“Rahu’s names include Swarbhanu, Minister of the Asuras (demons), the Half-Bodied, the Every-Angry, Persecutor of the Luminaries, the Horrible, King of Seizers, the Terrifies, the Powerful, the Fanged, Bloddy-Eyed, Indolence and the Big-Bellied.” (THE GREATNESS OF SATURN, Robert Svoboda). 

“Rahu creates smoke, has a dark body, resides in forests and engenders fear; he is airy (vata) in constitution.  (Parashari 3:30)

“Rahu and Ketu are the two points of disturbance on the path of the Earth and the Moon and the Sun. Thus Rahu and Ketu are the two points on the ecliptic 180 degrees apart and in whose vicinity disturbed conditions prevail. They represent the cross-roads on the fields of force of the earth and the Moon.”(RAHU AND KETU Manik Chand Jain)

In astronomical terms they are the points on the ecliptic which mark the bi-yearly eclipses.

The above are a few quotes describing the North Node of the Moon which Jyotish refers to as Rahu. In Vedic Astrology great importance is attached to both the North and South Nodes of the Moon (South Node is called Ketu) in a birth chart. Even though they are not physical planets, their sign and house placements in a chart can indicate karmas, ancestral qualities, obstacles, mental quirks as well as talents, consciousness and spirituality.

At this point in time, Rahu is an important influence in America because of the system known as the “Vimshotari Dasa.” The “Vimshotari Dasa” is a system in Vedic Astrology which determines when a planet will have a strong influence on a birth chart throughout life. The entire sequence is one hundred and twenty years long, and each planet will have an assigned number of years when he will play a primary role in life. As of now, the majority of people will not live long enough to experience the entire sequence of planets.

Nations, companies, and other entities also have birth charts, and the Vimshotari Dasa will play out in those charts as well. Because nations, companies, and other institutions can last longer than one hundred and twenty years, they will often go through the entire sequence and will then go on to start the sequence over again

The most accepted chart of the United States (7/4/1776) is two hundred and forty-four years old and, according to that chart, the US is currently in its third cycle of Rahu’s dasa. Each Rahu dasa lasts eighteen years and will certainly bring about change and surprise during the eighteen years. The chart calculated, based on the historical date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, had Rahu as the active dasa ruler. The nature of the planetary dasa ruler active on the birth date will often be a strong influence throughout the life of the chart native; in this case, the native is the United States of America and the active influence is Rahu.

Rahu, being the first influence of America’s dasa sequence, shows up in the personality and mores of America in many ways. Simple observation easily shows the ongoing influence of Rahu in the United States. Rahu indicates freedom, rebellion, innovation, impulse, entertainment, pleasure, drugs, mental illness, and uncontrolled impulses. It is assigned as the significator of politicians, actors, trust fund babies, wealth, medicines/drugs, slavery, glitz, deception, and the occult.  The determination to be free led to a group of individual states coming together to break free from a king, but the individuality of the states themselves has caused much ongoing trouble for this country as different states had different interpretations for freedom and individuality.

Rahu is always counterbalanced by the influence of the South Node, Ketu.   Ketu is a major influence in poverty and denial as well as having an affinity with science, music, spirituality, and separation. The placements of these two influences take place in the second and eighth houses which represent two of the three financial houses. The fact that the United States laid its financial foundation on the work of slaves, the sale of slaves, and the theft of land from its indigenous peoples is indicated by the influence of the shadowy eclipse points in the money houses of the chart. This  has created a difficult karma for this country.  Some of the karma can be seen by the unrelenting periods of financial recession along with the resulting poverty which is a result of the recessions. Rahu and Ketu play a role in the oil industry, and we see on a daily basis the karmic results on the environment caused by our reliance on fossil fuels. Additionally, as we move through the third round of Rahu ,it is apparent that this country has to “finally” address the issue of systemic racism. 

The United States entered into its third round of Rahu influence in the fall of 2015. Rahu, as a powerful eclipse energy, was responsible for the election of Trump – a man born right on an eclipse. Most of our lives have been upended by his ineptitude, and the constant drama of a dangerous con man has left most of us exhausted and unsettled. In the birth chart of the United States, Rahu and Ketu are involved in the houses related to death, and we are on track toward a quarter of a million deaths caused by a virus. Trump’s ego and malignant nature led him and his cronies to deny the science (Ketu) which could have saved lives and avoided the economic destruction most of the country is experiencing.

