Stories from the Stars

for Oprah Winfrey, born on 29 January 1954
Text by B.Brady and D.Gunzburg, Copyright © Astrodienst AG 2016
ETFE 16319.2-1, 15.11.16

Personal Star Map

Chapter I - Introduction

Chapter II - The Stars that Shape your Character
Polaris in Ursa Minor Being loyal to a cause or a group
Rukbat in the Archer Persistence motivation Struggling with social diversity
Sualocin in Delphinus Good at selling an idea
Alcyone in the Pleiades A commentator on social ills The gift of mysticism
Acubens in the Crab Breathing life into ideas

Chapter III - The Stars that Shape Your Vocation
Schedar in Cassiopeia Being associated with physical endeavours
Procyon in Canis Minor Working with transitions

Chapter IV - The Star Stories in Your Life
Sibling Rivalry: Struggling with the light and the dark
The Crown in the Sky: Holding both flowers and thorns
Self-Sacrifice: Salvation through service



Data Page

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Personal Star Map

The "Stories from the Stars" report opens with your personal star map. It shows in colour all interpreted stars and their position at the time of your birth.

The upper part of the image shows the eastern hemisphere of the sky, as seen at the time and location of your birth. It is centered on the east point (E).

The lower part of the image shows the western hemisphere of the sky, as seen at the time and location of your birth. It is centered on the west point (W).

The highlighted stars play a key role in this astrological reading. The red ones appear in chapter II, the blue ones in chapter III and the green ones in chapter IV.

The bright halves of the diagrams show the sky above the horizon; the dark halves show the sky below the horizon.

The horizon is indicated by horizontal lines, the boundary circles themselves represent the meridian. The planets (drawn red) move along the band of the zodiac. Dashed lines indicate the celestial equator and circumpolar circles.

Abbreviations used in the star map:
N = north
S = south
E = east
W = west
Z = Zenith
Na = Nadir
NP = celestial north pole
SP = celestial south pole
AS = Ascendant
DS = Descendant
MC = Medium Coeli
IC = Imum Coeli

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Welcome to your stars

The vault of the heavens is an awe-inspiring lace-work of stars. The starry sky, however, is more than just beautiful, it also carries wisdom contained within stories. These stories were placed onto the stars over thousands of years by our ancestors who slowly linked their risings and appearances to human spiritual beliefs and earthly struggles and joys. Amongst the vast array of stories held in the sky, a handful affect you personally. Think of these stories from the stars as the spark which is you before it engages in the journey of your horoscope. The method used that connects the stars to your horoscope is based on the turning of the earth and is called parans, explained below. By working with stars in this way, you can uncover your inner spark, your star-stuff. This spark is an essence of you that is beyond the luminaries and planets on the ecliptic. It comes from the very starry vault of the heavens itself.

Stories from the Stars gives you information that allows you to understand these stars in your life, your actions, your choices and your attitudes. For by understanding the role of your stars, you can begin to work with them to encourage their best expression. Think of this as walking with your stars, an endeavour that helps you to connect with the living cosmos and gain a deeper understanding of your life.

This report explores these stories. It contains three sections - the stars that add to your character, the stars that shape your vocation, and the star stories in which you live. Although written as separate chapters, they are interlinked, all of them considering different facets of how the stars engage with you.

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About Parans

Parans are the ancient way of working with the stars based on observation. As the earth rotates on its axis it divides the 24 hours of the day into four quarters. These four quarters are, in fact, the "turning points" in the sky where the sun will rise, culminate, set, and then move to the lower culmination point at local midnight. These four turning points, however, apply to all the objects in the sky. The planets also rise, culminate, set, and move over the lower culmination point and so too do the stars. The stars, however, are not tied to the ecliptic and thus their cyclic movement does not follow the sun or the planets. Because these turning points are the result of the rotation of the earth, they are, in fact, the way that the earth engages with the sky. When a luminary or a planet is on one of their "turning points" at the same time as a star is on any of its "turning points", then both the planet and the star are joined together by the rotation of the earth. This special relationship is called a paran and this visual observation is the original way that stars were first used to understand events on earth.

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The Stars that Shape your Character

This is the starting point for discovering your stars. Your journey begins with focusing on the stars and their myths that add their unique qualities to your character. Star qualities are particular features that contribute to your seed potential. They become apparent as your skills and resources through your life's experiences, for it is only by using them to deal with problems that you discover the potentials they offer you and how you can handle them wisely. Some of these qualities will take a while for you to master; others will be gifts that come more easily. Nevertheless, all these star qualities are of equal strength and presence in your life. As you learn to work with them so you will become more proficient at using them. Each star gains its voice in your life through a particular planet or luminary in your chart. At times it may appear as if one quality is at odds with another quality. Yet these are simply the normal contradictions with which we all live and know about ourselves expressed mythologically.

Five stars will be discussed in this chapter.

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Polaris in Ursa Minor

Polaris is a distinct yellow star at the end of the tail of the little bear, Ursa Minor, and is today's North Pole star. As the star closest to the North Pole, it has been used as a navigational aid since antiquity. Its very position has meant that peoples of all cultures have seen it as a beacon or pointer, showing a true unswerving path. This has not changed, for Polaris is still, today, the Pole star for the northern hemisphere and as such, contains the symbolic meaning of being a path-finder. So with this star's quality, you are a person who can navigate your way through a problem, find solutions where others cannot, or act as a leader for a group leading them through uncharted waters, mentally or physically. This star adds an independent attitude to everything it touches; having this star active in your life means that you have the courage to be a sole adventurer while at the same time being willing to lead others to places they have never been. The gift of being a pathfinder is however not to push forward but rather to know where you are in relationship to where you have been. In this regard you are a map-maker.

