Search Term Shoot Back, September 2015

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 September 2015.

“what are the corresponding planet of each mansion of the moon” — In the system I learned it (I’m unsure if there are others), there are 28 lunar mansions that cover the 360° of the Zodiac.  The first lunar mansion starts at 0° Aries, and is given to the Sun.  From there, the lunar mansions are given to the planets in the weekday order: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.  Since there are 28 mansions and 7 planets, this cycle repeats four times, so that the Sun begins at the same zodiacal position that the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) do.

Planetary attributions of the Lunar Mansions

“the seven days conjuration” — A conjuration done over seven days, a period where you do seven conjurations in seven days, what?  Be a little more specific.  There are works like Pietro d’Abano’s Heptameron, literally meaning “a period of seven days”, referring to the planetary conjurations one can best perform on each of the seven days of the week; we find a similar text in the Munich Manual.  Alternatively, you could do the usual conjuration ritual, such as Trithemius’ rite, and conjure each of the seven planetary angels on your own across the seven days of the week; this is the basis for Fr. Rufus Opus’ Seven Spheres book, and his occasional project Seven Spheres in Seven Days.  It can get a little rough, especially with a crazy mundane schedule, but it’s worth it.

“which month,day and hour is the spirit of jupiter” — It…this doesn’t, I can’t.  Unless you’re talking about a particular zeitgeist, the spirit of Jupiter abides as long as the planet and its planetary sphere does, so…yeah.  The spirit of Jupiter can always be contacted regardless of the time, but there are some times that are better than others, and for this we use the system of planetary days and hours.  For instance, the planetary day of Jupiter is Thursday, and there are planetary hours of Jupiter scattered regularly throughout the week, so if you can get something set up on a planetary day and hour of Jupiter, it’ll be all the better.  As for months, this gets a little less regular.  Our system of months tracks the procession of the Sun through the Zodiac, more or less, but we don’t care about the Sun as much as we care about Jupiter, so we’d like to know when Jupiter is particularly strong in the Zodiac.  This can get into a whole talk about electional astrology, which is beyond the scope of this entry, but suffice it to say that you should check an ephemeris and read up on William Lilly’s books to figure out when Jupiter itself will be powerful.

“can you give back eleke” — First off, I don’t know why I keep getting hits on Santeria stuff on this blog, as it’s hardly ever germane to the usual stuff that goes on.  But…so, from what I gather, receiving your elekes is a ritual available to anyone with a godparent in Santeria, and is one of the important steps one takes in the process of initiation into the priesthood.  These are like your formal introductions to the orisha of those elekes, and…I have a hard time understanding why you’d want to give them back.  They’re yours, and yours alone.  Giving them back or intentionally losing them seems, to my mind, like a massive slap in the face to the orisha to whom you’ve been introduced.  If you didn’t want elekes, unless you were only a child without agency when you received them, then you shouldn’t have gone through the ritual to get them, but…I mean, hey, it’s your life.  They won’t interfere with anything, but if you don’t even want that much, go ahead.

“hermeticism homosexuality” — Bear in mind that the idea of homosexuality (yes, the mere concept of it) is recent, dating back only to the 1800s.  There is nothing ancient about homosexuality as a concept, and while we may read homosexuality into older works or storied relationships, it is folly to think that ancient peoples may have thought of themselves as inherently preferring one sex/gender to the other.  Sexuality was something that one did, not what one was (much like the guys who claim straightness but keep hooking up with dudes on Craigslist, no homo).  As a philosophy or branch of occult fields, there is nothing prohibiting or encouraging homosexuality in Hermeticism; depending on the context, homosexuality can be as much a hindrance or a help as much as heterosexuality is, and both same-gender sex as well as different-gender sex have their place.  Are they interchangeable?  I’m not convinced one way or the other on that, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t necessarily be, even though they may have different mechanics physically and spiritually.

“hermetic laws on gender and transgender people” — Like with the above search term, there’s no real connection or law that connects the occult philosophy of Hermeticism to things like gender, especially modern notions of gender that go beyond the simple gender binary that has stuck around humanity for thousands of years.  And no, although the Kybalion talks about the “laws of polarity” or gender or whatnot, that shoddy text is distinctly not Hermetic, and should not be considered as such for this topic.  For everything I’ve seen that matters in Hermetic magic, what gender you identify as does not matter, nor does the sex your body has.  If a specific item or body part is called for from a particular sex of a human, animal, or plant, I think it’s better to use that particular sex rather than think that the sexes are completely interchangeable; just as straight sex and gay sex have different powers, so too (as I see it) do male and female bodies.  Still, from the perspective of who can or can’t do magic, gender has no role to play in it.

“mercury as a cock with a human head” — Usually, in the Mediterranean, we find humanoid bodies with animal heads, like those of Egypt.  The Greeks tended to frown on these zoocephalic gods, preferring their strictly anthrophomorphic gods like Apollo or Serapis.  However, even with some of the more bizarre gods, like the human-torsoed cock-headed snake-legged Abrasax, we tend to find that the body is human and the head is animalian.  I know of no representation of a rooster with a human head as a representation of Mercury or Hermes, but perhaps you mean a phallus?  In which case, the word you’re thinking of is “herm“.

“massive cock painting” — I prefer photographs, myself, and I prefer GIFs more than those.  There’s a whole subreddit for that, too, you know!  I’d link to it, except that I’m writing this post at work, and….yeah.

“fuck a golem jod he vau he” — Please don’t fuck a golem.  The only way to turn a golem off is to kill it, at which point you turn sexy-divine lithokinesis into necrogeophilia, and that gets really weird.

“is using corse salt for protection godly or not?” — Well, you won’t find circles of salt described in the Bible, to be sure, but then, neither will you find lots of what the Catholic Church does, either.  That said, the Church uses salt in its consecration of holy water, as there’s some virtue in salt that helps to sanctify or cleanse stuff spiritually.  Plus, it has lots of use dating back hundreds of years, if not millennia, as a means of protection from spiritual harm.  It’s up to you to judge how godly that may be, but I’m on the side that it’s quite alright to do so.

