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          Astrology as we use it today has been largely collected from traditions which sought to elect the establishment of cities, the enthronement of kings, the movements of war, hereditary transmission of thrones, the ritual magic of dynasties.  This may have been carried through along with the natal charts of aristocracy, much later transferred to and democratized to physicians and lawyers and the managerial class, as well as to the libraries of the nobility, before it fell to the Enlightenment and returned in the form of New Age Sun Sign ego based agendas.  This I see largely as solar astrology.  Clarifying, delineating, detailing, time tracking, year framing.  I use it professionally and personally every day.  But there is an older Lunar based astrology that concerns itself with the travel of the Moon across the backdrop of sky and star and lives in the visible and experiential layer of our physical world.  What we feel with our bodies, our emotions, our imaginations, our stream of consciousness, our dreams.  It’s confusing, quickly changing, morphing, moody, mysterious, mystifying, nonsensical, sensual and cyclical.  A sky stretched into 28 animal forms articulated by the movement of the Moon.  


          In the Bronze age Mediterranean and stretching through the mystical and magical practices of the Greco-Egyptian Hellenistic world there were more horizontal ideas of the post mortem state than our post christian paradigm which is ultimately an inheritance of the hierarchal neoplatonic order of being.  Both heavenly Elysium and hellish Tartarus were navigable upon death, as well as elusive other ways which could lead to various forms of reincarnation.  When the Sun, as Apollo-Chthonios descended in the West the sky lit up with stars; a projection of the souls in the underworld as the deity traversed it.  Either the deity was visible in the living sky, or what he saw as he traveled below.  So the sky was celestial as well as eschatological.  It was above and below, in which we may have access to not only the Underworld, the Ancestors, the Honored Dead, the Fallen Warriors, but also the Otherworld, the Spirit World, which dominates the skyscape while we dream, and imagine other types of reality and meet Other beings.  Daimons, Spirits of the stars, Fallen Angels, spirits of the invisible layers that are the zodiac rooted into space and season, directionality and the balances and imbalances of light and darkness, day and night.



          0 degrees Aries at Spring equinox, 0 degrees Libra at Autumn equinox, 0 degrees Cancer at Summer Solstice, 0 degrees Capricorn at Winter solstice.  This is what the 28 Lunar Mansions (as they are referred to based on their Arabic names) hangs on.  But in the Greco-Egyptian traditions of the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM) we find a list of 28 Lunar animals, the 28 shapes of the world which are expressions of Hekate, a goddess of the Moon, particularly the Dark Moon, of liminality, crossroads, pathways, the underworld, and in this case also Beasts.


          In this modality the Lunar Mansions are a place of animalism, instinct, imagination, madness, fear, nightmare, pattern, picture, and for us the blending of the human mind with the animal consciousness it is submerged in while the Moon visits each one of the 28 spaces.  While it does we are able to intermingle and commune with the other Spirits that reside there, whether they be the Dead, Elementals, spirits of Place, Other unclassifiable intelligences and agencies, or other living people who share corresponding angles and luminaries in their own nativities, and seem to be on the same “radio channel” as us, as we all transceive with what we imagine, what we dream, and what we can potentially generate and create.



          The Lunar Mansions in the West are mostly what we’ve borrowed from the Arabic traditions.  Indian and Chinese astrology have their own fully functional and operational systems.  Western astrology, which is primarily the astrology that developed out of the Hellenistic tradition, which in itself was a synthesis of Greek hermetic philosophy and optical theory, Babylonian planet tracking and Egyptian ritual stellar time keeping, for some reason largely ignores the Lunar Mansion component, even though there was a back and forth flow from Indian and Greek ideas.  Much of Indian astrology comes from the Greek but flowed into India and back into Greece altered and augmented, as well as flowed from Greece into the Indian confluence then up through the Arabic world into Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Europe.  In all this what the West wound up with is a copied version of the Arabic Mansions out of more or less one single text, the Picatrix.  In all fairness, the Picatrix describes itself as the collected wisdom of many other books, yet still, the description of what the Mansions are and what they mean is largely lacking, preferring a functional approach focusing on making talismans and choosing elections for various activities which would suit a land baron or warlord.  Possible cultural paradigms within the neoplatonic and abrahamic worldview of the work seem to demonize certain mansions. If we glance across to the PGM, and then further along to the late grimoires and continue to the New World Traditions these ‘inauspicious’ or ‘destructive’ mansions remain an influence and constituent part of a whole.  Looking in this way we notice it is these “destructive” mansions associated with female energy, particularly what would become the Serpent in the Garden of Eden and the Whore Babalon.  This nexus is detectable in the Picatrix mansion naming which includes a notable step change around the 21st mansion, “The City”; consider how Babylon is both a place and a Female adversarial figure to Christian thought, but in her own right is an expression of the Sumerian goddess Inanna-Ishtar.



