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The Basics of Astrology
What is the exact meaning of "fixed" in fixed stars, since in the universe, everything is in a state of constant move? Actually, it is a wrong wording which is caused by the fact that by the traditional parameters used in astrology, the movements of planets, asteroids, the Sun and the Moon, as well as the division into astrological houses, the stars, which are not part of the solar system, seem almost motionless.
Actually, the fixed stars' position move by a few dozens of seconds of arc per year, 50.2 seconds to be more precise, which means one degree every 72 years, approximately.
The Ancients had rapidly understood that the most important stars, those they could observe, had an influence when they were in tight conjunction - less than 2° of orb, and even better, less than 30' of orb - with planets or angles of the natal chart.
In 130 B.C., the Greek astronomer Hipparcus of Nicea, and later, in 140 A.D., Ptolemy in his astronomy treaty entitled Almagest, described a great number of fixed stars with their meanings. Modern astrologers were also interested in the subject and went further in-depth. For instance, André Boudineau, Edouard Symours, André Volguine, René Dumont, Paul Chacornac, William Lilly, or Vivian Robson, contributed in shedding light in this area of astrology which was not much used and not well-known yet.
Nowadays, nearly 150 fixed stars and their meanings are listed. In real practice, the few astrologers who use them consider some sixty fixed stars only, and most of the time, only 22 fixed stars of first magnitude (the biggest ones) are taken into account.
Those 22 fixed stars are described below in this column, as well as a few other stars having a significant interest. Astrotheme is currently devising a new option which calculates and displays the position of fixed stars for your natal chart. The programming work should be completed within a couple of weeks.
How are fixed stars interpreted in astrology? Rules are numerous and similar to those applied to the interpretation of planets, except that fixed stars are active only when they are found in tight conjunction with a natal point. For instance, André Boudineau suggests that the following conditions only are to be taken into account:
An additional principle is to be taken in consideration: the constellations, which have also been interpreted by numerous astrologers since very ancient times. The sky is divided into 89 regions which include groups of stars forming constellations, themselves divided into three categories:
The most important stars in these constellations are called fixed stars. They are 149 and their name includes a letter or a number, and the name of the constellation they belong to.
Thus, there are 80 constellations, which are regions of the sky, usually measuring between 15 to 40 degrees each (half a sign to one sign and a half). Each region "tinges" the near-by angles and planets with its nature, and the 149 fixed stars influence accordingly any natal planet or angle they are in tight conjunction with.
Before we provide you with the list of constellations and fixed stars, as an example, we list the 22 1st magnitude stars' position as of March 2009. For different dates, and pending the Astrotheme device which computes the position of fixed stars for any date, should you want to calculate them yourself, add 50.2'' per year. For instance, for the position of Algol as of 1st January 2000, there is a time-lag of 9 years, 2 months and 5 days as compared to its 5 March 2009 position. Therefore, subtract 9.175 years x 50.2'' = 460.585''= 7.6764 = 7'40.6'', which makes approximately 8 minutes of arc. Therefore, Algol's position is 26°18' - 8' = 26°10' Taurus.
Algol, Beta Persei, 26°18' Taurus, the Head of Medusa (Caput Medusae), from Al-Ghul, the monster or the devil: this star brings about woes, violence, brutality and cruelty. According to Ptolemy, the star is of the nature of Jupiter and Saturn. According to Leowicz, it is of the nature of Saturn and Venus. It often indicates violent death, but it does not exclude elevation and wealth. Robson considers it the worst star. Junctinus of Florence believed that when in it is in conjunction with the Sun or the Moon, or the ruler of the Ascendant, or the ruler of the 8th House, the individual is very likely to experience a violent death. It is only when it is in conjunction with Jupiter, and when the said conjunction receives soft aspects, that Algol may bring about power and wealth.
The Pleiades, M45 Eta Tauri for Alcyone, 0°07' Gemini, Septistellium, or the Atlantides, the Spring stars (Vergilies), the Hen and its chicks, or the chicken coop, from Dad-Jadja-Al-Sama-Mabanatihi, the celestial Hen with its chicks, or Wine grape, or Alcyone, the Brightest One of The Pleiades: according to Ptolemy, The Pleiades are of the nature of the Moon and Mars. They are in analogy with fair, love, wine, feast, or when they are not well-aspected, with debauchery, lechery, wantonness, and excesses in general.
