Mercury Retrograde Review and Resolutions

Hello hello hello, dear readers!  As you may have caught wind, Mercury went retrograde last week, on the day which happened to be Thanksgiving in the US.  I hope whatever food or feast you had, even it it wasn’t particularly festive, was delicious and relaxing.

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.

Even on my end, things have already been getting crazy: I forget the PIN for my new ATM card, my fingers get slammed in a doorway, and the graphics drivers on my main computer break and I need to reinstall the whole operating system as a result.  Sigh.  Now, I don’t blame any of this on Mercury being retrograde, far from it.  It’s like…you don’t blame a woman’s period on the Moon being full or anything, the two just happen to sync up, and one is correlated but not causal of the other.  It’s like most of magic, astrology, and the rest of this crap.  Anyway, I digress.

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 August 26), as a kind of self-review.

Workings (I feel there should be more of these than there are):

  1. Finally got into regular and acceptable conversation with my genius.  I had conjured him once or twice before after getting a tip that it was the right time to do so, but I didn’t get anywhere with it (nothing was getting through though we were both present, like on different sides of a window).
  2. Created and consecrated my seven planetary talismans for my Table of Manifestation.  In the process, established contacts with each of the seven planetary angels.
  3. Created a powerful Saturn talisman.
  4. Performed the Gate of Jupiter working.
  5. Consecrated and charged two sigilbearing objects for people close to me.

Occult lessons:

  1. Don’t launch into a massive orgy of talisman consecrations that involve more than one planet at once.  Pace yourself out; as the king of Fire Michael said, “you’re an air sign; you can either blow up all at once like a pure oxygen atmosphere, or direct yourself to make a small but powerful force like a gas torch”.
  2. Weekly divination readings are awesome.  Get into and keep a habit of it.  Don’t forget to keep records to compare against the actual resolution of things to see how you predicted it.  Also, offer free readings to others through social networks for the practice and fun of doing it alone.
  3. Different planets have different energies that stick around (shocking, I know).  So far, according to my awareness and knowledge, they’re a little more subtle and longer-lasting than dealing with the elements.
  4. Quoth Pallas Renatus, “banish your shit“.  I’m not going to banish every week or every time I clean the house, but after a guest comes over and stays or gets all up in my stuff, or after I return home from a stressful weekend out of town, things gotta get cleaned up (myself and my surroundings).  Besides, since I don’t have a temple room of my own, with my work, love life, recreation, occultistry, and worship all happening in the same space, I’ve got a lot going on in not a lot of space.
  5. Be kind to the dead.  This should go without saying.
  6. Be sure to stock up on holy water and consecrated candles before Mercury retrograde comes up (I find myself running extremely low on the latter, although it’s not an absolute necessity).
  7. When interacting with a force for the first time, give it plenty of time to settle in your sphere.  Be active with the initiation process into that force’s sphere for a while until you’ve got approval from the initiator that you’re on stable footing.
  8. Don’t involve radically different forces without really knowing what you’re doing, such as using good compartmentalization skills.
  9. Talking to my genius is a very good way to learn about myself, but even then, his influence and knowledge are limited.  He’s a very good voice to reassure me that I’m doing what I need to do, or a good switch to hit me with when I’m not.  It’s interesting to learn about cosmology and origins from him, but I’m curious as to know what other people might’ve heard or learned from their own guides or genii as well.  Pity that peer review isn’t as helpful with subjective stories as it is hard data.
  10. Having a familiar spirit of different spheres or forces or areas is always a good idea.  I haven’t yet done this with the planetary spheres, but the elemental buddies I have are pretty cool people.  Or hot, in the case of my fire buddy.  (It almost feels like I’m talking about Pokémon.)
  11. It takes time to get used to different spirits’ styles of communication.  I’ve noticed I have a much easier time right now working with the elemental kings than I do the planetary angels.  I’m hoping that this is just a practice issue.

Practical lessons:

  1. Open your windows when using even a small amount of resin incense.  That shit smokes up, son.
  2. Get an oxygen (or other non-propane) torch to melt silver successfully.  Propane simply doesn’t heat silver hot enough to work with usefully.  Ditto for copper, and you can forget about iron.
  3. When working with inlaying gold leaf and stained wood, do the staining first and then engrave and inlay.
  4. Wash your goddamn hands after handling hot peppers in the kitchen.
  5. Wear masks or protective clothing when melting metals, especially tin or lead.  I mean, duh.
  6. Bookshelves.  Buy more bookshelves.  For the love and sanity of your self, BUY MORE BOOKSHELVES.

