The Mansions of the Moon in Astrology & Magic

Using the 28 Lunar Mansions in Traditional Elections and Talismanic Magic

mansions of the moon Picatrix Mansion 16 by Nigel Jackson

Renaissance Astrology is the premier site for information on and instruction in the practical use of the 28 Mansions of the Moon for astrological and talismanic magic. Since 1998 we have devoted ourselves to research, translation of rare traditional astrological and magical texts, and to teaching astrological magic and how to make lunar Mansion talismans. Here is a Video on the Mansions of the Moon. You can learn how to make lunar Mansion talismans with the Mansions of the Moon book and in the Mansions Mini-Course and in the full Astrological Magic Course. Here are the authentic Currently Available Mansion Talismans.

Here are translations of traditional sources on the Mansions of the Moon, including Picatrix on Mansion Talismans and Picatrix Mansion Elections and Shams Al-Ma'arif Lunar Mansions plus Lunar Mansions in the Magus and Hockley's Variant Mansions. You can learn about the Natal Moon in the Mansions.

Introduction to the 28 Mansions of the Moon

The Moon has always been of great importance in traditional astrology. The famous Italian astrologer Guido Bonatti says of the Moon,

"[S]he of all the Planets has the greatest similitude and correspondance with inferior pass by her daily effects which she causes in all things here, and the frequent revolutions about the Elements and Elementary Bodies by reason of the nearness of her Orb to the Earth, and smaller circle than any other Planet; so she seems a Mediatrix between Superior and Inferior Bodies."

Animae Astrologiae (JustUs ed.) page 6.

The most widely known lunar cycle is the monthly waxing and waning of the Moon, her phases. The lunar phases are widely used in timing all sorts of activities, including planting and harvesting, and for magic.

Picatrix 10th Mansion

Much less familar is the cycle of the lunar Mansions. While the lunar phases show the relationship between the Sun and the Moon as seen from Earth, the lunar Mansion show the Moon's orbit around the Earth against the backdrop of the fixed stars. The 27 nakshastras or Vedic lunar Mansions are a key component of the Vedic astrology of India, while medieval Arabic astrology, which is the source of traditional European astrology had 28 lunar Mansions. Since orbit of the Moon takes 27.3 days, either the 27 nakshastras or 28 Arabic/Western Mansions are logical.

The eleventh century Arabic astronomer/astrologer Al-Biruni writes that as the Zodiac, which is the course of the Sun throughout the year, is divided into twelve signs, so also the monthly path of the Moon among the fixed stars is divided into twenty eight daily stations, the Mansions of the Moon. Al-Biruni, Book of Instructions in the Elements of Astrology [Ghaznah, 1029] trans. R. Wright London, Luzac, translation originally published 1934, Ballantrae, undated reprint ยง164, page 81. Thus the Lunar Mansions are, in effect, a Lunar Zodiac. The Arabic Mansions of the Moon, used by medieval and Renaissance astrologers and magicians, are a twenty-eight fold division of the monthly orbit of the Moon as opposed to the Indian Vedic system of twenty seven nakshastras.

According to the modern author Richard Hinckley Allen, to the Arabs the mansions were known as Al Nujum al Ahdh, "the Stars of Entering" or Al Ribatat, the Roadside Inns." They were best known, however, as Al Manazil al-Qamar, the "Mansions or Resting Places of the Moon," as manzil originally referred to the noonday halt of camel and rider in the desert. Richard Hinckey Allen, Star Names and Their Meanings [1899] New York, NY, Dover, 1963, page 8.

The Mansions were used in traditional, that is pre-1700 European, astrology for electing appropriate times for various activities. We can see this in the famous grimoire Picatrix in this extract, Picatrix Bk I ch 4 on Mansion Elections. Thus we note that, for example, that Mansions 1, 5, 11, 13, 21 and 28 help journeys and voyages while mansions 9, 15 and 16 hinder them (14 hinders journeys by land). If we wished to take a trip, therefore, we would select a time when the Moon was in an appropriate Mansion and avoid times when she was in a Mansion that hindered travel.

However, the predominant use of the Mansions of the Moon in traditional astrology was for the creation of astrological talismans. Here is Picatrix Bk IV, ch 9 on Mansion Talismans providing instructions for specific talismans for each of the 28 Mansions by explaining the purpose of talisman, an image for the talisman, materials for its construction, appropriate incense, a short invocation and, very importantly, the name of the lord of each Mansion. Here are Currently Available Mansion talismans from Renaissance Astrology each of which has the chart of its creation. Here are additional charts for the creation of talismans using the Mansions of the Moon. Each of them comes from Picatrix:

Ibn Hatim 5th Mansion

There are a number of different traditions regarding the Mansions which can be confusing because their descriptions and uses for the Mansions can differ. For example the Picatrix Bk IV, chapter 9 Mansions are what I generally use for talismans because they have very complete information on how to create talismans listing the purpose of the Mansion, images, incense, talisman materials and Mansion lords. On the other hand the Picatrix Book I, chapter 4 Mansion listings are primarily general election listings that include elections for talismans, but lack talisman images, descriptions, incense, etc. A third and often different Mansion tradition, attributed to Kankaf the Hindu appears in Astromagia a 12th century astrological grimoire contemporary with Picatrix.

Each of these traditions has differences and similarities. Despite their differences, none of them is "right" or "wrong" and all of them can be used for elections or talismans as appropriate. While this appears odd, it is only because we are working from a "scientific" standpoint that insists on one, true objective reality. In fact, the spiritual realities we operate in while using magic, while not entirely subjective, do appear to have a certain amount of flexibility and multiple, different realities appear to interpenetrate.

Another very interesting traditional source are the Shams Al-Ma'arif Lunar Mansions which overlaps with the Astromagia Mansions. The Shams Al-Ma'arif is traditional book of Arabic letter and Quranic magic that contains significant esoteric wisdom and instructions for creating talismans timed astrologically. Here are some very interesting late traditional European sources on the Mansions, Lunar Mansions in the Magus and Hockley's Variant Mansions.

Generally the Mansions were used for electional astrology and for astrological talismans. However, in Astromagia we have a listing of the Natal Moon in her Mansions, indicating what it means to be born with the Moon in a particular mansion. The complete Astromagia mansion listings of elections, talismans and natal Mansion placements can found in my Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course and full Astrological Magic Course.

Tropical, Sidereal and Constellational/Astronomical Zodiacs and the Mansions

There are a variety of different methods for locating the boundaries of the lunar Mansions. The most famous grimoire of astrological magic, the Picatrix, orients the 28 Mansions to the Tropical Zodiac traditionally used by traditional Arabic and European astrologers. The Tropical Zodiac is based on the Sun and the Seasons of the year, with the Sun entering Aries on the Spring Equinox, the first day of Spring, entering Cancer on Midsummer's Day, the Summer Solstice, entering Libra on the Autumnal Equinox and entering Capricorn on the Winter Solstice. Here is a detailed discussion of the Tropical Zodiac.

In the Tropical mansions, the first Mansion began with 0 Aries, the 8th Mansion with 0 Cancer, the 15th Mansion with 0 Libra and the 22nd Mansion with 0 Capricorn. These tropical Mansions are regular in size, approximately 12 degrees and 51 minutes.

Picatrix 7th Mansion

Tropical Mansions

Here are the Tropical Mansions with Arabic names with their boundaries as listed in Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book Two, Chapter 33,

1. Al-Sharatain, 0 Aries to 12 Aries 51
2. Al-Butain, 12 Aries 51 to 25 Aries 42
3. Al-Thuraiya, 25 Aries 42 to 8 Taurus 34.
4. Al-Dabaran, 8 Taurus 34 to 21 Taurus 25.
5. Al-Haqa, 21 Taurus 25 to 4 Gemini 17.
6. Al-Hana, 4 Gemini 17 to 17 Gemini 8
7. Al-Dhira, 17 Gemini 8 to 0 Cancer.
15. Al Ghafr, 0 Libra to 12 Libra 51.
16. Al-Zubana, 12 Libra 51 to 25 Libra 42.
17. Al-Iklil, 25 Libra 42 to 8 Scorpio 34.
18. Al-Qalb, 8 Scorpio 34 to 21 Scorpio 25
19. Al-Shaulah, 21 Scorpio 25 to 4 Sagittarius 17
20. Al-Naaim, 4 Sagittarius 17 to 17 Sagittarius 8
21. Al-Baldah, 17 Sagittarius 8 to 0 Capricorn
8. Al-Nathrah, 0 Cancer to 12 Cancer 51.
9. Al-Tarf, 12 Cancer 51 to 25 Cancer 42
10. Al-Jabhah, 25 Cancer 42 to 8 Leo 34
11. Al-Zubrah, 8 Leo 34 to 21 Leo 25
12. Al-Sarfah, 21 Leo 25 to 4 Virgo 17
13. Al-Awwa, 4 Virgo 17 to 17 Virgo 8
14. Al-Simak, 17 Virgo 8 to 0 Libra
22. Sa'd al-Dhabih, O Capricorn to 12 Capricorn 51
23. Sa'd Bula, 12 Capricorn 51 to 25 Capricorn 42
24. Sa'd al Suud, 25 Capricorn 42 to 8 Aquarius 34
25. Sa'd al-Akhbiyah, 8 Aquarius 34 to 21 Aquarius 25
26. Al Fargh al-Awwal, 21 Aquarius 25 to 4 Pisces 17
27. Al Fargh al-Thani, 4 Pisces 17 to 17 Pisces 8
28. Batn al-Hut, 17 Pisces 8 to 0 Aries

The Vedic astrology of India uses a sidereal Zodiac in which the nakshatras (Mansions) are again regular and of equal size, approximately 13 degrees and 20 minutes. The beginning of Aries in the sidereal Zodiac is oriented not to the Seasons, but to the fixed stars which move very slowly, approximately a degree every 72 years due to the precession of the equinoxes.

This is not the same as the constellational or astronomical Zodiac which uses the specific position of individual fixed stars. Despite the effectiveness and accuracy of the Tropical Zodiac, many moderns reject it on philosophical grounds because they feel it does not correspond to the "real stars" With the regard to the Mansions they insist that a constellational Zodiac, that is a Zodiac based completely on the material stars is the only possible method. The constellational Mansions therefore are based on the location of certain fixed stars and thus the constellational or astronomical Mansions are highly irregular in size.

Constellational/Astronomical Mansions

The following are the irregular constellational boundaries of the 28 Mansions of the Moon given in the tropical Zodiac longitude and precessed for the year 2019.

1. Al-Sharatain, 3 Taurus to 18 Taurus
2. Al-Butain, 18 Taurus to 29 Taurus
3. Al-Thuraiya, 29 Taurus to 10 Gemini
4. Al-Dabaran, 10 Gemini to 24 Gemini
5. Al-Haqa, 24 Gemini to 9 Cancer
6. Al-Hana, 9 Cancer to 20 Cancer
7. Al-Dhira, 20 Cancer to 7 Leo
15. Al Ghafr, 4 Scorpio to 15 Scorpio
16. Al-Zubana, 15 Scorpio to 3 Sagittarius
17. Al-Iklil, 3 Sagittarius to 10 Sagittarius
18. Al-Qalb, 10 Sagittarius to 24 Sagittarius
19. Al-Shaulah, 24 Sagittarius to 13 Capricorn
20. Al-Naaim, 13 Capricorn to 16 Capricorn
21. Al-Baldah, 16 Capricorn to 4 Aquarius
8. Al-Nathrah, 7 Leo to 18 Leo
9. Al-Tarf, 18 Leo to 29 Leo
10. Al-Jabhah, 29 Leo to 12 Virgo.
11. Al-Zubrah, 12 Virgo to 22 Virgo
12. Al-Sarfah, 22 Virgo to 27 Virgo
13. Al-Awwa, 27 Virgo to 24 Libra
14. Al-Simak, 24 Libra to 4 Scorpio
22. Sa'd al-Dhabih, 4 Aquarius to 12 Aquarius
23. Sa'd Bula, 12 Aquarius to 23 Aquarius
24. Sa'd al Suud, 23 Aquarius to 5 Pisces
25. Sa'd al-Akhbiyah, 5 to 23 Pisces
26. Al Fargh al-Awwal, 23 Pisces to 10 Aries
27. Al Fargh al-Thani, 10 Aries to 0 Taurus
28. Batn al-Hut, 0 to 3 Taurus

Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course & Astrological Magic Full Course

You can learn about the Mansions of the Moon and how to create Mansions talismans in the Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course and the full Astrological Magic Course.

The Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course on CD is a fully self contained course that requires no knowledge of magic or astrology. The Mini-Course provides a complete introduction to the 28 Mansions of the Moon and teaches how make talisman elections with the Moon in the appropriate Mansions.

The Mansions Mini-Course includes a free copy of the Mansions of the Moon book and Mansion Tracker, the lunar Mansions software The Mansions Mini-Course also includes 28 black and white and hi-res color Mansion images from Picatrix by the renowned occult researcher and artist Nigel Jackson which students can download and use to make their own talismans. Complete instructions for talisman ritual and consecration are provided.

The Astrological Magic Course includes the Mansions of the Moon Mini-Course and goes further and explains how to create advanced full Mansion talisman elections. The Astrological Magic Course teaches the full range of traditional astrological talismans including planetary, fixed star, decan/face and house based talismans in addition to Mansion talismans.