Algol, j’ai baisé ta bouche

As I wrote in my latest post, I was planning  to write about the fixed star  Algol.

As everybody, I read Thomas post about Algol and Pleiades and the following post from Dorothy, and in the same time I was involved for some sincronicity in a clash of wills about this star, in a chart I will show after some preliminary considerations.

I’m always curious about Shakespeare because in Italy we don’t read his masterpieces in our schools – his works are out of our collective imaginary- so I found very intriguing Thomas‘ idea to apply Algol meaning to the story of Othello and Desdemona.

I’m a little more skeptical about Dorothy’s post, a matriarchal society is more a new age/feminist legend than a true possibility. There is no recorded example of societies where women had whatever power: in Rome, women were so little considered that in the same family sisters had all the same name- the father’s one- so they were recognised by a number, Julia I, Julia II, Julia III 😦

I’m not a lover of myths but if I should mention one, it’s one  they did not mention and which is obvious to me, Salome.

And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.
And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist (Mark, 6-22-24)

Jai baisé ta bouche, Jokannan -
J'ai baisé ta bouche, Jokannan - I've kissed your mouth Aubrey Beardsley for Oscar Wilde' Salome (1893)

This star – nature Jupiter and Saturn- is linked with the cutting of the head and having power on others, as Salome story reminds us.

Dicit Hermes :

The third star  which is called Caput Algol and in fact it is a lucida,  red, brilliant star. Its nature is Saturnian  and its temperament Jupiterian.
If Mars is with it at the Ascendant or at the MC, makes men very quarrelsome.
If the Moon is with it at the Ascendant and Mars or Saturn behold them by opposition, signifies evil and the losing of the head.

Its stone is the diamond and its herb is the Black Hellebore and Artemisia (from which a famous drug was distilled, the Absinthe, very famous in symbolist and decadent circles at the end of 1800).

It is well known the sentence from Centiloquium :

Where the Sun is found to be with Caput Algol if then he is neither aspected by a benevolent planet, or that a benign planet doth govern the eighth house, and the disposer of the temporal light shall be in opposition to Mars, or afflicts him with a square aspect, he that then is born shall be beheaded: But if the light shall culminate, or be in the tenth house, his body shall be wounded: If this copulation be in Gemini or Pisces, his hands and feet shall be cut off.

But as in the story of Salome, Algol is connected with power issues too:

Algol in Astrolabium  Planum
Algol in Astrolabium Planum

The position of the star – Aquarius is rising- is linked with Hipparchos data for its rising.

Latin translation is easy: A man keeps a severed head in his hand. This man has power.

The same will mention Johannes Stadius :

The Head of Medusa culminating with Jupiter gives power of life and death on others. With the Sun, if in agreement with Jupiter, the same.

or Tommaso Campanella :

Fortune with the head of Medusa in the tenth house, they will expect lordship, firmness, and greatness.

Cardano :

When Caput is infortuned, danger of losing the head, when it is well disposed acquisition of power over people by sword.

Let’s see an example, an election for a baby birth, someone gave me these data.

Algol is the red star at 26 Taurus.

Algol seems very far from whatever active point in this chart. But is it really like that?

In fact stars generally are very far from the zodiacal belt, so they cannot be easily projected on it. In this case Algol has a longitude of 55.37 and a latitude of 22.13! We can see this in the picture- the violet line is the ecliptic- it’s very far from it.

In this case it’s better to calculate its hourly distance: if a planet and a star have the same hourly distance, i.e. they are far from the meridian the same time, they are obviously together.

So let’s do it.

Moon and Algol are above the horizon, in the first quadrant.

Moon has an hourly distance from MC of 2.98 while Algol 2.85, they are distant 0.13 hours so  we have a confirmation they are not together, because 0.13 is more than 7 degrees (0.13*60=7.8).

In every case Algol is very far from 26 Taurus!

Written by Margherita Fiorello @ year 2009



Lucia Bellizia of Apotelesma is going to translate in Italian Cardano De supplemento Almanach.

Giuseppe Bezza, Alghul the ogre

Giuseppe Bezza, Commento al Primo Libro della Tetrabiblos di Claudio Tolemeo: con una nuova traduzione e le interpretazioni dei maggiori commentatori , 2° ed. (Milano: Nuovi Orizzonti, 1992). 

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