Aldebaran, Alpha Tauri, 9°55' Gemini, in the left eye of Taurus (Oculus Tauri australi), from Al-Debaran, the follower, or the Eye of God, or Pallilitium, or the Small Torch, Facula, or Stella Dominatrix: according to Ptolemy, Aldebaran is of the nature of Mars and brings about firmness, courage, integrity, and strength. Honours and wealth may be favoured, but Aldebaran usually tends to withdraw what it offers since durability is not its feature. Robson mentions danger, violence, and illnesses. Like Algol, when Aldebaran is in conjunction with the Sun, the Moon, the ruler of the Ascendant, sometimes when it is on the Ascendant or ruler of the 8th House, it may cause a violent death, according to Garcoeus.
Rigel, Beta Orionis, 16°57' Gemini, on Orion's left leg (Sinister pes Orioni), from Ridjl-Al-Jauza, the Giant's leg, or the Marine Star (Marinus aster): according to Ptolemy, Rigel is of the nature of Jupiter and Saturn - according to Julevno, of the nature of Mars and Jupiter. According to Robson, it brings about benevolence, honour, wealth, glory, fame, and inventive and mechanical abilities. When it is not well-aspected, the individual may be reckless and foolhardy.
Betelgeuse, Alpha Orionis, 28°53' Gemini, on Orion's right shoulder (Dexter humerus Orionis), from Ibt-Al-Jauza, the Giant's shoulder: according to Ptolemy, Betelgeuse is of the nature of Mars and Mercury, and according to Robson, it brings about martial honours, preferment and riches. When it is not well-aspected, it may cause brutal death through lightning bolt or cannon. When it is very well-aspected, it may bring about sudden wealth such as hitting the jackpot or making gains from the stock exchange market.
Sirius, Alpha Canis Majoris, 14°12' Cancer, the brilliant star named the Dog (in ore splendissimus vocata Canis), from Seir, to shine, or Heat wave: according to Ptolemy, Sirius is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter, according to Leowicz, of the nature of Mercury and Mars. According to Welling, it is of the nature of Jupiter, Mars and Venus, and it gives a violent and impetuous character inclined to fury. When it is on the MC, or very-well aspected, it may bring about fame and riches, but in general, the individual is violent, proud, quick to threaten, and irascible.
Castor, Alpha Geminorum, 20°22' Cancer, the star on the head of the Western Twin (in capite Gemini praecedentis), or Apollo, from Ras-Algeuze: according to Ptolemy, Castor is of the nature of Mercury, according to Leowicz, of the nature of Mercury and Jupiter, and according to Julevno, it is of the nature of Mars, Venus, and Saturn, and it gives a keen intellect, distinction, success in laws and publishing, honours, and fame. However, reversals of fortune are sudden because Castor often takes back what it offers. When it is not well-aspected, Castor may turn the individual into a pernicious and violent person, according to Robson.
Pollux, Beta Geminorum, 20°22' Cancer, the star on the head of the Eastern Twin (in capite Gemini sequentis subflava), or Hercules, or Abrachaleus: according to Ptolemy, Pollux is of the nature of Mars and gives a subtle, skilful, clever, brave, and daring temperament. When it is not well-aspected, it brings about malice, cruelty, a link with fishes, and may cause death through fire or through thieves. In addition, there is always the risk of violent death, as with all "dangerous" fixed stars, when the condition regarding the conjunction with the luminaries, the ruler of the Ascendant, or the ruler of the 8th house is met.
Procyon, Alpha Canis Minoris, 25°53' Cancer, the rump of the Dog (infemore fulgens), from Pro-Cyon, precursor of the Dog, from Al-Gomeiza: according to Ptolemy, Procyon is of the nature of Mercury and Mars, according to Julevno of the nature of Venus and Mars, and according to Wellin, of the nature of Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. According to Robson, Procyon creates activity, but also violence, and it is related to hunting and weapons used for hunting. Procyon may make the individual an insolent, proud and neglectful person, but when it is well-aspected, it brings about loyalty in friendship.
