What do the words 'Dhatu,' 'Moola,' and 'Jeeva' mean in Vedic astrology?
Pandit Gopesh Kumar Ohja writes:
It has been told already that in Hindu astrology all articles are divided into three categories: (i) inanimate matter-minerals, metals, etc., are covered by the term Dhatu; (ii) plants, trees, grass, creepers are covered by the term Moola; (iii) animate creation down from an insect to humans are called Jeeva (with life).
The Sun and Mars preside over Dhatus. The Moon and Saturn have sway over Moola, while Jupiter and Venus represent Jeeva, Mercury has a mixed portfolio of all the three.
So: Dhatu is that which is not alive, Moola is that which is alive but not human, and Jeeva is that which is alive and human.