Monday, December 18, 2017

Ceremonial Forms for the Outer Planets

The topic of ceremonial forms for the outer planets came up in a discussion last week. So I figured I would put together a quick overview of how I attribute the outer planets and what I would do to work with them in a ceremonial context. There is not a lot of agreement on this topic, and I have heard of a number of different schemas being employed by different practitioners. As always, keep in mind that if you have something that works better for you, keep doing that. My first rule is that if it works, it works.

At any rate, I'm not a fan of Aleister Crowley's final set of attributions for the outer planets, in which he maps Uranus to Daath, Neptune to Chockmah, and Pluto to Kether. If you're going to use Kircher-style planetary attributions for the sephiroth above Binah at all (and, to be clear, you don't have to if you prefer different attributions, or would rather drop the planetary attributions for the sephiroth altogether), it seems to me that the astrological natures of the planets really don't fit all that well. Mapping the higher octave of Mars to Kether and the higher octave of Venus to Chockmah don't make sense to me, even if you can make a case for the higher octave of Mercury as Daath.

Better to my way of thinking is the pre-Pluto system found in Crowley's General Principles of Astrology, where we find Uranus mapped to Chockmah and Neptune mapped to Kether. As modern astronomers have worked out, Pluto is the problem. It's not a "planet" in the same sense that Uranus and Neptune are. It is a Kuiper belt dwarf planet, and not necessarily even the largest one. Keep in mind that doesn't mean I think Pluto is astrologically irrelevant or anything like that. I just associate it with "asteroids" like Ceres, which is now considered another dwarf planet. Astrologers find the asteroids significant, too. They make aspects just like the larger planets do, and can be highly relevant when interpreting a chart.

What it does mean is that to me, it makes more sense to treat Pluto differently than Uranus and Neptune, which means keeping the pre-Pluto attributions for Chockmah and Kether in place. I'm going to start with those two, because they are the most obvious. For the outer planets, you trace the same hexagram that you use for Saturn. The differences are in the colors, god-names, and angels which are taken from the associated sephiroth. So according to my arrangement, you wind up with this:

Uranus (Chockmah) - Hexagram of Saturn in gray with ARARITA, symbol of Uranus in gray with YAH. Archangel is Ratziel.

Neptune (Kether) - Hexagram of Saturn in white brilliance with ARARITA, symbol of Neptune in black with EHEIEH. Archangel is Metatron.

Just like you use the Saturn hexagram, you can use the Saturn kamea for generating the sigils for Ratziel and Metatron. The 3 x 3 is the smallest possible magic square, so it stands in for the lower numbers, much like the lunar kamea can be used for sigils of spirits attributed to Malkuth such as the elemental kings - though that is done for an entirely different reason, not because a 10x10 magic square is impossible to construct.

As for Pluto, to me it makes more sense at Daath, along with the other asteroids and dwarf planets. Why shouldn't the "sephira that is not a sephira" be the best attribution for "planets that are not planets?" It also lines up nicely with the idea of the "shards" falling into the Abyss - since the asteroid belt is composed of fragments from a planet that never properly formed, and the Kuiper belt is made up of "leftovers" from the formation of the solar system.

Like the outer planets, for Pluto and the asteroids I use the Saturn hexagram. Crowley gives lavender as the color for Daath, so that's what I use for all of them. Then, I trace the symbol of the planet or asteroid in the center of the hexagram in dark yellow and vibrate its name. Alternately, you can use the Saturn god-name of YHVH Elohim, but as I see it that more properly corresponds to Binah.

So there you have it. At this point there's little agreement on how to use forms with the outer planets, so don't necessarily take my method as definitive. It is one system among many possible arrangements. As always, I recommend that you experiment with as many of them as you can, see what works the best, and go with that for your own personal magical practice.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble


Anonymous said...

Awesome! I still don't like the fact that a planet would represent the fixed stars, let alone Perfect Unity though :) So as soon as I'll have the time, I'll be dedicating it to solve this issue hehe.