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Being loyal to a cause or a group

On the day you were born, when Venus was setting, Polaris was culminating.

This quality of a solid focus is combined with your Venus, your social ideas and attitudes to your personal relationships. In its simplest expression it adds the quality of loyalty to all your friendships and you stick by your friends through thick and thin. You also carry the same commitment into your personal relationships, understanding that relationships take work and persistence. This can provide you with a social life that is filled with the comfort of old friends and give you the joys of long-term relationships. The shadow side, however, is that you have the potential to become overly focused on another individual. When younger this may have been as a fan, where you were fixated on a celebrity. This obsession, however, can be directed onto a public figure, leading you to totally support or detest that individual. Such obsession diminishes your ability to make judgements and blocks you from seeing the complexity of life. The same tendency can also make you blindly loyal to a social ideology, or to a political or religious argument. Such blinkeredness can lead you into the world of the fanatic, who maintains loyalty and devotion to a cause despite matters of personal safety or social responsibility. Thus the gift of this star is the joy of long-term friendships and relationships based on your loyalty, but real loyalty is also seeing and accepting the shades of grey in the ideas and people that you love.

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Rukbat in the Archer

Rukbat is a small blue-green star in the knee of the left front leg of Sagittarius the Archer. Rukbat's symbolism is of solidness and reliability and as such this star represents a persistent stability in your general attitude. Rukbat thus acts like an anchor in your life, giving you a sense of identity, as well as consistency and strength, particularly in times of upheaval and change. Your reliability means that you allow ideas and dreams to grow through a fixed, one-step-at-a-time approach, methodical and particular. Additionally, due to your balanced approach to life, your family and friends rely on you as the one who is solid and consistent, the calm rock in the face of a storm. This equilibrium, however, can also be a tie that binds you fast to an idea long after it has outlived its usefulness, keeping you holding on when the time to let go has long passed. This reduces your ability to be flexible and to make the most of life's opportunities. It is important that you maintain your steady passion for your dream but do not become so stubborn or rigid that you restrict the development of your dreams. The foot of the Archer provides you with the dependability and steadiness of the Archer's aim. It also gives you the ability to move.

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Persistence motivation

On the day you were born, when the Sun was rising, Rukbat was also rising.

On the day you were born Rukbat was in paran with your Sun and so people see you as a person who is steady, reliable, and consistent in your attitudes. In your youth you learned the value of persistence from the male figures around you and you also learned about the destructive nature of being inflexible and stubborn. So one of your strengths is your ability to hold fast to an idea and to understand that hard work and persistence rewards you. Now others turn to you for that same consistency of attitude, relying on your level-headedness to help steer them through problematic times. The partner of stubbornness, however, is an uncompromising attitude and you can at times resist change simply because it is change. This is the shadow side of Rukbat and it alienates you from others. There is a fine balance between being strong-willed and determined and being obstinate and unbending. The key for you is movement. If it seems to you that all are against you or are demanding that you change, then move, not your ideas but your physical body. Change where you are sitting and slowly you will find you can change your mind, a little or a lot. Your weakness is that you can get jammed into one spot. Your strength is your ability to adapt to a new position when required.

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Struggling with social diversity

On the day you were born, when Venus was rising, Rukbat was also rising.

With Rukbat in paran with your Venus you find consistency in friendships and personal relationships. You are loyal to friends and are prepared to work hard in building and maintaining your personal connections. These are solid traits and they serve you well in life. You can, however, become easily fixed or rigid in your social views, disapproving of those who live different lives while at the same time holding some ideas or people as sacred or irreproachable. This black-and-white attitude, where some people or ideas are perfect while others are always seen as negative, can severely limit your own potentials. For such loyalty can turn into glorification and perceived difference can turn into dislike. The true gift of this star is not only in being steady in relationships but also in using the mobility of the mounted Archer to understand other people's lifestyles and opinions, thus giving you the ability to see life from another perspective. You can learn to bring this more flexible approach into your life simply by changing your chair, or by taking a different route to work, and shaking up the set patterns of how you move through your life. This opens the door for you to discover just how good a negotiator you are, for you will then consistently see the value in differing points of view.

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Sualocin in Delphinus

Sualocin is a small blue-green star in the western side of the dolphin, Delphinus. The Dolphin is a small constellation next to Aquila the Eagle in the northern hemisphere. The Dolphin has maintained its present form and shape for the last two thousand years and its stories are associated with helpfulness and playfulness. Thus the quality of this star gifts you with a natural talent or consummate skill in some area. How you choose to express it is up to you but it is a skill that gives you joy in its use. Additionally, you have a natural curiosity about the world that comes with the optimistic playfulness of this star. For you, happiness is exploring a new town or a new idea, discovering places that you have never seen. There is more to this star, however, than natural talent and curiosity about the world, for the Greeks considered this constellation to be linked with the Oracle of Delphi, suggesting an oracular quality to the star. In this regard Sualocin, as the main star of Delphinus, combines an intelligent playfulness with an aptitude for dealing with one's environment, as well as the ability to tap into instinctual knowledge, experienced by you as insights, or insider perspectives that appear to drop into your mind as you are going about your normal day.

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Good at selling an idea

On the day you were born, when Mars was setting, Sualocin was culminating.

