Geomancy in the Reign of the Lady of Crowns

So, I’ve been up to a little something the past few weeks, and while I’ve kept it only kinda sorta quiet, I think it’s time to be more public about it.

We all know that there’s a pandemic going on across the world, one that I’ve taken to poetically and euphemistically calling the “Reign of the Lady of Crowns”, and while some countries have their acts together and have gotten things kinda under control (inasmuch as any pandemic can be “controlled”), it’s apparent that some countries, including my own, don’t.  As a result, life is rapidly changing for many of us, both in the short term and in the long term, and this is a trying and difficult time for many of us.  As a result, people are looking for new ways to either fill their time working from home or to get an edge over others whenever an edge can be found; online classes and interaction have never been more important or critical for our sanity and survival, it would seem.

To that end, back towards the end of March, I floated an idea on Twitter to my followers, and several weeks later, having carried that idea out, I think the idea was a success: “Geomancy in the Reign of the Lady of Crowns”, a set of free geomancy lectures I did on Zoom with a number of Twitter friends that explored the various aspects of European geomantic divination.  In addition to the various writings I’ve shared over the years on my blog, I figured this would be a good chance and change of pace to experiment with teaching geomancy in a one-off series of conversational, more-or-less informal lectures expanding on my approach to geomantic divination and covering all the major bases that would enable anyone who’s interested to learn geomancy in an audio-visual format with examples.  Totaling about 13 hours of video (maybe 12, once all the breaks and silent stretches are taken out) over five sessions, I think I covered what I wanted to cover fairly well and thoroughly, and while geomancy is definitely an endless art with plenty more that could be explained, I feel like this is a good introduction to learning geomancy that anyone could do at their own pace.

And now, with this series of lessons having been brought to an end, I’m happy to announce that I’m going to let any others who are interested to get access to it as well.  To sign up:

  1. Send me an email saying that you’d like access to the videos.
  2. After you agree to the terms in the email I’ll send in response, I’ll send you an access link to the videos.

That’s it.  The terms are basically that you don’t share the videos with others, and that you direct anyone who’s interested in the videos to contact me in the same way.

As for the cost?  As I established for my friends on Twitter, there’s no cost for access to these lessons, and I offer them gratis, free of charge.  After all, I did this all informally and conversationally, and I didn’t really prepare anything except using my Zoom account for hangouts, and I’m not really going to bother editing the videos.  There’s little enough cost for me, and I feel it better to have this information learned and shared to those who need it however they need it, knowing that these lessons were given in a fairly off-the-cuff way.  While you could certainly approach this as a pay-what-you-like or a donation-only class and send me money through Ko-fi, I took a different approach: if you’re feeling generous and have some money to throw around, while I’d certainly appreciate it, there are plenty of other people and organizations online who are in desperate need of money and resources far more than I am.  Starving artists, queer people in need of support, people in abusive situations, local homeless shelters, local food banks, Doctors Without Borders, you name it: in this time of the Reign of the Lady of Crowns, there are plenty of people who are actively suffering due to collapsing infrastructure and rapid societal changes both in my country and abroad that could do with some extra support.  I do not expect payment for giving these lectures on geomancy, nor do I ask of it, but I do ask that you consider paying it forward and giving some charity as a way of supporting your fellow humans in this world during this harsh and hard time.  I have nothing to give you in return for that except my joy and thanks that you’d support the rest of us caught up in this storm of the fate of the world.

