Ārdrā

Etymology/Symbolism

Ārdrā (आद्रा) translates as “green,” “moist,” or “wet.”

It also has been called Rudra, Shiva, Ishta, and Trinetra. In Tamil and Malayalam of South India, Ārdrā is referred to as Tiruvātirai and Tiruvātira, respectively.

The Teardrop

The Nakṣatra is appropriately referred to as “the moist one” and is symbolized by a teardrop. This teardrop is representative of the tears of sorrow that accompany hard times or the perception of clarity that comes after a spring rain storm. It’s also described as green, fresh, soft, wet, and “shining like a gem,” giving Ārdrā its other symbol: a diamond.

Ardra is associated with wetness, dampness, vapors and liquids, and with their movement or flow. The watery teardrop implies loss or disappointment, as does the deity, Rudra whose name is etymologically associated with weeping, and also with roaring and howling, which are storms sounds. Ardra thus connotes the processes through which loss and disappointment may take place. Lack of gratitude and a certain malice are traditionally associated with this nakshatra, which may create a tendency to treachery and deception concerning business or finance. Ardra also rules diplomacy, people who are critical by nature, cruelty, lawlessness, perversity, self-centered attitudes, lying and cheating.1

The Human Head

Ārdrā is also symbolized by a human head, reflecting the emphasis on the mind or thinking capacity due to Ārdrā’s placement in Mithuna (Gemini).

Betelgeuse

Artist’s impression of Betelgeuse as it was revealed thanks to different state-of-the-art techniques on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT).

Astronomy

Ārdrā resides between 6° 40′ – 20° Mithuna (entirely within Gemini, the twins). Its principal star is Al Han’ah. It consists of the star Betelgeuse (α Orionis) in the constellation Orion and is associated with Sirius. Betelgeuse is the ninth-brightest star in the night sky and second-brightest in the constellation of Orion. A red supergiant, it’s a semiregular variable star whose apparent magnitude varies between 0.2 and 1.2, the widest range of any first-magnitude star. Betelgeuse is one of three stars that make up the Winter Triangle and it marks the center of the Winter Hexagon. The star’s name is derived from Arabic (إبط الجوزاء Ibt al-Jauzā’), meaning “the hand of Orion”. The Arabic letter for Y (which has two dots) was misread as B (with one dot) by medieval translators, creating the initial “B” in Betelgeuse.

Nature Puruṣārtha Varna Color Gana Guna/Tattva Gender Body Part Animal
Harsh (Tikshna) Kama butcher green Manushya Rajas/Tamas/Sattva eyes female dog

As a harsh/sharp/horrible (tikshna/darun) nakshatra, destructive acts are imminent. Powerful, bold, and brash activities can occur under its influence. Ārdrā embodies a charm or spell causing disease or death, hypnotism, and sorcery. It represents: ghost, ambush, horror, murder, capture, matters related to secrecy, backbiting, starting of quarrel, separation, matters related to friendship & breaking thereof, training & tying of animals, pleasure works, playing games, getting made & wearing of new dress & ornaments, starting & learning singing of songs, entering into village/city, peaceful & developmental works.

Ārdrā’s animal symbol is a female dog, and some suggest that this also reflects its violent nature.

The Dog of Bhairava

Bhairava has a dog has his divine vehicle. Bhairava means frightening, formidable or terrifying. He’s the angry manifestation of Shiva and is associated with annihilation. He is depicted wearing snakes as his ornaments. Often people mistake his idol for Saturn as Saturn is also depicted with a black dog. Saturn worships Shiva and is a particular devotee of Bhairava. Bhairava is so fierce that he can take away sins or weaknesses, so people take alcohol, meat and other toxic things as Prasad to his temple. The energy in a Bhairava temple is very divine. The fierceness of the deity means he can take away your negativity. He is powerful enough to deal with any weaknesses.2

Devata, Graha & Śakti

Ārdrā is ruled by Rāhu, resides within the rāśi of Mithuna (ruled by Budha), and its presiding deva is Rudra.

Graha

With Rāhu as its ruling graha, its primary motivation is kama (desire). Power and indulgence is a double-edged sword that can lead to destructive acts without persistent determination and a certain degree of luck, but can bring great rewards. Ārdrā can also lead to an abuse of power and lusting after material attachments. Rudra, the fierce form of Shiva, emphasizes Ārdrā’s qualities, and its natives’ actions can cause torment or pain to others. To work with this power in a positive manner, an Ārdrā native may work in the helping professions, alleviating the suffering of others. A proud, egotistic, or violent nature may occur due to Ārdrā’s influence.3

Although its ruling planet is Rāhu, Ārdrā lies completely in Mithuna and Budha’s influence is still prominent. The Budha/Rāhu duo combines deep, intellectual feeling with passionate thinking. This gives Ārdrā its additional symbolism of a human head, reflecting this emphasis on the mind and thinking capacity.

