Ashwini Nakshatra

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Ashwini Nakshatra is the first nakshatra of the zodiac. Ashwin means a cavalier or a horse tamer. The symbol of Ashwini is also the horse.

  1. Summary
  2. Meaning of Ashwini Nakshatra
  3. Devata (god) – Ashwini Kumara
  4. Planetary Ruler – Ketu
  5. Zodiac Sign – Aries
  6. Symbol – The Head of the Horse
  7. Story of Ashwini Nakshatra
  8. Ashwini Aim is for Dharma
  9. Sacred Animal – The Seven Horses of Surya
  10. Ayurvedic Dosha is Vata
  11. Lagna and Planets in Ashwini
    1. Lagna in Ashwini Nakshatra
    2. Sun in Ashwini Nakshatra
    3. Moon in Ashwini Nakshatra
    4. Mars in Ashwini Nakshatra
    5. Mercury in Ashwini Nakshatra
    6. Jupiter in Ashwini Nakshatra
    7. Venus in Ashwini Nakshatra
    8. Saturn in Ashwini Nakshatra
    9. Rahu & Ketu in Ashwini Nakshatra
  12. 0°00′ to 3°20′ Aries – Aries pada
  13. 3°20′ to 6°40′ Aries – Taurus pada
  14. 6°40′ to 10°00′ Aries – Gemini pada
  15. 10°00′ to 13°20′ Aries – Cancer pada


Aswini NakshatraCharacteristic
Degrees0°00′ to 13°20′ Aries
PadasAries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer
DevataThe Ashwini Kumara
SymbolThe Horse’s Head
Animal signMale Horse
GunaRajas, Rajas, Rajas
Ayurvedic DoshaKapha
Body PartUpper Part of the Feet
ColorBlood Red
Best DirectionSouth
Special SoundsChoo, Che, Cho, La
StarHamal and Sheratan
Other NamesNasatya, Dasra, Ashwiyuka, Tutaga, Vaaji, Ashwa, Haya
Ashwini Nakshatra Summary

Meaning of Ashwini Nakshatra

Horses represent our senses, desires and creative energy. As cavaliers have the ability to ride horses they are connected to the ability to master our desires. Ashwins are the harbingers of Usha or dawn. Dawn brings with it a very special energy, the promise of a new tomorrow while still attached to the mysterious night. Ashwins are the link between the darkness of the night and the brightness of the day, and express the mysterious quality of the new morning, full of anticipation and uncertainty. The new day ends the darkness. Ashwins bring new light and awareness to the incarnating soul while being connected to the karma of old deeds.

Indians believe that past lives fashion the present and the future, and Ashwini express this philosophy.

Devata (god) – Ashwini Kumara

Ashwini Kumara are the twin sons of the Surya and the physicians to the gods. Their individual names are Nasatya and Dasra. The Sun represents the soul; the soul gives birth to its image through Ashwini. Ashwini Kumara are considered to be the deities of Ayurveda.

They represent the duality of life by being the connection between heaven and earth, day and night, past and future. They are luminous in nature. They are beneficent and have great curative powers. They have the ability to restore youthfulness and rejuvenate the old.

They are the natural healers of the zodiac and Ashwini can be found in healing professions like doctors, healers, and spiritualists. At times they can be misunderstood as people do not sense the innocence and idealism under their strong exterior.

Planetary Ruler – Ketu

Ketu is a mystical planet which is headless and spiritual. It is hard to understand and has divine aspirations. Ketu is the past life planet and the significator for moksha. Moksha is spiritual liberation, letting go of our individual selves to merge with the eternal consciousness. The beginning of the nakshatra mandala ruled by Ketu nakshatra shows that the true reason of our manifestation on earth is to find moksha.

This is the stage where the mind is pure and not yet entangled with the attachments and desires of this life, yet it brings past life issues that have to be resolved. Ketu wants a state of absolute perfection where there is perpetual happiness and the soul is released from the cycles of unhappiness and pain. Very few people reach such a state or find such a perfect world. Therefore Ashwini can feel dissatisfied with the present as it never matches up to the idealism they crave.

Zodiac Sign – Aries

Ashwini is placed entirely in Mesha rashi (Aries). Warrior Aries has the courage to offer his life as the ultimate sacrifice for the protection of others. As Ashwini, these people have to sacrifice their senses and desires to search for the elusive self-realization. But they may swing from one extreme to the other, from ascetic to sensuous, spiritualist to materialistic.

Ashwini in Aries shows the living soul very much in touch with its roots in the past life. Aries has the courage to explore where others have not been; Ashwini brings idealism and honours the past. As Ketu acts like Mars, the combination of the dynamic and spiritual qualities of Mars works with all planets placed here. The purity of Martian action, courage and protection of humanity is powerfully indicated.

