Viśākhā

Etymology & Symbolism

Viśākhā (विशाखा) derives from the word which means “readiness.” It is often referred to as the “star of purpose.”

Readiness

Viśākhā is very much like the preparedness that a person builds for shooting an arrow. It is readiness when the archer keeps his feet apart, holds the arrow, and stretches the cord holding the arrow, aiming at the target but not yet deciding to shoot. This is where the attention is placed on the butt of the arrow rather than on the tip, preparing from the ground-up for the upcoming change which is experienced in Sagittarius. Viśākhā induces a change in attitude. It’s a preparatory stage where psychological changes are made to prepare for spiritual change.1

The Tree

The “forked” or “two-branched,” it’s sometimes symbolized by a large tree with long branches that provide shelter for other beings. As a tree, it also grows slowly (in influence), but with patience, focus through determination and persistent care, can produce great fruits as one ripens with age.

Plowing

Extending this metaphor, Viśākhā is reflected through plowing, cultivation, and finally obtaining the fruit of the harvest. It helps the individual attain his or her goals abundantly through the passage of time, like a farmer plowing his field.

The Potter’s Wheel

Viśākhā, as an extension of the careful patience metaphor, is also represented by a potter’s wheel, with Viśākhā the potter sitting patiently at the wheel creating his art. Like a potter, this lunar mansion can give an individual the patience, persistence and determination to accomplish any task.2 it represents the great turmoil and whirlwind produced by this influence.3

The potter’s wheel is very representative of the turmoil experienced in this asterism. With inertia as it starting impulse and its foundation based on harmony, intense activity occurs on a physical level. In a potter’s wheel, the central axis around which the wheel rotates is almost stationary. There’s no apparent movement at that point. The greater the proximity to the center, the less movement. Tamas is that attribute which desires no change in the existing condition which is what the center of the wheel represents. Remain wherever you are, whatever else happens, exert no will of your own. This is where the clay to be shaped is put. Harmony prevails by conforming to the will of God or by surrendering to the impulse generated by nature. The clay does not resist. The shape visualized in the potter’s mind is gradually imprinted on the clay by the wheel, which works according to the potter’s fingers.4

The potter’s wheel as a symbol is commonly found in Vedantic literature. The cosmos itself is compared to it. Within the field the crystallized coral that contains within itself the vibrating divine life is shaped into different forms and sizes according to the archetype in the Potters mind. Every impetus, weather external or internal, is part of the cosmos which operates according to the Divine Design in the creators mind, the Mahat of Vedantic philosophy. Under the impulse of this asterism, individual genius find expression, its main impelling force being the externalization of that which is within. It leads to a radical transformation. This transformation, however, is according to a plan, a design. The individual performs his assigned duties or responsibilities in the cosmic drama. But this takes place at a tremendous sacrifice of personal pleasure and convenience.5

Transformation

Both the plowing farmer and the potter indicate Viśākhā’s role in transformation and creation of something new from something old or inert, especially in its last pada (quarter), best associated with Agni.

This stands for transformation. The manifesting soul has already been individualized, and under Svātī’s radiation has achieved a self-perpetuating metabolism. The Viśākhā phase makes the individual look forward to discover what lies within him. It arouses the urge to change in order to achieve something which is not entirely known. The beginning of spirituality and the urge to move toward the source of existence or divine origin of things occur under this this asterism. A kind of spiritual discontent or dissatisfaction with the existing conditions of life, restlessness in the personal life, and a great psychological turmoil are prominent characteristics.6 …I think this is elsewhere, too.

Arch/Gateway

Other symbols include an archway or triumphal gateway decorated with leaves.

The archway marks the transit from one place to another. In this allusion, the focus is not on the material, the clay which is fashioned on the wheel, but on the living entity, the man on pilgrimage. Passing through an archway indicates the entrance to a secret or important place. When Viśākhā affects any aspect of one’s life, it must move it towards its inherent goal, the shrine of one’s true nature. The onward movement under such an approach entails important changes. Generally it is observed that the person affected becomes austere, hard hard-boiled, and detached, such as what occurs when one burns away one’s lower passions, as happens in the case of yogis performing tapas. In everyday life, one notices its influence as a feeling of uneasiness, not the usual and happiness that occurs during periods of psychological stress, but a feeling of vague disillusionment with the superficial experiences of the pleasures and happiness in life.7

Astronomy

Viśākhā resides between 20° Tula (Libra) and 3° 20′ and Vṛścikaḥ (Scorpio). It consists of four stars forming the scales in the constellation of Libra pointing toward Vṛścikaḥ, the scorpion.

