Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Thoughts on the Fixed Stars

While I remain convinced that the template works for everything, there have been a couple of questions over the last week about working with the fifteen fixed stars. What I am going to post here is my best guess as to how fixed star operations would work in the context of the template, but to be clear, this is a guess. I'm not some sort of "enlightened master" who knows everything there is to know about magick, and these are a series of operations that I have never tried. So they might work well, they might work poorly, or they might not work at all. And this is an important point - you can never be sure that a magical operation will work based on speculation or even what seems like airtight logic. You have to experiment with it, full stop.

I mentioned in the comments that I came across a system once that attributed angels to each degree of the zodiac. A system like that with some traditional authority would be ideal, but I haven't been able to find it again. In Liber 777 there are angels attributed to the 36 decans, and that's as granular as it goes. So that is what I'm going to use here. I suspect it won't work as well as if I had an angel of the exact degree, and if at some point in the future I work out where I saw that system, I will be sure to let you all know. It also occurs to me that you could conjure the decan angel by the method I'm going to outline here and ask which angel rules the degree in question. That would give you some additional routes for experimentation.

The Shem angels were also mentioned in this context, and it is possible that they might work. With the Shem angels you can break up the zodiac into half-decans, but there's some confusion as to which system should be used. The Golden Dawn system starts the Shem angels off in Leo, but the Bardon system starts in Aries. To me Aries sounds more logical, but again, logic is not really what we're about here. We're talking technology, and objectively one arrangement should work better than the other. An example of this is the Golden Dawn system for tracing pentagrams versus the one used by the Aurum Solis. The latter is more logical, but according to every test I could come up with back in the day the Golden Dawn system makes for more effective magick.

So if you're going to try to use the Shem angels for this, you should probably try your ritual both ways and record your results. If you can, converse with the angels and see if they can give you any useful information. And so forth. Because of this confusion, and because I'm trying to stick with Liber 777 as the source for all of the operations I post here, I will be using the decan angels instead. For a Shem angel, though, you should just be able to keep the god-name the same and substitute the name of the angel you want to conjure. The same would be true with an angel of the specific degree, if that's what you are looking to do.

The best rendering of the fixed stars, their locations, and their attributions is Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars. You can use the table their to find where the star is in the zodiac, its character (or sigil), and some suggestions for usage. Note that when the instructions mention "conjuct," you always use one degree of orb when working with fixed stars. It doesn't matter what orb you normally use for planets. In some cases the usage covers the making of particular talismans, and in others it covers the making of potions and the like. More generally, you can make a talisman by placing some of the corresponding herb into a small bag along with the stone and the character rendered on paper. You can omit one or more of those, but the more you have the better it will work.

According to my template, this is how you would go about constructing a fixed star operation. The following table shows the name of the star, its location in the zodiac, and the corresponding decan and angel from Liber 777. I also have included the god-names, which are the same permutations of Tetragrammaton that you will find in my Zodiacal Work posts. You can find the Decan angels from Liber 777 here.

Fixed StarLocationDecanAngelGod-
Aldebaran10 Gemini 022 GeminiShehadaniYVHHMercuryOrange
The Pleiades0 Gemini 141 GeminiSagarashYVHHMercuryOrange
Algol26 Taurus 253 TaurusYakasaganotzYHHVVenusRed-
Capella22 Gemini 063 GeminiBethonYVHHMercuryOrange
Sirius14 Cancer 192 CancerRahadetzHYHVMoonAmber
Procyon26 Cancer 013 CancerAlinkirHYHVMoonAmber
Regulus00 Virgo 041 VirgoAnanaurahHHVYMercuryYellow-
10 Libra 57
13 Libra 41
2 LibraSaharnatzVHYHVenusGreen
Spica24 Libra 043 LibraShachdarVHYHVenusGreen
Arcturus24 Libra 283 LibraShachdarVHYHVenusGreen
Alkaid27 Virgo 103 VirgoMishparHHVYMercuryYellow-
Alphecca12 Scorpio 322 ScorpioNundoharVHHYMarsBlue-
Antares10 Sagittarius 002 SagittariusVehrinVYHHJupiterBlue
Vega15 Capricorn 332 CapricornYasyasyahHYHVSaturnIndigo
Deneb Algedi23 Aquarius 472 Aquarius AbdaronHYVHSaturnViolet

With this chart in hand, you can perform an operation involving the fixed stars using the following ritual procedure. Keep in mind, though, it requires some testing in order to verify that it works.

0. Preparation

Set up the temple with an altar in the center. On the altar, place a containment structure such as the Trithemian Table of Art, the Sigillum Dei Aemeth, or whatever you generally use for conjurations. If you plan on scrying, place your mirror or crystal in the containment structure. If you are making a talisman or elixir of some sort, the material basis should also be placed within the containment structure. On the altar outside the containment structure place any other tools that you plan on using during the rite.

I. Opening

Open the ritual using the operant field (Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram followed by Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram, or Star Ruby followed by Star Sapphire).

II. Preliminary Invocation

Identify with the divine using the Middle Pillar Ritual, or Elevenfold Seal from Liber V vel Reguli.

III. Tuning the Space

Perform the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for the sign in which the fixed star is found. Use the god-name, hexagram, and color shown on the chart above.

IV. Conjuration

Great and mighty [Angel], ruler of the [First, Second, Third] decan of [Sign], I hereby conjure you by the name of God [God-name]. I call upon you to appear within this Table of Art, that you may attend to my behest.

Vibrate the name of the angel repeatedly until its presence is perceived within the containment structure.

V. Charge

Deliver your charge to the angel based on the power of the fixed star that you wish to access. A comprehensive list of these powers is not found in Liber 777, but the information on usage from Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars should give you some guidance as to their attributions and functions.

VI. License to Depart

Great and mighty [Angel], ruler of the [First, Second, Third] decan of [Sign], I hereby license you to depart unto your proper place by the name of God [God-name]. Go forth now that you may accomplish your appointed task, and may peace be ever continued between us. So mote it be.

VII. Closing

Close the rite using the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or Star Ruby if you are creating an external talisman, material basis, or magical effect that will operate outside your sphere of awareness. Close with just the Qabalistic Cross portion of either ritual if you intend to seal the magical effect into your sphere of awareness.

So that would be the general idea based on applying my ritual template to a fixed star operation. If any of you do decide to try it out, let me know how it goes. If possible, use it to accomplish objectives that are easily measurable, at least at first. Then, if it seems to be working, you can move on to more subtle operations.

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polyphanes said...

The Ars Paulina may have that angel-per-degree association you're looking for. It's a late list, though, and doesn't seem to be of a proper Hebrew or Qabbalistic origin, but it's a list!

Dallan said...


What a beautiful work, thank you!
thank you! thank you!
this text is a light on an obscured theme

Scott Stenwick said...

@Polyphanes: I do have a copy of the Pauline Art in my library, so that probably is where I saw the list. Thanks for the link! Regardless of its origins, it probably is at least worth testing out.

@Dallan: Well, it only sheds light on anything if it works. Keep that in mind. This is an area of magick that not many people work with, so I really won't have a good frame of reference for it without some hard experimental data.

Sam Narriman said...

Hello Scott,
Thanks for another amazing post. I've been working with fixed stars for quite some time now, mainly for initiation or talisman consecration, but I always conjure the corresponding Zodiacal angel to activate the star forces I need. I use almost the same template you've put forward with, two differences: I always perform the invocation of the Agathodaimon (my own version based on Liber Samekh), and I use the Trithemius's method to conjure the spirit. I come from a Reiki background, and I've found I get better results when I first receive initiation (or attunement as they're called in Reiki) into whatever forces I'm going to work with. I've worked with the Shem angels as well but never to invoke forces from the fixed stars. Anyway, I'll put your model into practice when I can get round to it and let you know. Many thanks.

Scott Stenwick said...

Thanks. So by zodiacal angels, do you mean the angels of the whole signs? So Melchiadel for Aries, Asmodel for Taurus, etc. Or some other arrangement?

During the preliminary invocation step, an invocation of the Agathosdaimon, Holy Guardian Angel, Supernatural Assistant, or however you want to think of that particular entity would be appropriate following the Middle Pillar Ritual. It would precede tuning the space.

Energy work of whatever sort is helpful in all of these operations. I work with Qigong rather than Reiki, so instead of attunements I cultivate Qi and so forth. I expect that the results are similar, though, and my magical practice improved immensely once I got some Qigong training and incorporated that into my work.

Sam Narriman said...