This insightful and playful star is in paran with your Mars, so you have a natural understanding of how to enthuse other people, to know what will get them moving. But this star's quality is more than being an inspirational motivator. It can also indicate the trickster, the person who can make others believe what is only an illusion. This is perfect for a stage magician but can lead to problems in other areas. You can sell an idea to people, and get them to invest in it. You easily persuade others to follow you in your visions or goals and, if you use this skill with sincerity, you become a leader with a vision, inspiring other people to willingly add their time and resources to enable the achievement of a common goal. If used dishonestly, it reduces you to a con artist. You could apply this star's quality to your own family and friends, organising working bees to get a job done, or you could sell a dream to your community. You also have physical talents in terms of dance or sport, quick with your feet and reflexes, and you take pleasure in good-natured competition with others, reading the state of play, or your dance partner's next move. Remember, your ability to motivate others to follow your dreams, or support your projects, is one of your greatest natural assets, so use it with integrity and it will reward you with a fulfilling life.

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Alcyone in the Pleiades

Alcyone is the small blue-green star which is the main star of the Pleiades. It is part of an asterism of seven stars called The Seven Gods by the Babylonians. Across many cultures these stars were said to contain the power to protect a person from difficulties through magical incantations. Today this magical quality is felt as a deep interest in metaphysical subjects or that which is hidden or secretive. Having this star in your life means that you can use your inner eye, your 'third eye', to experience visionary and mystical abilities. You seek an explanation of what you sense through studying metaphysical subjects or mentoring yourself with a teacher. Another outlet for this inner quality is that it gives you an artistic vision, allowing your feelings to find expression in outer media, through colour, art, sculpture, music, or dance. Be cautious of your mystical vision, however, as it carries the danger of arrogance, fuelled by over-confidence or certainty in your opinions. Such a path can lead you to become ruthless in how you deal with people. Alcyone is a strong, powerful star indicating visions and mystical abilities, but recognise that not every intuitive insight you have is correct; therefore be open to advice from others. You are a pattern-seeker and you sense the inner connectedness of things or how things will unfold. As someone who wants to throw light into hidden areas, use your visions with care.

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A commentator on social ills

On the day you were born, when Mars was setting, Alcyone was rising.

This judgemental, insightful star reaches into your life through your Mars, your motivation and energy. This combination fuels your anger at what you see as social ills or imbalances in the world around you. You are motivated to correct them. This emerges from your early years when you suffered at the hands of others, where you were powerless to act against a perceived injustice. Whether these were serious injustices or merely taunts in the schoolyard, they stung you and frustrated you. As you grew older you became aware of how social or cultural situations can totally disempower an individual. This is the engine room of your motivation today. You now fight against injustices - for yourself or a member of your family, or for a larger group. As you take this stand, whether in your own private life amongst family or friends, or on a broader social level, you open yourself to criticism. In preparation for this, learn to see an argument from both sides. Your goal is to always strive for a broader vision. Your deep sensitivity to the misuse of power or customs means that you are, in essence, a critic or commentator on social ills. You can't fix all of them, so be practical and choose one area of focus. In this way you can make a difference.

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The gift of mysticism

On the day you were born, when the Moon was in lower culmination, Alcyone was culminating.

For you, this deep visionary star touches your Moon and you first saw all this mystical, insightful, and at times narrow-minded or judgemental, energy in your carers, the people who raised you. This had a wide range of expressions: either you were surrounded by mystics, people who believed they saw the future, or there were family members who were besieged by dogmatic extremists. What Alcyone gives you is a strong insightful figure in your life who taught you that there is more to this world than what can be weighed and measured, and who embodied for you the mystical, intuitive side of life. Today this star influences the way you reach out to others individually or collectively. For you see people's pain and have a sensitivity to the ugliness of life, thus you want to contribute to making the world a better place. Think about how you can do this. You have unique insight into human behaviour and the ways of the world. Focus this insight through your passions, whether working with local communities, engaging with networks of people, or making music or art. Remember you will still brush against the harsh side of this star in the opinions of others, so you also need to learn how to protect yourself. This is a gift of insight and mysticism, and it will lead you to encounter both the ugliness and the beauty in human nature.

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Acubens in the Crab

Acubens is a small white star in the southern claw of Cancer the crab. It held importance long ago as the constellation where the sun reached its longest day and captures this mythology by being linked with the fertility of the seasons, the cycles of life and death and life again. It was also known as the Gate of Men and was thought to be the place where souls entered into the earth's material realms. In today's world the expressions of Acubens can vary from indicating a belief in the idea of resurrection, where life is a cycle, to simply a deep interest in or respect for life, focused on birth, children and midwifery, the beginnings of new life, or equally the honouring of death as a process of life. In its simplest expression this star as fertility focuses on an understanding of the richness of life and that life comes from the constant flow of energy, whether this is the birth and death of organic matter or the creation and destruction of material objects. For the quality of this star is to hold all of these cycles as sacred and necessary. This star's themes are those of life and resurrection, as a gatekeeper, or as a midwife attending either the living entering this world or those departing from it.

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Breathing life into ideas

On the day you were born, when Mars was culminating, Acubens was setting.

This star that is focused on bringing things to life is combined with your Mars and thus you are motivated and driven to breathe life into an idea, a creation or an ideal. In one expression it can be a desire to reach out through art to give physical form to your own passions and ideas. In this regard Acubens fires your imagination with how objects and shapes balance and harmonise with each other and enables you to see or create beauty in these relationships. It gives you a love of architecture or design, where you not only admire but also seek to reproduce the interplay of material and light. In contrast to this artistic side, Acubens could be evident through your community ideals where the impact of your actions is so powerful that other communities suffer. If you are evangelical about a group's potential or an environmental issue, then you need to ensure that you keep a wide perspective, so that your actions in helping one group does not damage another. Remember you have the skill to understand the subtle relationships between people and events. Therefore it is up to you to use these skills for positive outcomes. You are a person who can bring ideas into shape and form, so work hard in this area but always with a sense of ethics, for Acubens sees sacredness in all life.

