Mansions of the Moon (Planeten Buch, Straubing, 1596)

The predominant use of the Lunar Mansions before 1700 was to create talismans based on astrological principles and to cast spells. Extant source material like the Picatrix or Agrippa’s Three Books on Occult Philosophy leave no doubt about the highly esoteric use of the Mansions, used by only a few well versed practitioners, daring enough to delve into these forbidden arts. (See as well my article on the 28 Mansions of the Moon)

In the second half of the 16th century the first astrological textbooks in the German vernacular began to appear. These textbooks contained large chunks of astrological lore, adapted from the medieval texts which had been transmitted from Arab sources via Latin translations. They also contained much information, taylored for the use of the everyday practitioner. This excerpt from the Planeten Buch (Book of Planets), first published at Straubing in 1596, shows how the use of the 28 Mansions of the Moon had been adapted for everyday life in the 16th century.   


From the Planeten Buch, Straubing 1596:

Look in the common, annual almanac for the day / you want to know the Mansion the Moon is in / and on its right side you will find the sign and degree of the Moon for that same day. This sign and degree / you may look up in the following table of the Mansions in the signs and degrees of the beginning and the end of this Mansion / an if you find the sign and degree of the Moon therein / he will be in that Mansion / according to the degree on the left hand / and the nature of the Mansion to the right side of the degree.  An example: I state / that the Moon be in 6 degrees / and 35 minutes of Cancer / this sign / degree and minute / I find at the beginning of the table of the Mansions / and on the left hand side / seven / stating / that the Moon is in the seventh Mansion / its nature is written on the right hand side / which is moist. But if the degree of the Moon in a particular sign would not be in the table / so find out where this degree is included / between the beginning and the end of the Mansion / because the Moon will be in this line of the Mansions. An example / in the year 1597, on the 20th day of January / the Moon is in 8 degrees Cancer: 8 degrees Cancer is included between the 6 degree / and 35 minutes of the beginning / and 9 degrees / 26 minutes of the end of the seventh Mansion. Therefore I say / that on this 20th day the Moon is in the seventh Mansion / whose nature is moist. To know about these Mansions / is of use for many things / and particularly for medicating / as will be shown.

Table of the 28 Mansions of the Moon

1 19. 26. Aries 2. 17. Taurus Moderate. Good to travel/take medicines/new clothes/not keeping
2 2. 17. Taurus 15. 9. Taurus Dry. Good to sow seeds/don’t travel across water/buy tame animals.
3 15. 9. Taurus 28. 0. Taurus Moist. Buy/don’t make friends/buy large animals/to tame them.
4 28. 0. Taurus 10. 52. Gemini Moist. Sow seeds/wear new clothes/beware of weddings.
5 10. 52. Gemini 23. 43. Gemini Dry. Good to marry/and weddings/good to take medicines/send children to
school/good to travel.
6 23. 43. Gemini 6. 35.Cancer Moderate. Don’t sow seeds/don’t plant/don’t start anything good.
7 6. 35. Cancer 19.26.Cancer Moist. Good to sow/plough/new clothes/don’t travel.
8 19. 26. Cancer 2. 17.Leo Moderate. Good to take medication/clothes/travel across water/not
over land.
9 2. 17.Leo 15. 9.Leo Dry. Don’t go out to sea/don’t travel/no clothes/deal in corn.
10 15. 9.Leo 28. 0.Leo Moist. Good to get married/don’t travel/no clothes/don’t deal with large
sums of money.
11 28. 0.Leo 10. 52Virgo Moderate. Sow/plant/don’t set your prisoners free.
12 10. 52.Virgo 23.43.Virgo Moist. Good to build/sow/plant/marry.
13 23. 43.Virgo 6. 35.Libra Moderate. Sow/plough/travel/marry.
14 6. 35.Libra 19. 26. Libra Moderate. Marry widows/medication/plant.
15 19. 26.Libra 2. 17.Scorpio Moist. Dig watery grounds/don’t travel.
16 2. 17.Scorpio 15. 9.Scorpio Moist. Don’t travel/don’t take medicines/don’t buy/no clothes.
17 15. 9.Scorpio 28. 0.Scorpio Moist. Buy animals/lead them to the pasture.
18 28. 0.Scorpio 10. 52. Sagittarius Dry. Sow on the field/buy/take on duties.
19 10. 52. Sagittarius 23. 43. Sagittarius Moist. Fight/occupy your enemy’s property/travel/watch out for ships.
20 23. 43. Sagittarius 6. 35. Capricorn Moist. Buy animals/this Mansion is not good for anything else.
21 6. 35. Capricorn 19. 26. Capricorn Moderate. Start building/buy fields/sow seeds.
22 19. 26. Capricorn 2. 17. Aquarius Moist. Don’t marry/new clothes/medication/travel.
23 2. 17. Aquarius 15. 9. Aquarius Moderate. Medication/clothes/travel/don’t buy large things or make
24 15. 9. Aquarius 28. 0. Aquarius Moderate. Purge/medication/for warriors to fight.
25 28. 0. Aquarius 10. 52.Pisces Dry. Good for wars and fights/good for travelling towards the south.
26 10. 52.Pisces 23. 43.Pisces Dry. Don’t start anything new/because this Mansion is completely
27 23. 43.Pisces 6. 35.Aries Moist. Good for sowing/buy/get married/don’t invest money.
28 6. 35.Aries 19. 26.Aries Moderate. Buy/sow/medicate/get married/ get an annuity or life-annuity/don’t
take out a loan.

2 comments on “Mansions of the Moon (Planeten Buch, Straubing, 1596)

  1. Ishtar Babilu Dingir says:

    Interesting! Thanks, Peter. 🙂 I’ve just also written something about lunar calendars 40,000 years ago. I wonder if they were practising this kind of magic then, or something like it?

  2. Melissa Grove says:

    This list above matches the one found in Ramesey so far as weather conditions are concerned. The Paneten Buch is more ‘stripped down’ and uses ‘Moderate’ in place of Ramesey’s ‘Temperate’. Otherwise they’re a complete match with only exception

    1 Moist Moist
    2 Moist and cold; more cold [than moist] Moist
    3 Dry Dry
    4 Temperate Moderate
    5 Moist Moist
    6 Cloudy and tempestuous Moderate
    7 Dry Dry
    8 Moist Moist
    9 Temperate and cold Moderate
    10 Moist Moist
    11 Temperate Moderate
    12 Temperate Moderate
    13 Moist Moist
    14 Cold and moist Moist
    15 Moist Moist
    16 Dry Dry
    17 Moist Moist
    18 Temperate Moist
    19 Temperate Moderate
    20 Moist Moist
    21 Temperate Moderate
    22 Temperate Moderate
    23 Dry Dry
    24 Dry Dry
    25 Moist Moist
    26 Temperate Moderate
    27 Temperate Moderate
    28 Dry Dry


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