Arabian Manazil Reinterpreted

Exploring Mystical Links to the Arabian Lunar Mansions

I started to read the Mystical Astrology by a 17th century Sufi sage named Ibn Arabi and other books to find out how the lunar mansions correspond with the enlightenment teachings I am working with.  I am just at the beginning stages here, with lots to post.

One of the interesting things in Medieval/Renaissance thinking is the use of Pythagorean numerology to explain how the 28 manazil are a numerological total of the 7 numbers:  1+2+3+4+5+6+7=28. This is another way of expressing that the 28 points represent the totality of the seven chakras.

Numbers and sounds are always linked.  Even to construct a musical instrument, the instrument parts, whatever it is, have to be constructed following a numeric system in order to get the correct pitch and octave or whatever scale is being used.  Vibration works like this.  And this is consistent with the subtle anatomy in that the number of petals on a chakra corresponds to that number of nadis and shows what interconnects with what.

"The Arabic alphabet consists of eighteen shapes that express twenty-eight phonetic sounds with the help of diacritical marks," (source).  In my research I ran across something that said that the Chinese, Arabian and Indian lunar mansions only agree with 18 component stars and the rest are all different (which I put down to astrology).  "...these lunar asterisms in the main agree as to their component stars, — eighteen are coincident..." (source).  Jyestha is the 18th nakshatra if we count from Ashwini in the modern 27-nakshatra system, and hence another reason for calling it "the eldest" (although in my view Jyestha being at the top of the neck at GV16 makes it "eldest").

Perhaps a study of calligraphy and pictograms might shed light on the symbolic meaning of the basic 18 shapes and what they might have to do with the 18 component stars that these cultures agree on.  And then one might explore the Mayan ones...and those of other ancient cultures...

This is all very interesting but here I am focusing on the 28 sounds related to the nakshatras.  Could these be Arabian counterparts to the bij mantras that Achala Sylwia Mihajlović discovered in her research?  (See article.)

It is no surprise to me that the Arabian alphabet has 28 letters, and that Ibn Arabi connects them to the lunar mansions, manazil - but he changes the order.  They are not in alphabetical order.  So this is really interesting!

Based on my research so far into the meanings of the manazil, I am making the following links:

GV28 ش - shīn (13th Arabian alphabet letter, 10th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV27  ج - jīm (5th Arabian alphabet letter, 9th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV26  ك - kāf (22nd Arabian alphabet letter, 8th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV25  ق - qāf (21st Arabian alphabet letter, 7th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV24  خ - khā’ (7th Arabian alphabet letter, 6th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV23  غ - ghayn (19th Arabian alphabet letter, 5th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV22 ح - ḥā’ (6th Arabian alphabet letter, 4th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV21 ع - ‘ayn (18th Arabian alphabet letter, 3rd manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV20 هـ - hā’ (27th Arabian alphabet letter, 2nd manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV19 ا - alif (‎1st Arabian alphabet letter, 1st manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV18 و - wāw (26th Arabian alphabet letter, 28th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV17 م - mīm (24th Arabian alphabet letter, 27th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV16 ب - bā’ (2nd Arabian alphabet letter, 26th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV15 ف - fā’ (20th Arabian alphabet letter, 25th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV14 ذ - dhāl (9th Arabian alphabet letter, 24th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV13 ث - thā’ (4th Arabian alphabet letter, 23rd manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV12 ظ - ẓā’ (17th Arabian alphabet letter, 22nd manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV11 ص - ṣād (14th Arabian alphabet letter, 21st manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV10  س - sīn (12th Arabian alphabet letter, 20th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV9 ز - zayn (11th Arabian alphabet letter, 19th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV8 ت - tā’ (3rd Arabian alphabet letter, 18th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV7 د - dāl (8th Arabian alphabet letter, 17th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV6 ط - ṭā’ (16th Arabian alphabet letter, 16th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV5 ر - rā’ (10th Arabian alphabet letter, 15th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV4 ن - nūn (25th Arabian alphabet letter, 14th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV3 ل - lām (23rd Arabian alphabet letter, 13th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV2 ض - ḍād (15th Arabian alphabet letter, 12th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)
GV1 ي - yā’ (28th Arabian alphabet letter, 11th manazil according to Ibn Arabi)

Note that the first manazil is GV19, Uttarashadha, but that GV20 is the manazil for Universal Soul.  It is also interesting that GV1 is the 28th letter of the Arabian alphabet!  There are Divine names of God for each of these and the corresponding energies...all to be explored....

A lot of this Christopher Warnock has looked at through the lens of Renaissance magic as well as his studies into Sufism and Zen and other things in his book on the Arabian Lunar Mansions.  The Arabs brought a lot of this ancient knowledge from all over Asia, the Middle East and it got mixed up with the ancient Greek and Roman knowledge and condensed into an astrology-based book of magick called the Picatrix which itself was based on hundreds of sources and was used in Europe along with the Tropical Zodiac.  One has to go through these things like picking through piles of dirt-encrusted broken shards with tweezers to find the gold hidden in it.  The ground of commonality is in the advanced knowledge of meditation and the enlightenment teachings - hidden by layers and layers and layers of confusion.  Every culture has preserved it and every culture has distorted it.  But it is there.  The Truth is everywhere.  This is like the mystic as archeologist.

The number 9 & the أبجد Abjad numerals

The number 9 has a special relationship to the nakshatras as I have written about separately (see my post Secrets of the Vimshottari Mahadasha Sequence) - in terms of the pada chart of the Navamsa, the 9 planets, and their mahadashas, the 9 waves or underworlds of the Maya (and the perhaps the 9 "hells" in Dante's Purgatorio), the 9 stages to enlightenment in Buddhism...  I am still not at this writing 100% certain what they mean exactly but I am not surprized that this relationship of the 28 to 9 occurs in the Manazil as well.  I believe it is found in the system in which letters of the alphabet are correlated with numerals called أبجد  Abhjad.

"The Abjad numerals are a decimal numeral system in which the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet are assigned numerical values," (Wikipedia).

(Wikipedia June 4/17 link)

This shows up simply as a mathematical progression based on 9:

nine ones:
ط=9 ح=8 ز=7 و=6 ه=5 د=4 ج=3 ب=2 أ=1

nine tens:
ص=90 ف=80 ع=70 س=60 ن=50 م=40 ل=30 ك=20 ي=10

nine hundreds:
ظ=900 ض=800 ذ=700 خ=600 ث=500 ت=400 ش=300 ر=200 ق=100

a single 1,000:

If I may speculate that these represent all the powers of all the chakras (represented by letters and numbers as subtle-invisible-elemental"vibrations") divided into four states of consciousness:  gross-physical, mental-astral, mental-causal, and the turyia state is then logically represented by the 1,000 petalled sahasrara chakra.

The alphabetical order, which shows the mathematical precision based on 3 sets of 9 plus a perfect 1000 is not the order of letters assigned to the lunar mansions by the sufi mystic Ibn Arabi.  So that adds a conundrum, and a layer of complexity to this.  I suspect that there is one system based on sounds-numbers-elements (that relates to the nadis) and another system based on chakra qualities, in other words a system for the ENERGY and a system for the CONSCIOUSNESS.

[to be continued]


Below is a beautiful video complete with images of the Arabian manazil put together by researcher Christopher Warnock, a "Renaissance astrological magician" who has written books on the subject (see his website):

Lataif-e-sitta (Persian: لطائف سته‎‎)

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