1 Ox

2 Vulture

3 Bull

4 Scarab

5 Falcon

6 Crab

7 He-Dog

8 He-Wolf

9 Serpent

10 Horse

11 She-Goat

12 Asp

13 Kid Goat

14 He-Goat

15 Baboon

16 Cat

17 Lion

18 Leopard

19 Mouse

20 Deer

21 Dragoness (Multiform)

22 Virgin / Mare

23 Torch / She-Dog

24 Lightening / She-Wolf

25 Garland / Cow

26 Herald’s Wand / Camel

27 Child / Dove

28 Key / Sphinx



-1: Al-Sharatain-“Horns of Aries”

-2: Al-Butain- “The Little Belly”

-3: Al-Thurayya- “Many Little Ones”

-4: Al-Dabaran- “The Follower”

-5: Al-Haqa- “White Spot”

-6: Al-Hana- “A Mark”

-7: Al-Dhira- “The Forearm”

-8: Al-Nathrah- “The Gap”

-9: Al-Tarf- “The Eyes”

-10: Al-Jabhah- “The Brow”

-11: Al-Zubrah- “The Mane”

-12: Al-Sarfah- “The Changer”

-13: Al-Awwa- “The Wings”

-14: Al-Simak- “The Unarmed”

-15: Al-Ghafr- “The Covering”

-16: Al-Zubana- “The Claws”

-17: Al-Iklil- “The Crown”

-18: Al-Qalb- “The Heart”

-19: Al-Shaulah- “The Sting”

-20: Al-Na’am- “The Beam”

-21: Al-Baldah- “The City”

-22: Sa'd al-Dhabih- “Lucky One Of The Slaughterers”

-24: Sa'd al-Su’ud- “Luckiest Of The Lucky”

-25: Sa'd al-Akhbiyah- “The Lucky Star Of Hidden Things”

-26: Al Fargh al-Awwal- “Fore-spout of the Water Bucket”

-27: Al Fargh al-Thani- “Lower Spout Of The Water Bucket”

-28: Batn al-Hut- “Belly Of The Fish”




1 Horseman

2 The bearers

3 The Razor

4 Female Deer

5 Antelope’s Head

6 The Moist

7 Return Of Light

8 The Nourisher

9 The Serpent

10 The Beneficent 

11 Earlier Fig Tree

12 Later Fig Tree

13 The Hand

14 The Brilliant

15 The Sword

16 The Two Branches

17 Near Success

18 The Eldest

19 The Root

20 The Earlier Victory

21 The Later Victory

22 The Famous

23 The Most Famous 

24 Has a Hundred Medicines

25 The Earlier Auspicious One

26 The Later Auspicious One

27 The Rich Splendorous




1 Horse’s Head

2 Yoni

3 Axe, Scalpel, Flame

4 Ox Cart

5 Deer Head With Antlers

6 Teardrop, Persperation

7 Quiver of Arrows

8 Milk Giving Cow Udder

9 Coiled Serpent

10 Throne Room, Palaquin

11 Back Legs Of A Bed

12 Front Legs Of A Bed

13 Hand Or Fist

14 Shining Jewel

15 Sprout, Sword, Coral

16 Decorated Gateway

17 Decorated Gateway

18 Talisman, An Earing

19 Bundle Of Roots, Lion’s Tail

20 Tusk Of An Elephant, Winnowing Basket, Fan

21 Planks Of A Bed, Tusk Of An Elephant

22 Three Footprints, Trident Ear

23 Drum (Tabor)

24 Empty Circle, Charm

25 Front Of Funeral Cot, Two Faced Man

26 Back Legs Of A Funeral Cot

27 Drum For Keeping Time








          We may thus see, older currents of time keeping, older rhythms of the world in conjunction with our bodies and the movements of the Moon and the living sky, the untouchable 50% of our world, but which may course through us ever changing and circulating within our flesh and haunting our bodies and playing host in our dreams and driving our imaginations, a state of possession we ignore, and mark up occasionally to supernatural phenomenon and lunacy.  The very literal Hysteria of old 

          Enlightenment medicine which was considered to be the condition of the wandering womb, females driven mad by the womb detached from its proper place and wandering around the body yearning for something, needing and reaching.  Perhaps we need this hysteria once again.  Need to go mad in the right way.  Need to be subjected to certain lunacy, and in a lycanthropic transformation, get in touch with our direct environment, and worry not about the higher states of consciousness striven for in religions which have only ushered in unchecked progress paradigms and space programs from their bent on escapist ascension.  Maybe we need to reconnect with our fear, our animal instincts, and become passionately confused and live in mystery and cease to demand everything make perfect sense at all times.  We might find we become delightfully lost, and utterly obsessed with our selves and our senses.  But not the ego driven selves we once knew, but the sniffing, caressing, tasting, savoring, contemplating listening, carnally driven creatures that we inhabit and ignore all the time, in a narrative that separates us from nature, while our bodies wander zombified among dirt and flora and fauna.  Maybe lunacy is no madness at all, but is an experience of life and living that naturally destabilizes hierarchal narratives in preference to uncommercial interests and pleasures. 

