Fixed star:  ALPHERATZ  Sirrah
Constellation:  Alpha (α) Andromeda
Longitude 1900:  12ARI55 Longitude 2000:  14ARI18
Declination 1900:  +28.32' Declination 2000:  +29.05'
Right ascension:  00h 08m Latitude:  +25.40'
Spectral class: B8 blue-white Magnitude:   2.2

The history of the star: Alpheratz

from p.35 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage]

AlpheratzAlpha (α) Andromeda, Alpheratz, is a double star, magnitudes, 2.2 and 11, white and purplish on the Chained Woman's head.

Alpheratz, Alpherat, and Sirrah derive from the Arabians' Al Surrat al Faras, "the Horse's Navel", as this star formerly was associated with Pegasus, whence it was transferred to the Woman's hair (the top of Andromeda's head); and someone has strangely called it Umbilicus Andromedae (this star is positioned on the Pegasus's navel, i.e., Latin umbilicus, and also on the top of Andromeda's head). But in all late Arabian astronomy taken from the second-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy it was interpreted as Al Ras al Mar'ah al Musalsalah, "the Head of the Woman in Chains."

The Greek astronomer Aratus, circa 270 B.C., designated it as xunos aster (joint or common star, i.e., common to both constellations Andromeda and Pegasus), and it is still retained in Pegasus as the delta (δ) of that figure, although not in general use by astronomers.

In England, two centuries ago, it was familiarly known as Andromeda's Head.

With beta (β) Cassiopeia (Caph), and gamma (γ) Pegasus (Algenib), as "the Three Guides", it marks the equinoctial colure, the prime meridian of the heavens; and, with gamma (γ) Pegasus (Algenib), the eastern side of the Great Square of Pegasus (The Great Square of Pegasus marked by this star Alpheratz, α Andromeda, and Markab, Scheat, and Algenib, α, β, and γ Pegasus).

In the Hindu lunar zodiac this star, Alpheratz, along with alpha Pegasus (α Markab), beta Pegasus (β Scheat), and gamma Pegasus (γ Algenib), — the Great Square of Pegasus,— constituted the double nakshatra (Hindu Moon Mansion),— the 24th and 25th,— Purva and Uttara Bhadrapadas, "the Former and the Latter Beautiful", or Auspicious, Feet (perhaps "Auspicious Feet"?); also given as Proshthapadas, "Footstool Feet" while the German Sanskrit scholar Professor Weber says that it was Pratishthana, a Stand or Support, which the four bright stars may represent.

With gamma (γ) Pegasus (Algenib), the determinant star, it formed the 25th sieu (Chinese Moon Mansion) Pi, or Peih, a Wall or Partition {maybe this should be spelled , a Wall}, anciently Lek, and the manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion) Al Fargu, from Al Farigh al Mu'ah'h'ar, "the Hindmost Loiterer" or, perhaps more correctly, "the Hind Spout of the Water-jar", for the thirteenth century Persian astronomical writer Al Kazwini called it Al Farigh al Thani, the Second Spout; a Well-mouth and its accompaniments being imagined here by the early Arabs.

The Persian title for this lunar station, Miyan; the Sogdian Iranians called it Bar Farshat; the Khorasmian (east of Persia) (a Turkish people), Wabir; and the Coptic people of Egypt, Artulosia, all have somewhat similar meanings.

In astrology alpha (α) portended honor and riches to all born under its influence. [p.35 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen 1889]

The Lunar Mansions

The 25th Arabic Lunar Mansion is Al Fargh al Thani, Al Farigh al Thani, also called Al Fargu, from Arabic Al Farigh al Mu'ah'h'ar, "the Hindmost Loiterer" or, perhaps more correctly, "the Hind Spout of the Water-jar, "the Second Spout; a Well-mouth and its accompaniments being imagined here by the early Arabs.

Robson lists two stars; gamma Pegasus (γ Algenib); and this star alpha Andromeda Alpheratz) which used to be called delta (δ) Pegasus.

Influences of the 25th Arabic Moon Mansion Al Fargh al Thani: Increases harvests, revenues, gain, heals infirmities, hinders building, upholds prisons, causes danger to seamen and destruction of enemies.

With Moon transiting here: marry, take medicine, pursue business but do not travel or lend money. [Robson* p.75].

