Prince William's Venus and the 'Fixed Star' Algol



Definition: [Prince William Horoscope] Various astrologers, for examples, authors 14 and 15 in the Horoscope Collection, mention that in William's birth sky Venus is conjoined to the star Algol, The Eye of the Gorgon.

Algol, Gorgonia Prima, has a particularly unfortunate reputation in astrology. Its other names are the Ghoul, or the Demon Star. It is said to be the most evil star in the heavens, bringing with it misfortune, and even sudden death. It represents the blinking eye of the Gorgon, Medusa, slain by the Greek hero Perseus who holds her severed head in his hand in his constellation. In the famous Ancient Greek tale, it is said that Medusa's gaze could turn all who saw her to stone. Instead of hair, serpents coiled around Medusa's head - a punishment from the Goddess Athena. This association with Algol has lead one author to describe William as the Antichrist. However, it should be noted that in classical astrological lore there is no information on any effects of the specific  conjunction of Venus and Algol .

The Algol Conjunction: Algol is said to be in conjunction with Venus because Algol lies at 26TAU10 [26 degrees and 10 minutes of arc from the start of the tropical zodiac sign of Taurus in astrological notation], whereas at William's birth Venus lay at 25TAU40 [tropical zodiac]. This is less than 1 degree separation, and the orb of Algol is normally taken to be one degree.

You can see how this works on the view of the Solar System below left. Looking out from the Earth along the white arrow towards Algol , Venus [the light gray colored planet at about 12 o'clock relative to the Sun ] appears almost to eclipse the star. However... below right is a chart of the night sky at the exact moment of William's birth. The star Algol is nowhere near Venus. It's not even part of the constellation which Venus is seen against. The star Algol is Beta Persei, in other words it lies in the constellation Perseus, the Hero, whereas Venus at William's birth lies in Taurus, the Bull. Venus and Algol are more than twenty degrees apart. [If you look at William's north sky star map, Algol lies just on the northern horizon at William's birth, whereas Venus can not be seen.] In fact Venus is much closer to the star cluster of the Pleiades.


The solar system at the exact moment of the birth of Prince William, viewed from the North Celestial Pole, showing the paths of the planets and the positions of the planets and the star Algol. [The planets are not shown to scale, as they would be too small to see. The distance to the star Algol is also not to scale either, as a scale drawing would make the solar system too small to see. Algol lies 93 light years from Earth, so the picture would have to be 76 000 times larger for the distance to Algol to be drawn at the same scale in which the solar system is shown. However, the close angle of Algol with respect to Venus and the Earth is an accurate representation. Venus appears to get in the way, hence the conjunction.] [Note: the orbits have been scaled slightly to separate out the planets. The positions of the planets in their orbits are accurate.]


A view of Venus's position in the sky at the moment of Prince William's birth. Algol is in the next constellation up in Perseus. Much closer, within 5 degrees is the star cluster of the Pleiades [In fact Venus would not be visible from London at the moment of William's birth, as it would have set, but from elsewhere on Earth it would be possible to observe it as above against the stars of the constellation Taurus. The above picture would be the horizon view from the North Pole, except the Sun would not have set as yet at William's birth time at the North Pole, so you still wouldn't be able to see Venus. If you could turn off the Sun for a second you would see Venus in this position against the stars.]

Stellar Latitude: How can this be the case? How can Algol be said to be within a degree of Venus for Prince William and yet in fact be nowhere near Venus.

The cause of this confusion is the difference between a 2-dimensional system for describing star positions, and the 3-dimensional position of the stars themselves. The position relative to the zodiac sign 26TAU10 only gives a longitude for the star and not a latitude. It gives a longitude along the ecliptic.

To see what I mean by latitude for a star take a look at the view of the solar system below right. The view is from 20 degrees above the ecliptic. All the planets lie within 7 degrees of the ecliptic except Pluto which has a path with an angle of about 17 degrees to the ecliptic. So Pluto has a maximum latitude of 17 degrees - it's about at that maximum in the picture.

