Service to Hermes

Why does Hermes (Mercury, though I’ve started calling him by his Greek name) carry the caduceus in his left hand?  So he can masturbate better with his right, duh.  And although I wish that actually were the answer (but who can say?), I asked him recently, and it’s because he’s only the god of messengers, and a messenger himself; scepters and wands are marks of kingship and authority, and he’s only acting as a herald in the name of someone higher than him.  While he’s allowed to work in almighty Zeus’ name and with his authority given to him by the big bearded guy, he cannot take it as his own.  Instead, he guides others to where he needs to be, letting the authority and might of the High, taking the scepter from his superior’s own right hand in his left, to guide him to where he needs to be so that he can do the same for others.  Pretty nifty, no?

This is just one of the things I learned from the god Hermes recently in the course of my life and Work.  As a Hermetic magician, I keep bumping into the guy and, after some talking and self-discovery, I’ve decided to volunteer myself as servant and priest to Hermes, god of the way, of thieves, of magic and astrology, and a slew of other things.  (Or, rather, he decided to volunteer me, but either way, here I am.)  It’s kind of a weird thing for me, never having grown up religious and only interacting with gods and goddesses in the context of magic and exploration of the universe.  Then again, I suppose the cosmos itself has a few tricks up its sleeves, and the cog in the machine that is myself fits into several spots in the wheels that keep things going.

To that end, here’s a compilation of some of the things I know, do, and perform in my service to the god, if you’re so interested.  For those in the know, I’m not coming from a Hellenismos or similar modern path or organization, though now that I think about it, contacting one or two might not be a bad idea.  This is all stuff that I’m learning and doing on my own, but if you have any suggestions, feel free to add in the comments.

First, some background on the god himself.  According to Theoi.com,

Hermes was the great Olympian God of animal husbandry, roads, travel, hospitality, heralds, diplomacy, trade, thievery, language, writing, persuasion, cunning wiles, athletic contests, gymnasiums, astronomy, and astrology. He was also the personal agent and herald of Zeus, the king of the gods. Hermes was depicted as either a handsome and athletic, beardless youth, or as an older bearded man. His attributes included the herald’s wand or kerykeion (Latin caduceus), winged boots, and sometimes a winged travellers cap and chlamys cloak.

As a planetary force, the Picatrix and Agrippa (book I, chapter 29) have this to say about the god and planet:

Things under Mercury are these; amongst Elements, Water, although it moves all things indistinctly; amongst humors, those especially which are mixed, as also the Animall spirit; amongst tasts [tastes] those that are various, strange, and mixed: amongst Metals, Quick-silver, Tin, the Slver Marcasite; amongst stones, the Emrald [emerald], Achates [agates], red Marble, Topaze, and those which are of divers colours, and various figures naturally, & those that are artificiall, as glass, & those which have a colour mixed with yellow, and green. Amongst Plants, and Trees, the Hazle [hazel], Five-leaved-grass, the Hearb [herb] Mercury, Fumitary, Pimpernell, Marjoram, Parsly [parsley], and such as have shorter and less leaves, being compounded of mixed natures, and divers colours. Animals also, that are of quick sence, ingenious, strong, inconstant, swift, and such as become easily acquainted with men, as Dogs, Apes, Foxes, Weesels [weasels], the Hart, and Mule; and all Animals that are of both sexes, and those which can change their Sex, as the Hare, Civet-Cat, and such like. Amongst birds, those which are naturally witty, melodious, and inconstant, as the Linet, Nightingale, Blackbird, Thrush, Lark, the Gnat-sapper, the bird Calandra, the Parret [parrot], the Pie, the Bird Ibis, the bird Porphyrio, the black Betle [beetle] with one horn. And amongst fish, the fish called Trochius, which goes into himself, also Pourcontrell for deceitfulness, and changeableness, and the Fork fish for its industry; the Mullet also that shakes off the bait on the hook with his taile.

