Nakshatras or Constellations in Vedic Astrology

Nakshatras or constellations are the unique sections or divisions along the Zodiac. According to vedic astrology the Zodiac comprises of 360degrees. Vedic astrology has divided this Zodiac into 27 parts which are called 27 Nakshatras or constellations. Each Nakshatra is of 13 degree 20 minutes (360 degrees divided by 27).Each Nakshatra is again divided into 4 parts called Padas or Charans.

Significance of Nakshatras

Nakshatras play a vital role in predicting part of Vedic astrology especially in the birth chart. The placement of the natal Moon in different Nakshatras is said to affect the individual’s life differently. Nakshatra where the Natal Moon is placed is called the “JanmaNakshatra”. Nakshatras also play a major role in calculating Dasha periods related to a horoscope.




There is a fascinating story related to Nakshatra in the ancient Indian scriptures. They are said to be the ’27 daughters of Daksha’ who was the Prajapati or the King of the mankind when the universe was initially created. Daksha was the Son of Brahma, the creator. All these 27 daughters of Daksha got married to Chandra or the Moon lord.

Chandra was attracted to the Nakshatra named Rohini and used to spend almost all his time with her. This caused rage and anger among other Nakshatras who went and complained their father Daksha who in turn cursed Moon to wane and get destoryed. But Lord Shiva came to Chandra’s rescue and wore him on his head to minimize the effect of the curse and to save the creation from loosing its balance. That’s the reason why Moon will never be completely destroyed. But because of the effect of the curse he wanes for 15 days and waxes for the other 15 days. Fascinating story, isn’t it?

Nakshatra Names and Other Important Details

The starting point of nakshatras is a point on the Zodiac directly opposite to the start ‘Spica’ which is otherwise called ‘Chitra’ in Vedic astrology. The number of Nakshatras denotes the number of days in a sidereal month which is roughly 27 days. A sidereal month is the time taken for Moon to return to the similar position in relation to stars which is 27.321 days.

Here are the 27 Nakshatras.

Nakshatra Name Range and Symbol Other Details
1.Ashwini Nakshatra

0° to 13°20′

nakshatra

Symbol– Head of the

horse.

Deities – Ashwini

Kumaras

Ruling Planet – Ketu

Nature – Daivika or God

Astronomically

associated with

‘β and γ Arietis’.

 2.Bharani  13°20′ to 26°40′ Mesha.

bharani

Symbol – Yoni

Deity – Yama (the god of

death).

Ruling Planet – Shukra

or Venus.

Nature – Ugra or furious

with Manushya

characters.

Astronomically

associated with

’35, 39, and 41 Arietis’.

 3. Krittika

 26°-40′ Mesha to 10° Vrishabha

krittika

Symbol – Knife or Spear

Deity – Agni (the fire god).

Ruling Planet – Surya

or Sun.

Nature – Rakshasa or

demon characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Pleiades’

 4.Rohini

 10° to 23°20′ Vrishabha

rohini

Symbol – Cart or Chariot

Deity – Brahma.

Ruling Planet – Chandra

or Moon.

Nature – Manushya or

human characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Aldebaran’

 5.Mrigashira

 23° 20′ Vrishabha to 6° 40′ Mithuna

mrigashira

Symbol – Deer’s head

Deity – Soma.

Ruling Planet – Mangala

or Mars.

Nature – Deva (god-like)

characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘λ, φ Orionis’

 6.Ardra  6° 40′ to 20° Mithuna

ardra

Symbol – Teardrop,

diamond, a human head

Deity – Rudra.

Ruling Planet – Rahu

(North lunar node)

Nature – Manushya or

Human characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Betelgeuse’

 7.Punarvasu  20° Mithuna to 3°20′ Karka

punarvasu

Symbol – Bow and

quiver

Deity – Aditi

(Mother of gods).

Ruling Planet – Guru or

Jupiter

Nature – Deva or

God characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Castor and Pollux’

 8.Pushya  3°20′ to 16°40′ Karka

Nakshatras

Symbol – Cow’s udder,

lotus, arrow and circle

Deity – Brihaspati

(Priest of Gods).

Ruling Planet – Shani or

Saturn

Nature – Deva or

God characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘γ, δ and θ Cancri’

 9.Ashlesha  16°40′ to 30° Karka

ashlesha

Symbol – Serpent

Deity – The Naga

(Serpent of wisdom).

Ruling Planet – Budha

or Mercury

Nature – Rakshasa or

demon characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘δ, ε, η, ρ, and

σ Hydrae’

10.Magha 0° to 13°20′ Leo

magha

Symbol – Royal Throne

Deity – Pitris, The Fathers,

Family ancestors.

Ruling Planet – Ketu

Nature – Rakshasa or

demon characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Regulus’

11.Purva Phalguni 13°20′ to 26°40′ Simha(Leo)

purva_phalguni

Symbol – Front legs of

bed, hammock, fig tree

Deity – Bhagya or

Bhaga ( god of fortunes).

