Zodiacal Timing Review

Not that long ago, I made a post about retooling planetary hours for zodiacal hours.  I suggest you read over it to figure out where I’m coming from, but basically, one substitutes the planet ruling over a particular hour with a zodiac sign it rules, viz. a masculine sign if it’s a diurnal hour and a feminine sign if it’s a nocturnal hour.  It’s a pretty straightforward extension of the system, I thought, and I wanted to show it off before I start putting it towards use for a year-long project I have planned: conjurations of the 12 angels of the Zodiac signs, each done while the Sun is in the appropriate sign.  That way, by timing a particular conjuration to the zodiacal hour on the planetary day most closely associated with that sign, I thought I could get a better or more refined, though limited, timing to perform the conjuration.  While Iophiel is the angel presiding over all the fixed stars, different subsets are known for different effects, each with their own angel, just as there are individual angels of specific fixed stars as well as the lunar mansions.

Alas, though, my system of zodiacal hours is apparently not the best way to do things.  Last Tuesday at dawn, I conjured Malkhidael, the angel presiding over Ares, and learned about zodiacal conjurations generally as well as the nature of the sign of Aries as well as of the fixed stars in general.    When it comes to the conjurations of zodiacal angels, however, timing to the hours isn’t that preferred.  While it can be done, it’s obtuse and not the preferred way to come in contact with them.  Rather, the best time to perform a zodiacal ritual for something like a conjuration, according to Malkhidael, is when the sign in question is “brightened”.  When asked for an explanation of this, he clarified that a sign is “brightened” when it is either on the ascendant (rising) or on the midheaven (culminating), so about when the Sun is at heliacal rising or zenith while the Sun is in that particular sign.

This…actually makes a lot of sense, since these two points are hugely empowering when it comes to astrological elections.  In fact, that’s backed up in several sources, such as Agrippa (book II, chapter 30 and 31, as well as book I, chapter 41):

…when they are in Angles, especially of the rising, or Tenth, or in houses presently succeeding, or in their delights…There is the like consideration to be had in all things concerning the fixt stars…

…Now the manner of making these kinds of Rings, is this, viz. when any Star ascends fortunately, with the fortunate aspect, or conjunction of the Moon…

The significance of these locations is widespread in astrology.  Both the ascendant and midheaven are angles, with the ascendant representing the location where planets and celestial objects rise into the sky from the underworld (going from complete obscurity due to the Earth to visibility and light), and the midheaven representing the zenith and highest point of the sky (where everyone and everything can see the object).  If I go with a strictly solar timing of zodiacal rituals with this, calling on a particular sign only when the Sun is in that sign, then that gives me the hours of sunrise and solar noon when we’re in that particular sign.  I have a strong hunch that the same would work when the Moon is present instead of or in addition to the Sun in that particular sign, which would give me more options throughout the year.  Even then, though, I could just go with the sign itself rising or culminating without regard to what’s in it, which would give me about one hour twice a day to work with that particular sign.

Ah well.  The best part about working with experiential sciences like the occult is figuring out what works and what doesn’t.  At least I got my answer early on in this series of workings about this particular technique, and now I have some principles to help guide my future work.

Search Term Shoot Back, February 2014

I get a lot of hits on my blog from across the realm of the Internet, many of which are from links on Facebook, Twitter, or RSS readers.  To you guys who follow me: thank you!  You give me many happies.  However, I also get a huge number of new visitors daily to my blog from people who search around the Internet for various search terms.  As part of a monthly project, here are some short replies to some of the search terms people have used to arrive here at the Digital Ambler.  This focuses on some search terms that caught my eye during the month of February 2014.

“+dearth spell magick on my self” — If you meant “dearth” as in famine and scarcity of resources, that’s fairly easy, though people tend to work prosperity magic for themselves rather than poverty magic; invoke Saturn to keep your means and resources restricted, banish all forces of Jupiter and Venus, and invoke Mercury to lead all good and providing things away from you.  If you meant “death” magic, well, dearth and death go hand in hand, so you could similarly invoke Saturn again for that, but really?  You want to use death magic on yourself?  You may want to read up on actual and reasonable necromancy first, hon.  Try giving Tomekeeper a good read, to start with; he’s working on his necromancy book, “Ars Falcis”, too.

