Monday, December 26, 2016

The Planetary Work - the Moon

This article is Part Seven in a series. Part One can found here, Part Two can be found here, Part Three can be found here, Part Four can be found here, Part Five can be found here, and Part Six can be found here.

Today I will be moving on to working the Moon, the final planet in sequence according to the Chaldean Order. Liber 777 associates the Moon with "The White Tincture, Clairvoyance, Divination by Dreams." So working with the Moon is useful for developing skills such as scrying, lucid dreaming, and psychic perception. Much of what parapsychologists refer to as "psychic ability" falls under the Moon's sphere of influence, such as mind-reading, remote viewing, and so forth.

Parapsychologists also study abilities like telekinesis and precognition, which are slightly different. The Moon is associated with psychic abilities related to perception and information. Precognition is more properly grouped with Prophecy, which is attributed to Gemini. Telekinesis is more difficult to categorize. You could group it with Fire (Evocation, Pyromancy) on the grounds that there is a connection between kinetic and thermal energy. Or you could group it with Taurus (The Secret of Physical Strength) as physical energy projected into the macrocosmic realm.

The White Tincture is mostly beyond the scope of this article, but according to alchemical lore, the White Tincture and Red Tincture are manufactured separately, and then combined to create the Philosopher's Stone. In an esoteric sense, the symbolism is that of lunar consciousness (White Tincture) merging with solar consciousness (Red Tincture) to produce transpersonal realization (Adeptship). This process is also analogous to the mystic marriage between the human magician and the Holy Guardian Angel, the accomplishment of which is the mark of an Adept in the Thelemic tradition.

Scrying is probably the most common ability related to the Moon that magicians are looking to improve. Accurate scrying seems to be more talent-driven than many other magical skills, and seems to be correspondingly harder to cultivate. While I can personally do it after many years of work, I still find it difficult and get better, more accurate results with astral techniques such as "traveling in the spirit vision." Still, if scrying is an ability that you are looking to improve, the Moon is the right aspect to work with.

To review, in Qabalah the planets correspond to the double letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The letters are so named because they correspond to two specific sounds each, and this is reflected in the dual nature of the planets. On the Tree of Life, each planet corresponds to both a sephira or a path. Many magicians refer to the sephiroth as "spheres," and you may catch me doing that sometimes as well. It is, however, not a direct translation. The word actually means "emanations" - as in, emanations of divinity. But they are drawn as circles on most diagrams of the Tree of Life, and in addition, "sephira" and "sphere" sound very similar in English.


The important thing to understand about this for practical magick is that the sephira represent states of emanation, while the paths represent movement between them. Invoking the emanations themselves produces particular visions and states of consciousness, and invoking the paths produces particular practical effects. In Liber 777, the paths and sephira have separate sets of colors, separate angels, and even separate godnames. It is relatively common for people working practical magick to ignore these factors, and, say, conjure the angel of a sephira rather than a path. Often said angel is smart enough to figure out what you really want, but it works better if you go for the right aspect from the start.

The Moon does have two sides like the other planets, so in addition to cultivating psychic perception, it can be used to block the psychic perceptions of others. This can be used to create a sort of magical cloak that can help shield you from magical attacks and influences. Keep in mind, though, that an operation employing the Moon can also be used to bring down or penetrate this sort of defense, so it is usually not sufficient magical protection on its own. It is best to employ this sort of defense along with positive, protective aspects of Saturn and Mars.

Related to the Moon are the North and South Nodes, referred to as Caput Draconis and Cauda Draconis. In Liber O, the instruction is to use the lunar hexagram with the proper symbol to invoke or banish either node. Unfortunately, much of the lore surrounding the nodes is incomplete. They do not have columns associated with them in Liber 777, so some extrapolation is necessary. In Western astrology, the nodal axis is related to your purpose in life.

The South Node is associated with qualities from your past life, which could be thought of as related to reincarnation, childhood conditioning, or both, depending on your perspective on such things. The North Node is related to your life purpose or true spiritual nature, similar to but not necessarily identical with the Thelemic concept of True Will. In theory, these would be useful forces to conjure - South Node for breaking down conditioning, which is sometimes necessary, and North Node for gaining a greater understanding of your will.