“what happens if i summon spirits good” — You did it!  You summoned a spirit.  Congratulations!  Now, I hope you thought this part out, but…why did you summon a spirit?  To what end?  Anyone can pick up a phone and call a number; what’re you going to talk about?  What will you ask for?  That’s the real part of summoning that nobody seems to think about ahead of time, and the whole point of the act.  Why bother establishing contact with a spirit if you have nothing to talk about?

“symbols on solomons wand” — In book II, chapter 8 of the Key of Solomon, we find described the method to create the Wand and Staff, which involves inscribing the symbols from the Key onto the wand in the day and hour of Mercury.  Joseph Peterson on his Esoteric Archives gives a lot of Hermetic wand lore, and in his notes on the Key of Solomon, he believes that the symbols from the Key are nothing more than corrupted Hebrew for “AGLA + ON + TETRAGRAMMATON”, the same names used on the wand in Trithemius’ ritual of conjuration.  I used both the Solomonic symbols and the Trithemian names on my own personal Wand of Art, and while I’m not entirely convinced that they’re supposed to be the same thing, they do have similar feels to their power.

Ebony Wand Design

“bath soap by geomancy figure spell” — While geomancy and magic get along great, I’m less sure about things like herbs and physical supplies used with the geomantic figures; the most I’ve seen geomantic figures used in magic is by turning the figures into a sigil that can be used to augment other works.  However, by using the elemental, planetary, and zodiacal attributions to the geomantic figures, we can get a reasonably good idea of the herbs and materials needed to make a soap or wash for each figure, such that if we wanted to be empowered by the figure of Puer, we’d make a soap using warming, spicy, woody, Martian herbs and inscribe the figure or a sigil of the figure into the soap before using it in the shower.  I suppose it could be done reasonably well this way.

“names of all seven archangels including rose” — I’m not sure what set of archangels includes the name “Rose”, unless you’re a diehard Whovian who has a special place in their cosmology for the 10th Doctor’s companion.  For me, the seven archangels of the Orthodox tradition are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Barachiel, Jehudiel, and Sealtiel.

“items to put on a sagiterian prayer alter” — Please note that you put things on an altar, but change them when you alter them.  This misspelling never fails to get on my nerves.  As to the actual search term, the idea of setting up an altar or shrine to a constellation is…unusual, though not entirely out of reason.  Normally, when worship of celestial bodies is called for, it’s directed to the seven planets, hardly ever to the fixed stars, and much less any particular constellation of the Zodiac (notable exceptions being stars like the Behenian stars, the Pleiades, and so forth).  I suppose, if you wanted to set up a particular shrine to honor the constellation and god of Sagittarius in a standard modern Western fashion, you could use colors associated with the qabbalistic path of Samekh (= Temperance = Sagittarius), which are blue, yellow, green, and dark vivid blue; Jupiterian symbols and effects, such as a scepter, a battle-crown, bay and palm leaves, and so forth; symbols that relate directly to the sign, such as statues of centaurs and bows and arrows, and things that relate to the goddess Artemis; etc.  Setting it up facing the north-north west would be appropriate, or setting it up to face the east and working with it when the sign Sagittarius rises.  Making offerings in sets of 6 is appropriate, as the letter Samekh has the gematria value of 60.

Search Term Shoot Back, August 2015

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 August 2015.

“how do we summon spirit astaroth to appear physically” — Carefully.  Summoning a spirit, whether to physical manifestation or just to spiritual presence, is no joke, and takes a lot of practice, study, and dedication.  Summoning a spirit to physical manifestation is even less of a joke and something that, as I see it, is nearly never necessary.  It’s all well and good if you can pull it off, but I see it as a kind of bragging right if you can do it; it requires strict fasting, serious self-empowerment, a good relationship with the spirit, intent focus on the ritual, and a huge expense of energy that…honestly, most people can’t afford and have no need to spend.  If you can do it, great!  If not, don’t worry.  So long as you can bring them in enough contact so you can communicate and perceive them, you’re doing what you need to do.  Anything more is cool.

“big cork anal prison” — Nope.

“runes that look like sigils” — I’m not sure what your idea of “sigil” means here.  To me, a sigil is a symbol that refers to some concept, word, name, entity, or intent that has been graphically encoded through a mechanical means, such as through a qamea sigil or a sigil wheel or simple combination of letters.  Seals, on the other hand, are symbols that refer to some concept, word, etc. that are obtained or revealed directly from a spirit, and are not generated through any conscious process.  Many people use the terms interchangeably, though I find the distinction helpful in my work.  So, sigils can take many forms, but runes are more or less fixed with a few variations based on era and geographic origin.  Perhaps you mean the system of bindrunes, a ligature (or, I suppose, letter-combination sigil) of two or more runes?

“crystal ball uses” — Crystal balls have many uses, and some of their more common uses are seen everywhere in our culture.  However, I’d like to go over some of the more arcane uses that only the most dedicated crystal users might consider applying crystal balls for, as it’s not always apparent how to do so.  Paperweight.  Decoration in a fountain.  Regift for a new age friend.  Drain stopper.  Candle snuffer.  Meat tenderizer.  Foot/back massager.  Game piece.  Cosplay costume component.  Laser light scatterer.  Blunt trauma weapon.  Anal bead/ben-wa ball.  Body modification implant.  Dough spreader.

“oil lamps less soot” — I wrote a post on how to use oil lamps for great effect in home and ritual, but a few points probably need restating for clarity.  There are several ways you can use an oil lamp with less soot: trim the wick before using it so that all the worst charred parts of it are removed, keep the wick low enough so that you have a big enough flame without it trying to use too much fuel at once, use a clean and pure wick made of natural cellulose or linen with no chemical additives, use clean and pure oil with few chemical (natural or artificial) additives.  Mineral oil tends to be good, but that’s because it tends to be pretty neutral in most respects, as well; olive oil would produce some soot due to its natural compounds, but the higher grade the oil, the better quality flame you’ll get.

