Luna / Moon by William Lilly ancient Astrology

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The Moon is Earth’s only permanent natural satellite. It is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System, and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits (its primary). It is the second-densest satellite among those whose densities are known (after Jupiter’s satellite Io).

The Moon is thought to have formed about 4.5 billion years ago, not long after Earth. There are several hypotheses for its origin; the most widely accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a Mars-sized body called Theia.[1]

The Moon is in synchronous rotation with Earth, always showing the same face, with its near side marked by dark volcanic maria that fill the spaces between the bright ancient crustal highlands and the prominent impact craters. It is the second-brightest regularly visible celestial object in Earth’s sky, after the Sun, as measured by illuminance on Earth’s surface. Its surface is actually dark, although compared to the night sky it appears very bright, with a reflectance just slightly higher than that of worn asphalt. Its prominence in the sky and its regular cycle of phases have made the Moon an important cultural influence since ancient times on language, calendars, art, mythology, and apparently, the menstrual cycles of the female of the human species.

The Moon’s gravitational influence produces the ocean tides, body tides, and the slight lengthening of the day. The Moon’s current orbital distance is about thirty times the diameter of Earth, with its apparent size in the sky almost the same as that of the Sun, resulting in the Moon covering the Sun nearly precisely in total solar eclipse. This matching of apparent visual size will not continue in the far future. The Moon’s linear distance from Earth is currently increasing at a rate of 3.82 ± 0.07 centimetres (1.504 ± 0.028 in) per year, but this rate is not constant.


The Moon is the symbol of imagination, illusion, and dreams. She has no light of her own, but borrows her light from the Sun. Without the light of the sun the moon would be cold and dark; without the power of the Will the products of the Imagination are without life. Thoughts become powerful only when they are infused by the will; they become luminous only when they are illuminated by love; they can be wise only if permeated by wisdom. Under the influence of the moon are said to be especially dreamers and mediums, persons who live a great deal in the realm of imgination and fancy, ladies of rank, pleasure seekers and travellers; it is said to govern things in which there is little firmness and stability, especially water and ships. In the mineral kingdom the Moon is represented by silver, in the spiritual kingsom by Luna, the queen of the night.


In ancient Roman religion and myth, Luna is the divine embodiment of the Moon (Latin luna; cf. English “lunar”). She is often presented as the female complement of the Sun (Sol) conceived of as a god. Luna is also sometimes represented as an aspect of the Roman triple goddess (diva triformis ), along with Proserpina and Hecate. Luna is not always a distinct goddess, but sometimes rather an epithet that specializes a goddess, since both Diana and Juno are identified as moon goddesses.

In Roman art, Luna’s attributes are the crescent moon plus the two-yoke chariot (biga ). In the Carmen Saeculare, performed in 17 BC, Horace invokes her as the “two-horned queen of the stars” (siderum regina bicornis ), bidding her to listen to the girls singing as Apollo listens to the boys.

Varro categorized Luna and Sol among the visible gods, as distinguished from invisible gods such as Neptune, and deified mortals such as Hercules. She was one of the deities Macrobius proposed as the secret tutelary of Rome. In Imperial cult, Sol and Luna can represent the extent of Roman rule over the world, with the aim of guaranteeing peace.

Luna’s Greek counterpart was Selene. In Roman art and literature, myths of Selene are adapted under the name of Luna. The myth of Endymion, for instance, was a popular subject for Roman wall painting.

In Greek mythology, Selene is the goddess of the moon. She is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister of the sun-god Helios, and Eos, goddess of the dawn. She drives her moon chariot across the heavens. Several lovers are attributed to her in various myths, including Zeus, Pan, and the mortal Endymion. In classical times, Selene was often identified with Artemis, much as her brother, Helios, was identified with Apollo. Both Selene and Artemis were also associated with Hecate, and all three were regarded as lunar goddesses, although only Selene was regarded as the personification of the moon itself. Her Roman equivalent is Luna.




HEAR, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light,
Bull-horned and wandering through the gloom of Night.[3]
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide
Night’s torch extending, through the heavens you ride:
Female and Male with borrowed rays you shine,[4]
And now full-orbed, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon,
Whose amber orb makes Night’s reflected noon:
Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night,
All-seeing power bedecked with starry light.
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife,
In peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend,
Who givest to Nature’s works their destined end.[5]
Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail!
Decked with a graceful robe and shining veil;
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright,
Come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,
Shine on these sacred rites with prosperous rays,
And pleased accept thy suppliant’s mystic praise.



