Search Term Shoot Back, October 2013

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 October 2013.

“satanic pagan ritual altars instruction offerings halloween” — I’m kinda insulted by this query for a number of reasons, not least that it somehow directed someone to my blog.  I’m guessing that the person who searched for this was around 12 years old, to boot.  Just…ugh.

“satanic ritual to summon ghosts” — Again with the “satanism”. Lots of requests for this thing, or alternatives with “black magic rituals” or “for beginners”.  Seriously, guys?  I know that people growing up in a primarily anglophone evangelist protestant Christian culture have a hard time with this, but not everything that isn’t explicitly Christian is automatically Satanic, or “black magic”, or whatnot.   But if you want to go ahead with this, it’s really simple to summon a spirit like a ghost.  Light a candle and some good, heavy incense, make an oration to the spirit calling them there, and make an offering of wine or food or rum or pennies or candies or something.  Wait for the spirit to arrive, then chat with it.  Afterwards, dismiss it and leave the offerings.  (Yes, I know I’m omitting the protection and energy work and meditation and prayers, but whatever, most people aren’t that serious and probably need a good slap in the face to realize the importance of these things.)

“dismissing spirits after ritual” — Generally a good idea, though it pays to be respectful.  First, always thank the spirit: “I thank you for your presence, for you have come as I have called and aided me as I have asked”.  If it’s something like an angel or some other servant spirit, you might want to say something like “as you have come in peace, so now go in power; as you have come in the name of the Trinity, so now go in this same name”.  Demons should be treated similarly, especially the powerful ones, but you should always cover your ass and include some sort of binding for mutual peace and not leaving harm or malice behind them.  For ancestors, land spirits, and the like, which deserve respect as individual entities that do not serve, say something like “go if you will, stay if you will, but know that you have my honor”; ditto for gods and deities, though these should be given proper honor generally.

“wasn’t the sanctuary a bloody mess from all of the animal sacrifices” — Perhaps surprisingly, no.  Places of holiness, especially well-known and well-attended places like the Temple of the Jews, tend to have elaborate rituals and logistical setups to perform sacrifices, which often include cleaning up pretty well.  In Santeria, for instance, the orisha rooms and throne areas must be exquisitely and perfectly clean and hygienic, and given that animal sacrifice is pretty messy, it would seem like the two don’t mix.  That said, they’ll have a whole team of people cleaning things up as they go, carrying out the waste or corpse, and keep things under control.  Other traditions, like Palo Mayombe, may not have an emphasis on cleanliness, so sometimes sanctuaries can indeed be messy.  It depends on the tradition, I suppose.

“the angels that govern mars” — The Hebrew name I use is Kammael (kaph mem aleph lamed), which has also been Latinized as Camael and Samael.  This can lead to multiple ways to write the name in Hebrew, however, so it can get pretty confusing; I generally treat all these as the same entity.  From the Heptameron of Pietro d’Abano, Mars has the following spirits: the angels Samael, Satael, and Amabiel; the angelic king Samax, and the angelic ministers Carmax, Ismoli, and Paffran; the eastern angels Friagne, Guael, Damael, Calzas, and Arragon; the western angels Lama, Astagna, Lobquin, Soncas, Jazel, Isiael, and Irel; the nothern angels Rahumel, Hyniel, Rayel, Seraphiel, Mathiel, and Fraciel; and the southern angels Sacriel, Janiel, Galdel, Osael, Vianuel, and Zaliel.  The Liber Runarum has Mamarayl as the angel, and the Picatrix has Raucahehil or Rubijai’il.

“archangel michael consecrated swords to sell” — My ritual sword, inscribed and consecrated according to the Key of Solomon with a few extra bits, was entirely a personal project.  However, I can probably make them as well for you; your choice of sword, all you need to do is give me the money to buy one you like plus $150 plus shipping and handling, and the whole thing will be consecrated to your liking.

“what are the ingredients in florida water” — Contrary to its name, water doesn’t actually take a part in this, though you can throw it in.  Generally, Florida water has citrus elements in it like lemon and bergamot, along with spices like clove.  It’s pretty simple, and you can expand on it in many ways.  Rosemary-based versions are intensely aromatic and amazing, in my experience.

“kybalion changed my life” — That makes one of us, at least.  It’s a pretty basic book, if you ask me.

