Ayurvedic Astrology: Hinduism Today

Ayurvedic Astrology: Hinduism Today


With the Covid-19 era focusing humanity on wellness more than ever before, we present the special Vedic branch of medical astrology and the astrology of healing.

By Vamadeva Shastri, first published in Hinduism Today Magazine


Seeking knowledge:

OUR HUMAN LIVES ARE GOVERNED BY the same cosmic forces that rule over the universe as a whole. Hindu thought teaches us that the individual human being is a reflection of the universal Being and explains how we can link the two together for overall well-being and for ultimate Self-realization. This connection is mirrored in the discipline of Vedic astrology, or Jyotish, the science of light, which shows how the influences of the stars and planets at a cosmic level affect the movement of our personal human lives through our karma and our dharma.

Modern physics is recognizing our human activities are interrelated with those of the cosmos, both on subtle and vast levels. Modern medicine is slowly accepting the existence of powers of life and intelligence in nature that we cannot reduce to mere chemistry and which we are an integral part of.

One of the most important branches of astrology is medical astrology. After all, among the first questions everyone asks an astrologer are “How long am I going to live?” and “Will my health remain good?” Medical astrology assesses our health potential, our likely diseases, their timing and their treatments. Yet it is not confined to the physical. Medical astrology encompasses our psychological well-being and addresses emotional and mental afflictions, as these are usually our main source of suffering in life. It helps us discern the karmic issues in what we experience, which are mirrored in the placement of the planets in the Vedic birth chart.Vedic astrology is a limb of the Vedas (Vedanga). It is connected with Ayurveda, which is a secondary Veda (Upaveda). Vedic medical astrology, also called Ayurvedic astrology, is cast in the mold of Ayurvedic medicine, sharing concepts, principles and values relating to human life. Many Ayurvedic doctors use Vedic astrology or consult with Vedic astrologers, particularly about difficult-to-treat cases. They examine the birth chart to assess the client’s well-being and possible issues and timing relative to disease. Similarly, many Vedic astrologers consult with Ayurvedic doctors on their patients’ health conditions. Some Vedic practitioners are trained in depth in both Jyotish (Vedic astrology) and Ayurveda.


Astrology, Health and Disease


Ayurveda and Jyotish work best when used together. Ayurveda examines individual constitution and disease factors according to the three doshas, or biological humors, vata, pitta and kapha, which correspond generally to the air, fire and water elements respectively, as imbued with prana and functioning at a biological level.

The nine planets of Vedic astrology relate to the Ayurvedic doshas (biological humors). When dominant in the chart, planets set their corresponding doshas in motion. While I have indicated the general dosha and planet correspondence below, the actual interrelationship is more specific. Each planet has its doshic signature and effects.

Mars, the Sun and Ketu are pitta or fiery planets. Moon, Venus and Jupiter are kapha or watery in nature. Saturn, Mercury and Rahu are vata or airy in nature.

Similarly, the twelve signs of the zodiac ( rashis ) follow the scheme of the elements as earth, water, fire or air signs, starting with Aries and the fire element. The twelve houses ( bhavas ) relate to different parts of the body, functions of the mind and factors of health and disease, starting with the first house as the head and relating to our overall health.

According to Ayurveda, most diseases are caused by vata dosha, the biological air humor that governs our overall pranic energy and the aging process. Reflecting this fact, the main planet for causing disease is vata-ruling Saturn, which shares vata dosha qualities of being dry, cold, light and depleting. Saturn, like vata, is responsible for most chronic and degenerative conditions, from arthritis to cancer and nervous debility, including poor immunity and limited longevity, as well as vata-based emotional conditions like depression, fear and anxiety.

Fiery Mars, which governs most pitta diseases, does its share of damage, causing acute diseases, fever, infection and bleeding, extending to fiery mental conditions like anger and jealousy, and often causing physical injuries. Even watery or kapha Moon, Venus and Jupiter, which generally promote positive health, can cause illness, such as diabetes and heart disease.

As factors that cause eclipses, the lunar nodes, Rahu (cut off head of the serpent) and Ketu (cut off tail of the serpent), said to be like Saturn and Mars respectively, are dangerous relative to our long-term vitality and immunity. In addition, they can subject us to collective karmas beyond our personal control, such as wars and epidemics. The nodes govern mysterious psychological and nervous system derangements, often involving the subtle body, and produce karmic conditions that are difficult to cure or treat.