Hear me, Jove’s daughter, celebrated queen,
Bacchian and Titan, of a noble mien:
In darts rejoicing and on all to shine,
Torch-bearing Goddess, Dictynna divine;
Over births presiding, and thyself a maid,[6]
To labour-pangs imparting ready aid:
Dissolver of the zone and wrinkled care,
Fierce huntress, glorying in the Sylvan war:
Swift in the course, in dreadful arrows skilled,
Wandering by night, rejoicing in the field:
Of manly form, erect, of bounteous mind,
Illustrious dæmon, nurse of human kind:
Immortal, earthly, bane of monsters fell,
’Tis thine; blest maid, on woody hills to dwell:
Foe of the stag, whom woods and dogs delight,
In endless youth who flourish fair and bright.
O, universal queen, august, divine,
A various form, Cydonian power, is thine:
Dread guardian Goddess, with benignant mind
Auspicious, come to mystic rites inclined
Give earth a store of beauteous fruits to bear,
Send gentle Peace, and Health with lovely hair,
And to the mountains drive Disease and Care.


CHAPTER XIIII Of the MOON, her generall and particular Significations.



These pentacles are usually made of the metal the most suitable to the nature of the planet; and then there is no occasion to observe the rule of particular colours.
Saturn ruleth over lead;
Jupiter over tin;
Mars over iron;
the Sun over gold;
Venus over copper;
Mercury over the mixture of metals;
and the Moon over silver.

They may also be made with exorcised virgin paper writing thereon with the colours adopted for each planet, referring to the rules already laid down in the proper chapters, and according to the planet with which the pentacle is in sympathy.
Wherefore unto Saturn the colour of black is appropriated;
Jupiter ruleth over celestial blue;
Mars over red;
the Sun over gold, or the colour of yellow or citron;
Venus over green;
Mercury over mixed colours;
the Moon over silver, or the colour of argentine earth.


Bk. I Ch. XXIV What things are Lunary or under the power of the Moon

These things are Lunary,

Bk. I Ch. XXXI How Provinces, and Kingdoms are Distributed to Planets

The Moon with Cancer governs Bithivia, Phrygia, Colchica, Numidia, Africa, Carthage and all Carchedonia.

Bk. I Ch. XLIV The Composition of Some Fumes Appropriated to the Planets
Bk. I Ch. XLVII What Places are Suitable to Every Star

To the Moon, wildernesses, woods, rocks, hills, mountains, forests, fountains, waters, rivers, seas, seashores, ships, groves, highways, granaries for corn and such like.

Bk. I Ch. XLIV Of Light, Colours, Candles, and Lamps, and to what Stars, Houses, and Elements severall colours are ascribed

But all white, fair, curious, green, ruddy, betwixt saffron, and purple, resemble Venus, Mercury, and the Moon.

Bk. II Ch. XLIV Of the Images of the Moon

From the operations of the Moon,

Bk. II Ch. XLV Of the Images of the head and Tayle of the Dragon of the Moon
Bk 2 Ch LVIII Of the names of the Celestials, and their rule over this inferiour world, viz. Man.

The names of Celestiall souls are very many, and diverse according to their manifold power and vertue upon these inferior things, from whence they have received divers names, which the ancients in their hymnes and prayer made use of. Concerning which you must observe, that every one of these souls according to Orpheus’s Divinity, is said to have a double vertue; the one placed in knowing, the other in vivifying, and governing its body. Upon this account in the Celestiall spheres, Orpheus cals the former vertue Bacchus, the other a Muse. Hence he is not inebriated by any Bacchus, who hath not first been coupled to his Muse.

in the sphere of the Moon, Bacchus, Lyeus, and the Muse Thalia

Bk 2 Ch LIX Of the seven governers of the world, the Planets, and of their various names serving to Magicall speeches.

Moreover they did call those governors of the world, (as Hermes calls them) Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, by many names, and epithites;

The Moon is called Phebe, Diana, Lucina, Proserpina, Hecate, Menstruous, of a half form, giving light in the night, wandring silent, having two horns, a preserver, a night-walker, horn-bearer, the queen of heaven, the chiefest of the Deities, the first of the heavenly gods and goddesses, the queen of spirits, the mistris [mistress] of all the Elements, whom the stars answer, seasons return, Elements serve; at whose nod lightnings breath forth, seeds bud, plants increase, the initiall parent of fruit, the sister of Phæbus, light, and shining, carrying light from one planet to another, enlightening all powers by its light, restraining the various passings of the Stars, dispensing various lights by the circuits of the Sun, the Lady of great beauty, the mistris of rain and waters, the giver of riches, the nurse of mankind, the governor of all States, kind, mercifull, protecting men by Sea and land, mitigating all tempests of fortune, dispensing with fate, nourishing all things growing on the earth, wandering into divers woods, restraining the rage of Goblins, shutting the openings of the earth, dispensing the light of the Heaven, the wholsome rivers of the Sea, and the deplored silence of the infernals, by its nods; ruling the world, treading hell under her feet; of whose majesty the birds hasting in the Aire are affraid, the wild beasts straggling in the mountains, Serpents lying hid in the ground, fishes swiming in the Sea;

Bk. 4 The forms familiar to the Spirits of the Moon.

