Monday, March 28, 2011

Planetary Magick

This article is a rough transcript of the presentation I gave this last weekend at Paganicon 2011. My presentation was somewhat lightly attended, but unfortunately I wound up scheduled against the guest of honor, John Michael Greer, who is a lot more famous than I am. For those who missed the presentation but are nonetheless interested in the topic, here you go.

Planetary magick has long been a substantial component of the Western Mystery Tradition. While in modern Paganism elemental magick seems to predominate, a look through the grimoires of the Renaissance demonstrates that the seven ancient planets and seven days of the week were at that time a more common symbol set for evoking spirits and casting spells, while the elements were more often seen as part of the alchemical tradition. The planetary symbol set is thus highly suitable for advanced magical and mystical operations.

The next two sections of the presentation, Microcosm and Macrocosm and The Operant Field, summarize the information that I already have posted here and here. The presentation continues with a more detailed description of the changes that are made in the ritual forms when shifting from a microcosmic to a macrocosmic perspective.

Macrocosmic Elements: Because the elemental system primarily represents the psyche of the magician, the LIRH also works with the elements. This is necessary because it is into the magician’s field of consciousness that macrocosmic forces must be invoked, and those forces must harmonize with the components of the magician’s personality in order to be accessible to his or her mind and will. However, in order to call in the macrocosmic aspects of the elements two changes are made.

The first change is the direction from which each element is called. The microcosmic elemental arrangement is called the Winds model, so named because it was inspired by the perceived qualities of the winds that blew from the four directions. This is the model with which most witches and Neo-Pagans are familiar – Air in the east, Fire in the south, Water in the west, and Earth in the north. The macrocosmic arrangement, however, is called the Tropical model and is based on attributing the cardinal signs of the Zodiac to the directions. In this arrangement Fire is in the east, Earth in the south, Air in the west, and Water in the north. This is arrangement used by the Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram. The second change is to use elemental hexagrams rather than elemental pentagrams. The use of the hexagram here further aligns the forces conjured by the ritual with the macrocosmic realm symbolized by the hexagram.

It is also possible to open the equivalent of an Operant Field using more generic Neo-Pagan ritual forms. The casting of the circle would be unchanged, but the Calling of the Quarters should use the Tropical directions and the invoking elemental hexagrams rather than elemental pentagrams. This will probably seem odd the first time you try it, but since it works in the same way as the LIRH the increase in effective magical power should become immediately apparent.

Godhead Assumption: Once the Operant Field is established the next step is to invoke the Godhead – that is, some form of divinity. This step differs a great deal from magician to magician and is deliberately left very open to the will of the particular practitioner. The divinity invoked could be a patron deity, the God and/or Goddess of Neo-Paganism, or even the dynamic ground of creation itself. The goal is to externalize the seeds of divinity that lie within all spiritual practitioners so that they may connect with and/or influence the macrocosmic realm through the medium of planetary forces. Particular standardized methods that I have used in my own work include variations on Israel Regardie’s Middle Pillar Ritual and Aleister Crowley’s Elevenfold Seal from Liber V vel Reguli.

Planetary Attributions: The magical powers attributed to the planets can be found in the “Magical Powers [Western Mysticism]” column of Aleister Crowley’s Liber 777. These powers are based on the Golden Dawn version of the Tree of Life. Each planet has both a mystical and a magical side, the mystical side being represented by the Qabalistic sphere associated with the planet and the magical side being represented by the corresponding Path. Because of this dual nature, planetary magick can be used to produce both practical effects and mystical illumination.

As you can see here, from a mystical standpoint the various visions corresponding to the planets reach much of the way up the Tree of Life and from a magical standpoint the planetary powers encompass most of what people want to do when they get into magick – love spells, healing spells, wealth spells, and even curses. From my own experience fielding questions on magick from readers of my blog, I can tell you that I rarely am asked how to do anything outside of those four areas.

Planetary Days and Hours: The best time to perform a planetary operation is during the day and in the hour attributed to the planet. The planetary days follow the conventional scheme:

Sunday – Sun
Monday – Moon
Tuesday – Mars
Wednesday – Mercury
Thursday – Jupiter
Friday – Venus
Saturday – Saturn

Figuring the planetary hour is more complicated. I normally use an excellent application called ChronosXP that is available as a free download online, but you should also know how to figure it out by hand.

First you need to know the times for sunrise and sunset for the day on which the ritual will take place. The hours of the day begin with the day of the planet at sunrise and the hours of the night begin at sunset and run until the following sunrise. To find the length of each hour of the day, divide the total number of minutes between sunrise and sunset by 12. To find the length of each hour of the night, divide the total number of minutes between sunset and sunrise by 12. Therefore, the day and night hours will be of differing lengths depending upon the time of the year. The only two days of the year on which they will be of equal length are the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes.

Once you have the length of each hour calculated you next will need to assign a planet to each hour. This is accomplished by starting with the planet ruling the day for the first hour of the day and then assigning additional planets according to a pattern called the Chaldean Order. This is the order of apparent astrological motion in the sky and corresponds to the most common arrangements of planets on the Tree of Life, moving down the Tree.

Saturn --> Jupiter --> Mars --> Sun --> Venus --> Mercury --> Moon

Whenever you reach the end of the pattern with the Moon it cycles back to Saturn. So on a Sunday the hours would look like this:

Day Hours: 1st – Sun, 2nd – Venus, 3rd – Mercury, 4th – Moon, 5th – Saturn, 6th – Jupiter, 7th – Mars, 8th – Sun, 9th – Venus, 10th – Mercury, 11th – Moon, 12th – Saturn.

Night Hours: 1st – Jupiter, 2nd – Mars, 3rd – Sun, 4th – Venus, 5th – Mercury, 6th – Moon, 7th – Saturn, 8th – Jupiter, 9th – Mars, 10th – Sun, 11th – Venus, 12th - Mercury

Renaissance magicians believed that while the planetary day was auspicious the hour was even more so. Given a choice between performing a ritual on the appropriate day and during the appropriate hour on a different day the traditional choice would be the hour, though it was considered best to strive for both. In my experience the use of the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram for planetary workings ameliorates this requirement, especially when working with the operant field framework. The Greater Hexagram ritual allows you to tune your magical space to a particular planet at will rather than waiting for its day and hour to arise naturally, though it should be added that using these forms in addition to the days and hours rather than instead of them tends to produce the best results.

The Greater Ritual of the Hexagram: Following the Godhead Assumption, the next step of any Golden Dawn style planetary ritual is to perform the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram corresponding to the planet with which you are working. In the Golden Dawn context, Lesser rituals are general rites used to set up the basic magical field and Greater rituals are specific rites calling upon particular magical forces.

To perform the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram you start in the east and trace the hexagram of the planet in the appropriate color while vibrating the word of power ARARITA. You then trace the standard astrological symbol for the planet in the center of the hexagram in the color complimentary to that of the hexagram as you vibrate the godname corresponding to the planet. The names shown here are the Qabalistic godnames corresponding to the planetary spheres on the Tree of Life.

You then move clockwise, repeating these actions to the other three directions, and then finally return to face the east. Note that while the color changes depending on whether you are working with a planetary sphere or path the godname remains the same. You then return the to east and make the declaration “Let the divine light descend!” as you visualize light of the sphere or path color descending from above and filling the temple space.

The hexagrams of the planets are obtained by mapping the figure of the hexagram onto the Tree of Life and tracing from the corresponding sphere point, clockwise to invoke and counter-clockwise to banish. The two special cases are Saturn, which is traced from the top point even though Binah, the sphere of Saturn, is actually located on the left-side pillar, and the Sun, which is constructed by tracing all six of the other hexagrams in order down the Tree starting with Saturn because the standard hexagram has no center point.

Angels, Intelligences, and Spirits: Following the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram you then perform the conjuration of the appropriate spiritual entity. Planets are associated with Angels, Intelligences, and Spirits. The names of these entities can be found in Henry Cornelius Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy and are probably substantially older than even that source.

Francis Barrett’s The Magus is mostly a reworking of Agrippa that was done at the end of the Eighteenth Century. In this work, Barrett explains that you should use the Intelligence or a planet for good and the Spirit of a planet for evil. I had thought originally that this idea started with Barrett, but Agrippa does in fact include a similar though less pejorative statement. What I've found in working with these entities is that this classification is in error, perhaps reflecting a bias against practical magick. The real difference between Intelligences and Spirits is functional.

The Intelligence is conjured in order to interact with the state of consciousness associated with the planet, either for meditation or divination. When taking a mystical approach to working with a particular planet, it is the Intelligence that you will want to summon. The Spirit of a planet is used for accomplishing practical ends. When taking a magical approach to working with a planet it is the Spirit that you should be summoning. Keep in mind, though, that for such operations it is necessary to summon the Intelligence first because the Intelligence directs the action of the Spirit. A Spirit summoned on its own is more like a blind force that can prove difficult to control by magical means. This force is not likely to turn into a poltergeist and wreck your house or anything like that, but the operation that summoned it will probably be wasted.

The planetary Angels incorporate the qualities of both the Intelligence and the Spirit but are more general in their function. They are appropriate for rituals that would otherwise call for activity from both the Intelligence and Spirit, such as a ritual in which you need to find out some unknown piece of information and then perform a particular action based on it, or for a mystical operation in which you seek to somehow integrate the totality of a planet’s nature.

This table shows the planetary Angels, Intelligences, and Spirits:

Specific sigils are associated with the Intelligences and Spirits. Also, there is a particular character related to each planet. The character of the planet represents everything related to its sphere of influence, encompassing the Angel, Intelligence, and Spirit. The character of the appropriate planet should be placed upon the altar for any planetary operation. The sigil of the Spirit or Intelligence is then drawn onto another sheet and placed over the sheet depicting the character. The Angel of a planet may be summoned using the character alone and does not require an additional sigil, though there are various methods by which such a sigil could be constructed. The characters and sigils for the planets are as follows:

Since the characters of the planets are used over and over again when working this sort of magick, it is a useful practice to build a set of seven planetary tablets depicting the character and other particulars related to each planet. These can be constructed using appropriate colors and incorporating the various names of power, but should not include the sigils of the Intelligence or Spirit. We constructed our own sets of these years ago when we did our first series of planetary workings and they have served us well ever since.

A simple way to make a tablet for a planet is to take a regular sheet of paper and print or draw onto it a large rendering of the character for the planet in question. The character itself is what’s required, not any particular artistic rendering of it. The reason that the sigils of the Intelligence and Spirit should not be drawn onto the tablet is because these two classes of entities represent specific aspects of the planet’s nature. The character, on the other hand, represents the totality of the planet’s sphere of influence, which is what the tablet should ideally represent. Another option is to use the Tarot cards shown in the first table corresponding to the planets as tablets, so long as you don’t mind their small size relative to a full sheet of paper.

For straightforward evocation, the sigil may be drawn onto a smaller piece of paper and positioned on the tablet so that it is visible to the magician in some fashion. There are many different ways that this can be done, suited to your own particular style of working. The sigil that should be used for this purpose is for the “terminal” entity that you will be summoning. So even though you need to summon the Intelligence in order to control the Spirit you just would want the sigil of the Spirit drawn out if it is to the Spirit that you will be delivering your charge. If you are summoning the Intelligence on its own you would use the sigil of the Intelligence. To summon the Angel you don’t need any sigil besides the character of the planet.

The Conjuration: Conjurations can be found in many forms throughout the Renaissance tradition of grimoire magick, which is the milieu out of which the names and sigils of the Intelligences and Spirits arose. Some magicians delight in conjurations that are both elaborate and poetic, whereas others prefer a simpler and more direct approach. I tend to be of the latter school, and thus the conjurations I use are shorter and more to the point than those of many ceremonialists.

There are two key factors that you need to consider when constructing a basic conjuration. The first is the spiritual hierarchy to which the Angel, Intelligence, or Spirit belongs. According to the framework of Hermetic Qabalah the hierarchy is fourfold, representing the four Qabalistic worlds.

  1. The Godname is attributed to the archetypal world of Atziluth and rules the Angel.
  2. The Angel is attributed to the creative world of Briah and rules the Intelligence.
  3. The Intelligence is attributed to the formative world of Yetzirah and rules the Spirit.
  4. The Spirit is attributed to the material world of Assiah.
In our original planetary ritual series we used four conjurations that navigated the entire hierarchy to get down to the Spirit, but this is not strictly necessary. You should have already tuned your ritual space to the appropriate Godname with the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram, so there’s no need to call upon the Godname again except as a controlling name for summoning the Angel. Conjuring the Intelligence is similar, in that the Angel name is used as a controlling name for the Intelligence but not actually summoned. The Spirit is a special case in that the conjuration must be twofold. First, the Intelligence is summoned by the name of the Angel, and only once this is done is the Spirit summoned by the name of the Intelligence.

The following examples should clarify these instructions. The words in all capitals should be vibrated or intoned to the best of your ability:

The Angel of Jupiter, Sachiel

Oh glorious and mighty SACHIEL, you who command and rule over the intelligences and spirits of TZEDEQ, behold me, and in the name of the same your God, the expansive and merciful EL, attend and appear before me now.

The Intelligence of Jupiter, Jophiel

Oh glorious JOPHIEL, brilliant intelligence of TZEDEQ, behold me, and in the name of SACHIEL attend and appear before me now.

The Spirit of Jupiter, Hismael

Oh glorious JOPHIEL, brilliant intelligence of TZEDEQ, behold me, and in the name of SACHIEL I summon you that I may call upon your spirit HISMAEL to attend and appear before me.

(Pause until the presence of Jophiel is perceived before continuing)

Oh mighty HISMAEL, strong spirit of TZEDEQ, behold me, and in the name of JOPHIEL attend and appear before me now.

Once the conjuration is complete you and any other magicians with whom you are working begin to chant the name of the Angel, Intelligence, or Spirit until the entity is perceived upon the altar, generally above the tablet. Chanting in this manner is not included in any of the old grimoires, but my working group has found it to be a very effective method. Often we have sensed physical cold spots over our tablets that develop along with the chant, and on a number of occasions we have measured tangible electromagnetic fields with an EMF meter during our latest series of operations.

It is important to note that relatively minor physical effects like these are all that you are likely to experience in terms of material phenomena. Several recent authors on grimoire magick, most notably Joseph Lisiewski in Ceremonial Magick and the Power of Evocation claim that unless you get things like poltergeist phenomena in the temple the evocation is a failure and must be abandoned. This idea bears little resemblance to my experience over the years with this style of magick. There have been cases in which I sensed little in the temple besides a vague presence and my charge was accomplished perfectly, and similarly there have been cases in which I sensed a clear physical manifestation and my charge was not accomplished. So far there seems to be little correlation between the phenomena occurring in the temple during an operation and whether or not that operation succeeds, regardless of what traditional grimoire practitioners insist. Success – the accomplishment of your charge – is your proof, parlor tricks are not.

The Charge: Once the entity you are summoning has appeared the next step is to deliver your charge. This simply means the task you want the entity to accomplish, the questions you want it to answer, or the state of consciousness that you want it to induce. These should be stated in a simple, literal, and to the point manner. An important principle to keep in mind is that magick will always follow the path of least macrocosmic resistance. This means that (1) the evoked entity will tend to follow the literal meaning of your statement and (2) that you should never specify a particular means by which your charge must come to pass unless that means is absolutely essential to the function of the spell.

