Lunar Mansions

Lunar Mansions

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The lunar mansions are a kind of lunar zodiac, constituted by dividing the Moon’s orbital path into 27 or 28 segments. Twenty-seven or twenty-eight roughly corresponds to the number of days the Moon takes to complete its orbit (28 is a day short of a synodic period and a day longer than a sidereal month). The Arabs, the Hindus, and the Chinese all devised systems of lunar mansions, termed, respectively, the manzils (from lunar mansion is probably derived), nakshatras, and sieu. Traditionally, these included interpretations of the mansions that approached them in approximately the same way Western astrologers use the signs of the zodiac. The mansions in each system are given in the table that follows.


Lunar Mansions

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Manzil (Arab) Nakshatra (Hindu) Sieu (Chinese)
Al Thurayya Krittika Mao
Al Dabaran Rohini Pi
Al Hak’ah Mrigasiras Tsee
Al Han’ah Ardra Shen
Al Dhira Punarvarsu Tsing
Al Nathrah Pushya Kwei
Al Tarf Aslesha Lieu
Al Jabhah Magha Sing
Al Zubrah Purva Phalguni Chang
Al Sarfah Uttara Phalguni Yen
Al Awwa Hasta Tchin
Al Simak Citra Kio
Al Ghafr Svati Kang
Al Jubana Visakha Ti
Iklil al Jabhah Anuradha Fang
Al Kalb Jyestha Sin
Al Shaulah Mula Wei
Al Na’am Purva Ashadha Ki
Al Baldah Uttara Ashadha Tow
Al Sa’d al Dhabih Abhijit Nieu
Al Sa’d al Bula Sravana Mo
Al Sa’d al Su’ud Sravishta Heu
Al Sa’d al Ahbiyah Catabhishaj Shih
Al Fargh al Mukdim Purva Bhadra-Pada Shih
Al Fargh al Thani Uttara Bhadra-Pada Peih
Al Batn al Hut Revati Goei
Al Sharatain Asvini Leu
Al Butain Bharani Oei

Traditional cultures attributed great significance to the phases of the Moon, particularly to the waxing and waning cycle. The familiar seven-day week is derived from the ancient custom of further dividing up the lunar month according to new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter. The lunar mansions represent a refinement of this tendency, subdividing the Moon’s phases according to its day-to-day increase or decrease in apparent size.

Sources:

Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.
Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Astrology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.