“Mars Affliction” (Kuja Dosha) is a rather modern trend, not a truly “vedic” or “classical” yoga or astrological combination. To quickly explain what it is: Mars is the planet of independence and the Seventh House is the place of cooperation. The two have obviously opposing themes. Therefore when Mars interacts strongly with the Seventh House astrologers tend to foresee that the Mars’ independence will interfere with the cooperation required to make good, lasting relationships.
How would Mars interact strongly with the Seventh House? Simply put, if he occupies or aspects it. In a simplified sense, Mars aspects the Seventh House if he occupies the 12th, 1st, or 4th houses.
Some astrologers extend the formula even further, saying that Mars will cause problems to relationships when he interacts with the Second House, since that is the House of Family – and “family” also does not get on well with “independence.” Mars can interact with the Second house if he occupies it or aspects it, and in the simplest sense he aspects it if he occupies the 7th, 8th or 11th houses.
So the list of houses that will cause interference between self-oriented independence and relationship-oriented cooperation are: 12, 1, 4, 7, and 8. Astrologers drop the 11th House from this list because the 11th House is a good place for Mars. Of all the houses to have Mars in, the Seventh is the worst, theoretically, because from here Mars influences both the Seventh House, the house of relationships (since he is in it) and the Second House, the house of family (since he will aspect it).
There is a very long list of reasons why this whole topic is extremely overemphasized and misdiagnosed by the vast majority of people who presume to read horoscopes.
- The biggest problem is that most of those people read horoscopes like they would paint-by-numbers. They have little to no real understanding of what they are doing, or why they are doing it. They are just trying to follow some stuff they read somewhere. This problem causes all the rest.
- Another problem is that Vedic aspects are degree specific and 90% of people telling other people they have the Mars Affliction (“Kuja Dosha”) frankly have no idea that this is true, what to speak of knowing how to read Vedic aspects by degree. Mars may be in the First House, for example, but his aspect to the Seventh House could literally amount to nothing if the degrees between Mars and the cusp of the Seventh House are significantly less than 180º.
- Another problem causing misdiagnosis of Mars Affliction is that Mars is not always the cause of troubling and counter-productive selfish independence. Mars in good signs, for example, bestows strong constructive drive and enthusiasm. In such cases it would be wrong to diagnose his influence as an affliction (“dosha”).
To truly have Mars Affliction the following has to occur in the chart
- Mars must not have good dignity. You should consult the vimshopaka score to get a quick idea of the true dignity of Mars taking all his subdivisions into account. A good dignity results the more the Vimshopaka score is above 10.
- Mars must really aspect the 7th House cusp with an intensity generally of 70% or above. To assess this you need to know what Vedic aspects really are, which is well beyond the scope of this article. I encourage you to take my class or read my textbook on Unlocking the Meanings of a Horoscope to learn this.
- Mars should also aspect the 7th House from Venus and/or the Moon.
- The more intensely Mars has low dignity and fully aspects the 7th house form the Ascendant, Venus and/or the Moon – the more severe the affliction from Mars will be.