A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



November 2006

The VAN is a free monthly electronic newsletter
dedicated to promoting awareness of the sky to astrologers.

In this issue:     

The King stands alone  - Saturn standing alone in the night sky and its link to 1946

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The Great Southern Fish - The Royal Stars of Persia, Fomalhaut.

VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com

This month we are completing our work on the Royal Stars with a focus on Fomalhaut. Darrelyn has now given us all a detailed look at all four Royal Stars over the course of the last twelve months and they make fascinating reading. This month we focus on a solitary Saturn in the sky and we were amazed to see its links to an earlier time. Also I would like to thank a reader (whose email got lost in our IT melt down, so I cannot name them) for pointing out that Japan has already had female Empresses in the past, in particular the 5th and 7th centuries. So the little princess Aiko will not be the first Empress but I still think she will be a trail-blazer. Reader feedback is always welcome as visual astrology is a learning curve for all of us.

Finally, with the completion of the Fixed Stars Volume II Studyshop - "Charts and Stars" - we have a very special sky-chart-and-star self-learning package offer at the end of this newsletter. Check it out when you have a minute.

The King stands alone…  
Bernadette Brady M.A.

Strange echoes from the past are not unusual within astrology. Indeed they are the nature of cycles - that curious blend of repeating themes, always a little different but also always similar. The feature of the visual astrology for this coming month is the isolation of Saturn. In the predawn light Saturn will be seen culminating as it slowly approaches the great Lion with its beating red heart of Regulus. No other planets will be visible in the night sky until Mercury makes a dim reappearance in the dawn light in the middle of the month. The Moon will join Saturn and quietly pass over the top of him (for the northern hemisphere, or just below for those of you watching from the southern hemisphere).




In searching the translations from the Mesopotamian astrologer/priests from around the time of 600 BCE they seem to be silent about the meaning of such isolation. However, the astrologer priest Balasi did send this message to his king:

Tonight Saturn approached the moon.
Saturn is the star of the sun, (and) the relevant
interpretation is as follows: it is good for the
king. The sun is the star of the king.[1]

As we have seen before, the image of the planet Saturn as it moves through the constellations represents the king and when joined by Sin, the moon god, it was considered a good omen. But what of the king’s isolation? With this question in mind, and not finding any ancient text to help with the interpretation, I decided to scan for earlier times with similar sky stories. 


In scanning over a thousand years of history, I found only one other time with a similar sky map. The last time we had a solitary king anywhere near the stars of Leo with no support from any other planet was in October-November 1946 - sixty years ago. In that month (on 1st October, 1946) the big news story was the final verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal which sentenced to death by hanging Hermann Goering and eleven other Nazi war criminals. A firing squad was ruled out as it was considered to be too dignified for the convicted Nazis. 


The current night sky is similar to this time of 60 years - a sky with Saturn near the stars of Leo and no other planets visible. Of course the main news story of this month is the sentencing to death by hanging of Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity.



Next month all this changes, and for those of us learning the craft of visual astrology, we will see the return of Jupiter rising before the sun but now amongst the stars of the Scorpion. Next month I will focus on this potential new contender to a throne, this possible candidate who walks onto the world stage. But for now, if you are up early and can see a sky, have a look at that isolated king. It does not happen too often but it does, I think, carry a strong message.

 [1]  Hunger, Herman. (1992). Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings. Helsinki, Finland: Helsinki University Press. pg.55.


The Royal Stars of Persia - a focus on Fomalhaut
the fish in the south...  

Darrelyn Gunzburg

The Royal Stars of Persia. The name suggests temples whose rooms are lined with porphyry, necklaces of lapis lazuli, rugs of intricate symbolic patterns, richly-coloured silk scarves and the extraordinary Achaemenid gold work of Persian architecture. It opens doorways in our imagination which lead down corridors of palm trees, the smell of exotic perfumes, the touch of silk and the sensuality of wool shawls.

However, in fixed stars terms, the Royal Stars of Persia refer to four particular stars - Antares (see January 2006 issue of V.A.N.), Aldebaran (see May 2006 issue of V.A.N.), Regulus (see February 2006 issue of V.A.N.) and Fomalhaut - each one guarding one of the four compass points of the heavens and each one embedded with Persian mythology. All four Royal Stars are connected with the supreme Persian deity Ahura Mazda, father of Spenta Mainyu, beneficent spirit, and Angra Mainyu, the destructor. Thus to have your chart connected in some way with a Royal Star means that there will always be this duality between light and destruction interwoven into your earthly journey. Great glory, achievement and success are promised to you but only if you can overcome each star's particular nemesis which can destroy.