“runes to supercharge labradorite” — Labradorite was discovered by European peoples in the late 18th century, long after runes had been used, and even longer after they had been used for magical purposes (except for the occasional astrological text).  Thus, there are no real runes to work with labradorite, though I’m sure associations could be made between runes and stones nowadays that are based off traditional lore.  If you meant “rune” in the broader magical sense of “a magical operational symbol”, then which symbol you’d want to use is entirely up to how you want to “supercharge” it.  Personally, for empowering things generally, I just like setting things out in the Sun and Moon for a lunar month or so, or praying over it, or using an astrological election to consecrate them, or so many other methods.  Symbols themselves are nice, but how are you going to use that symbol?

“the psalms and ‘planetary hours'” — This is actually a really interesting idea.  I don’t know of any system that corresponds the planetary hours to particular psalms; there are seven planets and seven days, so there are 49 distinct day-hour combinations, or 98 if you consider diurnality (e.g. day solar hour on Monday vs. night solar hour on Monday), while there are 150 psalms, so there’s no easily notable matchup between the two.  However, I do know that the Christian Books of Hours and breviaries often have sets of prayers, especially the psalms, to be used at different times during different days, following a set of canonical hours that are not unlike the calculation and setup of planetary hours.  Combining the two might be an interesting project for a Christian planetary magician.

“does criss angel consider planetary hours in his magic” — Criss Angel is not a magician.  It’s like, yeah, a person with a Ph.D. in Mongolian literature and the person who gives you medicine at the clinic are technically both called “doctors”, but they’re nothing the same; likewise, his “magic” and my magic are not the same thing, and he is not a “magician” like how I’m a magician.  Criss Angel is a performer and illusionist, and his stuff has nothing to do with the magic Hermeticists, ceremonialists, and other actual magicians do.  Thus, I strongly doubt he even knows about planetary hours, much less considers them in his “magic”.

“conjuring spirits within you” — Generally a poor idea, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing.  If you’re an expert in it, you might end up with something like the Santería ocha ritual, where you’re initiated and have a spirit share your headspace with you from then on.  At worst, you’ll end up performing Crowley’s Choronzon experiment, and with probably even worse results than he got.  It’s like if I wanted to get to know you better, I’d meet you out for coffee or something, not immediately say that I’m gonna share your bed with you for cuddles and conversation.  You’d be far better off conjuring spirits in a space set aside for them, like a Solomonic triangle or Table of Practice.

“how to properly bless a blade for satanic ritual” — This is contradictory on several levels.  Blessing indicates that you want to consecrate something and make it holy, which is the work of God.  Satanic rituals (if you’re taking this in a theological direction) indicate that you’re buying into the entire Judeo-Christian framework with the enmity and opposition between God and Satan, and then deliberately picking the losing side of the battle.  First, that’s stupid because it’s already been prophesied in the tradition that Satan comes from that he’s not gonna do too well in the end, nor for that matter any of his followers; second, Satan is by definition unholy in the Christian theme of things, so anything that’s blessed cannot be used for a satanic ritual, nor does Satan have the capacity to bless things.  You could desecrate something that was once made holy, sure, but that’s not the same thing.  Blessed things tend to hurt rather than help in such works, not to mention showing yourself to the spirits as a stupid whiny brat who’s probably still in high school who wants to be some spookeh dark warlock of uber powerz.  I’m not your guy for that kind of BS.  And while an argument could be made that Satan exists as a god alongside God, you’re suddenly straying into a weird dualist theology a la Zoroastrianism (where even that religion’s dark god fails in the final days) that is no longer Christian nor satanic, and you better have a lot of mythos and power built up for your new god to have the capacity to bless things in his own name, which is already empty without the backing of the Judeo-Christian mythos and religion behind it.

