Ophiuchus is the Serpent holder or the snake charmer, the snake is a constellation in it own right called Serpens. Another name for this constellation is Serpentarius, which I think is a far more evocative and pleasant sounding name, apart from it being easier to spell.

The myth surrounding this constellation is that of Aesculapius, a medicine man so gifted that he was able to perform the miraculous feat of bringing the dead back to life. Zeus was so enraged by this mere physician playing god that he destroyed him with a thunderbolt. Apparently however, it was Hades that provoked this, complaining that fewer souls were being sent down to the underworld as a result. The centaur Chiron raised Aesculapius and his mother is said to be Corvus the crow. That is interesting as the Corvus constellation hasn’t got a great reputation either.

It is suggested Aesculapius as its other derivative Asklepios, came from words meaning “applying” and “making limbs gentle”. It is also associated with the words hermit, gentle, kind, calm and soothing. 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. You could say that Aesculapius used this blood as medicine. The coiled up snake can also be seen as the Kundalini, the word itself in Sanskrit means “coiled up”. The igniting and harnessing of this life force is the aim of witch doctors and shamans. This will be done through the use of drumming, trance and hallucinogens. This takes us back to this constellation being known as the snake charmer. The snake is hypnotized by the playing of a musical instrument, the old fashioned version of trance music.

Of course integral to the shamans role is inducing altered states of consciousness by the use of entheogens. Some have said these are the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden and of course the snake as Lilith was the temptress there. The snake is said to represent wisdom. But this is occult (meaning hidden) wisdom for a reason. Just like they say that sudden igniting of the Kundalini can send you mad, then also too much of this wisdom flooding the brain can do the same. Together this is enlightenment. Sex and spirituality is a powerful force, it hits us like a thunderbolt.  The tarot card associated with Ophiuchus is the one that most people fear. “The Lightening Struck Tower”, but a thunderbolt can either kill us or in the case of Frankenstein, bring us back to life. This is why western society is desperately in need of modern medicine man now. We need the guidance and the soothing hands to help us get over the shock.


The earliest snake charmers were traditional holistic healers. There has always been a need to heal the rift between the body and the mind and this was done through the use of herbs, magic, divination, crystals and prayer. Now the split has become even wider, but it’s not really been since the discovery of Chiron in 1977 that alternative medicine in the west has really taken off.

It is easy to see how the negative associations with Serpentarius came about. Firstly; playing God and finding god within yourself and using the power for your own ends is very threatening for the established Gods (Zeus). Secondly, messing around with drugs and spells when one is not a trained Shaman is actually very dangerous. You are opening portals not only to helpful spirit guides, but also the earthly sprites realm. Some of these like to play tricks with you and mess with your mind. The worst-case scenario is letting in quite nasty demons.

This is true for us sexually too. Aesculapius means to open up. Surgery comes to mind, but another way to enter someone body is through sex. This is the reason promiscuity can harm women more than it does men. They too are portals. Having sex with very negative men can be extremely damaging to their soul. But on the positive side, having sex with enlightened and powerful men, even loads of them, can be fantastically empowering. Losing their seed weakens men whereas receiving it strengthens women. While we are on the subject, I think it’s rather funny that the cock is connected to this constellation. The bird, (not the member) was sacred to Aesculapius and was sacrificed at his altar. The cock’s crow wakes people from their sleep, symbolically resurrecting them. The serpent is phallic enough as it is without any more rude associations…

According to Robson sexually these people are doomed. For the constellation in general they are “passionate, blindly good-hearted, wasteful and easily seduced nature, unseen dangers, enmity and slander” [1].

The Fixed Stars

Ophiuchus spans all of Sun sign Sagittarius. Precession means the star moves forward through the tropical  zodiac at one degree every 72 years. The positions below are for the year 2000.

09°14′ Sagittarius. For HAN It brings trouble and disgrace“. [3]
17°58′ Sagittarius. For SABIK we get “perverted morals and success in evil deeds“. [2]
22°27′ Sagittarius. For RAS ALHAGUE it “gives misfortune through women, perverted tastes and mental depravity“. [5]
29°45′ Sagittarius. For SINISTRA it’s associated with depravity and with the Moon “Lustful, wanton, infamous, scandalous, addicted to sorcery and poisoning“. [4]

Reinterpreting this for the 21st Century now. Either these people are sluts, possessed by porn demons and riddled with negativity from bedding too many losers, OR they are super powerful, magical sex Gods/Goddesses who practice tantra and can heal their lovers after one good root with their snake.

