2014 has come and gone, and now we’re in 2015. Awesome! I hope your hangovers have worn off by now. While we’re currently regretting our poor life choices from poured drinks from a few nights ago, we may as well review some of our goals and actions from last year. So, how was last year? Fucking rad, really, and busy. Really busy. Some of the highlights from 2014 include:
- Probably most notably, I ended up starting on a new theurgical method called mathesis.
- I gave my first talk at an occult conference to my occult peers!
- I was on the air giving readings and talking about geomancy and things!
- I attended a conference on Hermes/Mercury at the University of Virginia (posts one, two, and three).
- I began working with Saint Cyprian of Antioch, patron saint of magicians and necromancers, and held a large party in his honor on his feast day, as well as raising $1000 for the Malala Fund in honor of the good saint.
- I started selling ritual jewelry, published several ebooks, and have begun taking other commissions on my Etsy shop.
- I began a devotional practice to the seven archangels.
- I began practices to several more Greek gods that I’ve invited into my home, notably Aphrodite, Hephaistos, Hestia, and Apollon.
- I moved to a new house with the love of my life and good friend, which helped me with building a new temple as well as amplify my occult practice.
- I began studying astragalomancy and the work of the Arbatel.
- I completed a month-long Psalm 119 working (with more side-effects than anticipated).
- I somehow managed to keep sane and hold down a standard office job to fund my odd hobbies and so much wine.
- I got involved in the usual spats and drama common to nearly all magicians.
If you recall the prospective from last year, I had several goals I wanted to achieve. How did I do?
- Get more physically active. Moderately successful. I’ve been sticking to Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido at the local Ki Society dojo for the better part of the year, with a month away here and there to take care of family, moving, and the like. Plus, I’ve recently gotten re-enamored by the mobile game Ingress, which encourages walking and outdoor exploration. That said, as my waistline can attest, that hasn’t really done much for my weight or body fat percentage, so I’m not doing something quite right yet. Still, it’s an improvement, and I was able to make it to Fifth Kyu (the first graded rank) in the style of aikido I practice this year already.
- Conjure the angels of the fixed stars. Not successful. I barely made the conjuration time for Malkhidael, the angel presiding over the sphere of Aries, and pretty much dropped that off from there. I didn’t exactly need to do this, but it would’ve been nice. I had too much else going on, and conjuration generally has been at the back of my mind as I’ve gotten involved in other projects.
- Buy and move into a new house. Sorta done! Unfortunately, I simply don’t have the resources at this time to outright buy a house. Instead, my housemates and I moved into a house that we’re renting, but the place is so remote and the landlord so detached that, for all intents and purposes, we own the place. Moving was a pain, especially with the now-apocryphal stories of guinea hens and U-Haul issues, but we’re well-situated and love where we live.
- Start working with Saint Cyprian of Antioch. As I’m sure a number of my posts from 2014 can attest, this has been wildly successful. Not only have I started to work with the good saint of magicians, but I’ve written two ebooks on him, written a chaplet and litany in his honor, held a huge feast day party for him, held a fundraising drive in his name, and have been generally empowered and blessed by his presence and aid in my life. Still have so much more to do and to involve him with, but this is no bad start, indeed.
- Start working with my ancestors more. I’ve started to maintain an ancestor altar containing a few trinkets and ashes of print-out copies of photos of my ancestors, and have gotten into a groove of making regular offerings to them as well as involving them in regular conversation and chats. I haven’t put them to work yet, but then, I may as well get to know them again slowly.
- Translate more Latin. I didn’t do any Latin translation this year. This was low priority, anyway, but those books won’t translate themselves and nobody else is doing it, either.
- More trance work. Besides some light scrying here and there, yeah, nope. Whoopsie. I really do need to get my ass in gear with this, but it takes time that I simply don’t have without going on a dangerously low amount of sleep (which doesn’t help anything).
Now that we’re in the start of 2015, what are my plans?
- Get more physically active and drop some goddamn weight. I’ve stayed at my current weight, which is about 50lbs too many, for a year now. There’s no reason for me to stay at this weight. I will lose those 50lbs and will keep them off from now on. The idea is simple: daily walks and exercise, regular aikido practice (which I desperately need to get back into after having fallen out of practice for several months), and watching my food and drink intake. Magically, all the planets can play a part: Mars for discipline, Saturn for helping to keep myself to a minimum when needed, Jupiter for being gracious and having only necessary wealth in terms of food, Mercury for managing my health and metabolism, Sun for managing stamina and health, and so forth. But, really, at the heart of it is just watching what I put in my face and what I do with my body.