The first point there is likely the origin of old stories about hostile evoked entities twisting the wording of magicians’ charges. In my experience this has little to do with hostility and much more to do with the entity trying to find a way to fulfill the charge within the range of probability that it can influence. If you give the spirit a charge like “bring me a car by this time tomorrow” that’s a very unlikely event, at least if you mean a car that you can drive around and which you will be able to keep. So the spirit might arrange for a thief to abandon a stolen car in front of your house after a joyride, arrange for someone to give you a broken-down car that would need to be repaired, or even arrange for a small child to lose a toy car someplace on your property for you to find. In all these cases the entity brought you a car – just not the sort of car you wanted. So when it comes to defining what you want the spell to do you need to be very specific.

At the same time, the second point means that you should be as deliberately vague as you can be about how you want the spell to come to pass. If you charge the spirit with bringing you a sum of money, for example, you don’t want to specify “by winning the lottery” or “as a gift from so-and-so” because defining the means in that manner makes the outcome much more unlikely. Most people have more ways available to them than they generally consider for money to come into their lives, especially when struggling with finances that seem dire. If you simply charge the spirit to bring you the sum of money all possible paths by which the money could come will be open. Limiting certain particular means may be practical, such as for example adding the caveat that the spirit should not damage your property in such a way that you will get the money through an insurance settlement and have to pay it right back out again, but you want to do this sparingly so that as many paths can be open as possible.

One thing I always avoid in my charges is the dubious notion of “harming none.” As anyone who has ever debated the Wiccan Rede knows this is a very slippery term. Its vague definition can derail an otherwise decent charge very quickly. The problem is this: let’s say that you cast a spell to bring you a sum of money and happen to be invested in a particular stock. One of the ways by which the money could manifest would be for the stock price to rise high enough for you to sell it and make a profit of the amount you want. The trouble is that if you put into the charge something like “causing no harm to anyone else” you’ll be cutting off that pathway. The stock market doesn’t create very much wealth and for the most part just moves it around. Whenever you make money on a stock a substantial portion of it comes at the expense of other investors. Even though most of these are huge institutional funds that can easily absorb such losses, this could still be seen as constituting “harm.” Similarly, let’s say you cast a spell to influence the numbers in a lottery drawing. If you win because of your spell, it likely means that the person who would have won if you hadn’t cast the spell will not. That could still be seen as constituting “harm.”

I prefer more descriptive terms such as “damage” and “injury,” such that my “harm none” phrase would be something more like “without damage to my property or injury to any person.” Also, before you jump to the conclusion that you should add in there something about preventing damage to the property of any other person think through what you’re doing very carefully. All sorts of things can affect the property of others that you do not usually consider. Let’s say that you’ve reduced the price of your house and it’s still not selling, so you do a spell that gets it sold. If the house sells for less than the average appraisal price on your block it means that your neighbors will see their property values drop. In effect, that’s “damage” to their property in a literal sense, but it is also in no way your responsibility nor should it be.

Obviously these sorts of phrases are irrelevant if you’re talking about casting a curse, since the very intent of such a spell is to cause damage and/or injury. The idea of “harming” no one besides the target of the spell should also be avoided, again because of its vagueness. It should be clear that people have interconnected social relationships such that causing injury to a particular person “harms” their friends and family members, even though this harm is indirect and thus of a much lesser degree. For example, if you cast a curse on someone and they break their arm their family members will likely be inconvenienced because your target will be unable to help with housework for some time while the arm heals and will probably have to pay out medical bills. Also, depending on your target’s job his or her co-workers may very well be inconvenienced in a similar manner by this loss of function.

The concept of magical ethics is strongly related to the nature of the charge. Some authors have spent a great deal of time discussing this subject, but it actually is quite simple. Anything that is ethical using mundane methods is similarly ethical using magical methods. There is no difference from a philosophical perspective. Some people like to throw around the idea that, for example, using magick to get ahead at your job is “cheating,” but the sentiment behind this statement is just as ridiculous as making the same claim regarding the use of your skills and intelligence. Similarly, if you find yourself in a situation in which you feel it would be ethical for you to assault someone it is likely just as ethical for you to curse them. But it is important to understand that these considerations are left up to the magician as a sovereign individual.

The idea of the “Threefold Law” is irrelevant to magical ethics since it is a mere superstition rather than a technical principle. Magical spells are not going to rebound on you unless you cast them spectacularly badly, and even then the rebound won’t be “threefold.” A similar point can be made for the Western New Age idea of “Karma” which in fact bears little resemblance to the concept of the same name originally appropriated from Buddhism and Hinduism. There is no force in the universe that is going to punish you for acting unethically, and similarly no force that will reward you for acting ethically. Even if this were so, an ethic based on fear is no different than that of Christian groups who preach that you need to be a nice person because otherwise God will torture you for eternity. For a choice to be meaningful it must be made on its own merits, not under any form of duress. But none of these means that you should act without considering the ethical consequences of your spells – in fact, as the decisions are wholly up to you it seems to me that you should consider them all the more carefully.

Time limits should also be a part of every charge. The reason this is important is that if no time limit is given the entity can keep trying to shift probability in accordance with your charge forever. Angels, Intelligences, and Spirits are all immortal. The problem with doing this is that whenever an entity is working on your behalf there is a noticeable reduction in the amount of power you have available for other operations. A magical effect is not accomplished only by an entity but rather arises from the relationship between the entity and yourself. If you get into the habit of sending spells out without time limits the various charges that you have running can in effect drain your magical power down to nothing long after the charges themselves become irrelevant. Charges to bring you something within, for example, a week will always terminate at the end of that week whether or not the entity called upon to accomplish it was successful in doing so or not. Otherwise your charge will only terminate once the intent is accomplished, which could take a very long time.

The License to Depart: Once you have delivered the charge the next step of the ritual is to license the Angel, Intelligence, or Spirit to depart from the temple and go about their business, whether this consists of simply returning to the place from whence they came or setting your will in motion. You dismiss the entity using the same controlling name as in the Conjuration, and it can be more or less wordy as you choose. This example is for Sachiel, the Angel of Jupiter, whose controlling name is the Godname, El.

O thou SACHIEL, praise and honor be unto thee for the splendor of thine office and the majesty of thy being. And the blessing of thy God, the expansive and merciful EL. Because thou hast diligently answered unto our demands, and hast been very ready and willing to come at our call, we do here license thee to depart unto thy proper place; without causing harm or danger unto man or beast. Depart, then, I say, and be thou very ready to come at our call, being duly exorcised and conjured by these sacred rites of magick. AMEN.

Note that “harm” is used here in the License to Depart whereas I recommended against making it part of the Charge. The difference is that the License only applies to the moment during which the entity is vacating the temple and has no bearing on the Charge itself.

Closing the Temple:Once the entity has been given the License to Depart a planetary rituals should be closed with either the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram or with the Qabalistic Cross depending upon the nature of the Charge. For operations that are concluded as soon as the temple is closed the full banishing pentagram ritual is most appropriate. For operations that are expected to continue for some interval of time following the closing of the temple the Qabalistic Cross on its own is most appropriate. There is a bit of a gray area here, as an operation that will occur solely in the macrocosmic realm can also be closed with the banishing pentagram ritual, but most of the time when you’re performing a ritual for a specific practical purpose the desired outcome has at least a few microcosmic components.

Some sources claim that you need to “undo” your entire conjuring procedure by performing the Greater Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram for the planet and then the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Hexagram before wrapping up with the banishing pentagram ritual, but I recommend strongly against using this procedure. Since the hexagram represents the macrocosm, using banishing hexagrams in the context of an operation that you expect to continue running after you close the temple completely defeats the purpose of performing an operation in the first place. The problem is that if you banish the macrocosmic forces associated with the rite you are also shutting down whatever macrocosmic forces you set in motion with the charge.

The use of the LBRP/LBRH to open and close rituals, as taught by Regardie and passed on by popularizers like Kraig, is likely one reason that some magicians who go back to the old grimoires seem to get better results by following those procedures rather than what they have been told the Golden Dawn forms should be. The “banish-banish,” or as I call it the Banishing Field, shuts down all ongoing magical effects in both the microcosmic and macrocosmic realms. In short, if you do a spell that way it runs for the moment between the delivery of the Charge and the closing of the rite. It should be clear that this is profoundly suboptimal. I have experimentally determined that using the Operant Field to open and the LBRP or Qabalistic Cross on its own to close results in much more effective practical workings that if anything can exceed the probability shifts produced by the old grimoire formulas without more modern techniques or methods.

Conclusion: The power of planetary magick is substantial, but despite this many magicians overlook it as part of their regular practice. It is my hope that this presentation will prompt more of you to do so, whether you decide to use it for practical ends, enhanced realization, or both. I believe that this highly effective system constitutes an important component of both spiritual development and material success for anyone working with the Hermetic tradition and those related to it, and I strongly recommend it to all such practitioners on that basis.

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FakeDickCheney said...

Superb article. Well done.

Unknown said...

This is awesomely easy to read and understand; I'm sure I'll be sharing links to this article with others in the future.

Scott Stenwick said...

Thanks! I'm glad you like it and found it useful. Most of this information is available online, but I've yet to come across anywhere that has it all in one place.

Chef Hooman said...

About Chronos XP: Have you ever found them to be wrong in their calculations? I think their Math is wrong. On April 26th 2012, if you take the number of hours from sunrise to sunset you get (0616 - 1856) 13.66. If you divide that number by 12 you get 1.38. If you start the daylight hour at 0616 (which is in decimal points is about 6.25) and you add 1.38 to it the next planetary hour (Mars) should begin approximately 0740, but you have it beginning at 0725. I don't think you're right about this.

Scott Stenwick said...

@Dave: Where are your sunrise and sunset times coming from? In Minneapolis, sunrise today was at 6:09 AM and sunset will be at 8:13 PM according to this site:

Chronos XP has sunset at 8:10 so it's slightly off, but only by a couple of minutes divided up over the whole day. So let's see - 20:13 - 6:09 = 14:04. That's 844 minutes. Dividing by 12 gives you 70 and 1/3 minutes, which is 1:10:20. So if the first hour starts at 6:09 AM, the next will start 20 seconds after 7:19 AM. That's what Chronos XP shows.

Technically with the extra 20 seconds you should add a minute for every three hours, and Chronos XP only adds one when going from the sixth to the seventh hour. That's probably because its sunset time is three minutes off. Still, the program is only going to be off by a minute or two at most, which works fine as long as you don't cut your timing really close.

siriusvoid said...

I'm new to this so please understand and try to forgive my ignorance.
Just curious.. Why isn't the yearly astrological calendar modeled/mirrored here? i.e. Why aren't the Day/Hour governances employed exactly as seen with Planetary Domiciles/Rulerships? Also, forgive my presumption, but why wouldn't Solomon et al have devised a system along lines that would acknowledge the 'waning and waxing' inward turning, and outward trending energetic qualities of these 7 planetary energies? Do not the 'evening and morning' constitute our unified day?... Rather than completely separating the 'by day' from 'by night',(Seems so harsh).. Also, why wouldn't 'Severity', for instance, be viewed simply as 'more severe', or 'less merciful'?... Or even both.. i.e. 'less merciful and more severe'?... Not entirely opposed to, but actually complimentary to the 'Mercy' aspect.. which could, in contradistinction be viewed as 'less severe'/'more merciful', so to speak?.. Why is the middle pillar ostracized so, and kept seemingly isolated... held apart from the outer branches like that? Here comes my rant... Is GOD/Nature an accommodating GOD/Nature? Or is GOD/Nature an extremist?
Just curious as some of these things just make precious little sense to me.

Scott Stenwick said...

In fact, I happen to be of the opinion that the day/hour system used in these operations may be a remnant of an older, more complex system. In traditional astrology, there is a calculation used for al-Mubtazz, which means "the victor" in Arabic. You may also see it anglicized as "almutens" in some sources.

This is a method attributed to Ibn Ezra for calculating the strongest planet at any particular moment. It takes into account day and hour, but also the sign of the Sun, sign of the Moon, part of fortune, prenatal lunation, house placement, and so forth. Often al-Mubtazz will correspond to the planetary day and hour, but not always.

So my working hypothesis is that to get the best results for a planetary operation, you should perform it at a time when the planet you are working with is al-Mubtazz. This will probably be during the day and hour of the planet because of how they are weighted, but you also ideally want to find a time where many of the other factors are aligned as well.

As an example of this, some of the grimoires talk about only working during a waxing moon. In the al-Mubtazz calculation, when the moon is waxing the sign of the sun and the prenatal lunation sign match. If you work just after a new moon, the sign of the moon matches as well. So if you combine that with the day and hour, and pick an hour with the right house placements, you can practically guarantee that al-Mubtazz will be the planet ruling the sign of the sun.

I learned this method from Benjamin Dykes, who has published it in at least one of his books on traditional astrology, which you can find at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers. Unfortunately I learned it at an in-person seminar, so I can't tell you which book it's in. But it's quite interesting to learn how to do the calculation and see how the times at which you perform rituals works out.

As far as the nature of God goes, at the ultimate level "God" includes everything. Thus, the nature of God includes both severity and mercy. I would say that God is not an "extremist" since the inclusion of all principles tends towards balance, but I wouldn't necessarily say that God is exactly "accommodating" either. God just is.

Dobromir said...

Hi Scott!

Thank you for the wonderful read. I have very limited knowledge of ritual magic, I have only ever done the Small Banishing Pentagram Ritual and a few Tarot divinations with Golden Dawn's deck. I am incredibly drawn to planetary magick and just working with planetary energies, but I was wondering if you could just answer a few questions.

When summoning the character or angel of the planet, you said you used the sigils you depicted. But then again, you said we could also use Golden Dawn's Tarot cards as foci. And then when I looked into Denning's "Planetary Magick", she has given a completely different sigil for the planetary angels. Which would you recommend the most? Stylistically, Denning's angelic sigils go hand in hand with the aesthetics and mysticism of the planetary intelligence and spirit, but I am more drawn to the square-like sigils of the planetary characters you depicted. Which do you think would suit best?

Also, is it ok to use the planetary angels and intelligences outside of ritual work. I have a habit of "praying" to a planet each respective day of the week using some gnostic christian prayer books that directly link bible texts with the planets. I was wondering if you think it's appropriate to simply visualize the planet's presence and intone the names of the angel and intelligence, simply for the sake of intaking of the planet's energy and recharging my batteries, so to speak. I pray and meditate more often than I do ritual work, so I was wondering if I could use the occult symbolism outside of strict ritual work, or it's not recommended? I just focus on color meditation combined with planetary symbology to "feel" the vibration of the planet and meditate on its meaning in life. I'm not too big on summoning the actual spirit yet, I'm a bit scared.

Lastly, which planet do you think represents pure compassion, and more specifically a mother's kindness/compassion/love? I like to pray to Mary, and the motherly aspect of the Divine as a whole, but since I want to focus more on planetary meditations I'm not sure which planet actually fills the "Mother Mary" role. Jupiter seems to be more of a general benevolence and mercy, whereas Venus I have always imagined governs the love between lovers and cordial relations between friends, but not actual mother-child love and motherly love. So far I have settled on the Moon, given she encompasses the entirety of the feminine, from the Maiden to the Mother to the Crone. Is that appoach correct? In any occult text I read the Moon is always described as being so mystical and the foundation of ethereal reality, but isn't she also ultimately a planet of emotion and nurturing, representing our inner mother and child? So if I'm trying to feel the compassion of the great Mother, is the Moon the right planet of choice?

Sorry for the many questions, but you seem to know what you're talking about and I really want to have a right approach when it comes to summoning and meditating on planetary energies. Of all occult methodologies, the planetary approach has always drawn me the most.

Scott Stenwick said...