“how should fiery wall of protection oil be applied to home” — Different traditions and practices will tell you different things, and even within a tradition, you may have different ways to apply oil for different oils.  For me, I apply Fiery Wall of Protection oil in a small cross on every threshold or lintel in the house: everywhere there’s a gate, doorway, or windowsill that leads to another room or to the outside, I put the oil towards the top and center of that threshold.  If I’m going all out, I’ll also anoint all doorknobs, latches, air vents, drains, and the like just to cover every possible means of ingress or egress from the house.  Alternatively, you could use a five-spot pattern (a dab on each corner and once in the middle) on every window and door, or anoint four large iron spikes (railroad spikes are perfect) and nail them into the ground at the four corners of your house.  The possibilities are endless!

“working with seals of iupiter in virgo” — Assuming you’re working with the Pentacles of Jupiter from the Key of Solomon (book I, chapter 18), I’d go with the consecration instructions given for each pentacle.  Mind you, Jupiter is weak in Virgo (detriment), as he’s opposite his domicile sign of Pisces, so Jupiter isn’t particularly happy about being there.  However, if the pentacle was well-made at a time good for it (day and hour of Jupiter at a minimum), then I’d think it’d be good to use whenever with little change in effect otherwise.  Thus, I wouldn’t want to make anything particularly under the planet Jupiter while he’s in Virgo, unless I really needed his specific influence where no other planet or means of obtaining something could work; in other words, unless it’s an emergency that only Jupiter and nothing else can fix, I’ll probably look elsewhere for help.  The same goes for any Jupiterian working.  Mind you, Jupiter spends just under a year, give or take a few weeks, in each sign.

“how do you spell your name in angelic script?” — First, note that nearly all forms of “angelic script” tend to be different 1-to-1 ciphers (or “fonts”) of Hebrew script; Celestial Hebrew, Malachim, Passing the River, and Paracelsus’ Magi script all follow this trend.  Thus, although these might be considered alphabets, they follow the same rules and have the same number of letters as Hebrew does.  To that end, you’d want to first learn how to spell your name in Hebrew, then use your preferred angelic script.  The big exception to this is Enochian, which was transmitted to John Dee and, although it claims to be an original proto-Hebrew Adamic language, follows the same rules as English spelling and grammar of his day.  However, Enochiana, although technically angelic, tends to be in a whole different field than the rest of the angelic stuff, and may not correspond semantically to other types of angelic work.

“ancient human giant cocks” — As I like to say, there’s nothing new under the sun; I claim that humanity has been pretty much the same today since the dawn of civilization or the dawn of language, if not the dawn of humanity itself some 60,000 years ago.  Sure, we have newer things to play with, complicated systems we’ve engineered, and a variety of abstract philosophies to lose ourselves in, but we’re still fundamentally the same.  This goes for penis size, too; I can’t seem to find any information on historical penis size, but I assume they’re more or less the same size today as they were for ancient humans.  If anything, penis sizes are probably, on average, larger today than they were in earlier eras; several cultures of the past considered smaller penises to be ideal, as they’d cause less vaginal/anal stretching and, thus, less tearing in sensitive tissue, which would lead to fewer rates of infection; similarly, huge cocks were something reserved for the gods, and even then, only in a sense of comical debauchery or intimidation (cf. guardposts with an ithyphallic Pan).  As we’ve gotten better about hygienic practices, internal tearing due to getting on a huge dick hasn’t been as much a concern, so there’s a little more bias now towards going for guys with bigger cocks, and if that’s genetic, then there’s a slight evolutionary trend for more well-endowed guys.

“how to conjure smaller angels” — Use a smaller triangle.

“what do occultists think of the kybalion” — Different occultists will give you different opinions.  Some occultists love it for its own virtue, some love it because it’s a “gateway text” that gets people into heavier and more interesting forms of occultism.  I personally detest the thing and would rather see all copies of it used for toilet paper.  It’s not Hermetic, despite what it claims, as its points and “axioms” are distinctly modern, and instead have its origins in the 19th century New Thought movement.  All of its major points and cosmological theories are either derived from modern New Thought stuff, or are only tangentially and convolutedly connected to actual Hermetic teachings.  I honestly find it to be a waste of paper and ink, and as its usually one of the first texts newbies encounter in the occult (for one unfortunate reason or another), it can lead to some really messed up ideas that ill-prepare them for serious education in Hermeticism.

“how to bless my pentacle in santeria” — Oh, honey.  You are doing everything so wrong.  You don’t; further, you don’t even, do you?  Because I can’t.

Swords and Scepters

As some of you may know, I’m a federal employee of the United States government, and as many of you know, the United States government is temporarily unfunded due to congressional incompetence.  Many federal employees, including me, are in a state of unpaid furlough, which is a fancy way of saying “you’re not allowed to work until we have a budget again”.  In the meantime, I’ve been relaxing, enjoying my recent birthday, and doing a heavy amount of Work and conjuration; after all, I need something to occupy myself.  (And if you’re interested in what exactly I’m working on, stay tuned on Sunday for a fancy thing you’ll all see.)  In the course of this week, I’ve conjured the angels Tzadqiel of Jupiter and Raphael of Air for general empowerment (which, as Fr. RO mentioned, is always a good thing), as well as to continue doing a semi-regular checkup of my own work, progress, and sphere.  In the process, I also got some interesting advice regarding two of the most visible and important tools many magi and magicians use: the wand and the dagger.

In the conjuration with Tzadqiel, he mentioned that the wand is not just a tool of power and will, but it’s indicative of another similar idea, that of the scepter.  While the wand (at least in my tradition) is the elemental weapon of Fire and is associated with the Will of the Magus, it’s used for not the magus’ will but the Magus’ Will, or the True Will.  The difference here is important, just as any distinction is regarding temporary will and True Will.  Tzadqiel motioned to my caduceus tattoo on my arm, indicating that the use of the caduceus and the magician’s wand are similar.  Hermes is always seen bearing the caduceus in his left hand, the submissive or receptive hand, and this coupled with his role as Zeus’ messenger indicates that Hermes receives his power and direction from Zeus.  In other words, although the caduceus is a symbol of power, it’s of power from a higher source than oneself.  Likewise, many monarchies across time are seen as being empowered and validated by divine right (cf. divine-right theory or Mandate of Heaven), and so the scepter is an indication that its bearer is carrying out the will of God.  This is seen to this day in the United Kingdom’s monarchy, which was established by God, but since God doesn’t like to micromanage things down here, he divests power to the Crown to manage things for him.

