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The Fixed Stars in Renaissance Astrology
Christopher Warnock, Esq.
The Fixed Stars in Renaissance
Astrology and Magic
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The Fixed Stars in Renaissance Astrology
Gower's 15 Fixed Stars
Astrological Talismans
Currently Available Talismans
Agrippa's Fixed Star Rulerships
Agrippa's Fixed Star Images
Hermes Trismegistus
Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars
William Lilly
Lilly's Fixed Star Rules
for Violent Death
Lilly's Fixed Star Rules
for Manners & Character
Spiritus Mundi
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Traditional (pre-1700) Astrology
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Renaissance Astrology Links Page
Anne Wright's Fixed Stars Site
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Renaissance Astrology is the premier site for information on and instruction in the practical use of the fixed stars for astrological and talismanic magic. We have devoted over a decade to research, translation of rare traditional astrological and magical texts, and to the creation of hundreds of talismans according to ancient sources.
On this page you can find an introduction to the fixed stars, plus links to translations of medieval and Renaissance astrological and magic texts on the fixed stars and examples of actual fixed star talismans.
Renaissance Astrology also offers fixed star talismans made according to authentic Renaissance methods, using images from descriptions in traditional sources and cast in sterling silver at times precisely chosen to be astrologically auspicious, again following strictly our traditional sources. Because only a few can be made at a time, supplies are quite limited, but include:

Spica Talisman
Spica Talisman
Alkaid for spiritual and physical protection
Algol for protection and reversal of evil
Pleiades fixed star cluster for magical power & knowledge
Procyon for protection against witchcraft and curses.
Regulus for happiness and success
Spica for prosperity and good fortune
Vega for protection against witchcraft and curses
The complete Astrological Magic Course teaches the full range of traditional astrological magic and astrological talismans and includes complete instructions in the ancient theory and practice of fixed star talismans plus special images to create your own fixed stars talismans.


Introduction to the Fixed Stars
Fixed Stars in Traditional Astrology & Astrological Magic
Fixed Star Talisman Traditional Sources
Fixed Star Talisman Elections


Introduction to the Fixed Stars

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Serpentarius
Renaissance astrology used a geocentric (Earth-centered) astronomy based on the concept of planetary spheres. The fastest planet, the Moon had the sphere closest to Earth followed by Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and the slowest and thus highest of the planetary spheres, Saturn. Above the spheres of the planets was the sphere of the fixed stars and the Zodiac, the highest of the celestial spheres. The planets, from the Greek planetos "wanderer" moved relative to the stars of the Zodiacal and extra-Zodiacal constellations which is why they are referred to as the fixed stars.
For Renaissance philosophers and astrologers the fixed stars were a key part of the Celestial World, itself the essential link between the Divine World of Ideas and Angels and the Material World. Traditionally each of the fixed stars was part of one of the 12 Zodiacal constellations or 36 extra-Zodiacal constellations. The fixed stars of the Zodiacal constellations were especially important as they comprised the Signs, an essential component of astrology.
Each fixed star was considered to have the attributes of one or more planets. For example, the fixed star Aldebaran, was considered to be of the nature of Mars. Ptolemy Tetrabiblos Bk. I, Chapter 9 (Loeb, 1940) page 47. Anne Wright has an excellent Fixed Stars Web Site which gives much useful information on the nature of the various fixed stars.
Each fixed star was part of individual chains comprising the Great Chain of Being. The Renaissance philosopher and astrologer Marsilio Ficino says,

"I have said elsewhere that down from every single star (so to speak Platonically) there hangs its own series of things down to the lowest...Under the celestial Serpent or the entire constellation of the Serpent-bearer, they place Saturn and sometimes Jupiter, afterwards daemons who often take on serpent's form, in addition men of this kind, serpents (the animals), the snake-weed, the stone draconite which originates in the head of a dragon, and the stone commonly called serpentine...By a similar system they think a chain of beings descends by levels from any star of the firmament through any planet under its dominion. If, therefore, as I said, you combine at the right time all the Solar things through any level of that order, i.e., men of Solar nature or something belonging to such a man, likewise animals, plants, metals, gems and whatever pertains to these, you will drink in unconditionally the power of the Sun and to some extent the natural powers of the Solar daemons."

Ficino, Three Books on Life, Bk. III, Chap. 14, p. 311.
Thus each of the things ruled by a particular planet or star share certain qualities, powers and virtues embodied in a celestial form exemplified by their planetary or stellar ruler. The planet or star, in turn, is the instantiation of one or more Divine Forms or Ideas. Thus everything in the Material World has its origin in the Divine World through the mediation of the celestials.



