Each Nakshatra has its particular power or Shakti. These are also the powers of the Devatas or the deities that rule them. Each of these shaktis has various effects described metaphorically as “above” and “below” and a final effect. The symbols used are those of common factors such as plants, healing, worship, marriage and death. This is a teaching that derives from an ancient Vedic text called Taittiriya Brahmana I.5.1 and from the medieval commentary of Bhattabhaskara Mishra.
The first paragraph below relates to the textual reference. The others consists of my own comments based upon it. Note that this is a special teaching that I first uncovered and translated around twenty years ago, though many Vedic astrologers have since come to use and refer to it. It mainly refers to positions of the Moon but can be extended to the ascendant and other planets.
Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri)
Ashwini – 00 00–13 20 Aries
Ashwini is governed by the Ashwins, the twin horsemen. It has the power to quickly reach things (shidhra vyapani shakti). Its basis above is the creatures to be healed. Its basis below is the healing therapies. From these three, the entire world becomes free of disease.
Ashwini Nakshatra brings about quick aid and energization. The healing power of Ashwini is evident from these comments, particularly from the Ashwin’s ability to bring about fast, radical or miraculous cures as well as rejuvenation (rasayana). The Ashwins are forces of Prana or the life-force, which is quick in its action to stimulate, help, and initiate a new level of activity. Ashwini Nakshatra involves these powers of speed, prana, electrical energy and Shakti. It gives transformation through balance.
Ashwini gives good powers of hearing, learning and attention. It is an important Nakshatra for doctors, psychologists and innovative leaders, affording good insight and original ideas.
Bharani – 13 20–26 40 Aries
Bharani is ruled by Yama, the God of Death. It has the power to take things away (apabharani shakti). Its basis above is the removal of life from the body. Its basis below is the carrying of the soul to the realm of the ancestors. By the combination of these three factors, creatures move on to the next world.
Bharani Nakshatra takes away that which has reached its term of life in order to go on to a new condition. It shows the movement of the soul away from the body. Yama guides the soul to the astral plane, where it can experience the result of its karma from the present life and prepare for the life to come. Yama is a figure of discipline and sacrifice, including the practice of YOga This Nakshatra has general powers to bring about change by removing that which is negative or past its time.
Bharani gives rulership over one’s ancestral legacy and lordship over one’s equals.
Krittika – 26 40 Aries –10 00 Taurus
Krittika is ruled by Agni, the God of Fire. It has the power to burn (dahana shakti) and to purify. Its basis above is heat and below is light. The result of these three is burning or purification.
Krittika Nakshatra burns up negativity, purifies what is mixed or contaminated, and cooks or prepares that which is not yet ripe. Agni is mainly the God of the sacred fire, so purification is perhaps the dominant action, not destruction, though purification does involve the destruction of impurity. Agni is also the fire that cooks our food and so there is a nourishing side to its effects as well. This fire has a childlike nature. The transformative power of Krittika is evident from these comments.
Krittika also use to destroy negativity both around us and within ourselves.
Rohini – 10 00–23 20 Taurus
Rohini is ruled by Prajapati, the Creator or Lord of Creatures. Its power is growth (rohana shakti). Its basis above is the plants and below is the waters. The result of these three is creation.
Rohini Nakshatra allows for growth and creation on all levels, bestowing great fertility and creativity. However it also evokes some degree of jealousy because others may resent that a person gains such abundance. Moreover it can increase desire. But these are only side effects to its great prosperity. Prajapati is the creator who can bestow everything, so we should be careful what we want. The benefic nature of Rohini is evident here and its ability to help all projects flourish and ascend.
Rohini gives the power of creation, including the ability to come together with friends and loved ones. It is good for procreation as well.
Mrigashira – 23 20 Taurus–06 40 Gemini
Mrigashira is ruled by Soma, the God of the Moon and the immortal nectar. Its power is giving fulfillment (prinana shakti). Its basis above is extension. Its basis below is weaving (producing clothing), creating a tapestry, like a beautiful cloth, to make our life more attractive.
