The placement and condition of the Moon is, in most cases, essentially important to the creation of magical talismans. In her role as the “lesser luminary”, the Moon is said to reflect not only the light of the Sun but also the “light” of the planets, stars, and so on, when they come into particular angles of alignment with her (180, 120, 90, 60, and 0 degrees, specifically) . In most talismans, this is the magical means by which the energies of the planets and stars are transmitted, or imbued, into the materia of a particular talisman.
There are other ways of making talismans of course, such as heliacal rises or placing a planet on the Ascendant or Midheaven, but the condition of the Moon is always relevant to the emotional and magical qualities of the current moment.
There are many ways to leverage the power of the Moon in making talismans and, most of the time, she isn’t the focus of the working but more like a facilitator. A Mars talisman, for example, can be made with the Moon on the Ascendant or Midheaven in a trine or sextile to Mars. This is befitting of the Moon’s role as psychopomp and demonstrates her central role in talismanic magic.
But what of talismans that are focused on the Moon? Lunar talismans are produced during elections where the Moon is the focus, the Moon is invoked and petitioned, and the selected talismanic materia is associated with the Moon. Obviously the condition of the Moon is all the more important in these types of elections but there are some less obvious benefits that make finding and working with lunar elections a boon to astro-mages -particularly in times with a lot of challenging space weather (like now).
My wife Sarah and I produce astrological talismans as part of our magical practice and our business, The Sacred Serpent (the spiritual healing center and apothecary we’re constructing in the Yucatán jungle in Mexico). I also produce a monthly guide to lunar mansion magic in which I publish all the talisman-quality lunar mansion elections across four time zones around the world (PST, EST, CET, and AET). So I spend a fair amount of time searching for elections and I can tell you that has not been easy to find good opportunities to work astrological magic in the last couple years -and particularly now in 2023.
Thankfully, the Moon’s rapid transit of the zodiac every 28 days provides us many opportunities to work her magic, even when the other celestials in the sky are afflicted in various ways: retrogrades, debilitation, malefic aspects, etc (and she does not retrograde).
For example, if the Moon is well-positioned and trine Mars (a supportive alignment), but Mars is square Saturn (a negative alignment) or something, this can still work as a lunar talisman when it would not be suitable for a Mars talisman.
In other cases, the placement of the Moon can add additional auspiciousness to already good astrological configurations; giving them a boost. This happens with lunar mansion elections when the Moon’s presence in a particular mansion adds extra quality to an election, like when the Moon and Venus are conjunct (at 0 degrees / on top of each other in the sky) in the 3rd lunar mansion, for example. Or, if the Moon is trine Saturn while in the 24th lunar mansion in Aquarius, and so on.
These examples play off the rulership of the sign that the Moon is occupying: the Moon conjunct Venus in Taurus (Venus rules Taurus) and Moon in Aquarius (ruled by Saturn) trine Saturn. The dispositor of the Moon (the ruler of the sign the Moon occupies) affects the condition of the Moon and the way she expresses during that time. We talk about our feelings when the Moon is in Gemini and we’re more likely to fight with the Moon in Aries because of the effect of the dispositor of the Moon.
So when the dispositor of the Moon is in its home sign or sign of exaltation, and in a benefic aspect to the Moon, this is already a powerful astrological configuration that may warrant making a talisman. But if this also takes place in a beneficial lunar mansion, this is a truly exceptional moment of astrology.
Moon conjunct Jupiter in Pisces in the 28th lunar mansion
This was exactly the case for the 28th lunar mansion election on 1st of December, last year, 2022; which took place with the waxing Moon conjunct Jupiter in the 28th lunar mansion in Pisces. I’d been tracking this mansion the entire time Jupiter was in Pisces, waiting month after month until the Moon was finally waxing in this mansion again; which is known for granting abundance and prosperity. Finally in December, right at the very end of Jupiter’s Pisces transit, I caught one election that featured the combination I’d been waiting for: a waxing Moon and a conjunction with the greater benefic in the last 13 degrees of its home sign, Pisces.
The 28th lunar mansion is the culminating mansion of the lunar month, appearing at the final 13 degrees of Pisces, which is, of course, ruled by Jupiter. The mansion’s name, Batn Al Hut, means “The Belly Of The Fish”, referring to its position within Pisces. According to 10th century astrological treatise the Picatrix, which has almost singularly preserved the lunar mansion system from ancient times, the mansion’s image (which should be engraved into talismans) is also “a fish” and it’s magical purpose is “gathering fish”.
When interpreting grimoire texts for modern applications, it is often necessary to think metaphorically to understand what the ancients intended to convey. This is certainly the case with lunar mansions which each possess somewhat confusing (and often contradictory) powers and qualities. In the case of the 28th lunar mansion, “gathering fish” can be seen as representing abundance of material resources. Fish have always been a dietary staple for the inhabitants of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia and catching them easily would translate to wealth and abundance.
Without the lunar mansion framework, this election would have been suitable for a traditional Jupiter in Pisces talisman; which is to say a strong Jupiter talisman -particularly for Jupiter’s more spiritual and creative side. However, with the waxing Moon conjunct the greater benefic in its home sign, within the degrees of the 28th lunar mansion, we were able to produce talismans for prosperity and abundance instead -and they still benefit from Jupiter’s rulership over Pisces and role as dispositor of the Moon.
