Planetary Yogas or Combinations with Ernst Wilhelm

Planetary Yogas or Combinations with Ernst Wilhelm

In episode 111 of the podcast astrologer Ernst Wilhelm joins the show to talk about the concept of planetary yogas in Vedic astrology, which are chart placements and combinations that indicate specific outcomes.

Ernst is the author of a book on the topic titled Core Yogas: Yokes to the Fruits of Karmas.

You can find out more information about his work at

Below you will find the show notes, followed by links to download or stream the recording.

Show Notes

  • Introducing Ernst, and talking about his background in Indian astrology.
  • 2002 book: Core Yogas: Yokes to the Fruits of Karma
  • The concept of yogas as a good access point for western astrologers to get interested in and approach Vedic/Indian astrology.
    • Also helpful in terms of seeing points of convergence and divergence between the eastern and western traditions.
  • What is a yoga?
    • “Yoga means that which joins or yokes.”
    • A planetary configuration or combination involving planets in specific, unique positions in the chart.
    • Not necessarily just an “aspect”, but often a combination of factors.
      • E.g. Ruler of the Ascendant in the 10th, conjunct ruler of 9th in 10th.
  • Some are highly auspicious combinations.
    • Others are inauspicious.
  • Some are given specific names, which often evoke the interpretive principle.
  • Mainly used for prediction in natal astrology, from the birth chart.
  • Yogas for different topics: Success, wealth, good character, happiness, downfall, poverty, disappointment, etc.
  • Not all yogas are created equal
    • Developing skills means learning how to prioritize which are more important.
  • Ernst’s book Core Yogas covers 214 yogas.
    • 89 foundational yogas.
    • 125 where the effect only comes about when activated via dasha period.
  • The outcome indicated by yogas manifest when activated via a dasha period.
  • Mitigating conditions
    • Yogas can often be modified for better or worse based on placement by sign, aspect, subdivision, etc.
    • This goes both ways.
      • Inauspicious yogas can be toned down if the planets are well-situated.
      • Auspicious yogas can be marred by planets that are poorly-situated.
  • Examples of some yogas that give a good idea of different factors used:
    • Nabhasa Yogas: involving all planets in the chart in certain placements.
      • E.g. all planets in fixed signs.
      • Mala “rosary” Yoga: The angles occupied by benefics.
      • Sarpa “serpent” Yoga: The angles occupied by malefics
      • All planets in one sign, two signs, etc.
      • “Akriti” yogas – means shape or form.
        • Similar to 20th century western idea of planetary patterns
        • Goes back to the Yavanajataka.
      • Various house placement and rulership combinations.
        • E.g. Sringataka “mountain having three peaks” Yoga: All planets in the lagna, 5th and 9th.
  • Other types of more specific yogas
    • Solar yogas
    • Lunar yogas
      • Kemadruma yoga. Equivalent to the western concept of void of course.
      • Chandra “Moon” Yoga: The 10th lord in an angle, trine, or 2nd from the Moon
    • Lagna yogas.
    • Malika yogas
    • Misc
      • Karika “elephant” Yoga: All seven planets in the 7th, 10th, and 11th
      • Mridanga “tambour” Yoga: The lagna lord strong and the other six planets in angles, trines, own or exaltation rasis.
      • Kalasarpa “time serpent” Yoga: All planets between Ketu and Rahu.
    • Yogas Named after Deities
      • Varaha “Boar” Yoga: All planets in 1st, 5th, and 4th houses
      • Matsya “Fish” Yoga: Benefics in the 9th and lagna, mixed planets in the 5th, and malefics in the 4th and 8th
        • This is a good example of a very specific type of yoga.
    • Yogas of Character, Virtue and Power
      • Chamara “yak tail” Yoga
        • 1. The lagna lord exalted in an angle and aspected by Jupiter.
        • 2. Two benefics in the lagna, 9th, 10th, or 7th
      • Vidyut “glittering” Yoga: The 11th lord deeply exalted with Venus, and in an angle from the lagna lord
  • Final thoughts on using yogas in practice.


A full transcript of this episode is available here: Episode 111 transcript

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  1. There is so much good new information in this episode for someone unfamiliar with Vedic astrology. Will there be a transcript available?

  2. Fantastic podcast! For the first time I feel like I came to understand Vedic astrology a bit better even though I’ve listened to other lectures. Thanks, Chris and Ernst.

  3. Also when Ernst said he used the Tropical Zodiac rather than the Sidereal that rang true. Turning me into a Cancer rather than a Leo doesn’t really match up with my life experiences. When he talked about the Lord of the 7th in the 5th or vice versa – that was super helpful info. Many good nuggets of knowledge in this talk. Thanks again.

  4. SunPathPaul says:

    As a pure Jyotish practitioner, I thank you for doing this podcast! I have 2 of his books, but missed ‘Core Yogas’!
    I look forward to getting it sometime soon…Thanks!!!
    It is odd that he let a ‘computer model’ dictate to him that tropical works best…as I see human consciousness as “PRIMARY” in reading a chart, not a linear computer… I still choose what we actually SEE Directly from Earth over a ‘Projected’ Zodiac that only exists within the mind… (and aligns for 1000 years around the heart of Kali yuga, 0AD)…

    • If you’re speaking of the “observed” zodiac, as many sidereal astrologers refer to, consider that it’s not a full proof argument, considering that some constellations are around 20 degrees in length and others are around 40. In Vedic astrological texts the signs are defined as 30 degree segments of space, which does not correlate to the constellations.

  5. Thanks so much. The fact that you took the time to make show notes for these highly educational episodes is extremely generous and we should all contribute to your patreon account

  6. Kate Plumb says:

    Hi Chris. Loved this podcast You really are widening my knowledge with these interviews.
    Question here with this one on planetary yogas. Ernst said to use the tropical zodiac.
    But does this mean we set up the square chart?? This is my first foray into Vedic astrology.

    • Chris Brennan says:

      Yes, I believe that he uses the square chart that most Indian astrologers use. I mean, really you could use any chart since it is just a visual representation of essentially the same data, but I believe that typically Indian astrologers use the square chart or the diamond chart.

  7. Interesting about Venus/Moon opposing one another from 1st/7th defying expectation because in the Hellenistic/Persian tradition that makes perfect sense.

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