Regulus, Alpha Leonis, 29°57' Leo, the Lion's heart (cor Leonis) from El-Maliki, the Royal one, Regulus or Basiliscos, the little king, or Regia Stella, or Monoualos: according to Ptolemy, Regulus is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter, according to Fludd, of the nature of Jupiter and Mars, and according to Julevno, of the nature of Mars. Regulus brings violence, destruction, and short-lived martial honours, prison and violent death, if it is not well-aspected. It endows with courage and the will to reign, ambition, and the thirst for power, and it may bring about might and independence. This star is very active and strengthens the planet it touches, for better or for worse...
Spica or the Ear of Wheat, Alpha Virginis, 23°58' Libra, that which is at the tip of the left hand (in sinistra manu), the Ear of the Wheat (Spica Virginis), or Arista: according to Ptolemy, the Ear of the Wheat is of the nature of Mercury and Mars, according to Fludd, of the nature of Mars and Venus, and according to Leowicz, of the nature of Venus and Mercury. Spica, the Ear of the Wheat, gives a taste for the countryside, or for arts related to products of the earth. It endows with sculpture talents, as well as an inclination for agriculture and cooking. It brings success, riches, love for the arts and science, erudition, and precision. In general, Spica, the Ear of the Wheat, is a beneficial star, unless it is very adversely aspected.
Arcturus, Alpha Bootis, 24°22' Libra, the star with the colour of fire, between the thighs (informis inter crura), from Al-Simak, the Northern Guardian, or Abramech, the big Shouter, or Arkturos, the guardian of the Bear, or the tail of the Bear: according to Ptolemy, Arcturus is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter, and according to Fludd, of the nature of Jupiter and Mars. Arcturus produces treasurers, depositors of wealth, financiers working for the public. It brings about high-ranking positions, honour and prosperity through navigation and travels. When it is not well-aspected, Arcturus may cause ruin and poverty.
Accrux, Alpha Crucis, 12°00' Scorpio, the twinkling star of the Southern Cross: according to Ptolemy, Accrux, the brightest star of the Southern Cross, is of the nature of Jupiter and favours an interest in mysteries, occultism, astrology, as well as religious and legal careers.
Agena, Beta Centauri, 23°55' Scorpio: according to Ptolemy, Agena is of the nature of Venus and Jupiter and favours honour, friendship, morality, the profession, and endows the personality with refinement.
Bungala, Alpha Centauri, 29°35' Scorpio, which is at the tip of the rear right foot (in summo pede dextro priore), or Rigil, or Kentarus: according to Ptolemy, Bungala is of the nature of Venus and Jupiter, according to Fludd, it is of the nature of Venus and Saturn. Bungala is a beneficial star which gives benevolence, friends, refinement, and an honourable position.
Antares, Alpha Scorpii, 9°53' Sagittarius, in between two other stars in the body (media in corpore trium), or Kalb Akrab, the Scorpio's heart (cor Scorpii), Mars' rival: according to Ptolemy, Antares is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter, according to Fludd, of the nature of Saturn and Mars, and according to Julevno, of the nature of Mercury and Mars. According to Fludd, Antares gives violence, ambition for power, and greed. According to Robson, it brings about self-destruction through one's own obstinacy. According to Julevno, it causes success through efforts, followed by ruin and death. This star is almost as evil as Algol, and it is dangerous when it is in conjunction with the Sun, the Moon, the ruler of the Ascendant, the ruler of the 8th House, or when it is dominant on the Ascendant. It is all the more so if it is not well-aspected. If Antares is in very good celestial state, without dissonance, it may nonetheless bring about honour through courage and efforts.
Spiculum, M21 Sagittarii, 0°47' Capricorn, the cluster in Sagittarius' arrow head: according to Ptolemy, M21 Spiculum is of the nature of Mars and the Moon. Spiculum is an evil star and may cause blindness or problems with the eyes.
Vega or Wega, Alpha Lyrae, 15°27' Capricorn, in the lower part of the Lyre (Lucida Lyra), from Al-Nash-Al-Waki, the falling vulture (vultur cadens), Orpheus' Lyre, or Fidicula: according to Ptolemy, Vega is of the nature of Venus and Mercury. The people Vega influences have a strong inclination for music, intellectual pleasures, and charity work. It gives refinement, mobility, but also wantonness and immodesty. When it is well-aspected, Vega may bring about wealth or unexpected riches such as the lottery jackpot. It is a beneficial star, but when it is in a bad position and not well-aspected, particularly when it in conjunction with Mars, Vega may cause death through animals' venom. When it is in conjunction Saturn, it may bring about ruin.
