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Viparita Raja Yoga and Prefrontal Cortex

In this article I want to discuss one type of Viparita Raja Yoga, when the Lord of one dusthana is placed in another dusthana. 

Dusthanas are houses with mainly malefic qualities. They are the 3rd, 6th, 8th and 12th houses. Usually we talk about different types of suffering when we analyze them. But in classical texts we can come across Viparita Yogas that promise success and rapid growth in life. 

Viparita can be translated as “reverse” or “opposite”. When the Lord of one dusthana (evil house) is placed in another dusthana we can predict a kind of “reverse effect” in the life of a person. One problem is dissolved by another problem.That is why such combinations are considered auspicious. 

Why does it happen? And how exactly do we get this positive effect through the most evil houses? 

In this article I will take the position of the Lord of the 6th bhava in the 8th bhava. First let us consider what happens in these houses through the perspective of neurophysiology. Astrology studies human cognitive functions that result in certain behavior and only after that we call it destiny. The most “evil” houses are the 6th and the 8th. Surprisingly they are the most developed parts of our brain - they are associated with the frontal lobes and prefrontal cortex. 

The prefrontal cortex has the following functions: 

  • decision making
  • moderating social behavior
  • differentiation of contradictory thoughts
  • goal definition
  • ability to control own behavior
  • ability to build abstract ideas

Damage of the prefrontal cortex results in the loss of willpower and complex cognitive behavior.

So we can conclude that the 6th and the 8th houses are the most important places for decision making and goal definition. If you see that most of the planets are placed in the 6th and 8th houses you can conclude that this type of consciousness can result in a very turbulent life. Because the native is challenged to evolve very rapidly.  This pattern is often seen in the charts of scientists and researchers as well as in the charts of people who break the rules. Of course one can break rules in many different ways, but the point is one must evolve very quickly because of constant conflict within himself, setting new goals and leaving old thinking patterns. 

It gives a person the ability to build complex behavioral patterns based on social norms and culture. 


Now let us define the difference between the 6th and the 8th bhava. These houses correlate to different brain hemispheres. 

  • the 6th house lies in the right hemisphere
  • the 8th house lies in the left hemisphere

Prefrontal cortex in the right hemisphere is associated with negative emotions such as I WILL NOT DO IT. For example, when you want to quit smoking or eating sugar you set the restriction and try to suppress emotions and instincts. This is the very important step on the way to building a new behavioral pattern. 

The right hemisphere is mainly about emotions and the ruling power there is Moon. The 6th house is the last house of the dark side of the sky. In the 7th house we can already observe the sun. So in the 6th house which is ruled by Mercury we face the opportunity to suppress emotions and instinctive behaviour through the power of intellect. 

That is why this house gives us a turbulent and “evil” experience. Here we face our inner enemies and try to fight them with the power of Mercury. 

Prefrontal cortex in the left hemisphere is associated with positive emotions and active investigation of the environment, such as I WILL DO IT. Through this thinking pattern we can really solve the problem. 

The left hemisphere is ruled by the Sun and is associated with the bright side of the sky. It represents analytical thinking, aggression and willpower. And through the 8th bhava which is ruled by Mars we express our willpower, destroy things, transform them, feel tension and frustration.


Image: Willpower in Brain

In astrology the 6th house refers to Virgo, the 8th house - to Scorpio. The 8th house is the 3rd house from the 6th house. So the 8th house develops the 3rd house. 

Viparita Yoga that is formed through the connection of these two houses is very powerful. But one cannot feel the benefit of it without understanding how it works. To use Viparita Yogas consciously one has to be mature, i.e be at least 25 years old when the prefrontal cortex is more or less developed and the person has already acquired experience for integration and can set a serious goal.

The 8th house can bring positive effects only when a person has the ability to develop complex behavioral patterns. When one can sacrifice comfort, go beyond the limits and accept the human mortality without any fears. 

When you have the Lord of the 6th house in the 8th house the effect is great because the small problems in your life are destroyed by the greater problems which are more devastating and profound.

