In the Vedic scriptures and astrology, Ketu is considered as a shadow planet or Chayagraha or a node that is positioned opposite to Rahu. The movements of Rahu and Ketu are interrelated and as the parts of the same body they are always opposite to each other. Rahu and Ketu represent the parts of the same demon with Ketu representing its tail. Ketu (like Rahu) is not a physical or observable heavenly body like all the other planets that form the Navagrahas; neither does it represent any zodiac sign. Ketu is an imaginary point in the sky but because of its spiritual influence on the human beings it has been given the status of a planet by ancient Rishis and sages.
Ketu is regarded as a phase of difficult karma where a person reaps the results of his/her karmic past. It is considered to be a path towards Moksha (or liberation from the cycle of life and death) but is full of obstacles. The other side of Ketu symbolizes the understanding of the mysterious knowledge of life. Just like Rahu, Ketu also gives sudden and unexpected results.
The planet Ketu is known to instill spirituality. Those, influenced by it, attain spiritual achievements. Those with a benefic Ketu have good healing powers and have an ability to heal through their spiritual powers.
A favorably placed Ketu in one’s horoscope provides wealth, leisure, knowledge and intuition. An adversely placed Ketu results in poor concentration, worries and unnecessary depression.
Astrological Significance of Ketu
Ketu is the south-node of the Moon, which in Sanskrit means a sign or banner. Ketu is the planet of otherworldly desires or spirituality (Rahu is the planet of worldly desires). It is responsible for the spiritual evolution. Ketu’s ultimate aim is to turn an individual towards the Divine after putting obstacles in his/her paths and hence it is considered to be a planet with worldly malefic buy spiritual benefic. It refines the human materialistic needs and transforms it into spiritualism. The karakas (indicators) of Ketu are liberation, wisdom, intelligence, otherworldly desires and non-attachment, sharp insight and physic abilities. Ketu represents a fiery temperament.
Ketu in a person’s natal chart works well in conjunction with Mercury, Saturn and Venus, but not with Sun, Moon and Rahu.
Ketu gives prosperity to a person and his family, removes the effect of snakebites and poison in one’s body. He also bestows good health, wealth and cattle.
The color related to Ketu is black or smoky grey. Its gemstone is Cat’s Eye or Lahsunia.
Lessons of Ketu
Ketu is represented by the lower part of the celestial snake. Ketu causes great obstructions in a person’s path. It sets up roadblocks in your journey of life. It causes pain and angst as it wants to change the person’s psyche and thus learn to leave your thoughts of past karma behind. People who are unable to understand and harness the karmic nature of Ketu shall live a sorrowful existence. But at times it is difficult for a person to be in the way of Ketu. To deal with the obstacles set by Ketu an individual need to understand the celestial plan for each of our destiny. Ketu causes obstacles in life for your self-realization which will ultimately lead to self-enlightenment. One can think of the problems caused by Ketu as that of walking through fire and coming out of it stronger.