I’m looking at a chart of a friend of mine from college. He is an Aquarius ascendant with Moon, Ascendant, and Sun all in Shatabhisha. Shatabhisha is a moveable nakshatra ruled by Rahu, which gives it a “scattering” or “concealing” effect. In this nakshatra a person feels like they can no longer rely on their own resources for answers to life’s greatest questions, so he “scatters” himself across new cultures and traditions. Shatabhisha has a Rakshasa temperament, so it often puts one at odds with mainstream norms. It promotes a love of travel, usually for the sake of finding something that will “heal” society. Hence it’s said to be ruled by Varuna, the cosmic ocean that pervades all planes of existence. Varuna is like the righteous order that sustains reality.
So my friend has a love of travel and exploration, amplified by a 3-planet stellium in the 12th house. I know he’s had many important transformations abroad.
His parents were both fairly old when he was born (Sun and Moon ruled by Saturn!), and he always felt unseen. In adulthood his identity is very much tied to his friend groups, and even one time expressed to me that he enjoys merging with a crowd.
Shatabisha is very much the quintessential Aquarius experience. Owing to the fact that Pisces is the 2nd house, Aquarians are alert to how society can too blindly follow dogma, so they justify themselves as being the ones who will free the world by setting in on the right path. Rahu, the ruler of this nakshatra is in my friend’s 11th house, where he evolves his relationship to the world’s desires. This is the sign of Sagittarius, which shows how Aquarians have a need to be thought leaders. (Invariably, as Shatabhisha turns into Purvabhadra, a person thinks he’s found “the remedy” and starts to believe a dogma of his own).
So the Moon, i.e. the mind in this nakshatra is structured to look for emotional peace in its obsession with fixing worldly values. And it’s in the first pada, the dharma pada, so this is a matter of righteous duty, rather than desire. The Sun too is also burning away impure desires in this nakshatra. My friend is a very serious environmentalist and can often get fired up when he ponders human apathy about the changing global climate.
This often comes at the price of not wanting to reflect on his own identity, not only because the Moon is the ruler of the 6th in the 1st—it can feel burdensome to him to connect with himself on an intuitive/emotional level. If he’s going to put a lot of effort, he’s going to want to get some kind of connection out of it. But also, because the Moon is a new moon, Amavasya tithi. So the moon is totally dark, and the emotional life has been vaporized by the Sun. This is a very intelligent man, very capable of philosophizing. But he can sometimes be too intellectual, and too worried about how he’s going to appear to others.
Amavasya brings a need for solitude, something that Aquarians love, and again the three planets in the 12th are supporting that. He has mused about retreating from society and living on a private farm where no one can find him.
Following the classical order of the planets, the planetary co-ruler of Amavasya is Rahu. The tithi and nakshatra are respectively co-piloting the feeling and acting like a stranger. And because Rahu is in Sagittarius, it devours some of the more evolved expressions of Jupiter, like having meaning and something to grow into.
Although Amavasya is a Purna tithi, bringing some Jupiter energy, there are multiple afflictions on Jupiter in this chart, so it’s unlikely to bring that quality of “fullness.” Although he no longer calls himself an atheist, he’s highly watchful for superstition and quackery. And this can make it hard for him to enjoy some of the spiritual activities associated with Jupiter. He likes to talk and think about religious ideas, but won’t commit to any path. Amavasya’s deities are the Pitris, or ancient ancestors. He has an affinity for old castles, and his father was even a scholar of Arthurian literature. I think behind his intellectualizing he is genuinely holding onto the possibility of a pure solution to the world’s problems, that extends back beyond history, something only the ancients could teach. It remains to be seen how he will move forward on what he learns through his own actions, or if he will continue to escape and hide. Either way, I know he’ll always be down to Earth and look after the people he trusts.