The Nakshatras are constellations in the more distant background of each sign. Nakshatras usually represent an animal or symbol. They have natures and inclinations giving a more in depth look at the meaning of a planet in a sign.
For example, in the sign of Aries we have 3 constellations in the distant background named Ashwini, Bharani and Krittika. Ashwini is ruled by the karmic shadow planet Ketu (the south node of the moon), Bharani is ruled by Venus (the planet of Love) and Krittika is ruled by the Sun (friend of Mars, the ruler of warrior Aries). So you can see that planets located in Aries will have an additional "flavor" or quality depending upon the specific degree in which a planet falls.
Other names used synonymously for Nakshatras are: Lunar Mansion, Star Lord, Asterism and Personal Birth Star. The Moon transits through a sign every 2 to 3 days, and thorough all 27 Nakshatras each month. (So you can see why Cancer people are so very complicated, interesting and varied in their natures – they are ruled by the Moon and the moon changes in its nature as it moves through a different nakshatra every single day!)
When in India, if you are asked for your sign, they refer to the sign your Moon was in at birth, if you are asked there for your star, they mean the nakshatra or constellation ruling your Moon at birth.
The Nakshatras themselves have diverse individual qualities, as do the signs they are in, and give the astrologer a deeper layer of meaning to assist in analyzing the meanings of the planets in the houses of a horoscope or chart.
Additionally, there are 4 equal parts to a nakshatra. These are called Padas. (Pada means "foot" in Sanskrit) Each Pada or 1/4th of a nakshatra has an additional meaning, and a sound associated with it. These sounds are called "Namas," which means name.
Historically, before we had modern precise clocks, the name sound of a newborn's birth nakshatra was used to determine that individual's name, thereby preserving their planetary record and time of birth. Even though in today's times we use computers and sophisticated record keeping methodology – the name sound (Nama nakshatra) of the degree of the nakshatra of birth is still used to arrive at a person's name. In Jyotish we use these planetary sounds to not only name babies but also to name new businesses and corporations! There is even a branch of Vedic astrology called Prasna that uses these sounds in order to answer someone's questions.
The circle of the zodiac has 360 degrees. All of your planets fall within these degrees. Every planet is in a specific degree of a nakshatra. The degree of your planets might already hold the initial sound of your name. If you have your Jyotish chart, locate the degrees of your Moon, of your Rising Sign (Ascendant.) and your Sun, to see if you find the beginning sound of your name(s) according to the NAMAS chart. You may be surprised to find you already carry the name sound of your own chart!
Right click on the link below to download the NAMAS chart:
Timing Tips for April 2006
Daylight Savings Time (DLST) Begins the first Sunday in April which is the 2nd in 2006.
Important note for students of astrology – the US Congress passed a bill in the summer of 2005 that extends DLST in 2007 by a Month! This begins next year in 2007 when DLST will begin the second Sunday in March, ending the first Sunday in November.
- April 1 – April Fool's Day – Mars moves into its last degree of 29 Taurus. Taurus rules the mouth and what goes in and out of the mouth – as it will be conjunct the Moon today – please be clever in your April Fool's antics – with tricks that do not involve food or eating.
- April 2 –
Moon moves into Taurus with Mars this is a pitta or fiery combination, a good day to clear brush and remove fire hazards from your environment. Mars when it transits through an earth sign (in this case Taurus) increases fires and electrical accidents. Today would be a good day to obtain a fire extinguisher and a bad day to buy a new car.
- April 3 –
Daylight Savings Time (DLST) begins – Moon and Mars are both sandi (zero degrees in Gemini) today. Delay important decisions for a couple of days.
- April 6, 7 and 8th – Moon will be in own sign of Cancer transiting alongside Saturn. This will aid in study and deep focus, meditation, prayer and reflection. This will inhibit open sharing of emotion.
- April 9 & 10th – Moon in Leo will be opposite Venus in Aquarius – nice for connecting with women and sisters.
