Introduction to Planetary Magick

I’ve been doing ceremonial magick for many, many years, but I’ve never progressed beyond elemental magick before. The rituals seemed too complex, and I wasn’t confident enough in what I was doing. I also didn’t really understand what the end game in such ritual work.

DON inspired me several months ago to revisit my ceremonial magick practice with renewed vigor. My primary goal, as always, was mundane: refocus my life and find a new career path. I got back to regularly performing the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram and working with the elemental energies, but DON’s influence led me in a direction that I always flirted with but never really committed to: the invocation of my personal genius. And since I was exploring new things, I decided that working with planetary energies might help that work. Continue reading

Magic and Mood

When I do ceremonial magic, I record the times and environmental condition in a magical journal. This is upon the advice of Donald Michael Kraig in his book Modern Magick, so that the magician may assess what conditions contribute to the best magical success.

And this is the primary function of a magical journal (as distinct from a book of shadows): to allow you to review your performance. Continue reading

Supermoon!

Supermoon!!!!

I’m sure you’ve heard all sorts of wonderful things about the Supermoon that graced us this past weekend, and the awesome powers it holds. And how this Supermoon is the closed the Moon has been to the Earth for millions of years, and how it won’t come this close for millions more.

I have heard tell of spectacular Esbat rituals harnessing the unusual powers of the Supermoon, and the great sense of peace and tranquility that it has bestowed upon the participants thereof.

Gag me. Continue reading

Water

There’s been some interesting discussions about water at No Unsacred Place.

Emma-Jayne Saanen writes about her experience and reaction to water. Spoiler: Does not like.

I have a primal fear of water; Loch Lomond is no exception. I find my soul being called into her inescapable depths; the dark water pulling my light inwards. I would be lost, forever. Sitting above her energy in a tiny boat made the Loch even more intimidating. She could have claimed me as her own easily enough, her song calling me to climb to the upper deck, calling me to jump into her icy embrace.

Water is unnerving.

Inspired by this tale, Lupa offered her own perspective:

I grew up near creeks and streams, and fishing in ponds, and although I didn’t go to any ocean until I was in my late twenties, the Pacific has inspired child-like joy and wonder in me every time I visit it. I’m even happy splashing around a swimming pool or soaking in a hot tub, and my daily shower is one of life’s luxuries. I’m fortunate to have lived in places with uniformly clean, good-tasting tap water, and I never developed a bottled water habit.

So I suppose my relationship to water is overall pretty positive. Maybe it’s my evolutionary inheritance; supposedly we humans are attracted to places with water because in the savannahs we evolved in, knowing where the water is was crucial to our survival. But then again, it could also just be the culmination of a lot of positive experiences with water, too.

So, as with most things, this shall be an excuse to talk about myself.

Here is all the information that anyone could ever possible want to know about me and my entire life:

chiro1

That’s not the best picture, so let me summarize it a bit in the context of water as an element. I have five planets in water signs. Three of them are in Scorpio, and two of them are in Cancer. This includes the Sun and the Moon. My ascendant and midheaven are also in water signs.

Astrologically, I’m kind of a watery person.

Also of not is that the only planet I have in an Earth sign is Chiron, which many don’t consider a planet. And it’s retrograde. And if we don’t count it, the my natal Saturn is void-of-course.

Astrologers out there have just been given a tremendous insight into my personality. Non-astrologers may be a bit confuddled, so I will shorten all this. I’m not what most would consider “down to earth” or “well-grounded.” I don’t ground the way most people do, I’m empathic to the point that it can be near-crippling, and while I usually just as practical minded as most, I tend toward flights of fancy and bits of whimsey at random intervals. I emote easy, pick up on other people’s emotions easy, and am good and getting a feel of the energy of a room, whether I want to or not.

These are traits associated with water. Water permeates things. Things dissolve into it. It flows between one space and another, often with no clear boundary. It flows deep and conceals what lies beneath, and it churns things up from those depths.

Yeah, that’s me.

