Working with the Angels of the Mansions of the Moon:
Having recently completed my studies of the Angels of the hours according to the Hygromanteia, I am now moving on to the angels of the mansions of the Moon and will be doing this hopefully for the next couple of months. The Mansions of the Moon are usually given as 28 or 27, spaced around the zodiac the Moon travels. Each of the mansions have virtue, whether it is for good or for bad and these virtues pass on through the Moon when it is in those mansions. They are recorded in a few places, most well known by Agrippa and Barret and earlier in Arabic texts. The angels are not always given with them however there are certainly angels given in places for each of the mansions historically. I have summoned these before and they are generally quiet and good spirits of small size.
Of course, as with most ceremonial magic there are problems when you try to make sense of the system and practice the theory. There are numerous systems for the mansions of the moon, from 27 mansions, to star lords, to 28 mansions, from sidereal, to tropical, to constellation and these are just the ones I am willing to entertain. I could write an entire book just covering all of the ways they have been worked out in the past. In the Celestial Intelligencer which is Barret's copy of Agrippa, it's clear they are positioned by virtue of the stars they cover. That is to say that they start at Alnath (ill cover this in a moment) and the first mansion is called Alnath with its virtue. However the method it gives disagrees with its opening statement that Abraham states the mansions are equally divided across the sky. Instead as it goes on with how to work out where the mansions are, it deals not with Tropical or Sidereal zodiac degrees, but from positions of stars that begin and end a mansion that are not equal apart. Apparently it would seem, the person who put this together disagreed with Abraham. :D
There is also some confusion in names of stars for example the first mansion begins in Aries with the star Alnath which is the horns of Aries and means "to butt with" however that star name is actually given to a star in Taurus horns. This would then work backwards to Aldabaran (which begins the fourth) then forward again. It's likely then it actually just means the horn of Aries and we should ignore the name given for its star, as it is either wrong, or has been changed over time. Nonetheless, when the method described is based on star names it is not helpful when the star names are inaccurate by todays astromomy.
Now the problem with sidereal of course is that firstly there is no such original system. The constellations aren't equal and neither were divided equally, as that was a purely tropical thing, so if you correct for constellation drift you cant include equal signs as sidereal does. it is a fictional system created in the East which lost contact with how the original worked in the first place. Essentially, Aries sidereal has almost 10' before the constellation begins as its a small constellation and doesn't fit in to their neat 30' division.
Tropical could make sense as the first star was around the beginning of the summer solstice. For the moon mansions start to be based around a sun position is likely, as the 28 mansions comes from the time span of the lunar month, for the moon to complete one circle around the zodiac and back to the Sun (more of less).
The relevance of stars and it being star influenced is also a possibility, tho they may simply have been used as visual dividers at the time to aid with finding where they were. As stars have drifted they may no longer be correct.
Essentially the three main systems of tropical 28, sidereal 28 and sidereal 27 give you three mansions any one mansion position could be. However, the sidereal systems which do not focus on stars are dismissible.
So where do the Mansions of the Moon really begin. Well as Sidereal must be incorrect, we are down to star divisions or tropical. The star given as Alnath which Barret/Agrippa list as beginning, will be referring to the star we now call Al Sharatan or Beta Ari. This can be concluded by the star being one of the horns of Aries, and according to Agrippa from where Barret gets his information, it is stated that out of the horns Al Sharatan is the first. Thus the beginning of the Moon Mansions given by star divisions would definitely be Al Sharatan as the start is given as the first horn or Aries just under a different name. That is placed then at 4.08' Taurus (tropical zodiac) or 10.06' Aries sidereal. Now if you were to simply set it to sidereal of course that would almost be the start of the second mansion, but that's irrelevant anyway as can be dismissed off the bat. With Tropical astrology its much simpler. The first mansion simply begins at the star closest to 1' Aries tropical which is probably Kerb or Deneb Kaitos but essentially about 2' Aries.
So take your pick when they begin. It depends on your system, its either 2'Aries (tropical) or 5' Taurus (also tropical). As we dont know whether it was originally tropical or stellar we cant tell which one, it simply becomes a matter of trial and error, but we can at least conclude it isn't based at all on the start of the sidereal zodiac. Either way, it is better to then equally divide them by 12.51.26 degrees. 28 mansions is also much more likely than 27 and 27 does not include angels anyway so another system worth dropping.
Another version of sidereal is also possible, and a system I used to follow 2009-2010. It is the same as sidereal however does not make the signs equal dealing instead with the actual constellations. this is essentially an astronomical system originally used by the Babylonians. I used this version for a while but found it faulty so dropped it. Nonetheless it would still just follow the stellar (star based) position given above at 5' Taurus tropical so gives us no more options.
For the first manifestation of these spirits see previous posts about Adriel. Thank you for reading.
For the mansions names and their virtues please follow this link to Sacredtexts Celestial Intelligencer. http://www.sacred-texts.com/grim/magus/ma155.htm