Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Wednesday "Why?" - Royal Stars

Passing readers must be tired of the bombardment of US politics, so this post touches only lightly on the subject, and not until the last paragraphs.

Why were four Fixed Stars considered "royal"? Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut retain their status as Royal Stars to this day among western astrologers. The tradition stems from Arabic astrology/astronomy which some see as our modern astrology's closest relation. Arabic astrology filtered through to Europe from Persia, today's Iran, thousands of years ago.

These stars were accorded such high stellar office by ancient astologers and astronomers because it is said that in those days their positions marked the four cardinal points, the equinoxes and solstices. Seen on an astrological chart of the heavens these define the ascendant, midheaven descendant, and nadir, which points are universally acknowledged as being the most powerful areas of an astrological chart. Any planet or point near to these angles plays a dominant part in personality or events.

The four stars were also referred to as Watchers of the Heavens, looked on as guardians of the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes, and the Summer and Winter solstices.
These bright stars formed a huge astrological cross, long before the cross became a symbol of Christianity. Zodiac signs involved were the four Fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. In the tarot cards (right) The Wheel of Fortune and The World, you can see depicted in each corner of the cards a human figure, an eagle, a bull and a lion representing the Fixed signs. While the tarot as we know it, with the Major Arcana, didn't originate in Arabia, the four suits probably did, and the number four's significance reflects the four directions, north, south, east and west, and the four astrological cardinal points. The name "tarot" is thought to derive from the Arab word "turuq", which can be translated as "four ways".

The symbolism of the four Royal Stars in ancient times is thus easy to account for and accept. However, it isn't as easy to accept that any astrological interpretation of these stars should retain the same flavour now, when their positions changed long ago.

Fixed stars, of which these are but four out of billions and billions and billions (as Carl Sagon would say) are so called in order to to differentiate from the moving bodies we call planets. Fixed stars do, however, appear move but very, very slowly because of precession. (Explanation here).

The four Royals are no longer at their original sites. Their approximate position today: Aldebaran has moved from Taurus to 9 Gemini. Regulus is still in Leo, but barely - 29 degrees, this is called the anaretic degree and thought to be powerful. Antares has moved from Scorpio to 9 Sagittarius, and finally Formalhout moved from Aquarius to 3 Pisces.

Many astrologers still see the four Royal Stars as powerful when they appear in very close major aspect to a planet or sensitive point in a natal chart or mundane chart. The reason for this, I guess, harks back to the stars' early important status. Perhaps there is a question mark here. As the stars moved on over the centuries, ought they to have shed their royal reputation? It was their position, not their intrinsic properties, I assume, which had originally defined them as highly fortunate.

Perhaps we have an answer before us this morning! In the natal chart of the USA's new President Elect, Barack Obama, who will shortly hold a position comparable to the royalty of ancient times, two of the Royal Stars have some significance, for they lie on or very close to two sensitive points in his natal chart. The North Node of the Moon is at 27.54 Leo, in his chart, a little over a degree from the current position of Regulus. Antares lies practically on Obama's Part of Fortune at 8.52 Sagittarius. Many of the the Arabic Parts (and there are many) are not considered in interpretations of modern astrologers. Part of Fortune, though, is used often. It's particularly significant here, I think as both it and the Royal Stars originate from Arabic Astrology, so we have a "matching set".

Speaking of the President Elect, and the joy many Americans, myself included, feel this morning, I simply have to post this song. I hope that those who feel disappointed by the election result will feel able to be as gracious as Senator McCain was in his speech last night. It's often in defeat that the true mettle of a person shines through.


Rossa said...

Hello Twilight,

Interesting piece about the Royal Stars, particularly Formalhout being at 3 Pisces exactly on my natal Venus. Do you know what that might mean or where I can find out?

I've googled a bit and found this so far. Formalhout means "mouth of the fish" appropriate for Pisces. Also the "Watcher of the North" and correlates to the Winter Solstice. Guess it figures....I'm in the North of the UK and am a Winter (water bearer) baby!


Twilight said...

Hi Rossa!

