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The Sun in the Nakshatras
Chitra and Swati

By Jyoti Devi (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, embedded 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.

Nakshatra #14, Chitra (chit’ra) is almost evenly divided between Virgo and Libra. This constellation spans between 23 degrees and 40 minutes of Virgo – 6 degrees and 40 minutes of Libra. The brilliant, white, “flushed-color”, first-magnitude, binary star, Spica (Spike-a) (aka alpha Virginis) is its marker.

Surya, our Sun, transits through Chitra from around October 10 – October 23 of any year. “Chitra” means bright, reflective or luminous – something visually attractive. It is represented by a jewel - specifically a pearl.

“Mukta” is the Sanskrit word for pearl. This same etymological root is evident in the word “moksha”, which means liberation. This symbolizes the difficult
process of spiritual liberation which is the task for Chitra. Pearls are created by oysters over a long period of time. The seed of a pearl begins as a worthless irritant within the shell of the mollusk. Over time, this initial irritant becomes a valuable jewel. But its value is revealed only after the shell has been pried open, and the oyster expires. Such is the process of spiritual liberation inherent in Chitra nakshatra.

Tvashtar (later known as Vishvakarma,) the celestial architect, is the presiding deity for Chitra. This ancient deity reinforces the concept of the necessity of discarding parts of the outer covering of anything, in order to reveal the useful or beautiful object contained within. Think of a sculptor chipping away at a piece of marble, in order to reveal a heroic statue. Creating something of value, in this manner, may be difficult and arduous, but the final effect is worth the pain.

Mars is Chitra’s planetary ruler. Mars provides the strength, courage, confidence and motivation to manage confrontation. And also the desire, and leadership ability to achieve its material or intellectual mission. Chitra is known for skill in both the physical world, and in the intellectual sphere. According to Bepin Behari, Chitra is one of the most “mystical” asterisms.

Chitra is motivated by Kama – desire and need for things on a practical level. The ayurvedic dosha is Pitta. Keeping your cool during this fortnight will help manage the tendency towards pitta aggravation.

Nakshatra #15, Swati (Svat’ee), lies entirely within Libra rasi, from 6 degrees and 40 minutes – 20 degrees. This is where the insecure, debilitated Sun transits, from around October 24 – November 6 each year. The very last bit of Swati is where Saturn reaches its highest degree of exaltation.

Golden yellow Arcturus, (alpha Bootis), another spectacular 1st magnitude star, marks this nakshatra.

Swati means “Self-going”. It also means “sword” which, as a weapon, can be used for good, or for ill purposes. In addition to the sword, this independent asterism also has a young sprout, bending in the wind,
and coral, as its symbols. Coral is an apt symbol, since this marine organism is self-propagating.

Rahu rulership of Swati nakshatra can make for an unusual experience of childhood, since it will begin that life’s dasa sequence if it is the nakshatra of your natal Moon. Rahu represents the intellectual aspect of Swati – sometimes over-thinking at the expense of intuition and emotions. Risky business, desire for wealth, and worldly success are Rahu’s distinctive contributions here.

Vayu, god of the wind, and one of the rulers of the material world, is Swati's devata. “Scattering like the wind” is the Shakti (power/methodology) of Swati. Therefore, issues of free movement of ideas, and movement in general, are important to Swati. The power of flowing life force, prana, is naturally connected to star #15.

Artha (physical actions towards material success) is Swati’s prime motivator. Kapha dosha lends calm.

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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