Monday, December 5, 2016

The Planetary Work - the Sun

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

Today I will be moving on to working with the Sun, the next planet in sequence according to the Chaldean Order. Liber 777 associates the Sun with "The Red Tincture" and "Power of Acquiring Wealth." So the Sun, like Jupiter, rules over spells related to financial gain. The difference is that Jupiter is more appropriate when status is involved, such as when seeking a promotion or better employment. The Sun is more appropriate when you are working for yourself in some capacity, such as running a business.

There is also a distinction to be made between "acquiring wealth" and getting money. Aaron Leitch put up a blog post over at Llewellyn discussing this very topic a week ago, pointing out that just bringing sums of money in the door doesn't necessarily translate into wealth - at least when you're working with Jupiter as he does. In my experience, the magical solution for transitioning money into wealth is to work with the Sun.

So the Sun is also more appropriate than Jupiter for investments, finance, and so forth. For a complete "financial success" spell, the best way to go is to perform operations for both Jupiter and the Sun. The Jupiter operation bring in money and status, while the Sun operation transitions that money and status into lasting wealth. This gets around the problem These should be performed as two entirely separate operations, as multiple planets rarely combine well in a single rite without very careful design and calibration.

The Red Tincture is related to alchemical operations, which are somewhat beyond the scope of this series. Allegedly, the Red Tincture is a substance capable of transmuting base metals into gold. From the standpoint of the path of initiation, it may also be thought of as representing the transference of consciousness from Lunar (passive frame) to Solar (active frame) consciousness, or from personal to transpersonal realization. So even though we are dealing with the path of the Sun rather than the sephira, there are potential applications here related to the mystical path.

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.

Like all the planets, the Sun can be employed in both positive and negative capacities. The Sun rules over acquiring wealth, so it can be used to deplete someone's wealth in addition to increasing it, or ruin someone's business. It works less well with employment situations - you probably want a Jupiter curse if you are looking to get someone fired from their job. But let me point out here that this strikes me as kind of a dumb use of magick. I am a much bigger believer in using your magical powers to benefit yourself rather than expending energy to harm someone else, and it seems to me that spending energy on making yourself rich is a lot more useful than expending it to make someone else poor.

At any rate, for the Path of the Sun, the four scales of color are Orange, Gold Yellow, Rich Amber, and Amber Rayed Red. For ceremonial forms, you use the King scale, which is Orange. Its complement is blue. Note that the Sun and Mercury switch ceremonial form colors when working with the paths as opposed to the sephiroth. All four scales should be used to construct the sigil of the angel. The first piece of sigil is the character of the Sun, which looks like this:


The angel of the path of the Sun is Michael, spelled Mem-Yod-Kaph-Aleph-Lamed. Note that as with the color switch, the Sun and Mercury switch angels when working with the paths versus the sephiroth. The Sun kamea is 6 x 6, so the valuation for Mem needs to be reduced to single digits. This yields 4 (40), 10, 20, 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 Mars are Olibanum (Frankincense), Cinnamon, and "all glorious odors." Associated plants are Sunflower, Laurel, Heliotrope, Nut, and Galangal. The associated metal is gold, and the associated precious stone is Crysolith (olivine/peridot). Note that for the purposes of creating a talisman, brass is an acceptable substitute for gold.

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. Cinnamon spice may also be employed in this capacity. Likewise, a piece of brass or peridot 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. Cinnamon liquor is a good option for an alcohol offering.

The god-name in Assiah for the path of the Sun is Allah (Aleph-Lamed-Heh). It is far more common for Sun operations to be taught using YHVH Eloah ve Da'ath as the god-name for the Sun, but this is actually the god-name appropriate to Tiphareth, the sephira of the Sun. 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 Sun operation is on a Sunday, during the hour of the Sun. 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 Sun. The solar hexagram is the longest and most complex of the hexagrams, as it is composed of the other six made beginning with Saturn and following the Chaldean Order all the way down to the Moon. I generally vibrate ARARITA for each hexagram traced, but there is no set method for doing this. Beginning in the east, go to each quarter in turn and perform the following actions.

  1. 1. Trace the Hexagram of the Sun in Orange while vibrating ARARITA (ah-rah-ree-tah). The hexagram of the Sun is traced by:

    • First, starting at the upper point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the bottom point and tracing the second triangle clockwise from there.
    • Then, starting at the upper right point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the lower left point and tracing the second triangle from there.
    • Then, starting at the upper left point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the lower right point and tracing the second triangle clockwise from there.
    • Then, starting at the lower right point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the upper left point and tracing the second triangle clockwise from there.
    • Then, starting at the lower left point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the upper right point and tracing the second triangle clockwise from there.
    • Finally, starting at the bottom point and tracing the first triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the upper point and tracing the second triangle clockwise from there.
  2. Trace the symbol of the Sun in the center of the hexagram in blue while vibrating ALLAH (ah-LAH).
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 Sun. 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, golden Titan, whose eternal eye
With broad survey, illumines all the sky.
Self-born, unwearied in diffusing light,
And to all eyes the mirrour of delight:
Lord of the seasons, with thy fiery car
And leaping coursers, beaming light from far:
With thy right hand the source of morning light,
And with thy left the father of the night.
Agile and vig'rous, venerable Sun,
Fiery and bright around the heav'ns you run.
Foe to the wicked, but the good man's guide,
O'er all his steps propitious you preside:
With various founding, golden lyre, 'tis mine
To fill the world with harmony divine.
Father of ages, guide of prosp'rous deeds,
The world's commander, borne by lucid steeds,
Immortal Jove, all-searching, bearing light,
Source of existence, pure and fiery bright
Bearer of fruit, almighty lord of years,
Agil and warm, whom ev'ry pow'r reveres.
Great eye of Nature and the starry skies,
Doom'd with immortal flames to set and rise
Dispensing justice, lover of the stream,
The world's great despot, and o'er all supreme.
Faithful defender, and the eye of right,
Of steeds the ruler, and of life the light:
With founding whip four fiery steeds you guide,
When in the car of day you glorious ride.
Propitious on these mystic labours shine,
And bless thy suppliants with a life divine.

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4. The Conjuration

O thou mighty angel MICHAEL, ruler of SHEMESH, by the name of the True and Living God ALLAH, 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 Sun, and that they may attend to my behest. AMEN.

At this point, vibrate the name MICHAEL repeatedly until the presence of the angel and spirits of the Sun 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 Sun as "The Red Tincture" and "Power of Acquiring Wealth." For best results, your charge should fall within that area. Otherwise, you may be asking for something outside the Sun's sphere of influence. To create a physical red tincture, you will need a material basis separate from the offering, preferably prepared according to proper alchemical methods, placed within the Table of Art.

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 such as cinnamon liquor 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 MICHAEL 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 ALLAH, 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.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

3 comments:

AG said...

How do you decide whether to call on Michael or Raphael when working with the sun?
Is it based on whether you're using the sephirah or the path?

Scott Stenwick said...

Correct. When going from sphere to path, the two angels switch places.

So Michael is the angel of Hod, the sephira of Mercury, and Shemesh (Resh), the path of the Sun. Raphael is the angel of Tiphareth, the sephira of the Sun, and Kokab (Beth), the path of Mercury.

Dacia Pacea said...

I tried a slightly different way of using the hexagram of Sol. I remembered reading in various sources that the magician should trace only one hexagram of the planet they're working with, in the direction that planet is at the time of the ritual. Instead of that, I faced the East as usual, but i looked upwards and traced the six hexagrams in that direction. After ARARITA and ALLAH I guided the divine light down to the table of art. This was to save time from drawing all those hexagrams :)