The Auspice of the Slaughterer (sa’d adh-dhabih)
The Auspice of the Slaughterer is one of the ten Auspicious Asterisms (as-su’ud). The Arabic term indicates good fortune or something that is auspicious, especially a star. The Auspicious Asterisms are all pairs of otherwise unremarkable stars, except for one that is comprised of four stars. The Auspice of the Slaughterer is a pair of moderately-bright stars, one of which has a faint star very close to it that was called the Sheep (ash-shat), the one that is about to be slaughtered.
A pair of moderately-bright stars that comes after the Wasteland (al-balda).
α CAP (Algedi), orange and yellow double star, magnitudes 3.6 and 4.2
β CAP (Dabih), yellow and blue double star, magnitudes 3.7 and 6.0
Ibn Qutayba (d. 879 CE) reported that the Auspice of the Slaughterer was said to rise on the morning of January 18 and set on the morning of July 18. On account of the precession of the equinoxes, today we can expect to observe the Auspice of the Slaughterer setting in early-August and rising in early February, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)
The Auspicious Asterisms do not figure in the calendar of the rains stars.
In early listings of the lunar stations, the Auspice of the Slaughterer is the 24th station of the year. This was later changed to the 22nd lunar station after the stations were adjusted to begin with the vernal equinox.
Related Stars and Celestial Complexes
The Auspice of the Slaughterer is part of the Auspicious Asterisms (as-su’ud, السعود) folkloric celestial complex.
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