Early last year, I devised a five-week conjuration cycle that has me conjure the angels of the seven planets, the angels of the four elements, and my natal genius. In each conjuration of each of these forces, I’d spend time soaking in the light and power of that particular sphere, reconsecrating and recharging whatever tools or talismans I have, meditating on that force’s symbols, and asking for specific or general advice about where to go or what to do next. It’s a neat system, although one I didn’t stick to as well as I ought to have. I did it a couple of times, and recently went through all the angels in consecutive days, which was also a blast and pretty powerful (and what Frater RO and a good number of other guys keep doing just to say they can).
However, a lot can happen for a beginner like me in the space of a year: I’ve gotten in contact with my HGA, I’ve started an involved devotional practice to Hermes, I’ve started doing weekly readings and occasional classes at the local new age shop, and I’ve picked up a few more rituals and works here and there that need to be done every lunar month or so. Basically, I’ve got work to do, and having a schedule to organize it and put it on my calendar to bug me about it on my phone and all is kinda important now. So, in effect, I have two interlocking cycles, a 5-week planetary cycle for conjurations and some devotions and a 4-week lunar cycle for other devotions and works.
The five week cycle is mostly the same as before, going through the planetary angels in descending order (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, etc.) on their respective days and hours, with the four elemental angels sometime around midday on the Wednesdays not working with Raphael of Mercury. This way, I have two or three conjurations a week, which isn’t bad for constant upkeep. The big change to the conjuration cycle is that I’m not explicitly conjuring my natal genius anymore. Instead, I plan to perform the Headless Rite with some extra bells and whistles, using the Light from the ritual to hold a conference call between my natal genius, my HGA, and the angel of my occupation (the third of the threefold keeper of man that Agrippa speaks about in his Third Book of Occult Philosophy).
Not shown in the above is the weekly devotional cycle I do as well. Every morning, I do a set of prayers to the First Father, but on certain days I augment it with more prayers or with prayers to other gods and offerings to spirits, depending on who needs what when:
- On Sundays, I spend more time in contemplative prayer and repentance, as well as making offerings to the solar-ish healing god Asclepius. I also like to incorporate the Headless Rite into my normal routine, just to bask in the Light from the ritual as well as touch base with my HGA (who has largely supplanted my natal genius in responsibilities) to make sure I’m doing the right thing and doing it right.
- On Wednesdays, I make offerings to the spirits of my home and land as well as perform a weekly devotional to Hermes, as well as performing a variation on the Litany to the Holy Archangels written by Michael Seb Lux. I also like to do divination readings on Wednesdays in an hour of Mercury or of the Moon (my work-from-home days, which gives me a lot of time to work on my Work).
- On Thursdays, contemplation and an invocation of the forces of Jupiter to fill and bless my life’s work and fortune. This started out as an instruction from Tzadqiel, the angel of Jupiter, to continue until further notice due to a Jovial issue in my own sphere (Jupiter is badly detrimented in my natal horoscope). Omitted on weeks I conjure the angel of Jupiter (subsumed into the conjuration of Tzadqiel).
- On Saturdays, contemplation and an invocation of the forces of Saturn to protect and structure my life’s boundaries. This is due to Saturn’s oddly dignified nature in my natal horoscope, permitting it to be one of the most favorable forces for me to work with (and to temper the malfunctioning Jovian force being done with the weekly observances). Omitted on weeks I conjure the angel of Saturn (subsumed into the conjuration of Tzaphqiel).
Just to give myself a break, I’ll probably space each 5-week cycle out by a week, having it be six weeks in total. This is probably unnecessary and a willingness to be lazy on my part, but it will help me maintain a healthy social and romantic life, not to mention giving me a break to keep tabs and wrap up anything down here that needs wrapping up before more conjurations need doing.
The other cycle is lunar, going by the phases of the Moon. Only a few things happen with this (so far): the big ones are the Hermaias, my monthly devotionals to Hermes. Hermes is associated with the fourth day after the new moon, so on that day at dawn I’ll make an offering of food, incense, prayer, and the like to him. Conversely, though it’s not attested elsewhere, I’m also honoring his chthonic, underworldly aspect on the fourth day before the new moon (as a kind of reversal or switch), where I’ll make offerings to the spirits of the dead and act as psycopomp with Hermes’ help. I’ll do a ritual for the Full Moon sometime around midnight when it’s full, and do a quick offering and ritual to the stars of the Big Dipper from the Greek Magical Papyri (PGM VII.686) when it’s new. Beyond that, I don’t do much tied to the lunar cycle, besides divinations for myself and for others.