“rituals where you defecate on an altar” — No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.  This really should not be a thing.  I know of only one ritual where feces are needed, and that’s the consecration for the Mirror of the Seven Winds from the Picatrix, where they’re used as an ingredient in incense.  Directly shitting on an altar?  Unless you mean the throne of the porcelain god, this is terrible.  Don’t do this.

“how do i get oil blessed to cleanse my home” — Generally, go to your local priest and have them bless some olive oil for you, or ask if they have any chrism on hand.  Go throughout the house, preferably with the priest doing this, and pray in each room.  Anoint every door, threshold, window, and windowframe with the oil; once in the middle in a cross shape would work, or you might do a five-spot pattern (one in each corner and one in the middle).  You might also combine this with suffumigation with incense, lighting consecrated or purified candles in each room, and the like.

“using dice for yes/no” — You might do this in any number of ways, from rolling a die and inspecting the number or using several different colored dice and using the color itself.  For instance, you might decide that high numbers are “yes” and low numbers are “no”, or odd and even numbers for the same purpose.  You could expand this and add more categories, based on ranges of numbers.  I know that Balthazar Blacke uses a simple system involving a white die and a black die to get detailed answers, so you might consider that.  I use two ten-sided dice, one marked from 0 to 9 and the other from 00 to 90; for me, high numbers are “yes” and low numbers are “no”, and how high or low a number is increases the forcefulness of the answer.

“cloacina goddess symbol necklace” — Er…Cloacina was an aspect of the Roman goddess Venus, and Venus Cloacina was basically the goddess of the sewers of Rome and other cities.  This comes from the Roman word cloaca, meaning sewer, but is used biologically to indicate the excretory/genital area of birds, lizards, and similar animals.  Basically, it’s a shit-vagina.  And I’m unsure why one might have a symbol for that or want it on a pendant, but I’m sure you can find plenty of vagina pendants on Etsy, because it’s Etsy, and Etsy is horrifying.

“{searchterm}” — Yes, I do believe that that’s the point.

Crying of Calls 49: Martian 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 8/5 through Sunday 8/11, we did the calls to Mars.  Below are my experiences and thoughts:

8/5: Mars/Moon 

Made the Mars/Luna call tonight in the third hour, standard operating procedure with pine and jasmine incense.

This was a subtle effect, and I’m unsure whether that’s due to the midnight hour and vague sleepiness I had or whether it’s the actual force. It was oddly sharpening, though not in any active or boisterous way. The image I got was running along a field with an earthquake, the land shifting and swaying under my feet; I was able to run forward safely, but the land on either side of me was either collapsing or falling under debris, crushing any others on the battlefield. The sigil inhaled easily enough, despite the mental iron of the visualization, possibly due to the lunar influence here; it seemed like the Martian energy is what really got inside me, with the Lunar energy wrapping around me as a shield or barrier. Unlike the Luna/Mars call, which triggered a massive wave of pointed and manageable emotion, this seems like the complete inverse: it’s very deep, very calm, yet still pointed. I’m feeling a bit hot, so the burn of Mars is certainly there.

8/6: Mars/Mars

Made the Mars/Mars call in the first hour of the day today, dawn on Tuesday, after my full morning rituals. Was already feeling pretty empowered, and anointed myself with High John the Conqueror oil, because why not. Standard operating procedure with two sticks of pine incense, but made the Orphic Hymn five times instead of just once.

Nothing particular special or spectacular, but this definitely delivers a good impulse of Martian force. I’m feeling sharp, like a fresh blade: honed, directed, ordered, quick, alive. There’s a general heat around me that I don’t otherwise normally feel, which is weird since I otherwise feel cool (giving off heat to the world). Images in my mind are like they’re set to high-contrast: everything seems white and black, no greys or in-between. That’s something of Mars I’ve noticed in the past: it cuts with the sword into two parts, no halves or gradients, no middle-ground. Unlike the Sun/Sun, Venus/Venus, or other pure Calls so far, this one seems fairly low-key. Then again, that could be due to its direct, get-shit-done intent. The sigil inhaled fairly easily, and the iron image of the sigil definitely seemed to glint and spark in the red light of Mars. I thought I could hear battle and fights while making the call, too. Now to see what office life is going to be like this week…

8/7: Mars/Mercury

Made the Mars/Mercury call tonight in the second hour, standard operating procedure with cinnamon and pine incense.

