I just got a review copy of Jason Miller's Advanced Planetary Magic Thank you Jason!
Jason Miller is one of our best known modern mages.
I really like his approach of combining magic and practical, mundane strategies, particularly for wealth and prosperity.
What I am most excited about in Advanced Planetary Magic are the 7 planetary seals. They are simultaneously very contemporary and brand new, being newly generated and at the same time highly traditional, created by inspiration from the Anima Mundi! I am very inspired by these seals and looking forward to working with them.
Traditional astrological magic is a weird hybrid. Astrologers are passive users of the Great Chains of magical sympathy and correspondence, they sit back, watch the patterns unfold and predict. Magicians are active, they use their will and go out seeking to make change. An astrological magician, using traditional timing and ritual, has to wait until the Heavens indicate the time is right and then use their will.
Therefore both astrological timing and ritual are key for astrological magic. Increasing the potency of one can compensate for weaknesses in the other. So I can do a whomping great ritual and maybe get an ok result with a planet weak or afflicted, or I can do a small ritual, but with the planet very strong and get a decent result. Obviously a lot of powerful ritual at a time when a planet is highly dignified and well placed will give the maximum effect.
So my only reservation with Advanced Planetary Magic is that in my experience that planetary day and hour are not enough to fully time astrological talismans. I've made a Jupiter talisman with Jupiter day and hour, but Jupiter in detriment and retrograde and I immediately started losing money! I do think that doing lots and lots of ritual makes a big difference, but still you are fighting an uphill battle doing Jupiter invocations or magic anytime Jupiter is afflicted. Contrawise, doing a Jupiter ritual when Jupiter is highly dignified and well placed increasing the power tremendously.
Obviously this is inconvenient because then you can't do a Jupiter ritual when YOU need it, and in addition, how do you time your astrological magic when you aren't a traditional astrologer?
The inconvenience is just part of the nature of things, just as you cannot plant lettuce in December in Iowa (at least not yet!). The timing problem is likely not solvable until we get a larger number of qualified traditional astrologers. Modern astrology is useless for talismans!
One thing I do is post on my Facebook page the "Astrological Talisman Weather" I've been stating the current essential and major accidental dignities of the planets and I will start saying "great time for talisman" "ok for talisman" and "avoid talisman" for each planet.
All in all, I like Advanced Planetary Magic however, as a traditional astrological magician, I have to put in a plug for not just ignoring the astrological state of the planets beyond planetary day and hour.