Fixed star: ANTARES
Constellation: Alpha (α) Scorpius
Longitude 1900:   08SAG22 Longitude 2000:   09SAG46
Declination 1900:   -26.13' Declination 2000:   -26.26'
Right ascension:   16h 29m Latitude: -04.34'
Spectral class:   MB Magnitude: 0.98 Variable

The history of the star: Antares

from p.364 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.
[A scanned copy can be viewed on this webpage]

AntaresAlpha (α) Scorpius, Antares, is a red binary star, fiery red and emerald green, near the center of the constellation Scorpius and was sometimes called "the Heart of the Scorpion".

Antares, the well-nigh universal title for this splendid star, is transcribed from the second-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy's (Greek) Antares in the Syntaxis, and generally thought to be from {p.365} anti Ares, "similar to," or the "rival of," Mars, in reference to its color, — the Latin Tetrabiblos had Marti comparatur; or, in the Homeric signification of the words, the "equivalent of Mars," either from the color-resemblance of the star to the latter, or because the astrologers considered the Scorpion the House of that planet and that god its guardian. Thus it naturally followed the character of its constellation,— perhaps originated it,— and was always associated with eminence and activity in mankind.

Dutch scholar Grotius (1583-1645), however, said that the word Antares signifies a Bat, which, as Vespertilio, Greek tragic poet Sophocles (496?-406 B.C.) perhaps called it; but the 17th century German astronomer Bayer erroneously quoted from Hesychios (5th century. AD.) (Greek) Antartes, a Rebel, and Tyrannus. The 17th century Dutch astronomer Caesius appropriately styled the constellation Insidiata, the Lurking One.

Others say that it was Antar's Star,— but they forget the second-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy,—the celebrated Antar or Antarah [Antarah] who, just previous to the time of Muhammad, was the mulatto warrior-hero of one of the Golden Mu'allakat. [Muallaqat. Allen notes: These were the famous seven selected poems of Arabia, said to have been inscribed in letters of gold on silk, or Egyptian linen, and suspended, as their title signifies, in the Kabah at Mecca.]

Our word, however, is sometimes written Antar, which Beigel said is the Arabic equivalent of "Shone"; but the Latin translator of the 1515 Almagest connected it with Natar, Rapine, and so possibly explaining the generally unintelligible expression tendit ad rapinam applied to Antares in that work and in the Alfonsine Tables of 1521; or the expression here may refer to the character of Ares, the god of war. The Rudolphine Tables designated it as rutilans, Pliny's (23-79 A.D.) word for "glowing redly."

The Arabians' Kalb al Akrab, the Scorpion's Heart, which probably preceded the Kardia Skorpion and Cor Scorpii of Greece and Rome respectively, became, in early English and Continental lists, Kelbalacrab, Calbalacrab, Calbolacrabi, Calbalatrab, and Cabalatrab; the Italian astronomer Riccioli (1598-1671) having the unique Alcantub, although he generally wrote Kalb Aakrab.

This star AntaresScorpius) alone constituted the 16th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), Al Kalb, the Heart, one of the fortunate stations.

But the Chinese included sigma (σ) and tau (τ), on either side of Antares, for their sieu (Chinese Moon Mansion), the synonymous Sin, anciently Sam, sigma (σ) being the determinant; although Brown says that this Heart refers to that of Tsing Lung, the Azure Dragon, one of the four great divisions of their zodiac. They also have a record of a comet 531 B.C., "to the left of Ta Shin," which last Williams identified with Antares; while, as the Fire Star, Who Sing, it seems to have been invoked in worship centuries before our era for protection against fire. With some adjacent it was one of the Ming t'ang, or Emperor's Council-hall; his sons and courtiers, other stars, standing close by, to whom Antares, as Ta Who, announced the principles of his government.

{p.366} The Hindus used alpha (α Antares), sigma (σ), and tau (τ) for their nakshatra (Hindu Moon Mansion) Jyestha, Oldest, also known as Rohini, Ruddy, from the color of Antares, — Indra, the sky-goddess, being regent of the asterism that was figured as a pendent Ear Jewel.

It was one of the four Royal Stars of Persia, 3000 B.C., and probably the Guardian of the Heavens that Dupuis mentioned as Satevis; but, as their lunar asterism, it was Gel, the Red; the Sogdians (an Iranian people) changing this to Maghan sadwis, the Great One saffron-colored. The Khorasmians (east of Persia) called it Dharind, the Seizer; and the Copts (who are now the Christians in Egypt), Kharthian, the Heart.

