Planetary Significators

There is yet another system, also unique to Vedic astrology, by which planets become significators of different aspects of our nature and different domains in life. This is determined by how many degrees they occupy by sign in the chart. To figure these out we should take the positions of the seven major planets in the chart and, not noting the signs, place them in order of their degrees and minutes.

The planet with the highest number of degrees in any sign becomes the "Atmakaraka", "the significator of the self" or self-indicator. This, like the lord of the Ascendant or a final dispositor, may become the most powerful planet in the chart. It is often the most important planet to consider in judging the spiritual nature of the individual, particularly relative to its position in the harmonic ninth (navamsha) chart. It provides us a key to the aspirations of the soul. We often regard its position as the Ascendant in the ninth and other harmonic charts and read the indications of the chart according to it.

The planet second in its number of degrees in any particular sign becomes the "Amatyakaraka", the significator of the confidant, symbolically the minister to the king, the one who we are closest to. On an inner level it represents the mind, the confidant of the self and can be called "the significator of the mind". The planet third in the sequence becomes the "Bhratrikaraka", "the significator of brothers". On a psychological level, it represents will, energy and motivation; hence we can call it "the significator of energy".

The planet fourth in the sequence is the "Matriputrakaraka", "the significator of the mother and of children". On a psychological level, it represents our creativity, of which children are one expression, and can be called "the significator of creativity".

The planet fifth in the sequence is the "Pitrikaraka", "the significator of the father". On a psychological level, it represents our role or dharma in life, the rule or authority we follow, usually transmitted to us through the influence of our father. Hence we can also call it "the significator of dharma." The planet sixth in the sequence is the "Jnatikaraka", "the significator of relatives." On an inner level, it shows our capacity for interchange with society generally. We can call it "the significator of the world."

The planet seventh in the sequence becomes "Strikaraka", the significator of the wife or spouse. On a psychological level, it indicates our capacity for relationship and partnership, our love and affection in life. Hence we can call it "the significator of relationship."

It is good to examine the conditions of these significators for the domains the represent. This is particularly true of their positions in the harmonic charts, mainly the harmonic ninth, but also the harmonics that relate to them (like the significator of brothers and the third harmonic). At least we should examine the condition of the significator of the self or self-indicator (Atmakaraka).

As an example, we can take the chart above, that of Gandhi, noting the degrees of the seven major planets. The significator of the self or self-indicator will be the Moon at 29 38. The significator of the mind is Jupiter at 29 37. The significator of energy (brothers) Mars at 27 51. The significator of creativity (mother-children) is Venus at 25 54. The significator of dharma (father) is Saturn at 21 48. The significator of the world (relatives) is the Sun at 18 23. The significator of relationship is Mercury at 13 13.

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