Winter Solstice Makar Sankranti
December 21, 2012 at 11:12 UT will mark the first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the shortest day. In the Southern hemisphere it is the longest day, based on where the Sun’s rays are falling most directly on the Earth. This Winter Solstice / Makar Sankranti also corresponds to the end of the Mayan Calendar, a succession of 1,872,000 days that began on August 13 3114 BC and ends on the Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012. Many see this date, and these times in general, as an opportunity to connect to greater wisdom and light. Saying this, I will take an opportunity to outline a few important details about the Zodiacs, astrology and a few modern biases that need to be examined.
The Solstices are important because they show extremes in the earth orbit around the Sun, which marks the beginning of our seasons. The Earth’s axis is tilted 23.4 degrees relative to the ecliptic, the plane of our solar system. This tilt causes different amounts of sunlight to reach different regions of the planet during Earth’s year-long orbit around the sun.
Winter Solstice – End of Mayan Calendar – Makar Sankranti VIDEO
It is curious that we celebrate the “Return of the Light” on the darkest day. We do this because even though it is the darkest day, it is also the day the Sun appears to change direction in the sky. In fact to call it the “day” the Sun changes direction is a little misleading. Because it is like saying “the day I turned on the light”. A day is too long of a time increment to measure this “moment”.
The Sun began getting lower and lower in the sky, and its rays darker, in the Northern Hemisphere, since June 20 2012 at 11.08pm (23:08) UTC, the day of the Summer Solstice. It reaches its absolute lowest point one second before it changes direction – the moment of the Winter Solstice.
One second it is getting darker, the next moment it is getting lighter. The Sun will continue to give more and more light for the next 6 months in the Northern hemisphere after the Winter Solstice – until the Summer Solstice – when It changes direction again, in the sign of Tropical Cancer.
This is how the Tropical Zodiac works. It is based on the Seasons. The first day of Capricorn in Western astrology is the winter solstice (which has nothing to do with the named constellation / stars) of Capricorn.
This is the Zodiac used in Western astrology, a seasonal Zodiac. Some also use it is Vedic astrology now, due its precision in marking the Earth’s orbit around the Sun and the indisputable evidence that the ancient Indians also used it (as the texts are full of references to the tropical Zodiac). In almost every classical literature piece, whenever the Zodiac is referred to it was tied to the Seasons, which is something very easy to observe, and at the time the 2 Zodiacs were aligned. Thus, when a Vedic text describes the Northern Course beginning in Capricorn, that was true for BOTH Zodiacs – at that time.
Two Zodiacs and a 1500 Year Old Mistake
Vedic astrology uses a Sidereal Zodiac that measure the position of the planets as they move through the ecliptic as seen against the background of stars or star groups / sections of stellar energy (called Naksatras). At some point in history these stars groups were named either coincidentally or intentionally at a point when the stellar Zodiac and the tropical Zodiac were in synch. Meaning, there was a time when when the zero point of the Zodiac (in Aries) lined up with the first Nakshatra of Aries (Ashwini) and the moment the Sun crossed the Celestial equator moving North (the first day of Aries to this day in Western Astrology / tropical Zodiac).
Early authors of astrology made statements about the two Zodiacs that lead to much confusion in retrospect. These authors spoke of the two zodiacs, that at the time occupied the same space – AS IF they would always be occupying the same space. Perhaps they were just doing this for the sake of expediency, but 2,000 years later it has led to errors, such as celebrating Makar Sankranti on the Sidereal ingress of the Sun into Capricorn, when clearly it was meant to be a Tropical Zodiac / Seasonal celebration.
Below are quotes from a few Vedic astrology texts on the Seasons and the Zodiacs.
Yavana Jataka (from 191 AD)
V. 30. One should find that the northern course of the Sun begins at the beginning of Capricorn, and the southern course at the beginning of the fourth sign (Cancer); the first equator (crossing) in the year is at the beginning of Aries, the second at the beginning of Libra.
59. By terrible feats of asceticism the two Asvins learned this science from Prajapati, and the Sun learned it from them; hence the Creator placed the pair of horses (Asvini) at the beginning of his head in the circle of signs which is the body of Kala.
Even the great Varahamihira did this in Brihat Jataka, considered to be a sort of “Bible” of Vedic astrology. In Brihat Jataka Varahamihira states:
“In the celestial Chakra (globe) the signs commencing with Mesha and Aswini, are each formed by nine padams (quarters) of stars and govern the following organs of Kalapurusha,.. “.
He is clearly saying “Mesha commences with Ashwini”, that would be correct through the history of Indian astrology, as here would be connecting the Sign to the Nakshatras. Some have determined (curiously enough) that this might indicate that the great Vedic astrologer Varahamihira (as well as the Yavanas) did not know of the precession, as these statements would not hold true if he were discussing Tropical rasis (which he clearly was not).
This theory is laid to rest, as in later works, (Panchasiddhantika and Brihat Samhita) Varahamihira shows that he understands the precession. So we can assume, (Varahamihira) and others were speaking about the sky they observed when they placed both Sidereal / non precessional Zodiac (Ashwini) in the same space as Aries – what could be interpreted as a “Tropical” / precessional Zodiac.
From Brihat Samhita (500 AD):
“There was indeed a time when Dakshinayana began from the Middle of Aslesha and Uttarayana from the commencement of Dhanishta. For it has been stated so in ancient works.
At present, Dakshinayana (Southern Course – first day of Summer) starts from the beginning of Cancer and the other (Northern Course – Uttarayana – first day of Winter) from the initial point of Capricorn. This actual fact, which goes against the old statement can be verified by direct observation.”
Notice he says, “at present Dakshinayana starts,…”. He is making it clear that in earlier times the Northern and Southern courses happened in Nakshatras that were in higher degree than at the time of his writing. Thus, instead of zero Cancer and Capricorn, the Summer and Winter Solstices were happening when the Sun was at least 23:20 (0 Dhanishta – middle Aslesha) of their respective signs – a time at least 2000 years earlier (approximately).
As we can see, and can measure scientifically, 1500 years ago, the “Return of the Light” coincided with the Sidereal Zodiac and Tropical Zodiac both at 0 Capricorn and Cancer – just as thousands of years earlier it happened when the Sun was in the middle of Cancer and Capricorn. Currently, Uttarayana happens when the Sun is in the middle of Mula (6:40 Sagittarius) Dakshinayan happens at 0 Ardra (6:40 Gemini).
To celebrate Makar Sankranti on January 14, 2013 would be to repeat a 1500 year old mistake.
The Courage to Question – Vedic Sciences Are Not Religions
I have brought this mistake up for several years now, and often I am met with people who get offended that I would dare question “The Sastras”, “the Traditions”,…etc. The Sastras are correct. It is those who do not understand them that need to get straight. Of course those who say such things have never delved into the sticky logistic mess of trying to sort this stuff out and actually looked into the Sastras themselves. If they had they would notice the mountain of contradictions that exists from text to text, etc.
One bottom line to remember:
Everything is NOT a Sastra written by a master. That does not take away from their greatness, excellence or contribution. Many of these ancient Vedic texts were written by astrologers of their day (people like me) but without the benefit of computers or even great texts like Brihat Parashara Hora Sastra, etc. Verily, a modern researcher has as much to offer to the canon of Vedic literature than the court astrologers from the medieval era. Their greatness was in keeping the traditions together and offering some wonderful insights into the practice. I am grateful for it and them.
My deep pranams to Varahamihira, Mantreshwara and others.
But these great Sciences were passed down through Rishis, (Spiritual Scientists – Like Parashara and Jaimini, Vyasa and others) who would not have wanted or allowed blatant factual errors to persist for thousands of years, especially at important moments and energetic openings that exists at the Cardinal points of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
Does anyone actually think a Rishi would NOT correct this error in the Zodiac interpretation on this holiday.
I actually had a few people last year lecture me that there are a “different set of truths from the east and the west” and I should “open up my mind since I represented Vedic teachings”. I “owed it to the tradition” to just accept these inconsistencies because they were all great and from the sastras, etc.
We disgrace both the religion and the Science when we bury our head in the sand this way.
