The lunar mansion system is a relatively obscure, but very potent, system of celestial (or astrological) magic which is known to the western esoteric (that is, magical) tradition mostly because of two short and confusing passages from the Picatrix; the 13th century translation of the 10th century arabic treatise on astrological magic, Ghayat al-Hakim (Aim of the Sage).
What’s good about lunar mansion magic is that it is extremely accessible, in the sense that the system provides many opportunities for working magic for various practical ends, and comprehensive, in that there are mansions for nearly every need.
If you’re new to lunar mansions, but curious about how to work with them magically, I’m here to help fill in all the gaps for you to be able to perform lunar mansion magical rituals right away and produce results.
In this video I’m going discuss How To Perform Lunar Mansion Magic Rituals and I will try to:
- Explain what a lunar mansion is, in detail.
- Sum up the type of outcomes you can produce with each lunar mansion.
- Provide instructions on how to verify a lunar mansion election is “good enough”.
- Go through all the steps of a traditional lunar mansion ritual.
What Is A Lunar Mansion?
To get started I think it might be helpful for me to explain clearly what a lunar mansion is, at least within the western / tropical lunar mansion system (there are several).
So, What Is A Lunar Mansion?
It takes 28 days for the Moon to orbit the Earth. Divide 360° of sky into 28 equal parts of 12.57x° from our perspective on Earth and you get the tropical lunar mansions -one for each day in the lunar month.
Each mansion is associated with a different spirit and offers unique magical properties, from attracting prosperity, to achieving victory, offering protection, and so on.
The astrology of lunar mansions predicts the characteristics of people based on the resting place of their native moon but in the western esoteric tradition, mansions are more frequently employed in magical rituals.
The lunar mansion system of magic functions on the premise that the Moon, as the “lesser” luminary reflects the light of the Sun and Stars. This refers to their “light” in the visible sense but also in the esoteric sense -their magical properties. Lunar mansion magic employs theurgic ritual and astrological timing to tap into the Moon’s ability to channel and enhance the magical properties of the sun, planets, and stars.
What Can You Do With Lunar Mansion Magic?
Now that we know what a lunar mansion is, exactly, let’s examine just what we, as magicians, can do with each mansion. Our primary source of information is the Picatrix, which offers VERY limited information on each mansion; just the mansion’s name, the name of its ruling spirit, the degrees of the zodiac it encompasses, and suggestions as to its magical qualities.
It is important to bear in mind that the Picatrix is often contradictory in its descriptions of the 28 lunar mansions, between the only two chapters which mention them, Book 1 Chapter 4 and Book 4 Chapter 9. Deeper exploration of the nature of the mansions quickly reveals the shortcomings of the Picatrix’s reductive descriptions of the mansions (provided without context).
To ameliorate this issue, I have tried to sum up the essential nature of each mansion generally and this, in places, differs from what you will find in the Picatrix. This approach, unfortunately, isn’t even comprehensive because this is still an on-going effort, so it is best to view the descriptions I give here as loosely accurate representations of the general nature of each mansion. There is still a great deal of room for interpretation and your mileage with my takes may vary.
Having said that, taken in its totality, this demonstrates the breadth of the lunar mansion system and the wide variety of scenarios in which it can be employed, magically.
The first lunar mansion is a place to start things, but especially conflicts, though it is thought to be an ideal time to begin journeys as well.
There are positive mansions, like the 6th lunar mansion, which creates an environment of friendship and love and the eighth, which assures you are victorious in all you do. And there are negative mansions which sow discord and invite conflict like the 4th and 21st. There are mansions to cause illness, like the 9th, and mansions to cure it like the 10th and 22nd. There are mansions for protection, like the 17th and 18th; for profit, like the 16th, 24th, and 28th; and mansions for love, sexuality, power, and pretty much every other human concern.
When Can You Perform Lunar Mansion Rituals?
There are mansions for pretty much anything you might want to do. The question, when it comes to working lunar mansion magic, is when can you work the magic you need to work?
Astrological magic, in general, functions on the principle that there are certain times when the Sun, Moon, planets, stars, etc. are “aligned” to support your intention -and times when they are most definitely not. Our goal as astro-mages is to identify the most “auspicious” opportunities available to work magic (or simply take actions) which will provide the greatest chance for our intentions to manifest, that is, for our desired conditions to be met.
Thanks to the scraps of information available in the Picatrix and the diligent work of one particular luminary in the field of astrological magic, Mr. Christopher Warnock, we are provided with a clear set of conditions which must exist for a lunar mansion election to be considered “good enough” to work magic.
- The Moon must be in the appropriate mansion, conjunct the Ascendant or Midheaven.
- The Moon must have no negative aspects and is not conjunct with Saturn or Mars.
- The Moon must not be combust (within 12 degrees of the Sun) or otherwise maltreated.
- The lord of the domicile of the Moon must have no negative aspects and not be combust or maltreated.
- The lord of the domicile of the Moon should not be in a cadent house (3, 6, 9, or 12).