Other names for the god in similar parts of the Mediterranean include Mercury (Roman), Turms (Etruscan), Terano (modern Tuscan), and there are lots of closely-related gods that resemble functions of Hermes in other pantheons and cultures.  However, not all of these are exact fits, and some of them are on weird terms with the god, while others are associated through ancillary functions of the dude (e.g. medicine, longevity).

  • Egyptian Thoth, Seshat, Imhotep, Anpu
  • Nordic Odin or Wotan, Loki
  • Hindu Hanuman, Saraswati, Budha, Rama
  • Judeo-Christian angelic Raphael
  • Islamic planetary/magical angelic Harqil
  • Gnostic aeon Anthropos, angelic Metaxas
  • John Dee’s angelic heptad (B)Naspol, (B)Rorges, Baspalo, Binodab, Bariges, Binofon, Baldago
  • Roman Meditrina
  • Greek Eros, Asclepios
  • Orphic Ailoaios or Ailoein
  • Akkadian Gudud, Nabu
  • Sumerian Ningishzida
  • Phoenicio-Caanite Eshmun, Malagbel
  • Celtic Nuada, Ogmios, Math Mathonwy
  • Chinese K’uei-Hsing, Shen Nung
  • Aztec Tezcatlipoca
  • Slavic Veles

Next, some background on my connection with the god.  He’s pretty awesome, for one, and is heavily involved in all the stuff I’m involved with:

  • I’m a software engineer, computer programmer and scientist, linguist, calligrapher, graphologist, classicist, Hermetic magician, and geomancer.  These are all my primary hobbies, and these are all under the rulership of Hermes.
  • The number of the sphere of Mercury, 8, appears four times in my birthdate, with 4 being the number associated with the god.
  • I just happened to work in the Postal Square Building, decked out with invocations and paeans to Hermes and caducei on the outside with the National Postal Museum on the inside, for a software engineering position in a statistics and calculation-focused department.  Hermes is all over that shit, yo.
  • The color of my graduation tassle, having studied in an engineering program, is orange, the color associated with the sphere of Mercury.  Cute.
  • Astrologically, Mercury is in the same house and sign as my Sun, Libra.  It’s not in the best position (combust, Via Combusta), but it is in mutual reception with Venus, my almuten and ruling planet in Virgo.

As for my altar setup and devotional practices:

  • An altar setup shown to me involves a statue of Hermes (I have the “Flying Hermes” by Giovanni da Bologna) in the center with four candles in a square around him, with incense and offerings in front of his statue.  This is the basic setup of my Hermaion, or sacred space for Hermes.
  • I got a small side table, originally $80 but marked down on sale to $64 (a higher scale of 8, and 8 × 8, respectively, with 8 being the magic number of Mercury), for my altar.  I don’t have much space in my room for it, but it turned out to be the perfect size for my needs.  As it turned out, it fit perfectly by my bookshelf with the computer programming, science, and astrology books.  Apparently, the god is cozy there.
  • Under each candleholder (which has a small recess) I placed four Mercury topaz stones and sort of energetically linked them up together with the statue, much as in a Babalon Matrix or crystal grid.  I got the stones at a gem show, and Hermes practically jizzed at the sight of them: four stones for $40 for the four corners of his altar.  I also consecrated them under a rare Mercury Cazimi election, which makes them powerful treasures in their own right.  As the candles burn above the crystals, the force and light from the candles continuously feeds the crystals and the statue itself, keeping the altar and god a powerful force.
  • Suitable offerings include barley, olives and olive oil, coins, and wine (preferably a Greek dark red).  Candles and incense, especially storax, sandalwood, cinnamon, and frankincense, as desired.  The god mentioned live birds, too, but that’s generally not practical unless I have an outdoor altar or temenos.  Other artifacts like bone dice, antique coins, keys, and figurines are really cool, too.  Instead of barley or food offerings, a candle offering can also be made (like in the picture above).
  • The altar is covered with an orange burlap cloth.  I wanted to use silk or a fancy cloth, but I couldn’t find any suitable that Hermes explicitly approved of.  I joked how I’d default to orange burlap, at which Hermes started laughing in my head; I turned around, and was face-to-face with a roll of that very same stuff.  The god has a sense of humor, you know.
  • The statue itself of Hermes is placed in front of  a wooden platform engraved with the Kamea of Mercury and his name woodburned into it in various Mediterranean languages and scripts: Mercurius (Latin), Turms (Etruscan), Hermes (Greek), and E-ma-a (Mycenaean in Linear B).  Four names for the god, one on each side of the square, though I was going to use eight names; these names would have referred to the planet itself in other languages like Sanskrit or Arabic, and not to the god proper, so I left them off.  This is another treasure for the god, and though he originally wanted it to serve as a base for his statue, the altar size had a hard time accommodating this layout.  Plus, I’d like a portable altar or stand for any specifically Mercurial work, and this Table of Mercury would act perfect for it, so he likes this setup as well.  Since it’s properly his and not mine, I’d have to pay him for its use as needed, but nothing extravagant or out of my means proportional to the work being done.  It’s reasonable.
  • Smaller statues to represent different faces of the god, whenever they become accessible, like Thoth and Hanuman.  He’s not on great terms and is sometimes unfamiliar with some of the divine associations and pantheon correspondences above, but what the altar has room for, he’ll enjoy some company.
  • Texts I make use of include the Homeric Hymns to Hermes (devotional though long-winded), the Orphic Hymn to Mercury (awesome generally), the Picatrix Invocation to Mercury (awesome for planetary and magical operations), and the Heptameron Conjuration and Catholic Prayer to Raphael (not normally my style, but it works for more angelic or qabbalistic workings).  For the god proper, he likes the Orphic and Homeric Hymns, along with prayers written to him specifically; Picatrix and other Hermetic invocations aren’t really his cup of tea, from what I’ve been told, and are more suited to other paradigms of working.
  • Tools to be used in my Hermes work include an orange silk scarf to mark my priestly activities, a consecrated bone bracelet to make communicating and communing with the dead and dying easier, the Table of Mercury mentioned above as needed, a caduceus or representation thereof to assist in directing and guiding spirits and forces, and a few oils or balms using scents or materials associated with Hermes for anointing and consecration.  Holy water, specifically the ancient Greek khernips, is also useful to have on the altar for purification, and an extra bottle of Greek extra virgin olive oil is a pleasant addition, too.

Times for rituals:

  • Every Wednesday (day of Mercury) in an hour of Mercury.  There are about four of these: dawn, early afternoon, early nighttime, and godlessly early in the morning.  A good time to do any Mercurial ritual, like a conjuration of Raphael or something, but I use one to make a small offering and invocation to Hermes, too.  This is more planetary/magical than devotional, however, and it’s a simple way to catch up and clean up the altar.
  • The fourth day of the lunar month, starting with the first day being the new moon.  This was the day reserved for the god in ancient Greek religious calendars as a monthly event, somewhat like a birthday (viewed more as monthly rather than yearly events).  Since ancient Hellenic practices were done at dawn, I use sunrise as my time for the god, even if it’s not an hour of Mercury.  This adoration is a monthly ritual, where I make an offering and do a full reading of the Orphic Hymn and Homeric Hymns to Hermes.  Coincidentally, the fourth day of the month is held sacred to Heracles, Aphrodite, and Eros, as well.  At sunset or midnight on this same day, I do an offering and work for Hermes as chthonic god or psychopomp, as well as making an offering to the local and mighty dead.
  • Planetary elections.  Again, this is more a magical event than a religious one, but this is when the power of the planet (the corporeal form of the god) is highly powerful and able to effect great change in the world.  Good ones are difficult to come by, since the planet Mercury is usually too close to the Sun to be very effectual, but when there are elections, you can bet I’ll be taking those opportunities by the horns.
  • Hermaea, the annual Greek festival to Hermes. The Hermaea was a rowdy festival and series of contests, celebrating Hermes’ patronage over gymnastics and physical sport.  This was often celebrated with Hercules, but sometimes had a more Saturnalian character inverting social orders.  I may not be big on physical activity, but trickery and pranks seem to work really well for this festival.  I’m having a hard time finding out about the dates for this festival, but I’m going to guess that it happens somewhere in the period between April 1 and April 15 or so each year.  One trick of the Hellenic ritual calendars was that annual celebrations were never to fall on the monthly ones, so the Hermaea would be shifted a few days in either direction to accommodate large events or monthly celebrations of Hermes.  I might just stick to using the fourth day of the fourth month, April 4th, as my selected date for this.  What I might do specifically for this is unclear to me, since it seemed to be intended for youths and gymnastics, but we’ll see when we get to that point in time.
  • Mercuralia, the Roman festival to Mercury held generally on or around May 4th to May 15.  This is primarily a festival for merchants and commerce, both words coming from the name Mercury, which itself came from Latin merx meaning wages or merchandise.  Roman religion originally never had a correspondence to Mercury, though the Etruscan god Turms was the Italian equivalent of the Hellenic god, and the merchants (who were often Greek or Hellenic) brought over their god.  Because of this, Rome never had an official high priest to Mercury, but imported rituals and festivals from Greece all the same; the name Mercury, with its name referring to goods and merchants, stuck.  Like the Hermaea, the date may be shifted around if needed.  Unlike the Hermaea, the Mercuralia has more literature on it and is much more applicable to my life and goals.
  • After a real rough travel during some snowpocalypse or other (the big Christmas blizzard on the East Coast of 2010), Hermes has really helped me out in keeping me safe and swift on the roads.  I always make a vow and a bargain with him before any long-distance trip: keep me, my goods, and my passengers safe from all harm, delay, and impediment within reason, and I get you a bottle of nice, dark wine to be dropped off at a crossroads as thanks.  I up the number of bottles of wine if something starts looking really awry or desperate, and he hasn’t failed me yet.

