Fixed star:  ALFARD
Constellation: Alpha (α) Hydra
Longitude 1900:  25LEO53 Longitude 2000:  27LEO17
Declination 1900:  -08.13′ Declination 2000:  -08.40′
Right ascension:  09h 27m Latitude:  -22.22′
Spectral class:  K3 Magnitude:  2.2

The history of the star: Alfard

from p.249 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.

[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage


Alpha (α) Hydra, Alfard, is an orange star in the neck of the Watersnake.

Alphard, Alfard, and Alpherd,—Alphart in the Alfonsine Tables and Pherd with the 17th century English orientalist Thomas Hyde,— are from Al Pard al Shuja‘, the Solitary One in the Serpent, well describing its position in the sky. The 17th century Dutch astronomer Caesius gave Alpharad, which on the Reuter wall-map was Alphrad; and a still more changed title is Alphora. The Arabs also knew alpha (α Alfard) as Al Fakar al Shuja‘, the Backbone of the Serpent; but the 15th century Tartar astronomer Ulug Beg changed this to Al ‘Unk al Shuja‘, the Serpent’s Neck; and it shared the Suhel of other bright stars as Suhel al Fard, and Suhel al Sham, the Solitary, and the Northern, Suhail.

The 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho first called it Cor Hydrae, the Hydra’s Heart (in snakes the heart is located in the neck),— The Italian astronomer Riccioli’s (1598–1671) Kalb Elhavich and Kalbelaphard,— which, with the alternative Collum Hydrae, the Hydra‘s Neck, is current even now.

In China it determined the 8th sieu (Chinese Moon Mansion), and was the prominent star of the Red Bird that combined the seven lunar divisions of the southern quarter of the heavens. Its longitude is said to have been ascertained there in the 19th century before our era, but the statement may be questionable; as also that it was observed passing the meridian at sunset on the day of the vernal equinox during the time of the emperor Yao, about 2350 B.C. It culminates on the 26th of March.

The Euphrateans called Hydra the "Source of the Fountains of the Great Deep" [Star Names, p.223.]

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

The astrological influences of the constellation Hydra

According to Ptolemy the bright stars are like Saturn and Venus. It is said to give an emotional and passionate nature, threatened by great troubles, and to cause some interest in shipping. [Robson, p.47.]

The astrological influences of the star Alfard

Ptolemy states that it is of the nature of Saturn and Venus, but according to Alvidas it is similar to the Sun and Jupiter in sextile. It gives wisdom, musical and artistic appreciation, knowledge of human nature, strong passions, lack of self control, immorality, revolting deeds and a sudden death by drowning, poison or asphyxiation. [Robson, p.130.]

Of a Saturn nature, however, there is a measure of influence of Venus and Neptune. This combination is of a disadvantage in most cases. Particularly matters connected with ‘poison’ are accentuated badly, e.g. blood poisoning, murder by poison, attempts of poisoning, poisoned hatred in women, gas poisoning, danger to life by wrong use of drugs and over indulgence of good living, smoke inhalation and danger of suffocation, snake bite, bites by poisonous insect bites, or bites from dogs with rabies. Danger is marked if either Sun, Moon, Mars, Neptune, Ascendant or MC are linked up with this star. A ‘poisoning’ is also possible in a relationship between man and woman in marriage. This is especially true in a male chart. On the material plane, nearly always unhelpful, though if the native is able to conceive it in the spiritual sphere, the Saturn-Neptune combination may give enlightenment.[Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.50, under the name Alphard.]

If rising: Much trouble, anxiety and loss in connection with estates and building; addicted to women and intemperance. [Robson].

With Sun: Power and authority but suffering through own acts and from enemies, loss of position and honor, overcome by enemies. [Robson].

With Moon: Lust, wantonness, profligacy, failure in projects but financial help often from a relative, ill-fortune to wife or mother, eventual disgrace and ruin, danger of death by asphyxiation. If afflicted by Mars or Saturn, death by drowning or poison especially if Mars be angular. If a malefic is in conjunction with Algol; death by water or poison. [Robson].

With Mercury: Trouble through writings, unfavorable for marriage, suffering through a passionate attachment that entirely changes the course of the life. [Robson].

With Venus: Passionate attachments that are opposed by relatives, handsome and admired by opposite sex, favorable for gain, sorrow through love affairs if female. [Robson].

With Mars: Trouble and scandal through love affairs. Attachment to a married person. Bad for childbirth, if a woman liable to miscarriage and death, together with death of child, danger of serious accidents; if afflicting luminaries, danger of death by drowning or poison. [Robson].

With Jupiter: Strong passions, favorable for gain, attachment to widow or widower liable to disgrace, legal trouble and judicial sentence. [Robson].

With Saturn: Strong passions but cool, cautious and slow to anger, secret and sorrowful love affairs of short duration, domestic disharmony, danger of death by poison. [Robson].

With Uranus: Disgrace especially through love affairs, evil habits, unbalanced mind, tendency to great crime and marriage, downfall through love disappointment; if a woman, early ruin and depraved life. [Robson].

With Neptune: Strong passions, shallow affections, seducer, led astray in early in life and marriage, separation from or loss of parents, accidents, public death through secret enemies. If culminating, death of mother at native’s birth. [Robson].


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