Today I am very excited to talk to you about the esoteric and astrological undertones contained in the Sailor Moon manga. Before airing as a hit t.v. series in Cartoon Network's Toonami section, Sailor Moon was a manga series created by the Japanese manga artist Naoko Takeuchi. At that point in time, self-esteem commonly ran low amongst schoolgirls, and Naoko wanted to use her writing and illustration to send messages of empowerment. The subject of astrology and magic was second to the moral teachings, but still clear enough to take up a big part of the series on its own. The manga has just turned 20, and is celebrating its success with a re-launch of the manga, along with pages in color and special art.

What attracted me to this series was that of the astrological features. Each character had their own customized horoscope sign. Each sailor scout embraces the personality of their zodiac sign, and is blessed with magic powers from their planets of origin. At first I had the impression that it was purely astrology, but then other factors of magic showed up on the series. For example, the priestess Rei Hino/Sailor Mars reads tarot once in the series, but most of her psychic abilities are used in visions through meditation with the inclusion of fire. Fire and smoke are used in numerous rituals because of its transmutation qualities. It is appropriate to her sign because of Mars, her leading planet.

Sailor Moon includes divination, clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience, cartomancy, tarot, witchcraft, black magic, herbology, healing stones, shadows, spectres, fairies, unicorns, psychic vampires, telekinesis, magicians, shape shifters, mythological creatures, and several others practices and elements. The series does a great job of presenting these undertones in a serious yet glamorous air, it also portrays them in a modern light. I am happy that she chose to show magic as a powerful tool that can be used for good and evil, with the connotation depending mostly on the intention of the user. Magic and high magic aren't evil by default. Their influence is what makes them serious... and even dangerous.

I loved how magical Naoko Takeuchi made Tokyo feel, since it is my absolute favorite city in the world—although, at times the real Tokyo can feel just as magical as it is portrayed in the manga! Maybe this is influenced by the Japanese tendency to make everything beautiful. Maybe Naoko Takeuchi discovered the secret combination to success at the time she dreamt up the Sailor Moon series.

It is a must-read for female manga + esoteric enthusiasts, or for just about anyone that enjoys some magic in their life!


  1. Whoa, I had no idea! Sailor Moon is stiiillll kind of a guilty pleasure.

  2. Hey Zeolite! Glad to see you.

    You can imagine my surprise when I started reading through it again a couple of months back! ♡♡

  3. I noticed this as well. I mean, all the tools of ceremonial magick & the 4 elements/suits of tarot are present in the manga. The chalice, the pentacle compact, the healing wand, and the sword/athame that Venus has is designed after one in Alistair Crowley's Book 4. Tuxedo Kamen can use the power of telemetry, and his pocket watch bears the 6-ray star. Anyways, just noticed these things while reading the manga's again years later. Sailor Moon was pivotal to a lot of queer and witchy kids growing up, myself included. Neptune and Mars forever <3

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Mikel! The Crowley reference especially shook me a little. I love everything you added to the table!