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9 Ashleshya

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Astronomical, Name, Symbol, Deity, Nature of Functioning, Mode of Functioning,Caste, Gender, Bodyparts,
Direction, Padas, Professions, Places, Guna, Gana, Orientation, Lunar day, Auspicious activities, Inauspicious,
Ruler, Sexual Compatibility,Esoteric, Remedial, Miscellaneous

Ashlesha
(16 40' Cancer - 30 00' Cancer)

In the Sky:
Ashlesha, the heralder of Mercurial energy, is represented in the night sky by a ring of stars in the
constellation of Hydra, known in modern astronomy as Epsilon-Hydrae, Delta-Hydrae, Mu-Hydrae,
Rho-Hydrae, Sigma-Hydraek. Zeta-Hydrae. These stars are easily visible in a dark sky from pollution
free vantage points even though they are not bright stars, as the brightest among them, Zeta-Hydrae
has a Visual magnitude of 3.12. In essence the whole of the constellation Hydrae can be seen to be
representative of this asterism.

Name:
Ashlesha is a term normally associated with serpent imagery and can be translated as "coiling",
"clinging", "embracing" or "entwining". As we shall discover, all these terms directly define its nature
and functioning. The name is probably derived from the serpent king/god "Shesha".

Symbol:
A 'coiled snake' (please refer to the image) is the main symbol of this asterism. Along with its name,
this symbol makes it clear that the essence of Ashlesha lies in the serpent imagery, an imagery which
can be found in every surviving ancient civilization.

Most cultures see snakes as secretive, creepy, wily, coldblooded, deceptive, insincere, hypnotic and
poisonous creatures. All these qualities find their way into Ashlesha's functioning. On the positive side,
serpents are seen as semi-divine creatures with access to other worlds. They are supposed to have
great primordial powers of insight, intuition, perception, wisdom, cunning, concentration and sexual ity.

Ashlesha, when functioning through its higher aspect, displays these qualities. In the present times
when the worst side of everything is on display, one can usually expect only the forementioned,
negative qualities to predominate.

Brain researchers have now been able to locate the most ancient part of the brain. It is known as
the*R'complex. *R' here Stands for Yeptilian'. All the above mentioned instinctual, negative qualities
have been ascribed to this part of the brain. Thus a clear, tangible relation between reptiles, serpents
and these types of human qualities is established.

It is interesting to note that DNA, the building block of our genetic code has a helical, coiled serpent
shape. Thus Ashlesha has a lot to do with genetic heritage, the karma we have brought from previous
lives and the scope of changes we are allowed to make in the present one.

Deity :
Ashlesha is supposed to be ruled by the celestial serpent kingdom as a whole. In Vedic mythology,
Nagas (half serpent/half-human creatures) and other types of serpent beings abound throughout all
the fourteen lokas (realms of existence). In some of the legends, these beings are supposed to reside
on the earthly plane as well as under lakes, rivers or ocean beds. Mystery, being one of basic
attributes of Ashlesha, it is no wonder then that all of these beings are shrouded in mystery. The
legends however make it clear that the serpent beings or forces were necessary for the proper
functioning of universal affairs. The readers can refer to the "Churning of the Ocean Legend" in the
author's previous work "The Rahu-Ketu Experience" Sagar Publications, India or "The Key OfLife"
Lotus Press, USA.

Even Vishnu always incarnates on earth with his serpent guard Shesha. When Vishnu incarnated as
Rama, Shesha incarnated as Lakshmana. It is interesting to note that Lakshmana was born with
Ashiesha rising on his Ascendant. His character reflects many of the qualities of Ashiesha (refer to the
Vedic legend- "The Ramayana").
The negative type of serpents however need to be subdued and won over, just like the lower negative
aspects of human nature are won over through knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Krishna's
killing ofthe many headedsnakecalied Kaiiya (refer to the Vedic legend- "The Mahabharata") and in the
Greek legend, Hercule's killing ofthe Delphi serpent illustrate this point

The only other nakshatra directly associated with serpent energy is Uttarabhadrapada. Usually it is
noticed that the higher, more refined aspects of serpent energy are displayed there, while Ashiesha
epitomizes the more primordial and instinctuai part ofthe serpent symbolism. Since Patala Loka (the
realm ruled by serpent beings lying just below the earthly plane of existence), is supposed to be a
seething pleasure ground (base and gross in comparison to the higher heavenly realm) meant for
gratification and indulgence, Ashiesha often displays an unquenchable thirst for gratification on the
earthly plane of existence as well.

