Functional Malefic and Benefic Planets

Planets have two types of significations – static and dynamic ( modified significations which they acquire due to their lordship of houses which differs from ascendant to ascendant ). Like Venus is a good planet by default for luxury, marriage, partnership etc. At the same time Venus is not at all good for Pisces ascendant due to its lordship of 3rd & 8th house. So for Pisces ascendant Venus will act as a negative planet and will disturb signification of the houses where it is sitting or aspecting. This feature of planets make them functional malefic and benefic planets.

In astrology, it is very important to decide the functional malefic and benefic planets. According to the astrological rules, some planets, although benefic, technically become malefic for a particular ascendant except Rahu and Ketu which are functional malefic for all ascendants. Sun, Mars, and Saturn are not always malefic; and, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Moon are not always benefic for every chart. This is why some people get good results even with malefic planets, and bad results with benefic planets.

Functional malefic are any planet whose moolatrikona sign (1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, or 11) is in dusthana (inauspicious) 6th, 8th or 12th house. Functional benefic planets are those sitting in the trikona house, and do not have their moolatrikona sign in 6th, 8th or 12th house.

As per Parashar :

Benefics owing Kendra’s tend to loose their benefic qualities but they don’t behave exactly like a malefic, till they are associated with other malefic houses or their lords.

Malefic owing Kendra houses tend to loose their malefic tendency but they don’t behave like a complete auspicious planet unless they are associated with benefic houses or their lords.

Here is the list of functional benefic planets for various ascending signs as under:

Aries- Mars, Sun, Jupiter and Moon
Taurus- Venus, Saturn and Mercury
Gemini- Mercury, Venus and Saturn
Cancer- Moon and Mars
Leo- Sun, Mars and Jupiter
Virgo- Mercury and Venus
Libra- Venus and Saturn
Scorpio- Mars, Jupiter, Moon and Sun
Sagittarius- Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Sun
Capricorn- Venus, Saturn, Mercury
Aquarius- Saturn and Venus
Pisces- Jupiter, Moon and Mars

Here is the list of functional malefic planets for various ascending signs as under:

Aries- Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
Taurus- Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Rahu, Ketu
Gemini- Rahu and Ketu
Cancer- Jupiter, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu
Leo- Moon, Rahu, Ketu
Virgo- Sun, Mars, Saturn, Rahu, Ketu
Libra- Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
Scorpio- Venus, Rahu, Ketu
Sagittarius- Moon, Rahu, Ketu
Capricorn- Sun, Jupiter, Rahu, Ketu
Aquarius- Moon, Mercury, Rahu, Ketu
Pisces- Sun, Saturn, Venus, Rahu, Ketu

There are different views regarding rest of the planets that are neither functional benefic nor functional malefic. Some say these are functional benefic whereas some astrologers say these are functional neutral and give results according to their dignity as in house and sign placement.

Gautam Trehan

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