The Atmakaraka and the Navamsa part 1

In Vedic Astrology there is a thing called the “Atmakaraka”.  The word “Atma” means “self” and “karaka” means “producer”.  So the Atmakaraka planet is the planet that “produces” the “Self” in a sense.  It is an important factor that represents the Native in the chart, like the Ascendant and its Lord, and without considering it we simply cannot see all of the objective experiences a person will go through in their life.  The Ascendant and the placement of its lord and all the details of the Rashi chart and the other fifteen vargas are definitely important, and are not to be discounted.  Without the Atmakaraka and its placement in the Navamsa however, we will certainly miss a lot of things about the nature of who a person really is.  And this would be logical if it is the “Self-Producer” as its name claims it to be.

The Atmakaraka planet can only be one of the seven visible planets that we can see with the naked eye (not counting Rahu, Ketu, or the outer planets) and cannot be the Lagna (rising sign) point either.  So every person has either Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, or Saturn as their Atmakaraka planet.  Whichever of these planets has the highest degrees in any sign in the rashi chart is the Atmakaraka planet.  This planet is like a stamp for the individual concerned, and marks the life of the native with this planet’s qualities.  For example, if Venus is the planet with the highest degrees in the chart, Venus is the atmakaraka planet, and the native will have a career and path in life that is marked by the significations of Venus.  The native with this placement may be an entertainer of some sort, they may be a massage therapist, they may be a nurse, or even a teacher, all Venusian career paths.  To determine the specific one takes more work, but this alone is a big help to seeing the nature of a person.

Another big step to see the experiences and the career path/dharma a person may have, is to look at where this same planet falls in the navamsa chart.  The sign that this planet falls in is called the “Swamsha”.  (It is also called the Karakamsa, but I prefer the term Swamsha as it seems more in line with the Upadesa Sutras of Jaimini.)

This sign is arguably as important as the rising sign for determining the objective karmas that one will go through!  But it is not given nearly the importance as the rising sign, possibly because it takes a lot more time and study to appreciate and calculate this correctly.  Western Astrology has lost its memory of vargas for the most part, and does not even have this technique unfortunately.  This is a powerful technique.  It takes time and tons and tons of research and practice to learn to utilize it fully though, which is the only reason I feel okay with sharing it here on the internet.  Otherwise it would just be too irresponsible to share such a powerful thing that could be used negatively for personal gain.  This may also be why the Upadesa Sutras of Jaimini are written in a very cryptic and coded fashion, so as to not easily reveal this information to the superficial student.


Here are a few things worth mentioning when the Atmakaraka falls in one of these signs in the Navamsa :

Aries:  With an Aries swamsha, the native will often have a reoccurring theme in their life of needing to “not sweating the small stuff”.  A theme of having to continuously ignore the details and small hangups in life in favor of the big picture ideals and inspirations that serve as the real fuel for the Aries fire.  They must devote themselves to whatever bigger sense of purpose they may have deep down, and pursue that, while ignoring much of the details, in order to be the ideal Aries individual and fulfill their true dharma.  These types often get frustrated easily with the smaller and more detail oriented problems that must be patiently dealt with in life.  They get hung up on the tedious details, and yet the more attention they put on them, the more they seem to notice more small problems to be fixed.  Aries will need to learn to stop focusing there, and expand their viewpoint or to just “focus on the big picture in life” as we say in common speak.

Taurus:  The Atmakaraka falling in the Navamsa of Taurus gives a major emphasis throughout life on material stability.  It gives a focus on generating the resources needed to provide for oneself and the others which one is responsible for.  This indicates one to have a path of learning to make good use of the natural resources of the earth as well as one’s own resources.  Learning to be a productive person, with good self worth, good work ethic is also represented by Taurus.  Those with an afflicted Taurus swamsha will often not use their resources wisely, and may even be the type of person to exploit the Earth’s natural resources for personal gain.  A strong Taurus swamsha however, will be the opposite and will work in harmony with nature as much as possible while they provide for themselves and for others.  With this swamsha, one will often have careers that work with the earth or deal with the production of necessary resources such as food, land, or housing.