Yes, Scott, I conjure the angel of the whole sign: I've noticed they're intelligent enough to bring forth the forces of the corresponding fixed star. And I do perform the invocation of the Agathodaimon after the Middle Pillar Ritual. What I forgot to mention previously is that I always activate Reiki and ask my Reiki guides and spirits for protection and assistance before the whole operation; I suppose it's a matter of habit and familiarity after over fifteen years of practising Reiki. So this is a step by step walk-through of the entire ritual:

1. Activation of Reiki and invocation of Reiki guides and spirits
2. Lesser Banishing Ritual of Pentagram
3. Lesser Invoking Ritual of Hexagram
4. Middle Pillar Ritual
5. Invocation of the Agathodaimon
6. Trithemian conjuration of the Zodiacal angel
7. The charge (initiation, consecration of talismans, etc.)
8. Qabalistic Cross

I put the seal of the angel and the star character on all talismans I make, and so far I've achieved reasonably good results.

As for Shem angels, I find them quite effective in laying the grounds but unsuitable for urgent manifestaion.

Scott Stenwick said...

That is interesting about the Shem angels. I have not worked with them much myself, so that might imply that my idea that you get better results as you get more specific might be suspect. Also, there is that whole thing about starting in Leo versus starting in Aries which a conflict within the tradition. Which version do you use?

Another question - have you ever tried calling on your Reiki guides and spirits following the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram rather than at the very beginning. Mike Sententia and I had a conversation about the nature of Reiki and Reiki attunements. Depending on whether it works better after the LIRH or not could inform some of the ideas that came out of that debate.

Sam Narriman said...

I'm going to try the Shem angels for bringing forth the star forces, and I'll get back to you on that -- and I personally believe starting in Aries makes much more sense, or at least it's how I've approached them so far. My experience of the Shem angels being a bit slow in manifestation does not necessarily translate into their being unsuitable for the work with the fixed star. Zodiacal angels, too, are slower in manifestation than, say planetary angels. I think the point is which angel is a better agent to contact in order to activate the forces of the fixed star you desire to work with. To my experience, Zociacal angels work fine, but so may the Shem angels.

As to Reiki and Reiki guides, I find I can call on them any time I need them, and I have called on them after LBRH. I distinctly remember once I called on them for extra protection midway through a Goetia conjuration.

One last point about attunements: whenever I conjure a spirit for the first time I ask the spirit to attune my sphere of influence (or my energy body in Reiki parlance) to the forces of his governing sphere/realm, and only then do I start manifestation or consecration work with the spirit. The only exception is the Goetian spirits, of course. Attunements immensely enhance my communication with the spirits and the forces of their spheres/realms, and yield better results.

Scott Stenwick said...

Okay. I have found that as well - the zodiacal angels can make bigger changes than the planetary angels in a lot of cases, but they also work slower so have be willing to trade power for speed. I would not be surprised to find that the Shem angels and (possibly) the decan angels work similarly.

So then you are saying that the Reiki guides and spirits work about the same whenever you call on them during the ritual? As in, they just do what they do and are equally effective at any point?

Your attunement idea here sounds a lot like what I do with the rites of approach that you can find in my path of initiation rituals. In order to contact the spirit, you project yourself into its realm and then ask it to initiate (or attune) you to the sphere of its influence. And yes, I also have found that does help a lot as far as subsequent workings go.

Sam Narriman said...

For me, and many Reiki practitioners I know, access to the Reiki energy and Reiki guides and spirits is a matter of will: I simply will the energy to flow or the guides and spirits to be present. I guess it's a matter of both receiving the attunement and working with the energies and spirits, but I really enjoy the convenient access it provides outside a formal ritual. And that's why I always ask for attunements to planetary or zodiacal forces: they give me access to the energies outside the ritual framework.

What's interesting about attunements is that they can be defined to work a certain way. For example, in the traditional Reiki system (aka Usui Reiki), the attunement gives access to energies emanating from a source outside the attunee's sphere of influence. The energy flow is then activated from the source through the chakra-nadic matrix into the target by the force of will. In some other systems, the attunee is given access to vibrational control of all or part of their sphere of influence -- usually hands -- and no energy flow occurs. The practitioner raises the vibration of their hands by the force of will, places them on some injury, and healing ensues as a result of vibrational entrainment.

There is a lot to say about attunements, but I guess I've already said too much. I hope this helps.

Scott Stenwick said...

You have not said too much in the sense that you are boring me, or anything like that. I don't know that much about how the Reiki system works and I'm totally interested in hearing what you have to say about. I expect a lot of readers probably are interested, too.

Sam Narriman said...

Thank you, Scott, for the chat. I just felt I both overdid it and went off topic. I'll answer any specific question you may have, of course, and I do hope this is interesting to your readers.

Anonymous said...

^following :)