Krittika (கிருத்திகை), the establisher of Dharma
Placement: 26° 40’ of Aries to 10° 00’ of Taurus
Element: Earth (Bhumi)
Pushkara Navamsha/Bhaga: 1st and 4th pada/NA
Krittika is the 3rd nakshatra which has the combined energy of Sun, Mars and Moon. It is the abode of Lord Kartikeya. It is the constellation where he was raised and prepared for war against a great demon to re-establish the dharma on earth.
“It has a total of 7 stars tightly packed in the night sky in the star cluster Pleiades”.
Ruler: Surya (Sun) is the planetary ruler of this nakshatra. Krittika holds a super importance in creation mythology. In fact it is considered as the seed of God Shiva, the origin of all creation. Because Sun is God Shiva and Moon is Goddess Parvati. This is where they both meet for the first time. Sun is the fire/heat and Moon is the water. Life is created with fire/heat and water. The fact that Krittika starts in Aries and ends in Taurus proves this theory. Because Sun gets exalted in Aries and Moon gets exalted in Taurus. Krittika is ruled by Sun and it is where Moon gets its maximum exaltation.
Deity: Krittika's deity is Agni (God of fire). The theme of Krittika is about protection and motherly nourishment (which is the domain of Moon). Krittika is one among two nakshatras presided by Lord Agni. The other one is Vishakha. Lord Kartikeya (the commander of Godly forces) is another deity of this nakshatra. He is the son of Lord Shiva. He was born from the fire came through Shiva’s third eye. There were total of six sparks and so six children were born. Their births were kept a secret from reaching the eyes and ears of everyone as their purpose of birth was to destroy the demon (asura) king Surapadma. All those six children were sent away secretly to six women known as “Krittika women” (wives of celestial sages) who were the foster mothers raised and taught them everything to defeat Surapadma. After a while Mother Parvati went to them, took all six of them in her hands and made them into one body with six heads so he’s literally called six faced (Arumugan). He is also called Kartikeya because he was raised by the Krittika women. Krittika, Kirtika, Kartika are all the same name. Kartikeya is generally described as young, good looking, carries a spear (arrow shaped) and dressed as a warrior. His alternate names are Sharavana, Murugan, Skanda, Subramanya etc.
"The rough translation of Krittika in English is “critical”. In Sanskrit it means most beautiful and another meaning is cutter or splitter."
Symbol: The symbolism is fire and a knife/sharp object. This nakshatra is associated with Mars (Mangal) as well, since Mars is the significator of “fire and sharp objects”. It also starts from the sign of Aries (from 26° 40’ to 30° 00’) ruled by Mars. So we see a strong connection with Sun and Mars everywhere. Sharp objects and fire can be used for saving as well as hurting someone. The same way this nakshatra acts as a protector as well as destroyer.
Animal: Female Goat is the animal association of this nakshatra (Lord Agni rides a Goat). Peacock is the associated bird of this nakshatra, read the article Vaikási Viságam to know more about Lord Kartikeya.
Guna: Rajassic nakshatra, it represents constant actions in a technical way more than its predecessors.
Power: It represents "Dahana Shakti". The power to purify things through burning/heating.
General Attributes: Krittika is the energy of protection and destruction. It also denotes nurturing abilities, education, warrior attitude, bravery and skills through constant burning of energy. The native of this nakshatra can be a protector/defender as well as a destroyer. They will defend their habits and beliefs in a strong manner. They can be strong as well as tender. They may also have a strong connection with their father or father figures/Gurus. These are general qualities, reader’s discretion is advised.
Karthigai Deepam: It's an annual Hindu festival celebrated on the day of Krittika nakshatra in the month of Karthikai (to celebrate the origin of creation). People celebrate this festival by lighting diyas (oil lamp) at homes because fire/heat is the origin of all creation thus.