Fixed Stars in Traditional Astrology & Magic

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Renaissance Print
In traditional horary astrology the fixed stars give useful additional information in delineating questions. Here are some examples of horary delineations using the fixed stars: Criminal Case Example, Curse Example and He Got the Job! Example.
In traditional Electional Astrology they are most often used in situations requiring permanence. John Partridge says that, "In Foundations of Cities in the first place regard the Fixed Stars, then joyn Benevolent Planets with them." Mikropanastron (London, 1679) Electional Aphorism #21, page 266. For building houses, however, Partridge suggests looking to the planets and signs. Here is an example of a Legal Election using fixed stars, in this case, to debilitate an opponent.

These are passive uses of the celestial rulerships, where the astrologer merely observes the effects of the chains of correspondence and harmony. In astrological magic the mage or astrological magician makes use of the celestial rulerships to accomplish material effects. By gathering many disparate examples of items under the rule of a particular star we can intensify and focus the quality exemplified by the star, especially if we elect a time when the star is well placed in the horoscope.
The Renaissance mage Cornelius Agrippa in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy explains how to make talismans of fixed stars,

"Now, the manner of making these kinds of rings [& talismans!], is this, viz., when any star ascends fortunately, with the fortunate aspect or conjunction of the Moon, we must take a stone, and herb that is under that star, and fasten it under that star and make a ring of the metal that is suitable to this star, and in it fasten the stone, putting the herb or root under it; not omitting the inscription of images, names and characters, and also the proper suffimigations..."

Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk.I, Chapter 47.



Fixed Star Talisman Traditional Sources

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Chiromancy

A key traditional sources for fixed star talismans are Agrippa's fixed star images and fixed star rulerships. Another extremely useful text on fixed star talismans is the medieval Hermetic manuscript Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars which was Agrippa's source here translated for Renaissance Astrology by the noted contemporary magician and esoteric author John Michael Greer.
Interestingly enough the most important grimoire of astrological magic, the Picatrix has only one use of a fixed star talisman, Alkaid, in the tail of the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear or Big Dipper:

To avenge yourself on an enemy. The ancient sages used to do this working in the proper manner to the star of vengeance, which is near the pole: that is, Benethnays, which belongs to the constellation of the [Great] Bear. They made their prayer in the following manner.

When you have an enemy who does evil to you or seeks to do the same, and you wish to send him pain and misery so that he will no longer think of you, so that you may be able to avenge yourself by this working, go into a house that you have constructed for this purpose,and face the part of heaven where Benethnays then is. Cast the suffumigation described below onto the burning coals in the thurible. While the smoke rises toward the world above, say the following...

[Malefic invocation omitted]

When you have said all the preceding in this way, prostrate yourself to the ground, and repeat the same words many times. Do this continually while the smoke rises from the suffumigation, which is made as follows. Take storax, nutmeg, holly, and aloes wood, one ounce each, and spikenard and mastic, three ounces each. Grind it all and mix it with the best wine, and make pills of it. You may set it aside to use whenever you want to work with the polar stars.

Picatrix, Bk III, ch 7, Greer & Warnock trans at 169-170.
Because of the malefic nature of the invocation I have omitted it here, but the complete passage can be found in our translation of the Complete Picatrix.



Fixed Star Talisman Elections

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Renaissance print

Here are a number of examples to how elect, i.e. choose astrologically auspicious times, for fixed star talismans, with actual horoscopes for their creation.

Talisman of the malefic fixed star Algol
Talisman of the Wing of Corvus for protection from spirits
Talisman of Sirius for honor & good will
Talisman of onyx & Kappa Bootes from
the Lapidary of King Alphonso

Talisman of Aldebaran for riches & honor
Talisman of Sirius
Talisman of Antares for Memory &
Protection from Evil Spirits

Talisman of the fixed star
Talisman of Spica for riches & peace
Talisman of Regulus for temperance & favor
Talisman of Regulus for temperance & favor
Talisman of Vega for protection
Talisman of Deneb Algedi for peace
Talisman of the Pleiades for magic and secret knowledge
Talisman of Alkaid for protection
Talisman of Regulus for success and happiness
Talisman of Algol for Protection


For those that desire to delve deeper into Astrological Magic and Astrological Talismans I offer an Astrological Magic Course with an entire lesson devoted to fixed stars and fixed star talismans. If you are interested in discussing and learning about Renaissance Astrology, particulary Astrological Magic, you may wish to subscribe to Spiritus Mundi my e-group devoted to traditional (pre-1700) astrology.




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Specializing in Horary Astrology, Electional Astrology Astrological Magic and Astrological Talismans.

Copyright 2001-2010, Christopher Warnock, All Rights Reserved.