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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.

Shravana is star (or nakshatra) #22. It spans from 10 degrees even, to 23 degrees and 20 minutes of the sign of Capricorn. Altair is Shravana’s marker star. The Sun moves through Shravana from around January 24 to around February 6 of every year.

Listening, hearing, solitude, silence, quiet – these are concepts associated with Shravana, which has a human ear as its primary symbol. There is a distinct spiritual instinct in Shravana, and the “listening” function is tied to the traditional discipline of hearing the sacred scriptures. In ancient times, this was the primary way spiritual knowledge was transmitted, and the ability to listen
carefully was absolutely required. In the Mundaka Upanishad, teachers and students prayed together: “Oh Gods! May we hear together with our ears that which is auspicious.” (Komilla comments that in contemporary times, reading scriptures is also an important part of Shravana.) Also, absorption in silent meditation, and hearing and attending to one’s own inner voice, is appropriate for this constellation. Being alert, and keeping ears open to the small still voice, leads to spiritual perception - one of the main goals of Shravana.

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 symbol for Dhanishta is Shiva’s mridanga drum (an hour-glass shaped hand drum); and/or Krishna’s flute. The beating of this drum measures the inexorable passage of time, a great theme of Saturn, which rules both halves of this nakshatra. There is a connection with both literal and figurative music here. This “music” can be produced as a solo artist (the Capricorn first portion of the nakshatra) or made in concert universally, with other co-creators (the latter, Aquarius, portion.) These two quite different portions of Dhanishta represent the urge to be responsible to, and for, the personal (Capricorn), and to the collective (Aquarius.)

One of the meanings of Dhanishta is “gift of God”; or “gift from God”. Gift in the sense of something valuable. We can recognize the root of this word in the English word “donation.” (Or even think of George Harrison’s son, Dhani.) Dhanishta also means “wealth” and “ishta” also means “complete.” So, the “complete gift from God” implies
wealth in the all-important areas of spirituality, and wisdom – and secondarily as material wealth.

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.

A Hundred Flowers, is another symbol of Shatabishak. This makes reference to the opening of the 1000-Petaled Lotus, the crown chakra, when its energy is managed properly. An open circle is yet another symbol.

Varuna is Shatabishak’s presiding deity. Varuna is one of the most ancient Vedic gods – powerful Lord of the oceans, the Underworld, and the Night. Also, Varuna is said to be ruler of both the Law, and lawlessness. So - Rahu is perfectly suited as the planet assigned to rule this star pattern! And no wonder that there is such potential turmoil in this area, since it is ruled by both Saturn and Rahu. This planetary pairing may account for the strength of will which can transmute these turbulent souls into very dedicated, spiritually accomplished people. The great Indian sage, Valmiki, exemplifies this transformation. He began as a
robber, and then evolved into becoming the writer of the great Indian epic, The Ramayana! “Physician heal Thyself!”

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.

Charlotte Benson Biography:

Charlotte Benson Charlotte Benson (Jyoti Devi) has been a full-time consulting astrologer since 1972. She holds professional diplomas from the American Federation of Astrologers, the International Society for Astrological Research, the National Council for Geocosmic Research, as well as a certificate from the American College of Vedic Astrology. She is the President Emerita of the Arizona Society of Astrologers, currently serves on the board of the American College of Vedic Astrology, and was recently awarded the title of Jyotish Kovid from the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences and Jyotisha Choodamani from the Raman Foundation, Bangalore. She also received the 2015 Jyotish Navaratna (9 gems of Jyotish) title from ACVA (American College of Vedic Astrology).
602 952-1525
Phoenix, AZ USA.

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