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Navamsa - Aspects Hidden
|by Steven Stuckey|
Our most important divisional, or Varga chart , we call the Navamsa. Nav means “nine,” and amsa means division. Although it does not “stand alone,” we interpret it as a support chart, to the natal Kundali or Rasi chart. Basically we divide a sign into various divisions, with specific meanings. The natal chart we think of as the tree, and the divisional charts, especially the Navamsa, the “fruit,” of the tree.
The intention of this article is to help both beginning and advanced Jyotish students look at a Rasi chart and be able to discern additional and apparently invisible aspects that will show up in the navamsa. This is a fairly simple technique, but before we can discuss it, we will need to learn some of the fundamentals of the navamsa chart and of aspects in general. While these fundamental principles are important, they are not necessarily essential for understanding the technique that we will reveal later in the article.
The traditional aspects between planets in the Rasi chart are fairly simple and straightforward, such as Mars aspects houses 4, 7 and 8 from itself, Jupiter 5 and 9, and Saturn aspects 3, 7, and 10 from itself. These are called full aspects and do not consider an orb of exactness between planets as is calculated in the west. As an example, if Saturn was in any degree of Libra (1 to 29) it would give a full aspect to any planet in any degree of Sagittarius, three signs away. However in western tropical astrology, the aspect by Saturn would have to be in a fairly tight orb in order to be counted. For instance if Saturn should occupy 5 Libra and Mars occupied 5 Sagittarius, this would be considered to be an exact 60 degree or sextile aspect. Usually about 2 degrees of orb is allowed for this aspect to be counted. Therefore if Saturn remained at 5 Libra, Mars would have to be between 3 and 7 degrees of Sagittarius. If Mars occupied any degree other than those, it would be considered to be out of orb and therefore would not be counted as an aspect.
Nava means ‘9’ and amsa means ‘division’. If we take a sign of 30 degrees and divide it by 9, we will get nine 3°20’ divisions. The first navamsa of any sign extends from 0°00’ to 3°20’, the second navamsa is from 3°20’ to 6°40’, the third from 6°40’ to 10°00’ and so forth. Because there are 9 navamsas per sign, and there are 12 signs, we will get a total of 108 navamsas in the 360 degree circle of the zodiac. Beginning from the sign of Aries, the first navamsa or 3°20’ division is ruled by Aries, the second navamsa from 3°20’ to 6°40’ is ruled by Taurus, the third navamsa from 6°40’ to 10°00 is ruled by Gemini and so forth. This process continues in order throughout the entire 12 signs.
The last navamsa of Aries from 26°40’ to 30°00’ is ruled by Sagittarius, as Sag is the 9th sign from Aries. Because Sag is the last navamsa of Aries, Capricorn then becomes the first navamsa of Taurus, followed by Aquarius as the second navamsa. If we continue on in this way through all 12 signs and 108 navamsas, we will wind up with the table below in Figure #1.
Figure 1 – Navamsa Chart Key
In Figure #2 below we have included the chart of President Barack Obama to better illustrate the use of the table in Figure #1.
Notice the Moon is in 10° 02’ of Taurus in the Rasi chart and occupies Aries in the Navamsa. This is because the Moon occupies the 4th Navamsa of Taurus (refer to table above).
Similarly, the natal Venus is in 8°28’ of Gemini and therefore falls into the 3rd Navamsa of Gemini which is Sagittarius. Mercury at 9° 00’ of Cancer falls into Virgo navamsa and the Sun at 19°13 of Cancer occupies Sagittarius navamsa. The natal Mars at 29°15’ of Leo also falls into the navamsa of Sagittarius. Rahu occupies the 2nd navamsa of Leo and is therefore in the sign of Taurus. Continuing on in this way and referring to the table in Figure #1 the reader can fill in the remaining planets.
Figure 2 - Barack Obama – American President - August 4, 1961, 7:24 p.m. HDST Honolulu, HI
Now that we have covered the basics about the underlying rationale behind the Navamsa chart we can look at a technique that is not generally taught in Vedic Astrology, but is nevertheless very useful for being able to quickly see aspects in the Rasi chart that are normally only seen in the Navamsa. This is especially helpful if you do not have access to the navamsa chart— for instance if you’re asked to look at a chart in a class or a conference and don’t have the time to access your computer. You may also be able to glean some special insights from the Rasi chart that might otherwise be lost in translation while looking back and forth between and comparing the Rasi and Navamsa charts.
