The ninth of the 27 Nakshatras is Ashlesha, which spans from 16°40′ in Cancer/Karkata to 0°00′ in Leo/Simha in the Sidereal Zodiac. This ending at 0° Simha is one of the three points where the Lunar and Solar Zodiacs come together, making Ashlesha a powerfully spiritual Nakshatra and symbolic of rebirth – the ending of one cycle and the beginning of a new one. Ashlesha, अश्लेषा, means entwining, embracing, and an intimate connection, and its symbol is the snake, which is a symbol of rebirth and transformation, healing, and wisdom.
Ashlesha’s ruling deities are the Nagas, (cobra) snake-gods who possess esoteric knowledge and occult powers. The poison of snakes can be used for both healing and for killing, and across many cultures snakes are viewed as both good and evil, and both wise and cunning. The duality of this Nakshatra is reinforced by its ruling planet, Mercury, which is considered a neutral planet, both/neither benefic and/nor malefic. That is, it can go in either direction depending on other influences. Ashlesha has a dominantly sattvic quality, and its main motivation is Dharma.
Those under the influence of or born with natal Moon in Ashlesha will have sharp inner vision to see the non-visible nature of the Universe and understand deep wisdom. However, they can be mercurial, indecisive, and contradictory. Though drawn to knowledge, philosophies, and self-reliance, they can also be self-destructive, spontaneous, and treacherous. The strong Sattva quality and the drive towards Dharma will likely prevail and lead the Ashlesha-born towards spiritual insights, transformation, and evolved consciousness.
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