Citrā

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Etymology/Direct Associations

Citrā (Chitra) literally means “brilliant, ” “bright, ” “beautiful,” “reflection,” or “beautiful picture” and is symbolized by a bright jewel or pearl that represents/reflects the potential of the soul or divine spirit within a person. Citrā is sometimes called, “The Star of Opportunity,” as a symbolism of the soul’s potential.

Just as jewels dazzle, fascinate, and are valuable, Citrā is also associated with elegance, charisma, personal charm, and anything different, new, or unusual.

Beauty

Citrā also translates as a painting or work of art, suggesting “pretty pictures” or something pleasing to look at. Because of Chitrā’s association with beauty, art, and things pleasing to look upon, artistic talent and creative arrangement is often observed here. Citrā’s glimmering beauty is also believed to be responsible for a native born under the influence of it (especially with Sūrya or Śūkra residing in the Nakṣatra) to be attractive and charismatic and adorn him/herself with decorations appropriate to Citrā, including bright, colorful clothing, jewelry, garlands, and flowers.

The Pearl

Citrā is frequently symbolized in a more specific manner by a pearl because it more appropriately represents a precious gem extracted from something as lowly and smelly as an oyster. The celestial architect, Twashtar, is concerned with shipping off unwanted attachments. The process is painful, but it has to be born in order to attain perfection and achieve ones pristine purity. The hidden perfection if a pearl can only be externalized with great insight and a tremendous courage to fight very severe ordeals.1

Astronomy

Citrā resides between 23° 20′ Kanya (Virgo) and 6° 40′ Tula (Libra). It consists primarily of Spica, the brightest star in Virgo (and 15th brightest in the sky) due to the fact that it’s one of the nearest binary star systems to our Sun (240-260 light years away).

Yes, technically Spica is two stars: one mid-range between a sub-giant and giant star, while the other a main-sequence star. Their relationship results in no eclipsing, but they distort themselves by their gravitational interaction. This distortion results in the apparent magnitude to vary. Although barley noticeable visually, this may be why the star is associated with a bright gem. Perhaps it’s because Spica is actually a pair of stars (which revolve around each other) that gives Citrā people a tendency for a strong ego and self-centeredness.

In addition, “the bright one,” as Citrā (Spica) is referred to, reflects the many, bright, variegated colors seen in the radiance of a white star. ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras. p. 55)) But is Spica actually white? No. Not at all. The pair of stars that comprise Spica actually emits a light blue color (hex code #9eb1ff).

Spica is also one of three stars (others being Denebola/Uttara Phalguni and Regulus/Magha) that form the Spring Triangle. It supposedly enabled Hipparchus to discover the precession of the equinoxes. Some believe that Spica is the origin of the word, “auspicious.”

Classifications

Nature Puruṣārtha Varna Color Gana Guna/Tattva Gender Body Part Animal
Tender/Soft (Mridu) Kama farmer black Rakshasa/Asura Tamas/Tamas/Tamas neck

Citrā’s field of operation is basically the world of matter as is signified by Tamas operating at all three levels of impact.

The primary motivation for children comes from Kama, the passionate nature. It is space, the stage on which the celestial drama is played, which becomes this chief attraction for this asterism.

Those who are fired by aspiration toward a spiritual go and have experience the delights of spiritual endeavor will involve themselves in building a new society, but those who are still attracted to materiality may very well live the life of a pig in the mud. Those who are not able to imbibe the full power of this asterism may become smug, self contented, and conceited. They may turn out to be good for nothing, self-indulgent individuals.2

Devata, Graha & Śakti

Citrā is ruled by Mars, resides within the rāśis of Kanyā and Tula (ruled by Budha and Śūkra), and its presiding deva is Tvashtar (later known as Vishvakarma).

Graha

Mars which owns this asterism, does not accept defeat. Any confrontation provides it with added incentive to fight and attain its goal. When the soul reaches the stage of chicken, it has already crystallized the goal of its mission, which requires achievement at every cost. The attempt made at this level is primarily on intellectual and inspirational planes. That is why one finds the asterism extending from Virgo, owned by Mercury, – Libra, owned by Venus. Venetian inspiration lightens the burden of the struggling ego. The first two quarters of this asterism, governed by Sun and Mercury, fall in Virgo which is owned by Mercury and represents the struggle taking place on the intellectual plane. The confusion at this stage may arise due to lack of clarity and confidence with regard to ones or ideals. But the last two quarters of the asterism fall within Libra, the sign owned by Venus. Under this impulse, the realm of social relationship becomes important.3

Half Budha, half Śūkra.

Due to the great influence of mercury in Venus, as well as the ruler ship of the quarters by the Sun Mercury Venus and Mars, we find that Mars, Mercury, and Venus, which are concerned with the bridge that links physical existence with the spiritual level, play an important part in Citrā’s meaning. In fact, kamasutra represents a great surge toward building and reaching into new levels of achievement. For this reason one finds wonder workers, leaders, highly erudite persons, and extremely honest philanthropists born under this star.4

Twashtar

Twashtar, the Cosmic craftsman, is the celestial architect of the universe. He is the master of maya and magic, who fashioned the thunderbolts of Indra and the chalice of Soma. Tvashtar’s relation to Indra also makes Indra a key player here. As Twashtar presides over Citrā, he offers prosperity, regenerative power, and longevity to a native. Twashtar creates enduring forms, like a blacksmith, and also produces variety and abundance.5

Śakti

Its power is ability to accumulate merit in life (punya cayani shakti). Citrā allows us to gain the fruit of our good karma that comes through righteousness. It has a highly spiritual energy, effect, and deep spiritual depth and is one of the most mystical nakshatras.6

Planetary Placements/Astrological Interpretations

Citrā natives are excellent conversationalists. Citrā’s influence is excellent for learning music, dance and drama.

