by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Royal Stars of Persia (Part One): Aldebaran

 Ottoman miniatrure from the 17th century
 (Istanbul University Library)

A friend of mine emailed asking about the Royal Stars of Persia. So I decided to write a series of blogs on the subject.

Of said series, this would be Part One.

There are several dozen so-called 'stars of Persia,' those being the brightest stars in the skies of ancient Babylon. And as usual with ancient traditions, there’s some fluffle about whether all or just 'some' royal.

Bottom line, the 'all' part hasn't been solved. But that four of them are considered "royal"? That's established.

Known as the “Watchers in the Sky,” most astrologers think these four stars are important. They're something akin to astrological 'compass points,' if you will. Yes, there are those astrologers who never use fixed stars and who will never used fixed stars.

And let's not go into whether ‘fixed’ stars were ever broken, okay? They weren't. Nor are they really ‘fixed’ in place.

(Been there, blogged that.)

Not to get distracted here, the four stars which are undoubtedly 'Royal Stars' are as follows: Aldebaran, Regulus, Antares and Fomalhaut. This list is is zodiacal order: currently Aldebaran is in Gemini, Regulus just entered Virgo, Antares is in Sagittarius and Fomalhaut is in Pisces.

Known also as Tascheter, Aldebaran is the ‘Watcher of the East’ and therefore – because the Earth turns into the east (sunrise and all that) concerns how we move ahead in life...which seems to fit well with Aldebaran being a traditional star associated with the Vernal equinox – the Aries ingress. Aldebaran is all about the ‘now,’ what we’re doing in the moment and the literal quality we bring to what we’re doing.

Or lack of quality, yes.

 Aldebaran is the brightest star in Taurus,
telling us how important it is to our self-worth
to have - and to live our lives with integrity.

Every Royal Star promises success providing we avoid falling afoul of one particular (usually very mortal) attribute. And with Aldebaran, that attribute is integrity...which very much does concern how you do what you do.

Wherever Aldebaran falls in your natal chart (by house, by aspect to planets, nodes, etc.) that would be where your tests of integrity are going to arise.

Currently in Gemini, that integrity is measured in the quality of our thinking, thoughts and ideas, priorities, standards or organization and choices...the what we learn and how well we learn it, both on the intellectual level and as a piece in a puzzle picturing how life is lived.

You know, the standard Gemini roster.

Since Aldebaran is currently positioned at 9 Gemini (a degree entered in 1938) most folks will have 9 Gemini as Aldebaran's degree in their natal chart - and everyone else (alive, that is) will have it at 8 Gemini.

Since both are first decanate degrees (degrees between zero and 9 of a given sign) that tells us that the Aldebaran 'test of integrity' will come out through what we do and who we are. It also says that since everybody's Aldebaran is in that first decanate that there's one part of the 'Aldebaran test' which is about our holding our Self to a standard...and another part which is prompted or provoked through others and life situations.

Those with Aldebaran at 8 Gemini are likely to be concerned with (and tested on) the repercussions and consequences for their actions. Those with Aldebaran at 9 Gemini encounter tests which are more about the ability to cope (with integrity) when it comes to complex issues which strain us through physical stamina and emotional/internal tolerance.

Part of this Aldebaran test is probably about getting us to think through what we choose to get involved with before we commit to getting involved, which gets back to that old myth about Gemini being a sign which “allows you to just do everything.”

Uh, no. Gemini is about looking everything over and making a choice of what you’re going to do first, carrying that through before you take on something else.

Those who violate the integrity of this Gemini concept are probably having a hard time of late since Aldebaran was hit with by a solar eclipse in  June 2011. Many a reputation crumbled right on the spot. And those built on iffy premises and lacks of priorities and “follow through” have been cracking and falling apart ever since.

And it’s more than that. Since that eclipse, have you noticed how life and society seems to be having a lack-of-integrity free-for-all? Everywhere you look people say stuff and get away with it. That ‘getting away with it’ thing would be Aldebaran being eclipsed.

But then…it’ll only last three years. That’s how long a solar eclipse lasts, which means that as of the middle of 2014, Aldebaran (integrity) is going to start coming back on-line.

Then, come January 2015, Aldebaran will move into 10 Gemini, unveiling a whole new theme. Where 9 Gemini involves complicated problems, 10 Gemini focuses on the plight of the downtrodden and helpless.

