everyone in the Western World is familiar with the 12 zodiac
signs. Most people can answer the question "What's your
is however another zodiac that across much of Asia has
been far more important and even today is
used to pick names of children, compatible partners, and
auspicious times for various activities: the 27 nakshatras.
The nakshatras are a kind of lunar zodiac
and each sign has a length of 13 degrees 20 minutes. This
is about the distance
that the moon travels in one day. In Vedic astrology, this
zodiac system is used in addition to the 12 sign solar
zodiac, in which each sign has a length of 30 degrees.
The nakshatra zodiac is rich in symbolism and meaning,
and provides a framework for seeing the relationship of
human life to the cosmos. This is an ancient system that
dates back to a time when the Moon was revered as a central
figure of study and worship across the globe. Many early
societies employed some form of lunar zodiac. Only India,
however, has maintained this system until the present.
If you are not yet acquainted with the nakshatras, becoming
so will greatly enrich your experience of astrology. To
one familiar with the qualities of the 12 solar zodiac
signs, a more detailed and refined understanding of these
celestial archetypes may be achieved by investigating their
27 lunar counterparts.
Nakshatra is traditionally associated with several
symbolic objects, such as a fan, a sword or an ox cart,
etc. However, until the introduction of the Sirius
program, there have been no simple glyphs for each
of the 27 nakshatras.
Without glyphs, it is sometimes a bit unwieldy to refer
to the nakshatra positions.
needs to write out the entire name of the nakshatra,
which is quite lengthy
in some cases, such as "Uttaraphalguni" or just
refer to whether it is the 1st, 2nd, etc. up to 27th nakshatra.
Also, astrologers have requested a "nakshatra wheel" in
the style of the western chart wheels or what is known
in India as the chakra style wheel, but without glyphs,
one can only place the numbers 1 to 27 in the wheel.
immense respect for this ancient wisdom we have developed
a simple glyph for each of the nakshatras. These glyphs
are used in the Nakshatra Wheel feature of Sirius and
are exclusively used within the Sirius program only.
below is a sample of the Nakshatra Wheel from
brief description of each of the Nakshatra symbols
are provided below:
||1. Ashvini: This
symbol mimics the traditional sign for Ashvini, a
horse's head. This Nakshatra represents the "head",
or the beginning of the zodiac. This symbol also
resembles the female reproductive system. Ashvini
relates to all initiations and beginnings.
||2. Bharani: Bharani
is the Nakshatra of birth, death and transformation.
It's symbol is the yoni. The triangle references
the three stars which compose this asterism. These
three stars, also known as "the Buckle of Isis" where
perceived by ancient astrologers as portal between
||3. Krittika: Krittika, "the
one who cuts", is traditionally denoted by a
blade or a flame. This symbol combines the two motifs,
expressing this nakshatra's sharp, fiery and proactive
||4. Rohini: Rohini,
the most materialistic nakshatra is represented by
a four-petaled flower. This relates to its connection
to the number four, as well as its typical emblem,
the rose. Rohini relates to Taurine themes of fertility,
stability, and abundance.
||5. Mrigashira: This
symbol emulates Mrigashira's emblamatic cup of soma
(elixir). It also combines the symbols for Taurus
and Gemini, the two zodiac signs which correspond
to this nakshatra. The curved line which reflects
the horns of Taurus may also be interpreted as symbolic
of Mrigashira's other motif, the deer.
||6. Ardra: This
symbol combines this nakshatra's two emblems; the
diamond and the raindrop (or teardrop). Together,
they provide a visual description of Ardra's theme
of growth and renewal through chaos and turbulence.
Punarvasu means, "becoming good again".
Its symbol relates to themes of retrieving, recovering,
and recycling. This nakshatra is traditionally denoted
by a quiver of arrows (magical weapons which return
after fulfilling their mission). These arrows are
depicted here in their circular path from beginning
is the nakshatra of nourishment, generosity and kindness.
Its symbol is a circle which can be seen as a wheel,
a drop of milk, a coconut, or the Moon inside a blossoming
||9. Ashlesha: Ashlesha
means "coiling" or "embracing".
Its symbol is two serpentine lines symmetrically
entwining, recalling Mercury's healing staff as well
as the double-helix pattern of DNA molecule. This
powerful nakshatra gives intuition and transformative
||10. Magha: Magha
coincides with the beginning of Leo and epitomizes
the Leonine themes of honor, pride, magnificence,
duty, glory, and respect. It is symbolized here by
a simple three-pointed crown.
||11. Purvaphalguni: Purvaphalguni
is the nakshatra of comfort, pleasure, delight, and
indulgence. It follows Magha, signifying a period
of relaxation following worldly accomplishment. Its
symbol can be seen as one reclining in a luxurious
||12. Uttaraphalguni: Uttaraphalguni
also represents comfort but with an emphasis on
wisdom rather then sensuality. It falls into the
latter part of Leo, its symbol relates to that
sign. The circle representing the individual, formerly
seen enveloped in the blanket of luxury, here rises
up like the Sun (Uttaraphalguni's ruling planet).
||13. Hasta: Hasta
is symbolized by a human hand. This nakshatra relates
to all work and activities done with the hands, including
all forms of craftsmanship. One traditional symbol
for Hasta is the potter's wheel, shown here by an
||14. Chitra: Chitra
means "sparkling" or "brilliant".