Nature & functioning :


The English words which use Ashlesha's alphabets ("Da", "Di", "Do") - "Demon", "Diabolical",
"Darkness", "Debauchery", "Devouring", "Danger", "Deceit", "Deception", "Dastardly", "Dagger",
"Decadence", "Degenerate", "Delinquent", "Destitute", "Defile", "Destruction", "Depression", "Damned",
"Death", "Delusion", "Desperation", "Despotie", "Doom", "Devious", "Doctor" - sum up Ashlesha's
nature and funetioning. Much needn't be said after a thought is paid to each of these terms. Obviously
this doesn't paint Ashiesha in a good light, but it is very hard for Ashiesha to funetion in a wholesome
and healthy way when acting on a mundane level.
Ashiesha is perhaps the most difficult of all nakshatra energies to handle and Channel correctly,
especially in the present day and age. Even the ancient sages and scholars had very few kind words
to say in relation to this nakshatra. It has its occult and esoteric significance, which the reader can look
up in the Esoteric Section of this chapter.

Ashlesha rising gives a squarish face; parallel, straight, wide, thin lips; beady small eyes; a naturally
suspicious look and a pale complexion. Despite lacking facial attractiveness, natives born under this
nakshatra generally have sexually appealing bodies. Their movements are similar to that of snakes.
They are very conscious of how they move and how their movement arouses sexual passion in others.

They are adept at putting up socially acceptable and amiable fronts. They use courtesy as a tool to
flatter others. This good humour doesn't last for long, for once their objective is achieved, they are
immediately cold and ruthless. They are always scheming and plotting when it comes to climbing the
social ladder. Since they often work from very superficial levels, their chameleon like quality and
deception is very evident to anyone having an above-average level of perceptiveness. The Ashlesha
element in a personality can be easily spotted through the almost constant suspicion and mistrust
prevalent in the background. Worry and caution follow them relentlessly.
On a positive level, their suspicious natures make them good observers. This power of Observation is
often combined with a natural Intuition. However Ashlesha's intuitive and psychic capabilities tend to
function best in situations where an element of danger is there. Natives can sense danger quickly and
react quickly. On a negative level, their suspicion can turn into paranoia. In its extreme State, Paranoia
can become an illnesss. Paranoid schizophrenia is a disease whose roots lie in Ashlesha. Ashlesha
natives can aid others in psychological exploration and understanding, but they also have a tendency
to use their psychological perceptiveness to exploit others.

It is the predominance of Ashlesha energy which makes society a cradle of fear and suspicion.
Ashlesha is about "lock your doors and mistrust your neighbour." It is due to this inherent mistrust that
Ashlesha natives tend to remain hidden in regards to their true thoughts and feelings. They do not
form intimate bonds with others and will mistrust their most dosest confidantes and families. They are
however highly protective towards their kith and kin and will ward off suspicious intruders in the most
ruthless manner Ashiesha natives can be the most mean and stingy in regards to financial affairs.
Their miserliness never pays in the end as they always end up having losses one way or the other.
The presence of Ashiesha in a nativity works both ways; one decetves others and gets deceived by
others. Many Ashiesha natives are victims, rather than the users, especially natives who have planets
like Sun and Jupiter placed in Ashiesha.

Ashiesha is a glutton and shows great interest in food, especially when it is not Sattwic and prepared
by others. Ashiesha natives find themselves at home in hoteis, bars, restaurants and the like. They
usually cannot bear any kind of hunger. They are the hoarders of the zodiac and dislike throwing
anything away. They can go to real extremes in this regard and need to learn to put the material world
into its proper perspective. They have a natural affinity for poisons. They do not mind drugs,
pharmaceuticals, allopathy, doctors, antibiotics etc.
Ashiesha natives enjoy business activities which border on crookery. They never employ straight
methods in business and want some type of cheating or deception to be involved. They find humour in
tricking others. They like mental games and strategy. They delight in hoodwinking others.
If one thinks of the characteristics of cats and snakes it is not difficult to sum upan Ashiesha
Personality. Cunningness, calculativeness, caution, coldbloodedness, wiliness, stealth are common
traits amongst cats and snakes. The only way Ashiesha natives can use their singularly negative traits
in a positive manner is by aligning themselves with universal will. The key for utilizing Ashiesha in a
positive way is to overcome one's innate selfishness. Having done that, suspicion will turn into
discretion and wiliness into wisdom. Ashiesha is the first step on the path of spiritual awakening.

