Nakshatra Series 10 – Bharani
Bharani, the heralder of Venusian energy, is represented in the celestial firmament by a group of three faint stars forming a triangle in the constellation of Aries. The ancient vedic seers saw these stars as forming the female sexual organ. These stars are known in modern astronomy as 35-Arietes, 39-Arietes & 41-Arietes. 4l-Arietes is the brightest among the three, with a visual magnitude of 3.62, which explains the faintness of the stars of this asterism. It is only through being privy to some direct universal (galactic, in this case) knowledge, that the ancient seers were able to attach such importance to these relatively faint group of stars. In order to locate these stars in the night sky, one has to focus in the region between the bright star Alpha-Arietes (belonging to the previous asterism, (Ashwini) and the bright group of stars of Pleiades star cluster (belonging to the next asterism, Kritika). It is easier to locate 4l-Arietes, while the other two can be seen lying in a straight line on its right hand side.
“Bharani” can be roughly translated into either “Bearing” or “She who Bears”. It must be noted, however, that it doesn’t necessarily mean bearing a child as in the case of pregnancy, even though we would discover later how this asterism is directly related to the womb. The name, which conveys a major part of this asterism’s energy, relates primarily to the feminine side of nature and its capacity to receive, hold, nurture and destroy.
The main symbol of this asterism is a “vagina”, the female sexual organ. In effect all the female reproductive organs can be seen as the symbols of this nakshatra. In all ancient cultures these organs as symbols were seen to represent the fertility aspect of nature. In the Egyptian civilization, the vagina is symbolically represented as the Buckle of Isis and is seen as the doorway between different worlds. The Vedic point of view also ascribes birth, death, transformation and regeneration to the feminine reproductive symbols. They are also seen to represent restraint, caution, jealousy, secrecy, forbearance, struggle, sacrifice, catharsis, sexuality, nurturing and maternal love. Bharani therefore carries all the above mentioned attributes.
Since a soul finds its entry from the astral plane to the physical world of the living through the female sex organ, it is not very hard to see the ‘doorway’ connotation associated with this symbolism. As we shall discover later, Yama, the lord of death and one of the eight doorkeepers between the physical and the other worlds, is the ruling deity of this nakshatra. The womb as we know carries the new life in the form of a fetus for several months, before it finally finds itself manifested in the world. In the same way, Bharani allows things to brew on subtle planes, before they suddenly take outer material forms. In the case of childbirths, it is usually very hard to predict which day the water is going to break. The same is the case with revolutions, which usually brew within the heads and minds of people for a while before suddenly erupting. The same is applicable to death as well. This makes Bharani an unpredictable nakshatra, which operates in hidden ways and revels in secrecy.
A “boat” is the alternative symbol of this nakshatra. It again symbolizes transportation between different planes and realms of existence. Bharan is thus a nakshatra directly related to the process of birth, death and regeneration, at least on the earthly plane of existence
Yama, the lord of death, is considered the main presiding deity of this asterism. He is supposed to be one of the eight celestial gatekeepers, who guard the eight directional doorways or exits through which the souls travel from the earthly plane to other planes of existence. In the Vedic texts, he is mostly seen as the Lord of Dharma. This apparent mixing of the deities of Death and Dharma may not be instantly clear to the western reader. However when seen in the light of the fact it is Yama’s duty to assign the life paths for the souls who have left their earthly bodies, it becomes clear that he has to be well versed in the laws of karma and dharma.
Yama, despite being the lord of death, is a very jovial deity. His lightheartedness finds expression through Bharani’s playfulness and joyousness. It is up to Yama to weigh our actions in the present life so that we can be assigned an appropriate new life. He is thus a benevolent deity and should not be feared. Yama is only feared by those who fear death and those whose karmas are not good. Yama is privy to many of the secret functioning’s of Maya. Bharani also holds within itself the complete understanding of the process of life, birth and death.
Kali, the dark and destructive form of Parvati, is one of the three main feminine deities upholding our universe. Just like Yama, Kali is also considered a deity to be feared. Kali’s function however is just to kill the demons within and without. Her form has to be terrifying because the entities she deals with are themselves cruel and fierce. Her involvement with this nakshatra implies that Bharani is a sort of battle field between the opposing qualities of nature. It is here where the distinction between right and wrong, good and bad, godly and demonic is made. The process of uprooting the negative side begins. ‘Bharani deals with extremes and in the process becomes the most extreme amongst nakshatras.
‘Extreme’ is the one word which sums up Bharani’s essential nature and functioning. It swings between polar opposites like puritanism and bohemia, naiveté and wisdom, maturity and immaturity and life and death. Bharani is representative of the desire aspect of nature. It is thus in a way a lust for life and a fear of death. Bharani is a 16 year old girl on the verge of deflowering, a baby in the womb or a person facing the Yamadutas (celestial angels whose task is to guide souls through the afterlife process) after one’s death. Because of its childlike quality Bharani is one of the most eager nakshatras. Just like a child wants to experience all of its surroundings, Bharani natives have a desire to experience their surroundings to the fullest. There is a primeval innocence in how they experience things, people and places. They might go through instinct rather than reason. Most of their feelings and desires are so overwhelming that very little can be done to restrain or placate them. Once again the evolutionary status of the soul in question comes into picture.
Evolved Bharani types would channel their immense primeval energy into positive and wholesome universal pursuits, while the less evolved types will beak akin to a moth madly hopping about from one light source to another. In the present day and age where confusion and chaos reign supreme, Bharani can be a very difficult energy to handle. This can be easily understood through the mental dilemmas and naivetés which young girls and boys go through after puberty. Without proper guidance and understanding, Bharani natives are ready to jump into anything and everything without caution or consideration Bharani natives are often strong characters who can withstand the many turbulence’s which life has to offer. They do get down and moan and cry like infants sometimes, but nothing holds them down for too long. They are often seen to undergo huge transformations and radical changes throughout their lives. This comes about due to their longing for extremes. When they get set on a path, they want to experience every aspect of it until they have exhausted all possibilities and have no option left, but, to tip over to something completely new. There’s no set boundary in ‘Bharani universe’.
All Bharani natives have a creative urge inside them. The feminine sex usually expresses this creativity through bearing children, while the male sex tries to be creative on other levels. Bharani is a nakshatra where the interplay between the male and female takes place. This makes it one of the most sexual nakshatras of the zodiac. Bharani is representative of nature’s force which creates attraction between the opposites. Bharani natives experience, indulge in, fall prey to and try to understand this force. Sigmund Freud, the famous psychoanalyst, had prominent Bharani placements and it was no wonder then that he reduced every activity on the earthly plane to sexuality. However the more evolved Bharani types realize that this force of attraction has more to do with love, harmony and conscious unity. Sexuality is just one of its many expressions.
Bharani natives usually have large, expressive eyes, a prominent head, medium sized lips and a spooky deathly smile. Their smile is their most distinguishable feature. It encapsulates all their sexuality, mystery and the processes of life and death itself. Just like the sunset emanates a stillness over nature, Bharani natives have the ability to put up a calm countenance, even if their insides are a raging torment. Their childlike nature is quite helpful when it comes to exploration and learning, but it makes for a distinct type of cruelty and morbidity. Everyone knows how children can be crueler than grown-ups on many different levels. Bharani’s cruelty comes from a lack of responsibility for one’s own actions. It is very easy for Bharani natives to move from one action to the next without caring about the long term implications.
Bharani types are usually enthusiastic and energetic in their approach to life. They have a strong sense of adventure in the fields they pursue. It is seen that they can only achieve their goals if they are under constant guidance from a more mature and wiser source.