Sunday, December 30, 2012

Well Founded Confidence and Trust

I had a poster ask if you should elect a time for buying incense. Ok, certainly you could elect a time for buying incense, but elections take time and effort to locate and then you may be stuck getting up at 3:32 am to log on and make the purchase. Is it worth it? That's one practical issue.

Next practical issue: since most non-expert elections are going to be something like, "buy incense on a waxing Moon" one is fooling oneself thinking this makes much difference. I mean 50% of everything you do is on a waxing Moon, and obviously there are widely different results for all the activities done with Moon waxing, so there must be more to it than that. This slides into superstition.

And it's easy to get superstitious as a magic user/astrologer/etc,. Ok, what exactly does superstitious mean: "an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural" Now, I need to know what "abject" means, " Extremely bad, unpleasant" Ok, so basically getting too scared, too freaked out. And that's understandable, magic and astrology are pretty new to most people and our society is either afraid of them due to Judeo-Christian programming or dismissive due to atheistic materialism. So it's hard to know if you are making a mistake.

Here's what I do, in practical terms I save the elections for important events, or when they really are necessary, like for actually making astrological talismans. Otherwise, I try to go forward in well founded confidence and trust. Buying incense is an ancillary activity, as far as I'm concerned, so I wouldn't elect it.

You can get in tune with the flow and cycles of the Cosmos with astrology, no doubt, but also by intuition and sensitivity. One example I like is the Balinese and feng shui. This web page says that because of their cultural spiritual and artistic sensitivity the traditional Balinese are able to site and create buildings according to feng shui, but do it naturally and intuitively as well. I'm not an expert on Bali or feng shui, so I don't know if this article is giving a complete picture, but I like the overall thrust here.

On the other hand, I don't want to say, "do what comes naturally" right from the get go, because that's like giving someone a guitar who has never played and saying "go to it" They are going to make a godawful racket, not music. First you need to immerse yourself in the subject, learn the rules and then you can improvise, within the tradition. As I said, forward in well founded confidence and trust!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Final Degree of Sign

I just had a question about a planet being in the final degree of a sign, ie the 30th degree or 29 degrees 0 minutes and higher.

The medieval astrologer Guido Bonatti says,

"The 30th Consideration is, To observe when a planet that is Significator, or the Moon, shall have past the 29th degree of the Sign wherein it is, and touches the 30th and especially if it have passed one minute of that degree; for then it shall have no strength in that Sign, but in the next; so that if in the first it signified any evil, it shall hurt the person or thing threatened no more than the fall of a house shall one that is just got out of it; or being with one foot upon the threshold, has one behind him that throws him out; and then the building falls.

And if it signifies any good, it shall profit no more than he that hath spread a nest for birds, and just touches the feathers of their tails, but never catches their bodies; and therefore 'Zael' says, "If a planet or the Moon be in the 29th degree of any Sign, its virtue is yet in that Sign wherein he is; because he has not yet wholly past the 30th degree." &c."

Bonatti, 146 Considerations

Again for this you need to be in the 30th degree, ie 29 degrees 0 minutes and higher. In this case observe what kind of change there is. For example, Venus at 29 Libra, currently in sign rulership about to go into detriment in Scorpio, things look very good, but are about to change or are not anywhere near as good as they seem to look. Mars at 29 Libra, currently in detriment about to go into sign rulership in Scorpio, things look terrible, but are actually great or will soon change to great. Sun at 29 Taurus, peregrine, change to Gemini also peregrine, a change is about to happen but it won't make any real difference

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Coincidence, World View and Loops!

Earlier this month I decided to that I should start doing something new, constellation talismans! I decided to do a Cetus Talisman.

A few days later I was sent a link to a news article about the discovery of a habitable planet in the Tau Ceti system, ie part of the Cetus constellation!

Cool! But what do we make of this? Is this somehow meaningful or is it, "just a coincidence"?

A coincidence technically means things happening closely together in time or space. The modern view of a coincidence is that it is an example of things happening together, but without any causal connection, just randomly or by chance.

Let's step back a bit further. In the modern view if there is order or a cause-effect connection between things there is only one possible source: a direct material/energetic connection or source for the order. If this cause is lacking, then events are simply random or determined by chance. Of course, for moderns, it is possible that since material/energetic causality is only the ultimate cause, that for every event there is a material/energetic cause but the scientists haven't figured it out yet. Or alternatively, it is possible to believe that randomness truly does exist and that some events are ultimately unpredictable. In either case, however, the only possible linkages are material/energetic causes.

We live, breathe and swim in the modern worldview. It conditions all of our conscious thoughts and unconscious reactions. To think "just a coincidence" seems natural because of this. But wait, how logical is it for traditional astrologers to have this automatic response? Traditional astrology is predicated on spiritual, not material or energetic, connection. If astrology accurately predicts it can only be on this basis and if it predicts correctly, then the modern atheistic/materialist worldview has some rather major holes in it.

