Influence of the Fixed Stars, an astrological interpretation of Notre-Dame de Paris fire, 15 April 2019

Fires and other punctual accidents are often the result of exact alignments between planets and the fixed stars. Fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral that took place on 15 April, 2019 is a case in point.

While astrological charts provide an overview of current disposition of planetary energies, those configurations of celestial bodies are of generic and broad nature and in most cases their influence and action is “diluted” through the period of their activity time.

Not so with the fixed stars. The influence of the fixed stars is point-like, precise and sudden.

In this story we will look into the nature of fixed stars and will attempt to gain some understanding of the actual mechanisms that govern irregular “out of the blue” accidents like fires, explosions and collapses.

Symbolic, dramatic and sudden fire that nearly destroyed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on 15 April, 2019 is a great example of an event that took place perhaps due to a specific and precise combination of stellar energies.

East facade of Notre-Dame in the 1860s
Notre-Dame Cathedral is a medieval Catholic cathedral located in Paris, France. The construction of the cathedral began in 1160 and could be considered complete in 1864 when the famous spire has been added to this already exquisite architectural masterpiece. In 2013 the cathedral celebrated its 850th anniversary, a truly incredible age for any architecturally sophisticated building. The cathedral is perhaps the most enduring symbol of the French nation.

Firstly… a down-to-earth disclaimer

It is always more productive to treat any sort of astrological discourse from the standpoint of curiosity and open-endedness vs. attempting to come up with fixed formulas akin to “if such and such configuration is seen, expect this and that”. That is so medieval!

Astrology can be equally used to prove and disprove literally anything. The real value of astrology lies in the ability to see the world in its dynamic and fluid complexity resulting from interaction of multiple forces.

Astrology is more akin to a cocktail that you get served at a party than to a public transport timetable.

Astrology makes us appreciate the value of events and reduces the amount of surprises and helplessness. It’s good to know, to see and expect things before they take shape of this material plane.

Having brought ourselves down to the Earth, now it’s a good time to look upstairs…

Why are the stars “fixed”?

Firstly, let’s get this out of the way. The “fixed stars” is one of those historical misnomers that got stuck and not willing to go away. The ancient astronomers and astrologers who were observing the night skies obviously didn’t know which “dots” are stars and which are planets, they all looked the same with one notable exception.

Some dots moved while others stayed still. The moving dots became known as “wandering stars” or πλανήτης (planētēs) in Greek. Hence the word “planet”.

Other dots hardly ever moved and thus were later classified as “fixed stars” from Latin stellae fixae. By the way, the Greek word for “star” is either αστήρ (a’stēr) or άστρον (‘astron). This gives an idea why astrology is the knowledge of stars!

Movement of Barnard's Star in the period of 1985–2005
Barnard's Star is the fastest known moving star. Unfortunately it’s very faint and can’t be seen without a telescope. Its apparent magnitude is 9.5.

The speed with which Barnard's Star moves across the sky is approximately 90 km/s. This means that over the course of human life the star will shift by approximately half the size of the full Moon.

In reality, the fixed stars do move but very slowly. As seen from the planet Earth, each star travels about 1º over the period of 72 years — the average duration of a human life span sees each star move by about a human thumb’s width, that’s if one stretches one’s arm out to the sky. Most of that movement actually comes not from the stars drifting through space but from the Earth’s North Pole slowly turning around. This effect is called “precession of equinoxes” and you can read more in our recent story “The Sidereal Zodiac in astrology, its strengths and weaknesses”

The other significant component of movement is called “proper motion” and was only discovered in 1718 by Edmund Halley. Proper motion is very slow, it’s the actual speed of the stars flying apart as our Milky Way galaxy expands into infinity.

Astrological influence of the fixed stars

Influence of the fixed stars is very different from influence of the planets. The planets reflect light of the Sun in a dispersed manner. Each planet can be seen as responsible for a certain portion of the totality of the Sun’s energy, just like white beam of light gets split by a prism into a rainbow of colours. What’s more, the planets are never in one place. As seen from the Earth the planets are distributed along the ecliptic plane thus further spreading and mixing their energies in a cocktail-like manner.

Light spectral dispersion with a glass prism made
In the physical universe light from the source, for example, from a star, can be split into its spectral components by a prism.

Making an astrological analogy, the wholeness or unity of light of any star, including our Sun, is projected along the spectre by its orbiting bodies. Each of the planets therefore carries only some portion of the whole spectrum.

