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The Sun in the Nakshatras - February
|By Jyotidevi (Charlotte Benson)|
Nakshatras are 13 degree and 20 minute sections of the familiar 30 degree signs of the Zodiac. This section is the area of the sky which the Moon travels over in a 24 hour period. These smaller parts of signs contain much ancient, and very specific, imbedded Truth.
Nakshatras are comprised of thousands of fixed stars, and they are associated with almost as many concepts! There are deities, planets, elemental qualities, gunas, ganas, animals, doshas, symbols, myths, sounds, castes, directions, etc. associated with each nakshatra. Knowing about the nakshatras of your Lagna (rising sign), Moon, and Sun can give you much information about your own hidden abilities, and motivations.
Additional symbols for Shravana include an arrow; a footstep, or 3 footsteps. Vishnu the Preserver is the presiding deity of this star cluster. There is an instructive myth relating how Vishnu, in one of his avatar forms as Vamana, the dwarf, asks for as much space as he can cover with 3 of his paces. It turns out that a cosmic dwarf can cover Earth, Heaven, and personal ego in those 3 footsteps! True wisdom can be attained when ego is contained.
Shravana’s motivation is artha (material wealth) – not much of a surprise since the entire asterism lies within the sign of Capricorn. The Moon is the planetary ruler of Shravana. Its sacred animal is the monkey. The monkey-faced god Hanuman is connected to this constellation. Honoring Hanuman, especially on Tuesdays, is said to help withstand the heavy impact of Saturn in transit. Shravana’s Ayurvedic dosha is Kapha, which aids in the ability to sit and listen, or to sit in calmly during meditation.
Our ravishing Sun, Ravi, transits through Star # 23, Dhanishta, from February 6 – February 19 of most years. This nakshatra extends through two rasis, late Capricorn and early Aquarius. Precisely from 23 degrees and 20 minutes of Capricorn – 6 degrees and 40 minutes of Aquarius. Sadalsud is the pale yellow marker star for the wealthy nakshatra.
The eight Vasus are the presiding deities of Dhanishta. These eight gods represent the 5 elements (fire, earth, air, water, ether), and Soma; the pre-dawn; and the Pole Star. Isn’t this team a wonderful gift?!
Dhanishta’s motivation is Dharma – right action for right purpose. This high-minded motivation can turn out to be a solitary path for some with important planets here. It is said that relationships can be difficult here because of this. Its Ayurvedic dosha is pitta. Managed fire, or Agni, is constructive. Fire in the form of anger is the opposite. A little goes a long way. This is also true of Mars, as its ruling planet.
This fiery idea is also tied into the mythic animal of Dhanishta – the lioness. Narasimhi was the wife, and physical counterpart, of Narasimha, the half human, half lion avatar of Vishnu. This particular avatar’s exotic, equally fierce, wife was incarnated to help him calm down after his wars with the “not-gods”.
Nakshatra # 24, Shatabishak, plays host to our Sun from around February 19 – March 4. This nakshatra spans 6 degrees and 40 minutes – twenty degrees even, of Aquarius. Its (faint) marker star is Sadachbiya. (This Arabic named star sounds a lot like Shatabishak to me!)
There are several meanings to this complex star pattern. “Shat” is one hundred. “Abhishak” is healers. The Hundred Physicians is a reference to Shatabishak. But this also infers that there are many physicians needed for the proper healing of planets if they are struggling here. There is a constant theme of the conflict between the demonic and the divine, light and dark. A tendency towards secrecy can create misunderstanding because of the intensity of these mixed messages.
Dharma is the motivating factor for Shatabishak. The Ayurvedic dosha is Vata. This tendency towards nervousness, restlessness and mental stress needs careful management to avoid mental melt-down!
Shatabishak’s animal is a sort of reverse Centaur, named Hayagriva. He has human body, with a horse’s head – and is said to be the embodiment of knowledge.