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 Algol’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 the eyes huge, wide and staring.
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 fuelled 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. 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 Ophiuchus 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.
Creating monsters, Frankenstein, splicing, plastic surgery, mutation, genetic manipulation, playing god, weird heads, unusual hair, abnormal sex drive, perversion, warped mind, exaggerated demeanour, deformities, a creation that becomes destructive to it’s maker, regeneration, montaging, potency versus impotence, brewers droop, striking, stunning, spine-tingling, mind blowing, getting out-of-your-head, mind over matter, ultra-creative, being your own god, soothing pain, caring for the suffering, haunting voice, speaking for the under-dog, exorcising ones demons, working with the shadow.
Algol rules heads of states and beheading, it rules treason and replacing one ideology with another. The head contains the brain so it’s about wisdom and of course snakes in the hair represent higher knowledge, even antennae also. Even the product of Medusa, Pegasus signifies far out ideas way ahead of their time. I think Algol is also about information that blows your mind. This is where Algol becomes horrific, when our intelligence evolves quicker than our consciousness.
Algol & Artists
Algol is prominent among those who work in the mass media. Again we get a connection with Medea, medicine, anti-venom, snakes. Media is communications and speaks out. This is not surprising since Medusa was known for her screaming mouth and protruding tongue. It also rules the throat. The most notable example I could find was Eric Burden of The Animals. The singer of “The House of the Rising Sun” is highly respected for his incredible blues voice. Now with Mercury (07’), plus Venus, Jupiter and Uranus ALL conjunct Algol he should’ve been pure evil. Instead it’s all in his voice. Raw, powerful and gritty, not pretty. But his delivery sears right into your soul.
This star often produces great art because of the ability for the artist to constantly reinvent themselves. The subject will also feel indestructible and like a god, immortal. This gets them into trouble because they can get intoxicated by their own power. This is why this star has a reputation for dramatic accidents. The other danger is of course loosing their head through alcohol or drugs. The invasion of Neptune gives a great imagination, but it can also confuse and upset. Another trait that seems to come with Algol is a certain outspokenness and blunt words. They have a tendency to rub people up the wrong way and are often demonised as a result.
Algol people seem to either be incredibly sure of themselves or they really have no idea who they. Some are fantastic at assuming a myriad of personalities (see Peter Sellers) They can sometimes feel rather schizophrenic and as if they are indeed possessed by many demons. The confusion with Algol may be because of its blinking nature, I’m wondering wether those born in the eclipsing 8 hours are those that suffer more with this star. Mercury seems to bring out the best in Algol (David Beckham 00’!), this trickster planet adapting well to the swing from dark to light. There is always something flamboyant and exaggerated in the Algol persons appearance even if it is not in aspect to the Ascendant. They just stand out. Some are spookily beautiful (see Uma Thurman), but most are what you would call “striking”. Something like being very tall or having huge lips (see Mick Jagger).
I cannot talk about Algol without mentioning its Nemesis, which is the fixed star Capulus at 24 degrees Taurus. This star is in the sword hand of Perseus that slew Medusa. It is extremely close to Algol so those who have a planet conjunct this star also get the Algol influence too. Sometimes its hard to tell the difference between the two, but there is a subtle difference. Bernadette Brady found this star to represent primitive, male, sexual energy. I call it the male Lilith. These people feel split and are on a quest to find themselves. This unease makes them very driven. They want to play the hero and see themselves as the “good guy”. Some have a love/hate relationship with their own power and may even be afraid to use it. However when they do finally, it is NOT subtle.
Algol & Planet Combinations
Relationships will be dramatic and intense; there can be a tendency to sex-addiction. They have a strange kind of appeal despite not being classically beautiful or handsome. The appearance may even be shocking or disturbing at times yet still somehow alluring. Outspoken about taboo subjects, they are not afraid to be controversial.
Margaret Witlam (03’); Outspoken Australian PM’s wife, former champion swimmer and social worker. Advocate of womens rights, abortion and conservation. Mae West (08’); Outrageous actress, screen writer and continued to be a sex symbol well past middle age. Famous for her sexual innuendos. Linda Marshall (28’); Leading cosmetics entrepreneur. Toni Morrison (30’); Nobel prize winning novelist. Wilt Chamberlain; Promiscuous basketball player claimed to have bedded 20 000 women. Albert Ayler; avant-garde free jazz musician and suspicious death ; Princess Louise; Queen Victoria’s artistic daughter. Edgar P Jacobs; Comic book writer and artist. Subterranean (Underworld) themes. Brian Wilson; Lead singer-songwriter of the Beachboys, supremely talented and innovative. Mental illness and drug addiction.
The subject will make their name with their mystique. There is something very striking about them. They are are not classically appealing, so those who admire them maybe drawn to them because they also identify with being the misfit or outsider. Even if these people do happen to be beautiful they may still feel ugly. They are often mistaken for being vain, but really they are incredibly self-conscious and may feel people are constantly staring at them. Medusa’s stare is projected onto others.
Dolores Cannon (02′); Hypnotist who found many of her subjects had lives off planet! Guillaume Apollinaire(08’); Coined the term “surrealism”. Poet, journalist, art critic. Elena Ford (11’) Heiress to Ford Motors fortune. Charged with drunk driving. Marlene Dietrich (16’) Actress/singer remained popular due to constantly re-inventing herself. Uma Thurman (31’); “She’s more than a little haunted” according to John Malkovich . Thought herself as ugly as a teen and actually played Medusa in the film “Percy Jackson & the Olympians”. Frida Khalo; Surrealist painter suffered polio and a bus accident as a teenager. Her self-portraits were a curious blend of complex, dreamlike imagery with an explicit and quite gory depiction of her injuries. Henry Ford; Runs in the family see Elena Ford. Agatha Christie; Murder mystery writer was famous for her psychological suspense. Prince Albert. Extravagant and outspoken Donald Trump. Woody Allen; Neurotic misfit. William Hopper and Pierre/Marie Curie Davison.