Thanks! I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the article.

For my personal planetary work I have colored tablets that I made for each planet, depicting the character and sigils of the intelligence and spirit along with the angel names and so forth. You could certainly use the Tarot cards corresponding to the planets in a similar capacity.

I use the Agrippa sigils in this article for the intelligence and spirit. I'm not sure which sigils you are talking about from Denning, but keep in mind that the planetary angel will have a different sigil from the intelligence and spirit. They are distinct entities. Denning may be doing something like deriving the angel's sigil from the rose cross emblem, which is also done in the Golden Dawn. But I prefer working off those derived from the squares.

It's totally fine to visualize the angels and intelligences outside of ritual work, and/or acknowledge them in the context of a prayer. This is especially true once you've conjured them a few times - the entities will "get to know you" and often you can contact them just by clearing your mind and focusing your attention on them. There's really nothing to be scared of in this sort of work as the dangers of magick have been massively exaggerated by television and movies. Usually if you try and conjure a spirit and you do something wrong, the only result is that nothing happens.

If you look at the Tarot the moon represents The Priestess, so that would seem like a solid association to me. The Priestess very clearly embodies the divine feminine. I grew up Protestant so I'm not very familiar with the state of consciousness you're going for with prayers to Mary, but what you're explaining here sounds like it makes sense.

Dobromir said...

Hey, thanks for the answer Scott!

I think Denning's angelic sigil is derived from the planetary squares, but I need to check. My only reservation towards the planetary seals is that in some websites I read they are used more to block planetary energy instead of summon it. Just visually I am more drawn to these seals/character sigils. I suppose I should use them then? Should I try to create colored plates/placards for them or just have them on paper and then visualize them?

Good to hear, I definitely like to connect the one God with one of his seven energies. It just gives me more focus and lets me contemplate on one aspect at a time. I might try spirit summoning, but as you said usually spirits are summoned for a practical magickal purpose and I haven't really had the urge or need to use such energies so far. I need to be better acquainted with the practical qualities of each planet so I know which one to summon. Which book, by the way, do you refer to when you describe the Golden Dawn ritual?

I am Orthodox, but my connection with Mary is more personal than religious. When I think of the infinite mercy of God, and the intimate kind of mercy he feels for each one of us, I just immediately think "Cosmic Mother". I know in Mystic Qaballah Saturn, as associated with Binah, is technically the Cosmic Mother, but the saturnian energies are too cold for me. Venus seems a bit too romantically-inclined, while Jupite concerned with justice and righthood. Do you think using the Lunar Seal in your article for meditation or prayer would suffice to connect to the divine femininity of the Moon? To feel the caress of the great mother and ask for compassion? Or maybe a general meditation on Jupiter would suffice? Sorry, I'm trying to sort my planetary symbolism. The moon as described in many occult texts seems a bit aloof and distant, so this is why I'm getting confused where the cosmis mother archetype lies between the 7 luminaries.

Thanks for the attention!

Scott Stenwick said...

There are also multiple ways to draw squares for the various numbers, so Denning might be using a different version that the one that appears in Agrippa. If you do a search for "magic squares" in the context of mathematics, you can see all the different possibilities. I don't necessarily see anything "special" about the Agrippa versions - the point is that tracing on the square is deterministic way to create a sigil for an entity within the mathematical "realm" defined by the number itself.

I've never seen anybody contend that the planetary seals block energy. In my experience the seals embody the nature of the planet, so it seems kind of silly to me to propose that they would block the very planet that they represent. Here's Agrippa:

"All Stars have their peculiar natures, properties, and conditions, the Seals and Characters whereof they produce, through their rays, even in these inferior things, viz., in elements, in stones, in plants, in animals, and their members; whence every natural thing receives, from a harmonious disposition and from its star shining upon it, some particular Seal, or character, stamped upon it; which Seal of character is the significator of that star, or harmonious disposition, containing in it a peculiar Virtue, differing from other virtues of the same matter, both generically, specifically, and numerically."

In other words, it represents the qualities signified by the planet. Suggesting that it blocks those qualities is completely backwards, and I have no idea what tradition that comes from. Maybe it has to do with somebody getting confused by the modern connotation of "seal," but still, I really don't see how anyone who works with planetary magick could come to that conclusion.

Do you mean the rose cross sigil creation method by "Golden Dawn ritual?" I know that it's in Regardie's The Golden Dawn and a number of other sources. You take the Hebrew spelling of the name and map it onto figure with three concentric circles. The innermost is divided among the three mother letters, the middle is divided among the seven double letters, and the outermost is divided among the twelve single letters. There's even software that can create these sorts of sigils for you:

Binah is really only the "cosmic mother" in the most mystical sense, as it lies beyond the abyss in the supernals. The overall divine feminine actually partakes of multiple planets. Jupiter as Chesed is attributed to the virtue of compassion, but not necessarily motherhood, and Venus is more lover than mother. So I think the moon is probably what you're looking for. I would think that a meditation on the lunar seal would be an excellent way for you to connect with that energy.

Dobromir said...

Hey, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer all of my questions Scott! Much appreciated :)

Yup, I think I will just use the planetary seals for general meditation and when I need to summon the angel of the planet. By the way, there are two versions of Saturn's seal. One is more symmetrical, with little circles on six ends, the other is the one you presented, with two circles missing on the right side of the seal. Which one is more "correct", or it doesn't matter? I was just browsing some planetary seals.

I was actually referring to the hexagram ritual you use for summoning the planetary energies.

Yup, I think the Moon will suffice :) Thanks a lot!

Scott Stenwick said...

Different sources show slight variations in the planetary seals. Since it's not completely clear what the rules are for including the circles at the points, it's hard to say what the "most correct" version is. Tyson wrote in his edition of Agrippa that he believes they simply perform a decorative function and have no occult significance. I'm not sure if I agree 100%, but I have used versions of the seals with the small circles in different places and it didn't seem to affect my results.

Oh, the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram. The version that I use is from Aleister Crowley's Liber O, which you can find here:

The procedure is pretty straightforward. Starting in the east, trace the hexagram of the planet in the proper color which vibrating ARARITA, and then trace the symbol of the planet in the center in the color complementary to the hexagram while vibrating the godname associated with the planet. Do this to all four quarters, and then return to the east.

zevrem said...

Why shouldn't you use seals of spirit or intelligence?

Scott Stenwick said...

I do use the planetary seals when conjuring the intelligence and spirit. But I generally use them in conjunction with the sigils of the intelligences and spirits rather than on their own.

You certainly can just use the seal and perform the conjuration, and you can still get the intelligence and spirit to show up. But in my experience it works better and more reliably if you include the specific sigil of the entity you are conjuring.

Anonymous said...

Symbols have played a key role in describing many of the components in Alchemy: solutions, solids & gases, along with the seven ruling planets and noble metals. By using geometry we have created new calendar and crystal symbols based on the relationship that exist between mathematics and the ruling planets. Read more about it on my blog.

Unknown said...

Where do Olympic Spirits come in and how do they differ from just the "Spirit" of a planet? Is this something that should be referenced or is it not relevant? (needed for a greater understanding of the hierarchy as a whole)

Unknown said...

Hi Scott, firstly thank you for writing and posting this blog. I have referenced it more times than I can count since I have begun working with Planetary Magick. Reading through the comments, I am also curious about how the Olympic Spirits may or may not tie in with the Planetary paradigm in a practical magick setting. Would appreciate it to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Anonymous said...


I have 2 questions relating the seals of the Intelligence/s of the Moon and the Spirit/s of Venus.

Why does the Moon have an Intelligence plus an Intelligences of Intelligence and Venus a Spirit and a Spirit of Spirits and the other planets don't?

How does one use these particularities in ritual work?

Awaiting your answers.

Thank you for your wonderful article!


Scott Stenwick said...

@Christopher: As I see it the Olympic planetary spirits are a collection of planetary entities distinct from the intelligences and spirits found in Agrippa's Three Books, but the same methods I discuss here should work for them as well. You would use the sigil for the Olympic spirit rather than the ones from Agrippa, and conjure the spirit by the godname. That should work just fine. However, I probably wouldn't try to mix the two systems together unless you are very familiar with the spirits in question and know that they get along. Just because two spirits are attributed to the same planet doesn't mean they're necessarily compatible in a ritual context.

@Dacia: That's a good question. It's not clear to me what the origin is for the "spirit of spirits" and "intelligence of intelligence" and I have never seen a good academic treatment on why they wind up associated with Venus and the Moon. It's not clear what Agrippa's original source was, which makes it hard to tease out those distinctions.

One possible idea: The Moon is closest of the ancient planets to Earth, followed by Venus. Mercury comes next in the Sephiroth order that is based on apparent astrological motion because it moves faster than Venus, but more often than not it's further away. So maybe that's why those two are singled out.

In a ritual context, you can use the sigils for the intelligence of intelligences or spirit of spirits on a talisman and work through the hierarchy in a slightly modified order. For the spirit of spirit, use Godname -> Angel -> Intelligence -> Spirit -> Spirit of Spirits. For the intelligence of intelligences, use Godname -> Angel -> Intelligence -> Intelligence of Intelligences.

In my experience the intelligence of intelligences behaves pretty much like an intelligence and the spirit of spirits behaves pretty much like a spirit. It's hard to say what the precise distinctions between them and the regular spirits and intelligences might be.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your answer! You were the first magick practitioner that could answer these questions for me without telling me that my sources were off regarding the subject, or telling me to find Agrippa's 3 books and read them. I've read Agrippa's books and I've found this information in Book 2, but I've found no further explanation on the matter there. My sources forwarded this information from Agrippa's books also and thus my questions arose :) I'm glad I've worked that out with your help.

Yet another question rises. This time it's out of personal curiosity. I've noticed that the Spirit of Spirits/Intelligence of Intelligences has a longer name. Does that mean that they are composed of the names of 2 angels, or is the angel's name so long? :P

Oh and regarding the Olympic Spirits. I've read a .pdf transcribed version of the original text translated into 17th century English by Robert Turner (the Shakespearian kind of English). There it states, if I understood well, that the 7 Olympic Spirits are the 7 rays in which the Creator divided Oneself to create. By the Creator I'm guessing Kether (EHEIEH) as there is no mention of the Supreme Creator (in my mind) that resides in the uncreated realm of Ain-Ain Sof-Ain Sof Aur. So basically from my perspective the 7 Olympic Spirits are a level above the 7 planetary spheres, for they are the 7 major archetypes for all the gods of this world, including the greco-roman planetary gods. The text implies that the experience of working with these spirits is more mystical than magickal, nevertheless the results would be manifested in a magical manner. So in my perspective the action of invoking such spirits would be more in realm of intense active-meditation-prayer type of thing, than the normal conjurations found in the grimoires, both for "good" and "evil" spirits. Anyways, this is what my active-meditation +intuition + feelings from beyond told me about the Olympic Spirits, for I have yet to work with them since I feel that the time hasn't come for me to do so.

Thank you again for your quick and to the point answer and I hope that this chat would turn up to be a fruitful one for all sides involved in it and even for those that don't take part in it.

Blessed be!

Scott Stenwick said...

You are very welcome. I try to be to the point. A lot of the time, it seems like some of the so-called experts out there just brush off questions that they can't answer, and I hate that so I don't do it.

As far as the longer names go, it is true that the -im ending implies a plural. So I think it would be reasonable to operate under the assumption that the intelligence of intelligences and spirit of spirits refers to a group of entities rather than an individual, kind of like choirs of angels and so forth.

Anonymous said...

That is what my intuition also told me but I had to double check because I don't consider myself an expert in these things. Glad I got that out of the way :)

It seems my question faucet just turned on for I still have a few but I'll try not to bother you so much. For now I have only 2 questions about the LHR.

1. I've noticed that the Analysis of the Key Word differs. Thelemapedia for example places the Virgo, Isis... I A O part at the begining and after that the practitioner will assume the 3 designated signs and only after that comes the L V X, LUX part. Other sources place the Virgo, Isis... I A O part after the L V X, LUX part. I'm thinking it differs because of the personal feelings regarding the ritual of different practitioners, or that different magick systems assume a slight different order to this part of the ritual to differentiate themselves from other magick systems. Furthermore, I've noticed that some describe the ritual and insert Enochian Magick terms in it (EXARP, HCOMA, NANTA, BITOM). I know the meaning of those terms and the reason they are used in Enochian Magick and I suspect that the ones who use these terms in this ritual want to seek help from those entities to reinforce their actions. But I think that all these ways are just fine and have the same effect. Is my assumption correct?

2. Can the LHR be used to invoke a planetary force with results? I just want to invoke it in my Microcosm and use it to balance some aspects of my personality and mind in general. For example I'm in the middle of my Saturn return and Saturn has been kind to me for now and has helped me gain much intel and understanding in my practices so far. But my natal Sun is in opposition with my natal Saturn, so I feel I need to make peace between these 2 energies once and for all. I've yet to reach the stage where I can practice the GHR/SHR, for I feel there are more things to be studied, but I guess for my intentions I could use the LHR. Any thoughts?

Please excuse the way in which I'm expressing my ideas, for I'm not a native English speaker.

Scott Stenwick said...

(1) There are a lot of different ways to do the Keyword Analysis, and for the most part I think practitioners just go with what works the best for them. Personally I do not mix any Enochian material with any part of the Keyword Analysis, because the LRH is not really an Enochian ritual. If I want something Enochian, I'll use my fully Enochian pentagram and hexagram rituals that I include in my books.

(2) I wouldn't use the LRH at all if I wanted to invoke a planet microcosmically. I would use the Lesser Pentagram instead, followed by the Greater Hexagram with no Lesser Hexagram in between. The Lesser rituals are used to tune the scope of your operation - if you use the invoking Lesser Pentagram, that's microcosmic. If you use the invoking Lesser Hexagram, that's macrocosmic.

At least, that's how I do it - but you probably also will find a number of folks out there who disagree with my interpretations.

Anonymous said...

Well that makes sense :)

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Oh I almost forgot: do you know anything about The Vessel of Hermes? What it is? What it does? And so on...

I know it's something to do with the inner alchemy but I can't quite put my finger on it. I've never heard of it until a practitioner asked my if I have it, with the clear intent of showing off, that he had better knowledge in the occult than me. SMH! :)

And upon reaserching the subject I found all sorts of forum chats with posts like "be careful not to spill The Vessel of Hermes!" and stuff like that.

Scott Stenwick said...

According to alchemical lore, the Vessel of Hermes is supposed to be the vessel in which the fixed and volatile components of the operation are combined.

In the context of inner alchemy, I expect that it could refer to the base of the spine that is supposed to be the seat of kundalini, or the lower dantian where you gather heaven and earth qi in Qigong. According to that tradition, it's located just below the navel.

It's not a term that I generally use, and it is not common among the occultists I know. Asking if you "have it," in the context of inner alchemy, really doesn't make much sense. If it's part of the subtle body, everybody has one.

Anonymous said...

Yes you are right. The question I was asked was foolish nonetheless :))

I should have replied that I have it and I keep it in my pocket :))

At first I was thinking about the Anathor, but I realized that it was just a silly question to brag about one's occult knowledge.


Anonymous said...

Hmm this might seem out of the blue but would you consider joining a FB group that focuses on teaching Ceremonial Magick? I'm thinking of creating one because I haven't found one yet and all the occult groups I've been into are a mixture of various practices, none of which are ordered in a fashion that would help one learn a certain practice, whether it's witchcraft or CM, from basics to more advanced.

I would be the first to be interested in such lessons, even though I practice CM for some time now and feel like I'm a bit ahead of beginners.

