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Re: VMs: Astronomical folio: Mansions of the Moon

Hi, Nick

The Mansions of the Moon perhaps are what you are
thinking of; there are several versions with different
divisions, but the most common number of mansions is
28, yielding one solar day for each of the Moon's
travels through the Mansions.

The origin of the Mansions is Islamic; some cite
Indian (Asian) sources.  They were most commonly used
for electing activities (deciding when to travel, for
example), magic and producing talismans.  

Here's some information from the site
renaissanceastrology.com, which I always find
interesting because the webmaster not only quotes some
great source material, he also practices and instructs
in how to apply these techniques.

I do think there is a possible use of the Mansions of
the Moon in the VMs, but the division by 24 makes me
wonder whether this is actually a reference to the
Mansions (usually 28 in number), or rather the hours
of the day.




Often the monthly phases of the Moon are used for
timing, particularly in timing magic. Modern western
astrologers are probably less familiar with the
monthly cycle of the Mansions of the Moon. The lunar
mansions, known as the nakshastras, are a key
component of Vedic astrology, but they were also
significant in medieval Arabic astrology where they
were passed to Western Europe as part of the reception
of the Arabic New Science in the 12th and 13th
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 §164, 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 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. 

Sidereal, Irregular Mansions 

Originally, the Mansions were sidereal, that is, they
were based on the movement of the Moon relative to
specific indicator stars. The current positions of the
Mansions of the Moon, based on the location in the
tropical Zodiac of their indicator stars for 2000,
with their original names as given by Al-Biruni are as

1. Al-Sharatain 3 Taurus to 18 Taurus.
2. Al-Butain 18 Taurus to 29 Taurus. 
3. Al-Thuraiya 29 Taurus-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 28 Leo.
10. Al-Jabhah 28 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 12-23 Aquarius.
24. Sa'd al Suud 23 Aquarius to 4 Pisces.
25. Sa'd al-Akhbiyah 4-23 Pisces.
26. Al Fargh al-Awwal 23 Pisces to 9 Aries.
27. Al Fargh al-Thani 9 Aries to 0 Taurus.
28. Batn al-Hut 0-3 Taurus.

Tropical, Regular Mansions 

Readers will note that the size of the sidereal
mansions vary from 3-27 degrees. However, later
enumerations of the Mansions related their boundaries
to the static measure of the tropical Zodiac without
adjusting for the precession of the fixed stars, and
fixed the size of each mansion at approximately twelve
degrees and fifty one minutes. 
Here are the later tropical regular mansions from
Cornelius Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy,
Book Two, Chapter 33, 

1. Alnath, 0 Aries to 12 Aries 51 
2. Allothaim or Albochan 12 Aries 51 to 25 Aries 42 
3. Achaomazon or Athoray, 25 Aries 42 to 8 Taurus 34. 
4. Aldebaram1 8 Taurus 34 to 21 Taurus 25. 
5. Alchatay or Albachay, 21 Taurus 25 to 4 Gemini 17. 
6. Alhanna or Alchaya, 4 Gemini 17 to 17 Gemini 8 
7. Aldimiach or Alarzach, 17 Gemini 8 to 0 Cancer. 
15. Agrapha or Algarpha 0 Libra to 12 Libra 51. 
16. Azubene or Ahubene 12 Libra 51 to 25 Libra 42. 
17. Alchil, 25 Libra 42 to 8 Scorpio 34. 
18. Alchas or Altob, 8 Scorpio 34 to 21 Scorpio 25 
19. Allatha or Achala3 21 Scorpio 25 to 4 Sagittarius
20. Abnahaya, 4 Sagittarius 17 to 17 Sagittarius 8 
21. Abeda or Albeldach, 17 Sagittarius 8 to 0
8. Alnaza or Anatchtraya, 0 Cancer to 12 Cancer 51. 
9. Archaam or Arcaph, 12 Cancer 51 to 25 Cancer 42 
10. Algelioche or Albgebh, 25 Cancer 42 to 8 Leo 34 
11. Azobra or Ardurf 8 Leo 34 to 21 Leo 25 
12. Alzarpha or Azarpha, 21 Leo 25 to 4 Virgo 17 
13. Alhaire, 4 Virgo 17 to 17 Virgo 8 
14. Achurethor Arimet2 17 Virgo 8 to 0 Libra  22.
Sadahacha or Zodeboluch4 O Capricorn to 12 Capricorn
23. Zabadola or Zobrach, 12 Capricorn 51 to 25
Capricorn 42 
24. Sadabath or Chadezoad, 25 Capricorn 42 to 8
Aquarius 34 
25. Sadalbracha or Sadalachia, 8 Aquarius 34 to 21
Aquarius 25 
26. Alpharg or Phragol Mocaden, 21 Aquarius 25 to 4
Pisces 17 
27. Alcharya or Alhalgalmoad, 4 Pisces 17 to 17 Pisces
28. Albotham or Alchalcy, 17 Pisces 8 to 0 Aries  

1Also Aldelamen. 
2Also Azimeth, Alhumech or Alcheymech. 
3Also Hycula or Axala. 
4Also Zandeldena. 

Uses of the Mansions 

The Mansions were used in traditional astrology for
electing appropriate times for various activities and
for astrological magic. I provide another excerpt from
Picatrix on Magical Talismans & the Mansions of the

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.>> 


"I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing, than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance."

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