The Twentyeight Lunar Houses

Whereas the twenty-eight Mansions are fixed and always start from 0° Aries; the Lunar Houses are only the phases of the Moon, and are calculated from the precise point of the conjunction of the Luminaries. Modern astrologers ignore this point, but it was very important for all the astrologers of the Middle Ages, who almost always noted it on charts and took it into consideration in studying progression. This point was even occasionally considered the kyleg, i.e., the vital point in the life. Its importance is confirmed by all of tradition.

"In a revolution or year chart," says Claudius Ptolemy in the fifty-eighth aphorism of this "Centiloquy," "note how far from the Ascendant is the place in the Zodiac where the last conjunction of the Sun and Moon occurred, since when the Ascendant arrives at this place by progression, some event will happen . . .

In short, the point of the conjunction of the Luminaries, which is the point of departure for the Lunar Houses, just as the Ascendant is for the Solar Houses, is so important that some astrologers even today rectify natal charts on the basis of the new Moon before birth.

The system of Lunar Houses is a means of evaluating the variations of influences of the Luminaries in proportion to the distance separating them.

There is substantial proof of variations in lunar influence according to phase, which is not disputed. The relationships between the phases of our satellite and plant growth arc too well known to need mention, but science has recorded indisputable evidence of the variation of the lunar influence on humans. It has been observed, for example, in the incubation of intermittent fevers in India, the Balearic Islands, South America, etc. Dr. Emile Legrain1 has disclosed that new outbreaks of these fevers begin eight out of ten times in the few days preceding or following the new Moon (conjunction of the lumi naries) and very rarely at the full Moon. Bilious fevers are aggravated at the same time; ulcers in the last quarter of the new Moon; varicose veins at the new Moon, as well as shingles. Epileptic fits are more common at Full Moon. In 1935, in the magazine "Demain,"* G.L'Brahy published a very well documented article on multiple manifestations of lunar influence, and we feel it is unnecessary to overload this text with examples of the influence of phases, which the reader can find in that article or in many others.

Observations demonstrate overwhelmingly the nature of the Moon as it is described by tradition. For example: our satellite has always been represented as a moist and cold principle; Dr. G.E. Maag3 researching two lunar periods from 1881 to 1899, and from 1899 to 1918, showed that the influence of the Moon lowered temperature.

"The cold effect associated with the Moon as well as the effect of lowering of barometric pressure are both more intense during the Full Moon phase; the cold effect is otherwise more observable when the culmination point of the Moon is low and when it is at apogee (with diminution of the effect of lowering of barometric pressure at the same time); and lastly, the effect of lowering barometric pressure is stronger when the culmination point of the Moon is higher and when it is at perigee (with diminution of the cold effect at the same time)."

If most of the statements of the Ancients on the subject of the Moon have proved verifiable through scientific research, there is no reason for neglecting the whole system of Mansions and Houses.

Like the Mansions, the Lunar Houses numbered twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, and even thirty-one among different peoples in different eras. Very often they were called "days," "courts," and even "mansions," but we prefer the term "Lunar Houses," because here we we are dealing with a system that corresponds very much to the universally accepted Solar Houses.

Following the Arabs1 example, the Middle Ages measured the Houses in an approximate manner by days; but if a system of equal Houses is used, a Lunar House must equal one day one hour 18.7 minutes (which is l/28th of the synodic Lunar revolution) and not twenty-four hours.

But in antiquity there were Lunar Houses that followed the phases of the Moon. The more the Moon was visible, the greater the size of the House. The Chaldeans, who invented arithmetic and geometric progressions, left documents dealing with this increase in Houses in proportion to the age of the Moon. For the most part, most traditional scholars see in this first attempts at approximative evalua tions of Lunar movement. But, knowing the degree of development of the astronomical observations of the Chaldeans, it is impossible to see anything in this progression but Lunar Houses, and not cphemerides as certain Assyriologists would have it,

"This table of Lunar Light, which, do not forget, forms part of the tablets of the library of Assurbarnp ^ at Nineveh (mid-seventh century), but which could of course be a copy or even an older original, is highly suggestive," says Abel Rey4. It is very difficult, perhaps impossible, that without astronomically precise instruments they were able to hit upon these arithmetical proportions of light increase/decrease by observation alone. It is a safe guess that this is a reduction to logical order of the more or less approximate empiric data. Onto the rude measures it has at hand, the mind projects the concept of a regular law of increase, of a rhythmic progression of lighting of the Moon . .

". , .Its own movement is from about 8° 30' to 15° 30' during the fifteen days of increase and inversely from 15° 30* to 8° 30' during decrease; this makes an average difference of 7° in fourteen days, or 30' per day. This number is adopted as the basis of the arithmetic progression of the Moon, positive or negative. Thus it would cover 8° 30' on the first day of the new Moon, 8° 30* plus 30* on the second, etc. ..."

It is unnecessary to formulate all the criticisms against the tendencies to interpret documents dealing with this progression, as first attempts at construction of ephemerides: a people who succeeded in dividing the Lunar disc in two hundred forty parts would observe that the Moon never advances with the speed of 8° a day. This progression is that of the twenty-eight Houses which could be represented by the following table:

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