It's easy though, as moderns to be compartmentalized, to be a 21st century schizoid man (or woman). We show different faces to different people, thinking differently in different situations, keep the various parts of our lives, even our thoughts separate. We splinter ourselves. When I was back in Washington, DC, for example, I knew a fairly well known ceremonial/Goetic magician who used to say that he was a just a regular guy/computer tech by day and magician by night. This is not unusual for modern astrologers, magicians, etc.

I consciously try to be the same person in all settings. People often think it is odd that I am simultaneously a practicing attorney and astrologer. These two careers seem quite similar to me, in both I use my expert knowledge and life experience to advise clients. I don't conceal that I am an astrologer or attorney, it's all right out there on my website. I want to be the same person as much of the time as possible, to be whole and complete, in all facets of my life.

So I think we do ourselves a disservice in compartmentalizing, a common as it is. As astrologers and magicians, if we grasp that astrology and magic work, the implications are astounding and revolutionary. For example, due to the spiritual connection of all things and the fact that everyone that happens in or around a particular moment is spiritually connected, then they are no coincidences. Why did I chose to do a Cetus talisman now? Apparently Cetus' time had come!

My wife and I call these loops. We pay close attention to these themes when they appear. We don't know why loops occur, but we do know that they are the tip of the iceberg of underlying patterning.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Recommendation: Al-Biruni

Having been a traditional astrologer for the past 15 years, I've build up quite a library! And while you can get by with just a few key books, it really helps to have all your bases covered, there's so much out there.

We are really blessed to be living at a time when so many traditional astrological and magical sources have been translated into English.

I've decided to start a regular traditional astrology and astrological magic book recommendation and my first suggestion is Al-Biruni's Book of Instructions in the Elements of the Art of Astrology

The astrology section is available on Amazon for just $10 and change

It's also part of my Renaissance Astrology CD Library III which has the complete book, though most of it I've never had occasion to use because it is either mathematical, astronomical or how to use an astrolabe!

You can read about Al-Biruni on my web site here

The Book of Instructions is really a key text for any traditional astrologer. Al-Biruni lays out a very early Arabic version of the basics of traditional astrology, signs, essential and accidental dignities, rulerships, etc. He gives very clear and very straightforward explanations. I've chosen Al-Biruni as one of my three main sources for planetary rulerships, along with Agrippa and Lilly. A great reference and very useful introduction to Arabic astrology, the root of traditional European traditional astrology.

Definitely worthwhile to get a copy of the Book of Instructions!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gold Standard Prediction & Horary Example

One of the attacks that "skeptics" throw at astrology is that it gives overly subjective predictions and is based on subjective validation and a strong desire to believe. Of course their real objection to astrology is that since it is based on spiritual connections and the spiritual doesn't exist, obviously astrology is impossible. Nevertheless, they are on to something. It is easy to be overly gullible as astrologers since we do want to believe in astrology!

One way to fool yourself, and this is so prevalent that it is very hard to see it as problematic, is judging charts where the outcome is known or you know the events in the life of the person whose chart it is. I tried to demonstrate this with the chart of someone I identified as a serial killer and yes could see a lot of Scorpionic and 8th house influence in the chart, but the chart actually turned out to be Gandhi's! The response to this chart and posting was interesting. It was generally ignored, except I got a few posts saying that Gandhi was like a serial killer.

Certainly we cannot rely on the subjective feelings of clients. Even with horary, which is much more focused and precise than natal, clients' feedback is usually "wow, you got it 100% right" or occasionally "that was completely wrong". In fact, when I find out the facts generally I am not 100% accurate, but the occasional client reporting inaccuracy in the prediction is off base as well. How do I know this?

My practice is to always do my analyses in writing. This way I have an accurate record of what I told the client. Without this we are left trying to remember exactly what we said and have no real basis for determining the accuracy of the prediction. In addition, we have a record of what our prediction was before we knew the outcome. Then when I get feedback, I go back to the original reading, check it and then add the results.

Therefore as far as I am concerned this is the "gold standard" of astrological prediction. A true traditional astrological prediction must be made from a chart and the chart provided. The prediction needs to be in writing and give the astrological factors considered along with the analysis. The prediction needs to be made without knowing the outcome of the situation or the relevant life or event information for a natal chart. It needs to be as given to the client or as made in advance, without hindsight editing. And finally a true astrological prediction should show the results which should correspond to the analysis.

We need to be able to see how the astrologer did their work, step by step, so we can be sure of their astrological technique and that they even used astrology for their prediction. I do suffer by including the astrological factors because from time to time this either frightens or upsets clients because they can't understand the astrological terminology or clients decide that they don't like the outcome and want to argue with me about the technique used. I've never had anyone argue with me about the proper house rulership or aspects,etc. when they liked the outcome of the prediction! Still, only the foolish clients cause problems with this, many clients are very interested and appreciate seeing "under the hood" in the analysis and it is very useful for students and other astrologers to be able to see step by step how the analysis is made.

This "gold standard" of astrological analysis is pretty exacting. It eliminates all celebrity charts, looking at Hitler's and Einstein's chart, and going back and saying, "oh I can see why X happened, Lilith was sesquiqadrate your progessed Galactic Center".

