Sunday, November 23, 2014

Using USNO Website for Fixed Star Elections!

Folks, I had posted earlier about the US Naval Observatory website which has a great page on rising, transiting(culminating) and setting times for any world location for planets and many stars.

Now I've really done it! I have a great new Renaissance Astrology webpage on how to use the USNO webpage for elections for all 15 of Hermes fixed stars.

Here's the link to my USNO fixed star elections page.

This makes it easy to do your own fixed star elections, this is perfect for consecration and invocation, though for actually making talismans you are going to want to elect more factors. I explain how to do this in my Astrological Magic Course.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Moon and Intuition: Key for Astrological Prediction?

On my recent trip to Japan I did a number of unusual (at least unusual for me!) things.

I've mentioned the planetary initiation, this time of Jupiter, which I was privileged to give to participants at a Shinto shrine in Osaka. I've never done these in the US!

Also on my list of unusual things was doing on the spot natal readings. Normally, I always do my readings in writing. I find this gives me time to think carefully about the chart, and seems to help to write out the reading. But as part of my astrology lectures in both Tokyo and Osaka, I looked at participants' natal charts, riffing on the spot and even in public, so the other participants could see and hear. Not that I want to switch my general readings to this style, but very interesting!

Among the lecture participants were a good number of professional Japanese astrologers, tarot readers, and other types of professional Eastern and Western fortunetellers. In Japan fortunetelling of many types, traditional Japanese, Chinese, Taoist/Yin yang, along with Western methods are both practiced and widely accepted. It's more accepted here and easier to think about and actually begin a professional career.

What was striking about the natal charts of the Japanese fortunetellers was the fact that very often they had either an angular and/or dignified Moon. I think of about 8 or so fortuneteller participants, about 7 had this signature. Very interesting!

Ok, so first let's talk a bit about astrological signatures. We must be very careful not to try to set up a 1 to 1 correspondence between character traits or natal characteristics and individual chart features. For example, while almost everyone who has a strongly dignified Mercury in the chart is intelligent, plenty of intelligent people have afflicted Mercuries.

But the prominence of the Moon in fortuneteller chart is interesting. In my chart, for example, the Moon is rising. We tend to think of Mercury as ruling astrology and indeed Lilly, Christian Astrology page 78 says Mercury rules astrologers. Saturn also plays a role, ruling "secret sciences" Picatrix Bk III, ch 7. But Picatrix also says the Moon rules, "thoroughly studying high sciences such as astrology, magic, and other secret sciences" Picatrix Bk III, ch 7.

While I looked and couldn't find a reference in traditional sources, the Moon is also often associated in contemporary traditional astrology with intuition, visions, prophecy and psychic ability. When Robert Zoller looked at my chart, he noted that the rising Moon indicated intuition and divinatory ability. The prominence of the Moon in these charts brought home to me the importance of intuition and divinatory ability to astrologers.

This raises an important point. When I first started practicing traditional astrology people would ask, "Are you psychic?" and I would say "no, this is scientific" After 15 years, I have realized that what Lilly calls judgment, aka intuition, is a key part of astrological prediction. I am finally confident enough in my intuitive approach to look at natal charts and publicly predict. It was gratifying to basically be on the money with almost every chart.

But as traditional astrologers we use intuition and psychic ability a bit different than a classic psychic. We do not immediately jump to our intuition. We first delineate the chart using traditional methods and then, within the possibilities indicated by the chart, we use our judgment and intuition to determine the final answer. I discuss this in a Youtube lecture here.

Nevertheless, this divinatory ability is extremely important. As astrologers should embrace rather than reject the title of fortuneteller, but in fact we are oracles. A great privilege and a weighty responsibility!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I had a recent question asking about rectification, which supposedly is a way for an astrologer to find your birth time if you don't know it so you can have a natal chart and have it read.

Ok, if we look at Christian Astrology, pages 507-519, where Lilly discusses rectification, frankly my eyes glaze over. A series of complex calculations in 17th century English are required.