Although I’m refraining from making solid plans (because that’s generally not the thing to do in Mercury retrograde), I’ve come up with a list of projects I want to do before the next time Mercury goes retrograde in mid-March.  They’re kind of like New Year’s Resolutions, except they’re more common and actually concrete enough for me to stick to.  In no particular order:

  1. Christmas present crafting!  Although not everything I make with wood, metal, and fire will be magical, I am making a few gifts for my family that I’m going to consecrate in some form or another.  One such gift will be a cane for my mother with the Medicine Buddha Dharani engraved in the Phags-Pa script and lapis lazuli inset on a Derby handle.
  2. Test drive a 5-week cycle of conjurations of the angels of the planets, the elements, and my nativity.  If I can handle it without too much obstruction in my life, I’ll keep it around (three or four conjurations a week? come on, Poly, get off your lazy ass and Work, you languid whore).
  3. Finish crafting and consecrate the Lunar Kamea.
  4. Consecrate a silver ring I have to act as a talisman for working in the astral realm, according to Frater RO’s Astral Warrior eBook.
  5. Make Oil of Abramelin (I’ve been lazy and haven’t gotten calamus root yet).  Then, consecrate goddamn-near-everything I use in rituals and then some with said Oil.
  6. Redo the Gate of Jupiter rite once Jupiter goes direct again.
  7. Do the Gate of Mars rite, and maybe work on the other gates as well.
  8. Consecrate the Tarot cards on my Table of Manifestation to act as talismans for the four elemental kings themselves.  I found a note in an older blog post of Frater RO’s that they were to be consecrated along with the four elemental weapons, whoops.
  9. Working to keep my apartment quiet (either some kind of binding on my neighbors or whatever).  I don’t get why someone needs to listen to their TV that loud at 4 a.m., for real.
  10. Start meditating at least one hour a day, either in one sitting or two half-hour sessions.

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!

Ave Iovis!

So I finally performed the Gate of Jupiter rite as written by Frater RO.  Basically, it’s an initiation into the Sphere and Realms of Jupiter, helping to anoint oneself into the grace and splendors needed and required to manage one’s personal Kingdom of Life.  It’s been making the rounds across the occultoblogosphere even though it’s a pretty simple rite, and I figured “why the hell not”?  Because of this and due to a few other things going on (namely endless fatigue), I decided to remove my Saturn lead talisman from my Table of Manifestation and set it away so that I’d have less of a restriction or hindrance in letting the Jovian forces flow.

Now I can see why people’ve been making this big to-do over Jupiter work.  Hot damn.  I can’t stop smiling and feeling, well, good.  Then again, it’s hard not to feel that way after three glasses of an expensive-but-delicious pinot grigio, a Djarum Black, and having chats with Augustus Imperator Romani, celestial and cosmic beings of grandeur and splendor, and my dad within the space of an hour.  Plus, Ode to Joy started playing on my laptop just as I finished the rite, which led to a rather sweet touch to cap things off with for the end of the night.

Incidentally, Promethea issue #19 (“Fatherland”) makes SO much more sense now, now that I read over it again.  Let’s see what other revelations and niftiness occurs in the next few days.  If it’s anything half as amazing as what I’ve been hearing across the blogosphere (and just the revelations I had during the ritual alone can account for that), I’ll have considered this a resounding success and so. totally. worth. it.

Oh, and this is my 67th post on my blog.  6 + 7 = 13 which reduces to 4, the number of Jupiter.  That’s only a little fitting, no?

Fall Lineup

First off: I am never, ever going to drive in or into DC again.  Ever.  It’s like getting stuck inside a vagina dentata plus hell.

Besides getting lost in that pit of concrete and construction, this was a pretty awesome weekend and birthday vacation.  Yes, oh Internet, I have survived another year on this planet, and taking a six-day weekend was a good way to relax and rest up.  Even I’ve got to sleep sometime, after all.  Plus, my generous family and friends got me some excellent goodies, including a dremel, a copy of Jason Miller’s Sorcerer’s Secrets, and Agrippa’s Fourth Book of Occult Philosophy.  I am SO HAPPY, except my bookshelves are reaching critical mass.  Again.

But this vacation really was needed, both from work and from heavy occulting.  Now that it’s coming to an end, I’ve drawn up a five-week cycle to go through conjuring each of the planetary and elemental angels along with my natal genius, which I’ll either start this or next week once I get a few materials assembled.  I got a copy of Frater RO’s Gate of Jupiter eBook, which will help initiate me into the sphere and grace of Jupiter.  He’s got one Gate rite for each of the seven planets; even though both Frater RO and the Unlikely Mage both suggested starting out with Jupiter, I confronted my altar and asked the angels there to help me decide as well, and I felt the strongest pull towards the Jupiter talisman I had made.  Apparently, Jupiter’s the way to get started.  Anyway, I’ll need to get some classy wine or something to enjoy myself with during the rite, but it should be awesome.

Plus, in addition to getting the conjuration routine started, I also made a to-do list of projects that I want to work on before the end of the year, including making Abramelin oil; rebinding the demonic elemental princes in wood, lead, and iron; creating a talisman to help focus and aid me into the astral realm, courtesy of Frater RO’s Astral Warrior eBook; writing a guide to geomancy, my favorite divination system; and doing some working or ritual to make my goddamn apartment quieter.  I swear, it’s like living under drunk elephants and above a deaf person who loves TV.

Speaking of being angsty, if you’re into occult humor and Twitter, take a look at the feed of The Angsty Magician.  I know some of you can relate to this.  Got some crazy/hilarious/WTF story related to the occult?  Let me know!