Myth, Magic, Moons, Stars….
The Fixed Stars were so called by the ancients to distinguish them from the Planets , or Wanderers , which are heavenly bodies moving perceptibly across the sphere of the Zodiac. Fixed Stars do not move across the ecliptic in the same way as planets do and in classical times were believed to be fixed to a gigantic celestial sphere , which twirled in a stately dance around the Earth every single day. Fixed Stars appear to be stationary, relative to the Earth and to each other, and are grouped into symbolic patterns called constellations although they do travel due to precession at a rate of less than one minute per year, so needing some seventy-two years to move slightly more than one degree of arc.
In modern times, these stars have also been shown to have real motion of their own, as the galaxies appear to be rotating and expanding, although this is not possible to see with the naked eye. This discovery led scientists to propose the Big Bang Theory of the origins of the universe. In the tropical cosmological picture, fixed stars do not lie within the tropical zodiac of the signs, which is a symbolic map; they are all beyond it in the constellations. Some of the fixed stars, particularly those near the ecliptic and of significant magnitude, have been found to exert considerable influence.
The images on which our zodiac is based are, of course, patterns drawn from constellations of fixed stars, but the constellations are no longer exactly the same as the Signs of the Zodiac. For example, thanks to the precession of the equinoxes , fixed stars in the constellation of Scorpio can nowadays be found in the tropical sign, Sagittarius. The individual stars nevertheless have a definite influence in themselves, adding a deeper level of meaning to the interpretation of the figure in question.
With regard to the interpretation of the fixed stars, the mythical significance of the star, its constellation and indeed its position in its constellation, will provide much insight into its meaning in the figure. To get a good grasp on this, be sure to have a look at John Frawley's excellent analysis, Reading the Fixed Stars , an excerpt from his upcoming book, due in The brilliant Mr Frawley is definitely The Man on matters connected with traditional astrology — knowledgeable, articulate, and witty. Ptolemy in Tetrabiblos I:9 declares that the stars are given natures according to their similarities to planetary influences.
He specifically assigns stars in sectors of the major constellations to particular planetary likenesses. He lists these without comment, other than to say that these "are the observations of the effects of the stars themselves, as made by our predecessors". The fixed stars have an influence when in conjunction, opposition, square or parallel aspect with a planet, or significant point in the horoscope. They are particularly important when in the Ascendant or Angles at birth, or when near the Sun or Moon.
THE USE OF FIXED STARS IN ASTROLOGY
They also have an effect when directed to the Angles and can be activated by major transits. Lilly states in Christian Astrology that the planets in some parts of the Zodiac do more evidently declare their effects than in others; and he conceives this to be in those signs and degrees where fixed stars of the same nature with the planet are more in number, and nearer the ecliptic. The name derives from Arabic bahman , "root," as each was considered a source of astrological power for one or more planets. Each is also connected with a gemstone and plant used in rituals intended to draw the star's influence e.
When a planet was within six degrees of an associated star, this influence was thought to be particularly strong. Despite the foregoing, the allowed orb for fixed stars is a matter of some dispute among astrologers. Most modern astrologers lean to a very small orb, mainly based on the magnitude of the star the brighter the star, the greater the orb. Magnitude is equivalent to "class"; so Mg.
Magnitudes of a negative number e. Sirius: Mg. You may think this is weird, but science is like that For a more detailed examination of magnitudes and other factors, check out Anne Wright's very comprehensive site at Constellations of Words. Traditional astrology uses a smaller number of stars and allows a larger orb, especially for the four Royal Stars: Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut, plus Sirius and Spica. Caput Algol is also allowed a larger orb, because it is such a powerful influence for evil.
Toliman Star – Alpha Centaurus – Astrology King
Rosenberg — perhaps the greatest modern authority on the fixed stars. In my own work, I have found that an orb of 1 degree one finger's width is usually quite noticeable, though I'd allow up to 6 degrees for Algol and various sizeable orbs for the other major stars. I generally ignore most of the smaller stars unless there is a very significant reason not to.
Experience is the best teacher. Have a look at my article on the influence of the fixed stars on the September 11 attack, American Catastrophe for some insight into the way they work. Fixed stars are also said to "cast no rays" meaning that aspects other than conjunction should not be considered, but this is by no means always the case, as demonstrated by Rosenberg. Sun and Moon have a naturally wide orb since they actually physically occupy more of the sky.
This said, the closer the orb, the stronger the influence. If a star is angular, especially if rising or setting, its influence is the greatest.
This requires the use of parans locationally determined angular relationships between planets and fixed stars in a chart, based on the horizon and the prime meridien, not the ecliptic. Bernadette Brady is the best modern writer on this. Brady's Book of Fixed Stars makes a very useful and readable addition to any astrologer's library. Conjunctions of fixed stars with planets including lunar nodes in the natal chart are very significant, especially if rising, setting or culminating, and when stimulated by transits.
It's now been more than ten years since I first drew up this page. Consequently, several stars in the final degree of their tropical signs have now moved, or are moving, into the subsequent sign. Examples are Scheat, which although still technically in Pisces, entered Aries by a tight orb of influence in mid; Pleiades, already in Gemini; Menkalinan, already in Cancer; Regulus, already in Virgo.
You can calculate the movements by adding approximately 50 arc-seconds of a degree per year to the position of the star as listed. The table up to epoch is now complete with some new additions, though there are some minor named stars that I have not as yet included. You can see the old version here. William Lilly, ].
William Lilly. Astronomy Facts Non-astrological selection of current scientific facts off-site.
Rob Tillett, the author of this article, is a poet, astrologer and musician. As well as being a magician, healer, dramatist and composer, he is the editor and publisher of Astrology on the Web and has written many of the articles on this website. William Lilly Astronomy Facts Non-astrological selection of current scientific facts off-site.
Essence of intellect; independent thought; break with conventional thought or philosophy NOTE : The 30' orb of influence of Scheat crossed into 1st degree Aries mid This has been a very notable and ongoing event, as Jupiter and Uranus did so at almost the same time. Its effect will be prolonged until February , when Uranus finally leaves the conjunction.
Very Unfortunate. Danger of being jilted by a lover; ambition, vanity, intuition, enthusiasm, caprice, bad judgment. Laziness, self destruction, nervousness, illness, inhibitions, loss. Tail of Cetus the Whale. Ambition, vanity, intuition, enthusiasm, bad judgment. Wingtip of Pegasus the Winged Horse. Gravity, sternness, judgement, severe trials, poetry, drama. Grace, popularity, independence, honours; freedom, love of movement, speed; strong motivation; fame. Head of Andromeda.
Isolation, depression, accidents, emigration, shipwrecks. Belly of Cetus the Whale. Success in public office, ecclesiastical success. Kings, rulers, judges; head injury, decapitation, severe wounds; cruel trials; talent for acting, writing, entertaining. Preparedness, steadiness, success through determination. In cord near Tail of Northern Fish.