Fixed star:  PORRIMA  Caphir
Constellation:  Gamma (γ) Virgo
Longitude 1900:  08LIB46 Longitude 2000:  10LIB08
Declination 1900:  -00.54′ Declination 2000:  -01.26′
Right ascension:  12h 41m Latitude:  +02.47′
Spectral class:  FF Magnitude:  2.9

The history of the star: Porrima

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

PorrimaGamma (γ) Virgo, Porrima, is a white binary star (some call both yellow) and slightly variable in light; 3 and 3.2, on the waist of the Virgin (beside the waist in this drawing).

The Latins called this Porrima, or Antevorta, sometimes Postvorta, names of two ancient goddesses of prophecy, sisters and assistants of (p.470} Carmenta or Carmentis, worshiped and at times invoked by their women. Porrima was known as Prorsa and Prosa by Aulus Gellius of our 2nd century. [Carmenta was the Roman goddess of childbirth. Pierre Grimal (Dictionary of Classical Mythology) says Carmenta was regarded as a divinity of procreation; she was invoked by two names, Prorsa (head first) and Postversa (feet first), the two positions in which a child can be born]

Gamma (γ Porrima) was specially mentioned by the 13th century Persian astronomical writer Al Kazwini as itself being Zawiat al Awwa, the Angle, or Corner, of the Barker; and Al Tizini (Arabian astronomer, first half of 16th century), with the 15th century Tartar astronomer Ulug Beg, had much the same name for it; but the Persian astronomer Al Biruni (973-1048 A.D.), quoting from Al Zajjaj, said that “these people are all wrong,” and that Awwa’ here meant “Turn,” referring to the turn, or bend, in the line of stars. This interesting early figure is noticeable even to the casual observer, gamma (γ Porrima) being midway between Spica and Denebola, the sides of the Kennel stretching off to the north and west, respectively marked by eta (η Zaniah) and beta (β Zavijava), delta (δ Auva) and epsilon (ε Vindemiatrix).

In Babylonia it marked the 19th ecliptic constellation, Shur-mahru-shiru, the Front, or West, Shur (?); while individually it was Kakkab Dan-nu, the Star of the Hero, and the reference point in their annals of an observation of Saturn on the 1st of March, 228 B.C., the first mention of this planet that we have, and recorded by the second-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy. The Chinese knew gamma (γ Porrima) as Shang Seang, the High Minister of State. They culminate on the 17th of May.

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

The Lunar Mansions

The stars beta (β Zavijava), eta (η Zaniah), gamma (γ this star 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.

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 Porrima

Listed as Caphir in Vivian Robson’s book The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology; – called “An Atonement Offering” and “the Submissive One”. Referring to this title, Eric Morse says:; “The Arabic title Caphir (infidel) no doubt springs from the Islamic revulsion of pagan goddesses”.

According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mercury and Venus; to Simmonite, of Mercury alone; and to Alvidas, of Venus and Mars. It gives a courteous, refined and lovable character with prophetic instincts. [Robson, p.153.]

With Sun: Involved in an intrigue, some difficulty of short duration leaving native in unpleasant position. [Robson, p.153.]

With Moon: Popular, business worries, domestic disharmony and divorce, poor health [Robson, p.153.]

With Mercury: Legal troubles, criticism, many worries, business difficulties which will be overcome, ill-health, loses respect of associates. [Robson, p.153.]

With Venus: Unfavorable for gain, much scandal from passionate love affair. [Robson, p.153.]

With Mars: Loss through lawsuits and by fire or storm, trouble with opposite sex, marriage partner and public. [Robson, p.153.]

With Jupiter: Trouble through legal affairs or with the Church, disputes over inheritance, domestic disharmony through intrigue and consequent scandal. [Robson, p.153.]

With Saturn: Intelligent, studious, home troubles in early life, evil environment, liable to imprisonment or execution for another’s crime especially if in 12th house, suffers through conspiracy of friends or relatives, domestic disharmony, sickly children, home broken up, death in prison. [Robson, p.153.]

With Uranus: Well educated, good intellect, early influenced, led astray into extremely unpleasant environment by false friends strong passions, often remains single, frequent accidents to the head, sudden and unexpected death through accident. [Robson, p.154.]

With Neptune: Shrewd and cunning for evil, changes in early life, many disappointments affecting the mental balance, abnormal religious enthusiasm, unpractical and useless pursuits. [Robson, p.154.]


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