Getting Started with “Dasha” Timecycles

Astronomical Clock
Image by simpologist via Flickr

Every horoscope has a timeline, called the “dasha” cycle. This timeline defines when something seen in the horoscope will unfold. Thus a single horoscope can show indicates for both extreme poverty and extreme wealth. Mapped to the dasha cycle timeline, the planets causing the poverty will bring financial hardship during their cycles, while the planets causing wealth will bring bounty during theirs. Thus a person rises from poverty to wealth, or visa versa, etc.

How to get started understanding how to interpret the dasha cycles?

First of all you have to know what they are. You need a “Vedic” chart. What does that mean, Sidereal? Yes and no. A “Vedic” chart means

  • Sidereal Zodiac
  • Lunar Zodiac of 27 mansions
  • Whole-sign houses
  • No modern planets, but a host of Vedic subplanets if you need them
  • 15 additional charts as a result of subdividing the zodiac by resonance, of which the 9th division (navamsha) is most important
  • A calculation of vimshopaka for dignity including all these subdivisions
  • A calculation of shad-bala for the forcefullness or “strength” of the planet
  • A calculation of aspects by degree (not by sign as in common mis-practiced Indian astrology, and not by geometric pattern as in Western astrology)
  • A calculation of the dasha cycles based on the Moon’s placement in the lunar zodiac, and using the correct year length.

A Vedic Horoscope, as you see, is not just a Sidereal horoscope!

Anyway, once you have this stuff you can start to learn how to interpret your dashas. To get this stuff you will need either a Vedic Astrologer or some mathematically reliable Vedic Astrological software. In my frank opinion there is only one Vedic Astrology software that does not make significant mathematical mistakes calculating the above short-list, it is Kala. Depending on if you want to analyze dozens or more horoscopes, or if you just want to look at yours, or maybe a few family and friend – it might actually be financially cheaper to pay an astrologer to give you the printouts of the above bullet lists rather than drop about $300 on software.

Anyway once you have all the printouts of the above, you will need to know what they mean. So you will need my book, Symbolic Keys of Astrology to get primed up on the essential basics, and my second book, Unlocking the Meanings of a Horoscope, if you want a deeper grasp of what the calculations of shad-bala, vimshopaka, and the 15 additional subdivision charts really are.

So now you have the raw materials of your Vedic Horoscope, and you have the basic background knowledge of what it means. Here is how to start reading your astrological timeline. Pick a timecycle that you want to know about. It will be governed by a specific planet. Examine that planet in your Vedic Horoscope. Figure out…

  • The goodness or “dignity” of the dasha planet – calculated across all the varga subdivisions by the vimṣopaka method.
  • The strength of the dasha planet – calculated by the ṣaḍ-bāla method.
  • The houses owned and occupied by the dasha planet
  • Influences on the dasha planet by way of conjunctions and aspects.

The more positive the dignity of the cycle planet, the more easily you can make good things happen. Very positive planets make good things happen with little or no effort at all on your part.

The stronger the cycle planet, the more pronounced will be it’s good or bad effects.

Say you have a planet that is very negative in dignity and very strong. That is bad news. That means that bad things will happen without you really inviting them, or dispite efforts to avoid them, and those bad things will be significant and pronounced, important. If the same planet with negative dignity were weak instead of strong, the bad effects would be negligable, bad moods, bad dreams, lots of opponents who don’t have much strength and arent very effective against you, etc. Positive-dignity planets with lots of strength make important good things happen with little or no effort. Positive-dignity planets with low strength make for good moods, good dreams, good ideas, etc.

The houses owned and occupied by the cycle planet tell you what type of good or bad things will happen (depending on the aforementioned factors). So a planet with positive dignity and high strength that owns the 10th house (career) and occupies the 1st house (self) is a period of time in which you become very famous and personally respected. A planet with negative dignity and high strength owning the 10th, occupying the 1st indicates a period of time in which you lose your employment and must figure out how to make ends meet on your own. Etc.

Finally, look at the influences to the planet by conjunction or aspect. For example, if Venus is the main influence on the positive, strong 10th lord in the 1st house mentioned in the preceeding paragraph – then you will rise to fame and personal recognition as a result of something Venusian (your artistic skill, your beauty, your practical talents, your marriage/partner).

There you go – a huge chunk of astro – knowledge for you from the ancient tomes of Sanskrit wisdom. Some of you might make use of this to learn astrology, some to make your own interpretations, or others may just figure that you want to consult me for a reading of your timeline. =)


Vic DiCara