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.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
He covers the origins of 12-sign astrology,the Indo-European bases of astrology, astrology of the Druids, the luminaries, the planets, the stars, the astral cusps, the astral houses, the lunar mansions, signs of the zodiac, planetary yokes and cosmic forces, themes and predictions, and medical astrology.
Hopefully, the offer will be taken seriously and lead to a keen interest in gardening - organic and biodynamic gardening, re-acquainting Bahrainis with their agricultural heritage and its cosmic dimension, expressed in the Lunar Mansions discussed in last month's article.
In addition to the determination of the times of prayer, the direction of Mecca, and the first sighting of the lunar crescent, topics discussed in such works include the lunar mansions and heliacal risings and acronychal settings of stars in relation to the seasons.
Thus extensive explanations are given of religious aspects, including prayers, the qibla, and the role of the Ka'ba, as well as astronomical ones, including the signs of the zodiac, the lunar mansions, and calendars (Islamic, Persian, Syrian/Byzantine, Coptic, Julian, and navigational).
Table 1 reproduces the standard scheme of correspondences among the twelve Jupiter stations, solar chronograms, twenty-eight lunar mansions, and terrestrial regions.(10) The scheme of apportionments shown here is obviously the product of a process of systematization which necessarily dates from sometime after the de jure partitioning of the state of Jin by Zhao, Han, and Wei in 403 B.C.
Here, each of the nine fields corresponds to three lunar mansions, except "Dark Heaven" (xuantian), which has four.
Reappearing on or about June 21,633 [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED], Jupiter was already at the nominal eastern boundary of Shi Chen, at least according to the "old degree" system of determinative stars which mark the boundaries of the lunar mansions.(27)
11); (ii) tying the five planets and their associated terrestrial regions to stellar locations; (iii) the regular system of allocating the twenty-eight lunar mansions among the terrestrial polities; (iv) defining the astral correlate of an ancient feudatory as the celestial location of Jupiter at the time of enfeoffment; (v) identifying the celestial correlate of a locality as the asterism to which ancient inhabitants of that place principally offered sacrifice.
It is some aspect of this system of astrological correlations that Sima Qian implies was historically used in tandem with the more familiar field-allocation system: "The twenty-eight lunar mansions govern the twelve provinces and the Dipper's handle seconds them; the source [of this scheme] is lost in antiquity" (Shift, 27.1346).
Although the passage does not supply the names of the nine provinces, its tabulation of the nine fields of Heaven giving the cardinal and intercardinal directions of each, together with their associated lunar mansions, makes the correspondences unambiguous.
To identify the positions of the Pole Star on its daily orbit around the celestial pole and to correct them to the position of minimum altitude, zero bashi, on the observer's meridian, they used the Lunar Mansions, twenty-eight groups of stars through which the moon passes successively on its monthly path around the earth.
In this case, navigators could not determine the moment of equal altitude, as they were accustomed to, by correlating with the culmination of some Lunar Mansion or other celestial body.