Anyway, that's not why I'm posting here. Could you write a Magick Monday article in which you would explain your method of working with the planetary pentacles from the KoS? I suspect that you'd be performing a regular talisman charging ritual in which you would call the appropriate planetary angel and ask it to empower them.

Thing is that some people say that the 4 angels mentioned on one of the pentacles for each planet deal with all the other pentacles of that planet. But if that were the case, then why aren't the names of each group of 4 angels be written on all of the pentacles of the appropriate planet? I know RO inscribes the pentacle with the 4 names on the back of another pentacle of the same planet, and I also did that with some of my pentacles. But the KoS mentions no such thing.

Then comes someone like Frater Ashen saying that the 4 angels of the 3rd (?) pentacle are ominous and such, like trying to scare off people from using them. But couldn't Cassiel charge the pentacles himself? I mean the KoS only says that the pentacles containing the 4 angelic names can be used to control spirits of the planets, not to empower the other pentacles...

Scott Stenwick said...

I do not know if I would have enough for a whole article on that. My method is exactly as you describe - I would create a talisman in the form of the pentacle and call upon the appropriate planetary angel to charge it.

I haven't done much direct work with the groups of 4 angels from the KoS itself. I expect it would work pretty much the same, and you could probably just conjure them by the planetary god-name. Granted, it's a modern synthetic method, but it should work.

As far as the names go, this sounds like the sort of minutia that you don't need to worry about as much with angels and archangels. As spirits go, they're pretty intelligent so they can figure out how to delegate work to other angels and the like if they can't do it themselves.

As for other magicians telling scary stories goes, in my experience most of that is overblown. You might run into a hostile spirit at some point, but they usually aren't that dangerous. And I rely a lot more on my own experiences than descriptions of operations written by other magicians anyway.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have any trouble calling on the 4 angels of Saturn for charging the pentacles. But then again it would be a bit more time consuming and I do have a relationship with Cassiel, so it would make it much easier. Not that I got scared by those 4 angels being ominous or anything. My angel told me that as long as he's beside me, I shouldn't be afraid of any spirit. Thank you!

Scott Stenwick said...

Also, to address your first point, in neither my schema nor Crowley's is it suggested that an outer planet would represent the fixed stars or signs of the zodiac. When I attribute Uranus to Chockmah and the zodiac to Chockmah I am not suggesting that Uranus is equivalent to or rules the zodiac in any meaningful sense.

It's like deities. Crowley addresses this directly. Both Hermes and Tahuti are attributed to Hod, for example, but this in no way makes them the same deity. They are separate, individual deities who happen to share overlapping spheres of influence. Or like when you say that Aquarius is ruled by both Saturn and Uranus in modern astrology, you are not saying that Saturn = Uranus. The two planets are entirely different.

So it makes more sense to think about it that way when you're attributing forces to the sephiroth. Things may exist at the same "level" in the spiritual hierarchy while at the same time remaining entirely distinct from one another.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what you're saying, but it still seems off to me, and I can't quite express it in words as to why :)) But hey, like you said, if it works, it works, and it's way better than having no attributions to them.

Scott Stenwick said...

Right. If the one set feels off, find another that feels better to you.

Anonymous said...

You can disregard this, because I'm not aiming for a debate. I'm just writing it down so I won't forget it :) So it doesn't necessarily have to make sense :))

So the reason why the planets are attributed to the sephirot is because of the time it takes for each of them to transit the whole chart, as viewed from Earth, right? Saturn being the slowest and the Moon being the fastest - I'm not sure this is the case, I'm only speculating because I didn't study into it, but it makes sense. Otherwise, if they were attributed by the physical distance between each of their orbits and that of the Earth, Venus would be in Hod and Mercury in Netzach.

So taking this into consideration, the outer planets would have to be in a sphere above Binah. It's impossible to evenly diving 3 (planets) between/to 2 (spheres), so it makes it hard to arrange all three of the outer planets between Kether and Chockmah. Pluto's orbit is also erratic, and besides being at an angle from the relative orbits of the other planets, it also intersects the orbit of Neptune twice. Thus Pluto "travels" in between Uranus and Neptune at times. This is also very strange.

