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Benefic and Malefic Planets
By Kshitij Sharma, September 6, 2009

The art of determining benefic and malefic planets for a lagna (or rashi) is best learnt from Dr. B.V. Raman’s
excellent book – How to Judge a Horoscope. This post is what I have learnt from one of the early chapters in the
book – “Considerations in Judging a House”. If Motilal Banarasidas has copyright issues with this article, let it be
known to me. I will remove it immediately. Still, I believe that all aspiring astrologers should mug this chapter.

The chapter does not only talk about planet by planet list for each lagna, but spell out the rules in making this
determination. Lordship of certain houses in the chart can make the planets deviate from their natural tendencies
of doing good or bad. E.g. Jupiter, who is naturally the best beneficial planet, is not good for Kanya (Virgo) lagna.
It is similarly neutral for Simha (Leo) lagna.

In the rules given below, Dr. Raman also talks about Kendradhipati Dosha, the blemish acquired by a natural
benefic by virtue of lordship of an angle 4th, 7th or 10th house. The lord of Lagna does not get affected by this

Benefics for a lagna can be determined as:

1. First house lord, other than moon,
2. 9th and 5th lords (in that order)
3. 10th, 7th and 4th lords (in that order), when they are not natural benefics. This is Kendradhipati Dosha,
which gets cancelled only when the aforesaid planet occupies its own sign.
4. 9th and 10th house lords are considered very beneficial to a chart, but they should not be linked with 8th or
11th house.
5. Natural malefics, when they become kendradhipatis.

The property of getting opposite traits to natural tendency is cancelled when the planet in question occupies its
own house.

Malefics are determined as:

1. Lords of 3rd, 6th and 11th houses, in the reverse order,

2. Any benefics that might be tainted with Kendradhipati Dosha.

Neutrals are:

1. Moon as lord of Lagna,

2. Lords of 8th and 12th house; although the chapter mentions only Sun and Moon as having this property,
but in principle it can be applied to each planet.

Based on the logic presented here, the list of benefic and malefic planet for each lagna can be summarized as

Lagna Beneficial Inauspicious Special Comments

Planets Planets

Aries (Mesha) Jupiter, Sun, Saturn, Mercury, Waxing Moon is

Mars Venus not auspicious as it
suffers from

Taurus Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Moon

(Vrishabha) Mars, Sun and Venus

Gemini Venus Mars, Jupiter, Mars would be

(Mithuna) Sun very inauspicious
for Gemini as it
owns 6th and 11th

Cancer Jupiter, Mars Venus, Mercury, Saturn owns both

(Karka) Saturn 7th and 8th

Leo (Simha) Mars and Sun Mercury and Mars is a

Venus, Saturn yogakaraka all by

Virgo (Kanya) Venus Moon, Mars,


Libra (Tula) Saturn, Mercury Sun, Jupiter, Mars through 2nd

and Venus Moon and 7th house
ownership is a
maraka by itself.

Scorpio Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus

(Vrishchika) Jupiter

Sagittarius Mars, Sun Venus, Saturn,

(Dhanu) Mercury

Capricorn Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter,

(Makara) Saturn Moon

Aquarius Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Moon

(Kumbha) Sun

Pisces Moon, Mars Saturn, Sun,

(Meena) Venus, Mercury

Looking at the rule for beneficial planets, Saturn is not a part of the list for Mesha lagna. This is because He is also
a simultaneous ruler for 11th house that take the beneficial streak away.

Benefics and Malefics for different Lagnas
Parashara's Principles

Planets behave as benefics and malefics depending on the houses they own. The ownership would
naturally vary from one lagna to the other. In other words, for a give lagna, certain planets will

behave as a benefics while others will behave as malefics or neutrals. This will be independant of
their inherent nature. Planets thus are subservient to the lagna. On the basis of the principles
discussed hereunder, a natural benefic may assume the role of a malefic while a natural malefic may
assume a benefic role.

Principles - Part I

(a) Natural benefics as lords of quadrants (houses 1,4, 7 and 10) shed their beneficence.

(b) Natural malefics as lords of quadrants shed their malefics nature.

