The fixed star Algol, which is part of the constellation Perseus, and located at 26° in the sign of Taurus, is known as the demon star or Medusa’s head. For centuries it has been recognized for being the most evil star out there.
Algol is associated with pain, suffering, violence, difficult and emotionally intense experiences, beheadings, accidents to the head, losing one’s head (mentally) and has been historically linked with murderous acts, disastrous events, and anything horrific. People are advised to be cautious when personal planets are transiting over Algol, and when natal planets are with in close proximity to her, (conjunction) it is viewed to be an unlucky and troublesome placement.
There are many folks out there who, when discovering that they have a personal planet conjunct this fixed star get what I refer to as Algol anxiety. After learning of this placement, panic sets in, people instantly think that they’re doomed and find themselves wondering, “What’s going to happen? Or “how will I lose my head?!” Learning about this so called “unfortunate “placement doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience; in fact, there could be a life altering lesson that needs to be absorbed, that when mastered, can actually improve your life in ways that weren’t possible without her presence.
Let’s first start by acknowledging the stigmata of this supposed malefic star. Just as every planet has positive and negative manifestations, the stars, depending on their planetary conjunctions, have a similar light and dark as well. To demonstrate this, let’s take Saturn for instance; when describing the positive manifestations of this planet, what are the first words that come to your mind? Is it commitment, structure, maybe discipline? Whatever the words, more than likely, it didn’t take much time to think of them. Now let’s take a moment and try the same exercise with Algol… coming up with those positive words poses more of a challenge doesn’t it?
I think that as students of astrology (and lovers of astrology), we need to be cognoscente of the negative implications that we associate with such bad boy stars like Algol, who, over the years, have upheld a notorious reputation for representing all things foreboding and evil. While there’s no denying the negative manifestations of Algol and the horrendous things that can stem from it, we need to give this star its fair due here. We’ve heard all about its dark, but what about its light?
Many of us, particularly those who are newer to astrology, don’t realize what Algol can offer in terms of benefits. If we can start to make a conscious effort to think about Medusa in a more productive way, the answers are easier to come by. Trying to view her in a more positive light can free us from the blockage that we’ve created when dealing with her. This lady has important things to say, yet when we don’t listen, we wonder how and why things went awry in the first place. "Blame it on Medusa, for she’s the Goddess of undesirable outcomes!" I can’t speak for others, but simply speaking for myself, I’m not comfortable with this mode of thinking.
For most, having a positive aspect involving Algol in the natal chart is still not enough to put us at ease. The likeness of it is comparable to having a friendship with the famed criminal Charles Manson. Given the choice, I’d rather be his friend than his enemy, but ultimately, neither one would make me feel good. I’d prefer to avoid all contact with him if possible, and I think that’s how most of us feel about Algol. We don’t want any planets near it for fear that no good could come of it either way.
No matter what planet she sits next to, one shouldn’t hyperventilate about the nature of the relationship. The point to consider is that Medusa is summoning you to rise to the challenge, respond to the call of action, and make a positive change that will improve your circumstances or the circumstances of those around you.
Instead of dreading Algol’s placement in our chart, perhaps we should feel honored by it. Yes, you read that correctly. Try to think of it this way; she chose one of your planets to be next to. We’re the special ones, the chosen ones, one of the rare few who were purposely selected to be a student of her teachings. Knowing the true essence of Medusa’s energy can allow us to experience the importance of her presence in our chart. Her location shows us how to deal with extremely difficult situations in life without losing our heads.
She teaches us to stand on our own two feet, to stick up for ourselves, to fight for the underdog, and to speak out when injustice is concerned. She is deliberately paired with specific planets for a reason. If she happens to be conjunct one of your planets, consider yourself an ambassador for the cause. Look for what, (planet) how, (sign) and where (house) you are being called upon to make a difference.
There is no short cut to personal growth; if the process was easy, then we wouldn’t refer to it as growing pains, but it does tell us something about our character; and character is built upon struggle. Algol can indicate where we may struggle in life, but if we can embrace the messages that Medusa has for us, we can overcome the struggle, and emerge with a new sense of self, dignity, and strength, that we didn’t realize we had.
Dawn Glinski is a student in the Kepler Certificate Program.
1) The Horror-Scope of Algol – Nick Kollerstrom – Skyscript
2) Algol Star – The Blinking Demon –Astrology King
3) Fixed Star Algol – Medusa’s head – Darkstarastrology