These people destroy or create, sometimes in order to create they must destroy. They will attach themselves to a cause with great zeal and passion. Their lust can inspire them to great art or it can sometimes become so intense as to be destructive. There may be a need to be worshipped and regarded as a great figure“head”. This idolization can become like a drug to them.
Liberace (10’) with Mars, Born with a caul, a “head helmet”. Cosmetic plastic surgery left him with a spooky monster face. Hugh Clapperton (17’); 18th Century Explorer. Marshall Applewhite (18’); Founder of suicide cult “Heavens Gate” and prophet. Debra Winger (19’); Outspoken actress. Pierre Curie (31’); Physicist and pioneer in radioactivity. Ayatollah Khomeini; Extremist, charismatic religious leader and politician. Efron/Hudgens Davison; High School Musical teen showbiz couple. Margot Fonteyn; Prima ballerina with Mars. Don Bachardy; Portrait artist, met life partner, writer Christopher Isherwood at 18, 30 year age gap. Georges Braque; Cubist painter and “Fauvist” (Meaning “Beasts”). David Byrne; Singer with “Talking heads”! Brian Eno; Experimental musician and artist. Innovator of ambient music. George Lucas; Star Wars Director. Eric Satie; Colourful, avant-garde classical composer. Heavy drinker, died of Cirrhosis of the liver. Trent Reznor singer of Nine Inch Nails.
Moon here suffers many traumatic emotional experiences. Acute sensitivity. Can be melancholic and prone to depression. Over-active imagination can cause paranoia. The subject may be tempted to turn to drugs or drink to numb the intense feelings of sorrow. Will be passionate about social welfare and human rights. May feel overwhelmed at times by pain in the collective consciousness, expecially after a shocking event like a terrorist attack or an environmental disaster.
Pier Poalo Pasolini (00’); Italian film director, poet, visionary, writer, intellectual. Openly gay in 1940. His work was highly contraversial and critical of consumerism. Brutally murdered by being run over many times by a car. Christine Keeler (05’); British showgirl who brought down the British government. Darkstarastrology.com bought (06’). Patricia Highsmith (17’); Novelist of psychological thrillers. Alcoholic. Seen as hard and cruel or being great fun with a dry, biting with depending on the friend. Bi-sexual never married. Carrie Fisher (30’); “Princess Leia” in Starwars. Bi-polar with alcohol and drug addiction. Peter Sellers (44’); Depressive and insecure behind his roles. Erratic behaviour was esacerbated by alcohol and drug use. Baby Azaria Chamberlain; Stolen by a dingo out in the Australian bush. Kate McCann; Three year old daughter went missing from hotel room. Linda Lovelace; Porn star who later said she was forced into it by her pimp husband. Sid Vicious/Nancy Spungen Davison Chart; Herion addiction, alleged death pact between them. With North Node. Mick Jagger.
A deep thinker with a brooding manner. Communicates in an intense, provocative style. Forth right in their speech. Passionate writers, they weave intricate plots and there is an obsessive, compulsive edge to their work. Something about their voice is unique and they may be quite noted for it wether it is speaking or singing. It may be sexy and husky, unusually high or low pitched, whispery or just have a weird accent.
David Beckham (00’); Magical free kicks. Distinctive fashion sense.. Suffers from OCD, everything has to be in straight lines or pairs. Eric Burdon (07’); “House Of The Rising Sun” Lead singer with Venus, Jupiter and Uranus! Joan Collins (16’); Actress. Mature sex symbol. Famous for playing man-eaters and femme fatales. Married five times. Johnny Depp (21’); Character Actor. Eery, androgynous appearance. Tends to play misfits and freaks. Clint Eastwood Director and thinking man’s cowboy. Acting roles are mainly loners and outsiders. Julian Clary Transvestite gay comedian, famous for his double entendres. Salvador Dali Eccentric behaviour reflected in his bizarre paintings. He had a flamboyant personal style. His craftsmanship was as intricate and elaborate as his personality. Dame Nellie Melba operatic Diva. Jay Leno US stand up comedian and talk show host. No drinking or smoking. Dean Martin “King Of Cool” charismatic, with a relaxed crooning voice. With Mars and Jupiter. Saddam Hussien wrote the Koran in his own blood, Brooke Sheilds Put up as a child model from birth. Brooke had a poor self image despite going onto date a string of famous, powerful and wealthy men. Michael Jackson idolised her and proposed to her a number of times.
VENUS – Prince William. Diana Princess of Wales. Debbie Reynolds. Sid Vicious with Ceres, died by heroin overdose. Liv Tyler (Capulus) Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (Capulus) – Debbie Harry (Capulus). King Edward VIII (Capulus) abdicated.
MARS – Anita Byrant singer and anti-gay rights. Brian Jones Rolling stoned..drug abuse and suspicious death. Salvador Dali archetypical bonkers artist. Vic Reeves (Capulus) – Liberace (Capulus).
Algol in Your Chart
If you don’t have a chart, yet get a free one here: FREE HOROSCOPE MAKER. To work out the exact position of Algol, stars move forward through the zodiac at one degree every 72 years. You can find all the star positions here: The Fixed Stars in Longitude Order. *Algol positions:
1900 – 24° 46′ Taurus*
1950 – 25° 28′ Taurus
2000 – 26° 10′ Taurus