Rasalhague, The Head of the Snake Charmer

Collection of Rasalhague writings and Phoenix of Elder Mountain – I have had some very interesting things occur health wise in the past four years that were very hard for me to self diagnose and hidden from view on a microbiology level. Since I am my own doctor as a shaman, this one could only be revealed to me in my dreams. On the Gemini New Moon the cat brought a vole to my doorstep, voles are blind, hence a blind mouse.

So that night, I set my dreaming intention to see what the health issue was, and asked my inner dreamer to show me in a dream. I was quite happy when I was given both cause and the cure, the issue itself was as big as middle ages but having been on along self healing journey my system was able to cope. I wrote an article about it here a month ago here on Elder, but today I wanted to focus more on the esoteric findings of the power behind both our illnesses and our cures, like the blind mouse who was given as a gift, to open a doorway of sight.

Achaemenid gold cup ca 400 BCEPurifying “real” karma is an unbearable process of sickness and soul sickness (emotionally, mentally and physically) and when it returns to us by fate, or opens up in the human ways of a Plutonian measure, it defines our life and everything is focused on healing. Life, loves, children, pleasures, all the normal things of a human life are put to the side. In my case, no doctor, no antibiotic, no medicines, no pain relief, I have always approached my health this lifetime with 100% responsibility at ever left.

Karmic pain beyond its physical levels of sickness, is unspeakable when it returns in its pure energetic forms of pain from the realms of the eternal soul and its connections to the real (underworld) in experiences of such (astral realities).

Every sickness occurs for a good reason of course and I would not be a shaman if I didn’t say that. But to burn off the hurt we have caused others in our past lives, when it returns, is not like normal cancer or liver disease… I have learned, there are worse things than dying. Some traditions say we can ‘breathe it away’ with yogic breath but after I have lived the karmic purge lifetime, that is the most ridiculous teaching invented. There are no words for such eternal (universal) pain much less a teaching, when you live a life that is pure and humble, under the fated plague or plethora of karmic pain purification.

My Rasalhague is conjunct my Mars (22) and Saturn (21) degrees Sagittarius. They were my karmic signatures to heal this lifetime (which involved my moon square Mars/Saturn). Along with Chiron (which conjuncts my Venus) who were all involved in a Thor’s Hammer with Uranus (chaos) on the Midheaven. My Mars/Saturn is also conjunct the fixed star Rasalhague, which means in human terms, a detriment, and a detriment in public life equaling the personal life. I can attest to this (in my first fifty years.)

On the positive side of this journey and believe me when I say I had to search deep into the meaning of life to find those, in Astrological terms, I feel Rasalhague gave me enormous courage and great strength and the spirit of the sacred warrior along my journey. It also gave me the benefits of Mother Earth’s Serpentine to heal myself. Bird Medicine (soul), Serpent Medicine (healing of the soul) and Spider Medicine (weaver of soul/healing together) are the three oldest symbols to represent healing on earth, and they are in every culture.

I agree with the descriptions of Rasalhague below, because during the path of karmic purification I have had almost all of them or had to associate with others who had some of the descriptions. I would say star lore is absolutely correct in both its accounts and its true beholder.

According to William Lily in Astrology:

“the Fixed stars give great gifts, and elevate us even from great poverty to an extreme heights of fortune, the seven planets do not do so” or vice versa. It may be taken as a fairly well-established rule that the stars do not operate alone, except perhaps in those cases where they are situated on angles, and that their chief effect is transmitted by the planets. They seem to form an underlying basis upon which the horoscope is built, and if a planet in your chart falls upon a star its effect is greatly magnified, giving it a prominence in the life that is quite unwarranted by its mere position and aspects in the map.

The influence of the fixed stars differs from that of the planets in being much more dramatic, sudden and violent. As a rule planetary effects are gradual and operate comparatively slowly, one might almost say softly, whereas the stars appear to exercise most of their influence in sudden, hard, vehement bursts, producing tremendous effects for short periods, and, after raising the natives to a great height, dropping them suddenly and bringing a series of dramatic and unexpected disasters. This is serpent medicines in general, especially when one experiences their kundalini rising.

