Gandanta: Karmic Knots of 2017


What is Gandanta in Vedic astrology?

Planets in transit through Gandanta reveal times of transformation and change. Important planets will go through these special zones in 2017 – Saturn alone will be in Gandanta three times. In order to understand how planets in Gandanta may impact our lives in the near future, we must first have a basic understanding of what Gandanta is.

What is Gandanta in Vedic Astrology?

Before I describe the meaning of “Gandanta”,  an explanation of the sanskrit word “Sandhi” is in order. Gandanta is a form of Sandhi.

Sandhi means a connecting place. It can also be translated as a junction. In Vedic astrology sandhi is the connecting place, or junction, between two zodiac signs.

When a planet is about to leave a sign it begins to feel the energy of the next one. The energy is changing at the cusps and therefore a planet which is placed close to a junction between two signs is weakened.

Where fire and water meet

Gandanta occurs at the junction between a water sign and a fire sign. Water and fire are incompatible. We all know that it is difficult to ignite fire when water is present. Gandanta takes place close to the cusps, in the last degree of a water sign and in the first degree of a fire sign. Gandanta occurs between the signs of Pisces and Aries, between Cancer and Leo, and between Scorpio and Sagittarius.  Many Vedic astrologers use a Gandanta Zone that begins at 29 degrees 12 seconds in a water sign (the last 48 seconds) and ends after 48 seconds into a fire sign.

Transformation of Solar and Lunar energy

Gandanta is not only significant for solar astrology, it is also important for lunar astrology. Every day the Moon travels through a nakshatra. The nakshatras of the Moon are divided into three groups, or cycles, of nine nakshatras each. Each cycle ends where a water sign ends. The Lunar energy changes significantly at this junction (Gandanta) and when a fire sign begins, a new cycle of nakshatras will also begin.

Opportunities to untie our “karmic knots”

Planets that transit Gandanta go through transformation. Astrologer Komilla Sutton describes Gandanta as “karmic knots”. Gand actually means “a knot”. Gandanta can be translated as “the knots at the end”, and the energy at Gandanta is entwined and complex. Planets transiting gandanta will bring up deep issues that need to be faced; sometimes collectively, and sometimes individually. Facing these issues  will greatly accelerate the growth of a mature soul.

Planets that travel swiftly through the sky and make a quick transit through Gandanta may not have much of an effect. However, slow moving planets that take longer to transit Gandanta will invariably have a deeper impact.

2017 – A Gandanta Year

What kind of “karmic knots” can we see ahead of us this year by examining transits through Gandanta? Let us examine the slow moving planets crossing gandanta during 2017 – Saturn, Rahu and Uranus.


It is highly unusual to see this planet in Gandanta three times in a year. Saturn will cross Gandanta three times because it will move into Sagittarius on January 26th but then retrograde back into Scorpio again a couple of months later. Saturn will move direct again on August 25th, crossing Gandanta a third time.

Gandanta at the cusp between Scorpio and Sagittarius is the most difficult of the three Gandanta zones, particularly the last degree of Scorpio. After all, it is the tail of a scorpion that inflicts its sting and can hurt us.

Saturn spending so much time in Gandanta expresses uncertainty and instability. Saturn governs structures and foundations. Saturn also likes stability and routines. It is when structures, foundations and reforms fall apart, or change, that we experience fear and uncertainty. This planet will not be settled in Sagittarius until after November 2017. Saturn will stay in this sign until February 2020.

Here are the dates when Saturn will be in deep Gandanta during 2017:

  • January 18th to February 3rd
  • June 9th to July 1st (retrograde)  
  • October 16th to November 2nd (direct again)


Rahu is of the air element and just like air in nature Rahu can be windy one day and calm the next. Rahu always moves retrograde and during 2017 Rahu moves from Leo and into Cancer.

Rahu is in Gandanta from August 2nd to August 30th, 2017.

When Rahu moves into Cancer, on August 17th, Rahu will join Mars. Mars is debilitated in Cancer and the conjunction between Mars and Rahu will be exact on August 25 – 26th. The two planets are also in transit through Gandanta during this time. It is likely to be a time of turmoil.

Solar eclipse on August 21st

This total solar eclipse also takes place with Rahu in Gandanta. The eclipse will pass from coast to coast in the United States and could be a sign of a coming change.

From an astrological point of view the second half of August is the most challenging time in 2017.


While Uranus is an outer planet (not a traditional Vedic planet) it can also offer us additional insight. This planet is expansive and freedom loving but can also be rebellious and unpredictable.

Uranus is in Gandanta as it moves from Pisces to Aries between March 24th to April 21st. This may be a time of turmoil caused by something ending or breaking away. The need for independence is on shaky grounds.

These transits through Gandanta provide us with opportunities for spiritual growth. Check back next week for a new post about personal remedies that will be helpful during times of uncertainty.




12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nirmal
    Mar 17, 2017 @ 02:04:45

    Hi Lina, I see saturn coming out of gandanta point yesterday, it passed 3 degrees 21 in the nakshatra of Mool. Please confirm my understanding


    • Lina Elisabeth Preston
      Mar 18, 2017 @ 10:57:18

      Yes, true Gandanta is 3.20 degrees. However many astrologers mainly consider the first 0.48 degrees of a fire sign as it is deep Gandanta.
      Due to Saturn retrograde we will move back to the 3.20 point on April 27th.


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  7. heartflute
    Aug 09, 2017 @ 20:32:57

    strangely enough, my natal mars is 29 degree cancer and 29 degrees ascendance, so it seems as it August 17 could be a rather intense day for me. Usually Dennis Harness reads my chart.


  8. Karen
    Oct 06, 2017 @ 20:21:39

    Nice article n request to highlight juipter effects when placed in zero degrees.


  9. Anonymous
    Dec 29, 2017 @ 09:56:12

    My daughter born on 6th Aug 17 in India at 12:25 noon. Her Rahu is at zero degree in the 11th house. Mars Sun in 10th. Is it worry some?


  10. Trackback: Astrological Highlights: July 2018 | Lina Preston - A Blog About Vedic Astrology

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