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ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy

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Author Topic: ISLAMIC Astrology And Astronomy  (Read 7172 times)
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2007, 07:00:25 am »


                                    T H E   M A N S I O N S   O F   T H E   M O O N


The Arabic Mansions of the Moon, and one version of their alignment with the Zodiac. The fixed stars outside the circles are the traditional marker stars associated with each Mansion, and they often share a name, although the star names have been altered through European adoption (two Mansions do not contain any prominent stars). Because of the linkage with the fixed stars, which change their positions with respect to the Sun’s equinoxes with precession, there has been a greater tendency to treat the Mansions as sidereal than tropical, or to shift the Mansion which is regarded as the first one in accordance with the shift of the Vernal Equinox (see below).
The alignment given here is based on a list made by George Yeats, but using the Arabic names from Vivian Robson, The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology (YL 1772). This takes the first Mansion as Al Batn al Hut (the Belly of the Fish), but in mediaeval times Al Sharatain (the Two Signs) was usually taken as the first, and anciently the first was Al Thurayya (the Many Little Ones, the Pleiades); see the Shifting Mansions below :
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2007, 07:09:40 am »

Like the Sun, the Moon appears to go around the circle of the Zodiac, though its circuit lasts a month (of 27.32 days) rather than a year (see astronomy). The twenty-eight Mansions of the Moon divide the Zodiac in the same way as the twelve Signs of the Zodiac, marking out sectors of the circle of the sky, though, since the number of degrees in a circle, 360°, is not neatly divisible by 28, their span is an awkward 12°51'25.7" (a 364 degree circle would be neater). It is thought that the lunar system of division may predate the solar Zodiac at least as rough sectors, since the stars remain largely visible, and the Moon’s apparent motion against the background is clearly noticeable from night to night. The Encyclopaedia Britannica which Yeats had (1911 edition, YL 629) notes that the lunation cycle (the Moon’s synodic cycle, from the Greek synodos, meeting, conjunction) is the reason for dividing the Sun’s annual cycle into twelve, while the lunar Mansions derive from the Moon’s own motion:

The synodical revolution of the moon laid down the lines of the solar, its sidereal revolution those of the lunar zodiac. The first was a circlet of "full moons"; the second marked the diurnal stages of the lunar progress round the sky, from and back again to any star. The moon was the earliest "measurer" both of time and space; but its services can scarcely have been rendered available until stellar "milestones" were established at suitable points along its path. Such were the Hindu nakshatras, a word originally signifying stars in general, but appropriated to designate certain small stellar groups marking the divisions of the lunar track.
"Zodiac", The Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Vol. 28, 995. 

Since the Moon’s sidereal revolution is 27.32 days, the number of Mansions has been approximated as both 27 and 28: in the most commonly used Indian system, there are 27 nakshatras, while 28 divisions are used in the Arabic and Chinese systems, as well as an older Indian system. (For a comparative table of the stars involved in lunar Mansion systems from Babylon, Arabia, India and China, drawn up by David B. Kelley, click here, and for a consideration of the origins of the Mansions, in India and China, see Philip Yampolsky, "The Origin of the Twenty-eight Lunar Mansions", Osiris IX [Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger B.V., 1950; 1984] 62-83.)
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2007, 07:12:11 am »

                                  T H E   M A N S I O N S   O F   T H E   M O O N

The term ‘Mansion of the Moon’ or ‘Station of the Moon’ is the usual translation into English, via the Latin (mansio, dwelling, and statio, position or abode), of the Arabic term manzil al-qamar (plural manâzil; station, resting-place of the Moon, more after the manner of a camel train than an actual dwelling, certainly not a grand one). The Arabs are thought to have taken a local pre-Islamic weather-predicting system of anwa’, based on the star groups which rose just ahead of the Sun at a given time of the year, and to have combined it with the Mansion system of the nakshatras from Indian astrology. On the origins of the Arab system, see Giuseppe Bezza, "Du Calendrier naturel ŕ l'Astrologie. Quelques observations sur la prévision du temps dans la littérature arabe du Moyen Age", Actes du V Séminaire Maroco-Italien (Cosenza: Unesco, 1999).

