Fixed star:  MARKAB
Constellation:  Alpha (α) Pegasus
Longitude 1900:  22PIS06 Longitude 2000:  23PIS29
Declination 1900:  +14.40' Declination 2000:  +15.11'
Right ascension:  23h 04m Latitude:  +19.24'
Spectral class:  B9 Magnitude:  2.6

The history of the star: Markab

 from p.324 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage]

Alpha (α) Pegasus, Markab, is a white star on the wing of the Winged Horse.

MarkabMarkab — Flamsteed's Marchab — is the Arabs' word for a Saddle, Ship, or Vehicle,— anything ridden upon,— that was early applied to this star; but they also designated it as Matn al Faras, the Horse's Withers or Shoulder, and the 17th century German astronomer Bayer cited Yed Alpheras, the Horse's Hand, or, more properly, Forearm,—the Arabian Yad. The 13th century Persian astronomical writer Al Kazwini knew it and beta (β Scheat) as Al Arku-wah, the Cross-bar of the well in which Al Dalw, the Bucket, was used!

In India it was noted as the junction star of the Bhadra-pada nakshatras (Hindu Moon Mansions), detailed under beta (β Scheat).

{p.325} In China it was Shin, a title borrowed from the sieu (Chinese Moon Mansion) that it marked.

Brown thinks that, with gamma (γ Algenib) and zeta (ζ Homam), it was the Euphratean asterism Lik-bar-ra, the Hyaena,—perhaps Ur-bar-ra.

Among astrologers it portended danger to life from cuts, or stabs, and fire [cuts and stabs can be operations nowadays]. It culminates on the 3rd of November, and when on the meridian forms, with gamma (γ), the southern side of the Great Square, beta (β Scheat) and delta (δ) forming the northern, and all 15° to 18° apart.

It is one of the so-called lunar stars, much observed in navigation.

In the Hindu lunar zodiac alpha Andromeda (Alpheratz), alpha Pegasus (α, this star Markab), beta Pegasus (β, Scheat), and gamma Pegasus (γ Algenib), —  were "the Great Square of Pegasus" a large asterism that constituted the double Hindu nakshatra (Mansion of the Moon), the 24th and 25th, — Purva and Uttara Bhadrapadas, the Former and the Latter, Beautiful, Auspicious, or Happy Feet, sometimes also called Proshthapada, (this star was noted as the junction star of the Bhadra-pada nakshatras) with various meanings; "Carp", "Ox" "Footstool Feet," "Couch" or "Bed", "Bifaced Figure", or "Twins", "Stand" or "Support": The regents of these nakshatras being Aja Ekapat, the "One-footed Goat", and Ahi Budhya, the "Bottom Snake", "two mythical figures, of obscure significance, from the Vedic Pantheon."

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

The Lunar Mansions

The 24th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), formed by alpha (α this star Markab) and beta (β, Scheat) Pegasus, was Al Fargh al Mukdim, the Fore-spout, i.e. of the water-bucket.

Influences of the 24th Arabic Moon Mansion Al Fargh al Mukdim: Causes union, health of captives, and destroys buildings and prisons.

With Moon transiting here: plant, sow, bargain, marry but do not navigate.  [Robson*, p.74.]

The 24th, "The Former Beautiful"; and 25th, "The Latter Beautiful"; Hindu nakshatras are considered a double. These two moon mansions comprise "The Great Square of Pegasus" which consists of four stars; Alpheratz, Algenib, Markab and Scheat. It is unclear which regent (listed below) relates to which of these two nakshatras? It is also unclear to me which of the four stars belong to which of the two nakshatras. Robson lists only one star in each, the leading or junction stars; this star Markab in the 24th, and Algenib in the 25th.

The 24th nakshatra Purva Bhadrapada, contains this star alpha α Pegasus Markab. Purva Bhadrapada: The Former Beautiful, Auspicious, or Happy Feet. Symbol is a Couch. The regents, Aja-Ekapat, the One-footed Goat and Ahi Budhya, the Bottom Snake. Ruled by Jupiter.

Influences of the 24th Hindu Moon Mansion Purva Bhadrapada: A severe asterism belonging to the Brahmin caste and favorable for acts of disgrace, destruction, deceit, imprisonment, beating, burning and poison when containing the Moon. Those born on the lunar day will be wicked, mean, deceitful, shepherds, thieves, torturers, and irreligious. With Moon here at birth native will be sorrowful, wealthy, clever, submissive to women, miserly and of distinct speech. Rules the southeast of houses and the left thigh. [Robson*, p.85.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Pegasus

Legend: Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa (see Algol) after Perseus had cut off her head, and was afterwards tamed and ridden by Bellerophon. Being weary of earthly affairs Bellerophon attempted to fly to heaven but fell off, and Pegasus continued his course, entered heaven and took his place among the stars. [Robson*, p.56.]

