By Gwen Burdick
The billions of years old and never-changing distant stars visible in the night sky make up the circle that mankind has observed and described as the zodiac. Vedic Astrology, Jyotish in Sanskrit, divides the 360 degree sky into 27 stellar constellations known as Lunar Mansions or Nakshatras. The Nakshatras begin at 0 degrees Aries and end at 30 degrees Pisces. The precise 27 equal sections of the sky, each 13 degrees 20 minutes, are further divided into 4 padas or feet. Simple math skills (27x4) reveal the familiar and sacred 108.
According to Jyotish, sister science to Yoga and Ayurveda, the sattvic Moon (Chandra) is the incarnation of the Jiva Atman or individual heart/mind in each of us. It is the fastest moving and most changeable of the planets from our vantage point on Earth. Chandra, which governs receptivity, nurturance and emotion, expresses in a different stage via a 27/28 day cycle from new moon to next new moon. This means that every day the Moon moves into a different area of the sky, or Nakshatra, seen from our point of view. A complete cycle through the 27 Lunar Mansions occurs very nearly once a month.
The ancient astrology texts explain each Nakshatra as an energy field having an associated Vedic deity, ruling planet, symbol, spiritual lesson and transcendent energy that affect the Moon, and therefore our mind, in everyday life. Knowledge of which Nakshatra the moon occupies daily can be of enormous assistance. As an example, the tenth Nakshatra called Magha, “the mighty one”, exists from zero to 13 degrees of Leo. It is associated with the Pitris (divine ancestors), is ruled by Ketu (the south lunar node), is the seat of power symbolized by the throne. When the moon passes through Magha, activities that require personal vision, integrity and authority are supported. This recognition of good times to start or stop planned activities is called Muhurta in Sanskrit and can and should be employed by anyone with basic understanding of the Vedic sky.
The Yoga Sanctuary offers on-going and in-depth workshops to explore these astrological concepts and how to apply them in one’s life. Watch for our next offering and follow our workshop schedule by clicking here.