So the most logical way to perform such a ritual would probably be to do it just like the lunar ritual outlined here, except that you use the symbols for Caput and Cauda Draconis rather than the glyph for the Moon in the center of your Greater Hexagram. Then, once the angel appears, you can ask some questions and see if you are really on the right path. I have not personally worked with the nodes, so I am not sure how well it will work. But the angel should be able to tell you. The symbols look like this:


Note the text above the diagram. In astronomy, the nodes of the Moon are used to predict eclipses. There is a great deal of lore about working magick during or associated with eclipses, much of it very negative. Some of this likely applies to the nodes as well, so I recommend treating them with care if this is an area you want to explore.

In the Vedic astrology of India, the nodes are called Rahu and Ketu, which you can look up if you are so inclined. In the Vedic system, they are viewed more negatively than in the European system. And the European system does not generally view them in a positive light.

As a personal anecdote, I once knew of an occultist who constructed an "eclipse wand," empowering it during a series of eclipses. Given what I saw of this individual's subsequent behavior, I cannot recommend constructing such a device. It seems more likely to wreak havoc with the user's psyche than be useful for any magical purpose, and this may also be true of careless work involving the nodes.

At any rate, for the Path of the Moon, the four scales of color are Blue, Silver, Cold Pale Blue, and Silver Rayed Sky-Blue. For ceremonial forms, you use the King scale, which is Blue. Its complement is orange. Note that when going from sephira to path, Jupiter and the Moon switch colors. All four scales should be used to construct the sigil of the angel. The first piece of the sigil is the character of the Moon, which looks like this:


The angel of the path of the Moon is Gabriel, spelled Gimel-Beth-Resh-Yod-Aleph-Lamed. The Moon kamea is 9 x 9, so the valuation for Resh needs to be reduced. For Resh, 200, I reduce to 20 rather than 2 because 20 can be found on the kamea and I generally employ minimal reductions. This yields 3, 2, 20 (200), 10, 1, 30, to produce a sigil on the kamea that looks like this:


The final sigil is created by combining the two figures. The grid is not necessary, but I have still included it here to show the geometry. There is no formal method for determining which color goes where on the sigil, but it should include all four scales so that it will span all four Qabalistic worlds and thus constitute a complete symbol. This is largely left to your own ingenuity.


From Liber 777, incenses appropriate to the Moon are Menstrual Blood, Camphor, Aloes, and "All Sweet Virginal Odors." Associated plants are Almond, Mugwort, Hazel, Moonwort, Ranunculus, Alder, and Pomegranate. The associated metal is silver, and the associated precious stones are Moonstone, Pearl, and Crystal. Note that for the purposes of creating a talisman, the stones need not be gem quality and can be purchased inexpensively.

The plants may be dried and ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle and can be sprinkled onto the paper talisman as an offering to the angel. Likewise, a piece of silver, opal, or agate may be placed on top of the paper talisman for the conjuration. You then use the paper to wrap up the whole thing when the ritual is complete and somehow bind or tape it together.

The god-names in Assiah for the path of the Moon are Dah (Daleth-Heh) and Alim (Aleph-Lamed-Yod-Mem). Note that this is not the same as Elohim, which is spelled with an additional Heh. It is far more common for lunar operations to be taught using Shaddai El Chai as the god-name for the Moon, but this is actually the god-name appropriate to Yesod, the sephira of the Moon. This is a key distinction that few teachers make, and is a method that we have explored at the local Leaping Laughter Lodge Ritual Workshop. It appears to be quite effective, and allows you to make a meaningful distinction between sephiroth and paths in the context of the ceremonial forms.

The full ritual is performed as follows:

0. The Temple

The best time to perform a lunar operation is on a Monday, during the hour of the Moon. To calculate the hours, divide the time between sunrise and sunset into twelve equal parts to get the hours of the day, and the time between sunset and sunrise into twelve equal parts to get the hours of the night. Days begin at sunrise. The first hour of the day is attributed to the planet ruling the day, and the subsequent hours are assigned according to the Chaldean Order.