The underbelly of nature is encountered here. One has to face all the dark demons of the inner psyche
in order to come out shining and purified. Ashlesha's natural tendency to look under the surface has to
be utilized for understanding the hidden elements of nature's functionings.

In the universal scheme of things, Ashiesha relates to "visasleshana shakti" - the power to inflict
poison. Its symbolism has an approaching serpent above and trembling below. This relates Ashiesha
with all kinds of Sharp, venomous attacks made at one's enemy or prey. Once again the dangerous
and naturally malefic potentiality of this nakshatra come to light.

Mode of Functioning :
Ashiesha is considered to be an Active nakshatra. Ashiesha on the surface often appears to be a
passive nakshatra but that is only because all its activities are hidden. Even if an Ashiesha native
seems to be physically passive, one will find that they are weaving many webs on the mental plane.
Ashlesha's activities are subterranean in all senses of the world. In the present day and age where all
the workings of the elite take place in secret away from the eyes of the public, one cannot help but see
a dominant role of Ashiesha in the halls of power.

Caste :
It belongs to the lowest caste which is called Mleccha (outcaste). In its lower functionings Ashiesha is
a sort of general menace to society in all the known forms like bandits, cheats, oppressors, exploiters
etc. In its higher functioning it relates to the yogi who renounces the world in the search for
enlightenment. In both ways Ashiesha doesn't seem to fit into the societal civilized structure.

Gender :
It is a Female nakshatra. Since the ancient Vedic seers have made this Classification without
enunciating a reason, we have to conclude that the intuitive, perceptive and deceptive qualities
ascribed to Ashiesha relate more to the female of the species rather than the male. One can notice
that even male natives under the prominent influence of Ashiesha have a feminine way about them.

Bodyparts & Humor (Ayurvedic Constitution) :


Bone Joints like Elbows, Knuckles, Knee Caps; the Nails and the Ears are the body parts related to
this nakshatra.
It is a primarily "Kapha" (watery) nakshatra. This is due to its relationship with the sign Cancer. Most
serpent deities are shown as having kapha characteristics like Stagnation, laziness, indulgence etc

Direction :
It is related to the directional r nge which Covers the northwest to the north. Like all serpent energies
it is strong in the Southwest as well.

Padas (Quarters) :
The first pada or quarter of this asterism 16 40' - 20 00' Cancer falls in Sagittarius Navamsa and is
ruied by Jupiter. This pada has the ability to put in the most hard work. It has a lot to do with dealing
with enmity, diseases and other 6th house affairs.

The second pada or quarter of this asterism 20 00' - 23 20' Cancer falls in Capricorn Navamsa
ruied by Saturn. This pada is mostly involved in dealing with people. It is a highly ambitious pada
which is usually liable to use all of Ashiesha's negative traits like trickery and deceit to get what it
wants. An inability to let go of possessions is another unique aspect of this pada. Being a Ganda Mula
pada, this pada is considered bad for finances.

The third pada or quarter of this asterism 23 20' - 26 40' Cancer falls in Aquarius Navamsa ruied
by Saturn. Secrecy is the keyword to this pada. It however is most closely related to the occult side of
Ashlesha, discussed in the Esoteric Section. This pada usually goes to unusual lengths and takes
highly inventive approaches to scheming and plotting. Planets placed here adversely effects mother's
wellbeing.

The fourth pada or quarter of this asterism 26 40' - 30 00' Cancer falls in Pisces Navamsa ruied by
Jupiter. This is the pada relating to all kinds of illusions. The moral struggle is at its peak here. This is
the place where the "serpent of Ashlesha" finally gets slain, and people under the strong influence of
this pada, are more likely to get tricked by others, rather than deceive others. Such natives are always
putting up fronts and hardly ever show their true nature. Planets placed here adversely effect the
father's wellbeing.

Professions :
All professions dealing with Poisons; Petroleum Industry; Chemical Engineers; Cigarette Industry;
Legal and Illegal Drug Dealers; Drug Pushers; All Seif Serving professions like presentday Politicians;
Behind the Scenes Manipulators; Psychologists; Con Artists; Thieves; Swindlers; Pornography
Industry; Prostitutes; Snake Charmers; Professions involving dealing with Reptiles; Allopathie Doctors
& Surgeons; Pet Snake & Pet Cat Owners; Poachers; Secret Service Agents; Spies; Lawyers;
Pawnbrokers; Physical Yoga Teachers; Tantrics (usually beginner types); Hypnotists; Psychologists/
Psychiatrists; Spirit Mediums; Charlatan Channelists/Psychics etc; False Gurus and Cult Leaders;
Baseball Players.

