Monday, February 6, 2017

The Zodiacal Work - Gemini

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

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

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

Today I will be moving on to the sign Gemini. In Liber 777, Gemini is attributed to the "Power of being in two or more places at one time, and of Prophecy." The first of those can be related to astral projection, and I have in fact heard of magicians being able to appear to others in astral form. Personally, I'm not sure how useful that is because it has some limitations, but Gemini would be the power to call upon in order to do it. Prophecy is to the ability to see into the future - in parapsychology terms, precognition - which has a wide variety of possible applications.

The usefulness of those applications is complicated by the structure of time. There is a big debate among quantum physicists as to whether the "one world" or "many worlds" interpretation of quantum theory is the most correct. From personal experience, what time looks like is something that I guess I would call "multiple worlds." It doesn't seem to branch nearly as much as strict "many worlds" predicts - that is, at every quantum interaction - but it does always seem to branch into several possible outcomes. This likely explains at least some of the inaccurate prophecies of the past - the prophet in question saw one of the possible timelines, but not the one that we happen to be on.

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

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

For the Path of Gemini, the four scales of color are Orange, Pale Mauve, New Yellow Leather, and Reddish Gray inclined to Mauve. For ceremonial forms, you use the King scale, which is Orange. Its complement is blue. All four scales should be used to construct the sigil of the angel.

The sigil should be traced onto the Kamea of Mercury, as Mercury is ruler of Gemini. Along with the sigil itself, you can also trace the character of Gemini on the Kamea. The Angel of Gemini is Ambriel, spelled Aleph-Mem-Beth-Resh-Yod-Aleph-Lamed. The Mercury Kamea is 8 x 8, so the highest number it contains is 64. Therefore, Resh needs to be reduced, and in this case I would reduce it from 200 to 20 rather than to 2. This yields 1, 40, 2, 20 (200), 10, 1, 30. The final figure should look something like this:

From Liber 777, incense appropriate to Gemini is Wormwood. Associated plants are Orchids and hybrids. The associated metal is mercury (quicksilver) or any alloy, and the associated precious stones are alexandrite, tourmaline, and Iceland spar.

The plants may be dried and ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle and can be sprinkled onto the paper talisman as an offering to the angel. Likewise, a piece of alexandrite, tourmaline, or Iceland spar, or some metal alloy such as brass, may be placed on top of the paper talisman for the conjuration. You then use the paper to wrap up the whole thing when the ritual is complete and somehow bind or tape it together. Note that the stones need not be of gem quality, and therefore can be obtained relatively inexpensively.

The god-name for the path of Gemini is the third permutation of Tetragrammaton, YVHH. Some schools teach that as the name of God is ineffable, it should be spelled out by letter (Yod-Vav-Heh-Heh). However, in practice that does not work nearly as well as pronouncing the name as a word. The pronunciation of this permutation would be something like "Yav-Heh."

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

0. The Temple

The best time to perform a Gemini operation is on a Wednesday, during an hour of Mercury that falls during the day. This is because Mercury rules Gemini, and because the sign Gemini belongs to the Diurnal sect. Since you are employing ceremonial forms to tune the space you could do it during a night hour of Mercury as well, but a day hour is most appropriate. The night hours of Mercury are associated with Virgo.

To calculate the hours, divide the time between sunrise and sunset into twelve equal parts to get the hours of the day, and the time between sunset and sunrise into twelve equal parts to get the hours of the night. Days begin at sunrise. The first hour of the day is attributed to the planet ruling the day, and the subsequent hours are assigned according to the Chaldean Order.

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

Following the hour of the Moon, the order starts over again with Saturn. While it seems complicated as first, once you do it a bunch, you'll find that it actually is pretty easy. At this point I can almost do it in my head. There are also a number of software programs that you can download to do the calculation for you, and even some websites that will tell you the hours.

You should also calculate the Chart Victor for the time of your operation if at all possible. Ideally, you want the Chart Victor to be a planet that is dignified in the sign, and you should always avoid a Chart Victor that is debilitated. So the best Chart Victor for a Gemini operation is Mercury (Rulership). No planet is exalted in Gemini. The Chart Victor to always avoid is Jupiter (Detriment). In Gemini, no planet is in Fall.