In A Vision A, Yeats notes that the number of his Phases ‘is that of the Arabic Mansions of the Moon but they are used merely as a method of classification and for simplicity of classification their symbols are composed in an entirely arbitrary way’ (AV A 12). Despite this dismissal, and despite the fact that Yeats is dealing with phases rather than the path of the Moon, there are lingering elements that seem to go beyond just classification. In another piece of ‘classification not symbolism’ (AV B 196), Yeats fits his Phases of the Moon to the months of the year and therefore to the solar Zodiac, on the basis that all cycles are linked in some way to each other (see Making Twenty-Eight Twelve). Although the phases of the Moon, which follow the synodic cycle of 29.53 days and cover more than 360°, are separate from and independent of the Moon’s sidereal position (for more, see the Lunar Cycle), the two are inevitably linked in the mind of the observer, so that there is a strong impulse to bring the cycle of the phases together with the Mansions of the Moon, particularly on the part of artists and those who do not need to be too accurate or practical in their reckoning. Indeed, within artistic and symbolic representations, as opposed to astronomical and astrological, the various cycles are almost always superimposed on each other.
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2007, 07:13:54 am »

Twelfth-century Arab design showing, from the centre: the ancient planets (the Moon with a mirror; Mercury as a scribe; Venus with a dulcimer; a haloed Sun; Mars as a warrior; Jupiter as a worthy; Saturn as an ascetic), the signs of the Zodiac in a clockwise order, the Moon's phases in an anti-clockwise order aligned with the Mansions of the Moon.
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2007, 07:16:35 am »

The twenty-eight letters of the Arabic alphabet and the symbolic significance of the Moon in Islam, particularly the crescent Moon, give the Mansions a particular significance in Arabic astrology. It is through the Arabs that Hellenistic astrology, including that of the Hermetic Corpus, and Indian astrology, along with the positional number system, were transmitted to the Europeans during the Middle Ages. During the great efflorescence of Islamic translation and science, roughly from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries CE, there were many writers in Arabic on astrology, and almost all include some treatment of the lunar Mansions, usually derived ultimately from the Hellenistic system of Dorotheos of Sidon (Dorotheus Sidonius; first century CE) influenced by the Indian nakshatras. Much of the material, but by no means all, was translated into Latin during the European Middle Ages, usually in Spain, where Islam and Christendom met, along with Judaism. The most frequently cited authors include: Mâshâ’allâh ibn Atari (Messahalla; fl. 800 CE), Abű ‘Ali al-Khayyat (Albohali; 770-835 CE), Abű Ma‘shar (Albumasar; ca. 786-885 CE), Al-Qalandar (Archandam, Alchandreus; identity uncertain), Al-Kindî (Alkindus; 795-865 CE), Al-Farghânî (Alfraganus; fl. 840 CE), Al-Qabisi (Alcabitius; d. 967 CE), ‘Alî ibn abi ’r-Rijâl (Haly Abenragel, fl. 1020 CE), Al-Birűnî (Alberuni; 973-1048 CE).

Also probably from Spain, and certainly in its present form, is an Arabic text called Ghâyat al-Hakîm, ‘The Goal of the Wise’, known in Europe by the name of its declared author as Picatrix, a grimoire with a powerful reputation and disordered structure. A useful summary of the contents of the Picatrix and of translations into various languages appears at the Esoteric Archives’ site.
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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2007, 07:17:38 am »

The table below summarises the lists of the Mansions of the Moon given in a Latin translation of ‘Alî ibn abi ’r-Rijâl, Albohazen Haly Filii Abenragel libri de iudiciis astrorum, summa cura ... latinitati donati, per Antonium Stupam, published in printed form by Henricus Petrus in Basel in 1551 (pp. 342-46; an earlier version was published in Venice in 1503). The topics are rearranged slightly and kept in semi-note form for brevity. The focus is almost entirely on ‘catarchic’ astrology, that is the selection of propitious times to begin things and, with respect to what is favoured by the Moon’s position in the various Mansions, Abenragel’s list is a summary of Indian and Hellenistic traditions rather than an exposition of Arabian astrology or any ideas of his own. The enterprises involved vary from the important to the trivial, from marriage to when to put on new clothes, and Dorotheos also comments on the outcome of processes started involuntarily under a particular Mansion, such as captivity. Certain enterprises are favoured and others particularly cautioned against depending on the Moon’s position, though, for good fortune in the ventures favoured by a Mansion, the Moon must also be free from bad aspects from other planets (see Astrology). Some elements seem to be influenced by the Zodiac sign (interestingly Virgo seems to favour marriage with non-virgins), and characteristics often repeat for two or more consecutive Mansions. It is interesting that in European adoption the practice seems to have moved away somewhat from the deciding when to start a venture to focus more on magical operations and the making of talismans (see the Mansions’ Images), although the matters favoured may be similar. This seems more superstitious in some respects, but it also takes the burden off waiting for the appropriate time to do something, as long as the talisman has been made at the right time. The lists here are incidentally a fascinating side-light on the possible pre-occupations of their period, though probably more the time of the original sources, than of ‘Alî ibn abi ’r-Rijal himself, or of the Latin translators. Certain things like when to have a haircut and put on new clothes seem strangely unimportant, while Dorotheos’ terms of reference, in particular, are very much those of a male, slave-owning soldier, in danger of capture.
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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2007, 07:29:40 am »

The Mansions of the Moon according to Abenragel (ca. 1000 CE)




1 Ilnath

Al Sharatain 0° 0' 0" Aries Good for taking medicines, pasturing livestock, making journey, except second hour Good for buying tame animals, for journeys, especially voyages, for making arms, planting trees, cutting hair or nails, putting on new clothes.
Bad for contracting marriage (holds for Moon in Aries), making partnerships, or buying slaves, who will be bad, disobedient or run away. If captured, prison will be bad and strong. 