This is the same religious thinking that caused the Catholic Church to excommunicate Galileo and Copernicus for daring to say the (interpretation of the) Bible was wrong in asserting that the Earth was the center of the Universe etc.
It is totally understandable and excusable for people (and even governments) to have repeated this error, but it is time to overcome the religious thinking and actually experience a “Return of the Light” and celebrate Makar Sankranti when it is supposed to be celebrated, on the Winter Solstice.
In this Vedic Art and Science interview I discuss a few important subjects – like the effects of dhana yogas, conjunctions, seeing deeper meaning in the astrology chart – and a few other things. I think you will like this.
The interviewer, Kapiel Raj, has studied with me off an on for several years and apparently learned a lot about Nakshatras and Nodes from my Webinars.
He has since gone on to create a very active Youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/KRSchannel
With nakshatras there are a few things that you can really focus on in order to understand the nature of the nakshatra. And that’s the reason I talked about the power of myth at the beginning of this. It is because really the myths and the stories behind the myths and the deities have so much to do with the unique nature of each one of the nakshatras.
Uttara Bhadra Pada Nakshatra – shows the soul determined to reach the depths of truth in Vedic Astrology.
Uttara Bhadra Pada means “later auspicious foot” or “later auspicious result”. It is from 3:20 – 16:39 of Pisces. It is where we need to go deeper into that lightning strike. In the previous one, we have been struck by lightning and this is just really the first moment that we have a clue. It is not the ending of anything, it is just the beginning.
Uttara Bhadra Pada Nakshatra – Later Blessed Result – Video
Deity: Ahi Bhudnya
Sign(s)/Degrees: 3:20 – 16:39 Pisces
Symbol: Double-faced man, stage, machan, legs of cot
Story: Before we get that lightning strike, we are just kind of hapless about what life is all about. We don’t even know where here to learn. We just think that we are here to be happy. When we get struck by lightning, some people mistake that to be the goal but it is not. It is just the beginning, it just waking up. Now we need to get in school and make a commitment to go deeper into that which is Uttara Bhadra Pada.
The deity is called “Ahi Bhudnya” which means the celestial serpent or snake. This is actually related to rays of light or sun (Sun is not just a big fire ball). It is like a celestial serpent that goes deep into our psyche and also pushes us up toward the Sun or ParamAtman, the supreme self.
It is like a serpent that comes from the Sun into our mind and illuminates all those dark holes in our psyche and mind. This is what happens once we make commitment to really becoming liberated rather than mistaking that glimpse to just be the end in itself.
Uttara Bhadra people have a lot of service. They like to serve higher causes. They can be quite selfless and very committed to spiritual awakening and growth. It is that part of Pisces that is very much not of this world and very interested is becoming liberated and working hard for it and serving others also on the path.
The last Nakshatra is called Revati. This is at the very end of the solar system, from 16:40 to 29:59 of Pisces. It is ruled by the deity called Pushan which is the shepherd. A lot of the imagery of a shepherd is really similar to what you see with Pushan.
Revati Nakshatra – Wealthy, Rich – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 16:40 – 29:59 Pisces
Symbol: Mridanga (drum), fish
Story: It is at the end of the zodiac where the soul has done all that work in Uttara Bhadra. It is tapas (that is what is called) or effort where you sacrifice worldly happiness and all the stuff in order to know the truth. It takes lot of exertion and power and it is not that very easy. You have to face all your demons and sort of died consciously. Once you do that, the gentle Pushan leads you home. If you do that hard work in Uttara Bhadra Pada, then that last part of the journey is very gentle. The shepherd leads you home.
This is really that part of Pisces which is very selfless even to the point of being self-sacrificial. People who have planets in Revati sometimes can even feel like they are being taken advantage of because they cannot say no to someone in need. They feel very responsible for protecting the flock. This is very much about ministers and teachers and those who want to provide shelter for those in need. It is also where we find lost objects and animals.
These are the stories of Pushan, the deity where you find lost animals on the road, where he finds and brings it home. It is good for finding lost objects like if you are doing an electional chart and there are planets in Revati, you will find it because Pushan brings it home for you.
It is this kind of gentle shepherd at the very end of the zodiac. After that long journey that started all the way back at Ashwini and came all the way round through all the struggles of the world and all that effort, that lightning strikes and this and that, the last thing is easy. That is why you will always hear great gurus and teachers saying “Just relax.” One of the metaphors that my guru says is, “When you get in the plane you do not have to walk, it is taking you where you are supposed to go. Just sit down and relax and let it take you there.”
This is the kind of nature of Revati. After you have done that work, then you just have to relax and surrender and the god will take you over to the other shore.
Purva Bhadra Pada Nakshatra literally means “early auspicious foot”. It exists from 20:00 of Aquarius to 3:20 of Pisces. It bridges Aquarius and Pisces where the individual has merged with the with the collective and social, which is what Aquarius is.
Purva Bhadra Pada – Earlier Blessed Result – Video
Deity: Aja Eka Pada
Sign(s)/Degrees: 20:00 Aquarius – 3:20 Pisces
Symbol: Double-faced man, stage, machan, legs of cot
Story: Aquarius is where we merge our individual identity with the collective and the social. It is where that principle then becomes even more surrendered. It is not even about people and culture, it is about the metaphysical — about the beyond.
If you remember in the previous Nakshatra, Satabhishak, the sky was charged with static electricity. In this Nakshatra, Purva Bhadra Pada, there is the lightning strike that comes down. First you need that air to be charged with the power of Satabhishak which brings healing reins and metaphysical awareness to find a hundred medicines and doctors.
Now that lightning strike comes down from heaven and brings us inspiration straight down from the heaven and strikes us and we have a glimpse of our divine nature in Purva Bhadra Pada.
Literally, the lightning refers to that lightning strike of inspiration that comes down from heaven in a tangible form and strikes the Earth and that is the tangible result.
The deity is called Aja Ekapada which means “one-footed goat”. Literally it is related to lightning, it is a way to symbolize lightning and one-footed goat because the lightning strikes in one spot. It is this lightning strike inspiration so it could be very inspirational Nakshatra where we can have this glimpse of greatness and immortality but we can also mistake that glimpse to be the goal.
We can be quite fanatical about things like “I’ve seen God” or “I am God”. We are God but as a potential not as an ultimate. We have not realized God until we go to the next Nakshatra which is Uttara Bhadra and we make the commitment to really activate it. But in Purva Bhadra we get that lightning strike which is important because before that we are clueless. We do not really know what is going on until we get struck by a lightning.
It is that kind of spark of creativity. It is related to the Kundalini. It is related to the fire coming up from Dhanishta and the static charge in Satabhishak. Then this lightning comes down and we get charged with that glimpse of eternity within us.
It is very powerful but it can be also a bit ungrounded. It is where Aquarius, which is that universalized social consciousness starts to become mystical and even not of this world whatsoever because before that glimpse we still think that our life has something to do with the Earth. Where not just of the world, where also beyond it. And this is Aquarius becoming Pisces where we get a glimpse of what is even beyond the world as a social being.
Shatabishak is related to a god called Varuna who is the god of the seasons, separating the day and the night and the upper atmosphere. It is related to the upper atmosphere like clouds/storm clouds, the richness and moisture in the air like in the upper atmosphere of the Earth but also in the upper atmosphere of your mind.
Shatabishak- 100 Medicines or Doctors – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 6:40 – 19:59 Aquarius
Symbol: Circle, flower
Story: The term Shatabishak literally means “a hundred doctors” or “a hundred physicians” or “a hundred medicines”. It has to do with the metaphysical angst that compels us to seek an alternative answer. For instance, if someone gets sick and cannot be cured, we look everywhere for cure. In doing so, it makes us a great healer. It is this kind of eccentric genius that comes forth in Shatabishak where we need to become a physician or a metaphysician ourself in order to find a cure for — if it is not a physical ailment then an emotional or psychological ailment — and really just to figure out our human condition.
The God Varuna separates the day from the night and from the seasons and keeps cosmic order inline. It is related to that upper atmosphere like you can imagine storm clouds that are charged with electrostatic energy.