In this issue of the Visual Astrology Newsletter I am focusing on the great star in the southern fish,  Fomalhaut, the Watcher in the South.


Fomalhaut as the natal Heliacal Rising Star

Lying close to Aquarius in the part of the sky which Aratus named the Water, this is the fish who drinks the flow from the urn of Aquarius. This stream-drinking fish is an earlier symbol of life and fertility, for it was the one who carried the egg, drinking the sperm or river of life. This is also the fish in Celtic mythology which holds great wisdom and has gone through many incarnations as the fish that swallows the ring and the fish which is encountered on the journey the hero takes through the whirlpool.

The Persians in about 3,000 BCE, however, did not see it as a fish but rather considered its alpha star, Fomalhaut, as one of the Royal Stars and called it the Watcher in the South, as it marked their winter solstice. Fomalhaut contains a touch of the mystic, a sense of magic, and is based on high ideals or lofty visions. Being one of the Royal Stars, it contains charisma and its version of this charisma is beauty or perfect harmony. With this great star touching your chart by paran you need to be very clear and honest with yourself about your motives in the pursuit of some goal and as you start to achieve your outcome, it is imperative that personal glory does not become the main driving force. If recognition is forthcoming, it is also important that it is not manipulated for personal glorification.

Another side to this star is the bitter-sweet madness of the poetic mind challenged to remain in the physical world. It is the child stolen by the fairies who must reject the sweet non-life and fight to return to the mortal world of life, death and pain.

I used Starlight to scan my files for charts that contained Fomalhaut as the heliacal setting star (see August, 2005 issue of this newsletter for more information concerning the heliacal rising and setting stars) and found the following names:

Some examples of well-known people who have Fomalhaut
their natal Heliacal Rising Star:

Benjamin Spock
American paediatrician

Vicente Aleixandre
Spanish poet,
awarded Noble Prize for Literature in 1977

Michinomiya Hirohito  
Emperor of Japan and ruler during WW II.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
creator of  'Sherlock Holmes'

William Heath Robinson

Vincent de Paul
French saint

Samuel Morse  
inventor of Morse code

Guglielmo Marconi
inventor of radio telegraphy

The heliacal rising star is the star that has been walking the path of the underworld and has now emerged to be visible in the world of humans bearing gifts from the land of the person’s past, their family or their genetics. This gift or treasure is handed to the person at birth. The heliacal rising star is a theme in the person’s life. It helps build the person’s philosophies and can, at times, take on a vocational pulse. To have Fomalhaut as one’s heliacal rising star indicates that you are born with the touch of the mystic and seek expression of your high ideals or lofty visions. You will be challenged to maintain clarity about these goals and as you begin to achieve them, it is imperative that recognition and personal glory are not the main driving forces. We get a glimpse of how this has manifested in the lives of the people above.

in paran with a planet            

I also used Starlight to search for people who had Fomalhaut in paran with a planet or luminary found the following people:

[For those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, parans are the original way that astrologers used to work with stars and it allows the star to maintain its relationships within the sky. We do not work with stars projected onto the ecliptic via the north and south pole as we do not feel that this is respectful of the ancient sky.]

Fomalhaut with the Sun:
[from Starlight]
"The artist, the idealist, the charismatic one who is vulnerable to hubris"

Italian painter

Here we see two expressions of
the charisma of
Fomalhaut linked
with personal identity (the Sun).

Anne Sullivan 
Helen Keller's teacher

Fomalhaut with the Moon:
[from Starlight]
"To catalyse, or symbolize, idealistic or romantic feelings in others"

Simone Weil
French mystic, social philosopher, and activist in the French Resistance during World War II

Here we see two expressions of
the charisma and lofty ideals of
Fomalhaut seeking to inspire the common people (the Moon).


Anna Akhmatova
Considered to be the greatest Russian female poet

Fomalhaut with Mercury:
[from Starlight]
"To have an idealistic vision, or to deceive"

Margaret Thatcher
Britain's first woman Prime Minister 1979 - 1990

Here we see two expressions of
the charisma and lofty ideals of
Fomalhaut being articulated through their writing or research (Mercury).

