Monday, June 6, 2016

Simple Electional Timing

Have you ever cast a spell that seemed to go just fine, but produced few or no results? The problem might have been the prevailing astrological conditions at the time you cast it. Electional astrology is an entire sub-field of astrology dedicated to finding the best and most opportune times to do just about everything, including casting spells.

The trouble there is that most magicians are not skilled astrologers and don't necessarily want to put in the necessary time to learn all the intricacies of the discipline. We just want to cast spells and have them work. So today I'm going to tell you about a simple method that can help you do some effective electional work without having to learn too many involved astrological concepts.

In order to use this method you only have to pay attention to the sign of and aspects formed by a single planet - the Moon. I know, it's not actually a planet according to the modern definition of the word. But it is the closest heavenly body to Earth, and it moves through the entire zodiac every 28 days or so. As it does, it makes aspects with all the other planets.

To start off, here's some basic terminology. Aspects are specific angles formed between planets in the sky. For the purposes of this method, I am only talking about the Moon and any of the other planets. A Conjunction is when two planets are in the same location, an angle of 0 degrees. A Sextile is an angle of 60 degrees, a Square is an angle of 90 degrees, and a Trine is an angle of 120 degrees. Finally, an Opposition is an angle of 180 degrees.

Some modern astrologers have proposed other kinds of aspects, but it's only those five that we need to worry about for the purposes of this method. As the Moon moves through all twelve signs of the zodiac, it enters a sign, and then makes each aspect in that sign as it passes through. Looking at this process gives us the two pieces of information that we need to make a simple electional determination for a magical operation.

The first of these is called Void of Course. The Moon is void of course between the time that it makes the last aspect in a sign and the time that it enters the next sign. This interval varies depending upon the positions of the other planets. It can last for be as short a time as a few minutes or for a day or more.

This is important because according to electional astrology, you should never perform a magical operation when the Moon is void of course. The astrological meaning of this condition is that any significant change in your situation is unlikely to occur. So since magical operations are intended to cause change in conformity with will, any spell you cast on a void of course Moon is basically pushing against the momentum of the astrological landscape.

A good magician can overcome this and I'm sure that over the years I've done spells on void of course Moons that have worked. But they work a whole lot better when they don't have to push back against the resistance that this condition creates. Since the Moon moves through the zodiac so quickly, it usually is not that difficult to find a time when the Moon is not void of course. Then you don't have to deal with it at all.

As a point, there is some disagreement over how significant void of course Moons really are, and how much resistance they really cause. But in the context of this article, there's also a practical concern. Once the Moon is void of course it already has made the final aspect for the sign, so you can't use this method until it goes into the next sign. So even if void of course Moons have no effect, you would need to use a more complete method to work out an election.

Fortunately, you don't have to go through an ephemeris to work out when the Moon will be void of course. The Lunarium website tracks it for you. Just save your location, and the site will update the times to match your time zone. It shows when the Moon will be void of course right on the front page. You can use that time to see if the Moon will be void of course when you plan on performing your operation, and if it is not you will want to keep track of the time.

The second piece of information that you will need does require you to either read an ephemeris or get ahold of an astrological calendar like Jim Maynard's Pocket Astrologer. It shows all of the Moon's aspects, including void of course, and is extremely useful for working this simple electional system. It also includes aspects formed by all the other planets, so you can use it to perform more detailed and comprehensive elections.

This piece of information is the Moon's Final Aspect. The final aspect is the last aspect that the Moon makes before it goes void of course. So you can take a look on the Lunarium site and see when the Moon will go void of course, and then consult a resource such as the Swiss Ephemeris for that time. You can also use an astrology program like Astrolog and create a chart for that time at your location.

Whatever aspect the Moon is forming according to the ephemeris or a chart that you generate at the moment it goes void of course is going to be the final aspect. With two exceptions, you don't need to worry about the planet the Moon is forming an aspect with, you just need to know what kind of aspect it is for purposes of this method.

Positive Aspects: Conjunction, Sextile, Trine.
Negative Aspects: Square, Opposition.

If the final aspect is positive, the astrological landscape is conducive to performing a magical operation. If the final aspect is negative, then it is not. This method can also be useful in your daily life, as it is said to apply to just about everything, not just magical operations. But given the esoteric nature of magick and its affinity with the elements, planets, and signs it is especially effective for timing spellwork.