Saturn --> Jupiter --> Mars --> Sun --> Venus --> Mercury --> Moon

Following the hour of the Moon, the order starts over again with Saturn. While it seems complicated as first, once you do it a bunch, you'll find that it actually is pretty easy. At this point I can almost do it in my head. There are also a number of software programs that you can download to do the calculation for you, and even some websites that will tell you the hours.

There are a number of different ways to arrange the temple for an operation such as this. What we do is place an altar in the center with the banishing dagger and invoking wand. Also on the altar is a containment structure such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth or the Trithemian Table of Art. The diagram depicting the character and sigil should be placed within this structure. A small container of some sort for offerings may be placed on the Table of Art, or you can sprinkle the offering directly upon the diagram itself.


If you employ scrying in your work, an appropriate device such as a crystal or mirror should also be placed in the containment structure. If you are using incense for such an operation, the traditional method is to place the incense burner between the scryer and the mirror or crystal. Otherwise, it may be placed anywhere in the space. Some scryers like to place a taper candle on either side of the device, and while I can't say that method does anything at all for me, a number of others report good results with it.

1. Opening

Light incense, if used. Open the magical field using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, Star Ruby and Star Sapphire, or the Field Ritual. The usual field for practical work is the operant field, with banishing pentagrams and invoking hexagrams.

2. Preliminary Invocation

Raise energy using the Middle Pillar, Elevenfold Seal (the "First Gesture" from Liber V vel Reguli), or some other appropriate ritual method as you may know how to do.

Make the Sign of Apophis and Typhon, raising both arms and holding them straight with an angle between them of 60 degrees, and proclaim, very strongly:

Thee I invoke, who art Universe!
Thee I invoke, who art in Nature formed!
Thee I invoke, the vast and the mighty!
Source of Darkness, Source of Light.

Then make the Sign of Silence, by standing straight with one arm at your side and placing your thumb or forefinger to your lips.


3. Tuning the Space

Perform the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for the Moon. Beginning in the east, go to each quarter in turn and perform the following actions.

  1. 1. Trace the Hexagram of the Moon in Blue while vibrating ARARITA (ah-rah-ree-tah). The hexagram of the Moon is traced by starting at the bottom point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the top point and tracing the second triangle clockwise from there.
  2. Trace the symbol of the Moon in the center of the hexagram in orange while vibrating DAH (dah) or ALIM (ah-LEEM). Either will work, just be sure to use the same one for all four quarters. Feel free to experiment and see which one works best for you.
The final figure being traced to all four directions should look like this:


Once you return to face the east, hold your finger or wand pointing upwards and declare "Let the divine light descend!" as you bring it down to rest pointing at the sigil.

Then, recite the Orphic Hymn to the Moon. The use of the Orphic Hymns as planetary prayers is a technique that I picked up from Rufus Opus, who explains the method in detail in his excellent Seven Spheres.

Hear, Goddess queen, diffusing silver light,
Bull-horn'd and wand'ring thro' the gloom of Night.
With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide
Night's torch extending, thro' the heav'ns you ride:
Female and Male with borrow'd rays you shine,
And now full-orb'd, now tending to decline.
Mother of ages, fruit-producing Moon,
Whose amber orb makes Night's reflected noon:
Lover of horses, splendid, queen of Night,
All-seeing pow'r bedeck'd with starry light.
Lover of vigilance, the foe of strife,
In peace rejoicing, and a prudent life:
Fair lamp of Night, its ornament and friend,
Who giv'st to Nature's works their destin'd end.
Queen of the stars, all-wife Diana hail!
Deck'd with a graceful robe and shining veil;
Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright,
Come moony-lamp with chaste and splendid light,
Shine on these sacred rites with prosp'rous rays,
And pleas'd accept thy suppliant's mystic praise.

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4. The Conjuration

O thou mighty angel GABRIEL, ruler of LEVANAH, by the name of the True and Living God [DAH or ALIM, same as used in the Greater Hexagram], I call upon you and ask that you along with the spirits of your domain manifest themselves unto me, for I am a true worshiper of the highest. Let them come forth in a friendly and peaceful manner that I may partake of the wisdom and the pure essence of the Moon, and that they may attend to my behest. AMEN.

At this point, vibrate the name GABRIEL repeatedly until the presence of the angel and spirits of the Moon is perceived within the Table of Art. Various methods may be used to accomplish this, from simply waiting until a presence makes itself known to scrying for an image in a crystal or dark mirror. If this is being performed as a group ritual, with everyone chanting the name together, it is helpful for the officiant or scryer to have a bell chime that can be rung once he or she perceives a presence in whatever manner. At the bell chime, the chant stops.

5. The Charge

My instructions for the charge are simple and straightforward, just as you can find in my published books. Make use of an Injunction, which is what you want the angel and associated spirits to do, and a Limitation, which is what you do not want them to do. The Limitation helps you avoid "Monkey's Paw" situations in which your Injunction may manifest, but in an undesirable way.

As I mentioned above, Liber 777 catalogs the powers attributed to the Moon as "The White Tincture, Clairvoyance, Divination by Dreams." For best results, your charge should fall within that area. Otherwise, you may be asking for something outside the Moon's sphere of influence.

At this point you may also make offerings to the angel by placing them in the small container. After the angel has had a chance to partake of the offerings, be sure to dispose of them. Alcohol may be allowed to evaporate on its own, and natural substances may be scattered outdoors. Do not attempt to reuse an offering - generally speaking, spirits do not take kindly to that.

Your other option is to place the offerings directly upon the sigil itself, if this is practical, as it is with ground-up plant material or spices. If you decide to go this route, you will be wrapping the offering up in the paper sigil and need give it no further thought. Obviously, though, this becomes less practical with liquid offerings, such as alcohol.

Also, You should get some sort of assent from the angel before you proceed to the License to Depart, or an explanation of his objection. When the charge lies outside the angel's sphere of influence, often he will be willing to direct you to another spirit that would be more suitable to conjure in order to better accomplish your intent.

6. The License to Depart

Mighty GABRIEL and the spirits of Thy domain, because thou hast-diligently answered unto my demands, and hast been very ready and willing to come at my call, I do hereby license thee to depart unto thy proper place, without causing harm or danger unto man or beast. I charge thee to withdraw peaceably and quietly with the blessings of the great god [DAH or ALIM, same as used in the conjuration], and that peace be ever continued between us. So mote it be!

7. Closing

The ritual may be closed with either a final banishing pentagram ritual or with the Qabalistic Cross performed on its own. These should match the rituals used in the opening, so for example if you opened with a Star Ruby you should repeat it or perform the corresponding version of the Qabalistic Cross.

Generally speaking, if you want to release your intent out into the world to accomplish some task external to yourself, you should close with a banishing pentagram ritual. This is similar to the chaos magick idea of releasing a sigil once it has been created and empowered.

On the other hand, if you also want the effect of the ritual to linger within your sphere of awareness, whether or not the intent is also external, you should close with the Qabalistic Cross. This stabilizes the operation, but does not detach it from your sphere of awareness.

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18 comments:

enokiano1 said...

Hi Scott ¡¡¡

wonderful work, umm The node north opens roads according to the house in which it is for example house 2 is related to possessions,The south node closes doors,It would be interesting to combine a ritual that incorporates a given node into a astrological sign but But taking into account the personal natal chart.

Scott Stenwick said...

It certainly might be worth experimenting with. I just have not done much with the nodes myself, so I can't speak from personal experience how to go about it. There's a lot of different lore about the nodes. I did some research on them in preparation for this article, and wasn't able to find much of a consensus - but many of those sources warned about dangers and issues associated with eclipses and the like.

It seems to me that you could just work with the sign in which your natal nodes fall, and get access to their aspects that way. In other words, a node in a particular sign might enhance the "closing" or "opening" capacity of the sign, whereas doing an invocation of the nodes themselves would be tapping into their more general chracteristics. But as I said, I don't know from experience, so a lot of that is just guesswork on my part.

Dacia Pacea said...

Going directly to the sign itself is a good idea. I have the NN in Aries, but i was mostly stuck in SN Libra all the time. So I called the angel of Aries and asked it to bring into my personal sphere the energies of its sign that I need for this lifetime. I feel like a new person (almost) since March. It was so successful that I'm thinking of calling the angel of Libra and ask it to remove the energies of its sign I don't need anymore.

