The Most Important Transits And Dashas

by Hank Friedman

revised Friday, August 18, 2023

[Note: like all of my Vedic articles, this one would not have been possible without my receiving the phenomenal tutelage from my Vedic Guru Hart de Fouw.]

As I mentioned before here, transits vary in their degree of impact upon a person.

Since having written the article, I have learned a lot of astrology, and decided to create this more in-depth view of what makes transits manifest with potency.

1. The Most Important Principle

Transits can only effect a result already indicated by the birth chart. In other words, the birth chart reigns supreme. Only what it shows can manifest in a person's life.

E.g. comparing:

Chart 1: An Easy Life

Strong Jupiter rising, grand trines, no planets in houses 6, 8, or 12


Chart 2: A Hard Life

Saturn in the First House, several planets in houses 6, 8, and 12

Chart 1 is likely to be successful in life, and have fewer hardships, while Chart 2 is likely to have issues with health, finances, and challenging life events. Transits and other predictive cycles and events will unfold these potentials in both charts.

Important Note: In order to ascertain the quality of a specific theme in a person's chart, one needs to look at all of the pertinent factors and see if they indicate one or more congruent patterns. E.g. if one is evaluating children, the 5th house and planets in it, the 5th lord, and the significator of childred all need to be examined for mutually reinforcing motifs.

These synergies may go beyond simply indicators of positive or negative outcomes. For example, if Mars aspects both the 6th house and the lord of the 6th house, and in addition the lord of the 6th house is stressed in the chart (see below), then the person may have fevers, conflicts with coworkers or enemies, and/or poor impulse control (all Martian influences on 6th house themes).


Therefore, the more skilled an astrologer becomes in understanding the birth chart as a whole, the more accurate their predictions will be. While beginners take each planet in isolation, in fact all planets interact, and ascertaining the actual expression of the chart (and the person) requires opening ones mind to everything in the chart.

2. The Birth Time Must Be Accurate:

As I indicated in my landmark article: Astrological Techniques and Uncertain Birth Times, many astrological techniques (e.g. astromapping) become invalid if the birth time is even 15 minutes off.

And one reason is because house placements and house rulerships are the most predictive factors for ones "lot in life" and events in life, since these change much more quickly than sign placements or aspects. For this reason, house placement and rulerships are the most individuating factors in a chart. Even twins with every planet in the same signs and aspects may have some planets in and/or ruling different houses.

3. House Rulerships must be taken into account.

In Vedic astrology, house rulerships reign supreme, and are the foundations of the thousands of combinations called yogas, which are the clearest astrological indicators of ones stature in life.

That's why I recommend assessing house rulership using the Sidereal chart (Lahiri ayanamsha) and Whole Sign Houses. (By the way, I was one of the first Western astrologers to find that Whole Sign Houses do not work in Western charts, I.e. with the Tropical Zodiac.)

But no matter what charting method you use, it is vital that you remember that transits to the ruler of the 4th house (aka the 4th lord) will affect ones mother as much or more than transits to natal planets in the 4th house or to the 4th house cusp (or transiting planets moving through the 4th house).

4. The Primary Points:

In every chart, planetary events impacting the natal Sun, Moon, and Ascendant should be given great attention.

In addition, in Western charts, focal planets should be emphasized.

Focal Planets

A planet is focal if:

It is Conjunct, Opposite, or Square the Ascendant within 5 degrees, or Trine the Ascendant within 2 degrees.

it is Conjunct or Opposite the Mc

or it is alone in half of the sky.

In the Vedic chart, besides the Ascendant and Moon, the ruler of the Ascendant is a very important planet to watch. So is the current Dasha lord.

The ruler of the Ascendant is the planet that most represents the person, and transits to it can affect the reputation, health, and psychology of the person.

Major transits to the current Dasha Lord are magnified in effect because the Dasha is running. For example, if you are in Mercury Dasha, a Saturn conjunct Mercury transit would have a very deep impact.

5. The tightest aspects:

When two planets are within one degree of each other, whether conjunct, trine, sextile, square, or opposed, they represent a very significant, highly charged energetic in a chart. Most transits to one of them will affect both of them, and so the impact is doubled. That makes them worth paying attention to.