Mrigashira Nakshatra fills or covers with joy or ananda. It is like a beautiful cloth to make our life more attractive. Soma is a great enjoyment that is won, conquered, bought or stolen, so its procurement does not always come easily. However, what does not require effort to gain is not always enjoyed either. The power of this Nakshatra to bring delight and happiness comes out in these statements. This bliss can be healing, rejuvenative or transformational.
Mrigashira gives dominion over plants and all matters relating to them, including healing.
Ardra – 06 40–20 00 Gemini
Ardra is ruled by Rudra, the fierce form of Lord Shiva who represents thunder. Its power is effort (yatna shakti), particularly for making gains in life. Its basis above is hunting or searching. Its basis below is reaching the goal. These bring about achievement.
Ardra Nakshatra arouses us to greater effort in life. This struggle can bring great rewards but not without persistence and a degree of luck. Rudra is the hunter and the wielder of the bow. The idea here also suggests placing of the arrow and hitting the target. For this one must have a good aim, as well as the strength to shoot. Rudra is also the lord of wild animals. One can gain success under this Nakshatra only through effort, striving and struggle, but great achievements are possible.
Ardra gives rulership over the animals or all that they symbolize, including the wilder elements of human nature. Rudra as the hunter is also the power of discernment and represents the fierce forms of Lord Shiva.
Punarvasu – 2- 00 Gemini–03 20 Cancer
Punarvasu is ruled by Aditi, the Great Mother Goddess. Its power is the ability to gain wealth or substance (vasutva prapana shakti). Its basis above is the wind or air. Its basis below is wetness or rain. These bring about the revitalization of the plants.
Punarvasu Nakshatra brings about the return of energy and vitality, like the return of the monsoon rains after the dry season. It causes our creative growths and inspirations to be renewed. Aditi is the Earth Goddess who grants all abundance and gives birth to all the Gods. The need for feminine and nourishing energies is in evidence.
Punarvasu gives creative and healing powers, particularly relative to herbs and trees. It is a Nakshatra of fertility. Yet it also relates to the cosmic Mother overall, including in her space form that is the womb of all creation.
Pushya – 03 20–16 40 Cancer
Pushya is ruled by Brihaspati, the God of Divine wisdom. Its power is the ability to create spiritual energy (brahmavarchasa shakti). Its basis above is sacrificial worship. Its basis below is the worshipper. These result in the creation of spiritual energy.
Pushya Nakshatra increases our good karma and good efforts, including our sadhana or yoga rpactice. The value of this Nakshatra for religious and spiritual practices is emphasized. Brihaspati is the lord of speech, particularly mantras and prayer, and of all forms of worship, including meditation, so these indications are all in harmony with his functions. Great success can be gained with dharmic pursuits under its influence.
Pushya gives spiritual or religious power and authority. It is good for teaching, connection with the guru, ritual, teaching and devotion.
Aslesha – 16 40–30 00 Cancer
Aslesha is ruled by the serpent God. It has the power to inflict with poison (visasleshana shakti). Its basis above is the approach of the serpent. Its basis below is trembling and agitation. These together bring about destruction of the victim.
Aslesha Nakshatra paralyzes the enemy. This can be helpful if we have enemies to remove but it can serve to give a person an inimical temperament as well. It all depends upon how the energy of this Nakshatra is used. Serpents also give wisdom, but a practical wisdom through which one can overcome obstacles. The need to face challenges is evident under its influence. Such serpents may be of the earthly, atmospheric or heavenly realms as electrical forces.
Aslesha gives the ability to destroy ones opponents, foes, enemies and obstacles, whether those externally or those within our own psyche.
Magha – 00 00 Leo–13 20 Leo
Magha is ruled by the Ancestors. Its basis above is mourning. Its basis below is leaving the body (tyage kshepani shakti). These together bring about death.
Magha Nakshatra causes a change of state or condition, a kind of death. Usually it shows that we are coming to the end of a cycle. Its condition is prior to that of Bharani which indicates the movement of the soul away from the body. Of course, there are higher meanings of this Nakshatra relative to Ancestors including ancestral pride and power. The importance of moving beyond physical forms and structures comes out here.