However what is reasonably clear is that Lilly is seeking to rectify by going backwards, ie he looks at "accidents" basically significant incidents in the native's life and then uses that to try and reconstruct their birth chart. The basic method, which he mentions repeatedly is directions, ie primary directions.

This is a key traditional natal timing technique, which has been simplified as a degree for a year, or a day for a year, but in fact involves taking the 2-D chart and using spherical trigonometry, remapping the chart to the Heavens and then using complex calculations to mathematically see the path of the planets. This is then used, along with solar revolutions (returns) profections, and transits to do timing from a natal chart, or in this case rectification.

Frankly, I've never been able to understand primary directions or even figure out how to use software that has them. I know that many astrologers are excited about them and that's great, I've just never seen anyone convincingly look at multiple unknown natal charts and accurately time multiple life events with primary directions. Lilly certainly claimed to be able to do it, but I can't follow his methods sufficiently to check. It may be possible, all I can say is I can't do it and I don't know anyone who can.

Ditto with rectification, again it may be possible, but I personally can't do it and don't know anyone who can accurately. It's very easy to fool ourselves here, because if we know the outcome or know the life history of the person involved we can fit it into almost any chart and convince ourselves that we are doing prediction.

What I find is that horary which is very focused and precise compared to natal because it is dealing with such a limited question, still cannot time very accurately. Either the indications aren't in the chart or often they aren't accurate. Natal charts have almost no timing indications in them, if we just look at the basic chart, we have to use additional techniques like primary directions, firdaria, profections, solar revolutions and the modern favorite, transits. Given the broader strokes of the natal chart which is your chart when you are 2 and when you are 90, obviously the amount of detail and precision must be much less than a horary. So if precise horary timing is tough, natal must be even more difficult.

And this is for traditional astrological technique! Modern doesn't have a hope. Modern astrologers try to time off of just transits and solar returns(revolutions), plus they don't use essential dignities. Transiting Jupiter in fall with Jupiter in detriment in the natal chart is not likely to be very positive for the native, but a modern astrologer would be saying, "money, success, YEEEEH!"

So, it would be very nice to see someone make traditional rectification their life's work. They would need to master basic traditional natal technique, then master the natal timing techniques including primary directions, then master rectification. Then do about 500 unknown charts and be able to consistently accurate predict without knowing the native or their life history. If someone does do this, I will be happy to be their student!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Procyon Consecration Election & USNO Page

Folks, I was really surprised by the strong positive response to the new Procyon/Jupiter double talismans Note the image of a frizzly rooster!

We've shipped the new talismans and many will have already received them. Since this is both a Jupiter and a Procyon talisman combined, it should get both a Jupiter and a separate Procyon personal consecration, unless you can find a combined election. Obviously this may not be possible, so two separate elections are fine.

Ok, let's step back a bit and talk about the personal consecration. Now all Renaissance Astrology talismans and in fact all astrological talismans, need to be consecrated when they are created. We need to create astrological talismans at an astrologically auspicious time and also to call the appropriate spirit into them at that time. So all Renaissance Astrology talismans are "charged" though I prefer the formulation, ensouled.

The personal consecration is for the user to courteously introduce themselves to the spirit or spirits of the talisman. To bring the "energy" already in the talisman to the user. What this means is that since the talisman is already created, and the energies present at the time of the making fixed, that the election for the personal consecration is much less crucial. We just want to get in touch with the spirits.

So for Jupiter this is pretty easy, use the planetary hour of Jupiter. The planetary day is a bonus, but the hour is key.

For Procyon and other fixed stars, while we would like the Moon applying to conjoin, sextile or trine of the fixed star for a talisman, for a personal consecration we can have the fixed star just rising or culminating.

So we are lucky to have the USNO to provide us with the times of planet and star risings, transitings (what we call culminating) and settings. Here is the special USNO page.