We mentioned earlier about dividing each 30 degree sign by 9. We can also divide the entire zodiac of 360 degrees by 9. If we do that, then we get nine 40 degree divisions of the chart. What this means is that for every one degree movement of the Rasi chart, there are 9 degrees of movement in the Navamsa chart. Similarly for every 40 degrees of movement of the Rasi chart, the Navamsa moves through an entire 360 degrees. To see this a bit more clearly, refer back to the table in Fig. #1. Start with Aries navamsa and count 12 navamsa’s from Aries. You will wind up at the 3rd navamsa of Taurus which is Pisces. This represents 40 degrees of movement in the Rasi chart and 360 degrees of movement in the navamsa.
By multiplying the angular separation between two planets in the Rasi chart by 9, we will get the degree of separation the two planets will have in the Navamsa. If the planets are 10 degrees apart in the Rasi, then they will be 90 degrees apart (or squaring each other) in the Navamsa. If they are 20 degrees apart, then they will be 180 degrees apart (or opposing one another) in the Navamsa. If they are 40 degrees apart then they will be 360/0 degrees apart and therefore conjunct one another in the Navamsa. This rule works for planets that are 0 to 40 degrees apart in the Rasi. Any aspects that are larger than 40° would first have multiples of 40 expunged from them and then the remainder multiplied by 9 to get the angular relationship in the Navamsa. As an example, if planets are 90° apart in the Rasi, you would first expunge 80 (40 times 2) and the remainder of 10 would then be multiplied by 9 to get the angular distance of 90° in the Navamsa. If two planets are 60° apart in the Rasi you would expunge 40 and then multiply the remainder of 20 by 9 to get the angular distance of 180° in the Navamsa
If fact, it turns out that any multiple of 10 degrees of separation between planets in the Rasi chart will equate to those same planets being either conjunct, squared or opposed in the Navamsa chart. An easy way to spot planets that are 10 degree multiples apart in the Rasi chart is relatively simple. If a planet should occupy say 2° of a particular sign, then any other planet that occupies either 2°, 12° or 22° of any other sign will be in a 10 degree relationship with that first planet and therefore all planets will aspect each other in the Navamsa chart. Other examples of planets in a 10° relationship would be 0°, 10° and 30°, 9°, 19° and 29°, and1°, 11° and 21°.
To see a good example of this, note that in Obama’s natal chart, Mercury is 9° Cancer, Sun is 19° Cancer and Mars is 29° Leo. By our rule then, all these planets should be in an angular relationship to each other in the Navamsa, that is either conjunct, squared or opposed one another. If we check Obama’s Navamsa chart, we find Sun and Mars conjunct in Sagittarius while Mercury is squaring them from Virgo.
Notice also that Venus is in Sagittarius in the Navamsa and therefore is conjunct the Sun and Mars. Venus is nearly 8 ½°, while the other planets are in the low 9’s, that is, they are 9° plus a few minutes of arc. Mercury is 00’, Sun is 13’ and Mars is 15’. Therefore Venus, although at 8°, is still within reach of aspecting the other planets in the Navamsa. As we stated earlier in this article, 1° of movement in the Rasi chart equates to 9° of movement in the Navamsa. So because Venus is approx. 45’ away from a perfect aspect to the Sun and 47’ from Mars in the Rasi chart, it is then about 7° away from them by conjunction in the Navamsa. Notice also that Venus is only about 5° from a perfect square to Mercury in the Navamsa. This is because Mercury is slightly closer in aspect to Venus than to the Sun and Mars in the Rasi chart.
Let’s try this on another example. Below is the chart of musician Cat Stevens in figure #3. The Moon, Mars and Saturn are all aspecting each other because they are in a 10 degree multiple relationship. Moon at 9 Capricorn, Mars at 9 Virgo and Saturn at 29 Cancer. Notice also that they are very close to each other as well in their minutes of arc. Mars is aspecting the Moon by trine or 120°, Moon is aspecing Saturn by 160° and Saturn is aspecting Mars by 40°.