Gemini:  When the atmakaraka is placed in Gemini in the navamsa, there is a lot of karma being worked out with one’s intellectual development.  Gemini is about cognition, and understanding.  Gemini deals with the subjective intellectual ideas and concepts we have about life and how they are being met with the outside world and reality.  A strong Gemini swamsha has healthy intellectual concepts which enable them to relate and function harmoniously in the world.  An afflicted Gemini swamsha struggles with this, and its concepts and intellectual ideas about how life works dont get easily validated by the outer world.  You may notice people who are so frustrated in life, but it is really because of their own ideas about how things should be.  They go through life choosing to see things a certain way and so each time life isnt actually the way they think it should be, they are frustrated or confused or annoyed.  Gemini therefore can be a very frustrated sign at times.  Gemini can actually have such strong mental concepts, that when they arent being realized in the world, the irritation or frustration can be seen physically on the skin or through one’s weight changing.  This is why Gemini is a sign of skin problems and weight fluctuations.

Cancer:  When the atmakaraka is in Cancer in the Navamsa, one is said to be a Cancer Swamsha.  The Cancer swamsha is a native who is developing in the emotional and feeling side of life.  They will often live in foreign lands or travel abroad at least once in their life.  They may have issues with “freezing up” or being frigid in a sense, in life.  Hence the need to develop healthy emotional states.  Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the most adaptable planet.  These natives must follow suit and learn to be adaptable in life, which is also why they often end up living abroad.  Living in a foreign land forces one to be adaptable because there inevitably are rules and conducts that are the not the way one is used to in their homeland but must abide by anyway.

Leo:  The Leo swamsha is focusing on developing its capacity for responsibility and leadership.  Leo is about running the kingdom in the most virtuous and responsible way.  It is really not a sign of enjoying life on planet earth like so many people seem to think.  It is a sign of duty and dharma.  Whether the native is the leader of a country or just runs a convenience store, either way they must run their kingdom with the same degree of virtue and duty and responsibility.  That is the goal of the Leo swamsha.  The Leo swamsha will often have some important karmic emphasis on their own territory, their own kingdom in a sense.  In the same way as Cancer may live in a foreign land or travel a lot, the Leo swamsha will focus on its own country and its own territory or kingdom that it is responsible for.  Also, Leo swamshas can sometimes have a dharma that involves actual wild beasts of prey like lions or sharks somehow being involved in their life.  Or at particular moments in their life, when an important moment of leadership is about to come up, a wild beast of prey perhaps graces them at that moment as if to inspire the native towards their dharma.  It is this sort of thing that the Leo swamsha will experience in their path in life.

Virgo:  The Atmakaraka in Virgo navamsa can be very similar to Gemini swamsha as explained above, but with an added emphasis on digestion issues.  Virgo swamsha basically must learn to digest all of life, the good and the bad.  It must learn to “take it all in”, and not be so fastidious with its mental concepts (again like Gemini) about what it likes and doesn’t like, and what is right and wrong, etc.  Virgo is sort of the sign of solving problems and so these people tend to be great at that, but are almost too geared towards problem solving, and so they look for problems, and naturally see them everywhere and there seems to be no end in sight and so the fragile virgo gets frustrated and irritated by this.  It cant “digest” life, in a sense.  Virgo is where the planet that rules the digestive system, Venus, is fallen. Again, showing that Virgo doesnt go with the flow easily, and must learn to.  Venus represents sexual intercourse and so in many ways Venus falling in virgo shows difficulty for the Virgo in having intercourse with the world and with life itself if that makes any sense.  The main remedy for this and the Gemini Swamsha is developing a type of spiritualized consciousness that can see everything as coming from the same  Source.  In the Vedic philosophy, the native must learn to see everything as Vishnu.  The Thief is Vishnu, the Chief is Vishnu, the Mother is Vishnu, the Lover is Vishnu.  All is Vishnu.   The afflicted Virgo may struggle with this, but with practice, if they can learn to see all as Vishnu then eventually they start digesting life much more easily and start being happier and more even-minded. Their health will actually improve as well oftentimes.  Their skin and digestion will improve as they stop creating so much inner friction with every problem they see.  Once one sees that Vishnu is the doer of all things, then one just starts to relax more into life as a whole and true understanding can then begin to dawn in the native.