The talismans were made from dark blue (for Jupiter in Pisces) and bright white (for the Moon) sodalite gem stones, engraved with the image of a fish, as indicated in the Picatrix, on the first of December, 2021 between 1:30 and 1:48 PM in Puerto Morelos, QR, Mexico. After sitting on our lunar altar for a full lunar cycle the stones were wrapped by local artisans we work with regularly so they can be worn as jewelry. Two of the stones were wrapped in steel wire as pendants and the other two were wrapped in dark and light blue macrame as resizable bracelets.
We have these items listed for $75 – $85 USD on our website.
Moon In Cancer Trine Exalted Venus In Pisces
Because of rulership, the Moon is nearly unassailable in its home sign of Cancer, and she returns there monthly, giving us frequent chances at different types of Moon in Cancer talismans.
When the Moon is in Cancer, she does not require support, per se, because she is her own dispositor. This means that instead of being Mercurial as she is in Gemini or Virgo, or Venusian in Taurus or Libra, etc., in her time in Cancer she is just pure lunar goodness, and particularly in her waxing phase.
This is why the three lunar mansions in Cancer are usually accessible for magical operations: Al Nathrah, Al Tarf, and the first 5 or so degrees of Al Jabhah; the 8th, 9th, and 10th lunar mansions. Nathrah is for victory, Tarf for causing illness, and Jabhah for curing it.
This same principle of self-rulership makes Moon in Cancer elections available fairly regularly in traditional electional astrology (i.e. not lunar mansions) as well. The Moon returns to Cancer monthly and only need be on the Ascendant or Midheaven to fulfill the basic requirements of a talismanic election. And any additional positive aspects or conditions just add to the already powerful influence of the Moon in its domicile.
For example, back in February of this year (2023), when Venus was in her sign of exaltation, Pisces, she formed a trine with the Moon in Cancer. Trines (two celestials 120 degrees or 1/3 of the zodiac) are a supportive aspect which brings the energy of the two planets into harmonious alignment -like two people carrying a well-balanced load together.
Thanks to Genie Desert of Tides Of Tethys talismanic jewelry, we caught this really lovely Moon in Cancer election featuring not only the trine to exalted Venus in Pisces, but also a sextile to the powerful North Node and a square with Jupiter. A sextile is another positive angle (60 degrees) which is supportive like a trine, just less intensely so, and a square (90 degrees) represents two forces being in tension with another. This can be negative, neutral, or as in this case, even a positive influence, depending on the celestials involved. A square between the Moon and the Greater Benefic works out to be a fairly positive influence. All counted, there are 4 or 5 really positive influences that make this election so, so sweet.
AstrologyKing.com says this about a Moon square Jupiter transit:
“Moon square Jupiter transit gives a general feeling of well-being and rarely results in dramatic events…You may experience changeable moods, and changing tastes can present difficulties if you have wandering eyes.”
The talismans we made during this election definitely evoke warm and friendly feelings, they are soothing, healing, and encourage sociability. So I think the Moon square Jupiter is actually beneficial, adding a more jovial flair to all the feels of the Moon in Cancer.
To focus on the healing, nurturing, heart-centered energy of the Moon in Cancer, we opted to work with rose quartz gem stones, carving the glyph of the moon into them during this election at 3:12 pm on February 1st, 2023. Prior to beginning the ritual, we recited hymns to both Selene and Aphrodite, and then I suffumigated with mugwort, myrrh, and copal and recited the prayers and invocations to Moon from the Picatrix while Sarah engraved the rose quartz stones. Sarah’s natal Moon is in Cancer, which really helped her connect with the ritual, further empowering the talismans. And when she was done we invoked again and petitioned that wearers be granted healing, self-love, and nurturing energy.
Sarah has been working with a local macrame artisan now for almost a year, Margarita, who came up with a set of new designs for this collection, which we’re really excited to finally add to the catalog after several months of resting on our lunar altar.
We have these items listed for $125 USD on our website.
Practical Benefits Of Lunar Devotion In Astro-Magic
As something of a devotee of Hekate, who is, in my opinion, the preeminent personification of the polymorphous lunar goddess, I see some very practical benefits to keeping a regular practice of lunar veneration (prayers, offerings, and such on Mondays). The Moon is an essential part of the formula for astro-magical success, she is the closest celestial to us, and can be worked traditionally or via the lunar mansion system with great effect.
There are other kinds of elections that work as well, such as house-based talismans or placing a planet on the ascendant or midheaven in its signs of domicile or exaltation, but these are fundamentally more rare and harder to find. Lunar talismans of various sorts are more frequently available, between various systems, and far easier to search for in bulk. Take my word for it, I look through every day, each month, for lunar mansion elections in four time zones…it just takes practice.
But so does the ritual aspect of astrological magic. I mean a different sort of practice of course. I mean a devotional practice that builds a relationship with the Moon in her various forms. That can look like a lot of different things, there’s a lot of different faces to the lunar goddess.
More than just Luna of the Romans, or Selene of the Greeks, the Moon has been a part of every mystical tradition in every age in every part of the world. She is the root of our understanding of the esoteric, she is the path by which we access the stars above and the underworld below, and even our own intuition and emotions. Working with the Moon, magically, has probably been the most singularly transformative experience in my life.
Hekate is at the root of my practice and through her I access the various celestial spirits because I believe that her polymorphous nature can contain the totality of the lunar goddess archetype. The PGM’s infamous “Prayer To Selene For Any Spell” perfectly captures Hekate’s many-formed and paradoxical nature. This is what I use for my daily prayer. It’s also part of my Hekate lunar mansion ritual that I’ve written about previously.
But it doesn’t matter what modality through which you want to access the Moon, her energy is still there, she’s still quintessentially important to magic, and developing a regular, devotional practice is one of the best things you can do to improve your magical abilities and make stronger talismans.