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The 27 Nakshatras of Vedic Astrology

The second 9 Nakshatras are covered on this page: Magha, Purva Phalguni, Uttara Phalguni, Hasta, Chitra, Swati, Vishaka, Anuradha, Jyestha. The rest will be covered on subsequent pages so it isn't so overwhelming long.

Nakshatras 10 - 18 of Vedic Astrology
notes complied by Julene Packer-Louis

Below is an at a glance look at many of the important considerations for contemplating or meditating on the richness and depth of meaning of the nakshatras. I have also included the mythology and a brief bit about the indications. This is what I typed up for myself as a study guide for learning the Nakshatras. Please excuse the sentence fragments when they arise. Originally this was just my notes, but I decided that others might find it useful.

Start by looking up your Moon's Nakshatra (your Janma Tara) so you can see how that correlates to you. Also if you look up the Nakshatra of your Lagna (Ascendant) you can see the Nakshatra through which you attached to the wheel of time. You can read about the Nakshatras of all of your planets for added insight beyond sign placement alone. I hope you find this helpful.

The Second 9 Nakshatras of Vedic Astrology
(sidereal zodiac degrees - Lahiri Ayanamsha)

The second nine Nakshatras are Tamasic in nature and concerned with concretization, preservation, and staying put. Notice the continued rhythm of the gunas in each set of nine. Only the tenth Nakshatra is purely Tamasic, on the rest secondary and tertiary understones of sattvic and rajasic come forth.

Nakshatra 10: Magha
Symbol: throne room or palanquin
Zodical Degrees: 00:00 - 13:19:59 Leo
Sex & Gana: Female Rakshasa
Fixed Stars: regulus in Leo
Ruling Planet: ketu
Hindu Deity: Pitris
Guna: tamas/rajas/rajas
Disposition: fierce
Keynote: kings
Primary Motivation: dharma
Animal: male rat
Shakti: power to leave the body

Mythology: The Pitris are the great fathers of humanity, the original progenitors of the human race, who function as guardian angels giving protection during calamities. They represent ancestral pride, personal power, and help to maintain tradition and cultural purity. In Ashlesha the Nagas enable the soul to hold within itself all the divine attributes necessary for the mundane outer journey that begins in Magha. The palanquin shows the royal or elite status of this nakshatra. The servants who carry it represent the 5 sense organs and the 5 organs of action that carry the soul where it wants to go. At this stage in the evolutionary journey, the natural guiding impulses stop guiding progress and we must regulate our actions through our own resources. Ruled by Ketu where past is worked out.

Indications: Bestows affluence, physical comforts, sexual happiness, luxuries of life, ambition, leadership, family pride, and loyalty to a spiritual lineage. Abundant energy and the courage to carry forth its divine mission under a karmic impulse and victory with the masses. The idealist amidst material influence which either makes people suspect their honesty & integrity, or makes the person feel sad. Can also be arrogant, superior, prejudiced toward lower classes.

Nakshatra 11: Purva Phalguni
Symbol: hammock, couch, or front legs of a bed
Zodical Degrees: 23:20 - 26:39:59 Leo
Sex & Gana: Female Manusha
Fixed Stars: zosma in Leo
Ruling Planet: Venus
Hindu Deity: Bhaga
Guna: tamas/rajas/tamas
Disposition: fierce
Keynote: marriage
Primary Motivation: kama
Animal: female rat
Shakti: power of procreation

Mythology: Bhaga is an auspicious deity who bestows riches, affluence and material prosperity. Bhaga is also one of the 108 names of the Sun and another word for the female reproductive organ. It is where all humans are born and perpetuates our species. It is a symbol of divine creativity and the power of nature, the cornerstone of the future of soul development. The soul at this stage is set forth to wander and gain knowledge of the world. Purva Phalguni means "Fruit of the tree." Lord Shiva started his marriage here. Bhaga protects marital happiness.

Indications: procreative, youthful, carefree, exuberant , ambitious, sensitive, social, intuitive, with a zest for life that expands horizons of experience. Ability to influence others, but dealing with them diplomatically or sweetly. Love of music, dance, drama. Can be over ambitious even in spiritual matters, left-handed tantra; may like drinking and gambling. Life's balance can be upset if they aren't careful. Opens a floodgate for new experiences with the inner potential for involvement in material existence.

