Fixed star:  DENEBOLA
Constellation:  Beta (β) Leo
Longitude 1900:  20VIR14 Longitude 2000:  21VIR37
Declination 1900:  +15.08' Declination 2000:  +14.35'
Right ascension:  11h 48m Latitude:  +12.15'
Spectral class:  A4 Magnitude:  2.2

The history of the star: Denebola

from p.258 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage]

Beta (β) Leo, Denebola, is a blue star in the tail of the Lion.

DenebolaDenebola — sometimes Deneb (meaning "tail") — is the modern name for this star, abbreviated from Al Dhanab al Asad, the Lion's Tail, the Greek Alkaia (meaning 'Mallow'); the 17th century German astronomer Bayer gave it as Denebalecid and Denebaleced; English writer on globes John Chilmead (circa 1639), as Deneb Alased; and the 17th century German astronomer and ephemeris creator Schickard, as Dhanbol-asadi. The Italian astronomer Riccioli (1598-1671) omitted the first syllable of the original, and called the star Nebolellesed, Nebollassid "of the Nubian astrologers," and Alazet apud Azophi, his title from the 10th century Persian astronomical writer Al Sufi. Elsewhere it is Nebu-lasit and Alesit; the Alfonsine Tables have Denebalezeth and the very appropriate Dafira, from the similar Arabic term for the tuft of coarse hair at the end of the tail in which the star lies. The English astronomer Proctor (1834-1888) called it Deneb Aleet, and there may be other degenerated forms of the original. The 13th century Persian astronomical writer Al Kazwini cited Al Aktab al Asad, the Viscera of the Lion, or Al Katab, a Small Saddle: inappropriate names, the German astronomer Ideler (1766-1846) said, and inferred that they should be Al Kalb, which in the course of time might have wandered here from Regulus, the genuine Kalb, or Heart, of the Lion.

It marked the 10th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Sarfah, the Changer, i.e. of the weather, given by the 15th century Tartar astronomer Ulug Beg as the star's individual title; and the Persian astronomer Al Biruni (973-1048 A.D.) wrote of it: "The heat turns away when it rises, and the cold turns away when it disappears." English writer on globes John Chilmead (circa 1639) cited Asumpha, which he attributed to Alfraganus; Baily called this Serpha; and the 17th century English orientalist Thomas Hyde changed it to Mutatrix.

With the 4th-magnitude Fl. 93, it constituted the 10th nakshatra (Hindu Moon Mansion), Uttara Phalguni, and was the junction star with the adjacent Hasta; the regents of this and the next asterism, the Purva Phalguni, being the Adityas, Aryaman and Bagha. The Persian astronomer Al Biruni (973-1048 A.D.), however, said that Hindu astronomers pointed out to him a star in Coma Berenices as forming the lunar station with Denebola; and they claimed that the great scientific attainments of Varaha Mihira were due to his birthday having coincided with the entrance of the moon into Uttara Phalguni.

The Chinese knew it, with four small neighboring stars, as Woo Ti Tso, the Seat of the Five Emperors, surrounded by twelve other groups, variously named after officers and nobles of the empire.

In Babylonian astronomy it marked the 17th ecliptic constellation, Zibbat A., the Tail of the Lion, although the German orientalist Epping gives this with considerable doubt as to its correctness. Other Euphratean titles are said to have been Lamash, the Colossus; Sa. Blue, the Assyrian Samu; and Mikid-isati, the {p. 259} Burning of Fire, which may be a reference to the hot season of the year when the sun is near it.

The Sogdians (an Iranian people) and Khorasmians (east of Persia) had a similar conception of it, as shown in their titles Widhu and Widhayu, the Burning One; but the Persians called it Avdem, the One in the Tail. Hewitt writes of it as, in India, the Star of the Goddess Bahu, the Creating Mother.

With theta (θ Coxa), it was the Coptic people of Egypt Asphulia, perhaps the Tail; but Kircher had a similar (Greek) Aspolia, in Virgo, as from Coptic people of Egypt.

Denebola was of unlucky influence in astrology, portending misfortune and disgrace, and thus opposed to Regulus in character as in position in the figure.

It comes to the meridian on the 3rd of May, and, with Arcturus and Spica, forms a large equilateral triangle, as also another similar with Arcturus and Cor Caroli, these, united at their bases, constituting the celebrated Diamond of Virgo.

Several small stars, some telescopic, in its immediate vicinity, are the Companions of Denebola.

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

The Lunar Mansions

Denebola marked the 10th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Sarfah, the Changer, i.e. of the weather, given by the 15th century Tartar astronomer Ulug Beg as the star's individual title; and the Persian astronomer Al Biruni (973-1048 A.D.) wrote of it: "The heat turns away when it rises, and the cold turns away when it disappears."

Influences of the 10th Arabic Moon Mansion Al Sarfah: Gives prosperity to harvest and plantations, hinders seamen, good for the bettering of servants, captives and companions.  [Robson*, p.71.]

With Moon transiting here: travel, navigate, sow, plough, marry and send messengers. [Robson*, p.71.]


