Behenian Fixed Stars

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Share on Tumblr0

The Behenian Fixed Stars are a selection of fifteen stars considered especially useful for magical applications in the medieval astrology of Europe and the Arab world. Their name derives from Arabic bahman, “root”, as each was considered a source of astrological power for one or more planets. Each is also connected with a gemstone and medicinal plant that would be placed in a medicine pouch to be used as a talisman for protection against the malefic influences of that specific Behenian Fixed Star. When a planet was within six degrees of an associated star, this influence was thought to be particularly strong. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa discussed them in his De Occulta Philosophia as the Behenii (singular Behenius), describing their magical workings and kabbalistic symbols. He attributed these to Hermes Trismegistus, as was common with occult traditions in the Middle Ages.
[NOTE: the symbols drawn by Agrippa for Aldebaran (Aldaboram), for Capella (Hircus) and for the Pleiades differ somewhat from those displayed in Wikipedia. There are a number of versions extant, but I have used those presented in J.F’s 1651 English translation of Book II of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy.]

Name Latin Name Astronomical Designation Location
in the year 5760
(2000 C.E.)
Planet Gemstone Plant Symbol
Algol Caput Algol Beta Persei 26º10′ Taurus Saturn & Jupiter Diamond Black Hellebore Caput Algol
Pleiades Pleiades M45 (Taurus) 29º58′ Taurus Moon & Mars Rock Crystal AKA Clear Quartz Fennel Pleiades
Aldebaran Aldaboram Alpha Tauri 09º47′ Gemini Mars & Venus Carbuncle AKA Garnet Milk Thistle Aldaboram
Capella Alhayhoch, Hircus Alpha Aurigæ 21º52′ Gemini Jupiter & Saturn Blue Sapphire Thyme
Polaris Cauda Ursa Minor Alpha Ursæ Minoris 28º34′ Gemini Venus & Moon Magnet (Magnetite) Succory Cauda Ursa Minor
Sirius Canis Major Alpha Canis Majoris 14º05′ Cancer Venus Beryl Juniper Canis Major
Procyon Canis Minor Alpha Canis Minoris 25º48′ Cancer Mercury & Mars Banded Agate Water Buttercup Canis Minor
Regulus Cor Leonis Alpha Leonis 29º50′ Leo Jupiter & Mars Granite Mugwort Cor Leonis
Algorab Ala Corvi Gamma Corvi 13º27′ Libra Saturn & Mars Onyx Burdock
Spica Spica Alpha Virginis 23º50′ Libra Venus & Mercury Emerald Sage Spica
Arcturus Alchameth Alpha Boetis 24º14′ Libra Mars & Jupiter Green Jasper Plantain Alchameth
Alphecca Elpheia Alpha Coronæ Borealis 12º17′ Scorpio Venus & Mars Golden Topaz Rosemary Elpheia
Antares Cor Scorpii Alpha Scorpii 09º45′ Sagittarius Venus & Jupiter Sardonyx Birthwort Cor Scorpii
Vega Vultur Cadens Alpha Lyræ 15º18′ Capricorn Mercury & Venus Peridot (Chrysolite) Winter Savory Vultur Cadens
Deneb Algedi Cauda Capricorni Delta Capricorni 23º33′ Aquarius Saturn & Mercury Blue Chalcedony Marjoram Cauda Capricorni