- Begin working with the demons from the Lemegeton. This has been something on the docket for a long time now, but I’ve never really gotten around to it. The approach I plan to use is that of Fr. Rufus Opus’ Modern Goetic Grimoire, a Lemegeton-spinning of the Trithemian conjuration ritual, and the tools and approach are generally the same to those in his Modern Angelic Grimoire, with the changes well-known and highlighted. The first demon I’d like to work with is Orobas, specifically suggested to me as a beginner-mode spirit who can help with getting introduced to the rest of the spirits, but there’ll be plenty of work for them anyway.
- Undertake the Arbatel conjuration of the Olympick Spirits. I’ve got the seals done and the text learned, so now it’s just a matter of going forth and conjuring the Olympick spirits. I’ll finish planning my approach in the coming weeks, and it’ll be interesting to see how this complements or conflicts with my previous conjurations of the planets and their angels and what the angelic alliances I’ve built up to this point can contribute. I like Fr. Acher’s approach of seeing these conjurations as initiations into the spheres, which is the point of Fr. Rufus Opus’ Gates rituals, but done in a different way.
- Study and prepare for baptism within the Apostolic Johannite Church. Yes, this is a thing that I’ve figured would help buff out my practices with Saint Cyprian of Antioch, the seven archangels, and a variety of other spirits I work with. No, this doesn’t mean I’m giving up my Hellenic or mathetic practices. Yes, I believe that these different spiritual traditions can, if not dovetail in a completely complementary way, buff each other out. I have my reasons.
- Begin learning and working with spirits within the tradition of Quimbanda. During my vacation at the end of 2014, I got a consulta from a Tata Quimbanda which was fascinating and gave me no end of things to work on, and also gave me information on my personal and working Exus and Pomba Gira. I plan to begin building relationships with these spirits, and something about the tradition snagged me and I have an eye on initiation, though that’ll be a ways off. First things first: begin understanding this tradition at the direction of my tata friend. My work with Saint Cyprian, who plays a huge role in Quimbanda, can also help, and I’ve resituated my altar of Saint Cyprian on top of a small cabinet which will house my Exus and Pomba Gira.
- Continue developing the study of mathesis. This is going to be a life’s work, so long as I can keep doing it. This will involve lots of research into Platonic and Neoplatonic occultism done back in the day, as well as whatever Pythagorean information I can get my hands on. This is probably going to end up as a more meditative and contemplative practice than hands-on occult conjuration, but that might be for the best. It may have applicable uses elsewhere and would dovetail nicely with other Hellenic practices, to be sure, but that’s not all entirely up for me to decide.
With that, let’s start talking about dates, times, calendars, cycles, holidays, festivals, and other chronological phenomena! You can find the whole post after the jump, or you can jump to the individual sections you’re interested in with these links:
- Grammatēmerologion, the lunisolar grammatomantic ritual calendar
- Weekday cycle
- Astronomical and astrological phenomena
- Movable festivals and holidays
- Festivals and holidays fixed to the Gregorian calendar
One of the big changes I made to my ritual life was the invention of the Γραμματημερολογιον Grammatēmerologion, the lunisolar grammatomantic ritual calendar, by which I assign every day of the lunar month to one of the Greek letters, with three days leftover as unlettered days. By using the associations of the Greek letters to their stoicheia of the elements, planets, and zodiac, I organize my routine monthly offerings to the gods as well as my regular rituals based on the lunar date. Of course, I don’t make offerings to all the gods listed below, but I at least acknowledge some of them on their day as part of my mathesis work, and I make the list fairly complete with some of the bigger names in Greek mythology for the convenience of others. Some gods are associated with more than one day, especially those days whose letters are associated with the elements. I also have a few other practices here and there, as noted in the last Ritual column, based on my own stuff that doesn’t belong to mathesis or Hellenic practice or whatever.
|5||5th rising||Ε||Stilbon||Mercury rituals|
|6||6th rising||Ϝ||Ancestors of Kin and Blood|
|8||8th rising||Η||Eosphoros or Hesperos||Venus rituals|
|10||10th rising||—||—||House and temple cleaning|
|Ν||Ares||Full Moon Ritual
Cosmic Guardians offering
Saint Expedite offering
|19||19th||Ϙ||Ancestors of Faith and Work|
|20||earlier 10th||—||—||House and temple cleaning|
Spirits of house and home
|24||7th waning||Υ||Phaethon||Jupiter rituals|
|28||3rd waning||Ω||Phainon||Saturn rituals|
|29||2nd waning||Ϡ||Ancestors of the Great and the Forgotten
(day omitted in hollow months)
|30||Hene Kai Nea
(Ϡ if hollow month)
(Ancestors if hollow month)
|House and temple cleaning
Saint Expedite offering
A few notes on the lunar month according to the Greek letters:
- I mark my ritual days as starting from sunrise, while the traditional Attic scheme marks them as starting from the previous day’s sunset. Thus, my calendar is approximately one day early compared to those who follow the calendar of the reconstructionist Hellenismos, a la Hellenion. Different poleis or city-states across ancient Greece had different reckoning systems, so there’s no one way to figure out a “Greek calendar” or “Greek start of the day”.
