Mansions and Stars

Lunar Mansions and Fixed Stars
by Jake Stratton-Kent

The core of The Book of the Law is the 76th verse of Chapter Two containing the cryptic series of numbers and letters: 4 6 3 8 ABK 2 4 ALGMOR 3 YX 24 89 RPSTOVAL. We have shown how the numerical value of this cipher is the same as the sum of the numbers 1 to 26, representing the letters of the English Alphabet. Two seventy-six, as the cipher is known among English Qaballists, is not only mathematically equivalent to the “Order and Value of the English Alphabet” (A = 1, L = 2, W = 3, etc.) — it is its counterpart or double. It has almost a symbiotic relationship with the alphabet, so that work with English gematria becomes a commentary on II.76. With the aid of astrological attributions, and ritual structures from the text itself, the outlines of a sophisticated cosmology emerges from the triad of AL, II.76 and English Qaballa. The experimental nature of this process makes it a dangerous path which tests one’s integrity to the limit — but at the same time, an awareness is there from the beginning that the work is not one of devising, but of delineating a pre-existent but unexplored structure.

There have been many aspects of traditional occultism which have laid dormant throughout the supposed occult revival. Periodically, serious students come up against a brick wall of information deprivation. The Golden Dawn synthesis and most schools which have followed in their wake, even those of oriental origins, remain virtually silent on the magical application of the following: the 28 Lunar Mansions, the North and South Nodes of the Moon (Dragon’s Head and Tail), the Part of Fortune etc., to say nothing of the question of astrological timing in general — a situation which has been to an extent remedied by the appearance of this Journal. A recent survey of “Chaos Magicians” showed 90% were now using some species of astrological timing. It must be borne in mind that this is less significant than it sounds, as addressing “Necronomicon” spells to Yuggoth leaves a little to be desired in terms of comprehension and discrimination!

The Lunar Mansions are traditionally 28 in number, and form as it were a larger zodiac, seemingly commencing with Aries as does the Tropical Zodiac, but with many links to the true constellations, in common with so called Sidereal Astrology. Since the Mansions combine Lunar energies, readily accessible to the magician on a day-to-day level, with Stellar energies, generally considered unsuitable terrain for all but the highest initiates (9 = 2 in conventional language, referring to Chokmah — the Sphere of the Fixed Stars — and Yesod, the Sphere of the Moon; as does the grade of 2 = 9 in another manner), it is evident that a great and potent system could be buried behind the dust and debris of the medieval sources. Other considerations pile up before we get started on a solution. 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle. The so called Lunar phases map this time in simplistic form, so might not the Lunar Mansions reveal rather more about the unwritten truth: There is no Goddess but Woman? The secrets of female initiation are among the largest deficiencies in the occult revival; might this not be one of the very keys to that sanctum?

That is about as far as I got in turning this problem over and over for a decade and a half. I knew in the back of my mind that this was something big, I knew too that there were 28 numbers and letters in II.76. For some reason I never compared the two; I assumed that would be too obvious, that nothing would result except a confused mass of data. However, as so often in this system, other minds were working on the same lines. It came to pass, as they say, that I heard from the Past Grand Master of the Order I currently represent. A chance reference to AL.II.76 and the Lunar Mansions passed his lips, and I was onto the question again like a devil unleashed. I did what I wish I had done several years ago: wrote out the cipher alongside the titles of the Mansions. As I did so, a feeling of awe and reverence stole over me like the shadow of an enormous winged creature overhead. This was clearly the work of a god! The positioning of the constellations and their subdivisions form a fantastic commentary on the magical system obtained from E}Q}, including a great deal which the Editors past and present and their various colleagues have always considered too sacred for publication.

It was already apparent, of course, that the supposed powers or virtues of the Mansions according to the ancients were full of blinds and outmoded considerations, such as the retrieval of runaway slaves. What no-one could have anticipated was that the curious structure of II.76 as interpreted by the Order’s Qaballists — i.e., as a structure consisting of an unmanifest or perfect Tree of 10 spheres, a “middle 8” having the value of 93, associated with Scorpio, and a final manifest Tree of 10 spheres — would be mirrored and amplified by the Mansions and their correspondences. Which is precisely what the reader wants to see right now, I imagine, so without further ado:

4. 0° Aries (Horns of Aries)
6. 13° Aries (Belly of Aries)
3. 26° Aries (Pleiades)
8. 9° Taurus (Eye or Head of Taurus)
A. 21° Taurus (Orion’s Head, Algol is 26°)
B. 4° Gemini (Little Star of Great Light, 3 stars in Orion’s shoulder)
K. 17° Gemini (Arm of Gemini)
2. 0° Cancer (Misty or Cloudy)
4. 13° Cancer (Eye of the Lion. Contains Sirius at 13° 57′)
A. 26° Cancer (Neck or Forehead of the Lion)

L. 9° Leo (Mane, Contains the Aselli 8° 35′)
G. 21° Leo (Tail, Contains Regulus 29° 41′)
M. 4° Virgo (Wings of Virgo or Dog Stars)
O. 17° Virgo (Spike of Virgo or Flying Spike)
R. 0° Libra (Covered or Covered Flying)
3. 13° Libra (Horns of Scorpio. Contains Spica 23° & Arcturus 24°)
Y. 26° Libra (Crown of Scorpio)
X. 9° Scorpio (Heart of Scorpio)

24. 21° Scorpio (Tail of Scorpio, Serpentis is at 19°)
89. 4° Sagittarius (A Beam)
R. 17° Sagittarius (A Desert)
P. 0° Capricorn (Head of Capricorn — a Pastor)
S. 13° Capricorn (Swallowing, Contains Deneb 19° & Vega 15°)
T. 26° Capricorn (Star of Fortune)
O. 9° Aquarius (A butterfly or Spreading Forth)
V. 21° Aquarius (1st Drawing)
A. 4° Pisces (2nd Drawing)
L. 17° Pisces (Pisces)

