Shoutouts to excellent colleagues and consultants: Nate Craddock, Asterion, and others!

It’s sometimes said that “no man is an island”, and I agree.  All of us live together on this planet, and unless you’re truly a dedicated hermit that does not live in or rely on society, the rest of us absolutely do, and we all interact with other people from time to time in some way or another.  However, it’s also important to rely on people from time to time, too; we all have our own specialties, areas of expertise, and skill that we can provide others, the things that we’re good at.  But, not only are we good at some things, but there are some things that we’re just not good at, and so we turn to others who are better than us to learn and do more.  And then there’s the fact that, even if we’re not asking for help from others, we can still enjoy their company, works, and friendship all the same to make our own lives a little brighter in this dark world of ours.

To that end, on this blessed Feast of St. Isidore of Seville and of Hermes Trismegistus, on this Day of Jupiter in the Hour of the Sun (at least for where I am), I’d like to talk about two such people whose skills far exceed my own, Nate Craddock of Soul Friend Astrology and Asterion of Asterion’s Occult Art and Practical Solomonic Magic, and give them my thanks and to publicly praise them for the wonderful things they do in general and for the wonderful things they did for me specifically.  Plus I’d also like to draw attention to Alexander Eth of the Glitch Bottle podcast and Raquelle Puchol of Saturn and the Sun Astrology, because they’re wonderful people whose works you should already be following if you’re not yet.

First, let’s talk about Nate Craddock.  It’s my custom to get my own beginning-of-year reading, usually from the oracles of Ifá from my babalawo or Lukumí from my godfather, but due to the chaos and craziness at the beginning of the year (including a snowstorm the day that I was supposed to head to my babalawo’s house), I simply wasn’t able to get one in the timeframe I wanted, so I ended up just doing without.  After a while, and after much banter and back-and-forth on Twitter with Nate (@RyanCaradog), I ended up getting one of his Annual Update consultations to catch up on my lost time and see what would be ahead for me.  But, because it’s been a long time since I’ve had my natal horoscope properly analyzed (I had it done once by Chris Warnock of Renaissance Astrology back in 2011, which was great, too!), I also got a natal consultation with Nate to be done first, partially because I figured I could do with the review of my own chart and also to help get more out of the annual update later on.  The natal consultation was…honestly, to say that I’m impressed with Nate’s skill would be such an understatement that I would feel bad about lying and would need to atone for the grave insult that would be towards Nate.  His skill is on-point, sharp, refined, and incredibly detailed, so much so that I scheduled a second natal consultation to get more into the in-depth nitty-gritty that he normally doesn’t get to for most clients due to the niche nature of them all.  (We discussed my own knowledge of astrology, and I admit that I’m more astrology-adjacent rather than a proper astrologer, but what little knowledge and understanding I had going into this made it super easy for Nate to skip over the basic descriptions and get into the real meat-and-marrow of the chart.)  Plus, Nate has professional training in actual counseling and guidance, which really comes to bear in his client-centric consultation style in a way that’s compassionate, understanding, and (most importantly) useful to the consultee.

I know who my astrologer’s gonna be in the future. If you’re looking for someone to help you out to keep an eye on the stars in a friendly, understanding, guiding way that gives you actual, immediate insight into your life, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself to not hire the services of Nate Craddock at Soul Friend Astrology.  Seriously, you won’t be disappointed.  In the meantime, follow him on Twitter.  He’s been doing a great set of 20 one-line tweet interpretations of people’s natal charts for them to get the high-level motif and focus for them to tackle, and is taking on new projects, too, including his upcoming podcast at Jailbreak the Sacred (not quite live yet, but going live later this month) and vlog-style horoscopes over at his YouTube, and while you’re at it, give him a like on his Facebook page.  Definitely keep an eye on him for his future works and productions (one of which I’ll be on, too!).

(I also fully admit that the Libra quality of “tell me more about me” was coming out hard and it’s hard to not indulge myself when listening to his amazing voice.  So, yanno.  That’s a bonus, too.  His podcast is gonna be excellent.)

Now, let me go on about the inestimable Asterion.  Honestly, I don’t think anyone needs an introduction to him at this point; his excellent artcraft is renowned across the occult blogosphere, and his work has been highly acclaimed by authors and publishers such as Fr. Ashen Chassan, Nineveh Shadrach, Michael Cecchetelli, James Banner, and others.  Heck, I even used his Arbatel seals in my own Arbatel lamens, with his permission, years ago.  His work in redoing the sometimes-unclear seals and sigils of classical and medieval grimoires is famous, and his more modern and innovative artwork is stunning.  Heck, I can’t tell you the number of people who’ve used his Seal of the Planetary Hierarchy, both with and without his permission.  I’ve seen it across all of Etsy and Wish by people who would never have known that Asterion is the one who made it back in 2011, but there it is, all the same.  As far as occult art goes, Asterion is a legendary force of nature.  It’s only a shame that his old two blogs have been largely discontinued due to his other projects and studies at the moment, but that’s not to say he isn’t still active.

