Often called lunar mansion,[a] a lunar station or lunar house is a segment of the ecliptic through which the Moon passes in its orbit around the Earth. The concept was used by several ancient cultures as part of their calendrical system.

Stations in different cultures

In general, though not always, the zodiac is divided into 27 or 28 segments relative to the vernal equinox point or the fixed stars – one for each day of the lunar month. (A sidereal month lasts about 27+1/3 days.) The Moon's position is charted with respect to those fixed segments. Since the Moon's position at any given stage will vary according to Earth's position in its own orbit, lunar stations are an effective system for keeping track of the passage of seasons.

Various cultures have used sets of lunar stations astrologically; for example, the Jyotisha astrological nakshatras of Hindu culture, the Arabic manzils (manazil al-qamar), the Twenty-Eight Mansions of Chinese astronomy, and the 36 decans of Egyptian astronomy. Western astrology does not use stations, but each zodiac sign covers two or three. The Chinese system groups houses into four groups related to the seasons.

The concept of lunar stations is thought to originate in Babylonian astronomy.[1][2][3] Tester (1987)[4] explains that they appear in Hellenistic astrology in the 2nd-century list of fixed stars in the Katarchai by Maximus[b], the Arabic lists by Alchandri and Ibn Abī l-Rijāl, and a similar Coptic list with Greek names.

Tester believes that though they were known in the Vedic period of India, all lists "seem to betray" transmission through Greek sources. Though pointing out that the Babylonians had well established lunar groupings by the 6th century BC, he also notes that the 28 station "scheme was derived via Egyptian magic by the linking of the lists of lucky and unlucky days of the lunar month with the hemerologies and with the zodiac."[4]

Chinese 宿 xiù

Main article: Twenty-Eight Mansions

The 28 Lunar Mansions, or more precisely lodgings (Chinese: 二十宿; pinyin: èrshí bā xiù) are the Chinese and East Asian form of the lunar stations. They can be considered as the equivalent to the Western zodiac, although the 28 stations reflect the movement of the Moon through a sidereal month rather than the Sun in a tropical year; (cf. Solar term). In their final form, they embodied the astral forms of the Four Symbols: two real and two legendary animals important in traditional Chinese culture, such as feng shui.

Indian nakshatra

Main article: Nakshatra

The nakshatras (or more precisely nákṣatra, lit. "stars") are the Indian form of lunar stations. They usually number 27 but sometimes 28 and their names are related to the most prominent constellations in each sector. According to the modern tradition they start from a point on the ecliptic precisely opposite the star Spica (Sanskrit: Chitrā) and develop eastwards but the oldest traditional method was to use the Vernal Equinox point as the starting point of Ashvini Nakshatra. In classical Hindu mythology, the creation of the nakshatras is attributed to Daksha. They were wives of Chandra, the moon god. The nakshatras of traditional bhartiya astronomy are based on a list of 28 asterisms found in the Atharvaveda (AVŚ 19.7) and also in the Shatapatha Brahmana. The first astronomical text that lists them is the Vedanga Jyotisha. The stations are important parts of Indian astrology.

Arabic manzil

In the traditional Arabic astrological system,[5] the new moon was seen to move through 28 distinct manāzil (singular: manzil "house") during the normal solar year, each manzil lasting, therefore, for about 13 days. One or more manazil were then grouped into a nawaa (plural anwaa) which were tied to a given weather pattern. In other words, the yearly pattern was divided in the following manner:[6] A year was divided into anwaa, each of which was made up of one more manazil, which were associated with a dominant star or constellation. These stars and constellations were sometimes, but not always, connected in some way to constellations in the Zodiac. Moreover, as the anwaa repeat on a regular, solar cycle, they can be correlated to fixed points on the Gregorian calendar.

The following table is a breakdown of the anwaa and their position on the Gregorian calendar.