Scott Stenwick said...

Sure. If you decide to create one, you can go ahead and add me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for willing to cooperate in this project. The idea popped into my head one day while doing my practices and I have received strong signals that it could work for the benefit of all that will join it.

I still need to figure out the rules and policies of the group so that it will be clear to all what its purpose will be and after that I will contact you on FB, for I have found your profile.

Many thanks and blessings!

Unknown said...

Hey Scott! I didn't know exactly WHERE to leave this question, but here seems appropiate:

When you work with Talismans, and in particular, planetary talismans in which you draw a certain spirit and intelligence towards that talisman with a particular intent... Once that intent has been fullfilled, how do you dispose of said Talisman?

The reason I ask this, is because a fellow GD magician has always instructed me that if the talisman only involves archangel and angelic choir and not spirit or intelligence, then it was fine to just burn it or bury it or whatever elemental destruction, but he says that if you involve a spirit and intelligence, then the talisman has to be discharged in a ritualistic fashion by doing everything you did to charge it, except instead of invoking that particular spirit, you thank it and give it a license to depart and then banish with corresponding hexagrams, and THEN you'd destroy the talisman.

While I find it somewhat logical, I also find it somewhat cumbersome. Also, the time I discharged a Netzach talisman that way... Well, let's just say a dry spell took effect. I'm never, EVER, banishing venus ever again! ;P

So, I was just curious on what was your methodology.

Many thanks in advance.

Scott Stenwick said...

Happy to help!

In my experience, once a talisman has accomplished your intent, it is just an inert piece of whatever the object is made of. You can dispose of it however you like. For a paper talisman, I just cut it into a couple of pieces and throw it away. Once the talisman is broken, so is any residual magick. If you want to be extra careful you can dip the pieces in salt water or something, though I rarely bother.

I think a spirit is a spirit, so anything that would be true of an intelligence or spirit would also be true of an angel or archangel. Maybe the angel choir wouldn't quite be the same because they are more abstracted, but the the others are all individuals. When I create a talisman, part of my charge to the spirit is "anchor your power here, that you may accomplish this talisman's intent" or something like that. Then I give the license to depart. So in my methodology, that part is already done.

I think the Golden Dawn "undo everything" method is excessive and even potentially counterproductive. I don't know if you do computer programming, but I do, so let me give you a metaphor. Hopefully it won't sound too technical. In object oriented programming, you have the concept of a baseclass and an instance. The instance is actually what you use in your program flow, while the baseclass is like a template from which multiple instances can be created.

The basic program flow is that you create an instance from a baseclass, do what you need to do with the instance, and then dispose of it - or, let some sort of automatic "garbage collection" routine deal with it. The instance isn't the baseclass, just like the spirit you call isn't THE spirit. It's an instance or manifestation created by your interaction with the external spirit. The crucial bit is that disposing of the instance doesn't affect the baseclass in any way.

So hopefully that makes sense. I'm a professional programmer, and sometimes I use too much jargon even when I'm trying to be clear. But anyway...

I SUPPOSE, if what you do with a talisman is conjure the spirit and just bind it there, without closing the temple or anything, and only release it when your intent is accomplished, what your friend is describing might possibly make sense. Even so, I generally build up the energy I want and then disconnect from it using just the LBRP to close without actually banishing any of it, since I want it to work over time. I pretty much never "undo" at all, as you can see in the rituals that I publish here.

But I think my anchor method makes a lot more sense than that. The instance will bind to the talisman as long as you tell it to, and whatever you do with the talisman afterwards won't affect the external "baseclass" spirit.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the answer. I'm an acoustics engineer so I understand what you said without reaaaaaally understanding the jargon haha but it's a great explanation really and it does make a lot of sense that one would bind an 'impression' or 'photograph' of that spirit. And not really THE spirit. Otherwise.. If you have a talisman that goes on forever... Well, poor spirit haha

Many thanks for all the useful stuff you produce!

Pierre Alexander said...

This article is old but I hope you answer me. According to you we shouldn't perform any banishing ritual after working with forces that will keep acting once the ceremony is done. I have some Chaos Magick procedures acting in my life. So, if tomorrow I call the spirit of Mars using the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram I shouldn't perform the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram first, am I right?

Another hypothesis:

Imagine I don't have any spells acting in my life right now. If tomorrow I work with Mars in order to get something that will take a few days to be completed, on Saturday when I work with Moon for some other purposes I can't perform the LBRP because it could affect what Mars is doing in my life. That's it?

Since I have to work with three planets at the same time, I'm worried if it's fine to begin a ritual without the LBRP.

Scott Stenwick said...

According to my operant model, which seems to hold up to experimentation, the LBRP will not shut down ongoing spells because it is microcosmic. Presumably, your chaos magick operations were sent off into macrocosmic space when you "banished by laughter" or however you closed things down. The LBRP is more like that - it disconnects you from the operation, but doesn't stop it (or really, even slow it down).

So according to the operant model, in your situation I would perform the LBRP followed by the LIRH (banish micro, invoke macro) to create a magical field. Then, I would go ahead and use the GRH for Mars. You can use the same procedure for the other planets, too, without messing anything up - as long as you don't do an LBRH along with your LBRP. That, I have seen create problems with ongoing operations.

The big takeaway is that it's not "any banishing ritual" if you read deeper into the operant field stuff. It's the banishing field - the LBRP/LBRH - that causes problems. The direction at the end to close with just a Qabalistic Cross doesn't mean you can't do any subsequent banishing. You just don't want to do one for maybe an hour or so after your operation. Once the energy has time to stabilize, you generally aren't going to disrupt it with microcosmic ceremonial work.

At the same time, you can often begin a ritual without banishing first. It depends on your circumstances. I do a pentagram banishing (and hexagram invocation) as part of my daily magical practice, so I'm doing it every day anyway.

Pierre Alexander said...

Thanks for answering me. Actually, I had already read your operant field article and after reading the section comments there, I understood it better.

Fr. V.e.L.V.X said...

What an excellent article. For a talisman charging ritual, after performing a GIRH (invoking the planet attributed to the sephiroth), I invoke the God Name (of the sephiroth), the Archangel, and the angelic order. Would it make sense to you to incorporate planetary invocations in this context as well, or do you feel the these are better left as two discreet approaches? If you think it makes sense to do both, in what order would you integrate them?

Scott Stenwick said...

Personally, I keep them distinct and either use one or the other. At the same time, if you think experimentation is in order, go for it. I could perhaps see a case made for a ritual that combined an invocatory, insight-oriented component with a practical objective employing both, though I tend to think of the sephiroth as purely mystical and the paths as purely practical.

Entirely hypothetically, I think I do the sephiroth first, followed by the path. The reason for that is that the sephiroth represents the state corresponding to the planet, and the path represents the movement of its energy. So first you attune your talisman with your goal with the sephirothic version, and then you would bind the practical charge to that using the path method.

But keep in mind, I've never done this. Feel free to try it out and let me know how it works, if you're so inclined.

V.e.L.V.X. said...

Thanks for the clarification. Upon re-reading, I see that it was in fact, not actually clarification, but reiteration - I should have caught it the first time. If I'm understanding, then, the following very briefly summarizes the operation:

Operant Field (LBRP/LIRH)
Middle Pillar
GIRH (trace planetary hexagram vibrating ARARITA, trace planetary symbol in center vibrating GODNAME)
Conjure the ANGEL
Conjure the SPIRIT
Chant the name of the target entity until presence is perceived
Deliver the Charge
Give License to Depart
Close the Temple (LBRP or just QC, as appropriate)

And of course, once again, just as I thought I had a grip on things I encountered the following in Dion Fortunes's 'The Mystical Qabalah': "18. The Sephiroth should be interpreted macrocosmically, and the Paths microcosmically..." (Chapter XII).

Had I read that without encountering this article, I would have proceeded in the opposite direction and associated the sephiroth with practical magick and the paths with inner work. If I'm understanding your article, the correlations you give are:

Sephiroth, microcosm, mystical, and the Godname/Archangelic/Angelic assigned to the sephiroth - these for inner/self work (e.g., charge a talisman to increase intuition).
Path, macrocosmic, practical and planetary - these for practical work (e.g., charge a
talisman to find a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk).

Do I understand that you and Fortune are in agreement on the above with the exception of the characterization of the Sephiroth and Paths as microcosmic or macrocosmic (though I realize that's the central concept, not a small disagreement), a point on which you hold opposite opinions, or am I conflating concepts? P.S. I'm only halfway through 'The Mystical Qabalah' so it may be she straightens this confusion out for me by the end.

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, that is the correct sequence.

Actually, from what you're saying here, Fortune just muddles things up. I'm not a big fan of her work, actually - more of it than I would like is either confusing or full of superstitious conclusions that don't bear up in practice.

It is incorrect to say that practical magick is "macrocosmic" and mysticism is "microcosmic," and it is likewise incorrect to divide up the sephiroth and paths that way. Both visions and practical work can be pursued along both microcosmic and macrocosmic lines.

Example #1: a spell to get a job. The microcosmic version would work on your psychology, to change your body language, attitude, and so forth so that you are more likely to be hired. The macrocosmic version would bring more job opportunities your way, and make people respond more positively to your resume when they see it. The most effective method here is to work on both levels.

Example #2: a spell to obtain the mystical realization of, say, Yesod (the vision of the machinery of the universe). If you do it microcosmically, you get your own personal idea of what this vision should be. If you do it macrocosmically, you get the transpersonal vision - which is a fuller realization that includes the exterior world components of the vision. Doing both is the best option here, too.

So basically, microcosm and macrocosm play a role in every possible operation. The only real distinction is microcosm = psychology and macrocosm = exterior world. Does that make sense?

V.e.L.V.X. said...

It does make sense that there is both a microcosmic and macrocosmic element in any operation, but it's going to take some thought before I have a grip on how the various components fit together. As you may or may not recall in another of our discussions, I'm proceeding from Kraig's MM as my base of understanding and I've been using a modified version of “his” talisman ritual for both microcosmic and macrocosmic operations, briefly as follows:

Operant Field
Middle Pillar
Invoke ORDER OF ANGELS (e.g., Chasmalim for an operation in Chesed)
Invoke ARCHANGEL (Tzadkiel)
Invoke GODNAME (El)
Give Charge
Invoking Pentagram over talisman using Rainbow Wand, charge talisman with GODNAME
License to Depart
Closing of the Temple

My initial thought after reading this article was that Planetary Magick was more suitable for practical work, which in my mind meant external, making stuff happen – which I thought of as macrocosmic. I thought my existing ritual would remain suited for internal work, developing magickal abilities, mystical work, etc. - which I thought of as microcosmic. You make an important point though, that achieving these goals, whether internal or external, involves both microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects.

Do I understand that the ritual above in this comment, which invokes the Sephirothic hierarchy, you would find appropriate really only for mystical work? In which case that applies to the microcosmic aspect of your Example #2, but not to the microcosmic aspect of your Example #1? Or is the whole point of your article that you advocate for more work using Planetary Magick regardless, instead of using the Sephirothic heirarchy? In which case the ritual above in this comment is just a different approach and like Planetary Magick, is itself suitable for both types of work (though perhaps in your experience less effective).

If it's sinking in (not that that’s where the smart money is), then in your Example #1, if you were creating a talisman for that purpose, you would perform two discrete operations, a microcosmic ritual starting with establishing the Operant Field, through to Closing of the Temple, then a macrocosmic ritual from Operant Field to Closing of the Temple, correct? And in your answer to my first comments you've proposed how the two might be performed as a single ritual.

Unfortunately I don't have opportunity for loads of ritual experimentation to learn by trial and error, so my goal is to understand the standard approach used by competent practitioners, get used to that, and then make modifications down the road as necessary (for example, as you can see above, I’ve substituted the Operant Field for “Kraig’s” LBRP/LBRH). Thanks a million for your responses, they’re invaluable to me.

Scott Stenwick said...

The sephirothic approach you are using there does work for practical stuff, so it is not the case that I think it is suitable for mystical work only. I did the planetary work the way you are doing it there for years before figuring out the distinction between paths and sephiroth and got good results. The path approach just works a little better for practical operations, and the sephirothic version works a little better for mystical operations.

But there's a lot of overlap between path and sephira. You don't necessarily need to do two operations to get the microcosmic and macrocosmic components, or do one for the mystical side and another for the magical side. if that's what you're talking about. The higher angels are very intelligent spirits, and if you're working with Jupiter, as in your example, and whether you have a practical or mystical intent both Sachiel and Tzadkiel should be fully capable of getting it done.

The path/sephiroth distinction does work better in my experience, but not a lot better. So if you're comfortable with the way you're working now, I don't know that I would recommend changing it up unless you really feel like you're not getting the results that you should.

Anonymous said...

@A3M3th I would draw the specific hexagram over the talisman if I were to use the godname. Don't know why Kraig mentioned the invoking pentagram (of what? Earth?)

Anonymous said...

Sorry about this - I meant to write "planetary godname", since you clearly mention Jupiter.

Fr. V.e.L.V.X said...

@DaciaPacea In the 'Simple Talisman Charging' ritual in MM, yes, Kraig specifies an invoking Earth pentagram while vibrating the sephirothic godname (so for Chesed, EL). The procedure given in the 'Complete Talisman Charging' ritual is different, but the invoking Earth pentagram is employed there as well.

@Scott Stenwick With the way I've been working, I've definitely gotten results that have in some cases amazed me, but since free time is so limited I'm really interested in optimizing. I think that the results will follow the intention to a degree which is why I've gotten results in cases where I look back and see that I really mucked something up, but it can only get better if you're doing it right, is my feeling. So if you've found ways that work even a little better for you, I'm interested in investing the time to explore that. This discussion in itself has got me thinking about a lot of other things that are going to be very helpful once I get them sorted out. As always, thanks for your generosity and time.

Anonymous said...

@V.e.L.V.X. I haven't read that book, but thinking about it, i guess i can see why Kraig had specified the invoking Earth pentagram along with vibrating the specific godnamne. For grounding the energies into the talisman, that is.

But as I understand it Kraig doesn't use the Operant Field as an opening. So because of certain things i'm not able to put into words right now, his Opening by Watchtower would fit better with the invoking Earth pentagram over the talisman, whereas i think that tracing the specific hexagram (for planets and zodiac signs) over the talisman would work better with Scott's opening. Scott only mentions the tracing of the corresponding planetary/zodiacal symbol over the talisman in his articles, but i think the hexagram would also work.

To be frank, i haven't used any of those methods so far in my charging of talismans. I've conjured the specific spirit, instruct it to charge the talisman, and at the same time i projected energy into it as hard as i could. I only stopped when i head the spirit saying he/she/it is done. But i think i'll be experimenting with tracing the appropriate hexagram over the next talisman i'll be making ;)

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, that was why Kraig used the Earth pentagram there. But to my way of thinking, that reflects kind of a ham-handed understanding of how the energies involved work. For example, not every kind of energy you might want to bind into a talisman is necessarily in harmony with the Earth element. I can see where it could work fine for explicitly elemental talismans, because in the GD system Earth represents an amalgam of all four elements, but that's about as far as it goes.

And no, Kraig did not like the operant field. He thought it was completely wrong because his GD training did not teach it, but couldn't explain what exactly was wrong with it. For all Kraig always told his students to experiment, just like I do, as far as I can tell he did very little of it himself. He worked with the Ciceros, and apparently just took their word for how everything in the GD system was supposed to work without trying out alternatives - or, at least, there's no evidence of any such experimentation in any of his writings.

Anonymous said...