Altair, Alpha Aquilae, 1°54' Aquarius, the bright one on the head (in scapulis lucidae), from Al Ners-Al-Taîr, the flying eagle, or falcon: According to Ptolemy, Altair is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter. Altair produces soldiers and warriors. When it is on the Midheaven, it endows with courage, confidence, boldness, inflexibility, bravery, sturdiness, invincibility, and military honours. When it is not well-aspected, Altair turns the individual into a bloodthirsty person capable of murder, and brings about violence, impetuosity, an uncontrollable temperament, as well as danger through reptiles.
Fomalhaut, Alpha Piscis Australis, 3°59' Pisces, the star of the mouth at the beginning of the water (in ore, atque eadem, quae in extrema aqua), from Fom-Al-Hut, the mouth of the fish: according to Ptolemy, Fomalhaut is of the nature of Saturn and Mercury, according to Fludd, it is of the nature of Saturn, whereas according to Leowick, it is of the nature of Saturn and Jupiter, and according to Argol, it is of the nature of Venus and Mercury. Fomalhaut may bring wealth, power, fame, and honour. It may also endow with a not too materialistic temperament and gives a spiritual orientation if it is well-aspected. When it is adversely-aspected, Fomalhaut may give a malicious character in order to achieve a sublime objective: the end justifies the means becomes one of the individual's rules.
Deneb Adige, Alpha Cygni, 5°27' Pisces, the bright one of the tail (in cauda lucens), from Dheneb-Al-Dajajeh, the hen's tail, or Al-Ridph, or Arided, which smells as lilly (redolens lillium), the Rose, or the Cross: according to Ptolemy, Deneb Adige is of the nature of Venus and Mercury; it endows with an ingenious temperament, as well as a subtle, quick to learn intelligence. According to Pezellius, it favours studies and all liberal arts.
Achernar (Acharnar), Alpha Eridani, 15°27' Pisces, the river's last bright one (in extremo fluminis), from Al-Ahir-Nahr, the end of the river: according to Ptolemy, Achernar or Acharnar is of the nature of Jupiter and favours success in public careers. It makes the individual charitable and very broad-minded, as far as religions or spirituality are concerned.
The following list gives the name of the 109 most important fixed stars with their longitude and latitude positions as of 1st January 2000, midnight, U.T. Free interactive calculation will soon be available on Astrotheme. If you want to find the exact position for any particular natal chart, please refer to the explanations given above, and apply the rule of 50.2'' motion per year.
The computing of these fixed stars' position, as well as their meanings, will be available on Astrotheme shortly, as an option for all our free interactive charts.
In astrology, fixed stars are quite a special subject, a controversial one like for instance the so-called karmic astrology, the meaning of the black Moon, the Lunar Nodes, and the planets' retrogradations. Nevertheless, one must bear in mind that whenever a star is in very tight conjunction with a personal element of the natal chart (any fast-moving planet, or any angle, ASC, MC, DS, or IC), results are often amazing, and it may be interesting to take them into account, in addition to more traditional factors of the natal chart. They may also yield good results when used on the progressed chart (secondary progressions). Ancient astrologers certainly had good reasons to do so, and anybody with a passion for astrology can realise that when fixed stars are used, very strange coincidences are bound to be experienced.
The topic of fixed stars is similar to that of symbolic degrees. They are not very much utilised. However, they sometimes offer quite stunning and spectacular information. On Astrotheme, the meaning of the 360 symbolic degrees of your natal chart is available. You can compute and display them. (First, calculate and display the degrees where your fast-moving planets and your angles are found, i.e. mainly the Sun, the Moon, the MC and the ASC, then Mercury, Venus and Mars, as well as the ruler of your Ascendant, the ruler of your luminaries, of your MC, and of the 8th House). And then, check whether they match your experience!
As we have already announced, we will soon offer the possibility to display the fixed stars' position in the natal chart, the progressed chart, the solar revolution chart (without interpretation), as well as in the composite and the mid-space mid-time charts. We are planning to have the fixed stars option ready on Astrotheme, for free, as soon as possible.