Manzil Associated Nawaa Significant Stars/Constellations Zodiac Constellations Begins on
Sharaṭān Al Thurayyā Sheratan in Aries -- 17 May
Pleione Al Thurayyā Pleione in the Pleiades -- 31 May
Al-Buṭayn Al Thurayyā Albatain in the Pleiades -- 13 June
Al-Tuwaibe' Al Tuwaibe' Aldebaran -- 26 June
Al-Haq‘ah Al Jawzaa/Gemini Haq‘ah in Orion Gemini 9 July
Al-Han‘ah Al Jawzaa/Gemini Alhena in Gemini Gemini 22 July
Murzim Murzim Canis Major -- 4 August
An Nathra Kulaibain An Nathra -- 17 August
Alterf Suhail Alterf in Leo Leo 30 August
Dschuba Suhail Dschuba Scorpio 12 September
Azzubra Suhail 25 September
Assarfa Suhail 8 October
Auva Al Wasm Auva Virgo 21 October
Simak Al Wasm Spica -- 3 November
Syrma Al Wasm -- 16 November
Az Zubana Al Wasm Acuben Cancer 29 November
Akleel "The Crown" Murabaania Corona Borealis -- 12 December
Qalb al Akraab Murabaania Antares Scorpio 25 December
Shaula Murabaania Shaula Scorpio 3 January
Al Naam Ash Shabt Ascella and Nunki Sagittarius 16 January
Al Baldaah Ash Shabt Pi Saggitari Sagittarius 29 January
Saad Al Thabib The Three Saads Beta Capricorni Capricornus 11 February
Saad Balaa The Three Saads Saad Balaa -- 26 February
Saad Al Saud The Three Saads Saadalsud Aquarius 11 March
Saad Al Akhbia Hameemain Sadachbia -- 24 March
Almuqaddam Hameemain Almuqaddam -- 6 April
Al Muakhar Al Tharaeen Pollux Gemini and Aquarius (in the Arab system) 19 April
Alrescha Al Tharaeen Alrescha Gemini and Aquarius (in the Arab system) 2 May

The dates above are approximate; notice that there are 2 days missing from a solar year in the table above.

Lunar station - [Manazilu ʾl-Qamar منازل القمر] according to Islamic astronomical system (Arab sources)
Station Period
(approx. by Arab sources)
Starting degree
of Sidereal Zodiac sign
Constellation ʿAmal عمل
(lit. "doer"/ "doer of the deed")
(The Angel ruling the Manazil and ḥurūf)
Lunar station
[Manazilu ʾl-Qamar منازل القمر]
Arabic alphabet [ḥurūf حروف] - Abjadī Order
Transliteration Letter Name Letter Value
(Abjad numerals)
(Isolated Form)
1st 5 April 0° 0' Aries

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْحَمَل, romanizedburjuʾl-Ḥamal



ʾAsh-Sharaṭayn / ʾAn-Naṭḥ

ﭐلْشَّرَطَيْن \ ﭐلْنّطح

ā / ’ (also ʾ ) alif 1 أ
2nd 18 April 12° 51' Jibrāʾīl




b bāʾ 2 ب
3rd 1 May 25° 43' Kalkāʾīl*




j (also ǧ, g) jīm 3 ج
4th 14 May 8° 34' Taurus

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْثُّور, romanizedburjuʾl-th-Thūr





d dāl 4 د
5th 27 May 21° 26' Dūryāʾīl*




h hāʾ 5 ه
6th 9 June 4° 17' Gemini

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْجَوْزَاء, romanizedburju ʾl-Jawzā





w / ū wāw 6 و
7th 22 June 17° 9' Sharfāʾīl*




z zayn / zāy 7 ز
8th 5 July 0° 0' Cancer

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْسَّرْطَان, romanizedburju ʾs-Sartan