(Please Note: that’s helpless, not hapless!)

Interpretation: expect what is expected of us as human beings (provided we want to be respected) to get tougher as of 2015. The bar for integrity, after having been tossed aside is going to be reinstalled and raised in the ‘humane’ human sense.

But for us to get there, it’s probable that for the space ahead there’s going to be a lot of bad behavior – enough to inspire the change.

 How much need will it take for us to
choose to do the right thing for others,
not just ourselves?
(painting by Hariton Platonov - 1880)

Yet that’s how astrology works. We see what’s going on by where objects stand. But in the end, its our life here on Earth that we cope with.

Aldebaran entered Gemini in the year 1298 (CE). Considering that it’s only moved just shy of ten degrees in 700 (plus) years, we can’t expect the emphasis on the integrity of human mentality to change for quite some time to come.

HOWEVER…(and this is a big however)…when we get to 2015 and Aldebaran does move into 10 Gemini, it will be leaving Gemini’s first decan (about how our mentality reflects in who we are and what we do) and entering Gemini’s second and more emotionally charged decanate.

So you think rhetoric has already gotten extreme? Stand by! You ain't heard nothin' yet!

On the other hand, from 2015 on should also bring on more meaningful communications. Who knows…that old ‘men shouldn’t have feelings’ thing (which is a lot of bunk anyway) may just get jettisoned. And if nothing else, this should herald a boon in the areas of poetry, theater, music and literature…which isn’t all bad.

Meanwhile, wherever Aldebaran is in your chart, it signifies an area of life where having integrity is vital. Any planet connected to Aldebaran shows the ‘vehicle’ through which you will tend to act out your integrity challenges and be challenged to uphold standards of integrity.

Of course, the flip side of this would also be true, though I've never heard it talked about in astrology texts. (That means, take this to be something I have witnessed in the workings of charts.) Whatever house Aldebaran is positioned in natally, that is likely to be the arena or 'department of life' you will hear Aldebaran operating in. Here would be the roughest of rough lists in that regard...

1st house: personal actions

2nd house: personal values

3rd house: personal mentality

4th house: boundaries (personal, family, national, cultural, economic)

5th house: personal effort

6th house: personal morality and ethics

7th house: interactions with others

8th house: fairness (with self and others)

9th house: media, education, foreign influences

10th house: societal standards, commerce

11th house: social or economic transacting

12th house: compassion, empathy, vulnerability

Because Mercury is ruler of Gemini, wherever house and sign Mercury occupies in your natal chart, that will also count.

Though it’s more likely that transits to Aldebaran and/or any planet strongly aspecting Aldebaran in your natal chart are what will set off ‘integrity issues.’ transits to your natal Mercury and (yes,) by transiting Mercury flirt with Aldebaran issues.

If you know astrology and how fast Mercury moves, that means life is filled with challenges to, tests of and rewards for our integrity.

It also highlights – and this seems to me the really interesting part (yes, I just accept the rest as a given!) that since Aldebaran moved into Gemini way back when in the year 1298…that really was the beginning of a vast shift on the part of everyone living on this planet from centuries of focus on the purely tangible. Back when Aldebaran was in Taurus – the constellation Aldebaran is actually in, loss of integrity often meant a very real death, even if you were a king or queen. The integrity of food (food being a Taurus thing) was just about the most important thing around.

Now, with Aldebaran in Gemini, things have changed. We’ve left the era of Taurean integrity meaning literal (corporeal, tangible) survival and entered centuries upon centuries of our intellect (intelligence, word, communication) being the means by which we survive. ‘I stand by my word’ is a very Aldebaran in Gemini sort of statement.

As Aldebaran has moved degree by degree through Gemini’s first (physical) decanate, our word being our deed has come to be understood as a literal comprehension that what we do can mean someone’s life. Just as an engineer. Or a doctor. Or a teacher, politician or parent.

And as we move forward, who thinks life is going to get simpler? Nice dream…have you checked your email, text messages, twitter feed, mail box and in basket yet today? Life is going to be ever more complicated and filled with details. And we can’t avoid it, we can’t opt out of it…

…well, at least not without risking our Aldebaran reputation. That is – in the end – pretty much the link here. Integrity is reputation. Those who don’t follow through on what they should do (the accepted standard) end up being graded down – if not out of the game. So Aldebaran in Gemini is the need to do what you do well and to not scatter yourself all over the place, lest you do nothing well and end up damaging yourself (and your reputation and thus your Taurus/Aldebaran self-worth) in the process.