These are your five seed stars, the qualities that give you skills and resources, the unique attributes that you can rely on and develop. Learning about them is the first step on your journey of meeting the stars. Revisit them often and become familiar with what they represent for you. Each star quality has a heading to help you remember it and these are listed as a summary on the Contents page. Carry these stars forward in your mind as you read the rest of your report.

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The Stars that Shape Your Vocation

This chapter focuses on your vocation. See your vocation as your different desires or passions that pull you towards certain activities and lifestyles. These are the activities or causes that you care about, the areas in which you will allocate parts of your precious time, and they provide you with a sense of purpose and direction. The themes of your vocation stars are fundamental to your idea of what you stand for and what is important to you and how you spend your life, far more than just your job or career. It could, however, become your career or surface in your life as your passion or a cause to which you devote your free time. Hence your vocational stars suggest how you can lead a meaningful life. Pursuing the themes suggested by these stars may not bring you riches but they will allow you to feel that you are in your proper place, living a life of purpose. No matter what other paths you take in your life, your vocation stars will always pull you back to their themes. Over time these stars will become your compass, steering you towards the activities that give you your deepest fulfilment. They have a unique relationship to you, for they shape what influences you and how you influence others.

Now at this stage of your life your vocation should be visible, either as your career or through your other activities. You will recognise your vocation as being that area where you gain a sense of purpose and direction. In this regard these vocation stars will confirm the path that brings you fulfilment or help you focus more clearly on it.

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Schedar in Cassiopeia

Belief in yourself is one of the pillars of your being. This influences your personality, your ability to achieve, and guides your physicality, your ability to perform. What you bring to your life's work is the star story of the king, Cepheus, and the queen, Cassiopeia, both of whom orbit around the North Pole. Their story is one of dignity, strength, and balance, as well as perfect harmony and unity, for they represent the ultimate ideal of sovereignty. Both monarchs, however, fall from grace, the king through the slow corrosion of time and the queen through being accused of vanity. It is a story with a moral, that power is not eternal, and this star story defines the meaning of your life, the actions that bring you fulfilment.

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Being associated with physical endeavours

On the day you were born, when the North Node was setting, Schedar was culminating.

When younger you were in awe of sporting stars and athletes with their astonishing physical abilities, or actors or performers who could transform themselves through their craft. Now you appreciate intellectual performance, ideas or inventions. Yet it is you who are the actor, the performer, and even the athlete, for the modern day athlete is a performer on either the community or world stage. It is you who, armed with a deep belief in yourself or your ideas, can accomplish much. The journey of your life is thus one of hard work, yet through the skills or knowledge that you gain, you are recognised by others who hold you in high repute and respect your work. Sadly there are no shortcuts but, on the positive side, by working slowly towards your long-term goals, you bring those goals to fruition. Your only difficulty with this star story is complacency, assuming that your ideas will always be accepted. Such an attitude leads to a loss of respect and a time of losing your way in life, so it is best avoided.

If, at the moment, these achievements seem to be beyond you and you prefer to stand back and admire them in another, then look at what it is that you appreciate in this person and begin to nurture that in yourself. Hard work and dignity are the ways you move your life forward and, no matter what level of success you seek, if you strive to realise your goals with honesty and pride in your work, you will gain the inner contentment of living a meaningful life.

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Procyon in Canis Minor

Procyon is a bright green star in the hind parts of the little dog, Canis Minor. Canis Minor is known as the sitting dog or small dog and was associated with Gula, the Babylonian goddess of healing. In the northern hemisphere Procyon rises before Sirius, and thus its main claim to fame is the fact that it heralds the rising of Sirius, the brightest star in the sky apart from our sun. As it comes before Sirius, The Shining One, it suggests a quick rise to success or fortune. It is, nonetheless, success that cannot be relied upon, for this star is linked to transitions and change.

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Working with transitions

On the day you were born, when the North Node was in lower culmination, Procyon was culminating.

For you the quality of this star is linked to your vocation, the ideas that drive you through your day, and as such it connects your vocation to dealing with states of transition. You are sharply aware that life is cyclic and always in a state of change. You have learned, through experience, to harvest early gains because you understand that nothing stands still and what goes up can also come down. In finances this makes you a good trader, maintaining diversity and moving quickly from one opportunity to the next. Financial activity, however, is not the only option open to you, for Procyon is about transition, and although this applies to notions of money and fame, success and failure, it is also central to the cycle of life. So, with this star linked to your vocation you instinctively understand that being alive is also about being in transition and that if this process is halted, then life itself is in jeopardy. With this deep understanding you could place your skills and knowledge into the healing profession and help individuals make transitions in their health, or move gently into the arms of death. You could also be drawn to working with individuals who are forced to make job changes. In contrast, you understand transport systems and how a city runs, for a city is a living system in a constant state of movement and change. It is these living systems, or the needs of living systems, to which you are drawn and you excel at removing obstacles to restore the smooth running of the cycles that underpin life. On a daily level you prefer not to let time sort out problems. Instead you have found that your best approach is to be highly adaptable to any changing situations and to make your decisions on the move.

This chapter has focused on the vocation stars in your life, your different desires or passions that pull you towards certain activities and lifestyles. These vocational stars are with you your whole life and it is never to early or too late to engage with them so you can create a more meaningful life. Consciously applying these vocational stars to your world, as a career option or lifestyle choice, will give you a sense of being in your proper place and doing your correct work. Your life has meaning; these stars help you find that meaning.

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The Star Stories in Your Life

Your star stories are the narrative which provides the stage for your star qualities and your vocation stars. The cultural historian Thomas Berry believed that story was sacred and formed the foundation of all life. He saw life as the force of the cosmos that produces the order of the world, even our daily rhythms. In this way stories are never-ending and always repeating, like the waves on a beach. Some of these stories come from the stars and, like all stories, will make themselves apparent through re-occurring patterns of events, where you find yourself revisiting situations, or falling into old habit patterns. Knowing your star stories enables you to be alert at the beginning of the cycle before you find yourself slipping into old habit patterns with their predictable outcomes. Each story contains different characters but not all will be active all the time. People will step into and out of your story, seeming to take on various roles, just as you play different parts in their star stories. Being aware of your stories means that you can recognise these characters as they emerge and therefore you can engage with them in a far more resourceful manner. You also have more than one star story and at different times one story will take precedence over another. Hence as you read them, one story will probably be more obvious to you than the others. At another time a different star story will be of greater importance to you. All of them, however, are you.

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Sibling Rivalry: Struggling with the light and the dark image

Essence: Having a polarised perspective and thus seeing the other as directly opposite oneself.
Challenge: To avoid irritation with either over-optimism or over-pessimism in others.
Your Approach: Make the effort to understand the other's perspective as the resulting insight will enrich your position.

This is a story of the twins of the heavens. They have many different names but the Greeks knew them as Castor and Pollux, the two brothers that make up the constellation Gemini. They are symbolic of all polarities, the point of balance between black and white, the fragile nature of competition, and the understanding of antithesis. One twin is blessed living an uncomplicated life, never worried by internal conflict and full of self-assurance and optimism. The other twin is destined to wrestle with private demons that lurk in the shadows, plagued by self-doubt, and always struggling to be optimistic. You may not have any siblings, and thus have no blood sibling rivalry; nevertheless with this star story in your life you experience this tension between yourself and another or between you and a group. If you carry the role of the optimistic twin, then you handle life's difficulties with clear logic and reason, taking stock, rolling up your sleeves, and getting on with the job. Yet this ease does not come for free as you will encounter rivalry or competition in your life from a sibling, a friend or a colleague. This person is envious of you or dismisses you as shallow, accusing you of not understanding the deeper or more complex issues of the human psyche.

In contrast, if you take the role of the more sensitive twin who is forced to look inside to the shadows of an intricate and complicated soul, then you handle life's difficulties through art, music, poetry, drama or some form of self-expression to understand the events around you. Thus you are annoyed and angry, even envious, of those who seem to walk through life without the burden of emotional turmoil and inner-outer crisis. You find yourself constantly bumping up against individuals who are blissfully unaware of the emotional tensions, fears, and anxieties that plague your every step. This person infuriates you with their superficial attitude to life, as well as their seemingly endless good luck. While at other times, taking the other side of the polarity, you become frustrated by an individual or a group of people who appear to slow you down with their worries or anxieties, their apparent over-concern with issues of emotional well-being and their seeming inability to get on with the job at hand and move forward. On a larger, less personal note, this star story is also about those who have money, power, talent, health, and love and those who do not, the privileged and the underprivileged, those blessed by the gods and those plagued by them.

In short, the journey for you with this star story is for you to understand the other side. First, find the balance, the point of equilibrium, by understanding the role that you play and which side of this polarity you tend to occupy. Then appreciate or be sympathetic to the other. You will always favour one side of the story but both sides have merits. Those who appear to be blessed move forward easily, exploring ideas free from emotional complexity, external in their outlook, yet offering compassion. Those who are immersed in the emotionally complex issues of human life have the skill of the artist and can offer insights into human nature that the other never reaches. Both roles in this story of the starry twins are important for you.

Your connection to this story is through your natal North Node, which was culminating while Pollux was in lower culmination.

Your life is touched by Pollux and so, at times, you are filled with turmoil and misgiving. You or a loved one has had to deal with difficulties caused by changes to your social or economic status, and now self-doubt, uncertainty, worry, and anxiety run like a river through your daily life. Yet dealing with these difficulties gives you your greatest strength. You have learned to find solace in your spiritual beliefs and these beliefs sustain you with internal wisdom. From this wisdom you gain insight and understanding that goes beyond the surface of a problem. This can lead you to becoming a reformer, someone who can change the system because you have learned how to face emotional doubt and confusion. This is the noble expression of your story. The counterpoint of this nobility is that, if you become filled with the bitterness of life's adversities, you could find yourself slipping into the role of the zealot or the fanatic, unable to see the other perspective. This would be a waste of your natural ability for insight. You are perceptive when it comes to understanding the souls of others and in that capacity, you can help not only individuals but also systems.

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The Crown in the Sky: Holding both flowers and thorns image

Essence: To be drawn to new opportunities while at the same time understanding that nothing lasts forever.
Challenge: Your enthusiasm can lead you into idealism.
Your Approach: Be flexible and learn to adapt to emerging situations, and be prepared to let go of the old.

