This is a combination of nine factors based upon the time of birth in hours, days, months, years, etc. These are: This is an important factor seldom considered in Western Astrology. After Positional Strength, it is the most significant factor in Shadbala and counts for a great deal in its computation.
There are several rules in this computation. Planets are powerful at different times of the day:
Moon, Mars and Saturn
Sun, Jupiter and Venus
Mercury is always strong
Always gets 60 points
At these times of strength, each planet gets 60 points. The amount of time that has elapsed from these times of strength is divided into sixty portions or about 24 minutes. Hence, every 24 minutes away from these times a planet loses one point in strength. This is a factor of some significance only.
This computation similarly has its rules. Planets are stronger during certain times of the lunar month:
Benefics are Jupiter, Venus, the Moon when bright and an unafflicted Mercury. Malefics are the Sun, Mars, Saturn, the Moon when not bright and an afflicted Mercury.
The factors of calculation are as follows:
On the other hand, if the Moon is near new or considered malefic, the calculation is reversed.
The amount ascribed to the Moon is sometimes doubled. The main complication in this system is determining whether the Moon and Mercury should be counted as benefics or malefics. Otherwise, it is certainly a worthy consideration. Yet it does appear to be overweighed for planets other than the Moon. For planets other than the Moon, their distance from the Sun may perhaps be worthy of more consideration, particularly planets like Mercury and Venus that wax and wane like the Moon.
Here we divide both day and night into three equal portions or about four hours each. It will vary by the season as the Hindu day is counted from sunrise.
The planet that rules this period, approximately four-hours, a third portion of day or night, gets 60 points of strength.
first third of the day
final third at the end
middle of the night
always gets 60 points
middle third of the day
first third of the night
final third of night always strong
This factor is similar to Day-Night Strength and can cancel it out. For example, Mars is most powerful at midnight in Day-Night Strength but in terms of Four Hour Strength, it is most powerful a couple of hours before sunrise.
Lord of the year, Month, Day and Hour Strength
The rules here are very simple:
Lord of the year
Lord of the month
Lord of the day
Lord of the hour
These calculations are more complex than they appear. The year is considered to be of 360 days and it is counted off from the theoretical beginning of creation some more than 714,000,000,000 years ago! The Lord of the Month is the planet that rules the weekday of the month during which the birth occurs. This is by a 30-day month from the same theoretical creation eons ago.
The Lord of the Day is the planet ruling the day in the normal sequence Sun-Sunday, Moon-Monday, Mars-Tuesday etc., with the normal Hindu day counted from sunrise to sunrise.
These lords of time periods are important. The hour, day, month and year lords represent the powers of time under whose rule we live. Naturally they should be determined for each chart. Generally a person will do better when under the influence of the hour, day, month and year lords as found at birth. When these repeat themselves during the course of a person's life great changes occur.
This strength considers the declinations of planets (how far north or south of the zodiacal equator that they are). We could also refer to it as "Equinoctial or Seasonal Strength". It is similar to and has the same weight as Angular and Directional Strength.
First we have to convert from the Sidereal to the Tropical Zodiac to arrive at the directional points of the solstices and equinoxes. This we can do by adding our Ayanamsha to the position of the planets. On this some other complex calculations are added. The rule is:
We must then consider the specific points of Declinational Strength for each planet, which varies relative to (but not exactly the same as) their position via the solstice and equinoctial points:
Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Venus
place of summer solstice
Moon and Saturn
place of winter solstice
place of the equinoxes
Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Venus do best when their declination is at the furthest point north, while the Moon and Saturn do better when it is at the furthest point south. Mercury does best when it is at the equatorial or neutral point, neither north nor south.
Hence we can ascertain Declinational Strength generally by noting the declinations of the planets, or by seeing how close to the solstice points they may be.
There is a simpler way of calculating Declinational Strength, particularly if computer programs are not available. Add the Ayanamsha to each planet. Add the number of degrees a planet is away from the seasonal point wherein it is weakest and divide by three, this would give the Declinational Strength or an exact Equinoctial Strength.