Now I understand your logic for placing Pluto with the rest of the asteroids in Daath, and the Abyss, because they are remnants of planets not fully formed and/or destroyed along the way. But keeping withingthe logic regarding the distances between orbits, it's off, because Pluto and the rest of the planetoids and asteroids are spread throughout the solar system. Well, kind of.

The astrological story behind Chiron (it being the Raibow Bridge between the outer and the inner planets), along with the mythology of Chiron (rejected/neglected son of Saturn, who was nurtured by the Sun in the end) would make it a candidate for Daath, even if the orbit of Chiron is beyond that of Saturn, but it also comes between Saturn and Jupiter at times.

In any case, I'm thinking along these lines, and keep in mind that it's only my wild imagination and intuition talking.

So according to Qabalah (not necessarily, but just to start my ideas haha), God is formulated as Yod-He-Vau-He, Fire, Water, Air, Earth. So Yod-He-Vau-He manifests throughout all Creation, from Chockmah (triplicities) to Malkuth and the physical world.

The Godname for Kether is AHIH, that of Chockmah is YAH, but when we get to Binah we come across YHVH ELOHIM. To my mind it translates to Yod-He-Vau-He Gods, or Fire-Water-Air-Earth Gods.

So if Pluto was somehow associated with Fire, Neptune with Water, Uranus with Air, and we know Saturn Earth, it came to me that all 4planets are attributed to Binah. Chockmah is the male polarity that projects "stuff" into Binah, the female polarity, which in turn gives that "stuff" form and structure. But while doing so it acts upon that "stuff" just like a womb acts upon the semen. The whole process of life happens inside of Binah, but at a sible scale, just as it happens in the physical womb. So Binah, like the physical woman, would have to have all 4 elements inside, but on a different scale than the rest of the lower sephirot, since it's part of the supernal triad... I just received a phone call and I lost my train of thoughts, which was speed thin anyway, because it's hard for me to put these things into words :)) Maybe some other time when inspiration hits me. Sorry for all the pointless words :)

Scott Stenwick said...

I could see something like that being logical, and I always am a fan of experimentation. If that makes more sense to you, go with it.

The deal is that with the Kircher, the planets are mapped to the sephiroth in order of relative astrological motion. If you exclude Pluto that works perfectly, and at the time Pluto was discovered nobody understood that there are other objects out in the Kuiper belt that are about the same size as Pluto, and possibly even a little larger.

So that's where the big debate came from over whether Pluto is a full planet or not. I agree with astronomers and say no, and that makes the schema work. If Pluto is a planet it stands to reason that at the very least the other "Plutoids" should be treated as well. There's nothing that special about Pluto except that it happened to be discovered first - which is basically coincidence.

We had a discussion at our last ritual night about how the schemas of ritual magick are specific to Earth. If you go to another solar system, you have different numbers of planets and moons and everything, basically. The idea, then, that the attributions of the Tree of Life that we use could be location-specific is really not that farfetched.

Prediction: if Uranus = Chockmah and Kether = Neptune is correct in any objective sense, there should be no large "Planet Nine" that some astronomers think might be way out on the edge of the solar system.

There should just be more Kuiper belt "plutoids" out there, the interaction of which is producing whatever gravitation anomalies are being observed. We'll have to see how that works out going forward.

Anonymous said...

Indeed. I've always wondered if the ToL would be different for someone who would be born on another planet. Or was born in another planet, if we are to take the legends of lost Martian civilizations as being true, or whatever :) In that case, wouldn't Mars be located in Malkuth?