Ras Alhague

The most important star is Ras Alhague in the head, followed by Sabik in the right leg, Han in the left knee and Sinistra in the right hand. Not much has been written about it’s smaller stars apart from the few quotes written above. Out of these, the sinister Sinistra seems to get the worst deal because it also gives an immoral, mean and slovenly nature“. [4] In Italian sinistra means left, so it’s odd that it is given to the right hand. This could be a reference to right brain thinking.

“It has a Saturn like character, and some of the undesirable Venus qualities are also present. Connected with these are Neptunian tendencies, making the native especially prone to infectious contamination caused by toxins. People thus influenced are easy going in the use of medical drugs, hallucinatory drugs stimulating foodstuffs, too much good living and overindulgence in tobacco and alcohol. …. Besides the lower emanations, there are supposedly higher influences attributed to this star, ‘though only very few people are able to attune themselves to these influences’. [6]

I would say its higher influences are those I have already mentioned while talking about the constellation as a whole.

Ras Alhague Sun

“Reserved, thoughtful, studious, suspicious, solitary, reputation for athletics, little wealth, careless of public opinion”[5]. The Sun brings great creativity and takes away some of the shady edge of the serpent. It also brings great sexuality and charm. There could be a mental health handicap which has to be overcome. Still the wisdom of the snake creates innovators, but also brings notoriety wanted or unwanted. The subjects may be uncomfortable and secretive in public, and may forever slither out of grasping hands.

Singer Dionne Warwick; American singer also became TV show host and Ambassador for health. Coquettish Vanessa Hudgens; High school musical actress whose topless and nude pictures appearing on the internet did not please her Disney bosses. George VI; Reluctant King, suffered from a stammer, hated public speaking. Kenneth Branagh (Sabik); Acclaimed British actor known for his modern film adaptations of Shakespheare’s plays. Connie Francis; Italian/American singer wanted to study medicine but pushed into singing by her domineering father. Was raped in a hotel room and almost killed. The mafia killed her brother. Diagnosed manic-depressive and was at times suicidal. Connie continues to sing today and is known for her tearful, emotional vocal style. Frank Sinatra; Italian /America crooner, suffered with manic depression. Sought solitude but then felt lonely. Osho(Sabik); Indian mystic sex Guru. Contraversial, contradictory yet spellbinding.

Ras Alhague Moon

Public prominence in religious matters, favorable for gain” [5]. Generally this star brings as mentioned above “misfortune through women, perverted tastes and mental depravity”. Which in some cases one can really see in some of the list below since the Moon is women after all. There are some deaths through overdoses and accidents by just not getting medical attention in time. This could be seen as “misfortune”, especially for John Belushi. The rather extreme use of the words “depravity” and “perverted” would be criticism from stuffy traditionalists for those involved in taboo relationships. Van Gogh was probably thought “depraved” by his sensible and wealthy family. If these people don’t have addiction problems themselves them they may find themselves in relationship with someone who is.