As mentioned earlier, there were five sessions, each about three hours long (four for the last one), covering the following topics.  Both the whole video files as well as the audio-only files are provided.  Some of these topics I planned out in advance, some of them were brought up as impromptu questions (amongst other topics that maybe I don’t recall as clearly or which were talked about only in brief):

  1. (2020-04-09) Introduction to the Figures, Introduction to the Shield Chart, Interpreting the Court, Ways of the Point, How to Phrase the Query, When to Abort a Reading
  2. (2020-04-11) Mindset and Divination Preparation, Introduction to the House Chart, Allotting the Figures to the House Chart, Parts of Fortune and Spirit, Aspects, Ethics in Divination
  3. (2020-04-28) Perfection in the House Chart
  4. (2020-04-08) Radicality, Company, Company and Triads, Perfection through Co-significators, Rotating the Chart
  5. (2020-05-16) Follow-up on Rotating the Chart, Edge Cases of the Aspects, Chart Examples

In addition to setting up these lectures, I also set up a mailing list for geomancy.  This is basically an old-school email-based discussion list, not unlike what Yahoo! Groups or usenet lists used to provide, and can provide people with an alternative email-based forum to discuss and learn geomancy together.  This can be beneficial for those who are not on Facebook and can’t or aren’t comfortable joining the Geomantic Study-Group I admin, so if you’re interested in joining, let me know in the same way as you would above for the geomancy lessons I offer.

I can’t promise people an easy time in their lives; nobody can, I suppose.  But this is a small attempt on my part to help people have easier lives, all the same.  Whether it’s to navigate our time and place in the Reign of the Lady of Crowns or any other time period in our lives, I hope that by spreading a bit more knowledge about geomancy about and around, we can all have something that can help us and those who come to us learn a bit more and a bit better about the world and situations we find ourselves in to make the most of it.

Mercury Retrograde! (So soon?)

Alright, so I’m a little late this time, but yes, it’s true!  Mercury went retrograde this past Saturday on July 14th, having entered its slow shadow phase on June 27th, and will go direct again August 8th, with it getting back to full speed and direct motion on August 22nd.

And, as some of the more astrologically-inclined of you might know, Mercury goes retrograde about three or four times a year.  For those who aren’t so learned, a planet being retrograde happens at least once a year for the non-luminary planets (i.e. the actual planets) and makes the planet look like it’s going backwards in the sky due to the relative positions and motions of the Earth and the other planet.  With the planet of the intellect, commerce, and travel in such a bizarre state, it leads some people to become more forgetful, less eloquent, and generally slower or more confused.

Yet, despite all this, the trend of the summer looks like it will continue: life keeps getting crazier!  I had a divination reading done for me by my lovely sister, a master Tarot reader, who said that I’d be highly social from the beginning of June onwards.  I don’t think she saw how social I was really going to be, because that was putting it mildly.  Between jaunts here and there, to Virginia Beach two weekends ago, Columbia this past weekend, and a small town in Pennsylvania next weekend, travel and people keep happening to me!  Plus, I think I’ll be starting a divination reading service at the local pagan bookstore soon (more on that in a future post).  This seems a lot like the last Mercury retrograde period, where I also had a number of trips and travels, though hopefully I won’t drop my new smartphone down a toilet this time.  I did already bust a 3L bottle of sangria in the trunk of my new car this past weekend, though, but it was easy enough to clean up off the black effectively-stainless fabric (although now my car is fruitier and more of a lush than I am).

Anyhow, Mercury retrograde is also a good time for reviewing what’s been going on in one’s life, gathering up one’s thoughts, and contemplating without much planning.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to gather up some of my own activities, thoughts, and lessons that I’ve had since the last time Mercury came out of retrograde (roughly on April 4th), as a kind of self-review.