The idea that Pluto is not so special is logical, but then I wonder why people had named it as such? I mean Uranus is clearly named after the god of the heavens/sky, the father of the titans, and thus of Saturn. What struck me even more about Uranus is one of its two symbols. The one with an apparent H looks cooler I guess (Galactus from the Marvel universe kind of has that H on his head), but the other glyph is more symbolic. Similar to those of the Sun and of Mars combined, but with the arrow pointing straight up. This to me speaks as solar consciousness going past the limitations of Saturn (the circle) and into higher spheres/realms.

But returning to Pluto. As for of the underworld it ruled collective health, because most of the Earth's valuable resources are underground. It's funny how the Great Depression arrived just prior to Pluto's discovery. Pluto in astrology is creation and destruction, death and rebirth, decay, putrefaction, and transformation. The atom was split in the same year Pluto was discovered, if I remember correctly, or a short time afterwards. The atom is the building blocks of matter, because it's the first structure that binds together seemingly random particles. And as we know, nothing is wasted in the universe, it's just transformed. A dead body decays, it's eaten by bugs and worms etc, but those atoms that had composed it don't split, they just become part of nature. Later on some of them could be absorbed by plants through their roots, others may enter the underground water streams and we could end up consuming them later on. So I would say that Pluto is a big deal. But I'm not arguing any idea, I'm just going along with my imagination :)

Scott Stenwick said...

Effectively, if you group the planets by relative astrological motion going up the Tree, that would be correct. The planet you are on is always Malkuth.

From the Moon it's easy. Earth and the Moon would just switch places, so the Moon would be Malkuth and Earth would be Yesod with the rest the same. On Mars, Earth and Earth's Moon would behave like a single system, so only one planet. Mars has two moons. So maybe this:

Yesod - Phobos and Deimos (Moons of Mars)
Hod - Mercury
Netzach - Venus
Tiphareth - Earth/Moon
Geburah - Sun
Chesed - Jupiter
Binah - Saturn

What about a human colony on Titan, Saturn's moon? You'd need to use geothermal energy from the core for heat, but all the elements necessary for life are otherwise present. That would look something like this:

Yesod - Saturn
Hod - Mercury
Netzach - Venus
Tiphareth - Earth/Moon
Geburah - Mars
Chesed - Jupiter
Binah - Uranus (without moons you have to bring in one more planet)

And so forth. It would be very different. However, the ascending relative astrological motion model gives us a relatively standard system we can use to do it.

Anonymous said...

*damn autocorrect - meant to say Lord of the Underworld

More food for thought. Thanks! This would also apply in the case of constellations, because the night sky is totally different when viewed from another star system. Like what we see as Betelgeuse in Orion may be part of the "Ewok constellation" over there :)

Anonymous said...

So according to your model that places Pluto in Daath, since you are using the godname YHVH Elohim, would you call upon Tzaphkiel when working with Pluto? Or would you call upon Azrael, the angel of death? I'm asking this because i've come across the attribution of Azrael to Pluto, since Pluto in astrology is death and rebirth, among other things.

Scott Stenwick said...

No, I would probably not call Tzaphkiel for working with Pluto. Given Pluto's underworld attributions, it seems to be that Azrael would probably be a better way to go.

Anonymous said...

I see, and it makes sense.

But what if someone were to attribute Uranus or Neptune to Daath? I don't think Azrael would fit with either of the planets...

In any case I think I will start experimenting with my hypothesis of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto being all in Binah. For starters I will call upon Tzaphkiel for all of them.

As for the hexagram, I will use that of Saturn, but in the King Scale colors of the path of the elements Air-Uranus, Water-Neptune, Fire-Pluto, and the planetary glyph in the corresponding color. I will use YHVH Elohim as the godname, of course.

I don't know when I'm going to do this, and I don't know what mundane purpose I should ask for in any of them. So any ideas are welcomed. I think I'll start by asking things having to do with their astrological traits and work from there.

Scott Stenwick said...

Well, let me know how it goes. For practical goals I might think about it from the standpoint of Uranus as the higher octave of Mercury, Neptune as the higher octave of Venus, and Pluto as the higher octave of Mars. So you'd be looking at goals similar to attributions of those planets, but more general and/or transcendental.