Places:
All places where Snakes & Reptiles dwell; Secret service Institituions (CIA, FBI etc.); Hospitals; Law
Firms; All Factories dealing with Poisonous Chemical Processes; Drug Stores; Pawn Shops; Sleazy
Places where Illegal Prostitution & Drug Peddling thrive; False Cults & Religious Institutions like
ISKON etc.; all places connected with the above professions.

Guna (Essence) and Tattwa (Element) :


It is supposed to be a Sattwic nakshatra. This Classification might perplex the reader but the intention
of the ancient seers can be understood thus - Ashlesha relates directly to the kundalini shakt/{see the
Esoteric section), which encodes all of our life, all of our previous lives' experiences. She (kundalini
shakti) is our mother and our individual blueprint and so cannot be regarded as anything but purely
sattvic.
It belongs to the Water element. There's not much to explain here as this Classification is in keeping
with its predominant kapha humor.

Gana (Type):
It is considered a Rakshasa or demonic nakshatra. This comes as no surprise as Hydra, Ashlesha's
representative constellation in the sky, is said to be the abode of the most dangerous celestial
demonic creatures. Ashiesha as we have seen already can be quite cruel and wicked and very rarely
functions from an unselfish perspective.

Orientation & Disposition :


It is Downward nakshatra. It is common knowledge that snakes don't live above the ground. Ashiesha
Stands for and is interested in ali things Underground both literally and figuratively. Planets placed in
Ashiesha often feel contained or constrained and often have to work in a behind-the-scenes fashion.
It is a Hard, Sharp and Dreadful nakshatra. This comes as no surprise considering the immensity of its
negative potential. The reader can refer to the Nature Section of this nakshatra for the nitty gritty of it.
Lunor Month & Day :
It relates to the first half of the lunar month of Magha, a period which usually falls in the month of
January in the solar (Gregorian) calendar.
th
Ashiesha is also related to Navami ( 9 tithi or day) of the waxing and waning phases of the Moon's
monthly cycle.

Auspicious Activities :
All types of activities requiring harsh measures like Administering Poisons, Filing of Lawsuits etc;
Good for Scheming & Plotting against One's Enemies; Good for Sexual Activity; Good for all Low Risk
Short term activities; Good for Kundalini Yoga .

Inauspitious Activities :
Generally unfavourable for all types of Beginnings & Auspicious Activities; This is a good time to lie
low; Especially unfavourable for doing business; Bad for Borrowing or Lending money.

Planetary Ruler :
Moon and Mercury are the two planets connected with this nakshatra, Mercury being the main
planetary ruier. Mostly the negative Mercurial traits like evasiveness, deception and deviousness get
highlighted in this nakshatra. Ashlesha uses Mercury's alacrity, perceptiveness and calculating ability,
more often than not, to further its own selfish ends. This is obviously the case in the present day and
age, but the actual functioning of Mercury here is to control the mind (represented by the Moon).

Ashlesha is supposed to be the place where intellect develops itself to control and direct the vast
subconscious and instinctual workings of the mind. In today's world, Mercury's ability to direct Moon is
used for deceiving the masses (Moon) through the media (Mercury). This negative usage of Mercurial
energy makes this one of the most dangerous nakshatras in Kati-Yuga (present age/cycle of
humanity). This is especially evident when seen in light of the fact that Mercury is representative of
one of the preserving forces in nature. As a result, society/civilization and the natural world are thrown
completely out of balance. Ashlesha is the battleground where the war between intellect and
emotions, conscious and subconscious, reasonability and primevality takes place. Its turbulent
energies make it very susceptible to decadence and taking the wrong path.

Moon/Mercury conjunction in a horoscope give similar results to Ashlesha. Ketu is supposed to give
good results in Ashlesha when aspected by Jupiter. No other planet can be said to function well in this
nakshatra. A well placed Mercury however, can make the native a shrewd and manipulative
businessman.

