- Astrological Fixed Stars and the Behenian World of 15 Stars
Over time the fixed stars were divided by constellations, constituting the mainly elements of the sky forming the backdrop of shimmering suns of varying magnitudes. Many of them lie close to the ecliptic, giving our ancestors time to consider them as great points of reference. Everything in astrology has root in these fixed stars, the contributors of the understating of the whole. In astrology nowadays, the Fixed Stars (also called that way to distinguish them from planets) prove to be a collection of source that at its best it brings a deeper understanding of astrology in its various methods of application such as astro-meteorology, mundane astrology, elective, time and Natal. However, early occultists that investigated the mystical, scientific and metaphysical meaning of these mysterious stars valued something more about them that we generally dismiss, and it mainly involved some kind of magical application, a strong empowerment they believed they could own when doing the correct procedures accordingly. Let’s suppose from now on these 15 behenian stars are foreign beings to our solar system, upbringing an alien experience different from all the mainly considerations in astrology. Saying in this way, it appears I am trying to make the stars look almost inaccessible, but perhaps they are to a degree in order to lock up secrets that shall not be used by modern minds.
In her book Fixed Stars and Their interpretation, astrologer Ebertin-Hoffmann writes: “The first catalog of Fixed Stars was compiled by Timocharis and Aristyll about 250 years BC in Greece”; therefrom we easily deduce its application in astrology and occultism in general comes from really ancient times, Hoffman also claims in his book the name of the Fixed Stars has its origin in Babylonian. Among all those thousands visible stars, the occultists had a time correlating some of the mainly ones accordingly to their logic, to specific happenings in humanoid’s affairs, and that happened to be chosen 15 of them all, which are known as the Behenian stars. The attractive part is that each one of them may represent a planet or more, like if each one was a result of conjunctions of planets accordingly, in its most pure vibration. They also have a glyph for each other, some are complex while others are very simple but never alike the glyphs of the Zodiac’s signs and planets, and from my point of view, they look more like internal chips of computers in their designs.
“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
In fact, while in the 17th century, controversial astrologer Lilly actually identified about fifty fixed stars in his horary delineations, advancing the interpretation of astrological charts instead of using them only for magical purposes. The 50 fixed stars useful for horary charts according to William are: Scheat, Alpheratz, Caput Algol (The Gorgon’s Head), Alcyone, Hyades, Aldebaran, Rigel (Orion’s Foot), Bellatrix (Orion’s Left Shoulder), Alnilam (Cingula Orionis), Al Hecka, Polaris (The Pole Star), Betelgeuse (Orion’s Right Shoulder), Propus (Tejat Prior), Sirius (the Dog Star, the Sun of the Sun, the prime Sun of our Galaxy), Canopus (Ship of the Desert), Castor, Pollux (Caput Hercules), Procyon, Praesaepe, North Asellus (Asellus Borealis), South Asellus (Asellus Australis), Alphard, Al Jabhah, Regulus (Lion’s Heart), Denebola, Coma Berenices, Seginus, Spica, Arcturus, Princeps, Alphecca, South Scale (Zuben Algenub), North Scale (Zuben Alschemali), Alpha Serpentis (Unukalhai), Yed Prior, Antares (Heart of the Scorpion), Rastaban (Alwaid), Vega, Altair (The Eagle), Nashira, Sadalsuud, Fomalhaut, Deneb Adige (Alpha Cygni), Markab and Scheat.
The 15 Behenian fixed stars are then, the selection of the ‘finest’ of all the visible stars in the sky, fifteen stars chosen to represent powers of nature unknown to humans but which can be detectable by astrological methods and investigations, they are so luminous, bright and conspicuous to the point of needing a special treatment from people sensitive to reality in other forms than the majority. The 15 stars are: Algol, the Pleiades, Aldebaran, Capella, Sirius, Procyon, Regulus, Alkaid, Gienah, Spica, Arcturus, Alphecca, Antares, Vega, and Deneb Algedi.
Astronomers, magicians, occultists, and surely astrologers did used the behenian stars as a meaningful source of interest since early ages of humankind. As for magicians and the occultists, those specific stars were especially useful for magical applications in variety of rituals, cerimonies, metal rings and all variety of charms, believing the fixed stars were correlated to certain gemstones, plants or herbs, these people used to put heavy weight and concerned when exploring the world of astrology in the physical world, attracting or repulsing accordingly to each star’s symbolism and nature by one’s own will. Thus, the name these stars were derived are from the Arabic word bahman – which means “root”. Perhaps, whenever they wanted to reach to the ‘root’ of a situation, occultists of those amazing times knew the power of the behenian stars had in order to leverage a symbolical power for the event, creating eventually a chain of attraction when utilizing them as symbolic representation of power in the making of spells, talismans and other kinds of magical interpretation given by older magicians.