Sorry again for the poor spelling above mobile autocorrect interference. But I think my point got through :)

The way I see it, Kraig is bound by his teachings, which is in no way wrong as I see it. It's just that's some of us who aren't in the GD, or strictly following GD methods, are not that impressed by his way of doing things. I speak for miself in the first place.

It is my opinion, as an outsider, that people like Kraig are somewhat jealous/envy Scott because he laid it all out in the open so that any practicioner out there can benefit from these teachings. I for one have benefited quite alot.

I don't know if Kraig is a David Griffin GD branch supporter or not, but he seems to be strongly anchored in a traditional style GD way of working. "Member the 5=6? Member the Opening by Watchtower? Member?..."

From what I know Aaron Leitch has also worked with the Ciceros and besides his classic grimoire approach, he doesn't seem to be disturbed by such things...

Scott Stenwick said...

The debate is more between positions that Frater Barrabbas defined awhile back as "traditionalists" versus "revisionists." I discussed that debate here, back in 2011:

The deal is that from a traditionalist perspective, the lore never changes and you just work it. That's silly. "Revisionism" just consists of being willing to take an experimental approach to the work, or as Aleister Crowley put it, "the method of science, the aim of religion." That's me.

Donald Michael Kraig passed away in 2014, so I really have no idea how he felt about my work aside from the one brief debate over the operant field. I'm not sure he was even that aware of my work before that exchange, aside from commenting on a few of my blog posts here and there.

Kraig was with the Cicero branch, not the Griffin branch.

Aaron Leitch is with that branch, too. As far I can tell, he makes a concerted effort to avoid my work entirely, so it's hard to say whether he's "disturbed" by any of it or not. My guess is that despite one statement to the contrary, he considers us competitors or something for Enochian book sales.

V.e.L.V.X. said...

@Dacia Pacea I don't imagine that Kraig could have taken issue with anyone's openness. ‘Modern Magick’ is just what you describe, an attempt to lay out the basics of GD-style magick so a beginner could read his book and move forward in ceremonial magick with a solid foundation. I’ve actually seen him derided in some forums for his simple and open presentation of complex material, which seems unfair considering the book was presented as a primer. As I’ve gone on to explore various topics in more detail and developed or encountered dissenting opinions, it’s provided me with enough understanding of the concepts to be able to make some sort of halfway reasonable decision about whether I’m going to continue to agree with Kraig or not. Scott in particular has swayed me on a couple of important points – the Operant Field and the (un)necessity of the Opening by Watchtower, for example.

In the debate Scott describes, I think both magicians were impressively respectful of one another’s positions which is always a good sign that you’re dealing with people whose advice is worth considering. As gracious as both men were in their debate, I did not get the impression that Kraig was at all interested in changing his position - he seemed quite convinced that his methods and the underlying logic were sound.

Ultimately, I found Scott’s perspective more convincing. Since switching over from LBRP/LBRH to the Operant Field, I personally have noticed an improvement. It’s not night and day, it’s incremental, and I think that those who are absolutely convinced that LBRP/LBRH is the way to go will continue to have success with it (in part because of their firm belief in it), but I also believe they’d do a little better if they used the Operant Field. Or maybe they’d do a lot better. I look forward to finding out if I see a similar improvement with regard to the material in this thread.

Anonymous said...

@A3M3th I have no issue with Kraig's method, especially since was way more experienced than me. But seeing he mentions the tracing of an invoking Earth pentagram over the talisman makes me think of him as a dogmatic person, sticking to rites from a bygone era. Not that I consider the standard GD way of doing things to be wrong, but I'm trying to understand why some people are stubbornly sticking to it. It's like they're afraid to experiment, in which case, what's the whole point in practicing? Okay, so maybe sticking to the curriculum for the initiation work seems like a good idea. But why not experiment in thaumaturgy? Worst case scenario nothing will happen.

I can see a witch these days tracing an invoking Earth pentagram over a talisman charged with planetary energy, but certainly not a ceremonial magician.

And yes, people should test out as many options as they want and stick to the ones that work best for them.

Anonymous said...

@Scott you've had several comments stating that the angel can delegate tasks down the line on his own, if the situation requires it. Is it possible that in certain occasions the angel can delegate the task to multiple spirits under his command, not just the known planetary intelligence and/or spirit?

Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, the tradition is clear that the higher angels have many other "lesser angels" under their command. That's where the idea of "angelic hosts" or "angelic choirs" comes from. It's also explicit with the angelic kings in the Enochian system - Dee lists the number of other angels they command for each Part of the Earth, generally numbering in the thousands.

Anonymous said...

That's what i thought, because i observed a few times how certain spells not only influenced physical probabilities but the also human minds, including my own. The ritual used only a specific archangel or angel, so i figured they sent at least one intelligence and one spirit under their command in order to complete the task. Thank you!

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Scott Stenwick said...

You can do as many as you want, but generally there's some sort of limit to the amount of magical power or energy or whatever you want to call it that you need to pay attention to.

Basically, if you have a whole bunch of these going at once each is going to be less powerful. In my experience, you'll usually do better if you only have a few of them running at a time.

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Scott Stenwick said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. Let me see if I understand what you're saying here.

1. Previously, you had people do "shit" to you and you had poltergeist activity and "other bad things."

2. You tried a planetary ritual to help with a business deal, and it didn't work.

3. You're wondering what you might have done wrong.

I'm really not up on the "law of attraction" stuff or how it would relate to these rituals, so I'm not sure what you mean there.

Poltergeist activity is super-rare and hard to cause with a spell. It might be a spirit of some sort, since they seem to be able to do it a little more easily. You've given me very little information about the ritual you did (even what planet), but my guess would be this:

What did you do to mediate the previous negative spiritual forces that you were dealing with? If you just went ahead with the ritual and didn't do anything, it's very possible that whatever was going on before got mixed up with your spell.

So this is an application for the banishing field, LBRP/LBRH. That will shut down most of the negative energy around you. You should do it for at least several days in a row. At the same time, you should probably look into other techniques like uncrossing and so forth that are more Hoodoo-style, since you don't know what's coming at you. Hoodoo techniques work on a more immediately material level than the ceremonial stuff, and it can be hard to address one with the other.

I could try to troubleshoot your ritual further, but I need more details. There are a number of reasons that these can fail, and even if you do them exactly right success is never guaranteed. It's just a lot more likely.

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Scott Stenwick said...

You are welcome. Glad to be able to help, and I hope that your good results continue.

Anonymous said...

@Rui you can search for simple uncrossing spells that only require a black candle. You can also sufumigate yourself and your home with frankincense while reading Psalm 91. Use holy water on yourself and around the house and you can even amount yourself with holy oil from the church.

Mars is in detriment in Cancer right now, so you'll have to wait for it to enter Leo and then call upon its angel and intruct him to protect you from any nasty spirits that might harm you. Or you can ask the angel to empower a talisman for you to use for that purpose. Or better yet, craft and empower the 6th pentacle of Mars and wear it on yourself ;)

If you don't want to wait a few weeks for Mars to enter Leo, you can call upon the angel of Saturn for protection.

Unknown said...

Hey Scott, how are you?

I have a rather simple question: What's your take on the whole 'Covering'/'Not covering' Talismans with Silk when charging them with ceremonial operations, such as this? (Using the Operant Field method, of course, and without Banishing macrocosmically, for instance).

I'm thinking about charging a planetary talisman for each day of the week, in the form of a small necklace (Each with a geometry and metal associated to each planet, and with corresponding sigils and stuff), but I'm thinking about wether these should all remain covered up the whole time or not.

Thanks in advance!

Scott Stenwick said...

Well, you would not want to cover them the whole time. You want them to be uncovered when you are charging them.

There are two separate points here - what I think, and what I do. When using the operant field method, you always want the talisman uncovered all the way up to the license to depart. Hypothetically, if you close with only a microcosmic banishing, the talisman should be fine.

But what I do in practice is I like to shroud (not wrap) the talisman while I do the final banishing, even if it's microcosmic. I'm not sure if it's necessary, or just a superstition on my part. I take a cloth and lay it over the entire table of art and only remove it once the ritual is formally closed.

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Unknown said...

Thanks for the answer! The last part is what interests me the most: Do you then uncover them after the ritual is done? Over here, all my Masters who are all "Proper GD folks" always keep them covered like their lives depended on it. But then again, they banish everything haha I always found it to be a bit contradicting but also been a bit lazy about trying out a non covered talisman to see if it 'wears off' or loses potency.

Anonymous said...

@Rui I'm surprised you're asking me for advice, since I myself was in your position a few years ago and Scott was kind and patient enough to answer me :)

I hope Scott won't mind me mentioning these sources on his blog and I don't want to offend him by it, but I think it's way better to lead you there than explaining it myself, because those sources explain things better:

- The LuckyMojo forum has alot of uncrossing spells

- freakphil1309 on YouTube has at least a couple of videos on cleansing

- google "Aaron Leitch uncrossing" and you'll find more than enough articles on his blog which detail such rituals involving psalm reading and so on

My take on it would be that you could call upon the Olympic Spirit Phaleg and ask it to protect you from nasty spirits - google "Nick Farrell Olympic Spirits" and read his article on how to use them - the ritual is very simple.

Scott Stenwick said...

No worries. You are not going to offend me in any way by sharing technical information on magick here. That's one of the reasons this blog exists.

For working with the Olympic spirits, you really can't beat the Everything Arbatel Digest here:

It includes Nick's article on the Olympics and a lot of other good material.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for providing the extra material! :D

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Scott Stenwick said...

As I said, no offense taken at all.

You should use some version of a containment structure for these operations. The Trithemian table is one good option, but there are others. Personally, I do a lot of Enochian so I often use my Sigillum Dei Aemeth, which works well for other spirits besides the Enochian entities.

The containment structure does several things. (1) it keeps the spirit separate from your sphere of awareness, (2) it keeps your sphere of awareness separate from the the spirit, (3) it helps make sure that the spirit you conjure is the spirit that you actually want to work with, and (4) it concentrates the power of the spirit within the Table.

Spirits can begin taking action immediately if that's what you charge them to do. So make sure that when you issue your charge, you include that in the wording.

Anonymous said...

I am certain about it, since it's working for me ;)

You should follow Scott's advice and use the containment structure in the ritual for charging the talisman - btw, the talisman doesn't necessarily be made out of iron, especially since it's quite hard to engrave all those intricate symbols on it; I drew mine on white cardboard paper.

I however do not use a containment structure when I charge the talismans. And here s why. Say I create the 6th pentacle of Mars for protection. I call upon the angel inside the circle, so that his energy would also affect my personal sphere. I'm doing this because I figure the extra Martian energy in my aura would act like a warning for any potential aggressors, both physical and non physical. It may be that this method would reduce the amount of charge to the pentacle, but I also continue charging my pentacles every week by using the names of the 4 angels mentioned on another pentacle of that planet. I found this in Frater RO's blog - I draw the pentacle with the 4 angel names corresponding to that planet on the back of the pentacle I intend to use. In this case, I drew the 1st pentacle of Mars (containing the names Madimiel, Bartzachiah, Eschiel, Ithuriel) on the back of the 6th pentacle.

So I initially charged it with the ruling angel of Mars, by conjuring him in ritual. Then every Tuesday in the hour of Mars (if possible) I might a red candle and some dragon's bloos incense next to the talisman, say the names of the 4 angels mentioned above, and ask them to charge that talisman with the forces of Madim so that it's powers will serve to protect me. I then tell them to receive the candle and incense in return for their help. You can also offer the angels black pepper, ginger, garlic, horseradish, nettles, iron nails, an iron knife and all things corresponding to Mars.

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Scott Stenwick said...

Saturn is in detriment in both Cancer and Leo, so in general this is pretty much the worst time of year to do a Saturn operation. The next dignity Saturn is going to pick up is exaltation in Libra, but that's not until after the fall equinox. Even in Virgo, though, it's neither debilitated not dignified, which is better than detriment in Leo.

In Libra, though, Mars is in detriment. So I would probably go ahead with the Mars operation with the Sun in Leo and hold off a bit for the Saturn operation if possible. Of course, if this is a Saturn curse that you really need to deal with right away that's different, and you might as well do it now. You don't gain anything with Saturn by waiting until the Sun is in Leo, since Saturn is equally unhappy in Leo and Cancer.

Anonymous said...

@Scott so you're saying the current Sun transiting Cancer (and afterwards Leo) can affect a Saturn ritual? It makes sense in a way, but since the current Saturn is in Sagittarius, I would perform a Saturn ritual anyway. It would be best if he would find an election time with the Moon in Capricorn, Aquarius (currently), or Libra, in order to compensate for the current Sun in Cancer placement.

@Rui go ahead with a Saturn ritual. You don't have to do it on a Saturday in the hour of Saturn. As Frater Barrabbas points out, the planetary energy of the day is more of a general theme, whereas the planetary hour is when the energy of a planet is most potent. Of course, Saturday in the hour of Saturn is a more auspicious timing, but thinking about finding a day with the Moon in one of the signs mentioned above, you can perform the ritual in any Saturn hour throughout the week.

You can also look up Scott's article on calculating the Chart Victor and use that to find the best time for a Saturn ritual, but since you're a noob, it will complicate things for you.

I have printed Scott's version of the containment structure in A3 landscape format and I'm using it. The triangle in the inside is still small, but just enough to hold a candle and a talisman. You can however draw it yourself on a large piece of paper and even on white canvas and make the triangle inside as large as you want. In my opinion it would be best if the entire talisman were inside of the triangle. You don't need to make the talisman larger than 2-3inches (5-7.5cm) wide. Size does not matter in this case :)

Anonymous said...

As for the Mars ritual, I would wait for Mars to enter Leo. Google any daily astrological chart and you'll see Mars is currently at around 25* Cancer, so I think you'll have to wait about 10days before it will cross into Leo.

Anonymous said...

@Rui you can go ahead with Phaleg anyway, because as I remember it, the Arbatel mentions nothing about specific election timings, except for the day and hour of the corresponding planet. In this case Tuesday in the hour of Mars. (Scott-?)

Btw Rui, you can go to FB, search for IO Sikander (Pluto symbol as my profile pic), add me as a friend and comment on one of my posts you're in for the gruop - do not send me a pm!!! I will then add you to a magick group and we'll talk more there ;)

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Scott Stenwick said...

@Dacia: It might. If you want to be sure, you can run the chart victor calculation. The deal is that the chart victor is often the planet ruling the current Sun sign, and you want the victor to be compatible with the planet you're working with. For Saturn, you want the victor to be something besides Sun, Moon, or Mars. For Mars you want something other than Venus or Moon.

So since the Sun is in Cancer, the victor is more likely to be the Moon than it is at other times. Neither Saturn nor Mars get along with the Moon. If you wait for Mars to go into Leo, that's better because Mars gets along with the Sun. But it won't help you with Saturn, which doesn't get along with Sun or Moon.

Caveat there - Sun and Moon are less likely chart victors in general. So you probably can find a time that works, but you have to mess around with the calculation a bunch. As a point, when the Sun is in Virgo following a new moon, the chart victor is almost always Mercury. Mercury is neutral towards Mars and Saturn.

@RANeoph: Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, so it's in a favorable position now. Jupiter and the Moon get along well. Sun (Leo) is neutral towards Jupiter, and Jupiter does not get along with Mercury (Virgo). So it will be hard to find a time for a Jupiter operation when the Sun is in Virgo, since Mercury is the chart victor so often.

Scott Stenwick said...

