Lunar mansions are a fascinating magical system which mirrors, but is completely set apart from, the zodiac, which is geocentric (centered around the Earth) but oriented to the orbit of planets around the Sun. The lunar astrological system is oriented around the path of the Moon around the Earth, marking the 12.857 degrees she transits across the celestial sphere (the sky) every 24 hours.
MedievalAstrologyGuide.com puts it succinctly:
I am interested in this system of magic for its accessibility, that is, the availability of opportunities to work magic practically. The benefit of astrological magic in general is that magical workings tend to be more effective when aligned with the natural cycles of the planets and stars.
The lunar mansion system comprises 28 windows of opportunity to perform magic of different types within each lunar cycle (roughly a month). Though many of these opportunities are not suitable for workings in a given cycle, the fact remains that a practitioner can find a reasonably good astrological configuration for essentially any type of magic within a few weeks -rather than the months or years one might have to wait for an ideal planetary transit to take place.
The format of the ritual is essentially a Picatrix-style invocation of the Moon followed by a conjuration of the spirit of the lunar mansion where the moon is currently “resting”.
Timing for the ritual operates on the same logic as typical planetary magic. The planet being petitioned (always the Moon) must be:
- on the Ascendant
- in a favorable position
- not square or opposed to any planet, or conjunct a malefic, or combust, or otherwise maltreated
Any positive aspects, or beneficial placements of the Moon, improve the outcome of relevant magical workings performed during the configuration but, these other conditions must all be met first.
This post lays a foundation for a new monthly series on the blog, focused on lunar mansion magic, by detailing the method I use to find lunar mansion elections (suitably auspicious times) and examining the structure of the invocation / conjuration ritual I adapted from Warnock and Jackson. Think of this post as your quick-start guide to lunar mansion magic.
In a few days, I will share the first post of a new monthly series focused on making the lunar mansion magic system more accessible. In these monthly posts I will look at the upcoming lunar cycle and identify a set of dates and times which may be used for various lunar mansion workings -along with example rituals to get you started if you’d like to experiment with this system as well. I hesitate to call these “elections” because great elections are hard to come by. Generally speaking, expect these to be reasonably good times for lunar mansion rituals rather than ideal opportunities for making astrological talismans.
Additionally, I will also be sharing some of my experiments with syncretizing lunar mansions with my personal Hekate practice (since she is the polymorphous lunar deity), including the ritual tech I use for these workings.
Why focus on lunar mansions? Because life is full of reasons to do magic and the lunar mansion system provides many opportunities. But also…because celestial magic has such a complex and intertwined history with patriarchal colonialism and we could use more Goddess-centric magic in the world.
There are relatively few sources on lunar mansion magic, but I will continue to explore the topic through further reading and personal experimentation and update this practical guide to lunar mansion magic along the way.
Table of Contents
Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of the full ritual.
The Lunar Day
It’s not quite correct to say that this system dedicates each day to a different type of working, because the “lunar day” doesn’t line up with the solar day and is different everywhere on Earth. However, this is -in effect- the theory of the lunar mansion system. A given day of the week may take place while the moon transits two adjacent lunar mansions because the moon rises and sets separately from the Sun, and at different times, depending on where you are on the planet.
Fortunately Lunarium.co provides a free lunar mansion calendar that can be easily personalized to your location.
The Mansions And Their Spirits
Each of the 28 lunar mansions have unique natures, ruling spirits, and magical effects; by calling on the spirit of the mansion while the moon is (well-configured) in the mansion, a mage can either petition the spirit for a particular desired outcome or ensoul a talisman with its essence.
This table lists the 28 mansions of the moon, along with their names, degrees within the tropical zodiac (rather than the sidereal), names of their ruling spirit, and magical uses:
*This information was sourced from Christopher Warnock’s “Mansions Of The Moon”, which is currently available on Kindle Unlimited. The images for each are direct quotes but I took a little liberty paraphrasing the “magical uses” based on Warnock’s full description of the mansion, differentiate the mansions with related qualities.
Name: Al-Sharatain (Horns Of Aries)
Degrees: 0 Aries to 12 Aries 51
Magical Uses: Discord, destruction, beginning journeys, making medicines
Image: “A man with his hair wrapped and encircled, sanding erect on his feet, and holding tightly a lance in his right hand”
Name: Al-Butain (Belly Of Aries)
Degrees: 12 Aries 51 to 25 Aries 42
Magical Uses: Hidden treasures, planting seeds, removal of anger
Image: “A crowned king, sitting cross-legged with a scepter in his left hand”
Name: Al-Thurraya (The Many Little Ones)
Degrees: 25 Aries 42 to 8 Taurus 34
Magical Uses: Safe travel (by sea especially), alchemy, hunting, and acquiring good things
Image: “A seated woman with her right hand over her head in a mudra gesture”
Name: Al-Dabaran (The Follower)
Degrees: 8 Taurus 34 to 21 Taurus 25
Magical Uses: Destruction, discord, enmity
Image: “An armed man riding a war horse holding a snake in his right hand”
Name: Al-Haqa (The White Spot)
Degrees: 12 Taurus 25 to 4 Gemini 17
Magical Uses: Salvation, improving or damaging relationships, receiving good things from authorities
Image: “A head without a body”
Name: Al-Hana(Little Star Of Great Light)
Degrees: 4 Gemini 17 to 17 Gemini 8
Magical Uses: Attraction or repulsion
Image: “Two people embracing”
Name: Al-Dhira (The Forearm)
Degrees: 17 Gemini 8 to 0 Cancer
Magical Uses: Abundance, profit, acquisition of good things
Image: “A man clothed in robes with his hands extended to heaven in the manner of prayer”
Name: Al-Nathrah (The Gap)
Degrees: 0 Cancer to 12 Cancer 51
Magical Uses: Victory, friendship between allies, safe travels
Image: “An eagle with the head of a man”
Name: Al-Tarf (Glance Of The Lions Eye)
Degrees: 12 Cancer 51 to 25 Cancer 42
Magical Uses: Destruction of resources
Image: “A man covering his eyes”
Name: Al-Jabhah (Brow Of Leo)
Degrees: 25 Cancer 42 to 8 Leo 34
Magical Uses: Curing illness, love, and vitality
Image: “The head of a lion”
Name: Al-Zubrah (Mane Of Leo)
Degrees: 8 Leo 34 to 21 Leo 25
Magical Uses: Glory, receiving good, profit from trade, favor from authority
Image: “A man riding a lion, holding a lance in his right hand and holding the ear of the lion with his left hand”
Name: Al-Sarfah (Tail Of Leo)
Degrees: 21 Leo 25 to 4 Virgo 17
Magical Uses: Conflict, separation, increase, and gain of allies
Image: “A dragon fighting with a man”
Name: Al-Awwa (Wings Of Virgo)
Degrees: 4 Virgo 17 to 17 Virgo 8
Magical Uses: Union, desire, increase, fertility, lust, eroticism
Image: “A man desiring to be in coitus with a woman”
Name: Al-Simak (The Unarmed)
Degrees: 17 Virgo 8 to 0 Libra
Magical Uses: Love or aversion, passion, conflict, enmity
Image: “A dog holding his tail in his mouth”
Name: Al-Ghafr (The Covering)
Degrees: 0 Libra to 12 Libra 51
Magical Uses: The acquisition of friendship and good things
Image: “A seated man, holding various scrolls together in his hand”
Name: Al-Zubana (Horns Of Scorpio)
Degrees: 12 Libra 51 to 25 Libra 42
Magical Uses: Profit from buying and selling, balance of wealth
Image: “A man seated upon a throne and holding a scale in his hands”
Name: Al-Iklil (Crown Of Scorpio)
Degrees: 25 Libra 42 to 8 Scorpio 14
Magical Uses: Protecting wealth, durable friendships, convincing deceptions
Image: “A monkey…holding his hands above his shoulders”
Name: Al-Qalib (Heart Of The Scorpion)
Degrees: 8 Scorpio 34 to 21 Scorpio 25
Magical Uses: Protection, vengeance, conspiracy
Image: “An adder holding its tail above its head”
Name: Al-Shaula (Tail Of The Scorpion)
Degrees: 21 Scorpio 25 to 4 Sagittarius 17
Magical Uses: Dominion, destruction, to drive people away
Image: “A woman holding her hands before her face”
Name: Al-Na’am (The Beam)
Degrees: 4 Sagittarius 17 to 17 Sagittarius 8
Magical Uses: Taming wild animals, command of people
Image: “A figure with the head and arms of a man and the body of a horse, holding a bow in its hands”
Name: Al-Baldah (The City)
Degrees: 17 Sagittarius 8 to 0 Capricorn
Magical Uses: Beginnings and endings, creation and destruction
Image: “A man with two faces, with one facing forward and one facing behind”
Name: Sa’d Al-Dhabih (Lucky One Of The Slaughterers)
Degrees: 0 Capricorn to 12 Capricorn 51
Magical Uses: Curing illnesses, creating enmity, and binding tongues from speaking
Image: “A man with wings on his feet, bearing a helmet on his head”
Name: Sa’d Al-Bulah (The Fortune Of The Glutton)
Degrees: 12 Capricorn 51 to 25 Capricorn 42
Magical Uses: Separation, destruction, endings
Image: “A cat with the head of a dog”
Name: Sa’d Al-Su’ud (The Luckiest Of The Lucky)
Degrees: 25 Capricorn 42 to 8 Aquarius 34
Magical Uses: Increase, prosperity, birth, good will, success
Image: “A woman breastfeeding”
Name: Sad Al-Akhbiyah (Lucky Star Of Hidden Things)
Degrees: 8 Aquarius 34 to 21 Aquarius 25
Magical Uses: Protection of resources, growth and barrenness
Image: “A man planting”
Name: Al Fargh Al-Awwal (The Upper Spout)
Degrees: 21 Aquarius 25 to 4 Pisces 17
Magical Uses: Creation of (lasting) love, strengthening relationships
Image: “A woman washing and combing her hair”
Name: Al Fargh Al-Thani (The Lower Spout)
Degrees: 4 Pisces 17 to 17 Pisces 8
Magical Uses: Gain through someone else’s loss
Image: “A winged man, holding in his hand an empty perforated vessel”
Name: Batn Al-Hut (Belly Of The Fish)
Degrees: 17 Pisces 8 To 0 Aries
Magical Uses: Culmination, increase of harvest, attracting prosperity
Image: “A fish”
A lunar mansion ritual is essentially just a lunar planetary invocation, followed by the conjuration of the angel of the moon (Gabriel), and of the spirit of the mansion, followed by a petition / spell / creation of a talisman.
The traditional system is built around renaissance-era Christian theurgy, i.e. calling upon angels. Warnock and Jackson have provided a comprehensive ritual process in his book “Mansions of the Moon”, but out of respect for their copyright, I will not reprint the entirety of their lunar mansion ritual here. However, Warnock provides a basic planetary invocation for Luna on his website which will serve our purposes.
Get a copy of their essential guide to lunar mansions on Kindle or Kindle Unlimited.
As with a typical planetary invocation, the ritual requires incense, offerings, and candles (sympathetic to the nature of the Moon), the kamea, seal, and sigil of the intelligence, of the moon. Lastly, you will also need a version of the image described for the lunar mansion.
- Frankincense will suffice for the incense, as well as any lunar herbs.
- Wine, water, honey, bread, and eggs make excellent offerings.
- White candles, 3 or 9 of them if possible, is most appropriate.
- The kamea, seal, and sigil of the intelligence, of the moon (print the image below).
Set these out on an altar space with sufficient room for these elements and a working area of at least 10″ x 10″.
Ancient astrological magic typically took the form of “making images”, which is also known as “making talismans”.
The concept of “making images” refers to petitioning the planetary intelligence (of the Moon in this case) to ensoul a talisman with their pneuma (spirit / essence), imbuing the talisman with magical properties, according to its nature.
Alternatively, you can “make petitions” instead of “images” by creating a paper talisman and writing your petition on it (front side for positive intentions, back side for the reverse).
Warnock’s book and Mansions Mini Course feature Nigel Jackson’s mansion art which depict the images described in the Picatrix. You can also draw or paint your own rendition, if you prefer.
Timing is the most important (and challenging) aspect of an astrological magic ritual, and lunar mansions are no exception. Not every lunar day has a magically-auspicious time (election) for a ritual. A set of specific conditions must be met to maximize the probability of a spell achieving the desired outcome.
I’ll quote Warnock (interpreting the Picatrix), for clarity:
Let’s take this example apart one piece at a time…
This means, “impress important people”…
…on Monday, while the moon is waxing in signs ruled by Jupiter (who rules kings and lords and grand occasions), or the Moon is in a sign of its domicile or where it is exalted, or conjunct Rahu (the North Node) where it is very powerful.
*This is an example of a spell that is Jupiterian in nature. A “love” spell would substitute Jupiter for Venus, and Sagittarius and Pisces for the Venus-ruled signs Taurus (which is already included by virtue of the Moon’s exaltation in Taurus) and Libra.
…when the Moon is a mansion which fits the type of working you’re attempting; which is a matter of exploring the list of lunar mansions above for ones with suitable characteristics.
For example, if you want to grow a business, you would only want to consider elections where the moon is in mansions 7, 11, 12, 15, 16, 24, 25, 27, or 28 where it will bring prosperity and growth.
To make malefic talismans (or petitions), the system works the same, but in “reverse”, meaning that the moon should be waning in a destructive mansion while in signs ruled by Saturn (Capricorn and Aquarius) or Mars (Aries and Scorpio) or negatively aspected by either malefic with a square, opposition, or conjunction.
*Though it’s not specifically mentioned in Warnock’s example, the same logic about the Moon aspecting malefics presumably works in “reverse” with the benefics; so that the Moon positively aspecting a benefic is equivalent to being in a signed ruled by one, if all other conditions are met.
Finally, Warnock adds a few more conditions in a later passage, including:
- placing the Moon on the Ascendant or Midheaven
- while the Moon is not applying to a conjunction to any afflicted planet or Ketu (South Node)
- and the Moon is not combust (within 9 degrees of the Sun)
Good Enough Timing
Obviously, all those conditions being in place at the same time is extremely rare, and in practice you have to compromise on the best election that’s available in your timeframe.
It’s most important to have the Moon on the Ascendant or Midheaven in a sign that’s ruled by the planet that also rules the area of life you’re trying to affect -or in a supporting aspect to them- while also not being aspected by any planet contrary to your purpose.
Invocation And Conjuration
Finally, all that’s left is performing the ritual itself, which is easy in comparison to the planning and preparation that goes into a lunar mansion ritual. Warnock and Jackson provide more elaborate rituals in the book I’ve mentioned previously but any invocation and conjuration that follows the same pattern will suffice.
We’ll follow the same top-down path from invocation to conjuration exemplified in all the prayers in the Picatrix, starting with an invocation to the Moon.
Luna Invocation (RenaissanceAstrology.com)
*Notice that Warnock invokes Luna by “all her names” to complete the conjuration…
Next we call the minister of lunar power, the aspect of the Moon which will “authorize” our petition. In Warnock’s system this is the angel Gabriel.
Gabriel Conjuration (Mansions Of The Moon)
Many-named Moon, grant this working be true, and successful and call forth the great angel Gabriel who is appointed to the sphere of the Moon to hear my incantations.
By the infinite one and the holy unutterable name of God, by the peak of sin, the crescent crowned Monarch. By the silver horns of Selene and the might of Gabriel, by the 28 forms of the Moon.
And for the big finish we use the end of Jackson’s ritual, which is tailored for use with lunar mansion spirits:
Petitioning (Mansions Of The Moon)
By this rite of nigromantic art
In the supreme power of the Light of Lights
By the eternal forms of light, Masters of the Talismans
In the Name beyond all Names
Descend O [spirit], Celestial Intelligence of [name of mansion]
Descend, we implore thee, from the perfumed Mandal of the Lamps of the Moon
Breathe thy power into this Talisman and ensoul it with thy pneumata
Monthly Mansion Magic
Lunar mansions offer us an extremely convenient system of astrological magic that does not have to wait on the perfect alignment of the planets to come into position, but primarily relies on the position of the moon (and planetary rulership) to produce an entire spectrum of useful enchantments.
Similar to spirits-of-the-hour grimoires like the Hygromanteia, the lunar mansions as outlined by the authors of the Picatrix, Agrippa, and respected modern practitioners like Christopher Warnock, provides a system of magic which is accessible and practical, and enables the practitioner to work regularly. Rather than waiting for the ideal planetary configuration (which could take years), the moon may rest in a suitable position for a particular working up to a few times a month.
This allows us to experiment with mansion magic regularly, learning as we go, and to build a relationship with the mansion spirits as we work with them again and again.
I hope you follow along with our experiments -or partake on your own! And I’d love to hear your thoughts as you do.