2 Albethain

Al Butain 12° 11' 26" Aries Good for sowing and making journeys.  Bad for marriage, buying slaves, and for boats and prisoners similar to Alnath 

3 Athoraie

Al Thurayya 25° 22' 52" Aries Good for trading and revenge on enemies; indifferent for travel.  Good for buying tame animals and hunting, for all matters involving fire, and for doing good.
Bad for marriage, and making partnerships, especially with those more powerful. Bad for buying cattle or flocks, for planting trees, sowing or putting on new clothes. If captured, prison will be strong and long. Water journeys will bring fear and danger.

4 Addauennam

Al Dabaran 8° 34' 18" Taurus Good for sowing, for putting on new clothes, for receiving women and feminine things, for demolishing a building or starting a new one, for making a journey, except for third part of day. Good to build a house, which will be solid, and building in general, to dig a ditch, to buy slaves, who will be loyal and honest, and to buy livestock. Also good to be with kings and lords, for receiving power or honours.
Bad to contract marriage, since woman will prefer another, or to enter partnerships, especially with those more powerful. Voyages will involve big waves. If captured, the captivity will be long but, if captured for skills, will be released through goodwill. 

5 Alhathaya

Al Hak‘ah 21° 45' 44" Taurus Good for contracting marriage, for putting boys to study laws, scriptures or writing, for making medicines, for making a journey. Good for buying slaves, who will be good and loyal, for building, for travel by water, for washing head, indeed general washing, and cutting hair.
Bad for partnerships. If captured, imprisonment will be long, unless captured for skills, when he will escape.

6 Alhana/Atabuen

Al Han‘ah 4° 17' 10" Gemini Good for kings to declare war,enrollment of armies and cavalry, for knights seeking better pay, for the successful siege of a city, for smiting enemies and evildoers.
Bad for sowing, seeking a loan, or burial.  Good for partnerships and ventures, associates will agree and be honest and loyal, for hunting, for journeys by water, though delays.
Bad for taking medicine and for treating wounds. New clothes put on will soon tear. If captured, release within three days or very long imprisonment.

7 Addirach

Al Dhira 17° 36' 36" Gemini Good for ploughing and sowing, for putting on new clothes, for women’s jewellery, for cavalry.
Bad for journeys, except in last third of night. Good for partnerships, which will be good and useful, with loyal and agreeable associates, for washing head, cutting hair and new clothes, for buying slaves and livestock, for smiting or making peace with enemies, for voyages towards destination, but delays on return.
Bad for buying land, and for giving up medicine. If captured, unless he escapes in three days, he will die in prison. Likewise, if he has escaped something he fears, he will encounter it again.

8 Aluayra

Al Nathra 0° 0' 0" Cancer Good for taking medicine, for cutting new clothes, for women’s jewellery and putting it on. Rain will bring benefit not damage.
Bad for travel, except for last third of night. Good for voyages, swift on outward and return journeys.
Marriages contracted will be harmonious for a while, then discordant.
A slave bought will deceitful, accuse his master, and run away. A partnership started will involve fraud on either side. If captured, long imprisonment.

9 Attraaif

Al Tarf 12° 11' 26" Cancer Bad for sowing, journeys, entrusting anything to anyone, or seeking to harm anyone. Good for voyages, outward and return, for reinforcing doors and making locks, for making beds and putting up bed-curtains, for transplanting wheat.
Bad for partnerships, which will involve fraud on either side. Bad for cutting hair, or new clothes. Putting on new clothes may lead to drowning in them. If captured, long imprisonment.

10 Algebhe

Al Jabhah 25° 22' 52" Cancer Good for contracting marriage, for sugar and what is made with it.
Bad for journeys and entrusting anything, for putting on new clothes or for women’s jewellery. Good for buildings, which will last, and for partnerships, benefiting all parties.
If captured, at the command of a leader or because of great deed, and long, hard imprisonment.

