- Krittika Nakshatra: (26° 40’ Aries – 10° 00’ Taurus)
The star of fire offers the power to burn away or cut away what doesn’t belong. The symbols are an ax, a razor and a flame. Kartikeya, the commander in chief of the army of the gods, the great champion, is the presiding deity. He is strongly supported by Agni (the God of Fire) and Sun who is the planetary ruler of Krittika.
This is an upward rising energy, masculine, powerful, decisive, sharp minded and critical. It’s a sharp cutting energy with a strong sense of purpose. Good placements here will often see them stand for principle, insist on a respectful atmosphere and represent the honourable qualities of an enlightened man. This can be a high stress position for any planet. One will certainly champion the cause related to the house and planets involved, but one will also be the champion in some way. They take a stand and are ready to face the consequences; they are ready to be challenged.
Male Sexual Development
Just as Bharani relates with female sexuality and sexual development, Krittika relates with male sexuality and sexual development. Natives with placements here will often times show masculine traits, looks, instincts. Male empowerment, assertiveness training, anger management all fall under the command of Krittika. The neanderthal, the man & the boy (brutishness, rugged masculinity and boyish charm) are all represented here.
Since testosterone is the main hormone in male sexual development we are likely find traits related to high or low testosterone: low testosterone is related with low confidence, anxiety, depression, mood swings, weakness, weight gain, low energy, and impotency. High testosterone is connected with aggression, social dominance, muscle mass, power and protective instincts. People with high testosterone command respect and get it due to their inner power. Low testosterone people tend to command respect thru coercion and physical treats and respect will only flow from peoples actions induced thru fear; they will never command respect from the hearts of their followers. The fire in prana is represented in Krittika so these people usually shine as their internal life force radiates outward. (See below for more health related information.)
Krittika people are critical thinkers have and have a distinct sense of purpose; they can be powerful executives, commanders, managers, coaches as their fiery, critical nature destroys all enemies all competition. They’re the winners and champions of society: fiercely competitive, taking direct action and doing what needs to be done to command respect and achieve the top spot. They often do this to champion some cause, They are willing to put themselves forward, challenge others, step up and fight for what they believe is right.
The cutting energy of Krittika is good for anyone using sharp instruments: cooks, tree or pet groomers, barbers and air stylists often have some placements here. The construction trades and careers that are overwhelmingly completed by groups of high testosterone men are all related top Krittika. There can be a strong sense of brotherhood here as men pit themselves against men in a battle for the fittest.
Krittika cuts away whatever is not useful. Editors of all kinds can be found here cutting & pasting music, video or books to improve them. Any position that highlights critical judgement, critical thinking, or criticism in general in order to improve things. Krittika is also that inner critic who wants you to do better and be better. It’s an upward moving force; Krittika wants to lift you up. There can be big problems when the criticism is not fair, called for, or constructive.
They can be trusted with the most critical missions in military and law enforcement. Fighters and athletes often have placements here. They are take charge kind of people (other things will determine their capability at taking charge). Krittika wants to make you strong. Beneficial placements bring success in competition and examination and allow people to pass the test.
Relationships can be difficult with this placement due to the critical nature. The relationship could follow a pattern of unending “tests” or the stream of criticism. These natives also need a lot of attention and reassurance that they have passed the test which can be exhausting if someone is a chronic under achiever. They can be moody which can take different forms depending on testosterone levels. They may pout like a little boy, or roar like an ape, but one way or another they will take charge. Both sexes can be passionate and make good lovers, but may be prone to indiscretion.
The masculine energy of Krittika can be more disruptive in a woman as society is not as accepting of a woman in command. They come off as overly assertive to make their own choices. They can be very intelligent and gain the admiration of many men by competing in a “man’s world,” but it will never be easy. Marriage is often disturbed unless she is given independence and admiration. She will be very jealous, critical and difficult to please.
Aries women typically have a male figure with no hips and small breasts. The first pada of Krittika highlights these masculine traits and gives her a commanding presence. Poorly placed planets or aspects here can easily create some imbalance which for woman usually means too much testosterone causing the growth of body or facial hair and other masculine feature. Women are more comfortable in the last three pada’s in Taurus. And though there can still be testosterone imbalances here, they typically more attractive with better style and more likely to seek appreciation rather than induce fear. Depending on the chart we might see things like a woman with man hands or other body parts The Taurus part of this nakshatra is great for celebrity; the Sun – Venus combination can bring a lot of sparkle and shine along with a natural, quick thinking creativity. They love to be the centre of attention and gain admiration. Everything to do with celebrity culture is represented here: the hospitality and entertainment sectors in general.
Food is also important for Krittika natives since they often have a healthy appetite and a strong digestion. They need to eat a lot of food and can be famous for the anger that comes with hunger. It’s often joked that the bigger more powerful the man, the more like a big baby he can be. This is the great trick for men, to become a commanding beast without killing the little boy inside. They need to focus on balancing inner agni through diet and lifestyle.
Qualities of Krittika
Brahmin, Kama, Rakshasa, Rajas – Rajas – Satvic, Sharp & Soft, Movable, Kapha, Active, Downward, Female, Earth element, Destructive energy, North, Sage Angirasa, Female Sheep
Brahmin: The priestly educated caste. As the commander in chief they are typically one of the most trusted advisors to the king and can easily take the seat of a righteous warrior king or spiritual warrior. Krittika seeks to use his cutting, critical nature to stand on principle, defend honour, and protect ehe weak.
Kama: Kittika is motivated by his desire to enjoy the object of the senses and of perception. One also seeks to make oneself desirable. It’s for this reason that Krittikas are required to control their senses and their mind and find one pointed focus; otherwise they run the risk of never enjoying any depth to their satisfaction. They can be very self-entitled and self-indulgent sensualists without proper discipline. They want to enjoy life and love, making friends and social connections, doing what they can to work their way to the top of the social hierarchy. Planets that have some natural social talent will do well here while the others will show their awkwardness. Sun and Mars can be aggressive while Moon and Venus are more likely to attract aggression.
Rakshasa / Demon: The aggressive and sensualist side of this nakshatra makes it somewhat demonic even though it belongs to the brahmin caste. It’s concern with status also puts it on the side of the demons. Venus is the guru of the demons. One may be challenging someone on principle, but the challenge itself I like a small war with as much potential for good as for evil. These people like very much to metaphorically (and perhaps literally) play with fire.
Rajas – Rajas – Sattva
Mixed: Multi-tasking is common fo these folk. They like to be in high stress positions with a lot of critical information communing in moment by moment. They think on their feet, take charge and take care of business. They like to mix thing up to keep themselves sharp.
Kapha: This reminds us that Kittika is ultimately a stabilising protective force. Kapha is a cool, oily, heavy, stable, slow, soft, gross, sticky/cloudy, smooth. Ultimately a warrior embraces the principles of kapha: be cool and smooth, take your time, remain sable and flow like oil, keep yourself together.
Downward: Research, containment, underground activity, digging wells or laying a foundation, gambling, pessimism.
Active: Planets here will actively pursue their interests. This is one of the key points of Krittika and hardly needs further discussion here. Active planets like Mars and Sun will have their activity enhanced. If afflicted here it can make a person very aggressive and commanding. More passive planets will struggle in an active field. Venus’s image does not typically command the same respect as a great leader, but a positive full moon can do good here since the whole rhythm of their life is based on gaining the appreciation of others. The moon here can make an active mind, but we need active and alert minds to nourish and protect the weak. Saturn will be like putting an old man jogging; he can still do well, but may follow the “slow and steady wins the race” mantra.
Female: Krittika is mostly in Taurus which relates with the beauty of the world as an object of the senses. It’s a place of great unique creativity where new things are born into this world.
Earth element: The creative and productive energy of is nakshatra seeks solid results. But people with this nakshatra often stand for something; it may be a principle, a system, a social cause,
Destructive Energy: Krittika is a very creative energy, but it creates thru destruction, breaking things apart so that something better can grow. It represents the aggressive aspects of sexual union, the force used to give birth birth, and the championship of the sperm that succeeds in fertilising the egg. There can’t be a winner in a world without losers. Krittika will often seek to knock others down. These people can also burn a lot of bridges in their life and leave a lot of general destruction in their wake.
Sage Angirasa: his name means, he who has “sprung from the coals,” “shines like fire,” or “the radiant one.” He is associated with many beautiful hymns, especially in the Artha Veda and Rig Veda. He was a teacher of yagya (fire worship) and soma practices which he acquired from Bhrigu. He’s closely connected with concepts of oblation and memory. His intense contemplation on Para-Brahma produced great tejas. His followers seek vast open natural spaces for contemplation and the knowledge seeking. Hymns and mantras are mostly pleasant but he also has mantras for harming others relating him to black magic. Brihaspati and Prana are his most famous children. Dirghatamas was Anghiras’ blind grandson and father of Gautama Maharishi
North: planets here are likely to give their results in the north. When this asterism in placed in the northern quadrant of the chart it gains extra strength to give results. North is also to direction of death
Hips, loins, upper and back of head
Krittika people can be very active and need to eat a lot of food to satisfy their quick digestion, otherwise stomach acid builds up and the get angry. The tend to push themselves hard to go beyond their limits and may suffer many injuries along the way (Mars is famous for giving many scars on the face when he’s placed here). Accidents, inflammation, cuts, burn along with the kinds of illnesses that come with high fevers are all fairly common for these folks. They like to put themselves in high stress situations. Otherwise each of the dosa will mix with krittika’s effects in their own way.
Agni – Fire
Prana is the force of life, it brings to life our body, our mind, our senses and connects us to the beyond. This prana is carrying fire, the life force, vitality, Agni has to do with cellular intelligence and awareness. Ayurveda lists as many as 40 types of agni in the body, but there are 13 main ones separated into three categories:
- Krittika typically has a strong fast digestion and need to eat a lot of food. But this also puts their digestive fire at risk. Ayurveda recognises four digestive Agnis. Each of them will disturb the nourishment we get from food in their own way.
- Vishamagni is too much wind in the stomach making the inner fires erratic causing gas, wandering cravings and eating patterns.
- Tikshagni: too much fire, digestion is too quick. Diarrhoea, stomach ulcers
- Mandagni is slow sluggish smouldering fire in the belly causing indigestion or and inability to absorb certain nutrients.
- Otherwise we recognise a balanced and stable Agni of normal digestion; which for a Krittika native can be quite a strong appetite, especially in their early years.
- Krittika typically has a strong fast digestion and need to eat a lot of food. But this also puts their digestive fire at risk. Ayurveda recognises four digestive Agnis. Each of them will disturb the nourishment we get from food in their own way.
- Five Bhutagni: They take over from the digestive fires and do their work mostly in the liver metabolising chyle into elemental components; breaking down molecules to atoms so that the fires of the bodily tissues can then work with it. This is where amino acids get turned into fat or proteins, glucose into glycogen or fat. It’s at this stare that our sense organs are also nourished. How mush fire awareness our senses have is also related to this metabolic stage. All of this suggests Krittika may be prone to lived problems.
- Prithvi Agni nourishes our sense of smell.
- Apa Agni nourishes to tongue and the sense of taste
- Tejas Agni radiates heat, light and energy nourishing the eyes and the sense of sight. This fire is particularly important for Kittika
- Vayu Agni nourishes our nervous system and our sense of touch.
- Akash or Nabhasa Agni; nourishes the era and the sense of hearing. (I like the second name because it relates space with the belly butting to eh umbilical cord which is also the site of samana prana which spirals outward to connect us, to make us aware of, the universe around us.)
- Dhatus are tissues in the body. Ayurveda lists seven tissues, each with their own fire to metabolise nutrients:
- Rasagni (water) in the blood plasma circulates nutrients, hormones and proteins throughout the body.
- Raktagni (fire) in the red blood cells transports oxygen and nutrients to t he blood.
- Mamsagni relates with the skin and the tissues covering the body and relates with strength and stability.
- Medhagn (water & earth elements) relates with fat in the body, energy storage & retrieval
- Asthyagni in the bones providing structure and stability to the body.
- Majjagni in the bone marrow and nerve tissues and governs the metabolic activity of the brain and spinal cord.
- Shukragni is the metabolic activity in sperm and reproductive fluids. The essence of all seven tissues. Life, vitality and energy are provides here.
Agni also draws our attention to the two sides of metabolism; catabolism & anabolism reminding us that fire can be both destructive and creative. Our stomach does this with food and our cells with the nutrients, but the intellects of Krittika people are also putting their sharp critical minds at work in search of truth.
Testosterone sperm and male puberty comes to the forefront in Krittika. Venus is Shukracharaya in command of sperm and in Taurus we finally our stored karmas and DNA. Krittika is that one sperm that succeeds in fertilising the egg; the champion. Androgens are also important for masculine features. Testosterone is a key hormone of puberty for boys and affects hair growth, voice change, muscle build, hight, and sexual development. It continues to regulate our sex lives and vitality throughout adult hood. Testosterone typically moves on a daily rhythm rising in the morning and plating until a crash in the evening. It has a lot to do with cognitive ability, alertness, awareness.
Low testosterone: decreased strength of muscles and bones (low medagni & asthagni), drop in sex drive, low sperm count, excessive irritability, poor erections, enlarged breasts, low motivation, low self confidence. In old age this could cause osteoporosis increasing the risk of serious injury. And the lower levels of testosterone in women may be connected to higher numbers of Alzheimer’s disease (often said to be from not having any challenges in life). Low testosterone is often connected with higher cortisol and lower serotonin.
High testosterone: Acne, hyper- & hypo-tension, body hair growth combined with early balding on the head. Sanyas or erectile dysfunction, reduced desire, irritability, anxiety, depression.
For women it’s a bit different, with high testosterone they also get more hair on their body and less on their head, muscles get bigger, periods go out of whack, and they may not be able to get pregnant, and not have interest in sex. They also get irritable and depressed. Their breast get smaller and metabolism changes.
Balanced diet, moderate exercise, occasional success or achievement and good rest are the best ways to keep testosterone levels balanced. When things do go out of balance it could also be due to glandular tumour, artificial steroids or other hormone supplement therapies. Women will also experience imbalance for similar reasons. The birth control pill is one of the primary ways to block testosterone from getting too high in woman.
((It occurred to me late in writing that adrenaline could have some involvement here, but I will look more into it when I do the third draft. I hope you’re enjoying the second draft of my nakshatra study. ))
Gods and Symbols of Krittika
As the first son of Shiva he goes by many names: Skanda, Subramanya, Murugan, Swami Natha, and sometimes merely as “the other boy.” He is the embodiment of the perfect man, a fearless leader, Commander & Chief of the Army of the Gods. He carries a spear in one hand and blesses his devotees with the other. His vehicle is the peacock with a serpent in its claws, representing the destruction sexual impulses, passion, fear and the other negative tendencies. He is a celibate.
Birth of Kartikeya
His birth was a significant event in the mythological history of India and for the beginning of existence. The demon Taraka was given the boon that only a son of Siva could kill him. With this great power he brought chaos to heaven and earth. This was after Sati’s death while Parvati was still in the forest completing her austerities to gain the boon of marrying Shiva. Shiva, meanwhile, had finally cooled down after Sati’s death and was chilling in samadhi on top of Mount Kailash. After some adventure and turning poor Kamadeva (India’s cupid) to ash, Shiva did finally agree to marry Parvati. ((You can find a playful version of the story here.))
While Parvati and Shiva were in amorous meditation a ball of fire and sparks formed between them (you’ll find many versions of their private time together) and they summoned Agni to hold it for incubation, but it was too hot for the agent of fire. He passed the fiery foetus along to Ganga, who eventually deposited it into a pond formed by the nourishing essence his mother Parvati. When the six headed god was born he was sent to live with the six krittikas (wives of the rishis) who acted like six doting mothers.
An alternate story sees him born thru the union between Agni and Swaha which basically represents a ritual of giving life to the fire.
The Number 6 relates to the five senses and the mind, the ability to look in every direction (the four cardinals, up and down). Suggest that a we need to be alert to the six distractions: sex (kama), anger (krodha), greed (lobha), passion (moha), or jealousy (matsarya). His six faces also represent the forces of Shiva such as Tatpurusha, Aghora, Sadyajatam, Vamadeva, Ishani & Adhomukha.
Kartikeya’s Childhood & the Meaning of Om
As a child Lord Shiva sent Kartikeya to Lord Brahma for studies. Kartikeya asked directly the meaning of ‘Om,’ but Brahma told him he would have to learn the whole alphabet first. Kartikeya insisted until eventually refusing to learn from Brahma because maybe he did not know the meaning of ‘Om’ himself. Brahma complained that his student was impossible to teach, always arguing the opposite position. When Kartikeya complained to his father that Brahma did not know the meaning of Om, Shiva told him that even he did not know the meaning of ‘Om.’ Kartikeya said that he knew and he would tell his father only if he was elevated to Guru since only the highest Guru could impart such knowledge. Shiva did not know how else to elevate someone above even himself so he lifted the boy onto his shoulders and little Kartikeya explained the meaning of “Om:’ Everything, even the trinity, is contained within Om. “Om means that everything is love — unbroken and unshakable love is Om.” Parvati Ma replied, my dear son, “you have become Swaminatha, a Guru to my Lord.” As the guru of both Shiva and Shakti Kartikeya takes the seat of the third eye. It was Shiva’s third eye that opened turning Kamadeva to ash.
He was often outwitted by Ganesha in brotherly competition. They once competed to see who could run around the universe first. The winner would be declared the eldest brother. Kartikeya quickly set out to win but just as he was returning, Ganesha stood up, walked around their parents, Shiva and Shakti, and insisted he won. The story reminds us to be aware of loopholes in the law or changing of the rules between heaven and earth. HIs connection to Prana which is the vehicle that rides between heaven and earth highlight this journey.
At age 7 he returned home and was given the divine weapons by his parents and prepared for war. The demon Taraka laughed at the 7 year old boy but soon suffered defeat. Kartikeya won back heaven for the gods, but Taraka’s sons sought revenge and the battle between good and evil, order and chaos, sensual pleasures and spiritual enlightenment continues.
Kartikeya was a renunciant who was essentially married to his job. First wife is called Devasena, the Army of the Devas representing action (her sister is Daityasena, army of the Demons). In the days before their marriage Devasena and her sister were enjoying a leisurely day when the demon, Keshi, kidnaped the two of them and tried to convince them to marry him. The sister, Daityasena, agreed to the proposal but Devasena stood firm representing the defeat of the army of the gods. But she calls on her father Indra to rescue her, which, as the great hero, he is able to do. In her frightened state she asks her father to find her a husband who can protect her from evil. After Kartikeya passed numerous tests he is installed as the Commander in Chief and is married to the army of the gods, Devasena, who represents his power. (Other stories have her following prescribed penance and practices in order to earn a husband of such high birth.)
Second wife Valli is not mentioned much. She was the daughter of a tribal chief, a huntress with great devotion for Kartikeya. Kartikeya is said to have appeared to her as a local hunter and made sexual advances. He tried many things until eventually he concocted a plot with her brother Ganesha who turned into an elephant and chased her down the path where Kartikeya waiting as an old man who promised to help her only if she married him. When she agreed, Kartikeya revealed himself to her and they were soon married. This relationship highlights the difference between the two wives: one represents the professional soldiers and the other represents the non-professional mercenaries.
Random points about Kartikeya
He is said to hold a grudge against women because his mother always favoured Ganesha and even helped him cheat in the race around the universe. Despite being raised by 6 mothers it’s said that no woman was allowed to enter his garden. He even transformed the beautiful Apsara Urvashi into a tree for trespassing.
He has an affinity for the Kadamba flower (known in English as the Burflower tree) and taught man how to use it for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, diarrhoea, irritable bowl syndrome and problems in the urinary tract; many of the problems that are common to natives with placements in Krittika. It even detoxifies the male and female reproductive systems. A tropical evergreen tree native to South and Southeast Asia. It’s a beautiful red-orange flower with nice fragrance. Bitter and astringent, cold, dry, becomes pungent after digestion and in effective in balancing all three doshas. (See my article on Shatabhisha for more information about the Kadamba flower.)
Kartikeya is much more popular in South India than in the North. Thaipusam celebrates victory of good over evil, and Skanda Sashta is celebrated on the 6th day of shukra paksha in the Tamil month of Aippasi (Oct or Nov) as the day Kartikeya killed the Taraka.
Agni – The God or Agency of Fire
An alternate story of Kartikeyas birth has Agni as his father. Agni represents metabolic energy, transformative energy, and purification. He is the mouth of the gods. He cooks, eats and digests the offerings of food or knowledge that nourish the gods.
One day Agni conducted a fire ceremony. Afterwards while he was glowing with tejas and his heat was high, he looked upon the wives of the seven rishis and was immediately overcome with desire for them. He even took the form of the eternal fire so he could remain close to them, but after some time, due to the forbidden nature of his desire, he left for the forest. Swaha, who was one of Daksha’s daughters, was madly in love with him and saw him in this mixed state of dejection and arousal and hit on a plan. She took the form of each of the wives and made love to him six times but was unable to take the form of Arundhati because of the strength of character and devotion for her husband. Swaha had transformed into an eagle after each union with Agni and deposited his semen in a bush in the mountains. This happened on Pratipada of Shukra Paksha in the month of Chitra (March – April). After just four days Kartikeya was fully formed with 6 heads, 12 arms and legs, and just one body. He had immense strength. On the 6th day of his life he is said to have defeated the demon Taraka.
It later came out that he was the child of six of the wives of the rishis which caused a big scandal. It was not easy for Swaha and Vishwakarma to convince everyone of the truth. The Sage’s left their wives and the wives went to Skanda to ask for their place in the heavens. They vowed to always protect and nourish the orphan Skanda. Indra overheard the whole thing and knowing that Abhijit had gone to the forest to practice austerities in order to overpower elder sister Rohini, he gave the place to the seven wives.
Kartikeys’s Vehicle: A Peacock with a Snake in its Talons
The peacock is a symbol of male fertility & virility. The snake in its talons suggests that he has defeated his desires and has control over his sexual urges and temptations. Suggests control over all underground and occult activities as well. Kartikeya represents a person who in in command rather than being commanded by his desires and the objects of his senses.
Shiva is represented by snakes so this image seems to suggest some dispute between father and son. But if we look at the animals from the divine royal family we quickly notice that none of them are friends: Ganesha’s mouse, Shiva’s snakes & his bull, Kartikeya’s peacock, Durga’s lion: none of these animals get along with any of the others.
Dionysus is a little like Kartikeya’s western counterpart. He is known as Bacchus, Liber (the Free), Eleutherios (the Liberator). He is the son of Zeus and Prometheus, husband of Demeter. He is said to have been born from the thigh of Zeus, which is understood to mean he was sewn into his ball sac. He is known as one “with balls.” Twice born or born again. It seems reasonable that there may be some Christian symbolism that we’ll discuss later.
Zeus sent the infant Dionysus to Hermes to care for, Hermes gave him to the river nymph daughters of Lamos, but Hera made them attack him out of madness and he was rescued again by Herme. He was then given to Ino who taught him the mysteries. He was raised as a girl to hide him from Hera who eventually found him anyway. Hermes rescued him again and brought him to the mountains to be cared for by Rhea throughout his adolescence. The rain-nymphs of Nysa may have nurtured him through his childhood. Like the wives of the rishis they were rewarded by being placed as Hyades star cluster.
An alternate story has it that the seven daughters of Atlas were the nursemaids and teachers of Dionysus. One day they were being chased by the Hunter, Orion, and were turned into doves to help their escape. When they flew to the heavens they were rewarded with a position on the sky as the seven sisters.
He was a student of the centaur, Chiron, from whom he learned the songs and dances, rites and initiations. Hera made him wander the land in madness until the goddess Cybele (or Rhea) cured him. He then went on a pilgrimage through Asia teaching grape cultivation and wine making. Dionysus loved the satyr Ampelus who became the constellation Vindemitor (the grape gatherer).
When he returns to his hometown, they disbelieve in his divine birth and denounce him. So he makes the king go mad and then go down and watch the women in their ecstatic rituals. But the women, in their ecstatic trance, mistake him for a wild beast and tear him apart with their bare hands. The women from his family all took part. The mother puts his head on a pike. The women are banished and the queen’s father is turned into a snake. Another king arrested all of his followers so he created a drought to punish the king and cause revolt. Eventually the people tear him apart and the curse is lifted from the land
Dionysus spent much time sitting in the seashore. Mistaken for a prince the sailors would capture him for ransom. But no rope could bind him and he would often transform into a bear or a lion killing anyone who tried to block his path. Those who jumped overboard were mercifully transformed into dolphins.
Dionysus is said to have descended into the underworld to retrieve his mother so that they both may go to live in heaven. Hercules held back the hell dogs for him.
He gave Midas the touch of gold. Everything he touched turned to goal including his food and then his own daughter. He prayed to be released from the boon he had requested.
He was said to be androgynous (described as a feminine man, or man-womanish) and carried a thyrsus (a staff of giant fennel wound in ivy with a pine cone on top and dipped in honey. He was the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society; those living wild, dangerous, hedonistic chaotic lives. He rules over everything that is unexpected and beyond human reason. His symbols were the grapes, wine, harvest, phallus, fig tree (which is the tree of Krittika) and the ecstatic dance. He had at various times turned into a bull or a lion and he was often associated with snakes. He taught people agriculture, herbal medicine, alchemy and how to use food for medicine. From a broader perspective he symbolised prosperity, fertility, and all the pleasures and enjoyments of life.
Bacchus mysteries were originally for men but came to celebrate the sexual changes in girls and women linking him with Hades and Persephone, who was at first saddened by the loss of her childhood and being away from her mother but eventually celebrated her feminine sexuality that was expressed thru spring growth, abundance and fertility. A kind of dark night of the soul represented by winter is followed by the fresh hopeful beauty of spring. He guides the “Cult of the Souls” through the process of reincarnation and acts as a channel of communication between the living and the dead. The Maenads offered blood to the dead and many of the religious rights similar to Orphic, Persephone, Eleusinian mystery cults. His followers often wore fox skin, or sometimes panther or leopard skins.
He provides for those who choose to live a wild life. His wine, music and dance frees his followers from self-conscious fears and subverts the repressive constraints of the powerful. Those who take part in his right become possessed and empowered by the god himself. The divine madness came from just the right balance of drink rather than in drinking excessive amounts. He was represented in weddings, sacrifice of oxen, sexuality and death. The satyrs, maenads and other human-animal varieties associated with his represent returning to our natural animalistic roots as a way of escape from the restrictive ordering principle of civilisation. God of epiphany, related with foreignness and foreign travel and the struggles for acceptance upon the return home. He was seen as a god who had to endure much suffering before triumphing over it.
Stars of Krittika
Krittikas – Pleiades – The Seven Sisters
Six brightest stars of Pleiades in the upper torso of the bull and an important star constellation for marking the sailing season in the Medeterainian. One other faint star makes up the seven sisters; the seven wives of the seven sisters. One of Kartikeya’s earlier battles was against a fierce ram that emerged from the yagna of sage Narada
The seven sisters are considered the mouth of Brahman on par with Agni. They are also considered to represent the head of Kal Purusha or Prajapati.
Deepavali, the festival of light is celebrated in the month of krittika to honour the Seven wives of the sages who cared for Kartikeya: they were his earliest nursemaids and teachers. Although Deepavali is now said to be a celebration of Laxmi, it’ roots lie in worship of the seven wives of the seven sages Their names have also been given to seven key bricks that enclose and nurture the sacrificial fire. The seven wives are also connected with the seven main rivers in India.
The Number Seven
The seven wives of the rishis are:
- Amba: a term used for the mother goddess and Shiva’s wife which implies that she is Karkikeya’s natural mother, Parvati. The other six stars would represent the six wives of the six sages with one wife staying in another part of the sky due to her devotion. Amba is also a mode of dress used for addressing old ladies. May also be related to the medicinal plant Ambasthā. Could even relate with the mango tree.
- Dula: to swing, oscillate, shake upwards, throw up, or excite.
- Nitatni: a plant venerated as devi which is said to cure any illness has this same name
- Abhrayanti: Queen of the rainy season. Her name means “forming clouds” which brings rain. Her name relates with the sky, the atmosphere or cloudiness generally. She may relate with the aspect of Shiva which is known as the “firmament.” nAlso used to represent a blanket which is used to cover a carpet. Also represents mica, talc powder or a kind of fine dust covering. Used as a verb abhrati: to go.
- Meghayanti: Her name means, to “make cloudy.” Megha is also the name of one of the six rāgas
- Vasanti: Queen of the spring season, he name means “causing rain.”
- Cupunika: further research is needed into the unique powers of this special mothers.
Seven Vedic Mothers
- Biological Mother
- Wife of the guru they are sent to study with.
- The wives and women who help around the ashram or for ritual.
- The wives of authority figures, landlords wife. (Queens)
- Care givers: nurses,
- The Cow: Milk is the fruit of life
- The Earth: Everything we could ever want rises from the earth
The Saptamatrikas (seven mothers):
They helped Shiva defeat the demon Andhakasura who was multiplying with every strike and then later helped Durga defeat the Raktabija. In both cases they ate up the blood that was allowing the demons to multiply. It’s said that they represent 8 mental qualities that drag us down:
- Brahmani or Saraswati, the shakti of Brahma destroys pride.
- Yellow complexion with four faces, two hands are in varada and abhaya mudras; her other two hands hold a kamandal and an akshamala. She is seated on a lotus under a palash tree, she has a swan for a vehicle, and her head is adorned with a karanda makuta.
- “Om devi Brahmani vidmahe, maha shakthiyai cha dhimahee, tanno devi prachodayat.”
2. Maheshvari or Raudrani, the shakti of Shiva destroys anger.
- Fair complexion with 3 eyes. Two hands hold a trisula and akshamala while the other two are in mudra. She rides the bull Nandi and wears a jata makuta on her head.
- “Om vrushath vijaya vidmahe, miruga hasthaya dheemahi, tanno maheshwari prachodayat.”
3. Kaumari Karttikeyani, the shakti of Kumara or Karttikeya destroys illusion.
- She has a yellow complexion, carries a sakti and a kukkuta while two hands remain in mudra. She rides a peacock, lives under a fig tree.
- “Om sikid vijaya vidmahe, vajra hasthaya dheemahi, tanno kowmoari prachodayat.”
4. Vaishnavi or Lakshmi, the shakti of Vishnu destroys covetousness.
- She has a lovely face, pretty eyes, a dark complexion and wears yellow garments. On her head sits a kirita makuta. Around her neck in the vanamala. She holds a chakra and a sankha in two hands while the others are in mudras. She rides upon Garuda and sits under a Raja Vriksha tree.
- “Om tharksh yathwajaya vidmahe, chakra hasthaya dheemahi, tanno vaishnavi prachodayat.”
5. Varahi, the shakti of Varaha destroys envy.
- She has a dark complexion with a human body and the face of a boar. She wears a karanda makuta and is adorned with corals. She holds a hala and a shakti and rests under a kalpaka tree. She also rides an elephant
- “Om varahamuhi vidmahe. Anthrashani dheemahi, tanno yamuna prachodayat.”
6. Indrani, the shakti of Indra destroys fault finding.
- She is red in colour and has 3 eyes and 4 arms and wears a kirita makuta on her head. She carries the vajra and the sakti in two hands while the other two are in mudra. She is red, she rides an elephant and lives under a kalpaka tree.
- “Om gajah vijaya vidmahe, vajra hastaya dheemahi, tanno Indrani prachodayat.”\
7. Chamunda destroys lying.
- She has an emaciated body, sunken belly with all her bones showing. Her face is terrifying but smiling. She carries a skull and a trisula in two hands while the others offer mudras. She wears a garland of skulls, sits on a tiger skin under a fig tree.
- “Om pisasath vijaya vidmahe, soola hasthaya dheemahi, tanno kali prachodayat.”
The seven daughters of Atlas who helped raise Dionysus
- Maia: the eldest sister, representative of spring and the month of May.
- Electra: after an amorous tryst with Zeus she was the mother of Dardanus, the founder of Troy.
- Taygete: lover of nature, freedom and solitude.
- Alcyone: married Poseidon and was the brightest and most beautiful of the sisters.
- Celaeno was mother of Lycus the wolf and Chimaeras (part dragon, part goat, part lion)
- Sterope (or Asterope):fainter than the other stars. Had children with the god of war.
- Merope, the youngest sister, was wooed by Orion but married to Sisyphus The “lost sister” because she is not visible to the naked eye. (This sister is not counted amongst the six wives of the rishis who make up Krittika nakshatra).
Tree of Krittika
Ficus Racemosa: Cluster fig; Indian fig, Udumbara
The fruit only grows on mature branches keeping it away from the main trunk. This causes seeds to ripen and fall rather than be eaten and dispersed by animals near the trunk. Food plant for caterpillars of the two-brand butterfly. Monkeys and bats also eat this. In Vietnam they pickle the fruit. Fruit is called Gular.
The king’s crown could be formed with this branch and then coated in gold. The king’s throne could also be made from this wood. The leaves are indispensable for havan. Tribal people distil the fruit to make traditional liquor. The bark can be made into a paste and applied to boils and insect bites to bry the skin. In Atharva Veda this fig is useful for acquiring prosperity and defeating enemies.
This tree was created by Indra when he drank too much Soma. “From his hair thought flowed and became millet, from his skin honour flowed and became the Asvattha tree (ficus religiosa), from his flesh his force flowed and became the tree (ficus glomerata), from his bones his sweet drink flowed and became the Nyagrodha tree (ficus indica), from his marrow his drink, the Soma juice, flowed and became rice. In this way all his energy and vital force went from him.
Lord Dattatreya is worshipped living under this tree. The teaching that we must always remain open to learning from others if we wish to be teachers ourselves. This means to also learn to unlearn what has become obsolete. Dattatreya represents the trinity and is often worshiped by naga babas and other sadhus undergoing harsh austerities. Buddhism uses the name Udumbara for these flowers as well as for the blue lotus which blooms only at night.
Sexual Animal for Krittika
Female Sheep / Ewe:
Flock mentality with ewes maintaining their maternal group for a lifetime. The flock typically includes multiple females with one or two rams. As many of 40 – 50 ewes may be managed by a single adult ram. Members of the flock are usually connected thru casual affiliation rather than social hierarchies like cows. They have a strong affiliation with the flock and may become stressed, aggressive and panicky when separated from the rest of the flock. They reach sexual maturity by 6 to 8 months of age and will go into heat for about 30 hours every 17 days when in season. Mating behaviour includes nudging, kicking, pawing, low stretches, and pushing. She will give off a scent and make physical displays to show the males she is ovulating. They will occasionally be born lacking functional ovaries and displaying more masculine behaviour. In pregnancy their udders and vulva will swell up and vaginal, uterine or anal prolapse is not uncommon. Although some ewes have had as many as nine lambs in a litter, it’s much more common for them to produce only one or two. They have a uniquely curved cervix unlike most mammals. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can cause infertility. Selenium, copper vitamins A & D are key.
Additional Points of Interest
- Rahu in Krittika has too much fiery, critical, cutting energy. Scandals are common, but can be good for business. On the Aries side this Rahu can be aggressive, develop a huge ego, and will do anything to win (even kill, but killing is usually done in the heat of passion). Good for cutthroat politics and war.
- Vastu tells us that the kitchen should be in the South East corner of the house. Or living space
Planets in the Krittika
Mercury in Krittika makes someone a direct speaker, the kind of speaker who can get people fires up. They may speak in a comanding way or have a commanding voice. Short, direct and to the point. If venus is with Mercury, they might use very flowery language but be no less direct. Mars or Sun will of course make the speaker, the voice, or the effect very firely, impassioned. Good for a general, coach or commander. In the first part of Krittika Mercury may face difficulties and if it’s with Mars they might face a lot of misunderstandings in communication.
Venus in Kritika is good for modern female empowerment. Men with this placement often surround themselves with empowered women and women with this placement are typically empowered themselves. But if Saturn aspects this Venus those woman’s rights can be harshly curtailed as Saturn seeks to regulate the the way they express themselves. They may have a fear of women or take a path of celibacy either by choice of by necessity (impotence, lack of desire). They may have a love for little boys appreciate that boys will be boy. In some cases that may act as cheerleaders for men and masculinity. Henry the 8th had Venus here with Ketu conjunct. His wives had a few boys, but they all died. His love for a little boy had nothing but ghost to connect with. He was unable to connect with the women in his life either. It’s was the daughters who took over after his death. Bloody Mary is famous for burning Protestants at the stake.
Planetary Rulers of Krittika
Sun: Bright, central, unique, creative, authentic, sovereign, productive, singular, celebrated, self-centred, confident, intelligence, speculations, children and father figures, romance, mantra, spiritual practice.
Aries + Sun (see pada 1)
Taurus + Sun
Some conflict between image and authenticity can be found here. Nice style, good in the arts, excellent for banking, collections, storage, and finance. Good position for self made wealth and the pursuit of value, and appreciation thru celebrity, originality, productivity, authenticity. Strong sense of value. Veracity, truth and trusts are also signified by this combination. Likes to have status symbols like land, vehicles, wealth or stored goods. Can be a really unique visual artist, singer, actor, model. There may be many reproductions of the original.
Pada 1 (Aries + Sun + Sagittarius)
You can tell how much power someone has by how powerful their critics are. These people can face harsh criticism and they can offer an equal devastating rebuttal.
