Nursery rhymes have been written about the stars. Birds navigate by the stars. Throughout the ages, travelers on both land and sea used the stars to guide their travels. Ancient Egyptians used the stars to mark the Nile's annual flood. Ancient astrologer/astronomers defined their meaning by observation and correlation to what they saw happening on Earth.
Billions of Stars
The Earth is a but a minor planet of an average star. The Earth's Sun is one of almost 400 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy, and it's estimated there are 170 billion galaxies. However, there are only about 5,000 stars visible to the naked human eye, and of those, there are only about 100 used in astrology.
The Planets and Stars
The ancients called the five visible planets that orbit the Earth "wandering stars" because they traveled through the night sky and interacted with each other. The other stars were called fixed because their location and relationships to one another were predictable. The ancients believed these stars were attached to a celestial sphere that twirled around the Earth each day.
Movement of the Stars
The fixed stars are fixed to the constellations, but they are not fixed in the astrological zodiac. The precession of the equinoxes results in the slow movement of the constellations and their fixed stars due to spinning of the Earth on its axis. This causes the zodiacal position of the "fixed" stars to move approximately one degree every 72 years.
The Stars in Natal Astrology
Some astrologers use many fixed stars, others use few or none. Those who use the stars consider them particularly important when on the Ascendant or Angles of a birth chart, or near the Sun or Moon. They also have an effect when the natal placement on their specific degrees of the zodiac are activated by secondary progression or a significant transit. If there's a fixed star in your natal chart and it's within a one or two-degree conjunction to one of your personal placements, it will have an impact. But the allowed orb and the aspects the stars make are a matter of debate among astrologers. While there are numerous stars, some are more commonly used than others.
Fixed Star Meanings Are Metaphors
Don't take the sometimes dire meanings below literally. Consider them metaphors and always take the entire natal chart into consideration. For example:
- If Algol, the fixed star of beheadings, is conjunct your Venus, you could be prone to act emotionally or irrationally when it comes to love affairs.
- If Aldebaran, the fixed star of violent deaths, is conjunct your Venus, you could be prone to having love affairs that end painfully.
The Four Royal Watcher Stars
The four Royal Stars were regarded as the guardians of the sky during the time of the Ancient Persians (approximately 3000 BCE). They were called Royal because they were the brightest stars in their constellations and marked the seasonal changes of the year, the equinoxes and solstices. However, due to the precession of the equinox, they are now at different positions.
Aldebaran: 11° Gemini
Aldebaran, the watcher of the East, is the dominant star in the Taurus constellation. Aldebaran bequeaths eloquence, high honors, integrity, popularity, and courage, but also danger, loss, or violent death. John F. Kennedy's Sun was conjunct Aldebaran, and John F Kennedy Jr had Aldebaran rising. Both had a violent death.
Regulus: 0° Virgo
Regulus, the watcher the North, is the dominant star in the Leo constellation. Regulus bequeaths nobility, ambition, alertness, great power, status, leadership, but also sudden downfall, accidents, and violence. Sir Elton John, Bernie Madoff, and Donald Trump have Regulus conjunct their Ascendants.
Antares: 9° Sagittarius
Antares, the watcher of the West, is the alpha star in constellation Scorpio. Antares augurs a spirit of adventure, mental alertness, strategic ability, honors, and courage. However, it also denotes obstinacy, suspiciousness, violence, injuries to eyes, sudden loss, and several marriages. Woody Allen, Bette Midler, and Britney Spears have Antares conjunct their Sun.
Fomalhaut: 4° Pisces
Fomalhaut, the watcher of the South, is the brightest star in constellation Piscis Austrinus. Fomalhaut denotes magic, fame, occult, and faith, but also congenital birth defects. Fomalhaut is said to be fortunate and powerful and to cause a sublime change in character from material to spiritual. Prince William and Osho have Fomalhaut conjunct the Midheaven.
Other Commonly Used Fixed Stars
The fixed stars of the zodiacal constellations are especially important as they are the origin of the 12 zodiac signs. However, some fixed stars that are commonly used are not located in the zodiacal constellations.
Baten Kaitos: 22° Aries
Baten Kaitos denotes isolation, depression, accidents, emigration, falls, blows, and shipwrecks, but also rescue.
Hamal: 7° Taurus
Hamel denotes strong passions, violence, cruelty, brutishness, cruelty, criminal tendencies, and an influential position but final disgrace and ruin
Menkar: 14° Taurus
Menkar is said to cause disease, throat trouble, disgrace, destruction, injury from beasts, unjustified enmities, and the sudden emergence of deep unconscious issues.
Algol: 26° Taurus
Algol is called the Demon Star and augurs strangulation, beheading, danger to throat and neck, murder, violence, mass catastrophe, passionate and hysterical.
Alcyone: 0° Gemini
Alcyone, the brightest star in the Pleiades, denotes ambition, honor, and glory, but also accidents, blindness, violence, feminine power, trouble with the opposite sex, bereavement, loss, and sorrow.
Betelgeuse: 28° Gemini
Betelgeuse denotes great fortune and fame, especially military success, but is also associated with calamities, danger, and violence.
Sirius: 14° Cancer
Sirius denotes ambition, pride, emotionality, fame, honor, leadership, wealth, the power to pacify others, and danger through impetuosity.
Caster: 20° Cancer
Caster denotes sudden fame or loss, distinction, keen mind, violence, mischief, malevolence, destructiveness, or an uncontrollable temper.
Pollux: 23° Cancer
Pollux denotes contemplative speculation, audacity, ruin, disgrace, death, and calamity.
Vindemiatrix: 10° Libra
Vindemiatrix denotes widowhood, divorce, depression, witch-hunts, mysticism, and the occult.
Spica: 24° Libra
Spica is the "Fortunate One" and denotes wealth, fame, honor, and glamour.
Arcturus: 24° Libra
Arcturus denotes inspiration, riches, fame, honor, popularity, benefits through travel, and success through work.
Serpentis: 19° Scorpio
Serpentis is a malefic and denotes tragedy, misfortune, malice, and deceit.
Vega: 15° Capricorn
Vega denotes luck in politics, artistic talent, fleeting fame, double-dealing, generosity, beneficence, ideality, hopefulness, refinement, and changeability.
Altair: 2° Aquarius
Altair denotes ambition, sudden but ephemeral fortune, impulsiveness, courage, and accidents.
Deneb Adige: 5° Pisces
Deneb Adige is considered a gift. It denotes good health, intelligence, ingenuity, creativity, originality, naivete, and writing.
Markab: 23° Pisces
Markab denotes honors, riches, and swiftness of movement, but it's also called the "Star of Sorrow" denoting disgrace, ruin, legal problems, accidents, and disappointed ambitions
Scheat: 29° Pisces
Scheat indicates anger, imprisonment, murder, suicide, drowning, and extreme misfortune.
How Astrologers Use the Stars
The fixed stars are used as a secondary source of information in natal astrology. They are used in Horary astrology to give useful information when delineating a question. They are often used in Electional astrology for situations that require permanence such as the best time to lay a foundation. Occult astrologers summon the magical power and spirit angel of the star or constellation into talismans. Yes, there's magic and mystery in the stars.