11 Azobrach

Al Zubrah 8° 34' 18" Leo Good for sowing and planting, for besieging.
Indifferent for trade and journeys.
Bad for freeing captives.  Good for buildings and foundations, which will last, and for partnerships, from which associates will gain. Good for cutting hair.
Bad for new clothes. If captured, at the command of a leader, and long imprisonment

12 Azarfa

Al Sarfah 21° 45' 44" Leo Good for starting all building, for arranging lands, sowing and planting, for marriage, for putting on new clothes, for women’s jewellery, for making a journey in the first third of day. Good for buying slaves and livestock, once the Moon is out of Leo, since the Lion is a great devourer. (If he eats a lot it leads to stomach pains, power, boldness and obstinacy.) What is lent will not be returned, or only with great effort and delay. Voyages will be long, hard and dangerous, but not fatal. 

13 Aloce

Al Awwa 4° 17' 10" Virgo Good to plough, sow, make a journey, marry, free captives.  Good to buy a slave, who will be good, loyal and honest, to start building, to give oneself to pleasures and jokes, to come before a king or famous man, to take medicines, to cut new clothes, to wash or cut hair.
Not bad to marry a corrupted woman, and, if marrying a virgin, the marriage will last a while. A voyage undertaken will involve delay in return. If captured, he will be injured in prison, but captivity will end well. 

14 Azimech

Al Simak 17° 36' 36" Virgo Good for marrying a woman who is not a virgin, for medicines, sowing and planting.
Bad for journeys or entrusting something to someone.  Good to start a voyage and a partnership, which will be profitable and harmonious, to buy a slave, who will be good, honest and respectful.
Marriage with a virgin will not last long, and it is not bad to marry a corrupted woman. If captured, he will soon escape or be released.

15 Algarf

Al Ghafr 0° 0' 0" Libra Good to dig wells and ditches, to cure illnesses to do with wind, but not others.
Bad for journeys.  Good for moving house, for adapting or preparing a house, its owner and site. Good to seek to do a good deed, to buy and sell, but selling slaves not livestock, because Libra is a human sign.
Bad for both land and sea journeys. Marriage will not last in harmony, or only for a while. Partnerships entered will lead to fraud and discord. Money lent will not be returned. Bad for cutting hair. 

16 Azebone

Al Jubana 12° 11' 26" Libra Bad for journeys, trade, medicines, sowing, women’s jewellery, for cutting or putting on new clothes. A slave bought will be good, loyal and honest.
Bad for marriage, which will only last in harmony for a while, for partnerships, which will lead to dishonesty and mutual suspicion. If captured, he will soon be out of prison, if God wills. 

17 Alidil

Iklil al Jabhah 25° 22' 52" Libra Good to buy flocks and livestock, to change their pasture, to put on new jewellery and besiege towns.  Good for starting building, which will be solid and durable, for settling a dispute between two people, to foster love, and love begun will be absolutely solid and last for ever. Good for all medicine.
Voyages started will bring anxiety and sorrows, but he will survive.
Partnerships started will bring discord, and he who marries, will find his wife impure. Bad for selling slaves or cutting hair. 

18 Alcalb

Al Kalb 8° 34' 18" Scorpio Good for building, for arranging lands and buying them, for receiving honours and power. If it begins to rain, it will be wholesome, useful and good. Eastwards journeys are favoured.  Building undertaken will be solid. Good for planting and taking medicines.
If a man gets married and the Mars is with the Moon here, he will find her not to be a virgin. If he enters a ship he will come out again.
Bad for selling slaves, new clothes, cutting hair. Partnerships will result in discord.

19 Yenla

Al Shaula 21° 45' 44" Scorpio Good for besieging towns and encampments, for disputing against enemies, for making a journey, for sowing and for planting trees.
Bad for entrusting something to somebody. If a man gets married, he will find her not to be a virgin.
Bad for voyages, which will end in shipwreck, for partnerships, which will be discordant, for selling slaves, and very bad for a captive. 

20 Alimain

Al Na’am 4° 17' 10" Sagittarius Good for buying animals. Rain will be good and do no harm.
Indifferent for journeys.  Good for buying small animals.
Bad for partnerships and captivity.

21 Albeda

Al Baldah 17° 36' 36" Sagittarius Good for starting any building, for sowing, for buying lands or livestock, for buying and making women’s jewellery and clothes.
Indifferent for journeys. A woman who is divorced or widowed will not marry again. Indifferent for slaves bought, since they will think much of themselves and will not humble themselves to their masters. 

22 Sahaddadebe

Al Sa’d al Dhabih 0° 0' 0" Capricorn Good for medicine and journeys, except for last third of day. Good for putting on new clothes. Good for entering a partnership, which will bring profit and usefulness, and for entering a ship, though there will be great anxieties from a strong desire to return and the like.
A man who becomes engaged will break the engagement before the wedding and die within six months, or the couple will be in conflict and live badly, with the wife mistreating the husband.
Bad for buying slaves, who will do ill to their master, or run away, or be irksome or bad. If captured, he will soon gain freedom.

