Lunar mansions in their original, ancient form were a lunar calendar with magical attributions for each day. It’s what the Vedic nakshatras (lunar mansions) are still used for today. The Moon travels nearly 13 degrees through the zodiac each day and takes roughly 28 days to complete her orbit. These daily transits mark the boundaries of the stations where “the Moon rests” each night, and these sections of the sky are known as lunar mansions.
Each night she dances with a different partner, the most notable fixed star residing within those degrees, and it is these stars that give the mansions their unique qualities.
The Moon was humanity’s first means of conceptualizing and cataloging the cycles of time and their effects on human life. As a result, the lunar mansion system is a comprehensive collection of magical opportunities. with a lunar day for “everything” that will occur once per lunar cycle (every 28 days).
The lunar cycle offers a range of magical opportunities within the mansion system every 28 days, which makes lunar mansions a very accessible system of astrological magic. Consider, for example, how long you can have to wait for the astrological conditions required for a suitable Jupiter or Saturn talisman (which can take years).
Not every lunar mansion will provide a suitable election each month for making talismans, but the frequency with which the Moon revisits each of the mansions makes her many powers available, magically, at least a handful of times each year.
In addition, there are quite a few mansion elections each month that I don’t consider to be “talisman-worthy” which have nothing wrong with them in particular, except that they lack a supporting aspect from a relevant planet. Since magic often has to be done in a pinch, these less-than-ideal elections can still be put to use in one-off or short-term spells.
Combine these less-than-ideal elections with the really, really good ones and you’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15 days each month when you could justify an astro-magical working. That’s more than half of the 28 mansions which make up the lunar calendar -and half a month worth of viable magical opportunities.
Plus, the remarkably polymorphous nature of the Moon, expressed through the lunar mansions, provides a certain amount of natural overlap in these qualities -with several mansions being “good” for each type of magic. As a result, a given month usually offers opportunities for workings related to prosperity, favor from authorities, protection, love, etc. which are between “good enough for a spell” and “worthy of a talisman”.
The magic of the lunar mansion system is comprehensive, accessible, and, above all, consistent -as you are always working with the lunar goddess, and her attending spirits. This is why I think the lunar mansion system is a hidden gem; it has not been widely popularized but has a great deal going for it as a system of astrological magic -and as a means of monthly magical planning.
With multiple opportunities to work essentially any type of magic every month, the lunar mansion system has the potential to become a very effective tool for planning your magical workings; a magical day planner, if you will.
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How To Find Suitable Lunar Mansion Elections
The qualifications of a viable lunar mansion election, according to co-translator of the Picatrix (and expert on astrological talismans), Christopher Warnock, in his book “Mansions Of The Moon”, are (assuming a benefic working):
- The Moon must be within the degrees of the desired mansion
- The Moon must be conjunct either the Ascendant or Midheaven
- The Moon must not be in a cadent house (3, 6, 9, or 12)
- The Moon must not have any negative aspects
- The Moon must not be combust (within 12 degrees of the Sun)
- The lord of the domicile of the Moon must have no negative aspects
- The lord of the domicile of the Moon must not be combust
- The lord of the domicile of the Moon must not be in a cadent house
Additionally, to be worthy of a talisman, an election should have a positive and relevant aspect with a benefic (if the working is malefic, reverse this logic).
The Moon conjuncts the Ascendant and the Midheaven each once per day, creating two potential windows of opportunity (elections) every day where lunar mansion rituals can be performed: when the Moon breaks across the eastern horizon, and when she reaches her zenith in the sky.
To make using the lunar mansion system as accessible as possible, I produce a monthly video guide for lunar mansions in which I include all the viable elections in four time zones around the world: PST, EST, CET, and AET. In the video I focus on talisman-worthy elections but my notes (always linked in the description below the video) have details for both elections (AC/MC) for every day of the month and includes all the relevant astrological information, in addition to the starting and ending times for each election -in short, everything you need to create a monthly calendar of lunar magic workings.
Creating A Magical Plan For The Month
Emergency magic is probably the most commonly practiced form of magic but also the least effective. It is typically quite difficult to shift reality in your favor when the field of possibility is already narrow. Working magic before a situation has fully developed -when the field of possibility is still broad- yields much better results with less effort.
Plus, when you’re looking ahead weeks, months, or even years, into the future to select magical targets, you have more time to wait for ideal astrological conditions. Likewise, you can take your time planning rituals and this lends itself very well to a practice of planning your magic on a monthly basis.
Monthly planning gives you, at least, a few weeks to gather materials and prepare for your rituals. It also gives you time to adjust your schedule to accommodate inconveniently-timed elections. And, if you maintain a regular devotional practice, you have plenty of opportunity to tend your relationships with the spirits you’re planning to call upon later.