“sphere of the fixed stars symbol” — The various spheres of heaven have many symbols associated with themselves: the planetary symbols, symbols of their ruling angels, and the like.  However, the sphere of the fixed star is weird in that it doesn’t have a symbol, or rather, it doesn’t have any one symbol.  Using the symbols of the signs of the Zodiac together can work, and similarly those for the lunar mansions (the astrology program ZET has a set based on the Vedic mansions which I’ve heard work well); there are also .  In visualization exercises, I tend to just visualize the starry sky itself as a symbol, but I’ve also asked Iophiel, the angel ruling over the sphere of the fixed stars as a whole, for a seal for which I can conjure and commune with him.  There are also seals for a few of the fixed stars themselves, but that’s not for the whole sphere.  Qabbalistically, the sphere of the fixed stars is associated with the second sephirah Chokmah, so the number 2 and anything pertaining to it would work on a numerological standpoint.

“how do you drill a hole in orgonite” — Get a drill and some orgonite, then drill a hole into the orgonite using the drill.  The fact you have to ask shows that you might need something stronger for your mental and spiritual well-being than glittery congealed robot vomit, anyway.

“english sharthand” — Dear gods, I’m so sorry.  You may not want to scratch your ass next time you have indigestion.

“free geomancy readings” — While I don’t offer free readings often, I sometimes do if I’m doing a promotional deal or a devotional act for the gods.  In the meantime, I charge $30 for a normal geomancy reading.

“angelic symbol” — There are so many of them,  I don’t know where to begin.  You can even get original ones for your own use from the angels themselves, you know; this is how I developed my own set of seals for the elemental archangels (Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel) since no common symbols for them exist.  That said, the notion of a symbol is pretty wide-ranging, especially when this deals with spirits; the spoken or written name of the spirit, an image of them, their numbers, their colors, their elements or planets or celestial forces, the seal or graphical logo, all of these things are their symbols, and wherever those symbols are, so too is that spirit, and vice versa.  Y̹̖̰͖̥ͨ͛͘O̡͚͋̊ͬ͂͌̀̊U̢͎̲̲̟̼̭̥̤̅ͧ͘ ̸̛̺̻͚̺̠͎̰̘̽͞ͅA̜̩͎̣͔̅̊̑̌͟R̷̢̫̖̫̓̌͌̕E͗̈̈̂͂̍̌̏҉̠̗̣̟̪̺̭ ̤̟̟̼̳͈̖̃̅̓͐̌́̐͜N̨̩̖̘͈̽ͅE̩̺̱͓̥͍͐̽̔̽̽͑͠V̸͕̩̭̼̖̤̻̂̈́ͭ̀̾̚E̴̛̻̙̠̺̺̖̱̅̀͛̎̐ͫŖ̤̌̌̿͆̈́ͮ͒͟ ̶̼͊̇ͪ̄͋T̘̮ͯ̽̓̍̉ͣ̉͢͞R̜̞͒̓̆̋ͣ͜Ü̪̙̳͍̜̗̹͈͛̉͟L͗̋̿ͦ̓̄ͮ͢҉̝̻͎̮̻͙̞Y̪ͯͦ ̰͉̞̹̞̪ͫ͡A̛̳̥̘̠̭̥ͩ̍͌̍ͭͨ̌̌̀L͍͍̜͙͙͙̮͉̎͌͆̄̈̄̆̀̚Ő͍̗̩̝̼ͯ̀̑̏̅N̵̪̠̆ͫ̈́͑̋͊͋̀E͚͉̳̠̯̱̮ͯͨ̇̔͜

“badass calligraphy alphabet” — Why, thank you.

“spirit wife ritual” — I’m…not really sure.  I assume this means that you want to make a spirit your wife, so good luck with that.  I might suggest talking to an angel to assign you such-and-such a spirit who’s compatible with you in all regards, mentally and sexually and emotionally and etc., then perform some sort of bonding ritual between you and the spirit assuming that it’s amenable to such a thing.  I guess.