Magha grants the favor of one’s ancestors and the ability to commune with them inwardly. It tells us we must honor our ancestors and ancestral energies.
Purva Phalguni – 13 20–26 40 Leo
Purva Phalguni in the Vedic order is ruled by Aryaman, the God of contracts and unions, though later it was shifted Bhaga, the solar deity of happiness. It gives the power of procreation (prajanana shakti). Its basis above is the wife or the female partner. Its basis below is the male or masculine partner. These together bring about the creation of the fetus.
Purva Phalguni brings about union and procreation on all levels. Yet this follows some official agreement or marriage and is part of the creation of a new family or social order. It governs such productive alliances and also arranges the marriage festival. The need for alliances and unions for success is indicated.
The marriage festival of the Sun Goddess and the Moon God, or Shiva and Shakti, occurs in the Phalguni month. It shows the need to balance male and female energies.
Uttara Phalguni – 26 40 Virgo–10 00 Virgo
Uttara Phalguni in the Vedic order is ruled by Bhaga, the God of happiness, though later it was shifted to Aryaman, the God of contracts and unions. Its power is the giving of prosperity (chayani shakti) through marriage or union. Its basis above is the wealth gained from ones own family. Its basis below is the wealth gained from ones partner. These together bring about the accumulation of wealth.
Uttara Phalguni brings the prosperity that results through union. It indicates both the need for union and for organizing the resources gained through it. Bhaga is also a God of wealth who brings about the right apportionment of resources. While the previous Nakshatra shows marriage, this shows the setting up of the household for the newly married couple. Such agreements extend beyond marriage to any type of union. Establishment of proper resources is a key point here.
Hasta – 10 00-23 20 Virgo
Hasta is ruled by Savitar, the creative, inspirational and transformative form of the Sun God. Its power is the ability to gain what we are seeking and place it in our own hands (hasta sthapaniya agama shakti). Its basis above is the seeking of gain. Its basis below is the process of gaining. These together place what one wishes to gain in ones own hands.
Hasta gives the ability to achieve our goals in a complete and immediate manner. Such goals are usually creative in nature. Savitar is the creative will that builds up the universe with all of its beauty. His productions are most wonderful. The indications here are that our own creative efforts will have great success under the influence of this Nakshatra. We should choose a high aspiration accordingly. For example, Savitar also directs and inspires the practice of Yoga and the path to enlightenment.
Chitra – 23 20 Virgo–06 40 Libra
Chitra is ruled by Tvashtar, the Cosmic craftsman. Its power is the ability to accumulate merit in life (punya cayani shakti). Its basis above is the law. Its basis below is the truth. Through these, the worker is able to gain honor in his work.
Chitra allows us to gain the fruit of our good karma that comes through righteousness. It has a highly spiritual energy and effect. Tvashtar creates enduring forms, like a blacksmith, and also produces variety and abundance. He rules over all arts and crafts. Dharmic principles applied in action are shown here.
Chitra grants manifold progeny or great creativity.
Swati – 06 40–20 00 Libra
Swati is ruled by Vayu, the God of the Wind. It gives the power to scatter like the wind (pradhvamsa shakti). Its basis above is moving in various directions. Its basis below is change of form. The result of these is transformation.
Swati Nakshatra causes things to move and scatter. This can be destructive unless we learn how to use it to remove negativity. All these indications are basically those of the Wind, which has both healing and destructive powers. Under its influence major changes, transformations and shifts of energy are indicated that one must have the power to endure. Then one can be taken to a higher level of existence.
Swati gives freedom of motion and travel, literally the ability to do what we want in all the worlds.
Vishakha – 20 00 Libra–00 3 20 Scorpio
Vishakha is ruled by Indra and Agni, who represent the powers of heat and lightning in the atmosphere. It gives the power to achieve many and various fruits in life (vyapana shakti). Its basis above is plowing or cultivation. Its basis below is the harvest. These give us the fruit of the harvest.
