How to Interpret a Planet in Astrology

If you are reading a chart, there are three considerations to make for each planet:

  1. What does the planet promise – what positive or negative intentions does it have towards you?
  2. How strong is the planet?
  3. When would the planet get an opportunity to act on it’s promised intention?
Here’s how you answer the questions.

How Positive?

Answer the first question by seeing what sign the planet is in. Not just in the main birth chart, but in the 10 harmonic divisions (see Differences Within a Single Sign (Part II)) – this will tell you the planet’s overall positive or negative intentions towards you.
To understand the specific areas they will be positive or negative in is a delicate art and science. But basically you do so by assessing the houses they own and occupy and the planets they interact with.

How Strong?

A person may want to kill you, but may be extremely weak and powerless to do so. So their intention is malefic, but because they have such little strength it is not such a big deal. Just a slight trouble. Planets can only fulfill their promises dramatically when they are strong.

There are six factors you have to take into account to judge the planet’s strength.

  1. The natural strength of the planet
  2. The strength gained by its placement in various signs
  3. The strength gained by it’s direction in the sky (n, e, s or west)
  4. The strength gained by the time of year, month, week, day and hour
  5. The strength gained by the planets speed of motion
  6. The strength gained as a result of declination to the north or south of the ecliptic

There are elaborate and precise rules for evaluating these six strengths. Almost any Vedic astrology program will tell you this strength as “shad-bala” (which means “sixfold strength”) expressed usually as a decimal number, where any decimal over 1 is increasingly strong, and any decimal below one is increasingly weak.


Even if person who wants to kill you and has the power and guts to do so – there’s still a chance you will escape the assassination if you don’t wind up in the “wrong place at the wrong time.”

A strong planet will be able to fulfill it’s promised intentions towards you only when it gets the right opportunities to do so. You mainly have to consult the dasha cycles – the planetary rhythms (see New Video – Rhythms of the Planets) to know when the planets get their opportunities to act.

– Vic DiCara