The previous Nakshatra, Dhanishta, was the fire in the Earth. The fire in the Earth is trying to move up and the static electricity from the heaven is up there and they sort of pull on each other.
Varuna has to do with the storm clouds or with the air charged with a lot of static power and the previous Nakshatra, Dhanishta, was that fire in the spine or the Earth that is trying to move up, like a volcano trying to erupt.
Shatabishak, the hundred physicians or the hundred medicines have to do with that rich, ripe energy in the upper atmosphere of your mind and in the sky as well.
The next Nakshatra is called Dhanishta which exists from 26:20 of Capricorn until 6:39 of Aquarius (equidistant between Capricorn and Aquarius).
Dhanishta – Very Rich, Very Swift – Video
Deity: The 8 Vasus
Sign(s)/Degrees: 23:20 Capricorn – 6:39 Aquarius
Symbol: Mridanga (drum)
Story: Dhanishta, literally, is related to wealth. Dhan means “wealth”. It is about wealth not just monetary wealth but our values systems and creating our self not just in worldly sense but in another worldly sense.
One thing to understand about this section of the zodiac is it is equidistant between Capricorn and Aquarius. It is ruled by the Gods called the 8 Vasus who are the creative forces of life like Sun, Moon, wind and stars. It is the creative alchemy of existence, this is what Dhanishta is about.
When you look at the zodiac as a Sacred Mandala of the chakras and you have the Sun and Moon which rule Leo and Cancer, and then Mercury-ruled chakra Gemini and Virgo, Venus-ruled chakra and Libra, the Muladhara chakra is the two Saturn-ruled signs. And the two Saturn-ruled signs are Capricorn and Aquarius and this Nakshatra of Dhanishta bridges those two equally. It is right at the base of the spine where we have the Kundalini. When you look at its sacred metaphysical state, Dhanishta is the Nakshatra where the Sushumna Nadi runs. The Ida and the Pingala Nadi are the right and the left nostril, the solar and lunar breath. The Sun and the Moon join and coil down to the base of the spine.
The central Nadi is called the Sushumna Nadi and when we harmonize right and left, then the energy enters Sushumna Nadi at the base of the spine and this is related to Dhanishta, the higher creativity. The symbol is the drum of creation, Lord Shiva’s drum.
It is very powerful to see that it is not just the manifestation of worldly and outer wealth in Dhanishta but inner wealth. In fact that point where the energy starts to rise up to the Kundalini transforming the solid materiality of Earth into the kinetic energy of air, where the fire starts to move up to spine, the planetary ruler in the Vimshottari Dasha scheme is Mars. It is about that fire in the Earth. This is where Mars is at its highest exaltation degree.
It is where Capricorn becomes Aquarius, where that inner strength and commitment to emotional truth and perseverance and solitude becomes an outer expression. In Aquarius where Saturn expresses externally in the form of service and higher consciousness and thinking, this is where Dhanishta fits into the Nakshatra scheme and 8 Vasus, the creative forces, not only create wealth in our life but literally create the rebirth of our soul and this is where it is really starts to happen. Remember this is the section of the zodiac from Sagittarius to Pisces where the soul is becoming liberated. First we plant the seed, and then we nurture it. It creates a result then we need to adjust and harmonize that with others and with existence itself then we start to create a higher dimensions in Dhanishta.
Sravana Nakshatra literally means “hearing” — hearing the truth, making adjustments based on what we hear and forming connections to society and culture. It is from 10:00 – 23:19 of Capricorn and it is related to the god Lord Vishnu who is the pervader and the one who maintains the harmony of the universe. He is the God of Sravana.
Sravana- Famous, Hearing – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees:10:00 – 23:19 Capricorn
Symbol:3 Footprints, Arrow
Story: It literally means hearing, not just hearing a sound but hearing the truth. It is about being perceptive to the truth and the vibrations of life. A sound travels through vibration and space which is the container of everything. This is also why it is related to mantra, sound, singing, sacred vibration and manifesting things. Things manifest through sound and Lord Vishnu is the manifestor. These are all important principles.
This is in Capricorn which is very interested in manifestation. One of the other main things that allow us to manifest is our relations to the other people. Sravana literally means listening for the truth, behind the words that are spoken not just the literal words. You are listening for the truth behind the question not the literal informational truth. Being able to understand and hear the truth behind what is said and make a proper adjustment is important.
You see people misunderstand teachings all the time like the atheists who want to act like God does not exists because religions are stupid. A lot of religions are stupid, they have blind beliefs and you can find holes in any kind of religion but that is not hearing with Sravana. Hearing with Sravana is saying “that is a metaphor”.
Sravana is a capacity to hear the truth and make a proper adjustment in order to manifest. Once that victory is sure then we want to hold, grow and have it nurture our heart and go deeply into existence itself so that we can shed the individuality and start to become more universalized which also the nature of Sravana and its relationship to other people and that vibration of creativity itself.
Uttar Ashada shows how the Sun sustains the powerful and relentless qualities of Sagittarius and Capricorn.
Deity: Vishwa Devas
Sign(s)/Degrees: 26:40 – 9:59 Capricorn
Symbol: Machan, elephant tusk, square
Story: The Vishwa-devas (Universal Gods) and were born from God Dharma in the goddess Vishwa.. There are 10 universal principles, such as truth, time, goodness, desire, skill, etc. the struggle between Dharma and Kama (desire) is illustrated in the Bhagavad-Gita. When Arjuna gained knowledge of the self, the imperishable soul, he remembered his duty and was willing to act in accordance with a greater truth than just his likes and dislikes.
The final group of Nakshatras (19-27) has to do with the dissolution of energy, its regeneration and our rebirth.
When it says early victory it means the early things we do, the initial things we do that produce results later. And that later comes in Uttar Ashada, Ashada means victory. But again you know the Sanskrit word victory also means what eventually emerges. Because we want to be victorious we are trying to do something. And so the early victory means the stuff we do that guarantees there is going to be a victory later. This is why later victory Uttar Ashada means guaranteed success. This is actually kind of another way to describe the energy of this. The words kind of literally mean later victory but it also means the things that guarantee success. And our success is always guaranteed.
Purva Ashada means “early victory”. After we have planted the seeds of truth, then we have to nourish, nurture, water and give them love and care in order for them to grow. However much we are nurturing and nourishing the seeds that we have planted, that is what is growing in our life.
Sign(s)/Degrees: 13:20 – 26:39 Sagittarius
Symbol: Hand fan, winnowing basket, tusk, square
Story: The early victory or the early things that we grow have to do with nurturing, love and care just like in life, our early victories in life or the attention shows the later victory. Just like after we plant those seeds, we have to water them and water is not just related to literally giving them water but it is related to giving them love—water is related to love, nurturing, caring and sustenance.
The deity of Purva Ashada is Apas who is the god of the ocean and the sacred water. Water is related to love and accommodation. It takes the form of any container that holds it. It is the most accommodating, forgiving and yielding of all elements. If you heat it up it becomes steam, if you make it cold it becomes ice. Wherever it is going, it flows into all the nooks and crannies. Just like love — love accommodates everything.
This is a deeply devotional Nakshatra. It is that second part of Sagittarius. Whereas Mula is from 0 to 13:19, this is from 13:20 to 26:40 of Sagittarius.
Purva Ashada, the early victory.
The early victories in life come from how we were nurtured or cared for. This is symbolized by the ocean of love and beauty. There is also a symbol of the winnowing basket where we need to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is a lot of discrimination that is needed in this section of the zodiac.
It is very devotional but sometimes it can be blind faith or dogma if we are not careful because this is Sagittarius where we just want to believe but we need to test our belief in the fire pit of truth not just believe blindly. We need discrimination to separate a good teaching from the bad teaching. That is why one of the symbols of Purva Ashada is also the winnowing basket.
But the real thing to remember is this is about the early victories in life which have to do with nurturing and sustenance. We need to be careful not to become fanatical though about our beliefs just like we can become fanatical about what we were told as a kid and never grow beyond it.
The ocean of love and the ocean of beauty and joy must nurture those seeds in order for them to grow. Whenever we are planting, we are giving attention to what is growing in our life. The early victory comes in the form of love and care that we give something in its infancy.
