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This is the term used in astrology, when Saturn transits (through Gochara), the 12th, 1st and 2nd from the natal position of Moon. This is the stated rule as per the text. For example, suppose if Moon at birth, is say in the Sign Aries. Thus, when Saturn enters Pisces (12th from Aries) the Sade-Sati begins and when Saturn leaves Taurus (2nd from Aries) the Sade-Sati ends. Technically, this would be the position, when we use the Khokha – Kundali and proceed. But this means that at whatever degree the Moon is in Aries, is inconsequential. Here lies the trap and the pitfall of this vital matter, an area, which the astrologers exploit to put the fear of God in the querists.


We are of the strong opinion that such a simplistic approach to Sade-Sati is disastrous and in fact, quite misleading.


The other theory that has been forwarded is that the exact degreecal position of Moon at Birth is of paramount importance in determining when the Sade-Sati actually begins and when it will actually end. This theory advocates that when Saturn is 45 degrees behind the natal Moon, the Sade-Sati begins and when Saturn has left the 45th degree from the Radix Moon, the Sade-Sati ends.


Thus, suppose in the fanner case, Moon at Birth is say at 5 degrees Aries. Going 45 degrees behind, when Saturn comes to 20 degrees Aquarius, the Sade Sati actually begins and when Saturn leaves the 20th degree of Taurus, (when it will be 45 degrees ahead of natal Moon) the Sade-sati ends.


This view has been forwarded by Shri Katwe and merits closer attention.


The third view on this complex subject is that when transit Saturn comes to 30 degrees behind the Natal Moon, the Sade-Sati begins, when the first 2 and 1/2 year period will prevail, when Saturn reaches the exact degree of natal Moon, the second 2 and 1/2 year period shall start and will last up to the time, Saturn goes ahead by 30 degrees of radical Moon. Finally, the third 2 and 1/2year period shall commence from the time Saturn is 30 degrees ahead of natal Moon and last until Saturn goes 60 degrees ahead of natal Moon.


Thus, in our example, if Natal Moon is at 5 degrees of Aries, the Sade-Sati begins when Saturn comes to 5 degrees of Pisces, when the first phase will begin and last up to the time when Saturn comes to 5 degrees of Aries. Now, the second phase of Sade- Sati will start and this will last up to the time when Saturn comes to 5 degrees of Taurus. From then, the last phase of Sade – Sati will commence, which will remain up to the time, when Saturn goes to 5 degrees of Gemini, when the Sade- Sati will actually end.


In our opinion, for the Sayana charts, the third method appears to be closer to truth, whereas in case of Niryana charts, the second method seems appropriate, though both the second and the third methods merit equal attention. This is still another fertile area for research by advanced students.


Having dwelt upon the matter as to when the Sade – Sati actually begins, let us now consider if the Sade – Sati portends Good or Evil?


The original texts proclaim a rather simplistic method for this determination. The base of the Sade – Sati (Panvati) is determined on the basis of the position of the transit Moon when Sade-Sati· begins. Thus:


If the transit Moon is in the 1/6/11 from the natal Moon, the Panvati is based on Gold, which gives rise to worries.


If the transit Moon is in the 2/5/9 from the natal Moon, the base of the Panvati isSilver, which proves extremely beneficial for finances, promotion, etc.


If the transit Moon is in the 3/7/10 from the radical Moon, the base is that of Copper which gives financial gains.


If the transit Moon is in the 4/8/12 from the Moon’s position at birth, the base is said to be of Iron, which gives pains and sufferings to the native.


While, undoubtedly, there is much to appreciate in this theory, we feel that the results of the Panvati must differ from native to native and cannot be thus generalised. There are subtler methods of interpretation, which must be taken cognizance of. 


Finally, much will also depend upon the Mahadasha, Antaradasha and Pratyantara dasha in force when the Sade- sati period operates. This will also play a crucial role in judging the effect of the Sade-Sati.


Small Panvati:


When Gochara Saturn comes to the 4th or the 8th from the radical Moon, the small Panvati is said to take place. This lasts for 2 and 1/2 years each. The same considerations as to when the small Panvati actually begins apply here too. Again, the base of the small Panvati also applies here too, based on the position of transit Moon vis-à-vis the natal Moon. Further, the arguments of dashas also apply in the case of small Panvati.