Fixed star:  ZUBENELSCHEMALI  North Scale
Constellation:  Beta (β) Libra
Longitude 1900:  17SCO59 Longitude 2000:  19SCO22
Declination 1900:  -09.01′ Declination 2000:  -09.22′
Right ascension:  15h 16m Latitude:  +08.29′
Spectral class:  B8 Magnitude:  2.7

The history of the star: Zubenelschemali

from p.276 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage


Beta (β) Libra, Zubenelschemali, is a pale emerald star marking the Northern Scale of Libra. Alpha, Zuben Algenubi, is the Southern Scale of Libra.

Zubeneschamali, sometimes Zuben el Chamali, is from Al Zuban al Shamaliyyah, the equivalent of Greek Chele Boreios, the Northern Claw; the early Greeks did not associate Libra’s stars with a “Balance” or “Scales”, to them it was the Chelae; the Claws of the Scorpion

Kiffa borealis is Arabic and Latin for the Northern Scale Tray; the 17th century German astronomer Bayer’s Lanx septentrionalis signifies the same thing; and Vazneschemali, the Southern Weight, was used by the Italian astronomer Riccioli (1598-1671). So that beta (β Zubenelschemali), as well as alpha (α Zuben Algenubi), seems always to have borne the name of that half of the constellation figure which it marked.

The German orientalist Epping says that it marked the 22nd ecliptic constellation of Babylonia, Nuru sha-Iltanu, the Northern Light; while German Orientalist Peter Jensen (1861-1936) assigns it and alpha (α Zuben Algenubi) to that country’s lunar asterism Zibanitu, connecting this word with the similar Arabic Zubana; but this is not generally accepted. Brown considers that, under the name of the Sugi Stars, they were associated with Bilat, the Lady, or Beltis; and that the Persians knew them as Crob, the Horned; the Sogdians, as Ghanwand, the Claw-possessing, equivalent to the Khorasmian (east of Persia) Ighnuna, and the Coptic people of Egypt Pritithi, the Two Claws,— all these being lunar stations.

{p.277} Professor Young states the opinion that beta (β Zubenelschemali) Libra formerly was brighter than Antares, now more than a full magnitude higher, for the Alexandrian-Greek astronomer Eratosthenes (276?-196 B.C.) distinctly called beta (β Zubenelschemali) “the brightest of all” in the combined Scorpion and Claws (the two constellations Scorpio and Libra); and the second-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy, 350 years later, gave to it and Antares the same brilliancy. Yet Antares may be the one that has increased.

The color is very unusual, perhaps unique, in conspicuous stars, for Webb says that in the heavens “deep green, like deep blue, is unknown to the naked eye.”

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


Robson (Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology) lists beta (β Libra), Zubenelschemali, as “Scale North” and said it is symbolically called “The Full Price” or “the price which covers”. The two scales of Libra were the Price of the Deficient (α, Zuben Algenubi) balanced by the Price which Covers (β, Zubenelschemali).

The Lunar Mansions

Alpha (α, α, Zuben Elgenubi), and this star beta (β Zubenelschemali), constituted the 14th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Zubana, although the Persian astronomer Al Biruni (973-1048 A.D.) said that this title should be Zaban, “to push,” as though one of the stars were pushing away the other (!)

Influences of the 14th Arabic Moon Mansion Al Zubana: Hinders journeys and marriage, harvest and merchandise, favorable for redemption of captives. [Robson, p.72.]

With Moon transiting here: buy cattle but do not navigate. [Robson, p.72.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Libra

History and Legend: Libra was not considered a separate constellation by the ancients and was called Chelae, or the Claws of Scorpio, which sign was made to consist of 60°. The present constellation figure is said to represent the balance wherein Astraea weighed the deeds of men and presented them to Jupiter. [Robson, p.49.]

Influences: Ptolemy makes the following observations: “Those stars at the points of the claws of Scorpio operate like Jupiter and Mercury: those in the middle of the claws, like Saturn, and in some degree like Mars.” By the Kabalists, Libra is associated with the Hebrew letter Heth and the 8th Tarot Trump “Justice”. [Robson, p.49-50.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Libra given by Manilius:

“Balancing night with the length of day when after a year’s space we enjoy the new vintage of the ripened grape, the Scales will bestow the employment of weights and measures and a son to emulate the talents of Palamedes, who first assigned numbers to things, and to these numbers names, fixed magnitudes, and individual symbols. He will also be acquainted with the tables of law, abstruse legal points, and words denoted by compendious signs; he will know what is permissible and the penalties incurred by doing what is forbidden; in his own house he is a people’s magistrate holding lifelong office. Under no other sign would Servius [Servius Sulpicius Rufus, ca. 106-43 BC, extolled as the greatest of jurists by Cicero] more fittingly have been born, who in interpreting the law framed legislation of his own. Indeed, whatever stands in dispute and needs a ruling the pointer of the Balance will determine”  [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, book 4, p.239]

The astrological influences of the star Zubenelschemali

Notes: A pale emerald star situated in the northern scale of the Balance. Its proper name is Zubeneschamali, from Al Zuban al Shamaliyyah, the Northern Claw, a reference to the ancient celestial sphere in which Libra was omitted and Scorpio occupied 60°. It is symbolically called the Full Price. [Robson, p.203.]

Influences: According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Jupiter and Mercury, but later writers have considered it similar to Jupiter and Mars, and Alvidas likens it to Mars in sextile to Jupiter. It gives good fortune, high ambition, beneficence, honor, riches, and permanent happiness. [Robson, p.203.]

Chaldeans believed that when this star was clear the crops would be good. [Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology, George Noonan, 1990, p.34.]

The Northern Scales has a Jupiter-Mercury nature and therefore positive properties. Tied up with the MC and Ascendant or with well placed stellar bodies, the Northern Scales are credited with helping the native to gain honors and distinction. When connected with Mercury they are supposed to make the native studious. In good position, the star will arouse, above all things, spiritual and mental forces. The conjunction with Sun, Moon, or Jupiter favors civil servants, lawyers and scientists. Confiscation of possessions during times of war. Credited with bestowing an immortal name. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.66.]

If rising or culminating: Honor, preferment, good fortune. [Robson, p.203.]

With Sun: Great good fortune, high position, transitory difficulties eventually proving beneficial. [Robson, p.203.]

With Moon: Active mind, organizing ability, benefits through new and influential friends, valuable gifts, uses friends’ names to obtain money but matter is amicably settled, high position, love of respectable women. [Robson, p.204.]

With Mercury: Active, alert, favors from influential people, good position, much expenditure, benefits through writings. [Robson, p.204.]

With Venus: Social success, help from women, favorable for love affairs and marriage. [Robson, p.204.]

With Mars: High ambitions, success through energy, influential position, forceful writer and speaker. [Robson, p.204.]

With Jupiter: Philosophical mind, ecclesiastical or legal preferment, able writer or speaker, influential friends. [Robson, p.204.]

With Saturn: Cautious, reserved, studious, economical, analytical, good chemist or detective, good judge of human nature, early losses never fully recovered, favorable for gain and domestic matters, sickness to children in infancy. [Robson, p.204.]

With Uranus: Economical, great self-control, psychic, material instincts, many difficulties, good for gain but much expenditure, loss through law and enemies, help from influential friends, occasional peculiar domestic disharmony, sudden death often from heart trouble. [Robson, p.204.]

With Neptune: Occult writer or speaker, medical or chemical discoveries, practical, kind, sympathetic, alive to self interests, gain through marriage and business, disharmony with parents, grandparents or relatives, legacy obtained through litigation, suffers from accidents, death resulting from previous injury. [Robson, p.204.]


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