Nakshatra 12: Uttara Phalguni
Symbol: bed or back legs of a cot
Zodical Degrees: 26:40 Leo - 09:59:59 Virgo
Sex & Gana: Female Manusha
Fixed Stars: Denobla in Leo
Ruling Planet: Sun
Hindu Deity: Arayaman
Guna: tamas/rajas/sattva
Disposition: fixed
Keynote: patronage
Primary Motivation: moksha
Animal: bull (male cow)
Shakti: wealth through marriage

Mythology: Arayaman is renowned for his fights and leadership, representing seasoned fighters who are confident of their strength and the righteousness of their mission. Combined with Purva Phalguni all 4 legs of the cot represent the 4 heads of Brahma, the 4 dimensions of space, the 4 Vedas. Both represent the unity existing between various capibilities of human potential which are brought to fruition through evolution. Uttara Phalguni is the soul appearing with all capabilities developed as a result of fighting his way through the realm of matter. The Leo pada does not encounter so many restrictions. The 3 Virgo padas indicate the possibility of the person delving deeply into life's mysteries.

Indications: Ambition to achieve or feel secure, difficulties, righteous struggles, endurance, immense possibility for spiritual growth and mental expansion. Dangers in absence of ethical preparations and spiritual disciplines, opening doors you don't know how to close. Also helps friends in need, wants to alleviate suffering of humanity, kind, compassionate. Family, marriage & unity is emphasized under Uttara Phalguni. Great heights can be attained with well directed efforts.

Nakshatra 13: Hasta
Symbol: Palm of the hand
Zodical Degrees: 10:00 Virgo - 23:19:59 Virgo
Sex & Gana: Male Deva
Fixed Stars: Porrima, Algorab in Corvus the crow (hand of the Virgin)
Ruling Planet: Moon
Hindu Deity: Surya (Sun)
Guna: tamas/tamas/rajas
Disposition: light & swift
Keynote: craftsmanship
Primary Motivation: moksha
Animal: female buffalo
Shakti: power to gain what we seek, placing it in our hand

Mythology: Surya is the sun god also known as Savita. Originally he was the creator of the universe and his children Yama & Yami were the first humans. Eventually Vishnu took over his prominent position of creator of the universe. Surya is depicted riding a chariot pulled by seven horses or one horse with seven heads. Sometimes he has two hands that each hold a lotus. Other times he is depicted with four hands holding a lotus, conch shell and wheel; the fourth hand making the protection mudra (hand gesture). His charioteer is Arjuna from the Bhagavad Giva.

Indications: Hasta's symbol is a hand which represents craftsmanship, the arts, massage therapy, counseling, using the hands for healing, grasping ideas, palmistry, and an innate desire to serve. It denotes a clever wit, great sense of humor, intelligence, entertaining story tellers, and an attraction to mysticism. There can be hardships, restraints, impediment, poverty, and lack of success until focused on a spiritual path.

Nakshatra 14: Chitra
Symbol: Pearl or Gem
Zodical Degrees: 23:20 Virgo - 6:39:59 Libra
Sex & Gana: Female Rakshasa
Fixed Stars: Spica in Virgo
Ruling Planet: Mars
Hindu Deity: Tvashtar or Vishakarma
Guna: tamas/tamas/tamas
Disposition: soft
Keynote: opportunity
Primary Motivation: kama
Animal: female tiger
Shakti: power of accumulation of good karma

Mythology: Vishakarma is also known as Tvashtar and is the creator of the gods, the universe, and protector of all living creatures. He is the god of craftsmen and he made all of the celestial weapons and chariots of the gods. He is depicted with four hands and surrounded by many tools, a water jug, lasso and book.

Indications: Chitra bestows charm, charisma, glamour, and beautiful eyes. It denotes a wonderful conversationalist with the knack for saying the right thing at the right time, an affinity for jewels and bright flashy clothing. Chitra reflects the world of maya and delusion and is the most spiritual nakshatra of all. It gives sudden flashes of insight and spiritual depth.

Nakshatra 15: Swati
Symbol: Sword or coral
Zodical Degrees: 6:40 Libra - 19:59:59 Libra
Sex & Gana: Female Deva
Fixed Stars: Arcturus in Bootes
Ruling Planet: Rahu
Hindu Deity: Vaya
Guna: tamas/tamas/sattva
Disposition: moveable
Keynote: arts
Primary Motivation: artha
Animal: male buffalo or bullock
Shakti: power to scatter like the wind

Mythology: Vaya is the god of wind. He is also known as Pavan or Vata. Vayu is a beautiful god that carries a white banner and rides a shiny coach that is pulled nosily by white & purple horses that vary in number: 2, 49 or 1,000. He is intelligence, illuminates the earth and heaven and makes the dawn shine. He also brings medicines to cure people.

Indications: Swati is ruled by the wind god and therefore provides a Vata nature. One must be careful of a diet that causes too much wind. Saraswati's association denotes psychic and intuitive abilities, learned in theology, curiosity, eagerness to learn, blessed with art of communication, financial and business success especially in the fields of music, literature and art. The ability to ride with the wind brings both flexibility and vulnerability. It also indicates the survivor and a striving for independence.

