Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Do Fixed Star Talisman Elections

My software guy, Peter, was working on a new program, Stellis, for fixed star elections, but he is having problems with illness in his family so I don't know if Stellis is going to get off the ground. Basically it would have automated the process of fixed star elections for the 15 fixed stars discussed by Hermes.

But, lacking that, we have to do things by hand. (heh, heh, heh!) Well, maybe not strictly by hand since we can use astrological software.

Here is the recipe:

(1) Fixed star rising or culminating, ie within 3-5 degrees of the Ascendant or Midheaven. Rising, start within 3 degrees of the Ascendant in the 1st house, middle of time range should be star right on the Ascendant and end when star is 3-5 degrees into 12th house. Similarly on Midheaven, start 3-5 degrees in the 10th house, middle of election when star is right on Midheaven and stop when star is 3-5 degrees into 9th house.

(2) Moon applying to fixed star. Best is conjunction, sextile or trine also usable. Must be applying, not separating.

(3) Moon and fixed star unafflicted,i.e., no applying oppositions or squares of any planet, no applying conjunctions of Saturn, Mars or planets afflicted, or South Node. Moon and star not combust, (within 8.5 degrees of Sun).

Ok, how to do apply this recipe?

If you have Solar Fire or other astrological software, you can use it, basically following the instructions below, but hopefully if you already have astrological software you know how to change the date and time.

A good free online chart drawing program is Astrodienst at astro.com
Here are their free horoscopes

Choose Chart Drawing, Ascendant

Go ahead and put in your location and current date and time.

Click continue and you get a chart.

Look and see what sign the Moon is in. Right now, 10 am CST, November 30, 2010 the Moon is at 2 Libra.

Go to Hermes on the 15 Fixed Stars and look for a star that does what you want it to do. For example, Spica is good for wealth. Look and see where Spica is in the Zodiac as listed on the page, Spica is at 23 Libra 47, or 23 degree of Libra and 47 minutes. Degrees are close enough so Spica is at 23 degrees of Libra.

Ok, so go to your chart and at the top right hand it says "edit data" for whatever you have named the chart. I named mine Spica.

I changed the date to December 1st, 2010, still 10 am CST, and the Moon is at 16 Libra, getting closer.

December 2, 2010, 10 am CST and the Moon is at 0 Scorpio, too far!

So December 1st, 2010 is the possible day for Spica. At 10 am CST, the Moon is past the Midheaven, so let's try 8 am CST, at that time Midheaven is 9 Libra, so we need to go a bit later. 8:30 am CST is 17 Libra, getting closer. Since we need 23 Libra on the Midheaven, I kept adding smaller and smaller increments of time, until I got 8:50 am CST on December 1st, when 23 Libra is on the Midheaven.

Moon is at 15 Libra 48, a bit less than 8 degrees from Spica and the Midheaven at 23 Libra, and applying.

Moon is not making any bad applying aspects and Moon & Spica are unafflicted.

Ok, 8:50 am CST is the middle of the time range. 8:40 am gives us 20 Libra on the Midheaven, so that's a good start, though you could push it back further and 9 am, with 26 Libra on the Midheaven, is a good stop time.

So I would start my talisman creation at 8:40 am CST on December 1, 2010, and then get started on my consecration ritual before 9 am CST. If the consecration takes longer than the election time range that's fine, just try to get the talisman made during the elected time and start the ritual ASAP.

That's how it's done!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Official Governmental and Scientific Attitude to Astrology

Ok, finally, I have it, the official statement of the scientific community and the United States government with regard to astrology. This is from the National Science Foundation which is an official US government agency and specifically from the National Science Board's Science and Engineering Indicators 2006, chapter 7 Science and Technology: Public Attitudes and Understanding, Belief in Pseudoscience

"A recent study of 20 years of survey data collected by NSF concluded that "many Americans accept pseudoscientific beliefs," such as astrology, lucky numbers, the existence of unidentified flying objects (UFOs), extrasensory perception (ESP), and magnetic therapy (Losh et al. 2003). Such beliefs indicate a lack of understanding of how science works and how evidence is investigated and subsequently determined to be either valid or not. Scientists, educators, and others are concerned that people have not acquired the critical thinking skills they need to distinguish fact from fiction. The science community and those whose job it is to communicate information about science to the public have been particularly concerned about the public's susceptibility to unproven claims that could adversely affect their health, safety, and pocketbooks."

Note that this report does not limit itself to stating that astrology is outside the purview of science, but denigrates it as a "pseudoscience" and that belief in astrology indicates that one has "not acquired the critical thinking skills they need to distinguish fact from fiction."

What is also telling about the report is that it repeatedly equates the term "scientific" with being valid and unscientific with being false. Interesting that it stops with astrology, ESP and UFOs and isn't honest enough to label transubstantiation, angels and God as unscientific also. Well, that would violate the science/religion truce in which science gets to define reality, using atheistic/materialist philosophy, but the religious get to keep on believing irrationally in that which clearly does not exist as matter or energy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The College of Astrology Trap!

