I am happy to admit that I have not studied Vedic Astrology. My reason for this is a recognition that it is a sophisticated and complex system and would take many years to really get a proper handle on it.
But I am also convinced that there is no need to do so either.
I have an ongoing challenge for any astrologers from any background. This is to give me one example of a famous person’s chart and a verifiable event in their life that can’t be indicated by the 10 planets operating within the Western Tropical Zodiac in either Placidus or Equal House System ( for people born at extreme latitudes ), but which can be shown by their own preferred method.
This challenge is open to anyone, traditional or modern, whether using Sidereal or any other Zodiac, Arabian Parts, asteroids, midpoints or any method of their choice.
Needless to say, the challenges have been few and unsuccessful. Many of the astrologers who have put forward their favourite method were not expecting such a robust examination and have responded by blocking me.
In some cases, these discussions have led people to reevaluate their own approaches.
A couple of years ago I was following a discussion amongst a group of Vedic astrologers about the chart for India. They asked me for any input that I might have.
I told them that I knew very little about India, culturally or politically but that the years 1991 – 2 would have seen an event that caused a massive change for the country and the government in particular.
They wanted to know what brought me to that conclusion. I referred to the chart.
The Indian horoscope has an extremely powerful stellium in Leo including a Sun, Venus, Saturn and Pluto conjunction.
As any regular readers of these articles will know, any chart where Pluto is in aspect to the Sun will experience emphatic, fundamental change when that planet makes another major aspect by transit to it.
Since 1947, Pluto has only made one major transit to the Indian Sun, the square aspect in 1991 – 2.
On May 21st 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated while campaigning in the southern states of India by Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, a suicide bomber and member of the Tamil Tigers.
This proved to be a shock to the other members of this group of Vedic astrologers because none of them used Pluto and their own methods had not been able to properly explain this radical event in Indian political history.
I also explained that given Rajiv Gandhi was such a major political leader, this transit gives credence to the Tropical Zodiac which would give the Indian Sun in Leo rather than the Cancer placing given to it by the Vedic Sidereal Zodiac.
There is some question around the Ascendant for Rajiv Gandhi. The time given was 6.34 am local time in Bombay, which translates to 8.11 am Indian Standard Time, because war time is being used. So I have included the Astrodatabank version which I generally find to be correct simply because they do look carefully at the accuracy of given birth times in a way in which other sites do not.
Gandhi has the Sun at 27 Leo in conjunction with the Indian Sun.
He has a powerful stellium himself in Virgo focused around a conjunction of the Moon, Ascendant, Venus and Jupiter.
This conjunction is in square to a 10th house Uranus.
This would indicate that his career would be powerfully influenced by an unexpected event that was in some way involving his mother.
This statement can be made because of Uranus’ square to the Moon and Venus for females and Jupiter as ruler of his 4th house of parents.
Such an event would occur when Uranus made another transit to the Moon / Venus.
In Rajiv’s lifetime, Uranus only made two major transits to his Moon / Venus. The first ( the conjunction ) occurred in 1964 / 65 when he met his wife Sonia.
The second ( the square aspect with Uranus transiting the 4th house of parents ) occurred on 31st October 1984, with Uranus exactly ( to the minute ) in square to his Venus. On that day Rajiv’s mother, the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was herself assassinated, propelling him to take over as the country’s leader.
Indira’s assassination was clearly depicted in Rajiv’s chart, although the timing of his own wasn’t.
There are many Vedic astrologers who say they can consistently predict someone’s death. This may or may not be so, but my experience is that a person’s death is not necessarily evident in their own chart.
Philosophically this would be because a birth chart is for the experience of this lifetime and transits to it are pointers to ongoing changes in the person’s life. If a person dies there is nothing that continues ( from the influence of that natal chart at least ) so there would be no need for it to be signalled.
However someone’s death would be shown in the charts of those nearest and dearest to them, because they have ongoing lives that would be seriously affected by the event.
As in the case of Rajiv with Indira’s death.
Arguably the one person most affected by Rajiv’s assassination would be his wife Sonia.
Sonia Gandhi has two standout aspects in her chart that indicate powerful sudden change.
Her Sun is opposite Uranus
Her Venus / Jupiter conjunction is square to Pluto.
Her Sun in Sagittarius in the 5th house with Moon in Cancer and Venus conjunct Jupiter in the 4th might point to someone who would be cut out to be a great wife and mother.
The Moon in the 11th, would perhaps mark her out to be a successful politicians wife.
The aspects with Uranus and Pluto would change her life dramatically and forever.
The biggest and most powerful turning point of Sonia’s life was in 1964 – 66 when she met Rajiv.
This was a double whammy as both Pluto and Uranus were in square to her Sun for that period.
The next one was when Uranus was conjunct her Sun and Pluto trine her Moon when her mother in law, Indira was assassinated and her husband Rajiv became Prime Minister.
Sonia’s 4th house Venus / Jupiter conjunction clearly shows the great benefits coming to her through the Gandhi family. The square aspect to Pluto and her Ascendant points to a massive change there.
