With the Sun very afflicted this month at least until March 5th when it goes into Jupiter’s constellation of Purvabhadrapada (Aquarius 20-Pisces 3.20)  there is a tendency to be very hard on oneself but it can also be a time for looking deeply at our flaws, shining the light on them and showering them with love and transforming them.  With the Sun in moving toward  conjuncting  with  Ketu into Feb. 22nd and aspected by Saturn it can be a time to look deep within ourself, forgive ourself, and cultivate humility.  The opposite can happen with the solar eclipse in Leo on Feb. 26th if we fall into boasting and self-aggrandizement and then the eclipse could set up a fall.   As my friend Juliana notes: “The secret is to   harmonizing the energy of the Sun and to  cultivate humility, which is the moral quality of selflessness, compassion and self-restraint from vanity. In spiritual terms, humility is a profound gift of higher awareness that brings us in alignment with our Divine nature. True humility is remembering and knowing the Self. ”  If we are humble and forgiving of ourselves, then we can transform our flaws and become a better person.  Drawing on some past talks I have heard on our fatal flaws by rising, moon or sun sign, I have put together a guide for looking at our hidden flaws.

Our rising sign, which is called the Lagna in Vedic astrology, represents our personality, our temperament, disposition, tendencies, confidence, self-love and self-esteem and its afflictions reveal our inherent internal struggles.  If the owner of the rising sign is strong and well-placed in his own or exalted sign or in friend’s houses or aspected by benefics, then he brings out his best qualities. More often than not, because we are human and working on perfecting our life, there is some affliction to the rising sign or its owner and therefore, the more challenging qualities come out.

There are also inherent flaws or Achilles heels for certain rising signs based on the houses which it owns.  The more complex rising signs that are owned by Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn have Achilles heels or life-long issues. These are Gemini, Virgo (Mercury), Capricorn and Aquarius (owned by Saturn) and Sagittarius and Pisces (owned by Jupiter).  Libra owned by Venus also comes into this group. There are core life-lessons associated for these signs due to the placement of key planets for their signs and the houses they own. 

Often this is related to ownership of the 6th or 12th houses but sometimes the 7th houses is also involved so the relevant issues are challenges around habits, sacrifices and relationship.  This often manifests as a life-dominating issue for these rising signs that often plague the person most of their lives.  The signifiers or karakas of these planets and their extended values become major life issues and themes for a person throughout their lives. 

Part 1 of this article is about the more complex rising signs below.  The other rising signs will be covered in Part 2 and those have to deal with the tatvas or elements that become a problem and have an entirely different complexity.  (Special thanks to Sanjay Rath, Andrew Foss and Bill Levacy for spurring the thoughts that have lead to this article from their books and writings and lectures and particular gratitude to Andrew Foss for his lecture at Bava in April 2015.)

Note the above rising signs may also be equally applicable to you if your Sun or your Moon is in these rising sign as Vedic astrology will use the important Moon or Chandra Lagna chart quite frequently and we cannot ignore the major insights of Western astologers which use Sun signs, as having a third influence.   (Of course all rising signs refer to the Sidereal zodiac and not the tropical one and the difference is 23 degees) :


The Achilles Heel for each sign is as follows:

Pisces: The Sun
Aquarius: The Moon
Capricorn: Jupiter
Sagittarius: Mercury
Libra: Mars
Virgo: Saturn
Gemini: Venus


Pisces: While we think of the problems with an afflicted Jupiter with Pisces rising as having problems with confidence, restlessness, utopian thinking, poor planning and the ability to put plans into action, internally this is very connected to their relationship with their fathers as they have problems with authority figures. The Sun is the natural 6th house lord which teaches lessons about staying humble and since Pisces/Jupiter so often gets involved in teaching and counseling, their challenge is to do this with humility. This is particularly a problem if a person has the Sun in the 1st house of Pisces.

Sagittarius:  If Jupiter is afflicted in their charts, we normally think of the challenges of this rising sign being connected to being too religious, fanatical, pushy, greedy, having problems taking orders and being too quick tempered.  Mercury, owning the 7th house for this rising sign has trouble with relationship and difficulty listening since they are so stuck in wanting to be right and wanting to preach rather than discuss or communicate. The 7th house lord is Badhaka and if they get too rational and do not follow their inner voice on their spiritual journey, they are blocked in finding their Higher Self.  A major example of these problems with Mercury for Sagittarius is the Chinese leader, Chairman Mao, whose famous red book and its communist dictates has influenced and controlled billions of lives with is its dictatorial doctrine. Many teachers and priests with this rising sign need to be open to listening to others points of view and not be dogmatic. We have to think what a major problem this must be for fundamentalist preachers and even terrorists.