Nakshatra 16: Vishakha
Symbol: Decorated archway, potter's wheel
Zodical Degrees: 20:00 Libra - 3:40 Scorpio
Sex & Gana: Female Rakshasa
Fixed Stars: Zuben Elgenubi & Zuben Eschmali in Libra
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Hindu Deity: Indragni (Indra + Agni)
Guna: tamas/sattva/rajas
Disposition: sharp & soft
Keynote: purpose
Primary Motivation: dharma
Animal: male tiger
Shakti: power to achieve many goals

Mythology: Indragni is a combination of Indra and Agni. Agni means fire and the sacrificial fire is embodied in Agni. Agni is one of the first gods to acquire human form. Living among the humans he served as a messenger between them as he carried their sacrifices to heaven. Agni is depicted with two heads, three legs, either two or seven heads, in each head are seven fiery tongues. He carries an axe, torch, spear, and prayer beads. Indra is the god of the natural elements and a king of the gods. When the earth dried up, Indra drank amrita (intoxicating nectar of the gods) and battled the demon drought. Indra took drought's weapons, thunder and lightning, away and it started to rain. Indra is regarded as a savior of earth and her inhabitants. Indra is depicted riding a royal elephant with three trunks. Indra has several forms. Sometimes he has eyes all over his body. Other times he has four arms that carry any of the following items lightning bolt, bow & arrow, lance, sword, conch shell or an empty hand could be making a protection or wish fulfillment mudra (gesture).

Indications: Vishika bestows patience, persistence, determination, ambition, concentrated power, a competitive nature, goal orientation, and not giving up until success is achieved. It indicates the possibility of pushing agendas too hard to step on others to attain desires, difficulty in hiding jealousy or envy of those who have what you want, and frustration with not achieving goals or attaining desires. Success is often attained in the second half of life. This is the nakshatra of the spiritual warrior.

Nakshatra 17: Anuradha
Symbol: Row of Furrow, Lotus
Zodical Degrees: 3:20 Scorpio - 16:39:59 Scorpio
Sex & Gana: Male Deva
Fixed Stars: Isidis in Scorpio (claw)
Ruling Planet: Saturn
Hindu Deity: Mitra
Guna: tamas/sattva/tamas
Disposition: soft
Keynote: friendship
Primary Motivation: dharma
Animal: female deer or rabbit
Shakti: power of devotion

Mythology: Mitra is an early solar deity (Aditya) who along with Varuna upholds the law of cosmic order, give vital strength that stirs man into action, causes rain and crops to flourish. They are guardians of the world who sit in a gold chariot and behold infinity. Mitra is associated morning light and is the god of friendship, cooperation, and protector of contracts and agreements.

Indications: Anurada translates to "the disciple of the divine spark". This nakshatra promotes balance in relationships. It indicates superb leadership and organizational skills, focused goals, and the ability to work in large groups. It bestows a sensual and loving nature, the ability to share and accommodate others, and faithfulness and dedication to loved ones. Often it provides many opportunities for travel and taking residence far from place of birth.

Nakshatra 18: Jyeshta
Symbol: Hanging Earring or umbrella
Zodical Degrees: 16:40 - 29:59:59 Scorpio
Sex & Gana: Female Rakshasa
Fixed Stars: Antares in Scorpio (heart)
Ruling Planet: Mercury
Hindu Deity: Indra
Guna: tamas/sattva/sattva
Disposition: sharp & dreadful
Keynote: star of the eldest; betrayal
Primary Motivation: artha
Animal: male deer or rabbit
Shakti: power to conquer

Mythology: Indra is the god of the natural elements and a king of the gods. When the earth dried up, Indra drank amrita (intoxicating nectar of the gods) and battled the demon drought. Indra took drought's weapons, thunder and lightning, away and it started to rain. Indra is regarded as a savior of earth and her inhabitants. Indra is depicted riding a royal elephant with three trunks. Indra has several forms. Sometimes he has eyes all over his body. Other times he has four arms that carry any of the following items lightning bolt, bow & arrow, lance, sword, conch shell or an empty hand could be making a protection or wish fulfillment mudra (gesture).

Indications: Jyeshta has her own mythology. She was the eldest of twenty-seven sisters (the number of nakshatras, that the moon spends one day each in). Her husband was Soma, the Moon god, who favored her younger sister Rohini, causing feelings of jealousy and betrayal. There are indications of abandonment and betrayal with this nakshatra. Jyeshta bestows a very protective nature toward themselves and their loved ones and indicates the eldest of the family, the matriarch or patriarch who runs the show and knows how to deal with power and wealth. It bestows a profound, inventive mind that seeks the deeper meaning in life; hidden occult powers; and at times arrogance and hypocriticalness if the self esteem is low. It denotes a difficult life with hardship and poverty that is secretive and reclusive with few close friends.

Continue reading about the third nine Nakshatras.

© Julene Packer-Louis 2013