Astrology Services Home

Glossary of Astrology & other terms   



The planetary combination formed by Mars in a cardinal house and Rahu in the 7th. It leads the individual to self-destruction.


Will power; one of the not-so-well known powers in nature. It can generate certain nerve-currents necessary to vitalize some and to atrophy some other muscles.


Earth; speech; food; a goddess. The goddess of revelation. A Vedic goddess and the daughter of Manu (q.v.). She is referred to in two different contexts: first, she is related with Mercury (Budha), and with the origin of the lunar dynasty of kings; second, Ida and her sister Pingala are Nadis (q.v.) connected with Sushumna (q.v) whose proper activation arouses the Kundalini (q.v.). In spiritual teachings, both these references interfuse to represent the basic impulse leading to human and cosmic evolution.

Ida is feminine, nourishing and sustaining principle. In the Rig Veda, Ida is primarily food, refreshment, or a libation of milk, the necessary ingredient of physical well-being. It is also a personification of speech. It expresses creative potential. Ida is the instructress of Manu; she was the first to institute the rules of performing sacrifices, Yajnas. According to Sayana, Ida presides over the Earth. Shatapatha Brahmana describes Ida as arising from a sacrificial libation by Manu for begetting an offspring. When Ida arose from the sacrificial fire, Mitra-Varuna (q.v.) claimed her but Ida remained faithful to Manu. From them arose the race of Manus.

The Puranic stories refer to several sex changes in Ida. Vaivasvata Manu wanted a son, but due to an error of the officiating priest managing the sacrifice, a daughter was born. MitraVaruna changed her into a male and Ida became Sudyumna. Under the malediction of Shiva, Sudyumna once again changed into a woman, and married Budha (Mercury). To them was born Pururava, a king of immense charm, truthfulness, devotion, and philosophical learning. Having given birth to Pururava, Ida once more, under the benediction of Vishnu, was restored to her earlier form of Sudyumna and in this form fathered three sons.

Another story about Ida/Ila mentions him as the eldest son of Manu. Once Ida trespassed a grove sacred to Parvati. For this indiscretion, he was transformed into a female. Upon the supplication and prayers of friends, Shiva and Parvati conceded that Ida could be male for a month and a female the following month.

Blavatsky considers the union between Swayambhuva Manu and his own daughter Vach-Shatrupa as the first 'euhemerisation' of the dual principle, of which Vaivasvata Manu and Ida are a secondary and a third form. It stands in cosmic symbolism as the root life, the seed from which spring all the solar systems, the worlds, the angels, and the gods (Cf. S.D., vol. 111, p. 156). About the changes of sex in Ida, Blavatsky maintains it to be the psychological transformation of sexes which occurred during the third root race.

The changes in Ida are related with the creative role of Mercury. The union between positive and negative counterparts of the mind-principle is necessary for different kinds of creative results on different occasions. United with Ida, Mercury presents the positive, masculine, or the creative power. Yet the intelligence represented by Mercury is passive in character. This explains Mercury's androgynous nature. Ida, who functions as the concretizing counterpart of Mercury has the characteristics of both the forces, active and passive.

In yogic literature, Ida and Pingala exist on both sides of the Sushumna canal in the middle of the spinal cord. They provide the channel for Kundalini (q.v.) to move from the Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakras (q.v.). The channel is normally blocked in common individuals. The trans Himalayan school of the ancient Indian Raja Yogis located Sushumna as the chief seat of these three canals in the central tube of the spinal cord, and Ida and Pingala exist on its left and right sides. Blavatsky indicates a much deeper significance of Ida when she states that Sushumna is the Brahmadanda while Ida and Pingala are simply, the sharps and flats of that Fa of human nature, the keynote and the middle key in the scale of the centenary harmony of the principles which, when struck in a proper way, awakens the sentries on either side, the spiritual Manas and the physical Kama, and subdues the lower through the higher. But she further indicates that it is the pure Akasha that passes up Sushumna whose two aspects flow in Ida and Pingala. (Cf, S.D. vol. V, p. 480 and p. 510)