The negative results of this Rahu/Budha combination can include a critical and complaining attitude, leading to a ungrateful or haughty appearance. Rāhu offers Ārdrā the darker side of desire, leading to potential abuse of power and lusting after material attachments, causing troubles, torment, or pain to others, so a need to cultivate gratitude and appreciation can do alot of good for an Ārdrā native. Working in the helping professions, alleviating the suffering of others, is also good for an Ārdrā native.

Rudra

Rudra

Rudra

Ārdrā is ruled by Rudra, the fierce form of Shiva who represents thunder and is the lord of wild animals.  Ārdrā arouses us to greater effort in life. This struggle can bring great rewards but not without persistence and a degree of luck. Rudra is the hunter and the wielder of the bow. The idea here also suggests placing of the arrow and hitting the target. For this one must have a good aim, as well as strength to shoot.4

The deity is Rudra, the God of destruction and dissolution, renders a similar quality in the native, commonly afflicting issues with death, pain, and suffering. Destruction is sometimes necessary, and Ārdrā reflects the perception of clarity that comes after a spring rain storm. It’s connected with fierce activity, enthusiasm, and an urge for expansion. In less evolved individuals, this uncontrolled power can make a person violent by nature, complaining, and ungrateful.

Rudra, who is Shiva in another guise, is really the remover of misery, because he removes everything which has outlived its usefulness. Those who endure the trials and tribulations of Ardra gain the pride and satisfaction of conscious worth, a knowledge of how much it costs to accomplish one’s goals.5

Rudra desired, “May I become the lord of the animals.” One who makes the appropriate offering to Rudra, to Ardra, becomes the lord of the animals.
Rudra is the lord of the wild animals and all things wild, strange or disturbing. These come through Ardra, which therefore needs to seek control over them. – David Frawley, Fruits of Worshipping Each Nakshatra

Śakti

Its power is effort (yatna shakti), particularly for bringing achievement and making gains in life through greater effort. This struggle can bring great rewards, but not without persistent determination and a certain degree of luck.

Yamas & Niyamas

Those born under the violent nakshatra of Ārdrā must make cultivation of ahiṃsā a key principle unless other factors their chart indicate otherwise. Ārdrā’s presiding deity, Rudra, is also the lord of wild animals, thus a sattvic or vegetarian diet and the practice of ahiṃsā (non violence) is advised.

Āsanas, Mudras, Meditations & Bhandas

Tales & Mythologies

The Hindu myth associated to Ārdrā is that of Tārakā. Tārakā is an asura who is granted invulnerability by Brahma.

The Hindu myth connected with our job involves the demon Tārakā. He practiced severe austerities to receive the gift from Brahma of undefeatable power. After receiving this power, he began to oppress the gods. Power and intelligence is like a double-edged sword that can lead to destructive acts.

Padas

Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4
Position 6° 40′ – 10° Mithuna 10° – 13° 20′ Mithuna 13° 20′ – 16° 40′ Mithuna 16° 40′ – 20° Mithuna
Ruler Brihaspati (Sagittarius) Śani (Capricorn) Śani (Aquarius) Brihaspati (Pisces)
Bija Mantra कु Ku/Koo घ Gha/Kha ङ Ng/Na/Ang छ Chha
Effects
Native’s Nature  produces good effects and makes one truthful

Mantras

Gemstones & Metals

Interests & Careers

Working in the helping professions, alleviating the suffering of others, is good for an Ārdrā native, as it helps reverse harmful karmic tendencies.

Ardra natives may be hunters and/or animal killers due to the Nakṣatra’s aggressive, destructive nature and its association with Rudra, the lord of wild animals. This may not be good for one’s practice of ahimsa, but for those whose dharma demands it, it’s certainly in the cards. Rudra is a hunter and the wielder of the bow, suggesting accuracy in hitting the target, requiring one to have both good aim and the strength to shoot.

  • writing, teaching
  • hospice work, social service, humanitarian projects
  • public relations
  • sales
  • politics
  • athletics,
  • butchers
  • pharmacists

Auspiciousness/Engage In

  • Surgical treatments
  • Creating separation from friends (Tikshna)
  • Filing for divorce (Tikshna)
  • Invoking spirits and other incantations (Tikshna)
  • Black magic, casting spells, exorcism, punishment (Tikshna)

Inauspiciousness/Avoid

As with all Nakṣatras, there are both auspicious and inauspicious characteristics to be considered. A day in which Candra is in Ārdrā…

Ayurveda & Health Issues

nervous system disorders, skin sensitivity, allergies, mental disorders, lung problems

Top and back of the head; the eyes.

Dosha is Vata. Watch out for stress. Stay grounded.


  1. LOL 222-223 

  2. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 78. 

  3. Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras 

  4. David Frawley. Shaktis of the Nakshatras

  5. LOL 223