Sun: The Sun or Surya is a royal planet and the King in astrology. It represents the soul, will power, father, paternal relations, the King or the high officials. It’s hot and angry; colour is red; metal is gold and gem is ruby. The Sun represents the eastern direction. The Sun stays in each rasi for one month and takes one year to complete the round of the zodiac. Its motion is fixed and a lot of Indian festivals are as per the Sun’s entry into the various signs. For example on January 14, it enters Makara and this day is celebrated as Makara Sankranti. On April 13th/14th, it enters Mesha and this day is celebrated as Baisakhi. The change in the seasons is also linked to the Sun’s entry into various signs and Nakshatras. He is the Pitra karaka or planet connected with father.
Moon: The Moon or Chandra is also a royal planet and is the Queen in astrology. It represents the mind, emotions, sensitivity, the mother, house and domestic comforts, milk, sea and all things connected with the sea, hotel and food industry, textiles and apparels. It’s cold and calm; its color is white; direction is north-east; metal is silver and gem is pearl. The moon is the fastest moving planet among the other planets and takes approximately 2-1/2 days to travel a sign. When the Sun and Moon are in the same rasi, it is called Amavasya or New Moon day or the 1st day of the dark fortnight. The lunar days or Tithi changes with every 12 degree difference between the Sun and the Moon. When the Sun and the Moon are in the exact opposite signs or 180 degrees apart, it is called Poornima or the Full moon day or the 1st day of the bright fortnight. It is the Matra karaka or planet connected with mother. The sign in which the Moon is placed in the birth chart is called your Janma Rasi. The star constellation in which the Moon is placed is called your Janma Nakshatra.
Mars: Mars or Mangala or Kuja is the commander in astrology. It represents energy, courage, younger brothers & sisters, armed forces, the police forces, commanders, administrators, men in high position, land, engineering, metals, real estate agents and surgery. Its metal is copper and gem is coral; color is red and direction is south. Mars takes about 45 days to travel one sign. It is the Bhatra karaka or planet connected with brother.
Mercury: Mercury or Budha is the prince in astrology. It represents speech, intelligence, maternal uncles, short journeys, medical profession, trade, computers and the web, astrology and knowledge of the shastras, accounts, mathematics, journalism, printing and publishing. Its metal is bronze; gem is emerald; color is green and direction is north. Mercury takes about a month to travel a rasi. It is always within 27 degree distance from the Sun from astrological point of view.
Jupiter: Jupiter or Guru or Brihaspati is known as the ‘Devaguru’ or the guru of the Gods. It represents higher knowledge, spirituality, priests, temples, teachers, research & scientists, lawyers & judges, children and knowledge of the shastras and astrology. Its color is yellow; metal is gold; gem is yellow sapphire and direction is north-east. Jupiter takes about one year to travel a sign. It is the Putra karaka or planet connected with children.
Venus: Venus or Shukra is the ‘Daitya guru’ or the guru of the demons. It represents spouse, sex life, kidneys and sex organ, dance, music, arts, gems and jewellery, wines, bars, gambling places, acting, fashion, cosmetics and beauty products. Its metal is silver; gem is diamond; direction is south-east and colour is white. Venus takes about a month to travel a sign and completes the round of the zodiac in 12 months. From astrological point of view it is always within 48 degrees of the Sun. It is the Kalatra karaka or planet connected with spouse.
Saturn: Saturn or Shani is the servant in astrology. It represents hard work, sorrow, old men, servants and the lower level workers, people in the iron and steel industry, municipality and drainage works. A well placed Saturn can bestow excellent power, prestige, name and fame and a badly placed Saturn can devastate you. Its metal is iron; color is blue, gem is blue sapphire and direction is west. Saturn is the slowest moving of the 9 planets and takes approximately 2-1/2 years to transit a sign and completes the round of the zodiac in 30 years. It is the Udyog karaka or planet connected with profession.
Rahu: Rahu or Dragon’s Head or North Node represents foreigners, foreign countries, foreign travel, engineering and the technical trades, smoke, old men, grandparents, theft, gambling, drinking, nonconformists, the underworld and the bad elements in the society. Its color is black; metal is mixed-metal and gem is Gomedh. Rahu takes approximately 1-1/2 years to travel a sign and hence completes the round of the zodiac in 18 years.
Ketu: Ketu or Dragon’s Tail or South Node represents grandparents, technical trades, spiritual inclinations, superstitions and electronics, its colour is brown and gem is cat’s eye. Ketu is always in the opposite sign to Rahu, i.e., exactly 180 degrees away. Ketu also takes approximately 1-1/2 years to travel a sign and hence completes the round of the zodiac in 18 years.
Each of these 9 planets produce different results, and at times totally opposite results, while placed in the 12 different rasis. Again, each planet has some good results and some bad results in each sign. While placed at various specific distances from the Sun, the planets Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn become retrograde or appear to move in the backward direction. The Sun and Moon do not have any retrograde motion. The motion of Rahu and Ketu is always opposite to that of the other planets.