Note :
(1) Natural benefics are the Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus; natural malefics are the Sun, Mars,
Saturn, Rahu and Ketu.

(2) Lordship of quadrants has a neutralising influence on the nature of planets. The natural benefics
thus lose the capacity to give benefic results, while the natural malefics lose their capacity to do

(3)Only the ownership of quadrants does not convert benefics into malefics, and vice versa.

(c) Lords of trines (houses 1, 5 and 9) give benefic results no matter whether by their inherent
nature they are benefics or malefics.
Note : Lord of the lagna is both the lord of a quadrant and a trine. it is thus supposed to give
benefic results irrespective of it's inherent nature.

(d) Lords of the third, the sixth and the eleventh houses are always malefic.

(e) Lords of the second, the eighth and the twelfth houses behave as neutrals. They give results
according to their location as well as association.

Note : Lords of the 2nd, 8th and 12th houses are impressionable neutrals.

Principles - Part II

The twelve houses in a horoscope have been divided into four groups above : (a) the quadrants; (b)

the trines; (c) the 3, 6, 11 group; and (d) the 2, 8,12 group. In each group the relative strength of the
various house lords is described thus
(a) Of the lords of the quadrants, the 4th lord is more powerful than the lagna lord; the 7th lord is
more powerful than the 4th lord; and the 10th lord is more powerful than the 7th lord.

(b) Of the trine lords, the 5th lord is more powerful than the lagna lord, while the 9th lord is more
powerful than the 5th lord.

(c) Of the 3, 6, 11 group, the sixth lord is more powerful than the 3rd lord while the 11th lord is more
so than the 6th lord.

(d) Of the 2, 8, 12 group, the 12th lord is more powerful than the 2nd, while the 8th lord is more so
than the 12th.

Principles - Part III

The lord of the 8th house, though considered a neutral, has a special propensity to do evil. The
eighth house represents obstructions, obstacles, failures, intrigues, ailments, death and the like. The
following points must be remembered while considering the 8th house.

(a) Eighth house is the 12th from 9th (indicating loss of Bhagya); hence its lord ie ever malefic.

Note :
(i) 12th house from lagna indicates loss. 12th house from any house indicates loss of that house.
Since the 9th house stands for Bhagya (luck), virtues, pious deeds, religious inclinations, father, etc.,

the 12th from it (i.e., the 8th) indicates the loss of all these. Loss of fortune or luck is considered the
biggest loss.

(ii) When the 8th lord is also lagna lord, the benefic nature of the lagna lordship prevails, and the
8th lord tends to behave as a benefic unless it is particularly afflicted or ill placed.

(b) The 8th lord is still more malefic when it also lords over the 3rd or the 11th house.

Note :
(i) For Pisces ascendant, Venus is the lord of the third and the 8th houses and is bad.

(ii) For Virgo ascendant, Mars is the lord of the third and the eighth houses and, therefore, adverse.

(iii) For Taurus ascendant, Jupiter is the lord of the 8th and the 11th houses, and is adverse.

(iv) For Scorpio ascendant, Mercury as the lord of the 8th and the 11th houses is bad
(c) The eighth lord becomes a benefic when it also owns a trine.

Note :
(i) Jupiter and Mercury for Leo and Aquarius ascendants respectively own the 5th and 8th houses,
and behave as benefics.

(ii) For Gemini ascendant, Saturn as the lord of the 8th house as well as the 9th house (a trine) does
not become an outright benefic, and, according to the Bhavartha Ratnakara, gives mixed results

(d) The evil effects of the 8th house lordship do not apply to the Sun or the Moon.

Note : The Moon is the 8th lord for Sagttarius ascendant, and the Sun for Capricorn ascendant.
According to the sage Parashara, the Sun and the Moon remain un-afflicted by the 8th house
lordship. This, however, may not hold true in actual practice, at least in medical astrology.

Principles - Part IV

(a) When a planet owns both a quadrant and a trine, it becomes particularly useful and is called a
Raja-yoga-karaka (doer of great benefit). It gives additional benefit if it is also located in a quadrant
or a trine.

