The Hand of Jawza’ (yad al-jawza’)
The Two Hands of Jawza’ (yada al-jawza’)
The Hand of Jawza’ (yad al-Jawza’) is the name attributed to each of two bright stars that represent the two hands of the female figure of Jawza’. In the earliest times, the name “Jawza’ ” referred to only the three bright stars that are lined up in the middle of the figure.
A pair of very bright stars that appear above the three stars of the Belt of Pearls. One Hand lies on each side of the Belt stars below them. The left Hand is remarkably red in appearance, and the other is blue-white.
α ORI (Betelgeuse), variable red supergiant star, magnitudes 0.1-0.9
γ ORI (Bellatrix), blue giant star, magnitude 1.6
The two Hands of Jawza’ rise and set one after the other about a week apart. The right-side Hand rises with the lunar station called the Hair Whorl (al-haq’a), and sets a couple days after the Follower (ad-dabaran) sets. The left-side Hand rises with the lunar station called the Neck Mark (al-han’a) and sets a couple days after the Hair Whorl (al-haq’a) sets. Ibn Qutayba (d. 879 CE) reported that the Hair Whorl was said to rise on the morning of June 10 and the Neck Mark on June 23, and that the Follower was said to set on the morning of November 26 and the Hair Whorl on December 10. On account of the precession of the equinoxes, we can expect to observe the Hands of Jawza’ setting in mid-December and rising in early July, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)
The Hands of Jawza’ do not figure in the calendar of the rains stars.
The Hands of Jawza’ do not figure in the calendar of the lunar stations.
Related Stars and Celestial Complexes
The Hands of Jawza’ are part of the Jawza’ (al-jawza’, الجوزاء) folkloric celestial complex, which developed over time from the central stars that mark her Belt of Pearls.