Behenian Stars – The Magical Stars of the Alchemists

The ancient alchemists operated from the awareness that under certain celestial influences magic was more likely to occur, especially when worked with consciously as stated by Cornelius Agrippa in Three Books of Occult Philosophy

Magicians affirm that Images,
Seals & Rings Being Opportunely Framed
under a Certain Constellation…
some Wonderful Thing may be Received.
~Cornelius Agrippa Three Books of Occult Philosophy

In European and Arabic medieval astrology the Behenian fixed stars were important in understanding the work of the alchemists. The occult traditions of these stars were presented in Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s work De Occulta Philosophia and were referred to as the Behenii (singular Behenius). Aggippa attributed the mysteries of these stars to Hermes Trismegitus and went into great detail describing their magical properties.

Behenian comes from the Arabic word ‘bahman” meaning “root.” Therefore, the Behenian stars were considered a source or “root” of astrological power that was magnified whenever one or more of the visible planets were within six degrees. Find out more in this audio.

Behenian Stars – 12 minutes


Each Behenian star is connected with a ritual gemstone and plant that was used to help draw upon the star’s influence (e.g., into a talisman) as described in the table below.





Aldebaran 10 Gemini 03 Hyades in the Bull Ruby or Garnet Milk Thistle
Pleiades 00 Gemini 16 Bull Rock Crystal Fennel
26 Taurus 26
Perseus Diamond Black Hellebore
22 Gemini 08
Auriga Sapphire Thyme
Sirius 14 Cancer 21 Canis Major Beryl Juniper
26 Cancer 03
Canis Minor Agate Buttercup
Regulus 00 Virgo 06 Lion Granite Mugwort
13 Libra 43
Corvus Onyx Burdock
Spica 24 Lib 06 Virgin Priestess Emerald Sage
Arcturus 24 Libra 30 Herdsman (Bootes) Jasper Plantain
28 Gem 51
Ursa Minor Magnet Succory
12 Scorpio 34
Corona Borealis Topaz Rosemary
Antares 10 Sagittarius 01  Scorpion Sardonyx Birthwort
Vega 15 Capricorn 34 Lyra Chrysolite Winter Savory
Deneb Algedi
23 Aquarius 48
The Goat Fish Chalcedony Marjoram


Key Words or Attributes for the Behenian Stars (more to be added) and of course they all have a shadow side opposite of their attributes

Aldebaran 10 Gemini 03 (eye of the Bull)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Tauri
High Intelligence, Honesty, Honorable Behavior, Eloquent Communication Style, Reliability, Courage and Success

Algol 26 Taurus 26 (Medusa’s severed head held by Perseus)
Astronomy Designation: Beta Persei
Strength, Intense Passion, and connection with the forces of the natural world

The Pleiades 00 Gemini 16 – though some of the stars in late Taurus (The Seven Sisters or shoulder of the Bull)
Astronomy Designation: M45
Love, Greatness, Luminary, Desire for Inner Knowledge, Peace, Communication with Spirit

Capella 22 Gemini 08 (Goat found on the left Shoulder of the Charioteer or Auriga)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Aurigae
Highly Esteemed, Public Visibility, Affluence, Determined, Enterprising

Alphecca 12 Scorpio 34 (base of the Northern Crown a.k.a. Corona Borealis)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Coronae Borealis
Love, Integrity, Artistically Creative, Earned Respect and High Social Status, Quiet Achiever

Antares 10 Sagittarius 01 (Heart of the Scorpion)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Scorpii
Strength, Protection, Guidance

Arcturus 24 Libra 30 (knee of the herdsman)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Boötis
Protection, Guidance, Learning, Teaching, Leading, Exploring, Successful Artist

Deneb Algedi 23 Aquarius 48 (tail of the GoatFish)
Astronomy Designation: Delta Capricorni
Wisdom, Integrity, Upholding Justice, Balanced, Fair

Algorab 13 Libra 43 (right wing of Corvus the Raven)
Astronomy Designation: Gamma Corvi and Delta Corvi
Protection, Safety, Dependable, Responsible

Polaris 28 Gem 51 (current North Star – handle in the Little Dipper)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Ursae Minoris
Protection, Direction, Leadership, Guiding Star

Procyon 26 Cancer 03 (in the body of the Little Dog or Canis Minor)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Canis Minoris
Excellent Health, Wealth, and Well-Being

Regulus 00 Virgo 06 (heart star of the Lion)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Leonis
Heart Directed Strong Leadership, Fame,Virtuous, Reputable, Wealth

Sirius 14 Cancer 21 (Nose of the Big Dog – Canis Major)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Canis Majoris Constellation
Communication, Enthusiasm, Passion, Relational Peace, Faithful, Abundant Resources

Spica 24 Lib 06 (hand of the Virgin Priestess)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Virginis
Protection, Abundance, Psychic Abilities, Insights, Wisdom, Sewing and Reaping

Vega 15 Capricorn 34 (main star of the Lyre – Babylonians saw Vega as Messenger of Light)
Astronomy Designation: Alpha Lyrae
Artistic, Idealistic, Hopeful, Social Awareness, Magic, Alchemy


  1. Thank you, Cayelin, for creating this article about Behenian stars. I haven’t looked at them closely until this year. There are only a few references about Behenian stars out there. I have two books of Bernadette Brady and she doesn’t mention “Behenian” or references the authors who wrote about them, which I find puzzling.

    Perhaps the origins of how the alchemists connected with these stars go back before Hermes Trismagistus, as Budge thinks in his book, “Amulets and Superstitions.”?

    I look forward to talking with you more about it! I will be quoting you in my upcoming presentation in March.

  2. hi Cayelin ! where would i read more about this ? i would love to learn this in more detail.

    does this mean for example that Alderbarran is a ‘root’ of Geminii whenever a planet is within 6 degrees of it ?

    or that Sirius is a ‘root’ of Cancer energy whenever a planet is within 6 degrees of it ?

    does it mean an intensification of the Cancer energy then that would override the energy of the decan ? (sorry if that is a really dumb questions, i’m still learning astrology.)

    thank you for all of your wisdom !

    • Hi Wendy…I am so thrilled you are interested in learning more about this. And thank you so much for your great questions. My sense is that all this is evolving quickly and creating your own connection to these stars is the best place to start. However, finding out what the ancients were doing with this might also be helpful as a reference point for what has been as we engage what is. Here is a place to start

      Shamanic Astrology doesn’t use decans so not sure how to answer that question. Due to procession all the stars will be with all the seasonal signs over 26,000 years so the evolutionary process for both is continually at work, meaning whatever we have known about these energies in the past may not hold true in the present…that is why I suggest creating a living relationship with the stars, planets, and signs to find out how you are relating to them and they are relating to you. Joyful Blessings, Cayelin

      • i just now saw your reply !
        i listened to your Spica recording tonight & loved it very much !
        really fascinating wonderful beautiful information ! 🙂
        thank you very much !
        bright solar, and dreamy lunar, and splendiferoius stellar blessings to you ! <3
        love, Wendy

  3. Thank you for the Behenian Star info…it sure explains why these stars are more well-known than others.

    • I agree…plus they are brighter and easier to spot in the sky and that is why they captured the attention of ancient sky watchers.

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