Note :
(i) Mars for Cancer and Leo ascendants, Venus for Capricorn and Aquarius ascendants, and Saturn
for Taurus and Libra ascendants, become Yoga-karakas because of the ownership of a trine and a

(ii) Some people doubt the efficacy of Saturn as a benefic for Taurus ascendant despite its
ownership of the 9th and the 10th houses (a trine and a quadrant respectively). This is because the
9th lord is considered a Badhaka (an obstructing agent) for a fixed lagna like Taurus. This , however,
is not the view of Parashara which is more authentic.

(b) Only the ownership of a quadrant does not convert a malefic into a benefic. The malefic must
also own a trine to completely shed its malevolence.

Note : Saturn, as the lord of the 10th and the 11th houses for Aries ascendant, as lord of the 3rd and
the 4th houses for Scorpio ascendant, and as the lord of the 6th and the 7th houses for Leo

ascendant, remains a malefic despite owning a quadrant in each case.

(c) The blemish of kendra lordship (ownership of quadrants), as applicable to benefics, increases
progressively from the Moon, to Mercury, to Jupiter, to Venus.
(d) Full Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus, in this order, are progressively more powerful as

(e) Waning Moon, the Sun, Saturn and Mars, in this order, are progressively more powerful as

Principles - Part V (Raja Yogas)

When the lord of a quadrant is in some way related to the lord of a trine, a Raja Yoga (or a highly
benefic combination) is formed. Benefic combinations in a horoscope neutralise affliction and are
good for remaining free from disease. Relationship between any two house lords can be in one of
the following ways :

(a) By location in the same house (conjunction).

(b) By mutual aspect.

(c) By an exchange of houses (Parivartana Yoga).

(d) When one of them is placed in the other's house and this latter aspects the former.

Note : When the lords of quadrants and trines are related in one of the ways indicated above, they
still do not produce a Raja yoga if they also own the Papasthanas (adverse houses), i.e., houses 3, 6

and 11.

Principles - Part VI (Rahu and Ketu)

(a) Rahu and Ketu give results according to the house where they are located, and according to the
planet (i.e., the lord of a house) whom they join.

(b)Rahu and Ketu become Yogakarakas (productive of Raja Yoga) in the following situations :

(i) When they are placed in a quadrant, and join a trine lord; or

(ii) When they are placed in a trine, and join a quadrant lord.

(c) Rahu also behaves as Saturn and Ketu also as Mars.

Trik Houses and their Lords

Houses 6, 8 and 12 are known as Trik houses. While these houses, their lords, as well as the planets
that associate with these houses and their lords are productive of adverse results, they are
particularly adverse in relation to health. The sixth house and the sixth lord, among other things,
indicate disease and accidents. The eighth house and the eighth lord indicate chronic disease,
incurable disease, or death. The twelfth house and its lord indicate suffering and also
hospitalisation. The dasha periods of the planets associated with these houses and their lords must
be carefully watched for determining illness.
Classification of Houses
How To Read The Vedic Chart
by Joni Patry

for “The Blast” Astrology Conference

Sedona, Arizona September 16 - 21, 2008

Vedic astrology can give more detail and specifics not seen with Western astrology. Here we will analyze some of the
specifics used in Vedic astrology.

Whole Sign Houses

Vedic astrology uses whole signs per house. Each house contains an entire sign of 30 degrees. The cusp of a house is contained within that
house. Each sign is ruled by a planet. Therefore, there will only be one sign ruling each house.

Ascendant Sets Up The Planetary Rulers For Each House

The ascendant sets up the entire chart in terms of how planets affect the individual. Each ascendant sets up which planets will rule each house.
The most important effect is the planets that rule each house take on the qualities of the houses they rule. Therefore, the planets will change in
their effects for that individual depending on which house/houses the planet rules.
Because the outer planets are not used in terms of rulership, each planet, except the Sun and Moon, will rule 2 houses.

Trikona Houses
Houses 1, 5, and 9 are the most beneficial. These houses are the trikonal houses. The planets that rule these houses
give very good effects for the individual, even if they are natural malefic planets.

Dusthana Houses
Houses 6, 8 and 12 are the most difficult. These houses are the dusthana houses. The planets that rule these houses will
cause problems in a person’s life even if they are natural benefic planets.