According to occult writer Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535), once discussed in his De Occulta Philosophia as the Behenii (singular Behenius), the source of attributions and the investigative scenarios utilizing astrology as a tool to reach out for conclusions of intellectual base, is credited to Hermeticist and popular named Hermes Trismegistus in his medieval Hermetic manuscript The Book of Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars (Book I, chapter 47.). Hermes was a philosopher and occultist in the Middle Ages whom possessed great wisdom, responsible for promulgating the vast knowledge of the Egyptians accumulated along history. However, the name Hermes Trismegistus itself is not assumed to be a person, but various authors of various disciplines rooted in one single ‘mind’, and that is usually discussed in classes of philosophies if that is rather true or not. If that is true, then the true source of the corresponding supposed Behenian fixed stars are to be reconsidered since the early age of Egypt.
Despite the mysterious source, magician Agrippa went beyond the classical interpretation in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy Three Books of Occult Philosophy and described the fixed stars in magical works and in kabbalah’s symbols. It was Agrippa himself who explained how to make the correct use of fixed stars to compose rings and talismans, which is when a particular Star rises fortunately, that is, a conjunction to planets that offers favorable condition such as to the Moon, Venus or Jupiter, then the magician would take a stone and a herb under that Star’s correlation in order to make a metal charm from such power of nature, fasten the stone in it while adding the herb or rooting under it, also the maker shall be explicit about image’s inscriptions, glyph and the star’s name. In the same book of Hermes, chapter 47, entitled by him as Incipit liber Hermetis de 15 stellis tractans et 15 herbis et 15 lapidibus et 15 figuris which stands for “Here Begins the Book of Hermes on the 15 fixed stars and 15 herbs and 15 stones and 15 figures”- Here for example, Hermes details the particularities of Antares in the making of charms as “Birthwort juice with a little yew placed etc. gives men healthy color, grants good memory and intelligence, makes them appear wise, and banishes demons.” If Hermeticism does have a mean to an end, and that end is the merging of a human being with the transcendental experience, doing magic utilizing astrology as a conduit to the laboratorial work seems a perfect way to introduce oneself into the most mystical sense of the word. In Hermetic teachings, it is easy to see the correlation of astrology to magnetism and attraction as we have seen with this wise maxim “as above, so below”.
In order for us, modern scholars of the art and science to fully grasp the precise conditions of the fixed stars delineated in an any astrological chart, one must understand how the ancients viewed the sky back those remarkable times. It was considered by the early Greeks that the sky was a blue metallic vault, where above the Seven Spheres of the classical seven visible planets, there existed another one layer that lied beyond, the Eighth Sphere of the realm of the fixed stars. The last realm to reach in terms of self-divinity as interpreted by Aristotelian followers, for example, in Dante’s divine comedy Dantes shares the idea the Eight Sphere of the fixed stars is where humans experience “divine triumph”, the last physical realm before the abode of angels, thus representing Faith, Hope, and Love. They believed the realms were constituted by crystalline spheres within spheres whirling around it.
The technical view had to be explained by such information and noted observations they had in hands. The Ptolemaic system was of course, set forth by Claudius Ptolemy (AD 100 – AD 170) in the Almagest (or Syntaxis Mathématica) around AD 150, which was a rectification of the earliest ideas of his time involving planet Earth relative to the universe itself. The book was considered an absolute authority and reference on the astronomical and astrological science among the Byzantines, Arabs and the Latins of the West.
The spatial thinking of their times suggests Earth at the center of the universe, and that implies in a geocentric cosmological system, a model perfect for astrology. Putting Earth at the center of all, I think made our ancestors feel more special and even more god’s creatures, they felt so unique that being the center of the cosmos would be the first thing to intellectually manifest when one reached for spatial conclusions. Modern times proved that to be theoretically wrong yet still useful for astrologers and practitioners. This fact by itself can make astrology looks ‘wrong’ as well: “how one can utilize an ancient system to predict events?” – one may equivocally think. But this article isn’t about discussing cosmological model systems, which is a very interesting topic to discuss as an article.
