Fortunate star of the fortunate
Does the prospect of luck really come from the stars? Twinkling in the night where the sun don’t shine, driving the nocturnal through all our influences derived of sway.
Or is just the tunings of astrology, taking away from the myths and secrets originally held sacrament to the stars. And handed over to the planets for their prospective narrative pre-productions instead.
But the predilections of fortuity and fruity considerations aside, there are several stars that in their personal history and influence have a direct claim on the concept of fortune. Whether for the knowledge they represent or just their lofty meaning of contemplate, these have all stood taller than the subjective measure of astrology’s optimistic considerations. And in that is their treasure of acquaintance. And better yet, affinity to fortuit.
Sadasūd – Fortunate star of fortune
So there’s a star in Aquarius called Sadalsūd, which means lucky star of luck, or fortunate star of fortune. I’m an Aquarius but it’s clearly not my star. I mean I have the fortune of smiles and the deep privilege of profound knowledge deigns me favour every now and then. But I’m as far from the riches of grandeur as maybe the sun is from the Earth, or at least Mercury or Venus. At least you see a speck of them every so often.
There are 3 other stars in Aquarius associated with the concept of luck, and another far-fetched notion of fortune in one of the stars of Capricorn.
Taking a total of 5 stars with the word luck in their meaning. These are of the conventional sense.
Of course, most names of astronomy are originally borrowed from the Arabic star systems and the ancients’ work in their culture.
Sadalsūd, or Saldalmasud, the fortunate star of fortune is the Beta, Aquarius. And its contemporary is the Aquarius’ Alpha star, Sadalmelik, the fortunate star of the king.
Lucky or Fortunate star of the king – Sadalmelik
Now you have stars, and you have star mansions, or mini-constellations otherwise called asterisms, where stars are clubbed together into tinier shapes within the larger constellations for the purpose of astrological fine-tuning and reading. These asterisms are then read predominantly from the context of the Moon, given how quickly it moves among the stars.
Anyway, Sadalsūd, tweaked into El Sa’ad el Sūd is one of those said asterisms along with another star, the Xi of Aquarius. Then you have the asterism Sa’ad el Akbir, comprising the stars Gamma, Eta and Zeta of Aquarius, which curiously means the fortunate star of tents. El Sa’ad el Sūd and El Sa’ad el Akbir are the 24rd and 25th Arabic star mansion in sequence respectively.
Many a fortunate star
Prior to these two, there is the asterism, El Sa’ad El Bulah, the lucky star of the swallower, made up of the stars Mu and Nu of Aquarius, the celestial water bearer.
There is an obscure little star also in this region in Mu, Pegasus, the constellation of flying horse. This star is Sadalbari, which means the ‘fortunate star of the excellent one’. Aspirational indeed.
Sadalbari – Fortunate star of the excellent one.
Rounding off this ‘fortunate’ series of stars is one of the asterisms in Capricorn, the 22nd called El Sadalsabih, the lucky star of slaughter, made of Alpha and Beta star of Capricorn, the constellation of the goat.
Naturally one cannot talk of fortunate stars or stars of personal significance without acknowledging the true north, or Polaris, the North Star.
Dhruva – The North Star – Polaris
Although most of the above mentioned stars are in the lower hemisphere, and well into the later half of Zodiac, astrologically their traditional position for the Zodiac stands around midheaven, or just above it. Noted of course, that this moves around us as the sky.
Polaris, meanwhile is a fixed star. And that means it does not move or change its position, relative to us or otherwise. In fact, it is the sun, with us in tow that moves around the Polaris, the north star. It is said in Indian scripture that our entire galaxy as well the universe is moving slowly (spread across eternity) towards the north star. In the Indian pantheon, the north star is Dhruva. In one of the slightly obscure legends from scripture, Dhruva is shown to holding up the sky as the floor of heaven to mark a new age. It was set upon the pre-ancient era when the Asuras, or the giants had taken over all three realms, the underworld, Earth and heaven. And the galaxy was ruled by the giant king Vali, also among the stars.
It is said that darkness covered the Earth, and the dwarf sun could not even stretch his feet (rays) to light the poles of the Earth. Sophocles of the Greeks has a dwarf appearing on Orion’s shoulders in similar grain. And in another mythology, at the time the leader of the starry sky was supposed to be the Sirius, called Tistrya by the Persians (Zend Avesta) and Lubdaka-Vishvamitra by the Indians. The Indian pantheon has him called the old Nakshatra Tishya, which means Archer.