- The Noumenia is properly the first day after the New Moon, when the Moon can first be seen in the late evening sky just after syzygy.
- Although I’ve marked the Full Moon as belonging to the 15th day of the lunar calendar, in reality it might be a day earlier or later. The Full Moon ritual, Saint Expedite offering, and Cosmic Guardian offering offering are all tied to the Full Moon, so those rituals will move along with the exact date of the Full Moon.
- Some months have 30 days (full months) while others have 29 days (hollow months); the Hene kai Nea, or last day of the lunar month that marks the actual New Moon, is linked to a few rituals, and much as with the Full Moon and its rituals, these rituals move with the actual lunar phenomenon. In a hollow month, the last day becomes Sampi and there is no unlettered day.
- Unlettered days are marked with a dash, and have no feast nor rituals planned (except in an emergency or with a good astrological election, of course). Instead, I focus these days on physical care and upkeep of my house, temple, and self with chores and dishes and laundry and stuff.
If we consider the greater grammatēmerological system that attributes the letters of the Greek alphabet to the lunar months and the years themselves, we note that the year 2015 CE marks the end of the hollow (12-month) sixth year and the passage into the hollow (12-month) seventh year of the 69th 38-year grammatēmerological (dual Metonic) cycle, starting from an epoch date of June 29, 576 BCE, the first time the summer solstice coincided with the Noumenia after the Athenian Reform of Solon, as well as coinciding with a total solar eclipse on that same day. Cycle 69 began on June 22, 2009, and will continue through the first New Moon after the summer solstice in the year 2047. We enter January 1, 2015 with the day letter Ι, the month letter Τ, and the year letter Δ. The Noumenia, the first day of the lunar months reckoned as the first sunrise after the New Moon, of each successive month are as follows:
- January 21: Noumenia of hollow month Υ (8), year Δ (6) in cycle number 69 (2628 years after the epoch)
- February 19: Noumenia of full month Φ (9), year Δ (6) in cycle number 69 (2628 years after the epoch)
- March 21: Noumenia of hollow month Χ (10), year Δ (6) in cycle number 69 (2628 years after the epoch)
- April 19: Noumenia of full month Ψ (11), year Δ (6) in cycle number 69 (2628 years after the epoch)
- May 19: Noumenia of hollow month Ω (12), year Δ (6) in cycle number 69 (2628 years after the epoch)
- June 17: Noumenia of full month Α (1), year Ε (7) in cycle number 69 (2629 years after the epoch)
- July 16: Noumenia of hollow month Β (2), year Ε (7) in cycle number 69 (2629 years after the epoch)
- August 15: Noumenia of full month Γ (3), year Ε (7) in cycle number 69 (2629 years after the epoch)
- September 14: Noumenia of hollow month Δ (4), year Ε (7) in cycle number 69 (2629 years after the epoch)
- October 13: Noumenia of full month Ε (5), year Ε (7) in cycle number 69 (2629 years after the epoch)
- November 12: Noumenia of hollow month Ζ (6), year Ε (7) in cycle number 69 (2629 years after the epoch)
- December 12: Noumenia of full month Η (7), year Ε (7) in cycle number 69 (2629 years after the epoch)
Except in the special cases of intercalary months (the thirteenth month in a full year), there will always be a day in every month when the letter of the day and the letter of the month are the same. Similarly, except in full years of 13 months, there will be a day when the letters of the day, month, and year are the same. These days are powerful and special days where the force of the letter has extra strength, making it a special day for all forces, gods, and spirits associated with that letter. Special days when the letters of the day and month (μεγαλημερα megalēmera, “great day”), or the letters of the day, month, and year (μεγιστημερα megistēmera, “greatest day”) are the same. In 2015, there are 12 megalēmerai and one megistēmera:
- Τ (day and month): January 13
- Υ (day and month): February 13
- Φ (day and month): March 15
- Χ (day and month): April 15
- Ψ (day and month): May 15
- Ω (day and month): June 15
- Α (day and month): June 17
- Β (day and month): July 17
- Γ (day and month): August 17
- Δ (day and month): September 17
- Ε (day, month, year): October 17
- Ζ (day and month): November 18
- Η (day and month): December 18
In the past, I’ve been going by a 5-week conjuration cycle of the seven planetary angels and four elemental archangels. However, I didn’t keep up with it, and at this point my mathesis work and other, more regular daily rituals are slowly replacing the need for conjurations. That isn’t to say I’ve turned my back on them, of course, but I don’t usually do the full shebang anymore without a solid need. Instead, I tone it down to a daily invocation of the planets and forces, and I fold that into my normal weekly offering schedule based on the day of the week. There are a few other rituals here and there I do on a more-or-less weekly basis, but they generally follow a regular schedule:
|St. Uriel||St. Raphael
|General angel offering
Holy Guardian Angel
|Contrition and Thanksgiving
Banishing and Cleansing
Of course, no schedule observing the stars could be complete without a list of planetary retrograde dates. Below are all the retrograde dates for Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury that take place sometime during 2015. Of these, only Venus and Mercury are of any real importance, but still.
