The Basics
 The 30° Wheel
 Lunar Mansion
 Sunset Chart
 Erect a Chart

"Astrology is astronomy brought to earth and applied to the affairs of men!"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lunar Mansion

The Early Moon

In Babylon, the Moon god Sin was referred to as the Lord of Wisdom and He Who Would Open the Gate to Heaven. At first glance this is a valuable statement. How is heaven defined? Is it "a condition or place happiness?" Or is the term heaven, just a reference to the sky? Why does that wisdom apply to the Babylonian Moon? Could it be that an astrological view, wisdom and thus happiness, resulted from acquiring invaluable knowledge gained, not by following the Sun or planets, but primarily observing the Moon's nocturnal position as it moved across the sky?

In Egypt the Moon was associated with an eye because of its association with the retina and its appearance to blink over a period of time, opening after the new Moon and closing after the full Moon. The Moon was known as Khons, the Eye of Horus, Osiris, Ptah and was sometimes associated with Min. The Egyptian Moon's energy symbolized the goddess power and believed to be transmitted to only those on Earth who understood its magic. of supreme

The ancient Egyptian preceptors believed that there were two minds within the human being the solar and lunar. The solar mind represented the autonomic system regulating the heart and blood, intestines and glands that comprise the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The lunar mind regulated the hypothalamic and cranial glands and functioned in terms of reflected light through the retina (Lawler).

Historically, the Chinese, Hindu, Arabic and Babylonian societies all relied heavily on the Moon for their predictive work and omina. Today, when Hindu or Chinese astrologers may ask about the time of birth, they are much more interested in the Moon's position than any other planet. What is really amazing is that early literature about the Moon is very rare and nearly impossible to find even though the concept of the daily lunar mansion, the Moon's motion was used extensively in ancient astrology.

With all this, there had to be more than just watching the Moon at night. Through the millennia the Babylonian/Chaldean culture and, to a small extent, the Egyptians continued to adjust their entire way of life to the whimsical lunar calendar. The Babylonians followed the Moon's irregular course for over 40 centuries and yet the Moon remained their Lord of Wisdom. Why the so long? What magic and what wisdom does it have to offer? The lack of available information, either contemporary or ancient, is surprising because lunar progressions are a powerful predictive tool. Any astrologer who is unaware of the power of the Moon is missing a very important facet in his predictive work.

All the above ideas relate to the ancient belief that the Moon was the Earth's offspring. For this reason the ever-changing Moon came to symbolize the child. If we look at the Moon's location in the Egyptian cosmology chart, we notice the Moon is located near the "out of control" angle of the fourth house cusp. This position of the Moon symbolizes the idea of seeking guidance and/or being a guide.

Lunar Mansion Diagram

Of course, the nature of the Moon is such that in order to be seen it needs the Sun's light to do so. In this fashion we see the Moon's position in the birth chart as that of an addiction in seeking nurture and protection to preserve its own nature. This is readily seen in the case of the performing arts. Its position in the chart indicates a basic need and inclination to please people, wanting to be liked and accepted by them. On the other hand, in both the birth and sunset charts, an afflicted Moon by association to harsher planets, such as Mars, Saturn and sometimes even the Sun or Jupiter, manifests as a marked propensity toward an antagonistic or even a shy attitude toward people. In either case we voluntarily give up some form of our sovereignty and go out of our way to please or displease others, because at the moment it seems the right thing to do.

Lunar Awareness

The degree of one's sensitivity is registered by the Moon's position by decanate. The Moon's influence changes by virtue of its degree of longitude. The Moon located in the first ten-degree decanate indicates the development of understanding "emotional buttons." The child learns early to assimilate knowledge concerning emotive reactions. In the second or "teen-degree" decanate, the decanate of change, the native feels that that his emotional needs may never be fulfilled, this Moon placement is its most risky position. The Moon in the second decanate is "constantly inconstant," or desiring change for the sake of change. This restlessness is reflected in all parts of the lifestyle as a constant search for an ephemeral "something." The native often avoids close personal relationships because he feels if someone really got to know him they may find that, emotionally, "no one is home."

In the third decanate of goal seeking, the Moon higher than twenty-degrees reflects as "seeking guidance" to find answers to satisfy emotional objectives. Often an individual with a third decanate Moon placement will rarely reveal any weak position in a given situation. At times, when involved in conversation, the native may not be "up to par" on a given subject. And with this Moon placement he will probably wait to see if, further in the conversation, the speaker will reveal more information without the native having to ask for it. In this way, he feels that he is in control and maintains his idea of self-esteem. The Moon in this decanate usually reflects as the "perfect student" who synthesizes his mentor's doctrine and infuses it with his own ideas. Later the student in return challenges his teacher's original ideas intellectually. As with other planets, we should scrutinize the Moon's arena very carefully.

The Moon is our main source of information through recognizing emotional responses. Review your own past circumstances or that of a client to indicate behavior patterns that may reveal future tendencies. Examine the first and last aspect the Moon makes. Later on this page, we will find that it is most important to note the initial aspect the Moon makes by rogression and as well as all the Moon's aspects throughout the rogression. Pay close attention to the Moon there will always be some lunar aspect in connection with events that are important to you.

The 24-Hour Lunar Arc

The numbers eighteen and twenty-eight have long been associated with the Moon. Additionally, during a Saros cycle of eighteen years and eleven days, there are no less than twenty-eight eclipses during that period somewhere on the planet. The daily motion of the Moon is found by observing the Moon's motion measured by longitude from the beginning to the end of each 24-hour period.

It is very important to remember that the Moon travels about one degree of longitude every two hours, or approximately 12 degrees in 24 hours, this known as its rate of motion usually abbreviated as ROM. However, for a more accurate measurement, it is better to calculate the actual rate of motion of the Moon's ROM than just using 12* as an average motion. This is accomplished by the usual procedure of deducting the Moon's longitude from the previous day of birth using the exact time of day on both occasions. You will find the rate of motion by subtracting the longitude of the previous day from the longitude of the birthday. The distance the Moon travels by degree during that 24-hour period is called the lunar arc, its ROM or, in this work, the lunar mansion.

The Lunar Mansion

Today, there are three systems correlating to the twenty-eight lunar mansions. They are called Nakshastras in the Hindu/Vedic astrology system, Sieu in the Chinese system and Manzils (mansions) in the Arabic system. Each mansion begins with a fiduciary or reference star as its starting point. The reason the number 28 is assigned or fixed as lunar "stations" or mansions in contemporary analysis (not this work however), is derived by dividing the average ROM of 12° 51' into 360. To list these fiducial points would be meaningless and would require too much space.

Additionally, and I think most importantly, the idea of positioning the lunar mansion as fixed points of reference reduces the Moon's emotional influence into a static and boxed state without any personal consideration of the client. That is definitely something the Moon is not. The origin of fixed lunar mansions is probably derived from the term "Manzils," the Arabic term for mansions by al Biruni, the tenth-century Arabian astrologer. The rate of daily lunar motion can vary from as little as 11° 36" to as much as 15° 06". One's personal lunar mansion is described by the longitudinal motion the Moon travels during the complete 24-hour period of the day of birth. This format could be the probable Chaldean lunar mansion, which was not fixed, but measured by the Moon's variable distance by its daily motion as it traveled through the zodiac between sunset to sunset.

In this work we, too, measure the lunar mansion by the variable daily motion and distance the Moon travels through the zodiac during the sunset to sunset period.

Astrologically, we can relate celestial mechanics with the Moon's motion and the motion of the Sun. The Sun requires approximately two hours of real time to travel the distance of 30° in longitude or one house. The Moon also requires approximately two hours of real time to travel one degree of longitude. Based on the "aging" process known as "rogression.", the Sun will move one house every six years and the Moon will generally advance but only by one degree or preferably, by its calculated hourly rate. The advancement by the Moon of one degree for each house the Sun travels is important to remember when the chart is rogressed.

The personal rate of motion of the lunar mansion describes the emotional demeanor of the person as noted in the chart by the first and last aspects the Moon makes. It is also a very important indicator of the person's emotional journey because its placement clearly indicates life's state of affairs.

The emotional "urge" is directed and best described as an inner recognition of the basic need that has been imprinted on the child during the formative years. This imprint is indicated by the Moon's first, exact aspect to a planet or angle. The characteristic manifestation is reflected by the Moon's last exact aspect to a planet or angle. The last aspect made by the Moon indicates the individual's attitude in acquiring the Moon's first aspect's basic need. Those with Jupiter as the first or last aspect just expect good things to happen, regardless of their situations. Those with Mercury feel that they can think or talk things through to resolution. Saturn, as the first or last aspect, promotes a reluctance to see things positively or the need to control them. With Mars, the native thinks with his fist or has a "might makes right" macho attitude.

Emotional "urges," as seen by the lunar mansion, coupled with the lunar progressions, clearly dictates the direction of the native and the native's changing circumstances. This is easy to follow because the Moon will continue to aspect the other planets as it advances one degree every six years. Very often, transits will trigger a situation based only on the position of the rogressed Moon.

The lunar mansion then, is defined as the Moon's first and last aspect to the planets or angles made during the 24 hours of the native's birth. And those aspects indicate the emotional needs for fulfillment and quality of the native's emotional life. During the life, other aspects made by the rogressed Moon represent the conditions and circumstances to which the native feels drawn.

Imprinting: First and Last Lunar Expression

Remember I mentioned that the Moon advances one degree every six years. While working with the lunar mansion, we are primarily interested in watching for two items.

(1) The house and the present lunar position by degree
(2) We want to find out in what time frame or how old the individual was when the Moon reached its first aspect to another planet by degree and the nature of the aspect. The age tells us the importance of imprinting as it happened to the native.
(3) What planet does the Moon last aspect by exact degree and its nature.

As a recap, the last planet the Moon aspects indicate how the native expects his hopes, wishes and dreams to manifest. The Sun, Venus or Jupiter represents more of a sense of ebullience than that of Mars or Saturn. The last aspect also indicates the overall emotional state and the inner sense regarding the conditions at the end of life and death. The Sun, Venus or Jupiter shows a willing or peaceful transition, Saturn or Neptune may indicate chronic illness, Uranus, Pluto or Mars a quick death.

Remember: The Moon's first aspect identifies the most basic emotional urge for satisfying one's self-expression and is designated by the planet and aspect by the Moon. Planets placed between the first and last aspects represent important changes in the lifestyle or crossroads experiences during the life. But always keep in mind that the Moon's first aspect is the native's imprint, a deep-seated desire for emotional fulfillment. The nature of the planet and its type of aspect delineate this point. The last aspect represents the characteristic manifestationthe expected end result of his desires as signified by the planet and it's aspect.

For example, say a client's Moon makes its first aspect to Mercury. His emotional nature would be Mercurial and changeable with the need for self-expression, either verbally or in writing. Should Saturn be the last planet aspect made by the Moon, this would be toned down by intellectualism or perhaps even labored. With Jupiter as its last aspect there is more vitality and fervor.

To determine the individual's emotional state when viewing the age of an incident by year, advance the sunset chart to the house that represents the age of the event. By counting the number of houses the Sun has rogressed by age, add the number of houses to the degree of longitude of the Moon, then look for any planet that has the same degree, either by rogression or transit. Note the planet's enclitic influence as the Moon assimilates those energies as if it were its own process.

This can be likened to an earlier astrological custom of the translation and collection of light where the Moon picks up the energy pattern from the last planet it was in contact with and transfers that pattern of energy to the next planet it aspects. We call this function enclitic.

For example, should the Moon aspect Venus by conjunction and later sextile Jupiter, the now enclitic Moon will act as if it were Venus-oriented when it aspects Jupiter. This circumstance, taken alone, would describe someone either with an abundance of charm, a loving, charitable person or possibly someone with an artistic nature wishing to express it in a global way. If Venus the first and Jupiter was the last aspect respectively made by the Moon, with a harmonious Sun and/or planet placement(s), we would notice a distinctively warm and friendly individual. With a negative Sun or inharmonious planet placement, we might notice an inclination to laziness, conceit and perhaps negligence. In either case the individual would have "film star mannerisms" with a tendency to gain in popularity in spite of himself.

Origins of the Lunar Mansion

To begin, there are three Zodiacs. The Solar zodiac where the Sun travels in its apparent orbit through the tropical signs (and sidereal constellations). The Lunar zodiac where the Moon has a much wider path of 5.5 degrees above and below the Solar ecliptic (Latitude) giving a total of 10+ degrees in width. And a planetary zodiac where the planets travel, yet again, in a different path around the Sun, this is because the planets pass through many more signs than the Sun does seen from the viewpoint of Earth!

Sidereally, the Sun passes through 13 signs counting Ophiuchus. The Moon currently passes through 20 signs (constellations); however in Babylonian times, there were only 18 accounted for. The planetary zodiac is contained within 17 degrees North and South of the Sun's ecliptic giving a wider band of 34 degrees over which the planets pass (counting Pluto).

The reason for the existence of these three zodiacs is simply that the Moon's and the planets' orbits appear a little tilted in comparison of each other due to the Earth's 23+ degree axis compared to the Sun's ecliptic.

As mathematical calculations were understood by less than .04 percent of the population, the ancients devised ways to substitute the degrees of longitude and latitude with associated names of either circumstances of the year or with attributes of animals. With this idea in mind, we can recognize this process becoming the animated Zodiac many centuries later by different cultures.

To wit, the word for Sun in Accadian was used in two different ways; one for astronomy and the second for astrological purposes. This process was the same for all the monthly and planetary names.

Thus, if we examine the associated, numberless monthly names for the Babylonian year plus the planet's various names, we find a distinct association between Babylonian Epochal writings and poems with the planetary passages through the signs. As a matter of fact, we can find these same associations of astronomical reasons in the Siege of Troy or the wanderings of Ulysses in the Odyssey! In Fact many stories in legendary times correspond to a sign of the Zodiac and consequently to a month within a year which agrees to the character of each particular myth.

From this idea, we can conclude that the different names for the planets were used to associate a planet's location with an asterism; a source of major confusion for archeologist in the past as there were many different names for the same planet found in Babylonian texts.

If we take that step up one rung of the ladder we can easily recognize how the Lunar Mansions may have begun. Calling the Moon's position "resting places" would be the one concept that, considering the time that this concept arose, the Lunar Mansion idea would have been an easy way to simply identify the Moons position without any mathematical calculations. Much the same as the earlier Babylonians had done.

With this, we find considerable evidence that the Lunar Draconic system then developed into 28 "houses" with the associated monthly or animal nomenclature while the Solar Zodiac remained with only twelve.
At the time of the Babylonians, the lunar mansions didn't exist as we know them today. The ancients assigned the lunar diurnal position using 'star signposts' during their nightly watch.
In this fashion, the Chaldeans gave us fixed star observations. The Mul.Apin tablets contain the most comprehensive surviving Babylonian star and constellation catalogue from before 600 BC.
The 33 stars on the path of Enlil
The 23 stars on the path of Ea
The 15 stars on the path of Anu

Egypt, on the other hand, developed some 300 years after the Babylonians and had a similar process, called "working stars," possibly derived from the Babylonians. These 'working stars' were based on their Heliacal rising at10 day intervals.

The Chaldean lunar calendar considered the first quarter, full moon, last quarter and new Moon as evil days. The Egyptians carried this idea to an extreme by assigning their deities to a yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly and even in some cases smaller segments of time we would consider as minutes today.

As Egyptian deities were considered favorable and unfavorable, there would be variable times when these deities would come into conflict thereby creating a inauspicious time to accomplish any endeavor considered worthwhile.

Enter the Chinese. Traditionally, their "Tzu Wei Tou Shu" system is supposed to date back four and a half millennia, to the reign of Emperor Huáng Dì. "Oracle bones" have survived from the Shang dynasty from about 1200-1045 BC. Some Astrological texts on predictions exist in the Chinese historical records ca. 206 BC - AD 220. The Chinese Zodiac simply related to the yearly sojourn of the Sun and not the monthly Solar zodiac found in the West. > Interestingly, the earliest reference to the Lunar mansions is with China dating back to 3117 BC ! This information comes to us VIA the Great Chinese wall thought to be a megalith similar to Stonehenge. The wall begins with the constellation of beta-Hydra, the Great Dragon, the 28th Xiu marking the Solstice of 3117 BC.

The Grecian occupation of both Persian and Egyptian soil eventually conflated all the different cultural "star programs" and converted both systems into a singular, noetic set of interrelated principles. The intellectual mental climate of Greece organized the different 'star principles' into a method of orderly interaction in connection with the seasonal changes.

Most likely, the Lunar mansions started much later than the Hellenistic period (323 BC to 146 BC) as there are no records indicating that the Lunar mansions, as we know them here in the West, were used before or during, that period.

The Babylonian Spring Equinox began with the Sun in Taurus. As such, the moon stations were adopted into India later, perhaps everywhere, from the Mesopotamian literature we find in the Mul Apin. The Mul.Apin lists the names of 66 stars and constellations and further gives a number of indications, such as rising, setting and culmination dates, that help to map out the basic structure of the Babylonian star map.

Scholars mostly agree that the Arabic "Al Manazil al Kamr" or 'The resting place of the Moon' is more than likely the origin of the Lunar mansions of today. The Lunar mansion beginning with Al Nath and Al Butain begin in Aries suggesting that The Lunar Mansions were developed at a much later date than Mesopotamian astronomy would indicate.

Arthyr Chadbourne
June 29, 2008

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