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Cornelius Agrippa
Cornelius Agrippa

Agrippa's Table of Behenian Fixed Stars

The Behenian Fixed Stars are a selection of fifteen stars considered especially useful for magical applications in the mediæval astrology of Europe and the Arab world. Their 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 that would be used in rituals meant to draw the star's influence (e.g., into a talisman). When a planet was within six degrees of an associated star, this influence was thought to be particularly strong. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa discussed them in his De Occulta Philosophia as the Behenii (singular Behenius), describing their magical workings and kabbalistic symbols. He attributed these to Hermes Trismegistus, as was common with occult traditions in the Middle Ages.

[NOTE: the symbols drawn by Agrippa for Aldebaran (Aldaboram), for Capella (Hircus) and for the Pleiades differ somewhat from those displayed in Wikipedia. There are a number of versions extant, but I have used those presented in J.F's 1651 English translation of Book II of Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Also the attribution of Granite to Regulus is due to a modern mistranslation: the correct stone is Garnet (thanks to Gorizza Svortsan for signalling this)].
Name Latin Name Astronomical Designation Location1 Planet Gemstone Plant Symbol
Algol Caput Algol β Persei 26º Taurus 07' Saturn & Jupiter diamond black hellebore algol symbol
Pleiades Pleiades M45 (Taurus) 29º Taurus 55' Moon & Mars rock crystal fennel
Aldebaran Aldaboram α Tauri 09º Gemini 11' Mars & Venus ruby / garnet milk thistle  Image:Agrippa1531_Hircus.png
Capella Alhayhoch, Hircus α Aurigæ 21º Gemini 48' Jupiter & Saturn sapphire thyme Agrippa Capella
Sirius Canis major α Canis Majoris 14º Cancer 03' Venus beryl juniper Image:Agrippa1531_Canismaior.png
Procyon Canis minor α Canis Minoris 25º Cancer 45' Mercury & Mars agate water buttercup Image:Agrippa1531_Canisminor.png
Regulus Cor leonis α Leonis 29º Leo 47' Jupiter & Mars garnet mugwort Image:Agrippa1531_corLeonis.png
Polaris Cauda ursæ α Ursæ Minoris 28º Gemini 31' Venus & Moon magnet succory Image:Agrippa1531_caudaUrsae.svg
Gienah Ala corvi γ Corvi 13º Libra 23' Saturn & Mars onyx burdock Image:Agrippa1531_alaCorui.png
Spica Spica α Virginis 23º Libra 47' Venus & Mercury emerald sage Image:Agrippa1531_Spica.png
Arcturus Alchameth α Boötis 24º Libra 11' Mars & Jupiter jasper plantain Image:Agrippa1531_Alchameth.png
Alphecca Elpheia α Coronæ Borealis 12º Scorpio 14' Venus & Mars topaz rosemary Image:Agrippa1531_Elpheia.png
Antares Cor scorpii α Scorpii 09º Sagittarius 43' Venus & Jupiter sardonyx birthwort Image:Agrippa1531_corScorpii.png
Vega Vultur cadens α Lyræ 15º Capricorn 16' Mercury & Venus chrysolite winter savory Image:Agrippa1531_Vulturcadens.png
Deneb Algedi Cauda capricorni δ Capricorni 05º Pisces 18' Saturn & Mercury chalcedony marjoram Image:Agrippa1531_caudaCapricorni.png

1 See Stars & Signs: The Precession of the Equinoxes for further information.

Go Forward Click for more on the Fixed Stars in Astrology

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This page was last modified on Sunday, 22 January 2017