23 Zadebolal

Al Sa’d al Bula 12° 11' 26" Capricorn Good for medicine, for putting on new jewellery and clothes, for a journey in the middle third of day.
Bad to entrust something to someone.  Good for partnerships.
Bad for marriage, since wife will mistreat husband and they will not be together much, for entering a ship, if a short voyage is wanted, for buying slaves. If captured, he will soon regain liberty.

24 Zaadescod

Al Sa’d al Su’ud 25° 22' 52" Capricorn  Good for medicine, sending out armies and soldiers.
Indifferent for journeys.
Bad for merchandise, jewellery, putting on new clothes, marrying.  A slave bought will be strong, loyal and good.
Bad for partnerships, which will end in great harm and conflict, and for entering a ship. Marriage will only last a while. If captured, he will soon be free.

25 Sadalabbia

Al Sa’d al Ahbiyah 8° 34' 18" Aquarius Good for besieging towns and encampments, for going into a quarrel, for pursuing enemies and doing them harm, for sending messengers. Favours journeys southwards.
Bad for marriage, for sowing, for merchandise, for buying livestock. Good for buying slaves, who will be strong, loyal and good, for building, which will be solid and durable, and for voyages, though there will be delays.
Marriage will only last for a while.
Bad for partnerships, which will end badly and harmfully, and a slave will escape.

26 Fargalmocaden

Al Fargh al Mukdim 21° 45' 44" Aquarius Good for making a journey in the first third of the day, but the rest is good for neither journeys nor any other beginning.  Good for building, which will be solid and durable, for buying a slave, who will be loyal and good, for entering a ship, though there will be delays.
Bad for partnerships. Marriage will not last. If captured, he will be in prison for a long time.

27 Alfargamahar

Al Fargh al Thani 4° 17' 10" Pisces Good for sowing, and useful for trading. Good for marriage.
Indifferent for journeys, except for middle third of night when very bad.
Bad for entrusting something to someone, or lending anything.  If starting a partnership, it will begin well but end in harm and conflict. Entering a ship will bring damage, dangers and travails. A slave bought will be bad.
If captured, he will not leave prison. 

28 Bathnealoth

Al Batn al Hut 17° 36' 36" Pisces Good for trade, sowing and medicines. Good for marriage.
Indifferent for journeys, except for middle third of night when bad.
Bad for entrusting something to someone, or lending anything.  A partnership started will begin well but end badly. A slave bought will be bad, irascible and very proud.
If captured, he will not leave prison. 
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2007, 07:32:10 am »

Johannes Hispalensis translated a good number of Arabian sources on astrology, and gives his own

summary of all these works in Epitome Totius Astrologiae (written ca. 1142); he also gives the Indians

and Dorotheos as his authorities for the Mansions, and the meanings are largely in accordance with

Abenragel’s reports. We know that the Yeatses were referred to this book (see The Yeatses and the

Mansions for this and further consideration of mediaeval Latin sources).
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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2007, 07:34:26 am »

                                          M Y S T I C A L   A S T R O L O G Y

A very different approach is seen in an influential system of correspondences constructed by the Sufi Master, Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi, who was born in Murcia, in the Arab Spain of Al-Andalus, in 1165 and died in Damascus in 1240 CE (a life-span that pre-dates Yeats’s [1865-1939] by 700 years almost exactly). Ibn ‘Arabi’s exposition is one of mystical symbolism rather than practical astrology, using the Mansions to organise a chain of being from the uncreated first cause through levels of celestial manifestation and the elemental world to man and the process of hierarchy itself. The cosmos expounded gives a theoretical explanation of the tropical system of the Zodiac, placing the Towers of the Zodiac in the Sphere of the Starless Sky, above that of the Sphere of the Fixed Stars, and below the Sphere of the Divine Pedestal and the Sphere of the Divine Throne. Effectively he, therefore, gives the equinoxes precedence over the precession of the stars, and ties the First Point of Aries to the Vernal Equinox, which is seen as closer to the first movers than the ‘fixed’ stars.

