Sunday, March 19, 2017

Devotional Practice at the Solstices and Equinoxes

I had a student ask me about doing devotional practice at the Solstices and Equinoxes. This is important, as I understand it, in Wiccan and Neo-pagan practice. (Please forgive my lack of knowledge!)

The equinoxes and solstices are significant in traditional astrology because they show how our tropical Zodiac is aligned to the seasons.

The Sun goes into Aries a the Spring Equinox, the Sun goes into Cancer at the Summer Solstice, the Sun goes into Libra at the Autumnal Equinox and the Sun goes into Capricorn at the Winter Solstice. These are the moveable or cardinal signs, and their meaning, showing change and movement, comes from their seasonal attribution.

This orientation to the seasons is one of the key attributes of the Tropical Zodiac

With our heating and cooling, cars and artificial lighting, we are very insulated from the seasons. My wife tells the story of how, when she was young, she had to daily feed and take care of her horse by walking several miles to the pasture. This was tough in the Midwestern Winter and she really noticed when Spring came. We can fool ourselves with our technology only for so long, however, as we are utterly dependent on the natural world and its cycles.

As far as a devotional celestial practice, however, I have a couple of comments. First, we are basically reverse engineering Picatrix Bk III chapter 7 and other sections of Picatrix and sources, which are written to be used for astrological magic, back to their earlier use as celestial devotional ritual. A lot of information is unavailable to us and some practices, like animal sacrifice, we do not wish to emulate. So we have some broad guidance, and lots of individual methods, but a great deal of possible devotional practices we could revamp or even invent (really discover!) Certainly, there is no reason why we could not do devotional practice using the solstices and equinoxes.

Ok, so what would those practices be? Basically, from an astrological standpoint, we are looking at Solar devotions. While Agrippa, for example, identifies spirits of the signs, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Bk III, ch 24, and there can be no doubt that there are spirits for all celestial factors, planets, fixed stars, Mansions of the Moon, decans, etc., as between the planets and the signs, it really is the planets that are significantly more prominent and more active. Still, my sense after thinking and writing about this is that one would definitely invoke the Sun and likely also the spirit of the sign. I also am getting a sense that there is a spirit for each of the solstices and equinoxes, though who and what these spirits are, and how to invoke them, I do not know.

A key part of astrological magic and celestial devotion is appropriate astrological timing, and clearly the appropriate time for a solstice/equinox ritual is immediately when the Sun enters the appropriate sign. So, when the Sun enters Aries, for example, we would invoke the Sun and the spirit of Aries, Malchidael according to Agrippa.

As and perhaps more cautiously, if this strand of spirituality develops, guided by our illustrious predecessors and the celestial spirits, the practice of celestial devotions will organically grow and develop.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How Do You Find Electional Charts?

I had a post complimenting me on a video I did awhile ago on how to use Solar Fire and my traditional page to do a Sun talisman election. Here is the link to the video. I watched it again and I thought, "this is pretty good!"

I wish I could do more, but this ten minute video, however, took probably 4-5 hours to make. It's an excellent resource, though, for advanced traditional students, particularly those interested in electional astrology.

Electional is the most difficult of all the types of astrology, both in terms of technique and in dealing with clients. In horary practice our traditional sources really lay out in detail how to judge a chart and give many examples for us to work from. Electional is different. We have lots and lots and lots of rules for the final chart, all of which cannot be followed, which Ramesey and other traditional electional sources acknowledge. "If you can't do X, Y and Z, at least do A" is typical. We have almost no examples of electional charts, Gadbury's Nauticum Astrologicum is about the only traditional sources with actual charts, I can think of.

So I had to basically invent a methodology to find elections, which you can see in the video. The first step, which seems basic, is to determine what factors you are electing for and decide whether they are vital for the election or just a bonus. This seems basic, but when I look at how many amateur astrologers operate they don't seem to have any set factors they are looking for. Instead they seem to just look at random charts and riff on the charts.

We determine the factors to be elected from our traditional sources and from practice. Agrippa, Picatrix and other sources give basic recipes. For example, the Agrippa Sun talisman in the video needed to be Sun exalted, Sun rising and Sun hour. We added that the Sun & Moon not be afflicted, which seems rather common sense, but is not mentioned in the source. You could also make this talisman with the Sun culminating, again based on traditional source and practice which tell us that culminating is almost as strong a position as rising.

The next step in my methodology, which you can see in the video, but I didn't explicitly point out, is that you arrange the required electional factors in order of slowest changing to fastest changing.

