In Jaimini’s degree-based karaka system, each of the seven planets from the Sun to Saturn represent the people in our life or a specific energy or area of life. I use the seven planets, but some people use an eight karaka system including Rahu. Our atmakaraka, the planet holding the highest degree, is the significator of our soul, or self; and our darakaraka, the planet holding the lowest degree, is the significator of our spouse, and some Vedic astrologers people call it our soulmate.
Our atmakaraka planet, also known as our soul planet, provides great insight into the area of life our soul longs for. Atma means soul and karaka means indicator/to create. In essence, our atmakaraka shows our soul’s desire and purpose, or that which continues on after we no longer have bodies. Our atmakaraka, in a way, continues on to our next life, and some astrologers believe that in our next life’s atmakaraka will be the ruler of the sign it occupies in the Navamsa chart. You can learn more about each atmakaraka and how to find yours in my article Atmakaraka: What is Your Soul’s Desire?
Our darakaraka on the other hand is our spouse, “dara” meaning spouse, or that which we face in another. This is why relationships are like mirrors through which we transform and can grow spiritually. Simply speaking, your darakaraka will show you your spouse’s unique nature, and the house it sits in will show you what area of life they’ll be contributing to the most and part of the fulfillment they’ll bring to you in this life.
Our darakaraka is our beautiful complement to our atmakara, and in this way, it can be seen as the qualities of your soulmate; if atma is soul, and dara is spouse, then naturally, as the two stand stand across from each other, your darakaraka is the mate of your soul, who will help you in this life to fulfill your soul’s desire as you walk your truth path and purpose.
What this means is that if you truly want to meet the one meant for you in their highest manifestation of qualities, then you first need to be aligned to your soul’s purpose and walk a life of inner truth. True lovers meet when one has the courage to unveil their soul, and the other has the humility to unveil theirs also. Soul love rests upon authenticity. And once you yourself knows what you truly want and need in life, naturally you’ll be able to recognize your spouse and build and nurture a relationship together based on trust, love, intimacy, and support based on who you truly are and what you truly need.
There is no good or bad when it comes to darakaraka – because whether or not you have a harder planet such as Saturn, or a more benefit one such as Jupiter, we need to understand that on a soul level we need these precise qualities of our spouse; and so we need to see beyond the surface and understand the spiritual lessons of them on our path. Our partners in life are all guides for us, showing us what we need or not longer need for our highest benefit, and the humility of this deserves to be treasured. Respect and grace are invaluable tools for human relationships.
Our darakaraka is not to be taken on a superficial level – it is what our soul needs, so meditate on the meanings and see the deeper layer of the descriptions below. Each will have a specific meaning to you. And these qualities of the darakaraka will be, in one way or another, in some shape or form, reflected through most of your close or intimate relationships in this life, not necessarily just the one you’ll marry. It’ll be little pieces that you’ll recognize on a soul level in others, which are just what your soul needs at these specific moments in your life.
Along your path in life, you’ll be seeking your darakaraka qualities to complement you, because you need these on a deeper soul level. So it isn’t about necessarily understanding your spouse’s qualities, your darakaraka is about understanding your self also.
Note: Keep in mind that the natural karakas, i.e. significators, of your spouse are Venus and Jupiter, and so you’ll always be taking these into account as well in addition to your darakaraka. If you are looking for a wife, you’d want the qualities of your Venus, though your darakaraka will show you the unique nature of your spouse. If you are looking for a husband, you’d be considering Jupiter, as the qualities of a good husband shown by Jupiter such as knowledge, trust, virtue, higher wisdom, honesty, loyalty and forgiveness, are what a woman would need in this life. And your darakaraka will give you insight into your husband’s unique nature of character, and how to sustain your love and relationship.
For deeper spiritual insights on both atmakaraka and darakaraka, and their mutual dance, you can read my article Spiritual Insights Into the Deeper Meaning of Atmakaraka and Darakaraka.
In addition to your darakaraka, the sign of your 7th house is very important as it shows the higher purpose of your relationships and the nature or experience of your marriage in this life, and you can analyze its ruler and nakshatra for more insight on who your spouse will be and the fulfillment in your marriage. If your darakaraka is harmoniously aspecting the 7th house or its ruler, or your atmakaraka, what you desire and seek on a soul level will most probably be what you truly receive as a partner in this life. The Navamsa will give you a deeper look into your marriage and may transpire as part of your soul’s evolution.
How to find your darakaraka:
The darakaraka is the planet in your natal chart that holds the lowest degree out of the seven visible planets from Sun through Saturn. In other words, look at your Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – and see which one holds the lowest degree regardless of sign.
When you calculate a birth chart, each planet has a degree number next to it. Identify which one holds the lowest degree and that planet is your darakaraka.
Let’s say your Venus is in Gemini at 16 degrees, and Mars is in Leo at 12 degrees, then Mars holds the lowest degrees because 12 is less than 16.