“how to summon hermes” — Hermes is a god, and one of the few gods given permission in Greek mythos to be given permission to go anywhere and everywhere; further, the Homeric Hymn to Hermes notes that he cannot be constrained by force or binding.  To that end, unless you’re the king of the gods Zeus himself, I don’t think you have permission or business to summon Hermes as you would other angels or demons.  You can invoke him and offer him sacrifice, performing a ritual to invite him down to a sacred or sanctified place, but that’s by no means a summons to the god.  Even I, as his priest and devotee, have no business saying “Yo, Hermes, get your wingy ass down here, I got shit for you to do”.  This is a clear case where invoking and evoking have different natures, and you want to invoke a god rather than evoke them.

“what symbol did gabriel put on solomon’s ring” — I don’t really know where the symbols on the Ring of Solomon came from. There are two major versions of this ring in Western magic: the one from the Lemegeton Goetia, and the one from John Dee.  The former has the names “Michael, Tetragrammaton,Anepheneton” (or “Michael, IHVH, Tzabaoth” if you use an interpretation from Greekish names to Hebrew like I did for my own ring).  The latter is commonly known as the PELE ring, so called because it has a circle with a V crossing the top and an L at the bottom, bisected by a horizontal lines, with the letters P, E, L, and E at the four corners clockwise from the upper left.  However, Dee’s books say that the angel Michael, not Gabriel, gave him such a design, and the Lemegeton remains silent on the matter as far as I can read.

“what does it mean when lighting a spritual candle and the wick lets out a poof” — I love how this was described, first of all.  As for “poof”, this could mean different things.  If you mean that it sparked or crackled, I might say that this means a spirit came by and inhabited the candle, and is set to work on the job; more materially, this might mean that there are impurities in the wick or pockets of gas or air that perturb the flame.  If you mean that a puff of smoke came out of the candle, I might say that this means there could be difficulties in getting the work done on your own; materially, that there are carbon impurities in the wick that create a sooty deposit.  Both of these can be avoided by trimming the wick down to a short length, say 1/4″.

Earth, Moon, and Stars

Cornelius Agrippa in his Three Books of Occult Philosophy (book I, chapter 8; book II, chapter 7) relates the four elements to the celestial objects, namely the planets, mostly because magicians like to figure out what can stand in for what in different contexts.  According to Agrippa, Earth is the element that basically allows all of Creation to be created (book I, chapter 5):

Now the Basis, and foundation of all the Elements, is the Earth, for that is the object, subject, and receptacle of all Celestiall rayes, and influencies; in it are contained the seeds, and Seminall vertues of all things; and therefore it is said to be Animall, Vegetable, and Minerall. It being made fruitfull by the other Elements, and the Heavens, brings forth all things of it self; It receives the abundance of all things, and is, as it were the first fountain, from whence all things spring, it is the Center, foundation, and mother of all things…It is the first matter of our Creation, and the truest Medicine that can restore, and preserve us.

Agrippa makes a connection between Earth and the Moon and the fixed stars, indicating how the element of Earth can be reflected in the skies.  I mentioned this briefly before, focusing mostly on the connection between elemental Earth and planetary Moon:

…the heaven of the Moon is the closest to Earth, making it the most dense of the seven planets.  As the most dense planet, it’s the last stop for an Idea coming from the sphere of the Prime Mover through the stars and the other planets to finally come into form; this is the sphere where something actually takes a materialized shape, even if it’s only illusory and ephemeral.  This is also shown since, as the fastest moving planet and the lowest rung on the ladder, it collects the rays and forces of all the other planets and influences above it, focusing them like a lens onto the Earth…Like the element of Earth, which takes form and receives the influences of the other elements, the Moon takes form and receives the influences of the other planets.

The connection between the terrestrial sphere of Earth and the celestial sphere of the fixed stars is a little more difficult for me to rationalize.  I suppose I’ve been going on the notion that, just as Earth is the most stable and immovable of the elements, so too are the fixed stars the most stable and immovable of the celestial objects referenced in magic.  After all, they don’t really move much (at an extremely slow rate, not counting the negligible effect the motion of the fixed stars have to each other), especially compared to the otherwise rapid motion of the wandering stars (a.k.a. planets).  Beyond that, I never really thought about it much.  I’ve got some other work before I get up and running with the sphere of the fixed stars, so I haven’t actually gone up to call Iophiel (or Raziel, depending on the text).

