Fixed star:  ZAVIJAVA  Al Araf
Constellation:  Beta (β) Virgo
Longitude 1900:  25VIR45 Longitude 2000:  27VIR10
Declination 1900:  +02.20' Declination 2000:  +01.46'
Right ascension:  11h 50m Latitude:  +00.41'
Spectral class:  F8 Magnitude:  3.8

The history of the star: Zavijava

from p.469 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.

ZavijavaBeta (β) Virgo, Zavijava, is a pale yellow star on the left wing of the Virgin.

Zavijava, a universal name in modern catalogues, is first found with Giuseppe Piazzi, Italian astronomer (1746-1826), but is Zarijan in the Standard Dictionary. It is from Al Zawiah, the Angle, or Corner, i.e. Kennel, of the Arab Dogs,— although gamma (γ Porrima) exactly marks this Corner and should bear the title.

The stars beta (β Zavijava), eta (η Zaniah), gamma (γ Porrima), delta (δ Auva), epsilon (ε Vindemiatrix), outlining this Kennel, formed the 11th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Awwa, the Barker, or "the Howler", which was considered of good omen; while The 14th century Arabian lexicographer Al Firuzabadi included it with the preceding moon station Al Sarfah,— beta (β) Leo (Denebola),— in the group Al Nahran, the Two Rivers, as their rising was in the season of heavy rains. Other indigenous titles were Al Bard, the Cold, which it was said to produce; and Warak al Asad, the Lion's Haunches.

Beta (β Zavijava) marked the 18th ecliptic constellation of Babylonia, Shepu-arku sha-A, the Hind Leg of the Lion, for this country also seems to have had one of these creatures here. With eta (η Zaniah), it perhaps was Ninsar, the Lady of Heaven, probably a reference to Istar; and Urra-gal, the God of the Great City; and one of the seven pairs of stars famous in that astronomy. As a Euphratean lunar asterism it bore the same title Ninsar, but this included all the components of the Arabs' Kennel Corner.

These also were the Persian Mashaha, the Sogdian Iranian Fastashat, the Khorasmian Afsasat, and the Coptic people of Egypt Abukia, all of the Arabic signification.

In China it was Yew Chi Fa, the Right-hand Maintainer of Law.

Beta (β Zavijava) is 13° south of Denebola in Leo, culminating with it on the 3rd of May.

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


This was the star Einstein used during the solar eclipse of Sept. 21st 1922, which fell close to it, to determine the speed of light in space.

"Zavijava probably derives from Al Zawiyah which among other things mean a small Mosque, subsidiary to a larger one nearby. Since such a Mosque is very much a symbol of authority in its locality, as a parish church is in other communities, the idea conveyed here is of someone holding a position of command, but subject to a higher command behind them. Al Araf (another name for this star) 'Those who Send Forth' (others to carry out their orders), or 'Those who are Sent Forth ...' The planetary simile (Mercury-Mars) suggests one who has the intelligence and energy to be sent forth and not need a higher authority to lead". [The Living Stars, Dr Eric Morse, 1988, Amethyst Books, ISBN 0-944256-02-3].

The Lunar Mansions

The stars beta (β Zavijava), eta (η Zaniah), gamma (γ Porrima), delta (δ Auva), epsilon (ε Vindemiatrix), outlining a Kennel, formed the 11th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Awwa, the Barker, or "the Howler", which was considered of good omen.

Influences of  the 11th Arabic Moon Mansion Al Awwa: Gives benevolence, gain, voyages, harvests and freedom of captives.

With Moon transiting here: sow, plant, take medicine but do not travel or marry. [Robson*, p.72.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Virgo

Legend: This constellation is said to represent Erigone, daughter of Icarius, who hanged herself through grief at the death of her father (Bootes). According to other accounts it is Astraea, daughter of one of the Titans, who sided with the Gods against her own father. [Robson*, p.66.]

Influences: Ptolemy makes the following observations; "The stars in the head of Virgo, and that at the top of the southern wing, operate like Mercury and somewhat like Mars: the other bright stars in the same wing, and those about the girdle, resemble Mercury in their influence, and also Venus, moderately . . . those at the points of the feet and at the bottom of the garments are like Mercury, and also Mars, moderately." By the Kabalists it is associated with the Hebrew letter Gimel and the 3rd Tarot Trump "The Empress." [Robson*, p.66-67.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Virgo given by Manilius:

"spicifera est Virgo Cereris"  —  "The Virgin with her sheaf belongs to Ceres". [Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD, p.117]

"Virginis in propriam descendunt ilia sortem",  —  "the belly comes down to the Maid as her rightful lot"  [Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD, p.119]

"At her rising Erigone (Virgo), who reigned with Justice over a bygone age and fled when it fell into sinful ways, bestows high eminence by bestowing supreme power; she will produce a man to direct the laws of the state and the sacred code; one who will tend with reverence the hallowed temples of the gods." [Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD, p.265]

"The temperaments of those whose span of life she pronounces at their birth Erigone (Virgo) will direct to study, and she will train their minds in the learned arts. She will give not so much abundance of wealth as the impulse to investigate the causes and effects of things. On them she will confer a tongue which charms, the mastery of words, and that mental vision which can discern all things, however concealed they be by the mysterious workings of nature. From the Virgin will also come the stenographer: his letter represents a word, and by means of his symbols he can keep ahead of utterance and record in novel notation the long speech of a rapid speaker. But with the good there comes a flaw: bashfulness handicaps the early years of such persons, for the Maid, by holding back their great natural gifts, puts a bridle on their lips and restrains them by the curb of authority. And (small wonder in a virgin) her offspring is not fruitful." [Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD, p.237 and 239]

The astrological influences of the star Zavijava

From Al Zawiah, the Angle or Corner (see Zaniah), but according to Bullinger the name means the Gloriously Beautiful. Symbolically called "Correct Weighing". [Robson*, p.219.]  

It gives beneficence, force of character, strength, combative movements and destructiveness. [Robson*, p.219.]

Reliable worker, attentive to every detail of the job, will make a good salesman, executive, manager or subordinate commander, but needs someone of higher rank to have given him (or her) the job. If less well aspected, he can be the sort of underling who provokes his men to strike or mutiny by over-playing the 'little Hitler' act. [The Living Stars, Dr. Eric Morse, 68-69, under the name Al Araf.]


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