This post is getting a bit long so I will make a separate one for the next 6 signs, Libra through Pisces.  Look at some charts of friends you know and see if any of these indications correlate.  These significations are also true if someone has their rising sign or sun in one of these signs, but not as significantly I have found.  But take note of the sign that the atmakaraka goes to in the Rashi as well as the Shastiamsa as well, those signs will also have an emphasis in a person’s life.  The Navamsa is the most important one though, and that is the only one that is called the Swamsha*.

*Sanskrit– “Swa”- Self or Soul.  “Amsha”- division, meaning a sign in this context.  So Swamsha means the Sign of one’s Self or Soul.




41 thoughts on “The Atmakaraka and the Navamsa part 1

  1. Hi, Corey!

    There seem to be a spelling mistake…(the Chief is Vishnu…) I suppose that’s what you meant…I watched your interview with Ryan in YouTube and am a big fan of you…


    1. Hi Beth!
      Thanks for the kind words. I actually did mean to write that “the thief is Vishnu” but my point was that Vishnu is that aspect of God that is within everything and is the doer of all actions that could ever be done. So the Chief is also Vishnu too! So is the musician, the politician, the lover, the hater, the sinner, the saint, and on and on. By contemplating that God is the doer of all things, evenmindedness can eventually dawn on a person….Its like what does it matter if have the day off or have to go to work? Either way its Vishnu doing Vishnu. Vishnu is working or Vishnu is playing but it is all the same to him. Thats why Mercury (Lord Vishnu) rules the sign of selflessly serving all without judgement, Virgo. And why people with a strong Mercury are enjoyable to talk with and dont convey a judgemental impression, because part of them remembers that everything is Vishnu on some level and everything is okay. This is hard to convey but I hope this makes sense. Thanks for reading!

    1. Hi Bob,
      If the Atmakaraka is vargottama in the D-9 then that will strengthen it as you probably know, but it is also like a double dose of whatever sign it is in, and so the effects will be even more noticeable!
      The atmakaraka is most important in the D-9 in my opinion, but it is still very important in the rasi chart, and so whatever rasi it falls in there will also have a lot of say on the individual’s dharma.

      1. Hi very informative stuff.. I have Sagittarius ascendent. Jupiter is lagna Lord as well Atma karaka too. In birth chart is in 3rd house of Aquarius sign but in navamsa of libra ascendent it’s goes into the 8 th house in Taurus sign. What does it mean? Thanks

        1. Thanks for reading and I hope you learn a lot. It certainly means a lot of things to have that placement. I personally do not make predictions based off of just one placement in the chart like this so you would have to get a reading from me to know what that means to have those placements and how it relates to your life in detail. Otherwise you can read the taurus and aquarius sections and see if they make sense.

  2. Hi Corey

    If Atmakarkara & Swamsha – Venus is debilitated in Virgo in both Rashi and Navamsa charts, will its strength become weak or on the contrary increase in Strength being in Vargotam.?


    1. so just to be clear before replying, are you asking if it will be strong or not if Venus is the atmakaraka and in Virgo in both rasi and navamsa?

      1. Hi Corey


        I read Vargotam increases planet’s strength. Whilst debilitation decreases the strength. When Atmakarkara say for example Venus in Virgo being Vargotam and also debilitated(both in Rasi and Navamsa ) how would overall strength turn out to be?


        1. It is really a tricky thing to explain and I just simply cannot explain all the nuances to that question. But Vargattama is more specific to the moon and lagna more so, if they are the same in the rasi and navamsa, making them stronger from my experience. With other planets I am not sure but it would still probably be helpful. But Venus in virgo is tricky because it is both debilitated and delighted by being in sign of a friend. To fully understand how this plays out would take several articles so I wont be able to do that for you but you can watch videos on this and learn for yourself at There are videos specific to this question there.