Vishakha provides the effort to achieve our goals abundantly through time, like a farmer plowing his field. It does not give immediate results but perhaps greater long term gains. Indra and Agni here are agriculture Gods showing the ripening effect of heat, rain and seasonal changes. The need for proper and long term cultivation of energy is highlighted.
Vishakha grants glory and preeminance among the Gods or cosmic powers.
Anuradha – 03 20 Scorpio–16 40 Scorpio
Anuradha is ruled by Mitra, the Divine Friend. It gives the power of worship (radhana shakti). Its basis above is ascension. Its basis below is descension. From these honor and abundance are gained.
Anuradha Nakshatra gives balance in relationship, both honoring others and seeking ourselves to be honorable, through which we acquire fame and recognition. Mitra indicates compassion, devotion and right relationship. Success is gained through honoring and respecting the higher powers. We must ascend through our own efforts, in order for the Divine grace to descend upon us.
Jyeshta – 16 40 – 30 00 Scorpio
Jyeshta is ruled by Indra, the ruler of the Gods. It has the power to rise, conquer and gain courage in battle (arohana shakti). Its basis above is attack and its basis below is defense. The result of these is that one becomes a hero.
Jyeshta allows us to reach the summit of our personal powers but it requires great courage, daring and effort. It shows karmic battles that require our complete energization in order to overcome. Indra is the king of the Gods who must eventually alone and single handed defeat the dragon, the most fearful of serpents. Though his position looks hopeless, he wins by courage and cunning, not by strength of arms. The indications here are of great struggle and great opposition which requires effort, resolve and independence to overcome.
Jyeshta gives us priority and preeminence over others, the ability to overcome all obstacles and to achieve our best.
Mula – 00 00–13 20 Sagittarius
Mula is ruled by Nirriti, the Goddess of destruction. It has the power to ruin or destroy. Its basis above is breaking things apart (barhana shakti). Its basis below is crushing things. Through these one gains the power to destroy destruction.
In bringing afflictions Mula Nakshatra also allows us to destroy their root, as long as they don’t overcome us. It shows the necessary destruction to precede a new creation. Nirriti is Alakshmi or the denial of Lakshmi (abundance and prosperity). She is Kali or the negative effect of time that we must protect ourselves from or use to our advantage. Here destruction is indicated in order to pave the way for a new creation.
Mula gives the power to get to the root of things, including connecting with primordial creative powers.
Purvashadha – 13 20–26 40 Sagittarius
Purvashadha is ruled by the Waters (Apas). Its power is that of invigoration (varchograhana shakti). Its basis above is strength. Its basis below is connection. Through these one gains lustre.
Purvashadha brings about purification and regeneration, like the energy gained through taking a bath in water. It provides us additional power for our efforts. These effects flow from the Waters, which in this instance are heavenly in nature and can provide inner purification. Cleansing and purification are indicated here in order to gain what we seek.
Purvashadha connects us with the ocean and the ability to cross the sea (which has various symbolic meanings, including crossing over illusion).
Uttarashadha – 26 40 Sagittarius–10 00 Capricorn
Uttarashadha is ruled by the Universal Gods (Vishvedevas). Its power is to grant an unchallengeable victory (apradhrisya shakti). Its basis above is the strength to win. Its basis below is the goal that one can win. From these one becomes the unchallenged winner.
Uttarashadha brings us to the summit of our power, support and recognition, not so much through our personal efforts (which is more the case in Jyeshta) but with the appropriate alliances and support of all the Gods. Our victory depends upon a righteous cause that is beneficial to all, which we are helping in. Here we fight more as the leader of an army, working for the benefit of the greater victory. Great achievements are indicated here from concerted and long term efforts.
Uttarashadha gives the supreme victory that can never be taken away. It helps us gain our highest goals.
Shravana – 10 00–23 20 Capricorn
Shravana is ruled by Vishnu, the preserver among the great trinity of Hindu deities, here in his form of Trivikrama, who measures the universe with three great strides. Its power is that of connection (samhanana shakti). Its basis above is seeking. Its basis below is the paths. The result of these three is the connection of all things together.