Mula shows the quality of Sagittarius that is courageous fierce and independent.
Mula Nakshatra literally means root and it is where we pull things out by the roots. It comes after Scorpio and the section of the zodiac where we are very connected to life on Earth, where we have the two fixed signs from Leo to Scorpio. We are very fixed and solid here on Earth and our earthly accomplishments.
Sign(s)/Degrees: 0:00 – 13:20 Sagittarius
Symbol: crouching lion
Story: The last sign in that section of the zodiac is Scorpio which is where we become aware that we have no control (a big keyword for the fixed sign) over our life on Earth and especially how it feels to us. Scorpio is a fixed water sign and it is where we try to stabilize our emotions eventhough the emotions are always flowing. That creates lots of fears and stress.
The last section of zodiac from Sagittarius to Pisces is where the soul becomes free and liberated from the tangle of materiality that is really typified by that section of the zodiac from Leo to Scorpio.
The first Nakshatra is Mula where we uproot and plant the seeds of truth and wisdom. It is the first section of Sagittarius and again facing that sort of dark chasm of Scorpio or that fixed water where we are trying to fix life and stabilize things. Consequently, we try to control outer circumstances so that our inner circumstance becomes more solid. That creates lots of stress, worry and fear and compels us to look for a higher meaning or purpose which is Sagittarius.
Again, the first Nakshatra is Mula which means root but it is also where we uproot and then we plant the seeds of new karma of a higher purpose and principle in our mind the consciousness that is why it is related to a bundle of seeds. The deity is called Nirriti which literally means “calamity” and became the goddess Kali in modern Indian myth. This section of the sky where we have Mula is opposite section of the sky where we have Ardra Nakshatra.
Ardra is related to Shiva and Mula is related to Kali. If you have you seen the pictures of the goddess Kali, she’s dancing on Shiva. Shiva is lying prostrate beneath her and she dances the wild dance of destruction. This deity was very feared in the Vedas. They were like asking the other gods to make Nirriti go away and not bring her around because she is going to change and transform everything.
Eventhough it is Sagittarius, it is an intense section of the zodiac and in fact its where the plane of the galaxy runs and the galactic core is. So when we have a planet in Mula and we see it, we are looking back toward the center of our galaxy to the galactic core. It is like literally the core of our galaxy.
That is where we are looking at when we are looking at Mula. It means root which also has to do with the root chakra and it is where we uproot and plant the seeds of truth. Whatever we uproot and planted, that is what is growing in our life. We will see that this section of zodiac, as played off through the Nakshatras, show this need to uproot darkness and ignorance from the previous section— from Leo to Scorpio — to plant the seeds of truth and how those seeds of truth unfold is shown in this section of the zodiac and the Nakshatras played the story out really well the first one being Mula ruled by Nirriti, uprooting and planting the seeds of truth.
The last Nakshatra in this section of the zodiac is Jyeshtha which is from 16:40 to 29:59 Scorpio.
Jyestha – The Eldest – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees:16:40 – 25:59 Scorpio
Symbol:Kundal (earring), umbrella, talisman
Story: Jyeshtha is ruled by the God Indra who is the king of the gods. This is called the star of warfare and it is about doing battle over the righteous cause. Often, people who have planets in Jyeshtha can certainly be warriors. They are not afraid to take it on and to take on the battle. They will not back out from a fight especially if it is the righteous fight.
Indra had a little bit of a swagger about him especially later in the text like the Mahabharata and some other texts. Back in the Vedas, Indra was the king of the gods and did lot of heroic tales. He had Rudra who is his helper and assistant who would restore righteousness and Dharma.
The great story of Indra is he allowed himself to be swallowed by the dragon who stole all the water from the Earth. Then he cut his way out of the belly of the dragon in order to restore all of the water to the Earth. There is a lot of emotional courage and the willingness to even perhaps dive for our principles thinking that we can still slice our way out of any difficult situation in this Nakshatra.
People that have planets in Jyeshtha must be careful not to just attract drama and want everything to be this kind of battle. This is the difficulty of it, being set up to win the battles. It is easy to make something sound like they don’t back out from the battle but they might kind of fight too much. Often it is a mixture where even if situations are just kind of neutral, it get’s turned into a little bit of a battle because then they want to feel the intensity of winning.
These are all kind of biases that each of the Nakshatras have. With Jyeshtha, it is the tendency to turn everything into some kind of intense, yes or no, well, where’s the thing to fight for, where’s the battle? Sometimes there is no battle; the battle means to happen within.
As always, the symbol of returning something to Earth and being swallowed by the dragon is about being swallowed by our own insecurities or emotional fears and knowing that we have to get swallowed up by that dragon and we can cut our way out of the belly eventually. It is the true inner courage like everything. It is all about an inner battle.
With Jyeshtha, we have to be careful about the outer battles because we might become sort of a fool as Lord Indra was often portrayed in later texts where he would get into some power struggle with an Asura and he would lose the kingdom and then they have to call Lord Shiva or someone to win the kingdom back because Indra lost it. We need to be careful of throwing our ego around in the name of righteousness.
In general, Jyeshtha is ready to take up arms. This Nakshatra is at the end of Scorpio where Scorpio then ends and goes into Sagittarius.
Anuradha shows the sensitive, intuitive side of Scorpio as well as their devoted and spiritual nature. It is from 3:20 of Scorpio until 16:39 of Scorpio.
Sign(s)/Degrees: 3:20 – 16:40 Scorpio
Symbol: Heap of rice, umbrella
Story: Anuradha literally means following Radha and it is a very devotional Nakshatra. It is related to the goddess Radha who is the consort of Lord Krishna. Radha was not Krishna’s lover, she was his friend. This sort of ‘god as the divine friend’ is very important in Anuradha Nakshatra.
People that have planets in Anuradha are often great friends and friendly. They have a more difficult time with lovers and romantic involvement because of the passion of Scorpio. This is in Scorpio which is that fixed water sign where we become aware of our insecurities and fears. Anuradha shows the need to be more objective and devotional about those kinds of things.
The deity is called Mitra which literally means friend, friendship or friendliness. Mitra rules Anuradha and it shows that friendliness and friendship that is a hallmark of this Nakshatra. And again, people who have planets in Anuradha are often very good friends with others. They are loyal and emotional entanglements that are intimate can become difficult this is why in the great tales of Lord Krishna, his greatest devotee was nott his wife, it was his friend, Radha.
She was not as emotionally involved. She was his most beloved devotee because she saw God as a divine friend. It is a beautiful thing because you can confess all of your problems to your friend much more so than maybe to your lover or family member or even to God. A friend is a very safe for our intentions to land. That is a very deep motivation for Anuradha.
Planets in Anuradha can really benefit by more detachment, friendliness, less drama and neediness. Rather than demand from others, they are friendly and loyal to them. Anuradha people and planets can really live up to that promise much more easily and in general, you will see these people are often great friend to others, have a lot of friends, very loyal and devoted.
Anuradha is very devotional and related to Lord Krishna. It comes from Radha (the god of friendliness), Lord Mitra and learning how to anchor the heart and stabilize the emotions on those solid structures rather on things that have to do with our own needs.
Vishaka is from 20:00 of Libra until 3:19 of Scorpio. This is where Libra becomes Scorpio and it is a pretty intense Nakshatra because it is where Saturn is exalted at the very first degrees and the Moon is debilitated. It is where our relationships with others (Libra) becomes painful and brings a lot of insecurities, stress and fear (Scorpio). This is a Nakshatra that bridges those two things.
Vishaka – Branched, Forked Branches – Video
Deity: Indra and Agni
Sign(s)/Degrees: 20:00 Libra – 3:19 Scorpio
Symbol: Leaf-decked,triumphal gate, potters wheel
Story: Vishaka starts in Libra and the gods are Indra and Agni. Indra is the god of lightning and the god of the sky and Agni is the god of fire. Fire and lightning are two of the important metaphors for this section of the sky. These are two big, mighty deities in the Rig Veda. In the early Vedas, Indra was the hero and the king of the gods and the one who slain the dragon and stole all the water from the Earth.