Classifications

Nature Puruṣārtha Varna Color Gana Guna/Tattva Gender Body Part Animal
Mixed (Sadharana) Rakshasa/Asura Tamas/Sattva/Rajas Male Tiger

As Tamas, Sattvas, and Rajas all operate within Viśākhā at the primary, secondary, and tertiary levels, this indicates a wide range of expression. There is no quality in the universe which is beyond its reach.8 The inertia of Tamas is the primary attribute which flows through it, while the harmony of Sattva and the activity of Rajas follow second and third in levels of importance.

Viśākhā is one of about a third of the Nakṣatras which are “propitious for producing highly evolved individuals with integrated self-functioning at different levels of their existence.”9

Its primary motivation is Dharma, honor or principle.

Devata, Graha & Śakti

Viśākhā is ruled by Bṛhaspati, resides within the rāśis of Tula (Libra) and Vṛścikaḥ (Sporpio), which are ruled by Śūkra and Maṅgala, respectively. Its presiding devas are Indra and Agni (together as Indragni).

Graha

Bṛhaspati provides optimism, enthusiasm, faith, and hope for the future.

The first three quarters of this asterism are assigned to Maṅgala, Śūkra, and Budha and lie within the sign of Tula. But the last quarter, under the moon, is in Vṛścikaḥ, giving a dualistic character to the asterism.10

Śūkra…

Maṅgala…

The dual rulership assigned to India and Agni is unique and suggestive. The three quarters of Viśākhā within Libra provide affluence, comfort, and the pleasant experiences of life, which all come under the domain of Indra, the king of the gods and ruler of heaven. The last quarter of the asterism, falling in Scorpio (under Maṅgala’s rule), is full of the trials and tribulations which are essential for every kind of transformation; these experiences are guided by Agni, the god of fire.11

Indragni

Indra, the god of transformation, and Agni, the god of fire, combine as Indragni to form the energy, strength, and potential power of Viśākhā, much like the powers of heat (Agni) and lightning (Indra) in the atmosphere.

The dual ownership of the asterism by Indra and Agni implies that the course of evolution can be either on the path of materialization, on which one gets all the luxuries in life, or on the path of spiritualization where all kinds of deprivation have to be met. The two function within one primary source: tapas or asceticism, the process of destroying the nonessential.12

Indra

The god of luxury and sesuous enjoyment

Agni

Agni is the god of pennance, under whose influence the dross is burnt out completely. Agni has many parallels with the potter’s mind. There are many kinds of fire, but there are seven primary types which represent the seven human temperaments or the seven channels on whose current the seeds of manifestation are carried through the different planes of existence. The one supreme principal becomes actively energized under this impulse.13

Radha

Viśākhā is also synonymous with Rādhā, “success” or “the delightful,” whom some believe is a predecessor to Śrī Lakṣmī. As such, Kṛṣṇa devotees may be found here. Although Rādhā’s divine love affair with Kṛṣṇa may be morally questioned, it is also characterized by prema (selfless love for the beloved). Selfless love is what Kṛṣṇa truly desired from his devotees. The Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa pair is much like the Śakti-Śiva pair, and in the Nimbarka Sampradaya tradition Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa together constitute the absolute truth.

Śakti

Viśākhā provides the power to achieve many and various fruits in life (vyapani Śakti). Keep in mind, however, the patience and optimism needed to sustain oneself to the ripening, to see this potential through. Viśākhā provides this effort to achieve our goals abundantly through time, like a farmer plowing his field. It’s up to our karmic choice to forego immediate results for greater long-term gains. ((David Frawley. Shaktis of the Nakshatras))

Planetary Placements/Astrological Interpretations

Under Viśākhā, the divine will arouses the urge to explore ones in herself, ones real nature.14

Both Viśākhā’s symbols and devas invoke notions of success, triumph, and concentrated power. Viśākhā is the conqueror, fixated on defeating rivals. Goals form one of the primary meanings of this nakshatra but, when the only objective in life becomes attainment of a goal, the individual may begin to believe that the desired end justifies the use of questionable means. Viśākhā people may become dictators (either benevolent or malevolent, depending on their values). Such people are often impelled to develop and perfect logical proofs for their dogmas, so that they delve, but obsessively, into their chosen subjects. They tend to present their findings so aggressively that they alienate their audiences.15

