Origins of The Mansions of The Moon
Lunar Magic Through The Zodiac
The tradition of the twenty-eight Mansions of the Moon is found in China and in Hellenic Greece in the system of Dorotheus Sidonia (circa 100 CE), and India in 1000 BCE, (using twenty-seven mansions called nakshatras). The mansions are thought to date back to the Sumerians of 3000 BCE, but it is believed that the mansions were unknown in Europe until the Muslims brought the system into Andalusia when they occupied southern Spain. The Complete Book on the Judgment of the Stars was written in Tunisia in 1000 CE by the Arab astrologer Abenragel with the Hellenic and Indian perspective on the mansions translated into Old Spanish in 1254 Spain, then into Latin in 1485 in Italy. The Picatrix: Gayat al-Hakim (The Aim of the Sage) contains another version of the Mansions of the Moon, written in Arabic in Moorish Spain during the eleventh century CE and translated into Latin two centuries later. Fascination with the occult texts of the East throughout the medieval period of Europe saw the creation of grimoires (instruction manuals) written and published by philosophers and magicians. Most occultists based their magical principles on the Jewish Kabbala augmented with a great amount of Christian terminology, prayers, and invocations, but being associated with this material was still dangerous and some were persecuted as heretics and even burned at the stake.
The mansions spread throughout Europe with publications of The Picatrix in Venice in 1503) and more notably in Book II, part 4 of the Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Henry Cornelius Agrippa (1531) and The Magus: A Complete System of Occult Philosophy by Francis Barrett (1801). The grimoires included instructions for using the mansions in magic for both beneficial and destructive purposes, mainly through the creation of talismans.