140: The Dasha Sequence in Jyotish Astrology: Notes and Corrections

Anyone who has even superficially perused Jyotish or Vedic Astrology (and I myself have not perused it much more than superficially) will have encountered the dasha sequence, wherein the nine planets recognized in Jyotish are assigned a seemingly-arbitrary order in which they are considered to govern specific time-periods of one’s life. This order is traditionally given as KETU (Lunar South Node; our Isis), VENUS, SUN, MOON, MARS, RAHU (Lunar North Node; our Proserpina),JUPITER, SATURN, MERCURY. Why are they given in this particular order? Let’s see!

First, let’s begin with the traditional zig-zag or helix of the cis-Saturnian planets as they descend through the signs, elaborated upon in The Grail Restored: The Original Zodiac and the Planetary Double Helix. This gives us MOON (in Cancer), SUN (in Leo), MERCURY (in Gemini), VENUS (in Libra), MARS (in Aries), JUPITER (in Sagittarius), and SATURN (in Aquarius). (Please note that we are not restoring the Asteroids to their proper place in Sagittarius here; we are simply depicting the traditional “Interregnal” system.)

Next, we properly assign Ketu (Lunar South Node; our Isis) to Virgo, and Rahu (Lunar North Node; our Propserpina) to Taurus, as given in The Grail Restored: The Original Zodiac and the Planetary Double Helix. We omit the three trans-Saturnian planets (and signs) of Uranus (in Capricorn), Neptune (in Pisces), and Pluto (in Scorpio). This leaves us with a wheel of nine planets and signs thus: MOON (in Cancer) SUN (in Leo), KETU (in Virgo), VENUS (in Libra), JUPITER (in Sagittarius), SATURN (in Aquarius), MARS (in Aries), RAHU (in Taurus), MERCURY (in Gemini). Let’s redivide our wheel into equal ninths (40 degrees per segment), and assign it these planets and signs.

Now, as we trace the traditional dasha sequence around this new nine-signed wheel, we quickly note a pattern emerging, connecting the pairs of KETU and VENUS, then back to SUN and MOON, then down to MARS and RAHU, then forward to JUPITER and SATURN, then to MERCURY, and around to KETU and VENUS again. But something is wrong — the pattern is evocative, but not perfectly symmetrical; SUN and MOON should be switched! Once this is done, the corrected sequence — from KETU to VENUS, thence to MOON and SUN, thence to MARS and RAHU, thence to JUPITER and SATURN, and thence to MERCURY (and finally back to KETU to complete the cycle) — is breathtakingly beautiful, a perfect enneagram of five interlaced triangles, the whole making an ornate ALPHA or pentangle, bilaterally symmetrical with Mercury at its apex as the single unpaired planet. This (to me at least) appears to be so clearly the primordial pattern intended by the Vedic Jyotish seer who constructed the dasha system, that we may be justified in calling for an immediate reformation of the system to its primitive perfection. Why were the MOON and SUN ever switched? Like the similar transposition outlined in Gnostic Magical Patterns in the Theosophical Rays: Notes on their Numbering, with some Corrections and Additions, it may have been a simple error, or it may have been an intentional transposition intended to “disconnect” the pattern and thus preserve it from the abuse of the uninitiated.