So, here’s a highlight of what I’ve been able to get done in the past Mercury direct period:

  1. Performed a major banishing, cleansing, and protection on the house of a few friends of mine.
  2. Began transcribing my vademecum/Hermetic Book of Shadows into a digital format, accumulating and memorizing a bunch of prayers on the way.
  3. Made a ritual sword.
  4. Made my Circle of Art.
  5. Obtained and consecrated my Ring of Solomon.
  6. Made a new style and set of angelic lamens for use with the Trithemius ritual of conjuration.
  7. Made significant progress towards obtaining contact with my HGA.  I’m increasingly sure I’ve got the right spirit, but the connection is still weak and needs lots more practice, not to mention making sure I’m on the right track with the guy.
  8. Started making weekly offerings to the god and powers of Mercury.  I’ll often leave bottles of wine for him at crossroads after major trips or travels, but I’ve started to make offerings of prayers (Orphic Hymn to Mercury, Picatrix invocation of Mercury), incense (cinnamon, frankincense, amber), candles, and wine (a shotglass for a normal offering, a full bottle for something special).  This is done in the day and hour of Mercury.  Eventually, I want to have a whole altar set up entirely for the guy, because he’s awesome and I’ve noticed significant improvements in some parts of my life related to Mercury, but until I get the space and the means to do so, this is about as much as I can get done.

And the lessons I’ve learned, from spirits, from crazy life experiences, or from others’ or my own dumb mistakes:

  1. If someone kept something a secret in life, don’t go about blabbing about it at their funeral.
  2. Study hard, party hard.  That’s how to live and Live; both studying and partying are part of the Work.
  3. Humility is a virtue even in the greatest kings. Humility is the beginning of greatness.
  4. Keep yourself clean and cleansed.  It may not feel like much once you get in the habit of it, but try taking a spiritual bath after not having done anything for your spiritual health for a month.  Feels good, man.
  5. Ask a spirit to do something before forcing them to do it, and even then, try to never use force unless you absolutely need to.
  6. Make sure you don’t lock yourself out of your house, and if you do, have at least one key on you that can open any door.  (Woo reality-warping!)
  7. Light illuminates, even all the bad parts that we normally hide within ourselves.
  8. Don’t go wandering into a haunted forest with guns blazing.
  9. Especially don’t accost the spirits of the dead with guns blazing or your mouth shooting off.
  10. Play and fly; if you’re young, be young.  Do what’s appropriate for you at your level of development.
  11. You are what you do; “ehyeh asher ehyeh” is not much different from “ehyeh asher ahweh”, “I am that I am” from “I am that I do”, and we know that the difference between that and Yahweh is (literally) no more than a jot.

And let’s check up on how those resolutions I made the last time Mercury went retrograde have turned out:

  1. Create my Circle of Art.  Done!
  2. Try my hand at a Solomon-style goetic conjuration.  Haven’t done this yet.  I’m waiting until I get a solid connection with the protective power of my HGA, although it isn’t necessary, because I feel like it’d be useful.  However, nothing is stopping me from doing this, and I am eager to try it.
  3. Start working heavily towards astral projection.  Yeah, no.  No progress on this.  I’m pretty unwilling to actually try this, even though I know it’s a weak spot.  There’s something about dedicating the time in the evening to just sitting there that’s driving me off from it.
  4. Ask the planetary angels for friendly planetary assistants.  Haven’t done this, although it is a good idea.  Although my HGA can take over most of these roles that a planetary assistant would, having an insider from these realms has its definite plus sides that working with a single spirit would not.  Also, one of the reasons why I haven’t done this is that I have trouble keeping up with my own conjuration cycle.  Sometimes I get busy, sometimes I get too fatigued to continue, and sometimes I just get lazy.  I should work on fixing that.
  5. Work on meditating more. I’m basically contenting myself with trying to attempt regular 30-minute meditations in the mornings.  I’d consider this no progress, but not a failure, either.

So, what might be on my plate for the next few months?

