Alcyone Rising: The Star of the New Feminine

Look up at the sky from any part of the world and you’ll see the Pleiades or seven sisters. These stars which are some of the brightest in our skies are right on the shoulder of Taurus at 00.00 degrees of Gemini. Once upon a time – in other words during the bad old days when we thought our solar system ended at Saturn and astrologers used the fixed stars in a birthchart more than they do nowadays, the biggest star in this cluster Alcyone was seen as something very bad indeed if you had it in a prominent position in your birth chart. To understand why we have to look carefully at not just Alcyone’s energy but what was happening in the world at that time. The entire cluster has very feminine, for want of a better word very ‘Venusian’ energy. In other words it’s all about beauty, creativity, femininity and no matter what your gender – being in touch with these things. Now think about ancient times. Women had no power. The Bible painted women as temptresses set on leading noble men astray. What was valued in these societies were very ‘male’ skills – which is why if you were a man with a prominent Alcyone in your chart this would be seen as a terrible thing – mainly society wanted men to exhibit Mars qualities – to be a fierce warrior or else Jupiterian qualities – a patriarch or honourable man. Poor Alcyone through no fault of its own except the interpretation of the era, therefore was seen as a disaster if you were male and merely adding to all your inevitable flaws if you were female!

Even as recently as 1930 – astrologers who used fixed stars associated Alcyone with homosexuality – and bear in mind that back in that era gay sex was still a crime. As with everything, time changes our perspective. With fixed stars coming back into astrological interpretations again, and a more enlightened view on many of the areas Alcyone is associated with – many astrologers now see Alcyone as the star of the new feminine and no matter what your sexual orientation, the star that allows men to get in touch with and express this. Once upon a time having Alcyone rising in a man’s chart would point to artistic and creative talents (not really valued in men in ancient times), but the interpretation was of someone weak and most likely gay (seen again as a negative). Today, some prominent male celebrities who have been at the forefront of redefining traditional stereotypes of what it is to be ‘manly’ have Alcyone rising in their charts – David Beckham, Jackie Chan and Rufus Wainwright being just three of them.

Alcyone on the high heaven when you were born was seen as even worse bringing ‘disgrace and ruin’. Nowadays we see this placement as “A strong sense of knowing, a strong vision of destiny, a desire to walk the correct, if not the popular pathway” to quote astrologer Bernadette Brady. Good thing Edwin Hubble walked his pathway then! Alcyone conjunct the Sun was always said to give an ‘evil disposition’. Of course, if one looks hard enough one will always find an example of this somewhere in history – apparently the only one who lived up to this interpretation was the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Cher, Sir Laurence Olivier and Harvey Milk all have Alcyone conjunct the Sun.

Alcyone conjunct Venus merely enhances all Venusian themes. We can understand how in ancient times this was not seen as good thing with astrologers seeing this as bringing “Immoral, strong passions, disgrace through women, sickness, loss of fortune.” What do we think of Alcyone conjunct Venus today? Bernadette Brady says “A love of theatre, art or rituals; The poetic soul” – famous Alcyone conjunct Venus personalities include Kylie Minogue, Nellie Melba, Karl Marx, Marlon Brandon and Gregory Peck.

The great thing about Alcyone in my view is that it not only allows men to tap into their feminine side and express this leading to change about what it is t be ‘masculine’ but it also opens up ways for women to show that femininity can be powerful. Want to know where Alcyone is in your birthchart? One of our astrologers will be happy to take a look or you can choose fixed stars in many of the free charts you find on line.

As astrology evolves so do we and that includes our evolution of gender roles. Alcyone reminds us we all have a masculine and feminine side – and its okay to express these in any way we want to.


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