There’s 27 Nakshatras!
I mean, what on earth does that mean?
When I was doing the FAS diploma,
I forbade myself from taking any other astrology course until I finished the diploma. It nearly drove me crazy but since completing the course a couple of years ago, I’ve done a course on Hellenistic astrology and took Deb Houlding’s horary and electional courses. Still thirsty, I’ve been eyeing up Vedic astrology.
I don’t think we live in a world where astrologers can afford to be separated. We need to understand each other in order to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous scepticism. My good friend Mj Patterson recently did an interview with me and I had quite a lot to say about this.
A New Outlook
I was slightly put off Vedic astrology mainly because it just seemed so complicated (all those complicated words, the sidereal system, what the hell is a Nakshatra)–yeah, you see where I’m going with all of this.
Me and my astro brother Ian Waisler
When I was in Cape Town, I started studying Vedic astrology more seriously. A copy of Dennis Harness’ book, “The Nakshatras” was sitting on the counter at the house we were staying in so I picked it up.
My astro buddy Ian Waisler
was sitting next to me. Suddenly, I just really wanted to get a grip on Vedic astrology and said so out loud. Ian and I began looking at each Nakshatra, writing the keywords, the ruling planet and the tropical zodiac position. Ian piped up and told me that the Nakshatras measure out the distance the Moon travels in one day. And BOOM, I’m hooked.
The next thing I did was a little mnemonic device (this was followed by some shopping in Cape Town with Ian) to help me remember the order of the Nakshatras. There’s 27 of them and no, I haven’t mastered the Hindi word for them but I’m working on it.
By the way–and I’m sorry if this takes away from the Nakshatra story–but please don’t nick my stuff without asking. It’s rude. If you’d like to use the story, just leave a little comment and then I won’t mind. My natal Moon is in the Magha Nakshatra after all.
So without further ado. . .here’s the Nakshatra story:
The Nakshatra Story
A man brought a horse’s head in the hope he could score some Yoni. But as he journeyed, he was distracted by a flame and took a chariot to a castle that displayed an antelope’s head and a human head. With his quiver of arrows, he was able to protect the udder of a cow from a coiled serpent.
In the meantime, a woman passing by in a palanquin returned home and took her infant from a swinging hammock and placed the child on a bed but as she stood up, she stubbed her toe on the legs of the cot. Instead of swearing, she opened her hand and in the palm of her hand was a pearl and a piece of coral. She stood in the archway of her home and sat in the lotus position. While fiddling with her earring, she saw the roots of a plant. It was a hot day so she used a fan to cool herself. There was an elephant’s tusk near her and she put it to her ear and heard a musical drum. The cadence made her imagine an empty circle. When she opened her eyes, she caught a glimpse of a sword, resting on the back two legs off a cot, piercing the drum.
The Hindi Names
Here are the Hindi Nakshatras to match the English symbols:
Horse’s head: Ashwini
Antelope’s Head: Mrigshira
Human Head: Ardra
Quiver of Arrows: Punarvasu
Udder of a cow: Pushya
Coiled serpent: Ashlesha
Swinging Hammock: Purva Phalguni
Legs of a cot: Uttara Phalguni
Palm of the Hand: Hasta
Roots of a plant: Mula
Fan: Purva Ashadha
Elephant’s Tusk: Uttara Ashadha
Musical Drum: Dhanishtha
Empty Circle: Shatabhisha
Sword: Purva Bhadrapada
Back two legs of a cot:Uttara Bhadrapada
By happy coincident (like I believe in coincidences), I’ve just found out that it’s Dennis Harness’ Shasti Purti Puja! A great celebration of the year when Jupiter and Saturn make their return in the natal chart at the same time. If you are familiar with my work, then you will know that I regard this conjunction as the entering of Wisdom. I’m so delighted to discover this is celebrated in such a magnificent way in Jyotish–as it should be!! What a great and dare I say Divine validation of the commencement of my Vedic studies. Komilla Sutton, I will get to your book next xx
Meeting Dennis Harness with my other astro brother Ehsan Khazeni of Iran at the ISAR conference in 2016
I got to meet (and even have dinner with) the wonderfully charming Dennis Harness at the International Society for Astrological Research conference in Costa Mesa, California, 2016.
Both Dennis and Ehsan are coming to the IVC Conference in India 2020.
Of course this is a great opportunity to meet new people and to gain a new perspective on the ancient art of astrology.