Aquarius:  If Saturn/Rahu is naturally afflicted, we normally think of this rising sign has having self-esteem problems in not recognizing their own talents , being too unconventional and outspoken, having problems with routine, being isolated and depressed, paranoid or hiding their misery behind a fake smile.  The Achilles heel for this rising sign is the 6th house Lord the moon and this sign has major problems around their mother and issues around food, nuturing and the complexities of the mind.  The chart of  Sri Ramakrishna’s, a famous Aquarius rising saint and his obsession with fasting and Mother Divine, is a good example.

Capricorn:  If Saturn is afflicted, we normally think of the inherent problems of this rising sign as having problems with being suspicious, selfish, not making friends, having time constraints, being gloomy, being overly concerned with security and not being a good partner in relationship.  The Achilles heel for this rising sign is Jupiter which naturally owns the 3rd and 12th houses for this sign, giving Capricorns problems with Gurus, children, and being truthful in business. Bernie Madoff is an excellent example of poor ethics in business and his ponzi scheme in funneling people’s money improperly.   He also had major problems with his children as they turned on him in crisis.  It seems that the nature of Capricorn and business is that it is always a bit on the edge in terms of ethics, particularly if Jupiter is afflicted or poorly placed in a chart.  Their life long challenge is having good judgment about what is right and ethical in business.


Libra: If Venus is afflicted, we normally think of the challenges of this rising sign as sneaking away from conflict, being too charming or manipulative and capricious, waiting too long to act or being too much of a yes person and chameleon and not exerting one’s self.  Mars is the Achilles heel planet for this sign and if badly afflicted it may create people who need to rule or dominate others and who have major issues with sexual restraint and ambition and overexerting power. A famous example in history is Alfried Krupp of the Third Reich’s violent nature, he had his Mars in Aries in the 7th.  Under Alfried, his  companies used slave labor supplied by the Nazi regime and thereby also became involved in the Holocaust, assigning Jewish prisoners from concentration camps to work in many of its factories. Libras can be very cruel when Mars is afflicted and poorly placed and this can also lead to over-indulgence in sexual activity and in extreme cases violence in sexual activity.


Virgo: If Mercury is badly afflicted and poorly placed, we normally think of Virgos as having problems with being too emotionally uninvolved, having high expectations, being worried and depressed and frustrated and skeptical, finding fault with everything and being a bit lonely and monastic. Saturn is the problem planet for Virgos as it naturally owns the the 5th and 6th houses creating issues around traditional beliefs, hard-work, obsessions with purity and cleaning, endless service, shyness and health issues.

Gemini:  If Mercury is poorly placed or afflicted, we naturally think that this rising sign as having  problems with being indecisive, hasty, too cunning, not finishing what they start and talking their way out of being responsible.   Their Achilles heel planet is Venus, which naturally owns the 5th and 12th houses, connected to Venus’ romance and relationship issues.   If Venus is poorly placed or afflicted this can lead to sexual obsession, frustration in romance and problems with relationships.  Their life-long search is their quest for getting love and also doubting their partners: “do they really love me?” Relationship issues continue to challenge them their entire lives. Continual desire for affection is thwarted.

Of course these are all very general tendencies.  Vedic astrology is like reading strands of DNA.  Specific placements by degree in various constellations and placements in divisional charts tend to bring out very specific karmic lessons.  Rather than blame the planet, learn what lessons you did not master in the past and get it right this time. It’s like that wonderful Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day.  Get out of your nightmare by being kinder and help others and then you will not suffer.  The planets just want us to get it right this time so we do not have to wake up in the same nightmare every morning.

If you need help understanding your chart, view our services at

The first class of my New Dimensions in Planetary Periods is available to listen to for free on You Tube at

You can still join the live class with the next live lesson on March 5th and you can listen to the next three lessons on rules for dashas by videotape.  Sign up at

Special thanks goes to Sanjay Rath, Andrew Foss and Bill Levacy for their insights into these rising signs and to Andrew Foss, whose Spring 2015 lecture at the British Association at BAVA, spurred additional fleshing out of this material.


In Part 2 we will discuss the other signs which have problems with the elements.

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