This is the story of a crown in the sky. This crown is made of a garland of flowers and is a marriage gift to a happy bride, and having your life involved with this starry story means your days will be filled with times of rapid success or advancement. Yet before this gift can be given there is a price to pay. For this is a story of being abandoned at the marriage altar, only to find one's true love who, in the Greek version of this star story, is a person of much higher social rank. This star story captures the fickleness of life and attainment only comes after times of turbulence where rejection is followed by total acceptance, and the upsets or crises of life's reversals are followed by joy.

With such a star narrative embedded in your life, rather than burying your head in the sand and ignoring it, it is important to understand its significance. There will be times for you when, through relationships or sheer luck, you get opportunities for advancement in your career or in your social status. These opportunities allow you to rise above and beyond your own and others' expectations for your future. Such opportunities should be seized with the full knowledge that sooner or later you will have to let something go. What you let go may be planned or unplanned, but it will be something you have to surrender, for you can really only settle into your new position or lifestyle by releasing something. By understanding this rhythm you can move forward confidently with your life, as long as you maintain the awareness that, in building on your successes, you will have to give up some part of your old life. Put simply, your life has the rhythm of give and take - and thus your accomplishments or fortunate gains will always be linked to endings. With such an up-and-down quality to your life it is important that you maintain your empathy with all the different social levels and people from your past. Avoid burning any bridges unnecessarily, for since your situation can suddenly change you never know when you will need an old bridge.

All in all, it is best if you adopt the ways of a quiet achiever, someone who can bend with the wind while at the same time steadily moving towards your goals without arrogance or aggrandisement. Having this style of flexibility will suit your life. Take hold of your opportunities when they are presented to you but maintain a constant awareness that not all things will last. This is the star story of the broken crown, but you can choose how it is to be broken, so think about what you want to relinquish, for the crown will not stay whole. Awareness of this is the key to this story. If you willingly make sacrifices to gain your goals, they will not feel like sacrifices but rather the conscious decisions of regular house cleaning. Expecting and dealing with such necessities helps you to understand the vagaries of life and how to maintain an adaptable life attitude. Indeed in this way you become a role model for people around you, teaching by example how to deal with the capricious surprises that life brings. This star story shows that you will be handed opportunities, sudden advancements in work or social status, but it also indicates that these advancements carry their own price tags. You hold a broken crown but in this starry story you can make it fit.

Your connection to this story is through your natal Sun, which was rising while Alphecca was culminating.

With this story linked to your life you understand how to embrace the difficulties with the good. Indeed, such an idea forms part of your own sense of identity and you think of yourself as someone who is adaptable and flexible. Nevertheless, you have found over the course of your life that you can be both the receiver of good fortune as well as someone who has struggled with the fickleness of existence, that part of life that seems to cause things to go wrong without rhyme or reason. Consider, then how you could have eased the stress of a difficult time by being less reckless and a little more philosophical or adaptable. Such knowledge becomes an invaluable resource for you, as it teaches you recognise options ahead of actions. Then you will discover that, along with helping yourself, you also help others deal with the changing stream of events or, at the very least, helps them to put life's vagaries into context. This ebb and flow can also affect your physical energy, feeling exhausted, while at other times being bundle of energy. Make it your practice to listen to your body and rest when you feel fatigued and capitalise on the times when you have great energy. That way you can pull yourself out of any hole into which you have accidentally fallen. Resilience is your middle name and this is the key to understanding the ebb and flow of your life.

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Self-Sacrifice: Salvation through service image

Essence: A willingness to sacrifice your energy for others.
Challenge: A tendency to undervalue your life and thus your own needs suffer.
Your Approach: Thoughtfully choose those to whom you willingly give, so can feel quiet satisfaction without exhaustion.

The main character of this star story is Berenice, a young Greek woman deeply concerned for the safe return of her beloved husband from the battlefield. To ensure his protection, Berenice sacrifices her hair to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The goddess is so touched by this selfless act that she not only grants Berenice her wish and returns her husband unharmed but also places the sacrificed hair into the sky as a constellation. Berenice's act of surrendering her hair may seem minor and unimportant to us today but in the time that she lived, a woman's hair was a sign of her strength, her virtue, and her honour. By offering her hair Berenice surrendered everything that she stood for, her dignity and her status in society, so that her husband would be given safe passage home. At its heart, then, this is the star story of a hero. Unlike the popular idea of superman, however, whose noble feats are performed in blazing moments of glory, this is the act of one who is unobtrusive, who works behind the scenes, whose mission of courage is undertaken away from the public eye and whose success is gained slowly through hard work over a long period time. Berenice never gives up on achieving her goals, but instead maintains a focused dedication to her cause.

This story of the quiet hero is your story and you, too, are drawn to supporting a loved one to succeed with their ambitions. You do this because you feel that what they offer is worthy of your assistance and because you think that others will benefit from their advancement. In this way their successes become your successes. Your desire to help can also be focused into a cause within your community where you will take on the jobs that need to be done, without ceremony or glory - invisibly, soundlessly, and with concentrated diligence. You are the one who works silently in the background in your place of work, willing to do the simple but necessary jobs that keep the group or workplace running. You are also involved with organisations that rely on volunteers and the goodwill of others in order to function efficiently. Each of these expressions gives you a sense of personal fulfilment and adds meaning to your life.

Indeed so strong is this story for you that you struggle to find meaning and satisfaction in your own successes unless they also contain a sacrifice, where you give up something precious. Deep down you recognise that nothing is really gained unless you make a personal sacrifice, that all things in life have a price and this price must be paid so you can move forward. Yet in truth this price is negotiable, for although sacrifice is a part of your story, you can choose its format, such as volunteering a few hours of your time on a weekend to help a charity. Such an act allows you to adopt the mantle of this story, the theme of selflessly giving your energy to others. Yet in wearing this mantle this star story suggests that you can make a real difference, for Berenice's action leads to the safe return of her beloved husband. So while you find personal satisfaction in lending support to another or a cause through your own discreet actions, it is for you to choose how and whom you help. By giving such support, you also pave the way for your own successes. You are a quiet hero.