Thanks for the visit and comment.

I'm very wary about interpretations for Fixed Stars, they tend to be really over-dramatic, coming from so long ago when life was VERY different from now. whatever they say I'd water it down A LOT! A disaster becomes an obstacle and wonderful promises of fame etc. become a stroke of luck or a happy area of life. :-) Thats' my take, anyway.

There's a good website on Fixed Star interpretations at~~

In case the link doesn't work here's the info about Formalhout:
scroll down abit and it mentions what it could mean "with Venus" -

This is one of the four key stars in the heavens, also called archangel stars.

Michael (Aldebaran) watcher of the East.

Gabriel (Fomalhaut) watcher of the South.

Raphael (The Healing Archangel (Regulus) Watcher of the North.

Oriel (Antares) Watcher of the West.

[The angel associations come from Eric Morse, The Living Stars, p.35. Allen's explanation of these four stars on page 256 of Star Names]

At one time they marked the two Equinoxes and two Solstices. Aldebaran marked zero Aries 3044 BC, Antares marked zero Libra 3052 BC, Fomalhaut marked zero Capricorn, 2582 BC, Regulus marked zero Cancer 2345 BC.

Eric Morse says: They have been characterized as Horses, reflected both in the famed Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (Revelations 6) and Chariot Horses in the Book of Zechariah. Regulus was long considered the supreme of the Four Guardians but the role of Fomalhaut - Gabriel, in the birth of Jesus - must now be said to challenge or actually supplant, with a new stage in human spiritual evolution, the supremacy of the more 'medical' Archangel of the Leonine era. (Dr Eric Morse, The Living Stars).

With astrologers, it portended eminence, fortune, and power.

[Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinchley Allen, 1889].

The astrological influences of the constellation: Ptolemy gives no separate influence and describes Fomalhaut, but according to Bayer the constellation is of the nature of Saturn. It is said to have an influence similar to Pisces, but in addition to augment the fortunes. (Robson*).

The astrological influences of the constellation given by Manilius:

"Then rises the Southern Fish in the quarter of the wind after which it is named" [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, book 1, p.39].

"When the Southern Fish rises into the heavens, leaving its native waters for a foreign element, whoever at this hour takes hold of life will spend his years about sea-shore and river-bank he will capture fish as they swim poised in the hidden depths; he will cast his greedy eyes into the midst of the waters, craving to gather pellucid stones (pearls) and, immersed himself, will bring them forth together with the homes of protective shell wherein they lurk. No peril is left for man to brave, profit is sought by means of shipwreck, and the diver who has plunged into the depths becomes, like the booty, the object of recovery. And not always small is the gain to be derived from this dangerous labor (implying that a diver's life was usually an unenviable one) pearls are worth fortunes, and because of these splendid stones there is scarcely a rich man left. Dwellers on land are burdened with the treasures of the sea. A man born to such a lot plies his skill along the shore; or he purchases at a fixed wage another's labor and sells for a profit what it has brought him, a pedlar in the many different forms of sea products". [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, book 5, p.333.]

The general astrological influences of the star: According to Ptolemy, it is of the nature of Venus and Mercury; and, to Alvidas, of Jupiter in square to Saturn from Pisces and Sagittarius. It is said to be very fortunate and powerful and yet to cause malevolence of sublime scope and character, and change from a material to a spiritual form of expression. Cardan stated that together with the stars rising with 12 Libra it gives an immortal name. (Robson*).
It has a Mercury-Venus character with a blending of Neptune influence. According to tradition, this star is of quite variable effect, either very good or very bad, depending on the overall cosmic structure. It is assumed, however, that the helpful influence is the greater one and if in conjunction with Mercury, it is said to stimulate mental capabilities and promise success as a writer or scientist. On the Ascendant and in good aspect, tradition has it that this star will make for 'fame' and a name 'remembered forever'. In conjunction with Venus, there will be advantages in artistic pursuits. A conjunction with Jupiter or on the MC will bring favor from dignitaries of the church. Tied up with either Sun or Moon, the influence of Fomalhaut is said to be quite marked. (Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1923)

If rising or culminating: Great and lasting honors. (Robson*).