           So where did the Lunar mansions go in the West, and why does a whole almost countercultural tradition of ritual magic burn its way across Europe in so many books and bodies from the Classical age until the “Rational Enlightenment”?  A tradition topped with Lucifer and Beelzebuth and Satan and later Astaroth, who herself is Astarte-Inanna-Ishtar herself in an Underworld form.  Where did the Lunary and very ancient form of timing go?  A timing of literally putting a finger on the pulse of the world.  Feeling the blood of animals flow, with and into our own, in sanguine confluence.  Traditions of star and body and animal exchange going back to the first things humans did, hunt and gather and sing about it.   It could very well be The West lost the  Lunar Mansions because they got deposited into the various Mystery Traditions of antiquity, themselves extremely ancient and much alive in the Hellenistic period where astrology as we know it coagulated into form.  :::: the meeting of the cult things of Hekate at the Moons ingress into Capricorn into detriment at the “gate of the gods” at winter solstice when things move inside for weather, initiation into hidden / subterranean mystery, death and rebirth from winter into spring, Capricorn’s stony cell like structure and and the tomb-womb / temple, Orphic cosmogenesis, the world egg serpent wrapped and reincarnation, the cave of Zeus where he was hidden from Kronos and suckled by the Goat Amaltheia / i.e. (the hard womb of Saturn) the goat of Capricorn, the sea-goat a.k.a. a lunar goat, the Goddess, where we hit in the PGM list female animal specificity from Dragoness down, in a female (earth) sign, through the Dragoness, the city, multiform, complexity, the cult objects, the obscure / mysterious bottom of the list, the final mansion seasonal quadrant, consider generally the mysterious animals in the Chinese mansion tradition, and mansion’s being deeper than solar zodiac signs in Indian astrology, as well as the 28 system being considered in India still more spiritual than the 27. 

          And in Apuleius’ ‘The Golden Ass’ there is a botched animal transformation-remedied finally by eating roses (of the goddess) and prayer to the Goddess and Moon at the sea- then further initiation and devotion to the Mystery tradition. Possibly detailing in total a one year cycle in the novel, as the Mansions spiral, through solstitial gates, the plot revolves around experiences of engaging with various forms of female power.

          Then look to Revelations: for Babalon, the Tower, the Dragon, the Beast: and find a ritual love goddess of ‘civic pride’, the Tower of Babel as axis mundi for sacred sex, and then compare the solstitial role of the 21st mansion in architectural and hierarchical Capricorn.

          Who is she but Inanna-Ishtar, ‘daughter of the Moon’ (her father is the Moon god), she wears a horned-crown, lapis jewels=night sky and rainbow necklace of the planets, also water and sunlight, similarly water=moon receiving solar fire, zodiac described as Ishtar’s girdle.

These female mysteries, lunar astrology, and non-polis chthonic practices, and the mansions themselves going ‘underground” for various reasons as culture further transitioned into urbanization, Roman imperialism and eventually Christianity: but the rift was earlier and follows list-like from —neoplatonism, religious hierarchy, anti-magic paranoia, and the sealing shut on the lid of the mystery traditions as antiquity buckled.

           Hekate herself was a daughter of Asteria, as Ishtar was the daughter of the Moon; We might look to what are often considered Inanna’s words in the Nag Hammadi poem Thunder Perfect Intellect “I am the mother and the daughter” etc.-i.e. this same generative paradox, perhaps integral to a Lunar Mansion tradition rife with animal reproductive drives as creative engine.  These very different but paradoxically inter-related goddesses were both mistress of beasts and gates.  There is furthermore an intertwined continuum of aspects of the goddess cross cultures in cosmogenetic formulae with variant foci which resembles Hekate playing roles similar to Kali and Inanna similar to Tara, in Tantra two versions of Ma.  As Hekate being a goddess of ‘dark moons’ she may also be a deity of eclipses, further sewing the Western and Eastern astrological Mythologies together.

          Either way, we may still find in this very physical medium of Lunar immersion Inanna’s ecstasis unmediated where part of one is in the other as seed in darkness through time.

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