Ashwini Nakshatra Symbol – The Head of the Horse

The Brhad-aranyaka Upanishad begins with the description of the ceremony of the horse sacrifice. Horses are linked to unmanageable desires and the ability to control them is the key to happiness and moksha. The horse sacrifice metaphorically symbolises humans sacrificing their desires. Surya, the Sun, who rides the seven horses showing his mastery over desires is exalted in Ashwini. Ashwa, or the horse, is connected with the number seven, which is a very auspicious number in Hindu philosophy; there are seven chakras – the creative energy which moves from the absolute within us, seven flames of eternal fire, seven states of wisdom and seven levels of consciousness.

Story of Ashwini Nakshatra

The Birth of Ashwini Kumara Skanda Purana tells how Ashwini Kumara came to be born. Surya, the Sun, was married to Sanjana, the daughter of Vishwamitra. She loved him but Surya was very bright and hot, and his lustre was not easy to bear. Sanjana had three children, two sons and a daughter: Vaivasvart Manu, Yama and Yamuna. When his heat became unbearable Sanjana left Surya by creating a shadow wife Chhaya.

She soon realized her mistake and wanted to come back but could not do so. Sanjana went away to a forest and disguised herself as a mare in order to keep herself safe. She only grazed on dry grass. She hoped that her tapas or austerity would bring back her husband and give her the strength to deal with the fire of the Surya.

When Surya discovered the truth, he went to find her. Surya transformed himself into a horse and re-established relations with his wife. The twins Ashwini Kumar were born through this relationship of Surya and Sanjana as horses. The love of Surya and Sanjana overcame many hurdles and the conception and birth of Ashwini Kumar is from true love, forgiving and all encompassing. This is the quality all Ashwini can seek, even when faced with challenges and deception.

Ashwini Nakshatra’s aim is for Dharma

Ashwini expresses itself as dharmic. Dharma is the ethical use of religion, law, duty, and customs. Ashwini people are concerned about leading a moral life. They have a strong sense of destiny and uphold the ethics of their family, country and religion. There can be a tendency to be self-righteous. They will be deeply spiritual but do not necessarily openly express it.

Sacred Animal – The Seven Horses of Surya

Surya, the Sun, rides a chariot pulled by seven horses. Horses represent desires and Surya’s ability to gain control of these desires is why he is exalted in Ashwini. At the stage of Ashwini, the soul wants to sacrifice its desires in order to control the lower nature. An exalted Sun wants to be in charge of its destiny. Planets in Ashwini tend to shine with the radiance of the Sun or look for some solar connection.

Venus and the Moon are shown riding horses. Kalki, the final avatara of Vishnu, is pictured as a riderless horse as he is yet to manifest. Kalki means the white horse and is seen as the destroyer of darkness. He is said to manifest at the end of the Kali yuga, the present age of darkness. Ashwini people want to be masters of their desires and destiny. They are extremely idealistic and have not faced the challenges of life so still think they can manage it without obstacles.

Ayurvedic Dosha is Vata

Ashwini reflects the natural qualities of vata: action, sensation, inspiration, communication, exercise, action and dryness. Vata people tend to be of a nervous disposition; they are extremely active with lots of nervous energy to expend. They have short attention spans and generally live on their nerves, so have to watch out for stress.

Lagna and Planets in Ashwini

Lagna in Ashwini Nakshatra

The person with lagna here is energetic and adventurous, yet knows how to be in control. Despite looking into the future there is a connection to the past, to history and tradition. They are natural healers with leadership qualities. They can be impatient and want to achieve things too quickly. Study the strength of Mars and Ketu and their house positions to further understand the quality of the lagna.

Sun in Ashwini Nakshatra

The Sun enjoys the purity of this warrior impulse. He becomes exalted. Do not expect Sun in Ashwini people to be easy to get along with as they may be too powerful. They should learn to temper their power and understand their strengths. Leadership qualities abound but having a good advisor usually helps.

Moon in Ashwini Nakshatra

The Moon here shows a fiery mind and lots of ideas that need to be expressed now. Boredom can be a huge problem as these people forever need challenges. A sensual Moon can go down the path of passion and the wrong type of relationships. They can easily become selfish. A spiritual Moon will want to be a healer like the Ashwini Kumara. The first dasha is Ketu which can bring an unusual childhood. A person can experience issues of rejection or not being appreciated as a child.

Mars in Ashwini Nakshatra

Mars loves it here; it’s his own sign and all the qualities are accentuated in the right way – idealism, leadership, courage. The soul feels ready to take on the world. The Mars in Aries soul feels free and has no fear.

Mercury in Ashwini Nakshatra

Mercury brings a fiery intellect. The mind becomes impulsive, independent, militant and aggressive. Mercury is impressionable and can take on all the qualities of the Ashwini. As Mercury is not best placed in Aries, these people may not express themselves in the right way. Check the pada placement.