Rajiv was assassinated in 1991 when Pluto made a conjunction to her Venus, the only major aspect it has made to that planet in her whole life.
In 2002 – 3 Pluto was conjunct Sonia’s Sun. By now she had got involved in politics herself and become leader of the opposition. In 2003 she forced a no confidence motion in the government and unexpectedly won the ensuing election.
She was expected to become Prime Minister but her opponents protested about her ” foreign origin ” and she was forced to nominate someone else for the post.
True to form, with Pluto conjunct her Sun, it marked both the peak of her life and a powerful turning point.
Despite not even being discovered until 1930, Pluto was in on the Indian independence act right from the start. And it played a powerful part in the life of the man who movement.
Mohandas Gandhi was a peaceful double Libran, but he had an inner strength and a stubborn side, not normally associated with that sign.
He had a powerful T Square with a Mars / Venus conjunction in Scorpio in the 1st house in opposition to a Jupiter / Pluto conjunction.
This focused onto an apex Moon in Leo.
Regular readers of these articles will know of the importance of the apex planet of a T Square.
Whatever the character of a person described by the Sun, Moon and Ascendant, a T square apex will identify the main thrust of that person’s life. This is the direction they have to follow very strongly and they will inevitably expend a great deal of energy that way.
Gandhi’s apex planet was the Moon in Leo in the 10th house, showing that he was born to take charge of the Indian independence movement and to be the personification of it.
Any doubts about that can be calmed by the fact that his Moon is at 20 degrees Leo exactly conjunct the Indian independence Sun. Not for nothing is he commonly considered to be the ” Father of the Nation “.
Mohandas Gandhi lived to be 78 years old. This was during a period when Pluto was especially slow moving so it was only able to make one major transit to his Sun or Moon during his lifetime.
This was the square to his Sun in 1920 when he assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress.
Gandhi’s idealism could be seen from the opposition of his Sun to Neptune. When Britain granted Indian independence in 1947, Neptune was exactly conjunct his Sun.
Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948 with Saturn conjunct his Moon.
It’s interesting how many times the degrees around 20 Leo come up in these charts.
So far we have seen the Indian chart with Sun at 21, Mohandas with an apex Moon at 20, Rajiv with Sun at 26 and Sonia with Ascendant at 20.
There are more.
The first Indian Prime Minister and father of Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru had the Ascendant at 24 Leo and Moon at 10 of the sign.
In a way you could say that the granting of Independence was an even bigger thing for Nehru as he became the country’s first leader.
Pluto was conjunct his Moon as he took office as interim Prime Minister.
The first Indian elections were held in 1952 and Nehru won to become the First Prime Minister when Pluto was conjunct his Ascendant and square to his Sun.
These are the only major Pluto transits of Nehru’s life.
His daughter Indira also had Leo rising – at 15 degrees
Indira Gandhi’s Sun is in the 4th house of home and family, a suitable placing for someone who came to power as a result of her dynasty.
Her first Pluto transit occurred in 1936 when it was opposite her Moon.
Her mother died in 1936 ( do I need to add that the Moon rules mothers ? ).
Pluto was conjunct her Ascendant when the Indian nation began in 1947 and square to her Sun during the 1950s as she was assistant to her father.
Initially Indira’s 2nd son Sanjay was expected to succeed his mother as head of the Indian National Congress.
In a fascinating repeat of his Indira’s transits, Sanjay’s first acquaintance with Pluto occurred in 1960 when it was conjunct his Moon as his father died.
Leo was not significant in Sanjay’s chart but then again, he never became a political leader.
He was very keen on flying which totally made sense with the Sun conjunct Mars in Sagittarius.
However this conjunction was opposite Uranus, an accident prone aspect if ever there was one and Sanjay died in a crash while performing an acrobatic manoeuvre in 1980 with Neptune conjunct his Sun.
By the way, if the Sidereal Zodiac had been the correct one, a Scorpio Sun opposite Uranus would mean Sanjay would probably still have died but in a drowning accident.
As it was, after Sanjay’s death, his older brother Rajiv was persuaded by Indira to go into politics.
Which brings us full circle in this article.
So was the Gandhi family astrologically cursed ? For sure but it had nothing to do with Vedic.
Pluto was the key. If you don’t use Pluto you will have missed out on most of these events. If you don’t use Uranus and Neptune either, you will have missed out on all of them.
The problem with astrology in the west is that it is too easily dismissed as lightweight and obsessed with Sun signs.
While this is not the kind of serious astrology offered on these pages, this situation has encouraged people to sample Vedic as many of their astrologers often claim greater accuracy than their western counterparts and that they are better on detail.
If so they certainly miss all the most important ones.
Also all of these major players in Indian history had powerful Leo placements. Virtually all of them would have been in Cancer in Sidereal.
If there was any truth in the Sidereal Zodiac the Gandhis would have probably all stayed at home and India would still be under British rule.