The Planets And The Qualities Of Nature

From great Nature, called Prakriti in Sanskrit, comes the three primal qualities or gunas of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.

Sattva is the higher quality and is of the nature of light, lightness, clarity, harmony, balance and intelligence. It is the divine quality and brings about the upward movement of the soul. It creates peace, love and faith and brings the human being into the spiritual life.

Rajas is the intermediate quality and is of the nature of energy, action, turbulence, distraction, disturbance, violence and passion. It is the demonic (asuric) quality and keeps the soul in the middle worlds. It creates aggression, competition, strife and pain and causes the human being to seek worldly acquisition and achievement as the main goal in life.

Tamas is the lower quality and is of the nature of inertia, darkness, dullness, obstruction, heaviness and lethargy. It is the animal quality that keeps the soul bound in the lower and unconscious realms. It brings about servitude, decay, domination and destruction and causes the human being to become harmful, useless, unproductive and unintelligent.

Each of these three qualities is necessary in nature. Tamas gives stability, as in roles of the earth and the physical body. Rajas gives energy, as in the atmosphere and the vital body. Sattva gives light, as in place of heaven and the mind.

Rajas and Tamas, however, do not naturally belong to or function rightly in the domain of the mind, which is the natural realm of Sattva. Tamas becomes the ignorance and lack of attention which veils the mind. Rajas fuels desire and fantasy that are projected through it. As astrology measures the mental quality or Sattva of the person, Tamasic and Rajasic energies become negative in the chart. All evolution spiritually is in reducing Rajas and Tamas and increasing Sattva. When Sattva is pure it allows the perception of our true or Divine nature in which we go beyond the outer world.

Prevalence of Sattvic planets in a chart shows ethical, religious and spiritual qualities and the soul in its ascent. Prevalence of Rajasic planets show worldly qualities and the soul in its state of attachment, seeking acquisitions and achievements in the outer world. Prevalence of Tamasic planets show lower qualities, destructive tendencies, and the soul in its state of descent. The planets are generally given the three qualities as follows:



We can place Uranus, Neptune and Pluto into a pattern of Neptune--Sattva, Uranus--Rajas and Pluto--Tamas, though their influences here are rather weak.

The planets also have secondary qualities. The Sun has some Rajas, as it provides not only perception but energy. The Moon has some Tamas or cloudiness to it. Mercury and Venus have some Sattva and can enhance qualities of compassion and devotion respectively. Mars and Ketu have some Rajas, as they give energy and power of will.

Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, like the lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu, are usually overpowered by the nature of the planets they are associated with. Even mutable or sensitive planets like the Moon and Mercury can take on any quality according to influences and associations.

The above scheme is the natural status of the planets according to the three qualities. Other factors like rulership of Sattvic houses (1, 4, 5 and 9), Rajasic houses (2, 7, 10, 11) or Tamasic houses (3, 6, 8 and 12) should be examined. The nature of the signs in which the planets are located must also be considered (see section). In this regard we cannot put too much weight on the qualities the planets generally represent.

Harmoniously placed and balanced planetary influences tend towards Sattva. Conflicting planetary influences make for Rajas. Lack of communication between planets makes for Tamas. Generally, preponderance of spiritual factors in the chart makes for Sattvic type, preponderance of egoistic factors creates Rajasic types and lack of integration in a chart tends towards the Tamasic. For these reasons, the ultimate determination of the state of the three gunas in the chart is a complex decision. It is part of the whole ascertainment of the mental and spiritual nature of the person. It may depend upon somewhat on the nature of the soul, as more evolved souls will use the higher aspects of their planetary energies and less evolved will gravitate towards the lower. Higher souls will relate more to their Sattvic planets, intermediate to their Rajasic, and lower to their Tamasic influences. For this reason some astrologers refuse to make any spiritual judgement of the person based upon the chart alone. All astrologers should learn those factors which increase Sattva and encourage them in all their clients.

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