As for working with the nodes themselves, I have a feeling that tapping directly into them might unleash a series of events one could not be ready for at that time. Let's say you have the SN in Capricorn and the NN in Cancer. You have an awesome job at some huge company, making 20-30k per month. Then you work with the NN with the indent of manifesting your current lifetime destiny quickly, and you and up jobless and in debt because you need to be more emotional and care more about home&family and the likes. That's not good :) This example is a bit exaggerated, but only to prove my point.

Therefore, I think it's best for starters to call on the nodes and seek advice from the angel about them and the best way of handling their energies in your life.

Dacia Pacea said...

In addition to the signs the nodes are in, I strongly suspect one can work with the signs corresponding to the houses. As an example, NN Aquarius 7th house and SN in Leo, 1st house. The 7th house corresponds to Libra and the 1st to Aries, so one would have 2 signs to work with for each node.

I've experienced this almost one year ago when I began practicing what's called the Inner Hexagram ritual. It's more of an exercise+active meditation. Nevertheless it had great results for me. I used a pendulum to indicate what planet to use in what day, and since the ritual can also be used for zodiac signs, I used it to find out those as well. What struck me is that the pendulum only indicated me to work with Aries and Leo, out of all the signs. I later realized that my NN is in the 5th house which corresponds to Leo.

This came as a synchronicity (I've had many of these since I began reading your blog) tonight, when an astrologer (and mystic, although he doesn't talk about it) talked about the life lessons of the lunar nodes in on his program.

Dacia Pacea said...

Now that I'm looking through 777, I see that the houses have different angels (or genii) than the corresponding signs. So I guess those spirits can also be used.

Scott Stenwick said...

A caveat there - the mapping of signs to houses is entirely modern (As in 1st house to Aries, 2nd to Taurus, and so forth). It was not used in Medieval or Renaissance astrology, so if you are going to try and apply the Agrippa material that way, keep in mind that it was never intended to be used as such.

That doesn't mean it won't work, necessarily. Just that without some serious experimentation, you shouldn't be confident that it will.

Dacia Pacea said...

Now that'something to think about. I guess I'll go directly to the signs and ask the angel if he can help with what I need.

I also suspect some of the multitude of lunar spirits are linked directly to the nodes, although i don't know which ones :)

Dacia Pacea said...

*nodes, not signs - my bad

enokiano1 said...

Hi Scott ¡¡

and for zodiacals invocations the angels of decanates?asccendent,succedent,cadent what uses will?
for example for evocations of shemaphorash angels, the zodiacal questions can be interesting umm the zodiacal arcangels and lesser angels of the some sign- for example for virgo - hamaliel and Shelatiel.

Scott Stenwick said...

I do not use any special ceremonial forms for the decanates. I just use the Greater Hexagram for the sign. I make the distinction between the various angels according to their sigils, which I trace onto the kamea of the planet ruling the sign, and in the conjuration, by adjusting the controlling name if necessary.

Angels at the level of a sign are conjured using the permutation of Tetragrammaton for the sign, which is also what you use for the godname in the Greater Hexagram. But an angel that is ruled by one of the Shem names is conjured by the Shem name. For the Greater Hexagram you still use the permutation of Tetragrammaton regardless.

So basically, this gives you access to the full spiritual hierarchy without having to work all the way down from the top. I used to do that, but found that it's not really necessary to get to the spirit you want. You just need to conjure the spirit by the controlling name directly above it in the hierarchy.

Does that make sense?

enokiano1 said...

Yeah Scott, I understand some example will serve I use your ritual models( are excellent I adore then) but For example I want to lower the energy of the 9th gold, -Venus in Virgo-, that is, Yesod in Assiah for this, I would invoke Shaddai El Chai, Gabriel, Hamaliel (zodiacal of Virgo) Hazyael and Eldiah (Shenhamphorash angels) the card would be the magic link for That force,for zodiacal work maybe :
Godname atziluth of the sephira
YHVH permuted for the zodiacal sign required
Archangel of regent sphere (briah)
Archangel of the astrological sign (briah)
angelic chorus (yetzirah)
lesser angel For the yesod -malkuth connection to bring down and manifest the energy of yesod to malkuth. I would have the seal of this angel,I think you can name the whole hierarchy, and draw in the picture the sigil of the lesser Angel for example Sharahiel for Aries,I do not know how you would raise it Scott,

Scott Stenwick said...

