The red-giant star of Aldebaran (Rohini) is the neighboring nakshatra, just prior to Mrigashirsha. As Vedic lore goes, Rohini was the most desirable daughter of the sky. One day Rohini’s own father suddenly fell in love with her. Terrified, she changed herself into a doe in the hope to outrun him and jumped quickly across the constellation of Orion, but her father (Brahma) took the form of a stag and chased after her. In order to stop the possibility of celestial incest and save Rohini, Shiva intervened and cut off Brahma’s head in the form of the stag. This is the origin of the name Mrigashirsha, Mriga means deer and shirsha means head or face. Soft doe-like eyes and the gentle fleeting nature of a deer is often sensed in people born under this nakshatra. Called the “Searching Star,” it rules foraging, chasing, and fleeing; all activities of forest animals and wild creatures, predator and prey. Issues around animals could manifest and with Mars closely conjunct be especially careful of accidents around hunting or involving pets.
Mrigashirsha is ruled by the deity Soma, the god of the moon. The moon rules over all oceans and liquids on earth and it is said its gentle nurturing moonbeams provide the sap of life to all living things. This moon nectar is called soma or amrita. It is also the name of a highly desired mythical psycho-active plant that is thought to be now extinct. All plants, milk, juicy fruits, and thick leafy vegetables are endowed with Soma. It is the nectar of immortality that drips down under the light of the moon.
Although the moon is a feminine yin force that compliments the radiant yang of the sun, Soma is a male deity. However, Soma is always in relations to one of the 27 nakshatras who are personified as his 27 wives, and who each provide their unique Shakti to his light.
Moonlight is the light of our soul (atma) that shines out from the sun and which is reflected to earth by the moon. The moon is the reflection of our minds, personalities, emotions, and preferences. In Mrigashirsha the moon’s already fast and changeable nature is amplified. A dark moon has trouble soothing and nurturing the mind. Anxiety can run high around this New Moon, causing sudden exits and changes of subject. Emotions can fog judgment and the restless and wandering nature of the mind can be overwhelmed by desires.
Soma’s mind is often overpowered by his desires. According to Vedic lore Soma was overtaken by love for Jupiter’s beautiful wife Tara, seducing her and stealing her away from him. This caused a great uproar among the gods. Finally Tara was returned to Jupiter, her rightful husband. But when she returned she was pregnant with the Moon’s love-child, Mercury (Buddha). He was born in Jupiter’s home, and accepted and raised as Jupiter’s son. (An important example of the amiable nature of Jupiter towards the Moon, accepting the illegitimate son as his own.)
For this they say that the intellect is the child of our mind. Mercury is the quick discerning intellect that is born from the higher nature of the Moon’s complex emotions.
The New Moon on Tuesday June 16th is in the half of Mrigashirsha that falls under Gemini, a sign of Mercury. Thankfully, Mercury Retrograde is well over and it is now picking up speed in forward motion. Mercury is still receiving a full dristi from his friend Saturn, possibly augmenting the quiet and easily startled quality of Mrigashirsha. This will also increase the potential for philosophical inquiry around our beliefs. Searching and questing is a theme under this nakshatra. Mapping out important ideas and searching for missing pieces could be an activity at this time.
Aggressive Mars (a ruler of Mrigashirsha) is joined this New Moon and is disturbed by its weak position of sandi (on sidereal cusp) and recent combustion. There may be a need to be mindful of how we are communicating with others. Forcefulness and tempestuous requests may surface. A feeling of being overwhelmed or a need to control others may create harmful interactions. Take special precautions on this New Moon to protect your self. Try not to engage in passionate relating. Remember, if someone is overwhelming you it is often out of ignorance and a secret place of suffering within them. You may need to run away, but there is no harm in that. Remember that there is safety in numbers. Finding a small herd to run with (as deer do) will reduce anxieties.