I stumbled across a new "esoteric" institute today and immediately noticed that they wanted to be cool, hip and with it and associate themselves with astrology, alchemy and magic, but they wanted to be official, legitimate and academic at the same time. They had cool sounding classes, but also a plagiarism policy. They had classes "about" esoteric subjects, but not actually teaching any practical applications and all their faculty members needed academic degrees. Ah, the latest either victims or perpetrators of the College of Astrology Trap!

Kepler College was the probably the most famous example of the College of Astrology Trap. Kepler was set up with great hoopla and huzzahs, particularly from the modern astrological "community" Kepler was going to be a degree granting, fully accredited university of astrology. Eventually hopes were that it would have a campus, but to start, students would travel in regularly after having correspondence courses most of the time. Kepler would follow the standard American academic model, have academically qualified lecturers, obviously the best way to teach.

Frankly I was always skeptical, right from the get go. Personally, I had a great time at college in the US, but I can't say that I really learned that much. Law school, in terms of learning, was an utter and complete waste of time and landed me with $50,000 in debt. Certainly from the standpoint of social prestige college and particularly law school was useful and I got my union card punched, but it was an extremely wasteful and expensive way not to learn. And let's face it, the real point of college is to get a job. Which college you go to ranks you and your grades rank you and then employers use this ranking to hire you for something that has nothing to do with what you ostensibly studied.

This made Kepler College particularly ridiculous. First of all, it was NEVER going to get accredited. They had a heckuva time even getting the provisional right to grant degrees, while the opposition from the atheistic/materialist elite completely blocked any chance of granting accredited degrees. Secondly, even if they had managed to get accredited, how were you going to get a job with an astrology degree? So in other words, from a usual, practical standpoint of a normal American college education you would have wasted thousands of dollars getting a useless degree.

From the standpoint of actually teaching astrology, on the other hand, Kepler was also really off base. My opinion is that the standard American style university teaching method is a terrible way to learn anything. While that's certainly debatable, it certainly is extremely expensive. For what Kepler students were paying for a year of the multi-year programs, you could take all of my courses, Deb Houlding's courses, Zoller's course that New Library "liberated" from him, a whole slew of other traditional astrology courses, though it might not also stretch to John Frawley's 2,000 pound horary course.

Of course, the other problem that Kepler had was that it was trying so desperately hard to be accepted by the academic establishment that it had to keep de-emphasizing actual astrology and keep pushing more and more deeply into studying "about" astrology and those silly, misguided, quaint old souls long ago, who actually bought into its foolishness. Those who can't or rather refuse to do it, teach it. Truly the motto of modern academia, particularly when atheistic/materialism is the required philosophical outlook.

So Kepler ended up being overpriced, teaching less and less actual astrology, but not being academic enough and denying astrology enough to get accredited, thus being the most famous victim/perpetrator of the College of Astrology trap. They were not the first and will not be the last to try to bridge the unbridgeable, just like those that insist that science and spirituality are drawing closer together.

Now, of course there are those that merely fly under false colors, without trying to reconcile the irreconcilable. We have the academics who get a frisson of excitement from the unwary and author learned treatises on astrology while denouncing those that would be so irrational as to actually practice it. We have the bogus granting of "degrees" by schools of astrology, aping the academics.

It saddens me, however, that we cannot see how corrupt and empty the American system of "education" is. Traditional astrologers are very lucky that Kepler College did not succeed because it might well have taken us down the wrong path. We need to structure our teaching in a traditional manner so our student really do learn traditional astrology, not in some stripped down, twisted, expensive distortion as part of the American dis-education machine in the atheistic/materialist establishment.

I have a very spiritual friend that was a wandering hippie in the 70s. He never went to college and only eventually got his GED. Nevertheless he is one of the most educated and erudite people that I know. People regularly mistake him for a professor of English or Literature, but he is so widely read that he taught himself. For myself, I am almost entirely an autodidact. In addition, I was extremely lucky to be able to study traditional astrology with a teacher who had both theoretical knowledge and was a very experienced practicing astrologer. This apprentice/master method is the absolute best way to learn and I am proud to take my place as first a student and now a teacher in the great Chain of traditional astrological education. Free your mind and the rest, will most certainly follow!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ritual Use of Candles & Free Beeswax Candle with Talisman Order

I just thought I would post a few thoughts regarding the ritual use of candles. Lamps, which use a fuel that is liquid at room temperature and a wick, were more prevalent in the classical period in the Mediterranean, but by the Middle Ages and Renaissance, certainly in northern Europe, candles, which use a solid fuel and wick, predominated.

Picatrix, written circa 1000 AD mentions both candles and lamps for magical and ritual use. Agrippa has a whole chapter on lights, colors and candles at Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk I, ch 49. Light, says Agrippa, has very special properties, originating in the mind of the One and diffusing through the 3 Worlds, Divine, Celestial and Material.

"Also there are made artificially some Lights, by Lamps, Torches, Candles, and such like, of some certain thing, and liquors opportunely chosen, according to the rule of the Stars, and composed amongst themselves according to their congruity, which when they be lighted, and shine alone, are wont to produce some wonderfull, and Celestiall effects" Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk I, ch 49

Agrippa lists the various colors appropriate to the planets:

For all colours, black, lucid, earthy, leaden, brown, have relation to Saturne.
Saphire and airy colours, and those which are alwaies green, clear,
purple, darkish, golden, mixed with Silver, belong to Jupiter.
Red colours, and burning, fiery, flaming, violet, purple, bloody, and
iron colours, resemble Mars.
Golden, Saffron, purple, and bright colours, resemble the Sun.
But all white, fair, curious, green, ruddy, betwixt saffron, and
purple, resemble Venus, Mercury, and the Moon.

Moreover amongst the houses of the heaven, the first and seventh hath
white colour: the second, and twelfth green: the third, and eleventh
saffron: the fourth, and the tenth red: the fift, and ninth honey
colour: the sixt, and eighth, black.

Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk I, ch 49

Until the 19th century candles were typically made of beeswax or tallow (animal fat). Now most commercially available candles use paraffin which is made from petroleum. Paraffin candles can be dyed so in rootwork and hoodoo (Southern Folk magic) in the early 20th century colored candles began to be widely used.

For rootwork the candle colors were task based:

white -- spiritual blessings, purity, healing, rest
blue -- peace, harmony, joy, kindly intentions, healing
green -- money spells, gambling luck, business, a good job, good crops
yellow -- devotion, prayer, money (gold), cheerfulness, attraction
red -- love spells, affection, passion, bodily vigour
pink -- attraction, romance, clean living
purple -- mastery, power, ambition, control, command
orange -- change of plans, opening the way, prophetic dreams
brown -- court case spells, neutrality
black -- repulsion, dark thoughts, sorrow, freedom from evil

Lucky Mojo candle magic

When I first started doing astrological magic over a decade ago, there was very little authentic medieval or Renaissance astrological magic ritual available so I began with rootwork as my first magical practice. The basic rituals I provide with Renaissance Astrology talismans still have this flavor since I suggest colored candles for various planets. As you can see, however, this makes sense given Agrippa's discussion of candles and colors of lights, even though medieval and Renaissance magicians would not have been using colored candles.

I have actually gone back to medieval and Renaissance practice and started using beeswax candles. Paraffin candles can cause sensitivities due to their fumes. Beeswax candles smell like honey! Beeswax candles are a rich yellow honey color as well. I have been using them for all my ritual work with good results! Now couple of things to mention, they are more expensive than paraffin candles and they do take some futzing around with. You need to keep the wick trimmed and if you get the votive style beeswax candles they can "tunnel" burn down inside and leave thin wax walls. I just fold these in so the candles burns evenly.

I'd like to encourage the use of beeswax candles, so if you buy a talisman from today, November 6 to Sunday November 14, 2010, just remind me and I will include a free 2 inch beeswax votive candle! These are 100% natural, organic and smell just like honey when they burn.

Ok, let me describe how I use candles. I'm very big on mirrors and lights for my altars. If you take a look at one of my earlier altars you can see that I have white votive candles burning on the altar. I try to keep a candle burning in front of the planet of the day. If I am not in the room, out goes the candle! Safety first! DO NOT LEAVE CANDLES BURNING UNATTENDED!

In addition to the constantly burning candle for the planet of the day, I also invoke the spirits of the 3rd and 13th Mansions when the Moon is in those Mansions every month. I start the candle when I do the invocation and then let it burn completely, putting it out and restarting it, when I am in the room. I do the same thing, starting a candle and letting it burn out, when I do any invocation for a talisman.

I really do feel like burning a candle is about the minimum you can do for an invocation. I am rather sensitive to incense smoke and tend to just do micro amounts. For the 3rd and 13th Mansion, I might do just one or two beads of natural resin on a very small piece of charcoal. I certainly couldn't have incense burning all the time, nor do I burn clouds and clouds of it when I do invocations. Still some sort of sacrifice, ie burning incense or at a minimum, a candle does seem necessary. I once was trying to do a Jupiter talisman workshop and we couldn't do incense and the candles didn't work either. So I did the invocation without them and 15 minutes later my Jupiter talisman disappeared! Something had to be sacrificed if there were no candles or incense!

So, personally, I use lots and lots of candles. I buy white or natural beeswax by the case and use them for all my ritual work. This seems to work, but appropriately colored candles work well too. I also tend to use just one candle, though again you can use an appropriate number. Agrippa, in Three Books of Occult Philosophy Bk II, ch 22 gives the following numbers

Saturn 3 or 9
Jupiter 4 or 16
Mars 5
Sun 6
Venus 7
Mercury 8
Moon 9

For me, it just wouldn't be a real invocation or ritual without candles and my altar would look bare without its perpetual planetary candle going! So like I said, if you buy a talisman from today, November 6 to Sunday November 14, 2010, just remind me and I will include a free 2 inch beeswax votive candle! These are 100% natural, organic and smell just like honey when they burn. Try out the original, just like Picatrix or Agrippa would have used!