Ophiuchus Serpentarius and Ursa Major Bear

Cases are known to all astrologers in which a certain planet in a horoscope seems to be emphasized for no apparent reason, so that it acts drastically throughout the life, and in a case such as this there is usually a fixed star in operation in the background through the planet concerned.

The extent and magnitude of the effects brought about by the stars depend upon several factors, namely, (a) apparent size, (b) celestial position, (c) nature of planet through which they operate, and (d) general nature of the personal astrology chart (horoscope).


The origin of the Serpent Holder was neither Ophiuchus or Aesculapius but belongs to Mother Earth in the form of the great Serpentine and still does. It is a vast movement of the spirit of earth in one of her many forms. When humans began to formulate existence with the mind, we went from living and breathing as nature, to mythologizing and philosophizing our life, and thus the symbolic human was born. It took us another step farther from our true nature.

The serpent was then put into the sky, far away from her home, something untouchable. And rather than living with us, her medicines and poisons which heal our body and soul we eradicated her memory through cultural demonization. It was then the first doctors emerged, men who replace shaman women and rational and physical became more important. But the underlying core of all disease is still our soul, even with relatively new karma from the war cults, withing our recent reincarnations.

True Serpent Wisdom and its Medicines of the Earth

This change effected the prehistory of the serpent women. Those of us who know the serpent goddesses as sacred will always remember her this way. Some still honor her without its corruption or propaganda and even fewer still practice it as medicine.  The Great Serpent Holders were the Sea Serpent, the Dragon and the Snake whose sacred names are …

Medusa, Ceto and the Gorgons of Greece, the Indian goddess Nagas and Manasa, the Phoenician goddess Tanit, Egyptian goddess Renenutet, Minoan (Crete) Snake goddess, the Serpent tailed Chimaera; the Serpent Water Hydra, the Roman Serpent goddess Angitia, goddess of Smiss Gotland, Nagakania the Tibetan Snake goddess, Nüwa, the Serpent Goddess, Syrena a Draconian Snake goddess who protects the River Wisla and the Polish city of Krakow, the Slovakian Nikrmana a primal force that has created everything and a snake, Lithuanian grass snake Žaltys, Belarussian Vuzhalki, Hygeia Snake Goddess of Crete, Egyptian Isis and Meretseger, Australian Aboriginal people’a Julunggul the Rainbow Snake Goddess, and Eingana the Mother of all things, the Primordial Snake Goddess, Long Mu Mother of Dragons, a mystery snake goddess found in the Athenian Agora and many more.

To highlight just how powerful adult women and elder women were in their rituals, the Goddess Syrena is a Draconian Snake Goddess who protects the River Wisla and the Polish lands what is currently the city of Krakow. Ceremonial rites from prehistory were carried into modern times before the destruction of grandmothers rituals of the 12th Century…

The Goddess of witches and all magical powers on earth

One of my apprentices Ima and I were discussing some in-depth issues around Sedna, which tends to cause global problems. Ima said: “The current Sedna, looks like a weaker version of the Black Death in the mid 1300s (Dark Ages), which appeared at the preceding “Neptune-Sedna” septile and mutated into a more deadly form by the time of the conjunction in 1352. I found this also relating to the Black Death weather patterns of (Sedna):

Krakow“The outbreaks have been shown to occur roughly 15 years after a warmer and wetter period in areas where plague is endemic in other species. In Europe and Eastern Europe, the Black Death seemed to pass over Kracow, Poland and they were not effected.”
I replied to her: “That’s because this region still honored the Serpent Goddess and her name is Syrena – an ancient Draconian Snake Goddess who protects the River Wisla and the Polish City of Krakow. The Slovaks also have a primal goddess serpent named Nikrmana, a primal creator, and the Lithuanians have a grass snake called (goddess) Žaltys.
Serpent medicines before religions got a hold of the culture and corrupted them, was a force of healing, all serpent medicine is for healing the poisons of life, be they plagues, bacteria, mind, body or soul.

