Currently, Science, through Astronomy, knows that in our Universe, nothing remains immobile, including the stars, even those that in Antiquity were defined as Fixed Stars.
What are Fixed Stars and Why Are They Important??
Know thou that every fixed star hath its own planets, and every planet its own creatures, whose number no man can compute.
The Fixed Stars, in contrast to the “wandering stars,” are one of the oldest focuses of humanity’s interest. The traveling “stars” were the planets, whose movement through the zodiac is noticeable to the naked eye. Such stars were so named because their positions concerning other stars did not appear to vary. Some of them move so slowly that throughout their existence, an observer, with the naked eye, couldn’t perceive any changes in their trajectory. The fixed stars tend to move only about 50 seconds in an arc each year, and it takes more than 70 years for one to notice a movement of just one degree. The constellations were drawn based upon fixed star patterns in the night sky.
Historical records attest that the first human settlements in the Neolithic era already marveled at their observation. They occupied the highest and most stable plane of everything that apparently moved in the sky.
Grouped in the shape of constellations, the “fixed stars” helped guide travelers, marked the beginning of harvests, planting times, annual festivals, initiation rituals, the fashioning of sacred calendars, and many other human activities.
With the evolution of the scientific methods of observing the Universe, it was discovered that stars are not really fixed, and sometimes for times, a star from a particular constellation could migrate to another by changing the star grouping they belonged to.
The Constellations of Fixed Stars
A Constellation is the name given to specific groups of stars in the sky where it becomes the canvas where the collective imaginary of a determined social group is to be projected.
The varied shapes, designs, and attributes of these star patterns distinguish them in the firmament. The word constellation comes from the Latin “com-stelattus”, which means “marked with stars.”
Ancient astronomers arbitrarily grouped the stars into 88 fixed constellations, naming them as they resemble their appearance; among these, 12-star groupings came to constitute the zodiacal circle: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, the Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. The Fixed Stars, studied by Astrology, a science that also appeared in Antiquity, associated each of the twelve months of the year with one of these Zodiacal constellations.
In 1945, the International Astronomical Union officially marked the limits of the constellations and which stars belong to which constellation. By 1970, the 88 constellations were universally accepted, in addition to smaller star groups, which we call asterisms.
Archetypes and Star Myths
“You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you too.”
~ Srii Srii Anandamurti
The Ancient Greeks colonized the heavenly sphere with their myths, fables, and traditions, in addition to those Legends they inherited from Mesopotamia and Phenicia.
Thales of Miletus, the oldest known Greek astronomer, was of Phoenician origin.
In Hesiod (both Theogony and The Works and the Days) and in Homer, there are several references to individual stars and constellations that are related to Sumerian myths.
In the “Work and the Days” – a calendar is created by Greek shepherds – Hesiod makes reference to the Pleiades, Hyades, Orion, Sirius, and Arcturus.
This is also the case in Homeric Hymns, in which there are quotes about the previous charts and other star references, in addition to the constellation Boötes (the herdsman) – and others that are listed in the book of Job (from the Old Testament).
From the 6th century on, constellations began to commonly appear in the records of Greek historians and poets: Aglaóstenes records Ursa Minor (Cynosura) and the translation of Aquila; Epimenides of Crete observes the translation of Capricorn and the star Capella; Pherecydes of Syros writes about Orion, noting that, when this constellation sets, the sign of Scorpio ascends; Aeschylus and Alcaeus of Mytilene narrate the legend of the 7 Pleiades sisters, daughters of the giant Atlas; and Hecataeus of Miletus relates the Hydra myth to the constellation of the same name.
Cataloging Heavens to Help the Work on Earth
Euctemon, a Greek astronomer (5th to 6th century), compiles a calendar of seasons in which Aquarius, Aquila, Canis Major, Boreal Crown, the Swan, Dolphin (Delphinus in Latin), Lyre, Orion, Pegasus, Sagittarius, the Hyades, and the Pleiades asterisms are mentioned there, concerning the time, and to the changes of seasons. In that calendar, the solstices and equinoxes were associated with the zodiac signs.
The Emblematic “Solar” Stars
The oldest Greek work on the constellations was written by Eudoxus of Cnidus (Phaenomena). Despite being lost to the modern times, the original lent the base and name to the Macedonian Poet Aratus, to write his long poem, the Phaenomena. In the original Phaenomena, 44 constellations are detailed and described, 19 in the north, 13 in the zodiac, and 12 in the south.
The Egyptian Claudius Ptolemy, an Alexandrian astronomer, about 300 years later writes in the Book Six of his Syntaxis Mathematica or Almagestum, a catalog of 48 constellations by name and location, adopting the Hipparchus system and assigning to each star close to the ecliptic characteristics of one or more planets. Ptolemy’s Almagestum was the basis for all subsequent star catalogs.
The previous tradition of analyzing stars according to planetary pairs was incorporated by Persian, Arabic, and later medieval astrology.
The vast majority of astrologers of the Middle Ages, driven by the astrological works of the Arabs, listed, in their treatises and compendiums, hundreds of stars of constellations, attributing to them greater or lesser strength, beneficial or evil qualities, adding to the original inherited planetary symbolism from the Alexandrine Era.
Fixed Stars and Their Astrological and Spiritual Influences.
“Nonetheless, it moves.”
~ Galileo Galilei
Fixed Stars have an important influence on the horoscope. Unlike the planets, which act subtly and gradually, the fixed stars cause sudden and intense effects.
Their influence on each person is enhanced when their position is in conjunction, opposite or parallel to a planet, the Sun, the Moon, the Ascendant, or the Middle of the Sky or located in the angular houses or on their cusps. The power of the influence of each star is also calculated concerning its magnitude, brightness, and general aspects.
Ageless Wisdom teachings also refer to an esoteric Influence from some of these Fixed Stars upon others. For instance, The Star Sirius is regarded as exercising a positive and evolutional influence upon our own sol. The same way, The Star Regulus seems to have a symbiotic relationship with Sirus, and in many ways, it amplifies its influence.
Fixed Stars – a phrase used in contrast to wandering stars, or planets – were already known by the Greeks as an interpretation resource. From Greek astrologers comes the distinction between zodiacal and non-zodiacal stars, which gives the basis for two different methodologies of interpretation and of using the Astral Map.
The broadening research of the Stars and Planets, from the invention of the telescope by Galileo Galilei, revealed to humanity the vision of nebulae, quasars, pulsars, black holes, and other galaxies and all sort of new celestial bodies.
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