So too is the wand of the magician not used as a blasting rod or an offensive weapon, but it’s used as a mark of divine right and being rightly divine.  The wand should be used to remind the magician and guide them to their True Will, not used to enforce their temporary will onto others.  After all, if one is following their True Will, then pretty much all else will fall into place accordingly (except in dire or unusual circumstances when other work must be applied).  The image of control that the wand bestows is just that, an illusory image; it’s the obedience of entities to their proper stations in the cosmos that the wand reminds them of, and helps them fall into place when in the presence of one who is effectively sent from on high.  To use  the wand to simply force or bind something to the whimsy of the magician is to abuse the authority given to the magician, and when abused enough, the magician incurs punishment just as Chinese emperors might lose the Mandate of Heaven.

In the conjuration with Raphael, on the other hand, the angel indicated other uses of the wand that agreed with Tzadqiel, but expanded more on its relationship to the dagger or sword, the elemental weapon of Air.  Both are masculine, phallic, elementally hot weapons (and some traditions swap the elemental associations of the two), and are like semi-codependent brothers.  Wood must burn to produce fire to melt and shape metal into a blade, and blades must be used on wood to produce a wand.  However, wood is a living thing that grows, while metal is inorganic which can only be shaped.  These lead into the point Raphael was trying to make, and was chiding me since I don’t use the dagger enough in my work.  While the Pentacle is used to embody and materialize things, and the Chalice is used to receive and partake in grace and charismata, the Wand is used to “set things in motion” while the Dagger is used to “cut off and remove”.  Magically, the dagger is used to “cut through bullshit”, dividing problems, severing connections, removing influences, deciding on paths and choices, and offensive and defensive work.  Compared to this, the wand is used to progress, enforce decisions, and authorizes one to make choices as one can and ought.

Admittedly, the part about the fighting work that can be done with the dagger surprised me, since the dagger is associated with Air, and Air with Raphael, the healer of God; the comparatively benevolent wand is associated with Fire, and Fire with Michael, the commander of the heavenly host.  Raphael replied that not only are all angels soldiers in their own way, but that even in healing, some destruction is always needed, such as that of diseased limbs or infectious microorganisms.  In order to heal one of any assailing disease, the infectious organism must itself be destroyed or drastically cut back in order to allow the natural healing of the body to continue.  In this case, the dagger represents the ability to cut out the temporary misaligned will of those down below and the wand to encourage and direct those to follow the True Will of those above.  The whole notion of having to correct misaligned wills that are not in accordance with the True Will indicates other problems that may be cosmically systemic, and is often necessary to ensure the proper execution of one’s True Will.  In more magical terms, if I want to accomplish something through ritual, there may be other factors involved that I can’t easily deal with simply by praying really hard.  Battles are fought before declaring rulership, always because the ability to rule is predicated on the inability of others to contest it or stymie it.

Thus the Sword, to fight against the influences contrary to one’s Work, and the Scepter, to encourage devotion and progress in one’s Work.

Crying of Calls 49: Jovial Recap

I mentioned recently that I got Jason Miller’s excellent “Advanced Planetary Magic”, which, again, you should totally get, since it’s worth far more than the cost.  It’s a collection of 49 short prayers or invocations to be used during different combinations of the planetary hours and days for different ends (so there’s a Moon/Saturn call to be done in an hour of the Moon on the day of Saturn, a Saturn/Moon call to be done in an hour of Saturn on the day of the Moon, etc.).  As part of his goal to get this magic out in the world and practiced by the masses, Mr. Miller started up a project called The Crying of Calls 49, where people participate by calling out one of the calls each for 49 consecutive days in the proper hour for a given week.  So, the first week is for the Moon calls, the second week for the Mercury calls, and so forth.  I’m posting my results in the Facebook group for the project, but I also thought I’d share my results and experiences with you all as well.    I won’t share what the Calls are or what they’re for, since you should go buy the ebook and find out for yourself, but the astute among you will figure it out.

This past week, Monday 8/12 through Sunday 8/18, we did the calls to Jupiter.  Below are my experiences and thoughts:

8/12: Jupiter/Moon 

Made the Jupiter/Luna call in the last hour of Jupiter, the hour just before dawn on Tuesday. Standard operating procedure with cedar and jasmine incense.

This is…for some reason, weirdly calming. The Luna/Jupiter call was deeply calming as well, but for some reason, this just feels weird, though I don’t know why (I wasn’t expecting anything else). On the one hand, it feels so calm and peaceful, almost sleep-giving like light opium; on the other, it feels like it’s produced an awakeness and benevolent alertness that keeps me grounded. Between these two smooth and light influences, the harmony between them is a delightful mix, but it’s still something that I have this internal headtilt at. Visualizing the sigil was simple enough, picturing bright tin on (royal) purple, and inhaled like an icy cool yet thick drink, spreading all throughout me and supporting me in my bones with a kind of bright chrome-silver light. Interesting feeling; maybe this is the inner grace described in the annotation.

8/13: Jupiter/Mars

Made the Jupiter/Mars call in the second hour of Jupiter tonight. Standard operating procedure with cedar and pine incense.

It’s weird that the Mars/Jupiter call seemed to have the Jupiter force dominant, and that the reverse is true here, too: the Martian force seems to be stronger than the Jovian one. There’s definitely a lot of heat in this call, but it’s all surface-heat, nothing deep; rather, the coolness and “breeze” of Jupiter seems locked in deep (much like Jupiter/Luna), but lends its lightning and storminess to the outward expression of this Call. A good phrase for this feeling might be “martial law”, though maybe that’s because it’s my own rulership of my kingdom that needs work instead of defense from outside. I feel regally warlike, or martially professional, like a top-tier officer issuing orders and having things set aright. Inhaling the sigil was interesting; the tin of the Jupiter sigil seemed to melt like solder in the red heat of Mars, and it seemed to seal my joints and around my head like a helmet. The eliminating nature of Mars and the expanding nature of Jupiter here don’t seem to be at odds, but work complimentary to that of Mars/Jupiter: whereas Mars/Jupiter gets one’s ass in gear on the things that matter, Jupiter/Mars orders things to matter and get done. It’s like two sides of the same coin.