In Vedic astrology, the malefic or difficulty- and disease-causing planets (Saturn, Mars, Rahu, Ketu) are most dangerous when placed in angular houses in the chart (houses one, four, seven and ten) or located with the Sun or Moon, where their influences are stronger.

Usually benefic planets—the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury—promote positive health and happiness, as do the planets ruling trine houses (first, fifth and ninth). These planets can counter the effects of disease-causing planets, particularly if located in angular or trine houses in the chart. Yet, malefic planets can protect one’s health if located in certain houses (upachayas like the third, sixth and eleventh), where they promote immunity, mental and physical strength.

Even naturally benefic planets, like Jupiter, Venus, Moon and Mercury, can cause health problems if they rule difficult houses in the birth chart from the ascendant, or if afflicted by malefic planets. The sixth and eighth house lords, which govern disease and death, in particular can cause disease and sorrow.


The Practice of Ayurvedic Astrology


Vedic medical astrology can appear ominous. Everyone has periods of ill health and will eventually get sick and die, so every chart has negative health potentials. To look for these combinations, particularly in one’s own chart or that of someone close to us, can be disturbing. One is bound to find something. This looking for health afflictions should be balanced by looking for positive health-promoting combinations to counter them.


Medical Astrology:

Like other factors of Vedic astrology, the medical side can be quite accurate. For example, I have seen a lot of consistency in the charts of cancer patients in terms of planetary afflictions and timing of the disease.

One chart in particular had typical combinations for breast cancer, from which the patient eventually died. Years later I saw the same combinations in the third house of another client. As these combinations related to the third house of younger siblings, I thought they might affect the client’s younger sister. I also saw that the timing would not be favorable for the sister.

Proceeding carefully, I first asked the woman if she had a younger sister. When she said yes, I asked if that sister had any major health problems. She replied that she was very ill. I asked if it could be cancer, perhaps breast cancer. She confirmed my suspicion and said that was one of the reasons she was consulting me. She thought I was a psychic, but I was merely applying classical principles of Vedic astrology based upon previous chart experience.

I have also specialized in psychological astrology. Combinations and timing for such conditions as depression, bipolar disorder and even suicide can be found in the chart, particularly relative to the Moon, Mercury, Rahu, Ketu and Saturn. For example, if there are joint Saturn and Mars aspects on the Moon, which is otherwise weak, personal or domestic happiness will be difficult to achieve and a life of renunciation or independent living would be better for overall emotional well-being.


Use of Medical Astrology

Medical astrology has many usages and levels of application. It can show if a person is likely to become ill and when they are likely to recover. If a person with a major illness is entering into a difficult planetary period ( dasha ), the prognosis is not likely to be good. But if the planetary periods are positive, a quick recovery can be indicated. The chart can also show the types of treatment the person may receive or which treatments may work best for them. Even malpractice or wrong treatment shows up in the chart!

The Vedic system does not leave us helpless before negative planetary forces. By warning us of impending negative planetary periods for health or emotional well-being, Vedic astrology helps us take precautions and be prepared so as to minimize the dangers.

Special remedial measures of Vedic astrology are used to promote health as well as the other goals of life. Gems, yantras, mantras and rituals for planetary Deities or difficult birth times can make a real difference in the vitality of a person and strengthen the immune system. These are commonly prescribed in India and at Hindu temples.

The right gems fortify the pranic field and subtle body, which is highly sensitive to cosmic rays. Yellow sapphire, the stone for benefic Jupiter, is often the best in this regard. Mantras and rituals are even more powerful, but must be performed regularly and with devotion. Rituals are particularly good for problems caused by Rahu and Ketu that have an occult influence or for psychological disorders in general.

However, we cannot simply remove negative karmas with expensive gems or complex rituals. The devas cannot be bought, cheated or treated without proper respect. To counter our negative karmas, we must understand and face them, then change how we live. We must develop more humility, or these measures may not work. We can also use astrology to improve our practice of Ayurveda through the right timing of treatments and by using a person’s chart to guide the treatments overall, or bringing in gems and mantras to help enhance dietary or herbal treatments with their subtle energies.


Medical Astrology and Global Health


Mundane astrology is the astrology of the world at large, looking at similar factors as the birth chart but for different countries. Ten years ago I predicted 2020 as the beginning of a “New Time of Troubles for Humanity” based upon difficult astrological factors that were impending like Ketu’s transit of the galactic center on the 2020 Yugadi or yearly world chart. This prediction extended not only to global health problems but to ecological and political issues and dangers.

