The placement of the stars and planets in the horoscope of a person at the time of birth decides the person’s character and integrity. The planetary rays from the seven planets, other than the shadow planets of Rahu and Ketu, affect the individual’s physical and emotional being. However, how his or her life will eventually turn out depend on the unique placement of the stars in the birth chart of the individual. The effect of the stars remains more or less the same through different charts. Depending on the birth star, the individual may experience fortunes or misfortunes in life. It is said that stars are the storehouses of the individual’s karma. Stars take precedence over Zodiac signs in a horoscope. However, it is different in the case of planets.

In astrology, there are benefic planets as well as malefic planets. They are known as natural benefic planets and natural malefic planets.

  • Jupiter and Venus are considered natural benefic as they support your good practices and how you interact with others, respectively
  • Mars and Saturn are considered natural malefic. Mars represents anger and destruction while Saturn stands for bad luck and paybacks
  • While the Moon and the Sun technically are not planets, the Moon in Shukla Paksha (waxing phase) is considered benefic. The Moon in Krishna Paksha (waning phase) and the Sun are considered malefic
  • Mercury is a eunuch planet and is generally considered a natural benefic
A horoscope by date of birth represents the planetary positions at the time of birth. Unlike stars, the effects of the planets in birth chart vary with Zodiac signs and with each birth chart. The beneficial and malefic effects of natural benefic and natural malefic may differ and even reverse at times. Under such instances, the planets in the horoscope are called functional malefic and functional benefics.

indepth horoscope
There are twelve Zodiac signs, and each sign prefers certain planets to others. Depending upon this ‘comfort ratio’, the functional benefic planets and functional malefic planets in birth chart are different. The list is given below.

Functional Benefic Planets in birth chart for each Zodiac Signs

Aries Mars, Sun, Jupiter, and Moon
Taurus Venus, Saturn, and Mercury
Gemini Mercury, Venus, and Saturn
Cancer Moon and Mars
Leo Sun, Mars, and Jupiter
Virgo Mercury and Venus
Libra Venus and Saturn
Scorpio Mars, Jupiter, Moon, and Sun
Sagittarius Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Sun
Capricorn Venus, Saturn, Mercury
Aquarius Saturn and Venus
Pisces Jupiter, Moon, and Mars

Functional Malefic Planets in birth chart for each Zodiac Signs

Aries Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
Taurus Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Rahu, Ketu
Gemini Rahu and Ketu
Cancer Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu
Leo Moon, Rahu, Ketu
Virgo Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu
Libra Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
Scorpio Venus, Rahu, Ketu
Sagittarius Moon, Rahu, Ketu
Capricorn Sun, Jupiter, Rahu, Ketu
Aquarius Moon, Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
Pisces Sun, Saturn, Venus, Rahu, Ketu
Functional benefic planets in birth chart will never rule the 6th, 8th, and 12th Houses. These houses are considered the dusthana houses in astrology.

  • In the 6th House, the individual faces most of the challenges in life like diseases, conflicts, and debts.
  • The 8th House is the most dreadful in the horoscope. The individual feels most insecure and vulnerable in this House.
  • The 12th House is the most mystical. The individual feels like he has suffered a significant loss in this House.
Any planet which rules these three Houses is, by default, a functional malefic. A functional benefic planet in birth chart will always rule the Trikona Houses. If they have a good relationship with the Kendra Lords, then also the planet will become a functional benefic. The functional benefic and malefic nature is calculated through the ascendant, not the Moon.

For Aries Lagna, the functional benefic are Mars, Sun, Jupiter, and Moon. Mars is the Lagna Lord, which is always seen as a benefic. The Sun rules the 5th House of Poorva Punta Sthana, and Jupiter rules the 9th House of luck. Moon is the ruler for Kendra as it rules the 4th House.

career horoscope
Functional malefic for an Aries Lagna is Mercury as it rules two negative houses, which are the 3rd and 6th House. Why is the 3rd House malefic? The 3rd House is the image of the 8th House, which is a dusthana house.

Rahu and Ketu are always considered malefic as they are known as shadow planets. The entire Veda was written from the perspective of Devatas. Every planet in birth chart is considered a devatha or god, upholding divine energies. But Rahu and Ketu, being shadow planets, represent asuras. As per Vedic astrology, Rahu and Ketu represent the head and torso of the asura Svarabhanu who used trickery and got himself seated amongst the devatas to drink the amruth being poured out by Mohini. Realizing the deceit, Mohini cut off the head of the asura before he could swallow the amruth. His head came to be called Rahu, and his body was called Ketu. Traditionally Rahu and Ketu are always seen as negative energies.

According to the ascendant, the planets in birth chart will change the character, which will impact the horoscope’s nature. The formation of yogas is also dependent on the nature of the planet. Yogas, essentially, are special combinations and positions of planets in relation to houses and other planets. For example, for a Virgo ascendant, Chandra Mangala yoga can be bad as Mars is a functional malefic for Virgo.

Gaja Kesari yoga for Sagittarius ascendant can also create difficulties as Moon is a functional malefic for Sagittarius. It rules the 8th House of challenges.

So, the onus is on the individual to identify which planet is favorable for him or her. The individual has to adopt measures to maximize the energy he or she receives from favorable planets, meanwhile minimizing or deflecting the rays from unfavorable or functionally malefic planets. Depending on the birth chart, the person may be favoured by the unique positioning of certain planets. Knowledge of such aspects will help the person live a more fruitful and fulfilling life and attain spiritual sadhana.

in-depth horoscope