The sanskrit name for planet is “Graha” which means “to grasp” or “to seize.” Vedic Astrology traditionally uses only 9 Grahas: First the 2 main dynamics of the Sun and the Moon and the relationship between the two. Then, the 5 elemental grahas with Mars (Fire), Mercury (Earth), Jupiter (Ether), Venus (Water) and Saturn (Air). And finally the grahas that influence outside of the visible spectrum, Rahu and Ketu, the north and south nodes of the moon.
The indian calendar, known as Panchanga (5 limbs), is used to understand the 5 qualities of light expressed through the 5 elements. The first elemental limb of Fire is shown by the days of the week. Sunday through Saturday is the 7 day week that cycles through all of the qualities of visible light. The north and south node of the moon, Rahu and Ketu, are outside of the visible spectrum of light and therefore are not included in the days of the week. The nodes represent the unseen forces of karma – past, present and future.
Click the links below to find out about each of the grahas: