The North Scale (Zubeneschamali)

Astronomical designation: Beta Librae

The North Scale


The North Scale derives its name from its position as the bright star in the northern scale of Libra, the constellation of The Balance or Scales. Another name for it is Zubeneschamali, from the Arabic al-Zuban al-shamaliyyah, the Northern Claw (of the ancient Scorpion). This harks back to the period long ago when the Babylonian Scorpion figure extended much further than modern Scorpius. The North Scale has also been given the symbolic name of ‘The Full Price’, which complements ‘The Insufficient Price’ of the alpha star of The Balance.


The North Scale is considered a very fortunate star; it’s associated with worldly honour and success, and has a beneficial influence on the mind. Ambition is a significant theme, too, along with executive capacity and the possibility of wealth. The happiness which comes from exercising your talents and powers to the full is the great gift of the North Scale. Symbolically everything is balanced here in The Balance: the ‘full price’ has been paid, so your dues have been paid, in effect, which allows the just rewards to flow. But it is important that the dues are paid first – whereas with the South Scale, there is an implication not quite enough has been done. Yet since ordinary human intelligence is too limited to understand karma in any useful way, there’s no point getting too hung up on ideas of karmic reward or debt with either the North or South Scale. What matters here is to pay attention, do your work, and above all avoid doing any harm (a big Buddhist theme, this). As your attachments lessen your path will become smoother, clearer and easier to navigate. There is sometimes a performer streak in North Scale people, too. If this is one of your stars, you’re usually happier if other people see you in all your splendour; you thrive on applause. Because you usually make the effort to be worth applauding, recognition isn’t hard to come by. Just don’t cling to it! There’s another archetypal image worth remembering with the North Scale, that of the ancient Egyptian goddess Maat, the Lady of Truth, whose symbol was the balanced scales. One of the sacred epithets of the pharaohs was ‘Living in Truth’. This mantra is a useful meditation with any of the stars of Libra, but applies especially to the happy, lucky North Scale, where it is all too easy to become complacent and coast along. Keep it real and true and you’ll discover just how joyful your good fortune can be.


British statesman, war leader, orator and Nobel laureate for literature Sir Winston Churchill had Mercury linked very closely with the North Scale. An even more profoundly inspiring leader was Mahatma Gandhi, who with the warrior planet Mars linked to the North Scale, set a magnificent moral example of non-violent protest and helped India to achieve independence. Napoleon I, who rose but also fell, had expansive Jupiter and abundance-giving asteroid Abundantia both with the North Scale and squandered his luck. A big Jupiter show-biz success story was Elvis Presley, though he wasted a lot of his talent and luck too. We find a better role model in the great Renaissance humanist Desiderius Erasmus, scholar, Catholic priest, and social critic, who had luminous Iris with the North Scale. He measured his good fortune much more wisely and well. Subtle British crime writer P.D. James had an Iris alignment with the North Scale, too, and her stories all focused on the correct balance of right and wrong.

This work is Copyrighted: © Kidston, Roderick 2016. Text extracts are from The Magic of the Stars: How the Stars of Astrology Enrich Your Life. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. Link to book on Amazon. Note the book does not contain the otherwise unpublished card deck artworks.