  3. Hi Corey,
    Again a very nice article,
    My interest in astrology began some 4 yrs back, when was in the middle of my atmatyakaraka moon Dasha ….. Slowly it all started making sense …
    How do you read …the atmakarak being in lagna both in D1 and navamsa …does it look towards the soul fulfilling it’s purpose !! Or do we decipher it differently?
    Love n light

    1. It can mean many things but one thing it could indicate, to have the AK in lagna in both D1 and D9, could be that one’s path is very Self-directed, and one follows their inspirations which unfolds the best path for them. So other people may be directed to a path from another person, say a guru or something. This means one will likely direct their own path in life, but the outcome of that path will depend on other factors such as dignity.

      Just one isolated placement alone can never tell you the whole story so remember to read your whole chart holistically.

      1. Absolutely…..
        I get it…. Everything has to be looked to get the right story…..
        Thank you for this reply,

      2. Hi Corey ,
        I have my atmakaraka Mars exalted at 27° makar lagna, in 1st house, in D1 and in Virgo lagna in D9, how should I interpret this , as I am nearing my Mars dasha, Mars which is conjunct rahu in D1 and alone in D9 !
        Virgo also happens to be my arudha lagna !
        Much appreciate your insights and sharing your knowledge with us !

        1. Like I always say, I cant say much without reading the whole chart…for example I would never make a real prediction based on just that information you gave me…never…because the rest of the chart could be saying the opposite of what this says, and so if you make a habit of doing that you will be wrong a lot more than you want to be.
          But with that said…If Mars is exalted in your chart, and with Rahu, this will help make Rahu work better for you because Rahu and Ketu take on the qualities of their lords and the planets they are with. So its good that Rahu is next to exalted Mars in that sense, bc Rahu things can actually be better for you than most. Mars exalted, well that means that the Dasa will have some productive good karma connected to it overall, so do not be afraid of that period. It could be the best period of your life for all you know. And having Rahu conj Mars means you need to be courageous and not fear the unknown, so charge ahead my friend!

          1. Thank you Corey ! Gives me strength …..what I liked was your honesty in which you said that fragmented analysis doesn’t make sense ….I think it makes sense when you said ….about charting my own path as atmakaraka in both d1 and navamsha ….I am indeed doing just that ….am more right now into self analysis, learning to know self ….my this moon dasha helped me ( my moon conjunct ketu in 7th house) the learning continues and guess the Mars dasha being atmakaraka will bring more!
            Yes….have to learn to be fearless….hv to work on it ! Guess the universe will show the way !

            Thank you very much for the motivating words. …
            Shall charge ahead. …..
            Much respects and gratitude,
            Hv a great day

  4. Hi Corey , I am really impressed by these concepts and it seems true . Can you please tell me I have cancer ascendent in navmansha and my atmakarka sun and amtyakarka moon exalted ,Jupiter,Mars are sitting together in Taurus 11 the house of navmansha . Whner you take swamsa they all come in ascendent what’s it shows I never get answer for that please put your light on that
    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Deepak, thanks for your kind words. I prefer to read the whole chart before saying anything specific, but one thing I can say about this, is if all these planets are in the 11th house of your navamsa chart, they are forming an argala. This fastens one to the karmas of that placement. This is a good thing and is great for wealth and gaining titles. Maybe you have a title like Professor or Manager of some position. The 11th deals with titles. Taurus, cancer, and Moon all deal with luxuries, so you may work in some field of dealing in luxuries too. Hard to say though without drawing your chart up myself, also I do not know if you use the same calculations either. But 11th house is a good place to have those planets bc they form argala, and if there is no planet in the 3rd house then the argala is not blocked and will give success. Often through groups or organizations validating you with a title or something, like I said above. Is any of that reflected in your life experience?

  5. Hi, Corey, Excellent article on Atmakaraka & its impact.
    Cd you pls suggest on reading my chart the planetary influence now and near future, ss there is evidenyly a stagnation period in my life due to helplessly lying fallow over time.
    Details are as below & would solicit your proactive response.
    Name: Kridhna Kumar S
    DoB: 14th June 1960
    ToB: 17:06( 5:06pm)IST
    Place: Chennai,.India