8/14: Jupiter/Mercury

Made the Jupiter/Mercury call tonight in the third hour of Jupiter. Standard operating procedure with cedar and cinnamon incense.

With respect to the elements, I go with Agrippa’s association and give Mercury to water and Jupiter to air; with the quickness and sharpness of Mercury combined with the coolness and airiness of Jupiter, this Call feels ice cold, but in a completely rejuvenating, refreshing way. It’s as if someone dunked an overheating processor into a supercooled ice bath, improving processing speed like whoa. It’s like the frost that develops at superhigh altitudes when any moisture is present, gathering more and combining with other moisture to form precipitation that then falls down, which heats up to repeat the cycle. In a sense, it feels like an unusual metaphor of the cycling and recycling of money to produce money. That said, the expansiveness of Jupiter doesn’t mesh so great this time with the connectivity that Mercury brings; while the Mercury/Jupiter call was relaxing and well-connecting, this just feels overactive and overinvolved, like the predecessor of a fast-acting storm. It almost feels uncomfortably ungrounded and easy to get confused in this state.

8/15: Jupiter/Jupiter

Made the Jupiter/Jupiter call tonight in the third hour. Went with a full blown conjuration of the angel, intelligence, and spirit of Jupiter tonight with the Trithemius ritual in conjunction with a Gate of Jupiter rite and adoration of Zeus, within which happened a bottle of good chardonnay and the Jupiter/Jupiter call. Preceded with donning a new ritual robe and a complete set of prayers, ablutions, meditation, and energy work.

Honestly, after all that, it’s hard to pick out what was from the Call and what wasn’t. Since this was a “pure planetary” Call, it approximates any other purely jovial working, and since this was just one big Jupiter ritual, it blended in nicely. Besides, the similarities between this Call and Jason Miller’s prayer to Jupiter are fairly high (I can’t fathom why). All the same, I’m feeling pretty shiny and golden and good right now. Hail Zeus, and hail to you all!

8/16: Jupiter/Venus

Made the Jupiter/Venus call tonight in the third hour of Jupiter. Standard operating procedure, rose/cedar incense.

I feel wet. Like, covered in humidity wet. It’s weird, but refreshing and embracing at the same time; this is a truly good feeling produced from this call. It’s sensual and smooth, as expected from Venus, and cool and airy, as expected from Jupiter, but the moisture from the two combined is much closer this time than in the airy breezy feeling made from the Venus/Jupiter call. I feel safe and embraced, yet at the same time there’s this stimulating, sensuous feeling along my spine. Everything seems precious, everything seems needed; I made a small request beforehand, adapting the info text with the call specifically for my partner and myself, so we’ll see what comes of that. Seeing the sigil of Jupiter tin on green tonight was interesting; unlike the baroque filigree of Venus copper on blue from the Venus/Jupiter call, this had an organic, almost naturally-formed look. Inhaling it was just as sensual and exciting in its own way as the rest of the air around me, and filled me with this neat kind of joy.

8/17: Jupiter/Saturn

Made the Jupiter/Saturn call tonight at the end of the third hour of Jupiter. Standard operating procedure, myrrh/cedar incense; I may have gone over in time into the hour of Mars, but I didn’t let that stop me. Just in case, I made a quick reading of the call beforehand to make sure I got it in time.

This is an interesting combination of forces, and it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends; Jupiter is normally airy as I’ve felt it, but it’s noble airy with this kind of gravitas of force. Saturn is heavy and smug as usual, but this is a weird kind of cheerful call in its own manner, like resolution in the face of adversity, brushing the dust off one’s shoulders and keeping on, like a king faced with problems solving them one at a time. I felt like weights were attached to me all around me, but that I was standing and growing tall. Inhaling the visualization of the Jupiter sigil tin on black was interesting; it went slow, though the tin was exceptionally bright (almost magnesium-burning white), and it gave me this kind of weird inner exoskeletal feel, like I was growing a layer of armor just underneath my skin with a kind of fullness under it. Then again, this Call was about expansion within limits, and the skin is certainly the limit to the body.

8/18: Jupiter/Sun

Made the Jupiter/Sun call in the first hour of Jupiter today after my morning rites and purifications. Fittingly, I also anointed myself with King Solomon oil; not as commanding as High John, but suitable for this call. Otherwise, standard operating procedure with cedar/frankincense incense.

This is a GOOD call, dang. Unlike the Sun/Jupiter call which was really mild though posh for me, Jupiter/Sun feels extraordinarily lively and good. I feel energized and charged, active and awake, deeply happy and content. For me, it’s as if the airy joy of Jupiter combines with the golden stillness of the Sun and penetrates deep within me, radiating outwards without heat but with much light and Good Feels. Visualizing the sigil today made the sigil of Jupiter tin on yellow look…I dunno. Ideal? As if it wasn’t anything actually made or constructed or designed, but Original. Inhaling it seemed to actually have it pass through the crown of my head in a shower of light and descend totally through me and every part of me. The slow light-bearing fire of the Sun and the fast lightning-bolt gold of Jupiter combines exceptionally well in this call for me.

De Geomanteia: Acquisitio (I got a 15 million dollar contract coming my way)

Since one of my most favorite topics in occultism and magic is divination, specifically the divinatory art of geomancy, why not talk about that? I know a lot about it, and not many do, so let’s go with it. If nothing else, you’ll come away slightly more educated, and I’ll come away with something looking like productivity. With that in mind, let’s continue this little series of posts on geomancy, “De Geomanteia” (On Geomancy). This week, let’s talk about this figure:

Acquisitio

Acquisitio

This is the figure Acquisitio.  In Latin, its name means “Gain”, which is pretty common in lots of other traditions, but can also be named as “grasping” or “incoming fortune”.  If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like a bowl collecting money or an old-style bag of money.

