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Fixed Stars: More Than a Single Point in Astrology

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Fixed Stars "in parans"

The mathematical system used by the ancient star gazers is what is called parans.

I’d never heard this term before I started reading this book. When I thought of fixed stars, one single degree and a horrible fatalistic meaning came to mind. The parans method employs the use of the entire horizon rather than just the eastern and western points of the ecliptic.

There are four points where parans can occur:

  • The rising side of the horizon circle
  • The setting side of the horizon circle
  • The upper part on the prime meridian, or “culminating”
  • The part opposite this below the horizon, or “on the nadir”

Parans describes the passage of each star as it passes over the horizon, reaches culmination, sets, and then reaches the nadir. Brady associates these positions with various times in a person’s life. Where a star comes into paran with a planet determines at which time of life you will feel its effect.


  • Rising stars= youth
  • Culminating stars=prime
  • Setting stars= later life
  • Stars on the nadir= end of life

Heliacal rising and setting stars

  • Heliacal rising star: A star that disappears from view because the Sun enters the part of the sky where the star is located. Your mission in life.
  • Heliacal setting star: A star that becomes visible for the entire night. Slow recognition of gifts.

Parans is location specific

Some stars will have no effect at certain latitudes because the star cannot be seen at that latitude. There is also something called curtailed passage in which stars transcribe a circle around the globe yet never touch the horizon. They make their own circle but never rise and never set. Brady explains that stars with a curtailed passage of motion are more extreme in their meaning than those stars that do touch the horizon line. Orbs are kept tight, less than 00° 30′. You can read a longer explanation about parans on Star Logos. There is an animated map on The Way the Sky Appears to Move: Diurnal Motion and Parans.

Star Lore

I am surprised by how engrossed I’ve become in reading the star lore in this book.

Some things I’ve learned:

  • The constellation Orion (Osiris) was not a mere symbol of the Egyptian god, it was the Egyptian god.
  • Medusa (asteroid 149) was the mother of Pegasus.
  • Why The Charioteer in tarot is associated with the sign Cancer.
  • The blood on Medusa’s left side was fatal; the blood on her right side was helpful.
  • Asclepius the healer (asteroid 4581) had the blood of Medusa in his veins.
Finding Your Fixed Stars in Parans

Go to horoscopes/extended chart selection. Then, under “Methods” click “Special Charts.” From the drop-down box select “Parans according to Bernadette Brady, PDF.”

The best book for interpretation is Star and Planet Combinations . It delineates each of 64 stars in combination with the planets and nodes.

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