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What is a Nakshatra?

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

Naksha means “To approach” and “Tra” means to guard. Nakshatra together means “star”. There are 27 different constellations that make up the lunar zodiac which are very important in Vedic Astrology and even influenced the Chinese Mansions and Arab Manzils. This is considered the oldest lunar zodiac in the history of man.


Although western astrology focuses more on the Solar zodiac, most of us are unaware that each Zodiac has different constellations within which also have their own characteristics and traits. (See photo for reference chart). This is why exact date of birth is extremely important in Jyotish as you are able to see the exact degrees the moon and planets are in and how they will influence someone’s life.


The moon mansions are highly valuable for one who is trying to connect with the planets more. Especially when planets are in certain Nakshatras, therefore activating the qualities of certain asterisms in our lives. It is also helpful to know what Nakshatra the moon is transiting because it gives more detail on how it can affect us on a personal level.The moon’s journey begins at 0 degrees Aries and moves through all the mansions every 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes and 11.5 seconds. Padas or the 4 divisions of the Nakshatra provide even greater accuracy when interpreting our charts and daily moon placements.


Nakshatras are important when choosing auspicious days to do things like weddings, ceremonies, purchases etc. Nakshatras are personal and it is best to study their symbols and meditate on what they mean for us and our inner motivations.


References:

“The Essentials of Vedic Astrology” Komilla Sutton. 1999.

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