Write down the magical targets you’d like to address in the coming month, a week or two before the end of the current month, and develop a statement of intent for each desired outcome. If a desired outcome is low probability, or is very complex, consider breaking the target into smaller (and more probable) goals that can be addressed in a series of individual workings which support the larger goal.
For example, if you need the support of a particular authority on a project you’re working on, and you need that project to be funded as well, these should be addressed in two separate (but complementary) workings.
Once you have all your desired outcomes translated into simple statements of intent, categorize them according to the types of magic commonly associated with astro-magical workings: love, sex, power, money, conflict, deception, etc. Then schedule your magical workings for the month by matching your desired outcomes to the lunar mansion election which best supports that kind of magic.
The Right Mansion For The Job
There are mansions for essentially every need but the characteristics of each mansion detailed in the Picatrix are often quite confusing and, in some cases, self-contradicting. Not to mention, it can be challenging to sort out which mansion is right for your modern needs when the descriptions of the mansions are so archaic.
Not many of us are in the business of “besieging cities” or “bringing destruction and devastation”. Likewise, we wouldn’t be ethically comfortable “binding a man and woman in love”. Yet we experience the same essential human dramas as our ancestors, if only in slightly different expressions.
It’s easier to understand and apply the mansions categorically, meaning that we can assign each mansion to a category, and then match them with our desired outcomes according to the same category. This is admittedly imperfect, and “dumbs down” the mansion system, but it does simplify the planning process substantially. Just remember that this is an intentional over-generalization of the mansions’ unique properties and to explore the specific mansions you intend to work with fully before committing to a date for each working.
There are four mansions for love, for example, but each is slightly different and, I’d argue, pertains to a different kind of love. The Greek language has many different words for love, such as philia, eros, storge, and pragma. In my opinion, the sixth mansion, Al Hana, is associated with storgian (familial) love, the 13th with erotic love, the 15th with philial love (friendship), and the 26th with pragmatic (committed) love. Considering the Greeks outsized impact on the development of the Arabic lunar mansion system, from which our modern tropical system derives, this notion of different types of love was likely infused into these mansions prior to the Common Era.
What this means is that, while we could manage a spell for erotic love in any of these four mansions, the 13th lunar mansion has the best natural alignment with this desired outcome and will probably be most effective. The lore of the mansions (and their fixed stars) is worth exploring because each mansion has unique properties which make it more suitable for certain types of workings than others.
The key to understanding the qualities of the lunar mansions is the collection of fixed stars which, in ancient times, could be found within the degrees of each mansion. The breadth of their magical powers (and the overlap between them) and their monthly availability through the lunar mansion system makes it the ideal method to develop a monthly magical praxis around.
Magical workings tend to be more successful when executed well in advance of the outcome they are intended to manifest. When planned in advance, there is ample time to find suitable lunar mansion elections for your workings. And each month I provide an overview of all the viable lunar mansion elections so that everything you need to plan (and work) magic in this system is right at your fingertips.
By documenting your desired outcomes as intention statements, and then categorizing them (love, sex, money, power, etc.), you can easily match them to an appropriate mansion from my monthly video guide; which, in effect, gives you a clear plan for how to conduct each working.
Everything You Need
The final step is to put the election times in your calendar and to gather the materials for each working. In his book “Mansions of the Moon”, Christopher Warnock describes a simple, straightforward approach to lunar mansion rituals which can be used as a template for designing your own rituals easily. And I have reproduced the essence of his ritual as a copyright-free, printable document on my website, which you can find at the bottom of my guide to lunar mansion magic. I have also published a “quick” video called “How To Perform Lunar Mansion Magic”, which explains the ritual in detail, to make things even easier.
With the various resources I’ve provided here, and thanks to the power and accessibility of the lunar mansion system itself, this comprehensive, ancient, and effective system of astrological magic is simple to plan, schedule, and execute -even if you’re not an experienced magician or astrologer.
Strategic planning and astrological timing are two of the most significant upgrades you can make to your magical praxis; improving your effectiveness and aligning the heavens in support of your work. Astrological magic, as a whole, is an enormous and intimidating mountain of arcane knowledge but the lunar mansion system, by comparison, is a simpler -but no less effective- way to engage the starry skies in your enchantments.
Their lack of popularity is due to the obtuse nature of the few passages dedicated to lunar mansions in the Picatrix but it is my hope that by revealing its natural advantages, and providing a simple and accessible praxis to follow (and adapt), more practitioners will be drawn to experiment with this mysterious, ancient, remarkable, and inherently feminine magical tradition.
Featured Image: A Peaceful Dream by kvacm