It is symbolized by a jewel star. Its nature is that
of an artist; imagining and designing new forms,
ideas, and illusions.
||15. Swati: Swati
is typically symbolized by a young plant shoot blown
by the wind or a sword. This symbol combines the
two motifs. The curved line intersecting the straight
line also represents the balancing of contrasting
forces. Swati is adaptable, flexible, diplomatic,
and temperate. It occurs halfway through the nakshatra
cycle, and relates to all crossroads and compromises..
||16. Vishakha: The
symbol of Vishakha combines its traditional symbol
of the triumphal arch with its meaning, "Two-Branched".
Vishakha relates to the concept of single-minded
fixation on a goal, and the painful sacrifice required
to meeting that goal. It is the incomplete desiring
||17. Anuradha: After
the sacrifice of Vishakha comes Anuradha, meaning "Subsequent
Success". Its symbol is a staff which may be
interpreted as a magician's wand or walking stick.
Philosophy, astrology, and travel relate to this
nakshatra. Anuradha transforms Vishakha's narrow-sighted
obsession into a broader vision of reverence and
||18. Jyestha: Jyestha
means "the Eldest". It is usually symbolized
by a round amulet or earring, denoting authority.
Seniority and expertise are indicated. The three
lines connecting the inner and outer circles of this
symbol represent the past, the present, and the future.
||19. Mula: Mula
means "Root" or "Center". This
Nakshatra includes the Galactic Center. Our symbol
is a stylization of Mula's traditional emblem: a
bundle of roots. This bundle of roots represents
not only Mula's urge to seek the essential nature
of all things, but also to the practice of making
||20. Purvashada: This
joyous and optimistic nakshatra delights in beauty.
Its symbol resembles the seashell upon which Venus
emerges from the waters of life. It also resembles
Purvashada's emblem, the fan. The fan has multiple
implications. It can be used to fan a fire (to keep
passion alive), to cool off (to survive adversity),
as a decorative item (to enjoy art), or to hide one's
face (to retain mystery).
||21. Uttarashada:Uttarashada, "the
Latter Invincible One" exemplifies truth, willpower,
firmness, and virtue. Its symbol combines a pyramid
(representing the crystallization of power), two
elephant tusks (referring to Ganesha, Remover of
Obstacles, its ruling deity), and the rising Sun
(its ruling planet)..
||22. Shravana: Shravana
means "hearing" and is ruled by the Moon.
It relates to listening to others well as to one's
inner voice. This Lunar receptivity is symbolized
by a Full Moon supported by a Crescent Moon. The
three smaller circles denote the "three uneven
footsteps" associated with Shravana. The lines
which connect the smaller circles to the larger one
evoke the connection between speakers and listeners.
||23. Dhanishta: Dhanishta
is represented by a drum. This bold and confident
nakshatra relates to music and dance, as well as
to the larger rhythms of life. The shape of this
symbol reflects the rhomboid pattern of the stars
of this asterism. It is divided into eight triangles,
representing the Eight Vasus (demigods) who preside
||24. Shatabisha: Shatabisha, "the
Hundred Healers", is typically denoted by an
empty circle. Emanating from the circle are four
lightning-bolts, signifying the subtle electrical
force present in all things. There are also smaller
circles portraying electrons circumnavigating an
atomic nucleus. This symbol also resembles a turtle,
the carrier of the world, relating to the transpersonal
nature of this often eccentric, reclusive, scientific,
and mystical nakshatra.
||25. Purvabhadrapada: This
nakshatra is traditionally represented by a man with
two faces, symbolizing the moment of death, when
one exists both in this world and the next. It is
also often denoted by a sword, representing severance.
This symbol combines these two motifs.
||26. Uttarabhadrapada: Uttarabhadrapada
relates to another aspect of death, in which consciousness
sinks deep into the abyss. This nakshatra is associated
with the deep unconscious and the life force residing
within. Its deity is Ahir Budhanya, "the Serpent
of the Depths", depicted here as a serpentine
line ascending a vertical axis.
||27. Revati: Revati
means "Wealthy" or "To Transcend".
As the final nakshatra, it synthesizes and absorbs
the mysteries of the previous 26. This knowledge
is portrayed here by an all seeing eye. This symbol
also contains two fish, representing the sign of
Pisces and the soul's journey after death.
Tara Cochrane is an artist and writer
who lives in Austin, Texas. Her website is www.TaraCochrane.com She
is also author of the Nakshatra Report option. Click
here to view this report. She also authored the Talisman
Images which can aslo be purchased from Cosmic Patterns Software,
Inc. Click here
to view details of this software.