Indra is the god that is related to the sky, lightning and that kind of force. Agni is the god of fire who is the one who purifies our intention. When we do ceremonies and pujas, it is the god Agni who takes our oblations and offerings up to heaven. Similarly, when we eat food, it gets digested and it goes into our mind. These two deities together rule Vishaka. It is where the air of Libra becomes the need to strengthen our emotional will in Scorpio.
Vishaka literally means fourth branch and it is related to triumphal archway. It often has a lot to do with justice, social righteousness and causes. There could be a lot of intensity here especially to do the right thing and a lot of righteous principle because of these two deities.
It is related to Jupiter in the Vimshottari dasha scheme. It is where Saturn is exalted and the Moon is debilitated. Once Saturn hits 20, then he is exalted, past that he is not. It is the exact exaltation degree of Saturn.
Saturn’s deepest exaltation actually happens as it is going through Swati and this is why we say the Hanuman chalisa in that section of the sky because hanuman is that deity that is related to Vayu. That is where Saturn is most exalted in the Nakshatra ruled by Hanuman or Vayu who is the father of Hanuman. There is an astrological symbol there but the exaltation degree of Saturn is the first degree of Vishaka which shows that mighty forbearance and determination to figure things out, get to the truth and be ambitious and motivated to bring righteousness and clarify important issues and causes.
It spills over into Scorpio where that energy is not so easy on the Moon because the Moon is where we want to be comfortable and feel whole and Vishaka is about not caring whether we are comfortable or not and doing the hard work.
Vishaka, from Libra to Scorpio, is where we connect that realm of air and ideas with culture, righteous purpose and cause in order to bring about strength and inner power which has to do with Scorpio.
Svati Nakshatra is from 6:40 to 19:59 Libra. It is ruled by the God called Vayu, the god of the wind who roams around the world and it is related to prana.
Svati – Independent, Sword – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 6:40 – 20:00 Libra
Symbol: Coral, Sapphire
Story: Vayu who is the god of the wind is just like the wind that moves in the sky, and it moves in your mind as well. It is related to thoughts and big powerful ideas. Most of the deities in this section of the sky are Adityas but this one is not.
The god that is often associated with this Nakshatra is Hanuman who is the son of Vayu. The monkey god, Hanuman, is actually the king of the army of monkeys. Monkeys have long been a symbol of the mind — how the mind jumps around. They also just want to steal everything, come up, grab something and runaway with it. This is the nature of the mind.
It is related to getting the mind under control and especially using things like Mantra, service and things that hope to focus and channel the nature of the mind towards something that is uplifting and powerful rather than just having the mind just running all over the place. This is a powerful symbol for the Nakshatra of Swati and the god Vayu.
Air and Vayu is also related to prana which is the vitality in the breath. Breath gives vital energy and vitality. Oxygen is the chemical but prana is the content. Your physical body uses the chemical, oxygen, but your mind and consciousness extract prana from the air that you breathe. This is why breath has a direct connection to vitality and calming the mind.
If you want to change your thinking, just change your breathing, it will happen immediately. It is not anything you can control because it is Science. It is impossible to be upset and breathe deep. You cannot do the two at the same time.
Swati is good for things like public relations, sales and getting the word out on the wind. If you have a good message, Swati is often a very good Nakshatra because it can help you get the message out. This is related to the god Vayu, which is about the wind and carrying that message on the wind.
Chitra shows the practical, creative and fiery dynamic of the Virgo/Libra juncture. It exists from 26:20 of Virgo to 6:39 of Libra. The deity is called Vishwa Karma and it is one of the Adityas — the incarnations of the Sun meant to bring stability on Earth.
Chitra – Brilliant/Distinguished – Video
Deity: Tvastar (Viswa Karma)
Sign(s)/Degrees: 23:20 Virgo – 6:39 Libra
Story: Chitra literally means “brilliant” or “precious” and it is related to gems, creativity, brilliance and color. It is between Virgo, which is an Earth sign, and Libra, an air sign. Libra is very creative but it is often structural and mechanical creativity which shows itself in things like architecture and solid foundational projects where people want to create something beautiful that is of long-term value like a house.
You can think of it also more in an abstract sense where you are creating thought structures or ideas. Chitra is good for creative thinking, writing and certainly things like astrology where there are systems. Often, people are also interested in things like computer or information technology where you are building structures.
This deity, Vishwa Karma, was also the one who cut the Sun down into smaller parts so that there could be the different planets. Planets reflect sunlight — they do not have their own light and they are just parts of the Sun. There is this whole quality of creativity, reflection, passion, enthusiasm and also building something solid in Chitra.
Chitra Nakshatra is also very passionate. You will often see people of a lot of creativity, energy and enthusiasm to create. It is also quite sensual and pretty flashy too in its own way. It is also about jewelry. Chitra is like the king of bling where we are wearing a lot of jewelry and a lot of shiny colors. It is functional and solid like Virgo yet colorful and beautiful like Libra. Chitra is right between the two.
That is Chitra ruled by Vishwa Karma, the divine architect.
Hasta is from 10:00 to 23:19 of Virgo. It is where all of that power of that kingdom which came in through Aryaman and Uttara Phalguni now becomes moved around and manifested in a very beautiful form.
Hasta – Hand- Video
Deity: Savitur (Aditya)
Sign(s)/Degrees: 10:00 – 23:19 Virgo
Story: Hasta literally means “hand” and the symbol is an open hand. It shows where we have skilled hands which are related to action and karma.
There is not a lot of attachment in Hasta. It is where we can delight in doing God’s work in the highest sense. When we see our hand as God’s hand, which means our hand doing God’s work, then it becomes service. It is that part of Virgo that is very service oriented naturally and very much about wanting to see that everyone is comfortable and is manifesting here on Earth.
The deity of Hasta is called Savitur. The very famous mantra to Savitur is called the Gayatri mantra. Gayatri is a mantra of manifestation and a worldly life. If you want wealth or you have a problem with your home or any kind of thing in your worldly life, the Gayatri mantra is a great one.
This whole section of the zodiac is really populated by a lot of deities that are called the Adityas. Remember that the Nakshatra of Punarvasu was ruled by a god called Aditi, the mother of the Adityas. Those were the deities that protect the Earth and one of them is Savitur.
That is really what this section of the zodiac is about. Bagha, Aryaman, Savitur and the next deity called Vishwa Karma — these are all Adityas who are about manifesting and building a life of beauty which is what the Adityas are about. They are solar deities that are meant to give manifestation. In some ways, one of the most important, is Savitur. We say his mantra, the Gayatri mantra, when we want to manifest things in our life.
Hasta literally means “hand” and it brings the power into your hands so that you can manifest your heart’s desire and make a beautiful world to live in.
Uttara Phalguni is from 26:40 of Leo to 9:59 of Virgo. This is where Leo becomes Virgo. The kingdom takes a lot of work and if we are going to run it well, we need to delegate and give different departments a certain amount of work to do. That is related to Uttara Phalguni which comes after Purva Phalguni Nakshatra.
Uttara Phalguni – Later Red One – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 26:40 Leo – 10:00 Virgo
Symbol: Legs of a cot / bed
Story: The deity is called Aryaman who is the god of contracts, official business and diplomacy. Aryaman is often paired with the god Mitra, the god of friendliness. He gives smooth relations between countries and individuals and brings together a certain amount of propriety and formality. That is why it is also called the marriage star.
Purva Phalguni is about attraction and courtship while Uttara Phalguni is about marriage. It is where you take that delight of the kingdom and all the stuff that gets generated and make it official, like it becomes marriage. It is where the power becomes many little tasks that support that kingdom.
The first section of the zodiac (Aries to Cancer) is where creation is initiated because you have 2 cardinal signs. Aries starts it and Cancer ends it. The next section of the zodiac (Leo to Scorpio) is 2 fixed signs, so it is about fixed Earth. And then the last section (Sagittarius to Pisces) is where we are transforming and evolving toward higher consciousness and life is changing rather than fixed.
We are in this fixed state of the zodiac now where Leo, a fixed, stable and solid life power, becomes Virgo which is all the little tasks that it takes to manage that kingdom.