ḥāʾ 8 ح
9th 18 July 12° 51' ʾIsmāʿīl*


ʾAṭ-Ṭarf / ʾAṭ-Ṭarfah

ﭐلْطَّرْف \ ﭐلْطَّرْفَة

ṭāʾ 9 ط
10th 31 July 25° 43' Kīṭāʾīl*




y , ī / ā , yāʾ / alif maqṣūrah 10 ي \ ى
11th 14 Aug 8° 34' Leo

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْأَسَد, romanizedburju ʾl-Asad بُرْجُ ﭐلْأَسَد



ʾAz-Zubrah / ʾAl-Kharātān

ﭐلْزُّبْرَة \ ﭐلْخرَاتَان

k kāf 20 ك
12th 27 Aug 21° 26' Ṭāṭāʾīl*




l lām 30 ل
13th 9 September 4° 17' Virgo

Arabic: بُرْجُ العَذْراء, romanizedburju aleadhra'





m mīm 40 م
14th 22 September 17° 9' Ḥūlāʾīl*


ʾAs-Simāk / ʾAs-Simāku ʾl-Aʿzil

ﭐلْسِّمَاك \ ﭐلْسِّمَاكُ ﭐلأَعْزِل

n nūn 50 ن
15th 5 October 0° 0' Libra

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْمِيزَان, romanizedburju ʾl-Mīzān





s sīn 60 س
16th 18 October 12° 51' Lūmāʾīl*




‘ (also ʿ ) ayn 70 ع
17th 31 October 25° 43' Sarhamākīl*


ʾAl-Iklīl / ʾAl-Iklīlu ʾl-Jab'hah

ﭐلْإِكْلِيل \ ﭐلْإِكْلِيلُ ﭐلْجَبْهَة

f 80 ف
18th 13 November 8° 34' Scorpio

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْعَقْرَب, romanizedburju ʾl-ʿAqrab

ʾAhjamāʾīl* / ʾUhjamāʾīl*




ṣād 90 ص
19th 26 November 21° 26' ʿAṭrāʾīl* / ʿUṭrāʾīl*




q qāf 100 ق
20th 9 December 4° 17' Sagittarius Burju ʾl-Qaws

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْقَوْس, romanizedburju ʿl-Qaws

ʾ'Amwākīl* / ʾUmwākīl*




r rāʾ 200 ر
21st 22 December 17° 9' Hamrāʾīl*




sh (also š) shīn 300 ش
22nd 4 January 0° 0' Capricorn

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْجِدِّي, romanizedburju ʾl-Jiddỳ



Saʿdu ʾdh-Dhābiḥ / ʾAdh-Dhābiḥ

سَعْدُ ﭐلْذَّابِح \ ﭐلْذَّابِح

t tāʾ 400 ت
23rd 17 January 12° 51' Mīkāʾīl


Saʿdu ʾl-Bulʿa / ʾAl-Bulʿa

سَعْدُ ﭐلْبُلْعَ \ ﭐلْبُلْعَ

th (also ) thāʾ 500 ث
24th 30 January 25° 43' Mahkāʾīl*


Saʿdu ʾs-Suʿud / ʾAs-Suʿud

سَعْدُ ﭐلْسُّعُود \ ﭐلْسُّعُود

kh (also ḫ, ḵ) khāʾ 600 خ
25th 12 February 8° 34' Aquarius

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْدَّلُو, romanizedburju ʾd-Dalū

