From Rangjung Yeshe Wiki - Dharma Dictionnary
Constellations (skar ma)
- The twenty-eight constellations (rgyu skar nyer brgyad) are found in both the Chinese and Indian traditions, and their anthropomorphic forms are depicted on Plate 2, fig. 4. Unlike the Indian tradition, which emphasises the celestial position of the constellations, the calculations employed in elemental divination are based on the relationships formed by the elements to which the twenty-eight constellations correspond. Thus, the six eastern constellations symbolising wood are Köttikā (smin drug; Pleiades), Rohiṇī (snar ma; Aldebaran), Mögaśiras (mgo; Orion lambda), Ārdrā (lag; Orion alpha), Punarvasū (nabs so; Pollux), and Puṣyā (rgyal; Cancer delta). The south-eastern constellation symbolising earth is Aśleṣā (skag; Hydrae alpha). The six southern constellations symbolising fire are Maghā (mchu; Regulus), Pūrvaphalguṇī (gre; Zosma), Uttaraphalguṇī (dbo; Denebola), Hasrā (me bzhi; Algorab), Citrā (nag; Spica), and Svāti (sa ri; Arcturus). The south-western constellation symbolising earth is Viśākhā (sa ga; Librae alpha). The six western constellations symbolising iron are Anurādhā (lha mtshams; Iridis), Jyeṣṭhā (snron; Antares), Mūlā (snrubs; Schaula), Pūrvāsādhā (chu stod; Sagitarii delta), Uttarāsādhā (chu smad; Pelagus), and Abhijit (gro zhun; Vega). The north-western constellation is Śravaṇā (byi zhin; Altair). The six northern constellations symbolising water are Dhanasta (mon dre; Delphinium beta), Śatavisā (mon gru; Aquarii lambda), Pūrvabhadrapada (khrums stod; Pegasi alpha), Uttarabhadrapada (khrums smad; Pegasi gamma and Andromeda alpha), Revati (nam gru; Piscum sigma), and Aśvinī (dbyug gu; Arietis beta). Lastly, the north-eastern constellation symbolising earth is Bharaṇī (bra nye; Arietis 35).
- The classical Indian names for the twelve months of the lunar calendar are derived from the twelve constellations coinciding with the twelve full-moons of the year. In addition, a further enumeration of twenty-seven lesser constellations (skar chung) is also given in White Beryl, f. 159a. The calculations based on the constellations are particularly employed to determine the appropriate time for marriage (skar ma'i lam rtsis/ kham yu), on which see Part V, pp. 000-000. GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)