Uttara Phalguni is the king of delegation. It is also called the marriage star and people that have planets there want to get married and get solid structure. It is good for things like taxes, working with the government and official things like that.
Uttara Phalguni is where Leo becomes Virgo. The god Aryaman is the god of concord, amity, getting along and official business. He delegates with friendliness and takes all of that power and puts it in a form that everyone can enjoy.
Purva Phalguni Nakshatra is from 13:20 to 26:39 of Leo. It is related to the god called Bagha, the god of delight.
Purva Phalguni – Previous Red one – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 13:20 – 26:39 Leo
Symbol: Legs of a cot, stage
Story: It is good to be the king — it is delightful, you have a lot of power and you delight in having that power. But what you do with the power is what determines whether or not the king or the kingdom flourishes. It is better when the kingdom flourishes because in that case, the Nakshatra of Purva Phalguni becomes very generous. It is where we give a lot of energy and give the wealth back to the kingdom so that the kingdom is wealthy, rather than take the wealth from the kingdom so that we become personally wealthy. Ponder that as a metaphor in your life to be a metaphor of generosity.
The first Nakshatra in Leo, Magha, is where we are sitting on the throne and we all have a certain amount of power that we are entitled to and that we know we have. What we do with that has a lot to do with Purva Phalguni.
This is where we want the kingdom to flourish but there is also a negative quality of Purva Phalguni and the god Bagha, the god of delight. An example would be like a king so who is lazy, feels entitled and just sits around just making sure that his henchmen carry out his marching orders and protect his little fortress. That king is short-lived and eventually gets overthrown and those kingdoms go into ruin and peril.
This is a metaphor for our life as well. We can hang onto every little scrap of power through the ego or scrap of pride that we get and just have it fed, rather than just have something that is integrated and then we share the power in a gracious way. How we handle the power and where we get our delight in life from the power we have has a lot to do with this Purva Phalguni principle.
When Planets are there, that is often a theme. Do we delight in being the powerful one or do we delight in empowering others with the strength that we have? That is the question.
Purva Phalguni Nakshatra has that quality of being generous. It gives you a very affectionate, kind of hugging energy, where we just want to just give love and affection or it can be where we demand love, affection and attention.
This is that section of Leo that is empowered and can be either generous or self-indulgent with that power.
Magha shows the love of family and tradition shown in Leo.
Magha – Beneficient, Mighty – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 0:00 – 13:19 Leo
Symbol: Throne, Palanquin, Royal Court
Story: Magha Nakshatra is the first Nakshatra in Leo. It is the first section of Leo where the king is sitting on the throne and it literally means “the mighty” or “the royal.” The symbol of Magha is the throne or the royal seat and that includes the palanquin — the seat that is used to carry the king through the kingdom.
Any planets in this Nakshatra have that kind of legal bearing and mighty approach. We must understand that the king is not elected, it is not a democracy. The king claims the kingdom through birth right, heritage and legacy. It is that section of Leo which has a sense of entitlement to power. That part of us feels entitled to a certain amount of power, dignity and respect. This is the quality of Magha.
Planets in Magha can sometimes demand respect and appreciation. Those planets that do so well in Leo might have some problem in Magha because of this bow-before-the-king kind of attitude. This is a problem when we mistake our power to be something of this world rather than something that is more connected to the divine. This is why the Pitris, the divine ancestors, are the rulers of Magha.
The Pitris are our celestial lineage and great teachers that have brought us through eons of time, not just our family in this lifetime. When planets are in Magha or when someone has the Moon in Magha or ascendant or other important planets in Magha, their family, lineage and heritage becomes important.
Even if you are one who does not live under the thumb of your family very much, the succession of your incarnation and your ancestry are all important stuff in Magha and in Leo where the succession of the power comes down from your lineage and the true past which is the divine ancestry.
It is good to honor your family and to take that seat on the throne of power when planets are there but also remember that our true power comes from celestial nature and the Pitris, the divine ancestors.
The last Nakshatra in Cancer is called Aslesha Nakshatra. It is from 16:40 until 29:59 of Cancer.
Aslesha – Entwiner, Embracer, Intimate Connection – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 16:40 – 29:59 Cancer
Story: Aslesha is called “the entwiner” and it is where we can get tangled up and entwined in our dramas. For instance, a mother has to get tangled up in her child’s life because that is the nature of motherhood. When the child is a baby, the mother just serves the child but as the child becomes an adult, the mother needs to untangle from it and let the child become a grownup.
This tangling up of Cancer is also analogous to our emotions getting tangled up in our personal desires rather than a higher, more Sattvic principle. The Moon and Cancer are Sattvic which means that they are driven by purity. The mother’s love of a child is pure, it asks nothing in return. That is not the same energy that we use in romantic relationships and other relationships with grownups where we have our mutual desire. The Cancer principle is the selfless love like what is described in Pushya.
Aslesha is where that selfless love becomes an entanglement. A mother getting tangled up in the life of the child, that is the appropriate response. But then as the child does not need the entanglement, the mother can untangle and get tangled up in other things that are pure. The problem with Aslesha is we get tangled up in things that are impure. Our mind is very impure especially our desires and the pain of all kinds of things in life.
The deity is the serpent, the Sarpa, which entwines and wraps around things. When it is wrapped around truths, it leads us straight to the source. That serpent energy or power is related to the Kundalini, the depth of life itself.
Aslesha is one of the Nakshatras that is pathologized but we never have to pathologize anything astrologically no matter what it is. It definitely has a diabolical potential mainly because we are not pure but there is a great potential for purification here simply because of that intense entangling nature.
When planets in Aslesha get tangled up in the truth, it is deeply mystical, powerful and profound. But you also have to watch it because that snake might bite you. If it does not bite, then that poison becomes a great elixir. We just need to make sure that the planets in Aslesha connect with a pure, selfless intention.
Aslesha is that part of Cancer that is tangled up in pure love and loving that part of it. Any planets there need to connect with that higher purpose and not get entwined in personal gain and desire.
Pushya shows the ultra-conservative and devotional nature of Cancer. It exists from 3:20 until 16:40 of Cancer.
Pushya – Nourisher, Flower, The Best – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 3:20 – 16:40 Cancer
Symbol: Teat of cow, arrow, flower
Story: Pushya literally means “nourishment” or “nurturing.” The symbol is the otter of a cow so it really shows a deep intention because the otter of the cow is just kind of vessel of nourishment, a food source which exists to feed. Pushya has that quality.
The deity is called Brihaspati who is the Vedic priest. Brihaspati is the actuating deity of Jupiter, the planet of progeny of children. This is that part of Cancer that is very much about wanting to nurture and feed, like a mother who feels good when she is feeding the family.
In a higher sense, it has a lot to do with that stable, solid and what we also call Sattvic intention which is to serve and perpetuate life and see life advanced regardless of the circumstance.
The wife of Brihaspati, Tara, who was the most beautiful woman in the universe, ran off with the Moon and would not come back. All the gods were up in arms, the universe was about to shut down and finally she was coerced to come back but she was already pregnant with the Moon’s child. She gave birth and the child was Mercury. The gods wanted for Brihaspati to send the illegitimate child away but Brihaspati loved and raised the child as his own. For him, regardless of how the child got there, he needs to raise, nurture and give love to the child. This is a deep story of the Pushya energy.
This is the quality of Cancer that only knows how to love and nurture and Pushya has that quality to it. The symbol is the cow’s otter which is just about nurturing. Brihaspati, the priest, is the benevolent, gentle soul that does not hold grudges.
We need to honor that any planets in that Nakshatra will have this kind of forgiveness, benevolence and want to seek the good, nurture and feed others.
Punarvasu shows the transition from mutable Air to Cardinal Water, presided over by Jupiter, the God of the Sky (Indra). It exists from 20 degrees of Gemini until 3 degrees and 19 minutes of Cancer.
