ANTARES: Watcher in the West

Date 14 Sep 2023
TAGS antares
Author: Joe Polise
ANTARES: Watcher in the West
9 Sagittarius 30
Heart of the Scorpion
Scorpio Alpha Scorpii

The constellation of Scorpio rises after Orion, and thus we can see Orion actually fleeing from its claws. Scorpio lies below Ophiuchus, a "snake charmer" famous for healing and exorcism. Lying opposite from Scorpio is Taurus, the Bull which as we have seen represents the ever-renewable life force. For the constellation, as well as for the sign of Scorpio, the scorpion is symbolic of wisdom and also death and self-destruction.

Antares is an abbreviation of the "Anti-Ares" which means "Rival of Mars." Perhaps this is because Antares is reddish in color. Following the warlike connotations of Enoch and the Bundahishn, some of Antares' associations have a martial flavor. Antares is "Antar's Star;" Antar was an Islamic warrior-hero from the pre-Muhammed era. In other literature Antares was called "Kalb al'Akrab" or the Scorpion's Heart: Cor Scorpii. For the Persians c. 3,000 B.C. Antares was the Watcher in the West, a pillar of Heaven. Antares corresponds to the Guardian Angel Raphael whose name means "God is a healer."

Antares shows the aspect of cosmic order that destroys for the sake of renewal (opposite the Bull/Aldebaran); it is a sign that death must exist alongside the forces of life in the foundation of the universe. Antares is the component of the divine tetramorph initiating change and the metamorphosis of form life; in this sense its qualities are healing or destructive. In a natal chart, Antares directs the planets it encounters toward purgation, so that an incisive application of its energy is possible. Antares is the star that initiates one into the mysteries of death and renewal.

The older astrologers had dire and frightening things to say about Antares. For instance, Robson lists "malevolence, and destructiveness...evil presages and danger of fatality," while also admitting "broad-mindedness, liberality," the combination of these qualities sounding like the "Mars/Jupiter rulership Ptolemy assigns to Antares.(21) Modern interpreters like Rosenburg says Antares offers the possibility of "power, authority and wealth" but there is also the "tendency to violence, suspicion and self-destructiveness."(22) Likewise, the nemesis that Brady links to all the Royal Stars manifests in the Antares people "creating drama simply for the thrill of intensity" which can cause the loss of the success of which they are capable.(23)

Fredrich Nietzsche was born with Antares closely conjoining the Moon's South Node in Sagittarius. The intensity and drama of Antares is evident in Nietzsche's articulation of the Ubermensch ideal in Thus Spake Zarathustra. As a "perfected man" the Ubermensch opposed and transcended all that Nietzsche loathed in his culture. With Antares' regenerative focus Nietzsche's nihilism sought to re-examine the morality of bourgeois Christianity. Zarathustra is another name for Zoroaster who was a Persian prophet to whom Ahura Mazda revealed the secrets of the universe in seven dreams.