Maraka Houses
Houses 2 and 7 are considered neutral. I have not found this to be true. They will bring problems as well. They are
considered Maraka houses, and can cause death. Maraka means killer. They derive this meaning because the 7th house
is the 12th house from the 8th and the 2nd house is the 12th from the 3rd house. Both the 8th and 3rd houses are the
houses considered when assessing the length of life. Therefore, the 2nd and 7th houses indicate loss of life.

Upachaya Houses
Houses 3, 6, and 11 are Upachaya houses indicating growth and improvement over time. The planets that rule these
houses are still problematic. The ruler of the 11th house is considered very problematic when determining the results of
a planet in a chart, BUT, planets do prosper very well when placed in the 11th house.

Kendra Houses
Houses 1, 4, 7 and 10 are the angles in a chart. They are called the kendras. These planets can be very strong in their
results. They create events and changes in life.

*The most important rule to remember here is that the planets will take on the qualities of the houses. Understanding
the meanings of each house will further flavor the effects a planet will produce in a chart.

Moolatrikona Signs Carry More Weight

Basically the benefic planets for a chart rule the trikonal houses, 1, 5 and 9. The malefic planets for a chart are the
planets that rule the dusthana houses 6, 8, and 12. But if a planet rules both a dusthana and a trikonal house, the
trikonal house will take priority particularly when the planet that rules the trikonal house is in the moolatrikona sign. The
moolatrikona sign will be the masculine sign, (air and fire) with the exception of Mercury and the Moon. The
moolatrikona sign of Mercury is Virgo and the Moon is Taurus, which is their exaltation sign. The house that is ruled by
the moolatrikona sign will ALWAYS give more effect.

For example: Gemini ascendant has Saturn ruling both the 8th and 9th houses. Capricorn is the sign on the 8th house
and Aquarius is the sign on the 9th house. Aquarius as an air sign is the moolatrikona sign, therefore, Saturn will give
more of the effects of the 9th house. The 9th house is a trikonal house indicating Saturn is a benefic planet for Gemini
ascendant. Saturn will bring good results for someone with Gemini rising even though it does rule the malefic 8th

Moolatrikona Signs
Sun – Leo
Moon - Taurus
Mercury - Virgo
Venus – Libra
Mars - Aries
Jupiter - Sagittarius
Saturn – Aquarius

Yoga Karaka
When a planet rules a trikonal house and an angular house (Kendra) this planet becomes the very best and most
powerful for that chart. It is called the yoga karaka planet.

For example: Taurus ascendant has Saturn as the ruler of the 9th house and the 10th house making Saturn the most
powerful planet for Taurus rising. Saturn will produce great things in this individual’s life.

Drishtis (Aspects)
Ways the Planets are Associated or Connected
Drishti means “to glance at”. The Greek word aspektos means “to gaze” or “to glance”. As the planets rose upon the
horizon and gazed on each other across the descendant, they exchanged glances. They aspected each other. It was
considered that planets gave their full aspect when they were opposite each other looking directly at one another.
Aspects connect or link the planets.

Vedic astrology uses whole sign houses, which means a sign is a house. The planets aspect the houses with or without
any planets there. All planets aspect the house or planets in opposition to them. Planets in the same house/sign aspect
each other as a conjunction. Planets aspect the entire sign, but the influence is stronger when the orbs are closer.
Planets that are out of sign but close in degrees still influence each other.

Vedic astrology uses special aspects for the planets Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. Mars aspects the fourth and the eighth
house from itself. Saturn aspects the third and the tenth houses. Jupiter aspects the fifth and the ninth houses. These
are all considered full aspects, 100 percent in their influence. There are weaker aspects of 75 - 50 percent that are rarely
used, but all aspects are cast in forward direction.

Rahu and Ketu (not recognized by all Vedic astrologers) cast trines like Jupiter to the fifth and the ninth houses. The
aspects do not have a meaning by themselves but carry the meanings of the planets. Aspects are the connectors of
planetary energy. So Rahu and Ketu convey their malefic energy to the planet or house they aspect, but not with the
meaning of a trine as in Western astrology.

