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The Nakshatras are the lunar mansons in vedic astrology, also called jyotish or Indian astrology.

You may have been looking at your Vedic astrology horoscope and wondering why you are a different sign in Vedic. The short answer is Vedic astrology uses a different zodiac. "Why can't they just use the right zodiac", you might ask. The answer is, there is no right or wrong zodiac. Western astrology-bases the zodiac on the seasons, the Earth going around the sun. The first day of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are also the first day of the respective seasons that correlate to them: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

But you may not realize this, but those seasons have nothing to do with the actual constellations in the sky being referred to. Most people born "an Aries" in Western astrology have the Sun in the constellation of Pisces - the actual stars of Pisces. This is but a minor inconvenience to Western astrologers who do not use the stars in the sky when erecting a horoscope.

But for Vedic astrologers this doesn't work as Vedic astrology uses the stars in the chart itself. The stars refer to sections of sky called the Nakshatra’s. Some of the Nakshatra's refer to actual stars along the ecliptic (the orbital path the sun and planets travel from our vantage point on earth), while other Nakshatra's are not dominated by a large star on the ecliptic. There are 27 Nakshatras, which correspond to the number of days it takes the moon to travel around the Earth (called a lunar cycle).

Another name for the Nakshatras is “the lunar mansions” or “the wives of the moon”. In Vedic lore, the God Soma, who is quite a romantic devil, rules the Moon. Each day he travels to a different mansion, a different wife. Each of these wives have a different temperament and psychological nature.

This story of the moon god is meant to illustrate the changeable nature of our mind and also shows how each day we are imprinted by a different psychological nature. The Nakshatras show a deeper, spiritual temperament operating behind each of the planets though, not just the moon.

For instance, the Nakshatra of Ardra, which exists from 6:30 Gemini - 20 Gemini has the nature of Lord Shiva in his fierce form of Rudra. This is one of the more destructive Nakshatras. The 2005 Tsunami, hurricane Katrina and 9/11 all happened when the moon was here. Bear in mind, this is a 1/27 portion of sky, not large at all. Yet, three of the most devastating and destructive events of the last 10 years occurred with the moon in this Nakshatra related to destruction.

The Nakshatras date back to the earliest Vedic times. The oldest book known to mankind, the Rg Veda is actually a series of hymns to the deities that populate the Nakshatras. It explains the energy of each one. This deeper, spiritual energy is a connection to your timeless, eternal self. When a Vedic astrologer looks at the Nakshatras in your birth chart, he is looking into your mystical mind.

Just as the stars do not exist in our solar system, the Nakshatras directly refer to that part of you that does not just exist on the Earth, but which comes from the cosmos itself.