So in this case, 1. Sun in Aries is the slowest changing and happens only only 30 days or so a year. 2. Sun rising happens once a day 3. Sun hour happens about 3 times a day. 4. Sun & Moon unafflicted, which is going to be variable. So we start looking at the approximately 30 day range when the Sun is in Aries starting around March 21.

Then as noted, the Sun rises on Sunday at Sun hour, so we start looking at Sundays, since having the planetary day is a plus, though not required for this election. As a rule planetary hour is more important than planetary day. You can see the rest of the process on the video.

This is a process that requires the raw computing power of astrological software, it just wouldn't be possible if you had to hand calculate charts, so this is not how traditional electional astrologers worked. In fact, how they did it is a bit mysterious, since as noted, they don't give details of their finding techniques in traditional sources.

Some insight into their methods can be gleaned, however, from Robert Zoller's traditional natal astrology course. Zoller was a pre-astrological software traditional astrologer and throughout his course he gives short cuts and rules of thumb for understanding planetary cycles. This is likely how traditional astrologers operated. Modern astrologers are very chart focused and with software we can look at hundreds of different charts to find elections. These charts are like snapshots, however, and we don't have the deeper understanding of planetary cycles that our predecessors had. As is typical of technology, while our elections are likely more precise and thus more powerful than what our traditional predecessors could do, we've lost the deeper understanding of celestial cycles and the deeper connection that they had.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Astrological Talisman Weather for January 28-29, 2017

Note that this only looks at basic essential & accidental dignity! Other factors may come into play.
Saturn dignified by term and face (fine for talisman)
Jupiter dignified by face slow (avoid for talisman)
Mars dignified by sign and face (great for talisman)
Sun in detriment (avoid for talisman)
Venus exalted dignified by triplicity (great for talisman)
Mercury peregrine (avoid for talisman)
Moon peregrine (avoid except for Mansion talisman)

Mars in the 1st face of Aries, "The form of a black man, restless and great in body having red eyes and holding a cutting axe in his hand, girded about with white garment; and there is great worth in this face. And this is a face of strength, high rank, and wealth without difference." Picatrix

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Dangers of Compartmentalization

For protection against flooding, one of the most important safety precautions is to divide a ship into a large number of separate, watertight compartments.

If there is a breach in the hull at one point, the water is contained and the entire ship is not flooded. This is a key precaution to maintain overall integrity and structure of the ship.

Compartmentalization also works well to maintain the structure and integrity of your life structure and worldview. In fact, for many people, keeping the different facets of their life carefully separated is the only way they can maintain the current structure of their lives. We can present one face to our friends, another to our family and a third to our boss and co-workers. We rightly or wrongly fear that if these disparate strands of our life were brought together that problems, conflicts and even a threat to the continuation of the current course of our lives may take place. Often we do not even bring the possible consequences into consciousness, we simply keep all of these different areas separate.

Now, sometimes compartmentalization is wise. Many years ago when we were in DC I had a friend at a large, very conservative lawfirm that I had been fired from. My friend was probably correct not to flaunt in front of his boss his friendship with such an egregious rebel. One of the downsides, however, of compartmentalization is an inevitable fracturing and at least mild schizophrenia. We are never free to be who we are, but must always conform to the requirements of our surroundings.

I've also encountered another very interesting example of compartmentalization which is the significant number of people who are otherwise entirely conventional, with one exception, be it ceremonial magic, or Zen, astrology or some other spiritual or esoteric interest or activity. For example, again, in DC, I met a guy who said, "I'm just a regular, run of the mill programmer, who does Goetic magic in the evenings and on the weekend." Similarly, this is fairly prevalent with Zen, as my experience is that Zen practitioners are otherwise totally ordinary plain vanilla liberal Democrats.

This compartmentalization of spiritual, magical or esoteric practice has several practical uses. It can be seen as a purely practical measure as old aunt Zelda or your boss might react badly. But in fact there is a deeper purpose here as the spiritual or esoteric practice can be partially taken on board without disrupting the existing mental structures and worldview. This is, in fact, another very significant drawback of compartmentalization. For me the practice of first astrology, then astrological magic, then Zen meditation and awakening through Zen & Non-Duality all had an incredibly wide and deep effect on all areas of my life. These combined practices changed my worldview and my reality.

Take horary astrology. In horary we look at the chart of a question and from the position of the planets at the time of the question, we can accurately judge the answer. Not always, but at least 80% or so and sometimes the level of accuracy is amazing. Now we can toddle along with that, unconsciously sticking with the underlying atheistic/materialistic worldview that we are fed by our culture, but just start contemplating the implications. If horary works, which is most definitely does, then there are spiritual cycles that underlie the material world and there is more than simply matter and energy. Existence is not random, the Cosmos is completely patterned and meaningful. Not just in a poetic, vague way, but very practically and concretely, such that a client can ask, "Will I get the job at Y corp?" and I can say "yes" and be right the vast majority of the time.

