While the “true” grahas provide light to our awarenesses, Rahu and Ketu the Moon’s nodes, are chaya grahas (Shadow planets) that have position but no substance. They cannot shine light on us; instead they project life’s “shadows” the fears, phobias, hang-ups and secret lives that many of us lead or dream of leading. This section describes some of the astrological combinations through which Rahu or Ketu can apply these secret fears or tendencies to the aura of a marriage. How strongly these fears express themselves depends on the strength of the combinations and on the marital vasanas and karmas that the horoscopes otherwise exhibit.
There is no escape from the nodes, for Rahu and Ketu are bound to sit somewhere in everybody’s horoscope. None of the observations that follow should, thus be applied literally to a horoscope, unless that horoscope displays the type of clear confluence that will enhance and enliven them. In such cases, the predicted effects may show up less in the life of the individual in whose horoscope the Moon’s node is activated and more in that of the partner. The power of the nodes to confuse can transfer influences from the one consort to the other, who in effect, becomes the one’s shadow.
Moreover, as with kuja dosha, these combinations apply most literally to situations in which there is no modification. The aspect of a prominent Jupiter on the relevant node can modify the situation, as can other powerful influences that strengthern the bhavas and the lords of the bhavas involved. A benefic aspect from Jupiter on the pertinent node can sometimes save marriages that Rahu or Ketu has made almost unsalvageable. We illustrate such nuances in the examples below:
Here is one essential rule of interpretation: If Rahu or Ketu occupies a rashi and that node is conjoined with the lord of that rashi, or if Rahu or Ketu sits in a rashi and those node aspects that rashi’s lord, the shadowy influence of the nodes on that lord is intensified. This nodal influence will be even more intensified in the dispositor of the relevant node occupies bhavas 6,8, or 12, as counted from the lagna. The degree to which the following observations sctually appear in someone’s life of course depends on additional horoscopic factors, including the magnitude of afflictions or harmonious connections to the individual’s 7th bhava and the dashas that they run.
Moreover, although the natural malefic nature of the nodes makes each of the following combinations challenging, these difficult themes will display their full degree of detriment to marriage only when the relevant node somehow influences the 7th bhava or its lord. That influence may be one of occupation, association, and/or aspect, and the offending node may affect the 7th bhava laone, the lord of the 7th bhava alone, or, in severe cases, both of them. Only such dire circumstances will permit the auras of Rahu and Ketu to take full hold over the marital bhavas and cause them to secrete into the relationship nothing but the rasa of devesha.
Some people will have no node influencing its dispositor. Others will have a node that, though influencing its dispositor, has no link to any of the factors of marriage. These people are likely to have pleasanter marriages than those whom the nodes afflict on both counts. However, even when the nodes do best both a grha and its rashi, along with the marriage bhava or its lord, there is no certainty that the person will experience all the consequences that we describe. Some will never marry, perhaps in unconscious anticipation of these very issues. For those whose horoscopes promise the karmic outcome of marital bliss, these afflictions may appear as fleeting thoughts that have little substance in reality. These inclinations usually become imposingly evident only in those horoscopes that indicate exceptionally difficult marital karma. In such circumstances, they are most likely to emerge during the dashas or bhuktis of the nodes, or during transits of the nodes that somehow activate these combinations.
When Rahu or Ketu occupies a rashi or Mars and that node is conjoined with or aspects Marts, it tends to inflame passions, which can lead to an unwise early marriage. This placement of Rahu and Mars also encourages the person to seek out a partner with fixed or dogmatic views. Such inflexible tendencies can, should Mars and the Node be particularly poorly placed, make adjusting to one another so difficult that separation may be the only practical solution. The person may also form a false opinion about the other’s courage, which may lead to overcompensation, aggressive stances, and escalating displays of temper. The contract of the nodes can exaggerate Mars’s native tendencies to act hastily and independently. When a partner points out these tendencies, it may lead to endless cycles of anger or attempts to dominate. Mismatches in the couple’s interest in physical activities may develop. Brothers or sister-in-law can become a source of problems that are difficult to resolve, or they may be the source of imagined problems that influence the relationship in a very real manner.
When Rahu or Ketu occupies a rashi or Venus and that node is conjoined with or aspects Venus, it lends a self-reflexive, color to one’s sexuality, which can promote an unhealthy preoccupation with narcissistic sexual responses . when further afflicted, the Venus-influenced node can lead outright immorality. The nodes may create excessive desire for the perfect sexual experience, perfect relationship harmony, or some similarly unattainable perfection, a craving that can enhance the need for sensuality and for harmony that Venus represents. In a fit of excess, this can lead the person away from the very sensuality and harmony sought. Such people sometimes develop the idea that they cannot satisfy their spouses sexually, and they may accuse their spouses of being sexually inadequate. Taken to the extreme, this can lead to separation and divorce, or, if they remain married, to frustration and discontentment. The joint social life of the cuple with friends and the shared expression of both partners in the arena of cultured and aesthetic tastes, entertainment, and food may be disrupted by idiosyncratic predilections. One belief says that this placement of a node can widow a woman if she happens to run that node’s dasha during her marriage, while, during other dashas, it can provoke separation, particularly during the dasha of that node’s dispositor.