All in all, I use 27 or so days of the year as major events for Hermes, plus weekly adorations and any rituals I specifically need to call on him for.  As far as religious practices go, it’s involved, but it’s worth it.  For those on similar but different paths, a quick search on the internets revealed the following rituals for the god:

Mercury Election Experiment

It was passed around in my occult circles that there was a decent totally awesome Cazimi Mercury election, a powerful timing to do anything astrologically related to Mercury or its forces, this morning between 6:15 and 6:45 a.m. around my location; the Mercury hour made it valid.  Since Mercury is among my favorite forces, and Hermes my favorite gods, I decided to take this opportunity to recharge my angelic planetary talisman of Mercury as well as a few crystals (Mercury topazes, fittingly enough) under this influence.  Something kinda like my Saturn talisman consecration from about this time last year, but I changed things around a bit.  The time window was just barely enough, and I learned to do more setup ahead of time, but it was sufficient for my needs.

The big change is that I’m starting to put my orgone setup to good use, so I made that part of my altar setup.  Basically, I have a crystal ball in the middle with a small plate over it supporting some objects which act as a focus for the energy and force; above that, I have an orgone accelerator or “shooter” that pumps more energy into the focus and crystal ball.  The crystal ball radiates the force pumped through the objects above it from the orgone accelerator outward.  Around the crystal ball, four crystal bars “catch” the field and reflect it back inwards to the crystal ball, forming a constantly-strengthening sphere of force.  The crystals are “linked” up using a “thread” of force or energy that syncs them all together, then activated with a final “pulse” of energy into the crystal ball.  (Expect a full post and explanation of some experiments I’m doing with this orgone setup in the near future, once I gather a few more supplies and run the experiments.  Then I’ll stop giving explanations every time I talk about this stuff.)

I coupled this with my standard consecration setup by setting a consecrated candle to the east, my censer to the west, and eight candles inscribed with orange symbols of Mercury around the orgone setup.  The resulting setup looks pretty awesome, if I may say so myself, and definitely produced a kick throughout the ritual and will keep going for as long as I have it set up.  For practical reasons, I’ll consider the consecration complete once the inner candles burn out, and will dismantle it then.  For now, I’m enjoying the bright orange Mercurial light and orb of force in my room, as well as how smoky it is from all the incense.

The ritual was composed as following:

  1. Preliminary prayer, meditation, empowering.
  2. Setting up the consecration altar components.
  3. Asperging the area with holy water to cleanse and sanctify the area.
  4. Lighting the consecrated candle. Mercury candles, and charcoal for incense.
  5. Linking up the crystal ball to the four perimeter crystals and the perimeter crystals to each other.
  6. Linking up the crystal ball to the eight Mercury candleflames and the flames to each other.
  7. Pulse of Mercurial energy with the seed vowel Ε (Greek epsilon, vowel associated with Mercury).
  8. Opening prayers and invocations, consecration of ritual space and incense.
  9. Picatrix invocation to Mercury.
  10. Conjuration of Raphael, Tiriel, and Taphthartharath.
  11. Presentation and suffumigation of the talismans of Mercury to the spirits and forces of Mercury.
  12. Setting the talismans into the orgone setup focus.
  13. Conjuration of Raphael, Tiriel, and Taphthartharath to consecrate, dedicate, bless, empower, and sanctify the talismans of Mercury.
  14. Recitation of the Orphic Hymn to Hermes eight times.
  15. Directing the forces of Mercury into the talismans using the seed vowel Ε.
  16. Second conjuration of Raphael, Tiriel, and Taphthartharath to consecrate, dedicate, bless, empower, and sanctify the talismans of Mercury.
  17. Recitation of the Prayer to Saint Raphael eight times.
  18. Thanks to the spirits and forces of Mercury, license to depart.
  19. Closing of the ritual and closing prayers.

For those interested, the Mercury incense blend I used consisted of two parts nutmeg, two parts frankincense, one part benzoin, one part clove, and one part Power blend incense.

Time Yo Shit

By now, you’ve probably heard me and plenty other magicians talk about planetary hours and days.  In fact, a lot of the stuff I need to do needs to be timed to a specific hour to boost the efficacy of some working or other.  Although a lot of modern occultists don’t bother with the details, maybe paying some mind to the phase of the Moon or the planet ruling the day of the week, the use of planetary hours and days is something that’s still fairly tied up in traditional or ceremonial work.  However, it’s still a powerful tool that anyone can use, even if they’re not doing something specifically magical.  Although you could feasibly do a magical act at any time, you generally want time on your side to make things flow easier and more effectively.

In order from most powerful to least powerful timing:

  1. Astrological election
  2. Planetary hour and day
  3. Planetary hour
  4. Planetary day
  5. Anytime

Using a proper astrological election for a planet is hands-down the best, since it’s tied directly to the strength of the planet and not just to a natural rhythm (though proper planetary elections also involve their proper planetary day and hour).  However, this only really works when you can get an election and, moreover, get a good election.  For instance, Jupiter won’t have another decent election until at least late next year, since it’s in Gemini right now (Jupiter’s detriment), and elections of Saturn can be far and few between.  Because of this, astrological magic can be difficult, and it often suffices to use the natural rhythm of the heavens as they’re in flow on Earth.

You’ll notice I have planetary hour alone preferred over planetary day alone; one might think that the planetary day would be more powerful, but it’s not really the case from what I’ve seen and experienced.  If you consider the force of a planet like light, the planetary day gives an ambient and unfocused light, while the planetary hour provides a sharp, focused, and appropriately hued beam.  It’s the difference between setting a glass of water in sunlight to warm up, and aiming an array of mirrors in sunlight at a water tank to make it explode.  One can use the scattered, dissipated energy of the planet (planetary day), but it’s better if you have some sort of focus (planetary hour), and best if the ambient light is of the same hue as the focus (planetary day and hour).