The difficulty of this Yoga is FEAR that can block the effect. You can get stuck in the middle and hesitate between your desire to solve the problem and desire to be safe. It is like pulling the tooth that must be pulled out but you stop in the middle of the procedure. 

This hesitation between I WILL NOT DO and I WILL DO can ruin the life of a person. When you are more than 25 it is not advisable to hesitate in such situations anymore (you already don’t have adults who control or force you to do something).  That is why in classical texts we find such interpretation:

The placement of the 6th Lord in the 8th bhava results in incurable diseases, venereal diseases, early and sudden death. But in some other places you can read that this is the most powerful combination called Harsha Yoga - the native will be successful in life and he will defeat all his enemies. “Harsha” is “bright, happy, agitated”

Of course, the effect depends on particular astrological positions - the power of the Lord of the 6th house, aspects of other planets, etc. But now we can claim that the effect depends also on the level of consciousness of a person. And this level can be elevated since the plasticity of the brain is huge. 

Why are the most evolutionary developed regions of the brain associated with the most “evil” houses of the astrological chart? The answer could be that the smartest people are usually more unhappy because of their constant mental conflicts. Animals are less likely to feel unhappy because their prefrontal cortex is not so developed and they cannot set complex goals. So our brain decides to be unhappy so that we could develop willpower and set goals that are far beyond our personal needs. 

Now neuroscientists claim that the brain makes decisions some time before we become aware of them. Namely, nature decides what you will think and then your brain gives you an idea that it is you who thinks.

The new areas of the brain require new experiences and we create our reality to improve ourselves and set new complex goals. So the combination of the 6th Lord in the 8th house implies that nature made this consciousness to create something really innovative in this world. And you cannot avoid this task, this becomes a part of your destiny. When you don’t follow this prescribed path your life will be short. 

So if you have this combination in your chart your life can be as follows:

  • you will constantly play the game “Virgo-Scorpio”: purity and contamination, order and chaos, patience and rebelliousness
  • you will have situations in your life when you have to break your previous beliefs and ignore the rules
  • you will be more successful through this position if you learn to overcome your fears and act without emotions
  • pain (both physical and mental), destruction and taking risks are inevitable through the Lord of the 6th house
  • you should learn the strategies that require restrictions of your instincts, control over emotions and logical thinking
  • if the planet is strong you evolve quickly and develop behavior of a soldier, surgeon, rescuer - act rapidly in risky situations and uproot problems
  • the strong planet can make you protected from diseases since they will be destroyed in the 8th house,  for example, the native can uproot the disease by some radical action such as prolonged fasting

Children with such combination must be protected by adults since their prefrontal cortex is not mature to take risks and act logically in difficult situations. Though the lord of the 6th house will bring them in such situations also in the early age. 

If the Lord of the 6th house is a benefic planet, its natural qualities will be afflicted. If you are Taurus Ascendant your Venus is the Lord of the 6th house. When Venus is placed in the 8th house it forms Viparita Yoga. Now Venus is obliged to give you difficult experiences and stimulate your growth through taking risks, uprooting the problems and acting like a soldier. Surely, your partnerships will be very afflicted, sometimes you can be rude in social interaction and cut off the relationships. 

Generally speaking, benefic planets are not desired in Viparita Yogas. They make you hesitate and bring more pain into your life because you are not able to hurt enemies and solve problems quickly. 

The aspect of Jupiter on the 6th Lord in the 8th house can give you advantages in terms of variability of solving methods. You will be able to consult the authoritative figures and teachers before you make a decision. But still it can make the pain longer. It can give you illusions that you’ve got the wisdom and you shouldn’t solve the problem at all -  “let it be”.  

So this Yoga can be both very powerful and very devastating. If we remember that we came here to develop new strategies and face the problems we are on the right way through this Yoga. You can analyze your dusthanas and see which planets challenge you in terms of frontal cortex evolution. This understanding is very important in prediction of difficulties in person’s life, timing them and helping him to act according to his nature. 

© Anna Varuni