Compartmentalization allows us to be irrational, for the left to know something that the right can simultaneously deny. It's one thing to not mention you are an astrologer to old Aunt Zelda, it's another to deny the implications of it to yourself. As much as I enjoy predicting the future, in fact the most important thing I've learned from astrology is that the modern worldview is so full of holes as to be almost unusable. The self is quite threatened by this sort of knowledge, which upends its worldview and turns its reality topsy turvy. It sees this knowledge as a danger, a flood that compartmentalization is needed to protect itself from. But if we are to see things as they really are, we have to be willing to be changed. These walls that seem to protect are in fact dividing us and walling us in. Be willing to be other than you are!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Natal Readings and Talismanic Prescriptions

I wanted to talk about Renaissance Astrology natal readings and talisman prescriptions.

When people think of astrology they almost always are thinking of natal (aka birth chart) readings where an astrologer looks at the time of birth of a person. This is because modern astrology focuses almost exclusively on natal readings. Of course, traditional astrology also includes horary readings based on the chart of a question as well as electional astrology, which picks astrologically auspicious times to take action. In addition, mundane astrology looks at long periods of time, whole countries and weather.

Traditional astrologers have really been much more focused on horary astrology, but Robert Zoller helped raise the profile of traditional natal astrology, particularly through Guido Bonatti's medieval Liber Astronomiae. What distinguishes traditional natal readings from modern is more attention to concrete prediction, while modern is more attuned to psychology.

What is somewhat ironic is that while for a long time I considered myself to be a very traditional, traditional astrologer, I have found that I really have a talent for reading psychology in natal charts. Now this is not untraditional just really a change in terminology because traditional astrologers were doing the same thing, just referring to it as character or manners. This is an excellent example of how important it is to give credit where credit is due and acknowledge that the modern astrologers were right, you can learn an incredible amount about the native (person whose natal chart is being read) and their psychology from their chart.

I'll just blow my own horn a bit and relate that it has become almost routine for clients to comment on their natal readings by saying, "Wow! That was incredibly accurate, you've really laid out the key psychological patterns in my life" I guess close to 20 years of practice and hundreds and hundreds of natal readings has paid off with some real insight. I have to say that I think I enjoy most understanding and explaining psychology in natal readings, maybe followed by looking at income and career (predictively not psychologically!).

Of course, this also dovetails with my spiritual work and the increasing amount of spiritual counseling that I am doing. For clients while there is an understandable desire to look at income, career and relationships, among other areas, more and more clients are coming to me looking for insight into themselves, their motivations and psychology. I'm really happy when I can help clients with readings!

Renaissance Astrology offers three different types of natal or birthchart readings

The Astrological Checkup $69.95 this picks 3 major life areas or 3 houses

The Spiritual Path Reading $69.95 this looks at spiritual issues and spiritual path

Full Natal Reading $199.95 this is a complete natal reading

The second thing I wanted to talk about was the talismanic prescription, which is included with all natal readings. Now it is very useful to understand life patterns through the natal chart, but astrological talismans provide a way to actively work with these patterns. Whenever I do a natal reading I look carefully at the patterns that are revealed and explain to the client what possible talismanic or planetary charities might be helpful. Now we cannot simply expect to plunk our money down and overthrow our chart, but we can definitely work with the celestial spirits to enhance the positive energies in our chart and ameliorate the negative patterns that have become clear.

Every natal reading includes the Talismanic Prescription and talisman suggestions, but if you are serious about getting a talisman or talismans I also can do a quick free Talismanic Prescription if you send me your day, month and year of birth Use the Renaissance Astrology Contact Page Remember that this takes time and energy on my part, so the free Talismanic Prescriotion offer is just for people that are serious about actually buying a talisman, not just asking out of idle curiousity.

Remember also that all clients who have had a Renaissance Astrology reading are eligible to be members of the Inner Circle and to purchase Renaissance Astrology talismans.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Astrology as a Zen Koan

I have a Facebook page. I use this to post my "Astrological Talisman Weather" and focus on a current astrological configuration. This time I focused on Mars in the 2nd Face of Capricorn, "The 2nd face is of Mars and is a face of seeking things that cannot be known and seeking after such things that cannot be attained..." Johannes Angelus

This is one of my favorite examples of a Face/Decan. First, it is very lyrical. I'm sure all of us have had experience with seeking what cannot be known or cannot be attained. "But what possible good would this talisman be?" the student asks, "This is not a result that I would want' Very interesting! This assumes that the purpose of the creation of the Heavens, this infinite Cosmos, was to satisfy my needs and ego desires. Not so! We were created as parts of the universal Whole and it is we who serve it.

