AstroScope Me image 1AstroScope Me image 2AstroScope Me image 3

AstroScope MeAstrologyHoroscopesRelationshipsSoul ConnectionCompatibility

CSS Button Design Css3Menu.com

Bookmark and Share
Subscribe to Feed

The Fixed Stars


Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces
Rob Tillett, Astrologer and Wizard
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 AstroScope Me and has written many of the articles on this website.

This article examines the influence of the Fixed Stars, with a comprehensive table of their year 2000 (and 2010) position and the character of their effects.

Rob lives in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.

Stars in the Signs

William Lilly
William Lilly
Astronomy Facts
Non-astrological selection of current scientific facts (off-site).
  1. Star Names
  2. Brightest Stars
  3. Nearest Stars
  4. Solar System
  5. Constellations
  6. Obs. Constellations

The Fixed 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.

Go to Top Ptolemy and Lilly

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 Elizabethan astrologer, William Lilly, identified about fifty fixed stars in his horary delineations (these are marked in the table with an asterisk *). 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. 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.

Go to Top Behenian Fixed Stars

Fifteen stars considered especially useful for magical applications (in the mediæval astrology of Europe and the Arab world) are known as the Behenian Fixed Stars (each marked with Behenian Star). 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.g., into a talisman).

When a planet was within six degrees of an associated star, this influence was thought to be particularly strong. For Agrippa's table, see the Behenian Fixed Stars; for a different viewpoint, see the Table of Hermes.

Go to Top Orb of Aspect

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.1=1st class; Mg.4=4th class, etc. Magnitudes of a negative number (e.g. Sirius: Mg.–1.43, or Canopus: Mg.–0.72) are even brighter than 1st Class! 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. [If you find this a trifle harsh, dear reader, please examine Medusa's Head, a remarkable article by Diana K. 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. See also my colleague Ian Thurnwald's article on the 2002 Uranus/Algol cycle The Cycle of Uranus and Algol in 2002.

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.

Go to Top Movement of Stellar Positions due to Precession

It's now (2014) 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-2010; 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 2000 position of the star as listed. The table up to epoch 2010 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.

The strength and efficacy of the Fixed Stars is to be considered from their magnitude, their splendours, their natures or properties, their nearness to the Ecliptic, their place in the World, their multitude, their first oriental appearance, the purity of their place, the similitude or agreement of the body or rays of a Planet with them and their circle of position.

— The Seven Segments of Cardan [ed. William Lilly, 1675]

Important Fixed Stars


Aries | Taurus | Gemini | Cancer | Leo | Virgo | Libra | Scorpio | Sagittarius | Capricorn | Aquarius | Pisces
precess 50" per year
Star Keywords Year 2000 Year 2010 Effect Character Constellation
Kerb
Deneb Kaitos
Algenib
Erakis
Alderamin
Alpheratz *
Baten Kaitos
Acamar
Kurdah
Al Pherg
Vertex
Alrisha
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Mirach
Stella Mira
Sharatan
Caph
Hamal
Schedir
Azha
Achird
Almach
Menkar
Botein
Rana
Zaurak
Capulus
Caput Algol *

Pleiades

 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Pleiades

Alcyone *
Mirfak
Hyades *
Aldebaran *

Tabit
Cursa
Rigel *
Hoedus I
Hoedus II
Bellatrix *
Capella
Phact
Mintaka
El Nath
Alnilam *
Alnitak
Al Hecka *
Polaris *

Betelgeuse *
Menkalinan
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Menkalinan
Propus *
Tejat Posterior
Mirzam
Alhena
Alzirr
Dziban
Sirius *

Canopus *
Wasat
Castor *
Gomeisa
Pollux *
Procyon *
Aludra
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Talitha
The Aselli
Praesaepe *
North Asellus *
South Asellus *
Giansar
Acubens
Dubhe
Merak
Tania Borealis
Algenubi
Tania Australis
"Own Worst Enemy"
Subra
Alphard *
Adhafera
Al Jabhah *
Regulus *

 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Regulus *

Phecda
Præcipua
Megrez
El Kophrah
Alula Borealis
Alula Australis
Thuban
Alioth
Zosma
Coxa
Mizar
Denebola *
Coma Berenices *
Labrum
Zavijava
Alkaid
Markeb
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Zaniah
Diadem
Vindemiatrix
Porrima
Gienah

Algorab
Merga
Seginus *
Mufrid
Foramen
Spica *
Arcturus *
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Princeps *
Khambalia
Acrux
Alphecca *
Menkent
South Scale *
Serpentis
North Scale *
Alpha Serpentis *
Agena
Toliman
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Kornephoros
Yed Prior *
Dschubba
Akrab
Yed Posterior
Marfik
Antares *

Rastaban *
Ras Algethi
Sabik
Maasym
Atria
Ras Alhague
Lesath
Shaula
Aculeus
Galactic Centre
Etamin
Acumen
Sinistra
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Spiculum
Alnasl
Polis
Kaus Medius
Kaus Australis
Kaus Borealis
Facies
Nunki
Ascella
Manubrium
Vega *
Sheliak
Dheneb
Sulaphat
Peacock
Terebellum
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Tarazed
Sham
Albireo
Altair *
Algedi *
Dabih
Bos
Albali
Dorsum
Alnair
Castra
Nashira *
Kitalpha
Sadalsuud *
Deneb Algedi
Sador
Gienah
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
Sadalmelik
Fomalhaut *
Deneb Adige *
Sadalachbia
Skat
Achernar
Homam
Markab *
Sadalbari
Matar
Azalfafage
Scheat *
 Click to go to top of page      Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces

Click to go to top of page
For an even more comprehensive analysis of the Fixed Stars and their effects,
check out this detailed website by Anne Wright: Constellations of Words

Bookmark and Share

AstroScope Me

ASTROSCOPE ME
PO Box 1910 Bowral NSW 2576 Australia
Phone: +61 2 4849 4262 – Fax: +61 2 4849 4262
This page was last modified on Friday, 3 June 2016