- Saturn retrograde from March 14 through August 1
- Jupiter retrograde from December 8 2014 through April 8 2015
- Venus retrograde from July 25 through September 6
- Mercury retrograde from January 21 through February 11
- Mercury retrograde from May 19 through June 11
- Mercury retrograde from September 17 through October 9
Other astrological and astronomical phenomena:
- Sun ingress Aquarius: January 20
- Sun midway Aquarius (Imbolc): February 4
- Sun ingress Pisces: February 18
- Sun ingress Aries (Ostara, spring equinox): March 20
- Sun ingress Taurus: April 20
- Sun midway Taurus (Beltane): May 5
- Sun ingress Gemini: May 21
- Sun ingress Cancer (Litha, summer solstice): June 21
- Sun ingress Leo: July 24
- Sun midway Leo (Lammas): August 7
- Sun ingress Virgo: August 23
- Sun ingress Libra (Mabon, fall equinox): September 23
- Sun ingress Scorpio: October 23
- Sun midway Scorpio (Samhain): November 7
- Sun ingress Sagittarius: November 22
- Sun ingress Capricorn (Yule, winter solstice): December 22
- New Moon, second of winter: January 20
- New Moon, third of winter: February 18
- New Moon, fourth of winter: March 20 (barely a blue moon, just hours before the spring equinox!)
- New Moon, first of spring: April 18
- New Moon, second of spring: May 18
- New Moon, third of spring: June 16
- New Moon, first of summer: July 15
- New Moon, second of summer: August 14
- New Moon, third of summer: September 13
- New Moon, first of autumn: October 12
- New Moon, second of autumn: November 11
- New Moon, third of autumn: December 11
- Perihelion: January 3
- Aphelion: July 6
- Southern solar eclipse: March 20
- Northern lunar eclipse: April 4
- Northern solar eclipse: September 13
- Southern lunar eclipse: September 28
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 calendar dates of these cross-quarter days are the 1st of the month the astrological date occurs in (thus May 1st for Beltane).
- Hermaia: March 24
- Asklepeia: February 26
- Dionysia: February 28 through March 5
- Protokhronia: July 16
- Aphrodisia: July 19
- Nemeseia: September 18
- Chanukah: December 6 through December 14
Notes on the moveable festivals:
- Hermaia (Hermes’ festival) takes place on the fourth day of the tenth lunar month after the summer solstice
- Aphrodisia (Aphrodite’s festival) takes place on the fourth day of the first lunar month after the summer solstice
- Dionysia (Dionysos’ greater festival, a.k.a. Anthesteria) takes place on the 10th through 15th days of the third lunar month after the winter solstice
- Asklepeia (Asclepios’ festival) takes place on the eighth day of the third lunar month after the winter solstice
- Nemeseia (feast to propitiate the dead) takes place on the fifth day of the third lunar month after the summer solstice
- Protokhronia (lunar new year according to the old Greek reckoning) takes place on the first Noumenia after the summer solstice
- Chanukah lasts for eight days starting with the 25th day of Kislev, the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year according to the Hebrew lunisolar calendar (it’s the only Jewish festival I celebrate due to my family)
- Feast of Benjamin Franklin: January 17
- Feast of the Archangel Gabriel: March 24
- Veneralia: April 1
- Feast of Saint Isidore of Seville: April 4
- Feast of Saint Expedite: April 19
- Feast of Mary, Queen of Heaven: May 1
- Mercuralia: May 15
- Feast of Alan Turing: June 7
- Feast of the Archangel Uriel: June 21
- Feast of Saint Benedict: July 11
- Feast of Santissima Muerte: August 15
- Feast of the Prophet Samuel: August 20
- Feast of Saint Cyprian of Carthage: September 16
- Days of the Cyprians: September 17 through September 25
- Feast of Saint Cyprian of Antioch: September 26
- Festival of Venus Genetrix: September 26
- Feast of the Angels: September 29
- All Hallow’s Eve: October 31
- All Saints’ Day: November 1
- All Souls’ Day: November 2
- Feast of Saint Lazarus: December 16
- Feast of the Archangel Raphael: December 22
- Christmas: December 25
With that, let’s get 2015 rolling!