I like this one, though I’m probably not physically well enough to properly handle this force (bad back pain and dizziness today from a mild hangover). The sharpness and heat of Mars is an interesting, spicy balance to the buzz and quickness of Mercury; I feel like my mind is racing, even when there’s little to think about, and everything seems boring unless I’m actively doing something. It’s kinda like really hyper adderall in that it gives me a strong jolt to focus on something; multitasking and quick thinking on your feet would be greatly benefitted by this call. Still, it gives me an uncomfortable agitated feeling unless I’m actually working on something, and with my mind racing, it’s making time seem like it’s going slower (more time to act and react!).

8/8: Mars/Jupiter

Made the Mars/Jupiter call in the first hour of Mars, standard operating procedure with cedar and pine incense.

This one was subtle: the sharpness of Mars and the coolness of Jupiter seem to balance each other out, even though there was power aplenty in the Call. If anything, it seemed like the power of Jupiter is dominant here; there’s very, very little heat in this call, like standing next to a space heater outside in the dead of winter. Still, it provides a cooling edge to otherwise heated activity, which is a nice contrast. We’ll see how today goes, I suppose; I was hoping for more buzz with this one, since this is a call I can see myself using frequently in the future. I’ll try it again in the other hours of Mars today and see if I can’t get more of a charge out of it.

8/9: Mars/Venus

Made the Mars/Venus call tonight in the second hour of Mars, standard operating procedure with rose/pine incense. I prefaced the call itself with a supplication for it to work with my relationship with my lover, to give it a more specific edge.

Can’t say I got much out of this one, but then, I’m not in the best of health (severe back pain and fever mitigated by heavy doses of ibuprofen); this was similar to the Venus/Mars call, which also felt fairly subdued. I had to “force” things through an intellectual channel in order to process what was going on, but it still works all the same. The primary images that came to my mind were the interplay of the geomantic figures Puer (the Boy, Mars, Aries) and Puella (the Girl, Venus, Libra); definitely appropriate, considering the topic. This seemed to create a balance of extremes within me more than anything else: feminine emotion combined with male aggression, and vice versa. Visualizing the sigil seemed “hot” to the point of glowing a coppery-red, fitting for the combination of forces, and inhaled without a problem. The heat of Mars is there (not great considering my already-existing fever), but the sensuality of Venus is giving it a more pleasurable feeling than it’d otherwise have (hot wax play, anyone?).

8/10: Mars/Saturn

Made the Mars/Saturn call in the very last hour, the final hour of the day of Saturn and the third and last hour of Mars. Standard operating procedure with pine/myrrh incense, though I did a banishing afterward due to other rituals that followed that I didn’t want touched by the violent vibe from this call.

This one…packs a punch. The heat of Mars plus that smug darkness of Saturn lead to a pretty evil-feeling sensation, like I had just authorized a fatal strike on some colony of enemies. I mean, yeah, that is the point, but…well, it’s a good thing I only generalized this to anyone who would stand in my way. If I really wanted to off someone, this is probably the call I’d be using in addition to other heavy work (combining the two malefics, after all). It wasn’t exactly a heavy feeling, but the heat is what really propelled me; even so early in the morning, I was sweating from the call. The sigil, like the other curse-based calls, didn’t exactly imbue itself into my sphere; rather, the iron-on-black Mars sigil seemed to wrap itself around me, form into little quills, spikes, or missiles, and shot out from me outward to places unknown. I don’t expect good things to happen where they land.

8/11: Mars/Sun

Made the Mars/Sol call tonight after offerings to spirits in the second hour of Mars. Standard operating procedure with pine and frankincense incense, with extra thanks afterward for the god’s/planet’s help over these past seven days.