It pointed out to the Babylonians their 24th ecliptic constellation, Hurru, of uncertain meaning, itself being Urbat according to an astrolabe discovered in the palace of Sennacherib and interpreted by the late George Smith; Brown, however, assigns this title to stars in Lupus (Lupus adjoins Scorpius). Other Euphratean names were Bilu-sha-ziri, the Lord of the Seed; Kak-shisa, the Creator of Prosperity, according to German Orientalist Peter Jensen (1861-1936), although this is generally ascribed to Sirius; and, in the lunar zodiac, Dar Lugal, the King, identified with the god of lightning, Lugal Tudda, the Lusty King. Naturally the inscriptions make much of it in connection with the planet Mars, their UI Suru, showing that its Arean association evidently had very early origin; and from them we read Masu (?) Sar, the Hero and the King, and Kakkab Bir, the Vermilion Star. Brown identifies it with the seventh antediluvian king, (the Greek word) Euedoranchos, or Udda-an-χu, the Day-heaven-bird.

In Egyptian astronomy it represented the goddess Selkit, Selk-t, or Serk-t, heralding the sunrise through her temples at the autumnal equinox about 3700-3500 B.C., and was the symbol of Isis in the pyramid ceremonials (Isis, perhaps the Moon, is identified with a number of stars). Renouf included it with Arcturus in the immense figure Menat.

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

This is one of the four key stars in the heavens, also called archangel stars. Michael (Aldebaran) watcher of the East. Gabriel (Fomalhaut) watcher of the South. Raphael (Regulus) Watcher of the North. Oriel (Antares) Watcher of the West. At one time they marked the two Equinoxes and two Solstices. Aldebaran marked the zero Aries point in 3044 BC, Antares marked zero Libra 3052 BC, Fomalhaut marked zero Capricorn, 2582 BC, Regulus marked zero Cancer 2345 BC. As one of the four Royal stars of Persia its name was Satevis; but, as their lunar asterism, it was Gel, the "Red" the Sogdians changing this to Maghan sadwis, the "Great One" saffron-colored. [The angel associations come from Eric Morse, The Living Stars, p.35. Allen's explanation of these four stars on page 256 of Star Names]

These four stars have been characterized as Horses, reflected both in the famed Four Horsemen of Apocalypse (Revelations 6) and Chariot Horses in the Book of Zechariah. [Dr Eric Morse, The Living Stars, p.56.]


Antares as Antar's Star, Antarah or Ántara

Allen (Star Names, p.365) says "Others say that Antares was Antar's Star, and referring to the celebrated Arabic hero Antar, or Antarah".

This refers to Ántara who portrays the "Heart of the Scorpion" as in the Manilius' representation of the Scorpion character. "By virtue of its tail armed with its powerful sting, the Scorpion creates natures ardent for war and active service, which rejoices in plenteous bloodshed and in carnage more than in plunder".

The hero Ántara lived just previous to the time of Muhammad; he died 615 AD at age 90; and was the mulatto warrior-hero of one of the Golden Mu'allakat. Son of an African slave woman and an Arab sheikh, Ántara was the bravest warrior of all of the Arabs. As a lowly slave himself he was spurred to greatness by love for his noble cousin 'Abla. He had his chance when the fortunes of war turned against the tribe. With the enemy closing in on their encampment, his father called him to battle. He followed the call and soon proved himself the most valiant warrior in Arabia. In doing so he held his family to the ancient rule that only a free man with full rights may join in battle. The rule freed him of the taint of slavery and entitled him to marry his beloved. He was a poet of the first rank; his most eloquent poem can be seen on this website page; "Ántara's Ode," where he tells 'Abla and the world of his love for her and of the victories that made him worthy of her hand.   

The Lunar Mansions

AntaresScorpius) alone constituted the 16th manzil, Arabic Moon Mansion, Al Kalb, the Heart, one of the fortunate stations.

Influences the 16th Arabic Moon Mansion Al Kalb: Causes discord, sedition, conspiracy against princes and rulers, and revenge from enemies, but frees captives and helps building.

With Moon transiting here: sow seeds, travel and go to war. [Robson*, p.73.]

The Hindus used alpha (α Antares), sigma (σ), and tau (τ) for their 16th nakshatra (Hindu Moon Mansion) Jyestha, Oldest, also known as Rohini, Ruddy, from the color of Antares, — Indra, the sky-goddess, being regent of the asterism that was figured as a pendent Ear Jewel.

Influences of the 16th Hindu Moon Mansion Jyestha: Ruled by Mercury. A sharp asterism belonging to the serving caste and favorable for punishment, torture, imprisonment, exorcism, mesmerism and separation or union when containing the Moon. Those born on the lunar day will be valiant, wealthy, famous, well born, somewhat dishonest, fond of travelling and in a high position. With Moon here at birth native will be cheerful, irascible, charitable, but will have few friends. Rules deserts and the right side of the body. [Robson*, p.82.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Scorpius

Ptolemy makes the following observations: "The bright stars in the front of the body of Scorpio have an effect similar to that produced by the influence of Mars, and partly to that produced by Saturn: the three in the body itself . . . are similar to Mars and moderately to Jupiter: those in the joints of the tail are like Saturn and partly like Venus: those in the sting, like Mercury and Mars." By the Kabalists Scorpio is associated with the Hebrew letter Oin and the 16th Tarot Trump "The Lightning-Struck Tower." [Robson*, p.60-61.]

