The Lunar Mansions – Nakshatras 1 – 7

Image by gene1970 from Pixabay

(Based on sidereal astrology and notes from Alexandre Volguine’s Lunar Astrology)

Last week I briefly mentioned the sidereal zodiac and how it is different from the tropical zodiac. If you missed that post, you can check it out here.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into some mechanics unique to the sidereal zodiac. This post we’ll take a look at what’s called the “lunar mansions.” First, some background on ancient astrology.

Sun and Moon as Regulators of Life

The influence of the Sun and Moon on life on our globe easily exceeds the influences of the planets, since they regulate this life. Their relationship is a manifestation of the Universal Law of Polarity: the warm, dry Sun with the cold, moist Moon; yang with yin, positive with negative; masculine with feminine. As such, our ancestors had separate astrology systems for the Sun and Moon. Lunar astrology dates back at least 4000 years ago to the Yao dynasty in China.

In the west, we are already familiar with solar astrology: we currently use it as the standard birth horoscope. The structure of the houses in a natal chart are based on the time it takes for the Sun to rise and set on any given day. We get our idea of twelves houses based on the approximate time it takes for each sign to rise above the horizon. (24 hours / 12 zodiac signs = 2 hours for each sign) We also get the zodiac itself from the path of the Sun in the sky, known as the ecliptic.

Yet, lunar astrology is different. It is based on the daily motion of the Moon through the zodiac and its influence on events on Earth.

The 28 Lunar Mansions and Houses

The number 28 has appeared in nearly all ancient societies structured by astrology. This number has a significant relationship with the Moon, representing the number of days it takes to revolve around the Earth and to rotate on its axis. It also takes 28 heartbeats for a red blood corpuscle to complete a circuit around the body, showing a relationship between the Lunar Mansions and the microcosm of man through mathematics.

The word “mansion” is more akin to “stations,” “signs” or “courts” of the Moon. Chinese astrology refers to them as “siu” (an inn, or resting place for the evening); Hindu astrology as “nakshatras;” and Arabic astrology as “manazil.” The Bible knew these 28 lunar divisions as “mazzaloth” or “mazzaroth.”

The lunar mansions are fixed, starting at 0° Aries with each mansion occupying 12°51’26” of space in the zodiac. Notice that this also happens to be the approximate daily motion of the Moon. With the Moon at the end of a mansion towards the next, astrologers consider both mansions in a reading.

Although the lunar mansions were fixed, different cultures had different names and interpretations for each mansion. The Chinese and Hindu cultures also had unique perspectives on the lunar mansions, although this will be explored in a different post. I will however note the planetary rulers of each nakshatra, according to Hindu astrology.

Influence of the Lunar Mansions

The lunar mansions themselves have significance depending on which solar house (i.e. the houses in a natal horoscope) they fall in. For example, if the first lunar mansion falls within the first solar house, the native is likely to experience that mansion’s influence in first house matters, i.e. personal goals, their physical body, etc. If it falls in the fourth house, the native is likely to experience the mansion’s influence from his parents or in the home. And so on.

Even though the following definitions of each mansion is particularly visible for natal Moon placements, natal planets and angles are also subject to the influence of the lunar mansions. In addition, each planet will also act within the fields of the solar house it is found in. Think of it as an additional zodiac sign that flavors each planetary placement even further.

It should also be reiterated that the lunar mansions are unique to sidereal astrology. This system does not work with the tropical zodiac, as the true boundaries of the lunar mansions are based on specific stars, not merely on zodiacal degrees. If you are following along with your own chart, remember to cast your natal chart using the sidereal zodiac rather than the tropical zodiac.

For now, we will look at the first seven lunar mansions and their significance in Occidental (Eurpoean), Hindu, Chinese, Arab, and Kabblist/Hebrew astrology systems.

Mansion I – 0°0′ to 12°51’26” Aries

-ruled by Ketu/South Node

  • Occidental: referred to as “Almach”; signifies an ardent imagination, taste for occult sciences; many changes in employment throughout life
  • Hindu: “Asvini”, “The Horsemen”; confers a great need for movement; an indication of personal charm, elegance, love of jewelry, and popularity; comprehension
  • Arab: “Al Sharatain”; symbolizes forces in conflict, whirlwinds, which are expressed in day-to-day life by quarrels; very favorable for business
  • Chinese: “Mao” (Pleiades); mark of a career filled with many salient events; extraordinary life; the “Root of the Heavens” and the “Commander of the Asterisms”
  • Kabbalists/Hebrews: “Aiah”; regarded as a mark of authority

Mansion II – 12°51’27” to 25°42’52” Aries

-ruled by Venus

  • Occidental: “Albothaim”; gives courage, but also recklessness; indicates the will and energy to direct one’s own life by ambition or by thought and not by feelings; Moon in this mansion gives inconstant and variable wealth
  • Hindu: “Bharani”; the “Bearer”; luck in life, maternal love, triumph over illness, determination in work
  • Kabbalists/Hebrews: “Biah”; the “Path of Wisdom”; promises achievement of wisdom after much effort and frequently varied tasks, moments of recklessness caused by lack of reflection and life experience
  • Arab: “Al Butani”; “Belly of the Celestial Ram”; unfavorable for sea journeys; favorable influence on trade and the discovery of treasures
  • Chinese: “Pi”; the “Snare”; danger of rash actions which trap or paralyze the freedom of the subject

