When Should We Marry?
Here is a primer on how to select the most auspicious date and time to get married. What you will quickly find in reading this list is that it is impossible to find a perfect moment (nothing in this world is perfect). Selecting the most auspicious time for a wedding requires balancing one thing against another to get the best possible combinations to bless the couple. So, please don’t fixate on any one of the items in the list below.
Here are most of the important factors that go into that calculation, following the principles described in the Sanskrit work, Muhurta Cintamani.
Very General Principles
This group of principles is very generic:
Age: A woman should be in an even year of her life (22, 24, 26, etc. years old, for example), and a man should be in an odd year.
Year: Try not to marry towards the end of the lunar year. This means to avoid the period of 15 days when the Moon is waxing in the vicinity of the vernal equinox.
Ayana: It’s better to marry when the Sun is moving northward (between the winter and summer solstices). But avoid the last three days before either solstice.
Season: Any season is fine, but avoid the last day of any season. However, be aware that there are six seasons in a Vedic calendar (each one is 60.something days long, starting from “frozen season” at the winter solstice).
Month: Certain lunar months especially good, some are bad. The good ones are: Vaisakha (the lunar cycle usually spanning Arpil-May), Jyeṣṭhā (…May-June – hence late spring is auspicious), Karttika (…October-November), Pushya (…December-January) and Phalguna (…February-March).
The negative ones are Ashada (the lunar cycle usually spaning June-July), Bhādrapadā (…August-September – hence the Summer is less desirable), Margasira (…November – December) and Magha (…January-February).
Weekdays: Avoid the weekdays of the Malefic planets: Sunday, and particularly Saturday and Tuesday.
- Don’t get married within 6 months from the marriage of your brother or sister.
- Two biological brothers shouldn’t marry two biological sisters
- Don’t get married within 30 (ideally, or at least 13) days of the death anniversary of anyone in your close family for three generations.
- Eclipses are unfavorable for marriage if the Moon is with Ketu during the eclipse.
Less Generic Principles
This group of principles is more specific:
Sidereal Stars: It is better to marry when the Moon is in a segment of space belonging to certain stars, rather than others. The favorable star-segments are: Rohiṇī, Mṛgaśīrṣā, Maghā, Uttara Phālgunī, Hasta, Svāti, Anurādhā, Mūla, Uttara Aṣāḍhā, Uttara Bhādrapadā and Revatī; But not first 1/4th of Maghā and Mūla and not the last 1/4th of Revatī.
But, different stars are favorable or unfavorable for an individual – based on their distance from the star-segment occupied by the Moon when that individual was born. Count from your own birth-star, calling it “1” and go in order around the circle of stars. The stars numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 19 from yours are not auspicious for you, even if they are in the generically auspicious stars mentioned in the previous paragraph.
It is ideal to not have malefic planets in or next to the star-segment of the Moon.
Lunar Phase: Better to marry when the Moon is waxing. The waxing phases 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 11, and 13 (out of 15 phase segments) are particularly good. Avoid marrying when the Moon is waning, especially if it is more than half waned (after the 8th phase of waning). Either waxing or waning, avoid the phases numbered 4, 9 and 14.
Yoga: “Yoga” means combination. Specific combinations of star-segments, lunar phases and weekdays produce various favorable and unfavorable yoga. The yoga is very important to the auspiciousness or inauspiciousness of a moment, for any purpose, especially marriage – which is such a significant undertaking.
There are also 18 special combinations of planets and houses that are great blessings for marriage. These are too detailed to enumerate here.
Misc: If the bride and groom are the eldest children, they should avoid marriage in the month, star-segment, and lunar phase that they were born on.
Planets, Signs and Houses
Here are principles that are more familiar to tropical astrology:
Rising Sign: Prefer Gemini, Virgo and Libra. Avoid Aries, Capricorn, Scorpio and Pisces.
Prefer that the navāmśa signs of the Moon and the benefics (Cancer, Gemini, Virgo, Taurus, Libra, Sagittarius and Pisces) rise; and/or that those planets are in the rising navāmśa sign. Avoid having the navāmśa of Leo, Aries, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Aquarius rising. Avoid their lords, Sun, Mars and Saturn (the Malefics) in the ascending navāmśa sign.
Regardless of the above…
- It is favorable if the sign of the wife’s Moon rises.
- The 8th sign from the wife’s ascendant or Moon or navāmśa ascendant should not rise, unless the lord of the 8th is friendly with the lord of the ascendant / woon in the wife’s horoscope.
- Whatever sign is rising, avoid the last navāmśa of it, unless it is identical to the rising sign.
- Avoid cardinal navāmśa segments of cardinal zodiac signs if the wife was born with the Moon in Libra or Capricorn.
Houses: There are certain conditions to avoid, that will counteract the good found above:
- Saturn in the 12th house
- Mars in 8 or 10
- Venus in 6
- Moon rising with a malefic
- Moon or 1st lord in 6, or 8
- Benefics in 8
There are certain conditions to prefer, that counteract the ills found from the rising sign:
- Sun, Saturn, Rahu or Ketu in house 3, 6, 11 or 8.
- Mars in 3, 6, or 11
- Moon in 2, 3, or 11
- Mercury and Jupiter anywhere except 7, 8 and 12.
- Venus anywhere except 3, 6, 7, 8, or 12.
Appearance and Disappearance of Jupiter and Venus: Avoid times when Jupiter or Venus are debilitated or combust (too close to the Sun). Let Jupiter be at least 8 days out of the range of the Sun’s combustion, or at least 15 days prior to entering it. Let Venus be at least 7 days out of it, or at least 3 days prior to entering it.
In addition to Jupiter and Venus, it’s ideal to avoid combustion of the lord of the rising sign, and the lord of the rising navāmśa.
Transits: Jupiter, the Sun, and the Moon are very important – they should be transiting favorable houses relative to the position of the Moon in the bride’s horoscope. It’s beyond scope to define those “favorable” houses here.
Conjunctions to the Moon: The Moon should ideally be alone it its sign, unless sharing the sign with Jupiter or Mercury.
There are a seven specific “problems” (dosha) to avoid when selecting an auspicious moment to marry. It’s beyond scope to define them completely, but here is a summary:
- Avoid having a planet in the 7th house (but try to have the 7th lord aspect the 7th house and/or the 1st lord aspect the 1st house)
- No planet should “kick” the Moon (each planet kicks a different star-segment relative to it’s current position).
- Avoid having the Moon in certain star segments relative to the Sun’s current position.
- Avoid having the Moon in star segments that are the same distance from the 1st segment as the Sun currently is from certain other star segments
- A certain small part of each weekday should be avoided
- The star-segment number or the Sun and Moon should ideally be neurologically harmonious.
There are 21 additional “problems” that are outside the scope to describe here.
– Vic DiCara