The head of Medusa from Greek mythology is represented by the infamous Algol fixed star at 26º Taurus. As part of constellation Perseus, Algol was regarded by the ancients as the most evil star in the heavens, but is its reputation warranted? If Algol was truly so malevolent then we would find it common in serial killers. We just don’t find it there, though it is present in some dictators. But it is true that Algol has a connection with death and pain. The medical term Algology means the study of pain.
“You will not be able to ignore suffering and horror, or brush it aside… The Algol placement on a chart insists upon a confrontation and assimilation of these harsh aspects of human experience in this lifetime.….Algol, like other stars, confers tasks upon us which, if comprehended and accepted, offer great rewards of power and creativity. These stellar challenges are not to be feared, but understood and used in a positive manner.” Diana Rosenberg .
Algol is situated in the constellation Perseus, where this hero is depicted slaying the gorgon Medusa’s head off. Algol is positioned in the forehead of Medusa. I like to think of it as her third eye. The ancients mistrusted it’s blinking and inexplicable 8 hour disappearances. But it turns out it is a binary star, eclipsing itself every 3 days. Mysterious indeed and only adds to its allure. The poor star appears to die, but then it is reborn. Medusa’s deathly look is inspired by the appearance of a corpse. The skin dries and tightens over the bones of the face making its eyes huge, wide and starey.
The Arab word for alcohol means “the Demon”. Alcohol comes from the word Algol. Alcohol disintegrates and dries us out, so it literally petrifies. It turns us into zombies, we loose our heads and our sovereignty. It is easy for a dictator to brainwash a nation of drunks. At the same time crime is also fueled by alcohol, giving us a false sense of bravado. Morals become loosened. The same religion that has wine on the altar paradoxically blames it for all manner of evil doing…“The shaft of the abyss, from which smoke rises like a great furnace, reeks of alcohol. That woman of the Apocalypse of Saint John, dressed in purple and scarlet and adorned in gold, precious stones and pearls, drinks alcohol. She holds a golden cup in her hands full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. That is the great whore whose number is 666.” 
Algol threads the fine line between life and death, madness and wisdom. Wine can make you warm and sociable at parties or turn you into a lecherous fiend. It can be a truth serum, yet it can make you tell the filthiest lies. When alcohol pierces our aura it can let in those evil spirits, they take possession of us, we have been invaded. In the Greek myth, being invaded by Poseidon (Neptune) was exactly what happened to Medusa in the first place. Neptune is of course also associated with alcoholics and the blurring of boundaries between worlds. So the God of the sea raped Medusa, but what is more horrifying was Pallas Athena siding with the Gods in condemning her. This important part of the story is often skipped over.
Medusa started out as a temple Virgin. She was beautiful, charming and admired for her glorious, long, glossy hair. Poseidon, overcome by lust, ravished her in the temple. Pallas Athena was not amused so she cursed Medusa for defiling her sacred grounds. Out of jealousy or maybe just to prove she was one of the boys, Pallas turned Medusa into the hideous serpent headed gorgon with the petrifying stare she is famous for. Brave Perseus succeeded in decapitating her and returned her head to Pallas Athena for use as a powerful shield in battle, the Aegis. Medusa became even more powerful after her death (see Diana), together with her rival Pallas Athena she became invincible. Maybe there is a message here, when former adversaries are united they become stronger. Algol is also definitely a star of transformation, as Jamie found in it’s connection with the genome project. The blinking binary star goes from light to dark in cycles, like Persephone. So she is another resurrection Goddess and like Persephone she was also raped by a God…
The serpents in Medusa’s hair connect her to the Ophiuchus constellation (the snake charmer) also known as the medicine man. I wrote that “Medicine comes from the same root as Medusa, the name of the sorceress Medea also comes from this root. The blood from Medusa’s left side was poisonous and the right side was used to heal.”
So the paradox again, if you dabble in shamanism it can kill you or enlighten you. Medusa’s blood also gave birth to Pegasus, where lies another story about hubris. Both the Lilith star and the Lilith constellation of Ophuichus have the darkest reputation within the fixed stars. And both feature…serpents. What is it about serpents?
With Ophuichus the serpent is about linking sexuality to enlightenment, and that seems to worry Christianity. With Algol it is more about taking that wisdom and becoming your own god. Now science is the worry. Nowhere is this Medusa hubris more evident than in the medical profession, where we have doctors playing god with genetics.