Betelgeuse, Sirius, Ardra
Today we find the Moon in Ardra Nakshatra, in the constellation Gemini and including the giant star Betelgeuse in Orion as well as Sirius in Canis Major. Ruled by Rahu and in Mercury-ruled Gemini, Ardra combines strong feelings of desire for experience with deep intelligence operating at hyper speed. The Vedas say Ardra is inhabited by Rudra, the avatar of Shiva connected with storms, thunder, destruction, and the death, pain, and suffering that attend these. Ardra means “the moist one” or “the star of sorrow.”
Tears of grief provide an outlet for excess emotional energy and clear the doors of perception. They rejuvenate us and are often precursors to an explosive energy and fountain of enthusiasm. Having seen the temporal nature of life, we seek expansion of our experience, and the acquisition of a double-edged sword of great power for cutting away obstacles to growth.
The metaphor of a double-edged sword reminds us that power has both helpful and inimical uses. It can protect, serve, and build. It can also attack, enslave, and destroy. Benevolence or oppression are found in our relationships with power. Ardra has the shakti of effort for making gains in life. Its desire is power over nature represented by animals. It exercises this power by searching until it attains its goal. The result of effort is achievement.
There are many potential personalities contained in the power of Ardra. The relationship to grief and loss produced Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. The expansion of life through power produced Babe Ruth. Power that served gave the world Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The power of the hunter took a dark turn in serial murderer Richard Speck. To handle the stormy emotions of Ardra one benefits from developing gratitude toward all life and every experience, including those that accompany suffering and grief, clearing a path for growth and expansion. To channel the desire to hunt and the aggressive tendencies toward animals and nature, adopting a meditation practice, plant-based diet, or offering service to the well-being of animals may be effective.
Ardra’s mythic origin involves a demon who practiced fasting and denial of all comforts for many years in order to receive the gift of unbeatable power. Unfortunately, being a demon, the power was used against the Innocent, giving great offense to the Creator, who, according to Dharmic law, required the evolution of life, not its destruction. The great warrior Rama was sent to slay the demon, but upon seeing the demon had taken on female form hesitated, as killing of a woman was the destruction of a womb that gave life. Rama’s teacher, Viswamitra, reminded him that his duty was to protect the Dharma. The taking of life, even that of one in female form, was sometimes necessary to ensure its evolution and expansion continued. Not only was the demon killing innocents but also cannibalizing their bodies. Rama saw his duty and recognized his first responsibility as warrior king was to protect those whom he served. In killing the demon, named Tataka, he also killed the ignorance born from his absolute beliefs.