The sixth of the 27 Nakshatras is Ardra, which spans from 6°40′ to 20° Gemini/Mithuna in the Sidereal Zodiac. Ardra, आर्द्र, means green, fresh, living, moist, and new. Its symbol is a jewel or the head, indicating the mind and intellect, which is both the ego that experiences the material world and the destroyer of ignorance and illusions. Jewels, or gemstones, also have the power to absorb, disperse, and transmit energies. Under the influence of Ardra, one has the ability to use their mind to absorb, integrate, and use mental and spiritual energies. Whether that is for ambitions in the physical world, or for higher wisdom, is up to the individual and other influences in one’s birth chart.
The duality of the mind, between the ego’s desires and the soul’s higher aspirations is a conflict common to the sign of Gemini and its ruler Mercury. Ardra’s ruling deity is Rudra, the destructive aspect of the god Shiva. Rudra guides the intellect to learn and understand the true nature of ourselves, life, and the Universe. He is the destroyer of ignorance and the veils of illusion that cloud the mind. The ruling planet of Ardra is Rahu, the North Node of the Moon. Rahu can be very materialistically driven, and thus contributes to a dualistic conflict with Rudra, who wishes to direct our consciousness towards spiritual aspirations.
Ardra’s main motivation, or Purushaartha, is Kama, desire and passion. It’s Gunas are a balance of all three: Tamas, Rajas, and Sattva. With this conflict, dilemmas, and duality is reinforced. For those born under the influence of Ardra, which way one leans, if one tips constantly back and forth, or how one fully engages in life, whether towards material desires and goals or towards divine passion for liberation, will depend upon other influences on one’s Moon and the interplay of the other planets and rulerships within one’s birth chart.
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