The best way I can describe this feeling is “crystalline fire”. The stillness of the Sun, the golden frozenness of spirit and time, is like an eternal, perfect Light from fire, while the heat, desiccation, and cauterization from Mars is like Fire from light. Combining the two is interesting, and is radically different from the energy rush from the Sol/Mars call, which was like a powerhouse of fiery force jacked into my sphere. This is much more focused, much more on-point, like a laser affecting a part deep within me than a torch burning from all out of me. I feel lighter, in a way, both in terms of weight and illumination; the heat of Mars seems “frozen” around and within me, like both a shield and a central jewel at the heart, and it…well, it kinda hurts, actually, like a strain or a cut. I know there’s a lot of attachments I hold, especially to habits (some of which I specifically named in the ritual buildup to the call), and they seem to give me a bad taste in my mind when I think about them now. Maybe this is the most direct of the calls I’ve done so far. I’ll judge how well it works by seeing how much easier it is to stop those habits I named, I suppose, and brush up on this call fairly often. The sigil visualization seemed to turn to fire first before inhaling, and didn’t quite inhale as much as it did set me on fire in this weird, slow-yet-instant way. Definitely an interesting feeling, and not what I expected.

De Geomanteia: Rubeus (I see a red door and I wanna paint it black)

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:



This is the figure Rubeus.  In Latin, its name means “Red”, which is pretty common in lots of other traditions, but can also be named as “burning” or “danger”.  If you (quite literally) connect the dots, you might come up with a figure that looks like an overturned goblet.

First, the technical details of this figure.  It’s associated with Mars in retrograde motion and the astrological signs of Scorpio or Gemini, depending on whom you ask (though the connections with Scorpio are much stronger no matter what); due to its Martian qualities, it’s also associated with the sephirah Geburah.  It has only the air line active with all others passive, and thus is corresponded as a whole to the element of Air.  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 sexual and reproductive organs, as well as the excretory systems of the body. Its inverse figure (everything this figure is not on an external level) is Puella, the Girl, showing that this figure is not patient, not harmonious, not accommodating.  Its reverse figure (the same qualities of this figure taken to its opposite, internal extreme) is Albus, White, showing that this figure is not introspective, not fore-thinking, not balanced.  Its converse figure (the same qualities of this figure expressed in a similar manner) is Puer, the Boy, showing that it is similarly highly eager, easily excitable, and quick to action.  Rubeus is a difficult figure to deal with, very fast-moving and hectic to the point of confusion and flailing.  It’s all about being impassioned at a superficial level, leading to excess, indulgence, intoxication, and violence.  Because of this, it’s generally unfavorable except for the situations where these things are good or desired.

Picture in your mind’s eye, dear reader, that you’re at another of the swanky social parties at the house of some noble in Renaissance Italy, perhaps at some palace of the Medicis or Albizzis.  They happen tolerably often, and the host and his lovely wife are chatting with different groups, wandering from clique to clique, livery and leggings and gold in abundance.  The clinking of goblets, the soft chatter of the partiers, the soft tunes of viols and lutes fill the air and abruptly comes to a disgraceful crash when all attention goes to the wife of the host.  Apparently, some poor sap made a social misstep, which the paranoid hostess took as a gross insult; despite the lavish and high-class people around her, her face goes from a pretty pale to a dark, raging blush.  The dude made no more than a light jest at someone across the room, but the hostess took it as a slight against her own noble self, and she starts going crazy at him for having maltreated her so: threatening him with the multitude of daggers she has hidden in her bodice, spitting invective, even going so far as to throw her glass of dark wine in her victim’s face.  Just as soon as it began, it ends, and she walks off fulfilled, getting another glass of wine to sip while she resumes flitting from clique to clique.  The rest of the guests try to continue their evening as normal, as ever normal can be around her, and the host just shakes his head and lets it go.


If you were to describe the common negative traits of the astrological sign of Scorpio—its craziness, its excess, its passion, and its danger—you’d also basically describe the geomantic figure Rubeus.  The name itself, “red”, is one that has stuck from ancient Islamic and African traditions of geomancy up to its late European cousins lineages.  Red is the color of life itself, the color of red earth, red meat, red fruit, or red blood, but it’s only when life is in danger or needs to be really brought to the surface does the redness of it all really come to play.  Times when we get angry, we get passionately involved in something, when we’re hunting or being hunted, or when we’re injured: these are the times when the redness of life sets off a red light as a warning, when we see red for some reason or another.  Rubeus as a figure is connected with the indulgent, abusive, and exploitative nature of Scorpio and Mars, taking advantage of anything at its disposal just because it can.  That includes drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, arguing, and anything else that can give a superficial rush of life without any deeper meaning or need.

