Monday, February 13, 2017

The Zodiacal Work - Cancer

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

The work of the Zodiac is neglected by most magical resources intended for beginners. The reason for this is that in the tradition, students start out studying the elemental work, move on to the planetary work, and only after that explore the system of the Zodiac. But in the context of practical work, the signs are important, because they represent half of the practical magical powers listed in Liber 777.

When going through this series, you can refer back to my Angels of the Zodiac presentation for additional information. The presentation goes into greater detail regarding some aspects of the zodiacal work, as does my Evoking Zodiacal Angels article in Liber Spirituum.

Today I will be moving on to the sign Cancer. In Liber 777, Cancer is attributed to the "Power of Casting Enchantments." An enchantment is any sort of spell that calls something to you or into your life. In Vajrayana Buddhism, it is described as the "magnetizing power," which is the most accurate description I have come across in any esoteric system. An enchantment effectively turns you into a "magnet" for whatever you are casting for. It is a relatively general power, so it can be used to call business opportunities, relationships, employment, or just about any other desired circumstance into your life.

And enchantment can also be cast on external target, in order to call particular circumstances into their lives. As you can imagine, there are many potential applications for this. Cancer also rules enchantment in general, so the angel of Cancer can likewise be called to exclude some circumstance from your life or the life of a target. This makes Cancer quite potent for practical work of all kinds, since its sphere of influence is at least potentially so wide.

In Qabalah, the signs correspond to the twelve single letters of the Hebrew alphabet. These letters are so named because they correspond to a single specific sounds. The signs are all attributed to the sephira Chockmah, and are associated with paths only in the context of practical magical work. The sephiroth represent states of manifestation, whereas the paths represent the movement of energy between those states.


This series will be covering these paths, as they correspond to practical magical operations. This is by design - some schools teach that you should master a bunch of mystical stuff before you start casting effective spells, and I just don't buy that. You should use magick for basically everything, and you should start doing it right away. Studying the differences between successes and failures will give you essential insights into the nature of your will and the quality of your technique, and besides, doing effective practical magick is awesome.

For the Path of Cancer, the four scales of color are Amber, Maroon, Rich Bright Russet, and Dark Greenish Brown. For ceremonial forms, you use the King scale, which is Amber. Its complement is indigo. All four scales should be used to construct the sigil of the angel.

The sigil should be traced onto the Kamea of the Moon, as the Moon is the ruler of Cancer. Along with the sigil itself, you can also trace the character of Cancer on the Kamea. The Angel of Cancer is Muriel, spelled Mem-Vav-Resh-Yod-Aleph-Lamed. The Moon Kamea is 9 x 9, so the highest number it contains is 81. Therefore, Resh needs to be reduced, and in this case I would reduce it from 200 to 20 rather than to 2. This yields 40, 6, 20 (200), 10, 1, 30. The final figure should look something like this:


From Liber 777, incense appropriate to Cancer is Onycha. The associated plant is Lotus. The associated metal is silver, and the associated precious stone is amber.

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 amber or silver 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 for the path of Cancer is the fourth permutation of Tetragrammaton, HVHY. Some schools teach that as the name of God is ineffable, it should be spelled out by letter (Heh-Vav-Heh-Yod). However, in practice that does not work nearly as well as pronouncing the name as a word. The pronunciation of this permutation would be something like "Hev-Hay."

For ceremonial forms, I use the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for the signs of the Zodiac when working practical magick. Apparently a number of schools teach that you should use the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram instead, but as I see it the practical zodiacal work as an extension of the macrocosm, so I prefer the hexagram. You can invoke an element using either the hexagram of the ruling planet or the pentagram of the ruling element, but in the latter case it seems more likely that what will be invoked is the sign's more microcosmic aspects, such as associated personality traits.

0. The Temple

The best time to perform a Cancer operation is on a Monday, during an hour of the Moon that falls during the night. This is because the Moon rules Cancer, and because the sign Cancer belongs to the Nocturnal sect. Since you are employing ceremonial forms to tune the space you could do it during a day hour of the Moon as well, but a night hour is most appropriate.

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.

You should also calculate the Chart Victor for the time of your operation if at all possible. Ideally, you want the Chart Victor to be a planet that is dignified in the sign, and you should always avoid a Chart Victor that is debilitated. So the best Chart Victor for a Cancer operation is the Moon (Rulership) or Jupiter (Exaltation). The Chart Victors to always avoid are Saturn (Detriment) and Mars (Fall).

The other planets are essentially neutral, and will neither impede nor aid your operation. You can perform an operation with any of them as the Chart Victor if you cannot perform your ritual at another time, though if you can wait until the Chart Victor is the Moon or Jupiter you will generally get better results. Also, keep in mind that simple electional timing should be employed as well, and a positive final aspect is especially important if you are working with a neutral Chart Victor.

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 Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for Cancer. Beginning in the east, go to each quarter in turn and perform the following actions.

  1. 1. Trace the Hexagram of the Moon in Amber while vibrating ARARITA (ah-rah-ree-tah). The Hexagram of the Moon is traced by starting at the bottom point and tracing the downward triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the top point and tracing the upward triangle clockwise.
  2. Trace the symbol of Cancer in the center of the hexagram in indigo while vibrating HVHY (Hav-Hay).
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 following unification statement adapted from Liber 963.

1. O Thou burning tempest of blinding sand, Thou whirlwind from the depths of darkness! Yea, as I struggle through Thee, through Thee, my strength is but as a dove's down floating forth on the purple nipples of the storm.