    1. Thanks for reading Krishna!
      I hope you can understand that since I am booked up over a month out for readings from people who have already paid me, I cannot afford to give free readings to the many people who request them here on my site and elsewhere. I apologize but it would be a disservice to all those who have paid me and are waiting in line right now, and it also will not create any more good karma for you if you get something for free without giving anything back in return. So I hope you understand, I would love to read your chart and help you, so I kindly ask you to please schedule a session with me so that I may help you in a truly helpful way. If you cannot afford to I understand, and if you keep studying you may be able to find the answers out on your own, which is why I wrote this article to begin with. So I hope it helps you with that, and I pray for your highest good. Hari Om

  6. Hi Corey, thanks for replying I posting my birth details you will have good judgement of my horoscope date of birth is 12-11-1985, time 16:40pm, place: hoshiarpur, Punjab,India. I am living in newzealand from last 7 years nothing happened good from last 6 years coz of Sade Sati . Please put light on my next life I didn’t get any title or any recognition nothing. Please put light on that.
    Many thanks

    1. Yes well as I said, you have to read the whole chart and that is why I do not give advice for a person from just one planetary placement. The best advice I can give is really to not ask for free advice and to just save your time and money until you can hire a professional to take the time to give a full reading.
      I would love to help you Deepak, but for me to do that would require that I stop everything I am doing and push back all my booked clients in order to answer this for you. It would create only more bad karma for you and myself if I were to do that and inconvenience others and not get anything in return for myself. So I kindly ask that you schedule an astrological reading with me or someone who you feel you will get a good reading from. Or just continue to study and read articles on your own. That is why I posted this initially, so people can get some insights of their own that can be worthwhile.

  7. I have navasma lagna lord as aries i have venus and moon conjunction in seventh house is it good ya bad marriage life

    1. I have navasma lagna lord as aries i have venus and moon conjunction in seventh house is it good ya bad marriage life

      1. You cannot know something such as that from one single placement in the chart. That is a huge question, if you will have a good or bad marriage life, and the entire chart needs to be examined before such a prediction can be made. This is something you would need to hire an astrologer to find out if you want it done right. Otherwise, there are other astrologers online that will answer questions like that with just one piece of information out of thousands, but they are usually incorrect as a result.

  8. Namaste Corey ,
    I keep reading you article again at different times as it brings about enhanced knowledge at different times …Once again thank you for sharing your knowledge and insights …

    My question is with respect to the eclipse . When the eclipse falls on the atmakaraka … Does it mean an extra emphasis on the purpose of the soul or perhaps a trigger or push to the purpose ??
    And if the Dasha of the atmakaraka is not going on ….Would it still be push or maybe just a nudge ….??

    Does the eclipse falling on any primary planet ….Point towards a predestined …Event in the souls journey ??
    Thank you again,
    Much respect,

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Vidya 🙂

      About the eclipses, they can be a hard thing to predict. I think there is logic to your points. I would expect that when the eclipses happen close to your atmakaraka, some important destined events could transpire. What exactly they are would be hard to say, and the nature of the eclipse times are shadowy and they cover up the light, so it can be a confusing time.
      When the eclipses happened in my 1st and 7th house axis, it was a very challenging time but still some verygood events happened for me. Perhaps it will be similar in that it gives a mixed bag of good and bad events in your life.

      1. Thank you for replying,
        Yes, am using plain logic here!
        I agree , eclipses are shadowy time…Difficult to predict!
        My assumption was based on the fact that …. Eclipses are caused due to rahu ketu ( deeply karmic) and the atmakaraka is the path for the soul ….Hence trying to draw a parallel.
        Also if a natal planet is close by ….Maybe it has a course correction or push for the evolution of the soul ….

        For me too ….This time the Eclipses are on the 1/7axis, and also have my rahu ketu in the same axis …
        Am bracing for a roller coaster ride .
        Am sure there is a divine plan at play here …

        Thank you again ,
        Much respect,

        1. For me, when the eclipses happened in my 7th, my ak and lagnesh was there too, and that was when I got a lot more recognition as an astrologer by going onto the KRS youtube channel, with Kapiel Raaj. So that was definitely a great thing for my business and for connecting to lots of people, getting more exposure, but there were also troubling issues as well that I had to contend with in my personal life and other areas. So it was a mixed bag but overall very good, better than I was expecting! Hope that helps, let me know how it goes for you.

