Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Fixed Stars

Interesting to see how few actual resources there are for working with them from an Astrological Magic standpoint. Working through this point in my coursework, and learned that the Picatrix has no use for them; Agrippa himself refers to other Hermetic sources. I wonder how their use will be affected by them being in different Houses from when written; what House the Fixed star is in must certainly have an effect on how it's power is expressed. Ptolemy in Tetrabiblos describes their various natures as one combination or another of the Planets. This is interesting; it implies (to me, at least) that these powers and Virtues are of a nature that must be expressed through mediation of the Planets. Either that, or Ptolemy was just using the familiarity of the reader with the Planets to more easily describe the nature of the Fixed Stars. Ha.  I wonder at their personalities; the Planets are very accessible, and are clear in their Natures, but the Fixed stars seem so much "further away", they seem remote. Alien. I have't attempted to meet one in ritual yet. I'll post my results when I do.

Probably won't be Algol, though. Just FYI. Contact that fellow on your own time....

Friday, March 11, 2011

5th Mansion of the Moon Talisman-Al Thakah


This talisman and the election was interesting...mostly because it worked! I can't say I've ever used astrological magic to induce a dream before, and I'm stoked it worked out. Al-Thakah, according to Picatrix, can be used to receive answers about a variety of questions, including Alchemy. Well....I'm always looking for more information about Alchemy.

I found a time when Luna was in the 5th Mansion (Al-Thakah), and was unafflicted. No aspects to the Malefic planets Saturn and Mars, not Combust the Sun. She was just separating from a trine with Mercury, which was a good sign, as Alchemical works fall under the sway of Mercury. Mercury is also lord of can't hurt to have him working for you when you want information.

I'm still growing accustomed to using traditional methods to make these talismans. In the Picatrix, and in within the Mansions of the Moon system, (basically in traditional Astrological Magic) one draws down the Virtue/force of the Planet by creating Images. This is old-school magic, like the shamans who would paint the images of animals upon walls, in order to ensure a good hunt. I think this felt much more powerful to our ancestors, because an Image of something was hard to come by. There weren't any cameras or internets, you had to draw things yourself.Well, regardless of how it feels nowadays, it works. I have to throw myself deeply into the prayers and incantations a bit more, as even treated paper can feel pedestrian for me at times. It's so easy to acquire, and so often used for inconsequential things, it can feel of little value.

I've used elixirs and the like to "impregnate" papers for good result, and they definitely add the "valuable" feel to the paper, but I think that I need to re-connect with the Wonder of images. I'm going to start making all my images in skin-parchments from now on...ha.  Anyway, an image, drawn correctly, can have great sympathetic power in all sorts of Magic.

When the elected time came around, I cleared my office, turned off the lights and whipped out the prayer rug. Said my prayers to Luna, and invoked the spirits of the Sphere about me. The image of the Mansion was dancing about in my mind--a crowned King, a dis-embodied head with Stars in his brow. I held the image in my mind as I drew it upon the paper, and wrote my request down. I asked Luna to grant my request, and "felt" an affirmative. Good times. Wrapped up the paper, gave thanks, gave licence to depart, and ended the ritual.

Now the tricksy part. I place the image underneath my pillow (as instructed), and went to sleep. I had many, many dreams. They were many and strange, in the way that dreams tend to be. The information came in chunks, and not as a single person showing up to teach. I've got a dream journal I've been using to train myself to remember my dreams (I've had middling success, not bad at all), and without that practice more of the information would have been lost. No sense in even attempting this sort of dreaming-magic if you haven't done the work to hold the dreams in your waking consciousness. It's not difficult, just a matter of discipline. As it was, I only saved about half what I learned from the waking fugue. I'm thinking I'll use a bit of divination to get the rest, perhaps by election. We'll see.

I will definitely use this Mansion of Luna again.

***Edited to correct the Arabic name of the mansion.