Image source: D-Kuru/Wikimedia Commons

The fixed stars are the sources of light themselves. Each star has its energy concentrated in a single dot. The astrologers were saying that “stars cast no rays” which is obviously not true from the physics standpoint. Instead, we could say that each star casts many rays but only a single ray is pointed towards the Earth.

This makes the influence of stars so much laser-like. Stellar energies are precise and sharply pointed. The effects appear to be of a sudden nature. The term “fate” describes human perception of the stellar action really well. We tend to perceive everything sudden as “fatal” and often attribute it with the notion of the “invisible hand” that performs the accidental music of this world.

Each of the fixed stars is imbued with its own astral energetic profile and thus is capable of projecting a forceful influence… provided certain conditions are met.

What makes the fixed stars affect us

The fixed stars are no doubt very powerful sources of astral energies but they are also extremely distant and thus their influence affects us only under certain special circumstances.

Several key factors influence the strength of each fixed star:

  • star own qualities and proximity to the ecliptic
  • star position in the sky
  • is star forming aspects with planets
  • the balance of forces on the current chart

Let’s go one by one…

Qualities of fixed stars and proximity to the ecliptic

The key qualities of each star is:

  • star visual magnitude
  • star spectral type
  • proximity to the ecliptic

Visual magnitude simply tells us how bright the star appears in the sky. The brightest star is Sirius, the most powerful stellar object as seen from the Earth. For another historical reason the visual magnitudes of the fixed stars start from -1.46 for Sirius (the brightest) and increase towards +6 that is the dimmest magnitude seen by an average human eye. Simply put, -1 is the brightest, 0 is less bright, +1 is even less bright, +2 is much dimmer as so on until +6 which is barely visible. One of those numerous confusing things about astronomy.

The star spectral type defines its perceived colour and thus translates into its astral qualities. Astral qualities of the fixed stars are expressed in terms of combination of planetary energies, since that’s the language that we humans understand.

For example, according to the ancient astrologer Ptolemy, Sirius is of the nature of Jupiter and Mars, Canopus is of nature of Saturn and Jupiter, and so on.

Stars that are located closer to the ecliptic plane — the plane where the Sun and other planets travel — will have a much stronger influence compared to more “remote” stars. The closest star to the ecliptic is Regulus (alpha Leonis) at mere 0º27’ from the Sun’s path, followed by Spica (alpha Virginis) 2º03’, Deneb Algedi (defat Capricorni) 2º36’, the Pleiades (eta Tauri) 4º03’, Antares (alpha Scorpii) 4º34’, Aldebaran (alpha Tauri) 5º27’.

Having combined the quality, the size and proximity to the ecliptic allows us to estimate the potential punch of each star.

No wonder that most of these stars will be involved in the case of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris fire of 2019.

Position of the star in the sky

Just like other “regular” planets and points of the astrological chart, a fixed star influence is stronger when it is aspected to one of the four angles of the chart, namely ascendant, midheaven, descendant and imum coeli.

Another factor is if the star is currently:

  • rising
  • culminating
  • setting

A culminating star is the one that is currently intersecting the local meridian line, or simply put the line between the points of midheaven and imum coeli. Such point will be the highest possible position of the star for given location of the Earth.

And this is another factor that played out in the case of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris fire of 2019.

Fixed star forming an aspect with a planet

It is well accepted that planets can form a conjunction with a star. A conjunction means that a planet and a fixed star are in close proximity in regards to their positions along the ecliptic plane, or ecliptic longitude.

Much less accepted concept is that the fixed stars and the planets can form other aspects, like opposition, square, sextile, trine, etc.

Geometrically speaking, nothing prevents us from taking those aspects into account as well.

And lastly, a star and a planet can also form a parallel, meaning they are close to each other in terms of their declination. A fixed star parallel is perhaps a rather weak indicator of stellar influence but may add some extra weight and tip the scales in certain situations. As for contra-parallels, it is not obvious that they make sense for stellar objects.

If you are interested to learn more about the fixed stars, we would recommend the classical work “The Fixed Stars And Constellations In Astrology” by Vivian Robson, the book has been published in 1923 and extensively taps into the works of Ptolemy and other classical astrologers. A small advice: you will no doubt notice the somewhat outdated and perhaps overly dramatic tone — don’t take it literally, instead actively use your imagination to draw modern parallels to the underlying symbolism.

The fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris fire of 2019 does meet this criteria too.

The balance of forces on the current chart

As Ptolemy wisely commented about 2,000 years ago, it’s not the combination of planetary energies that is responsible for certain events but rather a lack of compensating forces. In other words stuff happens when the balance is no longer possible.