According to Titus Burckhardt’s summary of Ibn ‘Arabi’s ideas, drawn from a variety of his works in Mystical Astrology According to Ibn ‘Arabi, the true start of the Mansions appears to correspond with the Moon’s Ascending Node (see the Draconic Cycle), but for symbolic purposes it is aligned with the Vernal Equinox. Ibn ‘Arabi gives a series of correspondences with Divine Names or Attributes, as well as the hierarchy of creation and the alphabet and, with respect to the alphabet, asserts that ‘It is not like people think, that the Mansions of the Moon represent the models of the letters; it is the 28 sounds which determine the lunar mansions’ (Burckhardt, 35). (See the Ibn ‘Arabi Society’s site for more detail, and Burckhardt.) The sequence given here appears in The Revelation of Mecca, but the names of the Mansions are not given, so I have taken them from Vivian Robson, The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology, which follows a looser convention of transcription.
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« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2007, 07:39:41 am »

                      THE MANSIONS OF THE MOON ACCORDING TO IBN `ARABI  (ca. 1200)

   [name] meaning  from attribution letter Divine Attribute

1 Al Sharatain The Two Signs 0° Aries The First Intellect, the Pen Hamza & Alef Divine Essence

2 Al Butain The Belly of Aries 12°51'22" Aries The Universal Soul, the Preserved Tablet Hâ’
(unstressed h) The One Who Calls Forth

3 Al Thurayya The Many Little Ones 25°42'51" Aries Universal Nature ‘Ayn The Interior

4 Al Dabaran The Follower 8°34'17" Taurus Universal Substance, prima materia Hâ
(stressed h) The Last

5 Al Hak‘ah The White Spot 21°25'40" Taurus Universal Body Ghayn (gh) The Manifest

6 Al Han‘ah The Mark 4°17'09" Gemini Form Khâ (kh) The Wise

7 Al Dhira The forearm 17°08'34" Gemini The Throne Qâf (q) The All-Encompassing

8 Al Nathra The Gap or Crib 0° Cancer The Footstool Kâf (k) The Grateful

9 Al Tarf The Glance 12°51'22" Cancer The Self-Existing Ultimate Sphere, the Starless Sky, the Zodiacal Towers Jîm (j) The Independent, the Rich

10 Al Jabhah The Forehead 25°42'51" Cancer The Sky of the Fixed Stars, the Sphere of the Stations, the Sun of Paradise, the Roof of Hell Shîn (sh) The Powerful

11 Al Zubrah The Mane 8°34'17" Leo The First Heaven, the Sphere of Saturn, the Sky of the Visited House and Lotus of the Extreme Limit, the Abode of Ibrahim (Abraham) Yâ (y/î) The Lord

12 Al Sarfah The Changer 21°25'40" Leo The Second Heaven, the Sphere of Jupiter, the Abode of Musa (Moses) Dâd
(stressed d) The Knowing

13 Al Awwa The Barker 4°17'09" Virgo The Third Heaven, the Sphere of Mars, the Abode of Harun (Aaron) Lâm (l) The Victorious

14 Al Simak The Unarmed 17°08'34" Virgo The Fourth Heaven, the Sphere of the Sun, the Abode of Idris (Enoch, Hermes) Nűn (n) The Light

15 Al Ghafr The Cover 0° Libra The Fifth Heaven, the Sphere of Venus, the Abode of Yusuf (Joseph) Râ (r) The Form-Giver

16 Al Jubana The Claws 12°51'22" Libra The Sixth Heaven, the Sphere of Mercury, the Abode of ‘Isa (Jesus) Tâ
(stressed t) The Numberer

17 Iklil al Jabhah The Crown of the Forehead 25°42'51" Libra The Seventh Heaven, the Sphere of the Moon, the Abode of Adam Dâl (d) The Evident

18 Al Kalb The Heart 8°34'17" Scorpio The Sphere of Ether, Meteors and Fire Tâ
(unstressed t) The Seizer

19 Al Shaula The Sting 21°25'40" Scorpio Air Zây (z) The Living One

20 Al Na’am The Ostriches 4°17'09" Sagittarius Water Sîn (s) The Life-Giver

21 Al Baldah The City 17°08'34" Sagittarius Earth Sâd
(stressed s) The Death-Giver

22 Al Sa’d al Dhabih The Fortune of the Slayers 0° Capricorn Minerals and Metals Zâ
(stressed z) The Precious

23 Al Sa’d al Bula The Fortune of the Swallower  12°51'22" Capricorn Plants Thâ (th) The Nourisher

24 Al Sa’d al Su’ud The Fortune of the Fortunate 25°42'51" Capricorn Animals Dhâl (dh) The Humbler

25 Al Sa’d al Ahbiyah The Fortune of the Hidden 8°34'17" Aquarius The Angels Fâ (f) The Strong

26 Al Fargh al Mukdim The First Spout 21°25'40" Aquarius The Jinn Bâ (b) The Subtle

27 Al Fargh al Thani The Second Spout 4°17'09" Pisces Humanity Mîm (m) The Uniter

28 Al Batn al Hut The Belly of the Fish 17°08'34" Pisces The Hierarchy of the Degrees of Existence, not their manifestation Wâw (w/ű) The One Who Elevates by Degrees
« Last Edit: August 19, 2007, 08:04:04 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2007, 07:40:55 am »