2. O my God, Thou Mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the ceaseless booming of the waves, and the fury of the storm, and all the turmoil of the wind-swept waters; so that I may drink of the porphyrine foam of Thy lips, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

3. O Thou ten-footed soldier of blue ocean, whose castle is built upon the sands of life and death; I swear to Thee by the glittering blades of the waters, to cleave my way within Thine armed hermitage, and brood as an eyeless corpse beneath the coffin-lid of the Mighty Sea.

4. O Thou Sovran Warrior of steel-girt valour, whose scimitar is a flame between day and night, whose helm is crested with the wings of the Abyss. I know Thee! O Thou four-eyed guardian of heaven, who kindleth to a flame the hearts of the downcast, and girdeth about with fire the loins of the unarmed.

5. O Glory be to Thee, O God my God; for I behold Thee in the amber combers of the storm: Thou hast laid Thy lash upon the sphinxes of the waters, so that they may boom forth the Glory of Thy Name.

6. O Thou mighty God, make me as an emerald crab that crawleth over the wet sands of the sea-shore; I beseech Thee, O Thou great God! That I may write Thy name across the shores of Time, and sink amongst the white atoms of Thy Being. O Thou God, my God!

7. O Thou thirsty charioteer of Time, whose cup is the hollow night filled with the foam of the vintage of day; drench me in the shower of Thy passion, so that I may pant in Thine arms as a tongue of lightning on the purple bosom of night.

8. O Thou God of the Nothingness of All Things! Thou who art neither the forge of Eternity; nor the thunder-throated womb of Chaos: O Thou who art not found in the hissing of the hail-stones; nor in the rioting of the equinoctial storm! I deny Thee by the powers of mine understanding; Bring me to the unity of Thy might, and feast me on honeyed manna of Thine all-pervading Nothingness; for Thou art all and none of these in the fullness of Thy Not-Being.

9. Ah! but I rejoice in Thee, O Thou my God; Thou coruscating star-point of Endlessness; Thou inundating fire of the Void; Thou moonbeam cup of eternal life: Yea, I rejoice in Thee, Thou fire-sandalled warrior of steel; O Thou bloody dew of the field of slaughter and death! I rejoice, yea, I shout with gladness! till the music of my throat smiteth the hills as a crescent moon waketh a nightly field of sleeping comets, at the Glory and Splendour of Thy Name.

10. O my God, fondle me with kisses and be merciful unto me, as I humble myself before Thee; for all my desires are as dewdrops that are sucked from silver lilies by the throat of a young god.

11. O woe unto me, my God, woe unto me; for all the passion of my love is mazed as the bewildered eyes of a youth, who should wake to find his beloved fled away. Yet in the crumpled couch of lust do I behold as an imprint the sigil of Thy name.

12. O what art Thou, O God my God, Thou amber-scal'd one whose eyes are set on columns? O Thou sightless seer of all things! Thou spearless warrior who urgest on Thy steeds and blindest the outer edge of darkness with Thy Glory! O how can I grasp the whirling wheels of Thy splendour, and yet be not smitten into death by the hurtling fury of Thy chariot?

13. O Thou Unity of all things: as the sun that rolleth through the twelve mansions of the skies, so art Thou, O God my God. I cannot slay Thee, for Thou art everywhere; lo! though I lick up the Boundless Light, the Boundless, and the Not, there still shall I find Thee, Thou Unity of Unities, Thou Oneness, O Thou perfect Nothingness of Bliss!

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4. The Conjuration

O thou mighty angel MURIEL, ruler of SARTON, by the name of the True and Living God HVHY, 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 Aries, and that they may attend to my behest. AMEN.

At this point, vibrate the name MURIEL repeatedly until the presence of the angel and spirits of Cancer are 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 sign Cancer as the "Power of Casting Enchantments." For best results, your charge should fall within that area. Otherwise, you may be asking for something outside Cancer's sphere of influence, and that could cause the ritual to fail. Nonetheless, the power associated with Cancer is very general and can be employed for many different purposes.

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 wine 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 MURIEL 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 HVHY, 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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2 comments:

enokiano1 said...

Hi Scott ¡¡¡

I added to the practical part the following parts. Once I finished the great ritual eg the element Air, I call the whole hierarchy facing the right point. I mention the name and drawing the sigil.Now I introduce parts of the GD that I Seem extremely powerful I
I added to the practical part the following parts. "I invoke you,
you Angels of the celestial Spheres, whose dwelling is in the Invisible.
You are the Guardians of the Gates of the Universe. May
you also be the Guardians of this Mystic Sphere. Keep far removed
the Evil and the Unbalanced. Strengthen and inspire me, so that I
may preserve unsullied this Abode of the Mysteries of the Eternal
Gods. Let my Sphere be pure and holy, so that I may enter in, and
become a partaker of, the Light Divine."
your arms outward and upward, and proclaim: "The visible Sun is
the dispenser of Light to the Earth. Let me form therefore a Vortex
in this Chamber, that the invisible Light of the Spirit shall shine
therein from above."In this way I invoke the creative energy of the ternary for the elements
(or depend of the energy seven times for Netzah for example)
Circumambulate seven times around the perimeter of the Circle.
Imagine Magical Current flowing through you, and visualize a
clockwise-spinning Vortex being created as you move: Give the
Sign of the Enterer each time that you pass by the Eastern end of
the Circle (in the direction you are going, without stopping). Finish
in the Northeast

At this moment with all the energy concentrated and in balance I already made the request, the strength and power of the ritual is extraordinary in this time after this I will close the vortex I will continue with the kabalistic cross o minor ritual of pentagram,The operant field allows to make in less time great magical operations is it incredible ¡¡¡

Scott Stenwick said...

Thank you for sharing this. That is some good feedback on the operant field method. It always is good when you can construct a revised ritual using the best parts of material you already are familiar with, and I'm glad you found the method helpful.