More recently, I turned to him asking if he could take a few seals I had received from spirits and draw them up professionally for me.  It’s the ones I’ve been using for the four elemental archangels for years ever since my first contact with them, and though I’ve been doing fine with my own hand-drawn versions, I wanted something nicer and more professionally well-done.  I could think of nobody else but Asterion to do it for me, and it was a project he took on with enthusiasm, speed, and—surprising positively nobody—the greatest quality and care.  Plus, he even had the patience to deal with my nitpicking over even the most inscrutable of details, for which he has my admiration; I know well how rough it can be to go back-and-forth with a picky client, but he did so with grace and charm and patience for me.  (And no small amount of ribbing and poking fun at each other along the way.)  To be honest, I’m appalled at myself that I didn’t contact him years ago to do this very thing for me, but I’m glad I have all the same.  I know he can be sometimes picky about what clients he takes on, given how much other work takes up his precious and well-used time, but I’m honored he agreed to work with me, and—hopefully—in the future as well for yet other projects.

Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Nate and Asterion!  And you, dear reader, should give them both a look-over.  If you need an astrologer, whether for natal or horary or electional or predictive needs, check out Soul Friend Astrology.  And if you need a good artist whose works are stunningly potent, check out Asterion.  You will not be disappointed.

And while I’m at it, there are two other colleagues I’d like to draw attention to.  First, Alexander Eth of the Glitch Bottle podcast.  You can probably guess why; keep an eye out later this month!  Subscribe to his YouTube channel, like his Facebook Page, and follow him on Twitter (@glitchbottle)!

And finally, the incredible Raquelle Puchol of Saturn and the Sun Astrology.  She’s a wonderful astrologer trained in traditional, Hellenic, and Vedic astrology and chiromancy, and she’s a professional artist and calligrapher who does hands down some of the most beautiful astrological diagrams, charts, and illustrations that I have ever seen (and I count a number of artists among my friends), both for custom commissions and prints.  She shares much of her work and analyses on her Twitter (@saturnsunastro), which you should absolutely be following.

So, yanno.  In your spare time, do check out these wonderful people I am blessed to know, work with, and who do excellent work of their own.

Crying of Calls 49: Saturnine 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 last and final week, Monday 8/19 through Sunday 8/25, we did the calls to Saturn.  Below are my experiences and thoughts:

8/19: Saturn/Moon 

Made the Saturn/Luna call tonight in the third hour of Saturn. Standard operating procedure, myrrh/jasmine incense. For Saturn, I’m repeating the call three times.

Heavy, certainly, which is fitting for Saturn. It’s like the smugness of the past */Saturn calls is from being self-important or beyond judgment, which now I’m starting to get more on that side of things. Still, heavy and fixed as Saturn is, the Moon gave everything a rapid, fluid feel, like I was a rock at the center of a whirlpool, or a fixed point in space and time. I felt like being able to reach out and gathering whatever it was I needed from the world outside of me, like everything was circling around and to me instead of me having to catch up to it. For the intent of this call, this is certainly one way to keep up with time, but not the expected one. Inhaling the visualization of the sigil of Saturn lead on violet was…sticky, like trying to breath in wet jello, but it tasted sweet enough due to the incense blend (which lends itself well to each other). This is less a mischievous feel (as in Luna/Saturn) and more of a…confident overseer feel. Interesting.

8/20: Saturn/Mars

Made the Saturn/Mars call twice today, first in the first hour of Saturn at work (just under my breath) and again in the second hour of Saturn, standard operating procedure with pine/myrrh incense.

This one has a kick to it; the heat of Mars is strong, but it’s heavy and restricting in a Saturnine way I haven’t yet felt in this project. Visualizing the sigil of Saturn lead on red made it seem much more…not necessarily sinister, not quite despondent, but something between the two; it felt like a grill or a net, and inhaling it didn’t quite work, but it wrapped around me as a chain blanket and seeped into my bones, which now feel denser and hotter. The heat built up in this isn’t painful, but it is discomfortingly deep. In that regard, it’s probably good paired up with the Jupiter/Mars call to get off one’s ass, especially if one’s weakness (like mine and others, certainly) is sloth.

8/21: Saturn/Mercury

Made the Saturn/Mercury call today in the second hour of Saturn.  I’m visiting a friend today out of town, so I made the call outside in the sunlight; a change, but a pleasant one.  Otherwise, standard operating procedure with cinnamon/myrrh incense.