With the 4th-magnitude Fl. 93, Denebola constituted the 10th nakshatra (Hindu Moon Mansion), Uttara Phalguni, and was the junction star with the adjacent Hasta; the regents of this and the next asterism, the Purva Phalguni, being the Adityas, Aryaman and Bagha. The Persian astronomer Al Biruni (973-1048 A.D.), however, said that Hindu astronomers pointed out to him a star in Coma Berenices as forming the lunar station with Denebola; and they claimed that the great scientific attainments of Varaha Mihira were due to his birthday having coincided with the entrance of the moon into Uttara Phalguni. The Latter Bad One. Symbol, a Bed or Couch. Regents, the Adityas, Aryaman and Bagha. Ruled by the Sun.

Influences of the 10th Hindu Moon Mansion Uttara Phalguni: A stable asterism belonging to the Kshattriya caste (the warrior caste) and favorable for coronations, expiatory ceremonies, planting of trees, sowing of seeds, building of towns, and matters of a permanent nature when containing the Moon. Those born on the lunar day will be mild, cleanly, wealthy, virtuous, generous, learned, modest and heretical and will have influential friends. With Moon here at birth native will be popular, learned, free from cares and will have an enjoyable life. Rules lakes and the left arm. [Robson*, p.79.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Leo

Ptolemy makes the following observations: "Of the stars in Leo, two in the head are like Saturn and partly like Mars. The three in the neck are like Saturn, and in some degree like Mercury. . . . Those in the loins . . . Saturn and Venus: those in the thighs resemble Venus, and, in some degree, Mercury." It is said that the stars in the neck, back and wing all bring trouble, disgrace and sickness affecting the part of the body ruled by the sign, especially if they happen to be in conjunction with the Moon. By the Kabalists, Leo is associated with the Hebrew letter Kaph and the 11th Tarot Trump "Strength." [Robson*, p.48.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Leo given by Manilius:

"Who can doubt the nature of the monstrous Lion, and the pursuits he prescribes for those born beneath his sign? The lion ever devises fresh fights and fresh warfare on animals, and lives on spoil and pillaging of flocks. The sons of the Lion are filled with the urge to adorn their proud portals with pelts and to hang up on their walls the captured prey, to bring the peace of terror to the woods, and to live upon plunder. There are those whose like bent is not checked by the city-gates, but they swagger about in the heart of the capital with droves of beasts; they display mangled limbs at the shop-front, slaughter to meet the demands of luxury, and count it gain to kill. Their temper is equally prone to fitful wrath and ready withdrawal, and guileless are the sentiments of their honest hearts" [Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD, p.237.]

The astrological influences of the star Denebola

Notes: A blue star in the Lion's tail. From Al Dhanab al Asad, the Tail of the Lion, or, according to Bullinger, the Judge, or Lord who Cometh. [Robson*, p.160.]

According to Ptolemy Denebola is of the nature of Saturn and Venus; to Wilson and Pearce, of Saturn, Venus and Mercury; to Simmonite, of Uranus; and, to Alvidas, of Mercury, Uranus and Mars. It gives swift judgment, despair, regrets, public disgrace, misfortune from the elements of nature, and happiness turned to anger, and makes its natives noble, daring, self-controlled, generous and busy with other people's affairs. [Robson*, p.160-161.]

The 'Tail of the Lion' has a Uranian nature and it is supposed that, in mundane horoscopes, major catastrophes are triggered off by it. Depending on the position and aspect to other stellar bodies in a personal cosmogram, either preferment or fall are credited to this star. Found on the Ascendant and especially in company with Mercury, a quarrelsome nature, with a liking for legal action is attributed to Denebola. It could also mean that this star is the cause of very exciting events. Badly placed in a map, with Mercury or Uranus, mental diseases - and those mostly incurable ones - are indicated. Fine aspects however, will further work connected with matters of reform and progress. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.56.]

If Rising: Riches, preferment and good fortune attended by many dangers and anxieties through own folly, benefits seldom last, trouble and sickness. [Robson*, p.161.]

With Sun: Honor and preferment with danger, public disgrace and finally ruin, disease, fevers and acute ailments. [Robson*, p.161.]

With Moon: Honor and preferment among the vulgar but final disgrace and ruin, violent disease of vital organ, blindness and injuries to the eyes, accidents, losses through servants, domestic quarrels, temporary separation from marriage partner. If at the same time Saturn or Mars is with Algol, death by sentence. [Robson*, p.161.]

With Mercury: Many losses through agents or servants and through writings, loss of one of the family through malignant or contagious disease. [Robson*, p.161.]

With Venus: Strong passions, led astray early in life, ruined through love affairs. [Robson*, p.161.]

With Mars: Bitter, vindictive, cruel, unpopular, loss of position and public disgrace. [Robson*, p.161.]

With Jupiter: Pride, hypocrisy, disappointed life, troubles abroad or through relatives, secret enemies, danger of imprisonment or death by sentence. [Robson*, p.161.]

With Saturn: Critical, always complaining, many enemies, loss through servants and thieves, domestic sorrow, wife afflicted or children mentally unsound or deformed. [Robson*, p.162.]

With Uranus: Subject to fits, idiotic, insane, and sometimes violent, sharp and cunning, may commit murder during insanity. [Robson*, p.162.]

With Neptune: Disagreeable, ingenious, clever, sarcastic, bitter in speech, domestic quarrels, accidents and sickness in early life, death in middle age by an accident or lingering illness. [Robson*, p.162.]

References:

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