6. The Most Stressed Points:

When the most stressed points in a chart are activated by challenging transits, the waters of life can be rough. (We need to remember, however, not to fear such events because they can also motivate us and make us stronger.)

What are Challenging Transits:

In Western astrology, a challenging transit occurs when a transiting outer planet (Saturn through Pluto) squares or opposes or conjuncts (or semisquares or sesquares) a natal point;

In Vedic astrology, any Vedic aspect by a transiting malefic is stressful. (Primary Vedic malefics are Mars, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu.)

Stressed Planets

A planet is stressed if it is:

In houses 6, 8, or 12 (unless in its own sign or exalted)

Within 6 degrees of the Sun (combust)

In its weakest sign - called Fall in Western or Debilitated in Vedic
(I encourage you to assess this from the Sidereal Zodiac).

The planets Mercury through Saturn if any two of them are within 1o of each other (called a Planetary War).

If it only has challenging aspects
from other natal planets*.

*In Western astrology, challenging aspects are squares and oppositions, and also conjunctions with malefics, and for a planet to be stressed, there should also be either no Trines or Sextiles or only weak ones (wide orbs)

In Vedic astrology, challenging aspects are those from malefics (without the influence of benefics).

7. All of the above rules are cumulative.

As I suggested in my examples of Chart 1 and Chart 2 above, many positive factors in a chart synergize as do many challenging ones.

So imagine if the natal Ascendant (already very important) has a one degree aspect by Saturn and again many planets are stressed by the above rules, and the Lord of the Ascendant (Ascendant ruler) is one of the stressed planets.

These factors would reinforce each other and create a life that gives the person many tests.

In an opposite example, a person with the Sun exalted in the 9th house, as the Lord of the Ascendant, and the Sun is only aspected tightly by benefics (Moon, Jupiter, Venus) with no malefic aspects, is likely to be very vital and effective in life, and able to pave their way to success and fulfillment.

Example: Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts Western and Vedic charts
When we examine Julia Robert's birth chart, whether Western or Vedic, the 9th house (which we will use for themes about her father, a Vedic signification) has congruent indicators of trouble.

There's a malefic in the 9th house (Saturn), and Saturn rules both the 8th house (indicating great challenges including deaths) and the 7th house (one of the two Maraka houses in Vedic astrology, indicating themes of poverty and death).

In addition, a malefic is aspecting the 9th house and Saturn within orb (Mars), and there are no notable benefic influences on the 9th house.

In addition, the 9th lord Jupiter is six/eight houses from the 9th (an unfortunate relative position) and is also ruler of the 6th house (which means that Jupiter carries a degree of malefic energy). Jupiter is also placed in a Maraka house, adding to the theme of death.

Finally, the universal significator of father -- the Sun -- is in its weakest sign Vedically, and is conjunct the malefic South Node/Ketu (which is a significator of loss), and the Sun is the ruler of the (Maraka) 2nd house.

Therefore we would expect Julia's father, as indicated congruently in her chart, to die early in her life. And when transiting Saturn conjuncted Julia's 9th lord Jupiter at exactly the same time that Pluto formed a semisquare to her Jupiter, her father died. She was just 11 years old.

(Note: I did not check Julia's transits before choosing her as an example.)


But was Julia's father a good father? The factors previously examined focused primarily on the occupants and aspects to the 9th house, which are the prevailing influences to examine for events concerning father.

To make it clearer: Saturn is both a natural malefic and a temporal one because it rules a Maraka house (7) and the most impactful Dusthana house (8), and therefore brings untoward events to the themes of Father (the 9th house where Saturn resides).

But her father is represented primarily by the lord of the ninth house, Jupiter, who is a benefic in a good house with other benefics and no malefic influence. And Jupiter forms multiple positive yogas with the Moon and Venus, uplifting its status and benevolence greatly.

And so yes, he was a great father and she missed him very deeply.

This illustrates the point that wonderful people can experience very challenging life events, with both their nature and their events clearly shown by their chart.

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