A Star Is Born
by Julie Gillentine
"When did I
create the morning stars, and all the angels shouted for joy?"
In western Astrology
the Sun is the centerpiece, looming large in symbolic significance.
The Sun is said to govern our individuality, our emerging nature,
and the major lessons we were born to learn. Astronomy describes
what can be observed and measured. Astrology interprets correspondences.
For thousands of years sky watchers in India, China and Mesopotamia
observed parallels between what happened above and what occurred
below. The legacy of these observations forms the body of knowledge
we call Astrology.
In earlier times
the influence of other bright stars, suns in their own right, were
thought to have enormous impact. The rising, culminating, or setting
of a star at the birth of a child, and its fortunate or ominous
nature, would bode well or ill for the destiny of the newborn. Through
the ages the myth and lore of bright stars, often associated with
their color, has endured.
The Sun is our very
own star, just one in a galaxy of billions. Our solar system inhabits
a spiral arm toward the outer limits of the Milky Way galaxy, slowly
tracing a circle around the galactic center. Billions of other galaxies,
as well as Jupiter-like planets orbiting other suns, have been discovered
as new telescope technology opens wide the window to our universe.
Clearly, we are not at the hub of the wheel.
not created equal
Stars spend their
lives on fire from within, casting life-giving radiance in the darkness
of space. They exist within a spectrum of diversity, ranging in
size from a hundred times the mass of our Sun to one-tenth its mass,
and are newborn to vastly old. Stars are classified by brightness,
magnitude, and surface temperatures. Most stars are main sequence
stars, steadily burning fuel in the middle of their lives. Massive
stars, much larger than our Sun, burn hotter, shine brighter, and
live shorter lives. Less massive stars emit dimmer light, burn their
fuel at a conservative rate, and shine longer.
of stars or other objects, as they appear from Earth, is a number
called Apparent Magnitude and is a function of distance from Earth
and intrinsic brightness. First magnitude stars are brighter and
fifth magnitude stars are dimmer. Absolute Magnitude is designated
as M, and is defined as if the star were viewed from 32.6 light
years from Earth.
Although the Sun
is often described as typical, our yellow-white star is in the top
five percent in our galaxy in terms of size and brightness. The
Sun is estimated to be 4.6 billion years old, roughly half-way through
its main sequence stage, and each second converts five million tons
of matter into energy. Our Sun is also distinguished as a single
star. Nearly two-thirds of the stars in our sector of the Milky
Way are multiple: binary, triple, and quadruple star systems, entwined
in reciprocal orbits by the compelling force of gravity.
similar to terrestrial longitude, is a vertical division of the
ecliptic (apparent path of the sun). In astrological terms, these
are the 360 degrees of the zodiac. One aspect of Deep Sky Astrology
analyzes conjunctions between planets and objects in space at the
same longitudinal degree.
of times longer than a human life, stars also have definable stages
to their lives. The stages of a star's life outlined below, when
joined at birth with a planet by celestial longitude, are said to
deepen and intensify life experiences and soul lessons. These lessons
manifest in a horoscope where an alignment occurs.
Imagine that a
profound teacher appears in your life. The teacher may take the
form of an infant, a wise old seer, or a young woman. Each teaches
from the perspective of their age and experience, and each brings
a different lesson. Similarly, the life stages of a star can be
said to influence our lives from the perspective of their cycle
of expression. The suggested keywords below, and the examples of
each stage, can be combined with a planet's archetypal energy to
reveal new insights.
of a Star
cloud - Keyword: Attraction
A star begins its
existence in a sea of potential as an interstellar dust cloud in
motion in space. Perhaps triggered by collisions of deep space objects
in the vicinity, the raw material in the dust cloud moves and shifts,
gravitating toward the center.
Example: M42, The
Great Nebula in Orion
Zodiac degree: 22 Gemini
Interpretation: What ingredients or experiences do I need to attract
to create my destiny?
Nebula - Keyword: Conception
Over a vast period
of time the enigmatic force of attraction causes the cloud to compress,
responding to the force of its own gravitational pull. A center
forms, drawing large amounts of dust and gas to itself. The atoms
move faster, heating up until the center reaches a point termed
critical density. The center then separates from the rest of the
material and becomes a Protostar.
Example: M8, The
Zodiac degree: 01 Capricorn
Interpretation: What do I need to eliminate from my life to focus
on my soul's lessons?
- Keyword: Emergence
When the temperature
becomes hot enough nuclear fusion occurs, fusing four hydrogen atoms
into one helium atom, transmuting a tiny portion of the mass in
each atom into energy. Flash point is achieved, and a star is born.
Young stars gather in hot clusters like stellar nurseries.
Zodiac degree: 29 Taurus
Interpretation: What needs to be nurtured in my life to facilitate
my soul's purpose?
Stars - Keyword: Adulthood
color, and length of life are functions of a star's original mass,
all stars shine for the same reason. Star light is burning hydrogen,
which converts to helium and releases energy from nuclear fusion.