- And, for practical reasons, there should be at least a 3 minute window where the above statements are true so that you have time to at least begin crafting the talisman during the election.
All of these conditions must be met to ensure your ritual will be effective -if your ritual is benefic in nature. If you are doing malefica, you will need to invert your thinking. You want the Moon negatively aspected, combust, or maltreated, etc.
Elements Of A Lunar Mansion Ritual
Now that we know what the mansions are, how they can be used, and what astrological conditions must be in place, all that’s left is to understand what to do during the ritual…
Who do you invoke? How do you invoke? Do you need to cast a fancy circle inscribed with divine names, draw spirits into crystals, or scry in a bowl of water?
Let’s try to answer some of these important questions:
The Picatrix is essentially free of complex rituals with loads of barbarous words or divine names, fancy circles, and other grimoire favorites in lieu of extensive preparations and regular devotional work that should be done prior to workings designed to produce material outcomes -and just generally all the time, to maintain relationships with the various celestial spirits.
Lunar mansion magic rituals are theurgic in nature, that is, they are essentially prayers, or invocations, of the Moon as the governing spiritual intelligence over each of the 28 mansions who can compel them to accomplish various tasks for the supplicant.
Any mansion ritual is a lunar ritual. Meaning, you will be invoking Luna (or Selene or whatever aspect of the Moon you prefer), and calling upon the angel of the Moon, Gabriel, to summon the spirit of the mansion you are petitioning.
The theory is simple, you supplicate the Moon to call upon her powers as intermediary to the stars contained within the mansion where she currently rests (in the tropical system this is not literal due to the progression of the stars). By her authority, under “God Most High”, you are able to command the spirit to do as you wish -to produce your desired outcome.
Preparations For Lunar Mansion Rituals
To prepare for a lunar mansion ritual, procure:
- White Candles
- Myrrh Incense (or Frankincense)
- Magic Square (Kamae) of the Moon
- Sigils of the Moon and Intelligence of the Moon
- Art depicting the lunar mansion image
And for the creation of the talisman you will create, find:
- Silver discs, moonstone, or other lunar stones
- Professional-grade engraver
- Mugwort and other lunar herb and plant materia (to burn as incense)
And sketch a version of the image (or glyph) you plan to engrave onto the disc or stone you will be using for the talisman.
Opening The Ritual
Open the ritual as you usually do: casting a circle, acknowledging the four directions, calling on the god above gods -whatever you do to create sacred space.
Light candles and incense and have a charcoal disc lit and warming (I suggest you do this 5-10 minutes in advance). Meditate or do whatever you need to do to get in the right state of consciousness.
Do all of this well before the election (which is often a very short window of time) so that you can be petitioning and engraving (or whatever you’re doing to create the talisman) during the allotted time. The Moon should be approaching the Ascendant or Midheaven, not separating from it while the act of ensouling the talisman is taking place.
The Hymn To Luna
When it is time to begin (a few minutes prior to the election), start with the Hymn To Luna or the prayer to Luna from the Picatrix, or whatever prayer to the Moon goddess you prefer. Give yourself the time to recite this (and the subsequent invocations) performatively, don’t rush it. As Crowley said, “Inflame thyself with prayer.”
Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light,
Bull-horn’d, and wand’ring thro’ the gloom of Night.
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide
Night’s torch extending, through the heav’ns you ride:
Female and male, with silv’ry rays you shine,
And now full-orb’d, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon,
Whose amber orb makes Night’s reflected noon:
Lover of horses, splendid queen of night,
All-seeing pow’r, bedeck’d with starry light,
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife,
In peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend,
Who giv’st to Nature’s works their destin’d end.
Queen of the stars, all-wise Diana, hail!
Deck’d with a graceful robe and ample veil.
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright,
Come, moony-lamp, with chaste and splendid light,
Shine on these sacred rites with prosp’rous rays,
And pleas’d accept thy suppliants’ mystic praise.
The Prayer To Luna
Next invoke the spirit of the Moon through a typical Picatrix-style invocation (Book 3 Chapter 7). These long-winded invocations typically exhibit a rhythm, a pattern, that I call “Name and Describe”. They will invoke the spirit by name and then spend awhile describing that spirit and its nature and then repeat the process with further naming and another long-winded description.
I think the purpose of this is to inspire within the magician a state of focus, reverence, and awe which is akin to an attunement process. A good invocation will sweep your thoughts away to be wholly consumed by thoughts of the spirit you’re invoking -in this case the lunar goddess.
Hail to you oh, Goddess, the Moon, blessed lady, fortunate, cold and moist, temperate and beautiful. Of all the planets you are the head and key, your movement is smooth, you have shining light, lady of happiness and joy, of good words, of good fame, of the power to bless. You are the lover of law and ponder the things of the world, and your thought is subtle. You love joyful singing and enjoy joking and love, you are the lady of ambassadors and messages and of the revealing of secrets. You are high and noble, you are nearer to us than the other planets, you are more powerful than all of them and bright; you bring good and evil, you connect the planets to one another, you transfer their light, you control everything through your goodness. And everything in the world is adorned by your ornament and by your judgment all is judged. You begin all things, you are their end. You above all planets have nobility and honor. And in this way I call upon you. I conjure you by Celan and Silija’il, who are the angels God has set over you to complete your effects, have mercy on me and receive my humble petition, obey with obedience to our high lord, look with favor on us, help us to be successful, and to be happy, healthy and safe.