The astrological influences of the constellation Scorpius given by Manilius:

"The Scorpion presides over arms" [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, book 4, p.253]

"By virtue of his tail armed with its powerful sting, wherewith, when conducting the Sun's chariot through his sign, he cleaves the soil and sows seed in the furrow, the Scorpion creates natures ardent for war and active service, and a spirit which rejoices in plenteous bloodshed and in carnage more than in plunder. Why, these men spend even peace under arms; they fill the glades and scour the woods; they wage fierce warfare now against man, now against beast, and now they sell their persons to provide the spectacle of death and to perish in the arena, when, warfare in abeyance, they each find themselves foes to attack. There are those, too, who enjoy mock-fights and jousts in arms (such is their love of fighting) and devote their leisure to the study of war and every pursuit which arises from the art of war." [Manilius, Astronomica, 1st century AD, p.239-240].

The astrological influences of the star Antares

According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Mars and Jupiter. Alvidas gives Jupiter sextile Venus, but this is unlikely considering the decidedly martial and malefic nature of the star. It causes malevolence, destructiveness, liberality, broad-mindedness, evil presages and danger of fatality and makes its natives rash, ravenous, headstrong and destructive to themselves by their own obstinacy. [Robson*, 136.]

A Mars nature, in which the powers of Mercury and Jupiter and Saturn are also added. Antares makes people tough, belligerent and pugnacious. This is an important star for military personnel and is said to convey mental alertness, strategic ability and courage and to make dare-devils, especially if tied up with the MC, Ascendant, Sun or Jupiter. If associated with Mars, courage is said to become foolhardiness, leading to increased dangers. Natives with this particular configuration have to be prepared at all times for sudden incidents, unforeseen events and potential accidents. According to tradition, Antares is of violent character and is credited with being significant for a violent death, either in battle or by process of law. On the other hand, danger may come about by fire, weapons or machinery. Antares is also said to be unfortunate for the eyes, if in conjunction with the Ascendant, Moon or Sun and this has proven to be the case by later researchers. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.70-71.]

If Rising: Riches and honor, violence, sickness, benefits seldom last. [Robson*, p.137.]

If culminating: Honor, preferment and good fortune. [Robson*, p.137.]

With Fortuna or its dispositor, poverty. [Robson*, p.137.]

With Sun: Pretended religion, insincere, honor and riches ending in disgrace and ruin, military preferment, danger of treachery, violence committed or suffered, fevers and sickness, injuries to the right eye, violent death. If rising or culminating, great honor through violence attended by difficulties and casualties. If with Mars also, pestilential disease. [Robson*, p.137.]

With Moon: Popular, broad-minded, interested in philosophy, science and metaphysics, liable to change religious opinions, influential friends, favorable for business and domestic matters, active in local affairs, great power, honor and wealth but benefits may not prove lasting, danger of violence, sickness, drowning or assassination. If in 1st or 10th houses, honor and preferment but many dangers and calamities. Liable to blindness or eye injuries especially if at the same time Mars or Saturn be with Regulus. If Saturn be with Aldebaran, danger of a violent death probably by hanging; but if Mars be with Aldebaran death by a stab, blow or fall especially if in angles. If a malefic be with Aldebaran in the 4th, 7th, 11th or 12th houses, death by a sudden sword-thrust, stab or fall (operations can be substituted for stabs nowadays). [Robson*, p.137.]

With Mercury: Suspicious, wrongfully accuses friends, unpopular, uses ecclesiastic influence in business, money obtained slowly and with much difficulty, danger of sickness to the native and his family, and death of a relative at home or away. [Robson*, p.138.]

With Venus: Insincere, dishonest, energetic and able but selfish. [Robson*, p.138.]

With Mars: Detrimental habits powerfully affecting the life, quarrels with friends and relatives, fairly favorable for gain. If at the same time the Moon is with Aldebaran, danger of death by sword or hanging. [Robson*, p.138.]

With Jupiter: Great religious zeal real or pretended, ecclesiastical preferment, tendency to hypocrisy, benefits through relatives. [Robson*, p.138.]

With Saturn: Materialistic, dishonest through circumstances created by environment, religious hypocrisy, many disappointments, loss through quarrels and legal affairs, trouble through enemies, many failures, hampered by relatives, unfavorable for domestic matters, much sickness to and sorrow from children. If at the same time the Moon is with Aldebaran, danger of death by sword or hanging. [Robson*, p.138.]

With Uranus: Abnormal and extreme ideas, hypocritical, lies and exaggerates, extremely socialistic, incites to riot, lawlessness and anarchism and in danger of imprisonment on this account, occasional poverty, disharmony with relatives, more than one marriage, unfavorable for children, violent death. [Robson*, p.138.]

With Neptune: Shrewd, cunning, unbalanced and mentally unsound, secretive but apparently candid, dishonest, tendency to theft, economical, untruthful, strange religious ideas, evil environment, gain through hard work, sudden and unexpected death brought about by treachery or through enemies who will escape retribution. [Robson*, p.138.]


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