Friday, February 3, 2017

Chart Victors in Planetary and Elemental Work

Yes, it's another non-Monday magick post.

In my Zodiacal Work series, I address the use of the Chart Victor to determine the best time to perform a zodiacal operation. Similar determinations can be made for both planetary and elemental operations, based on the dignities and debilities of the planets in the signs.

Most obviously, the best time to perform a planetary operation is when the Victor matches the planet called upon in your operation. This creates the condition of Rulership, the strongest dignity, since every planet effectively rules itself. But in fact, you can work out which dignity or debility is produced by each combination of a particular Victor and a particular planet, based on the condition of the planet in the sign or signs ruled by the Victor.

Rulership, when the Victor and planet match, implies competence and power. A planet in its rulership "has it all together," so to speak, so this is the best set of circumstances for performing any ritual. if you can perform all of your operations under Rulership conditions, you will get the best results. Exaltation is not quite as strong as Rulership, but it is still positive and can work well for performing rituals. An exalted planet commands energy and attention, so chances for success remain elevated, but is not necessarily entirely in control of its circumstances.

So in effect, a ritual that is performed under a Rulership condition will most likely manifest in a manner that you expect. It is less likely to "go sideways," meeting the conditions of your charge but in an unexpected or less useful way than you anticipated. A ritual performed under an Exaltation condition will work, but the odds of it working in an unexpected way is higher. Since Exaltation is a dignity it is unlikely to manifest in a bad way, just an unusual one.

Detriment is the opposite of Rulership, implying incompetence and powerlessness. Fall is not quite as bad as Detriment, though it should likewise be avoided if at all possible. Fall is the opposite of Exaltation. In this condition, the Victor might be able to hold the ritual operation together, but its circumstances are out of its control and it amass enough attention or energy to get much done. Basically, Detriment causes failure due to lack of coherence, and Fall causes failure due to lack of power.

A ritual performed under a Detriment condition will generally completely fall apart and accomplish nothing. In such circumstances, the Victor is entirely out of harmony with the operation, and even if it "wants" to hold everything together, it simply can't. On the other hand, rituals performed under Fall conditions usually don't completely fall apart, but rather tend to just fizzle out. Still, the result is the same - the rite is likely to fail.

These dignities and debilities can be adapted into the following chart, showing the results of rituals for particular planets performed with Victors that form dignities or debilities.

JupiterMercuryDetriment or Fall

So as an example, if you were performing a Jupiter operation, you will get the best results with a Jupiter Victor and good results with a Moon Victor, because the Moon rules Cancer and Jupiter is in its Exaltation in Cancer. A neutral Victor - that is, a combination that doesn't appear on the chart - is neither dignified nor debilitated, and will not generally affect your operation one way or the other.

Elemental operations can likewise be classified along similar lines using the table of elemental Triplicity Lords. As you might recall from the Chart Victor article, that chart looks like this:


Day and Night correspond to when your ritual will be performed. If the Sun is above the horizon, the Day Lord is dominant. If the Sun is below the horizon, the Night Lord is dominant. The Triplicity Lord can be treated as the planet ruling the operation, and as such it can be mapped onto the chart just like a planetary operation can be.

So, for example, a Fire operation performed during the day is ruled by the Sun. The best Victors, therefore, would be the Sun (Rulership) or Mars (Exaltation). This is because the Sun is in its Exaltation in Aries, which is ruled by Mars. But the same operation performed at night would be ruled by Jupiter, so the best Victors would be Jupiter (Rulership) and the Moon (Exaltation).

People sometimes talk about how magick seems hard to predict, and sometimes acts as if it has a mind of its own. This is generally more true of spirits than of magick itself, but if you pay no attention to the Victor of the moment at which your operation will take place, it may look that way as you go back over you journals and records.

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Anonymous said...

I wanted to ask you this since you posted the first article on the Chart Victor, but i got carried away with the excitement of waiting for the zodiacal posts :)

Besides the practical mundane rituals - probability shifting - does working according to the Chart Victor also affect talisman workings? I mean if I perform a ritual to charge a certain talisman in an unfavorable timing according to the CV, does it mean that the talisman will receive less energy from the specific spirit, than it would have have I performed the same ritual in a favorable timing?


Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, it appears to be a general principle. The strength of a talisman will correspond to the conditions present when it was created. When you have a good chart victor and final aspect, think of it as casting into favorable "weather," so to speak. The better your environment corresponds to what you're trying to do, the better it will work.

Anonymous said...

I understand and it makes sense, although it increases the difficulty of finding a suitable timing outside say, working hours :)

One more thing, in the initial article say "If one of those planets rises between 90 degrees ahead of the Sun and the first retrograde station, it is given 1 point.".

Could you elaborate a bit on it please? Does the first retrograde station refer to the degree in which any of the classic planets stations retrograde in the nearest future? Thanks!

Scott Stenwick said...

Keep in mind that none of this means that you cannot perform an operation at another time. It just is that if you really are looking for an optimal effect, your timing choices are more limited. People have been doing magick without any of this material for a long time, and many of them do get good results regardless.

To some extent, ceremonial forms can mediate this effect as well. One of the points of using methods like the Greater Pentagram and Hexagram rituals is to deliberately tune your space to a force that may not be entirely in harmony with the astrological landscape. Of course, I've found that if you use forms and timing together, everything works better still.

The first retrograde station is for the planet in question (Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn), not any planet. So what you are looking for is the point where the planet goes retrograde after passing ahead of the Sun. I don't usually worry about that one too much, since you often need to dig through an ephemeris to tell where the station is for sure, and the single point rarely makes a difference in the calculation.

Anonymous said...

You're right. Thing is, ever since you posted the article I've been doing some CV calculations just to understand how it's done and I've succeeded. The only thing that remained unclear was the first retrograde station, which you clarified for me now. I've found a couple of almost perfect election timings next week which occur during my regular practice intervals and i needed to set that right in my mind.

As always, thank you!

Ravenn said...

Good evening Scott!

So I have been pondering this over the weekend and figured I'd throw it out there to see what your viewpoint would be. On Friday afternoon a buddy called me; at one point in the conversation she mentioned her girlfriend and said: "Man, I wish there was more communication between us right now. More calls, more texts, when we're apart you know?"

When she said "I wish", it got me thinking about how her intent would get fulfilled magically, and then this got me thinking about magick theory in general. Now I am not, nor was I asked, to try and affect this situation magickally. My friend and her gf are very, VERY vocal atheists and this type of topic is no exception. But it DID get me thinking and I have a few questions, so please indulge me:

1.)To illustrate how one thinks about a problem like this magickally, say she wanted to cast a spell to "increase communication" between herself and her gf...specifically more texts/phone calls (seeing as that was her "wish")... what would she use to do this? If she chose elemental magick, would she get a day or two before things fizzled out? If she used planetary, would it take a little bit longer to address the issue but have more staying power? If she chose zodiacal, would she be running the risk of losing her patience before balance was achieved? What determines the best STRATEGY?

2.) The nature of the RELATIONSHIP would allude to Water for elemental work, and Venus for planetary...(their relationship is romantic after all)...but the core ISSUE is a desire for increased COMMUNICATION which would allude to AIR for elemental work, and Mercury for planetary. In this example, she decides to cast for water during a time when the chart victor is Venus (say Friday during the day). For a water operation, everything is firing on all cylinders. So she charges Niksa (or Gabriel, depending) for increased communication specifically through an increase in calls/texts. Now, would she ultimately be stuck asking Niksa (or Gabriel) a request that SHOULD HAVE been directed towards Paralda (or Raphael) during an air or Mercury time? Would this negate the operation's effectiveness?

Now my example might seem a little overblown, and I'm aware of that, but I think it also illustrates how one approaches organization of magickal operations. I am sure there are many failed operations in magick that stem from someone misinterpreting how to APPROACH an issue and charging the wrong spirit for a particular task. As a beginner, I see a lot of overlap that makes it difficult to approach things because in reality, things aren't as easily categorized as Liber 777 and the rest make them (but again I speak from my perspective on this and don't wish to generalize). Obviously the BEST action to take in this example is to just TALK to her gf about the issue, (and that was actually the advice I gave her lol) but for devil's advocate purposes, I am curious as to your (and anyone else's) answers.

Thanks and keep up the amazing site...I can't tell you how much this has expanded my perception in just a few months lol

Scott Stenwick said...