In the Ptolemaic system, the Sun travels circular around Earth’s poles so are the others planets. The Geocentric model was logical for them, it was used to mathematically prepare geometrically the astronomical and astrological charts for over 1.500 years, and it was not until the late 16th century that the model was beginning to be overruled by the Heliocentric model of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler. In that model, they put the Sun at the center of it all, the beginning of truth scientific explanations of cosmology was soon to be introduced to humankind. The Heliocentric model offers no advantage to astrologers, humans don’t live in the Sun and don’t have a life there but on planet Earth, thus its model can be dispensed as a ‘true’ form to conduit the subject, opting then for the geocentric model that explains better patterns of Earth’s events related to patters in the sky and vice-versa even when that being false and unrealistic from the heliocentric perspective, it still proposes a better acknowledgement from the movements of the planet relative to Earth and its events.
Such cosmological model served as a perfect demonstration of human’s view on the universe and our place within, allowing a definitive theory about the movement of the planets when Ptolomeu studied mainly the Hiparco’s investigations and observations, the astronomer and mathematician who’s popular work lied on the incidental discovery of the procession of the equinoxes, something that gave astrology a new ground ahead. In Ptolomeu’s work, it is also clear the influence of Aristotle’s spatial thinking of the universe and all its philosophies attached, and with the catholic church approving such model it was convenient and effortless for the Ptolemaic system to last over decades to decades.
- The mysterious Lady in Red or hero Antar/Antarah?
There are at least 7 thousand visible stars by naked eyes all splashed by the entire celestial sphere, and millions more by an expansive telescope. Astronomically, the fixed star Antares is located at the heart of constellation Scorpius, yet it is in tropical sign of Sagittarius by astrological perspective. Giant Antares happens to be one of the brightest in our skies ranked as the 15th one in the position because of its 1.0 magnitude among all the chosen ones, yet this star also happens to occupy its gaseous body near the ecliptic, it is the Alpha sun in Scorpius’ cluster of stars, being considered one the four brightest “suns” near the path of the Sun, the others 3 are Aldebaran, Spica, e Regulus. Curiously, Antares was romantically associated as one of the four Royal Stars in the sky of Persia around 3000 BC, thus its astrological association in natal charts is of worldwide recognition and success, being firstly recognized in charts as of a very fortunate nature, something quite contrasting to the interpretations of the Greeks and Romans. The star is also known since early ages as 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 (Regulus) Watcher of the North. Oriel (Antares) Watcher of the West. It wouldn’t have been too late for ancients to correlate the stars to specific events and situations, once they were/are so obvious in the sky, having its appearance astrologically (magical works, mark of events etc.) and astronomically (navigation, point of reference etc.) as permanent points of interest.
Mars, the planet of war is Aries’ rulership and was always seen that way by our ancestors, the same for Ares being the god of war. The ancient perception was categorical and logical by the visual effect the stars emitted when compared, and for that, the name Antares is believed to be focused on the resemblance of the same brightness and reddish color planet Mars shimmers, therefore being pictured as the rival of blazing spherical Mars, an Anti-Ares star yet still having its same attributes or even more passionate than Mars or completely devoted – a beneficial quality attached which is also attributed to Jupiter as said above. An astronomical curiosity is the fact little is known and talked about but there are actually 2 Antares stars in that region of the Scorpius constellation once we are pointing out to a binary system of stars, it is usually called Antares B, a greenish color makes contrast to Antares A, but its brightness (magnitude) is so low near the A that B is invisible by naked eye, yet B is more luminous than our Sun, the life-giver. Antares B is about 2.9 arc-seconds, or 550 AU apart from Antares A. So whenever you are searching in the skies for Antares, you will be in reality looking at 2 big celestial and gaseous bodies, and not just one big yellowish ball. The light Antares emits is about 10,000 times the luminosity of the Sun, having characteristics enough to be a future supernova.
- Astrological Antares – A military Star
“A Mars nature, in which the powers of Mercury and Jupiter and Saturn are also added. Antares makes people tough, belligerent and pugnacious. This is an important star for military personnel and is said to convey mental alertness, strategic ability and courage and to make dare-devils, especially if tied up with the MC, Ascendant, Sun or Jupiter. If associated with Mars, courage is said to become foolhardiness, leading to increased dangers. Natives with this particular configuration have to be prepared at all times for sudden incidents, unforeseen events and potential accidents. According to tradition, Antares is of violent character and is credited with being significant for a violent death, either in battle or by process of law. On the other hand, danger may come about by fire, weapons or machinery. Antares is also said to be unfortunate for the eyes, if in conjunction with the Ascendant, Moon or Sun and this has proven to be the case by later researchers. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.70-71.]”