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

There are a number of different ways to arrange the temple for an operation such as this. What we do is place an altar in the center with the banishing dagger and invoking wand. Also on the altar is a containment structure such as the Sigillum Dei Aemeth or the Trithemian Table of Art. The diagram depicting the character and sigil should be placed within this structure. A small container of some sort for offerings may be placed on the Table of Art, or you can sprinkle the offering directly upon the diagram itself.

The Table of Art shown above is from The Digital Ambler. You can read about the design and how it was put together here. You can click on the image to enlarge.

If you employ scrying in your work, an appropriate device such as a crystal or mirror should also be placed in the containment structure. If you are using incense for such an operation, the traditional method is to place the incense burner between the scryer and the mirror or crystal. Otherwise, it may be placed anywhere in the space. Some scryers like to place a taper candle on either side of the device, and while I can't say that method does anything at all for me, a number of others report good results with it.

1. Opening

Light incense, if used. Open the magical field using the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram and Lesser Ritual of the Hexagram, Star Ruby and Star Sapphire, or the Field Ritual. The usual field for practical work is the operant field, with banishing pentagrams and invoking hexagrams.

2. Preliminary Invocation

Raise energy using the Middle Pillar, Elevenfold Seal (the "First Gesture" from Liber V vel Reguli), or some other appropriate ritual method as you may know how to do.

Make the Sign of Apophis and Typhon, raising both arms and holding them straight with an angle between them of 60 degrees, and proclaim, very strongly:

Thee I invoke, who art Universe!
Thee I invoke, who art in Nature formed!
Thee I invoke, the vast and the mighty!
Source of Darkness, Source of Light.

Then make the Sign of Silence, by standing straight with one arm at your side and placing your thumb or forefinger to your lips.

3. Tuning the Space

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

  1. 1. Trace the Hexagram of Mercury in orange while vibrating ARARITA (ah-rah-ree-tah). The Hexagram of Mercury is traced by starting at the lower left point and tracing the upward triangle clockwise, and then moving on to the upper right point and tracing the upward triangle clockwise.
  2. Trace the symbol of Gemini in the center of the hexagram in blue while vibrating YVHH (yav-heh).
The final figure being traced to all four directions should look like this:

Once the four figures are traced, return to face the east completing the circle.

Then, recite the following unification statement adapted from Liber 963.

1. O Thou throbbing music of life and death, Thou rhythmic harmony of the world! Yea, as I listen to the echo of Thy voice, my rapture is but as the whisper of the wings of a butterfly.

2. O my God, Thou mighty One, Thou Creator of all things, I renounce unto Thee the soft-lipp'd joys of life, and the honey- sweets of this world, and all the subtilities of the flesh; so that I may be feasted on the fire of Thy passion, and be consumed in the unutterable joy of Thine everlasting rapture.

3. O Thou Consuming Eye of everlasting light set as a pearl betwixt the lids of Night and Day; I swear to Thee by the formless void of the Abyss, to lap the galaxies of night in darkness, and blow the meteors like bubbles into the frothing jaws of the sun.

4. O Thou Sovran Mother of the breath of being, the milk of whose breasts is as the fountain of love, twin-jets of fire upon the blue bosom of night. I know Thee! O Thou Virgin of the moonlit glades, who fondleth us as a drop of dew in Thy lap, ever watchful over the cradle of our fate.

5. O Glory be to Thee, O God my God; for I behold Thee in the weeping of the flying clouds: Thou hast swelled therewith the blue breasts of the milky rivers, so that they may roll forth the Glory of Thy Name.

6. O Thou mighty God, make me as a black eunuch of song that is twin-voiced, yet dumb in either tongue; I beseech Thee, O Thou great God! That I may hush my melody in Thy Silence, and swell into the sweet ecstasy of Thy Song: O Thou God, my God!

7. O Thou dread arbiter of all men, the hem of whose broidered skirt crimsoneth the white battlements of Space; bare me the starry nipple of Thy breast, so that the milk of Thy love may nurture me to the lustiness of Thy virginity.

8. O Thou God of the Nothingness of All Things! Thou who art neither the starry eyes of heaven; nor the forehead of the crowned morning; O Thou who art not perceived by the powers of the mind; nor grasped by the fingers of Silence or of Speech! I deny Thee by the powers of mine understanding; Robe me in the unity of Thy might, and speed me into the blindness of Thine all-pervading Nothingness; for Thou art all and none of these in the fullness of Thy Not-Being.