In this case, it is even easier because Procyon is one of the celestial objects specifically listed on the page. I'm going to go further and provide a good date, September 18, 2014 when the Moon is applying to conjoin Procyon. So for that date plug in your location and select Procyon. Then look for Procyon transiting. Start your personal consecration 10-15 minutes before this time and end 10-15 minutes after.

Easy! Thanks USNO!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Traditional and Modern Astrologers: Never the twain shall meet?

I recently had someone on my discussion group Spiritus Mundi ask me about the void of course Moon in fixed star elections.

One of the nice things about having practiced, taught and wrote about traditional astrology for close to 15 years is that I find that I have often already answered a lot of questions.

Here's a post on exactly this question: Fixed Stars and Void of Course Moon

And in fact it references another post that gives a nice run down on modern astrology Retrograde Planet Riff

It's interesting also because I tend to differ from some other traditional astrologers in terms of who the best audience is to get interested in traditional astrology. A certain number of traditional astrologers think that modern astrologers are a good audience to convert to traditional. Now certainly a good number of now traditional astrologers may have started with modern. I think I was lucky because I never trained in or used modern before learning traditional. Lucky? Not because traditional is necessarily so superior, but just that I didn't have to unlearn anything.

This is a serious problem! Prospective students ask if they aren't disadvantaged taking my courses because they know nothing about astrology. I tend to say again that they are lucky because they can start from scratch.

Compared to most other New Age "sciences" modern astrology is pretty difficult. You do have to learn the planets, signs and aspects. You do need to look at a chart. This does take some effort. Why would you want to toss all that and learn a different method? Even more confusing is that fact that most modern astrologers aren't aware that there are other schools of astrology or that there is any reason not to use any and all techniques of any and all schools simultaneously. Finally there is a philosophical problem. Traditional astrology predicts, traditional astrology openly accepts and in fact depends on Fate. Modern astrology weirdly enough denies Fate and makes disguised predictions. Moderns like modern astrology because it fits them better.

This makes traditional astrology a hard sell to modern astrologers. Throw in magic and you've really got a problem. Magic definitely gives modern astrologers the heebie-jeebies. So my view tends to be that modern astrologers are not the best audience for traditional astrology or astrological magic.

Who is? A pretty diverse, but small group. Unlike modern astrology, traditional seems to be about 50-50 men and women. Traditional astrologers and astrological magicians are scattered all over the world. What they all share is a consuming passion for these ancient arts, consuming enough to put in the considerable time and effort required for mastery. Many people describe how traditional astrology and astrological magic call to them, how they feel inexorably drawn to it. That's certainly how I felt and still feel!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Astrological Magic without Astrology?

Astrology, alchemy and magic are called the Hermetic Arts because they are under the patronage of Hermes Trismegistus, the Thrice Great Hermes.

Hermes Trismegistus is a liminal figure, literally threshold, but also relating to doors, boundaries and gates. To be truly Hermetic is to embrace paradox, to be both fish and fowl simultaneously and to love having your cake and eating it too.

This makes astrological magic particularly Hermetic, since astrologers and magicians mix like oil and water. Astrologers, as a general rule, are loath to do magic, they prefer to sit back and passively observe the Heavens. While modern astrologers don't tend to like the idea of Fate, as astrologers they are, in fact, the votaries of Fate, watching it unfold in the celestial cycles. Magicians, on the other hand, tend towards the exercise of will, seeing themselves as acting and acting independently. Whether or not this is actually Free Will depends on the person and how you define it, but the stereotypes of the active magician and passive astrologer have some merit.

Astrological magic, therefore, combines these two arts. The astrological magician must act, but only at a time that is astrologically propitious.

Getting astrologers to act and do magic is very difficult, for various reasons it seems to go against their grain. Magicians, on the other hand, don't seem to like the idea that they are not in control, that they have to wait to express their will. Also from a practical standpoint, learning traditional astrology is difficult.