It excludes, for example, Lilly's "prediction" of the Great Fire of London in 1666 as Lilly's prediction does not provide a chart and in fact, is not even astrological as it consists just of a picture of two men (Gemini. the sign of London) suspended over a fire. Also excluded is Zoller's "prediction" of 9/11. No chart is provided and the astrological factors used to make the reading are not provided.

I'm very cautious about public prediction, celebrities and flashy, topical readings. I just don't think I can do them accurately so I stay away from them. On the other hand, I do think it is important to push the envelope and see what can be done with traditional horary. While it took some time I just got feedback on a missing person horary I did awhile back. I wish I could give more information, but the client specifically requested that all identifying information be removed. Here is the chart, analysis and results.

It is my view that if we are going to advance as traditional astrologers that we need to stop fooling ourselves that we are predicting when we already know the outcome or when we are just guessing without actually using astrology. One of our goals in setting up the Society of Astrologers was to publish a journal. However, the submissions we got were 100% analyses made when the outcome was already known. This is not prediction!

When it comes to horary, I've published Warnock's Horary Case Book which contains over 40 real horary questions, as given to the client, the analyses, astrological factors considered and results.

In my courses, we work with charts whose outcome is unknown. This was particularly important to me in my Natal Astrology Course again no charts of Einstein, Hitler or Prince Charles.

Working with unknown charts and doing horary for clients puts your %$$ on the line! You will get it wrong on occasion. Looking at Hitler's chart you can never get it wrong, but then you never really are predicting.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Relationship Readings: Modern vs. Traditional

I've just gone through a major revamp of my relationship readings and added two new ones, the Compatibility Reading and a Compete Relationship Reading which includes a Compatibility Reading plus a relationship horary reading.

I've got a lot of relationship readings, here's a guide about how to choose a relationship reading

Ok, let's discuss relationship readings a bit. I'd estimate that relationship readings make up at least 60-75% of my total readings. For the most part these are horary readings. Relationships make very good subjects for horaries because they are so emotionally significant and important, giving very "juicy" charts. Horary relationship readings are very accurate, I can only remember one or two clients that reported back that the horary was incorrect, while it's pretty routine to have clients say "oh, yeah, you were right on the money with that reading"

Of course accuracy can be problematic in a relationship reading when the answer is no. Many clients do appreciate a honest answer even when it goes against their deepest hopes, but there are a significant number that are unhappy. Part of the problem is that other practitioners of the mantic arts, ie our other fortune telling colleagues, tend to give vague, positive answers. Psychics are particularly prone to this, but so, not surprisingly, are modern astrologers. "They told me he loved me but there was a dark cloud over him" as opposed to "he's an unreliable commitment phobe who's taking advantage of you"

Again, part of the problem is the methodology that modern astrologers are using. First they are trying to do a specific, focused prediction with a broad, general vague tool, the natal chart. Since a natal chart is true for your whole life, ALL of your relationships are in it, how are you going to pull out one specific relationship? I'm rather skeptical that it is possible to do accurate timing from a natal chart. When I see someone repeatedly nail accurate timing of events from an unknown chart, as opposed to looking at a known, usually celebrity chart and 20/20 hindsight, then I become a believer. It may be just that contemporary traditional astrologers haven't mastered the technique, but I do suspect that the traditional natal timing technique itself may simple be inadequate, I'm open minded. In any case, even if you can accurate time a transit, primary direction, etc, relating to relationships, how do you know whether it involves the particular person the querent wants to know about?

Secondly, in addition to problems with the lack of accuracy of natal prediction, modern astrology is very much predicated on being relentlessly positive. This is appropriate in the social worker/psychologist setting that informs the approach of modern astrologers. A natal chart is, in fact, an excellent way to model someone's psychology. I have no doubt that if I were a social worker or psychologist that I would do a natal chart for every client as a way to understand and work with their psychological and emotional state. What I would not do, however, is say to them, "only about 1/3 of my patients improve through treatment" I would want them to be enthusiastic and would be positive and upbeat about their prospect in order to encourage them even if their chance of success was not 100%.

Another problem with modern astrology is that they have only one basic tool, the natal chart. This is like a carpenter that only has a hammer and tries to put in screws, plane wood and bore holes with their hammer. Other than natal timing a modern astrologer also tries to use chart comparison or synastry to predict the outcome of a relationship as if compatibility was determinative of relationship success. Now certainly compatibility is interesting and useful, but I make very clear with my readings that my Compatibility Reading is not the way to go if you want to know what will actually happen with a relationship. I used to joke that I was 100% compatible with Scarlett Johansson, but that hardly translates into having a relationship. Of course, there are plenty of "incompatible" people in relationships, after all opposites can attract and complement each other.

One of the things I really prize about traditional astrology is that it has a "full tool box" with lots of different techniques and methods, all useful. When we predict using traditional we always want to try to base our analysis on multiple factors, not just one. This is what makes traditional astrology so accurate.