Your connection to this story is through your natal Saturn, which was setting while Diadem was also setting.

This story of the quiet hero gives you a unique skill in that you are able to ignore your own position and look into the workings of the world. You quite naturally adopt a wide perspective and find that you naturally see through the eyes of others. You are therefore observant of the world and notice much that others do not see. Thus you see opportunities in the simple issues of life. These opportunities are unique and give you the ability to develop new devices or machines or communication instruments that, once developed, become essential in everybody's lives. You are also a natural anthropologist, deeply interested in people's stories and how they run their lives. With this focus you are, therefore, interested in the mundane everyday objects or activities of life. You take this interest into your career. This can be in developing products or you are a reporter, a social commentator, a news correspondent, someone who comments on the life of your community. For it is the ways of the common folk, the everyday routines that so many others dismiss, which contain a fascination for you. If you have only just suspected this in yourself then develop it, walk around and note what you see, jot down your ideas, allow yourself to see the bigger view. To have this star story in your life is the gift of being able to understand the workings of the world at a deeper level. Use it.

As you keep living these stories and recognise the roles you play, so you can use the star stories' momentum to empower you, steering rather than being steered. Remember your stories are like the waves on a beach, they visit the shores of your life frequently and you are always offered the chance to respond differently. So think about your stories and look around your life, at the events and the people, so you can to learn to recognise the themes. Invested with that knowledge, you can then actively make different choices, rather than allowing old patterns to reoccur. The waves on the beach help shape the beach, thus if you become an active part of your own stories you can help shape your own life.

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The Stories from the Stars report is the voice of stars in your life. The information contained in this report represents a different view of your astrological links to the heavens. These stars are the spark which is you, their qualities, their vocational attributes, and the narratives of the star stories, all filtered through the lens of your horoscope. You are, in a sense, born from a field of stars, and your natal planets, luminaries, and nodes touch part of this field by the turning of the earth, known as parans. It is through your horoscope that these ancient star themes colour your life. Sometimes the stars complement or expand on what you already know about your horoscope. In many cases, however, the stars add insights into your understanding of who you are.

This report therefore is a resource. The best way to make use of it is to focus on one or two of the stars that seem to apply to your current circumstances and then consciously take actions that use the stars' meanings in a positive way. As events occur in your life, return to this report for advice on how to deal with a situation, a recurring pattern, or decisions about your vocation.

When you look up at a starry night you may feel small, but by understanding your relationship with the stars, you can begin the journey of walking with them. Such a journey will give you the sense of what it is to be a part of a living cosmos. As you come to understand your stars through this report, go outside on a clear night and learn to see them in the night sky. Visually connecting with the stars can help you to understand your personal alliance with them.

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The journey of the "Stories from the Stars"

The stars have been a part of astrology from the very beginning. Their intermittent use, however, has meant that today, in contemporary astrology their meanings are covered with layers of cultural dust. This has led to their older meanings being judged as obscure or even fatalistic. As a result, the stars have tended to linger in the background of astrology as if they did not exist. Yet despite this fact, most people interested in astrology do look up at the starry night and wonder at the meanings of the stars and the constellational patterns, often developing a personal affinity to a star or constellation.

It was this awe at a starry night that begin the journey in the 1980s that has eventually lead to this report. In re-exploring the astrological role of the stars the original method of working with the stars known as parans was employed. Parans were used for the stellar theology of the Egyptians in the period of the Old Kingdom in the third millennium BCE, also by the astrologer-priest of the Babylonians in the seventh century BCE, and then much later by the astrologer-scribes and astrologer-mathematicians of the Hellenistic era in both weather and astrology. In working with parans thousands of charts and biographies were used to gain an understanding of the meaning of each star in a contemporary framework.

Parans, the original method

All the star meanings in Stories from the Stars are based on this research and using the method of parans. The full name of the technique as used by Vettius Valens in the first century CE is paranatellonta. He used the term to talk of constellations that rose, culminated or set at the same time and thus formed a sky narrative. Another important work in this period was by the first century polymath Claudius Ptolemy who wrote The Phases of the Fixed Stars by taking each individual star’s unique pattern of rising a setting. Later, in the fourth century CE, the astrologer simply known as Anonymous of 379, also wrote of parans, suggesting that the best way to work with stars and natal planets in the horoscope was by looking for the times when planets or luminaries were on a turning point - rising, culminating, setting or on the lower culmination point - at the same time as stars.

Star and planet parans are therefore not new to astrology. Parans, however, fell into neglect, for although they are visually quite logical, they are impossible to list in a simple table format for general use, even for a set date, as they are sensitive to latitude shifts. Today however, since computers can easily reconstruct the sky for a time of birth, parans can be returned to the astrologer’s tool kit.

Parans, however, are a little different to the other components of a horoscope in that they are not sensitive to changes in your moment of birth but are instead based on your day of birth. To find all the parans for a given day all the planets and luminaries are moved through an entire 24 hours. The actual day is taken from sunrise before your birth to sunrise after your birth. In that period every time a planet or luminary is on one of its turning points then the sky is checked to see if a star is also on one of its turning points. If so, then that natal planet or luminary is in a paran relationship to that star.