Divine Names Of The Moon
The Picatrix, or rather the Ghayat al-Hakim which preceded it, is a compilation of astro-magical knowledge from a variety of sources which draw on everything from Platonism to Islamic theurgy, with deep roots in Hellenistic astrology. Mesopotamia was a melting pot of religion and magic in the first millennia CE when the Ghayat al-Hakim was published and this is only too apparent in the invocation of divine names which is signature to rituals from the Picatrix.
Each of the planetary invocations includes a passage in which the celestial (in our example, the Moon) is invoked by “all their names”; and the magician recites all the names by which the spirit was known and worshipped throughout the lands once conquered by Alexander the Great.
I invoke you by all your names; in Arabic, Qamar; in Latin, Luna; in Persian, Mah; in Greek, Sam’a’il; in Indian, Suma; in Roman, Selene and receive in this place my petition. Thanks be unto you, O Moon!
Conjuration Of Gabriel
Next we call upon the ministering angel over the domain of the Moon, Gabriel, for their authority to command spirits in the name of the lunar goddess. This ritual structure exhibits a Renaissance-style hierarchical cosmology in which we call on the Moon with the authority of “God Most High” and charge the angel whom God set over the Moon, Gabriel, to hear our petition and ensure its fulfillment, and from there we task the spirit of the mansion to produce the outcomes we desire. In another grimoire this might be the spirit of the hour in which a ritual is performed, in this case the mansion spirit is associated with slightly more than 12 degrees of the night sky -and potentially the stars which originally lie within them.
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.
Finally, the ritual reaches its climax with the petition and, subsequently, the creation of the talisman. The key aspect of the petition is asking the spirit to inhabit the talisman (or talismanic materia) with its “pneumata” (spirit). This is the ensoulment process and it is the lynchpin to any celestial ritual. This is the most important part of the ritual, so it is worth hamming it up a little and putting on your best show. Really get worked up if you can, swept away by the ecstasy of worship.
State your petition definitively and in full faith that your wishes will be fulfilled. This is also very important. The belief of the magician in the efficacy of their own works is essential to their success.
Once you’ve uttered the petition, start creating your talisman. The importance of timing this within the electional window cannot be overstated. If you have time to take pauses to recite the invocations again periodically, or if someone can assist you by repeating the invocation and petition, while you complete the talisman, so much the better. You’ll find the repetition helps keep you in focused and attuned, which can be a challenge while using an electric engraver to score the mansion image (or planetary glyph) into your talisman.
You are closest to us of all the celestials, you are larger and more luminous, you join the planets and stars together, you carry their light, and by your goodness you rectify all things. All of the things of this world are adorned by your beauty and accursed by your curse. You are the beginning of all things and the end thereof.
By this rite, and by the power of Luna over the spirits of the 28 mansions of the Moon, in the name of God Most High…
Descend o [mansion spirit], from your place in the heavens, in the mansion [name of mansion], descend and breathe thy spirit into this [talisman / working / etc] and ensoul it with thy pneumata.
Once you are finished creating the talisman, the final step is to suffumigate the talisman in the smoke created by burning the lunar herbs you procured for this ritual.
I like to repeat the invocation of the mansion spirit and the petition again while suffumigating the talisman.
This is essential to the process. Smoke, metaphorically, exists between the physical and immaterial realms -between the seen and unseen- and provides a medium through which the spirit inhabits the talisman.
That’s it. That’s a lunar mansion ritual from end to end, as it has been reconstructed and explained by Christopher Warnock, Nigel Jackson, and others. If you’ve previously performed any kind of astro-magical ritual it should feel pretty familiar. If not, my best advice is to keep things simple and focus on the earnest performance of the ritual. Theurgic ritual functions on the premise that you can call upon the Olympian spirits and their ministering “angels” at the appropriate times, based on the configuration of the sky. Astrology does the heavy lifting here…
The act of creating a talisman requires a certain amount of conscious focus. This can make it difficult to stay in the right state of mind for magic ritual but that’s relatively ok. You, and your state of mind, are an important part of the ritual, but if you’re making a stone talisman, you will have to be focused on what your hands are doing for a period of time. The trick is to begin the ritual in the right state of mind, accept that you’re going to get pulled out of that state during some of the ritual, and then to be able to quickly reenter that state when you’re finished.
This is why I recommend repeating the invocation and petition over and over again during the election. It will help keep you attuned to the spirit’s “energy” and make it easier to return to that venerative state of mind quickly for the closing of the ritual with the suffumigation and final petitioning.
If you have any questions about the stuff I covered or lunar mansions or about magic in general, please hit me up, I’d love to chat with you. Find me on Twitter and Instagram as postmugglism or reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.