But the end of the epoch arrived, the sun matured, and according to the Sanskrit scriptures, Vishnu in the form of a dwarf brahmana called Vamana devised recourse. He sequestered of the giant Asura king Vali a small ask that Vali obliged. And that was dominion over the distance of his three steps.
At the appointed hour, Vamana Vishnu changed form, growing larger and larger until he stood an unfathomable giant even to the greatest giant king time would see, as or until Vali. Vishnu, for his appropriation marked his three steps, the first for the underworld, the second of the Earth and sky. And with his third step, he stepped upon heaven, closing it on Vali and the rest of Earthly sentience. But as his foot stepped down, he wrent asunder heaven by pressing down his toe. And underneath his toenail, he created a crevice, letting in the waters from outside of this universe.
Dhruva – The fountainhead of stars.
Underneath Dhruva held up the sky, shouldering its weight to balance. And through him, the holy waters flowed, and onto the Milky Way for sanctification.
In time the Milky Way of the stars would fall upon the Earth as the river Ganga in another legend.
This step of Vishnu was called the Trita Parama pada, or the Vishnu Parama pada, the third and supreme step of Vishnu. And Vishnu as a solar god of the Sun, as his right decreed as an Aditya, handed over the heavens to Indra, and the sky to Surya-Mārtanda.
Dhruva-tara aka Polaris, can be seen exactly at the same spot every night. Which geographically if you’re at the line of equator, is directly overhead. I still have to arch my neck where I live, but well its always north as a direction, naturally.
According to scripture, Dhruva-tara serves as the holiest of holies as a star. Just the mere act of seeing it at night is sanctifying and healing, it is said the day’s sinfulnesses stand cleansed on the nights that one advents to see this star, the true north.
Naturally, Sirius also has its legacies fortunate to its history. To the ancients, naming the stars to shape was not merely regarded to shape of illusion to eyes. But rather they looked to the observable effects and remarked to the life around them; plants, animals of husbandry, hunter observations, just as to matters of sea-faring. This dog-star of a constellation housed the then star-king Tistrya, or the god Merodokh of the Babylonians. This ‘bright and scorching’ as its name translated, was the rain indicator, associated also with the phrase ‘dog-day afternoons’ for the thirst of it. This was also the original hunter in the stars of the Indian pantheon as Tishya, where Rudra, the shiva form marks his abode, its remain as the ‘sweat maker’ Nakshatra Arda, 6th of the Indian pantheon.
This star was called Kakkab Si-Sa among other things by the ancients Euphrateans, meaning star-king of the heavens and its great station.
Of course, in the Indian legends or otherwise, this star is connected to the giant of Orion in its rising and setting in the sky, abiding to its eternity of influence.
Another interesting facet about Sirius is in its nature as a double-star. While its star-double Sirius B is moving towards the Earth, the larger body Sirius A is moving away (from the Earth) with equal force. And the two of them share their orbit with each other. Its volume is also 500 times that of the Sun as a star.
Leo as a constellation has always been associated with kings and king-making. Its primary star Regulus, also called Basilkos in greek, meaning king. This as a larger association is not a difficult make. For in the ancient era upon a different pole-star, called Thuban, Alpha Draconis, Regulus stood the highest star upon the solstitial colure. The solstitial colure is the line that cuts the elliptic on the path of the sun. The highest star upon it after the North Star, was naturally considered king of the stars at the time. As in the Indian Nakshatra systems as well, this was one of the stars associated with the Nakshatra Magha, the 10th, also called Aghạ in ancient eras.
The Babylonians called this the Ziqqurat.
So the only really fixed star is the North Star. All the other stars move, albeit slowly altering their native place of sky. And as all the stars were collectively dealt as fixed in the ancient systems for convenience of use, the planets came to be called on as wandering stars, and attributes appropriated to them that were the domain of the stars.
The original wandering star, however was quite a different one. The star Alcor in the Ursa Major is an intriguing one. It makes a perfect double to the sky with the star Epsilon of Ursa Major, otherwise called Mizar. The star Mizar has another smaller star in its direct orbit, and so its pairing with Alcor rends and lends it a perfect optically blue sight. Mizar is also one of the chief stars that comprise the Seven Sages of the Ursa Major, which as a constellation moves around Dhruva, or Polaris. It is, in fact the sun that follows the Ursa Major around Polaris. Where the sun marks the time in the day, the seven sages offer time of night by encircling the North Star through its nightly coursing. In the Indian pantheon, this wandering star Alcor is called Arundati, or the evening. And her consort is the Sage Vasishta of the Saptrishis. The pair of Arundati-Vasishta count as the stars of marriage in traditional marriage ceremonies. On the night of their betrothal, the groom is supposed to locate the star Vasishta in its place in the sky. And then carefully trace the star Arundati twinkling right beside it to his naked eye. Upon finding it, he has to direct his bride’s attention to it and ascertain that she too can see both Vasishta-Arundati twinkling right beside each in succession. Between the two of them, they constitute one of the heaven’s gates, and the doors of matrimony. The smaller tiny star next to Vasishta is called Sandhya, which means the morning, while Arundati refers to the evening. Sandhya as a form is shared with Arundati, in that Sandhya is the maiden who transforms into the devoted Arundati matrimonially.
