Fixed star:  RAS ALGETHI
Constellation:  Alpha (α) Hercules
Longitude 1900:  14SAG45 Longitude 2000:  16SAG09
Declination 1900:  +14.30' Declination 2000:  +14.23'
Right ascension:  17h 14m Latitude:  +37.17'
Spectral class:  M5 Magnitude:  3.5 Variable

The history of the star: Ras Algethi

from p.243 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage]

Ras AlgethiAlpha (α) Hercules, Ras Algethi, is a double star and both irregularly variable, 3.1 to 3.9 and 5 to 7, orange red and bluish green in the head of the Kneeling Man.

Ras Algethi, also Ras Algathi, on Malby's globe (1848) Ras Algothi, is from Al Ras al Jathiyy, the Kneeler's Head; but it often is Ras Algeti, sometimes Ras Algiatha, and the Standard Dictionary has Ras Algetta. It was Rasacheti with English writer on globes John Chilmead (circa 1639). The Italian astronomer Riccioli's (1598–1671) Ras Elhhathi and Ras Alhathi probably came from Ras Alheti of the Alfonsine Tables.

The nomads' title for it was Al Kalb al Ra'i, the Shepherd's Dog, that our alpha (α Ras Algethi) shared with the adjoining lucida (brightest star in a constellation) of Ophiuchus (Ras Alhague), 5° distant which was the Shepherd.

The Chinese called it Ti Tso, the Emperor's Seat; and Tsin. Some small stars in Hercules, near alpha (α Ras Algethi), were included with iota (ι) and kappa (κ) Ophiuchus in the asterism Ho, one of the measures of China.

[Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889].






The astrological influences of the constellation Hercules

Legend: This constellation was put in heaven as a reminder of the labors of Hercules. According to another account, however, during the war between the Gods and Titans the former all ran to one side of the heavens, which would have fallen had not Atlas and Hercules supported it, and the latter was placed in the sky in commemoration of this service. [Robson*, p.46-47.]

Influences: According to Ptolemy it is like Mercury. It is said to give strength of character, tenacity and fixity of purpose, an ardent nature and dangerous passions. By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Daleth and the fourth Tarot Trump "The Emperor". [Robson*, p.47.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Hercules given by Manilius:

Manilius associates Hercules with tightrope walking (funambulism):

"Hercules, the figure on bended knee and called by the Greek name of Engonasin, about whose origin no certainty prevails. Of this constellation is begotten the desertion, craftiness, and deceit characteristic of its children, and from it comes the thug who terrorizes the heart of the city. If perchance his mind is moved to consider a profession, Engonasin [a Greek title for constellation Hercules meaning Kneeler] will inspire him with enthusiasm for risky callings, with danger the price, for which he will sell his talents: daring narrow steps on a path without thickness, he will plant firm feet on a horizontal tightrope; then, as he attempts an upward route to heaven, (on a sloping tightrope) he will all but lose his footing and, suspended in mid-air, he will keep a multitude in suspense upon himself". [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century, AD, p.353.]

The astrological influences of the star Ras Algethi

"The head of the kneeling Hercules", possesses a character of Mars-Venus with a slight blend of Mercury. If in good aspect, it is supposed to give much enjoyment and favors from women. However, if unconnected with helpful planets, it is said to cause much irritation, especially in connection with the female sex. But, by its very Mars nature, Ras Algethi corresponds to boldness and a drive to gain power. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.72.]

If Rising: The star Ras Algethi presages both the good and bad sides of Saturn. When rising it can mean a wise and clever man, but can also indicate an individual trained in various tricks, a liar who deceives with different kinds of plots. Aspects of the horoscope (Ascendant) by Mars when Ras Algethi is rising is indicative of an aggressive personality who always displays an unbridled hostility to those he comes in contact with. When setting the star is indicative of a native whose life will be affected by devious plots. [Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology, George Noonan, 1990, p.11-12.]


*[Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923].