Fixed star:  MARSIK
Constellation:  Kappa (κ) Hercules
Longitude 1900:  24SCO19 Longitude 2000:  25SCO43
Declination 1900:  +17.19' Declination 2000:  +17.03'
Right ascension:  16h 07m Latitude:  +37.12'
Spectral class:  G4 Magnitude:  5.3

The history of the star: Marsik

from p.244 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage under the title chi (χ)]


Kappa (κ) Hercules, Marsik, is a star on the right elbow of Kneeling Man.

There is a mix-up with this star, kappa (κ) Hercules, positioned on the right elbow of Hercules - (25SCO45); and chi (χ) Hercules positioned on the left elbow (8SCO16). In astronomy listings this star is unnamed but chi (χ) Hercules is called Marsik. In astrological listings; this star, kappa (κ), is listed as Marsik; chi Hercules is unnamed. R.H. Allen in Star Names says that Ptolemy and the Arabian astronomers located lambda (λ) on the right elbow (where it is here now at 25SCO43), but the English astronomer Smyth (1788-1865) on the left (where chi χ Hercules is now). The confusion of the titles written with the letter s probably coming from early confusion with the letter f. The Dorians called chi (χ) Kubiton the Elbow. Marfak, Mirfak, Marsia, Marfic, and Marsic are all found for this starkappa (κ) Hercules, -  but it properly is Marfik, from Al Marfik, the "Elbow". [Lambda Ophiuchus (λ) is named Marfik.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Hercules

Legend: This constellation was put in heaven as a reminder of the labors of Hercules. According to another account, however, during the war between the Gods and Titans the former all ran to one side of the heavens, which would have fallen had not Atlas and Hercules supported it, and the latter was placed in the sky in commemoration of this service. [Robson*, p.46-47.]

Influences: According to Ptolemy it is like Mercury. It is said to give strength of character, tenacity and fixity of purpose, an ardent nature and dangerous passions. By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Daleth and the fourth Tarot Trump "The Emperor". [Robson*, p.47.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Hercules given by Manilius:

Manilius associates Hercules with tightrope walking (funambulism):

"Hercules, the figure on bended knee and called by the Greek name of Engonasin, about whose origin no certainty prevails. Of this constellation is begotten the desertion, craftiness, and deceit characteristic of its children, and from it comes the thug who terrorizes the heart of the city. If perchance his mind is moved to consider a profession, Engonasin [a Greek title for constellation Hercules meaning Kneeler] will inspire him with enthusiasm for risky callings, with danger the price, for which he will sell his talents: daring narrow steps on a path without thickness, he will plant firm feet on a horizontal tightrope; then, as he attempts an upward route to heaven, (on a sloping tightrope) he will all but lose his footing and, suspended in mid-air, he will keep a multitude in suspense upon himself" [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century, AD, p.353.]


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