The meaning of each planet varies from chart to chart. The variation is determined by asking:
1. Is it a natural benefic or malefic?
2. Is it a temporal malefic or benefic?
This is based on the houses these planets rule in a chart. Mars can be a functional benefic for Cancer ascendant
because it rules the auspicious fifth house (trikonal), and the tenth house (kendra). Jupiter can be a functional malefic
for Taurus ascendant because it rules the difficult eighth house (dusthana), and the eleventh house.

The planets carry the meanings of the houses they rule. As they cast their aspects to houses and the planets therein,
they impregnate those planets/houses with all the energy they possess. This means that if one planet aspects another
planet it will alter that planet’s meaning. For example, if Mercury is aspected by Saturn and Mars, Mercury is
impregnated by both natural malefic planets. It will carry with it the houses that both Mars and Saturn rule (the houses
they rule determines if it is a functional benefic or malefic) and the houses Mercury rules itself. So, this Mercury carries
the meanings of six houses. The aspects Mercury casts either by conjunction or opposition will have all these houses
attached to them. Mercury has a potent punch and much complexity with its aspects.

*An important rule: Anytime a planet aspects a house it rules it will give it an added force for the good of that house. It
is similar to the planet being in that house in its own sign.

*Planets can mutually aspect each other. This happens with the opposition and conjunction, and sometimes with the
special aspects.

For example, Mars in Capricorn and Saturn in Aries. Here Mars aspects Saturn by its fourth aspect, and Saturn aspects
Mars by its tenth aspect. They mutually aspect each other. It is a two-way connector.

When planets are in each other’s sign of rulership it is called mutual reception or parivartana, and is a very powerful
connection. If the planets are also mutually aspected it is even more powerful. This complete connection is called

The example above with Mars in Capricorn and Saturn in Aries is in sambandha. They mutually aspect each other and
are in each other’s sign (mutual reception). Another example would be the Sun in Aquarius and Saturn in Leo. They
mutually aspect each other by opposition, and are in each other’s sign.


1. Aspects are the planets influencing each other by their specific relational distance.
2. Full aspects are considered 100 percent in influence. There are weaker aspects that have effects of 75-50 percent.
Most do not consider these.
3. Aspects are connectors of planetary and house energies.
4. Aspects are always counted in a forward direction.
5. Planets aspect houses even though no planet resides there.
6. Planets in the same sign/house are in aspect (conjunction).
7. Planets in opposite signs/houses are in aspect.
8. Mars’ special aspects are 4, (7), and 8 signs/houses from its position.
9. Jupiter’s special aspects are 5, (7), and 9 signs/houses from its position.
10. Saturn’s special aspects are 3, (7), and 10 signs/houses from its position.
11. Rahu and Ketu’s special aspects are 5 and 9 signs/houses from their position.
12. Aspects have no meaning of their own, only the energy of the planets.
13. Planets are either natural benefics or natural malefics. The natural benefics are Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, and
Moon. The natural malefics are Mars, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu, and Sun.
14. Planets carry the meanings of the houses they rule. Natural malefics become functional benefics if they rule
trikonal houses (1, 5, 9). Natural benefics become functional malefics when they rule the dusthana houses (3, 6, 8,
12), and not a trikonal. When a planet rules both a dusthana and a trikonal, the planet is still considered benefic.
The trikonal house outweighs the dusthana house.
15. A planet that aspects a house it rules empowers that house, and the matters ruled by that house. It operates like
a planet in its own sign in the house it aspects.
16. Planets can mutually aspect each other. They have a two-way connection, reinforcing each other.
17. Sambandha is when planets are mutually aspected and in mutual reception. This means a complete connection.
18. Planets that are out of sign but very close in degrees still influence each other. Example: Jupiter 29 degrees of
Scorpio, and Mars at 0 degrees of Sagittarius.
19. The aspects from the Moon give further clarification to the chart.
20. The transiting planets, aspecting the natal planets, trigger life events.

Charts to be Analyzed
Condoleezza Rice Birth Chart
John Paul II Birth Chart
Adolf Hitler Birth Chart