|Fixed star: ADHAFERA|
|Constellation: Zeta (ζ) Leo|
|Longitude 1900: 26LEO10||Longitude 2000: 27LEO34|
|Declination 1900: +23.55′||Declination 2000: +23.25′|
|Right ascension: 10h 16m||Latitude: +11.51′|
|Spectral class: F0||Magnitude: 3.6|
The history of the star: Adhafera
Zeta (ζ) Leo, Adhafera, is a double star on the crest of the Lion’s mane.
Burritt’s Atlas of 1856 had; Adhafera, Aldhafara, and Aldhafera, by some confusion perhaps with Al Ashfar of the near-by epsilon (ε Ras Elased Australis) and mu (μ Ras Elased Borealis). It is on the crest of the mane, and was one of the manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion) Al Jabhah; sometimes taking the latter’s name, as in Baily’s edition of the 15th century Tartar astronomer Ulug Beg.
From a point a little to the west of zeta (ζ Adhafera), and not much farther from gamma (γ Algieba), issue the Leonids, the meteor stream of November 9th to 17th, its maximum now occurring on the 13th-14th, which about every thirty-three years has furnished such wonderful displays, the last in 1866 and the next due in 1899.
Their first noticed appearance may have been in the year 137, since which date the stream has completed fifty-two revolutions. According to Theophanes of Byzantium, the shower was seen from there in November, 472; but the late Professor Newton, our deservedly great authority on the whole subject of meteors, commenced his list of the Leonids with their appearance on the 13th of October, 902, the Arabian Year of the Stars, during the night of the death of King Ibrahim ben Ahmad, and added:
“It will be seen that all these showers are at intervals of a third of a century, that they are at a fixed day of the year, and that the day has moved steadily and uniformly along the calendar at the rate of about a month in a thousand years.”
Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889].
The Lunar Mansions
In Arabia, Alpha (α Regulus) Leo with gamma (γ Algieba), zeta (ζ this star Adhafera), and eta (η Al Jabhah), of the Sickle (a star pattern resembling a reversed question mark representing Leo’s mane), was the 8th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Jabhah, the Forehead.
Alpha (α Regulus) Leo was chief star in the 8th nakshatra (Hindu Moon Mansion) that bore its name, Magha, made up by all the components of the Sickle (Leo’s mane and head); alpha (α Regulus described as on the base of the sickle), Gamma (γ Algieba), eta (η Al Jabhah), zeta (ζ this star Adhafera), mu (μ Ras Elased Borealis), epsilon (ε Ras Elased Australis), lambda (λ Alterf), and kappa (κ). The symbol of Magha “The Mighty” was a House. The regents were the Pitris (the spirits of the dead ancestors), or Fathers. Ruled by the Dragon’s Tail.
Influences of the 8th Hindu Moon Mansion Magha: A severe asterism belonging to the Shudra caste (low caste Hindu) 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 wealthy, fond of hills, merchants, valiant, and women haters. With Moon here at birth native will be wealthy, religious, contented, well served, and fond of life. Rules grain boxes and the lips and upper mouth. [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” [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, p.237.]
The astrological influences of the star Adhafera
Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, Vivian E. Robson, 1923].