In Vedic astrology, is there division of 9 planets (Grahas) by Gender? If so, is it related to qualities (Gunas) of the Graha or the deity associated with it?
Although all the Navagrahas are actually male deities, in astrology, they are classified as - masculine, feminine and neuter. So, this is an astrology specific classification, probably which is useful only in astrological calculations.
This is mentioned in the Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra's 3rd Chapter:
16-17. Complexions of Planets. Sun is blood-red. Moon is tawny. Mars, who is not very tall is blood-red, while Mercury’s hue is akin to that of green grass. Tawny, variegated and dark are Jupiter, Venus and Saturn in their order.
- Deities of Planets. Fire (Agni) (?), Water (Varuna), Subrahmanya (Lord Shiva’s son, following Ganesha), Maha Vishnu, Indra, Shachi Devi (the consort of Lord Indra) and Brahma (?) are the presiding deities of the 7 Planets in their order.
19. Gender of the Planets. Mercury and Saturn are neuters. Moon and Venus are females, while Sun, Mars and Jupiter are males.
So, are these classifications based on Gunas?
It does not seem so. Because Moon and Sun are both from Sattva yet one is classified as female and the other as male.
Similarly, Saturn is classified as Tamas, Mercury as Rajas yet both are classified as neuter gender Grahas.
- Nature of Planets. Sattvic Planets are the luminaries (Sun & Moon) and Jupiter, Venus and Mercury are Rajasik, while Mars and Saturn are Tamasic.
So, is it due to the respective presiding deities that rule these Grahas?
Again, that is not the case. Because, if you see, all the presiding deities are male forms. Only exception is Shachi, who is presiding over Shukra. The presiding deity of Moon is a male deity yet Moon is classified as feminine.