Punarvasu – Return of the Light – Video
Deity: Aditi (Earth Mother)
Sign(s)/Degrees: 20:00 Gemini – 3:19 Cancer
Symbol: Quiver, house
Story: Punarvasu means “return of the light.” After the intensity and heaviness of Ardra, we have the lightness and creativity of Punarvasu. This is very much an allegory of how in order to create anything, you need to destroy something first. We destroy the darkness in Ardra, that which has been preventing the light from coming in. We need to bust a hole in the wall to bring the light in. Busting the hole in the wall and pulling up the weeds in the garden so that we can grow the flowers have to do with Ardra
Ardra is literally related to the flood — flood of emotion, debris and intensity. After that flood, we have Punarvasu, the return of the light. After that dark storm, the sky is crisp and clear and the sun is shining bright. The entire flood that inundates the shore also washes up all the nutrient-rich soil from the bottom of the sea.
In ancient Egypt, they would always wait. After the Nile would overflow its riverbanks, it would deposit all of that nutrient-rich soil which is great for growing their crops. That is the kind of analogy. Ardra is like the flood and Punarvasu is the return of the light. That very creative principle is at work in this Nakshatra and it is between Gemini and Cancer. Where Gemini becomes Cancer, and where ideas come into the heart is Punarvasu.
The deity is called Aditi, who is the mother of the Aditias. The Aditias are the incarnations of the Sun that were given to protect the Earth. There is a very deep Earth / divine mother energy in this Nakshatra of Punarvasu.
The return of the light is this creative flow and energy that has returned now that we have made way for creativity after destroying what was making us weak. There is a lot of hope, optimism and very high standards. There can be some disappointment like a mother or a parent can have a lot of hopes with their children and think that they are going to be more than they are but they are really just people like the rest of us. There is that kind of parentage idea in Punarvasu.
Inspired yet, maybe at times, disappointed and needing to be more realistic about what is possible. That is Punarvasu, the return of the light. Planets there are inspired, creative and looking for the goodness in things.
Ardra comes right in the middle of Gemini from 6:40 until 19:59. It is ruled by Rudra who is the earliest form Lord Shiva. This is also right on the plane of the galaxy, the galactic plane runs along this section.
Ardra Nakshatra – Moist – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees: 6:40 – 19:59 Gemini
Story: Ardra is a very transformative Nakshatra as shown by Rudra and Shiva energy. It transforms, changes and destroys that which is not in accordance with the Dharma, righteousness and truth.
This is the continuation of the story of Prajapati who wanted to procreate with his daughter in order to populate and create a universe. She flees and Prajapati pursues in Mrigashira, then in Ardra, all of the demigods put together their most fierce qualities and created one tough deity called Rudra. Rudra would be strong enough to bring down Prajapati and stop him from committing his sin as they saw it. That is what happens in Ardra. Lord Rudra draws his bow and shoots Brahma and brings Brahma down in the form of the deer.
There are other stories related with Ardra, Rudra and Shiva and some have to do with his sacrifice. The King Daksha sacrifice also has to do with these qualities of that same story.
Ardra is the Nakshatra of change, swift action, transformation and destruction. Planets in Ardra have that quality of fighting for righteousness and truth. But be careful because you might be making a mistake just like in the story. They were hunting Brahma because they thought his motives were impure. They brought him down but they actually did not understand the whole story behind it all. That is the story of the creation that we have.
Ardra Nakshatra is where Lord Shiva lives. He is the god of change and destruction of the old around themes of righteousness. It exists in the sign of Gemini which is about ideas and challenging authority. It is opposite Sagittarius where someone would just believe in something. In Gemini, Shiva does not immediately believe in things. This kind of fierce rebellion is in Ardra and it is right along the galactic plane.
Any planets in Ardra Nakshatra have that quality of transformation, righteousness and defending the truth.
Mrigashira shows the transition of Fixed Earth into Mutable Air through the alchemy of fire as well as the longing, wistful and gentle side of Gemini. It exists equidistant between Taurus and Gemini — from 23:20 of Taurus until 6:39 of Gemini. Mrigashira literally means “deer head” and it comes after Rohini.
Deity: Soma (Immortal Nectar of Bliss)
Sign(s)/Degrees: 23:20 Taurus – 6:39 Gemini
Symbol: Antelope’s head or a deer
Story: Prajapati wanted to create beautiful beings to populate but there were no beings yet so he wanted to fornicate with his most beautiful daughter, Rohini. She did not want it so she turned herself into a deer and ran away. Mrigashira is that Nakshatra where Rohini has turned herself into a deer and fled. She does not understand that he wants to create physical beings and do it with the most beautiful of his celestial daughters. Mrigashira has that kind of energy.
The deity is Soma who is the god of the immortal nectar. The Soma is the nectar of immortality that drips down from the head or the crown chakra. It is in the mind, like when we reach those deep states of inner bliss and ecstasy. That bliss of creation and existence, being drunk with god is being drunk on the Soma.
There were outer manifestations of Soma. The Soma was kind of a version of what they have now that we know of like Ayawaska, magic mushrooms and all that stuff. These kinds of things have been in all cultures. You can connect that outer experience of Soma to those deeper states of awareness. This is the feeling of Mrigashira and it is actually related to the deer that is driven by ecstasy and the beauty of creation. This was Lord Brahma’s motivation in pursuing Rohini, his daughter, to fornicate and create beings to populate the creation. It was not to get his rocks off, it was this nectar of immortality.
The deer is a beautiful symbol in between Taurus and Gemini because it is a four-legged animal like Taurus but it is skittish like a deer. It is also very tactile and quite sensual like a deer will smell the earth and enjoy the beauty of nature. These are all qualities of Mrigashira.
It is called the “wandering star”, where we are wandering and searching for that idealic beauty. It is that innocent search of a deer connected with the bliss of the soul. Imagine a deer blissed-out and enjoying life but always watching for predators because it is definitely prey, always skittish.
That is Mrigashira, the deer head between Taurus and Gemini.
Rohini shows the earthly, creative nature of Taurus.
Rohini – Ruddy cow, Red, Growing – Video
Sign(s)/Degrees:10:00 – 23:19 Taurus
Story: Rohini literally means “growing or growth.” It is said to be the most favorite Nakshatra of the Moon because it creates this feeling of growth. The Moon is the part of us that wants to have connection. We feel good when there is money, food and stuff around us. Rohini is very much about that joy of life.
Rohini can also bring attachment to external things. It basically gives a pleasant feeling and this allows the Moon to relax. If we cannot relax, we cannot connect with our heart. We need to be content and contentment is a big, big part of Rohini. It is where we can be very content with what we have and where we feel that beauty and contentment through creativity.
The deity is called Prajapati who later became Lord Brahma. Prajapati is the god of creation, the one who creates everything. This universe is created by Lord Brahma, maintained by Lord Vishnu and then transformed by Lord Shiva. This is the trinity in Vedic thinking.
Prajapati is the creator and Rohini, his most beautiful daughter, is the creatrix of the universe. It is also related to higher knowledge and wisdom. We can also relate this Nakshatra with Saraswati, Lord Brahma’s daughter, for the most part. She is related to creativity, beauty through arts, music, writing and intelligence. Rohini has these qualities.
One of the main stories of this section of the zodiac is carried out over 3 different Nakshatras. The first one is it starts in Rohini where Prajapati creates his most beautiful celestial daughter that gives the most pleasing and beautiful results in the cosmos. And because he wants to create a world of beings to populate it like us so that we can experience God, he needs to fornicate with his most beautiful daughter. This sort of cosmic incest story is part of all spiritual traditions and in Rohini is where it begins.
Then she turned herself into a deer in the next Nakshatra.
Krittika shows the Sun to be the transition point from Cardinal Fire to Fixed Earth in the spirit of purification, ritual and sacrifice.
Krittika – Razor/Cutter – Video
Deity:Agni (God of Fire, Sacrifice and Ritual)
Sign(s)/Degrees:26:40 Aries – 9:59 Taurus
Story: Krittika Nakshatra starts at 26:40 Aries and goes to 9:59 Taurus. This is where the Moon is at its highest exaltation at very early Taurus. This Nakshatra is literally the Pleiades in the sky. When we look up in the sky and we see the Pleiades, that is Krittika. It is related to the god Agni who is the god of sacrificial fire.