The lunar nodes, Rahu and Ketu, are the main indicators of collective karma, as they govern eclipses. One difficult type of Rahu/Ketu influence for collective karma is called a Kalasarpa Yoga, or “Serpent of Time” combination. This occurs when all the planets are located between Rahu and Ketu on one side of the zodiac. As the nodes move backward in the zodiac, the Kalasarpa can be either Rahu predominant, if all the planets are behind Rahu in the zodiac, or Ketu predominant if all the planets are behind Ketu.

A Kalasarpa Yoga occurred in 2020 in a rare and ominous manner, with Ketu, which indicates death, transformation or liberation, located in early Sagittarius in the Nakshatra or lunar constellation of Mula, which marks a crucial point of the galactic center, suggesting major karmic changes.

The Rahu-Ketu axis goes backward through the zodiac every 18-19 years, so Ketu crossing the galactic center in itself is not that unusual. It was rendered unusual by the fact that it occurred along with a Kalasarpa Yoga. Most crucial was the fact that this Yoga occurred on the Yugadi or yearly annual chart for the Earth as a whole (new Moon in Pisces), affecting various countries according the rising sign at that time.

This 2020 Kalasarpa Yoga was dominated by Rahu in Gemini at the point in the zodiac opposite the galactic center. Rahu is the planet of epidemics and Gemini is the sign relating to the lungs and respiratory disorders.

Looking at the annual chart for different countries, I found Rahu was rising in Gemini in western Europe, notably Italy. This included a malefic Saturn/Mars combination in the eighth house of death, particularly afflicting the elderly (who are ruled by Saturn and the eighth house of longevity).

Based on different rising signs in different countries, problems of a related nature occurred globally. In addition, Rahu and Gemini relate to the mind and the media, which shows the many psychological disturbances created by this transit.

Ketu retrograding over the galactic center in this situation brings up deep-seated collective karmic issues and planetary karmic rectification. Ketu, when positive, rules over liberation, higher knowledge and astrology. At a lower level, however, it indicates dangerous technologies, weapons, conflict and terrorism, with a weakening physical and psychological immunity.

While the 2020 Kalasarpa Yoga has ended, its side effects remain. Another Kalasarpa Yoga arose in 2021 with Ketu in Scorpio and Rahu in Taurus, reflecting the ongoing difficulties of our new time of troubles, which is related to yet other astrological factors. A previous difficult Kalasarpa Yoga in 2019 prepared the way for that of 2020.


Indications for 2022 (new addition to original article)

The April 1/2 2022 Vedic New Year’s chart, marked by the new Moon in Pisces, shows the ending of this Scorpio/Taurus Kalasarpa Yoga. Yet it also indicates a new powerful Mars and Saturn conjunction in Capricorn ruled by Saturn and with fiery Mars approaching its maximum point of exaltation in Capricorn. This shifts the global stress from the lingering Covid, which is not over though in decline, to the Russia/Ukraine war and its global implications. Saturn-Mars combinations are well known for conflict and this Capricorn combination is particularly strong.

While this war is not specifically an indication of physical health, it does reflect a deterioration in mental health and continued stress to the wellbeing of humanity, as well as the many physical injuries and deaths involved. Its side effects will continue for the coming year, with a new shift in global challenges as our New Time of Troubles continues. We must remain resolute during these challenges and work to create a new humanity rooted in yogic spirituality and inner peace.




With a growing interest in traditional medicine and natural healing, people are developing a new interest in medical astrology, and the Ayurveda/Jyotish connection is gaining recognition once more. By understanding our Vedic birth chart as well as our Ayurvedic constitution, we gain a compelling model for life counseling and the development of positive life strategies, for physical health and right living on all levels. National or planetary well-being as examined through medical astrology is yet another important area of study that needs more trained astrologers to examine and verify.

This important branch of Vedic medical astrology will remain at the forefront and grow worldwide as Vedic knowledge continues its modern renaissance. Not surprisingly, Ayurvedic schools often teach astrology, and Vedic astrology conferences and seminars include medical astrology with an emphasis on Ayurveda.

If we can bring the beneficent forces of the universe into our lives, starting with the planets, we can greatly increase the spiritual powers at work within and around us. For this we must remember that the entire universe dwells within us, and that we ourselves ultimately transcend all time, space and karma as the Self of all.


Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)

Our Ayurvedic Astrology On-line Course

Related Articles >>

Shiva and Shakti Yogas

Yoga means unification, which is first the unity of all the dualities and contraries that constitute the energies of life. Yoga philosophy teaches us to understand and transcend duality, but this rests upon harmonizing the dualities within us in a transformative state of balance. Shiva and Shakti as the dual

Yoga & Ayurveda in an Age of Social and Economic Uncertainty

In these times of economic and social uncertainty, Yoga and Ayurveda practitioners and schools have faced numerous unpredictable challenges, and often a significant decline in their revenues. After the global shutdown following the initial Covid outbreak, many Yoga Studios had to close, and many were not able to reopen again

Ayurveda and the Mind: Keys to Yoga and Ayurveda Psychology

Ayurveda is inherently a psychological as much as a physical system of medicine. Its scope of practice includes both physical (sharirika) and mental (manasika) diseases. Therefore, we cannot really understand Ayurveda without looking at its view of the mind and consciousness. As Ayurveda holds that diseases arise more from our

Veda and Yoga are One: Veda is knowledge and Yoga is its practice

Veda is the knowledge and Yoga is its practice. It is that simple. They are two sides of the same truth. Yoga not only leads us to Veda, but also expresses it. Veda embodies itself through Yoga as its manifestation. Veda, from the root “vid” to know, refers to Knowledge

Why the practice of Yoga should begin with Ayurveda

Following Ayurveda along with Yoga  helps us gain complete harmony and balance in body and mind so that we can discover our true Self that is one with all. Most people today practice Yoga, particularly asana and pranayama, for health benefits as the primary factor, extending at times to mantra,

The Ancient Yoga of the Sun

What if the most powerful force for energizing all Yoga practices were as obvious and visible as the Sun? The fact is that it is. The Sun, properly understood not merely as an outer but as an inner energy source, reflects the supreme light of Yoga both in our own

Ayurvedic Implications of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

We will explore the extensive relationship and vast interconnections between Yoga and Ayurveda, focusing on the Yoga Sutras. This examination extends to important issues of Yoga sadhana, Yoga therapy and Ayurvedic healing. Yoga, Ayurveda and related Vedic disciplines have more connections than usually acknowledged, particularly in the West. We cannot

Vedic Counseling and Karmic Counseling

Karmic Responsibility: Taking Control of Your Life The first thing Vedic counseling teaches us is that our lives are a product of our own actions or karma. Who we are and what we experience, both individually and collectively, is the result of forces that we have set in motion and

Mauna: The Yoga of Silence

Mauna, the Secret Limb of Yoga Mauna refers to the practice of not-speaking, and one who does this regularly is called a Muni, a sign of great respect in Hindu and yogic thought. While not-speaking is an important part of Mauna, it is much more than that. The voice is

Shakti Sadhana and Divine Grace

Shakti Sadhana by Yogini Shambhavi   All of our lives should be a Shakti Sadhana, a cultivation of the Yoga Shakti on all levels outwardly and inwardly. For this we are always supported by Mother Nature who is the very embodiment of Shakti for us. Shakti sadhana is not about

Shakti, the Yoga Sutras and Patanjali

Some scholars state that there is no mention of Shakti in the Yoga Sutras. This is incorrect. Shakti is the last word in the Yoga Sutras that sums up its entire teaching and defines its goal as the realization of the Purusha. It suggests what is referred to as Kundalini

The Shiva Linga and its Meaning

Shiva and Shakti Western scholars and some in India try to reduce the Shiva linga and Shakti yoni, the two main Tantric symbols of ascending and descending cosmic forces – which are often represented by upright conical stones for the Shiva linga and circular stones for the Shakti yoni –

Dr Frawley's Latest Course>>

The Vedic Secrets of the Nakshatras

In this special four-hour video course, Dr David Frawley examine the Nakshatras starting from their ancient Vedic roots, exploring their qualities, energies, spiritual powers and deities, including much material not available in existing texts. It will also correlate the meanings of the Nakshatras with the constellations and fixed stars.

Learn Ayurvedic Astrologywith Dr David Frawley

Learn the greater wisdom of Ayurveda & Vedic Astrology (Ayurvedic Astrology) with internationally acclaimed scholar on the subject - Dr David Frawley (Acharya Vamadeva Shastri). Get a special limited time discount - sale ends shortly.