Right, those are the hierarchies I am talking about. These days I rarely work through all the levels, though. For a planet in a sign I would probably do the GIRH for the sign, conjure the angel of the sign by the Tetragrammaton permutation, then GIRH for the planet, then conjure the angel of the planet by the planetary godname.

The final godname of the planet is already in Assiah, so I would say you can simplify that bit. And the consciousness of angels extends through the other three worlds, so I've found that you usually get away with summoning one entity by one controlling name, unless you are trying for something like a planet in a sign, in which case you summon two angels by two controlling names.

Basically, what I've found is that you get the same results whether you navigate through the whole hierarchy or not. So that implies to me that while that level of complexity doesn't hurt, it doesn't really help you either. It's more important to be explicit when dealing with less intelligent spirits, but those that we generally refer to as angels are pretty intelligent and usually don't need much explicit direction. You just give them the charge, and they can figure out how to do it.

I'm not sure what you mean by the last line. Most of the angels *rule* their sphere of influence, so that means if they can bring energy down they can also raise it. So if that's what you're asking, all that you need to change is the charge. But again, I'm not sure if that was your question.

Dacia Pacea said...

A short intrusion here. I don't think there would be any problem of working with the angels of the signs corresponding to the houses the nodes are in. I just remembered the bible quoting Jesus who told the apostles to follow the water bearer into his house. This clearly means the sign of Aquarius, but it has a house associated to it.

Scott Stenwick said...

You can read it that way, I suppose. In Medieval astrology the house of the water bearer would be the house of Saturn, because Saturn rules Aquarius. That fits the quote just as well, and the house-to-sign thing only dates back to about the 1800's.

My point is not that this would necessarily be a "problem," it's more like I just don't know how well it would work. It could possibly be an effective modern innovation, but it isn't even as old as the Middle Ages, let alone ancient.

enokiano1 said...

More or less is clear, it is best to try with rituals and see results...I personally want to use the tarot minor arcana as representatives of magical energy, I will place it in the tritemium chart

Dacia Pacea said...

Yeah, it was just in idea though. Rolling your idea forward is also interesting. It never occurred to me to use the ruling planet of the sign corresponding to the house.

Thing is, I already started working with the nodes for issues specific to them, such as adding and removing energies from one's personal sphere. Nothing fancy yet. I'm waiting to see how it's going to unfold.

When I think about the nodes RO's articles about the genius and the evil daimon pop into my mind - you know, the ones in which he talks about sealing the evil daimon in lead :) I'm not going to seal the energies of the SN in lead, just contain them and use them to my own advantage.

Scott Stenwick said...

I really do not know what to think about sealing the evil daimon in lead. I have never tried anything like that, so I can't say for sure that it won't work, but it sounds dubious to me. Among other things, in astrology Saturn is the major malefic, so how would this be any different from making a Saturn talisman incorporating the evil daimon's name? It's not like you can seal spirits related to Saturn away using the metal appropriate to Saturn, after all. And I think that especially from a Renaissance astrological perspective, the evil daimon would qualify. So I think you are wise to not go down that path.

Still, I probably would have to try it to have an informed opinion.

Dacia Pacea said...

I was amazed myself upon reading those articles. I don't know much about the evil daimon, but I think it's a necessary part of our lives in a sense of punishing us when we go astray from our path. At least that's what I understand so far. So sealing it away - if possible - would bring a person more freedom, but at what cost in the end? I don't know how Frater RO felt after that, not the people for which he performed the operation. I would ask him myself, but i don't think he's going to answer - guess he's too busy.

The same goes with the lunar nodes. Eliminating the energy of the SN all together could produce a great unbalance... I'm still waiting for noticeable results so far. When I conjured Gabriel using the SN symbol in the hexagram, I explained to him that I wanted the specific energies that cause torment to be removed from a person's sphere.