The movement away from Divine Essence in the First stage passes through stages of universal Archetypes and reaches the highest levels of celestial manifestation at stages Seven and Eight around the Summer Solstice, the spheres beyond the manifest cosmos. The planetary sequence starts with Saturn and the Sun is at the central point of this sequence, corresponding with the equinoctial point of Libra. Earth represents the most solid simple element, and is placed at the Winter Solstice, after which come the mixed forms, with a form of ascent.

Although it is unlikely that Yeats would have known about Ibn ‘Arabi’s schema, there are some interesting parallels in the hierarchy or cycle outlined, in particular with the placement of the Divine Essence with the First Mansion, and the Light with the opposite point.

All the same, Yeats was certainly interested enough in Arabian wisdom to concoct an elaborate story involving Michael Robartes and the Judwalis in the first version of A Vision, locating the adventures at various places in Arabia and Ottoman Palestine, as well as giving one of the supposed origins of the System to a Syriac Christian at the Caliph’s court in Baghdad, Kusta ben Luka, a translator from the ninth century CE.
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« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2007, 07:53:40 am »

                              T H E   Y E A T S E S   A N D   T H E   M A N S I O N S

As the schema of the twenty-eight phases of the Moon first began to emerge in the Automatic Script at the end of November 1917 the Yeatses must have been intrigued by the possibility that they bore some relation to the twenty-eight Mansions of the Moon from Arabic astrology. Only three days after the first appearance of the ‘28 days of [Moon]’, the Automatic Script features the term ‘The 28 mansions’ (YVP 1 119) in one of George’s answers on 25 November 1917 and in a subsequent question on that day Yeats was wrestling with the problem that one solar day ‘which equals one mansion of moon would represent one incarnation & time after’, in other words the period between lives (YVP 1 120). On the 30 November George’s reply to the first numbered question contains another name for these divisions of the Zodiac, ‘the stations 28 of moon’, and Yeats’s next question was whether these days ‘correspond to the lunar mansions’ to which the answer was apparently ‘Yes’ (YVP 1 126).

We know that the Yeatses did investigate the Mansions to a limited extent at least: George Yeats copied out both a passage from Chaucer’s ‘Franklin’s Tale’ and an edited version of W. W. Skeat’s notes to the Oxford edition. Chaucer’s Franklin tells of an astrologer friend who helps the love-lorn Aurelius:

 He [Aurelius] hym remembred that, upon a day,
At Orliens in studie a book he say
Of magyk natureel, which his felawe,
That was that tyme a bacheler of lawe,
Al were he ther to lerne another craft,
Hadde prively upon his desk ylaft;
Which book spak muchel of the operaciouns
Touchynge the eight and twenty mansiouns
That longen to the moon—and swich folye
As in oure dayes is nat worth a flye,—
For hooly chirches feith in oure bileve
Ne suffreth noon illusioun us to greve.

       He remembered that, one day,
    While studying in Orléans, he had seen a book
    About natural magic,* which his companion,
    Who was then a bachelor of law,
    Even though he was learning another skill,
    Had privately left on his desk.
    This book spoke much about the operations
    Concerning the twenty-eight mansions
    That belong to the moon—and such folly
    As nowadays is considered worthless—
    Since the holy church's faith does not
    Allow any illusion to harm our belief.

‘The Franklin’s Tale’, The Canterbury Tales,
Fragment V (Group F) 1123-1133  *magic which harnesses the forces of nature, and does not involve invocation of spirits or demons.
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« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2007, 07:55:12 am »

George Yeats also highlighted a passage from Skeat’s notes with double lines: after directing his reader to Ludwig Ideler’s Untersuchungen über den Ursprung und die Bedeutung der Sternnamen (1809) for the positions of the Mansions, Skeat comments that, since Ideler does not give their significance, ‘For the influence of the moon in these mansions, we must look elsewhere, viz. in lib.i. cap. 11, and lib. iv. Cap. 18 of the Epitome Astrologiae of Johannes Hispalensis’ (from The Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer [Oxford: Clarendon, 1894], Vol. 5, 392; see CVA notes 10). As has been mentioned, the Arabic Mansions had passed into mediaeval European usage through the work of the Spanish translators, especially those of Toledo, and, in his Epitome Totius Astrologiae ("The Summary of All Astrology"), Johannes or Joannes Hispalensis (John of Seville) brings together astrological teaching from a variety of sources, including Arab writers, many of whom he had also translated. At some stage the Yeatses must have followed up these references.

