own resources, thus allowing them to feel worthy and of value based on their own efforts, not the help of others. These people may have been devalued in some way to force them to find it for themselves.    
Rahu in the 3rd house/ Ketu in the 9th house - Ketu in the 9th house shows a person who was guided by gurus or teachers or relied on powerful teachers to uplift them and define their belief system, thus they may be very skeptical of teachers and Spiritual teaching in particular. Rahu in the 3rd house will show a native developing the courage to challenge and test their teachings and teachers and to explore their own paradigms of understanding aside from what they are told by others. This will give the native confidence in their own ability to make the right decisions regarding their own fate. These natives may have had an upbringing where an oppressive religious environment led to rebellion.
Rahu in the 4th house / Ketu in the 10th house - Ketu in the 10th house shows a native who relied on their worldly status and external power of achievement in order to feel secure. This lead to a person who felt too attached to their actions and ultimately defined by them. They will be skeptical of worldly achievement and all that it brings.  Rahu in the 4th house shows a native developing a secure domestic life and the nurturing quality that accompanies it. Escaping from the world into ourselves, and feeling at peace in our own private world is key here. These native may have lacked proper nurturing when young, which compels them to find peace of their own accord.

Rahu in the 5th house / Ketu in the 11th house - Ketu in the 11th house show a native who relied on their external ambitions and the admiration of their peers in order to feel important. They willingly subjugated their personal, internal inspirations for the aspiration of others. The native will tend to shun those who wish to be aligned with them through a shared vision. Rahu in the 5th shows the need to develop that which they are the most inspired towards, not that which will make them popular or successful. An individual creative life is the most important to these native. Expressing their unique vision is key. They will likely be tempted to do what the masses deem as popular in order to refine their unique expression.

Rahu, Ketu and the Grahas

When Rahu joins or aspects a Graha it distorts that planet�s expression in a way similar to the effects described above. The aspect / conjunction not only affects the planet on a soul level, it affect the planets as a house lord, as a planet�s primary worldly influence is as a house lord. Rahu will explode the outer form of the Graha as a house lord and Ketu will cause the energy to be withdrawn and criticized. A planetary conjunction is more powerful than an aspect as the conjunction joins the energy of the Node with the energy of the planet.

Rahu conjunctions with a Graha show psychological influences that are becoming developed. Planets conjoined Rahu will likely be expressed with immaturity, as is the nature of Rahu. Ketu conjunctions show energies that are already developed and where we have much skill, yet we are trying to finish. Planets conjoined Ketu will likely have maturity and refinement to their expression, yet the native will not feel satisfied with their level of development.

Behaviorally Rahu will be over expressive and magnify or exaggerate the qualities of the planets he is associating with, especially through conjunction. This quality of exaggeration is how Rahu brings their forces into our lives. They may be exaggerated externally or internally as psychological forces, or both. All of this is dependant on the houses involved and conditions. Ketu will withdraw and collapse around the planets he is associating with, especially through conjunction. He will tend to hide those things from our view and the view of others as he focuses on them internally. Ketu will try to extract the purest essence from these planets. As such, we will only notice what is missing where Ketu is concerned. In can be stated that the stage of Rahu with a Graha is where the native is in the developmental stage of its energy, and Ketu is where this energy is being completed.

Sun
Rahu / Sun - The Rahu / Sun association will show a native who projects the power of the Sun and thus may appear very confident and charismatic, yet there is usually stress and fear beneath the surface revolving around a lack of confidence. Much of their bravado and dramatic expression is an over compensation for this fear. The true nature of Self is being developed in this native, thus a large ego can be seen in less evolved types as well as a personality, which over estimates in own importance to others. Over time, a person with this placement becomes more realistic about their own importance and greater understanding of themselves beyond the level of personality.  

Ketu / Sun - The Ketu / Sun association shows very high levels of self-doubt and shows a native who is not likely to feel content with their worldly actions, they are be a perfectionist. No matter what they do in the world they will feel a sense of lack. The native is being freed from the ego and a need to feel confident and powerful as the skilled eye of Ketu watches every ego game and false expression of Self with disdain. The quality of surrendering their smaller Self to the highest Self is being developed. Many times this will show a Spiritual native. Usually this native has had a childhood where they felt isolated and were made to doubt themselves on a deep, core level.  

Moon
Rahu / Moon - The Rahu  / Moon native will have a sense mind and emotional core that are not fully anchored in the heart. Thus there will be an ungrounded quality and stress revolving around their basic feeling nature and expression as an embodied creature in a physical world. It is through the Moon that we take in our environment and either experience ourselves in a joyful or a stressful way. High levels of self-consciousness and feelings of separateness are seen here as the mind looks outside for what it inherently lacks within. Thus painful relationships of all sorts can result. Over time, and as external factors fail to bring peace, the native learns to trust their inner voice and high levels of intuition and even psychic ability can be seen.   

Ketu / Moon - The Ketu / Moon association shows a native who experiences deep levels of doubt and criticism of their own mind and mental outlook. This is one of the most difficult placements as it can make for a deeply discontented mind and extreme moodiness. Typical worldly experiences and pleasurable emotions can lead to painful episodes under Ketu�s probing and watchful eye. Many of the moods are from past life events that overtake the native, and then pass. Smaller disturbances trigger mental episodes that neither the native, nor anyone else can control. Yet generally they are good at controlling the emotions as this placement shows, yet control is not the same as having the detachment to enjoy without longing or regret.  .   

Mars
Rahu / Mars - The Rahu / Mars association leaves the native feeling stress revolving around the use of personal will and strength. This native will be engaged in power struggles of all sorts. Arguments, impulsiveness and a hostile nature will be likely. Through the dissatisfaction experienced in these arguments and confrontations, they are developing courage to look within for truth and the discipline to take positive, focused action in order to grow toward a true and lasting power. That power cannot be eclipsed by the opinions of another or their perceived superior strength.
Ketu / Mars - The Ketu / Mars association shows a native who is skilled in the use of where to exert their personal, will yet they will experience some frustration with how to express this more humbled approach. This native may find himself in situations where they are tempted to fight or do battle on principle. The scrutiny of Ketu / Mars will likely see the futility in such a battle, yet later they will doubt if that was the right thing to do. This behavior may lead to occasional explosiveness and destruction as the Ketu / Mars energy is also finishing the tendency to destroy and break things in frustration.  

Mercury
Rahu / Mercury  - The Rahu / Mercury association shows an understanding of skills and information are being developed. This native will feel convinced that if they study, get as many facts as possible and develop their skills accordingly, there will be an ultimate answer. This leads to more and more frustration. as there is always another fact or skill to learn. What is being developed is the realization that the best use for our mind is as a tool that doubts all mental concepts as being ultimate. Rahu�s exhaustion of skills and information leads the mind to Jnana Yoga, recognizing each incorrect attachment to the thinking process. This allows us to separate truth from fiction. 

Ketu / Mercury - The Ketu / Mercury association is showing the mind at the point where all mental concepts are in doubt and the highest levels of discrimination are being developed. A very skilled person and one with a probing intellect will be observed. Yet Ketu�s presence will be keenly aware of the pieces of information they do not have, rather than the ones they do. This can create much worry and mental vacillation as they keep searching for more information to doubt. They are learning to act more on intuition and to use the mind for its highest purpose, to see through the mental traps that give us the illusion of understanding and give the false paradigm of security we base our lives on.