Fixed Stars in Western Astrology and Chinese Astrology

25 May 2023by Frederick0

Fixed Stars in Western Astrology and Chinese Astrology

You may have heard about the term called “Purple Star Astrology”, which is used in Chinese Metaphysics and wondered what’s the difference between Western and Chinese Astrology.

If that’s you, then article is for you. For your information, I used Fixed Stars in my astrology readings because I think this is a very useful technique in deepening my insights about my clients’ character, especially the darker and more hidden traits. Let’s dive right into this!

In astronomy, “fixed stars” is an antiquated term used to describe stars that appear to maintain a fixed position relative to each other in the night sky, as observed from Earth. This is in contrast to “wandering stars,” which was the term ancient observers used for what we now call planets. The apparent motion of fixed stars is due to the Earth’s rotation and orbit around the Sun.

The term “fixed” is a bit of a misnomer because all stars, including our Sun, are in motion relative to each other. However, because the distances between stars are so vast, their relative positions change very slowly, over many thousands of years. Therefore, from our perspective on Earth, over the course of a human lifetime, the stars seem to maintain fixed positions relative to each other.

The term “fixed star” means different things in Western astrology and Chinese astrology, as each has its own unique system and historical development.


Fixed Stars in Western Astrology
Fixed Stars in Western Astrology

Fixed Stars in Western Astrology

Western astrology often uses the fixed stars in its interpretations. These stars are called “fixed stars” because they do not appear to move in relation to each other from the earth’s perspective. Moreover, the positions of where these stars are found are noted relative to the ecliptic, which refers to the path that the Sun appears to trace through the sky over the course of a year.

For thousands of years, Western astrologers observed the positions of these stars relative to the planets and the twelve zodiac signs, and interpret their meanings based on these positions. Many of these stars were grouped into constellations and named according to their appearance and mythological significance. There are literally thousands of visible stars but only a small fraction of them are commonly used in astrological practice.

Traditionally, the most commonly referenced are the 15 Behenian stars, identified by medieval astrologers for their perceived astrological significance. Many astrologers, however, may refer to additional stars beyond these 15, especially those that are particularly bright or that are positioned along the ecliptic. It is therefore not uncommon to see references to 50 or more stars.

Astrologer Bernadette Brady includes over 100 stars in her work on fixed star astrology. Nonetheless, here are the 10 most commonly used Fixed Stars in Western Astrology throughout the course of history:


  1. Aldebaran: Known as the Eye of Taurus, Aldebaran is one of the four Royal Stars of Persia and symbolizes the material world.
  2. Antares: This star is the heart of the Scorpio constellation and is also one of the four Royal Stars of Persia. Antares is associated with intensity, passion, and power.
  3. Regulus: Known as the Heart of the Lion in the Leo constellation, Regulus is another of the four Royal Stars. It’s linked to leadership and authority.
  4. Fomalhaut: The final of the four Royal Stars, Fomalhaut is found in the constellation of Pisces Australis, the Southern Fish. It’s associated with magic, fame, and an against-the-odds rise to success.
  5. Spica: Located in the costellation Virgo, Spica is considered a benefic star and is often associated with gifts, talent, and potential for success.
  6. Sirius: Known as the Dog Star, Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. Located in the constellation Canis Major, it’s often associated with honor, wealth, fame, and good fortune.
  7. Betelgeuse: Found in the constellation Orion, Betelgeuse symbolizes strength and power, but also potential for sudden downfall.
  8. Vega: In the constellation Lyra, Vega is often associated with charisma, charm, and creativity.
  9. Altair: Located in the constellation Aquila, Altair is associated with ambition, adventure, and independence.
  10. Polaris: The North Star, found in the constellation Ursa Minor, is often linked to guidance, direction, and a steady course in life.


Fixed Stars in Chinese Astrology (紫微斗数)
Fixed Stars in Chinese Astrology (紫微斗数)


Fixed Stars in Chinese Astrology

In Chinese astrology, particularly Zǐ Wēi Dǒu Shù (Purple Star Astrology), the term “fixed stars” is used quite differently. Rather than referring to actual stars in the sky, it refers to significant points in a person’s natal chart. These points don’t correspond to physical stars or constellations but symbolize different aspects of an individual’s life and destiny.

In a Zǐ Wēi Dǒu Shù chart, the fixed stars are placed in one of twelve palaces (or houses), each of which represents a different area of life. These palaces include career, wealth, travel, parents, health, and others. The position of a fixed star in a particular palace, and its relationship with other stars in the chart, is used to interpret potential outcomes and influences in the person’s life.

