Finally, now that it’s officially spring (the Sun entered Aries back on the 20th), I’m starting a year-long project. No, it’s not the Abramelin, because I don’t need to do that at this point. Rather, it’s a series of new conjurations for me to learn more about that most mysterious of spheres, that of the fixed stars. I plan on doing conjurations of each of the angels ruling over the signs of the Zodiac this year, each angel while the Sun is in its proper zodiac sign, and learning and integrating myself more with the sphere of the fixed stars. After all, I started with the elements, then I moved onto the planets; the stars are simply the next step, as I see it. There are multiple ways one could go about this: work straight-up with Iophiel, angel ruling of the sphere of fixed stars as a whole; work with the 28 angels of the lunar mansions; or work with the 12 angels of the Zodiac signs. I plan on doing all three, but this year I want to focus on the zodiacal angels, since they’re more familiar to me.
Of course, I can’t do much ritual without getting all my ducks in a row. I plan on studying the signs first from another magical perspective, then getting my gear together and making a lamen for these particular angels, and so forth. One important ritual is timing, and timing to the zodiacal signs is…interesting. Planetary conjurations rely on planetary days and hours, which is pretty straightfoward, but I’m unsure about the signs. Astrological common sense says I should do a conjuration while the sign is rising or culminating (ascendant or midheaven), but given my work schedule, that may not always be possible. Since we use planetary days and hours to circumvent the use of proper astrological elections for the planets for ritual purposes, I wondered why we don’t have a similar system in place for the signs of the Zodiac. So I made one up.
For those who have been living under a rock, let me describe the 12 signs of the Zodiac and how they correspond to the planets. Of course, I’m working only with the seven traditional planets, so throw out what you know about Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, since they don’t come into play here. Before continuing, you should learn about what the planetary hours are, because the zodiacal hours are just an extension based off them. To describe only what’s needed about the zodiac signs at a very high level:
- There are seven planets: the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn. Of these, the Sun and Moon are called luminaries, since they’re bright enough to light the world.
- There are 12 signs in the Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces.
- The luminary planets rule over one sign each; the nonluminary planets rule over two signs each.
- The Sun rules over Leo.
- The Moon rules over Cancer.
- Mercury rules over Gemini and Virgo.
- Venus rules over Taurus and Libra.
- Mars rules over Aries and Scorpio.
- Jupiter rules over Pisces and Sagittarius.
- Saturn rules over Aquarius and Capricorn.
- Each sign has one of the four elements, so there are three Fire signs, three Air signs, three Water signs, and three Earth signs.
- Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are all Fiery.
- Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn are all Earthy.
- Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are all Airy.
- Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are all Watery.
- Each sign is either masculine or feminine, so there are six Masculine signs and six Feminine signs. Masculine signs are either Fiery or Airy, and Feminine signs are either Watery or Earthy.
- Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aquarius are all Masculine.
- Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces are all Feminine.
Got it? Good.
All we do to develop the zodiacal hours is we replace the planet ruling over an hour with its corresponding zodiacal sign. So, any hours of the Sun become hours of Leo, and any hours of the Moon become hours of Cancer. So far, so good, but what about the other planets that rule two signs each? For that, we look at whether a given hour is diurnal (daytime, between sunrise and sunset) or nocturnal (nighttime, between sunset and sunrise). If an hour is diurnal, we use the masculine sign; if nocturnal, the feminine sign. So, a diurnal hour of Mars becomes an hour of Aries, while a nocturnal hour of Mars becomes an hour of Scorpio.
It’s really that simple. So, a complete table of zodiacal hours for each day of the week would look like this:
So, how would I go about using them? Simple enough: for a ritual invoking Aries, I’d do the ritual in an Aries hour, or a diurnal Mars hour. Of course, there’s some leeway with this; Mars hours are generally good, as are those of the Sun (the Sun is exalted in Aries, after all). Same goes for all the other planets. It’s a simple thing, really, but it’s another refinement that I might experiment with. The logic makes sense, but what really matters is whether it works. If the angel of Aries doesn’t care whether he’s evoked in daytime or nighttime, for instance, or whether he cares about planetary hours at all, then this system isn’t needed generally. Since the sphere of fixed stars is higher than those of the planets, timing may not be a crucial factor generally. Let’s find out!