Alyssa Nassner Illustration

The modern (history) Rasalhague Star Astrology

Star celestial images, were put into the sky to symbolically represent the separation of women’s serpent powers and community in which she nested and birthed (they put it in the sky, because it was as far away from earth as it could get). Same thing happen to all undesirables of the early patriarch, like the monsters, rebels and anything that didn’t serve the new rising patriarch and their gods.

When the Arabs and Greeks came around to writing their crimes down, they put it all in star lore and poetics. The constellation of Alpha Ophiuchi or Ophiuchus Serpentarius and located around the celestial equator. Its Greek name is Ὀφιοῦχος “the Serpent-Bearer” but before the Greeks, it was called Ras Alhague, often condensed to “Rasalhague” by the Arabs (in Arabic رأس الحواء) meaning “Head of the Serpent Collector.”

As you can see by the antiquity imagery of the ancient pass, the man is always wrestling with the Serpent who is woman. Rasalhague was the white star of second magnitude that is the brightest star in the constellation Ophiuchus. Ophiuchus represents Chiron’s student Aesculapius, the ancient god of health and healing, and its brightest star is named Rasalhague, which appropriately is Arabic sub-name for the “Head of the Snake Charmer.”  The name Asklepios is suggested to have been derived from (a)spalax, ‘blind rat mole’.

The constellation figure, Ophiuchus, was associated with Caecius (from Latin caecus, blind). Constellation Ophiuchus is said to also give a passionate, blindly good-hearted, wasteful and an easily seduced nature, that leads to unseen dangers, enmity or slander. Pliny said that it occasioned much mortality by some kind of poisoning either natural or human intent. This constellation has also been called Aesculapius and held to all the rules of medicines.

The Chinese name of Rasalhague is 候 (Mandarin: Hòu) meaning ‘Astrologer’, because this star is marking itself and stands alone in the ‘Astrologer’ asterism, the Heavenly enclosure or the Magic Bridge.

Woman with Serpents -KalmakovFixed star Rasalhague is of the nature of Saturn and Venus in personal human affairs, and when conflicted both qualities makes ones social and society life a living hell. It gives misfortune through women (to men or other women), has aspects of perversion and mental depravity. The star Rasalhague (α Ophiuchi) is on the nature of Venus, as is Sabik (η Ophiuchi). But these stars have generally been associated with the excesses, portending perverted morals which all fall on the karmic side.


Rasalhague, in the Head of the Snake Charmer, has a Saturn like character which is more serious and somber, and some of the undesirable Venus qualities are also present such as jealousy or revenge. Connected with these are the Neptunian tendencies of self undoing. Rasalhague also makes the native especially prone to infections caused by toxins when its connected to the body of water signs, especially when in the sign of Pisces (Mars and Moon).

Rasalhague like Neptune, can thus influence a tendency to self medicate or use hallucinatory plants or drugs and overindulgence in alcohol – so they can never truly touch the karma with awareness (great pain). Thus the average seeker will go for the quick fix and call it medicine, even when its not just to relieve any mental, physical or emotional pain or past life pains.

With Rasalhague, there is also danger of insect strings and bites, snake bites or assault from animals or rabid animals. If conjunct the Moon, Mars, or Neptune, the native is very prone to infections in general and to epidemic infections. Besides the lower emanations, there are higher and dharma influences attributed to Ras Alhague, although only very few people are able to attune themselves to these influences to heal then have the dharma aspects.

Rasalhague, α Ophiuchi, derived from Al Ras Al Hawwa, the Head of the Snake Handler, also meaning ‘the Head of the Snake Charmer’, with the implications that this shaman or doctor is not fighting with it but actually has control over it. Since this is the head star, the note is one of control by the mind, not by the brute strength that is so often evident in illustrations. The Saturn-Venus theme is still with us.