But perhaps I’m crossing the line between metaphor and reality. (But if you got the above you know I like to blur boundaries.) This is how I deal with water as an element. What about as an omnipresent chemical in our environment?

Like Lupa, I grew up around a lot of creeks. There are a few lakes and ponds out here, but most are artificial (as if that matters).  But the creeks are everywhere, to the point where springtime flooding is a yearly danger. (Just helped a friend clean out her flooded garage, actually.) So there is a great respect out here for flowing water and falling water.

That said, I love water. My childhood often centered around trips to the pool or playing in the bathtub. I still feel very out of sorts if I cannot have a good soak in a tub at least every couple of days. Swimming is a grand pleasure, especially if I am allowed the luxury of skinny-dipping, which is simply exquisite. Floating freely in a body of water, especially one teeming with life, is an extraordinary sensation to me. Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean was borderline ecstatic. (Have not made it to the Pacific or the Gulf yet.)

Water is cleansing and supportive. It caresses and soothes. It can cool and refresh or warm and invigorate. It restores balance. Moving in and through water is a natural, and indeed spiritual, extension of myself into the environment.

But I understand the fear of the depths of the hidden, the unseen churning deep below. I feel its siren call and know the dangers of its crushing oblivion. And I think that is part of water’s appeal, the fact that despite the ease with which it can destroy, it also supports and nurtures all life. So even as I fear it, I embrace and accept it, for its power sustains me.

 

Now deserts, they fucking terrify me.

Patterns: Divination and Creativity

Tyler Elwood posted some thoughts on divination and pattern recognition.

It’s not so much that the person has read my future but rather has shown me some existing patterns as well as other ones to be aware of. I’ve found the same to be true with Tarot readings and other forms of divination. What is being read are patterns of information and behavior and from that a person can get a good idea of what s/he needs to anticipate in the future.

I’ve done a lot of tarot readings at psychic fairs, and many of those readings are for people who have never had readings done for them. A common, and sometimes frustrated, observation by these querents is that I do not tell them much that they didn’t already know. But most of them observe that I put things that they did know into the context of a larger pattern or picture, which helped them determine a more appropriate course of action.

Tarot does not divine the future. I shows the present, and what is most probable to occur in the future if the current course is followed. This can sometimes throw new tarot readers off if the querent makes sudden decisions or changes their mind during the reading: the pattern shifts before you finish describing it, and that can in turn produce a disjointed or confused reading.

Tyler seems to be of a similar frame of thought:

The same applies to a Tarot reading. Someone does a reading for you and what it supplies you is an awareness of patterns of information. The cards don’t reveal the future but they show you what to look out for. Of course the only problem with this approach is that when you are looking at specific patterns you may not be aware of others. Pattern recognition helps you to be aware patterns, but it also acts as a filter so that you may only see those patterns. This is why although getting a divinatory reading can be helpful, sometimes it can be just as helpful to leave yourself open to experience to see what happens.

Tyler’s post stems from an astrology reading. Astrology is a curious case because we can see what influences are coming up far enough in advance to prepare for them, or at the very least if something big seems to be going on we can look at the astrological weather to see what’s going on. The problem with astrology is that it can be very vague, and how those influences impact you can vary widely.

But the real important issue for me is that connection between patterns and divination. My partner always says that she isn’t psychic, she just sees the bigger pattern and can tell where things are likely to go. And this is how I do readings, tarot, dice, or otherwise. It is recognizing how things fit together and then relate to the larger motion of the world that we find trends and patterns that guide us not in what will happen, but what we ultimately hope to have happen. If your outcome is not want you want, you need to look at what patterns are keeping you from that goal and change the expression of those patterns in your life and how they affect you.

I always felt this was why Apollo ruled both art and divination. Art and creativity depend largely on seeing new connections where others do not, and putting things together in new and unique ways. It is about recognizing a larger pattern that may not make sense to a lay person, but is apparent to the artist, and made manifest through his work. And this is the same process that divination undertakes, and why my prayers to Apollo address divination and creativity in terms of the ability to see new patterns as they emerge.