First, the technical details of this figure.  It’s associated with Jupiter in direct motion and the astrological signs of Sagittarius or Aries, depending on whom you ask; due to its Jovial qualities, it’s also associated with the sephirah Chesed.  It has the air and earth lines active with the fire and water lines passive, and is overall associated with the element of Air.  It is an even figure with six points, relating to objective situations rather than internal or subjective events.  It is a stable and entering, showing it to be slow-moving and long-lasting where it appears.  In the body, it signifies the hips, thighs, and liver.  Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Amissio, Loss, showing that this figure is all about gaining, getting, obtaining, amassing, and having things stay within reach as opposed to loss or losing things.   Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is also Amissio, showing that there is no other kind of state between loss or gain except loss or gain.  Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is itself, showing Acquisitio to be unique in how it expresses its geomantic symbolism.  Acquisitio is all about gain in every way, from getting more money to catching a cold; as a figure of Jupiter, it’s extremely favorable except in any case when one wants to lose, get rid of, or avoid something.

In my meditation on Acquisitio, I found myself walking down a cold city street swathed in grey: grey buildings, grey skies, grey windows, all very elegant but all very uniform.  All around me, people are walking in black suits and clothes, and I can’t see anyone’s face.  Out of nowhere, a hand presses a gold oblong coin into my own; though I can’t find who gave it to me, it’s the only thing with color here.  It doesn’t really affect my mood and I don’t feel attachment to it, but it does feel nice to have the wealth; it’s still just a coin, a symbol of value.  Walking past the shops, no two alike but all busy yet bleary inside, I find another coin, and then another on the sidewalk.  It’s nice, but it’s really just a distraction from all the loud non-communication non-interaction going on around me.  I spot a bit of color amidst the grey at the end of the street: a toy store or a pawn shop, with people inside smiling and laughing and interacting with each other.  I see everything that I could possibly want, and settle on some books, inks, pens, and parchment; the jolly shopkeeper, asking me playfully what took me so long to get there, readily accepts some of the coins as payment and follows me over to the table where I start drawing: plans, code, blueprints, layouts, whatever.  He looks over my results, trades me another gold coin, and wishes me good luck and a good start.  I leave; the skies are blue, and I find an empty lot on which I make my own building and storefront.  People come in steadily and pay me for services I perform for them, giving me even more of the gold coins.  Eventually, I leave, and sell the building and lot to another customer, and keep on moving.

Bleeker Street, New York

Like its inverse figure Amissio, Acquisitio is a fairly straightforward figure, implying all that its name implies.  Acquisitio, meaning “gain” or “within reach”, represents obtaining, increasing, taking, getting, receiving, and finding things.  In all cases and in every place in a geomantic reading, Acquisitio means gettin’ it.  Whether this is a good or bad thing, however, depends on whether you want to get it or not.  Generally speaking, people like augmenting, increasing, or getting stuff, so Acquisitio is solidly set in the more favorable of geomancy figures, behind Fortuna Maior and Caput Draconis, though they have their own difficulties, as well.

Acquisitio is a figure of Jupiter in direct motion, Jupiter at its strongest and most beneficial, as well as its most expansive.  Being so powerfully Jovian in nature, Acquisitio reflects these in the most concrete way possible: good luck and good earnings.   Jupiter is the Greater Benefic in astrology, being one of the most fortunate planets (at least when fortunately placed), and is often used in magic for expansion, increase, wealth, and fortune.  These qualities of Jupiter are ancient even in worship, and he was often supplicated for all the good things and benefits in life, especially those of a material nature.  Quoth the Orphic Hymn to the god of Jupiter:

Source of abundance, purifying king,
O various-formed from whom all natures spring;
Propitious hear my prayer, give blameless health,
with peace divine and necessary wealth.

Acquisitio is all about transactions and goods.  It has the focused and material elements of air and earth active, with emotional water and spiritual fire passive, and is overall associated with Air.  As such, Acquisitio is a figure that indicates a need for interacting and working with others.  While wealth can simply be found on the street or by happenstance, which is always nice, wealth and benefits are more reliably and regularly found in working with others, giving so that you can get in return.  This is how businesses turn a profit, after all; all service-providers require someone to serve, all producers require consumers, and nobody works in a vacuum or on an island.  When there’s no interaction, there can’t be any real exchange, and without exchange, material goods just sit there motionless without any use or value.  Even money is a symbol that needs to be exchanged and used in order to be useful; amassing a Scrooge McDuck-like vault of money won’t do you any good unless you actually use it.  Again, this has distinctly Jupiter connections (itself a planet associated with Air): just as grace is a gift freely given, we only find ourselves in grace when we give it to others.  Then again, keep in mind that money alone won’t buy you happiness; without water or fire in Acquisitio, it’s strictly a figure for worldly fortune and gain without any deeper help.

Still, Acquisitio isn’t always favorable.  There are lots of times in life when losing something is much more helpful, especially when one is overwhelmed.  Consider a walled garden: with the proper planning and layout, the entire garden can be covered from one side to the other, filling the entire place with rich, lush, productive, healthy plants.  However, try to plant more than that, or let the garden grow on its own uncontrollably, and it starts to cause problems like fighting over resources, luring pests or rodents in, and having things die off without the proper attention and care being paid to them.  Expansion is good but only to a certain point, after which things become too much to handle.  And even then, sometimes contraction and cutting stuff off is still helpful; when one wants to clear away the extra, trim off the fat, or make do with less, Acquisitio is not helpful.  Saturn, too, has his role to play (we’ll get to those figures next).

When Acquisitio appears in a reading, it generally indicates gain, increase, and good fortune.  It often indicates patience and prudence in character, and it signifies success when trying to find lost or missing objects, goals, and people.  It’s not great in matters of health, often indicating catching some disease or other, but unless the rest of the chart is dour, it indicates strength as well.  Needless to say, it’s favorable in the houses of ownership and finances: second for money and movable possessions, fourth for real estate, fifth for gambling and speculative ventures, sixth for pets and small livestock, eighth for inheritance, tenth for career, and twelfth for large livestock and wild animals.  When found with the Part of Fortune, expect easy access to resources, whatever you may need.  Magically, Acquisitio is awesome for wealth and financial magic, especially in money drawing or money holding rituals, as well as trying to find lost or misplaced things.  It may have the side effect of gaining weight, but then again, that’s Jupiter for you.

