Visha Kanya (literally, “poison maiden”) comes from a reprehensible practice of yesteryear in which kings located girls whose horoscopes promised widowhood. These girls were sequestered at an early age and fed many types of poisons in gradually increasing doses to make them immune to their deleterious effects. By the time they reached puberty, these girls were thoroughly toxic and ready for use. The king who had directed the process was then ready to present one of these Visha Kanyas to anyone whom he wanted to kill, for any man who embraced such a lady would die after a very short time. One legend holds that Aristotle warned Alexander the Great about the dangers of such “venomous virgins”; another suggests that Alexander died as a result of the embrace of a Visha Kanya who was awarded to him as tribute by the defeated King Porus.
Obviously no one would want to marry a poison damsel, for she would be widowed almost as soon as her husband first caressed her. Even after the process of “toxifying” such girls had died away, the fear of marrying women with what are repute to be Visha Kanya combinations in their charts remained alive. As with Kuja Dosha, part of the effect that the legend of a Visha Kanya produces is likely due to cultural and psychological factors, with fear of the deleterious influence of such astrological Visha Kanyas tending to produce a
self-fulfilling prophecy of marital doom. Unfortunately, in some quarters, this Visha Kanya designation is still used indiscriminately to brand certain women as unfit for marriage. One still occasionally reads in books from India that women having Visha Kanya combinations should be avoided as marriage partners. Some claim that males who are born during these combinations will destroy their families and their clan, and that females will destroy their husbands.
o On a Saturday, Sunday, or Tuesday which is a Dvitiya (the second tithi or day of the lunar fortnight), when the Moon occupies Ashlesha, Shatabhisha, or Krittika nakshatras;
o On a Sunday which is a dvadashi (twelfth tithi), when the Moon occupies Shatabhisha;
o On a Tuesday which is a Saptami (seventh tithi), when the Moon occupies Vishakha;
o When the Moon in Bharani falls on a Sunday, Moon in Chitra on a Monday, in Mula on a Tuesday, in Dhanishtha on a Wednesday, in Jyeshtha on a Thursday, in Purva Ashadha on a Friday, or in Revati on a Saturday;
o When Saturn occupies the Ascendant, the Sun is in the fifth bhava and Mars tenants the ninth bhava.
Maharshi Parashara, who obviously preferred more stringent conditions for this combination, defines Visha Kanya any birth that occurs:
o On a Sunday which is a dvitiya (the second tithi, or day of the lunar fortnight), when the Moon occupies Ashlesha;
o On a Saturday which is a Saptami (seventh tithi), when the Moon occupies Krittika.
o On a Tuesday which is a dvadashi (twelfth tithi), when the Moon occupies Shatabhisha.
Although true Visha Kanya combinations are quite rare, one modern interpolation that readers may wish to rest is our observation that the few people who do have them are often prone to addiction, allergy, or some other variety of hypersensitivity. Visha Kanya combinations can, for both males and females, foster heightened susceptibility to alcohol, drugs or tobacco, lactose intolerance, environmental and emotional sensitivities, food abuse, and other such over-reactive states.