For astrological purposes, Antares in its geocentric celestial longitude is now positioned at 9° degrees and 46 minutes of Sagittarius ( at 9°46′ tropical Sagittarius), but apparently it can vary from material sources. In the 1900’s Antares was at 8°22′ degrees. This fact alone tells that fixed stars are not actually fixed but always slowly moving, not enough though to be witnessed in a lifetime, thus the term “fixed stars” is only a way of saying how slow or the stationary display they seem to appear relative to Earth. Annually around December 2 the Sun passes 5° degrees of Antares, for that reason Antares is said to be less than 5° degrees of the ecliptic and can be hidden by the Moon (as it did in July 31st of 2009) and rarely by other planets. Although ruthless, violent and dangerous in nature, astrological fixed star Antares has no direct impact in someone’s life direction if not conjunction by the closest orb as possible to the Ascendant or Midheaven, not even conjunction to personal planets can influence that much on the life’s path. However, when in severe contact to personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and even social Jupiter and Saturn), it can drastically change its nature, overcoming the ability of the other planet to fully express its condition accordingly to its own’ energy. Curiously, huge star ball Antares is said to be characterized by the nature of Mars and Jupiter as once classified by Ptolemy:
“Scorpio. The bright stars in the front of the body of Scorpio have an effect similar to that produced by the influence of Mars, and partly to that produced by Saturn: the three in the body itself, the middle one of which, called Antares,is ruddy and more luminous, are similar to Mars and moderately to Jupiter: those in the joints of the tail are like Saturn and partly like Venus: those in the sting, like Mercury and Mars. The nebula is like Mars and the Moon.” – Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos book I; tr. J.M. Ashmand 
Supermassive Antares is part of the 15 Behenian Fixed Star in our skies (in the article ahead I explore more of it). The majority of these stars are bigger than the Sun itself. Actually if you place the star Antares in the place of the Sun it would reach its outer parts between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Surely, the lady in red is seductive in may form, it needs to appear!
The deal is simple. Mars with Antares promotes success in battle as well as can indicate a violent death, assassination and the down fall for the one involved, yet, it foresees a great strategic person full of courage to act in the name of Antares which can cause lots of disaster along the way, banishing demons have physical consequences. Moreover, Mars-Antares is associated to success in war. It is like having double Mars attached to the chart altogether, and the Jupiter-association is highly viewed by astrologers as the factor of “lucky” in war as well as success by well strategic plans, as was mostly seen by the Persians. If contact with Jupiter, there could be a great fortune, career success and other joys of life in expanded manners, or in its downfall – it brings instantaneous false hope, hypocrisy and the native may also experience a huge fraud in the house it falls.
Now, what about the other planets in astrology and sensitive points? How can we relate that? In her book entitled “Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, 1923” – author Vivian E. Robson explores the world of the fixed stars in detail format. Here are her hints about Antares conjunct each of this points or planets in the chart:
Riches and honor, violence, sickness, benefits seldom last. [Robson*, p.137.]
Honor, preferment and good fortune. [Robson*, p.137.]
poverty. [Robson*, p.137.]
Pretended religion, insincere, honor and riches ending in disgrace and ruin, military preferment, danger of treachery, violence committed or suffered, fevers and sickness, injuries to the right eye, violent death. If rising or culminating, great honor through violence attended by difficulties and casualties. If with Mars also, pestilential disease. [Robson*, p.137.]
Popular, broad-minded, interested in philosophy, science and metaphysics, liable to change religious opinions, influential friends, favorable for business and domestic matters, active in local affairs, great power, honor and wealth but benefits may not prove lasting, danger of violence, sickness, drowning or assassination. If in 1st or 10th houses, honor and preferment but many dangers and calamities. Liable to blindness or eye injuries especially if at the same time Mars or Saturn be with Regulus. If Saturn be with Aldebaran, danger of a violent death probably by hanging; but if Mars be with Aldebaran death by a stab, blow or fall especially if in angles. If a malefic be with Aldebaran in the 4th, 7th, 11th or 12th houses, death by a sudden sword-thrust, stab or fall (operations can be substituted for stabs nowadays). [Robson*, p.137.]
