Sanskrit mṛgaśiraṣa (popularly spelled Mārgaśīrṣa/Mṛgaśira) (Devanagari: मृगशीर्ष)(Tamil: மிருகசீரிடம்) (Kannada: ಮೃಗಶಿರ) the 5th nakṣatra or lunar mansion as used in Hindu astronomy and astrology is the constellation Orion. Its position is described in the Surya Siddhānta.
The first two carana/pada (quarters) of this nakṣatra are part of Vṛṣabha Rāśi (Devanagari: वृषभ) or Taurus. The latter half of this star belong to Mithuna Rāśi (Devanagari: मिथुन) or Gemini (from 23°20’ Taurus to 6°40’ Gemini).
The term Mṛgaśira (मृगशिर) a composite of two Sanskrit words, mṛga (मृग) meaning animal/beast and śira (शिर) meaning head or precisely, the top of the head.
The names Mṛgaśira (मृगशिर) and Mārgaśīrṣa/Mṛgaśīrṣa (मार्गशीर्ष) are sometimes used interchangeably. Grammatically, Mārgaśīrṣa (मार्गशीर्ष) means "of Mṛgaśira" or "related to Mṛgaśira". Thus Mṛgaśira (मृगशिर) is the correct name of the star, while Mārgaśīrṣa (मार्गशीर्ष) is the name of the month related to Mṛgaśira, i.e., the month in which moon will be in conjuncture with the Mṛgaśira nakṣatra. In Malayalam it is called Makayeeram.
Under the traditional Hindu principle of naming individuals according to their birthstar, the following Sanskrit syllables correspond with this nakṣatra, and would belong at the beginning of a first name:
- Ve (Devanagari: वे)
- Vo (Devanagari: वो)
- Ka (Devanagari: क)
- Ki (Devanagari: कि)
Mṛgaśira nakṣatra extends from after 23°20 in Vṛṣabha Rāśi up to 6°40 in Mithuna. Star is governed by mars and the presiding deity is Candra. Symbol is Antelope or Deer. Rules the following parts of the body : face, chin, cheeks, larynx, palate, throat, vocal chord, arms, shoulders, thymus gland, upper ribs.
The word mṛga represents forests, gardens, a search, a seeking to find, to roam about in forests and a hunter, to seek to blaze the trail, a guide and preceptor. Mṛgaśirṣa is partly in Vṛṣabha and partly in Mithuna. It conveys the ideas of searching for beautiful faces, visit or request a girl in marriage. People born in this nakṣatra have a strong body and moderate complexion.
This is referred to as the Star of searching. These individuals are constantly searching or looking for something. They are restless, nervous types always traveling. They are collectors looking for one more piece to add to their collections. They love to shop and find that special deal, and the shopping or searching never ends. Like the deer they are gentle, peaceful, tender and have large soft doe like eyes.
They are seekers and are powerful investigators and researchers. Highly intelligent their quest will eventually take them to spiritual dimensions of their soul. There is a sensual provocative side that can lead to incestuous relationships as the myth suggests. The fun is in the chase or the journey not the destination, for then the thrill is over. They are known for having bright & beautiful children.
- Andrew Mason (2014). Rasa Shastra: The Hidden Art of Medical Alchemy. Singing Dragon. p. 436.