What are Rahu and Ketu and What Are They Up To?


Rahu and Ketu are changing signs on July 13, 2014. Rahu is moving into the sign of Virgo and Ketu is moving into the sign of Pisces. This is significant since they only change signs every 18 months. But before I discuss what this all means, let me answer the question: What are Rahu and Ketu? Rahu and Ketu are the north and south nodes of the Moon. They are the two points where the Moon’s path intersects the ecliptic and, therefore, where solar and lunar eclipses occur. They are considered quite powerful in Vedic astrology, as they are capable of temporarily obscuring the light of the Sun and the Moon. There is a myth associated with Rahu and Ketu that sheds light on how they function. In the myth, Lord Vishnu presides over a gathering of both gods and demons during which the oceans are churned, and as the result of the churning, Amrit (nectar) is produced. The Amrit has the power to give immortality, and Lord Vishnu takes pains to ensure that only gods, or devas, are given this nectar. However, as the story goes, a serpent demon named Swarbhanu manages to outsmart Lord Vishnu by disguising himself, infiltrating the ranks of the devas, and drinking the Amrit for himself. At that moment, however, Swarbhanu’s identity is detected by the Sun and Moon, who alert Lord Vishnu and ask that he kill Swarbhanu. However, just as Lord Vishnu cuts the head off Swarbhanu, Swarbhanu drinks the Amrit immortalizing him into two halves, the head, known as Rahu and the body, known as Ketu. Traditionally, as the head with no body, Rahu is considered insatiable; the apex of intense material desire. He can be clever, manipulative and shallow and yet he can be ground breaking and forward looking. Thus, where we have Rahu in our horoscope natally and by transit, we may feel intense desire and pour enormous amounts of energy. A well-placed and positively influenced Rahu can bring great blessings to a chart, while a poorly placed Rahu can bring many problems. Ketu on the other hand is considered to be deep and spiritual. Ketu has no head so he cannot see. Therefore he represents transcendence of the mind and senses and signifies intuition and instinct. He is a planet of detachment. The house that he resides in both natally and by transit is an area of life where we are cultivating letting go. In general, Rahu does well in Mercury’s signs and Ketu does well in Jupiter’s signs. So Rahu in Virgo and Ketu in Pisces are good placements for the nodes. Virgo as an earth sign is well suited to Rahu who likes to go out into the world and manifest. Virgo is also a sign of health, so the next year and half can bring a time of bringing health issues into focus. There may even be breakthroughs in the alternative health industry since Rahu symbolizes alternative and ground breaking ideas. Pisces is the perfect match for Ketu the planet of transcendence and other worldliness. As a water sign and the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces, is all about dissolution, compassion, spirituality, mysticism and illusion. This combination can lead to deep spiritual insights. In addition, for the next year Jupiter is in Cancer will be aspecting Ketu. This will support the expansion of consciousness that Ketu in Pisces signifies. A good place to start understanding how Rahu and Ketu will be affecting your life for the next 18 months, is to think back to what was going on 18 years ago, between December 1995 - May 1997 (the last time Rahu and Ketu were transiting Virgo/Pisces). Although events and feelings will not be identical, there will still be a similar theme. I will share with you what was going on in my life 18 years ago to demonstrate. I am a Capricorn rising so Rahu was transiting the 9th house and Ketu the 3rd. At that time I was co-owner of a film production company and we had just been commissioned to do a two hour documentary. The 3rd house is writing, producing and the arts. The subject matter of the film required that we shoot for several weeks in Europe (9th house is a travel house). In addition, the subject matter of the film was about religion and beliefs (9th house). This was a time of risk taking and adventure (3rd house). We flew to Europe, drove a van around Austria, Germany and France interviewing people. We climbed mountains, took ski lifts, rode in a helicopter and finally took a ferry to England where we again rented a van and spent another two weeks on the road filming. The signs of Virgo and Pisces also come into play. Virgo is a sign of writing, discrimination and information gathering and during this 18 month period I was doing an abundance of all of these activities. The Pisces part came into the equation via film, photography and travel. Pisces is the sign of illusion, therefore film and photography fall into its domain. To go deeper into understanding how Rahu and Ketu are functioning in your chart, look at what house the ruler of Virgo (Mercury) resides in, as well as where the ruler of Pisces (Jupiter) resides. Until next time...


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