Dubhe (pronounced DOOB-huh or Dubby – take your pick!) is nominally the brightest star in Ursa Major (Alioth, the first star on the Plough’s handle, is slightly brighter). A yellow giant about 120 light years away with a luminosity 300 times that of the Sun, it has a smaller companion that orbits it every 45 years. Someone on a planet orbiting this smaller star would see Dubhe as second orange sun with about half the brightness of the Sun in our sky. Over 400 times farther away is another similar star that has its own companion, from which Dubhe would appear as a brilliant orange star over 10 times brighter then Venus, making a total of four stars in the system.
The middle five stars of the Plough are all warm class A stars that are part of a physical cluster about 80 light years away. Dubhe, however, is not a part of that system (nor is Alkaid at the end of the Plough’s handle) and is the most distant of the Plough stars. It is also the coolest of them and consequently more orangey than the blue-white of the other stars. It’s the only one that is past its hottest phase, though for now it is temporarily stabilized by the fusion of helium in its core. The middle five stars of the Plough are all moving together, while Dubhe and Alkaid are going in the other direction. Over the next tens of thousands of years the Plough will change shape to look perhaps more like a lotus bud on a long stem.
One of the easiest Northern Hemisphere stars to find, since it is part of the familiar constellation of the Plough (or Big Dipper). Strictly speaking the Plough is an asterism (that is, a group of stars that forms part of one of the constellations) within Ursa Major (the Great Bear). Dubhe is the higher of the two stars known as the Pointers (since together they point at the Polaris, the Pole Star) lying at the right hand end of the Plough.
Such a celebrated constellation has many stories attached to it. The Plough is part of the constellation of the Great Bear and the name Dubhe is itself derived from the Arabic for bear. This star group has also associated with the bear by other cultures and it has been suggested that there may have been a common oral tradition stretching back more than 13,000 years. For instance, Native Americans saw the constellation as a bear, as did the Yakut in Siberia, who believed that the bear was omniscient, ‘he remembers everything, and forgets nothing’; while in ancient Greek myth the nymph Callisto was turned into a bear and thrown into the sky by Hera in a jealous rage when she discovered the nymph was pregnant by Zeus who had tricked her by pretending to be Artemis – soap opera on a literally cosmic scale.
The seven most prominent stars of Ursa Major have given rise to other stories. An old English name for the Plough, derived from Germanic traditions, was Charles’ Wain meaning the man’s cart, to distinguish it from Ursa Minor, the woman’s cart. Often a link has been made between the stars of the Plough and the Pole Star. In Spenser’s Faerie Queen, for instance:
By this the northern wagoner had set / His sevenfold teem behind the stedfast starre / That was in ocean waves never yet wet, / But firme is fixate, and sendith light from farre / To all that in the wide deep wandering arre.
or John Keats:
the seven stars to light you, / Or the polar ray to right you.
Perhaps connected to this idea of guided travel, wisdom is a common theme. In India the seven stars of the Plough were called ‘sapta-riksha’, the Seven Sages. In China Tseih Sing (Seven Stars) were sometimes known as the Government. In South Korea there is a myth of a widow with seven sons who fell in love with a widower, but she had to cross a stream to get to his house. Her seven sons decided to place stepping stones in the river for her. She, without knowing who had put the stones there, blessed them and, when they died, they became the constellation. In theosophical traditions it is held that the seven stars of the Pleiades (which look a little like a miniature Plough) focus the spiritual energy of the seven rays of Divine Will from the heart of the Galaxy to the seven stars of the Plough, then to Sirius, then to the Sun, and from the Sun to the consciousness of humanity.
Key Qualities: Divine Will, Higher Purpose, Fulfilment
Dubhe to some degree acts in concert with the other six stars of the Plough. A group of beings known as the Great Ones as associated with the Plough. The Great Ones oversee the development of human consciousness in the wider context of the evolution of consciousness across the Galaxy. Their purpose is to help humanity align with Divine Will so that our light may flower into full expression through the medium of physicality.
Through this lens of starforms a stream of light from Source bathes us. The intense waves of light coming to the Earth plane from the Source of All are in part mediated through Dubhe. This star connects with Polaris, not just as one of the Pointers but as an indicator of the path of Divine Will to the human heart. Its deep sense of peace transmits to us a knowledge and understanding of our own future path as if looking back at something already completed.
Dubhe conveys love born out of wisdom. All is reconciled to a oneness that creates a very dynamic relationship with Source. It is as if Dubhe says to the Source of All, ‘Now I understand, and my understanding brings me freedom to respond to You in every moment. This is my joy.’
Our inner journey
In our inner journey we travel into the presence of the soul of Dubhe, to be and to receive transmissions that ripple through the human energy field delicately reconfiguring forms, where there is openness, to a greater responsiveness to Divine Will.
Music by Thaddeus: Great Bear from Star Journeys.
You may like to use Dubhe Starlight Essence to enhance your connection with this star.