Rahu and Ketu are shadow planets. According to Vedic astrology, they have no independent identity. They do not rule any zodiac sign. Also, they cannot be characterised as male and female. They denote the two points of intersection in the orbit of the Sun and Moon.
Rahu and Ketu’s Mythology and Significance
Rahu and Ketu are shadow planets that form the points of intersection in the Sun and Moon orbit. They are one of the most important aspects of Vedic astrology. Rahu and Ketu’s story dates back to the Samudra Manthan. According to the legend of the Samudra Manthan, the Devas and Asuras churned the ocean to obtain the “Amrut”, the nectar of immortality. The Asuras stole the Amrut from the Devas. As a result, Lord Vishnu took the form of Mohini, a beautiful woman and distracted the Asuras. On obtaining the Amrut, Mohini distributed it among the Devas.
An Asura by name Rahuketu disguised himself as a Deva and sat among them. The Sun and Moon god noticed this and decided to warn Mohini. But, Rahuketu already consumed the Amrut. After knowing this, Lord Vishnu severed the demon’s head with his Sudharshana Chakra. Since the demon was immortal, his head and body became separate entities. Later, his head became “Rahu” and the body became “Ketu”. These two shadow planets are the enemies of the Sun and the Moon according to Vedic astrology.
According to popular belief, Rahu and Ketu chase the Sun and the Moon in their orbits. When they succeed in catching and swallowing the Sun and the Moon, it leads to a solar and lunar eclipse. But they cannot hold the Sun and the Moon for long as they too had the nectar of immortality.
Their importance in Vedic astrology
These planets move in retrograde motion. They have malefic and detrimental effects. This is the significance of Rahu and Ketu in astrology. According to Vedic astrology, Rahu represents indulgence. Some of the negative aspects of Rahu are theft, mental illness, death of family members, losses and legal hassles. Rahu also represents diseases such as skin diseases, leprosy, ulcer and breathing problems. However, if Rahu is in the right position in your horoscope, it bestows courage and fame. Rahu also brings instant success and failure.
Ketu represents diseases related to lungs, digestion issues, brain disorders and problems with hearing. It also represents mystic activities, sufferings, wounds, bad company and false pride. Some of the positive representations of Ketu are moksha, interest in philosophical pursuits, spiritual pursuits and sudden gains.
These elements are only points in the zodiac and they do not have an effect of their own. They only take on the characteristics of the planetary dispositors. The results and effects of Rahu and Ketu change according to their position in the natal chart. The effects also change if they are in conjunction with another planet.
They can also be in conjunction with each other. No birth chart has this conjunction. But it is commonly found in higher divisional charts. For instance, Rahu and Ketu conjunction is found in divisional charts beyond D-10, such as D-16, D-20, D-24, D-30 and D-40.
Rahu and Ketu Remedies
According to Vedic astrology, Rahu and Ketu are shadow planets that have no identity of their own. It is believed that they have malefic effects. According to popular belief, if Rahu and Ketu are present in one’s horoscope, the person will suffer their malefic effects. There are some remedies that can help reduce their negative effects on a person’s life.
Remedies to reduce Rahu’s malefic effects:
- Reciting the Rahu Beej Mantra: If Rahu isn’t favourable in your natal chart, chanting the Beej mantra 18,000 times is very effective. The Beej mantra is “Om Bhram Bhreem Bhroum Sah Rahave Namah”.
- Observing a fast: According to popular belief, fasting on Saturdays help reduce the malefic effects of Rahu.
- Charities and donations: One has to feed the poor, help a person suffering from leprosy or any skin diseases, and help a poor person in getting his/her daughter married.
- Rahu Yantra: Having a Rahu yantra will also help overcome its detrimental effects.
Remedies to reduce Ketu’s malefic effects:
- Ketu Beej Mantra: Reciting the Ketu beej mantra 17,000 times is extremely beneficial. The Ketu beej mantra is “Om Bhram Bhreem Bhroum Sah Ketave Namah”.
- Fasting: Observing a fast every Tuesday and Friday is very effective reducing the negative effects of Ketu.
- Charity work: One has to donate blankets, domestic animals like cows, and things made of iron. Additionally, helping the poor and old people will also reduce its effects.
- Ketu Yantra: Keeping a Ketu yantra with oneself is said to be very beneficial.
Rahu and Ketu remedies at home
There are some home remedies one can do to nullify or reduce the effect of Rahu and Ketu. They are:
- Offering sweets to the homeless and orphans to reduce Ketu’s negativity.
- One should chant “Om Namah Shivaaya” 108 times every day.
- Keeping a rudraksha mala or nivaran yantra will help reduce the effects.
- Performing Naga puja and reciting specific mantras for 21 days.
- Donating blankets to the needy and underprivileged.
- Wearing a silver nivaran ring.