Rahu (North Node of the Moon)

Rahu Painting - Vedic Astrology
“Man's many desires are like the small metal coins
he carries about in his pocket.
The more he has the more they weigh him down.”
–Sathya Sai Baba

What Are the Lunar Nodes?

Rahu and Ketu are the lunar nodes. They are not planets but shadow points where eclipses can occur and they can be thought of as shadow planets. Rahu is the shadow point in the northern hemisphere caused by the orbit of the Moon crossing the ecliptic. Ketu is the point where the Moon's orbit crosses the ecliptic in the southern hemisphere. Both of these nodes are impregnated with subtle energies.

According to Vedic mythology there was a demon serpent, Naga Vasuki, who rules the underworld. The demons and the gods were fighting a war for the control of the universe. Naga Vasuki decided he would help the Gods find the nectar of immortality, known in Sanskrit as the Amrita. The great serpent's body was used as an instrument for churning the ocean where the nectar was hidden. When the Gods found the Amrita they wanted to keep the nectar from the demons. However, Naga Vasuki secretly drank from the nectar of immortality. Lord Vishnu, the creator of the universe, became very angry when he discovered this and threw a disc at Naga Vasuki. As a result the serpent was cut in two, but because the serpent had already tasted the nectar he continued to live. The head of the serpent became Rahu, and his tail is known as Ketu.

Rahu and Ketu are important karmic points in a chart. Rahu gives us an intense experience of the present. He governs our desires and moves us forward on our journey through life. Ketu, on the other hand, represents the past and that which we are leaving behind.

Rahu and Ketu are always opposite one another. Their energies are very different and are often not compatible. We need to work towards their integration.


Rahu governs that which is foreign and different from the norm. After all, Naga Vasuki was not one of the Gods, but a demon serpent. In the Vedic system, Rahu represents the outcast. A person strongly influenced by Rahu may feel like an outsider. Rahu is ambitious and may be fighting for success and acceptance in the material world.

Rahu rules the head and the element of Rahu is air. When Rahu influences the mind, we are able to think in intelligent and unusual ways. However, he can also be manipulative and deceptive. For example, Rahu rules drugs that distort our minds. However, Rahu's ability to manipulate can also be used positively to heal. Drugs can be healing if they are medicines and herbs. On a psychological level positive change can occur through the use of visualizations and affirmations--subtle manipulations of the mind.

Rahu may bring up any hidden demons we need to face. He may bring up our fears and can make us feel ungrounded and anxious. This is particularly true if he combines with other planets ruling the mind, such as the Moon and Mercury. Rahu's energy is good for psychology, and he is excellent at analyzing our motivations.

It is important to understand Rahu in one's chart. He rules our desires but he will not bring us lasting fulfillment. Rahu needs attention and we will need to face that which he stirs up. We must remember that his true purpose is to bring us the Amrita-- the divine nectar. On a deeper level he needs integration and alignment with his counterpart, Ketu. We need to understand the constructive ways of dealing with his energy. Only then will we find positive growth and healing.

Should You Strengthen Rahu?

Rahu is not a physical planet. When the Sun and the Moon meet in their orbits around the earth they cast shadows on earth. The shadow on the North side of the equator is known as Rahu and the shadow on the south side of the equator is called Ketu. The axis of the Lunar nodes (Rahu and Ketu) is 180 degrees. Rahu and Ketu are always opposite one another.

Rahu governs material desires and a well placed Rahu can manifest material prosperity, power and fame. Rahu gives ambition and does well when placed in the tenth and eleventh house of career, achievement, influence and wealth. A politician will often have a strong Rahu and can benefit from wearing the gemstone.

Please note that every planet has positive and negative qualities. Rahu is malefic and a gemstone for Rahu can be worn during Rahu Dasha or Bhukti period to neutralize some of the negative manifestations; fear, restlessness and sleeping disorders. It is good to examine your astrological chart to determine if a gemstone for the Ketu is of benefit to you. Have your birth chart analyzed by a Vedic astrologer before you decide on a gemstone.

Colors for Rahu

Rahu likes yellow to orangish red shades somewhat similar to the colors for Jupiter and the Sun, but combined together.

How to Wear a Gemstone for Rahu

As a ring, Rahu gemstones can be worn on the middle finger of either the left or right hand. Rahu stones can also be worn on the finger of the planetary ruler of the house where Rahu resides.

Metals for Rahu

Rahu gemstones can be set in either gold or silver. Yellow gold will bring out the expansive qualities of Rahu and white gold and silver will soften the effects of Rahu.

Mantras for Rahu

Mantra for Rahu in Vedic Astrology

Om Rahave Namaha

Om Sri Rahave Namaha

Om Hreem Rahave Namah