Author: Joe Polise
The Royal Stars in astrology have long been associated with the fixed signs of the zodiac as their constellational positions testify. Aldebaran is the "Eye of the Bull" in Taurus; Antares is the "Heart of the Scorpion" in Scorpio; Regulus is the "Lion's Heart" in Leo, and Fomalhaut is the "Fish's Mouth" in the Southern Fish close to Aquarius. Astrologers know the fixed signs as sources of concentrated, focused power; the 15th degree of each fixed sign is avataric according to Dane Rudhyar:
"These points are not unknown to some occultists. They correspond to what has been called the Four Gates of Avataric Descent. As an "Avatar" in ancient terminology is in fact a release of cosmic energy, the meaning of this phrase is quite evident. These Four Gates are symbolized by the four symbolic creatures: the Bull, the Lion, the Eagle and the Angel. Each of them depicts a particular type of dynamic release, a particular type of Ray of Power -- and of power releasing initiation (italics mine)".(14)
So Rudhyar sees the Four Gates as signifying the release of cosmic power; this power works to uplift the Earth toward a higher level of consciousness. On an individual level each of the Royal Stars acts in a similar manner to the Four Gates of Avataric Descent. Like the Guardians of the Bundahishn the stars are engaged in a struggle against the dark Ahrimanic forces, like the Watchers of Enoch the stars are angels who bind the nephilim. In horoscopic astrology, each of the four Royal stars embody a moral principle which can bring success and honor to those who respond successfully to their energies. The Royal Stars can confer a "talent of the first magnitude" (15) which if abused will result in the dramatic rise and fall scenario depicted in the older writings on the fixed stars. About the Royal Stars, Rosenburg writes:
"To have such a star prominent in one's nativity foretold the possibility of a high station in life, even for the low-born. Yet the gifts of the Royal Stars can backlash upon their possessors, causing falls from grace or power."(16)
Rosenburg also finds that Royal Stars sometimes relate to situations where someone is placed prematurely into a high position; thus it may be the native's own immaturity that leads to the extreme of success and failure ascribed to these four stars. Brady likens the Royal Stars to a specific human weakness, or nemesis, which if handled properly will confer talent and power. She traces her position back to the myths of ancient Persia.(17)
In a natal chart, the Royal Stars lend an extra volt of talent, power and strength to whatever planet they come into contact with by close conjunction. As already outlined by other astrologers, those with a Royal Star prominent in their chart do not gain the potential success indicated by these placements without facing or passing through a test that may seem like an initiation. In essence, by contending with antagonistic forces, within and without, the person having a Royal Star prominent in his horoscope is given an opportunity to share a special message with the world. The Royal Stars embody antagonistic energies, akin to the contest pitting the four chieftain stars against Ahriman, or the Holy Watchers in the binding of the nephilim. When we look at the lives of those who have been touched by the Royal Stars indeed we see talents of the "first magnitude," confrontations with elements of destruction, and initiations that allowed each of the following to deliver their own message.
REGULUS: Watcher in the North
29 Leo 35
Heart of the Lion
The constellation Leo holds the Royal Star Regulus. Leo is found westward on the ecliptic next to Cancer. Since Regulus lies almost exactly on the ecliptic, horoscopic conjunction to the star are close to exact. Even though Regulus has been called "Ruler of the Heavens," it is actually one of the faintest of first magnitude stars. Sirius is much brighter than Regulus.
Approximately 4,000 years ago the Summer Solstice occurred in Leo. This fits the perennial rulership of the sign Leo by the Sun, as the Summer Solstice is the time of the Sun's greatest strength. For many civilizations the lion has served as a god or goddess symbol. Particularly in ancient Rome the god Mithras (also known as the "unconquered Sun" or "Sol Invictus") installed the Sun as the ruler of the world. For the Mithrasians the Sun was a figure of worship, and rank of "Leo" was this religion's fourth degree of initiation. The Lion-headed statue of Mithraism illustrates the inner triumph of light over darkness; it signified the moral strength of the initiate. The iconography of this figure shows him standing triumphantly on a sphere surrounded by the bands of the equator and the ecliptic.
The most regal sounding of the Royal Stars, Regulus marked the Summer Solstice as the Watcher in the North. Additionally, Regulus was "Cor Leonis" in Rome, "Magha the Might" in India, and for the arabs it was "Malikyy" the Kingly. The Lunar Mansion containing Regulus is now "Uttatra Phalguni" or "the latter red one."
Regulus represents a dimension of the cosmic order that upholds courage and right action. Regulus give the power to stand firm in one's inner convictions in the face of threats and danger. As a Royal Star, Regulus symbolizes the strength and power of the heart, love, and actions motivated by such considerations. Naturally Regulus endows planets it contacts with an added conviction of principle that enables a grand application of that planet's energy. The results can be quite inspiring, especially if the person is playing a part where he is an example to others.