|New Moon||Arktos Ritual||House blessing,
general material creation
|First Quarter Moon|
|Full Moon||Full Moon Ritual|
|Last Quarter Moon||Chthonic Hermaia
NB: the days are numbered from the lunar phase, so that New Moon 1 is the day of the New Moon, not the first day afterward. Not shown above are things that need to be tied to both the lunar phase and weekday, since there’s no way to really show that in either chart (yay interlocking cycles being horrible to map out!). So far, the only big thing I have to worry about with that is maintaining a supply of holy water and consecrated candles, which I constantly go through. The way I do it, I need to time it to the waxing moon (first two weeks of the lunar month) on a Wednesday in order to get a good effect, and also when Mercury isn’t retrograde. Also, I like to do a general reconsecration and cleansing of the tools I use most on a Friday during the waxing moon with a mixture of holy water and Florida water.
Speaking of, that brings me to bigger cycles than the above 5-week or 4-week cycle. As for the planets, I try not to do any big magical works I’m not already familiar with during Mercury retrograde (and forgot to do a Mercury retrograde retrospective last time, sorry guys!), and try not to do any craft construction when Venus is in retrograde. Though I haven’t noticed a big effect with Venus retrograde on my life, work, or Work (or any other planet past Mercury), Mercury retrograde has made slight differences in communication (shallower) and meditation (deeper), but otherwise hasn’t made a big change in my works. The relevant dates are:
- Mercury in retrograde from February 23 to March 17
- Mercury in retrograde from June 26 to July 20
- Mercury in retrograde from October 21 to November 10
- Venus in retrograde from December 28 through January 31, 2014
I want to try doing more with the solar cycle as well, doing something on the solstices, equinoxes, and cross-quarter days of the year, as well as do small devotionals or minor works on important feast days or festivals. For that, I’ve compiled the following list of important dates for the rest of 2013:
- Sun midway Aquarius (Imbolc): February 3
- Purim: February 23
- Sun ingress Aries (Spring equinox, Ostara): March 20
- Pesach (Passover): March 25 through April 1
- Hermaia: April 11
- Feast of St. Expedite: April 19
- Northern Lunar Eclipse: April 25
- Sun midway Taurus (Beltane): May 5
- Southern Solar Eclipse: May 10
- Mercuralia: May 15
- Northern Lunar Eclipse: May 25
- Sun ingress Cancer (Summer solstice, Litha): June 21
- Sun midway Leo (Lammas): August 7
- Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): September 13
- Rosh haShanah (Head of the Year): September 16 through September 18
- Sun ingress Libra (Autumn equinox, Mabon): September 22
- Michaelmas: September 29
- Birthday: October 8
- Southern Lunar Eclipse: October 18
- All Hallow’s Eve: October 31
- All Saints’ Day: November 1
- All Souls’ Day: November 2
- Northern Solar Eclipse: November 3
- Sun midway Scorpio (Samhain): November 7
- Chanukkah: November 27 through December 4
- Saturnalia: December 17 through December 23
- Sun ingress Capricorn (Winter solstice, Yule): December 21
- Christmas: December 25
A few notes on the foregoing list:
- I’m already using the Sun’s entry into the four cardinal zodiac signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) to mark the solstices and equinoxes, so it makes sense to me to use the Sun’s halfway point in the four fixed zodiac signs (Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio) to mark the cross-quarter days instead of the Gregorian calendrical method. While most other occultists and pagans will use the normal calendrical dating, I’ll stick to my solar dating and tie it to the cycle of the Sun instead. The dates are fairly close, at least, being off no more than a week from the popular observance of them.
- The period between All Hallow’s Eve and the astrological Samhain is a big deathy week for me that I’ll probably make a big to-do for the dead (the solar eclipse then helps, too).
- Similarly, the period between Saturnalia and the winter solstice will be a roughly week-long period of partying and fun.
- Yes, dear reader, I do count my birthday as a festival, not least because it usually coincides with Columbus Day (a federal holiday, and thus three-day weekend).
- I’ve also included several Jewish festivals into the list, and I want to try getting into more of them (since I am descended from them, after all, but never really raised it). Nothing serious, probably focusing mostly on reading and learning, except for the period between Yom Kippur and Rosh haShanah, which will be just a lil’ more strict on the fasting and self-examination.
With this all planned, it’s time to get it copied out onto the calendar and get to Work. Not counting my daily practice, all of the foregoing rituals (conjuration cycle, lunar cycle, and yearly festivals but not including daily practice) amounts to an average of about five hours a week, so even though it sounds complicated and overwhelming, it’s really not. Expect a course calendar for the stuff I’ll be teaching at the local new age store, Sticks and Stones, in the near future, as well!