Arundati, the wandering star of Ursa Major.
Arundati was originally part of the the Pleiades, who were collectively the consorts of the 7 sages, or saptrishis. And while 6 of them were made to shift their place in the sky when the constellations reshuffled, Arundati’s star remained, tethered as it was to Vasishta. Arundati then consorted all 7 of them as a constellation so their duties would not fall remiss. In so, she is looked upon as their collective feminine patronage. For her own part however, while always beside her other in Vasishta, she holds her own orbit in the sky, coming to be known as the wandering star.
The star that was Sandhya, in the meantime came to be regarded as a mythical creature for its place, called Kāmdhenū, the creative wish-fulfilling cow that was always in the keep of Sage Vasishta in his musing ancient myths.
The rest of the Saptrishi consorts or the Pleiades were then moved as their place in the sky to the Zodiac constellation of Taurus right beside the star-cluster of the Hyades, which means hues in ancient tongue.
The Pleidies is the 3rd Arabic star mansion as El Thorreya.
In the Indian pantheon, they are called the Krittika Nakshatra. And it is the Krittikas that set in cycle the ancient moon calendar of the Nakshatras through the stars, which stands today as the 3rd Nakshatra in a sequence of 27.
The Krittika Nakshatra is also inhabited by a star cluster called the Matri-Mandala with the Pleiades being its brightest distinguishable stars.
The are 4 star clusters of note in the Indian pantheon of stars.
Matri Mandala or the constellation of the mothers.
The Matri-mandala figuring supreme of the star clusters, as with the Pleiades is regarded as the feminine principle. Where image enlivened consciousness, it was numbers that animated it to splendour. When vowels formed building blocks, alphabets propagated their application. In the numerical, Matri-mandala was the supreme producer’s womb.
What is remarkable is that while the Matri-mandala is several dozen un-spottable stars, the Krittika Nakshatra in its shape creates a fire flame, empowered of the inherent star cluster Matri-mandala. Naturally then, Krittika as an asterism is associated with Agni, the fire god.
The second star cluster of significance is the M 44 star cluster in the constellation Cancer. In the Indian pantheon, it is called the Madhu-chakra, the nectar or honey repository. It stands mounted on the back or shell of the crab, as if a luminous jewel being carried slowly to a star journey. In so, the chariot seen on the back of the crab became the grand Ratha, or the emperor’s chariot to divinity in Dasaratha, who was the reigning ruler in India at the time of the Ramayana epic. Seen in its rising in the sky as if guiding the sun on the horses of the previous Nakshatra the Asvins, the Madhu-chakra itself is signified in the eighth and fortuitous asterism, the Nakshatra Pushya. The other name for Pushya is Tishya, which belonged originally in another era to another star.
The next star cluster of note is the constellation Crux, or the southern cross. In the Indian pantheon, this was called Trisanku mandala. This cluster contains several stars creating the optimal illusion of a perfect moon, making it impossible to tell any single star apart by the naked eye. In the ancient era, Trisanku was the sun god, possibly even served greater roles. Crux as a constellation in the sky naturally represents integrity. Interestingly, this star as a result of its optical illusion makes reflection of neighbouring stars, in colour.
The fourth star cluster of significance in the Indian Pantheon is the Nakshatra Shatabhishta, the 24th. This star cluster has 100 stars in it in the shape of a circle, and in the olden era stood for prowess over chance, marking the skill in telling its pieces apart. Then its influences became one of ritual and sacrifices, and finally it came to be looked upon as 100 physicians, in compensation of a 100 afflictions. It still astrologically has challenges to health represented in its synastry. This star cluster as with the first few of this article, are in the constellation Aquarius.
Bohenian stars are a set of stars considered of deeper and magical significance among the Arab and Western medieval astrologers. The word Bohenian means root, and so their influences were looked upon as superseding other aspects of divination. 15 of these are considered of special import. Of them, so far we’ve covered Regulus and Sirius. Alcyone, the Eta of Taurus, indicative of the Pleiades, is another.
