Fixed Star Astrolatry: Capella, Alphard and Castor

Those who have been following this blog may notice that I have hidden my previous fixed star article. This is because I feel like that article was posted somewhat prematurely and I would like to rewrite a better post now that I have some more personal experience with the stars. Astrolatry — the veneration of stars as spirits and gods — has been an important part of my childhood and cultural upbringing. However, it is only after a reading in 2021 with Sasha Ravitch (whose services I fully recommend to anyone interested) that I realized that the same concept could be applied to not just classical planets, but also fixed stars. Sasha’s work on fixed stars have played a large part in my own understanding of them, and today I would like to recount my experiences with three stars: Capella, Alphard and Castor.

Capella, the She-Goat

Capella is the brightest star in the constellation of Auriga, the charioteer. Immediately, a word springs to mind— freedom. The chariot is the embodiment of action and movement. It is a vehicle that rushes ever forward, never stopping and never to be restrained. Capella too is associated with the goddess Diana, for the star marks the orientation point of a temple at Eleusis, dedicated to the goddess. Like the wild goddess of the hunt, there is a wildness to Capella, an untamable nature that refuses to be enslaved. Capella is my heliacal setting star and it represents a lot of what I seek in life: freedom, for myself and others. Thus, it is in my view that one of the many areas that Capella rules over is independence and self-sovereignty. This belief is also reflected in Bernadette Brady’s delineation of the fixed star, which I urge others to read up on should they be interested.

On a more traditional note, Capella is known to be a Behenian fixed star whose name means ‘Little She-Goat’ for she is the goat that is being carried by the charioteer. Capella is also associated with Amalthea who is the she-goat nurse of Zeus, the one who fed the future King of Olympus with her milk as he laid in a cave on Mount Dicte in Crete. When Zeus grew up, it was from her hide in which he created his aegis, the thunder-shield. The crown of her horn later became the cornucopia— the keras amaltheias, the horn of plenty. Hence, it is in this regard that I believe there to be a motherly nature to Capella. Just as Jove is generous and giving, Capella too provides and nurtures. Additionally, like the aegis her hide is made into, the She-Goat also defends. Those who are in need of freedom from abuse may therefore call upon for protection.

According to Ptolemy, Capella is of the nature of Mars and Mercury. To Alvidas, it is of Mercury and Moon. It gives honor, wealth, eminence, renown, a public position of trust and eminent friends, and makes its natives careful, timorous, inquisitive, very fond of knowledge and particularly of novelties. Capella can therefore be approached for assistance in achieving these things as well

Thus, on July 1st when a Mercury-Capella conjunction (with Mercury being in its domicile sign of Gemini) occurred, I chose to consecrate a talisman under the blessings of Capella in order for me to be granted honor, wealth, eminence and renown. I commissioned a jeweler to craft a small, silver pendant in the image of the Bodleian MS sigil of Capella and, on the night of the ritual, drew the sigil of the star, placed the pendant on top of the sigil, lit some candles, offered the star incenses of mint and mugwort, and invoked Capella using the prayer below:

Goat Mother,
Mother Goat,
Your child cries for you!
I call you by these names and more:
Almathea, Alhajoth, Alhatod, and Alhaiset.
She of the Horns-Verdant,
She of the Hooves-Galloping,
Unyielding and untamed,
Never to be restrained.
O Capella, wild and kind,
As you race upon your chariot,
Spare us a glance from
Your lofty place among the sky.
With gentle gaze, grant us your blessings!
Bless us with your Horn of Plenty,
Protect us with your Thunder-Shield!
By your grace, bestow us
Honor, wealth, good health and renown.
O healer and nurturer,
O ever-loving exalter of kings,
May nothing bind us or confine us.
May no enemy hurt us,
Nor may jealous eyes defile our glory.

I asked the star to bless the talisman-pendant and said a few more personal prayers to the star. Literally hours later, I received texts from a family member reassuring me about my finances and promising to help support me, even to the point of encouraging me to spend more on whatever will keep me healthy and comfortable. This is quite an improvement, as I usually tended to have a rocky relationship with this particular family member. Furthermore, at the time of the rite, I was anxious about my desire to save and invest versus my desire to enrich my occult knowledge via attending some relatively expensive occult conferences and astrological courses. Now, due to Capella’s intervention, I am at a point where I can write off my occult expenses as ‘living expenses’ and so far, the said family member has continued to repeat their reassurances to me that they will assist me financially in whichever way they can, in whatever matters I needed.

