More about Rahu and Ketu
Rahu is described as the headless form, hence it also foretells a man with no logic to his actions, in his Rahu Mahadasha, he simply acts like a headless creature. Ketu is the bodiless form, so the human form in his Ketu Mahadasha repents his actions and allows the path of enlightenment to flow through his being.
The two most feared and mysterious of variations in the Vedic Hindu astrology wherein much is said but little is done about the effects of Rahu and Ketu. I have made a small effort to explain these esoteric, mystical shadowy planets.
The Moon’s orbit around the earth intersects the ecliptic at two points. These two points are the nodes of the Moon. The north node of the Moon (Rahu) is where the Moon crosses from south to north, called the ascending node. This symbolizes the birth into the material manifestation.
The south node (Ketu) at it’s point of intersection of the ecliptic the Moon crosses from north to south or the descending node symbolizing our leaving the material plane to the spiritual realm. So Rahu takes us into the world and Ketu takes us out of the physical world.
All this represents the cycles of birth and death into and out of this world. Rahu and Ketu are the indicators of destiny and fate, symbolizing our entrapment in this physical plane.
Rahu and Ketu play a significant role in giving interests Tantric and Mantra sadhanas and some times to the height of extreme rebellious ritualistic. According to south Indian Dravidians, Rahu is nothing but Lord Shiva himself. Rahu is pleased when Ma Durga is worshipped.
Also there is another esoteric serpent symbolism associated with Rahu and Ketu to Kundalini Shakthi (Energy). The Head being Rahu (Signifying the different cosmic head petals of the Cosmic Snake Sahsrara Chakra or Awakening) and the tail being Ketu (Muladhara Chakra – Ganesha – or the beginning).
A brief account of what is given about Rahu and Ketu in the sacred literature of India is being outlined here. The best researches in astrology can be done if we took seriously the stories about these planets, unraveled the mysteries, looked deeper into the stories, found richer astrological content than what is apparent and applied the principles so gleaned to horoscopes before us.
Nectar or Amrita was churned out of the ocean (the story of Samudra Manthan). Poison too had come out with the nectar. That lethal poison could have destroyed the entire life on the life on the earth. Lord Shiva quaffed it off. He stored it in his neck as a result of which it became blue which is why one of the names of Lord Shiva is Lord Neelakantha.
It was decided to distribute the nectar to Gods and strengthen them against their fight with rakshas (demons). Without anyone noticing it at once, Rahu, and Ketu who were demons, joined the gods and partook of that nectar. When Lord Vishnu came to know of it further serving of nectar was not given to Rahu and Ketu. But they had enough consumed enough nectar to become immortal like gods. The Sun and the Moon had noticed this deceitful act of Rahu and Ketu and complained to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu pierced the abdomen of Rahu and chopped off the head of Ketu. But they did not die as they had become immortal.
The Sun and the Moon had reported against Rahu and Ketu to Lord Vishnu. But they had become immortal now. They prayed to the almighty to include them in the galaxy of planets. Their wish was granted. But they harbored ill will towards the sun and the Moon who had reported against them.
Note: From this story the relation between the luminaries, Sun and Moon and Rahu and Ketu gives us rich material to work on for our research.
The Skanda Purana story of Rahu is a repetition of the same with one difference. Gods and Demons had decided to churn the ocean to extract nectar. The emphasis is that demons were as much a part of the effort to churn the ocean as gods. When nectar was got, Lord Vishnu decided to give nectar only to gods, not to demons. Rahu came to know of this decision. He assumed the shape of a god and entered the group of gods to drink nectar. Lord Vishnu cut off the head of Rahu.
These shadow planets control us by our desire body. Our desires are our karmas. Our destiny is our release of these chains this world cast upon us. It’s like the serpent’s bite. The poisonous venom intoxicates us into this world. Rahu takes us under its spell with the illusions of this world. The promise of happiness, “if I could only have more of the things that give me pleasure”. But of course, it only leads to insatiable desires. We can never have enough. This is the venomous bite of Rahu.
Ketu strips us of the objects of our desires, revealing that nothing in this world gives us security and permanence. It is essentially the process of enlightenment, to come to realize that ultimately, it’s all an illusion. Nothing of this material world lasts, therefore it is all an illusion or Maya. Ketu is the bringer of enlightenment through the realization of this truth. Ketu is the release of this world. Rahu is our entrapment and Ketu is our final liberation from the karmas of the soul.