In fact this view would be the exact view of the solar system if you were at the star Algol at Prince William's birth and had a powerful enough telescope. Below left is the view of the inner solar system only, from Algol at William's birth. Earth can clearly be seen. It's behind Venus [colored light gray], but because Algol's view point of the solar system is above the ecliptic Venus doesn't get in the way. It's only an alignment in 2-D. So, it is true that at Prince William's birth Venus is in about as close an alignment with Algol, as seen from Earth, as it ever gets, but because of Algol's latitude above the ecliptic that actually isn't very close.

I don't think William has too much to worry about.


The Inner Solar System viewed from a point above the ecliptic, Heliocentric latitude 20 degrees, longitude of 142 degrees, at the exact moment of Prince William's birth. With a powerful enough telescope this is the view that the inhabitants of a planet circling Algol would have of our solar system. Whilst Venus [in light gray] lies in front of the Earth, because Algol is above the solar system ecliptic any Algolians can see over Venus and observe our blue planet. [The star Algol lies about 20 degrees above the plane of the ecliptic. At William's birth, Venus is at RA 3 hrs 35 mins, Dec +17 deg 23 mins as seen from Earth. Algol is at RA 3 hrs 8 mins 10 seconds, Dec +40 deg 57 min 20 seconds [J2000]]. [Note: the orbits have been scaled slightly to separate out the planets. The positions of the planets in their orbits are accurate.]


The Solar System viewed from a point above the ecliptic at the exact moment of Prince William's birth. This is a view of the solar system edge on and tilted up a little so the planet's paths are all visible. All the planets paths lie close to the plane of the ecliptic, the ring path of the Earth around the Sun, except Pluto which has a very titled path around the Sun. The path is tilted at 17 degrees relative to the ecliptic, so that Pluto's maximum latitude above or below the ecliptic is 17 degrees. The inner solar system part of this view is shown at a larger scale on the left. [Note: the orbits have been scaled slightly to separate out the planets. The positions of the planets in their orbits are accurate.]

The Fixed Stars and the Tropical Zodiac: There is another big problem with trying to use a fixed star this way in William's astrology. The problem is that this is both having our astrological cake and eating it. Remember, the star Algol has specific characteristics of misfortune associated with it. Hence the astrological concern if a planet gets 'close' to it during a birth.

What is the problem with that? Isn't that the basis of astrology, that the stars, or more generally the constellations of stars, conjoin with planets? Well, no it isn't. In Western astrology, it is a Tropical Zodiac "sign" which is said to conjoin with a planet, not a constellation. And the Tropical Zodiac "signs" and the constellations are no longer in the same place. So when the Sun is said to be transiting Cancer, for example, it is actually transiting the constellation Gemini - it will be observed to be lie close to the stars of Gemini as seen from the Earth. But we completely ignore the influence of any of the stars of Gemini, notably Castor and Pollux, the Heavenly Twins, and for that matter the Gemini stars of Wasat, Mekbuda, Alhean, Mebsuta and Propus, on the Sun in Western astrology.

We can't have it two ways. Either the Tropical Zodiac "sign" rules all, in which case we can not logically say anything about the properties of any fixed stars as we are completely ignoring their influence in all the signs. Or the powers of the stars rule, in which case we have to throw away the Tropical Zodiac "sign" and use the real constellations, i.e. the Real Solar Zodiac. My money would be on the stars every time. It's called Astrology after all.

Prince William's Zodiac Charts:

1:   Zodiac Charts: The Outer Solar System 
2:   Zodiac Charts: The Inner Solar System 
3:   Prince William's Ascendant 
4:  Prince William's Venus and the Fixed Stars: Algol and the Pleiades 
5:   Prince William's Natal Sky - the Stars and Planets of his Birth 
6:   Prince William's Chart Systems - View Points and Zodiacs 
7:  Prince William's House Systems - Alcabitius through Vehlow 
8:  Prince William's 21st Birthday - Solar Return Charts

Prince William's Web Horoscopes:

   Prince William's Horoscopes 

© Dr Shepherd Simpson, Galactic Astrologer


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