Rubeus is a figure that represents passionate involvement in something, but only as long as it stays involved.  It thrives on the here and now, on getting the most out of everything and more besides, but without any lasting committment or treatment or method in order to keep things that way.  It’s like a tornado: quick to arise, quick to dissipate, but while it lasts it gets into and wrecks everything, sucking everything in and tossing it out just as fast.  This befits its elemental structure of having only Air active, and Rubeus being an airy figure.  Without Water to keep it connected to anything else, without Earth to ground it out and contain it, and without Fire to direct it or illuminate it, Rubeus is basically the “monkey mind”, the mind thinking for thinking’s own sake, but on a massive scale.  Internally, this leads to confusion and a lack of depth in the mind, with thoughts being thought and then distracted immediately onto the next thought.  Externally, this leads to one flitting around from group to group, activity to activity, situation to situation, drug to drug, cock to cock (or vaj to vaj, or either to either depending on your tastes); whatever’s here and now is most important to Rubeus, and it doesn’t care how far it goes so long as it’s there to partake in it.

Contrast Rubeus, then, with the detached-but-thoughtful Albus: while Rubeus is only Air, Albus is only Water.  Albus is reflective, thoughtful, meditative, and pensive, but at the expense of being communicative, active, outgoing, and connective to others.  Albus reflects upon itself, since there’s nothing else for it to involve itself with.  Rubeus is only empty communication, vain activity, and outward going without the ability to connect on a deeper, more lasting, or profound level.  Also contrast Rubeus with Puella, its elemental inverse: while Puella is the ideal hostess, calm and abiding and harmonic with all her guests, whose only goal is to entertain and enliven the partiers, Rubeus is the bitchy crazy hostess who lives for only the parties.  Puella sees past appearances and works accordingly, but appearances are all that Rubeus sees without a realization of subtlety or deeper need.  While Rubeus might be crazy whirlwind undirected passion, Puer (the other Martian figure and the converse of Rubeus) is directed passion, focused on a single topic and objective.  Puer actually accomplishes something by plunging right into the heart of it, either with his cock or his sword (the same thing, really, but for different ends), but Rubeus flits around grazing only the surface of something and everything around it.

One medical association of the four elements connects them with the four humours, the idea that the regulation of the body and its functions are governed by four fluids in the body: yellow bile (choler, Fire), black bile (melancholy, Earth), phlegm (Water), and blood (Air).  Rubeus, the only geomantic figure with only Air, is representative of the nature of the sanguine humour, and both share one important characteristic: they’re both red.  They both live on circulation, going hither and thither, doing one thing then another then another, never sticking around long enough to do anything else.  When blood, thoughts, and actions are kept superficial and light on the touch as they should be, things go well: organs get just the oxygen they need and the blood goes on to recirculate, thoughts can easily look at a broad situation to get a first-glance point of view, and people open themselves up to new experiences at the drop of a hat.  When they get stuck for too long in one place, though, things often go poorly: blood can clot and cause strokes or other issues, thoughts can keep getting distracted when they should be focused on something or can dwell for too long on something that isn’t any deeper than it actually is, or people can indulge in too much too soon without much of a need at all.

In geomantic readings, Rubeus is usually a negative figure, if only because it indicates superficiality and excess when we least want them; one good keyword to go by for this figure is “hectic”.  It’s often found to be favorable when excess, indulgence in experiences like drink or drugs or sex, or being quick-to-come and quick-to-go is a good thing, and this often is.  It’s also a symbol of secrecy and trickery, often of confusion or compulsion rather than earnest deceit.  Beyond this, though, Rubeus is all about being a whirlwind of energy and activity that usually bodes poorly for something, since it also indicates violence, abuse, or utter confusion as a result from not being able to contain those energies.  At a high level, Rubeus is only fortunate for matters involving indulgence in sexuality, intoxicants, and violence, and little else besides.  Be careful when it appears in the sixth house, since it might indicate STDs and other reproductive or excretory issues, though it could just as easily indicate hypochondria.   Magically, Rubeus is associated with malefic Mars and dark Scorpio, and can be good for wrapping someone up in a confusion of their own thoughts, tipping something over into excess, or giving a good blast of energy and activity from nowhere in particular all at once.