Daniel Fahreinheit
invented the alcohol and mercury thermometers and the Fahreinheit scale of temperature measurement

 Fomalhaut with Venus:
[from Starlight]
The artist or the fanatic, seeing the magic in everyday life, or ideologies”

Samuel Johnson
poet and lexicographer who collated the first Dictionary of the English Language to use illustrative historical quotations.

Here we see four quite different expressions of the charisma and
lofty ideals of
Fomalhaut articulated
in their understanding of the
everyday life (Venus).

John Kay
inventor of the flying shuttle

Sir Robert Helpmann
ballet dancer, actor, choreographer and producer.

Wole Soyinka,
Nigerian playwright, poet, novelist, and critic who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

Fomalhaut with Mars:
[from Starlight]
A idealistic warrior, mystical hero, or blind fanatic”

Germaine Greer

All three of these people show us
how their charisma and lofty ideals lead to success through strident warrior-like action (Mars).

Margaret Sanger
founder of the birth control movement in the USA.

Jean Genet
author and outstanding figure in the Theatre of the Absurd.

Fomalhaut with Jupiter:
[from Starlight]
"Charismatic, or to have a philosophical cause, and a love of the classics"

John Dee
Astrologer to Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I

All three of these people show us
how their charisma and lofty ideals lead to success through their
broad-based visions (Jupiter).

Marie Stopes
birth control advocate


Anne Newport Royall  
considered to be  the first American newspaperwoman

Fomalhaut with Saturn:
[from Starlight]
“To bring to fruition one’s higher ideals”

Antoine-Joseph Sax
musical instrument maker and inventor of the saxophone.

Two of these people show us how
their charisma and lofty ideals were shaped and structured into areas that enhanced the lives of others  (Saturn).

In the case of Mengele, we see
a clear example of how a desire
for personal glory evoked
Angra Mainyu, the destructor.

Clara Barton
the founder of the American Red Cross,
known as the 'Angel of the Battlefield'.

Josef Mengele
Nazi doctor responsible for medical experimentation on inmates at Auschwitz,
known as the 'Angel of Death'.

Most of the people above have been able to generate integrity in their work, pushing into areas where their best talents lie and achieving success. One would have to look at each person’s chart in order to understand the nature of the theme being expressed by that planet / luminary and hence the way that the nemesis of Fomalhaut has tempted them in their lives. We won’t necessarily be privy to the times when personal glory had to be thrust aside. One thing, however, is certain - they will have been there and caused a dilemma for each of these people in connection with the planet or luminary or angle with which Fomolhaut made contact. For the Royal Stars concretize this duality between Spenta Mainyu and Angra Mainyu and in the case of Fomolhaut, the shadow side embodied by Angra Mainyu, the destructor, takes the form of the desire for personal glory. For the beautiful mystical charisma contained within a chart touched by Fomalhaut must exist for its own sake and not as something you may want to manipulate for personal glory.

And so ends this focused look at the four Royal Stars of Persia. If you have one or more of these beautiful stars connected into your chart, then recognize they can give you glory, the glory metaphorically symbolized by exotic perfumes, spices of the sun, flames of gold, and knotted silk carpets. You will, however, be challenged. It is up to you how you rise to that challenge.


1. Brady, Bernadette. (1999). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, Samuel Weiser Inc: York Beach, Maine. ha

You can learn more about all Four Royal Stars, as well as how to link Fixed Stars parans with natal chart configurations in our latest Studyshop Fixed Stars Volume II: Charts and Stars, a beautiful and evocative journey about who and what lies beneath the surface of your natal chart: Special launch price £23.95 Visit our web site www.astrologos.co.uk/products.html



   Star and Sky Package - Decide to add the sky to your astrological knowledge.

We have just launched a truly special Christmas package - the Sky and Star package - so do yourself a favour this holiday season and get your teeth into some real learning - three Studyshops, over 12 hours of lectures and masses of handouts, images and templates for hands-on work, all at a 25% discount. Think about it.... self-study at your own pace... or team up and learn with an astrological friend. To find out more, visit: www.astrologos.co.uk/studyshop_packages.htm


Conference Update:

 The inaugural Visual Astrology Conference
 StarLogos - Under African Skies, 18 - 22 May 2007

Places are filling fast for this unique conference. So if the starry skies of South Africa are calling you and you want the adventure of the train journey through the South African landscape, four days of focused sky / star / astrological chart work, the company of like-minded people from across the globe and the joy of getting to make new friends in an intense learning, hands-on and information-rich environment,
then come join us!

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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.