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The Nakshatras

Lunar mansions in Hindu astrology

Western astrologers and followers of tropical astrology are very well familiar with the twelve signs of the zodiac which Sun sign astrology is based upon. The Sun is said to “move” through each of these 12 signs every 30 or 31 days thereby making a single cycle of approximately 365 days per year around the earth. But there are other systems of astrology, notably in the East such as India which base their astrology and for that matter much of their practical lives on a lunar based calendar, not a solar one.

Hindu Vedic astrology is based upon a lunar cycle, therefore a lunar month which works at approximately 13 months rather than the twelve which are deducted from a solar cycle. But these thirteen intervals are also further broken down into 27 lunar mansions or Nakshatras as they are called, of 13° 20′ each totalling 360°. To be even more elaborate, these 27 nakshatra is a further divided into four segments or padas as they are known, equalling 3° 20′. These “Quarter Nakshatras” of 3° 20′ also correspond to the ninth harmonic chart or what is known as navamsa. Around the 360° celestial belt we therefore find a 108/4 stars.

Although these stars are usually associated with reference to the lunar position at birth which is known as the Janma nakshatra, all of the planets including the Sun also occupy a specific point in space related to one of the 27 stars and a particular quarter of that star for even greater fine-tuning. Rather than a more generalised interpretation of character and destiny based upon one of twelve star signs, the finer divisions or harmonic representations of the positions of the planets and especially the luminaries like the Moon and the Sun, give us an even greater insight and refined view of the individual.

Below a given the twenty-seven Nakshatras with a brief introduction to the meaning and also the dates relating to them. Take your birthday and month and find the corresponding nakshatra or lunar mansion to find out more about yourself. The dates given for the solar transit can help you quickly find your solar birth nakshatra. Bear in mind that the dates of entry for the Sun into the nakshatras varies each year slightly and so these are approximate and may change from hour to hour on the given date. It’s better to have your personal chart prepared for greater accuracy.

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To see the importance of each of the Nakshatras click on the icons below…