Monday, December 12, 2016

The Planetary Work - Venus

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

Today I will be moving on to working with Venus, the next planet in sequence according to the Chaldean Order. Liber 777 associates Venus with "Love-philtres," which can be generalized to love and relationship spells of whatever type. As I mentioned in my previous article on love spells, there are two main approaches that people tend to use when working this kind of magick. The first is a love spell cast on a specific person, and the second is a love spell designed to bring you and a suitable person together.

The second of these is both more ethical and more effective. Generally speaking, a love spell cast on a specific person is going to violate their will in some way, since if they were already interested in you, you wouldn't need to be casting a spell. Spells that violate the wills of others are among the hardest to cast, simply because your magical power needs to override your target's inherent resistance. While it's true that a lot of people are fairly susceptible to magick, the probability shifts involved are still challenging.

The second form works by subtly influencing events in such a way that you and a suitable partner are brought together. This is easier to do because mostly, the things that keep us and potential lovers apart are little more than random circumstance. I don't care how lonely you are, or how unattractive you believe yourself to be. If you live in a city with millions of people, there are going to be at least a handful of people out there who would be happy to be in a relationship with you. The trick is bringing those people into your sphere of activity.

The nice thing about this more general method is that if such a person is already in your life, the second form of the spell will still influence circumstances so that a relationship between the two of you becomes possible - so long as it is in harmony with the will of said individual. Otherwise, it will affect circumstances so that you are brought together with somebody else. So in effect, if you're in one of those situations where you are attracted to a friend and want them to think of you in that way, you can get the same effect as you would casting a specific spell on them so long as being involved with you is in harmony with their will.

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, Venus can be employed in both positive and negative capacities. Venus rules over love and relationships, so it can be used to break up existing relationships and so forth. As with most forms of cursing, I think that working magick like this is usually pretty dumb. Why expend your magical energy making someone else unhappy when you can make yourself happy? I could possibly see an application for this in situations where the relationship you are breaking up is abusive in some fashion, but otherwise this manner of working doesn't make much sense to me.

At any rate, for the Path of Venus, the four scales of color are Emerald Green, Sky Blue, Early Spring Green, and Bright Rose or Cerise Rayed Pale Yellow. Note that in at least one edition, the column text says "rose OF cerise," but this appears to be a typographical error. For ceremonial forms, you use the King scale, which is Emerald Green. Its complement is red. All four scales should be used to construct the sigil of the angel. The first piece of sigil is the character of Venus, which looks like this:

The angel of the path of Venus is Anael, spelled Aleph-Nun-Aleph-Lamed. The Venus kamea is 7 x 7, so the valuation for Nun needs to be reduced to a single digit. This yields 1, 5 (50), 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 Venus are Sandalwood, Myrtle, and "all voluptuous odors." Associated plants are Myrtle, Rose, Clover, Fig, Peach, and Apple. The associated metal is copper, and the associated precious stones are Emerald and Turquoise. 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 copper, emerald, or turquoise 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-name in Assiah for the path of Venus is Ahah (Aleph-Heh-Aleph). It is far more common for Venus operations to be taught using YHVH Tzabaoth as the god-name for Venus, but this is actually the god-name appropriate to Netzach, the sephira of Venus. 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 Venus operation is on a Friday, during the hour of Venus. 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 Venus. Beginning in the east, go to each quarter in turn and perform the following actions.

  1. 1. Trace the Hexagram of Venus in Emerald Green while vibrating ARARITA (ah-rah-ree-tah). The hexagram of Venus is traced by 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.
  2. Trace the symbol of Venus in the center of the hexagram in red while vibrating AHAH (ah-HAH).
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 Venus. 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.

Heav'nly, illustrious, laughter-loving queen,
Sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien;
Crafty, from whom necessity first came,
Producing, nightly, all-connecting dame:
'Tis thine the world with harmony to join,
For all things spring from thee, O pow'r divine.
The triple Fates are rul'd by thy decree,
And all productions yield alike to thee:
Whate'er the heav'ns, encircling all contain,
Earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main,
Thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod,
Awful attendant of the brumal God:
Goddess of marriage, charming to the sight,
Mother of Loves, whom banquetings delight;
Source of persuasion, secret, fav'ring queen,
Illustrious born, apparent and unseen:
Spousal, lupercal, and to men inclin'd,
Prolific, most-desir'd, life-giving., kind:
Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, 'tis thine,
Mortals in necessary bands to join;
And ev'ry tribe of savage monsters dire
In magic chains to bind, thro' mad desire.
Come, Cyprus-born, and to my pray'r incline,
Whether exalted in the heav'ns you shine,
Or pleas'd in Syria's temple to preside,
Or o'er th' Egyptian plains thy car to guide,
Fashion'd of gold; and near its sacred flood,
Fertile and fam'd to fix thy blest abode;
Or if rejoicing in the azure shores,
Near where the sea with foaming billows roars,
The circling choirs of mortals, thy delight,
Or beauteous nymphs, with eyes cerulean bright,
Pleas'd by the dusty banks renown'd of old,
To drive thy rapid, two-yok'd car of gold;
Or if in Cyprus with thy mother fair,
Where married females praise thee ev'ry year,
And beauteous virgins in the chorus join,
Adonis pure to sing and thee divine;
Come, all-attractive to my pray'r inclin'd,
For thee, I call, with holy, reverent mind.

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4. The Conjuration

O thou mighty angel ANAEL, ruler of NOGAH, by the name of the True and Living God AHAH, 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 Venus, and that they may attend to my behest. AMEN.

At this point, vibrate the name ANAEL repeatedly until the presence of the angel and spirits of Venus 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 Venus as "Love-philtres" - that is, love and relationship spells in general. For best results, your charge should fall within that area. Otherwise, you may be asking for something outside Venus' 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 ANAEL 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 AHAH, 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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