Warhammer 40K: What is the Astronomican?

The Astronomican is the Emperor’s great beacon. This is impossible without warp travel. But who sees the Astronomical Lighthouse?


that much astronomer A psychic beacon used by Navigators to pilot Imperial starships through the unnavigable chaos of Warp space. The beams created are psychic, so they exist within the psychic universe of the Warp. The mission of the Adeptus Astronomica is to maintain all aspects of the Astronomican.

The Astronomican was originally built on the M30 in preparation for the Great Crusade. The Emperor brought in large numbers of Tech-Priests and mustered Terra’s large population for the staggering task of constructing the Astronomer’s Chamber in the Forbidden Citadel. At the time of construction, the Astronomican was the largest single structure on Terra, but was later surpassed by the Imperial Palace. During the Great Crusade, the Astronomican was powered directly by the Emperor’s own psychic powers. Without the Astronomican’s beacons guiding ships through the warp, the Imperials would not have been able to wage a great crusade.

After the Heresy, the Emperor was enshrined on a golden throne and demanded more psyker sacrifices to keep the Astronomican alive. Today, the Astronomican is powered by 10,000 psykers trained by the Adeptus Astronomica. The Emperor’s omnipotent will constantly directs this energy across some 50,000 light-years of the galaxy. Although the Emperor does not provide the energy of the beacons, only the Emperor has the psychic powers to process and channel such tremendous energy across the galaxy.

The psykers that power the Astronomican are recruited into the organization through the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. They were initiated into Adeptus Astronomica as Acolytes, teaching them how to use their powers, philosophy, meaning of life, and Astronomican knowledge. Some reach mystic status and attain the status of the Chosen Ones. After all, those who are called to serve in the Astronomican’s Chamber are the Chosen Ones. Here they fuel Astronomican beacons with psychic energy. As their powers drain, the Chosen slowly fade away and die. Up to 100 Psykers die each day powering the Astronomican.

However, the psychic powers they generate through sacrifice are directed by the Emperor’s mind across approximately 50,000 light-years of the galaxy. Since Terra is located in the western part of the galaxy, the Astronomican does not include the far eastern part of the galaxy. Out of the Astronomican’s reach, warp travel is severely limited. This creates an effective border for your empire. Because of this, destroying the Astronomican would stop all Imperial Warp travel within the galaxy, effectively bringing the Empire to its knees.

Navigators and other psykers can detect the Astronomican. It is described as a sense of silvery light and a chorus of many heavenly voices, beginning as a solitary voice at first and gradually growing into a choir of angels. It is said that “pious marines” who can hear the Astronomican can fall into a meditative trance when they focus on it. Space Marine Captain Gabriel Angelos would occasionally enter a sort of combat trance when he heard the sound of an Astronomican mid-battle, enhancing his fighting abilities during that time.

Unbeknownst to the Empire, the Astronomican is attracting a Tyranid Hive Fleet to threaten the galaxy and all of the Empire.

Shortly after the advent of the 13th Dark Crusade and the Great Rift, the Astronomican went out causing unrest and fear throughout the Empire. These periods, later called the Blinding Days, varied greatly. In some worlds there were only blind days, in others months. It is presumed that some Imperial planets are still without the Emperor’s Light. Blindness lasted 33 days on Terra.

a skilled astronomica

that much a skilled astronomica A member of the Imperial Theocracy who maintains a psychic beacon known as the Astronomican used by the Navigators. Astronomica works closely with Adeptus Astra Telepathica and recruits from their ranks.

Adeptus Astronomica is composed primarily of psykers. Non-psykers are hereditary servants. The process of continuously channeling psychic energy ultimately destroys these psykers, but there are always more to take their place. However, this law allows Imperial ships to pass through the perils of the Warp at great speed. This organization is based in Terra’s Forbidden Fortress, and Judges and Inquisitors must also receive an invitation to enter. Adeptus Astronomica’s mission is to train the young psykers they receive from Adeptus Astra Telepathica so they can serve in the Astronomican’s chambers. The entire organization is an educational institution run by older members known as instructors. Some of our instructors receive the title of Higher Instructor and are given control over certain teaching areas. Routine tasks such as maintenance are handled by management functions.

Recruitment and service

The entire head of Adeptus Astronomica is the Master of Astronomican and represents the organization as the overlord of Terra. In terms of composition, the organization has a management elite with a large pool of young trainees who will one day be part of the 10,000 corps strengthening the Astronomican. These trainees are taught to unleash their mental potential through mental training, a process that takes months. Afterwards, they are summoned into a psychic battery in the Halls of the Astronomicon, which can be invoked at any time when an old member dies or fails. In this state, 100 trainees die every day in a spherical room, and rarely last more than 2-3 months. The process sees their life force slowly drained by a strange device at the focal point of a huge spherical hall.

These individuals sadly give their lives, but they are the ultimate sacrifice necessary for humanity’s continued survival. Because of their obligations, members of the Adeptus Astronomica are rarely seen on Terra, but the leader responsible for the Astronomican’s continued use is free to travel. Similar to Adeptus Mechanicus, this organization is a priory and its members wear blue, hooded, religious-like clothing. Fully trained members are ready to shave their heads and receive nerve transplants. It will one day drain its life force to power the Astronomican.

Young psykers enter Astronomica as practitioners. as well as how to use and control their psychic powers. astronomer’s knowledge. They learn the value of life, study philosophy, and gradually come to an inner understanding of the nature of the universe and the Warp. Those who achieve this mystical state Chosen Eventually, he was called to serve in the Astronomican Chamber.

The position of the Chosen One is considered a great honor. Failure to achieve this goal is not failure. Rather, they either go on to become instructors or are absorbed into the Forbidden Fortress’ administrative functions. Those who make it to the Chosen status are considered higher than Instructors and even Masters of Astronomican. Their heads are shaved, and they wear yellow robes and scarlet tabards of the Chosen. The rest of his life is spent in prayer and meditation until he is called to serve in the Astronomican’s chambers.

Learn more about Navigators guided by the Astronomican.


~ Adepts, let us give thanks to the Emperor for shining the brightest light in the darkness.


Dad, Gamer, Publisher, Pilot, Texas. All games since middle school. I started BoLS Interactive in 2006. I am a lifelong tabletop and RPG game enthusiast, and an internet publisher committed to entertaining and informing my readers every day. I’ve been playing RPGs and tabletop games since the 1970s. I’ve been playing and dealing with Warhammer and Warhammer 40K for over 35 years.

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