Zosma, also known as Dhur (“the Lion’s back”), Wadha (“the wise”), or its astronomical name, Delta Leonis, is a star of the constellation Leo. (1) As the fixed stars move at the speed of 1° every 72 years, Zosma currently is at 11°20’ Virgo.
Vivian E. Robson wrote that this star has an impact similar to the combined influences of Venus and Saturn, bringing shame and public lynching followed by some gain or benefit.
As this star is located on the back of the constellation Leo, it is connected with the mythical Heracles because, according to Greek mythology, he jumped on the Nemean lion from the back and killed him by breaking its neck. (2) Hera, who had given Heracles twelve almost impossible tasks, was chagrined at this act and placed the Nemean lion in Heaven to spite Heracles. In addition, Zosma is associated with those who willingly enter into a dangerous situation; they are willing to make sacrifices or to be a victim. It is often emphasized in charts of people who are seriously concerned with faith, which leads to Zosma’s connection with the Virgin Mary (Madonna).
However, just as every coin has two sides, a Madonna may fall and become a sinner. In the horoscope, if Zosma is conjunct a malefic planet or with a severely afflicted planet, the person may be self-centered, spiteful, immoral and deviant, or rude and full of hatred for him/herself and others. Mile Dupor, a Yugoslavian astrologer from the mid 20th century, states in his book, Influence of the Fixed Stars, that if an afflicted light (i.e., the Sun or Moon in a bad position) conjuncts Zosma, those individuals are unfortunate, both within themselves and for others. (3) Zosma can give a melancholic nature, a depressive state of mind, fear of life, and fear of death, particularly from poisoning. A planet without dignity on Zosma can bring isolation and/or mental illness.
We can say that Zosma carries a whiff of Uranus, because of its prominence in the charts of people who destroy the established systems and taboos, who question religious systems, or who openly show their eccentricity. Their work or personality may shock the world.
The queen of pop music, the legendary Madonna, has the Ascendant and the Moon conjunct Zosma. (4) Her artistic name, her eccentric performances (which often include religious motives), her open practice of Kabbalah, all point to the strong influence of Zosma in her natal chart.
John Travolta also has a Moon conjunct Zosma, and Tom Cruise has Zosma conjunct the Sun/Neptune midpoint; both are well known as major supporters of the Church of Scientology. (5) (6)
Zosma is associated with homosexuality. Freddie Mercury had Zosma conjunct his Sun and George Michael has Mars and Pluto conjunct Zosma. (7) (8) Elton John has Zosma conjunct the Neptune/Pluto midpoint, as well as on the more significant midpoint of the Ascendant and the North Node (Asc/NN). John Travolta reportedly had an affair with his masseur, which caused a scandal (another sign of the impact of Zosma in his chart).
The star Zosma, as well as the sign of Virgo, causes problems with the digestive system, especially the small intestine. American singer Cass Elliot had Zosma conjunct her Moon; she suffered from a stomach ulcer and her weight often fluctuated.
(9) Austrian Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg had Saturn conjunct Zosma. (10) He renounced his Austrian crown and sailed off to Mexico, where he was invited to become the emperor. This hints at the Uranian influence of Zosma, i.e., demolition of established systems of governance, such as the law of succession. Eventually Maximilian I lost power in Mexico and was executed. After the execution, his wife, Charlotte, suffered a nervous breakdown and spent the rest of her life in isolation at the court of her brother, Leopold II. (11) In Maximilian’s chart, Saturn is the ruler of the Descendant, which represents spouses, as well as other significant people in one’s life. Saturn conjunct Zosma manifested as his wife having a nervous breakdown. Charlotte also had the Moon in Virgo; her birth time is unknown, so we cannot be certain that the Moon was conjunct Zosma in her nativity.
For contemporary examples, we can look at the natal charts of Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, whose roles in the movie “The Reader” correspond to the symbolism of Zosma. The character played by Winslet is the former head of a women’s concentration camp during World War II, who is brought to trial after the war. (12) She allows the court to blame her, convicting her for the deaths of 300 Jewish women in the camp. By doing so, she hides her greatest flaw — the fact that she is illiterate. The natal chart of Kate Winslet shows Zosma conjunct the Mercury/Saturn midpoint — Mercury (writing, reading) and Saturn (restriction, illiteracy). The character played by Ralph Fiennes selflessly records audiobooks that he regularly sends to jail, and Winslet’s character eventually learns to read and write. In Fiennes’ natal chart, Zosma is surrounded by Uranus (5° Virgo) and Pluto (12° Virgo), which are both generational markers, but Zosma becomes more important in his chart because Pluto in Virgo disposes Venus and Neptune in Scorpio. (13) Another consideration is that as the time of birth is unknown, Zosma might have been triggered by the Ascendant, MC, or some other significant point.
These are just a few examples of Zosma’s influence. Basically, it symbolizes a victim, and in order to judge if one will achieve the redemption of sins, or will become a victim of one’s own actions, we must look to an overall impression of the chart and the interaction of Zosma with other elements of one’s horoscope.
Footnotes and References:
(1) For more on the star Zosma.
(2) Heracles is the Greek name for the divine hero who became Hercules to the Romans. Wikipedia.
(3) Mile Dupor wrote 20 astrology books, none of which have been translated into English.
(4) Madonna: August 16, 1958; 7:05 a.m.; Bay City, Michigan, Rodden DD
(5) John Travolta: February 18, 1954; 2:53 p.m.; Englewood, NJ, Rodden AA
(6) Tom Cruise: July 3, 1962; 3:06 p.m.; Syracuse, NY, Rodden X
(7) Freddie Mercury: September 5, 1946; 5:10 a.m.; Zanzibar, Tanzania, Rodden X
(8) George Michael: June 25, 1963; 6:00 a.m.; Finchley, UK, Rodden A
(9) Cass Elliot: September 19, 1941; 9:00 p.m.; Baltimore, Maryland, Rodden A
(10) Austrian Archduke Maximilian I of Habsburg: July 6, 1832; 4:00 a.m.; Vienna, Austria, Rodden AA
(11) Charlotte of Belgium: June 7, 1840; birth time unknown, Brussels, Belgium (Wikipedia)
(12) Kate Winslet: October 5, 1975; 7:15 a.m.; Reading, UK (data from AstroTheme)
(13) Ralph Fiennes: December 22, 1962: birth time unknown, Suffolk, UK (Wikipedia)