The chart is pictorial representation of earth. The planets that revolve around earth are placed in the chart indicating their respective position. This lesson describes the method of calculation of planetary positions. Different system of presentation of charts is described so that one may cast his horoscope in the desired fashion.

In the last issue we explained how to compute your ascendant. Now we need to place the planets in the chart. To compute the planet degrees, we recommend the readers to follow Ephemeris by N.C. Lahiri. You can get these ephemeris from 1900 till date. You can also get advanced ephemeris by other authors for up to 2050 or 2100. However, if you want to compute horoscope for a date before 1900 or after 2100 then you can get it through a computer which are normally available from year 1 to year 9999. However for dates even beyond this, extra efforts are required & even computer horoscopes need be verified before accepting them as such.

The ephemeris or Panchang is a collection of daily or weekly position of planet positions in a tabular form. The position for a given date and time can be obtained simply by taking average. Averages are normally sufficient for Astrological purposes, but we can not take it as accurate positions of the planet for that date & time. For more accuracy one can go to interpolation techniques using more data available in the ephemeris.

The deviations occur because planets do not move with a regular speed. The speed increase or decreases with time. If the speed of the planet is more in the beginning and less towards the end, the values obtained are slightly more than the actual longitudes because, in actual the planet moves a little more than what it moves on average.

The problem of speed of planet occurs mainly for Moon only because Moon plays the maximum Role in astrological computations.

Example : Compute planet degrees for Native born on 15.1.1970 at 11.30 AM at Delhi :

Please refer "Condensed Ephemeris 1961-71" by NC Lahiri. We get the following degrees listed in the ephemeris.

Note that (-) Sign in the calculation indicates the backward or retrograde motion of the planet The planet degrees are given for 5hr 30min in the morning and time of birth is 11h 30 m. i.e.. 6 hrs Later. So on average we find the planets movement as under.

 Sun Mar Ven Jup Sat 17.1.1970 15.1.1970 9s 30 01' 9s 00 59' 11s 00 43' 10s 290 13' 9s 10 09' 8s28038' 6s10047' 6s10035' 0s8047' 0s8044' at 5.30 AM. 20 2' 10 30' 2031' 12' 3'

 Sun. Mars Ven Jup Sat 20 2' x 6 hr/ 48 hr = 15' 10 30'/8 = 11' 20 31'/8 = 17' 12'/ 8 = 1' 3'/8 = 0'

 Mon Mer Rah Ura Nep Plu 120 52' x 6 hr/24 hr. = 3o13' -10 15' / 4 = (-) 19' (-)10 54' x14.25/31 days=-52' (-)6' x 14.25/31=(-)3' 45' x 14.25/31=21' -17' x 14.25/31=(-) 8'

With this the Planet degrees at the time of birth becomes as under :

 Mon Mer Sun Mar Ven 0s6023' 8s27013' 9s0059' 10s29013' 8s28038' 3013' (-) 19' 15' 11' 17' 0s9036' 8s26054' 9s1014' 10s29024' 8s28055'

 Jup Sat Rah Ura Nep Plu 6s10035' 0s8044' 10s20033' 5s15017' 7s6027' 5s3057' 1' 0' -52' -3' +21' -8' 6s10036' 0s8044' 10s19041' 5s15014' 7s6048' 5s3049'

Ketu always being 6 signs away from Rahu comes to 4s190 41'.

The above example shows the planet degree computation for places in India using Lahiri Ephemeris which are made for IST. There is no time rectification required for places in India. The tables are to be used as such without correcting time to local time.

If the place of birth is out of India, e.g. New York which is 10 hrs 30 min behind India - Then the time has to be converted to IST before applying these tables i.e.

15.1.1970 11.30 A.M. New York is equivalent to 15.1.1970 22.00 hrs. Delhi.

for calculations of planet degrees.

Similarly if we are using tables made for GMT or any other time zone, we must convert time in IST to that time zone and then use such tables.

This is one of the common mistake made by most astrologers. Since this mistake does not make much difference in planet degrees, it gets overlooked. However, this does change the Moon’s position by few degrees and thus related computations, specially Dasa gets changed.

Casting Horoscope :Knowing the ascendant and the planet degrees, we can cast the horoscope. The chart that we draw is representation of earth. The planets revolve around earth. For the pictorial representation of planets position around earth, we place them in the twelve divisions around earth.

The pictorial representation of planets around earth is different at different places. Mainly it is represented in four ways.

In the North Indian style ascendant is always fixed at the top and the zodiac moves anti clock wise. In the South Indian style, Zodiac is fixed in the clock wise direction; ascendant & planets move along the zodiac as the time changes. In Bengali style zodiac is again fixed but anti clock wise, ascendant & planets move along the zodiac like South Indian System .In western style the ascendant is fixed and placed on the left hand side whereas

Zodiac moves in the anti clock wise direction:

Again working on the example horoscope we place the ascendant & the planets in the four styles as follows .

 Planet Sign Degree Asc Pis 2205' Sun Cap 1014' Mon Ari 9036' Mar Aqu 29024' Mer-R Sag 26054' Jup Lib 10036' Ven Sag 250155' Sat Ari 8044' Rah-R Aqu 19041' Ket-R Leo 19041' Ura-R Vir 15014' Nep Sco 6048' Plu-R Vir 3049'

A cross sign has been marked with planets those are retrograde similarly other marks like combustion or shifting of house in chalit can also be placed depending upon the requirement. All the charts represent the same horoscope.

However, with practice, an astrologer gets accustomed to one kind of chart and we suggest every user to stick to the style he finds himself more comfortable.