Figure 3 – Cat Stevens – British Musician July 21, 1948, 12:00 noon BDT, London, England
Western astrologers would normally only see the close trine aspect from Mars to the Moon and Vedic astrologers who are counting full aspects, would include Saturn’s aspect to both Mars and the Moon. The planets are conjoined in Navamsa because they also share a 40 degree relationship with each other. All the aspects, 40°, 120° and 160° are equally divisible by 40, so by the rule outlined previously, they become conjunct in the Navamsa.
Also included in the Navamsa, along with the above three planets, are Ketu and Jupiter. This is because both are close to the required 9, 19 or 29 required to join the group. Ketu is approaching 18°, while Jupiter is very close to 27°. Ketu needs to move approximately 2 more degrees the reach the required 19*30’ (approx.) and is therefore about 18° away from the Navamsa placements of the Mars, Moon and Saturn. This again is because for every 1° of movement in the Rasi chart, there is 9° of movement in the Navamsa chart. Jupiter, in the Rasi chart is almost 2 ½° away from the required 29° 30’ (approx.) and is therefore about 22° away from the other navamsa planets. It just so happens in this instance that both Jupiter and Ketu made it into early Pisces and the other three planets were in late Pisces, otherwise a 2° or more difference in the Rasi chart would have put both Ketu and Jupiter in another sign in the Navamsa.
Let’s try one more example. In figure #4 below is the chart of actor Robert De Niro.
Figure 4 - Robert De Niro – American Actor - August 17, 1943, 3:00 am, EDT Brooklyn, NY
We first notice that Jupiter is at 17°19’ of Cancer and Venus is 27°26’ of Leo. They are nearly exactly 40° apart and will therefore be conjunct in the Navamsa. The Moon, Saturn and Sun are also connected by 10° multiples. Saturn at 1°, Moon at 21° and Sun at 0°26’ is moving close to the required 1°. If we look at De Niro’s Navamsa chart we will see all these planets either conjunct or opposed one another.
Notice also that Mars and Rahu / Ketu are also connected in the Rasi chart. Mars at 3°03’ and Rahu at 22°52’ are very close to a perfect aspect so are therefore closely conjunct in the Navamsa chart.
By having the ability to see relationships between planets in the Rasi chart that ordinarily we would not see without referring separately to the Navamsa, we may have the advantage of forming a better judgment more quickly about a planet’s effects in the chart.
Referring back to Obama’s chart, the close aspect of Sun and Mars will immediately help to explain why Obama appears to more aggressive and assertive than otherwise the basic Rasi chart would indicate. Mars aspects no planets in the chart by full aspect and otherwise appears to be fairly ineffectual by its background placement in the 8th house. Additionally, Sun, Moon and Lagna are in feminine signs and would tend to indicate a more passive personality. Mars is a very necessary ingredient for a head of state who was formally a community organizer.
In the chart of Cat Stevens, we find that Saturn is aspecting both Mars and Moon by its full 3rd and 7th house aspects and also that Saturn interchanges with the Moon by mutual reception or parivartana yoga, i.e. Saturn is in Moon’s sign and Moon is in Saturn’s sign. However by Western standards, the aspect of Saturn on Mars and Moon would not be counted, as Saturn is 20° away from a close aspect to those planets. By being able to quickly see that the aspects will be very close in the Navamsa chart, the astrologer can become more certain about the strength of the connection of the planets and can predict accordingly.
In De Niro’s chart, one can instantly see the connection between the 10th lord Jupiter and 5th lord Venus. Jupiter as lord of the 10th in the 2nd exalted in Cancer would give an excellent indication for wealth through the career and that the voice or speech might be important in his work. By adding the connection of Venus, lord of the 5th house of theater and in Leo in the 3rd house of creativity, we might therefore connect the career to the entertainment field.
The Navamsa is a very important and critical chart in and of itself and this article does not attempt to address the intricacies of that chart per se, but rather points out how the Navamsa placements are derived and how they can be used effectively in the context of viewing the Rasi chart. With a little practice, even the beginning student can start to see and understand the more intricate and heretofore invisible aspects hidden in the Rasi chart.