Mercury is a planet of intellectuality, communication, and youthfulness, which, when afflicted, can foment a perpetual lack of maturity. When Rahu or Ketu occupies a rashi of Mercury and that node is conjoined with or aspects Mercury, one of the partners may be incapable of satisfying the intellectual needs of the other. This atate can so excite the desire for perfect communication that it can encourage discussion when words are unnecessary. This may actually lead such people away from the very communication they seek, by inviting petty gossip, frequent quarrels, or insecurity about the general state of communication in their married lives. This can, in turn, foment severe misunderstandings, including, perhaps, misconceptions about the spouse’s faithfulness. Such a puerile and destabilizing suspicion of infidelity may tempt the person to look for other consorts. Mercury being a napumsaka graham, a planet of ill defined or “unfinished” sexual maturity, the person may also be unable to stratify the spouse sexually, or to relate maturely to the partner. This may inspire a “Peter Pan” or Lolita” complex to surface and destabilize the marriage.
Moon represents manas, the recording, emotional, and sensory mind, which is, by nature, insecure, uncertain. When Rahu or Ketu occupies Cancer and that node is conjoined with or aspects the Moon, the resulting natural confusion and self-doubt greatly enhance the mind’s insecurities. In our solar system, the nodes’ task is to eclipse the Moon. This can create repeated doubts regarding choice of spouse by inflating desire for the “perfect” domestic life. It may also facilitate doubts about relatives. A node in these positions promotes a lack of focused action that often stems from indecision. This can kindle frustration and disappointment in married life. Guilt and regret may become a big part of the marital experience if an individual tries to hide some real or imagined misdeed from the partner. The couple may become pessimistic over their prospects, particularly if emotional problems prevent mutual understanding from developing. They may share a phobia, or may find casual mingling with members of the opposite sex to be more satisfying than trying to interact intensely with the spouse. One member of the couple may end up blaming the other for personal inadequacies, or the one may conclude, even without proof, that the other is psychologically or circumstantially unavailable.
When Rahu or Ketu occupies Leo and the node is conjoined with or aspects the Sun, it promotes rigid, fixed ideas of marital normality, and may make it difficult for the native to give up pre-existing ideas of what married life should be. Inability to cope with disagreements over beliefs may make the person ignore family life by taking solace in a religion, or in some otherwise admirable cause, to cope with disagreements over beliefs may make the person ignore family life by taking solace in a religion, or in some otherwise admirable causes, to remedy a perceived lack of love and affection in their nuptials. Alternatively, it may be the partner who perceives a lack of love and affection from the node afflicted person. Rahu and Ketu eclipse the Sun, so there may be some poser struggles around the relative importance of individual careers, about who is to be the central authority in the relationship. One or both partners may feel that the other obstructs the ability to shine forth and achieve goals. The partners are likely to be easily excitable, arrogant, or irritable, and may become aggressive in their passions. This combination can result in widowhood or separation, particularly if the Sun is debilitated. In this latter case, there is danger that the marriage may dissolve during the dasha of either Sun or Venus.
When Rahu or Ketu occupies a rashi of Jupiter and that node is conjoined with or aspects Jupiter, the couple will strive to maintain a conciliatory attitude in their union. They will, typically, continue to live together, being unlikely to separate, even if one of them develops a chronic disease, or if some other crisis burdens their marriage. Even if they cannot get along, they will try to compromise on the basis or religion, spirituality, fate, or karma. They are likely to have a preceptor, or to resort to counselors to guide them into sharing a similar approach to life. Neither husband nor wife is likely to be unduly demanding of the other. The biggest defect in such a match is a potential difficulty arriving at agreement about having and raising children, for the node may magnify questions of whether, when, and/or why to have children. There may also be distinct spiritual and religious differences, which may perhaps even come to a focus in how to raise the children. There may be tension over the preferred philosophical, moral, and ethical percepts that Jupiter represents. Such spiritual and religious diversity is unlikely to escalate into unproductive and divisive conflict, but it may stimulate a clear-sighted assessment of how tenable the philosophical and religious views are that each partner holds.
When Rahu or Ketu occupies a rashi of Saturn and that node is conjoined with or aspects Saturn, it is a strong pointer towards separation or divorce if there is no favorable aspect of Jupiter. Here, the node’s capacity to augment increases Saturn’s normally pessimistic side, and intensifies Saturn’s indications of separation, dissatisfaction, and isolation. The node, here encourages the relationship to operate mostly on the grounds of work, responsibilities, and struggle, which can cause the relationship’s joie de vivre to evaporate. There can also be the reality of dealing with a partner who is needy in some ongoing way, a neediness that comes from some ongoing physical, financial, or emotional condition. Such couples may have arguments or chronic issues, of a variety that would seem likely to lead to a split. Yet, often, out of an exaggerated and almost perverse sense of responsibility, they are mutually stubborn enough to refuse to break their unproductive relationship, even when tempted to become involved in other relationships. Usually, neither the nodes nor Saturn encourage spontaneous comp0assion, or even a reflective turn of mind, and one partner may eventually desert the other if chronic challenges seriously afflict the union. It is frequently the unaffiliated partner who develops momentum for separation, which he or she sees as a solution to the stresses that a severe relationship dynamic foments.