De Geomanteia: Laetitia (hands up and touch the sky)

Since one of my most favorite topics in occultism and magic is divination, specifically the divinatory art of geomancy, why not talk about that? I know a lot about it, and not many do, so let’s go with it. If nothing else, you’ll come away slightly more educated, and I’ll come away with something looking like productivity. With that in mind, let’s continue this little series of posts on geomancy, “De Geomanteia” (On Geomancy). This week, let’s talk about this figure:

Laetitia

Laetitia

This is the figure Laetitia.  In Latin, its name means “Joy”, which is pretty common in lots of other traditions, but can also be named as “healthy”, “upward motion”, or “bearded”.  If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like an arch, tower, or rainbow.

First, the technical details of this figure.  It’s associated with Jupiter in retrograde motion and the astrological signs of Pisces or Taurus, depending on whom you ask; due to its Jovial qualities, it’s also associated with the sephirah Chesed.  It has only the fire line active with all others passive, and thus is corresponded as a whole to the element of Fire.  It is an odd figure with seven points, relating more to internal states of the subjective mind than external states of objective reality.  It is a mobile and exiting figure, showing things to be dynamic, fast-moving, and fleeting in influence.  In the body, it signifies the feet and fat of the body. Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Caput Draconis, the Dragon’s Head, showing that this figure is not lasting, not prepared, not focused on the physical.  Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is Tristitia, Sorrow, showing that this figure is not sorrowful, not stuck, not self-limiting.  Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is Cauda Draconis, the Dragon’s Tail, showing that it is similarly fast-moving, intent-driven, and has the capacity for change in radically new directions.  Laetitia, true to its name, represents joy, happiness, and elation in all its forms.  It’s an emotional state, and a fleeting one at that, but it’s readily apparent for all to see and quite uplifting and contagious to everyone involved.  It represents upward motion (lifted spirits, promotions, looking upwards), and so isn’t great for keeping secrets, keeping things tied down, or making things stable; otherwise, it’s fortunate and cheerful, though fast-moving.

A band of settlers, weary from the long roads and tired of being alone and separated from their town of origin, finally find a new place to settle down.  At first blush, the land is clear and clean, with easy access to green grass, nearby forests, and local streams, and so they at long last decide to hitch their wagons down and claim the land as their own.  They immediately start celebrating, most of the settlers focused on ending their journey, looking forward to their new-yet-unplanned home, and celebrating.  With the exception of a handful of elders and engineers, the whole group is more focused on having fun and relaxing rather than being productive or actually setting stuff up for later.  Children run around playing, freer than they have been in months; the adults start tapping the best of their ales and roasting their fattest hogs to celebrate the choosing of the site for their new town.  Nothing is built yet, but that doesn’t matter: things are good, and they’re going to enjoy that goodness for today with lots of partying, drinking, looking forward, and joy.

Yi peng sky lantern festival

Much like Amissio, whose name (Loss) describes the figure pretty well, Laetitia’s name of “Joy” is pretty straightforward.  It’s about happiness, it’s about joy, it’s about having fun, it’s about looking up and keeping your chin up.  It represents the emotion of happiness in every way, from passing and ephemeral giddiness to the deepest states of spiritual enlightenment.  In any context, it represents good times, though not necessarily long-lasting ones.  It’s definitely one of the more favorable figures of geomancy, and it’s not hard to see why: everyone likes happiness and people who are happy, who make them happy themselves.  It’s pretty simple when it comes to that.

Laetitia has only the fire line active, with all other forces in the figure passive.  As a result, Laetitia is associated with the element of Fire, indicating the drive, the will, and the mind to actually do something.  It’s been said that happiness isn’t found as the goal or result of an action, but found in the process of doing something; when we start to work our wills on the cosmos, we start doing what’s right for us, which has one effect of making us happy.  Will is the force associated with the element of Fire, and reflects that Laetitia is an expression of happiness through action, actually doing stuff in the world.  However, as a mobile and exiting figure, Laetitia’s effects are not long-lasting at all, which also tie in well with its fiery nature.  Events and actions are processes that last for only moments at a time, changing their state from moment to instantaneous moment, and without anything actually produced to cement that action in the material world, without any other party involved to work with to continue the action, and without any emotional involvement to contextualize and understand it, the passing elation and activity of Laetitia will remain for only a short while and burn up in itself.  After all, fire needs some kind of fuel to burn in order to keep going.

Despite its fiery nature, Laetitia is also assigned to the beneficent Jupiter and Pisces astrologically, which are more airy and watery than Laetitia would imply.  Pisces, to me, speaks of nebulousness and mistiness, able to accept and reflect while clouding and uplifting.  Pisces, being the final sign in the zodiac, leads one to wander out of one cycle and into the next, being a figure of transition and change that is neither ending nor beginning; it’s a figure of the imagination, being associated with the traveling feet of the body, as well as of illusion, being too caught up in its own dreaminess and clouds.  However, it’s this lack of clarity and ability to dream, and thus to plan and will things into existence, that gives one an ability to feel joy and optimism.  People often find happiness in the what-ifs and plans just being made, though enacting these plans might be difficult later on when the harsh realities of the world come into play.  However, the luck and grace of Jupiter, though turned retrograde and nocturnal for Laetitia, help keep spirits and minds buoyant at the world, come what may.

Laetitia is a pretty awesome figure, though its benefit is limited.  The shape of Laetitia resembles an upwards-pointing arrow, often like a tower or an arch, and from this derives its secondary meaning of “uplifting” or “upwards motion”.   Whether it’s a promotion (going up at work), better health (lifted vitality), or just general happiness (high spirits), Laetitia signifies going up.  It signifies any high place, especially any well-lit or cheerful place, often in view of all people due to its raised stature.  Because of that, Laetitia is not good when one wants to keep things hidden or secret, since something is in the view of everyone, and because gossip spreads like wildfire.  Due to its fiery and flighty nature, Laetitia isn’t good for long-term involvement or stability, especially anything that involves actual hard work and sorting out details.  Magically, Laetitia helps increase or improve the mood or general good feeling of anything, and can help with giving someone hope or opportunity, but also to uncover secrets and keep things active enough to keep moving.

