"Naksha" is "map" and "tara" is "star" and so Nakshatra is "Star Map." In the eyes of the ancient Vedic (Indian) seers the 27 Nakshatras (constellations) map the sky. 'Nakshatras' is the name given to the constellations or mansions of the Moon, as the Moon resides in each of these constellations for one day.
Predictive technique Based on a person's moon Nakshatra at the time of birth, is most accurate as compared to other forms of astrology.
The Nakshatras are classified in various ways, according to basic attribute, primary motivation (Kama - sensual desires; Artha - material desires; Dharma - living life based on spiritual principles; Moksha - liberation from birth and death), sex, caste, species and so on.
Nakshatras are particularly revealed by their presiding deities, ruling planets and their symbolic form.
In Vedic astrology, for exploring the personality traits the birth star (Nakshatra of the Moon) is taken under consideration primarily. Nakshatra positions of planets are examined in the birth chart as well. The use of Nakshatra is most important in Vedic astrology.
Indian seers say that the Nakshatras represent the abodes into which the fruits of our labor (our Karma) is transferred and stored. The Nakshatras dispense the fruits of Karma, the highest of which is the fruit of our worship and meditation, our spiritual labor of life.
Vedic astrology uses a system of planetary periods called Dasha (Major Period) of various planets based on the Moon Nakshatra at the time of birth. Most important is Vimshottari Dasha, a 120-year-long cycle of planetary positions based upon the birth Nakshatra, stars. The planetary periods of Vedic astrology provide an easy and comprehensive system for judging the effects of planets throughout out our lives. The planetary periods are the most accurate system of how the planets distribute their effects through time and different stages of our lives. The major seven planets plus two lunar nodes are assigned periods ranging from 6 to 20 years.
Since the constellation or nakshatra where moon finds its presence is known as the Janma Nakshatra and as moon influences the mental aspects of the native, nakshatra of the moon thus casts its indelible influence on moon. With each nakshatra having a planetary lord, the placement of the same (planetary lord) determines the initial dasa or 'phase' in the horoscope of a native. Nakshatra lords also play an important role in determining the essential quality of a person besides helping to assess the focal points of his energy and ambition.