With Sun: Dissipated, easily influenced by low companions, gain through inheritance but unproductive of good, may suffer for some crime committed, danger of bites from venomous creatures. (Robson*).

With Moon: Secret business causing much trouble and enmity, but eventual gain after many difficulties. The separation is more benefic than the application. (Robson*).

With Mercury: Many losses and disappointments, unlucky in business, better servant than master, writes or receives secret letters, worry through slander, imprisonment or damaged reputation, domestic difficulties, sickness of a Saturnian nature. (Robson*).

Success as a scientist or writer. (Ebertin).

With Venus: Secret and passionate love affairs, some restriction in the life, disappointments, easily led astray. (Robson*).

With Mars: Malevolent, passionate, revengeful, many secret enemies, liable to disgrace and ruin, danger of bites from venomous creatures. (Robson*).

With Jupiter: Sympathetic, charitable, honors in the Church, Freemasonry or secret societies, many voyages. (Robson*).

With Saturn: Accidents, ailments affecting the lungs, throat and feet, loss through enemies, friends, Mercurial affairs, bands and companies, wrongfully accused, affairs involved at end of life, sudden death and family cheated out of their rights. (Robson*).

With Uranus: Unstable, wasted talents, evil environment, unpractical ideas, loses friends, addicted to drugs or intoxicants, utopian schemes, afflicted marriage partner, brings misfortune to associates, fatally injured by electricity, explosion or accident. (Robson*).

With Neptune: Sharp, shrewd, self-seeking, analytical, detective ability, many secret enemies, connected with secret affairs or government work, occult interests, somewhat dishonest, influential friends, associated with 9th and 12th house affairs, gain through speculation, death of marriage partner, many narrow escapes, violent death through

Rossa said...

Wow, thank you Twilight.

I have Sun, Mercury, Chiron in Aquarius with Venus at 3 Pisces, all in my 1st house. So with Formalhout as well it's just another re-informcement of my year. All about my identity and moving from a material to more spiritual life. With Pluto on Virgo opp Venus, also working on my "female" side.

Not sure about the creative bit thru writing or art though. My creativity is expressed through food!! (used to be a pastry chef). I cook every day and love to create meals for friends/family etc.

I'm new to astrology following the blogs by Lynn Hayes and Pat/Neith at realastrologers. And yourself.
Also reading books/articles by david willcocks at divinecosmos.

Thanks again for your response.

From sunny, not too cold, Bingley, West Yorkshire. R

Twilight said...

Hi again Rossa~~

Ha! - A fellow Yorkie! I lived not far from you (Leeds) from 1972 to 1999.

I hope you gain as much enjoyment from your astro studies as I have done and still do. There's certainly a feast of info. on-line, easily accessible, which helps us to speed ahead with our studies. It was much harder in the past to find information. We are lucky!

Rossa said...

I grew up in Leeds from age 6. Street Lane, Wetherby Road & Shadwell. I was at Talbot Primary then Roundhay School in Leeds til '75. Then Thomas Danby College, learning to be a Baker...went on to be a Pastry Chef in London '79 - '84. 3 other careers since then in Computers, Banking and Finance and then Property.

Been back in Yorkshire since '86. Baildon, bingley, now Micklethwaite a small village outside Bingley. Dad still living in Leeds - Meanwood, Mum with me here.

Small world !!

Where were you and what were you doing?


Twilight said...

Hi Rossa - small world indeed!

I lived not far from where you grew up. Edge of Moortown on Harrogate Road. I worked in the city cenre = civil service - Industrial Tribunals (now called Employment Tribunals) from 1975 to end of '98. I retired and we moved to the coast (Bridlington). My partner of 33 years died. I met my now husbamd, an American, I am, much to my surprise, in Oklahoma!
(My father was a master baker, by the way. He and Mum opened a small shop and bakery in East Yorkshire, then later on in life he worked for a time as a pastry chef in a big hotel - another coinicdence !)