Fixed star:  VINDEMIATRIX  Al Muredin
Constellation:  Epsilon (ε) Virgo
Longitude 1900:  08LIB33 Longitude 2000:  09LIB56
Declination 1900:  +11.30' Declination 2000:  +10.58'
Right ascension:  13h 02m Latitude:  +16.12'
Spectral class:  G6 Magnitude:  3.0

The history of the star: Vindemiatrix

from p.470 of Star Names, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889.

VindemiatrixEpsilon (ε) Virgo, Vindemiatrix, is a bright yellow star in the right wing, or right arm, of the Virgin.

This is the Vindemiatrix of the Alfonsine Tables, whence it has descended into modern lists; but in Latin days it was Vindemiator with Columella, which {p.471} is found as late as Flamsteed; Vindemitor, with Ovid (43 B.C.-18?A.D.) and Pliny (23-79 A.D.); and Provindemiator and Provindemia major, with Roman architect Vitruvius (first century B.C.); all signifying the "Grape-gatherer," from its rising in the morning just before the time of the vintage. These titles were translations of the (Greek) Protrugeter, Protrugetes, protrugetos, and Trugeter, used by the second-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy, Plutarch, and other Greek authors, the first of these words appearing in the Phainomena, and rendered the "Fruit-plucking Herald"; but it is in a line of the poem considered doubtful; the Italian astronomer Riccioli (1598-1671) had Protrigetrix. This profusion of titles from the earliest times indicates the singular interest with which this now inconspicuous star was regarded in classical astronomy. The Century Cyclopedia has the following note on it:

"At the time when the zodiac seems to have been formed (2100 B.C.) this star would first be seen at Babylon before sunrise about August 20, or, since there is some evidence that it was then brighter than it is now, perhaps a week earlier. This would seem too late for the vintage, so that perhaps this tradition is older than the zodiac."

The classical name was translated by the Arabians Mukdim al Kitaf; and another title was Almuredin, still seen for it, perhaps from Al Muridin, Those Who Sent Forth. Traces of these words are found in the Alacast, Alcalst, Alaraph, and Almucedie of the 17th century German astronomer Bayer's Uranometria.

In China it was Tsze Tseang, the Second General.

On the Euphrates it may have been Kakkab Mulu-izi, the Star Man of Fire, possibly symbolizing the god Laterak, the Divine King of the Desert; although that title has been assigned to mu (μ) Virgo and delta (δ) Libra (Zuben Elakribi).

It marked the eastern boundary of the 11th manzil (Arabic Moon Mansion), and in astrology was a mischief-making star. It culminates on the 22nd of May.

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

Bullinger in Witness to the Stars, a Christian publication, wrote "The star epsilon, in the arm bearing the branch, is called Al Mureddin, which means who shall come down (as in Psa 72:8), or who shall have dominion. It is also known as Vindemiatrix, a Chaldee word which means "the son", or "branch, who cometh".

The Lunar Mansions

The stars beta (β Zavijava), eta (η Zaniah), gamma (γ Porrima), delta (δ Auva), epsilon (ε Vindemiatrix), outlining a 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 Vindemiatrix

Legend: Vindemiatrix, or as it was originally called, Vindemiator, the Gatherer of Grapes, represents Ampelos, the son of a satyr and a nymph, to whom Bacchus, in token of his fondness, gave a vine planted at the foot of an elm. While gathering grapes Ampelos fell and broke his neck, whereupon Bacchus placed him among the stars as a memorial of his former affection. [Robson*, p.214-215.]

According to Ptolemy it is of the nature of Saturn and Mercury; to Simmonite, of Saturn and Venus, which is probably a misprint; to Wilson and Pearce, of Saturn, Venus and Mercury, and, to Alvidas, of Mercury and Saturn in evil aspect. It gives falsity, disgrace, stealing, wanton folly and often causes its natives to become widows. [Robson*, p.215.]

On the MC or on the Ascendant this star with its Saturn-Mercury nature is said to help mental concentration and to promote the type of native who engages for architects and businessmen. Tied up with Mars, it results in increased power of thought, tending sometimes to sarcasm and polemics. With Mars also, a danger of injuries is indicated. Badly placed, and especially so if in conjunction with Saturn or Neptune, this star is said to cause a tendency to depressive moods, skepticism a distrustful nature. Tied up with Mercury, this star, if otherwise badly place, will lead to nervous irritability. [Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation, Elsbeth Ebertin, 1928, p.59-60.]

'The Widow Maker'. It frequently marks the death of one's partner. It figures strongly and regularly in deaths which are in some way dramatic, newsworthy or are resented in much more than the usual degree by those left behind (assassinations, common criminal murders, executions, airline disasters etc.). Al Muredin `The One Sent Forth in the Faith'. This is often the missionary. This is not to say that everyone with this star strong in their horoscope will go out and preach the gospel to the heathen, although many do indeed feel a strong religious calling. [The Living Stars, Dr. Eric Morse, p.70-72.]

With Sun: Worry, depression, unpopular, failure in business, harassed by creditors. [Robson*, p.215.]

With Moon: Worry, many disappointments, loss through law or writings and theft, bad health, failure in business. [Robson*, p.215.]

With Mercury: Impulsive, too hasty, loss through writings and business. [Robson*, p.215.]

With Venus: Trouble through love affairs, loss of friends, danger of scandal. [Robson*, p.215.]

With Mars: Rash, headstrong, indiscreet, energetic, trouble through law, business and friends. [Robson*, p.215.]

With Jupiter: Trouble through law or Church, much criticism, many journeys. [Robson*, p.215.]

With Saturn: Cautious, thoughtful, reserved materialistic, hypocritical in religion, loss through speculation, success in business, secret difficulty with marriage partner. [Robson*, p.215.]

With Uranus: Deformity or disease of spine or back about which native is sensitive and seeks seclusion especially if female, danger of heart trouble, bad for marriage, death through an accident. [Robson*, p.216.]

With Neptune: Active, critical, mind hovers between spiritual and material things, loss through speculation and Mercurial matters, mechanical and inventive ability, temporary domestic separations, death of or separation from a child, death through an accident or Saturnian disease. [Robson*, p.216.]


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