Grace is not a reward, Sin is not a punishment

As part of a crafting project, and to help kick my lazy ass back into gear with conjurations that I’ve neglected for so long, I’m currently on day two of…a lot in which I’m conjuring a different angel of a different force each day (seven days for the seven planets, four days for the four elements, one day for my natal genius, etc.).  Quite literally, I’m conjuring all the angels that I know of; the last time I did this was back when I had consecrated my planetary talismans for the first time, which got crazy and exhausting but ultimately worth it.  I started yesterday, which was a fantastic day to catch up on meditation and rituals generally, and began with Raphael of Mercury yesterday and continued with Tzadqiel of Jupiter today.  So, I got dressed up in a nice suit, got a fancy drink and cedar incense, set up the conjuration altar, and called down the angel of Jupiter to chat.

It was my plan to go through the seven Gate Rituals that Frater RO devised: a basic Trithemian-style conjuration for a specific planet plus a scry/meditation on that planet’s forces, so as to be initiated deeper into the forces and mystery of that heavenly sphere and better integrate one with those forces.  The Gate of Mercury ritual yesterday went fantastically, and I got to see a nifty astral “port town in an archipelago of port towns”, gained access to a part of the astral that I really want to go to, and had a nice café-style chat with Raphael and Hermes.  Mercury, after all, is a sphere I’m more than comfortable in, and absolutely love the place.  On the other hand, Jupiter has never been a place or planet I’m all too comfortable with, despite the seemingly-endless praises RO and Jason Miller et al. sing.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic place of fabulous feels, but I do feel out-of-place or awkward when interfacing with those energies.  Call me crazy, but it’s just not a sphere I prefer compared to others.  As a result, Tzadqiel didn’t let me pass through the Gate this time, but did take me on a walk around the sphere and taught me a few things.

The big thing about Jupiter, as RO will tell you, is grace.  Grace is a gift freely given, a combination of love, forgiveness, and aid, and (if you’ll pardon the pun) the crux of the Christian religion: you don’t need to work for grace, since it’s already given to you.  No matter how badly you fuck up, no matter how recalcitrant you are, you will always have grace available to you.  Basically, consider the parable of the prodigal son; no matter how far the son wandered off or messed up, his father was always ready and eager to welcome him back and give him the best of everything.  That’s grace: it doesn’t matter what you do, you’re loved and cherished and the cosmos will try to make things as awesome as it can for you.

That said, the prodigal son had to actually stop doing bad stuff and return to his father in order to make use of his father’s grace.  He already basically had it, but he couldn’t make use of it without actually doing stuff to make use of it.  He didn’t earn his father’s love, but he had to be there to experience it.  He wasn’t punished by anything or anyone, except himself; it was his own mistakes that caused his own pain.  That pain, in a Hermetic view, is sin.  If it weren’t for RO’s recent post on sin (go read it), I probably wouldn’t have caught onto this idea as soon as I had, but basically:

People don’t understand that “sin keeps you away from god” is the total punishment itself. Being away from God sucks. You can only know that if you’ve been around him though, and it doesn’t make as much sense to folks who haven’t felt the presence of god personally loving them up as it tumbles around you, in you, through you to bounce laughing out your vocal chords.

Sin isn’t a punishment doled out, just like how grace isn’t a reward given for something.  They’re not quite two sides of the same coin, but it’s close.  This was the primary realization I had while talking with the angel of grace, Tzadqiel of Jupiter, tonight: grace is always present and always given in infinite quantities, but the ability to reap the rewards of it is determined only by my own action and responsibility.  Taking up my responsibility, doing the right thing, and being in the presence of the Divine is the reward and yields other rewards; this is the way to enjoy and “make use of” grace.  Being away from the Divine, focusing on the low, neglecting my responsibilities, and the like is my punishment for not taking up the gift that was given to me.  Like the prodigal son, one has to be in the presence of grace in order to enjoy it; away from it, one will suffer.

For someone who’s raised in the modern world and isn’t in touch with deep Christian ethos and mythos, this point is entirely lost.  It’s generally assumed that sin is the state of punishment from an action that results in divine wrath inflicted on someone, which is what it seems to be on the surface and what it definitely seems to be in Judaism (to me, at least).  Grace, on the other hand, is kinda more understood, but is still seen as being a reward for something worked for.  The whole point is that it’s not worked for, it’s just received freely because it was given freely.  In a sense, I figure that it’s partially because God loves us, because we are part of God, and one cannot love without loving oneself.

Now, going back to my awkwardness with Jupiter, the whole kingship thing is weird for me.  I’m no leader, as I’d consider myself; I may be a guide and teacher, but I consider myself a servant and assistant to those who need it.  Being more Mercurial, I like to figure the world out in terms of transactions: you give me X, I give you Y.  This is how our world works, and the universe on a grand scale seems to operate this way as well (no action without reaction).  The cosmos as a whole, however, does not necessarily operate like this: yes, there are kinds of cosmic transactions that turn Ideas into manifested Reality, but there are also states of cosmic fluidity where there is no concept of ownership or exchange.  From a qabbalistic point of view, the pillar of Boaz (spheres of Saturn, Mars, and Mercury) take things away or exchange things (Saturn defines limits, Mars decides on utility, Mercury reasons out rules); the pillar of Jachin (spheres of the fixed stars, Jupiter, and Venus) fill things and give things freely (the fixed stars gives unbridled creation, Jupiter fills things with desires, Venus fulfills purpose).  Mercury is on the opposite side of the Sun, in terms of the Tree of Life, from Jupiter; while Mercury exchanges and sets out rules, Jupiter gives freely and lays out responsibility.

In the end, the goodness in life is derived from doing the right and proper thing for us, as individual humans and as part of Humanity, while the badness of it results from doing the wrong thing.  The good things, which can be considered our True Will, bring us closer to the Will of the Divine and help carry out the cosmos’ machinations as it should; this is essentially the return to the father, or the Father, that helps us enjoy the grace given to us that we can only enjoy in our father’s, or our Father’s, presence.  Sin isn’t something so much one does as it is one enters into by going against what we need to be doing, getting distracted with vain or low things that don’t help us on our path, and separating ourselves from the grace that actually makes things good.  Life may not be glamorous or rock-star-style fabulous even when one is doing their True Will, but it sure is nicer and easier when one does the right thing and does the thing right.  Even small gifts can still make you smile, after all.