The Moon as a Goddess In Vedic Astrology
The Moon cycle is divided into three parts and the Tri-Devi are seen according to the Moon phase. From Shukla Pratipad to Sukla Dashami the Moon is ruled by Durga. Dashami to Krisna Panchami is ruled by Laksmi, and Panchami to Amavasya is ruled by Kali.
In determining the Devi (goddess) according to one’s natal Moon only two forms of the Goddess are used (Durga and Kali). Laksmi is taken as the planet Venus. The Moon can be either Kali or Durga in a specific chart depending on multiple factors. All these factors have to be taken into account with the proper understanding of the factors influencing the Moon.
Prasna Marga says that if “the Moon is strong it is Durga and when weak the Moon is Bhadrakali, if it is weak and in a Mars sign then the Moon is Chamunda with dark attributes.”
Durga is a benefic form of the goddess with multiple hands riding on a tiger. She has always been and is all that is. Her physical manifestation took form when there was a demon that was so powerful that all the gods could not defeat it. All the gods put there Shakti together and gave manifestation to Durga. Shakti is a concept that cannot be translated into one word. Sanskrit is a conceptual language (not like English). One level of shakti means the female counterpart of a god, for example, the counterpart/shakti of Visnu (god of sustenance) is Laksmi who is the goddess of wealth/money. Sustenance works through wealth. Shakti also means the power/energy, and wealth is the power of sustenance. So the shakti of a god is their power/energy which is represented by their female counterpart. The weapon a deity holds is symbolic of the shakti/powers that the deity has; what it can do. So when all the gods put their shakti together, it means that all goddesses merged into one, or the power of all the gods merged into one. She has many arms and holds the weapons of all the gods, showing she has the power/shakti of all the gods. She is all gods and goddesses in one form, called Jagadambe (jagad-universe, ambe-mother = Mother of the Universe). Did She come from the gods or did they come from Her? It is an interdependent universe and She is the Universal Mother.
Kali came about when Durga became angry. Durga’s face turned black and the darkness condensed in her third eye out of which jumped Kali. So Kali is a fierce, angry form of Durga. Bhadra means auspicious, and Bhadrakali is an auspicious form of Kali.
Kali went to battle with the demons Chanda and Munda. They represent the minds state of revolving between too little and too much, constantly discontent. Kali had to become ferocious to kill these demons. When She bit their heads off, Durga said that since she had killed Chanda and Munda She would then be called Chamunda. So Chamunda is the cruel form and Kali who is a fierce form herself. She is often depicted with her ribs showing, looking very intense.
More stories and information about Durga, Kali and Chamunda can be found in the Devi Mahatmya, which is available in numerous translations.
Form of the Mother when the Moon is placed in:
Aries-Chamunda- Aim Hreem Kleem Chamundaye Vicche
Taurus- Durga (Rahu Mulatrikona)
Gemini- Durga (Rahu exaltation)
Cancer- Kali (natural house of Kali)
Scorpio- Kali (Ketu own sign)
Sagittarius- Kali (Ketu exaltation)
Aquarius- Durga and Her alone (Rahu’s own sign)- darkest sign of the zodiac (where the ghosts are)
Pisces- Kali (Mulatrikona of Ketu)
III. The Mother’s Mood
1) Moon going towards Ketu (Kali) or
Moon going towards Rahu (Durga)
2) Sukla Paksa- Durga
Krisna Paksa- Kali
3) Debilitated Moon- Kali
Exalted Moon- Durga
4) Conjunct day strong planets- Durga
Conjunct night strong planets- Kali
(except Mercury-strong day and night- Lalita=Lalita Sahasranam)
There are certain yogas that indicate specific goddesses. Mars with the Moon shows Chamunda, Moon with Saturn is Kali, Moon with Rahu is Durga, Moon with Mercury is Tripura/Lalita. Mars and Rahu together is called Vijaya yoga and with Moon is Vijaya Durga. This is the form of Durga worshiped on the tenth day of Navratri. It is the celebration of the goddess conquering the demon for which she was born to destroy. New Moon is associated with Kali, Full Moon is associated with Tripura Sundari/ Sodasi (as well as Laksmi).
Factors I to IV need to be analyzed, and the strongest indications taken. To pick the devi rupa (form) for the Moon is very important, especially when the Moon is afflicted and needs to be made stronger or propitiated.
All the Planets as the Goddess
From the Arudha Lagna, all planets can be seen as different forms of the Goddess. The Arudha Lagna is Maya, which is Shakti. From Arudha there is only Kali or Durga (no bhu shakti-laxmi). The two fold division is ruled by the Moon; Durga- Sukla paksa, Kali- Krisna Paksa, (Three fold division is ruled by Jupiter). Shiva is worshipped from the lagna (Sun karaka), Visnu is worshipped from the pakalagna (Jupiter karaka), and Shakti is worshipped from Arudha Lagna (Moon karaka).
To use this system properly it is imperative that one understands the houses from the Arudha Lagna (Maya). When this is fully understood then the planet can be either Nila Shakti (Kali) or Sri Shakti (Durga).
Planets according to Sri Shakti: Navadurgas
Sun-Shaylaputra (daughter of the Mountains)
Moon- Mahagauri (The Great White Mountains)
Mars- Skandamata (Mother of Lord Skanda)
Rahu- Chandraganta (bell of the Moon)
Ketu- Siddhidatri (giver of siddhis)
Planets according to Nila Shakti: Mahavidyas
Mercury- Tripura Sundari
Remember, if you use the wrong goddess, it is dangerous. In western culture, everything dangerous has been thrown out, so the westerner generally doubts that the goddess can be harmful, but remember she is Shakti, Prakritti, she is Nature. If you play with Nature, it plays with you. Play with it right and you will be well, play wrong and know that water drowns and fire burns, Jai Mata.
Vimshottari dasa is connected to the Arudha Lagna (the Moon and perception). The mahadasa is ruled by the Sun, and the Moon rules the antardasa. The antardasa is very important to interpret from the Arudha Lagna, and it is the crucial place to apply Shaktis. Determine where and how the antardasanath is placed from the Arudha Lagna. This is used to indicate which goddess to use for which antar dasa (time period of the life).
The Goddess is very important in one’s life. She is that which gives us direction (gati) in life. From the Moon, the Goddess guides the mind in the right direction. From the planets, the Goddess is uplifting (Durga) or purifying (Kali) the planets and their effects. One should be competent in reading a chart and understand the deities and what they will do before recommending these goddesses as remedies. The worship of the Goddess is very powerful and gives results quickly, relative to the indications of the chart.
This knowledge comes from the astrological traditions in the state of Orissa. In East India (Orissa, Bengal, Assam), there are many ancient traditions of goddess worship still fully alive.
Aum Guruve Namah