          1. Thank you for sharing your experiences!
            Coming on Kapiel’s channel…Is wow !!!

            I too have my AK there!
            So presume, there are lessons for me ….
            I shall let know …How mine goes!!!
            There are many layers at play for me ….Let’s see how they enfold !!!
            Thank you again!!

  9. I have a venus atmakaraka and pretty spot on with what was mentioned. Differentiating between love and lust is my life lesson, had a pretty turbulent love life tbh, luckily venus is in own sign in rasi (in cancer navamsa aspected by jupiter and mercury). So that helped :p

    1. Thats good that Venus is in its own sign in the rasi though, that is a major helper for that. Thanks for reading and for the feedback 🙂

    1. Yes so the Atmakaraka being Mercury and debilitated in the navamsa in pisces. So a couple of things I can say: First off, the good thing is you have the placement for spiritual growth and liberation, kaivalyam. Of course not everyone who has this will get liberated in this life, but it means you are most likely moving up spiritually in this life. So that is great. But Budha being debilitated does take things down a bit in other areas of life. So you may feel somewhat confused about your career and dharma in life, and about what to commit to, what to anchor yourself to…as this is the Navasma varga we are talking about. Navamsa is what you anchor to, what you marry, what you devote yourself to. So there may be some confusion there, and you may not have as much practical abilities as well with Mercury being there. But it can be good for a spiritual foundation that grows as your life goes on. Would need to read the rest of the chart to get more specific. I hope that helps.

  10. Thanks for the article!
    My atmakaraka (Mars) is with my amatyakaraka (Sun) in Pisces in 1st house in D9 chart. Pisces is also my ascendant in my D1 (Rohini in 4th pada). I have read in some articles that having atmakaraka in 1st house in navamsha is bad for spiritual progress. On the other hand, some articles mentioned that Pisces is a good sign to havr as the 1st house in D9 for spiritual progress. Both Sun (18.49) and Mars (29:30) are in their respective signs of debilitation in D1. In D9, Venus is in 7th house in Virgo. What does it look like to you from the standpoint of spiritual progress? Any thoughts that you can share would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    1. Yes having Mars as the atmakaraka can be good for spiritual progress and using willpower to overcome the negative sanskaras we hold. Mars is described as a bramachari as he is so focused on his goals and will sacrifice quite a lot to attain them. If this is taken to the spiritual battle he is a great warrior and is always successful.
      Having the ak in a different house in navamsa is not important in my opinion as what I mentioned above in these articles. Namely that the sign the Atmakaraka is in in the navamsa is very important. That is what Jaimini calls the swamsha. And the 12th from there is how we see the ishta devata. So what sign is your atmakaraka in in the navamsa? And then the planets that are 12th from that will be very important spiritually speaking. Count backwards if an in an even swamswa

      1. Thank you for the explanation!
        My atmakaraka (Mars) is in Pisces in D9. Since Pisces is an even sign, counting backward (Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn etc.), the 12th from Pisces then is Aries in this D9, but there is no planet in Aries in the D9. In such case, does the ruling lord of the zodiac sign is the one that becomes important for spiritual progress (which is Mars in this case)? Aries is ruled by Mars, so the Ishta Devata is … Subrahmanya/ Hanuman/ Narsimha?

        One correction I want to note that in my previous message I mentioned that the D1 lagna is Pisces in Rohini 4th pada, but it is actually Pisces in Revati 4th pada.

        Thanks and kind regards.

        1. Hey yes ok so if it is Pisces yes you count backwards and look at Aries. And yes we would normally then look at the lord mars, but the way it seems to work best w this atmakaraka technique is not just the planets in Aries but also what is Rasi aspecting Aries. So if a planet is in Leo Scorpio or Aquarius it can also be an Ishtar decays planet. Then sometimes there is more than one and take the one that connects strongest to the 12th house CUSP IN THE RASHI CHART. And then examine D9 D24 and D60 as well in the same manner.
          So we can see that it is an extensive thing to really examine the Ishtar devata correctly.
          But if that’s all too confusing, your case is simple bc just read what’s i said above or in the part 2 of this article where I cover Pisces Swamsha. That is what you have and that is the best one for spiritual progress. So that is good to know. And Mars in Pisces is a good Swamsa for spiritual growth.

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