Ida and Pingala are semi-material, positive and negative forces, the Sun and Moon. They put into action the free and spiritual current of Sushumna. They form a distinct path of their own; otherwise they would diffuse the radiance all over the body. Concentration on Ida and its sister channel Pingala leads to activation and regulation of the sacred fire. This effect can be produced by exercising will power, and not through the scientific or trained suppression of the breath. (Cf. S.D., vol. V, p. 480)


A term used in annual forecasting. It is formed by all the planets placed in Panphara (q.v.) houses. It produces many desired events during the year. (See Induvara Yoga)


Same as Ida (q.v.).


The ruler of the celestial world; the God of gods; the God of the firmament, the atmosphere personified. Indra represents the principle of mind-power released from the limits and obscurations of the nervous consciousness. The word Indra is related with Indriyas, and refers to the organs of wisdom and action. Indra stands for intelligence, unfettered by any physical or nervous limitations. It is pure illumination.

The Puranic stories make Indra son of Kashyapa and his wife Sachi, the daughter of a demon Puloman. In the Rig Veda, Indra is assigned a place in the Vedic Trinity, along with Agni (fire) and Vayu (air Indra rules over Swarga, the realm of gods, with a large number of nymphs under his command. He is described as becoming insecure of his position whenever a Rishi undertakes arduous austerities. He then sends nymphs to distract him from completing his determination. He is also famed for his adulterous behavior. Sage Gautarna cursed Indra for seducing his wife Ahalya, which resulted in the formation of a thousand marks resembling the female generating organ on his body, later on changed to eyes which gave Indra the appellation of Sahasraksha, meaning the thousand-eyed god. Arjuna, the hero of the Mahabharata, is said to be born of him.

Indra is characterised as the cosmic principle of Mahat (q.v.). He represents the fifth human principle, Manas (q.v.), which is dual in character. As connected with Buddhi and as allowing itself to be dragged down by Kama, it leads to manifestations at the material or phenomenal planes.

Indra presides over Jupiter, whereas Agni presides over Sun, and Varuna, the god of waters, over Moon. In the Puranas, Jupiter is often considered the preceptor of Indra.,


An invisible Upagraha, satellite, of Venus. Its other names are Kodanda and Karmuka.


Qualities belonging to Indra (q.v.). The term in common parlance refers to the sense organs. They are classified in two categories, viz., Karmendriya and Jnanendriya. The former category consists of organs of speech, action (hands), mobility (legs), and the excretory and generative organs. The latter category consists of the organs of wisdom, which comprise ears, eyes, tongue, skin, and nose that enable the individual to acquire knowledge of the external world. Jnanendriyas are connected with Panchabhutas (q.v.) and Tanmatras (q.v.). Blavatsky gives the following relationships between these three:

Table 7: Relationship between Indriyas, Tanmatras & Bhutas

Action organs  Knowledge organs Tanmatras  Panch bhutas
(1) Organs of generation Nose  Smell  Earth
(2) Hands Tongue Taste Water
(3) Feet Eyes  Sight Air
(4)Organs of execration Skin  Touch Fire
(5) Organs of speech Ears Hearing Ether

(Source: S.D., vol. V, p. 542.)


A sensitive point in a horoscope based on the ascendant and the Moon sign. Counting ninth from both of these and adding the Kalas (see below) of the lords of the sign thus arrived at, and dividing the total of these two by 12, and the remainder when added to the Moon sign gives the Indu Lagna. For this calculation, the Kalas for the planets are as follows: Sun = 30; Moon = 16; Mars = 6; Mercury = 8; Jupiter = 10; Venus = 12; and Saturn = 1.