The two exceptions are the malefics, Mars and Saturn. With those two planets, final aspects that would otherwise be considered positive are still considered negative. Generally speaking, you don't want to perform an operation when the Moon's final aspect is made with Mars or Saturn. You might be okay with a positive Saturn aspect if you are working with Saturn, and you might be okay with a positive Mars aspect if you are working with Mars. But otherwise, aspects with malefics should be avoided.

Note that the astrological moment in which a ritual occurs is the moment in which you start your ceremony. Even if you start it five minute before the Moon goes void of course, the operation will still not behave as though it happened on a void of course Moon. This is just like how planetary hours are used - as long as you start your ritual at the proper time, the entire ceremony will behave as though it was performed at that moment.

Also, this applies to practical magical operations, not other work like daily practices. You should do those on a daily basis regardless of the condition of the Moon, because that's kind of the whole point of such practices. Mystical work in general such as meditation and the like also does not seem to be nearly as affected by the condition of the Moon as is practical work.

I learned this method from local astrologer Estelle Daniels, and I believe it is included in her book Astrological Magick. While I can't say that I'm not a fan of her chatty writing style, the material in the book is good enough to make it well worth reading if you want to understand more about electional astrology and how to use it. The simple method presented here does work, but if you want to delve deeper Estelle's book is a great resource.

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

I have a question which is sort of one step before the application of this step. I'm trying to determine the best day to charge an amulet for protection. I'm using the (Solomonic) 4th Pentacle of the Moon for a Geburah operation (I haven't gotten to the Paths approach yet).
This is to replace a lost amulet which used the 4th Pentacle of the Moon as one of three parts in the design of the amulet. That operation was conducted in Geburah and was very effective. This new operation will use only the 4th Pentacle of the Moon, no other elements in the design. Is my whole approach of using a Moon Pentacle with Geburah wrong-headed? I'm thrown by what seems to me to be an inherent conflict with this Pentacle, which is intended for protection, but associated with the Moon rather than Mars.
On the other hand, it worked great the first time (when this hadn't occurred to me at all)!

Scott Stenwick said...

My first though would be that if it works, it works. What were the the other two parts of the design? Did either of them have an association with Geburah or Mars?

If the answer to that question is no, I would say that you're probably good to go. The Solomonic pentacles don't always line up precisely with the GD Qabalistic attributions anyway, and people who don't like the Kircher Tree of Life will tell you that Geburah isn't necessarily associated with Mars anyway.

Another point is that Jason Miller put together a system that works with "planet of planet" and he reports good results with it. I haven't played around with it much myself, but it's possible that what you got was the equivalent of the Lunar part of Geburah, so something like Moon of Mars.

I'm generally of the opinion that data is much more important than theory. It sounds like you know from experience that this works, and while I would be interested in working out exactly why according the models I use, that level of understanding is not necessary for performing a similar operation.

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

The other two parts were the sigil of Khamael and the 'kamea' discussed here: So one associated with Geburah and one not.
Ordinarily my third element would have been a sigil I designed which would have contained the elements you normally put into a qabalistic talisman, and that would have tied it pretty tightly to Geburah but in this case time was of the essence so I used Jacobus Swart's (I assume it's his design or a traditional one, but either way I discovered it from him). Anyway, as things have turned out, that seems to have maybe been for the best.
I'm of the same mind that if it works, it works, so I'm going to proceed on a Tuesday. But like you, I also like to know the why it works. I don't know much now but I knew less when I made the earlier one (this issue didn't even occur to me before). Part of me thinks it worked in spite of being 'wrong' because I didn't know better at the time and the intention was honored, but now that I know better I don't have that benefit. But more of me thinks there's a good reason it worked and the conflict I think exists doesn't exist (in other words, I've just learned enough to be able to get confused).
An approach I often take is to try to cover all the bases, so in this case I'd do both a Moon operation and a Mars operation, but I like the idea that the Solomonic Pentacles don't always line up with the GD attributions, which is clearly the case here. Plus I wouldn't want all those spirits getting crowded into that little amulet, that's just rude.
As always, your help's invaluable, thank you.

Unknown said...

Hey Scott, how are you? I've been using this exact method for quite some time, with good results, but i have a small doubt/issue: im planning a protection ritual, for which I'll use a Saturn operation. For said ritual, I chose a saturday. However, most saturdays in this month will be happening while the last aspect is a negative one (Cuadratures). What would you recommend? Perhaps doing it some other day that's not a saturday? If so, how would one go about choosing what day? Calculating the almuten (Chart victor)? Thanks in advance.