9. Ah! but I rejoice in Thee, O Thou my God; Thou unimperilled flight of joyous laughter; Thou eunuch glaive-armed before joy's veil; Thou dreadful insatiable One: Yea, I rejoice in Thee, Thou lofty gathering-point of Bliss; O Thou bridal-bed of murmuring rapture! I rejoice, yea, I shout with gladness! till I tangle the black tresses of the storm, and lash the tempest into a green foam of twining basilisks, in the Glory and Splendour of Thy Name.

10. O my God, entreat me gently and be merciful unto me, as I humble myself before Thee; for all my toil is but as a threadless shuttle of steel thrust here and there in the black loom of night.

11. O woe unto me, my God, woe unto me; for all the hope of my heart hath been ravished as the body of a virgin that is fallen into the hands of riotous robbers. Yet in the outrage of mine innocence do I disclose the clear manna of Thy purity.

12. O what art Thou, O God my God, Thou forked tongue of the purple-throated thunder? O Thou silver sword of lightning! Thou who rippest out the fire-bolt from the storm-cloud, as a sorcerer teareth the heart from a black kid! O how can I possess Thee as the dome of the skies, so that I may fix the keystone of my reason in the arch of Thy forehead?

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

The space should now be tuned for the conjuration.

4. The Conjuration

O thou mighty angel AMBRIEL, ruler of TEONIM, by the name of the True and Living God YVHH, I call upon you and ask that you along with the spirits of your domain manifest themselves unto me, for I am a true worshiper of the highest. Let them come forth in a friendly and peaceful manner that I may partake of the wisdom and the pure essence of Aries, and that they may attend to my behest. AMEN.

At this point, vibrate the name AMBRIEL repeatedly until the presence of the angel and spirits of Gemini are perceived within the Table of Art. Various methods may be used to accomplish this, from simply waiting until a presence makes itself known to scrying for an image in a crystal or dark mirror. If this is being performed as a group ritual, with everyone chanting the name together, it is helpful for the officiant or scryer to have a bell chime that can be rung once he or she perceives a presence in whatever manner. At the bell chime, the chant stops.

5. The Charge

My instructions for the charge are simple and straightforward, just as you can find in my published books. Make use of an Injunction, which is what you want the angel and associated spirits to do, and a Limitation, which is what you do not want them to do. The Limitation helps you avoid "Monkey's Paw" situations in which your Injunction may manifest, but in an undesirable way.

As I mentioned above, Liber 777 catalogs the powers attributed to the sign Gemni as the "Power of being in two or more places at the same time, and of Prophecy." For best results, your charge should fall within that area. Otherwise, you may be asking for something outside Gemini's sphere of influence, and that could cause the ritual to fail.

At this point you may also make offerings to the angel by placing them in the small container. After the angel has had a chance to partake of the offerings, be sure to dispose of them. Alcohol such as wine may be allowed to evaporate on its own, and natural substances may be scattered outdoors. Do not attempt to reuse an offering - generally speaking, spirits do not take kindly to that.

Your other option is to place the offerings directly upon the sigil itself, if this is practical, as it is with ground-up plant material or spices. If you decide to go this route, you will be wrapping the offering up in the paper sigil and need give it no further thought. Obviously, though, this becomes less practical with liquid offerings, such as alcohol.

Also, You should get some sort of assent from the angel before you proceed to the License to Depart, or an explanation of his objection. When the charge lies outside the angel's sphere of influence, often he will be willing to direct you to another spirit that would be more suitable to conjure in order to better accomplish your intent.

6. The License to Depart

Mighty AMBRIEL and the spirits of Thy domain, because thou hast-diligently answered unto my demands, and hast been very ready and willing to come at my call, I do hereby license thee to depart unto thy proper place, without causing harm or danger unto man or beast. I charge thee to withdraw peaceably and quietly with the blessings of the great god YVHH, and that peace be ever continued between us. So mote it be!

7. Closing

The ritual may be closed with either a final banishing pentagram ritual or with the Qabalistic Cross performed on its own. These should match the rituals used in the opening, so for example if you opened with a Star Ruby you should repeat it or perform the corresponding version of the Qabalistic Cross.

Generally speaking, if you want to release your intent out into the world to accomplish some task external to yourself, you should close with a banishing pentagram ritual. This is similar to the chaos magick idea of releasing a sigil once it has been created and empowered.

On the other hand, if you also want the effect of the ritual to linger within your sphere of awareness, whether or not the intent is also external, you should close with the Qabalistic Cross. This stabilizes the operation, but does not detach it from your sphere of awareness.

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