We’ve all seen the rate of information begin multiplying geometrically…exponentially, during our lifetime (or since 1938, depending on how old you are!). That it has is a rather fabulous example of another astrological precept which more or less can be summed up as ‘if the degree ends in a ‘9’’ (i.e., 9 degrees, 19 degrees, 29 degrees), figure that things will be intense.

 A representation of binary data endlessly
multiplying in our newly founded information
age - image credit: W Rebel (2010)

The astrological term used is generally ‘critical.’ But since that sounds a little harsh to the ordinary ear, intense works just as well. Since 1938, the year when Aldebaran moved into 9 Gemini, information (a Gemini thing) has been multiplying at a simply astounding rate. It’s like…intense out there!

And trying to keep up? Who can keep up with the rate of information these days?

That’s just the point. We can’t. We have to CHOOSE – and that’s probably the biggest ‘integrity’ lesson anyone can come to in the world of Gemini. You can’t have it all, you can’t know it all, you can’t do it all. You have to choose. Wherever Gemini is in your chart, that’s the area where you have to make choices. And when you don’t choose – when you aren’t willing to deal with that voracious thing in your head which just spins out of control “wanting it all”? Then nothing in that area does you well. You end up suffering from a loss of reputation, a loss of respect from others and a loss of opportunities.

If you’re of a mind to try and ‘beat’ the fixed star system, be my guest. But be forewarned: these stars were picked out of the night sky for their brilliance by the ancient Babylonians (the pre-Persians, you might call them). Brilliance, in metaphysical terms means ‘important.’

Personally, I’m very into Aldebaran. I’ve seen this star work for better and for worse, causing me to suggest that running afoul of Aldebaran can make for some seriously spectacular falls from grace.

Because Aldebaran is part of the constellation of Taurus, no matter where it is zodiac-wise, it calls upon us to remember that in the end we cannot be happy unless we respect ourselves.

That's what integrity is really about. Yes, it matters how you treat others. But that's because in the end, you have to be able to live with your Self. This one idea is why those old sayings like 'money can't buy you love' and 'beauty is only skin deep' are oh-so true.

It pays us well to keep our Aldebaran quotient in good order, not because others will like us better (they may or may not, depending on their Aldebaran!) but because we will know we have done what we know is right, is real.

So that’s Aldebaran. Next up would be Regulus, the royal - and fixed - star which twinkles on us from above as part of constellation Leo.

The current plan is for these Royal Star posts to come up on succeeding Saturdays. (Which would be Saturday as it arrives in the Pacific Zone where I reside). So barring some giant event that I feel totally compelled to comment on, you'll see a piece on Regulus here next Saturday.

Until then, may your life be filled with integrity!



  1. Thank you so much for this complete and elaborated post!

  2. Thanks for that!
    What if Aldebaran conjucts Nessus? How will that affect Aldebaran?

  3. Nessus does conjunct Aldebaran - once every 122 years (that being Nessus' orbit). What would the effect of the combination be? The 'nesting' of these two energetics would like as not turn into either a struggle to maintain integrity (arguments with one's self) or the repeated need to do things the right way. Whether all of this would be a good or bad thing in a personal chart - that would depend on where their Mercury was, what with Mercury being ruler of Gemini and therefore the biggest of influences on the sign both objects would be in.

    Any particular reason you're asking?

    - Boots

  4. What if your Sun and MC both conjunct each other and Aldebaran?

    1. As an isolated concept, this describes a (Sun) lifetime spent trying to (MC) achieve or achieving and then living with some degree of success, connectivity or reputation with questions being about the Aldebaran quality of integrity - which could mean high integrity is an easy thing, the thing one teaches in the world, embodies for the world or assists with the establishment and regulation of in the world.

      Alternatively, this could be about how the world sees you, your career, your lifestyle, your most visible relationships and/or your attitudes towards societal decisions and/or regulations.

      With this said, since we're talking Gemini as the sign, where your Mercury and the astrological "condition" of your natal Mercury (the pluses and minuses as separate considerations as well as an amalgamated way of thinking and character 'trait').....that has to be factored in as well.