Tom Hanks/Wilson Davison (02’); Enduring, 24 year Hollywood marriage between actors. Al Pacino (03’); Italian American actor famous for playing mobsters.  Parents divorced when he was two. Stared smoking age 9, drinking and pot smoking in his teens but never hard drugs. Grew up in the Bronx. Rejected from Actors studio as a teen, but through perseverance was finally accepted and became the huge success he is today. Never married. 3 children.  Tom Robinson (07’); Gay activist who eventually married a woman and fathered a child by her. K T Tunstall (07’); American singer-songwriter and lesbian activist. Alexander Fleming (16’); Biologist who accidentally discovered the worlds first anti-biotic and changed history. Tiger Woods (16’); Philandering celebrity golf champion. Vincent Van Gogh (20’); Dutch painter ahead of his time who died in poverty from a self-inflicted gun wound age 37. Relationships with a 1st cousin (unrequited) and a prostitute caused his father to disown him. User of highly alcoholic Absinthe, which is thought to have aggravated his bi-polar condition. Pattie Boyd (22’); Model, photographer and rock muse. Married two guitar giants, George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Left Clapton due to his alcoholism. Claims to have inspired “Something” by Harrison and “Layla” by Clapton amongst others. Donald Trump (29’); Business magnate and TV personality. Famous for his outspokenness, his beauty pageants and having an extravagant lifestyle. Natasha Richardson; British actress and member of the Redgrave theatrical family. Died aged 45 of a head injury received during a skiing lesson. Glenda Jackson; British actress turned socialist politician  High profile back-bencher and critic of Tony Blair. John Belushi; American actor. Died aged 33 of an overdose. The fatal “speedball” (An injection of heroin and cocaine) was administered by a female friend. Jennifer Aniston; American Actress. Estranged from her mother for ten years after she wrote a revealing book about her daughter. Intense and complicated relationship with Brad Pitt with Angelina playing the part of the serpent.

Other Ras Alhague

RAS ALHAGUE ASCENDANT Cheiro, Jamie Lee-Curtis, Diana Princess Of Wales (Sabik), Bob Dylan, L Ron Hubbard, Bob Geldof, Tom Waits, Zac Efron, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Hans Christian Anderson, Viscount Linley, Marie Curie, Connie Francis.

RAS ALHAGUE MERCURY “Unpopular attitude and criticism through religion, philosophy or science; difficulties in marriage and quarrels fostered by others, trouble through opposite sex, not very good for gain” [5]. Mouthy comediennes Bett Midler, Goldie Hawn, Tracy Ulman and Jamie “The Body” Curtis. Gifted comic writer Nancy Mitford well known for her particular brand of teasing humour. Famous “Madame” Heidi Fleiss. Murderers Dennis Nilsen and Erik Mendendez. Bill Hicks, Robert Kennedy, Douglas Fairbanks, Jude Law, Janet Street-Porter, Bjork (Sabik), Christina Aquilera.

RAS ALHAGUE VENUS. Quick mind, well educated, cautious, secretive, suspicious” [5]. Composer Ennio Morricone, gifted Astrologer and palmist Cheiro, feminist writer Germaine Greer, Michael Hutchence, Delta Goodren, Jane Fonda, Rutger Hauer, Lewis Carroll, Winston Churchill.

RAS ALHAGUE MARS.Trouble through writings, public censure in connection with religion, science or philosophy” [5]. Carl Jung, adulterous Prince Charles, leukemia survivor and Tenor Jose Carreras, irreverent gay comic and DJ Kenny Everett, Doris Day, Placido Domingo (Sabik), Judy Garland, Christopher Reeve (Sabik), Bill Hicks, Christopher Lee, Lewis Carroll, Nigella Lawson, Avril Lavigne.

Obviously not all the bad sides are coming out here in the celebrities and what strikes me is the amount of female comedians it seems to yield with Mercury. This is only what came out of my database there maybe more. It certainly shows healing and charming by words and incantation. There are some spellbinding voices here too.  But apart from Prince Charles, Madame Heidi Fleiss and Tiger Woods there is not really any overt sluttery amongst these examples, though I detect a tinge of kinkiness… King George in a rubber suit anyone?

1,2,3,4,5. The Fixed stars & Constellations in Astrology. Robson. p.54, p.199, p.172, p.208, p.193.
6. Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.72-73.

13th Zodiac Sign Ophiuchus – Fixed Stars and Precession
<Home > Fixed Stars > Constellation Ophiuchus

Author: Marina Macario

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  1. Marina really cool post. I was wondering how close the orb has to be for a conjunction. What is the allowable orb for conjunctions? For instance my sun is at 15 d sag. I have no other planets in sag.


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    • About one degree orb for these stars. It will depend what year you were born, for example, in 1970, Sabik was at 16°11 Sagittarius. This is what Robson says for you: Sabik “With Sun: Sincere, honorable, scientific, religious and philosophical interests, unorthodox or heretical, moral courage.”

      You can check out all the stars at Anne Wright’s website, Constellations of Words.

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