This is a weird feeling, but perhaps mercurial me doesn’t often like shutting up, with either my voice or my mind.  If Mercury deals with circuits and channels of communication, the normal connections and flows I feel changed drastically; it was like all channels of communication were thrown open and flowing towards me.  The heaviness of Saturn made me feel like the bottom of a well or a lake, with all the buzz of Mercury flowing to me like water to a low spot.  Between feeling low and looking up and this weird centralized-stillness-external-buzzing, this feels like a weird kind of spiritual adderall.  Probably good to use before meditation, classes, or any period of observation that requires focus.  Visualization of the sigil of Saturn lead on orange didn’t have any unusual effects or signs this time, but inhaled smoothly and made me feel solidified and more “here”.

8/22: Saturn/Jupiter

Made the Saturn/Jupiter call tonight in the second hour. Standard operating procedure with myrrh and cedar incense.

Like the Jupiter/Saturn call last week, this feeling of combined forces is difficult to discern in differentiation (oh my god Jason, confound you for getting me stuck alliterating endlessly), and the feeling is really similar: guarded kingship, decisiveness, clarity. The breeziness and coolness of Jupiter mesh well with the heaviness and cold of Saturn, although this call is the exact opposite of the other; while Jupiter/Saturn was about expanding within contraction, Saturn/Jupiter is about contracting on expansion. It’s almost the same sensation, and I feel like I have everything spiritually or metaphorically at hand in a kind of “waste not want not” atmosphere. Inhaling the sigil seemed odd tonight; visualizing the sigil of Saturn lead on blue ended up getting wrapped around my head, looping through my spinal column and forming a kind of ring through my nose, like it’s circulating and pushing stuff down and away from the head elsewhere in the body. Probably some good information in that symbolism, I’ll wager.

8/23: Saturn/Venus

Made the Saturn/Venus call today in the second hour of Saturn. Standard operating procedure with rose/myrrh incense. I tailored my preceding prayer with a specific intent to solidify and make permanent and transcendent my relationship with my partner.

Unlike the other Saturn calls, this one isn’t heavy at all, though it has an interesting other effect; I feel like there’s some weird chain or cable pulling from within my chest out towards the back elsewhere; I know where it ends, my own partner, or my link to him, rather. The heaviness is definitely around my chest due to this weird tethering, but it’s not unwelcome; unlike the Venus/Saturn call, this one is actually fairly pleasant, if not sobering. The kindness of Venus certainly cancels out the otherwise harsh feeling of Saturn, but the way they combine here is almost surprising, showing a weird kind of sober, somber, dedicated love that (for someone as young as I am) I wouldn’t expect to feel anytime soon. The incense has a type of wine-like twinge to it tonight missing from before, and the sigil seemed as normal as ever besides shooting into and through me to form the chain instead of just inhaling it as usual.

8/24: Saturn/Saturn

Changed things up today. Opened up with an invocation of Saturn from the Picatrix and used my lead Saturn talisman from an election a while back as a focus for the ritual. Used three candles and three sticks of myrrh incense, and anointed my palms and the talisman with myrrh oil. Beyond that, standard operating procedure, but with nine repetitions of the Call (three times three): three out loud, three quietly, three silently.

This one knocked me on my back, or rather, on my front; I ended up lying down prostrate on the ground before my altar for a while after making the call, since the heaviness of Saturn turned into a deep, profound sense of falling. Entering the Abyss, indeed. I’ll reserve most of my thoughts on this for later; I don’t even really know where to begin with this tonight. Visualizing the sigil of Saturn lead on black tonight was sharp, and inhaling it into my energy body felt painful or like being macerated inside. Everything is calm, but…

8/25: Saturn/Sun

Made the Saturn/Sun call today in the first hour of Saturn. Performed a ritual cleansing and full Sevenths-calling beforehand, and got out the fancy censer and grains of myrrh and frankincense resin (partially because I ran out of frankincense sticks). Otherwise, standard operating procedure.

After last night’s heavy and depressed call, this one was sorely, sorely needed, but having done it, I feel recharged in the deepest and most thorough way possible. It’s a weird kind of joy; not a temporary or emotional joy, but an existential, survivalist joy that doesn’t quite match up with words or laughter. The stillness of the Sun provides a kind of crystal clarity to the world around me, while the solidity and heaviness of Saturn this time has turned into a kind of support and guide, a chain bridge or a ladder to help me. The visualization of the sigil, though dark like coal on gold, inhaled in among the densest and most spiritually forceful way yet; it seemed to form a chain extending from infinitely above me to infinitely below me, a kind of shivalingam of gold and black that I can neither escape nor lose myself from.

And that does it for me! All 49 Calls have been made, and this project is drawn to a close for me. This has been a fantastic trip for me, you guys, and I give my deepest and sincerest thanks to Jason Miller for writing up this set of prayers.  I wouldn’t’ve thought to combine the planets like how he did, and I’m glad he shared his work with the world.  If you haven’t gotten your copy, do so immediately and start putting them to use.  I can’t emphasize how powerful yet simple this stuff is; it may be Hermetics Lite, but it has no small punch for your 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.

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.