Shravana enables us to link people together by connecting them to their appropriate paths in life. This requires receptivity and listening, and results in understanding and aspiration. Vishnu with his three strides links together the three worlds of Earth, Atmosphere and Heaven, connecting all creatures with the Divine. The importance of knowledge, teaching and communication is indicated here, without which our efforts cannot succeed.
Shravana causes others to speak well of us and for their praise to come into the field of our hearing.
Dhanishta – 23 20 Capricorn–06 40 Aquarius
Dhanishta is ruled by the eight Vasus, the Gods of abundance that rule the earthly sphere. Its power is to give abundance and fame (khyapayitri shakti). Its basis above is birth. Its basis below is prosperity. These three give the power to bring people together.
Dhanishta allows us to bring the resources of people together. In this way it builds upon the connections of Shravana and makes them more practical. The Vasus are the deities of the Earth that give abundance on the earthly plane. They are manifestations of Agni or the sacred fire and show the gifts that it can dispense. Outer success is gained under this Nakshatra, including a great deal of recognition.
Dhanishta allows us to become the center of attention for our friends and peers.
Shatabhishak – 06 40 –20 00 Aquarius
Shatabhishak is ruled by Varuna, the God of the cosmic waters. It has the power of healing (bheshaja shakti), which reflects upon its name as Shatabhishak or holding a hundred medicines. Its basis above is extension or pervasiveness over all. Its basis below is the support of all. These three make the world free of calamity.
Shatabhishak counters difficult karmas through Divine grace and repentance. These include not only diseases but difficulties of all kind, including wrong karmas. While Ashwini gives more immediate cures, Shatabhishak brings about a healing crisis leading to revitalization. Varuna is a God of sin, debts, injury and disease, who cannot only bring these calamities upon us but can remove them from us, if we propitiate him sincerely. This is an important Nakshatra for physical and psychological healing through widening our view in life.
Shatabhishak makes us firm and strong and helps us overcome weakness.
Purva Bhadra – 20 00 Aquarius–03 20 Pisces
Purva Bhadra is ruled by Aja Ekapad, the one-footed serpent or goat. It gives the fire to raise a spiritual person up in life (yajamana udyamana shakti). Its basis above is the good of all. Its basis below is what is good for the Gods. These cause the entire world to be supported.
Purva Bhadra grants a universal view through internal purification. This raises up our spiritual aspiration in life and takes us out of the domain of selfish behavior. Aja Ekapad is the cosmic or celestial form of Agni or the sacred fire, sometimes identified with the Sun, reflecting also the Kundalini Shakti. The influence here is transformative through spiritual effort, discipline and tapas. It raises up our spiritual aspiration in life.
Purva Bhadra gives creative fire and spiritual lustre, something like Pushya.
Uttara Bhadra – 03 20–16 40 Pisces
Uttara Bhadra is ruled by Ahir Budhnya, the serpent of the depths of the atmosphere. Its power is the bringing of the rain (varshodyamana shakti). Its basis above is the raining clouds. Its basis below growing of the plants. From these three factors the three worlds gain their stability.
Uttara Bhadra grants growth and prosperity in a broad way, benefiting the entire world. This makes it very auspicious. Ahir Budhnya is the benefic serpent who brings the rain, connecting us with the creative powers at the foundations of the world. This Nakshatra allows things to grow and shows the descent of grace from above.
Uttara Bhadra gives us a firm foundation in life, protecting us from the depths.
Revati – 16 40–30 00 Pisces
Revati is governed by Pushan, the nourishing form of the Sun God, sometimes identified with the power of seeing. It has the power of nourishment symbolized by milk (kshiradyapani shakti). Its basis above is the cows. Its basis below is the calves. These three bring about the nourishment of the entire world.
Revati creates abundance through providing proper nourishment. It helps all people in their efforts. Pushan is the lord of cattle and the lord of the paths. He leads, protects and gathers the herd in their movement, particularly to new pastures. In this way he also protects the soul in its journey to the next world. This Nakshatra promotes fertility and growth and gives abundance and completion to our projects.
Revati gives power over cattle, power over sources of nourishment. Yet cattle also symbolize what we have seen and experienced.