Astrology's traditional view on Regulus connects the star to extraordinary qualities: high idealism, spiritual strength, and command. While Regulus gives honors, especially military ones, these are short-lived and could evenutate in humiliating failure.(24) Contemporary assessments of this star still associate it with courage and authority, yet link its reversals to the dark side emerging when "courage becomes arrogance."(25) Brady cautions Regulus natives to "avoid the nemesis of revenge" which can cause them to lose sight of the idealism that is an example for others.(26)
Winston Churchill is an excellent biography in which to study Royal Stars. He was born with Antares/Sun and the Moon/Regulus. Churchill's career juxtaposes great periods of success alongside more obscure periods. The conviction of Regulus appears in Churchill's stirring WWII orations; his words helped the English to withstand the devastating effects of the German air raids over their country. Churchill pits the virtue of endurance and courage against the forces of darkness and oblivion in these words:
"You ask what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, for without victory, there is no survival."
True to the ups and downs of the Royal Stars, by the time the Germans surrendered in 1945, Churchill had lost much of his influence. However, Churchill and his "Lion's Heart" would serve as Prime Minister again, serving until illness forced him to resign in 1955.
(1) E. W. West, The Bundahisn or "Creation", The Sacred Books of the East, Volume V. (Oxford University Press, 1897), Ch 2.1.
(2) The Bundahisn, Ch 2.5.
(3) The Bundahisn, Ch. 2.7.
(4) Richard H. Allen, Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning (Dover University Press, 1963), p. 256. Note: For the Persian names of the Royal Stars, Allen gives us the astronomer Flammarion's correspondences. In Flammarion's scheme, the listed stars are six hours apart in Right Ascension, and "they everywhere were probably used to mark the equinoctial and solstitial colures."
(5) Richard Laurence, The Book Of Enoch the Prophet (Wizards Bookshelf, 182), c. 41.1.
(6) Enoch, Ch. 7.3.
(7) John P. Pratt, "The Lion and Unicorn Testify of Christ, Part 2: The Four Royal Stars" Meridian 5 December 2001.
(8) Enoch, Ch. 9.4.
(9) Enoch, Ch. 9.10.
(10) Enoch, Ch. 10.17.
(11) Note: In Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, the author calls the results of Ptolemy's calculations "projected ecliptic degrees" (PED); astrologers must adjust the PED 50" per annum to correct for precession. All stars thus advance about one degree every 72 years, their "proper motion."
(12) Note: Ptolemy inherited the scientific legacy of Alexandrian Egypt. The Tetrabiblos has no account of star lore from non-Hellenic sources. Ptolemy's primary source was probably Hipparchus (c. 160-120 BC).
(13) Vivian Robson, The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology (Weiser, 1969), p. 92. Note: In Chapter IV Robson wrote, "It may be taken as a fairly well-established rule that the stars do not operate alone, except perhaps in those cases where they are situated on the angles, and that their chief effect is transmitted by the planets. They seem to form an underlying basis upon which the horoscope is built, giving it (the planet) a prominence in the life that is quite unwarranted by its mere position and aspects in the map."(p. 92) This statement is hinting at something like an ontology of astrology, that is the relative nature and being of astrological entities. One could thus consider the constellational stars as a matrix that supports or amplifies planetary expression. This hints at the materialistic theories of Johndro who saw the stars as electromagnetic forces, or step-down transformers of planetary energy.
(14) Don Wildgrube, "The Festival Wheel" (1993), Welcome to Lady Earth. Note: Here the notion of "avataric degrees" is the same as Dane Rudhyar;s understanding in his Astrology and Personality.
(15) Diana Rosenburg, "The Guardians of Heavens" NCGR Memberletter, February 1989, p. 7. Note: In this article, Rosenburg makes a valuable point about the Aldebaran/Antares axis. "...(these stars) are so precisely opposite one another that they must be studied as a pair, each affirming and intensifying the effects of the other." The intensity of the axis is linked to war as noted by its angularity at three of the most important battles in history: D-Day, the Battle of Hastings, and the surrender of Cornwalis at Yorktown. The 9Y Gemini-Sagittarius axis is also linked to the discovery and application of nuclear energy.
(16) Ibid., p. 7.
(17) Bernadette Brady, Brady's Book of Fixed Stars (Weiser, 1997), p. 54.
(18) Anne Wright, "The Constellation Taurus," Fixed Stars Website.
(19) Brady, Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, p. 124.
(20) Diana Rosenburg, "Aldebaran" in The Fixed Stars Correspondence Course available through the author.
(21) Robson, Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, pp. 136-7.
(22) Rosenburg, "Antares" in The Fixed Stars Correspondence Course.
(23) Brady, Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, p. 237.
(24) Robson, Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, p. 193.
(25) Rosenburg, "Regulus" in The Fixed Stars Correspondence Course.
(26) Brady, Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, p. 281.
(27) Robson, Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, p. 57.
(28) Brady, Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, p. 267
(29) Rosenburg, "Fomalhaut" in The Fixed Stars Correspondence Course.