Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) is very rich in its iconography and deities. It is a condensed form of the formless nature of existence (Brahman) and very symbolic. Its foolish to take the literal meanings or what is apparent. But even the condensed forms are characterized by multiple layers of complexity and subtlety.
Let us look at the iconography of Lord Dakshinamurthy from a Jyotish angle. He is shown as keeping his right foot on the Rakshasa (demon) Apasmara. Smarana in Sanskrit means recollection or memory, and Apasmara is understood as Apa (loss) of Smara (memory), meaning forgetfulness, delusion or confusion. The Apasmara also symbolizes ignorance (Avidya). What is Karma? it is a collection of all types of vasanas (memory/tendencies/ignorance etc.) from previous lives. Here I would like to paraphrase what Sadhguru often says “You have your great grandfathers nose on you”, which is nothing but a memory or Apasmara.
Take Dhanu rashi for Lord Dakshinamurthy, who is a form of Lord Shiva as a Guru. He has his right foot (12th) on Apasmara which is the natural 8th house Vrischik rashi. This rashi is like a deep dark well or blind spots in your life, where once you fall in it, only a Guru can pull you up. It is a Jala rashi and all Jala Rashi’s carry memory (look up Dr. Masaru Emoto’s experiments on water carrying memory). Apasmara is also referred to the Ayurvedic disease concepts related to neurological disorders. The 8th house and the Bhavat Bhavam of it the 3rd house both rule sub conscious mind which has been programmed from past lifes based on our karmas. Observe that Apasmara is clasping a snake representing Maya (illusion), and Vrischik rashi’s co lord is the half snake Ketu.
Lord Dakshinamurthy’s left leg is folded in a sitting pose and the feet is touching the Mooladhara chakra. This means that this form is controlling this chakra and gives clarity in thought and emotions especially related to basic necessities of life. The right leg is in Vrischik in Jyeshta nakshatra and the left leg in Dhanu rashi and Mula Nakshatra. Hence this form of Shiva is an excellent remedy for all 8th house and Jyeshta/Moola nakshatra matters.
Sri Adi Shankara Bhagwat Pada in his Dakshinamurthy Stotram aptly describes this Maya in these words “Rahu grastha divakarendu sadrusho, Maya samachedanath”.