They will for the most part appear in a great and full body, soft and phlegmatic, of colour like a black obscure cloud, having a swelling countenance, with eyes red and full of water, a bald head, and teeth like a wilde boar. Their motion is as it were an exceeding great tempest of the Sea. For their signe, there will appear an exceeding great rain about the Circle. And their particular shapes are,

Additional Reading

  1. Which may provide for an explanation of its profound effect upon magic here on Earth, per the law of contagion. See also The Golden Bough 3.3 and Magic and Fetishism I.A.  ↩

  2. TT: The Moon is called in this Hymn both σεληνη and μηνη: the former of which words signifies the Moon in the language of the Gods; and the latter is the appellation given to her by Men, as the following Orphic fragment evinces.
    Μήσαλο δ᾽ ἄλλην Γᾶιαν ἀπείριτον, ἣντε Σελήνη
    ᾽Αθάνατοι κλήζυσιν, ἐπιχθόνιοι δέ τε Μηνην·
    Ἥ πολλ᾽ ὄυρε ἔχει, πολλ᾽ ἄρεα, πολλα μέλαθρα.
    That is, “But he (Jupiter) fabricated another boundless earth, which the immortals call Selene, but Men, Mene. Which has many mountains, many cities, many houses.” Now this difference of names arises, according to the Platonic philosophers, from the difference subsisting between divine and human knowledge. For (say they) as the knowledge of the Gods is different from that of particular souls: so with respect to names some are diverse, exhibiting the whole essence of that which is named; but others are human, which only partially unfolds their signification. But a larger account of this curious particular, is given by Proclus, in Theol. Plat. p. 69. as follows. There are three kinds of names: the first and most proper, and which are truly divine, subsist in the Gods themselves. But the second which are the resemblances of the first, having an intellectual subsistence, must be esteemed of divine condition. And the third kind which emanate from Truth itself, but are formed into words for the purpose of discourse, receiving the last signification of divine concerns, are enunciated by skillful men at one time by a divine afflatus, at another time by energising intellectually, and generating the images of internal spectacles moving in a discursive procession. For as the demiurgic intellect represents about matter the significations of primary forms comprehended in its essence; temporal signatures of things eternal; divisible representatives of things in divisible, and produces as it were shadowy resemblances of true beings: after the same manner I think the science we possess, framing an intellectual action, fabricates by discourse both the resemblances of other things, and of the Gods themselves. So that it fashions by composition, that which in the Gods is void of composition; that which is simple by variety; and that which is united by multitude. And by this formation of names it demonstrates in the last place the images of divine concerns. And as the theurgic art provokes by certain signs, supernal illumination into artificial statutes, and allures the unevnying goodness of the Gods, in the same manner the science of divine concerns, signifies the occult essence of the God by the compositions and divisions of sounds.  ↩

  3. TT: Bull-horned. For the mystical reason of this appellation, see note to the third line, of the Hymn to Protogonus. [… and he informs us that the ancient priests of Ceres, called the Moon who is the queen of generation ταῦρος or a Bull (p. 262.) and p. 265 ὡς καὶ ὁ ταῦρος δημιυργόσ ὣν ὁ Μίθρασ, καὶ γενεσέωσ δεσπότησ. i e. “Mithras as well as the Bull is the demiurgus of the universe, and the lord of generation” …]  ↩

  4. TT: Female and Male. This is not wonderful, since according to the fragment of Ficinus in this Dissertation, all souls and the celestial spheres are endued with a two-fold power, nostic and animating; one of which is male and the other female. And these epithets are perpetually occurring in the Orphic Initiations.  ↩

  5. TT: Who givest to Nature’s works, &c. In the original it is τελεσφορος, i. e. bringing to an end. And Proclus in Theol. Plat. p. 483. informs us that Diana (who is the same with the Moon) is so called, because she finishes or perfects the essential perfection of matter.  ↩

  6. Over births presiding. In the original, λοχεία: and Proclus, in Plat. Theol. p. 403. observes that this epithet is given to Diana by theologians, because she is the inspector of natural progression and generation.  ↩

  7. 0 degrees apart, when with the Sun also known as combust, and in the case of the Moon, is the time of the New Moon.  ↩

  8. 180 degrees apart  ↩

  9. 90 degrees apart  ↩

  10. It always amuses me when someone plans a ritual for the “full moon” choosing, of course, the day which their calendar claims it occures, and performs it that night by which time it is likely to have already been waning for several hours.  ↩

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