The Stories of the Stars report is created first by finding all these parans but also by filtering them using the features of your own natal horoscope and then combining them with the star’s current position with its own annual cycle with the sun. This unique blending produces the significant parans for your horoscope on the day you were born.

The Stars used in this report

On a clear moonless night in the country you may be able to see around 9,000 stars. A key question to ask, however, is what stars are important for astrology. There are 15 quite bright stars in the sky with a magnitude of 1 or less —the lower the magnitude the brighter the star, -1 is very bright, 1 is bright, 6 or more is dim-to-invisible to the naked eye. It is easy to think that the brighter stars or those in the zodiac would have more meaning. However, research into people’s lives and their stars revealed that it is the stars that are heavy with mythology which carry the greatest astrological significance.

Hence of the 9,000 stars in the sky, there is a set of sixty-four stars, all rich in mythology, which appear to share their myths and meaning through parans to the planets or luminaries of a natal horoscope. It is this set of sixty-four stars that has been used for Stories from the Stars.

Learning the sky and finding your special stars

Once you start thinking about your stars, you may wish to see if you can find your special stars in the sky. An easy way to do this is to use your smart phone or tablet, for there are many inexpensive apps that you can download which enable you to simply point your phone or tablet at the sky and turn it into a sky map and identify the names of stars or planets. These will also help you learn the sky. If you do wish to learn the sky, then start with an obvious constellation, for example Orion, and learn to find it at different times of the year along with the constellations that are located near to it. In this way, using this gate keeper constellation, you can slowly begin to widen your knowledge of the sky. You can also download the free planetarium software call Stellarium by typing its name into a search engine on the web. This will allow you to play with the sky and animate it for any location which also helps you become familiar with the sky.

If you wish to do your own astrological research into fixed stars and parans, then consider the software Starlight, ( which is the software which Bernadette Brady developed out of her research work to help astrologers learn to work with the night sky.

Images used in this report

The image on the front cover of the report is Johann Bayer’s Capricorn, Uranometria, 1607. The images of the constellations for Chapter II and III have been adapted from those of Sidney Hall (1788 – 1831). The images in Chapter IV, the Star Stories, were created by the authors.

Further reading for exploring the stars

Current Astrological Texts on Stars:
Brady, Bernadette. Brady's Book of Fixed Stars, 1998.
Brady, Bernadette. Star and Planet Combinations, 2008.
Non Astrological Texts on Stars:
Allen, Richard Hinckley. Star Names Their Lore and Meaning, 1963.
Cairns, Hugh, and Bill Yidumduma Harney. Dark Sparklers, Yidumduma's Aboriginal Astronomy, 2003.

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Data Page

Astrological Data used for Stories from the Stars
for Oprah Winfrey (female)
birthdate: 29 January 1954 local time: 4:30 am
place: Kosciusko, MS (US) U.T.: 10:30
89w35, 33n03 sid. time: 13:04:14

Planets and Selected Stars and Parans
planet ecl.long. rectasc. decl. phase paran
Sun 59'35 0°00'S 311°26' 18°01'S
Moon 31'57 4°00'S 241°45' 24°59'S
Mercury 19°09'28 1°44'S 322°09' 16°44'S
Venus 51'19 1°09'S 311°36' 19°09'S
Mars 23°34'38 1°01'N 231°27' 17°42'S
Jupiter 16°39'23 0°23'S 75°33' 22°24'N
Saturn 02'40 2°28'N 217°27' 12°11'S
Uranus 20°18'52 0°30'N 112°03' 22°24'N
Neptune 26°03'46 1°43'N 204°48' 8°28'S
Pluto 24°09'04 10°04'N 150°04' 22°56'N
Moon's Node 23°14'47 0°00'N 295°05' 21°27'S
Ascendant 29°41'38 0°00'N 269°40' 23°27'S
Medium Coeli 17°25'04 0°00'N 196°03' 6°50'S

Polaris 27°56'25 66°06'N 27°50' 89°03'N pa Venus (Cul-Set, 0° 0')
Rukbat 15°59'33 18°22'S 290°11' 40°42'S alh Sun (Rise-Rise, 0°29')
Venus (Rise-Rise, 0°29')
Sualocin 16°44'21 33°02'N 309°22' 15°45'N Mars (Cul-Set, 0°13')
Alcyone 29°21'28 4°03'N 56°12' 23°58'N Mars (Rise-Set, 0°14')
Moon (Cul-LCul, 0°21')
Acubens 13°00'38 5°05'S 134°00' 12°02'N Mars (Set-Cul, 0°28')
Schedar 09'03 46°37'N 9°28' 56°17'N Node (Cul-Set, 0°51')
Procyon 25°09'45 16°01'S 114°14' 5°21'N Node (Cul-LCul, 0°52')
Pollux 22°35'31 6°41'N 115°38' 28°08'N Node (LCul-Cul, 0°31')
Alphecca 11°39'08 44°19'N 233°11' 26°52'N Sun (Cul-Rise, 0°17')
Diadem 19'13 22°59'N 196°57' 17°46'N ac Saturn (Set-Set, 0°23')

Explanation of codes in the column 'phase': "ar/ac/as/al": The star or planet was angular in the birth chart, i.e. it was rising (ar), culminating (ac), setting (as) or in lower culmination (al), within an orb of 1° at horizon or meridian. "pa": The star is circumpolar as for your birth place it will never set. In the Star Map (page 3) it is located above the horizon in the polar circle. "alh": The star is in a period where it is above the horizon only during the daylight hours (Ptolemy's "arising but lying hidden").