The astrological influences of the constellation Andromeda

Legend: Andromeda, the original "maiden in distress" is daughter of Cepheus, king of Ethiopeia, and his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia was proud of her daughter's beauty and boasted that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Sea Nymphs, the Nereids, who were daughters of Poseidon (Neptune). The Nereids complained to Poseidon who sent a sea monster (Cetus) to ravage the coast. With his kingdom in grave danger, Cepheus consulted the oracle of Ammon in Libya for advice. He learned the only way to save his kingdom was to sacrifice his daughter, Andromeda, to the sea monster. Andromeda is chained to a rock and left to the mercy of the monster. The hero, Perseus, riding through the air on winged sandals, arrives at the scene and they fall in love. Perseus had a quick consultation with Cepheus and Cassiopeia, it is agreed that if he rescues their daughter he could marry her. The sea monster (Cetus) arrives and Perseus kills it by turning it to stone with the Medusa's Head (Algol). Perseus breaks the chains that bound Andromeda to the rock and frees her. The wedding follows.

According to Ptolemy the influence of this constellation is similar to that of Venus, though the legend would lead one to suppose some connection with Virgo. It is said to bestow purity of thought, virtue, honor and dignity upon its natives, but to cause battle with chimerical (wildly fanciful, highly improbable) fears and a tendency to become easily discouraged. It gives love between husband and wife and reconciles adulterers. If Mars afflicts the luminaries from Andromeda and especially if in an angle, it causes death by hanging, decapitation, crucifixion or impalement. By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Pé and the 17th Tarot Trump, The Stars. [Robson*, p.26.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Andromeda given by Manilius:

The full English translation of the myth of Andromeda as told by Manilius in Astronomica, 1st century A.D. can be found on the Andromeda constellation page. Here is part of it:

"The man whose birth coincides with the rising of Andromeda from the sea will prove merciless, a dispenser of punishment, a warder of dungeon dire; he will stand arrogantly by while the mothers of wretched prisoners lie prostrate on his threshold, and the fathers wait all night to catch the last kisses of their sons and receive into their inmost being the dying breath. From the same constellation comes the figure of the executioner, ready to take money for a speedy death and the rites of a funeral pyre, for him execution means profit, and oft will he bare his axe; in short, he is a man who could have looked unmoved on Andromeda herself fettered to the rock. Governor of the imprisoned he occasionally becomes a fellow convict, chained to criminals so as to save them for execution. [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century A.D., Book 5, p.351.]"

The astrological influences of the star Alpheratz

According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Jupiter and Venus, and to these Alvidas adds Mars also. It gives independence, freedom, love, riches, honor and a keen intellect. [Robson*, p.133.]

Harmonious nature which makes for popularity. If it is in affinity to propitious stellar bodies and with the personal points MC, Asc, Sun, Moon, one can count on becoming well known in public and popularity with the masses. If connected to the Sun, the native can easily become unpopular and can be toppled over. Also if transiting Saturn passes over the fixed star in conjunction with another stellar body (planet) a weakening of popular appeal is indicated. In this way E. Ebertin noted that, in many cases, directors and administrators, who had in their cosmogram. Sun in conjunction with this star, lost their posts, when in 1938 and 1939 transiting Saturn passed over this conjunction. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.13, under the name Sirrah]

With a malefic and the Moon at the same time with Sirius, death by a fiery cutting weapon or from beasts; if the Moon be with Vega, violent death. [Robson*, p.133.]

With Sun: Honor, preferment and favors from others. [Robson*, p.133.]

With Moon: Energetic, persevering, honor, wealth, many good friends and business success. [Robson*, p.133.]

With Mercury: Active mind, benefits from judges, lawyers or churchmen, pioneer work bringing prominence, accused of selfish motives, writes on science, religion or philosophy. [Robson*, p.133.]

With Venus: Neat and tidy appearance, quiet life, good health, fond of pleasure and society, fortunate for speculation. [Robson*, p.133.]

With Mars: Sharp mind, energetic, business success through own endeavors. [Robson*, p.134.]

With Jupiter: Philosophical or religious mind, benefits from professional men, ecclesiastical honor and dignity, favorable for gain. [Robson*, p.134.]

With Saturn: Open and affable but miserly, seeks popularity, pretends to be religious for business ends, favors from clergy and lawyers, likelihood of wealth, domestic harmony, liable to diseases in the head and tumors that finally cause death. [Robson*, p.134.]

With Uranus: Just, honorable, good speaker, domestic harmony if male, but not so fortunate for female, benefit from practical application of ideas, interest in occultism, considerable psychic power if female, favorable for gain. [Robson*, p.134.]

With Neptune: Sincere, earnest, humane, good speaker and writer, engaged in charitable work, religious reform or animal protection, knowledge of human nature, money sought and obtained chiefly for charitable purposes many friends, domestic harmony, not very favorable for children. [Robson*, p.134.]

References:

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