A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



March 2009

   VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com


In this issue:
Four Lives and a Funeral. Stars that talk of Loss -  Zosma, Diadem, Sirius and Alphecca. The stories of stars that are symbolic of loss or sacrifice.

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Four Lives and a Funeral
Stars that talk of Loss -  Zosma, Diadem, Sirius and Alphecca


Darrelyn Gunzburg

In dealing with clients who are handling loss in some way, from the loss of someone they love to the loss of job and issues of loss connected with this current economic crisis, I have become aware of stars that bring grief and pain. Let me share with you some of those insights.


Sirius, the fire of immortality

The brightest and red star in the face of Canis Major


Sirius is one of the great stars of the sky and with its magnitude of -1.43, it is the brightest star in the heavens apart from our Sun.  The Egyptians called it The Shining One or The Scorcher. Linked with the life-giving rising waters of the Nile, it was also called the Nile Star. Sirius is a marker of great deeds, with the ability to turn the mundane into something sacred. However, Sirius struggles at a personal level, for it can bring the loss of something or someone dear in a person’s life as a way of allowing the person to understand the sacred through the personal. Its explosive energy can help a person achieve levels they thought were impossible. However, in so doing, the individual may be sacrificed or asked to sacrifice something dear to the greater expression [1].


A very British example of this came in the news just recently with the leader of the Conservative Party in Britain, David Cameron. Although Cameron's story has been made public by his position in British politics it is a story that is played out at all levels of society, in all cultures.

On Wednesday 26th February, 2009, his eldest child, six-year old Ivan, was taken ill during the night and died just forty-five minutes after being admitted to hospital. Ivan suffered from Ohtahara syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy characterised by spasms which start in the first days of life and which then required round-the-clock care. Some children can suffer as many as a hundred seizures every day.  Cameron described Ivan’s death as a "hole in our life so big that words can't describe it." 


David Cameron has Mercury in Scorpio square Moon-Jupiter in Leo - an intense and probing mind (Mercury in Scorpio) filled with bright new ideas (Mercury square Jupiter) and the desire to put his vision into practice (Moon-Jupiter in Leo).

The fixed star connected with his Mercury is Sirius:


Sirius as Mercury is On Nadir

Skilled with language or ideas

Cameron's skill with words and language has given him success in his career as a politician.  He was elected as the Leader of the Conservative Party on 6 December 2005 and is considered to be the bright and brilliant shining light of the conservative party (Sirius-Mercury). However, embroidered into this gift of brilliance of Sirius is also the story of being asked to make a sacrifice.

David Cameron, born 9 October, 1966, London, UK, birth time unknown.


Cameron had been in politics for less than a year when Ivan was born in April 2002. His response to Ivan's disabilities was: "The news hits you like a freight train. You are depressed for a while because you are grieving for the difference between your hopes and the reality. But then you get over that, because he's wonderful."

Time has yet to play its hand. However, the astrology here suggests that the sacrifice of losing Ivan will deepen, sharpen and hone him emotionally and make him a more compassionate communicator (Mercury-Sirius).


Diadem, a woman’s sacrifice
The star in the long hair of Coma Berenices

The word diadem is a symbol of royalty worn on the head, a small crown, and is linked with the Greek story of Berenice, sister-wife of Ptolemy III. Awaiting her husband’s safe return from war, Berenice realized that if she could make a sacrifice of something of hers that was of great importance, then she could ensure her husband’s safe return. So she cut off her long hair and sacrificed it to Aphrodite. In our modern world such a sacrifice seems to be of slight importance. Yet in those days a woman’s status was marked by her hair and to have short hair was a sign of disgrace. Thus this star is linked with inner strength that is willing to sacrifice and which does not seek glory or personal fame. In so doing it may attract loss as part of that sacrifice.

Ivan Cameron (8 April, 2002, London, UK, birth time unknown) has his Sun in Aries conjunct Mercury. The fixed star connected with his Sun is Diadem:


Diadem as Sun is On Nadir

Willing to make a sacrifice


The Sun in a young person’s chart is often projected onto the father-figure who holds this energy until the person can take back the projection when older. The events of late February make this star-planet connection obvious. That Ivan was unable to speak meant he found a different way to communicate with his family. That his father’s Mercury is connected with Sirius makes this a family pattern of great pathos.

Ptolemaic diadem Greek, 220-100 B.C.E.



Cameron and his wife have two other younger children and their unique connection with Ivan will impact on all their lives their whole life. How Cameron handles his grief will define how his children handle loss in years to come and how they, in turn, teach their children how to handle loss.


Zosma, victimisation

The star in the back of the Lion


Another British example is the author J.K.Rowling and her character Harry Potter. This star's symbolism is woven into the mythology of Hercules and one of his twelve labours.

Hercules was given the task of having to kill the Nemean lion, as this lion represented non-establishment concepts or beliefs. The only way he could succeed was to grasp the lion in his arms and crush her. This myth is a symbol of the point in Greek and Roman mythology where the older, goddess-centred beliefs were extinguished. Hence Zosma is found in the charts of those whom the established order makes powerless, whether directly or indirectly. The planet in a chart that is tied to Zosma will thus suffer.