Suspicious, wrongfully accuses friends, unpopular, uses ecclesiastic influence in business, money obtained slowly and with much difficulty, danger of sickness to the native and his family, and death of a relative at home or away. [Robson*, p.138.]
Insincere, dishonest, energetic and able but selfish. [Robson*, p.138.]
Detrimental habits powerfully affecting the life, quarrels with friends and relatives, fairly favorable for gain. If at the same time the Moon is with Aldebaran, danger of death by sword or hanging. [Robson*, p.138.]
Great religious zeal real or pretended, ecclesiastical preferment, tendency to hypocrisy, benefits through relatives. [Robson*, p.138.]
Materialistic, dishonest through circumstances created by environment, religious hypocrisy, many disappointments, loss through quarrels and legal affairs, trouble through enemies, many failures, hampered by relatives, unfavorable for domestic matters, much sickness to and sorrow from children. If at the same time the Moon is with Aldebaran, danger of death by sword or hanging. [Robson*, p.138.]
Abnormal and extreme ideas, hypocritical, lies and exaggerates, extremely socialistic, incites to riot, lawlessness and anarchism and in danger of imprisonment on this account, occasional poverty, disharmony with relatives, more than one marriage, unfavorable for children, violent death. [Robson*, p.138.]
Shrewd, cunning, unbalanced and mentally unsound, secretive but apparently candid, dishonest, tendency to theft, economical, untruthful, strange religious ideas, evil environment, gain through hard work, sudden and unexpected death brought about by treachery or through enemies who will escape retribution. [Robson*, p.138.]
As concerned above, saffron-colored Antares in astrology has only potency when in strong contact with the chart according to certain prior considerations. First of all, fixed stars should never be treated like a planet in any astrological method, for astrological purposes, fixed stars ‘cast no rays’, therefore the conjunction (0° degree) aspect shall be only considered among all the others aspects. Traditional astrologers would consider at least within six degrees of any associated 15 behenian fixed stars (specially for the very unfortunate star Algol) thinking such influence was particularly strong, but as all astrologers know that the minimum the orb, stronger the combination – and points of view can also differ from astrologer to astrologer when judging the star’s magnitude (brightness).
Professionals of the science also consider fixed stars of fortunate or benevolent nature to overcome some negative points in a native’s chart, for example Willim Lilly wrote in his “Seven Segments of Cardan” choices of aphorisms: “When Jupiter is in the Sixth House, Retrograde and the Lord of the Secon Peregrine, and no benevolente fixed star to help, the Native will be very poor and necessitou.” –
At the website astrology.king author Jamie Partridge writes about known people with Antares prominent on their charts: “Antares was conjunction Ascendant in the birth charts of Ghandi, who died by assassination; general Schleicher, murdered by Hitler; Helen Keller. A conjunction with the MC has been recorded with boxer Ten Hoff and Bormann, minister under Hitler. A conjunction with the Sun can be found in the charts of British Prime Minister Churchill, Field-Marshall Kesserling and the former Reichsarschall Goering. Antares was conjunction the Moon of Copernicus, and bound up with the lunar Node and Moon of the philosopher Nietzch, who at age 45, became an imbecile. The Austrian Kulturphilisoph, Rudolf Kassner was bornwhen the fixed star was conjunction Mars. because he contracted infantile paralysis, he had to use crutches all his life.” – (Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.70-71.)
Astrology can be easily feared by this point, that’s why professional astrologers are here to help students of the art and science to progress fearless. By such intense interpretation from Ebertin over said by Jamie is terrific in essence. You read those sentences and you actually get to be scared by the effect of such tragic correspondence. Reading about Gandhi does bring a comfort to the idea Antares can also be spiritual in nature, but the assassination followed can give people a chill. A brighter side of Antares by itself and only can be interpreted as a constituted association to the 16th manzil which stands for Arabic Moon Mansion or Al Kalb (the Heart), which is said to be one of the fortunate stations, but this is something out of my jurisdiction. This is a serious study that demands detached quality of the mind.
For practical purposes, I shall make a last consideration. In modern astrology, little is used of the fixed stars to delineate natal charts. As the term says, ‘fixed’ is not something easily movable, not something easy to handle neither on daily basis or in a short-term, thus its application to natal charts shall only be viewed as a second alternative to reading charts of people with a common life, that means, different from those who has world influence and success, even when a person has a prominent fixed star evident in the chart.
- Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923