This pada is usually very fortunate, global elite, celebrated position of righteous knowledgable (or idealistic) leaders or commanders. They are often driven by a sense of justice, doing what is right. They are not just competitors, they are winners; very ambitious. They can be found at the top of any competitive field: athletics, business, politics, military, finance, medicine. They can be ruthless and cruel in pursuit of victory and they can face a lot of pressure to perform.They may have masculine traits: high testosterone, hot blood, aggression, selfishness, self confident. Ashwini is the wanderer, Bharani is the sadhu completing penance. Krittika is the is looking for earns admirations.
This pada can be so original that nobody can copy them, original thinkers. This pada is full of fire. (Pushkara Navamsha. 21° Aries is Pushkara Bhagya)
Ascendant: Barak Obama, Martin Luther King, Neil Armstrong
Sun: George Carlin (Mercury conjunct in Bharani made him famous saying what isn’t supposed to be said), Che Guevara, Osama Bin Laden
Moon: Bill Ayer (learder of a militant communist revolutionary group in the USA), Bill Clinton, Barak Obama, Harry Prince of Wales
Mars: Michael Jackson, Salman Rushdie.
Venus: Jeffery Dahmer, Pelosi
Mercury: JFK (telling it like it is), Uma Thurman
Jupiter: Clive Barker, Gandhi, Christopher Reeve, Mao
Saturn: Stephen Hawking, Muhammed Ali, Bob Dylan, Bernadine Ayer (Leader of an underground, radical communist group,
Rahu: Josef Haller (Nationalist Commander of Polish Army WW I & II, militia recruitment and training, propaganda directed towards children), Priscilla Chan (Zuckerberg), John Graham Burge (Chicago Police Commander accused or torturing more then 200 suspects to gain confession)
Ketu: Qasem Soleimani (“shadow commander”), Kenny Rogers (“Coward of the County”), Maxine Waters, Tiger Woods, Pirate
Pada 2 (Taurus + Sun + Capricorn)
Moon is exalted at 3°. Mars is exalted in this pada; Jupiter is in debilitated pada of enemy sign .Ones work may take centre stage. Good positions for cooks, hospitality work, making deals, construction of pleasing structures, making arrangements, government or corporate worker, land deals, music, status symbols. They want to appeal to the hierarchy or structure.
Ascendant:Tony Blair (unconfirmed time), Jordan Peterson (Empowerment coach, empowerment by rising up thru the hierarchy of values, his Mars in Bharani suggest that we have to activity go down into hell)
Sun: Sara Nares
Moon: Jackson Pollock, Dave Toschi (the cop Dirty Harry was modelled after)
Mars (exalted Navamsha): Qasem Soleimani (“The Shadow Commander”), Robert de Nero, Pelosi
Venus: Johnny Depp, Michael Moore, Osama bin Laden, Princess Diana
Mercury: Johnny Depp (Mercury rules 3rd house and is the natural Karaka for the hands) media roll in Nightmare on Elm Street and Edward Scissor hands), Clint Eastwood
Jupiter (debilitated Navamsha): Mike Holliday. JMW Turner (famous landscape artist. His last words were: “The Sun is God”), Picasso, Kamala Harris, Jean Paul Sartre, Jack Dorsey, JFK
Rahu: JRR Tolkien, James LeBron, Stephen King, Mother Teresa, Hilary Clinton
Ketu: Pierre Trudeau
Pada 3 (Taurus + Sun + Aquarius)
They use may create their own system that can be copied by others, or perhaps they long to reproduce the work of another. Other will be able to follow their system, plug into their networks, They may use their image or their stage for social cause or political activism. The system may be used for anything science, logistics, technical reproduction, systems of yoga or martial arts. Usually attractive, unique and creative but may feel like they are part or a much greater movement. They are often making an appeal to the system.
Ascendant: Jackson Pollock
Sun: Edward Smyth-Osbourn (Commander of elite NATO rapid deployment forces)
Moon: Cicero, Johnathan Luckhurst
Mars: James Blunt, Sara Nares, Andy Warhol (pop art), Johnathan Luckhurst
Mercury: Sigmund Freud, Candace Owens
Venus: Sid Vicious, Karl Marx, Al Gore, King Henry VIII, Nigel Farage
Jupiter: Bugsy Siegel, Toney Blair, Bob Dylan
Saturn: George Floyd, Berni Sanders, Richard Nixon
Rahu: Avril Lavigne, Martin Luther King, Harry Prince of Wales
Ketu: Stephen Yeats, Glenn Walters (Marine Corp General), Beethoven
Pada 4 (Taurus + Sun + Pisces)
Spiritual universal truths, dreamy images, abstract art, celebrated images of the sub-conscious mind. He we find people trying to make a dream or a universal ideal appealing. Perhaps they are themselves trying to be universally appealing Spirituality may be all about optics, though perhaps they are merely trying to express their mysticism or inner connection to god thru form. Goof for the foreign artist, international careers. Good sensual imagination as they try seek to express universal truths. They can also be reclusive thinkers. Criticism may only serve to propel them upward. May be an academic or scholar with big ideas. Mercury is not happy here as he becomes debilitated in Navamsha causing speech problems, dyslexia.
Sun: Jeffery Dahmer
Moon: Freida Kahlo, George Foreman
Mars: AOC, Jackson Pollock, Pirate
Mercury: Mikhail Bakunin, George Bush Sr,
Venus: Osama Bin Laden, JMW Turner (famous landscape artist. His last words were; “The sun is god.”), Uma Thurman
Saturn: Justin Trudeau, Julian Assange
Rahu: Salman Rushdie, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Ketu: Russel Brand, Samasati, Angelina Jolie