However, just as some colors work well together and form a new and appropriate color when mixed, some planets are complementary or can combine to produce a force appropriate to a specific working.  This means that a planetary hour on another planet’s day can still work, especially if the two planets are in affinity with each other.  Planets that are generally in affinity with each other are:

  • Saturn with Jupiter, the Sun, Mercury, and the Moon
  • Jupiter with Saturn, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon
  • Mars with Venus
  • The Sun with Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus
  • Venus with Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Mercury, and the Moon
  • Mercury with Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus
  • The Moon with Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus

Of course, if you have a good reason, you might be able to swing a pair of planetary days and hours that are otherwise badly related to each other.  For instance, if you wanted a good time to inscribe the Seal of Solomon, a mixture of Mars and Saturn (hour of Mars on a Saturday or vice versa) wouldn’t be bad.  Although these planets are not in affinity with each other, they’re both involved explicitly with the Seal of Solomon and their powers combined help with binding and restricting a spirit.

Also, while useful for timing generally, this doesn’t particularly matter much for sublunar or nonplanetary forces, simply because they’re not planetary.  As such, something to be done under the auspices of Fire can be done pretty much anytime.  However, these other forces can still benefit from the planetary hours, based on their correspondences with them.  A few I’d use would be, generally based on Agrippa’s correspondences:

  • Fire under Mars and the Sun
  • Air under Jupiter and Venus
  • Water under Saturn and Mercury
  • Earth under the Moon
  • Light under the Sun or Moon (the luminaries)
  • Darkness under Saturn (the furthest and darkest planet)

Then again, these forces don’t have to be set in stone.  If I wanted a good time to do something related to communication, I’d either use an hour of Mercury (which rules communication) or an hour of an airy planet, Venus or Jupiter (which both rule good communication as well as air).  Things get a little more unclear when you start mixing up planets and elements, as noted before, but things can still work well.

Then, of course, there’s another system of hours which use geomantic figures ruling the individual hours.  I’ve found lists in John Michal Greer’s Art and Practice of Geomancy as well as John Heydon’s stupidly dense Theomagia, and they’re largely based on planetary hours (an hour of Venus is usually translated into an hour of Puella or Amissio), but the pattern there, if any, is unclear.  I haven’t found much of a use for it, preferring the simpler and more regular planetary hours, on which the geomantic hours are based anyway.

Now, here’s the kicker about all this.  Magic is about making shit work how you want it to work, and it’s not strictly dependent on timing.  Like I said before, timing helps, but it’s not the be-all-end-all of magic.  Magic provides you with the tools to make any time work, whether it’s by harnessing the proper powers that are strong at the right time or by finding powers and spirits that work in a radically different way than you expected to accomplish something to get the same goal accomplished.  The less of a benefit you have from timing, the more you’re going to have to look elsewhere to find other and subtler relationships to do something.  In general, timing helps, and it helps a lot.  Unless you like to make things difficult for yourself, or unless you’re in an emergency when you’ve got to get shit done ASAP, try to go with the rhythm that already flows and you’ll be set.

Talismans, Curses, Conjurations, News, Etc.

Seems like I got a fair bit accomplished since my last post. Guess I triggered some change for a good effect, or something.  I had a few worries that the hurricane that swept up the east coast would interfere with a few of my plans, but yeah, no.  I should keep this advice in mind when it comes to interpreting weather news.  Also, Mercury went direct again!  He’ll be back up to speed in early September, if you’re curious.  And now for the updates:

  • As part of my making a working magician’s altar, I’m making a series of planetary talismans, one for each of the seven traditional planets.  It’s an awesome project, though it’s taking its own sweet time: each talisman needs to be made in its proper planetary day and hour, which yields three or four hours, one hour at a time, one day a week, for each talisman.  Each talisman is a small wood disk engraved via woodburning with the planet’s symbol and its seals along with its angel’s name and his seal (those last two are from the Magical Calendar and Heptameron).  The engravings are filled with gold leaf, and a small hole in the bottom of each talisman is filled with the planet’s proper metal (lead for Saturn, a copper nail for Venus, etc.).  I’ve got only Mars and the Moon talismans to fill with metal, and afterward need to apply finish to all of them and consecrate them, which will involve calling up the planetary angels for the first time.  Lessons learned from this project: don’t try to nail too many things into the same block of wood at once, silver’s really hard to melt down with a propane torch, and if 5′ of gold wire costs only $20, it’s probably not gold.
  • I put up two new pages under the Rituals menu: Writing a Defixio, on the writing of binding spells and curse tablets such as those found across the classical Mediterranean and European world; and my complete (but probably crappy) translation of the Planetary Conjurations from the Munich Manual, complete with illustrations.  That said, that whole section from the Munich Manual was basically lifted wholesale from the Heptameron, so, whatever.  And my parents said that Latin would never be useful for me.
  • I conjured Michael again and the Elemental Prince Oriens for the first time last week so I could go through the last of the elemental initiations.  Alas!  Oriens turned me down, saying that I wasn’t yet ready.  Michael suggested that I talk to my natal genius first in order to find out more about my true will and cause for doing all this occult stuff, with the suggestion that understanding why I’m doing this will make my drive to do it all that much stronger.  Also, this time talking with Michael, things were much cooler than the time before: the first time I conjured Michael, it was a really intense experience, but I had also been building up for that in every possible fiery way I could imagine.  Apparently, it’s much more in tune and harmonic usually, but still wiped me out (or burnt me out, if you will).
  • Also as part of this stage of my Work, I had to conjure the other princes of the elements, the nasty demonic ones whose names are Samael, Azazel, Azael, and Mahazael.  I conjured the archangels to bring them to me, then I sealed them up on pieces of paper bound in black thread and sealed up in little tea tins taped shut.  This is to keep their influence out of my life, and things have felt kind of clearer and a little easier since I started doing this, though that may be entirely psychological (what isn’t, when it comes to magic?).  It’s not the sturdiest of prisons, but it’ll do for now.  Once I finish the planetary talismans, I’ll redo the prisons, time permitting.  Bee tee dubs, those are some spiteful, hateful things.  I can’t remember the last time I shivered at that sort of emotion so deeply before.  Since then, however, things have felt…I dunno.  More relaxed, calm, smoother, even though nothing has explicitly turned out for the better.  No complaints, though.
  • After chatting with the four archangels, they helped me out by agreeing to come to my aid if I called on them by name outside of a proper conjuration.  The conjuration helps forge a stronger connection, but when I don’t have the materia or time, asking for their help with a small oration will suffice.  Nifty!
  • After my chalice shattered by my own hand after the oh-so-horrible earthquake aftermath last week, I went shopping and got a simple but pretty (and much sturdier and shorter) glass goblet.  I conjured up Gabriel the next day and had his help to consecrate this new cup for my altar, and now all is right with the world.  Or getting there, at least.
  • Along with my new chalice, I bought some asafoetida powder from an Indian store.  Asafoetida, also called hing or Devil’s dung, is a powerful herb related to Saturn and Mars, and can curse, uncurse, or banish.  That said, now I know why people think Indian food stinks, and my whole house smells like ass forever.  Such sadness.
  • It turns out there’s a decent Saturn election next month (Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 2:29 p.m. EDT where I live), when Saturn will have an essential dignity of +8 (If I did my math correctly).  I’m taking advantage of that to make a decent Saturn talisman for myself and to get some experience in astrological magic.  The whole process will be pretty involved, but I’ve already gotten the basic steps done of making a base lead disc for the talisman and planning out the design.  I’m pretty excited since, according to a natal reading from Chris Warnock at Renaissance Astrology, a talisman of Saturn is highly recommended for myself.  As part of this upcoming ritual, I’m also making a wooden kamea of Saturn, which should be done this coming weekend.
  • I’m restarting the practice of a weekly divination.  I’m out of practice with geomancy and I really need to pick my skills back up, so I’m going to try to get a weekly and monthly divination up again.  I’ll try to remember to note my results on this blog, just for reference’s sake.
Next up, finishing up a few more talismans, consecrating them with the archangels, having a few chats with my natal genius, working on this Saturn talisman, and rebinding the demonic elemental princes with lead and steel instead of paper and tealights.  Also, by mid-September, I’ll have a fully operational Death Star Table of Manifestation, which alone will be a significant achievement for me.  All that should carry me through the end of September nicely with plenty of stuff to do.  Now if only I could fit things like sleep and boozing it up in clubs in there, too, but I guess I should have something resembling priorities.