# Planetary War

An infrequent condition called “planetary war” (Graha Yuddha) also affects the strength or weakness of the planets. When planets get within 1º absolute distance from each other, they fight. This only applies to the five real planets. The luminaries and nodes do not resort to war at any time.

Who wins the war? Venus never loses. That is the first rule. Why? Because she is by far brighter and stronger than any other starry planet. If Venus is not involved, the planet with a more northern declination wins the war. Why? He with the “higher ground” can win.

What happens after the war? The victor gets stronger and the loser gets weaker. How much stronger or weaker? Figure out the difference between the sixfold strength of both planets partaking in the war. Deduct that difference from the strength of the loser, and add it to the strength of the victor.

- Vic DiCara

# Declination

When you project the Earth’s equator into space (the “ecliptic”), you will find that the Sun, and all the planets orbiting the Sun, are at a 23 some-odd degree incline to it. The Sun exactly crosses the equator twice a year, once on about March 21st (the Vernal Equinox, when spring begins), and once again on about September 21st (The Autumnal Equinox, when autumn begins). Additionally, the Sun is the most north of the equator on about June 21st (the Summer Solstice, when summer begins) and is the most south of the equator on about December 21st (the Winter Solstice, when winter begins).

Remember the basics: The Sun and all the planets move through a narrow band of stars called the Zodiac. That zodiac is at a roughly 23º incline to the Earth’s equator.  Half of the zodiac signs are north of the equator. The other half are south of it.

Which ones?

It is hard to say exactly because the 23º tilt of the earth is not stable. It progresses to incline and decline through the aeons. In the Tropical Zodiac system, which aligns itself not to the stars but to the season, it is simple: The beginning of Aries through to the end of Virgo are north of the equator. The beginning of Libra through to the end of Pisces are south of it. The Summer Solstice occurs at the most northern point of the Tropical Zodiac: the beginning of Cancer. The Winter Solstice occurs at the most southern point: the beginning of Capricorn.

Therefore we use the tropical zodiac whenever we calculate declination.

“Declination” is a measurement of how far north or south of the equator a planet currently is. It’s pretty easy to tell just by knowing what sign a planet is in. A planet in Cancer will always be much more northerly than a planet in Capricorn, for example. But each planet also has a slightly unique tilt towards our equator. Knowing this would let you know which planet would have a higher northern declination if they were both near the same degree of the zodiac.

Declination is a (small) part of what makes a planet strong or weak. Different planets are strong at different points:

 Strongest Weakest Moon & Saturn Southern Declination - 0º Cancer Northern Declination - 0º Capricorn Sun, Jupiter, Mars & Venus Northern Declination - 0º Capricorn Southern Declination - 0º Cancer Mercury Souther or Northern - 0º Cancer or 0º Capricorn Equatorial - 0º Aries or 0º Libra
- Vic DiCara

# Astrological Calendars and Clocks

Astrological time is interesting. Have you ever wondered why there are 12 months in a year? 7 days in a week? 24 hours in a day?

There are 12 months because the moon completes 12 cycles (12 full moons) during a year (see the word “moon” in “month”?). That’s also why there are 12 zodiac signs.

There are 7 days in a week because there are 7 astrological planets. One owns each day.

There are 24 hours in a day because there are 12 signs, and the day has 2 halves, daytime and nighttime. 12×2 = 24. The first half of the male signs and last half of the female signs belongs to the lord of the daytime, the Sun. The first half of the female signs and the last half of the male signs belongs to the lord of the night, the Moon. So, there are 24 hours.

The planet who owns the hour, day, month and year gets a boost in how astrologically strong it is at the time.

It is based on this universal principle:

 Day Planet Sunday Domingo 日 Sun 日 Monday Lunes 月 Moon 月 Tuesday Martes 火 Mars 火星 Wednesday Miercoles 水 Mercury 水星 Thursday Jueves 木 Jupiter 木星 Friday Viernes 金 Venus 金星 Saturday Sabado 土 Saturn 土星

Just remember that the astrological day starts and ends at sunrise, not at midnight! So, if your normal calendar says “Monday” but it is before sunrise on that day, the astrological day is still Sunday.

The astrological “year” starts on the day the Sun enters Aries. Whatever planet owns the day of the week on which this happens becomes the lord of the year and gets a slight boost in strength for the duration of the year (15 virupas).

Astrological “months” start every time the Sun enters a new sign. Whatever planet owns the day of the week on which the Sun enters a new sign becomes the lord of that month a gets a boost in strength during that month (30 virupas).

Astrological days are simple. All you have to remember is that they start at sunrise, not midnight. Whatever planet owns the weekday gets a boost in strength during that day. (45 virupas).

Astrological hours are not exactly the same as our modern hours, but are based on sunrise. At sunrise, the first hour begins. The duration of time between one sunrise and the next gets divided into 24 portions. A different planet rules each hour. The lord of the weekday owns the first hour when the Sun rises. The next hour belongs to the lord of the 6th weekday from the Sun, Venus. The third hour belongs to the lord of the 6th weekday from Venus, Mercury. The fourth hour belongs to the lord of the 6th weekday from Mercury, the Moon. And so on. Whatever planet owns the current hour gets a significant boost in strength (a full rupa, 60 virupas).

- Vic DiCara

# Names of the Planets

He began by telling the names of the 9 planets: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu and Ketu. Of course these are translations of the names he gave. Since names are names after all, translations are not always terribly appropriate. So let’s look at the Sanskrit names the master actual gave for the planets.

The Sun he named Ravi which could literally translate as “Firebird.” The Sun is the great flame flying in the sky.

The Moon he named Chandra, “Lustrous.” The Moon is beautifully bright, without the flaming heat of the Sun.

Mars he named Mangala, which means “Luck.” Mars is a bold, competitive planet who relies on luck, and seems to master it in his ability to win in any contest.

Mercury he named Budha, meaning “The Intelligent.”

Jupiter he named Guru, “The Guide.”

Venus he named Shukra, “Bright.” Venus is the brightest of any light in the sky besides the Moon and Sun.

Saturn he named Shani, “Slow.” Saturn is the slowest moving of the nine planets.

The two remaining planets don’t really have popular English names, so we will keep their Sanskrit names.

Rahu we sometimes call the northern / ascending node or, more creatively Dragon’s Head. The name literally means “The Seizer,” referring mainly to Rahu’s ability to grab hold of the powerful Sun and Moon, causing eclipses.
Ketu is the southern / descending node or Dragon’s Tail. The sanskrit name literally means “flag.” We place flags on territory we have already conquered and controlled, which is will become meaningful the more you learn about Ketu.

- Vic DiCara