Furthermore there is the real quality of a Zen koan here (Google it!) A koan is not nonsense, is not a puzzle to be solved or information to be known. A koan is a pointer for enlightenment and for awakened minds. What is it that is sought but cannot be known and cannot be attained? Answer: enlightenment by the separate self. So the picture above is of a famous pilgrim St James. Seek and ye shall find! Knock and it will be opened, but you will not be you.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Renaissance Astrology Inner Circle

Folks, I am very pleased to launch the Renaissance Astrology Inner Circle!

As you may be aware we no longer sell talismans to the general public, but we will now sell Renaissance Astrology talismans by private sale through the Inner Circle. Here is more information on buying talismans, pentacles and magic mirrors through the Renaissance Astrology Inner Circle.

The Renaissance Astrology Inner Circle is a private group limited to those seriously interested in the study and practice of authentic Hermetic astrology and astrology magic. All students in Renaissance Astrology courses are eligible to be part of the Inner Circle, as are clients who have previously bought a Renaissance Astrology talisman or pentacle or had a Renaissance Astrology reading. Other Inner Circle members are by invitation only. For a limited time, the Inner Circle is free to all those that are eligible, but starting January 1, 2017 there may be an annual subscription fee, depending on your eligibility. If you are interested in becoming part of the Inner Circle please read the rest of this section and then Contact me. Let me know if you are a student of mine and what course or what readings I've done for you, if you have previously bought a Renaissance Astrology talisman or pentacle or what study and experience you have with astrology, magic and the esoteric. If accepted you will receive a link to the private Inner Circle webpages as well as a username and password

In addition to being able to buy talismans, pentacles and mirrors, Inner Circle members have access to my Daily Planetary Practice invocations, a potent tool for celestial theurgy, spiritual growth and increasing practical astrological magic power.

Let me say a bit more about the Renaissance Astrology Inner Circle, its origins and purposes. First of all, I lost my original jeweler which caused a great deal of upheaval and reduced my inventory considerably. However, I now have a new jeweler/mage Muhammed Ajmal who is an excellent astrologer (after he is one of my students!). He does beautiful work, particularly with Arabic talismans. This makes me very happy because I am a Sufi and in addition, it is so important right now to have peace and goodwill between Western and Middle Eastern practitioners of the esoteric arts.

I have stopped selling to the general public because, even though the vast majority of talisman and pentacles customers were great, we had problems with the occasional naïve newbie client who expected that the day after purchasing a talisman they would win $1million in the lottery or that they would get Harry Potter effects like lightning coming out of their fingertips. Also some clients thought that the effects should be guaranteed and that they should be able to return talismans or pentacles that they were unsatisfied with. The childish, naïve and unreasonable customers are best screened out to avoid dissatisfaction.

I can’t tell you how many positive testimonials I have gotten from talisman and pentacle customers and how unhappy people were that Renaissance Astrology talismans were no longer available. Sophisticated clients know how much effort it takes to find good elections and how difficult it is to cast talismans in the short window available of auspicious times. Wise clients understand that the effects of talismans and pentacles cannot be predicted and are different for everyone, in quality, quantity and timing.

There is a subtler problem as well. I am very happy to do astrological readings because as much as possible, I tell people the truth, good or bad, about their situation. Knowing what is likely to actually happen, they can chose their response. Selling talismans, however, can feed the illusion of control, can convince people that if they simply spend money, they can have anything they want.

I've realized more and more that my ambition is to be a celestial priest, working in harmony with the astrological spirits, rather than an astrological magician ordering up the results I or my clients desire. Theurgy, literally "god work" as a path to spiritual growth is more and more my focus. This is not to say that we cannot have very significant positive effects from talismans, but that focusing on using these spiritual means for spiritual effects, as opposed to seeking only material effects may be more fruitful. In addition, we can seek to change ourselves to conform to the celestial powers, as opposed to trying to use these spirits to rearrange the outside world to suit us. Through the power of Venus, for example, we can ourselves become more love and thus attract love, as opposed to trying to lure in someone to meet our ego's desires.

This focus on more on spiritual growth is what motivated me to provide the Daily Planetary Invocations to Inner Circle members. This is one of my primary magical/spiritual practices where everyday I invoke the spirit of the planet ruling the day. After over 15 years, my connection to these spirits is quite strong.

Eventually I hope to expand the offerings, but for now I am very pleased now to launch the Inner Circle. Thanks so much to all my clients, customers, students and fellow travelers on the magical/spiritual path! Again here is the main link to the Inner Circle.