ʾAhrāfīl* / ʾUhrāfīl*


Saʿdu ʾl-ʾAkhbiyyah / ʾAl-ʾAkhbiyyah

سَعْدُ ﭐلْأَخْبِيَّه \ ﭐلْأَخْبِيَّه

dh (also ) dhāl 700 ذ
26th 25 February 21° 26' ʿAṭkāʾīl* / ʿUṭkāʾīl*


Farghu ʾd-Dalū ʾl-Muqdim / ʾAl-Muqdim

فَرْغُ ﭐلْدَّلُو ﭐلْمُقْدِم \ ﭐلْمُقْدِم

ḍād 800 ض
27th 10 March 4° 17' Pisces

Arabic: بُرْجُ ﭐلْحُوت, romanizedburju ʾl-Ḥūt



Farghu ʾd-Dalū ʾl-Muʾkhar / ʾAl-Muʾkhar

فَرْغُ ﭐلْدَّلُو ﭐلْمُؤْخَر \ ﭐلْمُؤْخَر

ẓāʾ 900 ظ
28th 23 March 17° 9' Lūkhāʾīl*


ʾAr-Rashāʾ / Buṭnu ʾl-Ḥūt

ﭐلْرَّشَاء \ بَطْنُ ﭐلْحُوت

gh (also ġ, ḡ) ghayn 1000 غ

Also, the following letters has no alphabetical value in numerology of the Abjad system known as "Ilm ul-ʾAdad".

Arabic alphabet [ḥurūf حروف] - Abjadī Order
Transliteration Letter Name Letter Name in

Arabic script

Letter Value

(Abjad numerals)


(Isolated Form)

’ (also ʾ / ʔ) hamzah همزة 0 ء
ah or at / ah / a tāʼ marbūṭah تاء مربوطة 0 ة

Notes of the table above in accordance to strict traditional Arab Islamic astronomy and theology:

(1) the Arabic alphabet resonates the alphabetical value in numerology of the Abjad system known as "Ilm ul-ʾAdad".

(2) the ʿAmal (Islamic view of angels, equivalent to rank of the "Watcher" or "Guardian Angel") is the Angel that rules the corresponding Arabic alphabet (rhythm of the alphabet in numerology of the Abjad system), manazilu-l-qamar (lunar houses) and constellations (i.e. zodiac signs). Generally speaking, the four Archangels in Islam ace Jibrāʼīl, Mīkāʼīl, ʼIsrāfīl and Malaku-l-Maut (ʿAzrāʼīl).

(3) the alphabetical orders follows the sequence of the original abjadī order (أَبْجَدِي), used for lettering, derives from the order of the Phoenician alphabet, and is therefore similar to the order of other Phoenician-derived alphabets, such as the Hebrew alphabet. In this order, letters are also used as numbers, Abjad numerals, and possess the same alphanumeric code/cipher as Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy.

(4) those angel name with an "asterisk" needs source citation upon Arabic transliteration but the given is the closest pronunciation based upon uttering the consonants.

A few of the numerical values are different in the alternative Abjad order. For four Persian letters these values are used:[citation needed]

Transliteration Letter Name Letter Name in Persian Letter Value Letter
(Isolation Form)
p pe [Voiceless bilabial stop p] په 2 پ
č / ch če / che [Voiceless palato-alveolar affricate t͡ʃ] چه 3 چ
ž / zh že / zhe [Voiced palato-alveolar sibilant ʒ] ژه 7 ژ
g gāf [Voiced velar stop ɡ] گاف 20 گ

See also


  1. ^ The use of the English word “mansion”, though customary, is an overly literal translation of the Latin mansio, which means simply a stopover, a way station, even roadside lodging, but without any grandiose connotation.
  2. ^ This Maximus is the poet and astrologer; not to be confounded with Maximus of Tyre.


  1. ^ Weinstock, S. (1949). "Lunar mansions and early calendars". Journal of Hellenic Studies. LXIX: cf;
    also CCAG IX.1 138 ff.[full citation needed]
  2. ^ Yampolsky, Philip (1950). "The origin of the twenty-eight lunar mansions". Osiris. IX: 62–83. doi:10.1086/368524. S2CID 144119166.
  3. ^ Svenberg, I.E. (1963). "Lunaria et zodiologia latina". Studia Graeca et Latina Gothoburgensia. Goteburg.
  4. ^ a b Tester, Jim (1987). A History of Western Astrology. Boydell and Brewer. p. 82.
  5. ^ O'Neil, William Matthew (1976). Time and the Calendars. Manchester University Press. p. 53. ISBN 0-7190-0642-2.
  6. ^ Hassan, Izzat (2006). Al Azmana wa al Anwaa. Morocco: Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Printing Press. ISBN 9954-0-5074-4.