Mansion III – 25°42’53” Aries to 8°34’18” Taurus

-ruled by Sun

  • Occidental: “Ascorija”; accentuates the power of feelings and determination; confers a great capacity for work
  • Arab: “Al Thuraga”; the “Swarm”; favorable for the sciences and for all who live outdoors; unfavorable for marriage or travel by water; increases the practical instincts
  • Hindu: “Krittika”; the “Celestial Commander” (a.k.a. Pleiades); makes one very susceptible to women, but also indicates a good reputation and a good personality; marks the beginning of the Indian Lunar Zodiac
  • Chinese: “Tse”; “Head of Orion”; independence of thought which may provoke some debates/quarrels with significant results during the life of the native
  • Kabbalists/Hebrews: “Giah”; “He Who Repays”; fate (good or bad) plays a prominent role in these natives’ lives; free will seems to play a small part in life

Mansion IV – 8°34’19” to 21°25’44” Taurus

-ruled by Moon

  • Occidental: “Aldebaran”; signifies a great deal of diplomacy and predicts violent feelings and irresistible passions under the appearance of good nature
  • Arab: “Al-Debaran”; “Eye of God”; favorable for work, manufacture and small trade; unfavorable for real estate, building and everything to do with mines; sign of marriage but also discord in conjugal or natal home
  • Hindu: “Rohini”; the “Red Stag”; sign of mental stability and of kindness; power of eluding obstacles; capable of showing some vulgarity or chicanery
  • Kabbalists/Hebrews: “Diah”; “Gate of the Light”; indicates that obstacles in life must be surmounted by the energy of the native
  • Chinese: “Tsan”; “the Heart of the Warrior Orion”; about the same as Tse but considered more favorable; creates the danger of some hardships at the beginning of life and exposes the native to himself being the direct cause of quarrels or regrettable vexations

Mansion V – 21°25’45” Taurus to 4°17’10” Gemini

-ruled by Mars

  • Occidental: “Aluxer”; “Abnicoiz”; “Alingez”; “Alshataia”; “Albashaia” favorable to the development of talents and aptitudes, since it signifies a well endowed and artistic nature; favorable for travel and change of residence; gives health and benevolence
  • Arab: “El Hakah”; “the White Spot”; favorable for studies and the second half of journeys; unfavorable influence on associations, collective enterprises, and on charitable and humanitarian work; better for private life
  • Hindu: “Mrigasiras”; causes shyness in the beginning of life and denotes a clever and persuasive person, but also sensual and fickle
  • Chinese: “Tsing”; “The Well”; favors slow and laborious accumulation of wealth; favorable for poets
  • Kabbalists/Hebrews: “Eiah”; “The Supreme”; good influence on education

Mansion VI – 4°17’11” to 17°8’36” Gemini

-ruled by Rahu/North Node

  • Occidental: “Athaia”; “Alkaia”; sign of providential protection throughout life
  • Arab: “Al Hanach”; “the Scar”; unfavorable for farm work; some financial losses in the course of life; slows convalescence
  • Chinese: “Kew”; “the Ghost”; considered very favorable for business; connection to social and political life; indicates a short life
  • Hindu: “Ardra” “Moisture”; indicates pride deriving from consciousness of worth, a certain malice, little gratitude; gives a tendency to treachery; deceptions concerning business or finance
  • Kabbalists/Hebrews: “Viah”; indicates proselytizing

Mansion VII – 17°8’37” Gemini to 0° Cancer

-ruled by Juipter

  • Occidental: “Addyvat”; “Aldyaras”; “Aldryabe”; exercises influence on mental and intuitive plane; mansion of scholars
  • Arab: “Al Dhira”; “the Seed” or “the Branch”; favorable for lovers, friendships, earnings, and for healing; but unfavorable for Law and Justice
  • Hindu: “Punarvasu”; “Brothers Returned”; bestows an amiable, understanding and reasonable character, capable of being happy with little; inclines the native to a life more or less retired from the world; love of travel and great attachment to home
  • Chinese: “Liu”; “a Willow Branch”; associated with the ancestor cult; favorable to family life, causing considerable changes in life style in youth
  • Kabbalists/Hebrews: “Ziah”; develops trust and promotes friendship

In a reading

The lunar mansions can be included in a natal chart reading if you would like deeper insight into the activities of a particular planet. As you can see, most of the lunar mansions actually reflect a bit of the zodiacal meanings as well. For example, it’s interesting that the first lunar mansion is slightly descriptive of Aries in general: “need for movement”, “Commander of the Asterisms”, “mark of authority” and “day-to-day quarrels”.

Check out which of your own natal planets fall within these first seven lunar mansions. Do these additional insights resonate with you? Comment below and share your own discoveries.

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