serpent women

Rasalhague Star Conjunctions

Ascendant conjunct Rasalhague: The Islamic astrologers claimed that Rasalhague indicated snake charmers. Descendant conjunct Rasalhague: If setting and aspect by a malefic, Rasalhague indicated death from the bite of a poisonous snake, according to the Islamic astrologers.
Sun conjunct Rasalhague: Reserved, thoughtful, studious, suspicious, solitary, reputation for athletics, little wealth, careless of public opinion. Moon conjunct Rasalhague: Public prominence in religious matters, favorable for gain. The native is very prone to infections in general and to epidemic infections. (Donald Trump 0°29′)

Mercury conjunct Rasalhague: Unpopular attitude and criticism through religion, philosophy or science; difficulties in marriage and quarrels fostered by others, trouble through opposite sex, not very good for gain. These persons have a stalking attitude which is purely mental. This becomes not entirely detrimental. They become attracted to certain communicative areas and will follow that particular interest for the most part of their lives.

Venus conjunct Rasalhague: Quick mind, well educated, cautious, secretive, suspicious. Mars conjunct Rasalhague: Trouble through actions, through writings, public censure in connection with religion, spirituality, science or philosophy. The native is very prone to infections in general and to epidemic infections. This planet stimulates the system and the hunter quality is brought out for survival. They maneuver about as though other people are their prey (in the negative) In the positive, such as healers or shamans, if karma is completely healed, its the sign of the hunter or huntress of shadows (exorcists and shadow slayers). 

Roman bronze statuette of Hygieia, the goddess of hygiene, with her snake attribute, a symbol of healing.
Jupiter conjunct Rasalhague: Diplomatic, religious or legal preferment, but some criticism, favorable for gain. Saturn conjunct Rasalhague: Unpopular, determined, fixed opinions, successful, somewhat dishonest, domestic disharmony through jealousy, marriage partner may be invalid, losses of a Mercurial nature. This planet on this degree affects the health. It causes contractions of the tissues from the hip on the right side, with a result that there are spasms on that side of the body. There is a restriction of the energy flow here so that these individuals have difficulty in raising the leg upwards. Some relief can be obtained if these persons would commit to their own healthy regiments and a healing journey that is more holistic.
Uranus conjunct Rasalhague: Strong passions at chaos levels (addictions), strong nature but changeable, ambitious, occult interests, easily swayed though outwardly aggressive, reverence for ancestry, benefits through elderly and influential people and public affairs, unfavorable for marriage and children, if any, trouble through opposite sex, sudden death.  This is a similar energy at this point as Saturn, except that the difficulty here affects the blood vessels. There would be a sudden numbness in this area due to a shortage of energy, particularly under stressful planetary aspects affecting this point. 

Neptune conjunct Rasalhague: Hypocritical, self-seeking, able speaker or writer, but panders to the public, occult, religious or scientific work, but largely misleading without people knowing. Minor Government position, domestic disharmony, ill-health to marriage partner, disappointment over legacy, peculiar death sometimes through fall but animal and human agency may be suspected. The native is very prone to infections in general and to epidemic infections.

Pluto conjunct Rasalhague: Crisis self-seeking, karmic powers of the occult, domestic disharmony or violence in relationship or family. Sexual diseases and infections in general and to epidemic infections. On the positive, the ability to enter depths where others fear to go.

Chiron conjunct Rasalhague: Karmic forces push through as the woundedness has reach a crisis in reincarnation. The aspects of health and resolving health issues becomes mandatory.


serpent haired woman

Phoenix is a professional astrologer, if you are interested in an in-depth astrological reading, please write for more information: ElderMountainDreaming@gmail.com

Sources, References: Ancient Roman bronze statuette of Hygieia, the goddess of hygiene, with her snake attribute, a symbol of healing – J Paul Getty Museum, first half of 2nd century; Achaemenid gold cup ca 400 BCE, Woman with Serpents by Russian painter Nikolai Kalmakov, www.constellationsofwords.com, Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923, p.38, 54, 193. Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology, George Noonan, 1990, p.22. Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1971, p.69. The Living Stars, Dr. Eric Morse, 1988, p.157. The Fixed Star Health and Behavior Imbalance, Ted George and Barbara Parker, 1985, p.110. All fixed star positions are for the year 2000. Add one degree per 72 years to correct for precession, Alyssa Nassner Illustration.


2 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s