Sudden flashes of inspiration and the urge to realize one’s true self is encouraged here. Mars is the ruling planet, reflecting the strong desire to explore the caverns of the soul. Citrā allows us to gain the fruit of our good karma that comes through righteous activity. The challenges of Chitrā involve strong sexual desires that must be harnessed. Its animal symbol is a female tiger, and it is sometimes associated with serpents. A passionate, seductive persona can develop. The primary motivation of Citrā is kama or desire. Citrā people usually have beautiful eyes and a well-proportioned body. A smug, arrogant, self-indulgent nature can also result. According to Bepin Behari, there is a tendency to give a reply on any matter without forethought and then wake up at the eleventh hour and try to rectify one’s utterances when it is too late. Citrā’s temperament is demonic in nature. Citrā can reflect the world of maya and delusory appearances. It is connected with the work of magicians and other masters of illusion, A strong ego and self-centeredness can occur here.7

Citrā has a hard crust formed by life’s experiences. ((Komilla Sutton. The Lunar Nodes – Crisis and Redemption.))

Yamas & Niyamas

Citrā people should focus on allowing the ego to die.8 So… work on all yamas and get yourself in good karmic health for Yama, the god of death.

Asanas, Mudras, Mantras & Bhandas

Tales & Mythologies

Chitragupta, Keeper of Akashik Records

Chandragupta was the assistant of Lord Yama and the keeper of the Akashic Records. Chitragupta means secret pictures. You can refer to the records of the lives of all people. It is believed that Chitragupta examines the good and bad karma a person has created during their life and keeps a good and bad keeps a record of it. When a person dies, his soul first goes to Lord Yama, where children Italian city in the works done to this decides where the soul is heading after death.

Chitragupta’s link shows an interest in history, past life and the actions or karma and its rewards that can develop for Citrā people.9

Ayyappa and the Milk of the Tigress

Ayyappa, the ascetic god, is the child of Shiva and Mohini. Mohini was the form wish you took when he had to wrest the amrita, the nectar of immortality, from the demons. Ayyappa took human incarnation as Manikantan. He was a child alone in the forest and Raja Rajasekhara of Pandalam adopted him. When his coronation was taking place as Yuva Raja (heir apparent), the Queen was against it as by then there was another child. So she manufactured and illness and told the king that only the milk of a tigress would cure her. Manikantan volunteered to get the tigress’s milk for his mother. Everyone thought he would be killed in this endeavor, but soon he came back riding a tigress with her cubs trailing behind. Then both the King and Queen realized that this was no ordinary son and the king of the Temple at Sabrimala where ascetics go to worship annually around Makar Sankranti in January.

The Citrā link to Lord Ayyappa shows that Citrā can embody the qualities of both Shiva and Vishnu, yet Ayyappa was abandoned by them and there are issues regarding parenting that children may have to deal with. Their personality becomes very strong if they develop spiritually. Ayyappa rides the Tigress, a very difficult animal to tame. Chitra can tame the tiger within them if they so decide, and become masters of their destiny.10

Chitra Purnima

Chitra Purnima is observed when the full Moon is in Citrā (April-May). Special worship is done to Chitragupta to appeal for forgiveness for our karmic shortcomings.

Padas

Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4
Position 23° 20′ – 26° 40′ Kanya (Virgo) 26° 20′ – 30° Kanya (Virgo) 0° – 3° 20′ Libra 3° 20′ – 6° 40′ Libra
Ruler Sūrya (Sun) Budha (Mercury) Śūkra (Venus) Mangala (Mars)
Rashi Simha (Leo) Kanya (Virgo) Libra Scorpio
Bija Mantra Pay Po Raa Ree

Gemstones & Metals

Places

Citrā represents capital cities.11

Interests & Careers

Citrā people are able persons and versatile geniuses.

  • Expert business people ((deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 232))
  • Law, judges, priests, religious people, Vedic knowledge, publishing, radio, television, film, armed forces, police detective ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras))
  • Because of its association with Twashtar, a Citrā person may engage in anything to do with building, from jewelry making, embroidery, to frame making and engraving; especially construction, including architecture, interior design, industrial engineering and manufacturing; also machinery, its invention, organization and use. ((deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 232)) ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras))
  • Medicine and a knowledge of unusual herbs and other medicinal substances. ((deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 232))
  • The arts, including music, dance, drama ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras)), painting, photography, design, imaginative or unusual writing. ((deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 232))
  • Gems and jewelry,12 riches, and valuable things ((deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 232))
  • Flowers and anything of natural beauty ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras))
  • Auspiciousness

Engage In

  • learning music, dance, or drama (Mridu)
  • Performing auspicious ceremonies, like marriage (Mridu)
  • Buying and wearing new clothes (Mridu)
  • Love-making and romance (Mridu)
  • Making new friends (Mridu)
  • Enjoying healing and revitalizing pleasures (Mridu)
  • Laying foundation of a home
  • Planting and sowing
  • Medical treatments

Inauspiciousness

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

Avoid

Ayurveda & Health Issues

Citrā indicates the forehead and neck. When afflicted (is this true, or will anyone with any type of planet experience problems?), natives may experience ulcers, stomach and kidney problems, sunstroke, forehead problems, wounds from insects, skin allergies.


  1. FVA 69 

  2. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 69-70. 

  3. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 69-70. 

  4. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 69-70. 

  5. David Frawley. Shaktis of the Nakshatras

  6. David Frawley. Shaktis of the Nakshatras

  7. Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras 

  8. Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras. 

  9. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. p. 138. 

  10. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. pp. 138-139. 

  11. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 232 

  12. Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras