Nakshatra Series – Mrigshira
Mrigshira, the initiator of Martian energy, is represented in the celestial firmament by a bright star and three not so bright stars in the constellation of Orion. These stars are known in modern astronomy as Pi2-Orionis, Pi3-Orionis, Pi4-Orionis and Gamma-Orionis (Bellatrix). Bellatrix is the bright star among them, with a visual magnitude of 1.66. It is easy to locate, as Orion is the bright star among them, with a visual magnitude of 1.66. It is easy to locate, as Orion is one of the most prominent and easily noticeable constellations in the bright sky. Bellatrix is the bright star at the top right hand corner of Orion, while the three faint stars can be seen aligned in a bowlike formation a little away on the right hand side of Bellatrix. The ancient Vedic seers however saw these stars to be forming a deer’s head and we would soon know ‘why’?
Mrigshira translates into – the ‘Deer’s Head’. One can immediately see the correlation between the shape formed by its stars and its name. One can also make an obvious inference that this asterism’s nature and quality should be akin to that of a deer. Its other names – Saumya meaning ‘benevolent’ or relating to Soma (Divine Nectar), Arghayani meaning ‘Start of the year”, Chandra meaning Moon and Udupa, which also is another name for moon; each reveal a part of Mrigshira’s functioning, as we shall see.
Its main symbol is a Deer. Some scholars choose to have a deer’s head as its symbol, as is literally apparent from its name. The association with a deer makes this Nakshatra possess all deer like qualities such as timidity, lightness, fragility, fickleness, wandering etc. The deer is seen as a primarily lunar animal. In all ancient Vedic texts, deer’s are associated with gentle aspects of nature and often play major roles in romantic lore’s. Deer’s are portrayed as elusive, magical, divine and enchanting creatures.
In the Vedic epic of Ramayana, it was a magical deer (actually a demon posing as a deer), that caught Sita’s attention; and her craving to possess it resulted in the disruption of her and Rama’s marital felicity. This is the reason why Mrigshira is associated with problems in married life through illusion, undue suspicion or plain misunderstanding. The readers can refer to the Ramayana for the complete story. There are other legends associated with the deer aspect of this Nakshatra. Deer’s have a constant searching and seeking quality about them, which forms the essence of this Nakshatra. As most hunters know, deer’s often roam around predictable trails. Thus this Nakshatra is related to all types of defined travel by road, air etc. Deer’s more often than not like to be in scenic habitats. Similarly this Nakshatra feels comfortable only in scenic surroundings.
Its alternative symbol is a ‘pot full of Soma’. Soma is the preferred drink of the gods. It is a kind of celestial nectar associated with the Moon. In fact Soma is one of the Sanskrit names of the Moon. As we shall discover later, Moon has a strong connection with this Nakshatra.
The main deity of this Nakshatra is the Moon. All the primary qualities of the Moon inconstancy, fickleness, changeability, tenderness, persuasiveness, gentleness, sensuality, perceptivity – apply to this Nakshatra. This Nakshatra relates the most to the “Soma” aspect of Moon. Moon is known by many names, each reflecting a different aspect of its functioning. As we discussed earlier, Soma represents the nectar aspect of Moon. Moon is the ruler of all kinds of fluids on the material as well as astral plane. Fluids in turn are the essence of life, which we can observe through the functioning of our own bodies. As we know our physical bodies are comprised of more than 60% water and are biologically alive only because of the circulation of vital juices. The physical counterpart of mind, the brain, is also dependent upon the transmission and interaction of fluids for its functioning. Moon, in its Soma aspect, is related to this essential life force on the physical, mental, etheric and astral plane. This Nakshatra thus relates to our life force and vitality through the presence and circulation of these vital fluids.
Moon relates to the feminine aspect of nature, a fact which connects this Nakshatra directly to the feminine goddess energy. Ancient Vedic seers saw this Nakshatra as a seat of Shakti (the primordial goddess energy). In fact, Parvati, the wife of Shiva and one of the-three main representatives of universal Goddess energy, is the main presiding deity of this Nakshatra. It is her own personal Nakshatra, as can be gauged from the fact that ancient texts say that her Moon is in Mrigshira. All her qualities like benevolence, charm, changeability, compassion, playfulness and joyousness are relayed through this Nakshatra. Her timidity and gentleness is not to be confused with cowardice, as she can be very strong, unyielding and wrathful if necessary. Her fierce forms like Durga and kali illustrate this fact. Most scholars usually neglect the fixed, strong willed and wrathful aspect of this Nakshatra. The name “Parvati” translates into “she who has many parts”. This translation exemplifies the multifarious, multifaceted persona of Mrigshira.
Moon in its Soma aspect, is an indulgent character with hundreds of romantic liaisons. He is often seen getting into trouble due to his affairs with other’s wives. According to one very famous legend, Mercury was produced out of the union of Moon with Jupiter’s wife, Tara. In a way this story can be seen as the birth of intellect (Mercury), as a result of the union of mind and wisdom. Intellect is a more conscious force, which governs over the largely unconscious mind. In the universal scheme of things, mind couldn’t have just been by itself without a governing faculty for long.
Nature and functioning:
The essence of the nature and functioning of Mrigshira can be summed up by one word “searching”. This searching can have any level or aspect to it – it can relate to Mrigshira’s ruling deity Parvati searching for her perfect spouse; a spiritual aspirant searching for true knowledge; or a soul searching for new mental, emotional or physical experiences.
Mrigshira is the most curious amongst all Nakshatra’s and thus makes one seek new areas of experience. This aspect of Mrigshira is very similar to that of the planet Rahu. This seeking brings contentment, fulfillment and enlightenment only when it is in keeping with one’s life purpose. In other cases, it only brings about temporary satisfaction, which usually gives way to sorrow and disillusionment.
This seeking quality, however, makes Mrigshira natives good at artistic pursuits of all types. On a higher level, Mrigshira may allow one to find one’s life path or destiny and on a lower level, it can just make one prance about like a deer from one transitory experience to the next. This is akin to a person in a desert chasing one mirage after the other. This negative quality gives rise to many other negative traits like fickleness, inconstancy and superficiality. Mrigshira natives often have to learn to stick at a thing until some sort of completion is achieved.
The whole emphasis of. Mrigshira is on the mental rather than the physical. Mrigshira natives usually have great dexterity of mind, which gives them the ability to grasp various subjects with effortless ease. They have a great capacity for all types of mental work, but they often stretch themselves, and as a result suffer from mental and nervous exhaustion. They usually need a lot of clean air and physical exercise like walking to balance their mental energy. A lot of Mrigshira types are prone to physical lethargy, which besides making them functionally useless, makes them susceptible to physical ailments.
Mrigshira natives are usually thinly built with youthful delicate features; a smiley, jovial and light hearted disposition; and warm, gentle manners. They are the restless type and may appear as flaky or fidgety to others. They usually convey a sense of fragility through their appearance and mannerisms. Their mind is always roaming about, which in many cases takes the form of daydreaming. They are charming, spontaneous, enthusiastic types who enjoy meeting and relating with people. They are good conversationalists, advisors and enjoy all vocal activities like talking and singing. They have a poetic soul and enjoy beauty in both spoken and written forms of communication. They are natural satirists and have a strong sense of humour which comes about due to their varied experiences. Despite their conversational skill and sociability, they are naturally shy. Their shyness has to do with their inherent timidity. They don’t like confrontations and therefore are very cautious regarding whom they mingle with.
They love life and know how to suck delight out of it, just like gods take delight out of drinking soma (celestial nectar). A honey bee buzzing about sucking juice from different flowers, sums up Mrigshira’s functioning in this regard. Mrigshira natives are often quite whimsical in their approach, just like a honeybee would choose not to suck juice from a particular flower for no apparent rhyme or reason. Mrigshira craves excitement in all its mild and benevolent forms and is not prone to go to self-destructive extremes like cruel Nakshatra’s.
Mrigshira natives often display a highly suspicious nature. This comes about due to their high alertness levels and their ability to sense danger, just like deer or stags do in their forest environment. This suspicious nature is especially troublesome in regards to marital felicity. Like all the Nakshatra’s ruled by Mars, Mrigshira promotes domestic bickering due to suspicion and an inability to be attentive to their partner’s needs. Their partners usually get more attached to them than they do. Mrigshira is a part bohemian Nakshatra and doesn’t like restricting its affections to one person. Those having a strong influence of this Nakshatra in their charts, usually experience marital disharmony in one form or the other. However if both partners give each other enough space, Mrigshira through its lovingness and delightfulness, promotes profound marital stability like that of Parvati and Shiva.
Since Mrigshira signals the arrival of Mercurial energy through beginning the sign Gemini, it is the place where discrimination is born. It is also the first Nakshatra where conclusions are drawn and fixed opinions are formed as a result of experiences. Mrigshira, despite its lightness, is a very fixed Nakshatra when it comes to attitudes and opinions. It will never back down in any civilized argument.
In its highest functioning, Mrigshira makes one very conscious of their life path and purpose. The whole point of this Nakshatra is to make one go through a variety of experiences, for finding one’s true path in life. For example, if one was born to be a singer, one may dabble around with a lot of other things like painting, writing, or just plain nine to five jobs before their true niche is discovered. In the case of highly evolved souls, the varied experiences generated through the energy of this Nakshatra, all fit a definite and singular purpose, while in the case of younger less evolved souls, these experiences are an endless maze without a final destination.
In the universal scheme of things, Mrigshira relates to “prinana Shakti” or the power to give fulfillment. Its symbolism has extension above and weaving below. This is obviously a representation of fabric undergoing the weaving process. If we take this fabric to be the fabric of life, then Mrigshira is the structure and principles which create beauty in the chaotic process which is life.