  5. I have a husband who has Aldebaran conjunction the sun in a huge stellium in the sixth house 5/31/42. My marriage has been filled with abuse and terror with his violent temper and criminal children. My sun is in cancer 7/20/47. My Aldebaran is in my 12th. It is interesting that my Antares is on my sixth house cusp. He is truly my enemy. We live in my house which I built. My marriage date of 10/4/91 was eclipsed in the spring.

    1. First of all, I am sorry that you have been through such a terrible personal situation. As a survivor of extended child abuse, I understand what its ramifications can be. That said, the scenario you are reporting, in speaking to Aldebaran's qualities as a royal star (the one which promises success ONLY when our choices are driven by, and the embodiment of integrity) suggests several things. One: when we see Aldebaran in the 12th house, there is often a great reluctance - one often based in some emotional need which - tests the native as to their emotional resolve and ability to deal with realities and boundaries. Two: when we see Aldebaran in the 6th house, there is a continuing real-time, real-world series of challenges which tests the native with regards to their sense (or experience of) responsibility, morality, methodology (how they get to their goals) and willingness to balance the regard for Self with that for others. Three: difficulties in the 6th house (or with its native sign, Virgo) often manifest in domineering or controlling behaviors, most (if not all of which) would be difficult to square with Aldebaran. The combination you describe (of opposing placements in an abusive relationship) speaks to the natives not having faced their own issues - such energy becoming the metaphysical 'glue' which keeps the relationship going. If he is your enemy, your duty is to your Self: get some help with regards to him and work on your own fears - NO ONE 'deserves' to be abused!

  6. So glad I found this blog! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and I express gratitude for being led here. I have a question I hope you can answer . I am trying to find out about royal stars in birth charts- if you have one in your chart only if the degree matches exactly i.e. 3 degrees pisces or if there is a say 5 degree variance on either side. I just picked 5 but I'm wondering if it could be as little as 2 or as much as ten if there is a "cusp" at all. Thank you.

    1. Happy to help ... in standard/Ptolemaic astrology, it is the nature of the particular aspect which determines the orb, not the nature of the objects involved in said aspect. So if you're using Ptolemaic ("standard") aspects, a conjunction has a 5-degree orb whether it's between two planets, a planet and an asteroid - or a planet, dwarf planet, node, asteroid or TNO to any given fixed star, be it royal or otherwise. Conjunctions get 5 degree orbs (plus or minus), sextiles get 3 degree orbs (plus or minus), squares and trines both get 5 degree orbs (plus or minus) and oppositions get 5 degrees (plus or minus) of orb.

      Semi-sextiles and inconjuncts (aka quincunxes) are not considered 'standard' aspects (or at least they weren't when I was learning astrology!) but since they are so very useful, either one gets at maximum a 2-degree orb (plus or minus) with many astrologers who do use them preferring to not go beyond 1.5 degrees (again, plus or minus).

      Does that scratch the quest-for-knowledge itch of your moment?

      - Boots

    2. (And yes, I'm glad you found the blog too!)

    3. It certainly helps! And opens up a whole new can of questions and wonderings! I'll be more specific I'm wanting to know for my own birth chart.. If a Royal star is at 09 degrees Gemini and my Sun is at 05 degrees Gemini would you personally consider that Star to be in my chart? (Significant re Archangels)

      Also I'm -5 degrees from Regulus and +6 from formahault

    4. I should have mentioned that I am very new yet learning and understanding very quickly the "technical" aspects of astrology.

    5. All charts contain all stars. That said, we don't all exhibit any conscious connection to every star in our chart as they don't all appear in positions where they will be aspected by planets, cusps, dwarf planets or nodes.

      However...! When ANY star, asteroid, planet, node, dwarf planet, centaur or otherwise is within 5 degrees of your Gemini Sun (which would be between 0 Gemini and 10 Gemini) it is indeed conjunct your Sun.

      Moving on from there, when you say 'I'm -5 degrees from Regulus and +6 from Fomalhaut, that suggests you have a planet(?) which yes, is within 5 degrees of Regulus (at 0 Virgo) and thus conjunct Regulus.

      On the other hand, the point which is 6 degrees from Fomalhaut (which is currently at 4 Pisces) would NOT be in conjunction with Fomalhaut as six degrees is outside the Ptolemaic (standard) aspect orb.