Just as a point, this article is getting a lot of traffic and it probably is worth pointing out that the material here has to some degree been superseded by my latest Planetary Work posts. You can find those here:

Anonymous said...

@Scott as I said, it makes sense, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures :)

I wanted to ask you something, even though the answer might be starting at me in the face - I'm kinda dumb some times :))

You said above that if it's a Saturn curse, one should counteract it with Saturn, and I totally agree. My question is in terms of the way things might work in such cases. So let's say person #1 curses person #2 using Cassiel. Person #2 then calls upon Cassiel to counter the curse. What happens then? Does Cassiel battle himself or something? :) I'm thinking it has to do with the personal skill and amount of energy each of them puts in the ritual, so then Cassiel would follow the command of the person who had produced the most power in their working...

Anonymous said...

Oh btw, I told Rui to find a day with the Moon in a Saturn friendly sign because I think the transiting Moon reflects the energies of those signs more powerfully at the time of the ritual.

Scott Stenwick said...

@Dacia: Do you happen to program computers? If so, you can think about it like this - when you conjure a spirit, your manifestation of the spirit is an instance and the spirit itself is the baseclass.

If that doesn't make sense, think about it like this. Spirits are non-local intelligences. Contacting Cassiel is like tuning yourself to his "frequency." When you evoke him, the manifestation you are dealing with arises from the interaction of your sphere of awareness and Cassiel's non-local field. So two separate instances can work at cross-purposes, even if it's the same spirit, as long as said spirits were conjured by different magicians.

The spirits don't "battle." That's not how non-local effects work. The manifestation of Cassiel called upon to set a curse in motion alters the probabilities around the target so that bad things happen. If the target conjures his or her own manifestation of Cassiel to counteract the curse, that new manifestation sets the probabilities back to normal. It's more like that.

It's much simpler to conceptualize than I make it sound there. Magick could really use some specialized terminology akin to what's used in software engineering to make it easier to talk about.

Anonymous said...

I'm not into computer programming, but your explanation is crystal clear :D

Thank you!!!

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Scott Stenwick said...

Yes, you need to perform two full rituals if you want to work with both Saturn and Mars. Trying to conjure the angels of two different planets in the same ritual usually results in the whole effect being cancelled out.

Example - You do the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for Saturn, which excludes all planetary energies besides Saturn. Then, if you do the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for Mars in the same ritual, you get nothing. Invoking Saturn already excluded all the Mars energy and spirits from your operation.

If I wanted to do these right away, I would at least go with the appropriate planetary hour. You can look those up online. So pick the day on which you want to do the rituals, and then do the Mars operation during a Mars hour and the Saturn operation during a Saturn hour.

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Anonymous said...

@RANeoph I think you could pull a fast one, with little effort, if you don't have the time. By that I'm thinking of petitions.

Light a candle in the corresponding color to the planet you want to work with, at least in the right planetary hour. Recite the Orphic hymn to that planet, then call upon the corresponding godname and ruling angel and ask them to help you with whatever issues you have. Then tell them to receive that candle in return for their help. You can also add as many correspondences as you want besides the candle.

That, or call upon the corresponding Olympic Spirit and ask it to help you. The ritual takes no longer than 5minutes.

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Anonymous said...

@RAN I don't understand what you're saying.

Do you mean to ask what you do with the sigil of the angel and the newly charged talisman after the ritual? I usually cover the talisman with a cloth, place the sigil of the angel in top of it, and place the offering candle on top of alll that. The following day I take out the talisman and start using it. As for the sigil of the angel, it out it somewhere safe and re-use it every time I conjure that angel.

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Scott Stenwick said...

Why are you doing both the LBRP and the Star Ruby? Those rituals should perform the same function. Don't get me wrong - as I said, if it works it works. But I don't necessarily see why it should make much of a difference to add the Star Ruby. You've already done both a microcosmic and macrocosmic banishing at that point.

Anonymous said...

If you did a Saturn ritual and felt good, try doing a Sun ritual afterwards. Ask to be empowered with solar energies. The Sun is in Leo right now, so its force is greatest.

Unknown said...

Hi Scott Is there a basic list for offerings to angelic beings? Dacia here described a very interesting one for the Angeles of Mars, every time I give more importance to this subject.

Scott Stenwick said...

Basically, a good offering for any angelic being is something that matches the attribution of the spirit. So a solar angel is going to like solar things, a mercurial angel is going to like mercurial things, and so forth.

Incense always makes a good offering. You can find a list of incenses in column XLII - Perfumes in Liber 777. Also, you can look at column XXXIX - Plants, Real and Imaginary. Many of those plants are available as herbs, or can be made into tinctures and so forth. Those also make good offerings, as do the entries under column XLIII - Vegetable Drugs.

Obviously, for the last one you'll probably want to avoid the controlled substances on the list. But even some of those can suggest viable offerings. For example, if the vegetable drug is opium, you can use poppies even if they are the common garden variety and don't contain much of the drug. Likewise, for cannabis and hashish, you can use hemp whether or not it's of the controlled variety.

Alcohol generally makes a good offering, and there are many options available there. They are fairly flexible, and most spirits will appreciate it regardless of the type. You usually can't go wrong offering the angels a drink.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to save you the effort Scott, but you posted ahead of me :)

What I'm going to write here are planetary correspondences that I use or would use. Some of them are not contained in 777.

Sun: orange & lemon (also in the form of juice), sesame, sunflowers and sunflower products, honey, bay leafs, cinnamon, frankincense, copal, gold

Moon: lotus and water plants in general, such as willow, spring water, rain&snow water, milk, jasmine, camphor, silver, pearls

Mars: as above

Mercury: nutmeg, lemongrass, dill, parsley, sandal, lavender, tonic water, gin, aluminium&metal alloys

Jupiter: olives&olive oil, cedar, nutmeg, plums, hyssop, sage, tin

Venus: apple, rose&various flowers, sandalwood, sweet red whine, copper

Saturn: myrrh, musk, moss, cereals, pine&perenial plants, cypress, lead, vodka

Closedaccount said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Thanks Scott and Dacia

I like these offerings a lot, in a ritual that law of aaron Leitch, curiously said to take them to a river or leave them at a crossroads, making a prayer of thanks to the angels. This is a very interesting aspect - to add the offering
Then I understand Scott that any drink could go well for the Angelic beings and drinks like whiskey cognac, or alcoholic drinks too, I think that very sweet pipe tobacco may be interesting to add to incenses, Rufus Opus mentions a lot of tobacco offerings too To the Angels or Spirits of the spheres

javier said...

Hi Scott

How Crete a magical ritual with tarot for example the arcane 9 of pentacles, in this case Yesod of Asiah, and Venus in Virgo. Shaday the Chai and Gabriel would be the main forces after, we can invoke to Hamaliel arcangel of Virgo .. of this one Arcanum is said to accelerate desires on the physical plane, grants money and great bodily strength, accelerates physical healing (here the angels of decanate Haziel and Aladiah rule) apart from the operant field Scott. How would you do this Ritual in relation to the Planetary and zodiacal forces?I think it can be very powerful

Scott Stenwick said...

For a ritual like that, you would first do the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for Virgo, and then the Greater Invoking Ritual of the Hexagram for Yesod (Moon sephirothic). You always work down the Tree when mixing forces like this - Zodiac first, Planetary second, Elemental third.

javier said...

Hi and thanks Scott ¡¡

Fantastic I will try
I am doing a complete progression with the four elements to obtain a job, I am following the order you propose Earth, water, air and fire after the operant field are very powerful evocations, the great king Nicksa told me that he needs water, Coagulate for better in the triangle of trithemio incredible ¡¡¡

javier said...

Hi Scott ¡¡

So far I have used the table trithemio for everything, this time I have not used, I have realized the operant field after I have invoked the powers of Venus, the difference is impressive, I think now I have felt the operational power of the operant field,I could use the rite of the elixir also at that moment,Is ¿it such a difference to use the trithemium chart or the Enokian stealth to contain the powers?Something to live and feel

Scott Stenwick said...

I do find that using either the Trithemian table or Sigillum Dei Aemeth seems to increase the "density" of the energy, so to speak, and give it a stronger and more stable structure. These rituals can be performed without them, and they will work, but in my experience they work better with some sort of containment structure.

javier said...

Hi Scott ¡¡

There are Magicians who seem to see the planetary spirit (for example Zazel-Saturn) as a demon, or a qulifotic force, I recently saw an evocation that appears in David Griffin's Magick Ritual, and it reminds me a bit of the technique that use Lon Milo Duquette, it is not exactly ask the spirit (Zazel in this case) but Zazel submit to Tzapkiel and Cassiel as well as the other forces of the planet, so that for example if I have bad luck or continuous blockages in an area of life, through this operation this can change, it is as if Zazel is an autonomous unconscious complex, something that is in the shadow of the psyche operating under parameters that generate this type of blockages in life,In fact if I want to banish bad luck, in some area of my life and relate these events clearly with effects of Saturn's energy (after a lot of analysis), it would be better to invoke Cassiel and Tzapkiel to stop these negative effects? Would somehow evoke Zazel in the containment table and direct it through the angelic forces to change that energy to the constructive energy of Saturn?Wht do you think bout this?

Scott Stenwick said...

The deal is that Agrippa talks about using the intelligence for good and the spirit for evil, and that advice was picked up by Barrett and made it's way into nineteenth century magick from there.

A couple points - (1) that does not make the spirit the same thing as a qlippothic force, because it is a coherent being rather than a fragment, (2) the spirit is a spirit, a being in its own right, not an "autonomous unconscious complex," (3) that does not make it the same thing as a demon, since (from a technical standpoint) demons are chthonic and angels are celestial and that's really the main difference. There's no reason a chthonic has to be hostile or a celestial has to be friendly.

The real nuance seems to be that the intelligence acts like the mind and the spirit acts like the body of a sort of dual entity, under the authority of the planetary angel. So if you just conjure the spirit without the intelligence, you get this chaotic and hard-to-control blind force. That may be where the "evil" association comes from. But the spirit in conjunction with the intelligence is very helpful when you want to make things happen, as opposed to when you're conjuring for information.

Now, as to your question - it may be smarter to call on Cassiel (for practical work) or Tzaphkiel (for mystical work) rather than teasing out the distinctions between the intelligences and spirits. The angel is a more intelligent spirit that is completely capable of handing off tasks to the intelligence and/or spirit as appropriate. That's why my latest planetary work posts went with conjuring the angel, unlike the old ones that worked through the angel, intelligence, and spirit all the way down the hierarchy.

So basically, how this works is you just call up the angel and make your charge. If you want, you can add a directive that the angel utilize other spirits as necessary. Then trust that the angel will be able to direct everything accordingly.

Scott Stenwick said...

I am not sure if this is what you are asking, but I will see what I can do. The fourth pentacle of Mercury is attributed to "Assists in gaining knowledge & understanding in all things, and to penetrate the hidden thought of others" in the Key of Solomon. So I would think if you are continually encountering it, the meaning may be that there is some piece of information out there that you maybe should have but don't. It may be when you finally work it out, you'll stop encountering the seal.

You could do a magical operation involving the seal to try and understand what it is that you are missing. Draw the seal on a talisman, and go through my latest Mercury ritual:

Charge the angel to empower the talisman for you so that the information it is trying to provide you with will come to you easily and effortlessly. Then carry the talisman with you when your ritual is complete. That might work.

Unknown said...

Hey Scott, how are you? I have a very specific question, and I didnt know where to ask it, so I just chose this article: In all your ritual layouts, you choose to use the alter and tool setup akin to the Trithemian design (Table of art, banishing dagger, invoking wand, etc). I'm wondering: Do you use a Fire Wand? Or the Trithemian Wand? I'm just wondering because in the process of making my Trithemian Wand, i stumbled upon some comments from Rufus Opus on his blog and they made me hesitate some of the stuff i thought I was certain about haha for instance, I know that Fire wands could be consecrated with an Elemental Fire operation... But how would one go about consecreating a Trithemian Wand? Also, as I understood it, a Trithemian Wand is solely for the purpose of drawing spirits unto cristals (Or... other containment structures), so you would use it for say the drawing of the greater Hexagrams, right? But isn't this also the use of the Fire Wand? Or am I completely wrong there?

Thanks for the help!

Scott Stenwick said...

I use a set of six tools when I do operations - the Fire Wand, Air Dagger, Water Cup, and Earth Pantacle, along with what I call an Invoking Wand and a Banishing Dagger. As far as I can tell, the Trithemian wand is a form of the Invoking Wand.

I can use the Invoking Wand for all invoking forms, and the Banishing Dagger for all banishing forms, so often I don't do much with the other four elemental tools. The elemental tools work nice for strictly elemental operations, such as the Greater Ritual of the Pentagram for each element. For the Greater Ritual of the Hexagram, though, I just use the Invoking Wand rather than some other tool.

In Liber 777, evocation is attributed to the Path of Fire (Shin) so you can also use the Fire Wand like you would a Trithemian wand. Likewise, if you only have the four tools the Fire Wand can double as an Invoking Wand and the Air Dagger can double as a banishing dagger. There's a fair amount of flexibility.

For consecrating - as I see it the Invoking Wand and Banishing Dagger are attributed to Spirit, so I would do a rite attributed to Spirit. In the GD system, the Invoking Wand would go with Active Spirit and the Banishing Dagger would go with Passive Spirit. Another approach might be to perform an Aries operation (Aries is "the power of consecrating things") and call on Melchiadel to consecrate them.

The Aries consecration approach works for anything, regardless of attribution.

Unknown said...

Thank you enormously. Your answer has been most enlighting :D

Unknown said...

Hey Scott Stenwick,

Samuel Ranson here. I absolutely love your article. I've recently had to much moon in my life, so moving into my new life is exciting. I loved experiencing Vision of Beauty Triumphant, Vision of Power as a result of the structure your article gave. Also Vision of the Harmony of things really puts recent experiences laying in the grass in perspective.

How excited we all are for the Golden Age which is already here ;)

Scott Stenwick said...

Thanks! I always am glad to hear when these rituals work well for folks. This is actually an older post that has been up here a while, and I put together another set of planetary operations more recently.

Also, my Path of Initiation articles deal in more detail with the mystical visions of the planets.


Marco Gemelli said...

Hi Scott,
I would like to know if to perform these planetary operations it is necessary to have a consecrated, purified room, and if it is necessary to have other specific instruments or clothes (as tunic, wand, ecc..)?
The material used for these planetary operations (paper planet seal), circle, table of practice, candles, incense, etc., it must be purificated and consecrated, right? If so, is necessary use one Golden Dawn consecration?
thank you very much anyway, see you soon!

Scott Stenwick said...

No, it is not strictly necessary. Having a dedicated temple space and the right tools does seem to improve results, but you can still do pretty well without them most of the time. Consecrating everything is likewise not necessary. I've done rituals with Agrippa sigils drawn on regular notebook paper with a regular ball-point pen that have been successful. But it does help to do it if you have the time.

There are a number of books from the 1980's and 1990's that float the idea of the tools and so forth being no more than props that help the magician get into the right frame of mind. This is incorrect. Like talismans, consecrated tools can act as repositories of magical "force" that will improve your results directly, not just by affecting your state of mine. A dedicated, consecrated temple will do this as well over time.

You can consecrate your space and tools in whatever manner you choose. You can use the traditional GD methods, or you can conjure Melchiadel (the angel of Aries) who rules over the power of consecrating things. You can also do an operation calling on a spirit with the same attribution as the tool to empower it (like Michael, the angel of fire, to consecrate a wand or Gabriel, angel of water, to consecrate a cup).