For example, a Sun-Mars conjunction may be softened and neutralised by well positioned Venus and Jupiter, or it can be further aggravated by the misplaced Moon.

The astrological chart for Paris around the inception of fire in Notre-Dame Cathedral in 2019 has some interesting pointers to an active disbalance.

Analysing Notre-Dame Cathedral fire of 2019

Equipped with the above mentioned factors, let’s look into what could have possible go wrong on the astrological plane of Paris on April 15, 2019 and thus spilled out as a fiery accident nearly destroying the landmark of Christian faith and perhaps the most timeless symbol of France.

Looking at the chart

As currently documented, the fire has appeared about 18:50 on 15 April, 2019. For our interpretation we will use Time Nomad and set location to the exact coordinates of Notre-Dame Cathedral at the geographic coordinate of 48.8530°N 2.3498°E.

Astrological chart of Notre-Dame Cathedral fire of 15 April 2019, 18:50
Tropical Zodiac chart
Notre-Dame Cathedral fire
15 April 2019 at 18:50
Paris, France

The chart of the moment when the fire has been noticed.

There are several hard aspects pointing to an overly charged moment in time:

  • The Moon is square to Mars and opposite to the Black Moon
  • The Sun is conjunct to Uranus
  • Saturn and Pluto on the South Node

The Moon is only three days away from achieving its fullness thus adding an extra instability to already volatile Moon-Mars square.

The Sun and Uranus are both fiery and electric, always ready for anything sudden and unexpected.

We have already covered the infamous Saturn-Pluto conjunction in these two stories “Will 2019 be the year of Saturn-Pluto conjunction?” and “The timeline of Saturn – Pluto conjunction of years 2019–2020–2021 and its karmic meaning”

It is worth pointing that the South Node can be seen as a karmic point meaning dealing with anything past related. Both Saturn and Pluto are also karmic thus making up a perfect trio.

This chart is certainly “ripe for disruption”. But this chart applies world wide, it only means that anything may happen anywhere in the world. The chart conveys the flavour of time, the aroma of something that is fragile and can be easily tipped out of balance.

Introducing influence of the fixed stars

Now it’s a good time to add the extra layer of information provided to us by the fixed stars.

Astrological chart of the fixed stars aspects for Notre-Dame Cathedral fire of 15 April 2019, 18:50
Chart of fixed stars aspects
Notre-Dame Cathedral fire
15 April 2019 at 18:50
Paris, France

The chart of the moment when the fire has been noticed.

We can see that there is something brewing up but it doesn’t give us the whole picture. We could intuit that something may have happened shortly before the moment when the fire was actually noticed. Let’s move back in time, just a bit…

Astrological chart of the fixed stars aspects for Notre-Dame Cathedral fire of 15 April 2019, 16:50, two hours before fire reported
Chart of fixed stars aspects
Notre-Dame Cathedral fire
15 April 2019 at 16:50
Paris, France

Two hours before the fire was reported

The chart of two hours before the moment when the fire has been noticed.

Bingo, that when the needle enters the red zone! Just look at all those exact conjunctions to the fixed stars…

List of astrological aspects to the fixed stars for Notre-Dame Cathedral fire of 15 April 2019, 16:50, two hours before fire reported
List of fixed stars aspects
Notre-Dame Cathedral fire
15 April 2019 at 16:50
Paris, France

The chart of two hours before the moment when the fire has been noticed.

Notice than numerous exact aspects to the fixed stars are taking place, it's truly incredible.

The most interesting picture emerges at 16:50, two hours before the fire has been noticed. Fires do take time to develop and we shouldn’t discard the idea that the chain of reactions that lead to the actual fire has been initiated some time before that.

The most striking observations is the involvement of some powerful fixed stars:

Star ID Latitude Aspect
Aldebaran alpha Tauri 5º28’ Exact conjunction with both Mars and MC
Regulus alpha Leonis 0º28’ The Moon has just finished its extremely tight conjunction with that star
Antares alpha Scorpii 4º31’ This star forms a powerful opposition line with Aldebaran, so whatever planet is conjunct to Aldebaran is automatically opposed to Antares
Deneb Algedi delta Capricorni 2º36’ Exact conjunction with the Vertex

Aldebaran is of the nature of Mars, with Mars is liable to accidents, fevers and violent death.

Antares or the Scorpion’s Heart is known for its Mars-like behaviour, destructive tendencies and the danger of fatality.

Deneb Algedi is of Saturn and Jupiter nature, the star is known to act in opposite directions: beneficence and destructiveness, sorrow and happiness. Thus it is often seen as having a Uranus and Mercury nature.

Regulus is often seen as having either Mars nature or Mars combined with Jupiter. But some other sources see it having a Sun Uranus nature. Either way, Regulus is of a fiery nature that equally attracts success and failure.

To sum it up, the chart for Notre-Dame Cathedral indicates exact aspects with the fixed stars of mostly fiery, Marsian, nature: Aldebaran, Antares and Regulus; and an aspect with Deneb Algedi which is of a dual and oscillating nature, especially when seen as a Uranus-Mercury blend of energies.

What is clearly missing is the Venusian presence that could potentially bring the balance back.

What makes an event a local event

For a moment, let’s forget about the fixed stars and take a look at a regular chart of aspects. What can we tell about the moment of 16:50 in Paris?

Astrological chart of Notre-Dame Cathedral fire of 15 April 2019, 18:50, two hours before fire reported
Tropical Zodiac chart of planetary aspects
Notre-Dame Cathedral fire
15 April 2019 at 16:50
Paris, France

Two hours before the fire was reported

A few points immediately stand out:

  1. Mars on the Midheaven
  2. The Part of Fortune (also called, the Lot of Fortune or Fortuna) is tightly held between Saturn, Pluto and the South Node
  3. The Vertex conjunct to the Black Moon and opposed to the nearly full Moon

This astral configuration was specific to Paris, France and not any other place on the Earth.

Symbolically, one can perceive the forces of karma of the past and a fiery retribution. Karma comes from Saturn and Pluto, the most powerful planets that convey the forces to debt and judgement. The South Node is traditionally linked to anything past — past deeds, legacy, work done and actions related to spiritual progress.

Fiery retribution came directly from above, and the Midheaven is the symbol of that. Mars is the planet of fire that always delivers a targeted precise blow as if cut by a sword. The Midheaven is the point of the ecliptic that intersects with the local meridian, in other words the point of intersection of the trajectory of the Sun with the North-to-South line of that specific geographic location. Visually it’s a cross. Having a fiery blow from above that is directed at the church certainly sends some mystical shivers down the spine.

A combustive mix of energies

Combining both charts, one for planets and another for the fixed stars, we can see that the situation was:

  1. Globally unbalanced planetary configuration only requiring a small extra push to start crumbling
  2. The city of Paris went through some rough and exact aspects with fixed stars at about 16:50 of 15 April 2019

Now, the question is “Why was that Notre-Dame Cathedral and not something else?” This will remain unknown but one can intuit that France is going through the period of violent protests against inequality and receding quality of life by the Yellow Vest movement that essentially calls for a re-evaluation of what it means to be French and living with dignity.

Those are hard questions that clearly affect the core values and the heart of the French nation. It is a conflict of interests inside a bigger organism, the society as a whole. The fire of Notre-Dame Cathedral carries a deep symbolism of this burning desire of the French people for liberté, égalité, fraternité.

Isn’t it stikingly and symbolically similar to setting oneself on fire? Could it even be that Notre-Dame Cathedral did this self-immolation act as a sacrifice and a warning? Especially knowing that president Macron was allegedly about to announce new counter-protesters measures that evening as a part of his televised speech. What a mystery, there will be a mysticical sequel to Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, that’s for sure!

Drawing of the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, showing the recently restored galerie des chimères
The original French title of Victor Hugo’s novel is simply Notre-Dame de Paris. The novel was conceived to bring awareness of Parisians to the everlasting values of the old Gothic architecture.

Apparently Paris witnessed an urban development trend in 1820s that resulted in neglect and even demolishing of the medieval architecture. Through his writings Victor Hugo was campaigning against those ultra-modernist attitudes towards historical and spiritual legacy of the French nation.

Is it all written in the stars?

While we don’t believe that it’s possible to astrologically forecast an event like Notre-Dame Cathedral fire, we do believe that we can learn a lot by analysing the nuts and bolts of this event.

The fixed stars provide an extremely valuable additional layer of astrological information that allows to further “connect the dots” and peek deeper into the astrological workings and symbolism behind every significant event in this world.

If you are interested in learning more about the fixed stars then jump to “Understanding the role of Fixed Stars in astrology” story that dives deeper into what makes the fixed stars so special.

Fixed stars in astrology

Introducing Time Nomad add-on: Fixed stars

The Fixed Stars add-on for Time Nomad astrology app allows for further exploration of fixed stars, including their aspects to planets, parallels and rise, transit and culmination for any chart.