KARMA: The Story Of Rahu and Ketu

You’ve heard of karma, we all have. You’ve probably heard someone say to you karma is a bitch … Or someone refer to instant karma. Maybe you’ve done so yourself. I know I have, no shame in that. To explain the idea of karma and maybe throw a different light on it I want to share the story of Rahu and Ketu with you.

The concept or the idea of karma has nothing to do with religion, ethnicity or other orientations. Karma, simply put and as we know it, is the law of cause and effect.

Don’t do unto others that which you don’t want done unto yourself. Makes sense, right?


When you think of instant karma you may picture saying something mean or doing something wrong to someone else and seconds later have a pigeon poop on your head or stubbing your toe on a rock. Sure, that happens.

Cultures have belief systems and codes of conduct built around the idea of karma. Karma is such a revered and feared concept in Bali for example that the entire behavioural system is designed in a way to avoid bad karma at all cost. Many Balinese people are exceedingly polite, helpful and dedicated to providing beauty, service and honour their deities, all to create better karmic retributions for themselves and generations before and yet to come into this world.


Karma, where does it come from?

I want to get into a more personal perspective on karma though, something you may use to heal, to understand and maybe even prevent negative karmic fallout in your life:

The planets.


According to Vedic Astrology the planets responsible for your karmic lesson in this lifetime are the lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu. Ketu, the South node, shows your past life karma whereas Rahu, the North node creates or shows you the karmic lesson in this current life.

This is already epic, isn’t it?

To bring Rahu and Ketu into easier context let me tell you their story. There are several different versions of this story, so let me share the version I learned when I was first exposed to Vedic Astrology nearly twenty years ago.


The Story of Rahu and Ketu

In ancient times the devas, the gods known in Hindu mythology, decided to uncover and use the desirable Amrita Soma, a nectar that would cause immortality.

As soon of course as the gods decided to churn the primordial ocean in order to extricate this Amrita Soma the Titans, or demos, got wind of it and wanted to get their hands on this nectar themselves. Because what demon wouldn’t want to be immortal to be able to cause mayhem until the end of days. Understandable, no?

The demon Vasuki who happens to be the King of the Nagas (celestial serpent folk) offered himself in his snake form, the Naga Vasuki.  (In Indian mythology powerful serpents are known as nagas.)

Naga Vasuki offered his body to be wound around the spiritual mountain Mandara so the gods could use it as a rod to churn the primordial soup out of which then sprang the Amrita Soma.

As payment for his services the devas had promised Vasuki his share of the immortal nectar.

When the time came to share, of course the devas had no intention to let the demon Vasuki have even the tiniest drop of the Amrita Soma to prevent complete mayhem if the underworld would get their hands on this powerful elixir.

When Vasuki learned of the devas going back on their promise he disguised himself as a beautiful goddess and entered the gathering of the devas as one of their own. The chalice with the  immortality nectar was passed around and just as it made its way to the disguised demon Vasuki the Sun and the Moon who had witnessed the demons transformation stepped forward and complained to Lord Vishnu, the creator of the universe.

Lord Vishnu acted fast. He threw is chakra which severed Vasuki’s head from his body. But just as his head was severed one drop of the Amrita Soma went into the demons mouth and down his throat, giving the demon immortality.

The demons head is known as Rahu and the demons body that fell away is known as Ketu. Together Rahu and Ketu, also known as the dragons head and the dragons tail are ever vengeful at the Sun and the Moon for their betrayal and therefore throw a shadow on the two planets causing the eclipses taking their light away every month.


Karma - The Story of Rahu and Ketu

Art by Dylan Sara – DylanSara.de

Just like Rahu and Ketu eclipse the Sun and the Moon so they eclipse your human experience. Depending where they sit in your natal chart is the area in your life they overshadow and create darkness and challenges in as well as bringing the opportunity for new light, great fortune and spiritual advancement.

You see, Rahu and Ketu can simultaneously create your biggest challenges and burden as well as opportunities and liberation.

The two lunar nodes, or shadow planets sit at opposite angles in your chart creating a perfect axis that cuts across.

Every person has this karmic axis in their natal chart. There is no getting away from it. According to Vedic astrology you are born with karma attached to you and depending on which houses in your natal chart the lunar nodes occupy is where you should pay attention to.


How we perceive these karmic lessons or challenges depends not only on the houses that are most affected but also on the placements of the other planets in our chart and factors such as your Dharma Type, your birth nakshatra, your planetary personality type.

I hope this inspired you to learn more, dig a little deeper.

If you wish to learn about the Ra/Ke placement in your own chart book a Karmic Axis Session with me.


Keep your eyes open for Part II of the Karmic story … coming soon!


The beautiful artwork in this post was used with permission from the artist Dylan Sara. You can find his work at DylanSara.de and get your own piece of original deity and planetary art on his Patreon site https://www.patreon.com/DylanSara



By | 2017-09-13T11:36:38+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Vedic Astrology/Jyotisha|0 Comments

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