  1. Conjuration of Orobas, using a goetic variant of the Trithemius rite.  I hear that Orobas is a fairly benign goetic demon of the Lemegeton, and is smart and helpful towards the conjurer.  If I want to get involved with Solomonic goetia, then this is probably a good guy to start with, and the variations on the Trithemius rite are noticeable but quite manageable to memorize in a day or so.
  2. Conjuration of Viagrahel, because why not?  It may have started out as a joke, but let’s just see what would happen.  I’d use the standard Trithemius rite and the Rosy Cross sigil from before, and then chat with the guy (if any were to appear) and see what he does.
  3. Astral projection.  I’ve got a special project to act as a belated birthday gift for a friend that requires astral projection to a well-known place to pick up some of its essence.  I’ll go into further detail in a later post, but I need to start actually doing astral practice.  Setting apart time for it is going to be the more obnoxious bit.  If anyone has any tips or personal experiences with the matter, please let me know!
  4. Start doing divination readings at the local new age store with geomancy.
  5. Make weekly offerings to the god and powers of Saturn, like with Mercury above.  Unlike Mercury, Saturn is well-aspected in my chart, but like Mercury, Saturn gives me a strong boost in magic, the occult, and lore.  I’ve been meaning to do this in tandem with recharging my Saturn election talisman, but Saturdays have always seem to be a waste or used up by other events going on, and I detest waking up at dawn on a weekend.  I should fix that.
  6. Ask the planetary angels for planetary assistants.  It’s still a good idea, but I’m concerned I might be expanding my contacts a little too much too fast.  I hardly talk with my elemental friends, though they’re still useful guys to have in my ethereal rolodex.  Maybe I can have them show me around the astral realms once I get on my feet (see #3).
  7. Start helping a friend with his financial and job issues through occult means.  I’m waiting on him to get me a bottle of cologne and a pendant he’d like to wear to help give a physical base to the ideas I have in mind, but I can at least get started with talking to the appropriate spirits.

And, of course, during Mercury retrograde, I’ll be focusing on reviewing my old texts, aphorisms, prayers, and methods to make sure I’m not getting sidetracked or lost amid all the things I’m doing.  Mercury retrograde is usually unfavorable for starting new projects, especially those of a financial or commercial nature, but is excellent for review and taking stock of what one has.

What’ve you been up to this past Mercury direct period?  Anything embarrassing or enlightening happen?  What’re your plans, if any, for the next few months?  Is there anything you might want to see me rant, ramble, or blither on about in the coming weeks?  Do tell, do tell!

Whoomp, there it is: Mercury Retrograde

My oh my.  Is it already time for Mercury to start going backwards again?  Yup!  Mercury goes retrograde today, going backwards in the sky until Wednesday, April 4th.  As some of the more astrologically-inclined of you might know, Mercury goes retrograde about three or four times a year.  For those who aren’t so learned, a planet going retrograde happens at least once a year for the non-luminary planets (i.e. the actual planets, not the Sun or the Moon) and makes the planet look like it’s going backwards in the sky due to the relative positions and motions of the Earth and the other planet.  With the planet of the intellect, commerce, and travel in such a bizarre state, it leads some people to become more forgetful, less eloquent, and generally slower or more confused.  And, of course, it just would  coincide with daylight saving time starting this year.  Plus, I’ve got at least two significant trips (one to Atlanta and another to Blacksburg) later this month.  Splendid!

It’s also a good time for reviewing what’s been going on in one’s life, gathering up one’s thoughts, and contemplating without much planning.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to gather up some of my own activities, thoughts, and lessons that I’ve had since the last time Mercury came out of retrograde (roughly on December 13, 2011), as a kind of self-review.

Here’s the highlight of the workings and projects I’ve been able to accomplish over the past Mercury direct period:

  1. Crafted and consecrated the Bhaiṣajyaguru Cane.
  2. Crafted and consecrated Fiery Wall of Protection oil.
  3. Crafted and consecrated a Lunar Kamea and Astral Vortex Ring (post forthcoming in a few weeks)
  4. Created a Circle of Art design to be used once I get Abramelin Oil and some paint.
  5. Carried out two complete iterations of the five-week conjuration cycle.
  6. Took part in the New Year, New You project that Deb was having.  I kinda dropped out towards the end, but it did help me orient myself to figure out what I want to do for the coming year, and those are and will continue to come along nicely.