Influences: According to Ptolemy the bright stars are like Mars and Mercury. The constellation gives ambition, vanity, intuition, enthusiasm, caprice and bad judgment. [Robson*, p.56.]

The constellation portends events concerning ships and the ocean and also changes in the weather. In medieval times it was said to indicate vain individuals with a great deal of ambition, but with very poor judgment. [Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology, George Noonan, 1990, p.22.]

The Pegasus Syndrome, as exemplified in the legends of Perseus and Bellerophon, is concerned with the innate ability possessed by some people to negotiate difficulties by rising above them, on the one hand, and the danger of overreaching themselves, on the other. Pegasus, by birth, is the child of Medusa and Neptune, symbols of 'wisdom' and 'emotion,' respectively, which shows the dichotomy of his nature. As in the story, Bellerophon attempted to fly to Olympus (overreach his potential). He believed that Pegasus was subject to his will. However, it was Pegasus who made it to Olympus, while Bellerophon was tossed back to earth, lame and reproached by others. It is unwise to take any situation for granted as the 'lesser' person (or, in this case, beast) may be the very one to teach us the much needed lesson in humility. Pegasus is also indicative of a specific mission in life which the inquirer will always find the time and energy to pursue, although the path may be sewn with difficulties (the Chimaera) and limitations (Bellerophon's doubt or arrogance). So, the Pegasus Syndrome is the seeming ability to "fly over any situation," though the reverse may be a lesson in humility, being "taken down a peg," as it were. [Rich's Pegopedia].

The astrological influences of the constellation Pegasus given by Manilius:

"Pegasus the winged Horse will appear and gallop aloft in the heavens. It will bring forth people endowed with swiftness of movement and limbs alert to perform every task. One man will cause his horse to wheel round in caracoles, and proudly mounted on its back he will wage war from on high; horseman and soldier in one. Another will possess the ability to rob the racecourse of its true length such is his speed that he will seem to dissemble the movement of his feet and make the ground vanish before him. Who more swiftly could fly back from the ends of the earth as messenger or with light foot to the earth's ends make his way?  He will also heal a horse's wounds with the sap of common plants, and will know the herbs which bring aid to an animal's limbs and those which grow for the use of man." [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, book 5, p.350-353.]

The astrological influences of the star Markab

According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Mercury; to Simmonite, of Mars and Venus; and, to Alvidas, of Jupiter in square to Mercury with Saturn from Pisces and Gemini. It gives honor, riches, fortune, danger from fevers, cuts, blows, stabs [can be operations nowadays] and fire and a violent death. [Robson*, p.174.]

It has a Mercury-Mars nature. Tradition has it that, in conjunction with Mars, Uranus or Saturn, this will bring dangers from fire, weapons or explosions. Tied up with propitious stellar bodies, Markeb is said to influence above all the spiritual and mental nature, to give a good head for figures, intellectual alertness, mental powers in general and last but not least, the ability to further propaganda activity, if at the same time relevant aspects are also present. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.81.]

With a malefic and the Moon at the same time with Alnilam, Alnitak and Mintaka - Orion’s Belt (22-24 Gemini) death by drowning. [Robson*, p.174.]

If culminating: Disgrace, ruin and often a violent death. [Robson*, p.174.]

With Sun: Energetic, unlucky, impermanent martial honors, disappointed ambitions, accidents, sickness. [Robson*, p.174.]

With Moon: Injuries from enemies and domestic matters, fairly good health but many accidents. If Mars be with Moon, death by wild beasts or soldiers. If a malefic be with Cingula Orionis (Orion’s Belt; 22-24 Gemini), death by human hands. [Robson*, p.174.]

With Mercury: Good mind, rash and headstrong, quick in speech, diplomatic, capable writer, criticized, friends become enemies. [Robson*, p.174.]

With Venus: Evil associates, drink and other excesses. [Robson*, p.174.]

With Mars: Quarrelsome, violent, many difficulties and losses through Mercurial affairs. [Robson*, p.174.]

With Jupiter: Trouble and loss through legal matters, danger of judicial sentence or banishment and exile. [Robson*, p.174-175.]

With Saturn: Born in poverty, prison or asylum, may be abandoned, hard life, imprisoned for crime, few friends, unfavorable for domestic matters, death under similar conditions to birth. [Robson*, p.175.]

With Uranus: Evil habits, mental disturbances, clever, wanderer, unavailing efforts, peculiar life, trouble with parent of opposite sex and domestic matters, many accidents, violent death. [Robson*, p.175.]

With Neptune: Unbalanced or abnormal mind, many disappointments, emotional, romantic, distasteful environment, secret enemies, domestic disharmony, many accidents, violent death in early life. [Robson*, p.175.]


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