A star's life is a dynamic tension between the expanding energy
of the nuclear furnace at its core and the pull of gravity created
by its mass. Main sequence stars like our Sun burn with constant
light for billions of years. Astronomers expect that the Sun will
shine for another five billion years.
alpha Canis Major
Zodiac degree: 14 Cancer
Interpretation: Where is the one area in my life where I shine like
- Keyword: Mid-life
When the fuel at
the star's core is exhausted, thermonuclear reactions shift to a
shell around the core where a supply of hydrogen remains. At this
stage, the core becomes hot enough to burn helium, causing its matter
to further expand. The star becomes a Red Giant, swelling to thousands
of times its original size, as both hydrogen and helium are transmuted
into heavier elements and energy. In the short term the aging star
burns brighter. The Red Giant stage can be quiet and prolonged,
or sudden and violent, depending on the star's initial mass. Toward
the end of its life, when the Sun has exhausted its fuel, our star
will become a Red Giant.
Zodiac degree: 28 Gemini
Interpretation: What is my unique talent, which comes without effort,
and how can this be used for the good of all?
- Keyword: Swan Song
After swelling to
many times its original size and consuming its supply of helium,
the star's interior begins to shrink even further and the Red Giant
jettisons its outer envelope. Material drifts into space as the
colored matter of planetary nebulae. The name is inappropriate,
originating from early descriptions of planetary nebulae as round
and planet-like. These spectacular objects look like colored jewels
on black velvet and are among the most beautiful objects viewed
through a telescope.
Example: M57 Ring
Zodiac degree: 20 Capricorn
Interpretation: In what area of my life can I give a virtuoso performance?
- Keyword: Old Age
After all the fuel
is exhausted, gravity takes over and the star begins to contract.
The last breath of a dying, low-mass star, lasting billions of years,
is called a White Dwarf. The star collapses into a shadow of its
former self, the surface of the remaining interior heats to white
hot, and radiates brilliant light which results from the energy
of compression. A White Dwarf is a very dense star; the mass of
the Sun compressed to the size of Earth. When our Sun consumes its
nuclear fuel, it too will shrink and heat up, becoming a White Dwarf.
Although sparkling like a diamond in the darkness, no life could
be supported on any cinder-like planets remaining in the vicinity.
Zodiac degree: 11 Aries
Interpretation: Where can I fulfill the role of wise elder?
White Dwarf star will cool and emit no energy, and its planetary
nebula will dissipate. The final corpse of a star like our Sun is
a cinder, a burnt-out stellar corpse, perhaps the size of Earth,
no longer giving light to the dark space in which it resides, but
still marking its course in the heavens due to the force of gravity.
These stars are invisible and detected from their affects.
Red Dwarf -
Keyword: A Slow Burn
Red Dwarfs are
small, dim, main sequence stars, constituting over half the stellar
citizenship of the Milky Way. Astronomers call these truly average
stars Red Dwarfs because of their color and size and have counted
over one hundred billion, none of which can be seen without a telescope.
Red Dwarfs live long lives because they simmer their fuel at low
temperatures. The furnace at the heart of Red Dwarf, Proxima Centauri,
the closest star to our Sun, will likely radiate at its present
output for another two hundred billion years, living twenty times
longer than our Sun. Although one-tenth the diameter of our Sun,
and one-tenth the mass, Proxima Centauri generates only one twenty-thousandth
of the light, equivalent to dense twilight on Earth.
Zodiac degree: 29 Scorpio
Interpretation: Where should my life be on auto-pilot?
- Keyword: Unrealized potential
True stars produce
energy and light by fusing hydrogen into helium in the nuclear furnaces
burning at their cores. Brown Dwarfs are unable to summon the internal
spark to ignite the thermonuclear furnace and therefore only emit
a dull glow. Some Brown Dwarfs waver close to the dividing line
between star and planet. Because they are still difficult to detect,
only a few Brown Dwarfs are known. Recently a known Brown Dwarf
in the Fornax constellation exhibited a surprising solar flare,
Example: LP 944-20
Zodiac degree: +/- 15 Aries
Interpretation: What potential lies buried?
A dying star has
alternatives based on its original mass. Relatively low-mass stars
like our Sun become Red Giants. Very massive stars become Supergiants
(Rigel: 16 Gemini). A few Supergiants may explode in the process,
going Supernova (Crab Nebula: 23 Gemini), ending their life in a
blaze of glory. A Supernova may subsequently collapse upon itself
and become either a Black Hole (Cygnus X-1: 13 Aquarius), or a neutron
star, also called a Pulsar (M1 in Crab Nebula: 23 Gemini).
The sample interpretations
are meant as general indications only; an accurate birth chart is
required to identify actual conjunctions to deep space objects or
connections to famous bright stars. If the degrees of the Sun, Moon
and planets are known however, these generic descriptions can provide
stimulus for exploration.