- April 11th , 12th, 13th. The Moon moves to its April sign of fullness – Virgo, with Ketu, and is aspected by Mars from Gemini. The ruler of this Mars, Mercury loses strength as it moves into 29th degree of Aquarius, and into 00 degrees of debilitation (weakness) in Pisces on the 12th. Sun with Rahu in Pisces will be opposite Moon with Ketu in Virgo. This square of challenging planets although receiving the good influence of Jupiter, still says stay near home, keep the "status quo." Spiritual reflections, inward focus will be beneficial, don't start new projects these days.
- April 14 and 15th – Good Friday will indeed feel a bit better as the Moon joins Jupiter in Libra in Gaja Keseri yoga (Gaja means elephant and Keseri means Lion – so this is a combination union or "yoga" of strength. Moon rules mind and Jupiter luck. A bit of an easier transit at all for the USA income tax time! (Intend to complete your tax returns by April 10th if you can. Mercury, the planet who rules intellect and mental clarity will be toggling towards debilitation and retrograde motion after the 10th making communication and orderly thinking more difficult. The Sun changes to its exaltation sign of Aries on the 14th. It will have more strength on the 15th. The 14th may prove to be a difficult day for travel. Look out for the other driver.
- April 22 – Earth Day for 2006 — solutions for climate changes.
Moon is in the Earth sign of Capricorn opposite Saturn in Cancer. Every year, Earth day is celebrated on April 22nd. This year it will be quite productive in that Moon is in Saturn's sign of Capricorn, while Saturn is in the Moon's sign of Cancer. (Mutual reception or pari vartana yoga) I found the above link (though I am unfamiliar with it) in cause you would like to check out activities in your own area.
- April 23 & 24 – We will have a day or two supporting romance. Moon moves into Aquarius with Venus. On the 24th they are very close in degree, receiving a glance from Jupiter in Libra also in later degrees. Go somewhere different or unusual with someone you love.
- April 25- This Tuesday morning around 5 to 6 am Eastern time will be very good for meditation, it is very difficult for travel at this hour in this time zone. Be very careful driving if you must drive at that time.
- April 26 – Administrative Professional's Day (Secretary's Day) – give somebody flowers.
- April 27 – The Moon becomes new in Aries opposite Jupiter with the exalted Sun. This is an excellent day for business and new beginnings. Now is a good time for going over your Passions and taking the Passion Test again. (or for the first time!)
- April 28 ,29 & 30 – Venus becomes exalted in Pisces and improves Rahu (the north node) and Mercury (cancelling its debilitation). Venus, who rules love, beauty and prosperity will make May flowers lovely – Plant on the 29th when Venus and the Moon (in Taurus) are both exalted!
Be cautious flying the first week of April. The recent total eclipse of the Sun and the position of Mars in Taurus just before it changes into an air sign (Gemini) can make people a little tired and "crazy," so do your skydiving later. If you must travel by air, try to travel early in the day, when you can have a fresh air crew, and don't leave things for the last minute. Count your possessions as you move from place to place in the airport, check in, etc., so you don't have to run back for something you've left behind.
See you next month! If you have a Jyotish (vedic astrology) topic that you would like me to write about – please send me an email, I'd love to hear from you!
Christina Collins Hill, Jyotish Kovid, Jyotish Vachaspati is a 3rd generation astrologer specializing in the Vedic system. She received her honorary titles from the late Dr. B.V. Raman, former President of the ICAS (Indian Council for Astrological Sciences) in New Delhi and Bangalore, India. She is the first and sole American woman to be honored by this highly held title of Jyotish Vachaspati (Jyotish – the light bearer and Vachaspati – the one who speaks the truth and whose predictions come true.) She serves as faculty and on the board of ACVA (American College for Vedic Astrology) and is President of Celestial Resources where she serves corporate and private clients from students to celebrities. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.vedicastrologer.cc