Nakshatra Series – 9 – Ashwini
Ashwini, the beginning of everything, especially Ketu’s energies, is represented in the celestial firmament by two bright stars in the constellation of Aries. The ancient Vedic seers saw the constellation of Aries as forming a horse’s head, and thus these two stars were seen as making a similar pattern. These stars are known in modern astronomy as Alpha-Arietes (Hanall) & Beta-Arietes (Sheratan). Alpha-Arietes is slightly brighter with a visual magnitude of 2.02, while Beta-Arietes has a visual magnitude of 2.66. These relatively bright stars lie very close to the planetary ecliptic, right below the bright constellation of Andromeda, and are easy to locate in the night sky.
“Ashvini” can be translated into either “Born of a Female Horse” or the “Horse-Woman”. The first meaning is clear but the second one leaves one confused as to whether the woman is riding a horse, or is she a mythical creature with a horse’s head and woman’s body. As we shall discover later it is probably the latter. Its alternative name is Asvayuj, which translates into “she who yokes horses”. Once again a strong emphasis on the horse and a female is seen, the root of which we would discover when we get to its ruling deities
Ashwini’s main symbol is a “horse’s head”. This symbol, as we can see, is in keeping with its name. A horse’s head conveys the idea of “a beginning”. One can notice how riders pat their horse’s neck before beginning any journey. From time immemorial a horse has been seen as a symbol of power, courage, movement and vitality. A horse’s head signifies an eagerness to act and a swiftness of approach. A horse as we know is always ready to make journeys, not for its own ends, but for the ends of its rider or others in general.
If one has had the chance of being close to a horse, one will realize that a horse’s head conveys a certain amount of sensitivity and alertness. Since Ashwini lies in the beginning of the sign Aries, which is seen as representing the head of the kalapurusha (the eternal being), it makes sense that Ashwini be related to a head of some kind. The head of course relates to the brain, the controlling organ of all body functions. Thus Ashwini automatically relates to mental impulses and leadership. Horses are nervous, fidgety and highly strung animals. Therefore this Nakshatra carries all of these qualities in good measure.
Its alternative symbol is a ‘horse carriage consisting of two horses carrying two people’. This symbolism relates to the presiding deities of this Nakshatra. This symbol once again emphasizes a need for movement and relates to transportation of all kinds. This movement can relate to material transportation on the earth or travelling between different worlds, realms or planes.
The Ashwini Kumar’s, the two celestial horsemen, are regarded as the main presiding deities of this Nakshatra. Their names are Dashra and Nasatya, which translate into “bringing help” and “truthfulness” respectively. There’s no ancient culture where one cannot find stories and legends carrying their symbolism. The tales often show two heroic brothers travelling around solving the problems of whosoever they encounter in their travels.
In the Vedic legend they are twin brothers, who were born out of the union of Sun and his wife Sanjana, when they were in the form of a stallion and a mare. These two brothers are seen as the celestial physicians in ancient Vedic texts. This is where the healing and rejuvenating aspect of this Nakshatra stems from. The Ashwini Kumar’s are supposed to have knowledge of all herbs on the physical and astral plane; and are supposed to possess supernatural powers to cure any disease or fix any problem. They are particularly concerned with friction or obstacles which might come up between married couples. Thus Ashwini is a Nakshatra which promotes marital harmony. Ashwini Kumar’s are also invoked to aid child birth. They are also very well known in the ancient legends for curing impotence and other types of sexual disorders.
This Nakshatra reflects the divine qualities of these two beings as best as it can be done on the material plane. The Ashwini Kumar’s are considered so powerful that they can make the old become young and even bring the dead back to life. They themselves have a youthful appearance and never age. This explains the ageless quality of this Nakshatra. The generosity and compassion of the Ashwini Kumar’s extends to the animals as well. There are a lot of stories of them saving gentle animals like lambs from preying creatures like wolves. In our view, Brahma, the creator among the Trinity, can be regarded as the overseer of this Nakshatra. Not many scholars have shed light on this aspect, but the fact remains that this Nakshatra represents the beginning of all things, including creation. Brahma is the architect of the universe and is responsible for all types of beginnings.
Ganesh, the elephant headed son of Parvati and Shiva, is also strongly attached with this
asterism. Ganesh also represents the beginnings of all things and is regarded as the remover of obstacles. It is interesting to note that this Nakshatra can be summed up by the phrase “Remover of obstacles”. Ganesh is also the main presiding deity of Ketu, the planet ruling this Nakshatra. His four main qualities – purity, auspiciousness, innocence and supreme devotion to the Universal Mother principle, can be seen manifested through the functioning’s of Ashwini.