For ongoing operations it is best to use a talisman of some sort rather than a single operation. That way, the effect is ongoing and is not limited to the dynamics of a single operation with a fixed time limit. You could also create more than one talisman to address this situation. As long as you specify in the charge for each that it doesn't interfere with the other, you should be fine. That's really the only pitfall of using multiple talismans to address the same situation, that unless you specify otherwise there can be situations where they work at cross purposes.

If I were going to design something for this, I think I would go with Air for communication and Venus for the relationship and make separate talismans for each. The elemental talisman won't be as powerful from a probability shift perspective, but it will work faster. The planetary talisman will be slower but more powerful. The thing is, you want communication to be more immediate and then you want the relationship to improve over time.

The other thing I would recommend is to specify some sort of metric, not just "improve communication" and/or "improve the relationship." The problem with charges like that are they are satisfied by even incremental improvement, and I'm assuming you want something more substantial for that.

Ravenn said...

So one could address an issue with multiple spells, thereby affecting a number of layers to any given problem? A sort of "mix and match" approach? In the above example, one could do an elemental air spell with a command "to improve communication over the course of the next 7 days by increasing positive text messaging and phone calls daily"...and while the elemental spell might not accommodate the whole of the 7 days, it would be ENOUGH to facilitate a better dynamic. Then you could use a Venus spell, anchor that to a talisman, and even with a reduction in power, it could steadily improve the relationship over time. Would anchoring an elemental spell to a talisman weaken the potency of a spell that doesn't pack a lot of punch as it is? I suppose one could do this across the board with elemental, planetary, and zodiacal powers ramping each in stages. An elemental spell for communication, a planetary talisman for improved relationship, and a Libra talisman for eventual balance...each would lead into the next creating cascading success that could/should tip the probability factor in ever-increasing favor. The "little" spells work to improve the odds enough that the "bigger" spells have a greater chance of working, etc.
So this CONCEPT, this strategy, is applicable to any number of problems it seems.

If my friend were doing this herself, would she need a contagion link to her gf for this to be effective?

Speaking of which, I noticed the zodiacal powers are a tad "odd". They don't seem to map or translate too well to the more practical descriptions of planetary and elemental rituals. There doesn't seem to be a standard "wealth" spell or "love" spell for instance. I suppose cleverness comes into play, (or "learning how to jam" as you wrote), so one could use transformation as an all-purpose one...transform a single/lonely life into a happily partnered one, etc. I am assuming zodiacal operations can ALSO be linked to talismans?

thanks Scott!

Scott Stenwick said...

Sure, you absolutely can do something like that. Attacking a problem from multiple directions is usually a good strategy as long as you think it through and don't have conflicting instructions in the various charges. You can also mix and match talismans and one-off spells. There is a lot of versatility in the system in that regard.

The zodiacal powers are derived from the Tarot. So, for example, Scorpio is the Death card and so the power associated with it is necromancy. If you compare the powers to each of the corresponding Major Arcana cards, you should see pretty quickly how they are derived. Remember too that you are not just limited to the listed powers - anything you find in a book on astrology as a quality attributed to the sign will generally also work. You also often need to do some interpretation to fit the sign powers into different areas of life and particular functions.

And yes, you can do anything with a zodiacal operation that you can do with planetary and elemental operations, including linking them to talismans and so forth.

Ravenn said...

This makes so much more sense now, looking at it in terms of multiple layers!

One last question about the zodiacal powers for now: I saw an astrological graph that had a wheel with each of the 12 signs around it, their corresponding Major Arcana cards, but also the decans of the signs and THEIR corresponding tarot cards from the Minor Arcana...
Do those map to the zodiac powers too? For instance, Scorpio has Death as the M.A. card, but also a fair number of cups cards...thematically there is a sense of loss in general...almost like wallowing in the depression stage theorized by Kubler-Ross...where there is a happy remembrance of the past, a disappointment with the present, the loss of expectation, etc. All these actually fit in nicely with the the Death card and offer impressive layering to the symbolism...could calling on the Angel of Scorpio then help with dealing with the death of a loss of ideal, etc. represented by the minor arcana?

Just curious!
Thanks again Scott for everything!

Samat said...

Scott help me figuring out the elemental elections. I thought this article would extend the use of the almuten of the planet to include elemental elections as well but it actually puts Lilly's attribution above it. However, Dorothy/Lily's elemental attribution to the planets just doesn't make much sense to me.

