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Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in Vedic Astrology
by Ron Berger © 2009
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Vedic Astrology apparently excludes the influence of the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The reason is fairly obvious: the ancients couldn’t see them, therefore there is nothing written about them in the original texts. Traditionalists don’t look at the outer planets.  But modernists, and those who come to Vedic Astrology by way of Western Astrology, do consider the influence of the outer planets. After all, our world today is more complicated than that of the traditional cultures of long ago; it would be helpful to have a few more signifiers to which we can ascribe modern qualities that weren’t recognized in ancient times.

But integrating the outer planets into what is, admittedly, a complex system of interdependent parts that wasn’t created with the idea of eventual expansion is kind of tough. Using the more recently discovered planets in Vedic Astrology chart analysis leaves something to be desired; there’s no way to apply the original system’s many mathematical formulas for determining these new planets’ power to produce events, negative vs. positive results, etc. Nonetheless, modern software programs make calculation of their positions in the zodiac painless. By using the resource of accumulated observations and research done by, mostly, Western astrologers, some consideration given to the effects of the so-called “modern planets” can help to augment the traditional Vedic chart interpretation.

The planet Uranus represents the Unexpected. Sudden Events, surprising turns of fate, New Developments, are some of the qualities ascribed to this planet. The influence of Uranus in a chart brings with it the energy of Change, which, if the person or situation is not friendly to that energy, gets experienced as Disruption. Uranus challenges established structure and routine in life. Since established order is the province of Saturn, Uranus can be thought of as the reverse of Saturn. By extension then, Uranus becomes the planet of Revolution, and therefore Freedom.  For those who like the excitement of new adventures, the influence of Uranus is welcome. But for most people, regularity and predictability in life, i.e., stability, is considered preferable, and thus the energy of Uranus is threatening.  When it is strongly placed in a natal chart, such as when occupying the rising sign, or when closely associated with a key planet, one has to get used to change and disruption in one’s life. If other factors in the chart support the qualities of Uranus, the person is always fresh and lively, leading an exciting life, but characteristically unreliable.

Neptune is the planet of Dreams. On the positive side, dreams represent the Imagination and are an essential part of Creativity. If connected to a strong and positive Venus, Neptune makes one an artist. On the negative side, dreams are Illusions and can ensnare us in a web of Deception and Deceit, Confusion and Doubt, either self-created or created by another. Neptune is considered to be non-rational, and therefore functions like the opposite of Mercury, the planet of the Intellect and linear thought. If well disposed in a chart, Neptune gives a powerful intuition enabling one to bypass the intellect. But when associated with a malefic planet, such as Mars, it can go so far as to make one a victim. Another quality of Neptune is Idealism. This idealistic energy can manifest on a societal level. Neptune has an ego-denying quality, and when strong and positive in certain charts, Neptune can produce a Saint.

Pluto’s energy is similar to the Hindu god Shiva. Pluto has the quality of complete destruction, but like Shiva, this destruction is necessary for the next cycle to begin. Although a small, far away planetary body, Pluto is not weak: when it is in close contact with other chart factors, it brings about the dissolution and transformation of what the other planet represents. Unlike Uranus, which represents changes and disruption in a general sense, the energy of Pluto has the quality of something inexorable; like the wheel of life and death. Although we may want to hold onto our established routines and structures, when Pluto comes along to change the course of events we are not given any choice in the matter. Pluto is a powerful influence, but unless it is prominently featured in a natal chart, its energy normally lies dormant.

All three of the outer planets move very slowly through the zodiac. Their effects get spread out over longer periods of time than the traditional planets. Uranus, being the fastest of the three, still takes about 84 years to complete its journey through the signs. In one respect, we can think of the outer planets as having more significance as representing generational and evolutionary cycles. For instance, from 1987 until 1994, while Idealistic Neptune and Rebellious Uranus where traveling together in Truth-loving Sagittarius, a generation of Social Revolutionaries was born, who will try to change the world into something better when they come of age. Through 2008 and 2009, Pluto has been transiting over the rising degree of the chart of the USA, signifying a time of historical transformations to this country.

In an individual’s natal chart, the outer planets will to some extent influence the part of life that their house placement indicates. Usually their effects are not that noticeable, or can be accounted for using the techniques of traditional interpretation excluding the modern planets. However when someone is born with one of their planets within a few degrees of conjunction with Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto, then the significations of that planet will be modified, sometimes to an extreme degree, by the energy of the outer planet. Whether the outcome of the combination will be positive or negative depends on the strength and positive or negative qualities of the traditional planet, as would be determined by standard Vedic astrological analysis.

Used in Predictive Astrology, the Outer Planets become significant in Transit Analysis. By noting their positions in the zodiac and transposing them to a natal chart, timing for noticeable effects is determined when any one of them comes to within a degree or less of a natal planet or sensitive point.  Uranus, being a significator of sudden change, when it lines up with the Ascendant degree, or directly opposite to it, indicates a major shift in one’s life, usually due to circumstances beyond one’s control. Neptune brings uncertainty and confusion, and with Pluto, you get utter transformation. Since the outer planets move so slowly through the zodiac they usually don’t even complete one circuit of a natal chart in a lifetime; therefore their effects on any part of your life are experienced only once.

Ron Berger
323-876-6125
2007 Pinehurst Road
Hollywood, CA 90068