There is too much material contained in this table to comment upon adequately, but of particular interest is the 93 section, commencing within a degree with the Aselli or Asses, sacred to Typhon and to Jesus simultaneously! The Lion symbolism implicit in the Word of the Aeon (i.e. LEO = 34 = ABRA) is subsumed here, and we are reminded also of a Virgin pulling a Lion’s tail in earlier periods of aeonic succession. VIRGIN, of course, has the value of 93. But most important of all, we find that The Burning Way — 15° Libra to 15° Scorpio — is here placed before the appearance of the manifest Universe. Creation in fact originates within the 93 section, and the Tree emerges from X, the deepest part of the Scorpion, and emerges under the auspices of Scorpio still, and the star Serpentis of ominous repute. In effect, this means that the manifest universe is the result of the menstruation of the Goddess. This resonates exactly with the deepest insights of all previous work, and clearly authenticates the “Two Trees” model derived from II.76., (first published in TNE:BJM Vol.6. No.1). An interesting sidelight on this is to be found in the legend of Gautama Buddha, whose enlightenment not only occurs under a Tree but on the 49th day (see the Fifty Gates) of his meditation: “during the night of a full moon in May”, i.e. Moon in Scorpio — since May is the month of Sun in Taurus, the full moon accordingly falls in Scorpio — also compare the Christian Easter.

The trouble is that to many people the technical side of this work seems awesomely complex, or even ludicrous. This is by no means due entirely to the relative novelty of applying qaballistic techniques to The Book of the Law; what is novel to many is the process itself. Where can one turn for analogies to this process? The answer is not difficult to find, but some justification will be necessary. Many readers will be acquainted with some version of the Enochian system. Various examples exist, such as the Golden Dawn system, the closely related Crowley variant, and the Schueler and Hyatt derivations of these on the one hand, with “purist” versions returning to the Dee and Kelley materials to extrapolate anew, such as Robert Turner and some Caliphate aficionados of the system. One should not forget either the work of Pat Zalewski, demonstrating a strong investigative bent in unearthing rare Golden Dawn Enochiana. One can divide these into two heaps: the potted system heap and the open-ended exploratory heap. It is the latter which more accurately reflects the work of Dee and Kelley themselves, who, suddenly landed as it were with the outlines of a vast and original system from praeter-human intelligences, had to explore it tentatively and with great daring, whilst manipulating abstract mathematico- linguistic structures (or ciphers if you prefer) with great care and precision, although accidents certainly occurred in their “holy laboratory”. If one examines some of the records from which the modern versions are derived, an unfamiliar territory opens up.

The derivation of names and sigils of subsections of the system from the apparently meaningless jumble of letters and numbers on the rim of the Sigillum Aemeth bears a curious resemblance to the work of English Qaballists with II.76 and the numerical superstructure of the text of AL itself. The rim of the Sigillum Aemeth bears more than a superficial resemblance to II.76. These processes are seemingly haphazard or are at least based upon an unknown logic. But from them arise majestic and coherent structures which — taken by themselves — are so neat and well formed as to bear no relation to the crazed hand-written text of A True and Faithful Relation of what paffed for many Yeers Between Dr. John Dee and Some Spirits, or indeed the equations and formulae which have appeared in the pages of this Journal!

This analogy, between the experimental and exploratory nature of Dee’s work and that of English Qaballa, is apt on other levels also, of which perhaps some readers may have an inkling. It suffices for our purpose that we feel no justification is necessary for the manner of presentation employed in our Journals! To prove this assertion of indifference to incredulity and incomprehension, I append still another curiously derived table to accompany those which have gone before, and those which will doubtless appear in future.


4 + FIVE (number of Mars, ruler of Aries) = 80 = ANUBIS
6 + FIVE = 82 = PAN-PAN
3 + FIVE = 79 = ABRAHADABRA (This Mansion ends in Taurus, and 79 = SEVEN = Venus, Ruler of Taurus.)
8 + SEVEN = 87 = FALUTLI
2 + NINE = 78 = APEP or NUIT. (Note that 78 is the value of Cancer.)
4 + NINE = 80 = ANUBIS
L + SIX = 52 = ADONAI or HAT-HOR
G + SIX = 61 = AMEN
O + EIGHT = 94 = BALAE
3 + SEVEN = 82 = PAN-PAN
Y + SEVEN = 94 = NEFER
X + FIVE = 98 = QADOSH-ISIS, also ITEP
24 + FIVE = 100 = HRUMACHIS
89 + FOUR = 143 = SOL INVICTUS (Note that 143 = JUPITER, Ruler of Sagittarius, of which this is the first Mansion.)
R + FOUR = 66 = FIAT
T + THREE = 114 = ADONAI-ABRASAX (Note that 114 = 71 x 2, accordingly IO PAN IO PAN might apply here.)
A + FOUR = 55 = APIS
L + FOUR = 56 = ISIS

As with the Tables of A.M.E.N., these Names should not be considered to be the Names of the Spirits of the Mansions, so much as mathemagical formulae for controlling and understanding such regions and species. In conjunction with the Tables of A.M.E.N., this table might very well be used as the N or Symbol Column in a ritual of the Mansion, for example:

A.M.E.N. Names for Invocation of the First Mansion, “Horns of Aries”:

A Name = 58 = HERU
M Name = 76 = HERU RA HA
E Name = 81 = KHEPHRA (As this is a Lunar working, TANECH might be preferred.)
N Name = 80 = ANUBIS

A.M.E.N. Names for Invocation of the 23rd Mansion, “Swallowing”: