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Tarabala 101

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Many people may not even know what a “tarabala” (tārābala) even is. The word means “star-strength.” It is a system for figuring out how one point in your horoscope gets strength from other points, or how any day in your life gets strength from the day you were born. It utilizes the stars (nakshatra), not the signs (rāśī).

Nine Tarabala

To start understanding Tarabala, get familiar with the nine different tarabala conditions:

  1. Coborn (janma)
  2. Coming together (sampat)
  3. Falling apart (vipat)
  4. Staying in safety (kṣema)
  5. Turning back (pratyak)
  6. Progressing (sādhana)
  7. Regressing (naidhana)
  8. Bonding in Friendship (mitra)
  9. Bonding in mutual love (atimitra)

The nakshatra of any particular point has the 1st Tarabala (coborn, janma). The next nakshatra has the 2nd (coming together, sampat), etc. The 10th nakshatra from your starting point just restarts the count at 1 (coborn, janma).

You might notice that many of them are positive and negative couplets:

  • Coming together (sampat) vs. Falling apart (vipat)
  • Staying (kṣema) vs. Leaving (pratyak)
  • Progressing (sādhana) vs Regressing (naidhana)

When used in electional astrology, Tarabala is quite straightforward. The negative tarabalas are not ideal days for most things. The positive ones are. And the names of the tarabala describe more details about both situations. When used in natal astrology, however, tarabala gets even more interesting, by a lot!

Reciprocal Tarabala

If you try to use Tarabala on a natal chart you will notice something very interesting. My Moon is in Rohiṇī for example, and my Saturn in Kṛttikā. These two nakshatras are right next to each other, so it is easy to use them to illustrate this point. My Moon is one nakshatra after Saturn, and therefore Saturn can’t be anywhere except one nakshatra behind the Moon.

This means there are automatic Tarabala pairs formed between any two planets or points (“point A” and “point B”).

  • If B is 0 nakshatra from A, A must be 0 nakshatra from B
  • If B is 1 nakshatra ahead of A, A must be 1 nakshatra behind B
  • If B is 2 nakshatra ahead of A, A must be 2 nakshatra behind B
  • If B is 3 nakshatra ahead of A, A must be 3 nakshatra behind B
  • If B is 4 nakshatra ahead of A, A must be 4 nakshatra behind B

Now let’s give the Tarabala names to these positions:

  • If B is janma with A, A must be janma to B
  • If B is sampat to A, A must be atimitra to B
  • If B is vipat to A, A must be mitra to B
  • If B is kṣema to A, A must be naidhana to B
  • If B is pratyak to A, A must be sādhana to B

Now let’s say it in English:

  • If B was born with A, A was born with B
  • If B comes together with A, A falls in love with B
  • If B wants to separate from A, A tries to hold on to the relationship with B
  • If B stays safe and secure with A, A weakens and is burdened by B
  • If B behaves undesirably to A, A tries to improve B

These are the five true little-known keys to understanding and utilizing Tarabala in natal astrology!

Reciprocal Tarabala Types

You may notice that two of the five reciprocal tarabalas are basically mutual. While the other three are basically opposite. “Mutual” means that the way A feels about B is very similar to how B feels about A. “Opposite” means that the way A feels about B is basically the opposite of how B feels about A.

  • The janma-janma couplet is, obviously, mutual.
  • The sampat-atimitra couplet is also basically mutual, since Coming Together (sampat) and Being in Love (atimitra) are both positive feelings.

The other three couplets are non-mutual, opposite. It is a bit odd, but extremely important to understand. Understanding these three leads to very, very transformative and powerful interpretations.

  • The vipat-mitra relationship has B wanting to get away from A (vipat), and A responding by trying to hold onto and strengthen the bond of the friendship (mitra).
  • The kṣema-naidhana relationship has B feeling safe, stable and secure (kṣema), but at the expense of A! A is drained and weakened (naidhana) by supporting B.
  • The pratyak-sādhana relationship has B behaving undesirably (pratyak) towards A, and A tries to discipline and improve B (sādhana).

Archetype Human Relationships

  • janma-janma is a sibling relationship.
  • sampat-atimitra is a couple falling in love.
  • vipat-mitra is a couple surviving a breakup. It can also be seen as a smitten person chasing someone who is uninterested or is “leading them on.”
  • kṣema-naidhana is a dysfunctional or unbalanced relationship. In a healthy sense it is similar to a parent-child relationship in the way that a parent sacrifices everything for the child’s safety. In an unhealthy sense it is similar to a parasitic relationship where one “friend” or “partner” leeches and exploits the resources of the other.
  • pratyak-sādhana is a mentoring relationship. It is similar to when a parent tries to discipline and correct a child who continuously behaves poorly. Or it is a teacher correcting a student who persistently fails to grasp a concept.


8 responses to “Tarabala 101”

  1. Bharathi Manikandan Avatar
    Bharathi Manikandan

    Vanakkam Sir.

    Great wisdom. Would love to hear it from u with example charts if it’s not too much trouble.🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Alfonso Avatar

    thank you Vic 🙏🏼

    to analyze personal relationships should one focus more on the Moon to Moon Tara Bala? Venus to Venus? A combination of these and/or other planets/positions in the charts?


    1. Vic DiCara Avatar
      Vic DiCara

      I will need to work with the concept before I can reply with confidence.


  3. Monika Simonowicz Avatar
    Monika Simonowicz

    Dear Vic,



    div>I’d like to ask if it possib


    1. Vic DiCara Avatar
      Vic DiCara

      It seems your comment was cut short?


  4. Kristaps Avatar

    Thank you for post and concept. Try to understand it, but it is not so easy, especially of interpretation in to daily activities.

    For ex. if Birth moon Nakshatra creates relationships to today transit moon 4-7 (ksęma-naidhana), how to practically interpret that, not staying safe and secure in that day and go in to insecurity’s?

    Thank you!


    1. Vic DiCara Avatar
      Vic DiCara

      Don’t do reciprocals for electionals, like in your example. Use them only for natals. For example, if born in Rohini, and today is Mṛgaśīrṣa, then the day is “sampat” and thats that.


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