RAHU: THE MAVERICK AND CHANGER OF SOCIETY
Rahu is the north node of the moon and is the shadow that causes eclipses for the Sun and the Moon 4-6 times a year. Mythologically, Lord Vishnu was distributing the nectar of immortality to delude the demons and one of the demons snuck in and drank the immortal elixir. Annoyed, Vishnu took his disc and sliced the demon into two parts which became Rahu and Ketu. Rahu is the head and Ketu the trunk. Symbolically it reminds us that Rahu is all head and ambition and Ketu is headless and cannot think straight. The myth tells us a great deal about Rahu’s nature as he was a thief who wanted to bask and pretend he was a god and so by placement, wherever Rahu is placed in a chart, one is a phony and pretending to be something that one is not in that area. Because the demon snuck into the initiation of the gods, he was a thief stealing the immortal nectar, and consequently, by nature, Rahu is unethical and shady.
The Rahu personality can be dominant in a chart in many ways:
If you are Aquarius rising, the major ruler is Rahu, or if you have Sun, Moon, or the rising sign or ruler of the chart in Aquarius or conjunct Rahu within 5 degrees you could have a dominant Rahu personality. Or if you have have Rahu in the first house, you will have a dominant Rahu personality. Rahu with these associations will create a sense of continual confusion, vagueness, and cloudiness. At its extreme, it can lead to delusions and psychosis or a deep-reaching and probing into the depths of the mind and its subconscious patterns.
It can also come through your lunar nakshatra or constellation. If your rising ascendant or moon is in the constellation of Ardra (Gemini 6.40-20.00), Swati (Libra 6.40-20.00) or Satabhishak (Aquarius 6.40-20.00), Rahu qualities may dominate. And finally, if you running a Rahu MahDasha, the chart will rotate around Rahu and put in the 1st house.
If you have those connections you might have these qualities:
• Mysterious and unpredictable
• Having a cloud of confusion hanging over you.
• Very much an airhead.
• Having problems with insomnia and difficult dreams.
• Intelligent, intuitive and creative and unconventional
• Scattered in thinking
• Innovative; having an inflated ego; vain emotionally imbalanced
• Good with mass media, foreigners, and foreign countries.
The nature of Rahu is that he is charismatic governs our desire nature, our addictions, and our cravings, and no matter how much we crave, we want more so it is always the perpetual carrot on the strong out of reach. He is ambitious, stuck in the material realm of life, and yet because he is immortal he can show us the illusion of the material world and move us toward the Ketu pole in quest of moksha. Most of the time, Rahu is the trouble-maker that binds us to the wheel of karma and creates the cosmic drama that forces us to reincarnate and to suffer. He can cause scandals, divorces, betrayals, and the big dramas of life to wake us out of our material stupor.
Rahu is connected to all of life’s perversions and to the dark side of the human psyche that will scheme and cheat and lie to get what it wants. It governs criminals and mobsters and rebels and is he so charismatic, that we idolize these villains on TV as with the love of Tony Soprano and the Sopranos or even Che in The Motorcycle Diaries. Rahu governs pirates and spies and outcasts like immigrants and gay and lesbian parts of society and we could not imagine our world without their color. Still, it is connected to Aquarius where it seeks to break down all the boundaries of race, age, status, and nationality to foster a feeling of oneness.
Rahu is an outsider, a rebel and may embody the following qualities:
• Strong desire for freedom and independence
• Desire to be alone and introverted but he likes people but is not understood by them.
• Has a love of dark and strange remote places
• Is often the black sheep of one’s families and give freedom to their children to grow as they want
• In religion, they want to go their own way.
• In marriage, they have unconventional spouses who understand their quirks and desires
• They are attracted to science fiction and alternative politics and horror.
• When they are under stress, they bend the rules to get their way
• They often become inventors, revolutionaries and are often geniuses
The brightest side of Rahu is revolutionary and inventive nature that seeks to change outmoded societal institutions and move against stagnant and conservative societal values. Even Abraham Lincoln’s Rahu was very prominent in the 9th house causing him to fight against societal norms and work toward freeing the slaves. Rahu is the Robin Hood figure we love and who is idolized on film as he fights the Sheriff and goes against the law and even today, the “peaceful protesters” are part of this archetype.
Rahu can be sarcastic in his quest to change society and we can see this in the chart of Lorne Michaels the producer of Saturday Night Live with his brilliant sketches poking fun at the outmoded values of society.
Planets that are associated with Rahu lead to an exaggeration of their qualities—often in a positive way but malefic may be accentuated negatively. Rahu/Venus associations will increase Venus’s sensual indulgence and sexual nature to a level of addiction whereas Rahu/Saturn associations may take Saturn’s fearful energy and turn into paranoia and resentment.
Rahu does best with Mercury and is well-placed in Virgo and Gemini and can take the intellectual quality of Mercury and raise it through intuitive insights. Einstein’s rising constellation of Ardra in Gemini gave him deep intuitive insights into the nature of how the physical laws of the universe operate.
The north node, Rahu, represents living in the future which is illusionary and it takes us out of the present moment where the Divine resides. It is the perpetual carrot on the stick that keeps us craving for more and more and disrupting our peace of mind and leading to unethical behavior to fulfill those desires.
Rahu is connected to the vices of society to the drug, tobacco, and alcohol industries that tempt people into false illusions of happiness but then just deliver suffering and misery. It is connected to uncontrollable growth and the medical disease of Cancer (Rahu/Saturn connections) which comes out of obsessive resentment. It governs hard to diagnose diseases and when severely afflicted can lead to mental illness and suicidal tendencies.
The United States is now in a Rahu period and without it, we might be bored without Rahu’s zest for life and colorful energies. It governs Las Vegas, Wall Street, entertainers, and musicians and is important for cinema, fashion design, rock music, and science fiction writing. The positive side of Rahu is its endless creativity and we find so many rock stars with Rahu in the 1st house who are idolized for their energy and charisma but who often suffer deep depression on the inside.
Rahu is very connected to the signs of Aquarius which Western astrologers connect to Uranus. There is the inventive and creative spark inherent in Rahu’s nature to make something new and buck society societal trends. Thomas Edison has a prominent Rahu energy in his chart with Sun, Venus, and Saturn in Aquarius and Rahu in the 12th house pushing a deep quest to discover the unknown.
Rahu’s big blind spot is his blind ambition and unethical behavior to get whatever he wants at all costs. Obsessive and addictive behavior can take over and pull one out of control.
Wherever Rahu is located in your chart, whatever house or sign, those are areas where you desire to grow in this lifetime and areas about which you may know very little about. Rahu in the 2nd house for example may know very little about handling or saving money, is a maverick in his family, and has not learned family bonding and may be prone to speaking lies. Rahu is a phony in whatever house it is in and pretends to be something that he is not there.
The key to Rahu is always taking the mask off, being genuine and honest, and not pretending to be someone that they are not. There is a need to practice humility and openness but when Rahu dominates, all of these qualities are difficult to master. Rahu often represents an inflated ego which means we are wearing a mask and pretending to be someone who we are not still the ultimate strategy with Rahu is to master the area that we not adept at so a “fake til you make it” strategy can eventually lead to mastery.
Rahu is the knight who has to leave the Ketu castle and go into the forest in search of unknown adventure. He may fall off his horse, battle a few dragons, and be scared the whole time but that is part of the archetype for questing into the unknown. It is through conquering your fears of things that you desire, but do not know, that we can grow.
Special thanks to Prash Trivedi, Komilla Sutton, Simon Chokoisky and Ed Tarabilda for their insights into Rahu.
This is an article from our upcoming new book to be published in September about the spiritual and archetypal nature of the signs and planets and houses. Details forthcoming.
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