Hercules and the Nemean Lion, Greek vase.



J.K.Rowling (31 July 1965, Greenwich, UK, birth time unknown) has her Mercury, Saturn and Moon in paran with Zosma. Her Mercury is at late degrees of Leo conjunct an early degree Venus in Virgo, and her Saturn opposes a Moon-Uranus conjunction. This suggests someone with an inspired ability (Mercury in Leo) to write about non-establishment social networks (Venus in Virgo), as well as someone who knows the pain of feeling emotionally isolated and separated (Moon-Saturn).


J.K. Rowling has the following star and planet combinations in her chart:


Zosma as Mercury is Rising

To be concerned with the difficulties of others


Zosma as Moon is On Nadir 

The pacifist or the warmonger - to hate, or enjoy, the suffering of others.
To be sympathetic to the suffering of others.

Zosma as Saturn is On Nadir

A minority leader, or a person who grows in pessimism.
To help those the establishment has abandoned.

J.K.Rowling  born 31 July 1965, Greenwich, UK, birth time unknown.



Having suffered from a deep black melancholy and an intense feeling of rejection and separation from all that was good in life, feelings which later became brilliantly personified as ‘The Dementors’ in her series of books about Harry Potter, a young wizard, Rowling found she had the gift to speak and write effectively on behalf of those who were powerless in society ? young people (Zosma-Mercury). Her books offered them ways of handling difficult emotions (Moon-Saturn-Zosma) through non-establishment techniques - magic spells - in effect teaching them how to handle their internal reality. The deep anguish and pain she experienced, exacerbated with her mother’s death just as she was beginning to write the first Potter book, reflects the pain and anguish of Zosma.


Alphecca, the crown of flowers, the gift with thorns

The bright star in the flower crown


The ultimate British example is the story of a second crown in the sky. Corona Borealis is a crown or wreath with its imagery being predominantly a woman’s crown or garland of flowers. However, it is a crown that contains thorns, and advancement in life always comes with a price. Alphecca's presence in a chart can indicate that one is being offered a change in social status or community standing that comes through love or luck. However, this gift or possible advancement implies that it may be accompanied by a dark or heavy period as a result.


Queen Elizabeth II has her Saturn in paran with Alphecca. Her Saturn is in Scorpio conjunct her MC forming the apex of a T-Square with Mars-Jupiter in Aquarius in the 1st house and Neptune in the 7th house. She has the ability to steadily (fixed) and effectively solve problems (angular T-square) through taking on responsibility (Saturn) which she initially feels is beyond her but which gives her respect and credibility (Saturn conjunct the MC). Whilst she was born into royalty, having Alphecca in paran with her Saturn suggests that she will be offered a change in social status but will, in some way, pay a price for this.



Queen Elizabeth II was born with Alphecca culminating on her MC and also in paran with her Saturn


 Alphecca on the angles
 at birth
To be handed a gift in life, then to discover that it demands a physical price. Struggling to achieve the most you can while learning that difficult times are followed by periods of success



Alphecca as Saturn
is On Nadir

The desire to leave a legacy in one's field of expertise


Queen Elizabeth II 21 April, 1926, 2:40 am, London, UK.



Queen Elizabeth II was never meant to be queen. Her father, George VI, was second in line to the throne, a man who stuttered and felt inadequate to handle public life. When he died, Elizabeth was only twenty-six years old. As a young woman at the start of her reign, Elizabeth was depicted as a glamorous "fairytale Queen”. However, in the 1980s public criticism of the royal family increased, as the personal and working lives of Elizabeth's children came under media scrutiny.  Her popularity sank to a low point in the 1990s. Under pressure from public opinion she began to pay income tax for the first time, and Buckingham Palace was opened to the public. Discontent with the monarchy reached its depth with the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and only faded once the Queen made a public broadcast to the world. Perhaps this is the clearest expression of Saturn in paran with Alphecca and on her M.C., that her position as monarch came through luck but it slowly and determinedly (the fixed T-square) forced her to undergo change through several dark or heavy periods.


That she has been able to do so effectively is shown by polls taken in 2006 which revealed strong support for Elizabeth. The majority of respondents desired that she remain on the throne until her death, and many felt that she had become an institution in herself.


In conclusion


Loss and the pain of loss is a part of all our lives. However, some people’s lives are deeply influenced by fixed stars that bring loss and pain, hardship and anguish. You may know people with such stars and such lives, or this may be your pathway. These stars do not stand alone and there will be other fixed stars connected with your horoscope which may soften their expression. They are powerful stars and deserve our compassion.



1. Fixed star meanings have been taken from: Brady, Bernadette (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. Bournemouth, UK: Wessex Astrologer.

2. The Independent UK, online, 1st March 2009 - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-and-ivan-cameron-father-and-son-1634759.html accessed 2nd March.



The software that allows you to work with the whole sky in your astrology is  Starlight and it can be explored on the Zyntara home page where there are  also online tutorials.