Fixed star: ALGIEBA
Constellation: Gamma (γ) Leo
Longitude 1900: 28LEO12 Longitude 2000: 29LEO37
Declination 1900: +20.21' Declination 2000: +19.51'
Right ascension: 10h 19m Latitude: +08.48'
Spectral class: K0 Magnitude: 2.6

The history of the star: Algieba

from p.259 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage]

AlgiebaGamma (γ) Leo, Algieba, is a double star, and perhaps binary, 2.2 and 3.5, bright orange and greenish yellow, in the mane of the Lion, also described as in the blade of the Sickle of Leo which is a star pattern resembling a reversed question mark representing Leo's mane and head.

The English astronomer Smyth (1788-1865) wrote of this that it

"has been improperly called Algieba, from Al jeb-bah, the forehead; for no representation of the Lion, which I have examined, will justify that position,—"

a well-founded criticism, although as, after Regulus, it is the brightest member of the manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion) Al Jabbah, it may have taken the latter's title. The star, however, is on the Lion's mane, the Latin word for which, Juba, distinctly appeared for gamma (γ) with the 17th century German astronomer Bayer, the Italian astronomer Riccioli (1598-1671), and Flamsteed. Hence it is not at all unlikely that Algieba, also written Algeiba,— is from the Latin, Arabicized either by error in transcription or by design.

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

The Lunar Mansions

In Arabia, Alpha (α Regulus) Leo with gamma (γ this star Algieba), zeta (ζ Adhafera), and eta (η Al Jabhah) of the Sickle (a star pattern representing Leo's mane and head), was the 8th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Jabhah, the Forehead.

Influences of the 8th Arabic Moon Mansion Al Jabhah: Strengthens buildings, promotes love, benevolence, and help against enemies. [Robson*, p.71.]

With Moon transiting here: sow, plant, release prisoners but take no purgatives. [Robson*, p.71.]


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 this star Algieba), eta (η Al Jabhah), zeta (ζ 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" [Astronomica, Manilius, 1st century AD, p.237.]

References:

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