You can also use blessings, prayer, anointing, and pretty much any of the methods used by various traditions over the years. The point is to align the tool with the force of nature that you expect it to control and/or represent in ritual.

Marco Gemelli said...

Scott, thank you so much!
Thank you for answering in detail ..

Desmond G. said...

Thank you very much Scott for your posts ;).
Just a question. Wouldn't you add a lamen in planetary magic? One for each planet: for Gabriel, Miguel, Rafael...
A lamen like trithemius like this
There is also another famous but more generic lamen such as Denning and Phillips de aurum solis for planetary magic.
Thank you very much.

Scott Stenwick said...

I personally do not use a lamen with the Agrippa planetary work. You certainly could, though, without interfering with anything and if you find it helps, go for it. I've found that the operations work fine without one.

The exception in my personal planetary work is the Heptarchia Mystica. The Enochian work specifies a lamen, so I use one. But that lamen is attributed to entire Enochian system, not just the planetary portion.

Lazarone said...

Hi Scott,

I have read comments in Ciceros book "Golden Dawn Magic (2021)" that using unicrucial Hexagram is not recommended because, quote "...violates the basic dynamis principle of the Hexagram...requires the magician to draw clockwise and counterclockwise simultaneously, thus invoking and banishing at the same time and canceling each other out...and because two of the points are larger than the others the energies are not in balance, which risks an overload of some energies and a shortage of others...". Please, your opinion about this?

Next, in your system, after GRH for particular planet is done can I draw one more hexagram toward same planet, and in that way to call energy from that direction?


Scott Stenwick said...

First off, the short answer is that I am a Thelemic magician, not a Golden Dawn magician. The systems are similar but there are some differences, and one of those is how the unicursal hexagram is used.

In the Golden Dawn system it is mentioned in the paper "Polygraphs and Polygons" as the "pseudo-hexagram," in which the top and bottom point represent the Sun and Moon and the other four smaller points the four elements. But it isn't used anywhere in any Golden Dawn ritual. Cicero is right that if you are doing Golden Dawn rituals, you generally don't use it.

Crowley, on the other hand, liked the unicursal and adapted for use in various rituals. He developed a solar form of it traced from the center point, in addition to a solar form traced from the top point - which is more in line with the original GD symbolism. That's one of the reasons it's a common symbol for Thelema - the Thelemic system of magick is where you're going to find most references to it and applications for it.

Cicero must be talking about the Thelemic planetary version in his comments, because if he is talking about the Sun -> Moon -> elements version it is entirely unremarkable that the four elemental points are smaller than the two planetary points. And while it's true that with the standard hexagram you trace clockwise to invoke and counter-clockwise to banish, that doesn't hold with the GD/Thelemic elemental pentagram. Instead of clockwise/counterclockwise to determine banishing/invoking, with pentagrams that orientation is established by moving toward the point or away from the point. This method is applicable to the unicursal, which gets around the potential problem of the angles changing direction.

Not in the GD system, though. As far as I know there are no GD rituals that incorporate it.

Scott Stenwick said...

As for doing another hexagram after the full GRH, you could do that without messing anything up but you don't need to do it. The point of tracing to all four quarters is to tune your entire space to the planet regardless of its location.

Lazarone said...

Many, many thanks for amazing answers.

In your NAZ OLPIRT exercise, when energy is "switched on and circulating" from high to bellow and vice versa, in what color can we imagine that line of energy, when travels through and after chakras? White, electric blue or? Also is that energy is traveling through the chakras in both ways or just when descending in front?

When we can expect your third book in this series?

Thank You and best wishes!!!

Bishop said...

How many charges to entiites i need to do do without binding it do talisman so i get my personal power or potential to 0 and so that any charges done without talisman be useless?
For example using your planetary invocations

If my personal power is 0 but i bind the charge to talisman does this mean entity is working thru talisman and i can just keep doing it as long as i bid it to talisman ,but if i do without it it be useless because my personal power is 0?

Can Angel of Taurus be use for Venus stuff like love?

When wanting to remove a charge that s still runing can i just conjure a Angel so that can he just pass on ?

Is it possible to have a solid positive result when Moon is in Square with a Planetary entity i m calling?

Scott Stenwick said...

I usually just visualize the circulating light as sparkly white brilliance. But I'm not sure that the color you use makes much difference.

I circulate from base of spine to head, then back down to base of spine. Up the back, down the front. If you know Qigong, it's basically the same as what's called the microcosmic orbit. You can also elaborate it if you want with any other energy work practice you happen to know.

The book should be out soon. My publisher hasn't given me a solid date.

It never goes to zero, but gets subdivided with each subsequent running operation. It's about subsequent operation, not number of charges. When a charge completes, with either a success or by exceeding your time limit, it no longer counts. The number that gets divided depends on your personal magical strength, which you need to have some idea of to get a meaningful number. My best advice - link your spells to talismans and you won't have to worry about it. There are more variables involved than I have time to go into now.

I don't get folks wanting to use astrological powers to do planetary stuff. You want Venus to be in favorable condition to do both Taurus stuff and Venus stuff. So there's no real benefit to mixing and matching like that. You might be able to get it to work, but it won't work as well because Taurus is not as good a fit as Venus for relationships.

If you have a running operation that's not working, yes, you can call up the angel you charged and have them stop the operation.

It's possible, but more difficult than without that condition. Usually you want to avoid conjuring planetary entities when their planets have an applying square with anything. Note that only applying aspects count for this - once the aspect starts to separate, you should be able to conjure the planetary entity just fine.

Lazarone said...

Thanks, Scott, great answers!!!

In your AOEVEAE ritual do you trace line (circle) between pentagrams?

In your book when you say "Intone", is it same as vibrating word?

For you, are vibrating is same as chanting? And during Qabalistic Cross (forex) is it good to feel vibration (beside the frequency in head) in those parts of the body you touch (right and left shoulder etc...)?

Do we must follow the whole procedure of vibration (inhale name, then exhale with the sound...) for every Enochian word or to simply recite them?


Bishop said...

What do the symbolic degrees mean in Zodiac Sings and when planets and East Point,Vertex etc?

What do they mean ,do they carry something with them?

Scott Stenwick said...

As I see it, vibrating a word is more like projecting it outward, while intoning is more like letting your whole body vibrate along with it. In practice they're pretty similar, at least the way I do stuff.

Intoning would be more like chanting than vibrating. With the QC, it's a sign that it's working if you can feel a vibration or tingling sensation in the corresponding area.

You absolutely don't need to fully vibrate every Enochian word. That's ridiculous. The names that you vibrate are the spirit names and godnames, just like when you're working with Qabalistic entities.

Degrees in the signs determine the Triplicity Ruler (10 degree sections) and the Bound Ruler (5 degree sections). If you look at the Triplicities and Egyptian Bounds in the Chart Victor article, you can see that different planets can be "activated" in different degrees.

Degrees are probably most important, though, for calculating aspects, which can have a big influence on magical operations if they affect the planet you are working with or the planet ruling the sign you are working with.

Lazarone said...

Hi Scott, thanks for clear and interesting answers!

In your two books about John Dee's systems, where is exactly "visualization of goal" section of the ritual? I am guessing that it is after charging is given and after the ritual. Because, one is sending spirit to do desire, so "visualization of fulfillment" is done after. Your opinion, please because I guess that visualization must BE done somewhere.

During "goal visualization" is it helpful to visualize also particular Enochian spirit how is doing "work"?

Can we do more rituals for the wishes or doing one ritual for one wish step by step, then when finished next one...?

Best wishes!!!

Scott Stenwick said...

You should have a clear sense of what your goal is when giving the charge, but other than that there is no specific visualization step outside of the charge. This is generally the case with grimoire magick - the charge is a set of verbal instructions, not a visualization. So Dee would not have worked that way back in the sixteenth century.

I do not recommend trying to specify how a spirit accomplishes something outside of the actual wording of the charge. You should give the charge, with or without visualization, and leave it at that. Otherwise you can disturb the effect of the ritual, much in the same way as obsessing over results can cause problems. Charges should focus on the outcome, with the exception of the limitation portion preventing the charge from being fulfilled in a way you specifically don't want.

You can structure your rituals however you want, depending on your goal. Sometimes it can be helpful to do multiple rituals for different steps of a process - like with a job spell, one ritual to make your resume noticed, another to get you the interview, another to make the interview go well, and another to get you a good salary offer for the position. In other cases single rituals work fine and they generally are simpler to do and to set up. It depends a lot on what you are casting for and what you want the end result to be.

Lazarone said...

Thanks, thanks, thanks, Scott!

Then I guess that operator's belief that spirit will do his/her charged work is needed? And what you think about the importance of belief system in this kind of approach?

In your AOEVEAE ritual do you trace line (circle) between pentagrams?

Best regards.

Scott Stenwick said...

Belief in magick is only important in the sense that doubt acts as a form of resistance that has to be overcome. When doing magick, you want to cultivate single-pointed consciousness, which means you don't want your mind divided against itself.

So you don't need to cultivate belief unless you need to do so in order to eliminate doubt. Belief does not power magick as far as I can tell experimentally, but doubt - especially while you are performing your ritual - can get in the way of good results.

I usually trace the circle with my pentagram rituals in general, including the LRP, Star Ruby, and AOIVEAE. I'm not sure how much of a difference it makes, though - I just like doing it that way.

Lazarone said...

Thank you, Scott, super answers!!!

Is it advisable that conjuring of spirit for a particular purpose is helped by practical, mundane steps and how to reconcile those two actions?

Or should I just stay in the room after conjuring and wait for results?

Can you formulate phrase "without lust for results" in a more positive way? Like "stay calm after ritual, or "be in peace"...

Is "modus operandi" between Goetia and Enochian magic is similar about charging the spirit?

Most best wishes!

Scott Stenwick said...

A magical operation will have a specific probability shift that it can set in motion based on your own magical strength combined with that of the spirit or spirits you conjure. The more mundane actions you take towards your goal, the lower the probability threshold becomes for success.

Some mundane steps are pretty much required. Example - if you want to get a better job, you have to do something so companies know you're looking, like sending out resumes and so forth. If you want to win a contest or lottery, you have to enter or buy a ticket. No magick in the world can turn a probability of zero into success.

Beyond that - with the job spell example, the more resumes you send out and the more contacts you make, the more likely it is that you will get a job offer. If the probability shift you can conjure is, say, 20 to 1, you would need to do enough mundane steps to make your odds of getting a job higher than 1 in 20. Some of those probabilities are necessarily vague, but it doesn't need to be exact to give you a general idea of what you have to do to help the spell along.

It just means that you'll mess up your spell if you obsess over it too much. Once a spell is in motion, you don't want to be directing sustained attention at it because that tends to mess up your result. The chaos magick idea that you should forget about spells isn't literally true, but you don't want to focus on running operations and/or get worked about over whether they are going to succeed or fail.

Charges are done the same way in all forms of grimoire magick, including Goetia and Enochian.

Lazarone said...

Many, many sincere thanks, Scott!

What is the importance of relaxation exercises in your system if you do it?

What you think about the idea that banishing rituals are not banishing necessarily positive influence, but just those unbalanced or ill ones? So there is no fear that one will banish (forex) wealth.

Do you work with some more techniques about "negative states of mind" like cleaning, releasing, letting go, relaxing, or sim...before the ritual or in daily life?

Very regards.

Scott Stenwick said...

I meditate as far as relaxation goes, and that is about it as far as formal exercises go.

A microcosmic banishing like the LRP won't banish anything beyond your sphere of sensation, so it can't banish external world conditions like wealth. It's also true that banishing rituals mostly banish unbalanced or detrimental forces, but those two points are separate issues.

I try to generally maintain a positive attitude about things going on in my life, but I wouldn't say that I do any special exercises for that beyond meditation and ceremonial practices.

Lazarone said...

Thanks, Scott, for quick and authentic answers!!!

Desmond G. said...

Good morning Mr Scott. A few days ago I found out Crowley substituted the Goetia prayers for the Enochian calls (I think I remember it was 1 and 2). He surely did it because he would feel that Solomon's prayers were very abusive.
I wonder if the Enochian calls can be used as an amplifier or give more force to the rites, whether they are planetary or elemental.
I know you like to separate Enochian magic from "Isreael Regardie style magic" (pentagrams, hexagrams, etc). But I think that chanting the Enochian call in a regular elemental or planetary rite can "amplify" the force of the ritual. In short, I'm talking about adding Enochian calls to your templates for rituals, for example.
I would like to know your opinion about it.
I personally see the Enochian calls as "keys" to open heavenly doors, so chanting them I think would make the ritual work easier.
Thank you very much.
All the best.

Scott Stenwick said...

So I am not sure where you heard that, because as far as I know it is not true. Crowley did translate the First Conjuration of the Goetia from English into Enochian, because he thought it was a more powerful magical language, but that's all I've heard of. The two systems actually have nothing to do with each other.

My Enochian books actually include all the various pentagram and hexagram rituals. I use them all the time in Enochian operations, no idea where you got the idea I didn't. Personally I wouldn't add Enochian calls to non-Enochian operations. There's no reason to think that other classes of spirits will respond to them, and the Golden Dawn attributions of the calls are also highly problematic when compared to the diaries. The arrangement that I propose in Mastering the Great Table might work a little better, but still.

The calls do open doors into particular magical spaces, but whether those spaces are specific to the Enochian entities or not is hard to work out experimentally. I invite you to try it out if you think it will work, but you should be clear that there are reasons that it might help and reasons that it might cause issues.

Desmond G. said...

Hello, thank you very much for your answer. The conclusion that crowley used the 1st and 2nd enochian call in goetia was read from "Aleister Crowley's Illustrated goetia". I copy the part of the text with your permission. In the book I read it is true that he translated the prayers of Solomon into Enochian
"In fact, as we shall see later, in his own
copy of the Goetia he simply hand copied the Second Key of the
Enochian system. It is our opinion (and that of other Crowley
scholars) that for personal Goetic conjurations Crowley most likely
in his later years he discarded the traditional conjurations and simply
he recited the First and Second Enochian Calls.
It is also our opinion that the most effective conjurations are of
the magician's own design. We encourage the reader, once the
fundamentals of the system are thoroughly grasped, to create your
own conjuration which, like your Temple, equipment, and procedures,
is uniquely yours".

"Below is a Conjuration adapted by Aleister Crowley and translated
by him into the "Angelic" language of Enochian. Crowley
obviously felt that the Enochian language had more universal
applications than just those relating to Enochian Magick. ace to
matter of fact, as we mentioned earlier, there is every reason to
believe that when Crowley performed Goetic Evocation he simply
used the First and Second Call of the Enochian System. (See The
Enochian World of Aleister Crowley: Enochian Sex Magick, New
Falcon Publications, 1991 and following the Conjuration below.)
We have arranged the Conjuration with the English translation
appearing directly below each line of Enochian.We have done our
best to make the translation clear enough for the reader to customize
a conjuration of their own. As you can see, Crowley has occasionally
simplified or paraphrased portions of the text. if you
would like to learn more about Enochian Magick, we encourage
you to refer to the above mentioned text which includes an excellent
Enochian dictionary."

Apparently it's just an idea that Crowley used the first and second calls.
Anyway, I take your previous answer and I will not do weird things.

Thank you very much.

Scott Stenwick said...

If that is indeed the case, my opinion is that it is just wrong. Goetia (in the sense of the Lemegeton Goetia, which is what you are talking about here) and Enochian do not have anything to do with each other. They are entirely separate systems with no cross-influences. Around 1700, Rudd's Treatise on Angel Magic tried to link the two systems together, but the result is basically a mess without any support for it in either Enochian or Lemegeton sources.