Two Swords

Man, time flies.  Just over five weeks ago, I conjured Kammael the angel of Mars as part of my conjuration cycle.  From then began about two weeks of constant energy, discovery, fun, and activity that left a definite impression on my life.  I can’t and won’t complain; it was all for the better, if not confusing.  Still, good times were had, and the surge of energy helped me lay claim to and determine the actual limits and content of what I consider to be “my life and self”.  It’s an ongoing process, but it was definitely a trip.

Earlier this week, I conjured Kammael again.  The familiar rush of flame and energy, of sharpness and judgment, descended and infused my sphere again, but the rush is much more tame this time around.  Indeed, Kammael seemed to want just that to happen; although last time the energy of fire was external and outgoing, it’s now time for that fire to go inwards and work on what I’ve laid claim to.  It’s a much more controlled fire, and more introspective.  It might have something to do with Mars going retrograde recently on January 23 (going direct again on April 14 and leaving its shadow on June 19, just before the summer solstice).

As part of the conjuration, I routinely ask the spirits for their advice given my current condition, progress, and state of affairs.  Kammael had this to say:

Judgment of the self: too much definition, and it becomes imprisoned; too much exploration, and it becomes lost. Use both swords wisely.

The Qabbalah sephirah associated with Mars is Geburah, “Strength”, and it’s named that for a reason: even though the fifth heaven and sphere of Mars is on red-hot fire with ever-molten pits of lava, it’s all about cold, hard judgment and strategy.  This is the place where anything unbalanced from above or impure from below gets burned out of the Tree of Life.  Anything unnecessary or excessively grandiose, nice though it may be, coming from Jupiter gets tossed.  Anything too proud or self-righteous, noble though it may be, coming from the Sun gets tossed.  This is the place of the blade that cuts and divides the good from the bad, the needed from the unneeded, the helpful from the unhelpful.  It’s why the Tarot path from Tiphareth to Geburah is Justice: it determines the proper amount and course of anything between the sixth, fifth, and fourth heavens.

In a similar way, we’re given to police ourselves and figure out what it is that our “self” is.  In order to know what we are, we need to have some sort of definition (literally “a complete boundary”) to ourselves to know what belongs to our self and what doesn’t.  At the same time, we need to know what we can be and what we can do to become what we will be in order to grow and live.  The force to restrict and the force to expand, the forces of Saturn and Jupiter, flow into Mars and have to be balanced out on the scales of the armed Lady of Justice.  Too much of either is no good, and it gets burned in the pits of Mars, and then we ourselves get burnt out by too much self-restriction or self-expansion. 

  • If we define ourselves too much, and say only “I am that and only that” without considering “I could also be that and can do this too”, we get too caught up in being in a fixed state of self, we get locked down in an unnatural petrification and stagnation, and can’t handle change when it comes. 
  • If we expand ourselves too much, and say only “I can do this and this too and I can do all other things that I want” without considering “I am also at heart this and not that”, we get too caught up in being an an changing state of self, we get lost in an unnatural diffusion and explosion, and can’t find ourselves when we look for it.

Neither of these forces are bad, and both are needed in their proper amounts.  When Saturn restricts too much, Jupiter breaks free; when Jupiter expands too much, Saturn anchors down.  Mars is where these forces, both flowing from the seventh and sixth heavens, mingle and balance each other out to form a coherent and stable form.  Mars is where the self, coming from the fourth heaven of the Sun and stripped of its emotions and ideas and fantasies and reality, can see its greater cosmic dimensions, both where it terminates and what it can contain.

Mars is not a nurturing planet.  It’s dry, hot, barren, and dark (it’s considered a nocturnal though masculine planet in astrology).  It does not engender, it does not generate, it does not create.  Even though it doesn’t give birth, however, it does give passage; it is not a mother, but a guard.  Guards that permit too much are little more than the greeters at Wal-Mart, permitting both honest customers and dishonest thieves.  Guards that permit too little block the flow of commerce, communication, and life.  Guards need to have a functional sense of judgment to know what’s permitted and what’s not, and to allow things past them as appropriate.  We need to be on guard for ourselves, knowing what we are and can be and do, and what we are not and can’t be or do.  It is by these two judgments, these two swords, that we can really understand and execute our will and carry out our lives properly as we should.