Unique features of the asterism are non-attraction, a special type of dissatisfaction with the existing conditions of life, restlessness, and a great sense of psychological turmoil raging within. Such an impulse often leads to infidelity in married life, non-fulfillment of promises in personal relationships, and minimizing the contribution of others. Non-attraction to the existing conditions of life is not necessarily repulsion. Infidelity does not arise due to any fault of the partner, and letting down one’s friends does not arise due to their lack of work. Instead these reactions are produced by feeling of emptiness at the core of one’s being, expressed outwardly as restlessness.16

The primary impulse can be described as ???????. Spiritual person trying to lead himself to the higher goals of life, this asterism Kevin Hart the qualities of tapas, the purification austerity is, but for those engrossed in the material aspects of life, it leads to the experience of various restrictions. Whatever its out of expression, Viśākhā imparts a sense of righteousness.17
represents a lack of intimate social involvement, especially friends, and a tendency to use people as means to an end. Viśākhā people are therefore usually well advised to cultivate a greater awareness of the rights of others.18

Yamas & Niyamas

Asteya (absence of desire for others’ possessions; not stealing)

Those born under the influence of Viśākhā may have a hard time hiding their feelings of envy and jealousy if they have what they want. Frustration and anger can rise if their jealousy is not satiated.

Āsanas, Mudras, Meditations, Mantra & Bhandas

Tales & Mythologies

Viśākhā is the birth star of Kārtikēya, the Commander-in-Chief of the army of the devas, the son of Śiva and Pārvatī.

Padas

The cycle of soul development begins. There are new impulses, further developments within the concept of relationships, and developments in how we view life and embrace the changes needed to control the poisons that our karma or lifestyles have created for us. The Sun and Moon debilitation padas in Vishākhā are pushkara, showing the potential for the luminaries to sort out problems that would usually weaken the others.19

Pada 1 Pada 2 Pada 3 Pada 4
Ruler Mangala (Scorpio) Śūkra (Taurus) Budha (Mithuna) Candra (Karka)
Position 20° – 23° 20′ Libra 23° 20′ – 26° 40′ Libra 26° 40′ – 30° Libra 0° – 3° 20′ Scorpio
Bija Mantra Thee Thoo They Tho
Effects

Gemstones & Metals

Interests & Careers

  • Research, science
  • Subjects in which one can develop ideologies and dogmas
  • Dictatorial positions, leadership, military leadership, conquering
  • Strained victory celebrations
  • Writing, literature, and public speaking
  • Politics, law, diplomatic/ambassadorial positions
  • Professional versatility and many-sided activities

Auspiciousness/Engage In

  • Mundane daily activities (Misra)
  • Buying a home

Inauspiciousness/Avoid

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

Avoid

Ayurveda & Health Issues

Viśākhā is represetative of the breasts, arms, and stomach and can be responsible for reproductive problems.


  1. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 219. 

  2.  

  3. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 71. 

  4. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. pp. 217-218. 

  5. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 218. 

  6. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 217. 

  7. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 219. 

  8. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 71. 

  9. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 208. 

  10. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 71. 

  11. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 71. 

  12. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. pp. 218-219. 

  13. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 218. 

  14. Bepin Behari. Myths & Symbols of Vedic Astrology. p. 218. 

  15. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 234)

    This lunar mansion can give an individual the patience, persistence and determination to accomplish any task. Its natives are courageous souls who experience success in the second half of life. The shadow side can be an aggressive, dictatorial nature. These people can win the battle, but lose the war by pushing their agendas too strongly. A quarrelsome personality may be present here. There can be issues with suppressed anger and frustration. They may try to fulfill too many ambitions. Viśākhā people can be envious or covetous of the success of others. They may lack a strong social network of friends and feel isolated and alone against the world. Bitterness and resentment may result. Success in relationships can be experienced later in life. Viśākhā does not give immediate results, but profits and gains over time ((Dennis Harness. The Nakshatras. 

  16. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. p. 71. 

  17. Bepin Behari. Fundamentals of Vedic Astrology. pp. 71-72. 

  18. deFouw & Svoboda. Light on Life. p. 234. 

  19. Komilla Sutton. The Nakshatras. pp. 156-157.