There are many similarities between Western and Vedic Astrology but the natal or rasi chart is read very differently in Vedic astrology. One of the biggest differences is the use of lunar mansions or nakshatras in Vedic astrology.
In India people don't ask, "What is your sun sign?" they ask, "What is your nakshatra?" In India the Moon nakshatra is the main indicator of personality type, much like the Sun is read in Western astrology.
There are 27 lunar mansions in the sky and each are equally 13 degrees 20 minutes. The nakshatras that planets are placed in gives detailed descriptions that can be amazingly accurate. With each nakshatra there is a symbol, animal, mythological story, and other qualities which help refine the description of a individual's personality and what they will experience in this lifetime.
The 27 nakshatras are:
- Purva Phalguni
- Uttara Phalguni
- Purva Ashadha
- Uttara Ashadha
- Purva Bhadrapada
- Uttara Bhadrapada
The spellings may vary in English since there is no direct translation from Sanskrit to English but you can always recognize what nakshatra is referred to in English.
Nakshatras are used not only for natal chart interpretation but also when studying transits. When two planets are aspecting each other in the sky, a vedic astrologer will study the nakshatras that the planets are in to get a better understanding of what to expect from the transit. The signs are also considered as in western but the nakshatra gives so many details that it is usually considered primarily.
In this article I want to focus on number 15 - Swati (6 deg 40min Libra to 20 deg 00 Libra.)
We have an interesting transit coming up on September 16th in the nakshatra of Swati - Saturn conjunct Rahu (or the North Node.) This is considered a very important aspect as it doesn't happen very often. The last time Saturn conjoined Rahu was on June 4, 2002. Rahu is considered to be the mouth of the dragon and emphasizes things. Rahu is also considered to be like Saturn in it's effects. So a Rahu/Saturn together is considered to be at double Saturn effect. This aspect takes place at 14 degrees of Libra in the sidereal zodiac and in the tropical or western zodiac at 8 Scorpio. While the aspect is approaching very closely now and will perfect on Monday Sept 16th, people with planets or points at these degrees may notice a significant event in their lives. This aspect has already shaped world events.
Swati is ruled by Rahu. So now this is a triple Saturn effect at this degree of 14 Libra (vedic)/9 Scorpio (western) emphasizing its importance.
Swati's influences are of being able to sweet talk others well, learning, and perform virtuous acts. Swati can also cause things to 'spread like the wind' or scatter. It allows one to 'bend with the wind' The deity of this nakshatra is Vayu, demigod of wind. So this nakshatra can cover anything dealing with wind, air, and influential speaking. It is also about doing the right thing.
Recently in the news, chemical attacks or attacking 'in the air' so to speak has been the major international story as Presidents Obama and Putin work out a solution with Syria. At the center of this political crisis is Russian President Putin who has his Ascendant (Lagna at 9 deg Libra) in the nakshatra of Swati.
Having Swati on his Lagna (ascendant) gives Putin the inborn talent for influencing others with sweet talk. Thanks to Putin's negotiating skills, he has been able to bring Presidents Obama and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to a peaceful conclusion with the chemical weapons in Syria.
By next Monday, Saturn's triple influence in Swati may indicate a formalized practical solution, confinement or regulations (Saturn) to restrict and prohibit the use of chemical weapons.
On an individual level, people with planets in Swati (6 deg 40min to 20 deg 00 Libra Sidereal Zodiac) may find that they are gong to have to restrict their own activities or may have to 'lay down the law' on something they are doing. These people would be helped by using their sweet talking abilities to maneuver their way around any obstacles that may crop up between now and then. It may be a stressful time for some but it can also be a productive time of building something solid, useful and meaningful.