Vowels and Alphabets :


The first pada or quarter of this asterism 16 40' -20 00' Cancer corresponds to "Dee" as in Deena.
The second pada or quarter of this asterism 20 00' - 23 20' Cancer corresponds to "Doo" as in
Dupont or Dude .
The third pada or quarter of this asterism 23 20' - 26 40' Cancer corresponds to "Day" as in David.
The fourth pada or quarter of this asterism 26 40' - 30 00' Cancer corresponds to "Don" as in
Dorothy or Doctor.
In the Sanskrit aiphabet Ashiesha corresponds to "Kha" and"Ga", consequently its mantras are "Om
Kham" and "Om Garn".

Sexual Type and Compatibility :


Its sexual animal is a Cat. Cats are quite intensely sexual animals. One can easily see that even basic
keywords for Ashiesha like entwining, clinging, embracing and coiling relate to sexual union. In the
present day and age this nakshatra can be said to be responsible for most of the sexual exploitation.
Aside from its own nakshatra it is most sexually compatible with Purnavasu.
For sexual & marital compatibility with other nakshatras please refer to the tables on pages 457 &458.
Esoteric :
We have already noticed the connection between Ashiesha and Hydra, the most feared serpent in the
night sky. In Greek legends Hydra is supposed to be this many headed serpent which was finally
subdued by Hercules. It is interesting to note that the royal nakshatra of Magha (see next chapter) lies
right next to this serpent constellation. Ancient legends are trying to teil us that the crown and authority
(represented by Magha) is only achieved after the dark serpent (vices and undesirable qualities) is
subdued within each one of us. The lower nature has to be won o\/er before we can tune into our
higher nature. Ashlesha is therefore a crucial focal point for the battle between good and bad. It is the
last among the first cycle of nakshatras (a new cycle begins in Magha).

Ashlesha relates directly to the kundalini. Kundalini is a serpent shaped, two and a half coils of
astral/causal energy, which lies in the Muladhara Chakra (sacral root centre) at the base of our spines.
It is the function of Ashlesha to arouse and activate this energy. Most of Ashlesha's field and scope of
activity lies within the instinctual, primordial domain of the root centre.

The arousal of the kundalini is the first step on the way to enlightenment. This again re-emphasizes
the point that Ashlesha is a point where a conscious choice is made. This choice of course relates to
letting go of our baser, gross materialistic nature so that we can begin our journey on the path of
wisdom and enlightenment. The journey of the kundalini, which begins in Ashlesha, culminates in
Uttarabhadrapada (see Chapter 26.)

Gotra (Celestial Lineage):


This nakshatra is related to the Sage Vashishta, one of the seven celestial sages looking after the
affairs of our galaxy. The name of this sage translates into "possessor of wealth". According to Vedic
texts most of serpent deities are said to guard treasure. According to ancient Vedic mytholoc,/ most of
the celestial serpent deities are shown as being enormously wealthy. Thus it is appropriate that the
sage who has most to do with wealth presides over this nakshatra.

Remedial:
Paying reverance or obeisance to serpents or doing serpent rituals like Sarpa Homa is useful for
gaining the favour of the energies of this nakshatra, In India, a special day known as Narga Panchami
is reserved for feeding milk to snakes and worshipping serpent deities. Practicing kundalini yoga (also
known as Raja yoga) is the best way of rising above the negative qualities of this nakshatra.
Repetition of the root mantras of this nakshatra - "Om Kham" and "Om Garn" 108 times when Moon
transits this nakshatra and during the lunar month of this nakshatra is sure to reduce suffering and
bring enlightenment into a person's life.

Persons who are benefiting from the positive energy of this nakshatra can also increase the good
effects through the above mentioned ways. Ashiesha natives are usually attracted to dark shades of
every colour. They are often seen wearing red and black. However they are advised to wear more
sattvic shades even when they are using variegated colours. They should avoid gaudy shades.

Indira Gandhi, the first and only woman prime minister of India, was born with Ashiesha rising on her
Ascendant. Her extremely manipulative and deceptive nature is now common knowledge, especially in
India. Her life and works reveal all of Ashlesha's functionings in modern times. Greed, deceit, tragedy,
treachery, betrayal, false gurus, false Propaganda - she had it all!

Example :
Mahatma Gandhiwas born with Moon in Ashiesha. Even though he was a deceptive type with not
completely wholesome motives, he was able to fool the public, who raised him to Sainthood.

Miscellaneous :
According to Varahamihira, those born with Moon in Ashiesha are false, wicked, ungrateful, crafty and
gluttonous, eating everything in sight.
***