The Maidenhead of Jawza’ (‘udhrat al-jawza’)
The Virgins (al-‘adhara)
The Maidenhead of Jawza’ represents the virginity (or the hymen itself) 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 grouping of 3-4 bright stars arranged in a triangle around a central yellow star. The grouping lies below the Shi’ra Who Crossed Over and to the east of the Rear Footstool. Al-Sufi says the grouping is comprised of the 4 brightest stars of the group (δ, ε, η and ο2); Ibn Qutayba says there are 5 stars, the fifth one being of uncertain identification but most likely σ.
δ CMA (Wezen),yellow star, magnitude 1.8
ε CMA (Adhara), blue-white star, magnitude 1.5
η CMA (Aludra), blue-white variable star, magnitude 2.5
ο2 CMA, blue-white star, magnitude 3.0
σ CMA, yellow pulsing variable star, magnitude 3.5
The Maidenhood of Jawza’ takes about 5 days to rise and set, rising shortly after the rising of the Sneeze of the Lion (nathrat al-asad), and beginning its setting as the Belt of Pearls sets, shortly after the setting of the Follower of Thuraya (ad-dabaran). Ibn Qutayba (d. 879 CE) reported that the Sneeze was said to rise on the morning of July 17, and that the Follower of Thuraya set on the morning of November 26. On account of the precession of the equinoxes, today we can expect to observe the Maidenhood of Jawza’ setting in early December and rising in mid-August, as seen from the latitude of Tucson. (See How to Observe on the About page for more on this topic.)
The Maidenhood of Jawza’ does not figure in the calendar of the rains stars.
The Maidenhood of Jawza’ does not figure in the calendar of the lunar stations.
Related Stars and Celestial Complexes
The Maidenhood of Jawza’ is part of the Jawza’ (al-jawza’, الجوزاء) folkloric celestial complex, which developed over time from the central stars that mark her Belt of Pearls.