Astronomical designation: Alpha Ophiuchi



The alpha star of Ophiuchus the Serpent-Bearer is called Rasalhague, a contraction of an Arabic name meaning ‘head of the snake-charmer’. In the constellation, this star marks the Serpent-Bearer’s head.


As a Snake-related star, Rasalhague had a tough time of it in the old star lore. It was deemed a strange and often unhealthy influence, primarily because of an association with various forms of greed, especially sexual lust. Like all the stars in the various snake constellations it has an association with poison, both literal and metaphorical. So Rasalhague is another star we need to re-vision. We can start with the one helpful point attributed in the old tradition: it offers healing, especially through mastery of the desire nature. We can also remember that where there are snakes there is kundalini power, but that also needs careful handling. You can go off the rails with Rasalhague, or withdraw into some weird place nobody else can reach, or you can get smart, and get a grip so you can get skilful. So, what else to do with Rasalhague? Be a savvy snake-charmer for starters, and know what you are doing if you seek to awaken the serpent power within. You probably march to the beat of a different drum, or undulate to a different flute. But as well as the offbeat or quirky, Rasalhague can awaken interest in simple beauty, which is very healing. All of these interests can stimulate a huge, ultimately transforming and empowering creative drive. This is a strange, subtle star. As long as you focus on working skilfully with the energies, you can have an absolute ball. When you bust loose from inhibitions – in a skilful way – and find the courage to challenge the status quo, you can be a very effective change agent. You may not have an ordinary life with Rasalhague, but you probably don’t really want one of those. Too bland, too pound cake… Plain vanilla is only one of the many spices in your repertoire.


The great philosophical figure of the Enlightenment, Voltaire, had Mercury with this star, and was emphatically individualistic in all he thought and wrote. He also sought, via his writings, to purge the poison of stupidity in many of the creaky antiquated social conditions around him. Scholar, mystic and often eccentric Simone Weil had Pallas aligned, and also worked in a very individualistic way for progress. Deep soul healing was explored by Carl Gustav Jung, with a Mars alignment. Alexander Fleming worked on physical healing with the discovery of penicillin; he had both Moon and Bacchus here. Physicist David Bohm, who postulated the idea of the universe as a holographic construct, had Astraea aligned. Wrangling with emotional serpents was given expression by Bronte Sisters Charlotte (power-charged Juno) and Emily (impassioned Amphitrite). The painters Kandinsky (purifying Hygiea link) and Monet (Venus and Saturn both), one-of-a-kind writer Nancy Mitford (Mercury) and writer and scholar Umberto Eco whose academic contributions were eclipsed in the popular imagination by the fame of his mystery novel The Name of the Rose (Mercury again) are all positive examples of Rasalhague creativity swaying to its own chosen melodies.

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.