There are demons in the Enochian system - the Cacodemons - and you do work with those using the Calls and so forth just like the other Enochian angels. But as far as methods for working with them go, the only real commonalities between them and the Lemegeton demons are common to all systems of grimoire magick - conjuration, charge, license to depart, and so forth.

Also keep in mind that in 1903 when Crowley put together his version of the Goetia, he was operating from the psychological paradigm and considered Goetic demons "portions of the human brain." In that context, the Enochian calls are basically barbarous names that only produce a psychological effect - and that makes mixing systems in this way more reasonable. But Crowley changed his mind on this after encounters such as the reception of The Book of the Law.

It should reasonably follow that if we are not talking about a psychological paradigm, calling a particular spirit using a conjuration intended for an entirely different spirit is unlikely to work. Your method needs to harmonize with the macrocosmic, external consciousness of the spirit in order to get good results.

Desmond G. said...

Hi Scott.
Have you read Advanced Planetary Magic by Jason G. Miller?
I find it very interesting that Jason works with moon of venus, mars of venus, mercury of venus, jupiter of venus, venus of venus, etc.
In other words, he doesn't just work with venus at venus time, but depending on the planetary time he may have another venusian focus (for example).
I think he has a system of work based on Greek papyri.
To do this with your method, for example moon of venus, I think I would do the hexagram of venus, but instead of tracing the glyph of venus and the divine name of venus, I would trace the glyph of moon and shaddai el kai. And continue with the lunar hierarchy. Metaphorically we would have the lens of Venus, but the ray of moon.
What do you think about this?

It's also interesting that Jason has some seals that he channeled to work with the planets overcoming them being retrograde or eclipses (avoiding those problems).

Thank you very much.

Scott Stenwick said...

I have not read that, but I experimented with something similar years ago and found it pretty underwhelming. For me, anyway, working with the planetary spirits is a lot more effective. When you conjure a planetary spirit, it is simple enough to charge it to do something that one might attribute as "planet of planet" using a more complex charge. As far as I can tell, that works way better than messing with the forms.

I have seen Jason's planetary glyphs, and they basically are the planetary symbols with a bunch of extra swirls that look like automatic writing. If he's saying that they negate the effects of retrogrades and eclipses, I would have to see some solid experimental evidence because that's an extraordinary claim in my book. Astrological conditions effect everything and are difficult to work around.

Desmond G. said...

Thank you very much for your reply. About the glyphs, he says this.
"We wanted these seals not only to channel the forces of the powers
invoked, but we wanted them to be able to overcome retrogrades,
eclipses, and other unfortunate planetary alignments. In addition to
this, we did not want them to be connected to any specific angels or
deities, but to represent the planet in such a direct way that they
could function well along side of Sumerian Dieties, Coptic
Archangels, Olympian Gods, or simply on their own.
Each one is meant to represent the actual energetic pattern of the
planet at work".

I haven't worked with those seals yet, but certainly the text is quite eye-catching.
All the best.

Scott Stenwick said...

I understand that this is what he wanted. But the test is whether it works, not the operator's intent. I would want to see some real experimental evidence supporting the assertion that they really can overcome conditions that pretty much affect all magick.

I'll grant that they aren't connected to any specific deity, but I could say the same thing about Agrippa's characters of the planets, which are derived from the magic squares of the number scales from 3 - 9 (mathematical) with the number scale arranged in the order of motion relative to Earth (physical). As I see it, there's no need for yet another glyph that does this same thing.

That said, I don't mean to imply that Miller's glyphs don't embody the energies of the planets and or don't work with multiple pantheons. I'm sure they do. It just seems a little like re-inventing the wheel to me.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

In addition to what Scott said, even Agrippa's seals don't work on their own. They have to be magically charged. Same with the kamea, see here

I see this as yet another gimmick used by people to stand out. A symbol is a symbol and can be used to connect to a certain energy it symbolizes. But connecting to that energy is one thing, while "overcoming" (that's the term you quoted) a particular debilitating condition of that energy is another. I say without proper magical charging they won't overcome squat. Would they help the person connect to that energy even when that energy is severely weakened? Perhaps. Would they additionally turn that energy into a strong one? I think not. From personal experimentation I can also say that while a certain talisman properly made and charged to help one overcome a planet's retrograde will work very well, there's a probability it won't work as well for future retrogrades of that planet because every time a planet stations retrograde the overall conditions of the heavens are different: it could be free of hard aspects the first time, but the second or third time it'd be involved in hard aspects; its overall dignity would be weaker; etc.

Back to "overcoming" whatever using just a symbol, it'd be like using the Ampere symbol to regulate the flow of electric current in your wires - not a chance.

Scott Stenwick said...

That has been my experience too - all seals of this sort need to be charged or activated in some way.

One counterpoint, though - there are Hoodoo spells out there that pretty much just consist of drawing a kamea on an object, and they have been around for a long time. I can't vouch for their effectiveness, though, and this is the kamea specifically, not the character (though the Agrippa characters are clearly derived from the layout of the numbers in the square).

Desmond G. said...

many thanks to Scott and Alex Scaraoschi for their answers ;)

Alex Scaraoschi said...

There's also the Jupiter kamea sculpted on a side wall of the Sagrada Familia, but I have no idea what the idea behind that was. I mean the church is clearly impressive and is drawing in lots of tourists. But the building itself still remains unfinished a century later. And I have no idea how they consecrated it, if they did any such thing. It's likely it received the general church consecration thing the priests must've done on the building, nothing Jupiter specific.

Alex Scaraoschi said...

@Desmond np.

@Scott "I'm now channelling some all powerful squiggles from the highest astral level of the 7D macro fractal plane. The pataphysical beings that oversee that plane have guaranteed those squiggles will bring world peace and a smooth, silky transition into the Age of Aquarius and beyond because they're transcendental and don't follow solar system or even galactic scale trends."

Scott Stenwick said...

Totally guaranteed! As long as you send me money, of course... ;)

Alex Scaraoschi said...

Naturally :D

Desmond G. said...

Hi Scott!
Would you say that a planet - chakra correspondence can be made?
for example chakra 7 saturn, chakra 6...
7 planets
7 chakras

Scott Stenwick said...

In Liber 777, Crowley attributes the chakras to the Tree of Life as follows:

Sahasrara - Kether - Primum Mobile
Ajna - Chockmah - Zodiac
Visshuda - Binah or Daath - Saturn
Anahata - Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphareth - Jupiter, Mars, Sun
Manipura - Netzach - Venus
Svadhisthana - Hod - Mercury
Muladhara - Yesod and Malkuth - Moon, Elements

So it's not quite planet to chackra there, since some chakras have multiple attributions and Kether, Chockmah, and Malkuth are not associated with planets. But there is an association.

Desmond G. said...

Thank you very much for your reply.
I think the only one who has given an exercise to energize and go chakra by chakra (ceremonial magic style) is you in the Naz olpirt rite. It is true that liber reguli is also an exercise for it, but your work is very, very complete.
I find it strange that golden dawn/thelema didn't insist on chakra exercises.
Greetings and thank you.

Scott Stenwick said...

Liber Reguli was explicitly designed for daily practice and the Elevenfold Seal is clearly a chakra exercise (among other things). So I don't think it's necessarily fair to say that the Thelemic system doesn't include such exercises. Crowley also incorporated pranayama and yoga (as it existed at that time) into the system. In addition, one of the earliest publications related to the chakra system was by Theodor Reuss, one of the founder of OTO.

It's important to realize that much of the material we have on Eastern systems today was not well-known or well-understood in the late 1800s and early 1900's Europe and America. Crowley's system of yoga, for all that it is simplified, is complete in that it includes one example of each type of posture. His injunction that students not undertake pranayama "without exertion" refers to the important of banda locks that are also used in modern yoga. Those aren't necessarily chakras, but they are related and can be mapped to specific chakra points.

So one of the differences between Thelema and the original Golden Dawn system is that it brought in functional versions of these Eastern concepts. Later Golden Dawn, post Regardie, uses the Middle Pillar Ritual in a similar way, and it has been pointed out that it was written in the first place because Golden Dawn folks wanted some sort of exercise that was analogous to chakra work.

Desmond G. said...

ok thank you very much for your clarifications

Desmond G. said...

Hi Scott!
Exactly, the spirit in planetary magic what is it? There are a lot of opinions on the internet about it.
My conclusion is that there is a duality between intelligence and spirit.
The intelligence would be the brain and the spirit the body. Without intelligence the spirit is a zombie. For conjuring, I would emphasize the spirit a lot so that it listens to intelligence and does not harm my loved ones or me, or my belongings, etc.
On other websites they say that they are demons that can deceive us, qliphoths, dark and dangerous entities, etc.
In short, what would it be? And if I want results in the 4 worlds (which would be the ideal) it should also be included. In some manuals they put the intelligence in Assiah, but I think it is higher, yetzirah.

Scott Stenwick said...

Your conclusion there is the same as the one I have arrived at after decades of working with the intelligences and spirits. The intelligence acts like the mind and the spirit acts like the body. You need to call the two together if you want to direct the spirit, because otherwise it's like a body without a mind - a blind force that is hard to direct or even work with. Conjuring the mind without the body is fine for asking question and obtaining information and insight, but not very effective for work in the material world. And yes, I would map the intelligence to Yetzirah and the spirit to Assiah.

Here's where some of the other interpretations come from. In the classical text of Agrippa, it says something to the effect that the intelligence is for good and the spirit is for bad. This statement was also included in Barrett's The Magus, which was mostly an edited version of Agrippa's Three Books plus material from the "Fourth Book" which Agrippa probably didn't write. It comes from one of the major source texts, but that doesn't match my experience working with them at all. Maybe the "blind force" that you get when you conjure the spirit on its own was equated to "evil" at some point in the past?

There is a new complete translation of Agrippa out that I want to get my hands on, and the "intelligence for good, spirit for bad" is one of the passages that I want to check to see if there's any more nuance there in this new translation.

Desmond G. said...

Thank you very much for your answer and good luck with the new translation of Agrippa ;).

Well, it's curious, there is a book called "Divine arcana of aurum solis" by Jean Louis de Biasi that makes the hierarchy like this, the problem is that it is in Greek, but it can give you an idea, I give you the example of the Sun.

Atziluth: Onophis
Briah: Aspis
- Ruling Powers in Yetzirah: Agamanus
- Intermediate Intelligences in Yetzirah: Baltha
- Servant Spirits in Yetzirah: Sobias
Assiah: Helios

So it seems that intelligence certainly also places it in yetzirah, but in a lower step than yetzirah, but it is not Assiah.

All the best.

Scott Stenwick said...

The problem there is that there are a number of different systems of spiritual hierarchy floating around. Using this one, you probably would classify the intelligence in Yetzirah above the veil of paroketh and the spirit in Yetzirah below the veil of paroketh. Basically it depends on if you consider Assiah the actual physical world or if you consider it analagous to the physical world.

What I mean is, Helios is literally the Sun. Like, the big physical ball of fusion floating out in space that Earth orbits around. So by definition, in that arrangement you wouldn't have any spirits in Assiah because it would just correspond to physical objects. However, the way I look at is the entire Tree of Life is a model of the field of consciousness that encompasses the universe that overlays physical matter. So in my arrangement, Assiah represents the spirits closest to the physical world but not the physical world itself.

But there's nothing to say which is necessarily correct. They're models, after all, and experimentation is really all we have to determine which one produces the best result.

Desmond G. said...

Hi Scott!
The other day I did a moon rite with the intention of having a restful and peaceful sleep. I have a silver Atlantean ring and in the declaration of intention I dipped it a little in the glass of water that I use with the practice table and asked that it be consecrated with that intention (the Atlantean ring). What do you think?
I have also thought of doing a Saturn rite and asking them to consecrate the water in the glass and then sprinkle that water as an exorcism, to cut off bad influences.
What do you think?
All the best.

Scott Stenwick said...

That sounds reasonable to me. Moon is good for anything related to sleep, and Saturn works for protection in most contexts. Let me know how it goes!

Hals said...

HI Scott,

A practical question for you regarding the hours in which to summon the appropriate entities.

In your opinion, is it necessary to conclude all communication with angels/intelligences/spirits within the given hour that govern those entities? Or can discourse continue into the next hour provided the initial contact was made at the commencement of the appropriate hour?

I try to time it so that all preliminary work is done prior to the hour that I may summon the specific entities at the start of their hour and thus maximize the time, but sometimes the working goes longer.

In practice, I've not noticed any problem with going over the appointed hour but have not delved further into it.

Do you have any experience with this situation?

Scott Stenwick said...

If you start your ritual in the hour, you should be fine.

I even have gotten things to work like starting a ritual in the last 2-3 minutes of the hour when the ritual takes 30-40 minutes. It's about the start time, not the duration.

Hals said...

Interesting. So you only need to begin within the appointed hour but not contained in it. I’m inclined to agree.

Any opinion/insight as to why this is so? The mechanics behind the hour system, so to speak?

Scott Stenwick said...

Only on a cursory level.

The idea is that the starting point of your ritual is essentially its "birth time." You can think of it like your ritual having a birth chart. The moment it's "born" is the moment that counts, at least using this style of magick.

Craftman11 said...

How long does it generally take for the material effects to manifest?

Scott Stenwick said...

That depends on a lot of factors. If you give a spell a time limit, you often will see results close to that limit. The spell is trying to do as much work as possible within the allotted timeframe.

If you don't use a time limit (and I recommend you do), planetary stuff generally manifests within a month or so - one full lunar cycle. It can go longer, though, with a particularly difficult charge.

Bishop said...

My spells seems to work slower ,sometimes they work instantly or 1-2 days but it seems to me it s always slower and somehow a side effect on something!

Maybe it s the natal moon placement since the moon filters everything !

Are planetary entities all -encompassing ,like they are intelligent waves of energy that influence fields around us?

Bishop said...

I can incorporate into Liber Samekh Unicursal Hexagram rite of Planets!
What interests me is what Sephirot or planet is connected to Spheres since there are many corespondences!

For example if Water is Hod but in some systems Water is Yesod!

Scott Stenwick said...

Personally, I really do not like attributing Water to Hod and Air to Yesod. But I actually go further than that. Hod is Mercury and Yesod is the Moon. All four elements actually correspond to Malkuth. There is no reason to think that Netzach, Hod, Yesod, or any of the planetary sephiroth would also correspond to elements that do not really match those planets.

I think the deal was that the Golden Dawn wanted to map their elemental grades to the sephiroth below Tiphareth and they wanted to stick with the reverse-YHVH order normally used for the Qabalistic worlds. Since we aren't working with a degree system here, there's no real reason to do that in this context. So in my path of initiation articles, I put the elements in Malkuth and the planets in Yesod through Binah, and that's it.

Bryan Park said...

Hi Scott, What sphere/path would you recommend for finding a more comfortable, bigger apartment than my current living situation at a reasonably low rent?

Scott Stenwick said...

Mercury could bring the information about said apartment to you. Also the Moon, since it rules both Cancer and Yesod, to manifest the right situation.

Yesod, sephirah of the Moon, is Foundation. If you were going to use a sephirah, I would try that. And For zodiac, Cancer is good - it rules things like hearth and home.

Samat said...

Cancer is accurate but even more accurate would be the 4rth house angel found in Liber 777. The 4rth house rules our immediate surroundings and addresses all questions related to it, such as, 'Should I move out of my apartment?' and even 'Is this apartment worth renting?'. The archangel of Cancer is Muriel. The angel of the 4rth house is Kael.