So a Jupiter almuten during the night for a fire ritual or a Sun almuten during the day. The latter makes sense but why Jupiter? What does Jupiter have to do with fire - hot and dry? Warmth is the power of separation and Jupiter is expansion.

Doing elemental fire spells during planetary elections such as Mars and Sun during the day seem better but if going by a Jupiter election would do it better, then so be it.

What does Mars have to with water (night)? They gave Earth to the Moon but not Water? Moon already can do what Water can and more so I would assume that we have to look for the closest planetary affiliation. Kabbalistic sources attribute water to Jupiter as well because of its association with Chesed.

This is easily Venus (Taurus) and Saturn (Capricorn) but the Moon steals that role from Saturn here.

Attributing Air to Saturn and Mercury seem fine except when you look at older sources such as Picatrix, they attributed Jupiter to Air just as

The fact that modern magicians don't do elemental magick is not our fault so we have to be the reapers of elemental success ourselves.

In conclusion, I would see that water corresponds best with Moon and Jupiter, and Air with Mercury and Saturn and fire with Mars and Sun, with Sun during the day and Mars during the night.

Air is moist and warm with the latter being the dominant part, which is why I think aerial planets such as Venus and Saturn but even Jupiter because of Air's harmonious aspect.

Water is moist and cool with the latter being the dominant part, so the Moon is chosen alongside Venus (Persephone) due to her descent into the underworld giving rise to winter. Last with Jupiter because of its constant expansion. It's exaltation in Cancer should be a giveaway. Do you see any reason for associating water with Mars? The fixed sign of Scorpio might be one.

Fire is easily Sun and Mars - the planet of revenge and heat. We can attribute Jupiter to it due to Sagittarius but I'm not sure about that.

Earth is Venus, Saturn and Moon due to Moon being exalted in Taurus.

Air is Saturn, Mercury and Venus.

Water is Moon, Venus (no exaltation found there) and Jupiter (Pisces). So 3 planets per element.

Scott Stenwick said...

I cannot necessarily tell you why these attributions were selected by Dorotheus. I have not studied them in detail, I just work with them in this context. Hopefully I can help a little, but these are just my guesses.

Fire: Sun (Day) rules Leo, fixed Fire. Jupiter (night) rules Sagittarius, mutable Fire.
Water: Venus (Day) is exalted in Pisces, mutable Water. Mars (night) rules Scorpio, fixed Fire.
Air: Saturn (Day) is exalted in Libra, cardinal Air. Mercury (night) rules Gemini, mutable Air.
Earth: Venus (day) rules Taurus, fixed Earth. Moon (night) is exalted in Taurus, fixed Earth.

So I think that's the reasoning. There could easily be something deeper that I'm not familiar with. It works for me, but I agree that it is kind of clunky. There is also a different set of attribution given by Ptolemy that also have a long track record of success.

If the system you've come up with here works better for you, feel free to experiment. You can plug those different planets into the triplicity grid and do the calculation that way.

Also remember that mapping the planets onto the sephiroth did not happen until Kircher in the 17th Century. Dorotheus and Ptolemy lived long before that, and they devised the triplicity lord arrangement. I believe they even predate Kabbalah in general.

Scott Stenwick said...

Also, I found this article that goes into the triplicity lords in depth. You might find it useful. I have not had time to read through the whole thing yet.

Samat said...

Indeed it gets confusing. In fact, the oldest sources such as Picatrix attribute Jupiter to air and provide far more explanation than just 'Jupiter is fire at night because of Sagittarius'. I read so much into the four elements because I want to get better and better at them fully aware of how versatile they are and I believe that all of the triplicity attributions can work which is why I think they should all be experimented with.

As for Kabbalah, it's been developed and halted throughout history so many times due to Jewish history that we simply can't find a precise period. Its earliest form was based on Merkavah mysticism from which sprang out angels like Metatron, Raziel, Sandalphon etc which started at 100BC and continued all the way till the Middle Ages. Hundreds and thousands of angels were being discovered that both Rabbis and Priests had to put a cap on working with them. But not all Jewish magick is Kabbalah. Christian Kabbalists certainly did not find any new angels.

Kircher was a revolutionary but so were other Christian kabbalists such as those came up with the KoS system, all Christians.