The Pleiades cluster is literally a cluster of hot, young stars that have just been born. Krittika is also very similar to the name Kartikeya, one of the names of Mars which is also related to fire. There are a lot of interesting stories and intersecting myths around Krittika, Mars, Agni and Kartikeya. These whole kind of interesting mythology that has o do with fire, enthusiasm, purification are all very poignant themes in Krittika Nakshatra. It is where Aries becomes Taurus and where the fire goes into the Earth. It is analogous to the Vedic fire pit which literally is a fire where you offer oblations to purify Karma.
The god is Agni and in the Vedas, Agni was the most celebrated of all of the deities. He is the one who purifies our heart and intention. In a Vedic fire ceremony, you take and offer things into the fire and you are really offering your impurities to be burnt up in the fire pit of truth. This is an external display that is meant to evoke the internal Puja (worship) of offering your impurities into the fire of consciousness. We do an external show in order to evoke an internal transformation. This is what this Nakshatra is about.
We offer seeds often because seeds have to do with karma. Karma is a seed in the mind and that seed can grow and root deeper into the mind and have more attachment just like roots are attached to the Earth. Or we can burn those seeds up. There are all these analogies in the Vedas about burning up the seeds of karma. If you burn a seed, of course, it does not grow into a tree of karma. This is a very powerful metaphor of Krittika Nakshatra.
It is symbolized by a Pujari, or someone doing a Puja. It is where the fire and drive of Aries becomes the connection, warmth and beauty of Taurus.
The god is Agni, he of the sacred fire who purifies our intention. When we offer something into the fire, Agni eats it, turns it into smoke and then it goes up into heaven. Agni is the god who takes our intentions up to heaven internally. When we make that sacrifice to the inner force, it is the inner fire that rises up. Even if you turn fire upside down, the flame still goes up. Fire is always rising into higher dimensions. When we do meditation and we burn our Karma in the fire pit of truth, it rises to the top. This is why Agni is the powerful god of fire and the Nakshatra of Krittika is his domain.
The second Nakshatra is called Bharani. Bharani is in Aries and comes after Ashwini. Ashwini is from 0-13:19 and Bharani is 13:20-26:39.
Deity: Yama (God of the Soul’s course)
Sign(s)/Degrees: 13:20 – 26:39 Aries
Symbol: Female sexual organ
Story: Bharani is ruled by the god called Yama who is the god of death and who shows up at the end of life to take the soul where it is suppose to go.
Yama is not necessarily the one who kills you, he is the one who shows up and takes the soul where it is suppose to go. Those who have not lived the powerful life fear Yama because Yama is going to take them to the difficult realms, but those who have lived a great life are not worried about seeing Yama.
The symbol of Bharani Nakshatra is the female reproductive tract — the uterus, tubes, all of that which creates life. The previous Nakshatra of Ashwini is where our will penetrates into existence. That penetration of will produces a result, one way or the other, and that result is shown in Bharani and we have to bear the result. This is why Bharani comes from the same word as bear which means to bear the fruits of our actions. Many times it is met with some kind of restriction and feeling of being restricted and held back. That is also what Yama means, it means restraint. We need to exercise and learn restraint in this Nakshatra.
If someone has planets in Bharani, they are going to feel restraint, be aware of consequences and very held in and boxed in by consequences. They might not be spontaneous and might feel like if you do something to them, then they need to do that to you. There might be a certain quality of punishment and stress involved around those things, feeling like they need to balance the scales.
Saturn’s brother was Yama so this quality of bearing the fruits of our actions comes after Ashwini where we are quite impulsive. The way to learn to be not as impulsive is to have to bear the consequences of our actions. It often comes in the form of punishment. Planets in Bharani have this awareness of there are consequences to make and consequences to our actions so we need to be careful.
The symbol is that reproductive organ where our will penetrates just like the masculine energy. The will or action in life penetrates existence which is analogous to a man penetrating a woman. This is a creative force which is going to create something. Everything we do creates something.
In Bharani, we need to bear the results of our actions.
The first Nakshatra is Ashwini and it is at the very beginning of the sign, Aries. Ashwini literally means “the horsemen / horsewomen” and it is related to horses and the vitality that is seen in horses. Horses are symbol of vital energy and vitality, also called Prana in Vedic thinking.
Prana is the life force pulsing through our body and mind that needs to be harnessed properly. This is one of the big challenges of Ashwini, it can be very focused on getting to the goal or somewhere quickly, or just get anywhere really quickly without being focused. It is that kind of ‘act first, think later’ quality of Aries. However, when the energy is directed, there is an enormous amount of drive, courage and unstoppable enthusiasm with Ashwini.
Ashwini – Power of the Horses, The Horsemen – Video
Deity: Ashwins (Physicians of the Gods)
Sign(s)/Degrees: 0:00 – 13:19 Aries
Story: The deities, the Ashwin Kumars, were gifts of the Sun and his wife to the Earth after the Sun and his wife, Sanjna (consciousness), had a little falling out. Because the Sun was so bright, Sanjna brought her twin sister in for a while to get away from the heat of the Sun. The Sun did not even notice and actually wind up fathering a couple of children. When the wife came back, she did not like what happened and she ran away. Then the Sun ran after her so she disguised herself as a horse. The Sun found her and turned into a horse, they have made beautiful horse love and the offspring was Ashwin Kumars, the twin horses.
When the Sun and his wife were done, they left the Ashwin Kumars here on Earth to be the physicians and bring that great healing medicine. It is said that they are the progenitors of things like Aryuveda and healing medicine.
Horses are symbol of Prana, breath and vitality. Often you‘ll see in Vedic text that the mind itself is compared to a wild horse and that it needs to be tamed and harnessed properly, otherwise, we just disperse all of our energy and scatter it. Those twin horses show that impulsive nature of Aries as well that need to be harnessed and focused.
Any planets in Ashwini will take on that quality of enthusiasm, vigor and drive toward the goal.
The Nakshatras are the Distant Stars in the Vedic astrological horoscope. There are 27 Nakshatras that exist to emulate the moon’s mean daily motion of 13:20. It takes 27 days for the moon to revolve around the earth, thus there are 27 Nakshatras.
The Nakshatras (Distant Stars) – Video
Actually the first Zodiac was a lunar one, based on the moon in relation to these distant Stars. The system of 12 signs came later. The twelve signs emulate one lunar Cycle (from New moon to New moon) and relate the moon to the sun.
Important Nakshatra Details and Patterns
The Nakshatras exist energetically behind and through the Rashis. The Rashis show 4 elemental signs (Fire, earth, Air, Water) that repeat 3 times, through different modalities (Cardinal, Fixed, Mutable). The Nakshatras also energetically repeat as the 9 planetary lords are expressed through the 3 Gunas. The first group of nine Nakshatras (Aries-Cancer) is Rajasic; they activate the cycle. The second nine are Tamasic (Leo-Scorpio); stabilizing the cycle. The last group is Sattwic (Sagittarius-Pisces); completing and transcends the cycle.
Each Nakshatra is ruled by a Planet and presided over by a deity. Owing to their nature, it is the ancient Vedic deities that lord over the different Nakshatras. The Deities who rule them show the Shakti of these sectors of sky. The Nakshatras show our connection to the transpersonal forces of the Cosmos. They show the transcendent, forces at play in our everyday lives. In a birth chart, all planets reside in a House, a Sign and a Nakshatra.
The Nakshatras also provide stability in the flow of energy through the Zodiac. Although a Rasi changes, usually there is the force of the Nakshatra to hold the energy together. Meaning, as Aries becomes Taurus, becomes Gemini, etc, there is a Nakshatra energy existing behind. The 3 male Planets, (Sun, Mars and Jupiter) are responsible for this bridging of the Rashis, as they are the rulers of those Nakshatras.
At the points where there is no male planet bridging the Rashis through the force of a Nakshatra, it is called Gandantha. The Nakshatras of Aslesha, Jyeshta and Revati are Gandantha. There are usually some difficulties with planets in these signs, especially in the last degrees. (The last 3:20 of the water sign and the first 3:20 of the next Fire sign to be exact)