Jupiter in Ashwini Nakshatra

Jupiter brings new wisdom, good leadership quality and the feeling that these people were born to advise. They are embracing new ways of teaching, counselling and of being.

Venus in Ashwini Nakshatra

Venus is not considered well placed in Ashwini. These people can leave relationships just like Sanjana did and later regret their hasty action. This can lead to a period of austerity and tapas which ultimately brings balance into their relationships.

Saturn in Ashwini Nakshatra

Saturn is debilitated as this nakshatra belongs to Surya and his sons Ashwini Kumara. It was rejected by Surya and in this nakshatra anger can be prominent against the father or authority figures. These people may feel rejection from the father too. This is a new soul with a new set of problems and the inability to handle the old ones. The caution of experience is not there to guide Saturn, so it can go unchecked and repeat the same mistakes. Saturn can be angry, frustrated, impulsive and a risk taker instead of cautious and careful. One needs to embrace calmness and work on the anger and betrayal issues if present.

Rahu & Ketu in Ashwini Nakshatra

Rahu Ketu’s position in Ashwini is very interesting. As Rahu Ketu move in retrograde motion only, this nakshatra becomes the ending of their cycle rather than the beginning. Ashwini is the final block for Rahu Ketu to overcome as one cycle of soul development ends. They will repeat certain patterns of behavior that can keep them stuck in situations, but if they understand their patterns and the blocks to their growth it can lead to life altering changes.

There can be a poisonous edge to Rahu and Ketu as they are at the final knot. This is a truly karmic position. Both the planets are the root of their soul dilemma. If Ketu as the past life planet, in its own nakshatra, is placed here it is at the cause of their karmic journey – trying to unfold the last part of the conundrum but not necessarily understanding it, as it may require spiritual work to unravel Ketu’s mysteries.

Rahu is taking the soul to where it’s meant to be yet it doesn’t have all the answers. In my view, this is the most complex situation for the nodes to be as they feel they know everything yet all is hidden and secretive; it is a very developed soul that understands this message. Amsha/Padas in Ashwini: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer In these padas the Sun, Moon, Jupiter and Rahu can be exalted and Saturn and Mars debilitated. Ashwini helps the distribution of light by exalting the Sun, Moon and Jupiter. Rahu’s exaltation in Ashwini pada suggests the highly spiritual role Rahu performs in life as it takes them finally to their spiritual destination. But Ashwini makes Mars realize its peaceful role by debilitating it in Cancer pada and weakens Saturn in its very first pada.

0°00′ to 3°20′ Aries – Aries pada

The 1st pada of Ashwini and the 1st navamsha of Aries is Aries. It is vargottama and this enhances the quality of planets placed in this division. They are what they are and there is no hidden agenda. While being vargottama the planets can also be in their gandanta positions if they are within 0° to 48′ of Aries.

Gandanta shows the efforts of the soul to complete or begin a new cycle of soul growth. Planets can struggle with trying to open the spiritual knot regardless of whether they are strong or weak. The vargottama position emphasizes their strength in working with their new dilemmas. They are treading fresh grounds, making new initiatives yet striving to unblock the gandanta knot. Lagna is vargottama and therefore strong. The Sun will be exalted in the rashi and pada. The Sun becomes a very powerful, idealistic leader. Despite the fact that Saturn is debilitated and weak, it gains strength due to vargottama, yet frustration can remain. Rahu Ketu travel backwards so they are going out of Aries into Pisces, out of Ashwini into Revati. They are seeing the end of the soul journey.

3°20′ to 6°40′ Aries – Taurus pada

Taurus is the 2nd pada of Ashwini and 2nd navamsha of Aries. The Moon and Rahu are exalted, Ketu is debilitated. The Moon is exalted by pada, so the sense of adventure and passion has an underlying balance and steadiness. Rahu is exalted and gets strength to understand its message as its leaves the cycle, whereas Ketu will feel confused and guilty about unfinished business and unresolved karma.

6°40′ to 10°00′ Aries – Gemini pada

The 3rd pada of Ashwini and 3rd navamsha of Aries is Gemini. Mithuna is connected to the sexuality, couples, and relationships. All planets emphasize the sexual aspect of Aries and question the spiritual one of Ashwini. No planets are exalted or debilitated by pada. Mercury is strong in its own pada and feels supported in a difficult sign.

10°00′ to 13°20′ Aries – Cancer pada

The 4th pada of Ashwini and fourth navamsha of Aries is Cancer. Mars gets depleted even though it is in its own rashi of Aries, as it is in its debilitated pada. The Ashwini impulse can get drowned in a sea of emotions for Mars. Jupiter gets special strength in these degrees as it is in its friendly house Aries and in an exalted pada. These people can use their wisdom to guide the soul in the right direction.