Traditionally, there are 115 stars in total, but the numbers can vary depending on the specific school of thought. Some stars are considered “major stars” and are typically used in readings, while others are “secondary justify” used for more detailed analysis.

Let’s take a look at the 14 major stars in Zǐ Wēi Dǒu Shù:


  1. Zi Wei Star (紫微星, Emperor or Purple Star): The most important star, associated with leadership, authority, and destiny. It generally symbolizes the person themselves and their life journey.
  2. Tian Ji Star (天机星, Heavenly Mechanism): Often related to strategy, adaptability, and potential for change. This star may indicate how a person plans and strategizes in life.
  3. Tai Yang Star (太阳星, Greater Sun): Represents male energy and can indicate father figures or strong male influences in life.
  4. Wu Qu Star (武曲星, Martial Arts): Tied to financial matters, career achievement, and ambition. May indicate the ability to accumulate wealth or achieve professional success.
  5. Tai Yin Star (太阴星, Greater Moon): Represents female energy and can indicate mother figures or strong female influences in life.
  6. Tian Tong Star (天同星, Heavenly Messenger): Associated with sociability, friendliness, and communication. This star often suggests a person’s social abilities.
  7. Lian Zhen Star (廉贞星, Orchid): Tied to justice, righteousness, and moral principles. Can suggest a person’s moral compass and sense of justice.
  8. Tan Lang Star (贪狼星, Greedy Wolf): Represents desire, risk-taking, and material interests. Can also indicate potential for risk and danger.
  9. Ju Men Star (巨门星, Giant Door): Often associated with hardship, obstacles, and learning through difficult experiences.
  10. Tian Fu Star (天府星, Mandate): A supportive star, often indicative of resources, support from others, and potential for receiving help.
  11. Tai Ji Star (太极星, Supreme Ridgepole): Often related to balance, equilibrium, and harmony in life.
  12. Tian Liang Star (天梁星, Heavenly Beam): Associated with wisdom, intellect, and learning. This star often suggests a person’s intellectual abilities and pursuit of knowledge.
  13. Qi Sha Star (杀星, Seven Killings): A challenging star, often associated with trials, conflicts, and potential for upheaval.
  14. Po Jun Star (破军星, Breaking Army): Tied to transformation and change, often through challenging or disruptive experiences.


Beyond these 14 major stars, Zǐ Wēi Dǒu Shù uses an array of secondary stars for more detailed readings, and these stars can vary depending on the particular interpretation or tradition within Zǐ Wēi Dǒu Shù. Some of the secondary stars include:


  1. Wen Chang Star (文昌星, Literary Prosperity): This star represents intellect, wisdom, and scholarly pursuits. It often indicates a person’s abilities in areas of study, writing, or intellectual discourse.
  2. Wen Qu Star (文曲星, Literary Arts): Similar to Wen Chang, this star also represents literary abilities and intellectual pursuits, but more specifically, it’s related to creativity in writing, such as poetry or other forms of artistic expression through words.
  3. Tian Ma Star (天马星, Heavenly Horse): This star represents mobility and change. It can signify movement, travel, or significant changes in life. It’s also associated with a free spirit or an independent streak.
  4. Tian Kui Star (天魁星, Heavenly Matchmaker): This star symbolizes relationship, cooperation, and partnerships. It could indicate the quality of a person’s relationships and their ability to cooperate with others.
  5. Tian Yue Star (天钺星, Heavenly Moon): Tian Yue is associated with empathy, compassion, and understanding. It can indicate a person’s emotional depth and their capacity for empathy and understanding others.
  6. Hua Gai Star (华盖星, Noble or Literacy Aura): This star is associated with talent, reputation, and charisma. It can indicate a person’s potential for fame or recognition in their field, especially in intellectual or academic areas.
  7. Tian Xiang Star (天相星, Heavenly Minister): This star represents support, assistance, and resources from others. It often indicates a person’s support network and their ability to receive assistance when needed.
  8. Tian Xing Star (天刑星, Heavenly Punishment): This star is generally associated with challenges, obstacles, or potential for conflict. It could indicate trials or tribulations that a person must face and overcome.


In summary, while the term “fixed star” is used in both Western and Chinese astrology, it refers to very different things within each system. Western fixed stars are actual celestial bodies whose positions are used in astrological interpretations, while Chinese fixed stars are symbolic points within a person’s astrological chart used to understand different aspects of life and destiny.

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