Ruling Planet – Shukra

or venus

Nature – Manushya or

human characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘δ and θ Leonis’

12. Uttara Phalguni 26°40′ Simha to 10° Kanya

uttara_phalguni

Symbol – Bed or two rear

legs of a cot.

Deity – Aryaman ( god of

patronage and favors).

Ruling Planet – Sun or

Surya

Nature – Manushya or

human characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Denebola’

13.Hasta 10° to 23°20′ Kanya

hasta

Symbol – Hand or fist.

Deity – Savitar ( Surya).

Ruling Planet – Chandra

or Moon

Nature – Deva or god-like

characters.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘α, β, γ, δ and ε Corvi’

14.Chitra 23°20′ Kanya to 6°40′ Tula

chitra

Symbol – Bright jewel

or pearl.

Deity – Tvastar or

Vishvakarma

(The celestial architect of

the universe).

Ruling Planet – Mangala

or Mars.

Nature – Rakshasa or

Demon.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Spica’

15.Swati 6°40′ to 20° Tula

swati

Symbol – Shoot of plant,

coral.

Deity – Vayu

(The demigod of wind).

Ruling Planet – Rahu.

Nature – Deva or Godly.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘Arcturus’

 16.Vishakha  20° Tula to 3°20′ Vrishchika

vishakha

Symbol – Triumphal arch,

potter’s wheel.

Deity – Indra and Agni.

Ruling Planet – Guru

(Jupiter)

Nature – Rakshasa or

demon.

Astronomically

associated with

stars ‘α, β, γ and ι Librae’

 17.Anuradha  3°20′ to 16°40′ Vrishchika

anuradha

Symbol – Triumphal

archway and lotus.

Deity – Mithra (Deity of

friendship & partnership) .

Ruling Planet – Shani

(Saturn)

Nature – Deva or God like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘β, δ and π Scorpionis’

 18.Jyeshtha  16°40′ – 30° Vrishchika

jyeshtha

Symbol – Circular amulet,

umbrella and earring.

Deity – Indra

(King of Gods) .

Ruling Planet – Budha

(Mercury)

Nature – Rakshasa or

Demon like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘α, σ and τ Scorpionis’

19.Mula 0° – 13°20′ Dhanus

moola

Symbol – Bunch of roots

tied together, elephant

goad.

Deity – Nirriti –

(goddess of destruction

who lives in the kingdom

of the dead).

Ruling Planet – Ketu

(South Lunar Node)

Nature – Rakshasa or

Demon like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘ε, ζ, η, θ, ι, κ, λ, μ

and ν Scorpionis’

20.Purva Ashadha 13°20′ – 26°40′ Dhanus

poorvashadha

Symbol – Elephant tusk,

fan, winnowing basket.

Deity – Apas

(god of cosmic waters).

Ruling Planet – Shukra

(Venus)

Nature – Manushya or

Human like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘δ and ε Sagittarii’

21.Uttara Ashadha 26°40′ Dhanus – 10° Makara

uttarashadha

Symbol – Elephant tusk,

small bed.

Deity – Vishwadevas

(God ‘Dharma’s sons).

Ruling Planet – Sun

Nature – Manushya or

Human like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘ ζ and σ Sagittarii’

22.Shravana 10° – 23°20′ Makara

sharavan

Symbol – Ear or Three

Footprints.

Deity – Vishnu.

Ruling Planet – Moon

Nature – Deva or God like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘ α, β and γ Aquilae’

23.Dhanishtha 23°20′ Makara – 6°40′ Kumbha

dhanishta

Symbol – Drum or flute.

Deity – Eight Vasus

(Solar gods of energy

and light)

Ruling Planet – Mars

Nature – Rakshasa or

Demon like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘ α to δ Delphini’

24.Shatabhisha 6°40′ – 20° Kumbha

shatbhisha

Symbol – Empty circle,

1,000 flowers or stars

Deity – Varuna

(the god of rain)

Ruling Planet – Rahu

(The North Lunar Node)

Nature – Rakshasa or

Demon like.

Astronomically

associated with

star ‘ γ Aquarii’

25.Purva Bhadrapada 20° Kumbha – 3°20′ Meena

poorva_bhadrpada

Symbol – Swords or

two front legs of funeral

cot, man with two faces.

Deity – Aja Ekapada

(unicorn)

Ruling Planet – Jupiter

Nature – Manushya

(Human).

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘ α and β Pegasi’

26. Uttara Bhadrapada 3°20′ – 16°40′ Meena

uttara_bhadrapada

Symbol – Twins, back

legs of funeral cot,

snake in the water.

Deity – Ahirbudhnya

(Serpent of the deep sea

signifying fertility,

kundalini)

Ruling Planet – Saturn

Nature – Manushya or

Human like.

Astronomically

associated with stars

‘γ Pegasi and

α Andromedae’

27. Revati 16°40′ – 30° Meena

revati

Symbol – Fish or a

pair of fish, drum.

Deity – Pushan

(Nurturer and protector)

Ruling Planet – Ketu

(The south lunar node)

Nature – Deva or God like.

Astronomically

associated with

stars ‘ ζ Piscium’