The Alpha star of Taurus, Alderberan, the eye of the bull, is yet another. Alderberan is the closest influence or in so home, of the Hyades as well. Now Alderberan literally means the follower of the Pleiades. And the Pleiades stand for colour. So the hues in Hyades naturally follow the trail of colour in the sky. In the Indian Pantheon, Alderberan constitutes the Nakshatra Rohini, the 4th in the lunar route, referred to, astrologically as the moon’s favourite. The star itself was is called Rohit.
In Arab star mansions, Alderberan is fourth as put forth.
Nishthya, the goddess or Arcturus.
The star Arcturus, the Alpha star Bootes is also a bohenian star. In the Indian pantheon, it is called Nishthya. This star is considered so bright and effervescent (can’t tell colour apart) that upon seeing it, the beauty captures the heart and stays with us. In the Purana scriptures, it is cited that Nishthya removes tamah, darkness from the soul. There are other considerable consciousness practices associated to Nishthya as goddess ritual or form. In the the lunar system, Arcturus is in the Nakshatra Swati, the 15th, which means the sword of light that cuts through darkness.
The remaining ten Bohenian stars with their Indian names are as follows.
Other Bohenian stars
Algol, the Beta Perseus. Meaning the ghoul or the changeful. A variable star (changes its light in the sky). Called Mayawati in Indian astronomy.
Algorab, Delta Corvus. Another name for raven. Among other stars in the 14th Nakshatra Hasta, which is in the shape of a hand.
Alkaid, the Eta Ursa Major, the Saptrishi Marichi (Also known as the revolving star).
Alphecca, Alpha Corona Borealis. Also called Gemma, for gem, and Al Kāsā, the dervish’s dish.
Antares, Alpha constellation Scorpio. In the Indian pantheon, Angaraka as a star, and Jyeshta as a Nakshatra asterism, the 18th. It is the 18th Arabic star asterism as El Kalb, the heart.
Capella, Alpha Auriga. Brahma-Hridaya, or the heart of Brahma in the Indian charts.
Procyn, Alpha Canis Minor. Called Sārama in vedic legends and astronomy.
Spica, Alpha constellation Virgo. The ear of the corn, in Indian astronomy also known as Tara within the Nakshatra Chitra, the 15th. In the Arabic asterisms, Spica is in El Simak, the 14th.
Vega, Alpha Lyra. In Saraswati’s constellation of the Veena, Vega is called Nila–mani, and used to exist in ancient Nakshatra Abhijit among some of the constellation’s other stars. To today’s use of Indian astrology, its transitions to the sky are still utilised to calculate muhurata, the providential hours or days.
Two other stars of note that don’t appear in the Bohenian stars, or the ‘lucky’ series but are still worth mention would be the stars Alpheratz and Mira.
Alpheratz is the Alpha star of the constellation Andromeda. It is also in the constellation Pegasus, one of the only two stars to cross over into other recognised constellations, both of which are from Pegasus. Alpheratz is in the head of the chained woman of Andromeda, also the belly of the aerial horse. Its other name is Sirrah, which means navel. Along with Gamma Pegasus, Alpheratz also makes the 27th Arabic asterism El Farg El Mukhar, which means the joy succeeding. The star mansion prior to it in sequence was Alpha and Beta of Pegasus as the asterism El Farg El Mukdīm, the joy proceeding.
In the Indian pantheon, Alpheratz or Sirrah, with another makes the 26th Nakshatra Uttara Bhadrapa.
Mira – The Cupid’s Star
And finally, Mira, the wondrous. To the greeks this star was also called Mara, and even to the ancients in their crafts has cupid inferences associated with it. In the Indian Pantheon, this is the cupid’s star as avatar. Omnicron Cetus, in the constellation of the celestial whale.
Mira, or Kamadeva, this star is also known as a Kāmārupa-tara, i.e ‘changing at its own pleasure’, in that it is a variable star. Over an interval of 331 days and 8 hours, it brightens and fades, maintaining maximum brightness for a period of 15 days, when it is the second-brightest in the sky. Then over 3 months, slowly it completely disappears from the sky. For 5 months thereafter, it cannot be seen, when it re-appears continuously increasing in brightness over the next three months. At its peak, it is the second brightest of night skies… briefly.
Indeed, the cupid’s star, whom might it charm in arrow?
Stars, when read to astrology for subjective influence alter to a querent’s tide and times. In that, what is opportune today turns contrived tomorrow.
But fortunate are those that have relevant knowledge recollected to them at its required time and application. Redeemed and astute to observation, starry or otherwise.
But hey, we can all use a bit of luck, if the stars be listening in akasha-vani (celestial grape-vine).