9. Nakshatra Ashlesha

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Symbol: Serpent
16°40' — 30°00' Cancer
Body parts: nails

Ashlesha (sanskrit: आश्लेषा) — the Clinging Star;

  • Range: 16°40' — 30°00' Cancer
  • Symbol: coiled snake
  • Deity: Nagas
  • Mode of Functioning: Active
  • Caste: Mleccha
  • Gender: Female
  • Body parts: Elbows, Knuckles, Knee Caps, Nails, Ears
  • Humor (Ayurvedic Constitution): Kapha
  • Direction: the northwest to the north
  • Guna (Essence): Sattva
  • Tattwa (Element): Water
  • Gana (Type): Rakshasa (demonic)
  • Orientation: Downward
  • Disposition: Hard, Sharp and Dreadful
  • Ruling Planet: Mercury
  • Sounds: Dee, Doo, Day, Don
  • Animal symbol: Cat
  • Primary Motivation: Dharma
  • Enemy: Mula

Padas (Quarters)

1. The first pada or quarter of this asterism (16° 40' — 20° 00' Cancer) falls in Sagittarius Navamsa and is ruled 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.

2. The second pada or quarter of this asterism (20° 00' — 23° 20' Cancer) falls in Capricorn Navamsa ruled 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.

3. The third pada or quarter of this asterism (23° 20' — 26° 40' Cancer) falls in Aquarius Navamsa ruled 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.

4. The fourth pada or quarter of this asterism (26° 40' — 30° 00' Cancer) falls in Pisces Navamsa ruled 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.

Lunar Month and 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.

Ashiesha is also related to Navami (9th tithi or day) of the waxing and waning phases of the Moon's monthly cycle.

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.


All professions dealing with Poisons; Petroleum Industry; Chemical Engineers; Cigarette Industry; Legal and Illegal Drug Dealers; Drug Pushers; All Self Serving professions like present day Politicians; Behind the Scenes Manipulators; Psychologists; Con Artists; Thieves; Swindlers; Pornography Industry; Prostitutes; Snake Charmers; Professions involving dealing with Reptiles; Allopathic 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.


All places where Snakes & Reptiles dwell; Secret service Institutions (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.

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.

Inauspicious 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.

Health Issues

Food poisoning, obesity, poor diet, venereal disease, arthritis, nervous disorders.


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!

See also

Further reading