And some lessons I’ve learned, from the spirits or from gettin’ shit wrong:

  1. Always give a little bit.  If there’s even one fewer person in the world going cold or hungry for even just a day, that’s still a triumph.
  2. Working for two weeks with a particular element-planet combination everyday will definitely give you a kick in the ass.
  3. Fire is awesome.  ‘Nuff said.
  4. Learn to keep self distinct and solid while learning how to expand it.
  5. Use a teabag or cloth sachet for herbs when taking a ritual bath.
  6. Get in touch more with the sphere of one’s ruling planet; that’s apparently the best way to learn how to act and find out one’s purpose and goals.  (This should not come as a surprise, but thank you anyway, Haniel, for being so awesome. ♥)

Last time I did a Mercury Retrograde review, I made a list of resolutions that I wanted to get done before the next time Mercury starts acting funky.  Let’s review how these’ve been going:

  1. Christmas present crafting.  Done.
  2. Test drive a 5-week cycle of conjurations of the angels of the planets, the elements, and my nativity.  Done.  Going to try and keep this up as much as I can.
  3. Finish crafting and consecrate the Lunar Kamea.  Done.
  4. Consecrate a silver ring I have to act as a talisman for working in the astral realm.  Done.
  5. Make Oil of Abramelin.  I attempted this but it turned out awfully; the project was a failure, where the Abramelin oil that was left after evaporating out the alcohol turned into this gritty paste that didn’t mix at all with the olive oil carrier.  I went ahead and ordered some instead.
  6. Redo the Gate of Jupiter rite once Jupiter goes direct again.  Done.  Incorporating this into my conjuration cycle.
  7. Do the Gate of Mars rite, and maybe work on the other gates as well.  Haven’t bought these texts yet, but my conjurations generally achieve the same purpose.
  8. Consecrate the Tarot cards on my Table of Manifestation to act as talismans for the four elemental kings themselves.  Done, sorta.  Auriel didn’t know why I felt like this was necessary, since I already have representations of the four elements and their angels on my altar as it is (the four elemental weapons).  I’ll be removing the cards from my altar, pending his and my genius’ advice.
  9. Working to keep my apartment quiet.  Done (this actually didn’t involve any magic at all save for a kind letter).
  10. Start meditating at least one hour a day, either in one sitting or two half-hour sessions.  Eh…yeah, I completely failed at this.  The morning set of rituals I have set up is fine; it’s getting the energy and stamina to do my evening stuff that’s obnoxious, and I don’t have that much time to spare in the mornings to do an hour meditation.  I’m horrible, I know.

Resolutions for the next Mercury direct period (liable to change during the coming few weeks before Mercury goes direct again) would be these below.  I’m going to take it easy, comparatively, focusing on only one big craft project and mostly spirit work.

  1. Create my Circle of Art.  I have the design, I have the Abramelin oil to consecrate the paint with, and I have the canvas.  All I need is the paint, brush, and stencils, and I’ll be ready to go.
  2. Try my hand at a Solomon-style goetic conjuration.  Based on the advice of a friend, I’m going to try giving Orobas a call.  This will give me a chance to put the Circle of Art and a shiny-new Ring of Solomon (post forthcoming!) to good use, as well as give me experience with demonic entities.
  3. Start working heavily towards astral projection.  I’ve got my astral vortex ring ready to go; I just need to start being able to work astrally, and then I’m gold.  I’m better suited to working in the physical, but working in the astral is a skill I can’t pass up.
  4. Ask the planetary angels for friendly planetary assistants, like how I have elemental assistants from the elemental kings.  Get to know them, where they’re from, what their strengths are, how to call them, etc.
  5. Work on meditating more.  Not necessarily an hour a day, but more.

What’ve you been up to this past Mercury direct period?  Anything embarrassing or enlightening happen?  What’re your plans, if any, for the next few months?  Do tell, do tell!