      As for Archangels, there are those who associate fixed stars - in particular, the Royal stars do have a particularly 'fated' quality which people associate with the attributes of that star, most likely because all four of the Royal Stars in popular use in astrology promise success (in terms of that which aspects it) when we honor the instruction to avoid a particular human attribute, a concept which parallels the idea of holding us to face some temptation and to do the right thing anyway.

      It sounds like you're doing fine - keep studying!


    6. Great information! Thank you so much! I could ask you questions all day long ;)

      I got some of my information from the following page:

      This page states that regulus is at 29 degrees Leo and not as you stated 0 degrees Virgo. Therefore my Saturn (at 24 degrees Leo) would NOT conjunct Regulus.
      I'm learning!

      Since fixed stars are fixed I can assume that it hasn't moved 2 degrees in the 37 years since I've been born. (Fomahault moving into 4 degrees Pisces from 3 degrees aside)
      So disappointing to find conflicting info! But a wonderful lesson!

    7. Hey there!

      About Regulus, Regulus entered Virgo in November of 2011 - I think I even wrote about it at the time. And when I called the article you were reading up and scouted through it, I'm guessing it's a bit old simply because I spotted it also listing Spica at 23 Libra, and Spica moved into 24 Libra as of January 12, 2011.

      So I'm guessing this article is at least from 2010. I didn't see a date of its posting (it could just have evaded me) - and it could be that it's a reprint, with someone just forgetting to update the data. (That, alas, does happen, despite best efforts!)

      In any case, fixed stars do move - they just move slowly. The term came from back in a day when the 'fixed' stars were known as fixed in comparison with objects those ancients thought of as 'wandering stars' - those 'wanderers' now being the things we know as planets.

      Make sense?

      And yes, you are learning! Good for you! I'm happy to help, and you're always welcome to post questions or comments here or on the astroPPM Facebook page.

      So be not conflicted ... have a wonderfully Regulus day!


  7. Having now had something to eat, I have returned to go back to the aspect issue: If your Saturn is at 24 Leo, as the standard Ptolemaic orb of conjunction aspect is 5 degrees (plus or minus), anything between 19 Leo and 29 Leo is conjunct your Saturn.

    Therefore: if you were born before 2011 (which I suspect you were) that would mean your Regulus is at least at 29 Leo, if not 28 Leo (don't knock it - I happen to like my Regulus!)... which would mean yes, Regulus is conjunct your natal Saturn, whether or not Regulus has now moved out of conjunction. And since natal charts are like metaphysical 'fingerprints,' the effect of that natal conjunction will always be part of your life and personal considerations.

    Will the text and texture of what you meet up with in this life 'department' change? Sure - as both Saturn and Regulus move (or as anything aspects 24 Leo and the position of your natal Regulus), matters, efforts, adventures and lessons will grow, shift, start, stop - and all the rest. But that's natural: you're still facing new challenges even if they aren't the same challenges you were meeting up with when you were a wee toddler of five.

    The 'theme' of the natal chart remains, however we confront that 'theme' - more or less knowledgeably - as we move through life.

    Hope this helps - catch up with me here or on Facebook if you get stuck again. And much happy astro-studying!

    - Boots

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. As Regulus is currently at 0 Virgo and was at 29 Leo for decades prior to its moving into Virgo in 2011, it is indeed close enough to your 26 Leo Mars to be considered in conjunction both natally and in terms of its current position.

      As for Venus conjuncting Regulus, the 'standard' rules apply ... in other words, it is the intent behind what you do (your motivation) which will for the most part, determine the effects of Venus/Regulus. However: you also have to be aware of your Sun and whatever may affect it as the Sun rules Leo. Plus there is the rule which states the ruler of the house in which your Regulus and Venus are placed (i.e., the ruler of the sign on the cusp of said house) will determine whether outcomes of that house are generally positive or negative.

      Cheers to you too - happy holidays!


    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Hi! Congratulations for the article! How can i find where is my aldebaran star?

    1. I've listed several places where you can get a chart for free online in the sidebar - - a couple of those should be able to get you the specifics of your Aldebaran placement as part of that chart. But the generals? Those are easy as Aldebaran (like all fixed stars) does not move all that quickly. So here is the rough data: Aldebaran moved into 10 Gemini (where it is currently) in 2015. Before that, it was in 9 Gemini between 1943 and 2015 and in 8 Gemini between 1871 and 1943.

      Hope that helps!