The first round of Rahu saw the United States emerging from being subjects of the King of England thus fulfilling the promise of Rahu’s affinity for freedom and rebellion. The second dasa of Rahu ushered in what historians refer to as a “progressive era” for America. The dates for this era vary, but the time period from 1895 – 1913 are the most common dates. The second period of Rahu takes place from 1895 – 1913. (We have only rectified charts for the US which indicate that the Rahu dates could be off by a few months.) The accepted dates for the “progressive era” are an approximation as, obviously, in order for the era to start in 1895 people would have had to be motivated and organizing before 1895.

“Throughout the time period of the last Rahu dasa it turns out that many Americans feared that their historic traditions of responsible democratic government and free enterprise were being destroyed by corporate monopolies along with too much big business influence in government. It was an era marked by gains in labor. Because of the inequities those protesting the conditions of the average worker became allied with a growing body of ministers, priests, and rabbis—proponents of what was called the Social Gospel—who struggled to arouse the social concerns and consciences of their parishioners.” “Finally, journalists called “muckrakers” probed into all the dark corners of American life and carried their message of reform through mass-circulation newspapers and magazines.”  (Robert M. La Follette, 1906. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)

“Despite initial differences among urban reformers, by the early 1900s the vast majority of them were fighting for and winning much the same objectives—more equitable taxation of railroad and corporate property, tenement house reform, better schools, and expanded social services for the poor. Even big-city machines like Tammany Hall became increasingly sensitive to the social and economic needs of their constituents.” (Geo. R. Lawrence Co./Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-USZ62-52728-9)

Teddy Roosevelt was President from 1901-1909. His first term was due to the assassination of McKinley who had proven to be too friendly to big business.  When Roosevelt assumed office, he was more inclined toward a progressive agenda. One of the first actions Roosevelt took was to activate the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 which had lain dormant because both President Cleveland and President McKinley refused to sign it into action. 

“Beginning in 1902 with a suit to dissolve a northwestern railroad monopoly, Roosevelt moved next against the so-called Beef Trust, then against the oil, tobacco, and other monopolies. In every case the Supreme Court supported the administration, going so far in the oil and tobacco decisions of 1911 as to reverse its 1895 decision. In addition, in 1903 Roosevelt persuaded a reluctant Congress to establish a Bureau of Corporations with sweeping power to investigate business practices.”

“Meanwhile, almost from his accession to the presidency, Roosevelt had been carrying on a crusade, often independent of Congress, to conserve the nation’s fast-dwindling natural resources and to make them available for exploitation under rigorous national supervision. He withdrew from the public domain some 148,000,000 acres of forest lands, 80,000,000 acres of mineral lands, and 1,500,000 acres of water-power sites. Moreover, adoption of the National Reclamation Act of 1902 made possible the beginning of an ambitious federal program of irrigation and hydroelectric development in the West.” Geo. R. Lawrence Co./Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (LC-USZ62-52728-9)

It is easy to see similarities among the dasas of Rahu.  McKinley, like Trump, campaigned as a progressive populist, but he was not. Once he was killed and Roosevelt became President, he proved to be the populist progressive that the people needed., Today, we are pushing back against another man who campaigned as a populist but who has ruled not only as a friend of business but as a friend to dictators who seems determined to bring down democracy.

The purpose of this article is not to proclaim the defeat of Trump (though I do believe he will be soundly defeated in November), but to show that it is the destiny of America to experience the ups and downs of having the influence of a strong Rahu in a chart.

Our first experience of the Rahu dasa resulted in a bold experiment in democracy which threw off the yoke of the monarch of world’s biggest empire. We went through the second dasa fighting against oligarchs acting like unelected monarchs and planted the seeds of a nation in which regular workers had the rights to a decent and free life.  We are currently in our third Rahu cycle and are once again having to push back against the desires of the uber rich to bring down democracy to satisfy their greed for money and power. This cycle is not just for the white working people because it is the right time for all people –  regardless of color, gender, sexuality, and religious beliefs –  to be able to live their lives protected by the just laws of this country.

It is time for America to take another step towards fulfilling its ideals.  We can do this because we have the innovation and creativity of Rahu on our side and, as long as we don’t let ourselves be fooled by the smoke and mirrors of those like Trump, we will prevail as we move in the direction of the ideals set out two hundred and forty-four years ago by the founders of a small nation seeking freedom.