Astronomical designation: Alpha Carinae



Close to Sirius along the zodiac circle is Canopus, a very bright star which marks the Keel (Carina) of Argo Navis, the Ship. The name Canopus is a Latinized spelling of Kanopos, who in the poems of Homer was the chief pilot of the fleet of King Menelaos; returning from the Trojan War, he died from snake-bite.


Canopus is a traveller’s star, literally and metaphorically, and it has a happy astrological tradition for a change. But in the case of Canopus, it really is like a guardian angel star. It has an association with many voyages, whether these are physical or on other levels of consciousness. When this is expressed in purely worldly terms, it favours people who travel for work, though if this means you, you’re much more likely to be getting on a plane nowadays, instead of sailing. As well as literal travel, Canopus can stand for travel in the mind, and for expanding awareness and the gaining of wide and deep knowledge. This often leads to a religious or spiritual focus and ultimately to the refinement of the soul. But this is a very ordinary human journey to full individuation and realization; this star is not so marked amongst the higher spiritual teachers. It was Carl Gustav Jung who started the whole ‘individuation’ ball rolling, and not surprisingly perhaps, he had talking planet Mercury with Canopus, along with exuberant, strengthening Herculina. The idea of ‘shining a light in the darkness’, which is significant in Sirius, is significant here, as well. Although Canopus and Sirius belong to different constellations and latitudes, their ecliptic projected positions are less than a degree apart, marking a point of vast power and potential. If Canopus is one of your stars, Sirius isn’t far, and is often part of the party as well. Canopus is a gift from on high. It gives a life in which you are offered the opportunity to explore many options and develop your creative gifts to the full. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Galileo had Flora here, and his scientific discoveries allowed a flowering of new knowledge and insight; he was protected, too, because although persecuted by the Inquisition, he was never destroyed. A very different blossoming Flora expression can be found in the works of poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who often accessed other worlds of inspiration, even if this required the assistance of opium (a drug which derives from the poppy flower). Different kinds of creative expression can be found in the lives and works of Hermann Hesse (Apollo), Thomas Mann (Diana), W.B. Yeats (Hekate), Dorothy Parker (Pallas, which can be satirical and witty) and Frida Kahlo (the Sun). James Hillman had the asteroid of healing, Hygiea, aligned to Canopus, along with permanently transforming Pluto. He took depth psychology to a whole new level of richness, complexity and respect for suffering as a way of transforming unintegrated soul stuff. Great guide to comparative mythology Joseph Campbell had a wide (applying) link to intuitive, subtle Iris. On the day Werner Heisenberg clarified and formulated the Uncertainty Principle in writing, Pluto was with Canopus within two minutes of arc, and the deeper understanding of quantum physics has never been the same since. Harper Lee, with her very powerful Iris-Pluto-Sirius synergy, had this turned up to the maximum here with insightful, revolutionary and evolutionary Pallas aligned to guiding, helping Canopus.

This work is Copyrighted: © Kidston, Roderick 2016. Text extracts are from The Magic of the Stars: How the Stars of Astrology Enrich Your Life. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Link to book on Amazon. Note the book does not contain the otherwise unpublished card deck artworks.