One thing I noted too was Capella’s nature as being ‘very fond of knowledge and particularly of novelties’. It therefore makes sense that Capella — who rules over wealth — would want to give me access to wealth that would allow me to indulge in my fondness for knowledge and novelties as well. I have a feeling too that should I need to acquire some kind of sponsorship for my PhD in the future, Capella will be more than willing to assist me to do so as well.

Alphard, Heart of the Serpent

Alphard is a fixed star which is dear to my heart, not only because of its serpentine associations but also because I was born when Alphard was in lower culmination with Venus— Venus being the star of relationships and the arts, along with so much more. My own Venus is placed in the bloody sign of Scorpio, located in the cold, haunted caverns of the eighth house. Poison, obsession and desire is a recurring theme in my life and Alphard, in my view, is the embodiment of desire in its many passionate, all-consuming forms.

According to Bernadette Brady:

“Alphard is the bright red star in the middle of the Hydra known as the ‘Heart of the Serpent’. Many cultures have a snake or serpent connected with their creation mythology. For the Babylonians this was the dragon of Tiamat. In the Old Testament it was the snake in the Garden of Eden. In these myths it is the serpent that catalyzes crisis and upheaval and thus has to be subdued, slain or crushed. Yet as the story proceeds, it is clear that a new order has arisen in the world. Alphard captures this creative process whereby disruption and mayhem create new stability. In our turbulent world this energy can easily erupt as violence, untamed energy or, at its everyday level, as emotional outbursts. Nevertheless, to think of Alphard in this simplistic way is to ignore the bigger picture of its creative energy.

Alphard uses all your passion, strength, and determination to change old patterns in your life, to unblock obstructions, and forge new paths. Thus a more appropriate expression for Alphard in your life is to consciously focus your enthusiasm, forcefulness, and willpower, no matter how obsessive, onto a desired goal and work to see its completion. That way Alphard adds the energy of creative emergence from the void or chaos to your life with much greater control […] William Blake, the English poet whose passion burned into his religious poetry, had Alphard rising as his Jupiter contacted his Nadir. The darkness, the passion, and the religious or mystical focus of Blake gives us an insight into a more balanced Alphard. A writer with a very different nature is Stephen King, the famous writer of horror stories. King was born on the day that Alphard culminated with Saturn.”

As can be seen from the quotes above, Alphard is the destroyer who makes way for growth. To me, Alphard represents the process of transmogrification, a shedding of skin to make way for rejuvenation and rebirth— albeit one that could only be accomplished through a trial by fire, the utter eradication of the old self to herald the new. This is true in a societal sense as well as a creative kind. Kill your darlings, says Alphard. Kill your ghosts; is storytelling not a kind of exorcism? Writing, in many ways, is a form of confession. Through writing, you can turn your heartache and the pain of those who came before you into a metaphor, into a story. Writing is a tool that allows you to give voice to what went previously unsaid, granting you the gift of absolution and the ability to take charge of the narrative. Alphard is both destructive and creative, bringing about change and revolution through relentless ambition. Hence, it would make sense that artists, writers, visionaries and revolutionaries alike could petition Alphard for assistance in accomplishing their goals.

Whilst bored on a long-haul flight from Bangkok to London, I decided to perform an experiment. It should be noted too that at the time of my journey, Venus was squaring Alphard. I’m not sure how much that particular aspect contributed to my experiment, but I noticed it all the same. Essentially, I am quite familiar with the practice of scrying tarot cards, a technique I first encountered when attending a ‘tarot magic’ class at Treadwells a year or so ago. Using the same technique, I decided to enter a light trance and use the tarot card as a scrying portal in order to connect with the fixed star. With regards to Alphard, the star is in the third decan of Leo which is represented by the Thoth tarot card of Seven of Wands, so I scryed an image of the Seven of Wands and asked the Lord of Valour to grant me an audience with Alphard. Being on a plane in the middle of the night sky also gave a liminal quality to the atmosphere which I believe aided me in the impromptu, experimental rite.

I do encourage others to experiment with this method should they wish. It would be interesting to compare results as well.

Castor, the Shining Twin

Like Alphard, many renowned writers have Castor (and/or his twin, Pollux) active in their charts. Castor, more so than Alphard, is more explicitly associated with the act of storytelling.

According to Bernadette Brady:

“The Greeks also applied the concepts of the morning and evening with their twins, Castor and Pollux. Castor was connected to the morning star and was the horseman; Pollux, the boxer, was connected to the evening star and was associated with thieves and darkness. Thus Castor was of the light and Pollux was of the dark […] Ptolemy states that the star called Apollo (Castor) is like Mercury, with the star called Hercules (Pollux) of a nature similar to Mars. Robson says that Castor is linked to keen intellect and success in law and publishing, but warns that it is prone to violence […] In addition, it would seem that Castor and Pollux, while struggling with their polarities, produce writers. Apart from the poet and artist William Blake, a great many writers have either Castor or Pollux active in their charts: the novelist James Joyce, songwriter John Lennon, Poet William Wordsworth, novelist Lewis Carroll, novelist George Eliot, poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and novelist Charles Dickens, to name but a few. Castor and Pollux are probably not about writing itself, or the urge to write, but, rather, successful storytelling by one who has a knowledge of mixing good and evil, overlapping them until both are changed and whole. Writers who can do this will be successful. Again, Castor and Pollux are about the blending of opposites, the recognition of opposites, and the building of bridges between them.”

From what Brady has written, it can be viewed that Castor is associated with the ‘brighter’ side of storytelling in contrast to its darker twin Pollux. Hope and idealism in the face of despair are the stories that Castor tells. Castor’s connection to both Apollo and the morning star likewise gives it an almost visionary property. It grants one the ability to see what the world could be rather than be blinded by the grim reality of what it currently is, not just in the mundane sense but potentially in a prophetic manner too. It is my own belief that the line between poetry and prophecy is incredibly thin and can be made nonexistent, as is the line between storytelling and literally crafting a narrative to subvert and redirect the social order. Castor rules over mythopoesis, over what the Irish call imbas forosnai, over the powers found within the mead of inspiration of the Norse. Every writer, those who wish to change the world through storytelling, or those who seek oracular gifts, can benefit from petitioning Castor.

That, essentially, was what I did on July 13th 2022 during an exact Castor-Ascendant 1H conjunction, right after sunrise in the UK. During the rite, I made my offerings of candlelight, fruits, flowers, fresh water and honey to the star before saying the invocation below:

I call upon the poet-seer, he-who-spin-words-into-prophecies,
Bright, binary, laurel-wreathed star of creativity,
Hear me, Aphellon— Star of Apollo.
Hear me Avelar— O Castor, I call you by your many names. 
Lord of story-telling, you of grey and iridescent eyes. 
Your eyes are like a flash of rainbow among thunderclouds,
Like the opaline shine of a pigeon’s shimmering neck.
May your gaze fall upon me with kindness and curiosity.

Come to me, O Storyteller 
Come to me, O Weaver of Tales
You who weave together the diverse languages,
The different cultures and ideas into a tapestry of fate.
Join me: feast upon these offerings and upon me,
Upon my tale.

I offer you my story like a book placed upon your altar,
A sacrifice of my person.
Take it, so that you may rewrite it.

[At this point, I began to tell Castor the story of my life as if it were some fairy tale. I told him of my desires, how I wish to change the world along with the things you wish to leave behind as my legacy.]

O Castor, this is the beginning of my tale:
May you rewrite the ending, however it may be,
So I may achieve my heart’s desires.
Grant to me a soft epilogue.
Grant that I be your poet-seer.
O Lord of Storytelling,
Cast your holy radiance upon me,
Shine on me your stellar-light.
Bless me with your powers,
And allow me to be your emissary on earth.

Castor, to me, is the weaver and unweaver of narratives, the writer and rewriter of tales. Anything one wishes to be changed about one’s story, about one’s fate, can be petitioned to Castor. Of course, Castor can also assist an author or a poet or any kind of storyteller in their art, but the fate-weaving powers of the star is not something to be overlooked either. Three other individuals who performed a variation of the same rite with Castor also reported positive results.


Although I am currently going through Chris Brennan’s Hellenistic Astrology course in order to get a more rigorous and classical background in astrology, I still believe that there is something holy in the theurgic nature of astrolatry, just as there is something beautiful about stellar witchcraft. People have been venerating stars for millennia— it is unsurprising that forming a relationship with the stars present in your chart can be reaffirming and potentially life changing. 

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Ivy Senna

occultist, animist and astrolater.

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