Nature and Functioning:
‘Spontaneous’ is the word which sums up this Nakshatra’s nature and functioning. It is a Nakshatra which is way ahead of all the other Nakshatra as far as initiating anything is concerned. It is also the quickest amongst the Nakshatra’s. All associated qualities with quickness like agility and speediness form the core of Ashwini’s functioning. One can see that in order to be quick one has to be direct and to the point. This Nakshatra has a straightforward, no nonsense approach to dealing with things and life in general.
The natives with prominent Ashwini never lose a minute in converting their impulses into thoughts and their thoughts into action. This often results in an impulsive behaviour pattern, which in its negative aspect often leads to rashness. All the phrases like “Hurry causes delay, and haste makes waste”, seem to be aimed directly at Ashwini natives.
Ashwini natives are usually brimming with life, have lively intelligence, a quick comprehension ability and a happy go lucky disposition. Their appearance is usually youthful and eager. They seem to age less quickly than other nakhatra types. When Ashwini is rising on the Ascendant, it makes the person soft, athletic, robust and charming in an innocent sort of way. In fact natives with prominent Ashwini can be singled out by their innocent looks and childish demeanour. Since the Ashwini Kumar’s are known for their charm, elegance, style and extravagance – these qualities are reflected in the mental and physical makeup of Ashwini natives.
Ashwini natives usually have a strong spirit of adventure and revel in encountering the unknown. A spirit of adventure always requires courage and this nakshatra has loads of it. It is a fearless Nakshatra which derives satisfaction from heroic pursuits. For example, a person bungee jumping at the age of ninety could only be an Ashwini type. In its negative aspect, this quality often comes out as foolhardiness, and Ashwini natives have a tendency to suffer a lot as a result. The lesser evolved among such natives show a marked tendency not to learn from their mistakes, and can be seen to be repeating the same mistake over and over again. There is definitely a lack of reflection associated with this Nakshatra and the bad news is that things don’t usually improve with age.
There’s a distinct sense of humour associated with this Nakshatra. Natives have a light hearted and jovial humour and possess an ability to laugh at themselves and others. Its peculiar brand of humour is best exemplified by Charlie Chaplin movies.
The constant need for movement makes the Ashwini natives completely useless at all activities requiring stillness and patience. This is the reason why they are very rarely seen to bring to completion what they have begun. They have enough motivation when it comes to initiating new activities, but they find it hard to stick it out
Ashwini natives are known for having an eye for the needs of others and a helpful nature, but in our experience they are more likely to be helpful in short term things or those requiring quick burst of energy. If something requires long term attention, Ashwini natives are likely to transfer their responsibilities to some other Nakshatra type and move onto the next thing.
Their innate urge to quickly move on to the next thing makes them lose out as far as attaining enduring knowledge and wisdom is concerned. This is especially the case with younger and less evolved souls. In today’s hyper-materialistic day and age, such natives can easily scatter their lives away moving from one triviality or distraction to the next? ‘Naiveté’ is the keyword which sums up such Ashwini types. Ashwini natives usually have an independent and confident spirit and don’t like to be told what to do. This quality is similar to that of a wild or untamed horse. This is alright in evolved souls who know exactly which path to follow, but for those who have not reached that level it makes them want to do things their own way, without even knowing what to do. Such Ashwini types can be very stubborn and unyielding, and are likely to ignore all good counsel. Just like the wildest horse can be tamed, all Ashwini natives can be made to tow the line if handled with a certain degree of sensitivity and caution, mixed with aggression and firmness.
Ashwini natives usually like to dress well and can be seen spending considerable amount of time on their wardrobe. They are direct, straightforward people and appreciate the same Quality in others. They are always fascinated by all affairs related to healing, rejuvenation and self-improvement practices of all kinds. They can be easily found in the local health club and most of the bodily improvement advertisements seem to be directed at them.
Ashwini natives like to be unique in whatever they do and how they are seen. All Ashwini natives have a marked tendency to feel unique in comparison to others. They like to think that they have some special gift which others do not possess. It is true that they have a pioneering approach to things, which makes them a step ahead of the rest. In the present day and age they are the ones that are likely to catch on to the new trends and happenings first.
One peculiarity of Ashwini natives is that they are moderate eaters and are modest in any
circumstance. Despite their unique qualities, they are not the show off types and are not likely to gloat over their accomplishments. They have a thing about being self-sufficient and don’t like to be dependent on others. Ashwini is a very resourceful Nakshatra. Natives under its influence always seem to come up with the required resources under the most adverse circumstances, as if by magic. They are competent and sincere about whatever they do, although they may lack the discipline and endurance required to achieve perfection. Ashwini natives, who have endurance are often very successful at whatever they choose to do. This endurance factor usually comes from other factors in a chart rather than Ashwini itself.