The house and sign your darakaraka would give you insight into what kind of person your spouse is and the fulfillment you may receive from them. And you can also analyze the nakshatra, or constellation, of your darakaraka for even deeper insight on their unique qualities and inner nature.
Today I’ll share with you two of the darakarakas and what they mean: the Moon and Jupiter. Please keep in mind that these are only general descriptions.
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Moon as Darakaraka
The Moon as your darakaraka shows that you are looking for someone is deeply emotionally connected to you; and has some nurturing abilities. Emotional bonding becomes very important for you, and one you too must develop in your own self – to shine a light on and accept any hidden parts of yourself, with love, compassion and kindness. Your spouse may have a deep connection to their mother, and be in touch with their lunar and yin qualities; and through them you will also be awakening and embracing these as well.
Having your emotional needs met, and having someone who is almost like a healing light in your life is really important. Your spouse may be very soothing to you emotionally, or just know how to take care of you and nurture you, as they might be in tune with their feminine and feeling nature.
The Moon has a deep connection to the hearth and home, so your spouse may help you build the home you desire, and feel like home with their presence. They may even be a homebody or work from home or have work that relates to real estate, interior design or “homes” in some way.
The Moon is also changeable, but also, adaptable. It is important for you to be in touch with your own nurturing self and emotionally mature and understanding and compassionate to your spouse’s feelings because they might have deep inner worlds that need your soothing just as much as you need theirs. They might be easily hurt, even if they don’t show it, and if their needs aren’t being met they might feel disconnected or deeply hurt. They crave a deep emotional connection, just as you do, so you both need to harmonize in the waters of intimacy, gentleness and love.
Jupiter as Darakaraka
Jupiter as your darakaraka is a very beautiful placement and one that shows expansion on all levels. In many way, meeting your spouse and your marriage itself will bring a lot of luck to you – might be literally wealth with riches, or wealth of knowledge, traveling, opportunities to expand your own career in life, and they might help and support you in following your unique soul’s calling. Often times there is a clear before and after – and your world truly expands and widens when you meet.
Your spouse might be highly educated, intelligent, in a high status career such as law, politics, philosophy or education. They will be a guiding light to you, and even if you are already very self-sufficient and independent, you’ll be able to have them as a true support and guide in your life; and they will surely stand by your side when you need them, through thick and thin, and have a very clear view of who you truly are on a soul level, and support you in the way you need it.
They will also have high integrity and loyalty, and trust becomes one of the most important parts of your relationship. When we marry, we need to choose someone we trust with our life – as this is what holds a relationship together. With Jupiter darakaraka, you will not have to worry about infidelity – your spouse will be very loyal to you; and you can expect them to be highly addicted to you, as they will really value and adore you. As much as they will be loyal to you, you too need to be loyal to them also, so be mindful of that; because this is kind of like your gift and blessing in this life for what you have earned with your good karma, so you need to honour and respect that.
Traveling will be very important for both of you – you might often travel together, and again, there is this expansive quality. Your world expands not just physically but also internally, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Jupiter is also about higher beliefs and philosophies, about religion, faith and spirituality, so both of you might be blending these in some way together. Usually your spouse will feel inspired by your own views on life and might feel transformed because of you; but you too could find your belief system changing because of them. Either way, it will be for your higher benefit as each of you will feel their perceptions, inner worlds and experiences expand and deepen in fulfillment.
It is important to know that while both of you might be quite mature and aware and respecting of each other’s true selves, you’ll need to spend your time together: traveling together, being together, perhaps even working together in some way, as this deepens your intimacy and sustains your relationship. Having children might be very dharmic to both of you, and a part of your mutual soul’s purpose.
Both you and your spouse will share your high ideals, so even though if might take a longer time to meet in this life, this is a truly fruitful and fertile relationship, and one you truly earned because you devoted to walk your own true life’s path in this life and not settle for anything that wasn’t true to you. Sharing high ideals might also mean that perhaps you’ll together end up making a great humanitarian contribution to society, or even politically. You have each other’s backs, and support one another, and you both expand when you share your thought and view on higher matters. Intellectual stimulation and sharing of ideas bonds you, and you love to talk about various subjects.
As much as your spouse may be a guiding light for you, you too would be a guiding light for them also. They might really admire you and look up to you, and seek your guidance, inspiration and clarity of vision. You’ll both hold each other with care and protection, and in high light, which is a truly beautiful and precious blessed thing, as you’ll keep your relationship passionate and loving, almost as a devoted sacred love life that you share and nurture together in your little heaven. Jupiter is about joy, creativity and playfulness, and you’ll share a truly joyful life together also, full of humour, creativity, good fortune and expansion.
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Please know that I am not a Vedic astrologer; I am a spiritual astrologer who uses a holistic and integrative approach blending various schools of astrology along with my background in esotericism and mysticism. In my practice I use tropical calculations for natal placements, however, I use sidereal for the nakshatras. While my approach may seem unconventional to some, this is what feels right for me and for my spiritual practice with clients of many years.
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Cover art: Lovers by Auguste Renoir, 1875, via Wikimedia Commons.