The Book of the Moon
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Magic. The Occult, Astrology, Alchemy, Prophecy, Fortune Telling, Spells and Superstition

The Moon plays a large and complex part in magic and the occult. This chapter provides a comprehensive history of the moon's importance in the worlds of astrology, alchemy, prophecy and superstition.

A Brief History of the Moon and Astrology

The Moon's place in the astrological world starts in about 4000 BC with the Sumerians who worshipped the god of the Sun (Utu), Venus (Inanna) and the Moon (Nanna). Their rulers came from the priest who communicated with these gods. A special sort of priest emerged called Banu Priests who could read the signs of the sky. These priests were predicting natural phenomena, usually an eclipse of the moon.

In the 4th Century BC, Ptolemy, an Egyptian astronomer, mathematician and geographer argued that the Earth was at the centre of the universe. An idea that was accepted and which held sway for the next 1400 years. Ptolemy also argued that Astronomy and Astrology were complementary - in the third book of his work the Tetrabiblos he argues that character is formed at the moment of conception and this character is influenced by the movement of the planets, the father's influence will be governed by the Sun and Saturn, and the Mother's by Venus and the Moon. The seeds of modern astronomy are contained in Ptolemy.

The Moon in Modern Western Astrology

In modern western astrology the Moon is seen as a female influence defining childhood, mother roots and learned responses. The position of the Moon relative to the other signs is seen as being of great importance. Everybody has a sun sign and a moon sign. These express where the sun or the moon was in the zodiac at the time of birth. The sun stays in each house of the zodiac for 30 days; the moon passes through every sign in a month. The sun determines personality, the moon determines emotions. The sun sign is a clue to how you will be perceived in the world. The moon sign is a clue to the voice of the inner person. The moon sign is about hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities and intuitions.

The Moon in Indian Astrology

In Indian Astrology the Moon is known as Chandra. Chandra represents both mind and body and is the most important astral power. Professions related to Chandra are associated with shipping, water products, pearls corals agriculture and service under a woman.

The chapter includes charts detailing the changing influence of the moon as it passes through the night sky.

The Moon in Alchemy and Magic

In astrology the Moon, whether male or female is seen as having great power. Astrologers spend part of their time predicting what the effects of that power will be human and terrestrial activity. Astrologers encourage people to observe the power of the planets to do things at certain times when the stars are propitious. Inevitably this leads to speculation as to whether the same power can be harnessed. At this point astrology tips over into Magic.

The moon is an essential element in the most important text relating to alchemy. That text is known as the Emerald Tablet:
The Emerald Tablet
The Emerald Tablet drawn by Heinrich Khunrath, 1606
The Emerald Tablet has several other names: the Smaragdine Tablet, the Tabula Smaragdine and the Secret of Hermes. It is an ancient text said to have been produced by the Egyptian moon god Thoth, who is also referred to as Hermes Trismegistus. The short and highly cryptic piece of writing claims to describe the secrets of the primordial substance and how it can be harnessed. The tablet's meaning is very obscure. It seems to state that all things come from some primal source of which the sun is the father and the moon is the mother:

'Its father is the Sun, its mother the Moon, the wind carried it in its belly and its nurse is the earth.'
Woodcut of a German witch
16th Century woodcut of a German witch
The chapter describes lunar magic, both white and black. It contains examples of lunar spells and describes how to make magical instruments such as a lunar mirror - essential tool for the lunar magician. It also describes the function of the moon in tarot and has lists of lunar superstitions and festivals.

A Lunar Spell for Leaving Someone

Cast a circle casting it counter clockwise using wand knife and salt. Face north and cast in a waning moon or in the dark phase on a Saturday or a Sunday. Recite:

For you only goodness as now we part
Through thick and thin a new life to start
We each must choose a separate way
Go single forth this very day.
The Moon - Visconti
The Moon - Visconti, Sforza Tarot, 1575
Accademia Carrara, Italy
Lunar Festivals and Holidays
Name Description Origin
Ancestor Moon New Moon in the tenth month of the Chinese year. A festival for honouring the dead. Officiated by the eldest male. China
Anthesterion Time of the full Moon
closest to Spring Equinox.
A fertility festival.
Artemis A fertility rite honouring Artemis, the goddess of Fertility. Greece
Baba Yaga Honouring the Crone Baba Yaga known for wisdom and healing skills. Russia
This chapter will help the reader to arrive at an understanding of the Moon's astrological and magical powers both in modern times and in history.
Book Contents
1. Astronauts, cosmonauts and lunar exploration

2. Astronomers and mapping

3. Facts and figures

4. Gardening and the weather

5. Gods and myths

6. Magic, the occult, astrology, alchemy, prophecy, fortune telling, spells and superstition

7. Medicine, madness, werewolves and science

8. Miscellany. Fascinating facts about the moon in our life and culture
Click below to order your copy of The Book of the Moon. The book was released on the 7th of May 2009 in the UK and on the 23rd of June in the US:
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