Fixed star:  MIRA
Constellation: Omicron (ο) Cetus
Longitude 1900:  00TAU07 Longitude 2000: 01TAU31
Declination 1900:  -03.26' Declination 2000:  -02.59'
Right ascension:  02h 19m Latitude:  -15.56'
Spectral class: M6 Magnitude: 3.0 VAR

The history of the star: Mira

Omicron (ο) Cetus, Mira (related to the words "miraculous", and "ad-mire", from Latin mirus, "wonderful"), is described as a deep garnet colored star located in the neck of the Whale or Sea-Monster.

MiraMira has been called the constellation's necklace. An eclipsing binary (two stars that periodically obscure each other and rapidly dim), subject to extreme irregularities. Mira is a long-period variable star with a cycle of about 331 days from one period of maximum brightness to the next. This period is sometimes a little erratic and can be off by as much as 30 days either way. For about five months Mira is invisible, then in the next six months it gradually increases in brilliance, until finally it shines with the beautiful sparkle of a star of the second magnitude. This peak of brilliance lasts for about a fortnight, after which time it again starts slowly to fade. At various times it has not been seen at all with the naked eye for several years consecutively, — and its maxima and minima are even more irregular. While it has been known almost to equal Aldebaran in its light, as it did under Herschel's observations on the 6th of November, 1779, Chandler gives its maximum as from 1.7 to 5, and its minimum from 8 to 9.5. It thus sometimes sends out at its maximum fifteen hundredfold more light than at its minimum. [Various sources on the internet]

from p.164 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage]

Mira, Stella Mira, and Collum Ceti are all titles for this Wonderful Star in the Whale's neck, the show object in the heavens as a variable of long period and typical of its class.

[Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889].

The astrological influences of the constellation Cetus

Legend: Cetus represents the sea monster or whale sent by Neptune to devour Andromeda (see Andromeda). [Robson*, p.38.]

Influences: According to Ptolemy this constellation is like Saturn. It is said to cause laziness and idleness, but to confer an emotional and charitable nature, with the ability to command, especially in war. Makes one amiable, prudent, happy by sea and land, and helps to recover lost goods. [Robson*, p.38.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Cetus given by Manilius:

"As the last portion of the Fishes (Pisces) rises, appears the constellation of the Whale, pursuing Andromeda in heaven as on the sea. This monster enlists its sons [those influenced astrologically by Cetus] in an onslaught on the deep and a butchery of scaly creatures; theirs will be a passion for ensnaring the deep with nets spread wide and for straitening the sea with bonds; they will confine in spacious prisons seals which deem themselves as safe as in the open sea and shackle them fast in fetters; the unwary tunny they will draw along in a network of meshes. Their capture is not the end, the fish struggle against their bonds, meet a new assault, and suffer death by the knife, and the sea is dyed, mixed with blood of its own. Furthermore, when the victims lie dead along the shore, a second slaughter is perpetrated on the first; the fish are torn into pieces, and a single body is divided to serve separate ends. One part is better if its juices [sauce] are given up, another if they are retained. In the one case a valuable fluid is discharged, which yields the choicest part of the blood, flavored with salt, it imparts a relish to the palate. In the other case all the pieces of the decaying carcass are blended together and merge their shapes until every distinguishing feature has been lost, they provide food with a condiment of general use. Or when, presenting the very likeness of the dark-hued sea, a shoal of the scaly creatures has come to a stop and cannot move for their numbers, they are surrounded and drawn from the water by a huge drag-net, and fill large tanks and wine-vats, their common endowment of liquid is exuded upon each other, for their inward parts melt and issue forth as a stream of decomposition.

"Moreover, such men [those astrologically influenced by Cetus] will be able to fill great salt-pans, to evaporate the sea, and to extract the sea's venom [salt], they prepare a wide expanse of hardened ground and surround it with firm walls, next conduct therein waters channeled from the nearby sea and then deny them exit by closing sluice-gates, so the floor holds in the waves and begins to glisten as the water is drained off by the sun. When the sea's dry element has collected, Ocean's white locks (salt) are shorn for use at table, and huge mounds are made of the solid foam; and the poison of the deep, which prevents the use of sea-water, vitiating it with a  taste, they commute to life-giving salt and render a source of health." [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, book 5, p.353, 355.]

The astrological influences of the star Mira

Its nature corresponds to Saturn and Jupiter. Connected well and with a well placed Saturn and linked up well otherwise, this will mean prudence, perseverance, versatility, a progressive spirit and endurance in solving difficult problems. This star in unhelpful connections, will bring as results failures, fiascoes, enmity, especially with Saturn transits and when linked with the Moon, melancholy will then appear. Linked with Mercury, it will mean a lessening of spiritual forces. In critical situations, suicide is indicated. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.15.]


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