Published in printed form in 1548 but dated internally to 1142, the Epitome does not give the Arabic names of the Mansions, but it does give the Latin names, and quite a full treatment of their significance according to Dorotheus of Sidon. In the context of mundane astrology, Joannes Hispalensis also quantifies the ‘virtues’ (virtutes) of the Moon, by which he means its strength within the figure of a horoscope, according to its phase, giving the twelve somewhat unequal ‘portals’ or ‘doors’ (ianuae), but he does not assign any further characteristics to them. One other point that could have been of interest to the Yeatses is his method of predicting the year to come, through taking the horoscope of the Moon’s last conjunction or opposition prior to the Sun’s entry into Aries, the New Moon or Full Moon in March.
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« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2007, 07:56:36 am »

This chapter gives a list of the Mansions, in the normal, garbled mediaeval form of the Arabic names, the meaning in Latin, their positions and a brief summary of their significance, while a later chapter gives images for each of the Mansions to be used in the manufacture of talismans according to the magical intentions of the maker (see Agrippa’s list below). These images are of a similar nature to those which Yeats tried to develop for each of the Phases (see Phase Images), although they are usually very different in detail; however, both combine disparate and strange images, which are sometimes quite violent. For instance, a talisman for revenge and enmity should be made out of red wax when the Moon is in the fourth Mansion (Aldebram or Aldelamen, the eye of the bull), with the image of a soldier on horseback, holding a snake in his right hand, which should then fumigated in incense of red myrrh and storax, while one to aid childbirth and to cure the sick, should be made out of gold with a lion’s head on it when the Moon is in the tenth Mansion (Algeliache or Aglebh, the lion’s forehead), fumigated with ambergris. The only image which coincides in Yeats’s and Agrippa’s lists is that of a Janus figure which represents both Yeats’s Phase 18 and Agrippa’s Mansion 21, Abeda (see the list below).

Giordano Bruno’s lists of astrological images, including those of the Mansions, are very similar to Agrippa’s. These figures are given not in the context of talismans or magic, since, ostensibly they are part of his mnemonic system; however, in the words of Frances Yates, the “two books on the art of memory” which he published while resident in Paris “reveal him as a magician”. Much of his more explicit magical writing was in fact not published until long after his death, with De Magia only appearing in 1891. The images which appear in De umbris idearum (1582) are not exactly the same, but, although there are other sources which he could have used, Agrippa is the most likely, particularly given other echoes elsewhere in his works. Bruno, however, develops and embellishes to a greater or lesser extent from what any sources could offer him. With reference to the examples given above, Bruno gives for the fourth Mansion a soldier on horseback with a snake in his right hand and dragging a black dog with his left, for the tenth a woman in childbirth, in front of whom there is a golden lion and a man in the attitude of a convalescent, and for the twenty-first, two men back to back, each picking up shaved hairs.
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« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2007, 07:57:58 am »

Agrippa’s lists of the Mansions of the Moon and their images appear to be derived in turn from the Picatrix, possibly the best-known magical text dealing with the Mansions. Although it was only available in manuscript form at the time when Yeats was working, there are copies in Oxford, London and Paris; MacGregor Mathers who ‘had copied many manuscripts on ceremonial magic and doctrine in the British Museum, and was to copy many more in Continental libraries’ (Au 183) would almost certainly have known it. The Picatrix not only uses the positional Mansions of the Moon (see Frank Pearce Sturm, 83-87), considering the role of Yeats’s Kusta ben Luka, he mentioned Arabian philosophers and astrologers, referring to Alkindi, Albumazar, Thebit ben Corat and Rhazes, as well as a manuscript in the Bodleian "entitled The Book of the 28 Images of the Moon and the 28 Mansions and the 54 Angels Who Serve the Images". He noted that in "the Middle Ages, when Arabian learning was lost, the Images of the Moon became the 28 Judges of Geomantic Divination". Sturm also claimed very particular knowledge:

I know a deal about this that is in no book, for it comes from the memory of one long dead. For twenty-five years some mind that is not my own has tried to force me to write a certain system of philosophy, but I am not yet convinced that it is worth writing. I used to think that the spirit of a monk, burnt for heresy early in the 12th century was my informant, but I would rather believe him to have been myself in a past life, as I once saw him in a crystal vision, with a tonsured head sticking out of a cowl, in a big gloomy lecture hall. He died with his book in his mind, & now troubles me with his uncompleted task. When I am in that mood I take up a pen and make up sentences out of his book. I have a whole collection of them, and if I don’t call the automatic writing it is not because I don’t believe they are.
(Frank Pearce Sturm, 85)
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