The general principle may be further modified by taking into account the odd and even signs of the ascendant and Moon. In case both these are in odd signs, the counting of the ninth sign is to be made directly, but in the case of their being even, the resultant 9th house should be counted in the reverse direction. For example, if the ascendant is Aries, which is an odd sign, the ninth from it counted directly is Sagittarius whose lord is Jupiter who enjoys 10 kalas. For Taurus as ascendant, an even sign, ninth from it counted in the reverse direction is Virgo which is owned by Mercury having 8 Kalas. Similarly, if the natal Moon is in an odd sign, the counting is done directly, and in the case of its being an even sign, the direction will be reversed. If the remainder in the final operation is odd, the final Indu-Lagna is counted directly from the Moon sign while in the case of its being even, the counting from the Moon for fixing the Indu Lagna is in the reverse direction.

Indu Lagna, when occupied by a benefic without any association with a malefic planet makes the individual extremely wealthy; and if only a malefic planet occupies it, the individual may be very rich. If the malefic occupies Indu Lagna in its exaltation sign, the individual becomes extremely wealthy.


An inauspicious planetary combination. It is studied primarily in Tajaka astrology. The seven planets (excluding Rahu and Ketu) in a progressed horoscope based on solar ingress (q.v.) principle, situated in Apoklima (q.v.) houses produce obstacles and thereby nullify the fructification of an auspicious combination that may otherwise be present.


Consecretion for a religious ceremony. It is a ceremony preliminary to the Yajna, sacrifice, or an important religious rite dedicating oneself to a higher cause. It is a mysterious ritual, sometimes involving the blending of the consciousness of the disciple with that of the teacher.

The traditional Brahmin had three Dikshas, initiations: (i) at birth, when he received his mystery name from his family astrologer, 00 at seven years of age, when the sacred thread was given to him, and (iii) at the age of 11 or 12 years when he entered the preparatory stages of the main functions of his life. These rites are extremely personal and secret. They are consecrated under strict vows of secrecy.

Relics of such mysteries are available in Egypt, Eluseum, Greece, Mexico, Scotland, India, and in the secret crypts of many less frequented areas in the wildernesses of deserts and mountains. These sacred places are situated in isolated mountains, caves, forests, deserts, and lonely surroundings with direct access to nature's finer forces. The Egyptian Pyramids, the British Stonehenge, and the desolate caves of Rajgriha in India are existing monuments of once-active initiating temples.

Many spiritual texts mention these sacred rites. The Viveka Cudamani mentions Manushyatwam, or the essence of being a human being; Mumukshatwam, or the urge towards Liberation; and Mahapurushashraya, or the benevolent protection of perfected beings essential for initiation in secret mysteries.

Initiation is based on the assumption that the path of involution has followed a course of the entrenchment of the soul in a material sheath that needs reversal. The path of withdrawal from these material encasements requires unraveling various knots tied into the material sheath. These knots can be unraveled only after a detailed knowledge of one's own inner constitution. The Hindu spiritual teachings indicated Hridaya-Granthi and Granthi-Bheda as important for understanding one's body mechanism and to establish control over its Granthis or the knots formed during the materializing process of the soul.

The process of opening out these knots hidden in the inner consciousness of the soul is known as Granthi Bheda. The initiatory rites represent the Granthi-Bheda for which the Adept Brothers (the spiritual teachers who have crossed the stages of GranthiBheda) have to take charge of the candidate. The method by which they make the candidate aware of his latent powers is unique, differing with candidate and the teacher who guides him.

During the initiating rites the candidate is brought face to face with his inner nature and the finer forces of nature. The Egyptian temples, which were the centers of such rituals, are full of astronomical details; the Vedic Yajnas served the same purpose. The candidate could absorb these subtler forces to transform his nature only after making arduous preparations. These involved austerities, fasting, abstinence from impure social relationships, living in isolation, emotional purification, cultivation of virtues, mental maturity, psychic aptitude, and intuitive understanding. Atmospheric quietude and freedom from physical and emotional vibrations of the gross types are also necessary.

Initiations are usually held at isolated places. They are held at a time when stellar forces are helpful for harnessing spiritual forces. Initiatory rites are of different orders at which different levels of illumination are realized.

Blavatsky gives some descriptions of seven degrees of initiations as practiced in Egyptian mysteries. They reveal the immortality of spirit. She says that the candidates, after a preliminary trial, pass through twelve tortures. He is commanded to govern his passions and never lose for a moment the thought of his god. Then as a symbol of the wanderings of the unpurified soul, he has to ascend several ladders and wander in the darkness of a cave which has many doors but all of them are locked. When he succeeds in these trials, he attains the level of Pastophoris: the first degree of initiation. The second and the third degrees are called Neocoris and Melanephores. These are received after one has crossed the gates of death. Later, he is conducted to the hall of spirits. There he is taught to never desire or seek revenge, but to be always ready to help others in danger, even at the risk of one's own life; to bury every dead body; to honour one's parents; respect old age, and protect those weaker than oneself; and finally, to ever bear in mind the hour of death and that of resurrection in a new and imperishable body. Purity and chastity are highly recommended and fornication threatened with death. Then the candidate is made a Kristophores.

At the fifth degree, known as Bolahala, the candidate is instructed in alchemy. At the sixth degree, the candidate is instructed in astronomy by the method of a priestly dance in the circle. After the final probation in a building set apart for this purpose, the Astronomus, as he is now called, emerges from the sacred apartment called Manneras, and receives a cross- the Tau, which at death, has to be laid upon his breast. He is now a Hierophant.

Blavatsky mentions that (i) every true Adept has to pass through the seven and the twelve trials of initiation, symbolised by the twelve labors of Hercules, (ii) the day of his real birth is regarded as the day he is born into the world of spirituality, his very age being counted from the hour of his birth makes him twice-born, a Dwija or an Initiate, and (iii) that the trials of all these persons are made to correspond with the esoteric significance of initiatory rites-all of which correspond to the twelve zodiacal signs.

An Adept teacher once stated that the degrees of an adept-initiation mark the seven stages at which the candidate discovers the secrets of the sevenfold principles in nature and man and awakens his dormant powers. With regard to the tasks ahead of a candidate, he indicated that the whole individuality of a person is centered in the three middle or the Third, Fourth, and Fifth principles. During earthly life it is all in the Fourth, the center of energy, volition-will. The difference between personality and individuality is that the former hardly survives the latter, to run successfully its sevenfold downward and upward course to assimilate to itself the eternal life power residing but in the Seventh and then blend the three (Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh) into one-the Sixth. The Adept stated that "those who succeed in doing so become Buddhas, Dhyan Chohans, etc. The chief object of our struggles and initiations is to achieve this union while yet on this earth. Those who will be successful have nothing to fear during the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh rounds. But this is a mystery." (See ML, p. 78)


The desired object. Ishtha Kala is the time of an epoch. It is measured in terms of time elapsed from the moment of sunrise to the moment of the occurrence of the event.


God; the Almighty God; the presiding deity of a manifested solar system. The term also refers to the 11th year of the cycle of 60 Samvatsara (q.v.) ruled by Brahma. A person born during this year becomes rich. He is able to enjoy material comforts and luxuries of life; he is a passionate partner in sexual acts, interested in cattle rearing and religious observances.


Also known as Muthashila Yoga. A planetary combination considered in connection with annual forecasting (cf. Jaimini Astrology). It is based on the relative motion of different planets. The order of planetary motion is as follows: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Moon takes the shortest period in perambulating round Earth while Saturn takes the longest. When two planets are related in such a way in a house that the slow moving planet is ahead of the fast moving one, Ithasala Yoga is formed. This formation is effective only when both the planets are within their Deeptamsa (q.v.), the orb. In this situation, the fast-moving planet transfers its influence to the slow-moving planet.