Recently, I was chatting with Auriel, the archangelic king of the sphere of Earth, and after the usual friendly chat, catching up over a glass of wine in a circle, and empowerment of myself and my sphere with the element of Earth, we sat down and started talking about what Earth is really like at length and in depth.  As usual, “as above so below” is a good rule to go by, and Auriel instructed me to take a look at the Tree of Life a little more closely, especially between the sephiroth of Malkuth and Kether.  For one, everything in the sphere of the Earth, the sephirah of Malkuth, has at least a little Earth in it; that’s why the elemental colors of Malkuth are “dim” or murky, to show that they’re not the pure elements in their ideal form.  Malkuth is the physical, material universe, the one that modern atheistic scientism holds is the only thing that exists.  On the other hand, Kether is unmanifest infinity, divinely simple in that everything that is, was, will be, isn’t, was never, can never, and may be is all One Thing.

Without Earth, nothing can have a material basis; it’s the only element that can’t combine on its own with itself, but can combine with itself through the use of other elements that it’s blended with.  Earth, for instance, can offer a basis for Fire to burn, a course for Air to flow over, or a container for Water to fill, but Earth cannot do anything with Earth on its own.  Because of this, it’s more than just convenience that everything on Earth is at least partially made of Earth, both sharing the same name.  Earth is the most malleable of elements, and takes the influence from everything above it.  Earth is the key to manifestation; without it, much like in the geomantic figure Cauda Draconis, everything passes away from and nothing can be brought into material reality.  Without Earth, the bottom drops out quite literally.

The highest sephirah is Kether, the Crown, which is basically the starting point for infinity from finite existence, the place where finite reality stops having an end and starts having no end and no limit at all.  Though it has the qabbalistic path number of one, and though I don’t have much experience to talk about it, I feel like this is somewhat misleading.  Although one is computationally the root of all numbers, Kether includes all things that exist as well as all things that don’t exist.  In that sense, Kether might be better termed i or something.  Things don’t really start to begin the process of manifestation until an Idea from the Infinite Mind, a Ray from the Infinite Light passes through the second sephirah called Chokmah, the sphere of the fixed stars.  There, something finally makes the jump from “possibility of manifestation” to “manifesting”, where things actually start to legitimately make the claim of existing.  The fall from grace, the first step of the Fool is just the first step in the Chain of Manifestation, but it’s still progress all the same.

The sphere of the fixed stars allows only rays of light that come from the sphere of the Prime Mover; these rays pass through the darkness of the Fool’s cliff and are filtered through the stars in constellations or particular regions of the sky, and appear to us down on Earth as starlight.  Without that filter to provide form, infinite possibility could never be whittled down to probable possibility.  It is this pure Light, filtered through the eighth sphere, that can take on shape or form or purpose later on based on its Idea above.  The fixed stars take on the influence and nature of the Light above it and pass it down into the world as the beginning of Creation.

The similarities between Kether and Chokmah, or the spheres of the Prime Mover and the fixed stars, with Yesod and Malkuth, or the spheres of the Moon and the Earth, now become apparent.  The Moon and Infinite Light both provide an imagined substance to be manifested in the realm beneath it; the Earth supplies a concrete, manifested form based on the imaged and astral form from the Moon, while the fixed stars supply a viable, manifesting Idea based on the unbound and divine Idea from the Source.  The difference between King and Kingdom lies in where and how things come to be.  Just as the fixed stars provide realization for an idea to manifest something at the beginning, Earth provides substance for form to manifest something at the end.  It’s this ability to turn undefined, vague things into clear(er), specific things that relates the fixed stars to the Earth.

At least, that’s my opinion for now.  Though much can be said of the stars and planets and elements in writing, especially in terms of theory and cosmology, working with magic is still a mystery: it requires working with and experience to really grok the whole shebang.  But I’ll go with Auriel’s guidance for now.