A basic resistance to any timing and the practical difficulties of learning traditional astrology means typically when the normal magician does planetary magic, they use very little astrological timing, generally not much more than planetary days and hours. This itself is very traditional, the Greater Key of Solomon, a very popular Solomonic grimoire, is pretty much limited to planetary day and hour, with the occasional Moon phase or planet in sign.

There are three different factors that give power to astrological talismans: the materials and design of the talisman, the consecration ritual and the astrological timing. So, if you make a Jupiter talisman, for example, with a great whomping ritual and appropriate materials, you can still get results from it, even if the timing isn't right. Of course, you're going to get better results if you have proper design and materials, ritual AND astrological timing.

Personally, I get nervous about astrological magic that's not astrologically timed. For example, early on I made a Jupiter talisman, Jupiter day and hour, but Jupiter in detriment and retrograde. I started immediately losing large amounts of money until I deconsecrated it.

As Picatrix says and this is applicable to any serious affliction of any planet, "If [Saturn] is retrograde and you ask him for something, what you seek will come about with delays and miseries and great labor." Bk II ch 7.

I don't want to be dogmatic about this and imply some sort of minefield effect where you blow up if you make a single mistake. So, I don't make talismans with a planet afflicted and this includes being retrograde, because this freezes the conditions permanently. On the other hand, I do planetary invocations daily, regardless of the planet's condition. That seems odd, but then I have been doing these continuously every day for over 10 years. I think the continuous repetition makes up for the occasional negative conditions. Similarly, once a planetary talisman is made, it seems to be ok to re-consecrate on planetary hour even if other conditions are problematic, since the talisman is already made.

The key point here is that astrological conditions do matter for astrological talismans. There's some flexibility here, but it really is a mistake to ignore astrology when working with the planets, stars, etc. Align yourself with the celestial cycles and the power of your magic will increase tremendously, to ignore them, or worse to fight them is to fight the tide, "Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. But omitted, and the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries" -- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar Act IV Scene 3.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

USNO page for Astrological Magic: Part 2, Fixed Star Elections

Ok, in the previous post on the USNO page, I discussed how to use the page for planetary talismans using the rising or transiting/culminating time as determined by those friendly folks at the Naval Observatory. (I used to walk by the Observatory when I lived in DC, this is where the Vice President lives.)

So, this time we are going to use the USNO page to do a fixed star election. Let's go to the USNO rising, etc page Now to make a fixed star talisman you would like to have the Moon applying to conjoin (this is best) or applying to sextile or trine the star plus the right Moon phase, plus the Moon and star unafflicted. The USNO page won't do all this.

However, for a fixed star re-consecration, once the talisman is made, having the star rising or culminating/transiting, is fine. It's good to reconsecrate every six months or so, though you can do it more frequently if you want. Note, that when you get a fixed star talisman from Renaissance Astrology you get one free consecration election. After that you need to either do the election yourself, or order an election from me.

Again, for a US location use the top section, for a non-US location use the lower section. Just google the longitude and latitude for a non-US location, and google the elevation in meters for all locations.

Now choose the "Celestial Object of Interest" The USNO page actually lists a number of key fixed stars for astrological magic including Spica, Regulus, Aldebaran, Antares, Capella, Procyon and Vega.

So for my location Iowa City IA, elevation 203 meters on April 22, 2014 Spica culminated/transited at 00:31, that is 12:31 am and then rose at 19:0, ie 7:06 pm.

So start your consecration 15 minutes or so before the set time and end 15 minutes or so after the set time. Voila!

Ok, that's very cool for the listed stars. One that is not listed, but often needed is Algol. What I realized was that if we used Aldebaran, which is not far from Algol in the Zodiac, and had Aldebaran culminating/transiting, then subtracted an hour, we could get the Algol time.

So, for my for my location Iowa City IA, elevation 203 meters on April 22, 2014 Aldebaran culminated/transited at 15:40, that's 3:40 pm, so subtract an hour, that's 2:40 pm. and yes, 2:40 pm is when Algol culminates/transits. Start your Algol consecration at 2:25 pm and end at 2:55pm.

Thanks USNO!